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Peru is one of the most photographic countries on earth: vibrant and exquisite birds of paradise and wildlife in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle, historic and ethereal Inca ruins clouded in mist, and the mountainous valleys and snow-capped peaks of the Andes mountains... Whether you are looking for inspiration of which Peru destinations to include in your holiday, are interested in travel photography and want to see some of the places you could also photograph during your trip, or simply want to see photos of some of the most beautiful locations on earth, look no further...

Machu Picchu

One of the most recognisable and iconic travel destinations on the planet, this UNESCO World Heritage Site, marvel of the Inca Empire, and highlight of any trip to Peru is a magical and mystical destination. The ruin is located near the city of Cusco, and can be visited either by train from Cusco or the Sacred Valley, or by trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu

Nazca Lines, Nazca

These iconic and mystical structures are near the city of Nazca to the south of Lima. Viewing the lines is possible either from a viewing tower on land, or by scenic flight over the lines. They are one of the most unique and stunning attractions not only in Peru, but in South America.

Nazca Lines

Moray, Sacred Valley

This incredible Inca ruin was built by the Inca as an agricultural experiment - the different terraced levels each have their own micro-climate which allowed the Inca to cultivate a wide range of different plants. This ruin is situated in the Sacred Valley, and is usually visited on a day tour from Cusco.

Moray

12-Sided Stone, Cusco

At first glance if you aren't familiar with this stone it might not appear overly impressive, but a second glance will show you that this stone incredibly has 12 sides, and has been built to fit beautifully within the surrounding brickwork of the wall showcasing a classic example of Inca stonework. This stone can be found in Hatun Rumiyoc street, which is just off the main central plaza in the city of Cusco.

12-Sided Stone

Maras Salt Mines, Sacred Valley

Maras salt mines are nearby the Inca ruin of Moray, and can be visited on a day tour from Cusco, and horse-riding and mountain-biking excursions to the site are also possible. These salt-pans date from pre-Inca times, and salt is still mined in the valley which is a beautiful blend of colours and a completely unique experience.

Maras Sacred Valley

The Train to Machu Picchu

If you aren't trekking to Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail then the only other main way of accessing the ruin is by train, either direct from Cusco, or from the Sacred Valley. The train is an excellent way to travel to the ruin, as the journey passes wonderful landscape including other Inca ruins hidden in the valleys, and snow-capped Andean mountain peaks. Windows in the roof of the carriages allow 360-degree views of the surroundings. At Go Andes we use both the Expedition and Vistadome trains to Machu Picchu, although those looking for true luxury can upgrade to the first-class "Hiram Bingham" service.

Train to Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Although there are a few alternative treks to Machu Picchu there is only one official Camino Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the trek which follows the Inca path through the Sun Gate into Machu Picchu. This is one of the greatest walks on earth, and a top tourist attraction in South America. Permits are required to access the trek, and the permits sell out far in advance, so in order to guarantee a spot on the Inca Trail it is advisable to reserve your holiday at least 6 months in advance. The full Inca Trail is a 4-day trek, although a shorter 2-day trek is also available.

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley

Ollantaytambo is the name of a town at the end of the Sacred Valley, and the name of the Inca ruins that tower over the town. The town has a railway station for trains to Machu Picchu, and the ruins themselves are both impressive, featuring some enormous stones, and interesting, as the construction of the site was not completed most likely due to the Spanish invasion and conquest. Visit these ruins on the Sacred Valley tour from Cusco.

Ollantaytambo

UNESCO World Heritage Site of Caral

Caral, also known as Caral-Supe, is situated a few hours drive north of Lima, and can be visited on day-trips from Peru's capital. For those interested in archaeology, ancient ruins, history and culture - this is a must! The site is one of the oldest settlements in the entire Americas, dating from around 2500 BC, and features various pyramids and ceremonial areas spread out over a large area.

Caral

The Floating Uros Islands, Lake Titicaca

These "islands" are situated on Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, and can be visited on boat cruises from the city of Puno, which is on the banks of the lake. The islands are man-made and constructed from reeds that grow in Lake Titicaca. Although the site has become something of a tourist spot in recent years, its origins are original and traditional, and this makes a fantastic and unique place to visit.

Uros Islands

Santa Catalina Monastery, Arequipa

This wonderful, beautiful and peaceful monastery was built in 1579 and was closed to the public for hundeds, only relatively recently opening for tourists. The monastery is painted in rich pastel shades of blue, red and yellow and provides a tranquil place to explore and relax right in the heart of the city of Arequipa.

Santa Catalina, Arequipa

Miralores, Lima

Miraflores is a modern district overlooking the pacific coastline of Lima, and is where most of the tourist hotels are situated, as well as some of the finest restaurants in the world, an endless collection of bars serving Pisco Sour cocktails, some wonderful shopping malls and artesan markets, and para-gliding over the city for the adrenalin-seekers. 

Lima

Lima

Lima, the capital city of Peru, is a large, bustling, busy and frantic place to explore. The four main regions of Lima worth visiting are Miraflores - with its modern bars and restaurants, Barranco - with its colonial charm and architecture, San Isidro - with its modern shopping malls, and the old-town city centre - home to the Presidential Palace, Lima Cathedral, and the underground catacombs of San Francisco Convent.

Lima

Kuelap Fortress, Chachapoyas

This wonderful ruin is near the city of Chachapoyas in far northern Peru, and was built by the Chachapoyas Culture. Kuelap is rivalled in size and granduer only by Machu Picchu, although it welcomes far far fewer tourists each year due to its rural location, which can make visits to this site that little bit more adventurous and special. The site consists of a giant wall resembling a cliff, built to surround the settlement, whilst within the wall the settlement contains a myriad of ancient buildings. 

Kuelap Fortress

Pachacamac, Lima

This fascinating ruin is situated on the outskirts of southern Lima, and can be visited on a short half-day tour from the capital city. The site covers a large area of ground, and features numerous pyramids, large ceremonial plaza areas, and frescoes.

Pachacamac

Islas Ballestas, Paracas

The Islas Ballestas are a group of small islands off the Peruvian coast near the delightful coastal town of Paracas. The islands are a haven for wildlife, and are home to species including penguins, cormorants, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, seals and pelicans; and it is also possible to spot dolphins in the waters surrounding the islands. Visits to the island are possible with overnight stays in the town of Paracas, which has some excellent hotel options.

Islas Ballestas

Gocta Waterfall, Chachapoyas

At a height of over 750 metres Gocta Waterfall is often cited as being one of the ten highest waterfalls in the world, and it is certainly a stunning sight. The waterfall is located in far northern Peru, near the city of Chachapoyas, and is one of Peru's best kept secrets - the falls were only discovered by the western world in 2005. A highlight of Peru, and worth the long journey to Chachapoyas.

Gocta Waterfall

Cock of the Rock

The Peruvian Cock of the Rock is a bird of paradise from Peru, and is famous for its bright red plumage and vivid colour. It is possible to spot this bird on Amazon Jungle tours to Manu from Cusco.

Cock of the Rock

Circuito Magico del Agua, Lima

The "dancing fountains" in Lima are one of the cities best tourist sights. It is best to visit these colourful fountains by tour at night, when dancing colours make for a truly spectacular visual display, and a very romantic evening.

Dancing Fountains of Lima

Chinchero, Cusco

Chinchero is a delightful village on the Peruvian altiplano, near the city of Cusco. The village is best visited on a full day tour through the Sacred Valley and contains one of the most beautiful and ancient colonial churches in Peru, an Inca ruin complex, and a street layout dating from Inca times. The village is famous across Peru for the traditional clothing and dress worn by its inhabitants, who still produce hand-crafted goods using highly skilled ancient Inca techniques.

Chinchero

The Peruvian Amazon Jungle

The Amazon Jungle stretches from the eastern slopes of the Andes in Peru right the way across Bolivia, Ecuador, parts of Colombia, and Brazil, however it is recognised that Peru contains some of the most bio-diverse regions with the most abundant wildlife, which can make Peru an excellent choice for an Amazon Jungle visit or for a bird-watching holiday. Tambopata is the most popular region due to ease of access via Puerto Maldonado and the high standard of its jungle lodges.

Amazon Rainforest Caterpillar

Amazon Jungle Frog

 

All photos Copyright Go Andes.