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5 Hidden Gems In Peru
Learn more about Peru and the places that are treasures to be discovered.
When most people think of Peru, their minds immediately jump to the mist-wreathed heights of Machu Picchu. While you shouldn’t miss that UNESCO landmark, there are plenty of other must-see attractions in Peru. These places are guaranteed to inspire wonder, as well as give you a deep appreciation for the culture and history of Peru.
For this reason, in this opportunity we want to share some of these hidden treasures, so that you have them in your list of places to know and we encourage you to visit them during your trip to Peru.
5 hidden gems in Peru that you should have on your traveler’s bucket list:
Huacachina is considered “The Oasis of America”. Its origin has generated a series of legends. One of them mentions that the lagoon was born from the tears of a beautiful woman with green eyes, who mourned the death of her beloved. On the other hand, it is also said that this lagoon was originated by the existence of an Inca princess named Huacca-China (the one who makes cry) who was characterized by having a song that caused those who listened to her to cry.
Others say that Huacachina was created when a spiteful god turned a beautiful maiden into a mermaid, and her mirror into the shining lagoon in the center of this small desert town.
In fact, at the edge of the lagoon we can see the statue of the mermaid of Huacachina.
You can enjoy restaurants, hotels and bars that are located around the lagoon or a stroll through the city. However, it is also recommended to take advantage of the day to venture into the desert.
In the dunes surrounding Huacachina you can go buggy riding or sandboarding. The desert is sweltering during the day and cold at night, so bring plenty of sunscreen and a light jacket for later in the day.
Huacachina is a 4 hour bus ride from Lima. Altough you can get there from Ica, it is best to go with an agency that includes everything, from taking you to see the desert and the other areas with a guide, to the different activities.
Ollantaytambo was once a seat of Incan power and a strategic military site in the Sacred Valley. Today, it’s a perfectly preserved village that is home to some of Peru’s most astounding ruins. The Sun Temple, the Princess Bath, and the Pinkuylluna Granaries are just a few of the massive structures left over from Incan times.
What’s more, Ollantaytambo doesn’t attract the crowds that Machu Picchu does, so there’s an excellent chance that you’ll be able to explore the ruins on your own. Some say that the aerial view of Ollantaytambo looks like a corn cob. This notion isn’t too far-fetched, considering that the Inca often designed their most important cities to resemble sacred animals or elements.
Source: the art of paloma
Visiting Ollantaytambo is a fantastic way to get a feel for the Inca Empire on an individual and personal level. The village is easily accessible from Cuzco by minibus, train, and shuttle. At 2,792 meters above sea level, Ollantaytambo is quite a bit lower than Cuzco, but you could still encounter problems with altitude.
Bring plenty of water, sip on coca tea, and stock up on soles before heading to the markets of Ollantaytambo. Many vendors don’t take credit or debit cards. The ruins are relatively steep, so be sure to wear thick-soled sneakers or hiking boots.
Citadel of Chan Chan
The citadel of Chan Chan, a large complex made of adobe in which you will learn about the life of the pre-Inca Chimú culture. Chan Chan stands out for one main feature: being the largest adobe citadel in America. And the fact is that this place occupies no more and no less than 20 square kilometers.
The importance of Chan Chan in the Chimú era is undeniable: this place was considered the capital of the entire kingdom and here resided the great Chimú, the highest ruler of this culture.
Visiting hours are Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The rates are quite accessible: Students between 1 and 5 soles, and adults 10 soles (Source: Chan Chan Museum).
The Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world (3,000 meters deep) and is on the list of places to visit for tourists going to Arequipa. If you like nature and bird watching, this is for you, as the scenery is mind-blowing, with hawks and volcanoes.
If you plan to hike and consider it necessary, remember to consult your doctor beforehand, as this area is at an altitude of more than 3mil meters. In addition, you should prepare yourself days before, rest well, eat lightly and stay hydrated.
There is the option of 1 or more day trips to the Canyon, but this will depend on weather and physical conditions. The more days, the more you will have the opportunity to visit some truly amazing viewpoints.
Because it is a bit far from the city and it is necessary to be guided by someone who knows the area very well, we recommend you to book with our agency to avoid discomfort and be safe.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. Here we can find the Uros Islands, fascinating floating islands of totora reeds that have been occupied by the Uros people for centuries.
It is said that the Uros people have their origin in the ancient Andean civilizations and among the theories is that the Uros originally built the islands fleeing from Inca persecution.
The tours depart from Puno and in these you can have the experience of walking around the impressive floating islands, learn about their maintenance, buy local handicrafts and even take a tour in one of the totora reed boats.
Visiting the island of Amantani is something you can do to make the most of your time and explore more of the Lake Titicaca area. A nice experience.
Thank you very much for reading!
We are sure this information will be very useful for your trip in order to discover new places in Peru. If you have any doubts, questions or need more information to make up your mind about visiting our country, contact us!
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