Peru is as picturesque as they come, with its lush and alive rainforest, miles of Pacific coastline, ancient Inca and pre-Inca ruins, and even sky-high desert dunes. In fact, go ahead and throw your camera into your suitcase now because forgetting it is just not an option. In this blog post, we reveal seven landmark places to photograph in Peru. Include one, a few, or all of them in your tailor-made Peru trip itinerary and you’ll be pouring over the photos for decades to come.
1. The Peruvian Amazon
Home to unparalleled biodiversity and the richest green and earthy tones you’ll ever see, the Peruvian Amazon is worthy of a stop on your Peru tour, especially if quality photographs are of high priority for you. Access the Peruvian Amazon from Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado. From there, hop on an Amazon cruise or stay a few nights deep within the jungle at a luxury lodge. The photo opps are sure to be unbelievable.
2. Rainbow Mountain
This multi-colored ridge, also known as Vinicunca, is one of the must-see places when visiting Cusco. Its shades of terra cotta, rust, lavender, and turquoise were made for your token Peru travel photo. Located just a few hours drive from the former Inca capital city, Rainbow Mountain is an easy day trip from Cusco. The trek to its striped summit, however, will prove to be a bit of a challenge, mainly due to the altitude. Nothing a few days acclimatizing in Cusco can’t solve.
3. Lake Titicaca
Being the world’s highest navigable lake certainly has some appeal. Glance out at its remarkably calm waters or visit one of its many floating islands, and you’ll be reaching for your camera in no time. If the setting alone doesn’t capture your awe, though it certainly will, try and wrap your mind around the fact that the Incas once called Lake Titicaca the birthplace of their empire. As the legend goes, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, the original Incas, were born from its waters.
4. The Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon, located just beyond Arequipa, is astounding to look at. Peering over its death-defying edge to its river-laced bottom is something you’ll never want to forget. Throw in the countless condors soaring on the canyon’s thermals, the wide array of fauna and flora that line the trails into and out of the canyon, and the way the sun rises over the canyon’s walls in the early morning, and you’re in for a camera-happy day or two.
5. The Huacachina Desert
The Huacachina Desert is what we like to call extremely photogenic. It’s like a sea of sand dunes stretching as far as the eye can see, with some dunes rising as tall as a few hundred meters. At sunset, when the sky explodes into color and the lights blink on in the Huacachina Oasis, it’s time to position yourself atop one of the dunes to capture the moment forever.
You’d be amiss not to have your camera ready while touring Cusco. Its combination of Inca foundations and colonial architecture is extremely picturesque. Come nightfall, the 360-degree hills light up like a million fireflies as the twinkling street lamps turn on. And by day, the manicured plazas, cobble-stoned streets and busy local markets will have you snapping away the entire time.
7. Machu Picchu
You can’t go home from your Peru vacation without snapping a photo in front of Machu Picchu. It’s like the unspoken requisite of traveling Peru. If you’re lucky, a llama or alpaca might even join you in the frame. You can spend all day getting various shots of the famous Inca citadel from every angle. Our favorite: the view from Huayna Picchu.