Believe it or not, as a travel blogger one of the most common questions I get asked is which is my favourite country.
While of course, it’s impossible for me to choose just 1 destination, but I do have a top list of countries that I’ve fallen in love with.
And it may come as no surprise to you to learn that Peru is a regular on that list!
Situated in South America and boasting a Pacific coastline, an Amazon jungle and a heap of Andean mountains, Peru is a feast for adventurers of all kinds.
Throw in an incredibly hospitable population, as well as a fascinating heritage, some epic bucket list sights, some seriously standout cuisine and tons of wonderful hiking opps and there’s no question this country charms almost everyone who visits her!
So to convince you that you’ll love Peru too, and that maybe you should book a trip there soon, here’s the 10 reasons I loved travel in Peru…
Ps. I had to cap it at 10 otherwise this list would have gone on forever!
- Top 22 Things to Do in Peru
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- Ultimate Peru Packing List: Tried & Tested!
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#1 Epic Hiking
First up on this list of why I loved travelling Peru so much, it has to be the hiking.
Because there’s no question Peru possesses some of the best walking in the world!
Even if you’re not a huge trekking fan, you really can’t help but be blown away by the sheer quantity, quality and variety of trails you can undertake in this country – from multi-day mega hikes in the Andes to leisurely day walks around Lake Titicaca, Peru boasts something for all.
And if you are into you’re hiking, then woah mumma are you going to have a ball here!
I spent over 3 weeks in and around Cusco alone, pretty much just hiking, and I still didn’t exhaust all the options, so be prepared to fall in love with Peru for its walks!
My top picks included…
- Walking to Machu Picchu (the cheap way FYI). Learn more in this post.
- Trekking to Choquequirao (off the beaten track!). Learn more here.
- Hiking in Huascaran National Park (near Huaraz). Get all the deets right here.
- Clambering around Colca Canyon (plus taking in the other treats this area offers). Get the full lowdown in this article.
Whichever hikes you choose in Peru, you’re sure to have an amazing time – after all those Andean views really are hard to beat!
#2 Huge Diversity
And linking in with the walking, one of the top reasons I (and so many others) love travel in Peru, is because of the sheer diversity of the landscapes, climates, topographies and scenery you can enjoy here.
I mentioned in the introduction that Peru boasts the Amazon jungle, the Andean mountains and the Pacific coast within its borders, but that’s not to mention the high altitude plains, the huge lakes, the deep canyons, the eerie deserts and the bustling cities.
With an absolute kaleidoscope of landscapes, Peru almost feels like 5 or 6 countries crammed into one… that’s how good it is!
I honestly recommend at least a stay of 2 weeks in this country, but that’s really only enough time to explore Cusco and its surrounds.
If you want to take in the full diversity and splendour of Peru’s climate and scenery, then a trip of a month+ is what you really need because yes, Peru is huge!
Check out my ultimate Peru itinerary, which includes 2,3 and 4 week options perfectly catered to your trip timeframe.
#3 Rich Culture
And with this incredible diversity comes a rich cultural landscape too.
From the indigenous communities living in La Selva (the Amazon basin) to the trendy urban artists in Lima, through to the traditional llama herders residing in the high Andean plains, Peru is alive with an abundance of vibrant and unique populations.
And this is absolutely one of the top reasons I love travelling in this country so much.
With a mix of both “western” and traditional lifestyles too, there’s no question that experiencing Peruvian culture is a complex and curious affair, and whether that’s eating classic food, exchanging Spanish on a bus, volunteering on a project, staying with a host family, shopping at a market or wandering some Incan ruins, there’s more than enough to get your teeth stuck into!
The key thing is to not only hang out with other travellers, but to strike up conversations with locals whenever you can too.
Getting an insight into how Peruvians love, live, laugh and see the world is fascinatingly varied across the country (it’s hugely influenced by geography of course) and your travels in Peru will be all the more richer for it.
#4 Friendly People
And linking with this point, is the key fact that Peruvians are incredibly friendly people.
Yes undoubtedly one of the main reasons I totally loved travel in this country is the warm and welcoming hospitality I’ve always received from the people here.
Open and forever willing to stop for a chat, Peruvians seem to really enjoy having visitors in their country and it’s really not hard to get to know locals and have a good time with them!
More than once I was invited to share a meal with someone or even to stay in a family home.
It’s quite remarkable.
And while Peru, like any country in the world, is not without its dangers, in general I found solo female travel in this country very safe.
If you’re lost in the street or confused on a bus, my experience was that locals are very happy to help when they can.
You need to use common sense of course, especially in major cities, and to watch your possessions and safety as you would anywhere in the world, but Peru really isn’t a country you need to feel scared or hesitant about visiting, even as a solo female adventurer.
#5 Spanish Practise!
And all that chatting with locals has another advantage – it’s a great way to improve your Spanish!
In fact, Peru is one of the easiest countries to learn to speak Spanish in, as accents tend not to be too thick and people don’t speak too fast.
Compared to Mexico or Argentina for example (and don’t even get me started on Chile!) learning and practising Spanish in Peru is a breeze!
There’s plenty of courses and classes you can join too – especially in major tourist areas, such as Cusco or Arequipa – and, if you have time, learning a bit of the local lingo is a great way to open doors, make connections and get just that little bit deeper into what is life in this magical part of the world.
So don’t be afraid, jump in and get your teeth stuck into some serious Spanish speaking!
#6 Delicious Food
And talking of getting your teeth stuck into something, no list of reasons I love to travel Peru would be complete without mentioning the incredible food of this nation!
It might not often be talked about outside of foodie circles, but Peru really is blowing up as a culinary hotspot!
Thanks to the diverse geographies and climates here, a huge amount of different produce is grown in Peru and all that fantastic fresh food comes together to make some sensational dishes full of amazing flavours.
So whether it’s fine dining in Lima or market food munching in Arequipa, Peruvian food is seriously delicious.
And that’s coming from a vegetarian.
Yes I’m looking at you avocadoes…
… And don’t even get me started on the coffee they grow and roast here!
#7 Pisco Sours
Ok so we probs don’t need to over-egg the coffee thing here (read. it’s banging!), but perhaps we do need to talk about Pisco.
The local spirit of choice, you can actually visit the famous Pisco vineyards of Peru if you’re near the city of Ica, which is located close to Huacachina.
And trust me, if you do drink alcohol, it’s probs going to knock your socks off – in every sense of the word!
Of course you can try the stuff neat (although I would not advise this!), but the best way to take in this fiery Peruvian spirit is care of a Pisco Sour, laden with tart juicy lemon that cuts through and will leave your tastebuds in even more of a tingle!
You can enjoy Pisco Sours up and down the country, but near the source in Ica is a great spot, otherwise there’s plenty of fancy spots in Cusco and Lima that will craft you an incredible one!
#8 Bucket List Sights
I’ve saved it until number 8 on this list because it’s a rather obvious point, but I couldn’t talk about the reasons I love travel in Peru and fail to list the fact that this country has some of the most incredible sights in the world!
We all know about Machu Picchu (and yes, it is as amazing as the pictures look!), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg because from Lake Titicaca to Colca Canyon, Huascaran National Park to the Huacachina Oasis, the Ballestas Islands to Rainbow Mountain and the Sacred Valley to the Amazon River, Peru has got it all going on.
Need I say more?!
If the answer is yes, then just check out some of the other top Peru travel articles I have on this blog and start ogling at the pictures!
I promise you a new bucket list will start materialising in front of your eyes!
#9 Amazing History
And of course, there’s one thing many of these epic bucket list sights have in common and that’s the amazing historical stories they have behind them.
The rich land of the Incas – an ancestorial narrative still very much alive in many of Peru’s communities today – learning about this fascinating civilisation really adds a whole new layer to travelling Peru.
Of course, there’s the big ticket items such as Machu Picchu, but stumble just about anywhere in Sacred Valley and you’ll discover some amazing historical sights that you didn’t even know existed.
Check out my list of the top 6 places to visit in the Sacred Valley for more inspo!
And moving forward in time, Peru also boasts some amazing UNESCO gems – with the historical centre of Arequipa being a standout example. Discover my list of the top 13 things to do in Arequipa to learn what I’m talking about!
#10 Souvenir Heaven!
And Finally we come to a rather cheesy, but nevertheless brilliant reason to love travel in Peru – because the simple truth of it all is, that this place is souvenir heaven!
Thanks to all those amazing Incan fabrics and prints, not to mention the epic markets and strong handicraft traditions this country boasts (as well as the great prices), you should really consider coming to Peru with an empty suitcase!
Ponchos and epic fedora hats are just the beginning, because it’s once you get into the merino wool gear and the musical instruments that you’re really in trouble!
Mini Travel Guide to Peru
5 Packing Essentials for Peru
#1 Good Camera – I would never even think of travelling to Peru without a camera good enough to capture the amazing landscape and people of this country. Both my Sony A6000 and GoPro were perfect for the job!
#2 Waterproof / Windproof Jackets – With so much of this country situated high in the Andes, taking a waterproof and windproof jacket is essential if you’re going to be hiking or sightseeing in the mountains. I highly recommend the North Face Arcadia 2 or the North Face Venture Jacket.
#3 Hiking Boots – You can’t come to Peru and not do some trekking, so make sure you come prepared with some good, supportive hiking boots… I’ve never worn mine so much in my life! These Keen Targhee II’s are the perfect solution.
#4 Day Pack – Also for the hiking and sightseeing, a good daypack to carry water, snacks, camera, hat, gloves and other clothing layers is key in Peru! This one from Osprey is my pick.
#5 Travel Scarf – And finally, I’ve just discovered the amazing travel wraps from Sholdit and am so happy I took mine to Peru. Acting both as a scarf to keep you warm and a place to store your valuables while you’re out and about, this great invention is perfect for travel in South America.
Travel Insurance for Peru
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Want to Volunteer in Peru?
Check out WorldPackers who have some amazing opportunities in this country.
And now you get a discount off their membership with my unique code BWSP20.
How to Travel to and Around Peru?
Most people fly into Lima international airport and then either use domestic buses (brilliant) or domestic flights (quicker) to get around the country.
Otherwise, if you’re not totally comfortable with travelling this country independently, then a small group or guided tour is a great option that will have you seeing the best of Peru safely, securely and easily.
Check out these top picks for some super ideas and prices.
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So, have I convinced you to travel Peru yet?
If you’re looking for a trip that combines fascinating cultures with delicious cuisine, and amazing adventures with stunning scenery, it’s hard to get better in my opinion!
Already been to Peru?
What did you love about travelling this country?
Please drop your answers into the comments box below – I’d love to hear them!