Best Photo Ops: Lima, Cusco, Santiago

Planning your next trip to Lima and Cusco in Peru or Santiago, Chile? Don’t forget these must-visit photo op spots for the best souvenirs of your adventure! Taxis are very reliable in Peru and Chile for you to get to where you might want to take photos. Uber is also an option in Santiago. Private transfers/a driver are also easily arranged (though for a higher cost). If you’re feeling adventurous, try the bus in Lima. More straightforward? Take the subway in Santiago. The following are the must-stop spots in and around Lima, Cusco and Santiago:

Lima Photography

Lima at sunset

Lima Photography

La Picanteria, Surquillo, Market Lima

Lima: Sunset or sunrise on the Malecon (boardwalk in Lima connecting Miraflores and Barranco neighborhoods). Surquillo Market (especially La Picanteria) is the perfect spot for foodie shots and a delicious/cheap ceviche lunch ;). Also along the steps of Barranco neighborhood leading down to the beach- great at sunset!


Cusco: The lookout over the city atop the San Blas neighborhood. The Central Market in Cusco is also great for cultural shots.

Sacred Valley

Sacred Valley, Peru

Sacred Valley

Salkantay, Sacred Valley, Peru

Sacred Valley: Both the ruins in Pisac and Ollantaytambo are excellent places for photography. Ask your guides for the best angles and spots within the ruins.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu: If staying in Aguas Calientes, in the morning get to the gates of the citadel on one of the first shuttles (or hike up on your own) and head up to Intipunku (the sun gate). This is the classic and famous “Machu Picchu at Dawn” shot. You could also do this in the evening for a sunset shot- there will probably be less people at that time. If you are arriving at Machu Picchu via the Inca Trail- you’re set! You will be arriving through the Sun Gate.


Street Art, Santiago


Plaza de Armas, Santiago


Mercado Central, Santiago

Santiago: Cerro San Cristobal and/or Cerro Santa Lucia both offer high view points of the city. One can hike or take a gondola to the top of San Cristobal. Atop Santa Lucia there is an enchanting old castle offering epic contrast shots between the “old and new” architectural styles of Santiago. For vibrant street art and great people-watching visit the neighborhood of Bellavista. The Lastarria neighborhood, is great for taking shots of classic Chilean/Spanish architecture and culture. The Mercado Central is the place for shots of food and people. Finally, for fancy fun, visit the luxury Singular Hotel and head to their bar; its on the top floor, offers sweeping views of the city- and excellent drinks to boot!

Want to try your hand at travel photography? Let us help with your itinerary!

Your friendly South America expert,



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