Peru is well known for the amazing Machu Picchu, but this exciting country offers so much more for anyone looking to have a true adventure vacation. Whether trekking in the Andes or exploring the desert coast, exciting Peru is just waiting for adventurous souls.
Speaking Machu Picchu, this is, of course, an essential for any first trip to Peru. Hiking up the Inca Trail from the Urubamba Valley below is almost a pilgrimage, heading through the cloud forests and exploring the ruins of ancient way stations along the way.
Besides the ultimate destination of the spectacular Machu Picchu, this trek is worth it for the gorgeous scenery along the way. The video below gives more detail of this incredible architectural site.
How about heading up into the majestic Andes? Right in the heart of exciting Peru, the Cordillera Blanca is a series of craggy and snow-capped, high-altitude peaks just waiting to be explored.
In between staring amazed at the scenery in the Huascarán National Park surrounding them, trekkers will also discover glistening turquoise alpine lakes, trickling streams and cute little traditional Andean villages with friendly residents to visit along the way.
While up in the Andes, it is possible to explore the remains of several ancient cities. For instance, up on a mountain in the northern Peruvian cloud forest, Kuelap is a magnificent walled citadel, built by the Chachapoyas people in the distant past. The area offers incredible views of the Utcubamba Valley, making this a trek of a lifetime.
If mountains are not of interest, another way to have a true adventure vacation in exciting Peru is to head to the coastal areas, which also offer so much to the adventure traveler. Visit the Humboldt penguins and the cute Peruvian boobies just off the Paracas Peninsula. The Islas Ballestas that are the birds’ home, are popularly known as the “poor man’s Galapagos” for their amazing sea- and bird-life.
Surfers will just love Peru’s coastline, which stretches for over 3,000 kms, offering a varied range of conditions, including some really big swells. However the best area for surfing is just north of Lima, close to Chicama, Máncora and Huanchaco, where not only is the surfing great, but a range of tasty seafood is on offer. Try out a local specialty in the form of a tasty local shrimp bisque, known as chupe de camarones.
For another type of boarding, but this time out in the southern Peruvian desert, head to Huacachina for some really adventurous sand boarding in exciting Peru, or if not feeling quite that energetic, ride a buggy through the dunes instead.
Most people have heard of the fascinating ancient glyphs which make up the famous Nazca Lines. One of exciting Peru’s greatest mysteries, there are over 70 ancient glyphs of lines, animals and other shapes, all so massive that they can only be seen from the air. No one knows who created them or their actual purpose, although there have been theories that it is a landing site for ancient alien spacecraft.
Taking a flight in a small aircraft over the lines is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which will never been forgotten and has one wondering forever more where these incredible glyphs originated from. The video below gives more details of this fascinating site.
Whichever option is chosen, travelers cannot fail to have a true adventure vacation in exciting Peru and are likely to return again and again in years to come.
By Anne Sewell
Machu Picchu CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Pedro Szekely
Huascarán National Park CC BY 2.0 Jordan Fischer
Peruvian Booby CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Island Conservation
Paracas Peninsula CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Rafcha
Surfer in the sunset at Huanchaco CC BY 2.0 yonel alberto campos gamonal
Nazca Lines CC BY-SA 2.0 Paul Williams