Peru

TRAVEL GUIDE

Loading...
Read More

Peru inspires wonder, from the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu and the mysterious Nazca Lines to the Cordillera Blanca’s soaring peaks and Lake Titicaca’s floating islands. Stroll Cusco’s cobblestone streets and take in stunning Inca and colonial architecture, or visit an Andean community where daily life remains rooted in tradition. Savor intriguing flavors: the country of pisco sours and cebiche is now a hotbed for fusion food. Surfing, trekking, and bird-watching satisfy a thirst for outdoor adventure, and world-class hotels offer creature comforts.

Find a Hotel

Filter By:

Lima

When people discuss great South American cities, Lima is often overlooked. But Peru's capital can hold its own against its neighbors with its...

Cusco

Cusco is a fascinating blend of old and new. It was once the capital of the Inca Empire, and colonial buildings now top Inca foundations flanked...

Arequipa

Cradled by three steep, gargantuan, snow-covered volcanoes, the jaw-dropping white-stoned Arequipa, one of the most visually stunning cities...

Puno

Puno doesn't win any beauty pageants—brown unfinished concrete homes, old paved roads, and dusty barren hills have dominated the landscape for...

Ayacucho

Tucked into the folds of the Andes, 2,760 meters (9,055 feet) up on the slopes, Ayacucho is a colorful, colonial-style town. Though its looks...

Iquitos

A sultry port town on the Río Amazonas, Iquitos is quite probably the world's largest city that cannot be reached by road. The city has nearly...

Trujillo

Well-preserved colonial architecture, rich local cuisine, and spectacular archaeological sites make Trujillo a must-see tourist destination...

Huaraz

Peru's number-one trekking and adventure-sports destination, Huaraz is an easy starting point for those wishing to explore the vast wilderness...

Huancayo

It's not hard to see how the modern city of Huancayo, which has close to 260,000 residents, was once the capital of pre-Inca Huanca (Wanka)...

Cajamarca

Peaceful Cajamarca is one of the most undervisited places in Peru. As the town where the conquistador Pizarro captured and later executed the...

Aguas Calientes

But for the grace of Machu Picchu discoverer Hiram Bingham, Aguas Calientes would be just another remote, forgotten crossroads. But Bingham...

Ica

A bustling commercial city with chaotic traffic and horn-happy drivers, Ica challenges you to find its attractive side. Step outside the city...

Nazca

What do a giant hummingbird, a monkey, and an astronaut have in common? Well, apart from the fact that they're all etched into the floor of...

The Peruvian Amazon

The Amazon Basin is the world's most diverse ecosystem. The numbers of cataloged plant and animal species are astronomical, and scientists regularly...

Chiclayo

A lively commercial center, Chiclayo is prosperous and easygoing. Although it doesn't have much colonial architecture or special outward beauty...

Huanuco

At first glance, Huánuco looks like any other Spanish settlement: a picturesque collection of colonial buildings and churches surrounded by...

Ollantaytambo

Poll visitors for their favorite Sacred Valley community, and the answer will likely be Ollantaytambo—endearingly nicknamed Olly or Ollanta...

Chachapoyas

Located in the ceja de la selva (jungle's eyebrow), Chachapoyas is the capital of Peru's Amazonas region. The town is a good jumping-off...

Puerto Maldonado

The inland port city of Puerto Maldonado lies at the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata rivers. The capital of the department of...

Tarma

The hidden mountain town known as "The Pearl of the Andes" has grown into a city of 55,000 whose traditions and sights illuminate its Peruvian...

Tambopata National Reserve and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park

The lowland rain forests, rivers, oxbow lakes, and palm swamps that surround Puerto Maldonado hold a wealth of colorful creatures—from blue...

Paracas

After the 2007 quake, Paracas quickly leapfrogged Pisco as the most important tourist hub on the Southern Coast. Several major coastal resorts...

Chivay

The largest town in the Colca Canyon region is Chivay, a small, battered-looking village with a population of about 5,000. Most tourist facilities...

Urubamba

Spanish naturalist Antonio de León Pinedo rhapsodized that Urubamba must have been the biblical Garden of Eden, but you'll be forgiven if your...

Pisco

Lending its name to the clear brandy that is Peru's favorite tipple and a source of fierce national pride, the coastal town of Pisco and its...

Manu Biosphere Reserve

Manu is a remote and wild area with spectacular scenery that ranges from lush cloud forest to pristine rain forest dominated by massive tropical...

Piura

The sunny climate, friendly people, and good food make Piura a delightful stop on your way north. Since most of the major flight and bus routes...

Huanchaco

Less than half an hour away from the city, Huanchaco is a little beach community where surfers, tourists, affluent trujillianos, families...

Pisac

The colorful colonial town of Pisac, replete with Quechua-language Masses in a simple stone church, a well-known market, and fortress ruins...

Huancavelica

Spread out high in the Andes, colonial Huancavelica was founded by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, and they promptly discovered rich...

Mancora

This laid-back beach destination, famous for its sunshine and white-sand beaches, has excellent waves for surfing and great opportunities for...

Huacachina

Drive 10 minutes through the pale, mountainous sand dunes southwest of Ica and you'll suddenly see a gathering of attractive, pastel-color buildings...

Lunahuana

Flanked by arid mountains, the beautiful valley of the Río Cañete cuts a swath of green inland from Cañete to reach the tiny but charming town...

Camana

...

Barranca

A nondescript town with little to visit except a large Chimú temple nearby and one iconic restaurant, this is a stop for those who are either...

Chinchero

Indigenous lore says that Chinchero, one of the valley's major Inca cities, was the birthplace of the rainbow. Frequent sightings during the...

Mollendo

...

Chala

...

Casma

Once known as the "City of Eternal Sun," Casma, like Lima, is now subject to cloudy winters and sunny summers. With its leafy Plaza de Armas...

Lambayeque

This small town has some well-preserved colonial-era buildings, but the reason to come is for the outstanding museums. The museums’ exhibits...

Monterrey

...

Cerro Azul

Aquí está tranquilo " say the locals, and tranquil it certainly is in this small fishing town, made famous by the Beach Boys' song "Surfin'...

Lagunas de Llanganuco

These two gorgeous mountain lakes, sitting near the base of Mt. Huascarán and within the national park, are the destination of one of the most...

Tambo Colorado

The ruins of this administrative center and burial site make up one of the best-preserved Inca sites on the Southern Coast. Although the ruins...

Ferreñafe

It's produced more winners of the Miss Peru contest than any other town, but Ferreñafe has other charms as well. The Iglesia Santa Lucia, begun...

Tingo Maria

...

Tumbes

About an hour's drive north of the beach resorts of Máncora and Punta Sal is Tumbes, the last city on the Peruvian side of the Peru-Ecuador...

Punta Sal

Sit on the beach, go for a swim, relax in the afternoon sun—what more could you want from a beach resort? That's probably why Punta Sal has...

Cotahuasi Village and Vicinity

Cotahuasi is the largest settlement in canyon country and the first you'll stumble upon. In the hills at 2,680 meters (8,793 feet), whitewashed...

Playa Tortugas

Between the towns of Casma and Chimbote, this idyllic, perfectly round bay is the area’s best beach escape. Facilities are quite simple and...

Asia

This is Peru’s version of the Hamptons. During the summer months, from about Christmas to March, much of middle- and upper-class Lima flees...

Chucuito

Chucuito (in Aymara: Choque-Huito , Mountain of Gold) is the first of several small towns that dot the lake as you travel from Puno into Bolivia...

Yucay

Just a bit outside the much larger Urubamba, Yucay proper is only a few streets wide, with a collection of attractive colonial-era adobe-and...

Caraz

One of the few towns in the area with a cluster of colonial-era architecture, Caraz is at the northern tip of the valley—only a partly paved...

Pucusana

...

Concepcion

Visitors rarely linger in the small mountain town of Concepción, and neither should you. Aside from being a battle site during the War of the...

Sipan

This tiny village, with a population of about 1,700, doesn't offer much, but nearby is one of the country's major archaeological sites. Arrange...

Quinua

The Battle of Ayacucho, the decisive battle against Spain in the Peruvian War of Independence, took place on the Pampas de Quinua grasslands...

Magdalena de Cao

Chances are if you are coming to this small, remote village in the Chicama Valley, it’s to see the El Brujo archaeological complex, which is...

Huayllabamba

On your way from Pisac to Yucay/Urubamba, you will arrive at this small town. There’s not much reason to stop unless you happen to be staying...

Reserva Nacional de Junin

This out-of-the-way, high-altitude reserve is an important natural and historical site. It sees few tourists, though within you’ll find the...

Sillustani

Looking out over Lake Umayo, a small body of water just off the main lake northwest of Puno on the way to Juliaca, these magnificent stone burial...

Kuelap

This phenomenal archaeological site, about two hours from Chachapoyas, is increasingly becoming one of Peru’s main attractions. It’s much more...

Qenko

A stop on the Cusco City Tour, this ceremonial site predicted the season’s harvest. ...

Puka Pukara

A stop on the Cusco City Tour, this pink-stone Inca site offers great views of the valley below. ...

Tambomachay

Inca-built fountains tap the natural spring at this site on the Cusco City Tour. ...

Sacsayhuaman

This is the second-most important Inca site in the Cusco area after Qorikancha, and a primary reason for going on the standard Cusco City Tour...

Taray

The road from Cusco leads directly to the town of Taray. The Pisac Market beckons a few kilometers down the road, but Taray makes a worthwhile...

Carhuaz

A small, laid-back village, less touched by recent earthquakes, Carhuaz is a popular stop along the Callejón de Huaylas. A bright spot is the...

Pomata

This small village on the lake on the way to Copacabana and the Bolivian border is worth a quick stop to visit the spectacular church on the...

Chavin de Huantar

This small, unassuming village thrives on tourists coming to visit the ruins of the same name that are found at one end of town. Few stay overnight...

Inca Trail

...

Moray and Salineras

Head to Salineras for a look at an ingenious way to harvest salt without mines or the ocean, and to Moray for early, inventive farming and irrigation...

San Pedro de Casta

This compact Andean village is a collection of mud-brick and clapboard homes and shops where you can watch craftspeople and farmers at work...

Tantamayo

The fields around Tantamayo are rich with pre-Inca ruins, some from the oldest cultures to settle in Peru. Most notable are the thick, seven...

Juli

At one time this village may have been an important Aymara religious center, and it has served as a Jesuit training center for missionaries...

Jauja

Jauja has the distinction of having been Peru's original capital, as declared by Francisco Pizarro when he swept through the region; he changed...

Machu Picchu

...

Yungay

On May 31, 1970, an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale shook loose some 15 million cubic meters of rock and ice that cascaded down...

Valle Yanahuanca

One of the longest-surviving stretches of Inca road, otherwise known as the Qhapaq Nan, passes through the massive rocky outcrops and deep meadows...

Lima

When people discuss great South American cities, Lima is often overlooked. But Peru's capital can hold its own against its neighbors with its...

Cusco

Cusco is a fascinating blend of old and new. It was once the capital of the Inca Empire, and colonial buildings now top Inca foundations flanked...

Arequipa

Cradled by three steep, gargantuan, snow-covered volcanoes, the jaw-dropping white-stoned Arequipa, one of the most visually stunning cities...

Puno

Puno doesn't win any beauty pageants—brown unfinished concrete homes, old paved roads, and dusty barren hills have dominated the landscape for...

Ayacucho

Tucked into the folds of the Andes, 2,760 meters (9,055 feet) up on the slopes, Ayacucho is a colorful, colonial-style town. Though its looks...

Iquitos

A sultry port town on the Río Amazonas, Iquitos is quite probably the world's largest city that cannot be reached by road. The city has nearly...

Trujillo

Well-preserved colonial architecture, rich local cuisine, and spectacular archaeological sites make Trujillo a must-see tourist destination...

Huaraz

Peru's number-one trekking and adventure-sports destination, Huaraz is an easy starting point for those wishing to explore the vast wilderness...

Huancayo

It's not hard to see how the modern city of Huancayo, which has close to 260,000 residents, was once the capital of pre-Inca Huanca (Wanka)...

Cajamarca

Peaceful Cajamarca is one of the most undervisited places in Peru. As the town where the conquistador Pizarro captured and later executed the...

Aguas Calientes

But for the grace of Machu Picchu discoverer Hiram Bingham, Aguas Calientes would be just another remote, forgotten crossroads. But Bingham...

Ica

A bustling commercial city with chaotic traffic and horn-happy drivers, Ica challenges you to find its attractive side. Step outside the city...

Nazca

What do a giant hummingbird, a monkey, and an astronaut have in common? Well, apart from the fact that they're all etched into the floor of...

The Peruvian Amazon

The Amazon Basin is the world's most diverse ecosystem. The numbers of cataloged plant and animal species are astronomical, and scientists regularly...

Chiclayo

A lively commercial center, Chiclayo is prosperous and easygoing. Although it doesn't have much colonial architecture or special outward beauty...

Huanuco

At first glance, Huánuco looks like any other Spanish settlement: a picturesque collection of colonial buildings and churches surrounded by...

Ollantaytambo

Poll visitors for their favorite Sacred Valley community, and the answer will likely be Ollantaytambo—endearingly nicknamed Olly or Ollanta...

Chachapoyas

Located in the ceja de la selva (jungle's eyebrow), Chachapoyas is the capital of Peru's Amazonas region. The town is a good jumping-off...

Puerto Maldonado

The inland port city of Puerto Maldonado lies at the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata rivers. The capital of the department of...

Tarma

The hidden mountain town known as "The Pearl of the Andes" has grown into a city of 55,000 whose traditions and sights illuminate its Peruvian...

Chivay

The largest town in the Colca Canyon region is Chivay, a small, battered-looking village with a population of about 5,000. Most tourist facilities...

Paracas

After the 2007 quake, Paracas quickly leapfrogged Pisco as the most important tourist hub on the Southern Coast. Several major coastal resorts...

Pisco

Lending its name to the clear brandy that is Peru's favorite tipple and a source of fierce national pride, the coastal town of Pisco and its...

Urubamba

Spanish naturalist Antonio de León Pinedo rhapsodized that Urubamba must have been the biblical Garden of Eden, but you'll be forgiven if your...

Piura

The sunny climate, friendly people, and good food make Piura a delightful stop on your way north. Since most of the major flight and bus routes...

Pisac

The colorful colonial town of Pisac, replete with Quechua-language Masses in a simple stone church, a well-known market, and fortress ruins...

Huanchaco

Less than half an hour away from the city, Huanchaco is a little beach community where surfers, tourists, affluent trujillianos, families...

Huancavelica

Spread out high in the Andes, colonial Huancavelica was founded by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, and they promptly discovered rich...

Mancora

This laid-back beach destination, famous for its sunshine and white-sand beaches, has excellent waves for surfing and great opportunities for...

Huacachina

Drive 10 minutes through the pale, mountainous sand dunes southwest of Ica and you'll suddenly see a gathering of attractive, pastel-color buildings...

Lunahuana

Flanked by arid mountains, the beautiful valley of the Río Cañete cuts a swath of green inland from Cañete to reach the tiny but charming town...

Camana

...

Barranca

A nondescript town with little to visit except a large Chimú temple nearby and one iconic restaurant, this is a stop for those who are either...

Mollendo

...

Chala

...

Casma

Once known as the "City of Eternal Sun," Casma, like Lima, is now subject to cloudy winters and sunny summers. With its leafy Plaza de Armas...

Chinchero

Indigenous lore says that Chinchero, one of the valley's major Inca cities, was the birthplace of the rainbow. Frequent sightings during the...

Tambo Colorado

The ruins of this administrative center and burial site make up one of the best-preserved Inca sites on the Southern Coast. Although the ruins...

Monterrey

...

Lagunas de Llanganuco

These two gorgeous mountain lakes, sitting near the base of Mt. Huascarán and within the national park, are the destination of one of the most...

Cerro Azul

Aquí está tranquilo " say the locals, and tranquil it certainly is in this small fishing town, made famous by the Beach Boys' song "Surfin'...

Lambayeque

This small town has some well-preserved colonial-era buildings, but the reason to come is for the outstanding museums. The museums’ exhibits...

Tingo Maria

...

Ferreñafe

It's produced more winners of the Miss Peru contest than any other town, but Ferreñafe has other charms as well. The Iglesia Santa Lucia, begun...

Asia

This is Peru’s version of the Hamptons. During the summer months, from about Christmas to March, much of middle- and upper-class Lima flees...

Chucuito

Chucuito (in Aymara: Choque-Huito , Mountain of Gold) is the first of several small towns that dot the lake as you travel from Puno into Bolivia...

Cotahuasi Village and Vicinity

Cotahuasi is the largest settlement in canyon country and the first you'll stumble upon. In the hills at 2,680 meters (8,793 feet), whitewashed...

Punta Sal

Sit on the beach, go for a swim, relax in the afternoon sun—what more could you want from a beach resort? That's probably why Punta Sal has...

Tumbes

About an hour's drive north of the beach resorts of Máncora and Punta Sal is Tumbes, the last city on the Peruvian side of the Peru-Ecuador...

Playa Tortugas

Between the towns of Casma and Chimbote, this idyllic, perfectly round bay is the area’s best beach escape. Facilities are quite simple and...

Yucay

Just a bit outside the much larger Urubamba, Yucay proper is only a few streets wide, with a collection of attractive colonial-era adobe-and...

Concepcion

Visitors rarely linger in the small mountain town of Concepción, and neither should you. Aside from being a battle site during the War of the...

Quinua

The Battle of Ayacucho, the decisive battle against Spain in the Peruvian War of Independence, took place on the Pampas de Quinua grasslands...

Sipan

This tiny village, with a population of about 1,700, doesn't offer much, but nearby is one of the country's major archaeological sites. Arrange...

Kuelap

This phenomenal archaeological site, about two hours from Chachapoyas, is increasingly becoming one of Peru’s main attractions. It’s much more...

Caraz

One of the few towns in the area with a cluster of colonial-era architecture, Caraz is at the northern tip of the valley—only a partly paved...

Magdalena de Cao

Chances are if you are coming to this small, remote village in the Chicama Valley, it’s to see the El Brujo archaeological complex, which is...

Chavin de Huantar

This small, unassuming village thrives on tourists coming to visit the ruins of the same name that are found at one end of town. Few stay overnight...

Sillustani

Looking out over Lake Umayo, a small body of water just off the main lake northwest of Puno on the way to Juliaca, these magnificent stone burial...

Huayllabamba

On your way from Pisac to Yucay/Urubamba, you will arrive at this small town. There’s not much reason to stop unless you happen to be staying...

Qenko

A stop on the Cusco City Tour, this ceremonial site predicted the season’s harvest. ...

Carhuaz

A small, laid-back village, less touched by recent earthquakes, Carhuaz is a popular stop along the Callejón de Huaylas. A bright spot is the...

Puka Pukara

A stop on the Cusco City Tour, this pink-stone Inca site offers great views of the valley below. ...

Tambomachay

Inca-built fountains tap the natural spring at this site on the Cusco City Tour. ...

Sacsayhuaman

This is the second-most important Inca site in the Cusco area after Qorikancha, and a primary reason for going on the standard Cusco City Tour...

Taray

The road from Cusco leads directly to the town of Taray. The Pisac Market beckons a few kilometers down the road, but Taray makes a worthwhile...

Pucusana

...

Pomata

This small village on the lake on the way to Copacabana and the Bolivian border is worth a quick stop to visit the spectacular church on the...

Moray and Salineras

Head to Salineras for a look at an ingenious way to harvest salt without mines or the ocean, and to Moray for early, inventive farming and irrigation...

Valle Yanahuanca

One of the longest-surviving stretches of Inca road, otherwise known as the Qhapaq Nan, passes through the massive rocky outcrops and deep meadows...

Inca Trail

...

San Pedro de Casta

This compact Andean village is a collection of mud-brick and clapboard homes and shops where you can watch craftspeople and farmers at work...

Juli

At one time this village may have been an important Aymara religious center, and it has served as a Jesuit training center for missionaries...

Yungay

On May 31, 1970, an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale shook loose some 15 million cubic meters of rock and ice that cascaded down...

Jauja

Jauja has the distinction of having been Peru's original capital, as declared by Francisco Pizarro when he swept through the region; he changed...

Tantamayo

The fields around Tantamayo are rich with pre-Inca ruins, some from the oldest cultures to settle in Peru. Most notable are the thick, seven...

Machu Picchu

...

Cusco and the Sacred Valley

Bienvenidos a la ciudad imperial del Cusco," announces the flight attendant when your plane touches down at a lofty 3,300 meters above sea...

The Southern Andes and Lake Titicaca

Though often overshadowed by Cusco and the Sacred Valley, the south of Peru has some of the most dynamic, jaw-dropping geography and exciting...

The North Coast and Northern Highlands

Glaciers swathed in mist, virgin tracts of forest, endless stretches of lunar desert: Peru’s North Coast and Northern Highlands are as geographically...

The Central Highlands

The Central Highlands are where the massive Andes crash into the impenetrable South American rain forests, and winding, cloud-covered mountain...

The Amazon Basin

Peru's least-developed region occupies some two-thirds of the country, an area the size of California. The selva (jungle) of the Amazon Basin...

The Southern Coast

From vineyards to rolling sand dunes, surf beaches to rocky islands teeming with wildlife, the area south of Lima is wild and fascinating. This...

Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail

More and more people are putting Machu Picchu on their bucket lists each year, and it lives up to its fame as one of the New Seven Wonders of...

Lake Titicaca

Stunning, unpredictable, and enormous, Lake Titicaca is a world of unique flora, fauna, cultures, and geology. Lago Titicaca, which means "lake...

Valle del Sur

The Río Urubamba runs northwest and southeast from Cusco. The northwest sector of the river basin is the romantically named Sacred Valley of...

All Destinations
Expand All Collapse All

Filter By:

Our worldwide travel correspondents bring you the best and most up-to-date coverage of over 7,500 global destinations.

Shop Now

Fodor's Essential Peru
Written by locals, Fodor's Essential Peru is the perfect guidebook for those looking for...

View Details

Around the Web