Peru Itineraries for the Ultimate Trip (2021)

Machu Picchu Peru

Peru is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. There’s a lot to love about Peru, including the fact that it’s so geographically diverse. It can be overwhelming to plan a trip to Peru because there’s so much to do, and one might not want to miss anything.

All Peru itineraries suggest visiting Lima—the country’s capital, and Cusco—to see the infamous Machu Picchu. And, while Lima and Cusco are excellent cities; there’s more to see in Peru than that. This article details the key cities to visit in Peru and the top things to do and see in each city.  Included here are itineraries for varying lengths of stay in Peru.

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    How Many Days to Spend in Peru

    Jagsetter in Peru with mountains in the background. Wearing a backpack and sleeveless tank top.
    A common question that’s asked is, “how many days do I need in Peru?” and the answer to this question is that there’s enough to do in Peru to keep a visitor entertained for many months. That said, most travelers operate under time constraints and have to squeeze their trip into a specific itinerary. This post advises on how to plan a fulfilling trip to Peru for 1-week, 2-weeks, 3-weeks, or more.

    Key Cities to See in Peru

    Picture of a yellow and orange house, trees, and a blue buggy car in Barranco, Lima, Peru

    It’s my belief that one could visit any city in Peru and have an enjoyable time. Peruvian culture is delightful in and of itself. The food—particularly Peruvian street food—is never a letdown. Also, the Peruvian lifestyle is very laid back, which forces travelers to embrace the moment a bit while visiting.

    And then there’s the landscape. The landscape of Peru is just, wow. If you’re someone that likes nature, then you’ll love Peru. Peru has the ultimate concoction of every type of terrain possible. There are beaches, mountains, jungles, and deserts—and it’s beyond your wildest expectation of what beauty can be.

    Below is a list of the key cities to see in Peru. This list includes the most popular cities in Peru, as well as some of my personal favorites. Later on in this post, I’ll break down some suggestions for varying Peru itineraries.

    Lima: The Country’s Booming Capital

    Lima Peru where to stay decorative button for Jagsetter home page

    Lima, Peru is on every Peru itinerary. The reason for this is two-fold. The only international airport in Peru is Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, which means that international travelers must stop in lima first. Some travelers stay in Lima for a day and treat it as a stopover city on their way to their next destination in Peru. Others stay in Lima for days, and there’s a lot to do in the city if you choose to do so, too.

    How Long to Stay in Lima, Peru:
    The ideal amount of time to stay in Lima is 2 – 5 days. Some Peru itineraries split visits to Lima up at the front-end, and back-end of the trip. For example, you can spend 2 days in Lima at the start of your trip and 2 days in Lima towards the end. This strategy works because travelers have to stop in Lima to enter & exit the country.

    Where to stay in Lima, Peru:
    The best neighborhoods to stay in Lima are Miraflores, Barranco, and San Isidro. Read here for a breakdown of the best places to stay in Lima, Peru, and how to find great and affordable accommodation there.

    How to Get Around Lima:
    The easiest way to get around Lima is via RideShare App. Uber functions well in Lima. There are also public taxis and buses. If taking a public taxi, be sure to negotiate the cost of your trip before you get in the car; otherwise, you may end up paying more than you should for your trip.

    What to do in Lima:
    It’s a great city to spend time in if you’d like to experience Peruvian culture in a large city. Lima has got a great food scene, and some of the world’s best restaurants (such as Central Restaurante) are in the capital city. Other things to do & see in Lima, Peru are:

    • Spend time at the beach and go surfing & paragliding (or, watch others!)
    • Walk-through Barranco, the artsiest neighborhood in Peru
    • Check out the country’s capital building in the Historic Center
    • Walkthrough ruins from 200 to 700AD at Huaca Pucllana. You can visit by day or eat at the on-property restaurant in front of the lit-up ruins at night.
    • See the statue in El Parque Del Amor (translation: Love Park)

    Cusco: Home to Incan Ruins & Some of the Worlds Best Treks

    Parque Arqueológico Pisac

    Cusco is the most popular city for tourists in Peru. Machu Picchu—one of the 7 new wonders of the modern world—is located in the Cusco Region of Peru and to get there tourists have to travel through Cusco City. When tourists only have time to visit one to two cities in their trip itinerary, they will usually only visit Lima and Cusco. There’s a lot to see and do in the Cusco Region, including; Incan Ruins, city life, spiritual activities, and an abundance of mountainous hiking trails.

    How Long to Stay in Cusco, Peru:
    Cusco has a lot to offer. Tourists that have a short Peru trip itinerary can plan to spend 3 – 5 days in Cusco, which will give enough time to see the key attractions. Others who plan on a lengthier stay in Peru can spend 30 days or more in Cusco without running out of things to do.

    Where to Stay in Cusco, Peru:
    The Cusco region of Peru is massive—offering a variety of locations for tourists to stay. The most common areas that tourists stay in Cusco are Cusco City, Urubamba, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo.

    Hot to Get Around Cusco:
    The most common method of transportation in the Cusco region is a colectivo; which is a van that holds roughly 12 passengers. Colectivos shuttle to/from all the major cities within the Cusco region at a low cost. Within each city, one can take moto-taxis (scooters attached to tents/seats) or taxis to get around. As always in Peru, be sure to negotiate the cost of your ride before getting into any method of transportation to save cost.

    What to do in Cusco:
    There is so much to do in Cusco, especially for travelers that like culture and adventure. Below is a list of some of the key activities:

    • Spend Time in Cusco City: You’ll have to stop in Cusco City while en-route to other areas in the region due to how transportation flows in Peru. While in Cusco City, visit San Blas, Plaza de Armas, Cusco Cathedral, and shop for local Peruvian goods in Mercado Central.

    • Visit Machu Picchu: The #1 reason that people visit Peru is to see Machu Picchu. There are several ways to access Machu Picchu, the most common are: to hike the Inca Trail or to take a day trip to it to/from Cusco City.

    • Trek to Inti Punku, The Sun Gate at Machu Picchu: Inti Punku is one of many Incan ruins in the Cusco Region. It was once a guarded entranceway to Machu Picchu, which is quite a distance away from the site. The hike to Inti Punku can be accessed from Ollantaytambo and takes about 7 hours in total to complete.

    • Hike Rainbow Mountain: The Rainbow Mountain Trek is one of the most challenging hikes in the world. The mountain is set at an altitude of 17,000 feet, making every step taken on top of it a tremendous feat.

    • Go to the Sacred Valley: The Sacred Valley was once the center of the Incan Empire in Peru. This is a great place to visit for a relaxing stay in Peru. There are many Incan Ruins and treks in the area. Three of the most popular towns in the Sacred Valley are Pisac, Urubamba, and Ollantaytambo.

    Arequipa: The White City

    Arequipa view from above. Picture is of a white building in Arequipa set in front of the mountains.

    Arequipa is the second most populous city in Peru. The buildings in Arequipa are colonial-style architecture and mostly white. Because of the overwhelming use of white in the city, it’s nicknamed, “the white city.” There are three volcanoes in Arequipa and Colca Canyon is a short distance from Arequipa city. This city is a good addition to anyone that wants to see a mixture of Peruvian city life & nature-scape.

    How Long to Stay in Arequipa:
    One to three days are recommended for a trip to Arequipa. One day will be needed to visit Arequipa City. Two to three days should be added to your itinerary if you plan to visit Colca Canyon.

    Where to Stay in Arequipa:
    The best area to stay in the Arequipa region is in Arequipa city, near the city center.

    How to Get Around Arequipa:
    Arequipa city is small and walkable. There are taxis available for lengthy transits around the region. If you visit Colca Canyon, go with a tour group. The tour group will provide transportation to/from Arequipa city for you.

    What to Do in Arequipa:
    The Arequipa region offers both city-based and nature-based activities. Here’s a list of some of the top things to do in Arequipa:

    • Walk around Arequipa City: The best way to get to know a foreign city is to explore it by foot. Arequipa is a lovely city to walk around because the white colonial architecture is beautiful and it’s easy to navigate on foot.

    • Go on a free walking tour: These tours leave from the Arequipa City Center every day and last about two to three hours. You will visit every landmark in Arequipa City with a local guide that will detail facts about each site.

    • Visit Colca Canyon: This is a must-do in Peru if you like hiking & nature. You can visit Colca Canyon on a one-day tour or opt for a lengthier two to three-day hike. The one-day tours are action-packed & an aggressive use of time, but worth it if you don’t have much time to dedicate to the area in your itinerary.

    • Spend Time in the Plaza de Armas: This section of Arequipa is beautiful. It boasts views of grand colonial architecture in front of monotonous terrain. Restaurants line the plaza, and a great way to stop & enjoy the views is to have a meal there.

    • Go to the Museo Santuarios Andinos: This museum exhibits artifacts from the Incan era. The artifacts include textiles, ceramics, and bioarchaeological artifacts.

    • See tons of Alpacas at Mundo Alpaca: If you like Alpaca (who doesn’t!?) then visit Mundo Alpaca (translated to Alpaca World). There are dozens of Alpaca here, and they’ll come right up to you for food and pictures.

    • Check Out the Local Volcanos: There are several volcanoes in the Arequipa region. The most famous one is El Misti, which is the most visible volcano in the city. Tours of the volcano and camping trips near it are available, as well.
     

    Puno: Set on South America’s Largest Lake

    Uros floating islands in Puno, Peru. Picture of a floating island made of straw and a Peruvian boat. Located on Lake Titicaca.

    Puno, Peru is set on Lake Titicaca, which is South America’s largest lake and set at a higher altitude than any other large lake in the world. Lake Titicaca stretches across both Peru and Bolivia. Due to its close proximity to Bolivia, visitors often like to end their Peru itinerary in Puno before entering Bolivia via Copacabana.

    How Long to Stay in Puno:
    One to two days is recommended for a trip to Puno.

    Where to Stay in Puno:
    The best place to stay in Puno is in or near the city center. From there, you can organize trips to visit attractions in Puno such as the floating islands.

    How to Get Around Puno:
    Puno is a walkable city. Taxis are available for lengthy trips.

    What to Do in Puno:
    Puno is near Lake Titicaca. There are some great restaurants and markets in Puno and some unique cultural activities to do in the surrounding area. Here is a complete list of the top things to do in Puno:

    • Visit Uros Floating Islands: A top thing to do in Puno is to visit the Uros Floating Islands. Tours leave from Puno City on a daily basis. The tours usually leave early in the morning and return during mid-day. You’ll first take ground transportation to a lake, and then take a  boat to the islands. The islands make up a small floating city that’s inhabited by hundreds of Peruvians. Everything rests on top of a floating island in Uros including homes, schools, and markets. There are also homestays available for adventurous travelers that want to enjoy a local experience.

    • Venture to Amantaní & Taquile Islands: These islands are located on Lake Titicaca, and are a distance away from Uros Floating Islands. A trip to Amantaní & Taquile Islands is only possible if you plan to extend your stay in Puno beyond 2-3 days. A visit to the islands is a great way to experience life on Lake Titicaca and to experience local Peruvian Indigenous culture. The islands can be seen in one tour, with Taquile being a short stop on the way to Amantaní.

    • See a Pre-Inca Burial Ground at Sillustani: This burial ground overlooks Lake Titicaca and is accessible from Puno City.

    • Spend time in Plaza de Armas & View Catedral de Puno: Located in Punos main square. Go here to see religious and social architecture. And, while there, visit Jirón Lima, which is an area of Puno with many markets that sell hand-made Peruvian goods.

    Piura Region: Home to the Best Beaches in Peru

    Mancora Peru Blog Post icon

    The Piura region is a good place to visit for anyone that loves beach life. The area boasts some of the best beaches in South America and is a playground for surfers and backpackers. The region is large; consisting of Piura City, which is where the largest airport in the region is located. There are other smaller districts within the region that are close to the beach, such as Mancora, Tumbes, Zorritos, and Organos. The most popular region for travelers is Mancora, but the entire area is worth a visit if you’ve got the time.

    Piura is located in Northern Peru, and some tourists like to pair a visit to Mancora with a trip to Ecuador. Cuenca, Ecuador is just a few hours away from the region.

    How Long to Stay in the Piura Region:
    The amount of time you spend in the Piura region depends on how much of it you’d like to see. Most tourists will opt to visit only one beach, and that’s usually Mancora. If you go this route, then plan to spend 2 – 3 days in the region to give yourself enough time to transport to/from the airport, which is a distance away from the beaches, and enjoy the culture of the area.

    Where to Stay in the Piura Region:
    There are a wide variety of districts to stay within the Piura region. If opting to stay in the Mancora district, then stay close to the city center. There are a lot of good hostels in the area such as Selena Mancora, near the town center.

    How to Get Around the Piura Region:
    The best way to transport from district to district in Piura is by bus. Eppo Bus Piura is one of the most reliable, and affordable, bus transportation companies in the area. Once in your district of choice, you can walk from place to place or take a moto-taxi to travel greater distances.

    What to Do in the Piura Region:
    There is a lot to do in Piura. Focus your itinerary on one or two places if you only plan on spending a few days in Piura.

    • Spend time at Mancora Beach: Mancora beach is a haven for backpackers & surfers. It’s a small beach town with great waves for beginner surfers, awesome restaurants, and good shopping.

    • Visit Zorritos: Zorritos is one of the most beautiful beach areas in the region. Besides spending time on the beach, you can visit the natural hot springs. There are small fox-like animals called Zorritos in the area, as well. 

    • Explore Other Beach Towns in the Area: If you base yourself in Mancora and have the time, visit other nearby beach towns in the area such as Los Organos, Las Pocitas, and Vichayito

    • Go Sandboarding in the Sechura Desert: Adventurous travelers can opt to visit the Sechura Desert for a day and go sandboarding. This is like snowboarding but down a sand-dune. The experience involves getting in a dune-buggy to ride to the dunes, which is a very fast and adrenaline-pumping activity.

    Iquitos: Gateway to the Amazon

    Homes in the Peruvian Amazon that are made of wood and straw. Plants in front of the home. Dark brown dirt on ground and green trees in background.

    Iquitos is in the Amazonas region of Peru. Within Iquitos are hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, and local markets. The reason that many visit Iquitos is for access to the Amazon Jungle. Overnight jungle stays, and tours, are available to tourists. Most jungle stays are accessible via a two to three-hour boat ride from Iquitos.

    How Long to Stay in Iquitos:
    You will want to dedicate one day to the city of Iquitos and two to three days to the jungle. In total, you should dedicate one to four days to Iquitos. If you are seeking a lengthy adventure, then you may want to extend your stay for up to two weeks to explore more of the area.

    Where to Stay in Iquitos:
    It’s a good idea to spend one night in Iquitos city, before embarking on an overnight tour of the jungle. There are great hotels all over the city. The financial area of Iquitos is a good section to stay in. Rely on your hotel, or another trusted guide, to pre-book your overnight stay at a lodge within the jungle in advance of your trip.

    How to Get Around Iquitos:
    Moto-taxis are available all over Iquitos City for quick and affordable transportation. For lengthy distances to areas outside of the city, you’ll have to take a taxi or a boat.

    What to Do in Iquitos:
    Iquitos city is one of the best cities to experience Amazonas culture in Peru. There are excellent restaurants and great nightlife in the area. The city is a portal to the Amazon Jungle, but it’s also a great place to spend time before embarking on your adventure. Below are some key things to do in the Iquitos area.

    • Spend Time in Iquitos City: Explore the markets, restaurants, and nightlife.

    • Go on an Adventure in the Peruvian Amazon: The most popular thing to do in Iquitos is to embark on an adventure in the Peruvian Amazon. On your trip, you’ll take walks through the jungle and go on boat rides through the Amazon River. If you’re lucky, you’ll encounter animals such as Sloths, tarantulas, frogs, snakes, pink dolphins, monkeys, and more. A trip to the jungle is not for the faint of heart and will be a memory of a lifetime.
    • Take a Day Trip to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve: Encounter all sorts of wildlife on this trip, including monkeys.

    Tarapoto: Jungle in the Mountains

    Tarapoto Peru: Picture in a blog post about Peru Itineraries. This picture is of the river in the Amazon and a wooden boat, surrounded by trees

    Tarapoto is another city in the Amazonas Region of Peru. Much like Iquitos, Tarapoto is a city that’s located near jungle access for those that want to experience the Peruvian Amazon. What differentiates Tarapoto from Iquitos is that it’s mountainous, rather than flat.

    How Long to Stay in Tarapoto:
    Two to three days will be enough time to spend in Tarapoto. If you’ve got more time to spend on your trip then you may choose to extend and spend more time in the jungle.

    Where to Stay in Tarapoto:
    You may have to stay in Tarapoto City for one night when you arrive, depending on what time you get there, as it’s only safe to drive into the jungle during daytime hours. Then, spend as much time as you can inside the jungle, along the Amazon river. There are a lot of great jungle lodges in the area. A favorite of ours is the Pumarinri Amazon Lodge.

    How to Get Around Tarapoto:
    Moto taxis are the best way to travel around both Tarapoto city and the remote locations outside of the city. These can be hailed on the streets and are available all over.

    What to Do in Tarapoto:
    Tarapoto is all about enjoying the natural landscape of the Amazon jungle. While most of your time in Tarapoto will be spent relaxing and taking it in, here’s a shortlist of things that you’ll want to explore:

    • Spend Time in Tarapoto City: While there, visit the Plaza de Armas and have a meal.

    • Relax by the River: We recommend staying in a lodge near the river for the majority of your time in the region. While there, enjoy the relaxing jungle sounds and river views. You can also do some wildlife watching for the local monkeys, birds, and snakes.

    • Hike to the Pucayaquillo Waterfall: Walk 45-minutes through the jungle to get to this waterfall. Once there, you can swim in the water below the waterfall, and take pictures.

    • Enjoy the Ahuashiyacu Waterfalls: There are a few waterfalls in the region, and Ahuashiyacu Waterfall is another must-see.

    • Visit a Local Chocolate Factory: Chocolate is grown and produced for sale in Tarapoto. Visit a local chocolate factory, speak with a shop owner about the chocolate-making process, and try & buy your own locally-grown chocolate.
    • Go Rafting Down the River: If you’re into adventure sports, then try a rafting trip down the river in Tarapoto.

    Huacachina: South America’s Biggest Sand Dune

    Two sandbuggies driving through huacachina desert oasis

    Huacachina Desert Oasis is located about four hours from Lima, Peru by bus. This is a great add-on trip to tack on to your trip to Peru if your itinerary is more than 2-weeks long. Huacachina is the largest sand-dune in South America. Tourists visit Huacachina to view the natural wonder, go sandboarding, and on a dune-buggy ride.

    How Long to Stay in Huacachina:
    One to two days is a good amount of time to spend in Huacachina Desert Oasis.

    Where to Stay in Huacachina:
    There are hotels in both Huacachina and Ica. Ica is a 10-minute drive from Huacachina and, for convenience, it’s recommended to stay in Huacachina and as close to the sand dunes as possible. A favorite hostel in Huacachina is Ecocamp Huacachina, which is on the sand dune and within walking distance of where the tours leave from.

    How to Get Around Huacachina:
    Huacachina is a small, walkable city, and the best way to get around is by foot. Tourists that want to stay in, or visit Ica, will have to take a taxi to/from the areas.

    What to Do in Huacachina:
    Huacachina is a small city with bars and restaurants. Most tourists visit to go sandboarding. Here’s a full list of the top things to do in Huacachina:

    • Take in the Views of the Lagoon: A natural lagoon is at the center of Huacachina. You can take boat rides around the lagoon or eat/drink at a nearby restaurant.

    • Go on a Huacachina Buggy Tour: Dune buggies leave from Huacachina many times per day. A dune buggy ride is as thrilling as a rollercoaster ride. Dune buggies storm very fast around the sand dunes and jump from dune to dune. The best time to go on this tour is during sunset, as the views of the sun setting behind the dunes are incredible.
    • Experience Sandboarding down the dunes: This is the #1 thing to do in Huacachina. The Huacachina Buggy tours stop to let guests go sandboarding. You can also opt to rent your own board and go sandboarding alone.

    Paracas National Reserve: A Natural Sanctuary

    Paracas beach. Picture is of rock formations in front of the ocean and the desert in the background.

    Paracas National Reserve is approximately 3 hours away from Lima. A visit to Paracas is a great item to pair with a trip to Huacachina in your Peru itinerary. Paracas is en-route from Huacachina to Lima, and a convenient stop in your itinerary.

    How Long to Stay in Paracas:
    One to two days is a good amount of time to spend in the Paracas National Reserve.

    Where to Stay in Paracas:
    You can stop in Paracas and spend a day there when en-route to or from Huacachina. If you opt to spend the night in Paracas, then you can stay in a hotel in the city center or rent a tent and go camping on a beach within the national reserve.

    How to Get Around Paracas:
    You’ll have to rent a car, or an ATV to get from place to place in Paracas. It’s recommended that you join a tour to view the reserve, as it’s vast and would be easy to get lost without a tour guide. You can book a tour in one of the shops in the  Paracas town center, which will be where the bus lets you off when you arrive.

    What to Do in Paracas:
    Paracas National Reserve is massive, and, there are a few ways to experience the national reserve.

    • Go on an ATV Tour: Rent an ATV and follow a tour guide around key areas to see in Paracas. The tour is approximately three hours long and is a great thing to do if you only plan to visit Paracas for the day.

    • Take an Islas Ballestas Tour: Take a boat ride to the Islas Ballestas. The islands are cool-looking rock formations in the middle of the ocean. The best thing about this tour is that you’ll encounter penguins. Yes, penguins.

    • Go on a Bike Ride Through Paracas: Rent a bike and ride through the Paracas National Reserve. This is a great way to experience the area if you’ve got some time to get lost and want to go at your own pace.
    • Go Camping in the National Reserve: Camping is allowed at the beach inside the national reserve. Bring your own tent or rent one when you arrive.

    Nazca Lines: A Mysterious World Wonder

    View of the Nazca lines in Nazca, Peru

    The Nazca lines are infamous symbols that were drawn in the sand. The mystery of how they were formed still remains unsolved. It’s rumored that alien activity was the cause of the line formation.

    Visiting the Nazca lines is another activity to add to your Peru trip itinerary if you’ve got the time. Nazca is located approximately seven hours away from Lima by bus. This makes for a nice stop when en route to Cusco from Lima by bus.

    How Long to Stay in Nazca:
    Most tourists spend one day in Nazca if visiting en route to another location in Peru by bus. If you want to see more than the Nazca lines, then you can stretch your stay to 2-days to see more of the city.

    Where to Stay in Nazca:
    The best place to stay in Nazca is in the city center near the Plaza de Armas de Nazca.

    How to Get Around Nazca:
    The best way to view the Nazca lines is by plane to see them in their entirety. You’ll want to pre-book a tour for this before your arrival.

    What to Do in Nazca: Most tourists only visit Nazca to see the Nazca lines. If you plan on spending more than one day in Nazca, then check out some of the other items on this list:

    • Visit the Nazca Lines: Book a tour to visit the Nazca lines from overhead
    • See the Cantalloc Aqueducts: This was an irrigation system built by the Incas. As with much of the artifacts that the Incas built, this is a wonder to view.

    • View the Mummies in Chauchilla Cemetery: This is about 30 minutes by car from Nazca city. The mummies are of Nazca people that were preserved in the 9th century.
    • Tour the Cahuachi Pyramids: The Nazca people built 40  pyramids that have been preserved and are available for viewing.
    • Browse the Museo Antonini: The museum contains artifacts from the ancient lives of the Nazca people in Peru.

    Sample Peru Itineraries

    Inti Punku Blog Post Decoration

    Below is a list of sample Peru itineraries to help you plan for an upcoming trip to Peru. These itineraries are based on our knowledge of Peru after spending over a year in the country.

    We suggest using the below as a basis for planning your trip to Peru and swapping in attractions from the cities listed in the top half of this article. For example, the Piura region isn’t listed in any of these itineraries, but you might want to swap that out for a visit to Arequipa, Puno, or the Amazonas.

    Itinerary for 1 Week in Peru

    Rainbow Mountain Blog Post decoration try 2

    If you plan on spending 7 days in Peru, then you will have time to see the main attractions in the top two cities (Lima & Cusco).

    If you go this route, we suggest going on a day trip to Machu Picchu rather than hiking there. We also suggest spending two full days in Cusco City, as it’s important to take some time to adjust to the region’s altitude before venturing onward.

    • Day 1: Land at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru

    • Day 2: Spend a day in Lima, Peru, and take a flight to Cusco, Peru in the evening

    • Day 3: Acclimate to the altitude in Cusco, Peru, and explore the city

    • Day 4: Explore key sights in Cusco City

    • Day 5: Go on a day trip to Machu Picchu

    • Day 6: Visit another site in Cusco (we suggest: hiking Rainbow Mountain or visiting the Sacred Valley Region).

    • Day 7: Fly home from Cusco, Peru with a layover at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru.

    Itinerary for 2 Weeks in Peru

    View of home and mountains in Piura, Peru

    The below itinerary details an outline of suggested ways to map out 14 days in Peru. This plan assumes that you will be taking a bus to various locations in Peru. Adjustments might be made depending on what your goals are for the trip. If, for example, you’d like to spend 7 days hiking to Machu Picchu then you may skip some of the attractions detailed here and dedicate most of your trip to that.

    • Day 1: Land at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru.

    • Day 2: Spend the day exploring Lima, Peru.

    • Day 3: Take a bus to Paracas, Peru & Enjoy the Day in Paracas.

    • Day 4: Take a bus from Paracas to Huacachina & Enjoy the Day in Huacachina.

    • Day 5: Take a bus from Huacachina to Nazca. View the Nazca Lines and then head to Arequipa by bus.

    • Day 6: Rest day in Arequipa. Walk around the city & join the free walking tour.

    • Day 7: Go on a day tour of Colca Canyon.

    • Day 8: Depart Arequipa for Cusco City.

    • Day 9: Spend the day in Cusco City.

    • Day 10: Day trip to Machu Picchu.

    • Day 11: Rest day in Cusco City or tour the Sacred Valley.

    • Day 12: Hike Rainbow Mountain.

    • Day 13: Fly back to Lima, and explore Lima Peru.

    • Day 14: Flight back to your home.

    Itinerary for 3 Weeks in Peru

    View from the Inti Punku Inca trail. Shows many mountains and the Sacred Valley in Peru.

    The below itinerary is a suggestion for travelers that plan to go to spend 21 days in Peru. This itinerary assumes that most of the traveling will be via bus and that trekking will be a priority on the trip.

    • Day 1: Land at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru.

    • Day 2: Spend the day in Lima, Peru. Explore the beaches & museums.

    • Day 3: Go on a Swimming with the Sea Lions excursion.

    • Day 4: Take a bus from Lima, Peru to Paracas. Book a tour to go on an ATV ride or bike ride around Paracas.

    • Day 5: Visit the Islas Ballestas in Paracas.

    • Day 6: Go from Paracas to Huacachina. Spend the day in Huacachina.

    • Day 7: Take a bus from Huacachina to the Nazca Lines. Visit the Nazca Lines, then take the bus from Nazca to Arequipa.

    • Day 8: Rest day in Arequipa. Relax, go on a free walking tour.

    • Day 9: Colca Canyon 2-day Trek, day 1.

    • Day 10: Colca Canyon 2-day Trek, day 2.

    • Day 11: Depart Arequipa for Cusco.

    • Day 12: Spend the day in Cusco City.

    • Day 13: Spend the day in Cusco City.

    • Day 14: Machu Picchu Inca Trail Hike, day 1.

    • Day 15: Machu Picchu Inca Trail Hike, day 2.

    • Day 16: Machu Picchu Inca Trail Hike, day 3.

    • Day 17: Machu Picchu Inca Trail Hike, day 4.

    • Day 18: Tour the Sacred Valley region in Cusco.

    • Day 19: Hike Rainbow Mountain.

    • Day 20: Fly back to Lima, spend the day in the city.

    • Day 21: Fly back to your home base.

    Itinerary for 4 Weeks in Peru

    Miraflores, Lima, Peru. Picture of sunsetting over the ocean. Cliff in front of picture and buildings on far right of picture.

    The below itinerary is suggested for tourists that plan to spend 28 days in Peru and want to see all the key sights. This itinerary can be altered and mixed or matched with any of the key attractions of cities listed at the beginning of this blog

    Some changes that you can make, for example, would be opting to do less activity throughout your stay to slow the pace down. You may also opt to visit Machu Picchu and Colca Canyon on day trips, rather than lengthy treks. You may also opt to visit Tarapoto instead of Iquitos if you plan to go to the jungle.

    • Day 1: Land at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima, Peru

    • Day 2: Spend the day in Lima, Peru. Explore the beaches & museums.

    • Day 3: Go on a Swimming with the Sea Lions excursion.

    • Day 4: Take a bus from Lima, Peru to Paracas. Book a tour to go on an ATV ride or bike ride around Paracas.

    • Day 5: Visit the Islas Ballestas in Paracas.

    • Day 6: Go from Paracas to Huacachina. Spend the day in Huacachina.

    • Day 7: Take a bus from Huacachina to the Nazca Lines. Visit the Nazca Lines, then take the bus from Nazca to Arequipa.

    • Day 8: Rest day in Arequipa. Relax, go on a free walking tour.

    • Day 9: Colca Canyon 2-day Trek, day 1.

    • Day 10: Colca Canyon 2-day Trek, day 2.

    • Day 11: Depart Arequipa for Cusco.

    • Day 12: Spend day in Cusco City.

    • Day 13: Spend day in Cusco City.

    • Day 14: Machu Picchu Inca Trail Hike, day 1.

    • Day 15: Machu Picchu Inca Trail Hike, day 2.

    • Day 16: Machu Picchu Inca Trail Hike, day 3.

    • Day 17: Machu Picchu Inca Trail Hike, day 4.

    • Day 18: Tour the Sacred Valley region in Cusco.

    • Day 19: Hike Rainbow Mountain.

    • Day 20: Take a bus from Cusco to Puno.

    • Day 21: Visit the Uros floating Islands in Puno.

    • Day 22: Take a flight from Puno to Iquitos.

    • Day 23: Spend the day in Iquitos.

    • Day 24: Go on a tour of the Amazon Jungle (day 1 of 3).

    • Day 25: Go on a tour of the Amazon Jungle (day 2 of 3).

    • Day 26: Go on a tour of the Amazon Jungle (day 2 of 3).

    • Day 27: Fly from Iquitos to Lima, spend the day in Lima.

    • Day 28: Fly back to home base.

    Enjoy Your Trip to Peru!

    Palomino Islands in Lima, Peru

    Peru is a large, and diverse country that offers many different types of trips for all sorts of travelers. You are sure to enjoy your trip to Peru, no matter how you map your itinerary out.

    Read this Peru travel guide for more insight on building your Peru itinerary and planning a trip to Peru. Also, check out the articles listed below for a deep dive into several Peru experiences.

    Read More Inspiration for a Trip To Peru

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