12 Unbelievably Unique Experiences in Peru

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Peru has some of the most diverse and unique landscapes in the world! This country has so many beautiful places to visit, that will just blow your mind. We've made a list of the most epic places to visit in Peru, and some incredibly fun activities.

From breathtaking nature, to exhilarating excursions, here are 12 unbelievably unique things to experience across the country of Peru.

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1. Swim with the Sea Lions

A once in a lifetime experience is found right from the capital city of Lima! Take a boat trip out to see the beautiful islands off the coast, seeing all types of wildlife, even including penguins. The best part of the boat trip is arriving at a small island covered with hundreds of sea lions!

swimming with sea lions, Lima

Swimming with the sea lions is one of the best things to do in Lima.

This isn’t like swimming with dolphins in Mexico where they are captivated and tortured. These are all wild sea lions that you can swim around in a playful and exhilarating environment.

Want to see more fun things to do in Peru's capital? Check out our full guide to visiting Lima down below!

Look for flights to Lima:

2. Hike Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain is one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Peru. This colorful mountain has stripes of all different colors, making it look like it came straight out of a fairytale.

Also known as Vinicunca Mountain, It was only discovered a few years ago, and is really something fantastic to witness in person. The stratigraphic layers of the Ausangate mountain is largely due to weathering and mineralogy, giving it all of its beautiful colors.

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But this isn't anything like you've ever experienced before. You'll have an epic trip without having to break the piggy bank.

Unique locations. Epic adventures. Lifetime memories.

There are many tours that go to Rainbow Mountain, but be prepared, because you will most likely have to leave at 3:00 in the morning. At 5,200 meters above sea level, get ready for a very intense, but rewarding hike! Read the full travel guide down below.

Want to prebook your tour? Here is one we recommend:

3. Climb Red Neck Mountain

Right next to Rainbow Mountain is another beautifully colored mountain, called Red Neck Mountain. For just 10 soles, you can visit here and discover all of the red and pink hues.

Red Neck Valley is most easily visited while on a tour to Rainbow Mountain. However, if you'd like more time, we suggest going on your own to visit the two, and avoiding the large tour groups.

Red Valley in Peru

The Red valley is conveniently located right next to Rainbow Mountain.

4. Sleep in a Million Star Hotel

This is, without a doubt, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Imagine sleeping in a beautiful spot in the middle of nature. Imagine waking up in the middle of a mountain watching the sunrise. Now picture all of that, but hanging from a mountain.

climbing to SkyLodge, places to visit in Peru
SkyLodge Adventure Suites, places to visit in Peru
Skylodge, places to visit in Peru

Skylodge Adventure Suites will offer you a transparent capsule attached to the mountains in the Sacred Valley of Perú, with the most breathtaking views.

Located one hour and a half away from Cusco, this adventure will challenge your heart, as you will climb 400 mts. up the mountain to reach the capsule where you will have a delicious home made dinner with your group.

After you will climb over to your personal capsule to sleep under the stars, and wake up to stunning views over the sacred valley. Enjoy the views, take epic pictures, and have the time of your life.

Make sure you book well in advance though, as there are only a few capsules available per night! We suggest making this a priority if you are interested, as it is one of the most unique places to visit in Peru, and in the world!

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5. Row Through Laguna Paron

This turquoise lake that nestled in the middle of the Andes mountains is just stunning. Located near the city of Huaraz, it has a distinguished teal color that takes your breath away. Laguna Paron was one of our favorite places we visited in Peru, and we definitely recommend it for the nature lovers out there.

boat rental Laguna Paron

Renting a boat is one of the best ways to enjoy Laguna Paron.

You can get there by car or hiking. Once you're there you will see that you have more to do than just take awesome pictures.

Want to book your tour to Laguna Paron? Here is one we particularly recommend:

Want more information about visiting Laguna Paron? We have a Laguna Paron travel guide for everything you need to know.

Laguna Paron is the largest lake in the Cordillera Blanca, on the Peruvian Andes, sitting at 4,185 meters above sea level. Its striking tuquoise color, and jaw dropping mountains surrounding it, make this place an absolute bucket list item if you are traveling to Peru.This lake is often overshadowed by

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6. Sail to the Floating Islands of Uros

Let's head over to Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world. Located along the border between Perú and Bolivia, you can find a group of 70 handmade islands where the Uros tribe live. Completely made of totora reed, they are truly an exotic thing to see.

You can go and see them in an incredible boat ride from the city of Puno, where there are direct overnight buses from Cusco.

We've included a tour that you can prebook:

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Unique places to visit in Peru Pin
Unique places to visit in Peru Pin

7. Swim through Jagueyes de Mayascon

In the north of Peru is a city called Chiclayo, which was our last stop before traveling across the border to Ecuador. Just a couple of hours from Chiclayo awaits another true hidden gem.

Los Jagüeyes de Mayascon are a set of natural pools. They are turquoise in color, contrasting the rocky landscape around them, and are a great day trip excursion from Chiclayo.

Jagueyes de Mayascon
Jagueyes de Mayascon rope climbing
Jagueyes de Mayascon

Jagueyes de Mayascon are a hidden gem that are the perfect day trip from Chiclayo.

After getting a bus to Ferreñafe from Chiclayo, you will take another bus to the small town of Mayascon. Right outside where the bus drops you off, is a 20 minute hike to the most beautiful set of turquoise pools and waterfalls, tied together by fun ropes activities.

The entrance was only about $1 USD. Make sure you eat before, as there is no food allowed inside, in order to preserve the natural beauty of the area. Want for more info on Jagueyes de Mayascon? We have a full travel guide with everything you need to know.

Jagueyes de Mayascon are a series of turquoise pools and waterfalls in Northern Peru. Also known as "cataratas de Mayascon" (waterfalls of Mayascon), or "aguas turquesas" (turquoise waters), this magical place makes for the perfect day trip from Chiclayo.We decided to go on our own, as this place truly is

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8. Fly Over the Nazca Lines

The lines of Nasca are one of the most peculiar and extraordinary places to visit in Peru.

Located in the small town of Nasca, are hundreds of giant geoglyphs that date back to 2,000 years ago. The drawings were carved into the land, and are mysteriously still there after 20 centuries, making this a fascinating site.

As soon as you arrive to the city, you will notice that there are a lot of companies offering this excursion. Hop on a small plane to fly outside Nazca to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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9. Take a Ride Over to the Red River

Located right outside of the other Rainbow Mountain (Formally known as Polcoya Mountain) is a river that turns a pinkish red color. This is due to the iron oxides that form a great part of the region’s soil, and run off the mountain into the river.

The color of the river is only like this during the rainy season. So make sure to visit during that time, so you can see this natural wonder!

Note: we suggest renting a car for this one, as we have never heard of any tours or buses that visit this area.

Book a car in Cusco:

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10. Cool off at Cataratas de Hornillo

This was another one of our favorite places to visit in Peru, as it is truly off the beaten path!

Located outside Chimbote, this waterfall is a true hidden gem. In order to get here we took a bus to Moro (about 2 hours away from the city of Chimbote). From there you can get a taxi or tuk tuk to take you all the way to the waterfall. It is about a half hour further up the road.

cataratas de hornillos, places to visit in Peru
cataratas de hornillos, places to visit in Peru
cataratas de hornillos, places to visit in Peru

Cataratas de Hornillos are a true hidden gem in Peru.

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When we arrived we were literally the only ones there to enjoy all the beauty this waterfall had to offer. Want to know more? We have a full guide for visiting.

Cataratas de Hornillos is one of our favorite waterfalls in Peru. The cascading water running into the river is a great place to cool off and enjoy the natural beauty that Peru has to offer, without all of the crowds. This hidden gem makes the perfect day trip if you

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11. Discover Millpu Aguas Turquesas

Located nearest to Ayacucho, is one of the most stunning places to visit in Peru that you will ever see. 

A group of 20 natural pools of turquoise waters makes up the destination, and it makes for the perfect trip. Being three hours away from the city of Ayacucho, this is definitely off the beaten track, but well worth it. 

Want to sign up for a tour? Check out the different options below:

This is the perfect place to whip out a drone if you have one!

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12. Walk along Salineras de Maras

Near the city of Cusco in the Sacred Valley of southeastern Peru, is located the town of Maras. It's known for the Maras Salt Mines, which host thousands of individual salt pools. The are perched on a hillside, and date back to Incan times. 

Being just an hour and a half away from Cusco, this place makes for a great day trip. There are plenty of daily tours planned with various tour companies, so it is a very easy spot to check out.

Here are a few tours to choose from:

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Check out this map to see where all of these unique places to visit in Peru are located:

unique places to visit in Peru
unique places to visit in Peru map key

Peru truly has some of the most beautiful landscapes, and exciting things to experience. Apart from these unique places to visit in Peru, the country has even more to offer. For the most iconic and must see places check out our other list of the best places to visit in Peru!

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