If you want to experience one of the most beautiful countries in South America, you should travel to Peru. In Peru, there is a lot to see, from colonial cities, the rugged Andes mountains, a fascinating Inca culture, bustling markets, and villages where it seems as if time has stood still. Many people have Peru high on their wish list to travel to because of the world wonder Machu Picchu, however, the Salkantay trek, Canyon del Colca, and many other highlights are reasons to travel to Peru. We have traveled through Peru for 25 days and have made a Peru itinerary for 2 to 3 weeks with our experience. A diverse journey where you get to know a great culture and fantastic people!
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How many weeks do you need for a tour of Peru?
We have done this Peru itinerary in 25 days and recommend traveling through Peru for at least 3 weeks. If you have 4 weeks, this is even better because you can travel at a slower pace or you can choose to add destinations. It is important that when planning your trip through Peru, do not overdo it by adding too many things to this Peru itinerary. The distances between different places are big, so you will not escape sitting on the bus for a few hours. The advantage is that the buses in Peru are luxurious and you can use night buses.
It is also possible to do this Peru itinerary in 2 weeks. We recommend not to travel to Puno and then travel from Arequipa / Colca Canyon to Cusco.
If you have more time to discover Peru, we recommend adding Huarez to your Peru itinerary. Huarez is a fantastic place to make beautiful hikes. Nature lovers can indulge themselves in this place. Unfortunately, we had too little time for this, but it is a good reason to travel through Peru again. You can also take a domestic flight from Lima to Iquitos to discover the Amazon of Peru.
How much budget do you need for a trip through Peru?
If you compare Peru with Europe and the United States, it is cheap to travel. Peru is one of the cheapest backpacking destinations in the world. If you have a tight budget, $25 – $35 will suffice. An average traveler can start from $35 – $70 per day. If you want to know more about Peru and travel costs then you should read this article: Peru budget guide. Here we explain in detail how much you spend on different parts for a trip through Peru. You can also read how much we ourselves spent on this Peru travel route to give you a good estimate.
Transport for this Peru itinerary
The bus is the perfect way to travel through Peru. The buses are very luxurious, you have a lot of space and a screen just like the plane to watch a good movie. The best bus company that operates almost all routes is Cruz del Sur. You can read a lot about Peru Hop a hop-on-hop-off construction on the internet. In practice, it turns out that you are more expensive and you cannot cover all routes with this. It is best to book your ticket easily on Omio.
Best hostels and hotels to stay in Peru
During our trip through Peru, we went looking for the best places to sleep. In our opinion, the nice and special accommodations where you stay give your trip an extra dimension. We have been able to find these places in Peru and are happy to share this with you. We have listed the best accommodations for each destination. We focus on every budget, so there is an accommodation that is suitable for everyone. Via this link, you can find our favorite places to sleep in Peru.
Tip: use this article, it will save you a lot of research!
The perfect Peru itinerary
Below you can see the perfect Peru itinerary that we have drawn up with our personal experience. To give you a good idea of all the destinations of the Peru travel route, we have briefly described each destination below. If you want to know more about a specific destination, you can click on a link to the destination. For each destination, we have written a detailed article in which information can be found about sights, activities, dining options, our favorite hotels & hotels, and our personal tips. These articles help you to get a good idea of the destination.
Tip: plan your trip in the same way as our itinerary, because then you have enough time to acclimatize and eventually experience higher places such as Cusco without altitude sickness.
Lima is the capital of Peru and probably your starting point for your journey. Lima is a great city to unwind after your flight, but it is not a city to stay in for very long. Peru has much nicer things to offer. Nevertheless, Lima has plenty to offer to have a good time. You can discover the historic center, discover the cliffs along the sea, and Peruvian cuisine. Finally, you can read about the nicest and safest neighborhood in Peru. Read our article for more information.
After a day in Lima, you continue the journey to Paracas. Paracas is located between Lima and Huacachina, many travelers skip Paracas and usually travel directly from Lima to Huacachina. However, Paracas is highly recommended, because you can do several fun things. There is a national park that exceeded all our expectations, some cool islands off the coast, and more. Do you want to know more about Paracas and why it is worth visiting? Check all our tips about Paracas.
Huacachina is a village situated in an oasis surrounded by huge dunes. You can do one of the best activities in Peru here, namely sandboarding over the high dunes. If you depart from Lima/Paracas before 9 am you will be in Huacachina in the early afternoon, so you can do the activity at 4 pm. At this time, the buggies will leave for the desert. Besides this activity, there are plenty of other fun things to do in Huacachina. Via this link, you can read the best things to do in Huacachina.
To get straight to the point, Arequipa is one of the best destinations in Peru. Arequipa is not as well known as some other cities in Latin America, but once you are in Arequipa you realize why this colonial city is so special. Most of the buildings in Arequipa are white because they are built from volcanic rock. Arequipa is a perfect city as a base because there are a lot of fun things to do in and around Arequipa. Besides, Arequipa is higher located compared to Lima, Paracas, and Huacachina, so you can acclimatize to the altitude before you go into the mountains. Curious about Arequipa? Read our article for all information.
After acclimatizing in Arequipa you can embark on one of the best excursions in Peru, hiking in Colca Canyon. Colca Canyon is the perfect excursion to experience rural life in Peru up close. In two or three days you can discover the valley that has one of the deepest gorges in the world. In Colca Canyon, you can spot Andean condors, bathe in thermal pools, and above all enjoy the breathtaking views. Are you curious and would you like to know more? Then read everything you need to know to be well prepared in our article. It is not a typical trekking tour.
Puno / Lake Titicaca
Puno is a port city located on Lake Titicaca. This is the largest lake in South America and the highest water that is navigated. Puno itself isn’t very interesting, but what you can do from Puno is fantastic. You can discover different islands, find ruins of the Incas, and much more. If you travel to Bolivia, Puno is a good stop. If you are short on time in Peru or you want to add something else to your Peru itinerary such as Huerez or the Amazon, you can choose to skip Puno. Read our article where we tell everything about Puno to make a good decision for yourself.
Cusco is Peru’s most popular city and that is without a doubt justified. In Cusco, you can easily stay for a few days. From Cusco, you can do plan some great day trips, but there is also plenty to discover in Cusco itself. Do you want to know everything you can do in Cusco, which activities we recommend, what the best place is to say? Then read our article about Cusco where we give all the tips.
The Salkantay trek is, to this day, the best hike we have ever done. This hike is so special because you have breathtaking views, pass various ecosystems, and you are away from everything for 5 days. Also, you end at sunrise in Machu Picchu which makes it the perfect hike. It is difficult to convince you to do this hike in such a short text. We are happy to tell you why you don’t want to miss this opportunity and why, for example, you should not do the Inca trail but the Salkantay trek. Read all the information in this article.
Machu Picchu is Peru’s most famous landmark. Not surprising, because it is one of the 7 wonders of the world. This city is 600 years old and relatively recently discovered by accident. It is located on a huge mountain in the middle of the jungle. When you stand there you will probably ask yourself, how did these people ever live here. It is a very special place. The most important tip that we can already share is that you should be at Machu Picchu at sunrise because you will be with few other people. If you visit Machu Picchu later at the normal time, it is extremely busy, which takes away the magical feeling. You can discover Machu Picchu in different ways. We’ll tell you everything you need to know in our article to make your visit to Machu Picchu unforgettable.