When you hear Peru, you probably think Machu Picchu. Or Peruvian Food. Or maybe even the Amazon? Regardless… there’s a lot of other interesting things that you’ll find. Peru has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a trip to observe the most famous Inca ruins, to complete a challenging hike, visit a unique colonial city or even go to the beach, Peru is the perfect place.
What should I see when visiting Peru?
1. Machu Picchu, Cusco
Even if this is the most popular place in Peru, it’s definitely a required bucket list trip. Machu Picchu is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and is considered an UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
To get to Machu Picchu you’ll have to go to Cusco first and take a train to Aguas Calientes, the city at the base of Machu Picchu. Then you’ll have to choose between taking the bus or trekking to the top of the mountain, once there just enjoy the view and all of that Incan energy.
2. Treehouse Lodge, Iquitos
Iquitos is the capital of Loreto, the biggest state in Peru, and is the birthplace of the mighty Amazon River. In Iquitos you’ll find many excursions and tours where you’ll experience the magic of the jungle. Also, you’ll learn about the Peruvian native culture and may visit traditional places like Belen or the Monkey Island.
If you are looking for a unique place in Iquitos, you must consider one of our 12 unique treehouses in the middle of the jungle, as your next hotel room. Treehouse Lodge offers you a once in a lifetime experience including all the amazon river excursions, 3 meals per day, private guide and transportation from the airport to our ecolodge.
3. Lago Titicaca, Puno
The Titicaca lake (Lago Titicaca) is the largest lake in South America, it’s located in Puno, the capital of Juliaca, in the Peruvian Andes. Above the blue waters of Lake Titicaca you’ll see the Uros Islands. These man-made reed islands are the home of over 100 families and keep the most of their traditions and ancient knowledge.
Your travel through this beautiful lake can be complemented with a visit to Taquile Island, where you can spend a night in a local’s home and learn everything about the island’s long tradition of weaving.
4. Mancora, Piura
If you are looking for a beach destination in South America, Mancora is an ideal choice. This beach is in Piura, in the north of Peru. Mancora has one of the most popular beaches, and is well-known as a great place for surfing.
At this beach, you must try some traditional Peruvian dishes. Northern Peru has some of the best to offer! Also, you should note that Mancora has acquired a reputation as an incredible place to party and meet people from all over the world.
5. Rainbow Mountain, Cusco
A few years ago the Rainbow Mountain in Cusco was discovered and has since blown-up in popularity and now it’s becoming the second most visited site in Peru after Machu Picchu. This place is also known as Vinicunca, Winikunka, Montaña de Siete Colores, and Montaña de Colores.
To get there you need to take a tour from the main city of Cusco, a car will take you to Qesoyuno and there you’ll start the trek. It takes between 2 and 4 hours to get to the top, on the way to the top you’ll enjoy amazing views of snow-capped high-altitude Andes Mountains, wild llamas and alpacas, and of course the world-famous red rock scenery.
If you are looking for Iquitos as your next destination, Treehouse Lodge has the best travel tips to help you make the most of your travel to the Peruvian Amazon.
Iquitos: 10 Facts that make it a unique destination
1. Native Culture
If you want to truly experience the Peruvian native culture, Iquitos is the perfect place. Visit an Amazon community and interact with the river people who still preserve their traditions, ancient knowledge, and even language.
They are skillful craft makers. Consider purchasing some locally made handicrafts, the perfect Amazonian souvenir.
2. Flora and fauna of the Amazon
Iquitos is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Over time, many animals that normally lived in the ocean like dolphins and manatees have adapted to the fresh waters of the Amazon. Pink and gray dolphins are frequently spotted at the confluence of rivers. Also there are thousands of species of birds, monkeys, sloths and more.
3. The Iron House of Iquitos (La Casa de Fierro)
Located just off the main Plaza de Armas of Iquitos is the Iron House of Iquitos. Widely considered the finest samples of Civil Architecture in Peru, it’s one of the top-visited sites. It now features a restaurant on the second floor, overlooking the plaza.
One famous myth states that the origin of the Iron House began in France from a certain architect named Eiffel.
4. Outdoor activities: Excursions and Tours
There are a lot of things to do in Iquitos. The main attractions are the Amazon River excursions, fishing for piranhas, swimming or kayaking in the river. Visiting the Amazonian communities or going to the Belen Market are also popular as well.
Staying at the Treehouse Lodge is one of the most unique experiences on the planet. Our all-inclusive lodge has 12 unique treehouses in the middle of the jungle. Stay with us and you’ll see the rainforest from an entirely new perspective that most visitors never experience… the treetop canopy.
6. The Amazon River
Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest and has direct access to the mighty Amazon River.
7. The weather
Iquitos experiences a tropical climate with an average daily temperature of 30 – 32°C (86 – 90°F) and then cooler nights of 20 – 22°C (68 – 72°F). December – May brings high-water followed by the low-water season that spans from June – November.
8. Monkey Island
Monkey Island is absolutely packed full of monkeys, with nine different species roaming freely throughout the 200-hectare area. You could see a variety of monkeys, such as Wooly Monkeys and also Coati.
9. Medicinal Plants of the Amazon
The Amazon rainforest is like a green pharmacy. You can find forest medicines for headaches, stomachaches, hernias– even for diabetes. A lot of people look for Ayahuasca retreats but it’s important to do good research first.
10. Peruvian Food
Trying some Peruvian dishes is a must in your Iquitos to-do list. For example, Juane, a mixture of rice and herbs that cradles chicken pieces and is wrapped in banana leaves. Plantains are also a popular addition to many dishes like Pollo a la Brasa and the famous Tacacho which is plaintain mixed with fried egg and ham.
As an Amazon rainforest lodge, Treehouse Lodge is the perfect place to coexist with amazing and exotic jungle animals. During your stay, you’ll have the chance to see them in their natural habitat, learn about them, and take pictures of the following species.
Here’s a list of 5 amazing animals you’ll find during your vacation at the Treehouse Lodge:
Although our friendly neighbor Pablo (a domesticated sloth in the Puerto Miguel village) is the most famous sloth in the jungle, you will be able to see many more of them hanging upside down in the trees during your jungle walk excursions. Also, you can hug Pablo and take some pictures. Fact: Sloths are among the slowest-moving animals on Earth; they can swim but are virtually unable to walk.
2. Pink Dolphins
The Amazon River is home to a variety of species, many of which you’ll experience during your time with us. One of the most impressive is the pink dolphin. This is the largest species of river dolphin, with adult males reaching 185 kilograms (408 lb) in weight and 2.5 meters (8.2 ft) in length. During your stay at our rainforest treehouse, you’ll enjoy a sunrise or a sunset with the dolphins and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous you can jump in and swim with them in the Amazon river.
5 species of monkeys are often seen and heard right at our Amazon lodge in Iquitos. You’ll never forget the experience of 50 – 100 Squirrel Monkeys passing through the trees outside your treehouse or viewed from one of our canopy bridges. Many mornings you will be awakened by the eerie and notoriously frightening sound of Howler Monkeys. You can also choose to visit Monkey Island, which is one of our amazon river excursions and is home to multiple species of monkeys in the wild. On this excursion, you could see a variety of animal species, such as Wooly Monkeys and also Coati.
Piranhas are a fascinating, integral part of ecosystems all around the Amazon River. In your trip to Treehouse Lodge you’ll have the chance, not only to see them in their natural habitat, but to learn to fish them in the style of the natives of the Amazon: armed with a wooden pole, string, hook, and meat that you will lower as bait, into the water.
5. Leafcutter ants
When you arrive at Treehouse Lodge you will be surprised by the variety of insects but one of the most striking are the leaf cutter ants. According to their size, ants fulfill specific roles such as defenders of the colony, caretakers of the young, gardeners, foragers and leafcutter and they also practice advanced methods of sustainable agriculture.
As an eco-friendly hotel, Treehouse Lodge is dedicated to protecting the flora and fauna of the Peruvian Amazon. We’ve eliminated single-use plastics and we are using solar energy to power our retreat!
Machu Picchu is mysterious. So much is still unknown about this Wonder of the World. But there are many details that you should know before you travel to the Lost City of the Incas.
1. How to get to Machu Picchu
The first step it’s getting to Lima, Peru. Then take a flight to Cusco, which takes a little over an hour. There are only 3 ways to get to Machu Picchu.
Train: You can purchase a round-trip train ticket from PeruRail or Inca Rail, this is the easiest way to go. in both Lima and Cusco to buy the tickets and 3 stations where you can board: Poroy, Urubamba, or Ollantaytambo.
Trek: The famous Inca Trail sells out months in advance and needs to be booked through an accredited trekking company. It’s a 4-day hike that will take you past more than a half dozen Incan archaeological sites.
Car/ Trek: This might be the cheapest option, but it’s not as safe. You’ll need to arrange for transfer via car from Cusco to Santa Teresa (6-hour ride approx.), and this involves a long trek along the tracks from the Hydroelectric station to Aguas Calientes.
Aguas Calientes is the city at the base of the ruins. You can head directly to the mountain or to your hotel. This is a great place to spend a night. You can choose between hiking approximately 2 hours to the entrance, or taking a bus. A round trip ticket to and from Machu Picchu is about $25. It is open from 6:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
2. What is Machu Picchu?
It’s a 15th-century Inca site located on a ridge between the Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu mountains. Nobody really knows the original function of Machu Picchu. Some hypothesize it was a retreat for Incan royals; others believe it was a place for the Incan virgins to live.
Machu Picchu is a Quechua word that comes from Machu which means old or ancient, and Picchu meaning mountain, therefore, is translated as Old Mountain.
3. Huayna Picchu
The famous jagged mountain that looms behind the “Lost City” in photos is Huayna Picchu. Each day, just 400 people are permitted to hike it, so it’s important to get your ticket with some anticipation. Hiking is the only way to get there, the hike takes between 1.5 and 2 hours.
Machu Picchu (7,972′ feet) it’s lower than Cusco (11,152 feet) and is located northwest of Cusco and the Sacred Valley, down into the Amazon jungle. The elevation may cause some altitude sickness. To avoid it you could try “mate de coca“, a traditional herbal tea from Cusco, or took a pill before you arrive. Please consult with your doctor.
5. Machu Picchu Stamp
The passport-stamping station is located just to the left of the entrance to the Lost City of the Incas. You have until 5:00 pm to get the stamp. The least busy time is between 2:00 – 5:00 pm.
6. Best Time To Go
If you are looking for the perfect photo, you should go from May to October, during Peru’s dry season. Between June and July, it’s the crowdest time because Peruvians are on vacation and “Inti Raymi“, the festival of the sun is celebrated each year on June 24.
The Treehouse Lodge Blog
Welcome to the Treehouse Lodge Blog. We love Peru and want to share our knowledge of the country with you. Here you will find Peruvian travel tips, beautiful pictures, and highlights of the country. If you are headed to Peru, consider sleeping in one of our Treehouses.