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8 Best Places to Visit in Peru for Seniors

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Paracas National Reserve, Peru

Paracas National Reserve, Peru

The eight best places to visit in Peru for seniors reveal the country's boundless beauty in accessible and exciting ways. From the spiritual Incan citadel of Machu Picchu to the sea formations of Islas Ballestas in Paracas National Reserve, there is so much to see on your vacation, while traveling at your pace.

As you explore more of Peru you will comfortably discover an array of stunning places, each offering something to excite you. In Arequipa, colonial-era Peru comes to life in Baroque buildings and historic centers circling the Plaza de Armas. In Cusco, views of the Peruvian Andes invite you to explore the world-famous peaks.

Seniors’ tours of Peru at one or more of these places display sides of the country few are fortunate enough to experience.

Overview

  1. 1. Arequipa
  2. 2. Machu Picchu
  3. 3. Lima
  4. 4. Cusco
  5. 5. Puerto Maldonado
  6. 6. Paracas National Reserve
  7. 7. Trujillo
  8. 8. Puno
  9. Explore the Best Places to Visit in Peru for Seniors

1. Arequipa

Plaza de Armas in Arequipa, Peru

Plaza de Armas in Arequipa, Peru

The city of Arequipa is a treasure trove of Peruvian history and culture, surrounded by volcanic mountains. Many of the Baroque buildings that compose the cityscape are constructed from sillar, a white volcanic rock obtained from the surrounding region. For this reason, large parts of the city are white-washed against a backdrop of sparse countryside, climbing the mountainside to meet the white tip of Misti Volcano.

In Arequipa, seniors can explore the regional history and delicious cuisine on guided tours. You can wander the architectural masterpiece of Santa Catalina Monastery, cross the Puente Bolognesi bridge, and stroll around the Plaza de Armas main square. You can also enjoy a comfortable day tour to admire the terraces of Colca Canyon and spot the giant Andean condor.

Highlights: Plaza de Armas • Santa Catalina Monastery • Puente Bolognesi • Misti Volcano • Colca Canyon

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

2. Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu is the most significant place to visit in Peru for seniors as the historic site, set in the Andes, memorializes the heritage of the Incan civilization. Seniors can tour the bucket-list ancient citadel on foot or by train, two options that cater to different types of travelers.

The Inca Trail is the most notable walk to the archeological site. Three overlapping trails make up the greater pilgrimage route and the journey can take multiple days to complete. It is an adventure suitable for active senior travelers, with incredible views of the Andean scenery and archaic formations the ultimate reward for taking on the challenge.

The easiest and most comfortable way to see Machu Picchu is to take one of the scenic trains that traverse the mountainous landscape to Aguas Calientes. From here a bus or short walk will lead you to the iconic ruins, tracing centuries of ancient history on a summit overlooking the valley of the Urubamba river.

Highlights: Central Plaza • House of the High Priest • Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock • Inca Drawbridge • Intihuatana

Recommended Length of Stay: 2 days

3. Lima

Main square and Cathedral in Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru

The bustling capital of Peru, Lima, lies on the country’s Pacific coast, preserving colonial history and reflecting visions of modern Peru. Seniors can explore a wealth of cultural landmarks in the colonial vestiges and enjoy the contemporary charms of Lima’s commercial neighborhoods.

The colonial center reveals a story of Spanish settlement in the arid coastal region. Museums, town squares, and archeological sites display Lima’s humble 15th-century origins. You can view pre-Colombian art and spiritual grounds that piece together a diverse culture and way of life.

From the clay pyramid of Huaca Pucllana to the vibrant bars, Spanish churches, and landscaped gardens, Lima offers a blended Peruvian experience for seniors visiting the capital city.

Highlights: Huaca Pucllana • Basilica and Convent of San Francisco of Lima • Basílica Metropolitan Cathedral of Lima • Miraflores • Museo de la Nación

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

4. Cusco

Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, Peru

Sacsayhuaman in Cusco, Peru

The former capital of the Incan Empire, Cusco is a historic place to visit on a tour of Peru for senior citizens. The archeological remains scattered throughout the cityscape beckon hungry history buffs to historic districts where colonial culture comes to life.

By exploring the city you can learn about the Spanish colonial-era constructions that rise from the ruins of the Incan Empire. You can also visit the colorful San Pedro Market to browse arts and crafts reminiscent of ancient Peruvian culture. Trips beyond the city’s borders reveal the Incan wonders of Sacsayhuamán, an impeccable work of ancient engineering and stone masonry.

Aside from history, Cusco’s streets are a gateway to delightful contemporary lifestyle. Baroque buildings house award-winning restaurants, art galleries exhibit alluring modern masterpieces, and agricultural regions overlook the breathtaking landscape.

Highlights: Sacsayhuaman • Coricancha • Inca Walls • Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin • Museo Inka

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

5. Puerto Maldonado

Macaws in Tambopata National Reserve, Peru

Tambopata National Reserve, Peru

On the border of the Amazon rainforest covering Madre de Dios, Puerto Maldonado, is a gateway to Peru’s picturesque wilderness. Senior citizens can spend their days discovering the breadth of beauty that veils the Tambopata National Reserve. Tours through the undisturbed rainforest reveal the wildlife and cinematic environments the region surrounding Puerto Maldonado is famous for.

You could spot colorful macaws, cross the forest on walkways that weave through the canopy, visit lakes to view giant river otters, and explore the forest at night to spot nocturnal creatures. Trips to Puerto Maldonado bring seniors closer to the remarkable Amazon rainforest and its phenomenal biodiversity.

Highlights: Tambopata National Reserve • Jungle Tours • Canopy Walkways • Puente Billinghurst • Inkaterra Ecological Reserve

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

6. Paracas National Reserve

Sea lion on Islas Ballestas

Islas Ballestas in Paracas National Reserve, Peru

Boasting archeological sites, dramatic coastal scenery, and wondrous wildlife, the Paracas National Reserve is the perfect place for seniors in Peru. On the coast, waves batter the crumbling cliffs to create dramatic coastlines that conceal desolate beaches. Just off the coast, small islands display the beauty of Peru’s natural seascapes.

Islas Ballestas is one of the most famous collections of islands to explore in Paracas National Reserve. Seniors can enjoy comfortable cruises across the shimmering sea to view the islands and marine life. Red-billed Inca terns, sea lions, and Humboldt penguins are among the magnificent creatures that gather on the islands in immense numbers.

You can capture stunning wildlife photography while enjoying the scenery of the sprawling sea, ancient bluff carvings, and returning to the shore for delicious seafood.

Highlights: Islas Ballestas • Playa La Mina • Desert Dining • Bluff Carvings • Marine Life Viewing

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

7. Trujillo

Chan Chan Ruins in Trujillo, Peru

Chan Chan Ruins in Trujillo, Peru

The colonial center of Trujillo is a marvelous place to visit in Peru on a senior's vacation in the country. Home of the traditional Marinera dance, the bright yellow Trujillo Cathedral, and the Neoclassical marvel of Palacio Iturregui, Trujillo is a treasure trove of history to discover.

It is also a gateway to one of the most iconic things to see on a seniors vacation in Peru, the Chan Chan Ruins. The archeological zone is a Peruvian cultural symbol that invites visitors to unpack the origins of the Chimú civilization. The complex is a collection of impressive temple ruins, adobe brick carvings, and stone and ceramic artifacts. Chan Chan alone makes a trip to Trujillo a must-experience when considering the best places to visit in Peru for seniors.

Highlights: Chan Chan • Marinera Performance • Trujillo Cathedral • Palacio Iturregui • Museo Huacas de Moche

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

8. Puno

Uros floating island with boaters in Puno, Peru

Uros Islands in Puno, Peru

On the banks of Lake Titicaca, the folkloric city of Puno extends up the sparse yellow slopes surrounding its historic districts. Legends and ancient fables regard Puno as the origin of the Incan Empire, making it a must-see place on a seniors’ vacation in Peru.

History and natural beauty collide on the banks where Puno imparts its fascinating past. Several floating reed islands on the lake display ancient Peruvian culture, tracing centuries of cultural diversity in the region. You can wander these impressive man-made islands and learn from the friendly locals before you return to the mainland.

In Puno you can visit the landmarks in the main square, enjoy an unforgettable day trip to the pre-Incan Sillustani Tombs, and climb Abra La Raya Pass to admire the astonishing natural scenery.

Highlights: Uros Islands • Amantaní Island • Taquile Island • Sillustani Tombs • Abra La Raya Pass

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

Explore the Best Places to Visit in Peru for Seniors

Hiking Vinicunca, Rainbow Mountain, in the Cusco region of Peru

Rainbow Mountain in the Cusco region, Peru

As you look ahead to the best places to visit in Peru for seniors, consider this collection of exquisite cities, regions, and archeological sites that share Peru’s immense culture and history.

Whether you wish to explore the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu or see the gorgeous Islas Ballestas islands in Paracas National Reserve, our Peru Tours for Seniors and Peru Vacations & Tours are your ticket to experiencing the country’s history and natural beauty.

If you would like to learn more about Peru, browse our Peru Travel Guide, and for more inspiration to make your seniors’ vacation a success, feel free to scan our Senior Travel Guide.

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