Peru is home to South America’s biggest draw – the ruins of Machu Picchu. While the Inca citadel is undoubtedly a highlight of any trip to the country, Peru offers a lot more: lush swathes of Amazon jungle, white-sand beaches, majestic colonial towns, snow-capped mountain ranges and ancient sites. Whatever you want to do, these are the perfect itineraries to suit any taste.

Overview

Peru’s vast quantity of sights and experiences means there are infinite possibilities for all. Fourteen days in Peru gives you enough time to cover some of the country’s most sought-after destinations, such as the Amazon, Machu Picchu, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca. These and other sites offer the best Peru has to offer in terms of history, culture and eco-tourism. And with its spectacular wonders of nature – snowy peaks, lush jungles, desert landscapes and pristine coastline – there are plenty of outdoor activities for those looking for an adrenaline fix.

#1 The Best of the Andes

Machu Picchu ruins are a highlight of any visit to Peru.
Day Highlights  Overnight 
Day 1 Arrive in Lima, transfer to Cusco Cusco
Day 2 Cusco, tour Old Town Cusco
Day 3 Day trip to Pisac Market Camping / lodge
Day 4 Trek to Machu Picchu Camping / lodge
Day 5 Trek to Machu Picchu  Camping / lodge
Day 6 trek / train to Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes
Day 7 Visit Machu Picchu Cusco 
Day 8 Train to Puno Puno 
Day 9 Visit Taquile & Amantaní Islands Puno
Day 10 Travel to Chivay Colca Canyon
Day 11 Mirador Cruz del Condor Colca Canyon
Day 12 Arequipa, tour Old Town Arequipa
Day 13 Arequipa, tour Old Town Arequipa
Day 14 Return to Cusco or Lima  
     

Arrive in Lima and take connecting flight to Cusco. At a height of 11,151 ft, you’ll have to take it easy when you arrive, leaving a couple of days to acclimatize to the altitude. Mountain sickness, commonly known as soroche, affects most travelers so don’t plan too many activities when you arrive. Begin in the colonial center of Cusco, with its impressive Inca remains and majestic Spanish colonial architecture. Take a day trip to Pisac in the Sacred Valley and visit its Inca ruins as well as its bustling market where women in colorful garb sell fresh produce from the Sacred Valley.

Next, visit Machu Picchu. There are plenty of stunning treks through awe-inspiring peaks that rival the hugely popular Inca trail: Salcantay, Lares and Choquequirao are just some of the alternative treks that have opened up in recent years. Wake up at sunset and marvel at the spectacular ruins of Machu Picchu.

After a full day exploring the citadel, head back to Cusco and treat yourself to a lavish meal at one of its many stylish restaurants. The following day, catch the train to Puno, soaking in the scenic mountain views. Visit Lake Titicaca’s floating islands that are made of totora leaves.

Travel to one of the world’s deepest canyons, the Colca Canyon, where you can spot giant Andean condors circling up from its depths. For your last couple of days, head to Arequipa, one of the country’s most beautiful colonial towns that sits at the foot of ice-capped El Misti Volcano.

#2 Jungle Tours & Mountain Hikes 

Treefrog resident of Tambopata Reserve. 
Day Activity Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lima / transfer to Puerto Maldanado Jungle lodge
Day 2 Transfer to Tambopata Reserve Boat Ride & Wildlife Spotting Jungle lodge
Day 3 Jungle Walk & Wildlife Spotting Jungle lodge
Day 4 Wildlife Spotting & Night Walk Jungle lodge
Day 5 Wildlife Spotting Jungle lodge
Day 6 Macaw Clay Lick Jungle lodge
Day 7 Wildlife Spotting & Boat Ride to Puerto Maldonado Jungle lodge
Day 8 Fly to Huaraz, tour the old town Huaraz
Day 9 Visit Chavín de Huantar Huaraz
Day 10 Trek Multi-day Trek
Day 11 Trek Multi-day Trek
Day 12 Trek Multi-day Trek
Day 13 Trek Multi-day Trek
Day 14 Departure from Lima  
     

Peru’s Madre de Dios region is home to lush lowland forest harboring exceptional wildlife. Puerto Maldonado serves as the jumping off point for the surrounding jungle and offers a number of affordable tours overnighting in jungle lodges. Get here by air from Lima.

This is a nature lover’s paradise, with pristine rainforest teeming with exotic flora and fauna. As you delve deeper into the forest, sightings of capybara, caiman, monkeys and macaws become more common. If you’re lucky, you may spot pumas or jaguars.

As well as going on jungle walks, you’ll also take part in night walks. Night-time is when mammals are active, meaning you’ll have the chance to hear the sounds of the jungle and spot frogs, spiders and other smaller animals.

If you choose a trip of at least five days you’ll visit the Tambopata macaw clay lick, where hundreds of parrots, parakeets and macaws come to feed on the mineral-rich soil, creating a rainbow of colors that is a real spectacle to witness.

Following a week in the jungle, fly to Huaraz, which attracts hikers and climbers for the challenging and awe-inspiring peaks of the Cordillera, many rising above 20,000 ft (6100m). Huaraz is the place to hire guides and plan out your trekking route. The city is also close to Chavín de Huantar, a stone temple complex dating back about 2500 years ago.

#3 The Best of the Northern Coast

Traditional reed boats located on the beach of Chiclayo. 

 

Day Activity Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lima, explore the old town Lima
Day 2 Explore the old town Lima
Day 3 Explore the old town Lima
Day 4 Flight or bus to Trujillo, explore the old town Trujillo
Day 5 Day trip to Huaca del Sol & Huanca de La Luna Trujillo
Day 6 Visit Chanchan Trujillo
Day 7 Travel to Chiclayo Chiclayo
Day 8 Museo de Las Tumbes Reales de Sipán Chiclayo
Day 9 Túcume Chiclayo
Day 10 Fly to Piura, bus to Mancóra Mancóra
Day 11 Beach time Mancóra
Day 12 Beach time Mancóra
Day 13 Try your hand at surfing or kite-surfing Mancóra
Day 14 Departure to Lima  
     

Spend two full days exploring Lima’s historical center, with its charming Spanish colonial buildings, excellent museums and outstanding restaurants serving some of the very best food in the country.

Catch a flight or bus north to Trujillo, home to colonial architecture and colorful colonial mansions. It serves as the perfect base to explore the archaeological sites in the Moche and Chicama valleys – don’t miss Chan Chan, a vast adobe city on Trujillo’s outskirts, and Huanca del Sol and Huaca de La Luna, the continent’s largest mud-brick pyramids.

Fly or catch the bus north to Chiclayo, and visit the Museo de Las Tumbes Reales de Sipán and Túcume, also known as the Valley of the Pyramids, home to 26 adobe pyramids. Visit the beach to see men fishing from traditional reed boats. 

If you’re up for a beach party or two then look no further than Mancóra, a trendy spot with white-sand beaches that attracts keen surfers from Brazil and Ecuador. You’ll be able to take surfing and kite surfing lessons, or just soak in the laidback atmosphere from one of the town’s many bars.

#4 Cusco & the Southern Coast

Nazca Lines
Nazca Lines
Day Activity Overnight
Day 1 Arrival Lima, transfer to Cusco Cusco
Day 2 Explore the old town Cusco
Day 3 Sacsayhuaman Cusco
Day 4 Moray & Salinas in the Sacred Valley Ollantaytambo
Day 5 Train to Aguas Calientes Aguas Calientes
Day 6 Machu Picchu & train to Cusco Cusco
Day 7 Bus to Ayacucho & visit the old town Ayacucho
Day 8 Museo de la Memoria Ayacucho
Day 9 Bus to Pisco El Chaco
Day 10 Boat trip to the Ballestas Islands & Paracas National Reserve El Chaco
Day 11 Bus to Ica, bodega tour & on to Huacachina Huacachina
Day 12 Sand dunes in Huacachina Huacachina
Day 13 Bus to Nazca & fly over the Nazca Lines Nazca
Day 14 Departure to Lima  
     

After arriving in Lima, fly to Cusco and spend a couple of days exploring the old town, home to lovely colonial buildings and magnificent Inca stonework. Make sure you visit Sacsayhuaman, an impressive Inca fortress located on a hill overlooking the city.

Travel through the fertile Sacred Valley, stopping off at the Inca site of Moray, a set of round depressions in the earth, the largest of which comprises seven concentric stone terraces. Don’t miss the salt-pans of Salinas, still in use today. From Ollantaytambo enjoy a scenic train journey to Aguas Calientes, the jumping off point for Machu Picchu, and spend a day marveling at this ancient Inca citadel.

Take the train to Cusco, and from there head on to Ayacucho, today a quiet town with a pretty historical center. Its most compelling attraction is the Museo de la Memoria, which focuses on the socio-political violence of the ‘80s and ‘90s inflicted by the Shining Path revolutionary movement (in the ‘80s the town was the battleground for the civil war between terrorists and the Peruvian armed forces).

Then catch a bus to El Chaco in the Paracas peninsula, which serves as the jumping off point for the Paracas National Reserve and the Ballestas Islands, which teem with wildlife and birds. Head to Ica, and visit one of the many bodegas and vineyards nearby. Catch the bus to Huacachina, a desert oasis nestled among vast sand dunes, that offers fun dune-buggying and sandboarding adventures.

End your trip in Nazca, where you can fly over the Nazca Lines, a series of pre-Columbian geoglyphs featuring geometric shapes, plants and zoomorphic designs such as birds, fish and monkeys as well as human figures.

 
 
 

Map

Map of 2 Weeks in Peru: 4 Suggested Itineraries
Map of 2 Weeks in Peru: 4 Suggested Itineraries