Best of Peru (After You’ve Hiked Machu Picchu)

Best of Peru (After You’ve Hiked Machu Picchu)

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Looking for things to do in Peru (besides hike the beloved Machu Picchu)? You’re in luck, my colorful-country-lover friend! Keep on reading for the best things to do in Peru besides hike Machu Picchu!

Oh Peru.

What to do in Peru (after you've hiked Machu Picchu) |

The land of the Incas is definitely a country I have been longing to hop on over to for quite some time.  I’ve only made it as far south as Belize at this point in time, and could really use a little motivation to get my butt in check ⇒ I’m sure that 3-day trek on the Inca trail is no easy feat.  And how could this girl say no to Pisco sours?

Plus, it would give me a good reason to brush up on my Spanish! ¿Esperar? ¿Que no hablan Inglés por allá? :p

I admit, however, before I asked Diane from Wife with Baggage about her adventurous trip down south, I didn’t know much about this South American country.  You learn something new everyday, right?!  Check out her recommendations below, and I’m sure she’s more than willing to answer any questions that arise while planning your first trip to Peru!

¡pasar bien! (Enjoy!)

When you think of Peru your mind likely goes straight for the obvious – Machu Picchu. This popular trek is certainly at the top of everyone’s list for good reason, and should be on everyone’s Peru bucket list without a doubt! Can you believe my friend even did a hike solo to Machu Picchu?! Whoa! However, there is so much more to this large and diverse country. Peru was my first international trip – proving that this country is a great destination for seasoned travelers and rookies alike!

So without further ado, here are the best things to do in Peru besides hike Machu Picchu!

Top things to do in Peru:

1. Visit catacombs in Lima

An eerie, yet mesmerizing tour of ancient catacombs will give you a glimpse into this city’s past. The museum is located in San Francisco Monastery and is just one facet of the building’s tour.

What to do in Peru (after you've hiked Machu Picchu) |

2. Drink a Peruvian Pisco Sour

Pisco is a sweet brandy made from muscat grapes. While in Peru, you must try a Pisco Sour. The major components of this cocktail include Pisco, Key Lime Juice (hence, the sour), simple syrup and egg white for a foamy, frothy top. While the drink was actually invented by an American, it was created (and is now associated with) Peru.

3. Explore the Ruins of the Sacred Valley

Yes, Machu Picchu is the most famous site in Peru. However, there are plenty of other terrific ruins in the county. Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinceros were our favorites. Each site is a little different from each other, but consistent with beauty and awe-inspiring design.

What to do in Peru (after you've hiked Machu Picchu) |

4. Wander Around Cusco

While there are great tours of the city, they are not necessary to enjoy the city. Just wandering through the cobblestone streets, people watching in the large squares and venturing upon stores set up in people’s home is just something you do not get with a tour company.

What to do in Peru (after you've hiked Machu Picchu) |

5. Experience Lake Titicaca

The highest (navigable) lake in the world, Lake Titicaca is at the border of Peru and Bolivia. Interesting features of this area are both natural (high mountains are the backdrop to this blue lake) and man-made. The man-made wonders are the floating “islands” made of totura reeds – simply amazing.

What to do in Peru (after you've hiked Machu Picchu) |

6. Lay on the beach at Las Pocitas

One does not usually think of beaches when going to Peru, but what would be better than relaxing in the warm sand and surf after hiking so much!

7. Hike Colca Canyon

Clearly, there are lots of places to hike in Peru. Colca Canyon offers great views, glimpses of Andean Condors. If your legs are too tired from all of your other hiking you’ve done, try a horseback tour!

8. Try Peruvian Cuisine

No doubt, you will be very active while in Peru. Replenish by trying local cuisine including, but not limited to ceviche, fish, potatoes (Did you know Peru grows thousands of different types of potatoes?!) and (yes!) guinea pig.

What to do in Peru (after you've hiked Machu Picchu) |

9. Watch the sunrise on Machu Picchu

Watching the sunrise over the lush peaks surrounding Machu Picchu was surreal. The mist faded like a wave retreating back into the ocean as the warm sun rose. The stillness and quiet are only broken by the throng of tourists rushing passed you to stand in line for access to Waynapicchu (see #7). However, those few precious moments, standing on sacred ground, are unforgettable!

What to do in Peru (after you've hiked Machu Picchu) |

10. Hike Waynapicchu

As alluded to in #6, this is a high-demand activity, but the number of people allowed to do this hike each day is limited. (I suggest trying to do this hike on your first day here. Therefore, you can give it another shot if you are not early enough on your first attempt.) The hike allows you to see the ruins from a different perspective, which is a remarkable birds-eye view. The hike is strenuous and not recommended for young children (no guard rails) or those not able to climb steep hills for a few hours.

What to do in Peru (after you've hiked Machu Picchu) |

Is anyone headed to South America soon? What things to do in Peru are you most looking forward to (besides hiking Machu Picchu of course!)

Bio Info: Diane, author of Wife with Baggage, has a full time career AND a passion for traveling. Along with her husband, she takes advantage of time off to travel near and far – showing her readers how to incorporate travel into their lives, even with a 9 to 5.

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Twitter: @wifewithbaggage

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