Planning a long trip in the south of Peru can have great benefits; especially when it comes to the assorted connections you can choose; this can result on planning a travel itinerary more flexible and complete.
This way you can connect your visit to Machu Picchu and other great attractions not without knowing other particular places that allows you to observe more closely the cultural wealth and beauty of this part of the country.
In this blog we show you 5 amazing destinations in the South of Peru that surely won’t dissapoint you.
The salt mines of Maras are a set of natural salt wells located in the Valley of the Incas. Many local resident, have inherited these wells from their very ancient ancestors. The salt extracted in this area has different qualities; in the colonial era this place was the primal salt production centre of the southern regions of the Spanish colony, and nowadays, this salt is much listed all over around the world due to its completely natural clean-up process.
The village of Maras is a great attraction for visitors; the housings and the main church still have the colonial ornaments of the 17th century. The archaeological centre of Moray, another attraction in the area, shows a circular platform system, used as an Incan Experimental Agricultural laboratory for new crops.
Also known as Mountain of 7 colours or Cerro Colorado, Vinicunca is a mountain located on the way to the snow-capped Ausangate in Quispicanchis, district of Cusco. This mountain owes its name to the minerals that harbours in its ground.
This chain of mountains has an altitude of 5200 m.a.s.l. and to this day several packs of alpacas and lamas inhabit the area, and in the lower zone there are few communities that practise agriculture and livestock farming.
The tour to Vinicunca has sections with a high degree of difficulty for what we recommend preparing your physical condition and if it’s necessary staying 2 or 3 days in Cusco in order to acclimatize adequately.
It should be noted that villagers have now agreed on a compromise to provide basic services such as basic bathrooms and hire of horses, for this reason the right of entry has a cost of 10 soles (4 dolars).
This tour can also be combined with a visit to Ausangate and Machu Picchu.
Tambopata National Reserve – Madre de Dios
Despite of being already famous, the tours to this Natural Reserve of Peru are always astounding, either to people interested in scientific research or tourists from all over the world, all this thanks to the biological diversity of the area and the different activities and itineraries that can be made here.
Botanical and nocturnal walks in search of birds and reptiles; visits to a macaws collpa and other habitats such as the monkey island; Zipline, canopy, kayak and artisanal fishing are some activities you can do with a tour in Tambopata.
Located in the northwest of the city of Arequipa, this canyon is the deepest in the world, with a depth of 6093 meters.
The history of the Canyon of Cotahuasi is related with the history of the district of “La Union”, occupied by the Wari civilization that later succumb to the Inca civilization at around of 1165 A.D.; during the occupation of the Incas, this territory was used as a route to communicate Cusco with the Peruvian coast so as to shorten their “salt route”.
During this journey you can visit the Valley of Majes, famous by its rice crops, their shrimps and their liquor Pisco; the village of Cotahuasi, in which surrounds you can find waterfalls and rock forests among cactus. On a stretch of this way you can see the majestic Sipia Waterfalls, some of them with 150 meters high.
The Petroglyphs of Toro Muerto; an area of 5 square kilometers of volcanic rock, a relic of volcanic eruptions from Coropuna and Chachani volcanoes, in this place exist several stone carvings dating from 1000-1500 years old.
Chauchillas Cemetery -Nazca
Chauchillas cemetery is located at a distance of 30 km from the city of Nazca; we are talking about a pre-incan necropolis, in this cemetery we can observe remains of an ancient civilization that flourished between the 2nd century B.C. and the 9th century of this era (as well as ceramics, fabrics and mummies).
The archaeological zone is located in a desert area. During several years, this pre-Incan cemetery was looted by thief-takers, who left the bodies completely exposed in the desert that nowadays we still can see it. Beside the skulls and craniums, we can see graves with more than a thousand years old, long human hair braids and children mummified in perfect condition.
An additional fact; the tour to Chauchillas Cemetery can be combined with the overflight to Nazca Lines.
Images of SarahTz, Christian Bellazzi, Nick Jewell and Brian Ralphs on Flickr licenced by CC BY 2.0