A Spanish-speaking country in Western South America, Peru is famous for its distinctive and rich cultures and traditions that differ from other countries on its continent.
In addition, its vibrant history, delicious cuisine, broad ecosystems, and many historical landmarks make it an outstanding travel destination.
One of the fun facts about Peru is that it also houses 13% of the Amazon rainforest, which Jeff Bezos named the world’s largest e-commerce store after.
What Is Peru Famous For?
Peru is undoubtedly endowed with notable attractions you would love to visit, from the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu, to the mysterious Nazca Lines in the Peruvian desert. Even a glimpse of the Amazon rainforest scenery will chill your heart and enhance your meditation.
85% of Peruvians are known to speak Spanish, while others speak their local dialect, French and English. It’s a country with an accommodating culture and citizens.
Furthermore, Peru is famous for its traditional Peruvian cuisine and multi-ethnic diversity, which make the country unique. There is a host of global festivals that are jointly celebrated yearly by Peruvians.
Therefore, a visit to Peru is not only for stunning sights seeing, but your taste buds will also be in for a treat. These are just some things that make Peru a top tourist destination.
History, Culture, And Traditions Peru Is Known For
Fiesta de la Candelaria
Peru is known for the Fiesta de la Candelaria local tradition. This bustling festival is held in Puno city and is known for its vibrant display of Peruvian culture, dance, food, and music.
The grand event lasts for two weeks and is the biggest celebration in the country, with around 30,000 dancers and 8,000 musicians participating. They all wear beautiful traditional clothing, and the energy is incredibly high during the festivities.
Want to witness and experience this energetic festival for yourself? Then, plan your trip to Peru between late January and early February. Be prepared to immerse yourself in all the traditional Peruvian foods, dance, and other adventures.
Pachamama Raymi is also a well-known tradition that Peru is famous for. People celebrate this event yearly to show gratitude to Mother Earth for all the abundance she provides through crop harvests.
The celebration occurs on August 1st when farmers take a day off to let the land rest. The ritual starts with offerings of food items, drinks, and seeds placed underground.
Participants dress up in vibrant Andean clothing, and those who make the offerings wear cords around their necks, anklets, and golden wristbands to mimic the attire of the Incas. It’s a lively and meaningful celebration dedicated to the earth and all its bounties.
Inti Raymi (The Festival Of The Sun)
Inti Raymi, known as the Festival of the Sun, is a big deal in Cusco. It’s a known religious ceremony in Peru that pays homage to the God of the Sun and is one of Cusco’s four most important events.
The festival is always filled with rituals and rites to celebrate the Sun and all the beautiful things it provides. Thus, People come together from various places for nine days in June at the Sacsayhuaman site near Cusco to enjoy food, music, dancing, poetry, and lots of pictures.
If you visit Peru during this period, make sure you mark the date out. You will learn about the richness of Peruvian traditions, rituals, and rites.
Peruvian War Of Independence
The Peruvian War of Independence was known to be a series of military conflicts in Peru that lasted from 1809 to 1826.
It began with viceroy Abascal’s victories in the southern frontier, followed by the defeat of the Spanish Army in the Battle of Ayacucho in 1824. Ultimately, this series of historic events ended with the Siege of Callao in 1826.
It is one of the significant histories of Peru’s road to political independence from the Spanish monarchy and the emergence of the Peruvian Republic as a sovereign state.
War Of The Confederation
The War of the Confederation was a battle between 1836 and 1839 fought by Chile, some Peruvian dissidents, and the Argentine against the Peru-Bolivian Confederation.
It all started because of the Salaverry-Santa Cruz War, which led to the creation of the Peru-Bolivia Confederation by General Andrés de Santa Cruz. This caused concern for Chile and the Argentine Confederation, who felt their geopolitical interests were at risk. So, they declared war on the Peru-Bolivian Confederation.
The war’s outcome led to the dissolution of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation and the restoration of the republics of Peru (the North and South States were unified) and Bolivia.
Cities And Travel Destinations Peru Is Known For
Lima is the capital and biggest city of Peru. It’s a big city with nearly 9 million people and was started by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro in 1535.
Sitting along the coast of Peru, Lima is known for its delicious seafood, beautiful scenery, and relaxed culture. The Spanish controlled the city for 300 years. It still has many Spanish-colonial buildings, like churches and monasteries, that are fascinating.
Beyond the architecture and food, you will find some of the country’s best markets and see a crossing of cultures as it is the economic hub.
While the capital, Lima is the business hub, Cusco can be considered the cultural hub that Peru is famous for. It’s a popular tourist destination, and this is in no small part because of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
This city, located in the Southern Sierras of Peru, was once the capital of the Incan Empire. Today, it is known as the “archaeological capital of the Americas,” featuring rich history and deep culture.
Cusco is undoubtedly one of the must-visit places in Peru. The city center, the Plaza de Armas, is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and beautiful architecture. You can easily find traditional Peruvian souvenirs, including alpaca textiles, pottery, dolls, and other handicrafts.
It’s a great city to wander, shop, eat, and really soak up the local culture. More importantly, it is the base to discover the incredible nature in the region.
If hiking is your cup of tea, another city in Peru to definitely check out is Huaraz – some even call it the hiking capital of Peru. There are plenty of day hikes from Huaraz that is very scenic and popular; as well as options for multi-day hikes.
Arequipa is one of Peru’s most famous cities and the country’s second-biggest city. It’s located 2,380 meters above sea level.
Surrounded by gorgeous volcanoes, including the El Misti, Arequipa is nicknamed the “White City” because many of its buildings were built using white volcanic rock called Sillar from the nearby mountains.
This city is famously known for preserving a teenage girl’s body sacrificed to the gods in the 1400s by the Lady of Ampato. You can see the frozen preserved body at the Catholic University of Santa María’s Museum of Andean Sanctuaries during your Peru visit.
Iquitos is a well-known city in Peru, mainly because it is the gateway to the northern reaches of the Peruvian Amazon. It all started as a small settlement of hunter-gatherers; but has now evolved into the largest city without road access.
That said, getting to Iquitos is slightly more challenging. You can only reach there by plane or boat, but the destination is worth it.
Despite its remote location, Iquitos features a unique blend of traditional and modern architecture. You will see wooden huts built on stilts along the river and enjoy the calmness of the sea.
This serves as a base for anyone looking to explore the wilderness of the Amazon rainforest in Peru.
Landmarks And Architecture Peru Is Known For
The Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley is an important historical and natural region that Peru is known for. It encompasses the central region of the empire, along with the well-known Machu Picchu and Cusco, making it one of Peru’s most famous tourist destinations.
Stretching for about 60 km, The Sacred Valley is a lush and fertile land dotted with colonial villages like Pisac and Ollantaytambo. This area offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, with day trips and multi-day trails.
In addition to the beautiful nature, a tour of this area also gives you a chance to learn about the rich history of Peru’s ancient cultures. Talk about a good blend of history, culture, and landscape.
Colca Canyon is a popular tourist destination in the Southern Sierra region. With a massive 70 kilometers of pure awe-inspiring beauty, Colca Canyon is the world’s second-deepest canyon and is full of surprises.
This natural paradise in Peru will leave you speechless, from barren steppes to stepped terraces, cliffs, and towering mountain peaks. Everywhere you turn, the scenery is nothing short of phenomenal.
And if you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the majestic Andean condors soaring high above the 3,140-meter-deep canyon.
It’s fair to say that your trip to Peru will be incomplete without a visit to the magnificent Machu Picchu. The ancient Inca citadel is one of the most famous landmarks in South America, and is located in Peru’s Andes Mountains.
It was constructed around the mid-1400s and was abandoned by the Inca Empire less than 100 years later. Hiram Bingham, an American historian, rediscovered the site in 1911, and it has since been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visiting Machu Picchu is a rather breathtaking experience that allows you to see a world-renowned site while also immersing yourself in Peruvian culture and traditions. The grandeur of the site makes you reflect on your existence as you realise how history has really seen the rise and fall of thriving civilizations.
If you want to do the famous Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu, make sure to plan way in advance as it is largely popular and there are only limited permits each season.
Rainbow Mountain, also known as the Montana de Siete Colores or mountain of seven colors in English, is a famous landmark in Peru. There is actually a couple of them; with the more famous being Vinicunca. It is a hot spot for Instagrammers in Peru.
With its unique view of colorful streaks created by various mineral deposits, it’s no wonder it’s considered one of the most stunning sights in the world.
You won’t believe it, but this beautiful mountain only became famous in 2013. That’s when the climate changed. The snow regularly covering the top of Rainbow Mountain melted, revealing the rainbow-like colors below.
With a 2-hour hike at high altitudes, you did reach the peak and had a breathtaking view of the city. It is a place you did want to visit.
Peru is famous for having one of the world’s highest navigable lakes, Lake Titicaca. It is a large body of freshwater on the border of Peru and Bolivia.
The lake stands majestically at 12,507 feet above sea level. It is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, making it an ideal destination for you.
A visit to Lake Titicaca will also provide you with a cultural and adventurous experience as you meet the ancient Aymara and Quechua people and learn about fishing, farming, and weaving. Some tours even involve staying overnight with a local family and dining with them. It is a genuine cultural experience.
Manu National Park
Manu National Park is a landmark in Peru located in Southeastern Peru. It’s an incredible park covering over 1.5 million hectares of diverse terrain, including highlands, lowlands, and cloud forests.
The park houses all sorts of creatures, including hundreds of bird species, like the colorful macaws that gather at clay licks. And if you’re lucky, you might see some majestic jaguars and playful spider monkeys darting through the treetops.
For an unforgettable experience, you can hop on a boat tour along the Manu River and let a friendly guide help you spot as much wildlife as possible. Trust me; you won’t regret it.
Food Peru Is Known For
Ceviche is delicious seafood known throughout the country that will satisfy your cravings. The most crucial ingredient is raw fish soaked in citrus juice, usually lemon or lime. Some popular choices of fish include bass, snapper, and cod. If you are visiting Peru, Ceviche is a must-try classic dish.
Papa a la Huancaína
Papa a la Huancaína is a traditional cuisine in Peru that will give a pleasant surprise to your taste buds.
It’s a delicious dish made of succulent potatoes smothered in a delectable sauce made with savory lime juice, spicy Aji Amarillo chili pepper, rich cream cheese, pungent garlic, and creamy milk.
The combination of rich, creamy sauce and carb-loaded potatoes makes this a fulfilling Peruvian food. It is commonly served with hard-boiled eggs and juicy olives.
Among other things Peru is famous for is this potato croquette. It is famous Peruvian food filled with a delicious blend of ground beef, juicy tomatoes, spicy garlic, fragrant onions, and sweet capsicum.
It’s a comfort food served traditionally with the tangy Salsa Criolla sauce made of lime juice, oil, red onion, Aji Amarillo, and fresh parsley.
Aji de Gallina (Chicken Stew)
Every country has a special dish that tastes different and makes you feel warm and fuzzy. For Peruvians, that dish has to be the delicious Aji de gallina.
It’s a chicken stew, but with different spices. The blend of different influences gives it a unique combination of flavors and textures that sets it apart from your typical stew. This dish is also where you see a blend of Asian influence in Peruvian cuisine.
Aji de gallina is beloved by many in Peru and is more than just a delicious meal. It’s a comfort food that satisfies the taste buds and the soul.
You can find this dish everywhere from restaurants to roadside stalls. In all honesty, I don’t know if it is the local vibe or something inexplicable, but the roadside stalls that specially sell just Aji de Gallina often have a richer broth.
It’s also the cultural experience of just sitting with other locals and enjoying a warm soupy dish in the cold weather.
Famous People From Peru
Sofia Mulanovich is a famous surfer and environmental activist from Peru. She grew up in Punta Hermosa, one of the best surfing spots in the country.
Sofia is a three-time World Surfing Champion and, more importantly, the first Peruvia to win a World League Championship Tour event. In 2007 she was even featured in the Surfing Hall of Fame in Huntington Beach, California.
Mario Vargas Llosa
Mario Vargas Llosa is a well-known Peruvian figure. He’s a multi-talented individual recognized for his writing, political career, and journalism. He has written many literary pieces that has garnered attention.
In 2010, he even won a Nobel Prize in Literature due to the powerful portrayal of individuals in his works, including their resistance, revolt, and defeat.
Claudio Miguel Pizarro Bosio is a known Peruvian football striker who has served at several world-renowned clubs like Chelsea, Werder Bremen, and Bayern Munich.
In 2010, he broke the record for being the highest-scoring foreign player in German football (Bundesliga) history by scoring his 134th goal for Werder Bremen against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza was a known Peruvian poet, writer, playwright, and journalist who significantly impacted the literary world.
Despite only publishing three books of poetry in his lifetime, he is known as one the greatest poetic innovators of the 20th century in any language.
He was always ahead of the game, and each of his books was unique and, in its way, revolutionary. His work continues to be studied by future generations. One of his pieces -The Complete Posthumous Poetry received the National Book Award for translation in 1979.
Discovering More Things Peru Is Known For
These are just a few of the many things Peru is known for. It’s no secret that Peru is packed with stunning beauty, from the towering Inca ruins to the lush green jungle and other iconic destinations.
There’s no shortage of unique places to visit. If you’re a photography enthusiast, you will have plenty of opportunities to capture unique moments and create lasting memories.
This country has so much to offer, from historical monuments and castles to museums and other stunning architecture. And the food scene is impressive too. You’ve got everything from traditional cuisine to top-notch dining choices.
Additionally, there are a ton of bars, clubs, and pubs to choose from, so no matter your taste or budget, you’re sure to find something you will love. Guess you can’t wait to visit and discover all the things Peru is famous for.