If you haven’t already bought a ticket to one of South America’s most popular destinations, you probably will soon. Peru is home to one of the great archaeological wonders of the world – it’s no surprise this diverse country is on many bucket lists.
But, for those who love to get a little further off the beaten track, here are a few incredible things to do besides visit Machu Picchu.
Take a Multi-Day Boat Trip in the Amazon
An easy overnight bus trip from Cusco, the closest city to Machu Picchu, lies the Amazonian town of Puerto Maldonado. This city is a gateway to one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. Spot parrots, wild hog, and at least five species of monkeys while snaking along lush waterways on this jungle adventure. You will travel from eco-lodge to campsite along an Amazon tributary, stopping off at watering holes, clay licks, and lakes along the way. Be sure to purchase currency online before traveling, because credit cards and the USD aren’t widely accepted outside of Lima, the capital.
Hike to Pre-Incan Ruins
While everyone else is off walking the Inca Trail, take a trip to the Andean city of Chachapoyas. Here, you’ll find a city that was founded thousands of years before Machu Picchu. The fortress is located a just 60 miles outside of Chachapoyas, but it takes a few hours to get there – the roads are winding and it’s all up hill, rising to about 10,000 feet above sea level. Now, you can take a cable car from a town about halfway to the base of the archeological site.
Surf the Desert Coast
When you think of surfing, you probably think of Hawaii or Costa Rica. But, despite its chilly Pacific waters, Peru has some of the best waves in consistency, variety, and length in the world. Catch the world’s longest left-breaking wave, Chicama, in the port city of Puerto Malabrigo. Stop in the backpacker mecca of Huanchaco for a lesson, and 365-day-a-year waves. For tropical temperatures, surf in Mancora, a town with sandy beaches and bumping nightlife near the Ecuador border. You can even ride waves in the urban metropolis of Lima.
Not many places accept the U.S. dollar in Peru, so you’ll want to make sure your wallet is flush with nuevo soles, the currency of Peru. Rather than risk an unfair foreign currency exchange rate at the airport or long wait times at the bank, purchase currency online today from Xchange of America and we’ll drop the cash off to your front door.