Ruins at Kuelap
Sandy Doss

Peru: Off the Beaten Path

Peru: Off the Beaten Path

Jun 15, 2017|Where we travel| by Holbrook Travel

From Machu Picchu to the Amazon rainforest, Peru is home to abundant natural and cultural wonders. Look a little beyond these iconic destinations, however, and you’ll find lesser-known attractions for an off-the-beaten path experience. Some of these locations are remote, but well worth the trip!

Kuélap

Where: Amazonas region in northwestern Peru

What: This walled settlement predates Machu Picchu by several hundred years and comprises more than 400 buildings. It was built by the Chachapoyas culture, who were nicknamed the “Cloud Warriors” and eventually conquered by the Inca. The complex overlooks the Utcubamba Valley, at elevations of around 10,000 feet.

Also look for: Air plants, bromeliads and orchids

Cotahuasi & Colca Canyons

Where: Arequipa region in southern Peru

What: At 11,500 feet deep, Cotahuasi Canyon is the deepest canyon in the world, more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Nearby Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in Peru and one of the deepest in the world. Together, they showcase the region’s impressive geology and topography.

Also look for: Andean Condors and natural hot springs

Nor Yauyos-Cochas Landscape Reserve

Where: Lima region on Peru’s central coast

What: The Nor Yauyos-Cochas Landscape Reserve offers breathtaking views, with queñua woodlands and pampas landscapes. The reserve is home to one of the deepest caves in South America, plus lakes, waterbirds, and herds of llamas and alpacas.

Also look for: Andean foxes, waterfalls, and lagoons.

Choquequirao

Where: Andes region in south-central Peru

What: Another Incan ruin worth visiting is Choquequirao, similar in architecture to Machu Picchu and thought to have been built around the same time. However, its remote location has meant fewer tourists than its more well-known “sister city.” A new highway opened in 2016, making for easier access – what was previously accessible by a three- to five-day hike can now be reached in about a day’s travel. Plans to build a tram may also open the site up to visitors.

Also look for: Decorated terraces, expansive mountain views

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