The top 5 must-see places in Peru

To determine the must-see places in Peru, we spoke to leading Peruvian tour operators, Machu Travel Peru. The company is committed to the highest levels of service as borne out by their reviews on Tripadvisor (an impressive 369 reviews stating ‘excellent’ out of 384 reviews). Machu Travel Peru also takes pride in giving back to the local community and, when we picked their brains on the places you shouldn’t miss, based on their customers’ feedback, the following were their top 5 suggestions.


Any first-time visitor to Peru should make sure Cusco is on their hit-list. The city is the most visited tourist destination in the country and is a very special place, both in terms of its architecture and population, as well as being a Cultural World Heritage Site. Walk the cobbled streets, marvel at the Incan buildings and take in the atmosphere of one of the many festivals – there are over 100 each year so there’s a good chance your visit will co-incide with one.


Machu Picchu

Visitors to Cusco would be missing out if they didn’t take time out to go to the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, one of the new seven wonders in the modern world. Situated just over 100 kilometres from Cusco, and at a height of more than 2,400 metres above sea level, these historic ruins are the highlight of the trip for many visitors to Peru.

Machu Picchu

Lake Titicaca

Reputed to be the birthplace of the Incas, Lake Titicaca is home to extensive ruins and, according to Incan mythology, is also the birthplace of the sun, moon, stars and first human beings. Located between Peru and Bolivia, it is the largest lake in South America, one of the deepest lakes in the world and, at over 3,800 metres above sea level, also one of the highest commercially navigable bodies of water in the world.

Lake Titicaca

El Valle Sagrado de los Incas

Approximately 15 kilometres to the north of Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas is worth visiting for its attractive colonial towns, numerous Incan sites, markets, occasional weaving villages and the citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. A perfect area for trekkers, this lush area can also be enjoyed as part of an organised day tour.

The Sacred Valley of the Incas

Puerto Maldonado

The city of Puerto Maldonado is a chaotic one but the perfect location for accessing the Peruvian Amazon. Situated at the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios rivers, its proximity to the jungle provides you with one of the best opportunities to explore ecosystems brimming with wildlife, be it at the Manu National Park, the Tambopata National Reserve or the Bahuaaja-Sonene National Park, all of which are nearby and are home to some of the world’s most pristine rainforest.

Frog in the Peruvian Amazon

Images: Shutterstock

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Machu Travel Peru.

Comments (5)

  1. Christian says:

    Cusco is wonderful, joins archeology, mystical, secret and very good service to tourists. In our blog we have a review in English on the Grand Place
    We recommend visiting “La Plaza de Armas”, the Cathedral, Qorikancha, Pukapukara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
    A must-see destination.

  2. Sandra Arthur says:

    All these is true, but whoever wrote this, has not been in AREQUIPA!…a must to visit, with a trip to Colca Canyon.

  3. Frank Yang says:

    It was my husband’s and my first trip to Peru and it was nothing short of a wonderful experience, thanks to the professional and helpful service provided by all the guides and drivers connected with Machu Travel Peru Our guides in Cusco, Lake Titicaca and Easter Island were knowledgeable and our rather convoluted journey of planes, trains and automobiles was made relatively painless because of the smooth transitions that the agency had arranged. As this juncture, it would be remiss of me not to call out our travel consultant, Thania, who provided professional and incredibly efficient service right from the outset of the trip planning. She also checked up with us along our journey and gave great advice.
    Thank you Thania, it is because of this wonderful experience that we will definitely return to Peru for our next journeys of discovery of more of South America … hopefully in the not too distant future!

  4. Lima is really worth a few days as well! Many times travelers skip over Lima, but it is a great place to try food from all over the country, visit excellent museums, and even visit pre-Hispanic ruins.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    We really enjoyed Peru. I agree Arequipa is worth a visit- the Colcha Canyon is very remote and quite time consuming to get to not sure I would include on a list of must do or top rate places. Lake Titicaca was definitely a highlight!

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