Top 7 Places to Visit in Northern Peru

About two months ago I left my comfortable job and home in the U.S. and hopped on a plane that landed me south of the equator. The opportunity to work at a local school in northern Peru was just too good to pass up. I get to work with amazing people here and I’ve found that northern Peru has amazing sites, food, and beaches that more travelers need to be visiting.

Before coming to Peru, I thought that the only major tourists sites were in the south of the country. I had heard about Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca my whole life, but I had never heard of anyone visiting the northern half of Peru. I figured that was because there wasn’t much to do. I was incredibly ignorant and wrong about that. Every weekend I have been here I’ve seen something new and different, and all on a magnificent scale.

So without further ado, here are the top 7 places to visit in Northern Peru:

1. Zaña

This town was once the capital of Peru, a thriving city with Spanish cathedrals, African slaves, and lots of gold. After being pillaged by pirates and then wiped out by a hurricane, the town is not the same. However it is still beautiful. You can climb over Spanish ruins and enjoy the music and dancing by locals at the Afro Peruvian museum.

2. Moshoqueque Market

This market is where the jungle, the mountains, and the desert meet. People from these different regions bring all of their goods here, to then sell and distribute to different vendors and buyers. The market is always packed and lively, and you can find anything and everything…in bulk. The people are friendly too, so the experience is always fun and interesting.

3. Puerto Eten

This small beach town is a perfect getaway. With amazing sea food and ceviche, your stomach will thank you for visiting. There are amazing hikes to several coves in the area, an abandoned railway station you can explore, and you can even find penguins at Media Luna cove.

4. Cajamarca

Nestled in the mountains, this Incan city is full of beautiful views and has tons to keep you busy. Check out the Incan Baths if you’re feeling adventurous (natural hot spring bath houses).

5. Granja Porcon

Just outside of Cajamarca, this small town is an escape from reality. With hundreds of thousands of pine trees (all planted by hand!), you escape all city life. Make sure to try the cheese and yogurt, which are all made on site.

6. The tomb of Señor de Sipán

Known by many as the “King Tut of the Americas,” this tomb dates back to pre-Incan civilizations. The tomb was found intact and you can visit the museum on site to see all of the valuables collected.

7. Túcume

This town is home to several pyramids. You can climb to the top of one to get a view of the whole valley and you can also find ancient carvings at one of the pyramids.

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