Amazon River Cruise Information - Jungle Blog.jpg

Why Peru Is the Top Travel Destination for 2016


A tourist favorite on the rise, Peru has become a top travel destination in recent years- and it seems 2016 will be its biggest yet. It’s no wonder why. From the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu to the rich mystery of the Amazon rainforest, to the world-renowned cuisine of urban Lima, every inch of the country boasts impressive yet diverse sights and culture that you won’t find anywhere else. Having won multiple awards throughout South America and the world as a leading cultural and culinary destination, the national tourism board has also been recognized as one of the best in the world. Read on for why Peru is the top travel destination in 2016- it’s time to start planning your trip!



Tradition folkloric dresses in Cusco. 

Tradition folkloric dresses in Cusco. 


1. Culture

Named the 2015 Leading Cultural Destination in South America by the World Travel Awards, Peru draws in millions of visitors annually who are interested in witnessing the many ancient and modern cultures that reside side-by-side in the land of the Incas. 


Every region boasts different native peoples and customs, no two quite alike. Visit the folkloric shores of Lake Titicaca, where locals live on the continent’s largest lake as they have for centuries. In Cusco, the capital of the ancient Inca empire and home of Wonder of the World Machu Picchu, walk amongst pristine archaeological ruins that have both fascinated and perplexed humankind since their discovery. Encounter the many tribes of the Amazon, living in harmony with their dramatic natural environment, speaking dozens of dialects and living off the land. In Lima, encounter modern Peru, by sampling the infamous gastronomy, learning to surf or dance salsa, or visiting any handful of museums dedicated to the cultural treasures of the country.


From the ancient Andean culture in the mountains to the modern coastal capital, Peru is bursting with fascinating peoples and lifestyles, an intricate mix rarely found under the same flag.



Peruvian Causa on the Delfin I 

Peruvian Causa on the Delfin I 


2. Cuisine

As rich and diverse as Peru’s cultural wealth is, the country’s cuisine is equally as standout: it’s been named the Leading Culinary Destination of South America AND the World for the past four years by the World Travel Awards. Visit any major city around the world and you’ll notice the Peruvian restaurants, ranging from fast-food to Michelin-starred, popping up in every corner. 


Like Peru’s culture, the cuisine varies greatly by region, offering a plethora of experiences. Along the coast, taste the delicate flavors of the sea. In Lima, make sure to try Peru’s national dish, fresh ceviche (raw seafood cooked in salt and lime), or any of the hundreds of seafood dishes mixing fresh catches with sophisticated spicing and preparation. Pair it with a classic pisco sour in the evenings. 


Treat yourself and eat in one of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants- three are in Lima (eight have made it onto Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants of the Year, including Lima’s Central taking first place). 


Even better, take a cooking class and learn to create the flavors yourself!



Breakfast in the Amazon 

Breakfast in the Amazon 

In the Andes, you’ll find hearty sustenance provided through the thousands of varieties of potatoes, meats such as alpaca and guinea pig, corn, rich sauces, and slow-cooking. Try delicious and smoky pachamanca, the highland classic of burying marinated meats and vegetables and cooking them underground for up to 8 hours. 


Adventurous eaters will delight at the wonders of the Amazon, where culinary options are unlike any other in the world. Sample fruits you’ve never heard of, drink fresh juices of medicinal plants, and catch and cook your own piranha.


Want to sample the most of it in a short amount of time? Don’t miss Mistura, South America’s largest food festival- it’s held in Lima every September. Chefs from every inch of Peru set up shop for a week, offering just a couple of their most impressive dishes. Portions are smaller so you can spend every day wandering from one booth to the next, learning about the history behind the drinks and dishes and tasting every one for yourself. Daily cooking demos and performance round it out to be any foodie’s culinary dream.



A view of Machu Picchu

A view of Machu Picchu

3. Landscape

Whether you crave the mountains, jungle, beaches or desert, you’ll be happy to know that Peru has…all of them. 


From the Andes to the snowy peaks of the Cordillera Blanca, impressive mountain ranges stretch across the country. There is no shortage of popular destinations for hiking, trekking, climbing, or simply escaping into the peace and serenity of the mountains. 


Encounter the world’s richest wildlife in the Amazon rainforest: the area with the most biodiversity in the world is found in Manu National Park. Sail alongside pink dolphins, crocodiles, and trek under the canopies inhabited by sloths, monkeys, jaguars, and thousands of birds and butterflies.


On Peru’s coast, you can be sure to find unspoiled beaches where the desert meets the fine sand (and few other tourists can be found).



Traditional folkloric mask in Puno. 

Traditional folkloric mask in Puno. 

4. Award-Winning Destination

Given everything Peru has to offer visitors, it’s easy to see why we consider Peru a top travel destination for 2016. And the World Travel Awards agrees. In addition to naming Peru the leading cultural and culinary destination for the past few years, it also earned nominations in 19 other categories for the 2015 World Travel Awards. 


These included Lima, nominated for Leading City Break Destination, the ruins at Machu Picchu up for World’s Leading Tourist Attraction, for World’s Leaving Tourism Authority Website, PromPeru as the World’s Leading Tourism Board, Peru as the World’s Leading Green Destination, Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport as the World’s Leading Airport, and many more. 


Eight hotels in Lima and greater Peru were nominated for ten different awards, with two major wins: Hotel Paracas claiming the title of the Leading Resort in South America, and Belmond Miraflores Park winning World’s Most Romantic Resort. 



Peruvian Amazon Jungle 

Peruvian Amazon Jungle 

With 22 years of experience nominating and awarding in the tourism industry, the World Travel Awards are recognized as a respectable authority in the sector (often called the “Oscars of Travel”).


But the awards and accolades are coming from every direction. Business Insider named it one of the “Places You Should Visit in 2015”, Hiking Holidays named Peru their “Top Destination of 2015”, Momondo calls it one of the “Best Budget Vacation Destinations”, National Geographic listed it as one of the “Best Summer Trips of 2015”, and CNN and TripAdvisor agree that Cusco makes the list of the “World’s Top 25 Destinations”. TripAdvisor calls Lima one of the “10 Cities on the Rise” for 2016, and we guarantee Peru will be named the top travel destination of 2016 by many before the year is over.


Don’t miss this fascinating country, renowned for its cuisine, culture, quality of tourism and so much more. Whatever you look for in your vacation destinations, Peru’s got it. Increasing in popularity every year, Peru cemented its status as a top travel destination of 2015…and we know it will only continue to flourish for travelers in 2016. Just make sure to visit before everybody finds out! Contact Us for help booking your trip to Peru. 

Other blog posts you may enjoy:

About Rainforest Cruises

Rainforest Cruises is a boutique travel company specializing in Amazon river cruises and tours, providing you with the finest collection of cruises in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Panama. As South American travel experts we have all the advice you need to help you find and book your dream cruise and an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime.


Geri Daniel loved her vacation with Rainforest Cruises.
We had an absolutely fabulous time on the cruise. Thank you again for the trip of a lifetime.
— Geri Daniel, Austin, TX
The Johannson family encounter a sloth on their rainforest cruise.
We had a wonderful time. We were all impressed with the efficiency and organization of the trip from start to finish.
— Jeanette Johannson & Family, USA