6 Reasons to Add Peru to Your Bucket List

By Ashley Paskill on December 31, 2019

When thinking of places to travel to, Peru is one place that is often overlooked. However, this should not be the case. Peru has so much to offer but it is often overlooked for more popular destinations. From history to affordability and more, there are so many reasons why traveling to Peru should be on your bucket list, especially as a college student. If you end up going, you will have unique stories to tell family and friends since not many people travel there.

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1. Peru is loaded with history

While it may not seem like it, Peru has so much history behind it. For instance, Machu Picchu was created by the Incas in the 15th Century but it was not discovered until the 20th Century. If you are interested in checking out other ancient civilizations, check out Chan Chan, Lake Titicaca, Puno, and the Nazca Lines.

2. Peru is very affordable

Because of Peru’s weak currency, the most expensive part about traveling to Peru will be your plane tickets. You will be able to buy more souvenirs because the US dollar will get you farther. This also means that transportation, lodging, and food within Peru will be less expensive than places with stronger currencies. This is an ideal situation for college students on a budget. Since you want to travel and experience new things, Peru can allow you to do this while not breaking the bank.

3. Peru has a ton of gorgeous scenery

If you are wanting to go somewhere that can give you epic pictures for your Instagram, Peru is an ideal place to go, even if you are an amateur photographer. As mentioned before, Machu Picchu is an ancient city created by the Incas. Since it was not discovered until long after it was created, its ruins are very scenic. Peru is also known for the Peruvian Andes Mountains, which are sure to give you awesome photos.

Image via Unsplash

4. Peruvian handicrafts make great souvenirs

Peruvians are known for their handicrafts. While textiles are one of their most popular, others include instruments, wood carvings, canvas paintings, and jewelry. Buying these not only gives you an opportunity to buy unique gifts and souvenirs to take home with you, it also gives you a chance to support Peruvian traditions and to help families make a living for themselves. Instead of buying souvenirs such as t-shirts and keychains from tourist shops, consider buying something handmade.

5. You can practice speaking Spanish

Whether you are majoring in Spanish or are looking to learn the language out of interest, traveling to Peru is a great way to practice. English speakers are not too common, especially if you travel to the provinces, so having at least a basic knowledge of the Spanish language can help. However, if you are more experienced, you will be able to have more in-depth conversations with locals about culture. Consider taking a class before going, whether it is at your college or online. Having a grasp, even at a basic level, of the Spanish language can help you navigate the country and help you make the most of your trip.

6. The culture of Peru is unique

There is truly something for everyone in Peru. For those who love hiking, there are numerous hiking trails for any skill level and any time span. You can also check out Peru’s national parks, wildlife reserves, and animal sanctuaries. This is especially helpful if you are majoring in anything to do with science and animals.

If embracing cultural events is more your style, you are in luck. Throughout Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter), Peruvians celebrate Semana Santa, which is a cultural festival where streets are blocked off for religious processions. Cusco celebrates the Inca festival of Inti Raymi, a celebration of the Inca god Inti, on June 24. On this same day, in the jungles of Peru, the Festival of San Juan is celebrated with beer, wine, and relaxation followed by a night of dancing. Peru’s Independence Day takes place on July 28 and is celebrated with military parades, parties, and fireworks.

Peruvian cuisine is also unique. The country is known to have great ceviche, which is raw seafood in a lime marinade. Traditional delicacies include alpaca steak, roasted cuy (guinea pig), and leaf-wrapped Peruvian snacks such as juanes, tamales, and humitas.

If you want to go on a spiritual journey during your time in Peru, the country has a tradition of healers and spiritual advisors to help you. You can go through an ayahuasca ceremony, where you consume a brew of various ingredients that are meant to bring about a spiritual mindset. Another option is to have a guinea pig rubdown, which is used to extract any impurities that may be in your body.

From spiritual experiences to delicious food, Peru truly has something for everyone. Best of all, it is extremely affordable, which is crucial for you as a college student. If you go, be sure to learn some Spanish so that you can soak up everything this country has to offer.

By Ashley Paskill

Uloop Writer

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