This is my first time to Peru and I want to hear suggestions on the places I HAVE to visit and why? I'm going to be there for 3 weeks so I have plenty of time to explore, I'm open for all suggestions, I just really want to see the best of Peru!
Well number one is, of course, Machu Picchu!!! Cuzco was an amazing city as well and I would spend at least 2 days around there exploring. I also took a tour that toured Arequipa and Lake Titicaca, including a home stay with a local family. Cool experience. If you want mountains, go to Huaraz. Amazing sights especially at the top as you discover crystal blue bodies of water. I really enjoyed a few days in Cajamarca to see a totally different side of Peruvian life and the early ways of doing things. And it's one of the famous places to get Peruvian caramel, manjar blanco. Yum! You get samples everywhere in all the little shops in the square. I never got to the jungle in Iquitos but Ive heard interesting things. I would definitely get all the suggested vaccinations if you decide to go there. And if you are up for a volunteer experience with ridiculously cute orphans, go to Trujillo to Hogar de Esperanza. Google it-- I spent a year there and I miss them so much. Hope you enjoy one of my favorite countries :)
Check out Ollantaytambo. Very cool ruins in Cusco. The history of why it was built and the magnitude of the stones are amazing. I believe that there is the face of the white-bearded-god that is etched into the stone of the canyon. I wasn't there at the right time, but apparently his crown illuminates on the equinox. Buena Suerte!