Trek around the renowned Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, explore the architecture of Lima – reminiscent of the region’s colonial past – or savor delicacies in the buzzing city of Cusco. These are some of the top reasons to visit Peru this year as a tourist or volunteer.
Breathe in the natural wonders of Machu Picchu
No visit to Peru is complete without witnessing the fabled natural wonder that is Machu Picchu.
Revel in the ancient mysteries of Machu Picchu, as you trek through the lush vegetation of the misty layered escarpments, and witness a piece of history that still impacts locals and visitors to Peru today.
This celebrated site is on the doorstep of GVI’s projects in Cusco, where, teen volunteers assist with managing natural resources – under strain from the influx of visitors to the region – while cooperating with the local Quechua community to build sustainable tourism opportunities.
Delve into the history of Cusco
Original photo: barb howe
Although Cusco is famed for being the gateway to Machu Picchu, there is so much more to this vibrant UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Your list of things to do in Cusco could include historical monuments such as the Museo Inka and natural phenomena such as the striped Rainbow Mountains.
The Museo Inca traces Peruvian history from early Inca culture through to the impact of the Spanish Conquest. The site is an important a reminder to tourists and volunteers alike of the lasting effect of Peru’s storied history and various cultures on the local population.
Original photo: fortherock
Indeed the influence of both the Inca and Spanish cultures are described in detail in the Museo Inka: a unique mix that leads to both opportunities and challenges in the lives of Peruvians.
The increasingly popular Rainbow Mountains – which owe their distinct multi-colored layers to a combination of erosion and volcanic activity – are also feeling the environmental impact of the hundreds of tourists who trek its colorful slopes. We’d recommend admiring this site from afar – all the better for photography buffs!
Interestingly, the Rainbow Mountains have long been considered a sacred site for many of the local population due to the unique minerals found within: yet another reason NOT to trek this mountain range.
Get a taste of Peru’s capital city, Lima
Original photo: McKay Savage
Lima, the capital city, is another must-do on your Peruvian tour. There is no shortage of things to do in Lima.
For history buffs, enjoy the stone cathedrals and monasteries, dating from the 16th century, as well as unique museums such as the Museo Larco – which is built over a pre-Columbian pyramid.
Then there’s the ChocoMuseum, for chocolate lovers! Complete with workshops, tastings and an account of the history of the cacao tree in South America, there’s no wonder why this is one of our favorite things to do in Lima.
Photo: Bart Everson
For foodies, Lima holds a profusion of taste sensations, including the seafood-based delicacy ceviche, and cau cau – a tripe and potato based stew.
Peruvian food is so famous that Mistura, the fabulous food fair in Lima traditionally held in September, is celebrated throughout Latin America for the range of local food dishes on offer. Your taste buds will be watering at first sight!
Travel and make an impact
Another reason to visit Peru is to join a volunteer project with GVI. Travel sustainably through South America and contribute to vital community development and conservation programs. All GVI projects in Peru have been designed to balance fun and adventure with sustainability and responsibility to our shared planet.
Volunteer projects in Peru range from teaching children in schools to helping women entrepreneurs to empower themselves. Enjoy the many Peru sights to visit all while making a positive impact on the local community.
Interested in exploring the ancient mysteries of Peru? Contact us to learn about how to visit Peru as a volunteer with GVI.