Peru is an ancient and mysterious country that attracts many tourists. Here you will find islands of a lost civilization, the heritage of the ancient Indians and many picturesque places where you can look at the world with new eyes.
Who travels to Peru and why
First of all, Peru is interesting for its history. If you want to wander through the ancient ruins and ancient cities of the Incas, then you should definitely come here. You can take a walk to Machu Picchu, which is located high in the mountains. Also of interest is the archaeological complex of the Tukume pyramids and the ruins of the ancient city of Chan Chan, built by the Chimu Indians.
You can learn more about the country and its history at the Museum of Pre-Columbian Archeology, and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, expositions are presented in the form of holograms. Of the religious buildings, Lima Cathedral is worthy of attention. Its appearance is represented by a mixture of different styles, and the interior decoration is striking in luxury.
The country is also known for its beautiful and wild nature. What is the famous lake Titicaca, which is definitely worth seeing. If you want to communicate with representatives of the animal world, then you can go to the Pacaya Samiriya Reserve or the Manu National Park.
It will also be interesting and fun to spend time on Monkey Island or Crocodile Farm. And in the Colca Canyon, located in the river valley, you can take many beautiful photos.
Historical and cultural attractions
Machu Picchu is a mysterious monument of culture inherited from the ancient Indians. However, it was discovered only 100 years ago, and absolutely by accident, when local peasants told archaeologists about the Inca monument, hidden high in the mountains.
In fact, the name Machu Picchu does not refer to the ancient city — it is a mountain peak located nearby. The settlement itself is divided into sectors, each of which performed its own functions: dungeons, a cemetery, a residential area and a temple complex.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
In 2011, Lima’s wonder museum of technology opened, the first virtual museum in the country. At the entrance, visitors are shown a video about the National Library, and then tourists are accompanied by holograms all the way. They tell about the history of Lima, from the pre-Hispanic period to the present day. In the museum you can get acquainted with the life of the capital, architecture, music and religion of the Peruvians.
Cathedral of Lima
On Plaza Mayor in the historic center of Lima, there is a cathedral built in the 16th century. Frequent earthquakes periodically destroyed the temple, so it was constantly being repaired. This affected the external appearance of the building: it shows the features of various styles — from baroque to neoclassicism.
Inside the cathedral, you can see a gilded altar and carved wooden images, as well as paintings depicting the Way of the Cross. The old sacristy of the temple houses the Museum of Religious Art.
Valley of the Pyramids Tucume
The archaeological complex of Tucume is located on the northern coast of Peru and consists of 26 pyramids. They are made of clay bricks and built in strict order over a large area.
The pyramids were erected by the Lambayeque Indians in 700 BC, and later they passed to the Incas. People lived in them, there were separate sites for sacrifices and rituals. At a certain point, the inhabitants left the pyramid, burned the peak on which the ruler lived before, and built a new dwelling.
Museum of Pre-Columbian Archeology
The Museum of Archeology is housed in a building that was built in the 18th century on the foundations of a 7th century pyramid and was a royal mansion. Its funds contain the richest collection of gold and silver items, ceramics and textiles of the ancient period.
Thematic halls present exhibitions of ceramic products, tools, implements and molds. Here you will learn everything about the culture and life of the tribes of pre-Columbian Peru.
Ruins of Chan Chan
Before the arrival of Columbus, there was a city of Chan Chan in South America, located to the west of Trujillo. It was built in the 14th century from stones and clay by the Chimu Indians, and it is believed that at that time it was one of the largest cities on the continent.
The ancient Indians deified water, so there are many images of the sea and fish in the city. Today, the city has fallen into ruins, but some areas are well preserved — in some houses, even the main halls have survived.
Natural attractions and parks of Peru
The famous lake is located high in the mountains on the border with Bolivia. In fact, this is a part of the ancient ocean, which turned out to be at an altitude of 3812 m. Marine animals live here, as well as a large number of fish and even sharks.
In the vicinity of Lake Titicaca, there are many ruins of ancient villages, and in 2001, divers discovered the city of Wanaku under water. Tourists can go on a two-day tour to the lake to see Puno, reed islands and Aboriginal settlements.
Pacaya Samiriya Nature Reserve
The reserve is located on the territory of several provinces of Peru at once, and its area is 20,000 km2. It is the largest not only in the country, but throughout South America. There are numerous rivers, swamps and lakes in which trees are reflected (because of this, the reserve is called «mirror»).
A variety of animals and birds live in the jungle: here you can meet turtles, river otters, spider monkeys, red macaos and other representatives of exotic fauna.
The canyon is located in a river valley that flows in the southern part of Peru. Its name, translated from the language of the Quechua Indians, means «grain barn.» The presence of a large number of stepped terraces in the valley indicates that the ancient inhabitants of the country were actively engaged in agriculture.
Kolka is surrounded by volcanoes that reach up to 6,000 meters in height, and American vultures can be seen in the sky above it.
This island is located near the city of Iquitos and has an area of about 250 hectares. It is home to 8 of the 51 primate species that live in Peru.
Most of the monkeys came to the island thanks to people who found primate orphans in the cities. The inhabitants of the island are very friendly and sociable, willing to make contact with tourists. They live freely in this area in the dense jungle of the Amazon.
Manu National Park
The national park is located at the confluence of two rivers and is recognized as the world capital of flora and fauna. The reserve is divided into three zones, one of which is open to the public, the other is a place of scientific research, and the third is generally closed.
A variety of animals, birds, insects and reptiles live in the park, as well as unique trees, shrubs, and flowers. From Manu you can go rafting down the river to the tribes of the Amazon and spend the night in an eco-capsule.
In the vicinity of the city of Iquitos there is a Crocodile farm, consisting of 5 small lakes. The reservoirs are home to alligators, black caimans, whose body length reaches 5 meters, as well as the largest freshwater fish in the Amazon, Paiche, large turtles and waterfowl.
Tourists can feed alligators and caimans with small fish — this is completely safe and takes place under the supervision of the farm staff. Also here you can admire the giant lilies — Victoria regia.
Notable buildings in Peru
Archbishop’s Palace of Lima
The palace, which serves as the residence of the archbishop and the cardinal, is located on the main square in the historic center of Lima. This is an excellent example of the neoclassical style: the facade of the building is made of stone, and above the main entrance there are two balconies made of cedar wood in neo-baroque style.
Inside the archbishop’s palace is a collection of paintings, sculptures and religious decorations dating back to the colonial period.
Palace of Torre Tagle
The palace was built in the 18th century by order of the Marquis Torre Tagle, the Spanish treasurer. He invested heavily in the construction, so the palace impresses with its luxury and majesty.
On the facade of the building, you can find elements of Andalusian baroque, Creole style and Arabic Morisco. Its main decoration is openwork balconies. Today, the palace houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru, so it is closed to the public.
Bridge Puente Bolognesi
The hewn stone bridge, whose construction dates back to the 16th-17th centuries, is located in the Peruvian city of Arequipa. It crosses the Chile River and connects La Puente Bolonesi and the historic center of the city.
The oldest bridge in the city is a cultural heritage, but at the same time it performs its direct functions. It has an original look thanks to thick arches and harmoniously fits into the modern panorama of the city.
Floating houses in Belene
Belen is a district of the city of Iquitos, which is also called the Amazonian Venice. Lower Belen is mostly made up of stilt and raft houses along the banks of the Itai. Such dwellings were built due to seasonal changes in the water level in the river.
People settled in this area because of the proximity to the port, which had a beneficial effect on trade. The houses are connected to each other by wooden footbridges. Although the tourism industry is developed here, and there is an active trade in the markets of Belem, the area is considered one of the poorest in the city.
Goyenes Palace is located in the city of Arequipa and is one of the most famous local buildings. It was built in the 16th century for Martin de Almazan, who owned this piece of land. It was a one-story house with a patio, which was almost completely destroyed due to earthquakes. Subsequently, the building was rebuilt and modified.
Today it is a luxurious mansion with columns on the facade and a balcony on the roof, which offers a beautiful view of the city. The palace is included in the UNESCO list.
Casa del Moral
A large baroque mansion was built in the first half of the 18th century. The name of the palace was in honor of pestilence — this is an ancient mulberry tree, which still grows in the courtyard of the house today. The stone gates are carved depicting the heads of cougars spewing snakes from their mouths, as well as a crowned coat of arms supported by two angels.
The interiors are no less luxurious. The rooms are lined with furniture from the republican and colonial periods, paintings by masters of the Kuskan school of painting are hung on the walls. The mansion has a library with an extensive collection of old works of Latin American literature.