Peru is a fascinating and diverse country. 28 micro-climates let you experience everything from Amazonian jungle, over desert, Pacific sea to glacier covered mountain tops. The rich and old culture lets you peak into ancient pre-Inka civilizations, the world wonder of Machu Picchu, impact of the colonial power Spain and modern Peru.
There are many really interesting places to visit in Peru, however travelling between them takes time and may be quite expensive depending on your budget. Make sure to pick out the top places to visit and to check the weather and best times to travel to each of your favorites to get the most out of your trip. We decided on a 3 week itinerary optimized for a mix of architecture, culture, history, outdoor and wildlife as our once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon trip. We were not disappointed.
Itinerary for end of April – mid May
STOP 1: Arequipa & Colca Canyon (4 days)
Fly into Lima and continue to Arequipa (2335m above sea level) by domestic flight. Explore the “white city” situated between 3 giant vulcanoes (Misti 5822m, Cachani 6057m and Picchu Picchu 5665m) and its beautiful colonial monastery Santa Catalina.
Do a 2-day trek in the Colca Canyon to get a glimpse of the Andean Highlands, llama and alpaca farms, vegetation and of course the flight of the condor.
STOP 2: Cusco & Machu Picchu (6 days)
Get used to the height at 3400m in Cusco. Do a full day excursion in the Sacred Valley and see Chinchero, the salt mines of Maras, the experimental agricultural Inca terraces of Moray, Ollantaytambo and Pisac. We can only highly recommend a hiking trek, we chose the less travelled 4 day Cachicata trek including a visit of the must-see Machu Picchu.
STOP 3: Manu National Park and reserved zone (7 days)
If you want to see and experience a tropical jungle and you love flora and fauna, take a trip to Manu National Park.
STOP 4: Lima (3 days)
Getting to Peru
Many international airlines fly to Lima (LIM), the capital of Peru. Find a good flight on google.com/flights/flights-to-lima.html
Getting around in Peru
Domestic flights are offered by the regional / domestic airlines, including for example LATAM or Peruvian.
Careful! Peruvian nationals get special cheaper domestic fares. As an international traveller you need to buy the regular fare. Double check the fine-print when purchasing your ticket.
There are many over-night buses between cities. One of the traveller’s favorites, you will read about on many blogs and guidebooks, is Cruz del Sur. The bus features a meal, large reclining seats (similar to business class on a flight). Simply book tickets online in advance or download their app to purchase tickets on the go.