Coast, Andes, rainforest, and an abundance of climatic zones in between: Peru is blessed with an incredible amount of natural wonders that cover the whole country. Be it desert, waterfall, mountain lagoon, natural beach, colorful fields, or snow-capped Andean peaks — if you love nature, you will love Peru! In this article, we’ll tell you which places took our breath away.
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10 Natural Wonders That You Shouldn’t Miss!
Number 1: Gocta Waterfall
We love waterfalls. And the Gocta waterfall, which plunges down over 771 meters, is by far one of our favorites. Start your hike to the Gocta waterfall from Cocachimba, a small village one hour north of Chachapoyas. Cocachimba already offers an impressive view of the waterfall, and you could even spend the night in the Gocta Lodge, where you get an unforgettable view of the natural spectacle from the comfort of a pool.
Number 2: Cañon De Los Perdidos
A few years ago, a few off-road drivers got lost in the desert of Ica and stumbled across the „caños de los perdidos“ (Canyon of the Lost). The natural phenomenon „El Niño“ causes the canyon to carve deeper into the earth every few years. The isolated canyon is located in the middle of a dusty desert without a speck of vegetation. Tours are possible from Ica, but you’ll need to form a group to make it worth the price.
Number 3: Laguna 69 at Huaraz
This hike at Huaraz will definitely take your breath away. Not only because of the thin mountain air, but also because of the breathtaking mountain landscapes that you come across during the six-hour hike. In the Huascarán National Park, you will walk through lush green valleys, see the highest mountain in Peru (Huascarán at 6,768 meters), and then climb higher and higher to finally admire the absurdly turquoise mountain lake „Laguna 69“.
Number 4: Amazon and Rainforest
The Amazon is the water-richest river in the world and its banks are bursting with life. A visit to the jungle in Peru is a must. So, at the end of your journey, how about a flight (or a cargo ship) to the quirky, exotic Iquitos? Travel from here along the Amazon to a remote jungle lodge. Take a deep breath from the green lung of Peru and, with a bit of luck, discover monkeys, tapirs, butterflies, pink dolphins, caimans, and many other jungle dwellers.
Number 5: Sand Dunes at Ica
The desert is a legend for us Germans, Swiss, and Austrians. We know sand dunes and oases only from movies and books. Who would have thought that you can come across a desert à la 1001 Nights in Peru? Because yes, four hours south of Lima, just outside of Ica, lies the largest „sandbox“ in South America. Rent a buggy and tear up and down the sand dunes at top speed, or just camp out in the desert and get romantic under a star-studded night sky.
Number 6: Lake Titicaca
Peru shares the mythical Lake Titicaca with Bolivia at 3,812 meters altitude. Many legends arise from this sparkling lake, which is extremely popular with travelers. The floating reed islands of the Uros, which consist entirely of reeds, are very impressive and can still be visited today. Take it a step further and spend a night on the island of Amantani or Taquile, where you can experience the original life of the islanders and enjoy the incredible sunset over the lake.
Number 7: Rainbow Mountains
The Nevado Ausangate at 6,384 meters is located four hours south of Cusco. It is the highest mountain of southern Peru and blessed with highly varied landscapes. The „colorful mountains“ are more popular with travelers than ever, which means you can now book a day tour from Cusco. You need to be well acclimatized for this tour!
Number 8: Paracas National Park
Yellow rocks, a red sandy beach, a sweeping desert, a roaring ocean: the Paracas National Park shows Peru from its windy, rough, and dramatic side. If you travel from Lima to Arequipa by bus, you should make a detour to the small fishing village of Paracas, where you can visit the offshore islands „Islas Ballestas“ with their maritime wildlife and the precious national park. If you’re lucky, you’ll see scores of flamingos there!
Number 9: Sacred Valley of the Incas
From a scenic point of view, the Sacred Valley of the Incas is a dream come true. Catch a bus from the Incan metropolis Cusco to Pisac, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo, where you can visit small villages and markets. You can hike across the countryside on the plateau at Chincheros, to the lagoon Huaypo, for example, or to the salt terraces of Maras. Enjoy a spectacular view over colorful fields and the snow-covered mountains of the Andes from there.
Number 10: The Natural Beach of Carhuas
“Forget the whole world for a moment“: This is certainly possible on the natural beach of Carhuas or one of the many other natural beaches in Peru. There’s no Caribbean beach feeling with palm trees and coconuts in Peru. Instead, there are wildly romantic and sometimes completely deserted beaches that invite you to dream and forget the world.
Who is writing?
Hola! I’m Nora, Co-Founder of ALL ACROSS PERU. I cannot live anymore without Ceviche, mountain air and cumbia sounds. On this blog I share all my travel insights for Peru!