The Inca Trail, climaxing with a visit to the mysterious and striking Machu Piccu is a definite highlight on The Great Global Bucket List. Yet, between 12 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, South America’s best culinary scene, the Amazon jungle and Lake Titicaca, there’s more to add to a Peru Bucket List.
Here are some more Peruvian Bucket List experiences to put on your radar.
Introducing a group of small islands near the town of Paracas, renowned for bucket list wildlife viewing. This includes one of the largest sea lion colonies in the world, and 150 species of marine birds such as the Humboldt penguin and blue-footed booby. The protected can only be accessed via an organized boat tours, which includes a visit to the Candelabra geoglyph – a giant three-pronged figure etched into the sandy hills thought to be an ancient navigational guide marker.
White City of Arequipa
The buildings of Arequipa are constructed of white stone quarried from three surrounding volcanoes: Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu. The effect: a city that literally glows whether by sun in the day or by city lights at night. The historic centre has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the colonial structures and integration of indigenous and Spanish cultures. Not too far away is Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world.
Tambopata Natural Reserve
Welcome to one of the most diverse conservation areas on the planet. Covering 274,690 hectares, Tambopata is home to 632 species of birds, 1,200 species of butterflies, 169 species of mammals and 205 types of fish. This includes rare and endangered species like the maned wolf and marsh deer.
Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca
Not only is Lake Titicaca the highest navigable lake in the world and the largest lake in South America (by volume), it’s also home to a group of about 63 artificial floating islands made up entirely of reeds. The islands are inhabited by some 2,000 Uros or “lake people.” They continue to build their boats and houses with reed bundles, living and fishing according to their ancient traditions.
To witness the Nazca Lines, visitors must fly over the region in a plane as the shapes are so large they can only be witnessed from the sky. Ancient geometric lines crisscross the Nazca desert and include many animal glyphs and shapes. These mysterious “sketches” are thought to be made by a pre-Inca civilization; however their purpose still remains unclear. The lines were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
Luxury Cruises on the Amazon
The Amazon rainforest comprises about 60% of Peru’s natural territory. One of the best ways to explore this rainforest is at a leisurely pace on a small, luxury cruise boat. Several operators offer nature-based, luxury cruises starting in Iquitos that take visitors up close to wildlife and the natural beauty of the region. Along the way passengers might spot a three-toed sloth, toucans, macaws, turtles or even the endangered pink dolphin.
This post is brought to you by Prom Peru.