When I sat down to take notes for this blog post, I couldn’t stop. Within a few minutes, I had what looked like an endless list – and I kept getting more ideas. Peru has it all, from Lake Titicaca to the oldest ruins in the Americas and tropical beaches. Whatever you want to see or do, you’ll find it in this country. From hiking to sightseeing and relaxing with good food, everything is possible.

But with so many sights and attractions to choose from, where do you even start? What is there beyond Machu Picchu?

After a lot of thinking and editing my list, I have finally come up with these 18 highlights. I have spent more than a month in Peru and have seen the far south all the way up to the far north – and these were the things I enjoyed the most.…

Ever since I heard about Caral, I wondered why it isn’t more popular with travellers. The oldest ruins in the Americas, constructed at the same time as the first pyramids of Egypt. Who would not want to visit them? I was sure that going there would be easy and that I could spontaneously arrange a day trip from Lima, hopping on a bus with lots of other tourists.

Turned out I was wrong. Despite the significance of Caral, it was surprisingly hard to get there. I looked up tours but most of the companies only offered private trips and I wasn’t willing to pay a fortune. Surely, there had to be a better way?

There is! Caral can easily be visited independently as a day trip from Lima for a fraction of the price you would pay for a private tour.…

The Galapagos Islands are known for being one of the most expensive destinations in the world.

If you google them, you will find beautiful cruise ships that take you around the archipelago for thousands and thousands of dollars. You will see luxury resorts and tours promising you the best experience – if you pay them enough. The islands have the reputation of being expensive and it is possible to spend a small fortune coming here.

Yet, it is also possible to experience the wonderful nature and wildlife without blowing your budget. While the Galapagos Islands will never be the cheapest destination in the world, I have travelled here for less than 60$ a day. This included a double room with a private bathroom, two excursions and lots of awesome wildlife encounters that I wouldn’t want to miss.…

Most travellers who visit Galapagos end up on Santa Cruz sooner or later, and I was no exception. In fact, I came here twice. Once voluntarily and once involuntarily.

My first, involuntary stay, unavoidable due to all boat connections from San Cristobal to Isabela going via Santa Cruz, lasted only a couple of hours. I used that time to eat a giant cup of ice cream – a decision which I regretted later that afternoon when I took a boat to Isabela and desperately tried not to empty my stomach into the sea.

My second encounter with Santa Cruz was more fortunate. I stayed for three days so I had a chance to properly get to know the island beyond the ice cream parlour.…

If you asked me to choose a favourite island on Galapagos, I would have a hard time. I went to three of them, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabela, and loved all of them. Each was special in its own way. But if I absolutely had to decide, I think I would go for Isabela because it was just a bit more special than the others.

Isabela is the island of marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and pink flamingos. It has endless white beaches and a small town consisting of dirt roads. Upon arriving, we were greeted by sea lions who had taken a rest in between the mangroves.

Isabela is just perfect. And so you know how to spend your time here and make sure you don’t miss any of the highlight, here is what I recommend doing:…