Home / South America / Peru Travel: Top 5 Archeological Sites to Visit on Your Vacation
Peru Travel: Top 5 Archeological Sites to Visit on Your Vacation

Peru Travel: Top 5 Archeological Sites to Visit on Your Vacation

Peru is a land of wonder and adventure, filled with amazing stories from long ago. When you travel to Peru, you step into a world of ancient civilizations that left behind incredible treasures for us to discover. This beautiful country offers a chance to explore some of the most impressive archeological sites on Earth, and every corner holds a new surprise.

We’ll share the top 5 archeological sites you can visit during your Peru trip. Each site has its own special charm and fascinating history, making your trip a truly unforgettable experience. So grab your backpack, put on your explorer hat, and let’s dive into the amazing world of Peru’s ancient wonders!

#1: Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, the world-famous “Lost City of the Incas,” is a must-visit destination during your Peru travel. This amazing fortress, high up in the Andes, shows the cleverness and building skill of the Inca Empire.

The town of Aguas Calientes serves as the gateway to Machu Picchu, offering a wide range of accommodations, restaurants, and amenities to cater to travelers. As you wander the town, you’ll be surrounded by lush cloud forests and the rushing Urubamba River, creating a magical atmosphere.


Machu Picchu is located in the Andes Mountains, and there are several ways to get there.

  • The most popular option is to take a train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, followed by a bus or hike up to the site. 
  • Another option is to hike the Inca Trail, which takes several days and requires a permit.

Once at the site, explore the iconic structures such as the Room of the Three Windows, the Intihuatana stone, and the Temple of the Sun.

#2: Choquequirao

Often referred to as the “Sister City” of Machu Picchu, Choquequirao is another stunning Inca site. It’s more remote and less visited than Machu Picchu, making it perfect for those who want to get off the beaten path during their Peru vacations. The site is surrounded by lush forests and cliffs, making it a breathtaking location to explore.

During your vacation to Peru, you can embark on a challenging 4-day trek from the town of Cachora, which is about 150 kilometers from Cusco. Once there, take in the unique terraces decorated with white stones forming a llama, which is visible from a distance. 


To reach Choquequirao:

  • Visitors must first travel to the town of Cusco. 
  • From there, they can either take a bus or hire a taxi to the trailhead. 
  • The trek to the site takes several days and requires a permit, which can be obtained through a tour operator or the government website.

Explore the main plaza and ceremonial center, where important rituals and celebrations take place. 

Visit the Usno, a large ceremonial platform that offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

#3: Pachacamac

During your Peru vacations, consider visiting Pachacamac, an ancient religious center located near Lima. This important pilgrimage site for various pre-Columbian cultures, including the Inca, features a mix of architectural styles, reflecting the different cultures that contributed to its development over time.

The best time to visit Pachacamac is during the dry season, from December to April when the weather is more suitable for exploring. Its proximity to Lima makes Pachacamac an ideal day trip during your travel to Peru.


Pachacamac is located just south of Lima. You can get there in a number of ways:

  • Easily accessible by car or public transportation.
  • Visitors can take a bus or taxi from Lima to the site.
  • Book a tour that includes transportation.


Key highlights of the site include the Temple of the Sun, which offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, and the Old Temple of Pachacamac, one of the site’s oldest structures, dedicated to the creator god Pachacamac. 

#4: Kuelap

Kuelap is a magnificent fortress built by the Chachapoyas civilization, hidden away in the lush cloud forests of northern Peru. This lesser-known gem is often referred to as the “Machu Picchu of the North” and is a must-see during your travel to Peru.

The fortress sits on a ridge, providing stunning vistas of Utcubamba Valley and nearby mountains. Charming guesthouses and local restaurants can be found in the nearby town of Chachapoyas, making it an excellent base for exploring the region.


To reach Kuelap:

  • Visitors must first travel to the city of Chachapoyas. 
  • From there, they can take a taxi or hire a tour guide to take them to the site. The journey takes several hours, but the stunning views and scenery make it well worth the trip.

Once there, you’ll be amazed by the massive stone walls, circular houses, and intricate carvings that adorn the site. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also take a thrilling cable car ride up to the fortress, offering incredible views along the way. 

#5: Sacsayhuaman

Sacsayhuaman is an enormous Inca fortress located just outside the city of Cusco. The site’s massive stone blocks and zigzagging walls showcase the Inca’s impressive engineering skills. As part of your Peru travel, Sacsayhuaman is an unmissable destination.

The fortress sits on a hill overlooking the city of Cusco, providing stunning panoramic views. Cozy accommodations and delicious eateries can be found in the city below, making it the perfect base for exploring the surrounding area.


Sacsayhuaman is located just outside of the city of Cusco. 

  • Easily accessible by car or on foot, following a scenic path that leads from Cusco’s main square.
  • Tourists can also book a tour that includes transportation.

While exploring the site during your Peru vacations, don’t miss the opportunity to climb the Rodadero natural rock slide, a popular spot for local children to play. 

Don’t Forget These Must-Have Items: Peru Travel Essentials

When visiting the top 5 archaeological sites in Peru, it’s important to come prepared. Here are some things to bring:

  • Comfortable walking shoes – all of these sites require a good amount of walking and exploring, so comfortable shoes are a must.
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat – the sun can be strong in Peru, especially at high altitudes.
  • Water bottles and snacks – it’s important to stay hydrated and fueled during your visits to these sites.
  • Camera or phone for taking photos – you’ll want to capture stunning views and unique experiences.
  • Warm clothing – for sites like Machu Picchu and Choquequirao, it can get chilly at night, so bring warm layers.
  • Cash or credit card – to purchase souvenirs or snacks at the site.
  • Passport and any required visas – make sure you have all necessary travel documents before your trip.

In addition to these items, be sure to check with your tour operator or guide for any specific recommendations or requirements for each site. And always remember to respect the site and the surrounding environment, and follow the rules and regulations set by the authorities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When is the Best Time to Travel to Peru for Tourists?

The best time to travel to Peru largely depends on the region you plan to visit. For the Andean highlands, including Machu Picchu and Cusco, the dry season from May to September is ideal. In contrast, the coastal regions, including Lima, are best visited during their dry season, which runs from December to April.

Is Peru Safe for Travel?

Yes, Peru is generally safe for travel. As with any destination, it’s essential to exercise caution, stay aware of your surroundings, and follow local safety guidelines. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, can occur in tourist areas during vacations to Peru, so be mindful of your belongings and avoid displaying valuables openly.

Can I Travel to Peru Right Now?

Travel to Peru is possible with some restrictions due to COVID-19. However, it is crucial to check the latest travel advisories and requirements from both your home country and the Peruvian government, as these guidelines can change rapidly in response to the evolving global situation.

What Are Some Attractions to Include in My Vacations in Peru?

Some must-see attractions to include in your vacation in Peru are the iconic Machu Picchu, the historic city of Cusco, the stunning Colca Canyon near Arequipa, and the diverse Amazon rainforest. Additionally, visit the Nazca Lines, the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, and the ancient site of Pachacamac near Lima.


Visiting these archeological sites in Peru will give you a unique and unforgettable experience. Each site offers a glimpse into the rich history and diverse cultures that have shaped this incredible country. 

When planning your Peru travel, consider the best time to visit each site, and take the time to immerse yourself in the stories of these ancient civilizations. Your journey through Peru will undoubtedly be filled with wonder, discovery, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Scroll To Top