Tourist information about Peru
As Peru is one of the most varied countries of the world and it has a number of places to visit. Its most remarkable spot is Machu Picchu, Wonder of the World.
What to see in Peru
Arequipa. It is called the "white city" because its houses are mainly built of a white volcanic material called 'sillar'. If you go to Arequipa, you should visit the Colca canyon, the cave paintings in Toro Muerto and the dinosaur footprints of Querulpa. Accidentally discovered by a 17-year-old kid, these footprints are between 150 and 200 million years old.
Caral is a quite recent discovery, it is already known it is the oldest city in the continent and that it raised between the years 3000 and 1500 b.C. The city has pyramidal buildings and flutes, musical instruments. Surely research will bring new lights about Caral soon.
Chan Chan was the capital city of Chimu civilization. Completely made of mud bricks, it is 20 km2 large and it was the dwelling of a hundred thousand people. If you go to Chan Chan, you can also visit Huaca Arcoiris, Huaca Esmeralda, Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna. They were political, administrative and ceremonial centres of Moche civilization. Huaca means archaeological centre.
Chavin de Huantar was the religious centre of Chavin civilization. Built completely in stone, it has corridors, pyramidal constructions and representations of feline and snake deities. The place is full of 'cabezas clavas' (stone ornaments on the walls) and it has a 'lanzon monolito' is in the basement.
Cusco is the most renown tourist place in the country. It was the capital city of the Inca empire. It received lots of Spanish influence during colonization and now it is a gorgeous mix between Inca, colonial and modern traits that impresses every visitor since they arrive. The Inca trail joined almost all the empire, that is, from Colombia to Argentina and Chile. And, if you visit Cusco, Koricancha temple, Ollantaytambo fortress, Sacsayhuaman (a masterpiece of Inca military building, made of granite) and Pisac (a town, an important archaeological site and a beautiful marketplace on Sundays) are as important as Machu Picchu, near Urubamba river. Do not forget Choquequirao (you need to walk for two days to get there, but it's worth the effort) and Moray amphitheatre (probably, the Inca agricultural research centre).
Huascaran National Park has 27 mountains, 663 glaciers, 269 lakes and 41 rivers. There are protected animals here, living in their natural habitat. The Huascaran glacier dominates all this with its more than 6000 m.a.s.l. It is an ideal place for skiing and mountain climbing.
Kotosh and its Temple of Crossed Hands is almost 4000 years old now. It is a set of pyramidal constructions in which a sculpture representing crossed hands has been found. This place is still under research, so we will have to update this paragraph in the future.
Kuelap fortress, in the north, will show you how Chachapoyas civilization built such a good wall with towers, surveillance posts and only three narrow passages to a city that only Incas could defeat. Inside, Chachapoyas houses were circular and made of stone. The ornaments included human and animal traits. It is very very interesting.
Lima's Main Square has the Government Palace, the cathedral and the mayor place facing one another. Here you can see the change of shift of the guards of the palace at 1 p.m., you can enjoy the baroque and renaissance architecture of its buildings, the catacombs at Santo Domingo church, Calle Capon (which is Lima's Chinatown), the Museo de la Nación (National Museum), the tourist districts of Miraflores and Barranco and the Alameda de los Descalzos. Lima has a great night-life. Consider going to dance to a disco. During summer, the beaches are a must. The rapids in Lunahuaná are a very exciting alternative, too.
Manu National Park, in Madre de Dios' rainforest, is one of the most varied natural reserves in the world. Estimations say that many of its 20000 varieties of plants, 1200 species of birds and 200 species if mammals and uncounted and inestimable number of reptiles, amphibious and insects live there together with a group of communities which have never had contact with civilized world.
The Nazca Lines are set of drawings of animals and deities that can be found in an extension of 450 km2. Nobody knows for certain neither why they are there nor why they haven't been erased with the pass of time nor who did them... but they are still marvellous.
Pachacamac survived both Inca and Spanish influences and was considered god of fire and son of the sun. Its oracle is a clear example of how ancient Peruvians had a strong relationship with nature.
Paracas is a National Reserve which has protected birds (including penguins) and mammals (seals). Paracas is the place in which you can see some textiles (from Paracas Pre-incan civilization) that have preserved their dyes for about 1500 years and counting. Paracas was also the place in which Jose de San Martin disembarked, established his military base (for Peruvian independence) and created the first Peruvian flag.
The royal mausoleum of Sipan showed how Moche people buried their important people. There, it has been found how the most powerful of Moche lords were buried with gold and silver ornaments, human and animal sacrifices.
The Valley of Pyramids, in Tucume, is a place where you can find dozens of pyramids made of adobe around a mountain called La Raya. Here inhabitants try to build a very special relationship with tourists.
Over? No, we strongly recommend you not to miss the Amazon river in Iquitos and the Afro-Peruvian city of Chincha, in Ica, too. You will enjoy them.
Last but not least, enjoy the food as much as you can. You will not eat like in Peru again. Food here has really got taste!
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