5 of the Top Views in Peru
By Hannah Vickers
Peru is a feast for the eyes. Wherever you are in this Andean country, there are impressive vistas laid out for you. I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to travel up and down this marvellous region and have collected many very special memories. Here are some of my favourites.
1. The afternoon sun shining on Machu Picchu
You can get into Machu Picchu before dawn, if you’re organized enough to get up early and hike up the mountain before the buses start. Watching the sunrise is a pretty special experience – it’s not a guaranteed view as even if you make it up before sunrise, as clouds can often cover the citadel until midmorning, but if you’re lucky you’ll get to watch the sun climb over the tip of the mountain backing the city. My favourite view of Machu Picchu, though, is mid afternoon, when the crowds of visitors have thinned out and the sun’s rays turn the ancient stones golden. In the quiet, warm evening air, it feels like you’ve wandered back in time to when this was a thriving city.
2. The tropical rain thudding down on the Amazon River
The rain in Peru’s jungle is not like regular rain. Hot, heavy, and unrelenting, it’s like having an endless bucket of warm water poured down on you. Watching the fat drops of rain thudding down into the thick, winding Amazon River while trees lean away into the massive jungle on either side of the river is a very special sight that will leave you in awe… and soaked through.
Standing out on Lima’s seaside cliffs, high above the Pacific ocean, you could really believe that the ocean goes on forever. The endless Pacific stretching out in front of you, while the modern, cosmopolitan district of Miraflores is behind you, offers a view to take your breath away.
4. The sunset over Cusco from San Blas
Take a hike up the steep steps from Cusco’s impressive Plaza de Armas to the city’s trendy Bohemian district, San Blas. Your efforts will be rewarded by a sea of terraced rooftops framed by Apus, Cusco’s surrounding mountains. When the sun sets, the cityscape below you becomes bathed in a warm, golden glow and you could almost imagine you were back when the Inca reigned. That’s worth a breathy trek up some steep steps at high altitude any day!
It’s not hard to see why there are so many myths and legends attached to this spectacular stretch of water. This is a view of Peru that must make the itinerary of any wise traveller. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable freshwater lake in the world. An ancient culture, the Uru people, left the mainland when the Inca descended, not wanting to have their community taken over, and made their homes on floating reed-islands. You can visit these islands and the people who live on them, and the reflection of the reed boats floating across the still water will amaze you.
Hannah Vickers has lived in Lima, Peru for a year and a half and is the editor of Peru this Week. You can read more of her work on her blog http://hanwyn.blogspot.com/ or on the Peru this Week website. She wrote this article on behalf of the Tambo Blanquillo, a family-owned lodge in the Peruvian Amazon, the perfect place for encountering stunning vistas in Peru.
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