4 Hidden Gems in Peru


Peru is world famous for its rich culture and history, particularly with many Inca sites, such as Machu Picchu, and is world famous as a South America Tours destination. Of course there is so much more to this beautiful country and today in this article we will go through some of the alternative places to visit in Peru, so read on to find out more.


The other Machu Picchu

Choquequirao is known as the “other” Machu Picchu and actually translated to “cradle of gold” and no Peru Tour should ever be completed without a visit here. It is located about forty kilometres away from Machu Picchu, but has a much more authentic and unexplored feel, especially with a significantly lower number of tourists. The challenge of the hike is something that many experienced travellers will relish in, so make sure you pack some good walking shoes. In the end you will be rewarded by stunning views that go as far as the eye can see, huge canyons, Inca ruins and the feeling of almost total isolation!


Lake Titicaca

This lake lies between Peru and Bolivia and is about 3800 metres above sea level and is a well known tourist spot, that is generally teeming with tourists. The best way to view the lake is of course in the route less travelled and the best place to do this is at Llachon. This small place is located 80 kilometres of Puno and offers many options for hiking, historic sites and even experiencing the lake from a kayak. This place is a far cry from the other tourist saturated viewing points of the lake and is sure to please someone looking for a bit more peace and quiet.

Kuelap Fortress, 3000 meters (9840 feet) above sea level, is seen in the Andean region of Chachapollas, in this aerial view taken June 25, 2011. The archaeological site of Kuelap, constructed by the pre-Inca Chachapollas community in about 800 AD, consists of more than four hundred buildings with stone walls of heights of up to 19 meters (62 feet). REUTERS/Janine Costa (PERU - Tags: TRAVEL ENVIRONMENT)

Kuelap Fortress

This fortified citadel was built by the Chachapoyas and sits 900 metres above sea level overlooking the Utcubamba Valley in northern Peru. Getting to this magical place is not the easiest, but it sure is worth it, especially with its ruins, which feature huge stone walls (about 600 metres high) and hundreds of small round dwellings that are protected by these walls. Kuelap Fortress is a place that you won’t forget and you can find out more about it here.


Cotahuasi Canyon

Cotahuasi Canyon is actually the deepest canyon in the world and of course everyone knows the Grand Canyon in Arizona, but it is interesting to note that it is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon at over 3400 metres deep. Like most destinations in this article, this is not the easiest place to reach and is often ignored for the more travel friendly Colca Canyon. No words could probably accurately describe this amazing place, but there are a multitude of things to enjoy, like waterfalls, alpacas, amazing views and of course hot springs.

3 Tips On Traveling Light

The goal:  to take a small carry-on sized bag with on you on your trip. The reality:  it’s possible – but you’ll certainly have to work hard at it.  Whether you’re going on a backpacking trip across Europe or just hate having to wait at the carousel at any major airport, packing light is certainly ideal if you can manage it.  Looking for some ways on how you can cut back on the clutter and keep your bag well under the 20lbs limit?  Here are some tips to ensure that you get to bring that piece of carry on with you rather than needing to check it in at the airport:

The Luggage Choice

When it comes to lightweight luggage, you usually have three choices:

1)    A carry-on bag on wheels

2)    An internal-frame backpack

3)    A carry-on bag that can be converted into a backpack with shoulder straps that can zip away.

The last choice really gives you the best of both words – you get a backpack that’s great for any hiking or backpacking holidays, while also getting the luxury of a compact and low-key suitcase if you’re in a more metropolitan area.  The only drawback is that they aren’t very comfortable for long hauls, so if you plan on going on an extensive hiking holiday, do your back and shoulders a favour and stick with the internal-frame backpack. I found a website called Luggage Superstore that has a massive range of lightweight luggage here – so it’s a good place to start.

Packing Your Stuff

Most of your luggage is sure to be filled with tons of clothing.  To minimize on the amount of “stuff”, simply bring less.  This means wearing certain items repeatedly over and over, choosing clothing that compliments one another, and choosing clothing that has several different uses (i.e. some men’s swim shorts can double up as hiking shorts).  Keep colour coordination in mind, and plan on doing at least a couple loads of laundry while you’re traveling (or you can scrub you clothes out in a washroom sink – just buy some laundry soap while you’re there).

It’s important to also avoid packing for the “worst case scenario” as most of us tend to do.  Think about what you definitely do need and don’t bother worrying about what you might need.  If you happen to need rain protection while you’re venturing through Venice, then you can pick up a cheap poncho or an umbrella while you’re there; you don’t need to pack it in your luggage “just in case”.

Leave Room For Souvenirs

If you’re already stressed for space, consider this fact: souvenirs.  Many traveling experts recommend that you leave anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 of your bag’s space free so that you can drag home some souvenirs for yourself, for friends, and for family.  If you can’t manage the space, then make sure that you pack a featherweight nylon bag that you can stuff full of souvenirs and that you can still use a carry-on on you return flight.

If this post has inspired you, but you want to read more about traveling light, Rick Steves has a great article about it here.