7 Well-Kept Secrets About Peru

Peru is one of the most fascinating countries in the world.

It’s unique landscapes span from the Pacific, through the Andes and well into the Amazon rainforest, providing fertile ground for the emergence of hundreds of fascinating cultures that come together to create Modern Peru. This diversity has given the world things as beautiful as Machu Picchu, the prose of Mario Vargas Llosa and the tastes of fresh ceviche.

While this rich culture and immense beauty make Peru a must-see destination for any traveller, pilgrims looking for life-changing experiences off the beaten path have plenty to discover in this magical South American nation.

Here are our favourite seven Well-Kept Secrets About Peru That Will Spark Your Desire For Sacred Travel:

1. The energy of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a highlight of any trip to Peru and with very good reason. This 15th century Inca site, majestically perched above the Sacred Valley, affords any traveller mesmerizing views and a powerful connection with the past.

machu picchu

It was and remains today, an important sacred site, so it is wise to allow yourself time to absorb the spiritual energy you will undoubtedly feel when you visit Machu Picchu.

Take your time to wander the ancient temples, feel the dry stone walls, and let yourself be immersed in the majestic power of the ruins.

2. The deep history of Lake Titicaca

Although much less visited, Lake Titicaca is just as remarkable as Machu Picchu. Sitting at 3,812 metres (12,507 feet) above sea level, it’s the world’s highest navigable lake and is also South America’s largest lake by volume.

And its beauty is absolutely jaw-dropping.

Lake Titicaca has been recognized as a sacred being by a number of ancient cultures, including the Inca, the Tiwanaku, and the Uros, a pre-Inca nation that continues calling the Lake home to this day.

boats on Lake Titicaca

According to legend, the Uros have lived on the Lake before the sun came to be, back when the earth was cold and dark. From then on, they have transformed the Lake, creating “islands” made of totora reeds on which they live.

This stunning display of adaptability and beauty is absolutely breathtaking. As one of our participants said of his stay on Amanti Island, “Standing on top of Amantani Island was awesome – body was light and agile, mind was clear, view was amazing – really was on top of the world.”

3. The sacred nature of Peruvian textiles

In a recent blog post for “Clothandkind”, textile expert Rasheena Taub describes her visit to the village of Chinchero, in the Peruvian Andes, where she witnessed women from the Ayni Ayllu cooperative making “mantas” (the long weaved fabric used for carrying babies and other items on their backs).

As Taub explains, these mantas have a deep historic and spiritual significance for the people of the region, as “during Incan times, textiles commemorated personal milestones and peaceful offerings while representing basic beliefs and values of their makers.”

closeup image on classic colorful peruvian fabric background

The rich cultural and spiritual history of the mantas (and of weaving in general) is still very much alive in Peru today, and artisan weavers can be found throughout the country. Traditionally made by women, using 100% natural dyes, these textiles tell a story that connects travellers with the people — and the history — of Peru.

4. The personal reverence to the Pachamama

According to Inca legends and mythology, Pachamama is the goddess of fertility who watches over planting and the harvest. For Peruvians today, a respect for Pachamama equals a respect for our “earth mother”, a reverence for the goodness in our planet and a reminder that we have an important role to play in keeping balance and harmony on Earth.

Peruvians honour Pachamama in many ways, from sharing the first drops of water with her before drinking themselves to Despacho ceremonies, and passing down wisdom and spiritual traditions from one generation to the next.

When you visit Peru, you will have a more satisfying journey if you can take the time to understand the importance of Pachamama – ask your guide questions about the significance of the Earth Mother, participate in a Despacho or other sacred ceremony, and make sure your impact on the country is as light as possible (take re-useable drinking bottles, cutlery, etc.).

Above all, schedule some time to simply stop and enjoy being at one with nature and your surroundings, keeping your heart and mind open to all possibilities.

5. The spiritual experience of eating Peruvian food

In 2011, Wall Street Journal food critic Katy McLaughlin, called Peruvian food “the next big thing” describing in delicious detail the ceviche and unique way of using acid and spices.

Since then, Peruvian food has grown all over the world, expanding its reach to the world’s most important kitchens.

But while gourmet Peruvian food is absolutely delicious, there’s nothing like eating it at a small, local restaurant. Ceviche, white fish cooked in lime juice with cilantro, is one of the most delicious dishes you’ll ever eat, with Aji de Gallina, a rich stew made with the flavourful aji pepper comes in close by.

Eating these foods is a quasi-religious experience, especially when paired with traditional chicha, a fermented corn beer, or Pisco, a strong spirit not for the faint of heart.

Fried bananas in Iquitos, Peru
Fried bananas in Iquitos, Peru

6. Peru is home to a rich literary tradition

When most people think of Peru, they tend to conjure up images of the High Andes.

But Peru is incredibly diverse, and over the years, that diversity has made its way to the country’s bustling capital city, Lima. As an eclectic melting pot, Lima is home to a vibrant cultural scene that has produced literary geniuses like Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa and local hero, José María Arguedas.

Reading the works of Vargas Llosa and Arguedas can transport a reader to different areas of Peru, full of magic and modernity. Go from the deep Amazon (we recommend Vargas Llosa’s The Storyteller) to the High Andes (try out Arguedas’ Yawar Fiesta) by reading Peru’s unique, and spectacular, literature.

7. Peru is the perfect place to get to know yourself

Your life will never be quite the same after your visit Peru.

Whether you came to Peru with a specific question in mind or were simply curious to learn more about the country and yourself, you will walk away with a profound connection to this sacred land that holds an infinite amount of wisdom and to your own true self as you continue on your life’s journey.

Visit Peru with Sacred Earth Journeys

Join Andean Medicine Man and Wisdom Keeper, Puma Quispe Singona, on an incredible journey through the spiritual heart of Peru, from Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley to Lake Titicaca.

This one-of-a-kind trip will allow you to see some of the country’s most sacred sites, letting you explore the immense power of the land and giving you a chance to connect with the sacredness that can be found all over this beautiful country.

Puma has been leading groups of travellers through Peru for years and will provide you with the teachings and initiations needed for your own internal transformation. There’s probably no one out there more capable to give you the tools to make this trip, and the rest of your life, truly special.