Natural locations, with a variety of eco-systems and a high degree of biodiversity in world terms; it is one the few countries in the world that can offer the traveler sun and beaches, snow sports, and adventure in the tropical jungle at any time of year.
Historical structures show the signs of civilization from Paleolithic times through various stages of Andean cultures until they reached their prime in the grand buildings of the Incas.
Folklore, with expressions of dance, music, gastronomy and crafts that are unique to each one of the regions.
The Misti volcano may be dormant, but Arequipa wakens every morning amidst a flurry of activity. And although the summit of the volcano is often wreathed by small clouds of smoke, the Arequipa townsfolk proud of their land, do not fail to invite visitors to stroll through the streets of white stone and traditional squares. The lordly city of Arequipa owes the characteristic hue of its houses and other constructions to the white sillar stone a quarried in the region
Founded as the Villa Hermosa de Nuestra Señora de Asunta (the Beautiful Villa of Our Lady of Asunta), Arequipa was recognized as a city in 1541. Throughout its history, Arequipa has also been the cradle of leading thinkers and politicians. Today, the visitor can take in the spectacular neo-Reanissance Cathedral, the impressive Santa Catalina Convent and colonial mansions and museums, all of which are reason enough to visit Arequipa. On the outskirts of the city one can find many other attractions. The Colca Valley is without a doubt the best-known both in Peru and abroad. Just four hours northeast of the city, the Colca boasts some of the most breath-taking landscapes in Peru: superb terracing, snow-capped peaks, dizzying canyons and towns dating back to the sixteenth century. There are 14 villages that have been preserved in the valley since those early colonial times, which the Spaniards used to settle the ancient Collagua and Cabana tribes, who had previously been scattered around the region. The visitors to the Colca Valley will surely be fascinated by the narrow streets and richly decorated churches. The Colca is also a haven for adventure sports fans.
Located in the department of Arequipa, the Colca Valley covers a series of beautiful trekking circuits which have been recently discovered for adventure tourism. The area features a network of practically endless trails that wind through the mountains, linking lovely colonial villages. The area is also studded with beautiful lakes, bizarre stone formations formed by wind erosion and unique flora and fauna such as Andean condors, vicuñas, queñual forests and clumps of yareta plants. The main attraction of the area is without a doubt the chain of snow-capped volcanoes, some of which are active. Mount Hualca Hualca 6,025 meters (19,762 feet), Sabancaya 5,976 meters (19,601 feet) and Ampato 6,288 meters (20,624 feet), among others.
One of the most popular trekking routes in the Colca is the trail that links the town of Cabanaconde and Tapay in a circuit that takes two to three days and gives hikers views of impressive landscapes, Cabanatowns such as Cosnihua and Malata, and many pre-Hispanic ruins.
The rustle of the long habits of the nuns seems to be impregnated into the walls in Santa Catalina. The alleys that run through the monastery - a city within a city - reveal its past, trapped between the sillar stone blocks and colonial oil paintings and between the high vaults and granite plazas. Santa Catalina located in the center of Arequipa covering an area of more than 29,426 square meters, is the pride of its townspeople. It is a masterpiece of colonial architecture, and houses some of the finest example of Spanish American religious art.
Puno is one of Peru's foremost tourist destinations and one of the most interesting spots on the continent. Few cities lie by the shores of such a extraordinary body of water as Lake Titicaca, the worlds highest navigable lake.
The Spaniards founded the city of Puno in 1668. It is a city rich in local mestizo art, the fusion of native and Spanish styles in its colonial balconies, weaving and pottery. A greater attraction lies a bare 10 blocks from the main square: Lake Titicaca, which covers an area of 8,560 square kilometers (5,307 square miles) and which local fishermen row across on rafts made from totora, a type of reed that grows along the shore. There are also motorboats for hire to visitors.
The lake is also dotted with dozens of islands, each of them with their own characteristics and peculiarities. The floating islands of the Uros, whose inhabitants descend from one of the oldest known tribes in the Americas, feature typical native huts made from reeds. The inhabitants of Taquile island, meanwhile, still use traditional weaving techniques that tourists can learn if they decide to stay the night there and accept the traditional hospitality of the locals. Other cities around the department like Pucará, stand out for their superb pottery, while visitors can explore the chullpa stone burial towers at Sillustani, built by the Tiahuanaco culture. The area is also famous, for its traditional festivals such as the Virgen de la Candelaria and dances like the Diablada, celebrated in February, an ideal time to visit the area.
The ancient Chimú kingdom (700-1400 AD) founded their capital by the banks of the Moche River in the department of La Libertad and called it Jang-Jang, which in the ancient Mochica language means sun-sun.
Chan Chan, which spans an area of 20 square km, is the largest mud-brick citadel dating back to the pre-Hispanic era. The Chimú architects used materials which enable the citadel to blend in with the sandy coasts such as mud, clay, pebbles,wood,reeds,straw and cane to built it.
The complex is made of many cities within a city. Each one has its own single entrance and leads down a corridor that opens into other passageways lining walls and buildings. Featuring some marvelous rectangular architecture: such as inner patios, residences, administrative buildings, temples, platforms and storehouses. The walls are decorated with haut-relief friezes done in geometric and animal figures. The T-shaped platform that houses the king´s burial chamber is the most important construction in the complex. The citadel is surrounded by outlying quarters which houses the kingdom's producers and servants.