Traveling is something many people enjoy throughout their lives. It is the experience of new cultures, traditions, and even historic locations. Many locations offer tours and excursions at reasonable prices, although many travelers find themselves exploring locations one does not have to pay for. These locations are the ones worth the while. Peru offers a wide variety of attractions at no cost, ranging from historic locations to more modern attractions. It is one of the many places that travelers can enjoy a historic museum and a pleasant hike a few miles away. Here are ten free things travelers can do while visiting Peru.
10 Centro Historico De Cusco
Walking through the center of historical Cusco takes you through colonial-time buildings whose design was based on the Incan culture and royal palaces. This melding of two widely different styles of architecture isn’t found anywhere else in the world. Located in this historic area are multiple different sites that travelers can visit without having to pay. Many of these locations are made open to public viewing by the Peruvian government.
Here, travelers will find the Plaza de Armas and La Catedral, both locations highly recommended to visit if interested in history. The cathedral is actually built on the remnants of the Incan King Viracocha’s royal palace and started in 1560.
9 Palacio de Gobierno
The Government Palace of Peru, also called Government House or House of Pizarro is the headquarters of the Peruvian executive branch and the official residence of the President of Peru, located in the Plaza Mayor. This is much like the White House in the United States or Buckingham Palace in England. There aren't many activities tourists can do except take pictures and enjoy the scenery. Although you can watch the Changing of the guard, a formal ceremony that occurs every day at noon. Sometimes travelers might even get to see the first family and the president. Which for any traveler is an exciting moment.
8 Museo del Congreso y de la Inquisición
The Museum of the Holy Inquisition and Congress is one of the museums that receives many visitors every year. It was founded in July 1968. This museum is mostly known for having been the seat of the Inquisition during the colonial era, where people convicted of religious crimes were punished and tortured. The Greco-roman architecture of the Congress building dates from 1570 and is impressive on its own. Since a portion was the center for torture, guests are allowed to go to the dungeons and witness dummies going through the same punishments that people went through, hundreds of years before.
7 Bosque El Olivar
The “Olive Grove Forest” is set in the heart of the San Isidro District in the capital city of Lima. From three surviving olive trees imported from Spain, the park offers a pleasant break from the city with 44 species of trees and numerous species of colorful birds. There is a lovely walking path, benches and a lagoon. The park is populated with over 1500 olive trees, so try to go when they are in season and enjoy the display. These trees are all said to have been planted during the colonial era. Named a National Monument, this is an area travelers should really consider visiting.
6 Plaza Mayor
If there is one place travelers should explore is the Plaza Mayor. This location offers a historic sighting at every turn. One of the more central locations of Peru, this area is the main square of the city where the Municipal Palace, Presidential Palace, and Basilica Cathedral are located. These are all areas mostly open to the public to visit for free. Not only are these locations great to visit, but there is also colonial architecture that will impress even the residents of Peru. The area is very safe and historic, it is no wonder it is one of the most traveled to places in the world.
5 Parque del Amor
For couples who are traveling this is one of the locations, they will want to visit in Peru. This is often referred to as ‘The Park of Love.’ The location is very colorful and isolated from most of the city. It is located in Malecon and offers one of the best views of the Pacific ocean available in Peru.
The park not only offers wonderful views but is also home to, ‘El Beso’ a statue located at the center of the park that depicts two lovers amorously sharing a kiss. Not only is the statue famous, but the endless pillars engraved with love quotes around it will make even the most experienced travelers want to visit again.
4 Iglesia de San Pedro
This is one of the more historic locations. This church located in Lima offers travelers a rich and complex history of religion. This is the only church left in Lima that was built on the rules of the Latin church. It is one of the more extravagant churches, having been built with a baroque style that can be heavily exaggerated and ornate. The church is coated with saints on every wall and even the ceiling. They have a rich collection of art and environments. The scenes in this church depict many portions of religious history that many churches overlook. It is a wonderful place to visit, although it is no museum, travelers can experience a different religious setting.
3 San Bartolo Beach
If travelers are looking for a unique maritime experience they should book a spot at one of the hotels or condos at San Bartolo Beach. This beach is one of the most touristic spots in Peru and for a good reason. With clear waters and activities available at every turn, visitors will never want to leave. This beach has a wide variety of stalls and booths for visitors to try anything from surfing to scuba diving. Not only this, but there are food stalls and cafes open year-round offering local and exotic cuisine. The hotels offer a beautiful view of the ocean and nighttime festivals regularly occur at the beach. Any visitor will feel welcomed in this area.
2 Casa de la Literatura Peruana
For those travelers that enjoy unusual locations being turned into communal areas, this is one for them. Opened in 1912 to serve as a large European-style train station. The train station was eventually closed but was repurposed in 2009 as the Literature House of Puru as space to view sculptures, artwork, and read thousands of books on Peruvian literature. This is one of the locations that is most visited because of its complexity. There are many levels to the station that tourists can explore. The gorgeous architecture of the building and the stained glass, dome are a sight all on their own. This is located behind the Presidential Place, so after a visit there, this is the perfect place to go.
1 Malecon In Miraflores
This is a boardwalk that offers multiple areas to visit in between at the top of a cliff looking out to sea. Not only will tourists be visiting the beach on their walk, but they will also have access to local gardens, benches, cafes, and biking, roller skating, and joggers; even a lighthouse. This boardwalk stretches for miles and is a cliff-top attraction that many wish to spend the whole day at. “Malecon” is generic for ‘boardwalk,’ but when mentioning “the Malecon” folks in Peru understand you mean this one. Many of the benches are colorful mosaic designed stone lining the footpaths and planters.