For anyone planning their next solo trip to South America, Peru is a must on every traveler’s bucket list, not only for having one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, but because of the many exciting things to do there.
Our country is widely diverse, with adventures and experiences for every type of traveler and here we’ll tell you everything about those magical places that you simply can’t miss during your trip. Likewise, we have gathered some safety tips and recommendations so you can make the most of your experience.
Peru has a great touristic infrastructure and getting around the country is really easy if you have the right information. For that reason, we’ve come up with this segment to help you organize your trip according to your interests and, most importantly, so you can have a fun but safe experience.
Best Destinations for Solo Travelers in Peru
Our country is divided into three geographical regions and each of them has unique places to visit and distinctive cultural expressions. Depending on what you’re looking for, here we have gathered the top attractions to visit Peru as a solo traveler:
For those looking for a bit of adrenaline during their trip, Huaraz might have what you’re looking for. Also known as the Trekking Capital of Peru, it is one of the main travel destinations in the country since it comprises the mountainous paradise for every trekker.
For those who didn’t know, Huaraz is located in northern Peru, at an 8-hour drive from the city of Lima. This small city is the starting point to most treks going to the Huascaran National Park.
The Ancash region receives around 220,000 tourists per year, making it one of the most sought after travel destinations in Peru. This part of the Peruvian Andean mountain range holds peaks that surpasses the 6,000 meters of elevation among other natural wonders.
Therefore, those looking to get immersed in the natural heritage of our country are highly attracted by the distinctive scenery of the Cordillera Blanca since it offers the perfect setting for outdoor activities.
From multiple-day climbing tours to day trips, the Peruvian Switzerland could have everything you’ve been longing to do during your stay in South America. There are so many things to do in Huaraz that we needed to do a full guide about it, make sure to read it while you’re here!
In case you’re more into the coastside of the country, then Trujillo might be the right choice for you! This picturesque city in northern Peru holds the most authentic archeological sites and scenic beaches around it.
If you’d like to know another side of our pre-hispanic history, then the so-called City of Eternal Spring has the best options. Long before our era, many important civilizations established in these lands, leaving a legacy that paved the way to succeeding cultures, including the Incas.
Likewise, Trujillo is located only a few minutes away from the pacific coast and comprises the perfect surfing spot in Peru.
The Huanchaco beach is the perfect stop for those looking to just take a break from the tourist attractions, though it’s been gaining popularity over the years since it is located near such majestic archaeological sites and offers the perfect setting to surf in Peru.
Besides, the northern gastronomic expression is as delightful as you can imagine, this is surely the perfect place to try ceviche and a refreshing Pisco sour, while watching the sunset from the Pacific ocean’s shores.
Also, you’ll get to discover the Caballito de Totora, an ancient boat made entirely of totora reed, a tradition that has been carried out since pre-Inca times. Certainly an unmissable destination in northern Peru!
If your itinerary takes you to southern Peru, then Arequipa must be on your bucket list. Arequipa is the second-largest city of the country and holds the most impressive colonial center in Peru thanks to its architectural style and the use of a volcanic rock called Sillar Blanco.
Besides, the entire city is surrounded by three towering volcanoes, making its landscapes even more diverse and undeniably impressive. Arequipa is also the starting point for many adventure sports like white-water rafting in the Chili river and the Colca Canyon treks.
There are so many things to do in Arequipa, making it an unmissable attraction south of Lima, not only for its natural wonders but its history and cultural expression. Also, if you’re worried about altitude sickness, this could be the best place to start your adventure through the Andes since it’s located at 2,335 meters above sea level.
It would be a sin to leave the Imperial City of Cusco out of this listing since it is the main travel destination of Peru, not only for being home to Machu Picchu but because of its cultural expression and extensive history, where two eras collide in the very heart of the city.
Cusco is the most complete travel destination in the country, with attractions for all ages and sizes. This is every solo traveler’s favorite region thanks to the many things to do there. If you’re thinking about where you should stay longer in Peru, Cusco is the right option.
Here you’ll be able to take the most visually striking trails to different natural wonders and Machu Picchu itself. Luckily for you, we have prepared a blog with all the best day trips from Cusco so you can plan an unforgettable itinerary through the ancient lands of the Incas.
5. Tambopata National Reserve
Puerto Maldonado is a beautiful city located right at the heart of the southern jungle, connected to Bolivia and Brazil by the Interoceanic highway. This special spot is easily accessible by car from Cusco and by flight from Lima and Cusco airports.
If you’re visiting the Tambopata National Reserve, this will be your first stop! The city is known as the happiest entrance to the jungle, thanks to its impressive natural sceneries and cultural expression.
This national reserve is one of the most visited parts of the Peruvian jungle since it is easily accessible from the city of Puerto Maldonado. It is considered as one of the most biodiverse places on the planet since it gathers thousands of plant and animal species.
Therefore, it is very popular among visitors thanks to the different ecolodges that offer a total immersion in the lush nature of the region. Likewise, they look to promote and raise awareness about the importance and impact of this beautiful natural resource on the world.
Keep in mind that it would be best for you to plan your trip with a reliable travel agency rather than just trying to do everything on your own. There is a sea of tour operators in Peru and though we’d love to say everyone’s as reputable as they may seem, the situation is definitely not like that.
With a local travel agency, you will be able to know authentic places and to experience even more of the cultural expressions of the regions you’ll visit.
Most travel operators have exploited the same destinations for years, and unlike them, we’d love to take you off the beaten track so you can experience the real authenticity of Peru. Contact us now and we’ll make a tailor-made itinerary just for you!
But the main question is: Is Peru Safe for Solo Travelers?
Simply put, yes, Peru is a safe country to visit and its touristic infrastructure makes it totally reliable, especially for solo travelers. However, it doesn’t mean that you should stroll around with your guard down as petty crimes are a major thing throughout the Peruvian territory.
There are some precautions that you need to take as if you were in the busiest city of your country. For that reason, we recommend you to keep vigilant of your belongings and to stay in the cities’ touristy areas where the affluence of travelers is larger and national security is more compliant.
Pick-pocketing and robberies are very common, be aware among crowds since thieves might create distractions to target you. However, we don’t mean to scare you off by pointing this out, but to show you an unfortunate reality when traveling abroad.
That doesn’t mean that it could happen to you or that you’re traveling to a highly unsafe country, on the contrary, these are just precautions. In case of any inconvenience, there are government agencies specialized in tourism willing to assist you with any eventuality, such as the Tourist Police.
The Tourist Police or Policía de Turismo in Spanish, is another wing of national security which provides assistance to foreign travelers, though it’s more likely to find them in larger cities rather than the most rural and remote areas of the country.
It’s all about common sense and confidence while traveling abroad. If you’re aware of your surroundings and know where you’re going, the more people will think that you belong there and will respect your space.
Peru offers the perfect setting for any type of traveler and we would love to be part of your adventure! If you’d like to know more about the best things to do in Peru, make sure to check our travel packages and start planning your perfect vacation with us!