Every place on Earth is fascinating and unique, but Peru is one of those countries that manage to stand above the crowd. This place has so many natural and cultural treasures that have fascinated people for hundreds of years, and still fascinates them today. There are thousands of reasons to go to this great destination, but here are 7 reasons why you should visit Peru.
1. To experience its ancient ruins and culture
There is an incredible amount of interesting history easily accessible to any traveler. Whether it is through visiting a museum, wandering around a town or village, or hiking to one of the hidden Inca ruins, you will always be surrounded by the strong presence of history and of their cultural influences.
The ancient Inca ruins are considered to be some of the most beautiful and mysterious sites in the world. Among the most impressive are the ruins at the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu; best experienced when hiking the Inca Trail.
But the Inca ruins are not the only remains of ancient civilizations. In the north you can find ancient civilizations in the city of Chan Chan, while at the south you can find interesting evidence of ancient cultures at the Lake Titicaca, the city of Puno and at the Nazca Lines.
2. To meet the people
It’s always interesting to meet new people and to experiment new cultures, but Peruvians make this act an even more interesting and enjoyable experience. Many Peruvians still have a direct link with their Inca ancestors, proudly conserving the Quechua culture that is so important to Peru’s past.
Most people are hard workers, extremely polite, peaceful, helpful, and curious about the interest in their visitors. Many of them have never traveled out of the country or even out of their cities or villages. Sharing stories with them makes for an interesting learning experience about the country and about their tales.
3. To enjoy their handcrafts
Where can you find Peruvian history, culture, art, and exceptional skills all into one? The answer is; in their handcrafts.
Textiles are some of the most famous handcrafts you’ll find in any part of Peru. You can see the women weaving those exquisite patterns that make up a decorative wall carpet, scarf, jumper, or anything in between.
Other great artisanal crafts are found in the form of instruments, wood carvings, canvas paintings, jewelry, and more. Not only do these make great souvenirs and travel mementos, but by buying them you are helping to support their traditions and are giving the opportunity of decent living to a family.
4. To see firsthand its natural diversity
Like stated before, Peru counts with 28 individual climates. This creates a diverse ecosystem and natural variety, all in one country. You can see snow in the Andes, and not far away you can sandboard in the desert in Huacachina Oasis. You can see Penguins at Ballestas Islands next to the dry and desert like town of Paracas, and you can row peacefully in the Amazonian jungle rivers. You can hike up to a summit in the Andes, or you can go down to the deepest canyons in the world – Cañón del Colca and Cañón del Cotahuasi.
The varieties and combination is unlimited. Peru makes it perfect to do many short budget trips that will allow you to experience this natural variety.
5. To indulge in their cuisine
It’s said that Peru has one of the best cuisines in America. I believe that’s true.
Peru not only holds a variety of ethnic mixes, but also a climatic variety of 28 individual climates. This mixing of cultures and variety of climates differ from city to city, thus creating a varied cuisine across the country.
Dishes like Lomo Saltado, Ceviche Mixto, Empanadas, Tiradito, Butifarra, and Chicharrón are some of the must-try dishes in Peru. If you’re curious in trying an Andean delicacy, try guinea pig meat. It’s juicy and tender but not for the weak stomach. In general, Peruvian meals tend to be spicy and heavy, but so delicious.
6. To enjoy their beaches
Peru is well known for its beautiful beaches, and it is no secret that this is a destination surfers will not want to miss. Top surfing spots are the beaches of Herradura, Costa Verde, and Punta Rocas – all located to the south of Lima, Peru’s Capital. For a good time in the sun, sand, and crystal waters; you can go to popular beaches like El Silencio, Punta Sal, Punta Hermosa, Pucusana, and Santa María.
7. To enjoy their drinks!
Great drinks must accompany great food. Right? Peru makes sure that’s the way it’s done. Whether you prefer the bubble gum tasting Inca Kola or the strong beers, Peruvian drinks will make you addicted to them.
Some of the local drinks you will find (and love) are the famous wines from the Ica region, the pisco sours (a sweet, lime tasting, but strong drink containing egg whites – check out this post to learn how to make it), the emoliente, and the coca tea (perfect to prevent altitude sickness).
If you’re like me and love to drink Coca Cola, then you’ll taste the best Cokes in the world while there. They are sweetened with real sugar!
What other reasons will make you go to Peru?