With a complex culture, a rich history dating back millennia and everything and everyone running late, Peru has a lot in common with India. But while visiting this country might give you pangs of déjà vu, it will still feel like entering a whole different world. There are the remains of Chan Chan, the largest of its kind in the American continents. There are the geoglyphs of Nazca and the wilderness around Kuelap. For food, Peru has some spicy servings that won’t disappoint, like the classic ceviche and slow-cooked stews, the Amazonian chocolates and the beef skewers and street foods. So to save you from some major FOMO, here’s a look at 10 experiences you simply mustn’t skip when you are in Peru. ALSO READ: 15 reasons why Peru is the best emerging tourist destination Also Read - Peru, Colombia Pledge to Work Together to Protect Amazon Region
Enjoy a Five star stay on the shores of Lake Titicaca
Totora boat on the Titicaca lake near Puno, Peru
Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, offers a pretty incredible view. Check into one of the many top-end hotels located around the shores of the lake and spend a few days watching the waters and the highlands around it. And also explore the several ruins around the region connected to the birth of the Incas. Also Read - Willian Ruled Out of Copa America Final Due to Injury
Catch a First Class train to Machu Picchu sanctuary
Inca Rail To Machu Picchu
What better way to travel to the ruins of Machu Picchu than by a First Class train. Take the three and a half-hour Inca Rail train journey in a vintage train wagon, complete with appetizers, breakfast and a private tour guide for a complete immersive experience. Also Read - Earthquake of 7.0 Magnitude Struck Peru, no Casualties Reported
Hit the northern beaches and luxury resorts
Beach of Punta Sal, Mancora, Peru
For the beach bums and travelers not really interested in the city experience, there are the long, beautiful northern beaches of Peru, where you can catch some waves or soak in the South American sun. The resorts that line these beaches can pamper you and offer some pretty popular massages and spa services too.
Chili river crossing Arequipa, Peru, with the Andes on the background
Adventurers can head to the desert areas along the Peruvian coast, like Acari (Arequipa), Camana (Arequipa) and Sarapampa (Lima). Acari, in fact, has the world’s second-highest dune. Grab a sand board and slide through the dunes face down for an adrenaline rush like no other. Ica, La Libertad and many other sites offer complete facilities and equipment for the sport.
Drink a lot of Pisco Sour
Two Pisco Sour Cocktails with Ingredients and Bottles on a Bar
Peru’s national drink, the Pisco, is a grape-based spirit originating from the Spanish colonial era. Back then, the Spanish introduced vineyards to the country, and the Pisco was created sometime in the 17th century. Today, you’ll find the drink produced along the coastal regions, in Tacna, Arequipa, Lima and Moquegua. The drink is also the base of several cocktails, too many for you to drink in one go. What you cannot miss out on is the Pisco Sour, a 100 percent Peruvian creation that combines the grape of Pisco with the sharpness of lemon and some homemade sugar syrup for good measure.
Experience the wildlife of Peru
Llamas (Alpaca) in Andes Mountains, Peru
Before the Spanish and the Incas, Peru was a dense wild land with a diverse range of animals and plants thriving on its land. For millennia, Peruvians lived in harmony with nature. Colonization and industrialization threw this off-balance, but Peru is getting back there. And you can still experience the sheer natural diversity of the region through the wildlife observation packages that attract thousands every year. CHECK OUT: These are the 10 best offbeat places to visit in 2017!
Participate in Peru’s festivals
Festival of the Virgin de la Candelaria in Lima, Peru
Peru’s festivals are a mix of Spanish and native cultures, which make them pretty unique and wild. And the country has plenty of festivals every year, showcasing and celebrating the outlandishly wide variety of cultures and traditions it has. With so many festivals and events, you’ll probably find something happening in some corner of Peru any day. Whether they are deeply religious rituals or vibrant dance events, you will always find happiness and passion in every festival.
Devour Peruvian cuisine
A Peruvian delicacy
Peru’s as proud of its food as its history and its culture. A mix of all the cultures and traditions that have shaped Peruvian identity over the millennia, the cuisine here does not shy away from adding new flavors, new methods and new aromas to its range. With a wide range of agricultural produce and a mix of cultures, Peru’s culture is one of the most inclusive in the world. And the best place to experience this is at the Mistura yearly food fair in Lima, where Peru’s biggest chefs and restaurants attend.
Shop for handicrafts
For thousands of years, Peru has been creating some of the most beautiful handicraft in the world, inspired by the stories of the Incas and the mountains, forests, deserts and oceans. Ceramic, silver, gold, stone, wood, even mud; all kinds of material were used to create works of art by Peru’s craftsmen. So it would be a crime to miss out on collecting some handicrafts from Peru while you are there. From Monsefu ponchos to Chulucanas stoneware and Huamanga wood and stone carvings, everything is available. NOW READ: 20 stunning photos of mountains in the world that look magical!
Visit the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary (SMH)
Of course, we cannot just leave without mentioning the Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary (SMH), the most visited of Peru’s protected wildlife ranges. The sanctuary, a designated Natural and Cultural Heritage to Humanity, consists of archaeological buildings and a number of animals, birds and trees. Machu Picchu is, of course, the crown jewel of the sanctuary, but there are plenty of sites to explore through the Qhapaq Ñan, popularly called the Inca Trail.