Top 13 Things Peru Is Famous For - Updated 2024

| 7 min read

The moment one says Peru, images of the Incan citadel Machu Picchu come to mind, but this South American country is so much more than that. Steeped in immense culture and history, Peru is home to some of the world’s most stunning natural as well as manmade wonders. It is a melting pot of cultures and peoples, with mestizos (of European and indigenous descent), African, Chinese, and Japanese people mainly inhabiting the country. Peru’s rich flora and fauna ( the Amazon and adorable llamas!) are no less tourism magnets. Even the accommodations are simply incredible, ranging from glamping spots to all-inclusive resorts. While you may easily be overwhelmed with what to explore and what to leave out, this list of the top things Peru is famous for might present a great starting point. Get reading and get planning.

1. Parque Arqueologico De Tipon - contributed by Tour Guide, Mauricio Gamboa

Tipon Archaeological Site
Source: Mauricio Gamboa

Visit Parque Arqueologico De Tipon to see how the Incas reached an impressive development in their architecture, especially in their hydraulic constructions. There is no archaeological group that does not appreciate the admirable conduction and distribution of water in such a way that the lack of the liquid element is not a problem. Some hydraulic systems actually still supply the population currently inhabiting the area.

Parque Arqueologico De Tipon

Address: Peru, Cusco Region, Quispicanchi Province, Oropesa District

Visited this place?

2. Salineras de Maras - contributed by Tour Guide, Mauricio Gamboa

Salineras de Maras
Source: Mauricio Gamboa

Salineras de Maras is one of my favorite places in Cusco and is a great place to visit with family.

This salt mine comprises 3,000 small wells, each covering an approximate area of about 5 square meters (53.82 square feet). During periods of drought, these wells are filled with salt water from a natural spring located above them. As the water evaporates, the salt crystallizes. Once the salt reaches approximately 10 centimeters (3.94 inches) above the floor, it is harvested, bagged in cloth sacks, and sent to the regional markets. Presently, state regulations require the iodization of this salt. Also, beyond sodium chloride, it contains minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper.

Salineras de Maras

Address: MRWW+G8W, Urubamba 08655, Peru

Website: Salineras de Maras

Opening hours: 6am - 6pm (daily)

Visited this place?

3. Paradisiaca Playa La Mina - contributed by Tour Guide, Mauricio Gamboa

Paradisiaca Playa La Mina
Source: Mauricio Gamboa

For those who adore the beach, a visit to the picturesque Paradisiaca Playa La Mina is a must.

The crystal-clear blue waters here invite you for a refreshing swim, while the surrounding rocky elevations provide a touch of seclusion. Also, make sure to bring along your sun umbrellas to fully immerse yourself in nature’s beauty. You can also engage in a lively beach game here with your friends.

Visited this place?

4. Cusco (from USD 21.0)

peru is famous for | cusco

The homeland of the Incans, Cusco, and its environs, is a picturesque part of the Andean province in southeastern Peru. Although the area was occupied by several other cultures before the Incans arrived, Cusco reached its peak as a military, administrative, and religious hub only during the Incans’ period between the 13th to 16th centuries. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, attracting millions who want to explore Incan history as well as the stunning landscape. Hitching a guided tour of Cusco would be the best to draw out maximum information, so look into packages offered by third-party websites, such as Get Your Guide.

Tip from Content Creator

Photo of Cusco shared by content creator from the United States, Cristian Gheorghe 
Visited this place?

Cusco: City and Nearby Ruins 5-Hour Guided Tour

Duration: 5.0 hour

28 reviews

Peru Tour Guide

Mauricio Gamboa Rondón

Mauricio Gamboa Rondón

5. Inca Trail (from USD 1059.0)

peru is famous for | inca trail

If completing hiking trails are often included in your list of things to do during vacations, then you will surely enjoy this next spot. There’s nothing like exploring Peru’s stunning landscape on foot. Inca trail is a 4-day, 40-km (25-mile) long hike through ancient paths to Peru’s gorgeous cloud-shrouded Andean Mountains, with superb views of Machu Picchu far ahead. The trail is particularly popular for the many stunning views and important cultural centres it takes you through, and while it may not be the easiest route up, it is certainly rewarding. Do note that only about 500 people are permitted to go on the trail per day, so obtaining permissions and making prior bookings may be a good idea. The trail is equally amazing at any time of the year, but it can get a tad trying for non-hikers or those not comfortable climbing steep heights.

Visited this place?

Machu Picchu: 4-Day Multi-Activity Inca Trail

Duration: 4.0 day

1 review

6. Nazca Lines (from USD 120.0)

peru is famous for | nazca lines

This is one experience you’d only be able to enjoy aerially. Nazca Lines are mammoth-sized geometric designs and zoomorphic figures etched into the surface of the coastal plain of Rio Grande de Nazca in southern Peru. These monumental geoglyphs are the legacy of the Nazca Civilization that existed between 500BCE to 500CE. It is touted that these designs represent an intrinsic ritual significance from the time, but there are no conclusive studies substantiating this further. Owl-Man, Spider, Monkey, Condor, Labyrinth, and Hands are some of the many formations you can spot when hitching a flight ride above the site. Look into some great flight rides offered by third-party websites, such as Get Your Guide.

Visited this place?

From Nazca: 35-Minute Flight Over Nazca Lines

Duration: 35.0 minute

158 reviews

7. Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain (from USD 200.0)

Enveloped amidst Peru’s mountain - and the lagoon-laden landscape - is the multi-hued Vinicunca, or Rainbow Mountain, towering at a height of 5,200m (17,060ft). It is considered a sacred site by locals and is some three hours’ drive away from Cusco. You can either admire the impressive mountain from afar or trek up if you feel confident enough. Owing to its unique geology, Vinicunca sees quite a bit of tourist footfall, so it is advised that you make prior tour reservations. Third-party travel website Viator offers a great group trekking tour, so you can consider booking that for yourself too. Remember that there are no shops in the area, so you’re advised to carry anything you may need.

Visited this place?

Full-Day Rainbow Mountain Small-Group Trek from Cusco

Duration: 13 to 15 hours

249 reviews

8. Dune hiking (from USD 80.0)

Peru offers some of the most interesting dune hiking experiences you can enjoy. Cerro Blanco and Huacachine Sand Dunes are two of the most popular spots for these activities, attracting several thousands of adventurous tourists each year. While the hike is not entirely difficult itself, it does involve wading through the sand in an open-air environment, which can get a tad overwhelming for the meek-hearted. Remember to go adequately prepared, donned in comfortable walking shoes, sun hat, and other trekking gear, along with essentials such as water. Not only hiking, but you can also give sandboarding or sand-skiing a try!

Visited this place?

Hike and Adventure in the Highest Dune in the World (Private)

Duration: 6 hours

9. Colca Canyon (from USD 114.0)

Nearly twice as deep as North America’s Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon is home to 2,000-year-old, pre-Inca Andean villages, agricultural terraces, and trails winding down its steep valleys. It reaches to a depth of about 3,400m (11,155ft) and is a hotspot for adventurous tourists for hiking, river rafting, and other thrilling exploratory activities. Additionally, a line of 14 villages, inhabited by the indigenous Colca and Collague people, line the southern rim of the canyon, which you can also explore. Aside from Colca Canyon’s cultural heritage, it is also home to the country’s national bird, the Andean Condor. Get planning to head here and you’ll be in for big surprises. Viator’s two-day camping trek is worth checking out.

Tip from tour guide



Colca Valley

Take time to cherish the sunsets while you're in Colca Canyon. They will make you fall in love with this very special destination featuring ancestral terraces. Check out views of the valley in this video:

Visited this place?

2 Day 1 Night Trek / Colca Canyon

Duration: 2 days

80 reviews

10. Santa Cruz trek (from USD 750.0)

Amidst the snow-capped peaks of Cordillera Blanca range in the Andes is an amazing 4-day, 50-km (31-mile) trekking adventure that you can hitch. While Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon, Cerro Blanco, and Rainbow Mountain top travellers’ itineraries, this gem of a backpacking experience is often missed out. The trek winds its way through Cordillera Blanca’s valleys, rife with lagoons, lakes, and plentiful greenery, to reach the final destination, Punta Union. You can hitch the trek independently, but engaging a trekking company or grabbing a pre-packaged deal with third-party travel websites might take care of a lot of details, so consider that too. May to mid-September is considered the best time to go for this trek since the weather is clear.

Visited this place?

Huaraz to Cordillera Blanca 4-Day Santa Cruz Trek Adventure

Duration: 4 days

4 reviews

11. Machu Picchu (from USD 89.0)

machu picchu

Occupying a lush hillside above the Urubamba River in Peru is the country’s most famous attraction, ruins of the ancient stone city Machu Picchu. It was inhabited by the Incan people some 400 years ago and exhibits some of the most impressive engineering and cultural relics. The fortified complex was primarily a sacred site dedicated to Inti, the Sun god, as well as served as a settlement area and an administrative centre for the region. The Sun temple at Machu Picchu is possibly among the most famous pitstops worth making along the citadel’s tour. Book yourself into a riveting tour of this magnificent site – several of these are available, including those offered by third-party websites, such as Get Your Guide.

Tip from Content Creator

Machu Picchu Machu Picchu
Photos of Machu Picchu shared by content creator from the United States, Cristian Gheorghe 
Visited this place?

Machu Picchu: Lost Citadel and the Mountain Entry Ticket

Duration: 4.0 hour

177 reviews

12. Ceviche (from USD 66.0)

Peruvian ceviche is certainly something you have to try while in Peru. This traditional food is essentially pieces of fresh fish cured in lime juice, mixed with chopped onions and spicy peppers, drizzled with fresh cilantro on top. Halibut, escolar, dorado, hamachi, and corvina varieties of fish are most often used to prepare ceviche. It is served as an appetizer in most restaurants and is frequently served with lettuce, avocado, or sweet potato. Such is ceviche’s popularity across Peru that it is considered the country’s national food! Third-party travel website Viator offers a fun ceviche cooking session in the home and company of Peruvian locals, so give it a try and get your hands dirty cooking this delicious dish.

Visited this place?

Cook Ceviche in a Peruvian Home

Duration: 3 hours

13. Pisco Sour (from USD 34.0)

You may have seen Pisco Sour on bar menus or even tasted it, but there’s nothing like having a taste of it in its place of origin. Did you know that Pisco Sour is considered Peru’s national drink? It is a heady mix of pisco brandy (clear grape brandy), lime juice, egg white, sweet syrup, and a dash of Angostura bitters. Some places even throw in a bit of pineapple, nutmeg, ginger, or passion fruit for variety. Pisco sours are notoriously yummy and strong – they can easily knock the socks off even the most hardened alcohol consumers, so drink responsibly! Fun fact: the first Saturday in February each year, Peru hosts several festivals and events to honor its national drink. It is a really fun experience, so do give it a try if you’re in the country around the time.

Visited this place?

Discover and prepare different types of Pisco Sour!

Duration: 2 hours

The land of variety

The Andean peaks to the Amazon rainforest, fascinating wildlife to impressive ancient ruins, lively local entertainment to a palate of brilliant Peruvian cuisines – there are lots of reasons to love Peru. Add to that a ton of thrill-seeking activities, fun festivals, and high-quality crafts. There are plenty of places to visit and street foods to try as well! These top things Peru is famous for will truly set your exploration in motion, leaving you with rewarding experiences and memories.

Tip from tour guide



Chivay Chivay

Peru is also home to the enchanting Chivay, which is located in the Colca Valley. With roads winding at 4,800 meters (15,748.03 feet) above sea level and quaint streets inviting leisurely strolls, it offers a unique experience. While there, savor the delightful stews at local restaurants and unwind in the nearby hot springs for an added touch of relaxation.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Priyanjali, a writer and traveler, identifies as a self-proclaimed aesthete dedicated to achieving fulfillment in her personal and professional life. Her skill lies in transforming intangible...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Peru
Good things are meant to be shared!
Back to top
Visited any of these places? Click this button to activate our "Add a Tip" feature to share your experience.