7 Things To Do in Peru (That Aren’t Machu Picchu)

7. Sandboarding and racing dune buggies in Huacachina This hidden oasis provides ample opportunity for adrenaline-junkies and thrill seekers to explore. Just four hours south of Lima, travellers can begin their day by boarding down sand dunes or racing across the desert in dune buggies for a truly exhilarating experience. 6. Explore the Peruvian Amazon Considered to be less popular than its Brazilian counterpart, the Peruvian Amazon is home to a diverse wildlife population and winding rivers that you need to visit while in Peru. To access the diverse jungle terrain, you can take a flight from the city of Puerto Maldonado with flights leaving daily from Cusco and Lima. And the good news? Tours through the Amazon on the Peru side are significantly cheaper – meaning you can save your dollars for a bonus round of pisco sours. 5. Go deep into Colca Canyon When in Peru, make time to visit one of the deepest and most spectacular canyons in the world, the Colca Canyon. Accessible from Peru’s second largest city, Arequipa, the Colca Canyon is Peru’s third most-visited attraction yet many hikers seem to skip this impressive site. Don’t make the same mistake as those hikers and add a trip to the Colca Canyon to your itinerary. Also, if you’re still yet to be impressed, the Colca Canyon is actually twice as deep as the United States’ Grand Canyon. See for yourself how it compares. 4. Embrace the serenity of Lake Sandoval Lake Sandoval is part of the Madre de Dios region of Peru, which is part of the Amazon basin. To reach this majestic site, you can start your hike near Mare de Dios River and marvel at the impressive wildlife including parrots, macaws and other exciting creatures. Once you arrive, you will be greeted by an unforgettable sunset. 3. Taste the mineral-rich salts of Maras Just outside of Cusco you will find the town of Maras which is held in high esteem across the world for its impressive collection of salt mines that date back to the Inca times. Here, you will find thousands of salt pools that make up the hillside that build an intricate network of channels that feed spring water into the ponds. For a small fee, you can taste the warm water and sample some of the finest salt in the world. The mineral rich salt is great for cooking and is believed to help reduce stress. 2. Walk the streets of Arequipa You’ve heard all about Cusco and Lima, but what do you really know about Arequipa? This city is filled with charming baroque architecture built from white volcanic stone. Surrounded by breathtaking volcanoes, Arequipa has well and truly earned its place as a UNESCO World Heritage destination. 1. Do as the Peruvians do in Huilloc There’s a reason why we saved the best until the very end. To wrap up your time in Peru, there’s no better way to experience Peru than by immersing yourself in local culture. Make time for a visit to the Quechua village of Hilloc and learn more about the fine art weaving from the female villagers who have been perfecting the craft since a young age. Then, sit down for a pachamanca lunch where stones and grass are used to cook cuy (guinea pig), fava beans and potatoes using traditional cooking methods. The hospitality and generosity of the Quehchea villagers will leave you feeling humbled and grateful for the experience.