The Top 10 Sights in Peru

Travel to Peru without any tourist traps: Here you will find the top 10 sights in Peru. Read which highlights and attractions you should not miss on your holiday in Peru!

Peru is the third largest country on the South American continent. Amidst the sublime mountain ranges of the mighty Andes, fantastic testimonies of past cultures and breathtaking landscapes are hidden.


Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, the most famous Inca ruined city in the Andes of Peru - © kenjito / Shutterstock
© kenjito / Shutterstock

Machu Picchu, Peru's most famous Inca ruined city, is located in the Andes on a spectacular mountain peak at an altitude of over 2,300 metres. The sophisticated city planning is perfectly adapted to the topographical conditions. Machu Picchu has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1983.

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Royal City of Cusco

The architecture in the old town of Cusco, Peru, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983 and has managed to retain its original charm - © flog / franks-travelbox
© flew / franks-travelbox

Next to the capital Lima, Cusco is the most visited city in Peru. On the one hand, numerous famous Inca sites such as Saysayhuamán, Ollantaytambo, Kenko, Pisac or the famous Machu Picchu are only a day's journey away.

On the other hand, Cusco itself is a veritable treasure trove of grandiose Inca and colonial architecture and impresses with its equally fascinating and turbulent past. Its entire old town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Mud City Chan Chan

The mud city of Chan Chan ("Sun Sun" in the Chimú language) was built around 1300, Peru - © Chris Howey / Shutterstock
© Chris Howey / Shutterstock

The mud city of Chan Chan was built around 1300 and served as the capital of the Chimú people. In its heyday, Chan Chan had around 60,000 inhabitants. Its area still covers almost 30 square kilometres. The enormous buildings made of clay were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

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Nazca - Ground Drawings

Ground drawings at Nazca from the air, Peru - © Sunshine Pics / Shutterstock
© Sunshine Pics / Shutterstock

The ground drawings at Nazca are one of the most enigmatic phenomena in South America. Over an area of around 450 square kilometres, geometric patterns and lines up to 20 kilometres long stretch out, as well as scars measuring up to 100 metres, some of which can only be seen from the air due to their size.

The fascinating geoglyphs were not discovered until 1924, when the first flight lines passed over the Nazca Plain. Their origin is still not clear today and is even attributed to extraterrestrials in some theories.

Article: Soil drawings at Nazca
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As a starting point to fascinating sites of past cultures and an impressive colonial city itself, Trujillo is Peru's second most important city - © Christian Vinces / Shutterstock
© Christian Vinces / Shutterstock

Trujillo on the northern coast of Peru is an ideal starting point to fascinating sites of past cultures. The proximity to the Pacific Ocean gives Trujillo a warm, spring-like climate. Because of this, and also because of the numerous pre-Columbian and colonial monuments, Trujillo is one of Peru's most worthwhile cities to visit.

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Huacachina Oasis

The oasis town of Huacachina on the lagoon of the same name, Peru - © Chris Howey / Shutterstock
© Chris Howey / Shutterstock

The Huacachina Oasis is located in the middle of the largest sand dunes in Peru. In the centre of the oasis, there is a small idyllic pond. Swimming, sandboarding and sand buggy riding are popular activities in the idyllic lagoon. The sand dunes are up to 100 metres high and contribute to Huacachina's breathtaking scenery.

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Maras Salt Terraces

Depending on the skill and experience of the salt workers, the salt basins of Maras are sometimes bright white, sometimes muddy brown, Peru - © flog / franks-travelbox
© flew / franks-travelbox

The village of Maras is still one of the absolute insider tips in southern Peru. Maras is located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The most spectacular sights are the salt terraces a good kilometre northwest of Maras at an altitude of 3,300 metres. The salt terraces were already built by the Incas for salt production and are still an important source of livelihood for the regional population.


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Arriving at the top of Ollantaytambo, the temple area with perfectly hewn stone walls reveals itself on the left, Peru - © flog / franks-travelbox
© flew / franks-travelbox

As a starting point for train rides to Machu Picchu and hikes on the Inca Trail, Ollantaytambo was one of the most popular sights in Peru. The buildings, terraces, squares and alleys of the Inca city are still preserved in their completely original state and take visitors back to the fascinating times of the Incas.

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Cañón de Colca (Colca Valley)

Breathtaking view of the Cañón de Colca and the Kolka Valley in the middle of the Peruvian Andes - © flog / franks-travelbox
© flew / franks-travelbox

The spectacular Cañón de Colca in southern Peru is one of the deepest gorges in the world, (controversially) even eclipsing the US Grand Canyon. 120,000 visitors a year visit the spectacular gorge, above which the majestic Andean condors make their circles.

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Plaza Mayor (Plaza de Armas) in Lima

Surrounded by buildings of cultural and historical value, the Plaza Mayor is considered the most important sight in Lima, Peru - © saiko3p / Shutterstock
© saiko3p / Shutterstock

The Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas is the birthplace of the Peruvian capital Lima and still the centre of the historic old town. Surrounded by magnificent buildings of cultural and historical value, the 14,000 square metre Plaza de Armas is considered the most important sight in Lima. Together with the old town, the magnificent square was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

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