It is wonderful to travel around the world and should be a bucket list for everyone. However, sometimes the only places you can visit are crowded with tourists and don’t give you a lot of the cultural history. It can be hard to find the unique places that aren’t part of the standard travels and are off of the beaten path.
If you want to visit some distinct parts of Peru that aren’t often included in the regular travel guides, we have some options for you. Some require a long drive out of big cities, but the trip is well worth it.
Keep reading to learn about the top places in Peru that will leave a lasting memory and aren’t packed with tourists.
Casa de Fierro
If you are an architecture buff, it is definitely worth visiting the Casa de Fierro, also known as the Iron House. It is said to have been designed by Gustave Eiffel, the designer for the Eiffel tower. However, there is no connection between him and the building, and it doesn’t fit his regular work.
This leads to a lot of mystery surrounding the building that attracts many people interested in architectural designs and history.
There is a souvenir shop on the bottom floor where you can get trinkets and gifts to remind you of your trip.
It even features a restaurant on the second floor, so you can enjoy the architecture and get a good meal. It also offers stunning views of the square, so you can take in the sights both inside and outside the building as you eat.
The restaurant also boasts the best coffee in the city, if you need a little pick-me-up.
Santuario de la Virgen del Rosario de Polloc
This church is definitely off the beaten path. It resides in a tiny village known as Polloc, a 40-minute bus journey outside of the nearest major city. The church is full of beautiful mosaics created by a local artist and his students.
It took them over 10 years to complete these murals, and you can see all the details they put in the building. The church and grounds are covered in detailed mosaics featuring religious figures and stories.
However, the mosaics are not the only part of the church that are made with intricate detail. Their wood balconies and doors are breathtaking. There are even details around the ground that present various scenes for you to enjoy.
If you enjoy religious features or beautiful works of art, this is definitely worth the trip.
Kuelap is a beautiful fortress. It is considered to be some of the most breathtaking and the largest pre-Columbian ruins in the whole of South America. They may only be rivaled by the much more famous, Machu Picchu.
Some towering walls and strongholds on site which allow only one person through at a time. There are also beautiful pieces of architecture found throughout the walls and buildings. It is vastly different from other historical sites in Peru.
Despite its history and beauty, Kuelap doesn’t see nearly as many tourists. Until recently, the only way to access the site was via a six-mile hike. However, in 2017, they installed a cable car. There is also now a road available, but it is a narrow, mountain road that takes an hour and a half to drive through.
This makes it a place that not many tourists will see, as it is so far off from normal travel destinations. However, if you are willing and able to put in the time, you can find a one-of-a-kind fortress that isn’t overly crowded.
Huarmey is a beautiful, but a small town in Peru. Despite being one of the largest cities in the Ancash Region, they are still fairly small. They have several beautiful beaches, such as Tuquillo and Antivito Beach. If beaches aren’t your thing, there are also two major rivers in the area: the Huarmey River and Rio Culebras.
There are a few archaeological sites located near one of the beaches as well, so you can take in some history when you want a change of scenery. If something more peaceful is what you are looking for, there is also a place known as La Cocha, which hosts a variety of wildlife, and is known as a water mirror. It is nearly an hour’s drive but offers a tranquil stroll to any that desire peace and quiet for a little bit.
The area is actually known for its cordial nature and willingness to accommodate and welcome all visitors, so you know you will be surrounded by friendly people.
While you can sleep on the beach, if you have a little extra money on hand, you can spend the night in a beautiful hotel that offers free WiFi and breakfast.
If you want another site that is reminiscent of Machu Picchu without the heavy crowds, Rupac might be the next place to try. These ruins were built from the Los Atavillos culture, which originated near Lake Titicaca. Later, the site was taken over by the Inca and included some of their architecture.
It is an impressive feat of design, having survived hundreds of years of weathering and a fair amount of visitors and earthquakes. It still stands tall and proud, with many structures still standing almost at their full height.
This site works best for those that like a bit of exercise. To get to it, you will take a three-hour hike that is mostly uphill. The views alone are worth it, with dazzling sunsets and a clear view of the night sky. In fact, the night scene is so beautiful that many companies that offer tours do it as a 2-day trip, so you can really take in the sights.
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