Peru continues to rank as one of the best tourist destinations around the world. In fact, the prestigious publication National Geographic has placed Peru on its list of best destinations to visit in 2023! Of course, the country is blessed with outstanding geography, fascinating culture, and iconic history, and is one of the most diverse countries on the planet!
This recognition by National Geographic is in line with the distinctions that Peru has recently obtained. In the regional edition of the World Travel Awards 2022, Peru won three accolades: Leading Culinary Destination, Leading Cultural Destination, and Leading Tourist Attraction in South America. Peru has received six nominations in the global edition of the World Travel Awards (WTA) 2022. The corresponding event will take place in November. Here is why Peru is a great destination to travel in 2023.
The choice of the best destinations to travel in 2023 falls into five categories:
Peru is the only South American country where you can experience each of the different Amazon regions that make up the entire world's jungle, and the Peruvian Amazon rainforest is potentially the most diverse and prolific section of all. A clear example of this is the Manu National Park, one of the areas with the greatest biodiversity in Peru, with at least 1,000 species of birds and more than 200 species of mammals. Another incredible area to mention is the Tambopata region, an ideal place to start getting to know the Amazon. It is in Tambopata where you will have the option of visiting the macaw clay licks where hundreds of parrots and macaws converge daily to eat the clay of cliffs. To give you an idea, on a jungle walk, you will have the possibility of seeing abundant wildlife, including parrots, macaws, monkeys, and if you are very lucky, you will see the amazing jaguar and the pink river dolphin!
Or you can also visit the amazing Sandoval Lake, where dozens of alligators, piranhas, turtles, and giant otters coexist. Also, as if that wasn’t enough, you can travel to Iquitos (north of Peru) and get to know the wonderful exclusive luxury cruises that sail by the Amazon River. On the different cruises, you will have the availability to travel the waters of the Amazon River with all the services you would expect from a 5-star hotel. This all-inclusive experience offers an intimate opportunity to observe the wildlife of the jungle. The Amazon in Peru covers a large area of the country, about 60% to be exact. Therefore, missing out on a visit to the Amazon would be something to regret when you take a Peru trip.
Within this framework, the Choquequirao archaeological complex, located in the Cusco region, has been named one of the five must-see adventure destinations for international tourists in 2023. Located 44 km southwest of Machu Picchu, at the jungle eyebrow of the Cusco region, over 3033 meters elevation. On the top of the mountain is located Choquequirao, the famous twin-city of Machu Picchu. This stone citadel is other jewelry that the Incas left to later generations and that the Spanish invaders could not touch it. Despite having a different architectural style from Machu Picchu, Choquequirao is as well-preserved as the wonder of the world. Awesome Andean terraces, enclosures, plazas, and temples will be waiting for you on your Choquequirao Trek.
The archaeologists and historians are still at the site conducting excavations and have the hypothesis that Choquequirao could have been an administrative center, food warehouse, and lookout point of the northern Cusco region. Even some believe that Choquequirao was a ceremonial center for The Pacha mama the other Inca deities. Definitely, visiting it is one of the best things to do in Peru. This remarkable site is generally free of tourists or crowds and of course, every effort has its reward, and to get to Choquequirao, you will be trekking for 4 days minimum.
If you plan to visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, you will most probably first pass through Cusco. The charming City of Cusco and once the Inca capital is a must-see for many travelers since the city is a starting point for tours to Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, and the Peruvian Amazon. It is in Cusco where you will fall in love with the Inca and contemporary culture, colonial art and paintings, Incas temples, and wonderful sunsets of this part of Peru. The city of Cusco is located in the Huatanay Valley, over 3450 meters elevation, in the high Andes. Cusco was the capital of the Incas empire (called Tawantinsuyo) and its downtown housed Inca temples, palaces, and squares (Canchas) among others. Nowadays, Spanish colonial churches are built on the foundations of ancient Inca temples. Also, its main square is one of the most beautiful you will see in South America.
Cusco is full of markets to buy souvenirs and some fascinating museums. Take the time to explore the cobbled streets of Cusco, where you will see Inca walls and terracotta roofs that will remind you of ancient European cities. Make sure to visit the Plaza de Armas of Cusco, the place where the important Inca festivity, Inti Raymi, occurs and the different historical buildings around it. The surrounding colonial churches such as the Church of the Company of Jesus and the Cathedral of Cusco are mandatory stops on any city tour. The Qoricancha is another place that you cannot miss. This was the main Inca temple at the height of the Empire that was later destroyed by the conquerors.
Peru continues to be recognized by the foreign press in the field of tourism. Thus, the prestigious publication Condé Nast Traveler included Ollantaytambo in its list of the best places in the world for 2023, and informed the Commission for the Promotion of Peruvian Exports and Tourism (PROMPERÚ). The British magazine's extensive international staff of writers proposed a list of worldwide destinations that were vetted by editors from the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, and India until finally a consensus was reached to choose the best places its readers should visit over the next 12 months. It should be noted that Ollantaytambo has been recognized for the good things it offers beyond its impressive archaeological site and its valuable historical center: coffee, distillates, local products, ecotourism activities and experiences, first-class alternative lodging, and above all, the encounter between tradition and modernity that reflects the best of the ancestral heritage found in the Sacred Valley.
The choice of destinations was determined by different criteria, but special attention was given to sites that are ready to receive tourists and that also offer the possibility of interacting with local communities through a more meaningful style of travel where a human connection can be achieved. In this regard, Condé Nast Traveler also highlighted the cultural value of the fiesta del Señor de Choquekillka (festival of the Lord of Choquekillka), one of the most important in the Sacred Valley, and recommended that its international readers organize their visit around this important event in the Cusco calendar.
Not only is Peru packed with world-renowned sights that most families wouldn’t dream of being able to see in their lifetime, but it is also packed with opportunities for your children (no matter what age) to learn and grow as young people. They can better appreciate nature and conservation in the Amazon, have their eyes opened to a more rustic way of living on the Uros Islands, and wrap their heads around the mysticism behind the Inca Empire, one of the world’s most revered civilizations.
Whether you take your children to Machu Picchu, the Amazon, Lima, or Lake Titicaca, though, the most important thing is your family is guaranteed to make precious memories that last a lifetime.