3 Peruvian attractions that are as good as Machu Picchu
Open your laptop. Do a Google research for Peru. For sure you’ll get a whole page of Machu Picchu images. When traveling to Peru, the most common traveler’s search is Machu Picchu tours, hikes, Inca Trail, etc. But what about other Peruvian attractions? We all know that Machu Picchu is one of the world´s seven wonders and Peru´s most famous attraction. Sure, this window into the ancient Inca civilization is definitely a sight to see, but Machu Picchu is only one of many reasons to visit Peru. Here PeruByBus brings you some of the best peruvian attractions other than Machu Picchu.
3 Peruvian attractions that are as good as, or even better than, Machu Picchu
Peru is a huge and diverse country, packed with natural reserves, sacred lands, stunning colonial architecture, and important archeological remains. Yeah, Peru does offer these things in a great abundance. But in Peru, there’s definitely Machu more than Picchu! Here are three Peruvian amazing attractions to see besides the Machu Picchu citadel.
1. Paracas National Reserve and Ballestas Islands
Speaking of Nature. The Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Reserve, offer the most amazing wildlife experiences in Peru. Nature and wildlife lovers – hands up and rejoice!
Paracas is a small coastal town, where the desert meets the sea. Located only three hours by bus from Lima, Paracas is an excellent destination for a short and not expensive trip in Peru.
The city owns the country’s main environmental protection area – Paracas National Reserve. The Reserve is a natural paradise, a stronghold of the marine fauna, that leaves the continent and moves towards a group of islands near the coastline. The desert and the sea meet in a spectacular landscape of cliffed beaches and ice-cold waters.
On a 2-hour boat ride from Paracas National Reserve to the Ballestas Islands. Here you can spot flamingos, sea lions, turtles, penguins, and pelicans.
This small group of equally small islands has recently become one of the world’s most widely-recognized biodiversity hot spots. Often referred to as the poor man’s Galapagos, Ballestas Islands is home to some of the world’s most charming animals. If you’re lucky enough you can even see dolphins and whales. Despite the simplicity of Paracas, new hotels and large resorts are beginning to transform the living standards of this small fishing village. Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands are the perfect place to get outdoors and observe local wildlife species.
2. Gocta Falls
Rankin waterfalls can be a difficult procedure, but at 771 meters, some say Gocta is one of the tallest waterfalls in Latin America. Located deep in the upper Amazon basin, Gocta Falls can be seen miles away from the Chachapoyas region. Thanks to its remote location, this natural beauty isn’t smothered by tourists.
To get here, you have to travel to Chiclayo, then take an eight-hour bus to reach the village of Cocachimba. Feel free to check out our guide with the best bus companies in Peru to pick the best one for your trip.
Be prepared for an intense hike to the top of the falls. From one valley to another the incredible challenges and amazing views follow each other up a minute after minute! Horses are also available to visitors in part of the way. The reward awaits: this breathtaking hike ends up with a fresh shower coming from the waterfall’s spray. Full of glory, the Gocta Falls is our second top Peruvian attraction. Simply enjoy the beauty of Nature.
3. Lake Titicaca
Straddling the borders of Peru & Bolivia is the Lake Titicaca, famous for a great number of reasons. Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world.
This vast body of water sits at an altitude of an impressive 3812 m. Lake Titicaca is also famous for its man-made floating reed islands, home to the Uros tribe, one that pre-dates the Inca civilization.
Touring this scenery offers an interesting perspective on the day-by-day life of the local Aymara speaking people. Considered the birthplace of Inca Culture, Lake Titicaca preserves the aboriginal cultural heritage, languages and old traditions.
Standing on the islands is a bit weird: bouncy but not unstable. The lake is alive with bright colors, friendly people, and beautiful artisan work. A visit to Titicaca is a wake-up call experience, reminding us about the importance to preserve the world´s ancient cultural path and values. How to get there? Take a bus from Cusco or Arequipa to Puno (a small southern town in Peru). There is no need to do a pre-reservation. It is very easy to book tours to Titicaca.
Although Machu Picchu gets all fame and glory, there is so much more to do in Peru. Located among the arid southern deserts, dancing within the mountain ranges curves rhythm and hugging the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, Peru is full of new discoveries – and they’re all waiting for you.
PD: The header picture is actually from Pillones Waterfall in Arequipa, which we shall cover in a different article 😉