Machu Picchu Mountain Hike 2023

Machu Picchu Mountain Hike 2023

Machu Picchu Mountain Hike, is a majestic mountain that towers over the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu in Peru. The mountain offers a challenging hike for adventurous travelers, and the views from the top are truly breathtaking.

The hike begins at the entrance to Machu Picchu and follows a steep, winding trail that climbs through lush vegetation and ancient Incan ruins. Along the way, hikers will pass through dense forests of moss and ferns, as well as terraced fields that were once used by the Incas for agriculture.

The hike to the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain is a must-do for any adventurous traveler visiting the area. It’s important to be in good physical condition, as the hike is steep and challenging. It’s also a good idea to start early to avoid the crowds and the heat of the day. Visitors are limited to 400 per day, so it’s best to book in advance.

Overall, the Machu Picchu Mountain hike is an unforgettable experience that combines adventure, history, and natural beauty, making it one of the most popular trekking destinations in the world. The journey to the top will reward you with a panoramic view of the ancient Inca citadel, and the memory of the hike will stay with you forever.

Important Facts About Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu, the ancient Incan citadel located in the Andes Mountains of Peru, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many travelers. Here is some useful information to help plan your visit:

  • Entry Tickets: It is necessary to purchase tickets in advance as the number of daily visitors is limited. You can purchase tickets through the official website of the Machu Picchu Park or through authorized travel agencies.
  • Best time to visit: The best time to visit Machu Picchu is between May and September, when the weather is dry and mild. The rainy season is between October and April, and the heavy rain can make the trails muddy and slippery.
  • Transportation: The most common way to reach Machu Picchu is by taking the train to Aguas Calientes and then a bus up to the citadel. You can also hike to Machu Picchu along one of the several Inca trails.
  • Guided tours: Guided tours are available and can be a great way to learn more about the history and significance of the site.
  • Altitude sickness: Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) above sea level, so it’s important to be aware of altitude sickness, which can cause symptoms such as headache, nausea, and fatigue.
  • Dress code: The dress code for Machu Picchu is strictly enforced, and visitors are expected to dress modestly, covering their shoulders and knees.
  • Respect the site: Machu Picchu is a sacred and fragile site, so it’s important to respect the rules and guidelines set by the park. Climbing on the ruins, littering, and smoking are not allowed.
  • By keeping these tips in mind, you can make the most of your visit to Machu Picchu and enjoy this incredible ancient site.

Recommendations to Visit Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Mountain Hike, the ancient Incan citadel located in the Andes Mountains of Peru, is a must-see destination for many travelers. To make the most of your visit, here are some recommendations:

  • Plan ahead: Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance as the number of daily visitors is limited. Also, it’s a good idea to plan your itinerary and book accommodations early to avoid disappointment.
  • Timing is everything: The best time to visit Machu Picchu is between May and September, when the weather is dry and mild. If possible, try to avoid peak season as it can be crowded.
  • Take the right transportation: The most common way to reach Machu Picchu is by taking the train to Aguas Calientes and then a bus up to the citadel. You can also hike to Machu Picchu along one of the several Inca trails.
  • Consider a guided tour: Guided tours are available and can be a great way to learn more about the history and significance of the site.
  • Be prepared for altitude: Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) above sea level, so it’s important to be aware of altitude sickness, which can cause symptoms such as headache, nausea, and fatigue. Make sure to take it easy and stay hydrated.
  • Dress appropriately: The dress code for Machu Picchu is strictly enforced, and visitors are expected to dress modestly, covering their shoulders and knees.
  • Respect the Inca Site: Machu Picchu is a sacred and fragile site, so it’s important to respect the rules and guidelines set by the park. Climbing on the ruins, littering, and smoking are not allowed.

By following these recommendations, you’ll be able to fully experience the magic of Machu Picchu and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Machu Picchu Mountain Hike Schedules 2023

The alternative route to the Machu Picchu Mountain will have 400 places per day, divided into 2 schedules, the first one from 07:00 to 08:00 and the second one from 08:00 to 09:00. Visitors must enter the Inca Trail directly and leave the monument by the same route. This type of ticket includes the possibility of returning to Machu Picchu to visit the small tour 3 (yellow).

The first tour is perfect for those who stay an extra night in the village of Aguas Calientes and decide to do the mountain hike alone the next day, or for those who want to do the citadel tour after the Machu Picchu Mountain hike.

But there is a disadvantage: you will be tired after a total trek of 3 hours (round trip) and then you will continue the visit to the citadel of Machu Picchu with your guide (about 2 to 3 hours).

The second tour is suitable for those who come to Machu Picchu after having done different treks, such as the following Inca Trail 2 days, Salkantay Trek, Huchuy Qosqo, Quarry Trail, Lares Trek, Inca Jungle Trek or the train tour.

The guided tour starts at 6am at the citadel of Machu Picchu until 8am, then you go up the mountain after the guided tour.

Note: this only works during the dry season, from April to October, because during the rainy season Machu Picchu remains foggy until 10am and it is recommended to start the guided tour at 9am.

The Trail to Machu Picchu

The trail to Machu Picchu Mountain Hike is a popular hike for those visiting the ancient Incan site in Peru. The trail can be challenging and steep in some parts, but it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The trail winds its way through lush vegetation and ancient Incan ruins, passing through dense forests of moss and ferns and terraced fields that were once used by the Incas for agriculture.

The trail begins at the entrance to Machu Picchu and takes about 2 hours to reach the summit. Along the way, hikers will encounter several Incan ruins, including the Temple of the Moon, which offers an up-close look at the incredible stonework of the Incas. The summit of the trail offers panoramic views of the ancient city of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains.

It’s important to note that the trail to Machu Picchu is steep and challenging, so it’s recommended that hikers be in good physical condition. It’s also a good idea to start early to avoid the crowds and the heat of the day. It’s also recommended to bring plenty of water and snacks for the hike.

It’s also important to take into account the altitude; Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 2,430 meters (7,970 feet) above sea level, so it’s important to be aware of altitude sickness, which can cause symptoms such as headache, nausea, and fatigue.

Overall, the trail to Machu Picchu is a challenging but rewarding hike that offers a unique perspective of the ancient Incan site and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

How to buy Machu Picchu Mountain Tickets in 2023

Here are the steps to purchase Machu Picchu Mountain tickets:

  • Visit the official website of the Ministry of Culture of Peru at www.machupicchu.gob.pe.
  • Click on the “Entrada” (entry) button on the homepage.
  • Select the date and type of ticket you wish to purchase, including the Machu Picchu Mountain tickets.
  • Fill in the required personal information for each person in your party.
  • Pay for your tickets using a credit or debit card.
  • Print out your tickets and bring them with you to Machu Picchu on the day of your visit.
  • It is worth noting that, as per 2023, you need to make a reservation before buying the ticket, and the reservation is not included in the ticket price. There are two time slots for visiting Machu Picchu, the morning and the afternoon.
  • Also, to visit the mountain you need to have the Machu Picchu entrance ticket and the Huayna Picchu mountain ticket. Both of them are separate tickets, and you need to buy them separately.

How to get Machu Picchu Mountain from Machu Picchu 2023

First, you will need to have a valid Machu Picchu Mountain ticket, which can be purchased along with your Machu Picchu entrance ticket.

Once you have entered the Machu Picchu ruins, you will need to make your way to the designated starting point for the Machu Picchu trail. This is located turn left in the direction of the guardhouse, you will find a sign that will guide you to the correct path. This is the same path that takes you to the Sun Gate, which is the main entrance for those who have arrived at Machu Picchu through the Inca Trail.

The hike to the summit of Machu Picchu is steep and can be challenging, so it’s important to be in good physical condition and to wear appropriate footwear. The hike takes around 30 minutes to reach the summit.

Along the way, you will pass through dense jungle, cross streams and climb steep staircases. There are also several lookout points where you can catch your breath and take in the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and Machu Picchu ruins.

Once you reach the summit, you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, including the Machu Picchu citadel and the Urubamba River.

After visiting the summit, you will need to return the same way you came and make your way back to the Machu Picchu citadel. Be aware that the last entry to Huayna Picchu is at 12:00 pm, so plan your hike accordingly.

It is important to be aware of the weather conditions, as the trail can be slippery when wet and the weather can be unpredictable in the mountains.

Machu Picchu Mountain Details

  • Altitude of Machu Picchu Mountain: 3,080 m /10,104 ft.
  • Altitude Elevation gain: 650 m/ 2,132 feet.
  • Machu Picchu Restrictions: There are no age restrictions for climbing Machu Picchu Mountain but some of the steps are big for kids.
  • Hiking distance: 3.9 km / 2.42 miles
  • Machu Picchu Location: Machu Picchu Mountain is located on the opposite side of Huayna Picchu Mountain.
  • Daily entrances: 400 spaces per day.
  • Hiking Time: 3 hours and a half (round trip). The amount of time to hike up to Machu Picchu Mountain depends on the physical condition of the person
  • Difficulty: Difficult (2/5).
  • Nature: You will encounter a diversity of orchids, butterflies, and birds.
  • Benefits: Less steep routes, offering panoramic views of the Inca City, Huayna Picchu Mountain and Salkantay glacier.
  • Drawbacks: It lacks archaeological remains and the climb to the summit can be challenging.

Prices to Visit machu Picchu Mountain Hike

A permit to visit the Machu Picchu Mountain has a cost of 200 PEN (soles) or US$65 (£40) which includes the entrance fee to the Machu Picchu Citadel which is currently 152 PEN. An additional cost of 48 PEN or US$15 is required for the Huayna Picchu mountain permit. Students with a valid international student card are eligible for a discounted price, which is half the cost of the regular permit.

Visit Machu Picchu Mountain Hike at 7 am or 8 am

Both time slots for visiting the Machu Picchu Mountain have their own advantages and disadvantages. Hiking at 7:00 am, like Huayna Picchu, offers cooler temperatures and a more comfortable hike. However, those who choose the 8:00 am hike will have to contend with higher temperatures, which may require more breaks and more water to reach the summit.

On the other hand, during the rainy season (December to March), there is a higher likelihood of encountering mist in the early mornings, which can completely obstruct the view from the summit of Machu Picchu mountain for those who choose the earlier time slot.

FAQs About Visiting Machu Picchu Mountain Hike

When should I purchase tickets for the Machu Picchu Mountain hike?

To hike the Machu Picchu Mountain, it is recommended to purchase tickets at least a month in advance, particularly during the high season (May to October). However, during the low season (November to March), it may be possible to find availability even closer to the date of your visit. Keep in mind that during certain festivals, such as Holy Week, Christmas, and New Year, tickets for the Machu Picchu Mountain may sell out up to two months in advance.

Are children allowed to hike the Machu Picchu Mountain?

There is no age restriction for hiking the Machu Picchu Mountain. However, Go Treks Peru recommends that the minimum age should be 8 years old due to the steep sections that may be difficult for young children. Parents should also be aware that there are narrow paths on the hike.

Is the hike to Machu Picchu Mountain dangerous?

The hike is considered safe as long as you stick to the designated trail. However, extra care should be taken on narrow paths and during rainy conditions.

Where can I find the best views on the Machu Picchu Mountain hike?

If your goal is to see the Machu Picchu citadel from above, it is recommended to only go halfway up the mountain. However, if you wish to see the Glacier peaks, the last part of the Inca Trail, and the Machu Picchu citadel, it is recommended to reach the summit for a full 360-degree view.

Is the Machu Picchu Mountain hike worth it?

Absolutely, the hike to the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain is a once in a lifetime experience that offers breathtaking views of the Machu Picchu citadel and the surrounding lush green mountains.

Can I hike the Machu Picchu Mountain without a tour guide?

Yes, it is possible to hike the mountain without a tour guide. The trail is a one-way path and well-marked, making it easy to follow. However, if you prefer, you can also hire a guide through your travel company for an additional cost.

What items to bring to Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and being prepared with the right gear can make all the difference in your experience. Here are some essential items to bring with you on your journey:

  • Comfortable and sturdy footwear: The trails at Machu Picchu can be steep and rocky, so a good pair of hiking boots or trail shoes is essential. Make sure they are well-broken-in and provide good support for your feet.
  • Water and snacks: The altitude and the hike can make you thirsty, so make sure to bring enough water to keep you hydrated. Also, bring some snacks to keep your energy levels up during the hike.
  • Sun protection: The sun can be intense at Machu Picchu, so bring a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  • Rain jacket and extra layers: The weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, so bring a lightweight rain jacket and extra layers to keep you warm and dry in case of rain.
  • Camera: The views at Machu Picchu are truly breathtaking, so make sure to bring a camera to capture the memories.
  • Personal hygiene items: It is always a good idea to bring hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and a small towel to freshen up.
  • Passport: You need to show your passport when entering the site, so don’t forget to bring it with you.
  • Cash: There are no ATMs in the area, so bring enough cash to pay for your entrance tickets, souvenirs, and any other expenses.

Remember, less is more when it comes to packing for a hike, so pack light and make sure that you are comfortable carrying your backpack. With these essentials, you’ll be well prepared to enjoy the beauty of Machu Picchu.

Explore the best beaches in Peru according to local experts, including Paracas, Mancora, Huanchaco, and many more. These incredible Peru beaches have something to offer to everyone.

Sunset over the Pacific ocean dotted with lava rocks from Mancora beach in Northern Peru.

Sunset over the Pacific from Mancora beach in Northern Peru. Photo by AlCortés on Flickr.

You probably know Peru better for the Andes mountains that cradle Cusco and Machu Picchu and for the Amazon rainforest’s mind-blowing biodiversity. But you might be surprised to know that there are many wonderful and impressive Peru beaches that are well worth a stop on your trip. Although it doesn’t have the white sands and bath temperature waters of places like the Caribbean, Peru has an amazingly diverse and beautiful coastline.

Below you’ll find our top 20 best Beaches in northern Peru. There’s truly something for everyone along Peru’s shores!

1. Punta Sal (Tumbes Region)

Punta Sal is Peru’s top beach when it comes to your typical beach retreat.  The sun shines here nearly every day of the year, and the beaches have incredibly fine sand. The warm waters are teeming with marine life thanks to warm and cold water currents. It is the most developed in regard to accommodations and has some of the most luxurious, all-inclusive beachfront resorts in the country. From your resort, you can enjoy a number of activities from beach volleyball to kayaking, and water skiing to cruising around on a yacht.

Palm trees and beach chairs dot the beach in Punta Sal, Peru.

Soft sand and palm trees at Punta Sal beach. Photo by Incacity on Flickr.

Ranked for:

  • Resorts
  • Fine sand
  • Warm water
  • Relaxation
  • Water sports
  • Seafood
  • Tourist friendly
  • Marine life

2. Máncora (Piura Region)

Mancora in the last few years has seen a major transformation from a quiet fishing town to a major beach destination. Although most famous for its party scene and bohemian backpacker vibe, Mancora is becoming a global tourist attraction with a variety of activities. Travelers come from all over to enjoy the soft sand, the surf, and the seafood. There is a variety of accommodations from super cool hostels to romantic beach resorts. and is a popular beaches in Peru.

Surfer turning on a wave as it breaks behind him.

Surf all day, party all night at Máncora beach. Photo by Bruno Ahlgrimm on Flickr.

Ranked for:

  • Nightlife
  • Fine sand
  • Warm water
  • Relaxation
  • Surfing
  • Tourist friendly
  • Accommodations for all budgets
  • Seafood 
  • Marine life

3. Playa Roja (Ica, Region)

Located in the Paracas National Reserve next to the town of Paracas, Playa Roja has the most beautiful coastal landscape of all the beaches in Peru and is well worth a visit even though you can’t swim here. Nature enjoyed playing with its primary colors with the volcanic red sand, the mustard yellow desert cliffs, and the bright blue ocean. You’ll find an incredible number of marine species, such as sea lions, dolphins, Humboldt penguins, and blue-footed boobies. In the town of Paracas, you can enjoy swimming and kayaking, tours of the Ballestas Islands, as well as more adventurous activities such as hiking, dune buggying, and ATV tours.

Yellow desert meets foaming blue ocean waves at Playa Roja in the Paracas National Reserve.

The yellow, red and blue coastline of Playa Roja in the Paracas Natural Reserve. Photo by Inti Runa Viajero on Flickr.

Ranked for:

  • Landscapes
  • Wildlife 
  • Turquoise water
  • Resorts
  • Water sports
  • Adventure activities
  • Easy to get to
  • Archeological sites
  • Seafood
  • Tourist friendly

4. Huanchaco (La Libertad Region)

Huanchaco was a fishing center and port for over a thousand years for the Chimú and Moche peoples; the archeological site of Chan Chan, the largest city of pre-Columbian South America is just down the road of the beaches in Peru. To this day you can still find caballitos de totora, traditional fisherman’s rafts used in the area for over 3,000 years. Not only is this area a historical treasure, but also a surf haven. In 2012, Huanchaco gained status as a World Surfing Reserve. To top it all off, researchers also believe Huanchaco to be the birthplace of ceviche, Peru’s world-famous seafood dish.

Sunset over a century-old pier in Huanchaco, Peru with people swimming in the low surf.

Sunset behind the pier of Huanchaco. Photo by Michael Wieck of Peru For Less.

Ranked for:

  • Surfing
  • Seafood
  • Culture
  • Archeological sites
  • Relaxation
  • Local feel

5. Playa de la Mina (Ica Region)

Playa de la Mina is named after an old nearby coal mine but you would no longer be able to tell given how beautiful the beach is. Located just outside of the town of Paracas, it’s easy to get to with plenty of accommodation options nearby. Because it’s within the Paracas Natural Reserve, it’s well taken care of, equipped with informational plaques and a railed path leading down to the beaches in Peru. It’s one of the best swimming spots in all of Paracas with its calm, bright aquamarine water. Yet it still has an off the beaten path feel with few tourists.

Ranked for:

  • Landscapes
  • Wildlife 
  • Turquoise water
  • Calm waters
  • Tourist friendly
  • Remote
  • Resorts and hotels
  • Easy to get to

6. Tuquillo (Ancash Region)

Located about 4 hours north of Lima just off the Panamerican Highway is a beautiful circuit of beaches called Tuquillo. The waters are aquamarine-colored and crystal clear, and the beaches have soft sand surrounded by picturesque rock formations. Right next to Tuquillo is a small beach called La Pocita, which is called the pool of the Pacific Ocean due to its beautiful turquoise tidepools. Tuquillo beach has also been awarded an eco-beach prize (Premio Ecoplaya) for its cleanliness and conservation.

Light turquoise pools are created by lava rock formations at Tuquillo beach in Peru.

Light turquoise tidepools at Tuquillo beach. Photo by Michael Wieck of Peru For Less.

Ranked for:

  • Turquoise water
  • Fine sand
  • Landscapes
  • Cleanliness
  • Remote

7. Chicama (La Libertad Region)

The humble town of Chicama is home to the not-so-humble longest left-breaking waves in the world. Legend has it that a Hawaiian surfer saw the waves from a plane and later wrote to some Peruvian friends to help him locate it. On a good day with 6-foot-plus swells, surfers can expect to ride the wave for over a mile. The local surf resort even has a towback service so you don’t have to paddle or hike back up the beaches in Peru to catch your next wave. Despite such great surf, the town remains small and unassuming with simple accommodations for surfers.

Sunset behind cliffs framing the smooth sandy beach of Chicama.

Sunset at Chicama beach. Photo by neverything on Flickr.

Ranked for:

  • Surfing
  • Fishing
  • Relaxation
  • Local feel

8. Las Pocitas (Piura Region)

Playa Las Pocitas is known as Máncora Chico, or Little Mancora. Located just down the way, it’s much more tranquil than its big, party town brother. Pools of oceanfront hotels look out onto a row of picturesque palm trees and a dark turquoise sea. You’re sure to have a peaceful stay in a lounge chair or shaded beach bed listening to the waves.

Ranked for:

  • Fine sand
  • Warm water
  • Relaxation
  • Accommodations
  • Marine life

9. Cerro Azul (Lima Region)

Cerro Azul may sound familiar to all of you Beach Boys fans out there. That’s because the band name drops this beach in their 1962 song “Surfin’ Safari.” Although you’ll still see surfers “angling in Laguna in Cerro Azul,” this beach also draws plenty of families looking to hang out on the shore under colorful beach umbrellas. Those looking to be more active can hike up the Cerro at the end of the beach and check out the El Fraile (The Monk) rock formation. Cerro Azul is only a couple of hour’s drive south of Lima.

Ranked for:

  • Surfing
  • Cool rock formations
  • Local feel
  • Easy to get to

10. Cabo Blanco (Piura Region)

“He always thought of the sea as ‘la mar’ which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her.” Cabo Blanco was already well known in the 1950s and 60s for incredible sport fishing, luring the likes of Ernest Hemingway who later made it the setting of his novel The Old Man and the Sea. Nowadays you won’t find the giant marlin of those decades, but the beach has become an international destination for surfers drawn to its powerful left surf break.

Ranked for:

  • Surfing 
  • Seafood 
  • Warm water
  • Fine sand
  • Relaxation
  • Local feel
  • Marine life

11. Camaná (Arequipa Region)

Camaná is the most popular beach for Arequipeños, or residents of the city of Arequipa, and for good reason. It is considered the cleanest beach in all of Peru and has calm waters perfect for relaxing and splashing around. Here you’ll find some phenomenal seafood, including the typical arequipeño dish chupe de Camarones, an intensely flavorful shrimp soup. There are also some neat archeological sites nearby, including the pre-Inca cemetery Cerro Mil Hojas and the Quilca petroglyphs.

Ranked for:

  • Calm waters
  • Cleanliness
  • Seafood
  • Archeological sites

12. Vichayito (Piura Region)

Vichayito is another chill little beach south of Mancora. During the summer season, it’s the perfect swimming spot since its shores are virtually rockless. And during the off-season when the winds pick up it transforms into a kite and windsurfing hot spot. In between surf sessions, you can relax while sunbathing or in a lounge chair under an aesthetic straw beach umbrella.

View over Vichayito beach framed by straw sun shade and palm tree.

Palm trees, fine sand, and warm waters of Vichayito. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Ranked for:

  • Fine sand
  • Warm water
  • Relaxation
  • Water sports
  • Seafood
  • Marine life

13. Asia (Lima Region)

Asia is one of the most frequented Lima beaches for weekend getaways from the city, at only an hour’s drive south. Many limeños, or Lima residents, have summer homes there or rent for a weekend or even a week or two for summer vacation. The beaches in Peru have been heavily developed so that there is truly something for everyone. You can hang out at the beach, go shopping at one of the many malls and boutiques, dine at nice restaurants, go to the movies, party at fancy clubs, or even go golfing. Be aware that the water is pretty chilly here so mixing up your activities is probably the way to go.

Ranked for:

  • Modern
  • Nightlife
  • Restaurants
  • Golfing
  • Shopping
  • Easy to get to
  • Fancy beach rentals

14. Los Órganos (Piura Region)

Los Órganos is an up-and-coming tourist beach for those looking for nice sand and tranquility. You can grab yourself a private little beachfront bungalow surrounded by palm trees and enjoy some sand and sun all year round. There are also a few surf points for those who want to earn their downtime. The town may not have much going on, but it will cover your basic necessities for places to stay, food, and banks.

Orange and purple sunset at Los Organos beach framed by palm leaves.

Sunset at Los Órganos. Photo by neil on Flickr.

Ranked for:

  • Fine sand
  • Warm water
  • Surfing 
  • Relaxation
  • Local feel

15. Costa Verde (Lima Region)

The best place to look out over the ocean and catch the sunset in Lima is the Malecón, a park that runs along the city’s cliffside. However, if you’re looking to get up close and personal with the Pacific waves, you can venture down to the beach below. The Costa Verde beaches aren’t much to look at and parts are very rocky, but there are some incredible spots for surfing. The beaches in Miraflores and Barranco both have shopping centers and restaurants, including Rosa Nautica at the end of a pier. There is also the Chorrillos district with its local fish market, colorful little fishing boats, and pelicans waiting for fishermen to drop some of their catch.

Ranked for:

  • Surfing
  • Restaurants
  • Shopping
  • Accommodations for all budgets
  • Easy to get to
  • History
  • Culture

16. Pimentel (Lambayeque Region)

Just seven miles away from the city of Chiclayo, Pimentel is a modern beach with plenty of convenient infrastructure for tourists. In the 1920s, it was a major port town and the end of a railway line for sugar production and shipping, the remnants of which you can still see on the pier. You can walk along the boardwalk, enjoy ceviche at a beachfront restaurant, and even take a ride on a caballito de totora, a traditional pre-Columbian fishing raft.

Light colored sand with a row of yellow beach umbrellas next to a pier leading into the ocean.

Yellow beach umbrellas dot Playa Pimentel. Photo by Inti Runa Viajero on Flickr.

Ranked for:

  • Seafood
  • Tourist friendly
  • Culture
  • History
  • Surfing 

17. Zorritos (Tumbes Region)

Zorritos first became a popular beach for the aristocracy from the nearby city of Tumbes during an oil boom off its shore. Although the oil business there is no more, visitors can still see the perforation platforms way out in the water. The beach is now frequented mostly by locals as well as some tourists, with a handful of nice little hotels and restaurants in the area. You can even take a scuba diving tour around the oil platforms to see how the structures have been taken over by marine life.

Cloudless orange sky at sunset with silhouette of straw beach umbrella at Los Zorritos, Peru.

Sunset at Los Zorritos in Northern Peru. Photo by José Luis Zapata Ruiz on Flickr.

Ranked for:

  • Fine sand
  • Warm water
  • Relaxation
  • Local feel
  • Marine life

18. Lobitos (Piura Region)

Lobitos once was a happening port town, welcoming cruise ships from Europe, as well as serving as a military base. Today, in comparison to nearby Mancora and Cabo Blanco, Lobitos looks a bit derelict with its abandoned buildings and sparsely populated beach. However, this is a prime spot for surfers. The space is much more open for swells than Mancora and Cabo Blanco so you’ll have a lot more waves to ride, especially if you’re looking for left handed ones.

Ranked for:

  • Surfing 
  • Fine sand
  • Warm water
  • Local feel
  • Marine life

19. Punta Hermosa (Lima Region)

Punta Hermosa is on its way to becoming a newer version of Asia. The beaches here have been developed in recent years to have many of the same luxuries, such as accommodations, restaurants, and nightclubs. Although still not quite as ritzy as Asia, it’s at least a more affordable option for a beach weekend. Plus, it’s closer to Lima at only a half-hour drive (depending on traffic) south of the city.

Row of cars then row of beach umbrellas along the Lima beach at Punta Hermosa.

Punta Hermosa is a popular beach for Lima residents because of its proximity to the capital. Photo by Michael Wieck of Peru For Less.

Ranked for:

  • Modern
  • Nightlife
  • Restaurants
  • Easy to get to
  • Accommodations for all budgets

20. La Punta (Callao Region)

Callao is known as a very industrial city just north of Lima. This is where you’ll find the airport as well as the port where both shipments and cruise ships come in. However, there is a unique little spot right at the tip of the city, conveniently called La Punta, in one of the few ritzy neighbors. Instead of sand, it is completely covered with smoothed stones the size of your palm. It may take a few minutes to get yourself settled, but once you do you get to enjoy a hot massage stone-type bed. You can also watch the sunset from a retro-looking glass viewpoint or visit the historical Real Felipe Fortress.

Glass-enclosed observatory looking over blue and yellow sky as the sun sets over San Lorenzo island.

The observatory looks out towards Isla San Lorenzo in the distance. Photo by MI PERÚ on Flickr.

Ranked for:

  • Unique smoothed stones
  • History
  • Modern
  • Easy to get to

As you can see, there is a lot more to Peru than just Cusco and Machu Picchu Peru has quite a variety of beaches in Peru, too! Although both locations are unique in and of themselves, Peru’s desert coastline also has a lot to offer to travelers. Catch some waves, dig into some fresh seafood, observe marine life, explore ancient ruins, and dance the night away. There’s so much more waiting for you besides lazy beach days—although you can definitely do that, too!

The Biosphere Reserve of the Manu National Park is located in the southeast of Peru in the Madre de Dios and Cusco regions in the provinces of Manu and Paucartambo, with an extension of 1,989700, it is divided into three zones

  • The national park with 1,531889
  • The reserved zone with 257,999
  • The cultural zone with 120,000

it extends from 300 meters above sea level with the confluence of the Manu river with the Madre de Dios river up to 3800 meters above sea level exactly at the kañahuay mountain and there are virgin places and a dense territory to be explored.

Information Manu National Park
Information Manu National Park

MANU NATIONAL PARK HISTORY

Inca – colonial time, when we talk about this area we have to talk from Inca times exactly in the governments of Inca Pachacuteq and Tupac Inca Yupanqui when they decide to conquer and be part of the empire of the Incas, where they founded the town of Paucartambo where it was very important to access for trade between Cusco and Manu especially coca products, sugar cane cotton, and aji wood, etc.

Especially the king Carlos III ordered to build a bridge called the same name and so this trade facility today still continues to use as it is very expensive to transport products by plane and the best way is by land.

In March 1567, the Spaniard Juan Alvarez Maldonado in charge of a province called Mojos made an expedition from Paucartambo to Pillcopata and there was a second expedition to explore more with Manuel de Escobar until reaching Madre de Dios.

REPUBLICAN ERA OF MANU NATIONAL PARK

In 1861, Colonel Faustino Maldonado decided to undertake one of the special expeditions from Paucartambo to the Madre de Dios River. It was in honor of him that 30 years later the rubber man Carlos Fitzcarra baptized the mouth of the Tambopata River as the famous Puerto Maldonado, now the department of Madre de Dios.

In the low jungle, the indigenous populations were affected by the bad Activitiesalready at the end of the XIX century, the exploitation of the rubber was one of the most profitable activities but very few people knew how to take advantage and in the 20s stopped exploiting and thus mark forever this problem that marked this beautiful place.

Information Manu National Park
Information Manu National Park

During the 50’s and 60’s the construction of roads came to an end and the beginning of the extraction of wood such as cedar and mahogany and also the extraction of very fine furs (otorongo, tigrillo, and river wolves) and the most recent are the petroleum activities and on the other hand in the Andean zone, they were affected by the agrarian reform in 1969 where there were positive and very negative things.

From the 20th century onwards, the religious presence became stronger. In 1902 the Dominican Fathers founded their first mission in Asunción. In 1908 they installed the second mission station, San Luis del Manú, at the mouth of the Manú River; after abandoning this place, they settled in the mission of Pantiacolla, and then it was devastated by a flood and was located in Shintuya in 1985.

CREATION OF MANU NATIONAL PARK

In 1967, on the initiative of Celestino Kalinowski, son of a famous Polish naturalist who arrived in Peru in 1887, and the report of British advisor Ian Grimwood, it was recommended to the Peruvian government to create a National Park in Manú. In 1968 it was declared a National Forest and subsequently.

Information Manu National Park
Information Manu National Park

Manú National Park was established on May 29, 1973, by Supreme Decree 0644-73-AG, with the purpose of preserving its natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of future generations and definitively determined by the renowned UNESCO Manú Biosphere Reserve, which today covers a territory of 1,882,200 ha (18,814 km²) in the provinces of Paucartambo in Cusco and Manú in Madre de Dios.

Its boundaries were drawn by applying the principle of natural boundaries and watershed dominance. However, the park’s boundary on the Manú River itself had to stop at the confluence with the Panahua River because of oil exploration.

In general, nowadays the Manu National Park, as time went by, there were very positive and negative things and I can say that it is ready to receive tourists.

DISTRIBUTION OF MANU NATIONAL PARK

The Core Zone: also known as Manú National Park, in this place only research is allowed, it is intended for protection and only anthropological and biological research activities are allowed, limited to the observation of life and ecological processes in their natural form; in the park is the Cocha Cashu Biological Station, one of the most important research centers of tropical forests. The site is intangible and a special authorization is required to visit it.

Information Manu National Park
Information Manu National Park

In this same area, there are human populations of Amazonian natives belonging to different ethnic groups that have inhabited it since time immemorial, whose number is estimated at about 1000 indigenous people; however, there is also a Quechua population of approximately 200 people in the Callanga area.

The buffer zone: This incredible area is also known as the Reserved Zone of Manu is located in the lower part of the Manu River, in this area, you can relax during tourist activities organized by authorized travel agencies here you can observe a great diversity of flora and fauna visible from the rivers and also near the lagoons that maintain a wealth of fauna and extends from the river Panague Quebrada to Boca Manu.

The transition or cultural zone: This beautiful area is formed by the basin of the Alto Madre de Dios River and the vast high Andean territories that cover the southern part of the reserve, between the dividing line of the National Park and the Mapacho River, where livestock, agricultural and forestry activities can be observed, education and health are available, although in a very precarious manner, and ecological activities are also allowed.

MANU NATIONAL PARK GEOGRAPHY

In its extensive territory, from the very high highlands at 3500 meters above sea level covered with Andean grass where the air is very dry and the temperatures vary depending on the sun and depending on the months (between the months of October and April snow and hail), it goes down through an extensive transition belt denominated wooded scrubland that goes up to 2600 meters above sea level where the flora is formed as a kind of forest where even in this last year after the covid 19 was identified more than 450 species of plants and rainfall reaches between 500 and 1000 mm.

Information Manu National Park
Information Manu National Park

The forests of “Low Mountain” are developed between 2300 m and 1600 m above sea level, finding trees up to 25 m high covered with ferns and orchids grow on the deep cliffs, one of the best known are Araceae with large leaves and ferns that are native to the place, this is a place of very cold climate and a landscape somewhat very dark and shadows.

The forest of “Montaña Lluviosa”, also known as cloud forest, is a beautiful and almost magical place located between 650 m and 1650 meters, it looks like a movie because the clouds are constant and cover the beautiful landscape full of flora, there are trees up to 30 m high with ferns, forming jungles, Today there are more than 200 species of trees with a density that can exceed 700 per hectare. Here the temperature is very variable and is from 20 to 25 degrees and drops at night to 16 or 18 degrees and is not so cold.

Information Manu National Park
Information Manu National Park

The famous “tropical rainforest” also called “lowland rainforest” which has an extension on the great Amazonian plain from 300 to 600 meters above sea level, is considered one of the most representative and extensive landscapes of this place. In this area the trees become very giant, on the high tops of these, there are only 2 species that are like the roof of these jungles, one of them is the Shihuahuaco and the Lupuna that are the highest and exceeds 60 m and has a crown of up to 50 m in diameter.

MANU NATIONAL PARK CLIMATE

The rainy season or low season goes from January to March, but during the whole year there can be rains, especially in the last years with the global warming; and the temperatures in the low areas are between 35ºC during the day and 25ºC during the night.

MANU NATIONAL PARK CULTURES

Just as in different parts of the world with a diversity of flora and fauna we also have in this part of the world different native peoples who have their own culture and folklore, each people has its own way of gathering, fishing, hunting, rituals, and medicine.

These native peoples have different degrees of contact with the Peruvian culture, and you will see people with western clothes and over time they will lose their customs and traditions with the famous progress.

Information Manu National Park
Information Manu National Park

In the area of the Manú National Park, there are 30 communities or native peoples who basically speak Quechua and have lived there since time immemorial, and the most prominent peoples are Matsiguenka, Amahuaca, Yine, Amarakaeri, Huashipaire, and Nahua; and there are still many peoples who have never had contact with the modern world.

FLORA AND FAUNA OF MANU NATIONAL PARK

The ecological richness is important. The place has more than 15,000 species of plants. In Manu, there is a probability of finding the variety of ecological floors that exist in the Amazon and this makes it one of the most appreciated in the world. In a single hectare have been found up to 250 varieties of trees and the work of all mankind is to protect as it is considered the last lung of the world.

Information Manu National Park
Information Manu National Park

The Manu National Park is biodiverse, it contains more than 20 thousand types of plants, 1,000 species of birds, 1,200 species of butterflies, and 200 species of mammals including the jaguar, the river wolf, and 13 species of monkeys such as the little lion (Cebuella pygmaea), which is the smallest monkey in the world with 100 grams of weight and the Maquisapa or spider monkey of 9 kilos without a doubt a unique place without having the invasion of Africa.

  • Mammals: 159 species
  • Reptiles: 99 species
  • Amphibians: 140 species
  • Birds: more than 1000 species
  • Fish: 210 species
  • Insects: several have not yet been given a scientific classification.
  • Butterflies: 1307 species
  • Ants: 300 species
  • Anisoptera: 136 species
  • Bees: 650 species

Machu Picchu