Avoid Tourists: A Guide to Non-Touristy Things To Do in Peru

by on 17th July, 2020

Peru has long been one of the hot spots of tourism in South America, and quite rightly so! However, most of us love an element of off the beaten track travelling, and here’s how  you can get away from the crowds with our guide to non-touristy things to do on holiday in Peru. Here’s a selection of hidden gems and remote treks.


Kuelap ruins and Gocta Falls

From Lima a short plane journey takes you to the city of Jaen, the gateway to two pearls of the North: the Kuelap ruins and the Gocta Waterfalls. Several comfortable lodges invite you to stay and relax, while you visit the fascinating mountain top citadel of Kuelap. Set aside a day for the ruins, and a day for a trip to the Gocta Waterfall (with refreshing dip!) and enjoy beautiful scenery, forest covered mountains, Andean villages and empty sites.


at Gocta-family-holiday-north-peru

Gocta Falls



Chachapoyas Trek

We’re staying North and pack in some more fantastically non-touristy sites – on the Chachapoyas Trek. You can combine this with a visit to the Kuelap ruins, but the trek then takes you much further afield on routes rarely trekked and visited. Untouched mountain fortresses, cliff top tombs, breathtaking scenery, sub trpocial valleys – it really is a great mix for anybody who likes adventure.






Anybody with a love of the mountains should head to Huaraz, where mighty snow-capped peaks rise all around you. A trail of exhilarating day hikes and multi day treks await you and take you into the wilderness of the Andes. The Huayhuash high mountain trek is one of the best know circuits to hike, but there are also other, lesser known treks to choose from and a range of technical climbs for those seeking mountaineering thrills.

Trekkers in Cordillera Huayhuash Peru

Cordillera Huayhuash



Ausangate Lodge Trek

Trekking is always a fantastic experience, but it does not always take you away from the crowds especially if you focus on the main treks Peru offers, such as the Inca Trail and the Salkantay Trek. Choose wisely, however, and you do find yourself in little company of others. The Ausangate Lodge and Rainbow Mountain Trek is a firm favourite in the Andean Trails office and we love how you can combine trekking in stunning high Andes with stays at local lodges, run by the farmers of the area. It’s a beautiful mix of scenery and culture. It also takes you to the now famous Rainbow Mountain (DISCLAIMER – beware, you WILL meet other tourists here but you can revel in the knowledge that you took a much more meaningful route to reach it than the Cusco day trippers!).

Cargo horses on Ausangate lodges trek

Ausangate Lodge Trek



Lake Titicaca – kayaking and homestays

Lake Titicaca is a serene place and there’s no doubt a certain magic about the highest (navigable) lake in the world. It is undeniably also a very popular place on any highlights holiday and it is tricky to escape your fellow tourists. Most tourists choose to stay overnight on the islands of Taquile or Amantani. Choose to stay at the community of Luquina instead, which boast a stunning location on a small peninsula and you’ll find yourself surrounded by less travellers, staying in the homes of the villagers. Kayaking and stand up paddle boarding, too, are a great option to explore the lake and not yet that popular with the masses.

Luqina Lake Titicaca




Colca Canyon Trekking

How can the Colca Canyon be “non touristy” we hear you ask. You’re right, it is a big tourism hot spot boasting with amazing opportunities to see the majestic Condors soar. Most tourists, however, spend one night only in the canyon. Spend an extra few nights here and you will be able to explore the less visited sites. Don your hiking boots for a 2 or 3 day hike and you won’t regret it as you get the chance to visit small, rural villages and explore remote corners of the valley.

Colca Canyon viewpoint, Colca, Peru

Colca Canyon viewing point



Community tourism and homestay in Peru with kids

There are options for homestay and community tourism projects in the Sacred Valley and the Ausangate area. When it comes to the facilities they are quite basic but children will find many things to do. These activities can include milking cows, digging for potatoes, chopping alfalfa, visiting guinea pig breeding centres or cheese plants, and even feeding guinea pigs! Other highlights are rides in a moto taxi and a chance to hang out with the local children.

Huillca home stay family Peru

Homestay family


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