If you’ve ever wanted to travel to Peru to cross off the iconic Incan ruins of Machu Picchu from your ever-growing bucket list, you will not be disappointed! Though, after such an incredible experience, it may feel impossible to schedule an activity as awe-inspiring and exciting as that on your itinerary. After all, Machu Picchu is one of the best things to do in Peru and the destination it’s most known for. However, that’s certainly not all this culturally and historically rich country has to offer. We will be diving into the ultimate guide to Peru, adventures for thrill-seekers!
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Packed with countless historic monuments, museums, ruins, cathedrals, and cultural hot spots, there’s so much to choose from when it comes to cultural immersion here. But what if you’re looking for a vacation in Peru with more than just sightseeing on the agenda? Thankfully, the Tripio app has the thrill-seeker in mind. Those looking to ride the adrenaline high throughout their trip can build the perfect Custom Itinerary to do just that. It’s the best way to ensure you don’t have a mundane experience and turns any trip into an unforgettable adventure.
So without further adieu, here are Tripio’s top 20 things to do in Peru to satisfy the heart of an adventurer.
Book your overnight stay here and you’ll get the chance to experience one of the most unique activities in Peru! After a brief safety demonstration, daring travelers can choose to climb up 1,200 feet to their room for the night via ferrata or opt to do the nearby hike instead. This cliff-side hotel has a sweeping aerial view of the beautiful Sacred Valley and Urubamba River.
Skylodge features three vertically hanging transparent capsules where you’ll sleep under the stars and awake the next day to the sun rising over the Andes mountains. The incredibly friendly guides will ensure your safety and enjoyment every step of the way. When you wake, you’ll get the chance to enjoy a homemade breakfast from the top of your capsule and fly down a series of ziplines to the base of the cliff to close out this unforgettable experience.
If you’re feeling fearless and looking for a dose of adrenaline in Cusco, make a trip down to Action Valley to cross bungee jumping off your bucket list! They are the leading company for adventure sports in the country and have been in operation for over 22 years. Located in the lush Sacred Valley, you’re surrounded on all sides by a breathtaking view of the landscape.
After being fitted with safety gear, instructed, and secured to the bungee cord, you’ll be guided onto the platform and prepped for the 410-foot plunge. You can also try the reversed Slingshot, where you’ll instead be propelled 300 feet into the air at high speeds. Ask them to take your photo to capture a sweet shot of you as you jump! Be sure to include this in your Custom Top 10 list, you adrenaline junkie.
No vacation to Peru is complete without some type of aquatic adventure! Pacific Divers is a trusted group of dive operators who offer a variety of scuba experiences in Lima, including PADI certification. All your equipment will be provided to you before boarding the dive boat and getting to your dive site. Each dive lasts around 45 minutes and it’s common to see a variety of kelp forests and sea life on your dive, such as sea lions.
If you’re looking to see the bustling coastal city of Lima from new heights, you’ll catch some serious air with this one. Book in advance with Aeroextreme, and if weather conditions are right, you’re in for a unique experience that will give you access to impressive aerial views. An expert pilot will take off with you over the Costa Verde cliffs of the scenic Miraflores district. This thrilling flight lasts a brief 15 minutes, but it will definitely stand out as one of your most memorable activities in Lima.
Colca Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world at a whopping 11,154 feet, twice as deep as the Grand Canyon! Full of breathtaking views and wildlife, you’ll easily spot native condors flying overhead at Condor’s Cross or alpacas roaming the landscape. There are many trails you can take to get there, but you can find the most popular one featured on the Tripio app, which will lead you to a sublime tropical oasis.
Walk in the footsteps of the Incas as you hike to the sacred grounds of Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. You will encounter historic ruins and settlements, tread through cloud forests, learn the deep culture and history of the trail, and view incredible natural formations as you trek through the Andes Mountains with your guide. This activity is absolutely a bucket-list worthy experience that will make your trip to Peru a special adventure of a lifetime.
This is the country’s number one place to go rock climbing. There are countless routes to climb for all experience levels, several scenic hikes, and bouldering locations. The area is gorgeous, especially during sunset, so it is truly a climber’s paradise.
This is your chance to glide over the impressive Sacred Valley on a set of four ziplines. The guides are incredibly safety-conscious and will do everything they can to ensure you have an amazing experience. You’ll be surrounded on all sides by the Andes Mountains and can even get harnessed in a “superman” position to make it feel like you’re actually flying. Create your Custom Itinerary with Tripio so you can prioritize this awesome activity.
Rio Chili is one of the best spots for whitewater rafting, no matter what skill level you are. This scenic river offers thrill-seeking rafters Classes 2-4 of rushing rapids to choose from. You’ll learn about safety protocols before your guide takes your group out on an exciting intermediate section of the river, navigating its twists and turns for a stretch of about four miles.
Peru is home to some of the largest sand dunes in South America, so this is a must-have experience while you’re visiting! Your guide will fit you for gear before you load up into a dune buggy and travel across the towering sand hills. The ride itself is an exhilarating roller coaster, plunging down steep drops at every turn. The highest dune in Huacachina is Cerro Blanco, soaring overhead at a whopping 3,860 feet. Now that’s a mountain of sand!
This activity is on most adventure-lovers Top 10 Peru activities and is for all skill levels. Whether you’re an avid snowboarder who knows the ropes or you prefer lying on your stomach to cruise down the dunes on easy-mode, you won’t want to miss this opportunity. Once you’ve surfed the dunes to your heart’s content, check out the nearby oasis village for a taste of the local nightlife.
See the mysterious Nazca Lines from a birds-eye view in a small Cessna aircraft flying over the southern desert. As you soar over the ancient geoglyphs, your pilots will point out twelve of the world-renowned Nazca Lines such as the spider, hummingbird, tree, and monkey. The sheer size of these ancient patterns is a marvel, varying in length from 1,300 feet to 3,600 feet across. This is yet another adventure on the list for many traveler’s Top 10 best things to do in Peru.
Travel through the idyllic Cusco countryside on a guided or self-guided motorcycle tour. Peru Moto Tours will let you rent their motorcycles and provide you with an itinerary, but you can go at your own pace to see the wonders of the Sacred Valley yourself and all its beauty. Tours have lots of variety and you can choose what difficulty your routes are through the scenic Andes Mountains.
If you’re keen on surfing, Mancora is the best place to catch a wave in the country. However, if you’re a first-time surfer looking to learn the ropes while on vacation, Team Surf Peru in Lima is one of the country’s leading surf experts. They offer lessons for any skill level, day trips showing you the best spots for the perfect waves, stand-up paddleboard lessons, and more!
If you hope to visit the Amazon on your trip to Peru, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Grand Amazon Lodge is operated by 5 scientists who are dedicated to conservation, rainforest education, and responsible ecotourism. You’ll get the chance to stay in a bungalow for several days with a view of the river, go on guided hikes, visit an Amazonian village, canoe near pink dolphins, and see tons of wildlife along the way. The excursions are well-organized and the authentic Peruvian meals and drinks provided can’t be beat.
Travel on an ATV and zoom across the Paracas Nature Reserve, where your guide will take you to various historic and scenic points to enjoy. You’ll visit the red sands of Playa Roja, a nearby cathedral, and Yumaque Beach as part of your tour. It’s an expansive, wide-open area with plenty of room for adventure as you feel the salty sea breeze all around you.
Explore Cusco’s beautiful terrain without breaking a sweat via horseback. You’ll ride through portions of the Sacred Valley and pass by several Incan ruins, temples, and churches that your knowledgeable guide will brief your group on. It is typical for horseback tours to provide you with snacks and everything you need to have an easy, fun experience riding around the countryside.
This adrenaline-fueled day hike will take you to Qaranahui Cave and the Incan Q’eswachaka Hanging Bridge in Cusco. You’ll get to learn about its history before stopping at several scenic viewpoints and heading to the cave. You’ll be able to explore the depths of the cavern for a few hours with provided equipment before being transported back to Cusco in the afternoon. This activity is perfect for outdoor-lovers and will help you acclimatize to the region.
If you’re all about those stunning views, you should really consider putting this gorgeous hike on your Custom Top 10 in the Tripio app! Northeast of Lima in Huascarán National Park, you can complete this absolutely bucket list-worthy trek. The altitude in this area is an incredible 14,764 feet high (so be sure to acclimate in the city before taking on the challenge), but these breathtaking views are absolutely worth it. Once you reach the brilliant turquoise lagoon at the top, you’ll want to stay a while to take it all in.
This hidden gem lets you interact with a colony of sea lions up close! It’s definitely on the Top 10 list of Peru musts for animal lovers. These friendly sea creatures have no natural predators, so they’re actually quite gentle and will swim right up to you. Your tour operator will take you via speed boat to Palomino Island and teach you about the area’s pre-Columbian history. You may even get the chance to spot some Humboldt penguins on the nearby rocky cliffs. After your swim, you’ll get to enjoy snacks onboard with your group before heading back to Lima’s shores.
If you’re in the northern city of Chachapoyas, you can book a tour in the main square that will take you to see the Kuelap Incan Fortress. You can explore it on your own, but there is little information at the site itself, so a guided tour is highly recommended!
Climb into a cable car that will take you on a 15-minute scenic ride up to the site complete with mountain and river views. Once you arrive at the mountainside where the fortress is nestled, you’ll reach the ruins after hiking for 20 minutes on an incline. This vast archaeological site is commonly referred to as the “Machu Picchu of the north”. That was our Tripio Peru adventures for thrill-seekers!
Interested in the top 10 cultural experiences in Peru, look no further than our blog on: Top 10 Cultural Gems In Peru To Experience
or up for some more adventure, check out: Galapagos Islands: One In A Million
-Rachael Grow, Tripio Guru
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