Travel Tips Peru

By | May 10, 2024

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Three weeks is an ideal length to discover Peru because of the convenient buses and flights that make traveling in Peru fairly easy. This is the day by day Peru Travel Guide. Find the travel locations of the highlights of this route on our Peru map.

Travel Tips Peru

Welcome to the capital of Peru: Lima. This modern creative city built along the scenic coast is a good starting point for your time in Peru. Wander around the artist district of Barranco, cycle around the city and the coast, and taste Peru’s national dish, ‘Ceviche’.

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One of the most amazing wildlife events takes place every day in the Ballestas Islands of Paracas. A million seabirds torpedo themselves into the water trying to catch the fish on the surface that are being hunted by the sea lions.

Paracas is a small laid back village, great to spend the night taking a trip through the Paracas National Reserve and going on a Pisco Wine tasting tour.

On your way to Paracas, stop at the beautiful Hacienda San Jose mansion. Underneath the house is a 9 kilometer long tunnel system that was used to smuggle African people to work on the farms and avoid tax. It is possible to enter the tunnels and catch a bit of the rather dark history that happened here.

Reach Paracas within a 3-hour bus ride, best to book online with a reliable bus company or by public bus.

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No time to read now? No worries! Save on Pinterest to read later. Saveto Pinterest Day 5 – 6: Huacachina

The highest sand dunes in South America surround a small lagoon with lush green palm trees. This oasis called Huacachina must be on your Peru travel itinerary as it is a unique phenomenon. So watch the sunset from the top of the dunes, take a sand buggy ride through the desert and spend the night.

Huachchina is a short 45 minute bus ride from Paracas. Unfortunately, there is no public transport but you can take a taxi from Ica or a bus tour company.

The city of Arequipa, marked by volcanoes, is the second largest city in Peru. It is often skipped as the majority of tourists only visit Machu Picchu. Arequipa is a stunning and charming city that is great to explore on foot. Its white colonial buildings in the historic center give a feeling as if you are walking in Europe.

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The city is located at 2, 400 meters, a height to get used to before going to the city of Cusco even higher.

On your way to Arequipa, you will pass the Nazca Lines, a series of drawings carved into the desert land over 2000 years ago. The lookout tower on the side of the highway gives a good view of the paintings such as a tree and hands. Alternatively, book a flight to see all the Nazca lines from above.

The comfortable overnight bus from Huachachina to Arequipa is a great way to cover a long distance. The bus journey takes 12 hours but will stop at the Nazca lines observation tower.

Cusco is the gateway to the Sacred Valley and Macchu Picchu. This charming little city on the cobblestone street is located at an altitude of 3.200 meters and you will need some time to get used to that altitude. Luckily, Cusco is a great city with beautiful architecture, cathedrals, museums, and some of the best restaurants in the country!

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On day 8 in Arequipa, take the bus via Puno or fly direct to Cusco. If you want to see the floating villages of Puno, add one day to your Peru travel itinerary. Find the best flight

After settling in Cusco, enter the amazing Sacred Valley. Discover sights such as the circular terraces of Moray, Pisac, the Maras Salt Mines, and Ollantaytambo. Finally, take the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, better known as the town of Machu Picchu. Spending the night in Aguas Calientes allows you to get up early and see the sunrise on Machu Picchu mountain.

Tip: After Machu Picchu, you have to return to Cusco. For that reason, leave your large suitcase bags at the hotel you will be staying in from day 15 and take a day pack with clothes for two nights.

Rise and shine very early as today is the highlight of your 3 week itinerary in Peru! Machu Picchu, the once lost Incan city, perched atop a mountain is best experienced at sunrise. Spend the morning wandering around this stunning site and at the end, don’t forget to get the passport stamp as a final reward for visiting Machu Picchu.

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Spend the rest of the afternoon in Aguas Calientes relaxing as you will need this after that early wake up call.

After spending the night in Aguas Calientes, hop on the morning train back to Ollantaytambo. In the morning, two trains leave at 08:30 and 10:32 but remember to get these tickets in advance. The train journey belongs to one of the most scenic train journeys in the world with many windows offering a great view of the entire Sacred Valley.

A taxi back to Cusco takes about 1.5 hours and costs about 100 SOL (30 USD). Another option is that local buses from Ollantaytambo to Cusco take 2 hours and cost around 30 SOL (9 USD).

Prepare yourself for a tough hike to the top of Palccoyo mountain, rainbow colored 5000 meters high. The colors of the rainbow, created by different types of metal, were covered by the mountain peaks of snow but due to climate change, this will now be seen during the summer period. A unique experience to be had on your Peru travel tour.

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Optional: If you are a fan of hikes, consider walking to Humantay Lake on day 17 and spend a day less in the Amazon. Don’t use the poor horses in Humantay and walk instead.

From the mountain tops to the jungle – Make a change of scenery and spend your last days in the tropical Amazon jungle of Peru. Deep inside the jungle is the city of Iquitos, where you take the boat on the river to the Amazon. Stay in one of the riverside eco-lodges and spend your days seeing sloths, pink dolphins, colorful birds, and visiting a local tribe.

Iquitos is surrounded by jungle, there are no roads to this city, therefore, your only option from Cusco is a 2 hour flight. Plan this in advance as the flights to Iquitos are not daily.

On the evening of day 20, fly back to Lima and spend the last day in the city eating delicious ceviche and buying some final souvenirs.

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In general, traveling around Peru is relatively affordable. Tours, hotels and flights are the things that quickly eat away at your daily budget. Expect to travel in Peru for 35 – 55 USD per person on a budget and 75 – 125 USD when choosing a little more comfort in tours and hotels.

Transportation in Peru is fairly easy and safe. Cover long distances with the buses or quality flights between the bigger cities although it is good to note that the buses are very good and you will meet people more easily.

Because of its main climates, Peru can be visited throughout the year. When following this particular travel route from Peru, the best time to visit Peru is between May and October during the dry season. The rainy season runs from November to April but places like Lima will have a more pleasant climate during these months.

In terms of tourism, the peaks are July and August so you may want to avoid these months of the year.

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Peru is known as not safe while the situation has improved significantly over the last 10 years. It is recommended to avoid slum areas around the big cities but all popular tourist spots are safe to roam and walk freely. The most common form of insecurity is pick-pocketing in popular tourist spots. Apart from that, the locals are helpful, friendly and we personally have not felt unsafe for a moment.

When you buy something through our links we earn a small fee. However, you still pay the same. Peru is a stunning country, renowned for its majestic ruins, stunning scenery and rich cultural heritage. With its changing climate and diverse landscapes, it’s definitely a good idea to be as prepared as possible before flying to this lovely destination. Here, Nicola Connolly from shares her Peru travel tips and advice on how to stay healthy and happy on your adventure.

The majority of places you will come across on your travels in Peru will be full of tourists and heavily monitored by the tourist police. Like anywhere else in the world, it’s always best to use your common sense and avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself. Always take licensed taxis, don’t wander alone at night and avoid flashing gadgets or expensive jewellery.

In my opinion, the best time to visit Machu Picchu and Cusco is without a doubt April and May or September and October. The weather during these months is ideal – neither too hot nor too cold – and you avoid the crowds of travelers who flock to the ruins between June and August.

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