Peru

Peru Travel Guide

Visitors wondering what to do in Peru will be hard pressed to run out of options. The country is bursting with activities to discover, food to sample, and sights to take in. Plan on setting aside some time to trek the Inca Trail, a four-day hike that culminates at Machu Picchu and offers sweeping views of the country’s breathtaking topography. The country is a great place for adventure lovers. There are plenty of things to do in Peru that will get your adrenaline pumping, including zip-lining through the jungle, horseback riding on the beach, and biking through the mountains.

For those looking for a less physically taxing vacation, there are plenty of things to do in Peru that don’t require you to break a sweat. The city’s urban centers – primarily its capital, Lima – boast a lively cultural scene, complete with museums featuring local art, crafts fairs and bars and nightclubs. Foodies wondering what to do in Peru are also in luck – the country’s indigenous cuisine is varied and delicious. Don’t leave without sampling ceviche, and as many of the country’s famous desserts as you can get your hands-on.

Ancient silver vessels and stone idols fill one wing; the other provides a survey of more recent history.

More distinctive than the touristed Plaza Mayor is the Palacio de Torre Tagle, a former marquis' mansion. Completed around 1735, its stone arches and airy inner courtyard reference Moorish Spain and are reminiscent of buildings in Andalusia.

Site of a 15th-century Inca town made mostly of mud bricks, yet of phenomenal size, the towering columns of its Wiracocha temple built to support what is believed to have been the biggest roof in pre-Columbian America.

The company arranges tours through Peru.

Claudia makes the most unusual necklaces, bracelets, and rings from velvet-covered wire twisted in strange shapes and dyed an amazing array of colors, which she sells at a nearby shop of her own.

The magnificent recently restored mansion of Don Pedro de Osma y Pardo is yet another place to see a rich variety of art and artifacts. Built around 1900, the house was once a stage for the grand lives of Peru's aristocrats.

With a glass of wine in hand, watch the sun drop into the Pacific from one of four windowed rooms in this Victorian-style complex on a pier.

Visit the home of a Peruvian family in the weaving community of Huilloc, in the northern Ollantaytambo region. Villagers here still speak the centuries-old native language, and grow maize and potatoes on terraced plots 12,000 feet above sea level.

Mario Testino’s sister, Giuliana, is one of the most talked-about designers in town. Pick up her hand-crocheted clothes. If you don’t like your dress hems short (and these are short), there are also plenty of delicate cardigans, shawls, and capes.

The store sells the Peruvian delicacy called teja, try the one made of candied lemons stuffed with dulce de leche and dipped in sugar.

Everyone, from businessmen to students, starts their evening at this Miraflores institution overlooking the neighborhood's main park. Try a Cusque—a beer or a strong cup of coffee.

For a fascinating introduction to pre-Columbian life, visit this diminutive museum. The textiles are of particular note; the striped pieces have thread counts in the hundreds and could not be duplicated with modern techniques until recently. Open by appointment only, so call ahead.

The Inca sites around the edges of town are spectacular, especially the intimidating stone ramparts of Sacsayhuaman.