With eight days in Peru, you can achieve a comprehensive tour of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, plus a couple of days enjoying the cuisine and culture of Lima. Or skip the capital city in favor of another point of interest: add a short Inca Trail trek, cruise around Lake Titicaca, or hike to colorful Rainbow Mountain. You can even pair a quick Machu Picchu adventure with a few days in the Peruvian Amazon. Learn more below.

Itinerary #1: Best of Peru - Lima, Machu Picchu, & Sacred Valley

See the top cultural attractions and natural wonders of Peru on this whirlwind tour of the country's highlights.

Color, history, and tradition in Cusco, Peru
Color, history, and tradition in Cusco, Peru
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Lima Lima
Day 2 Lima City & Food Tour Lima
Day 3 Arrival in Cusco, Transfer to Hotel Cusco
Day 4 Cusco: Free day to Explore Cusco
Day 5 Sacred Valley Tour: Cusco - Chinchero - Ollantaytambo Ollantaytambo
Day 6 Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu: Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes Aguas Calientes
Day 7 Machu Picchu Excursion: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco Cusco
Day 8 Departing Cusco  


The trip starts in Lima. Walk along the clifftop promenade in the waterfront neighborhood of Miraflores, visit the UNESCO-honored historic center, and go on a food-focused tour of the city's marketplaces and ceviche restaurants. On day three, you'll transfer to Cusco and have a free day to explore the ancient Inca capital with its Spanish-built cathedral and intriguing archaeological ruins. Shop and stop for coffee in the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas.

The following day, have a cup of coca tea with breakfast to help you adjust to the altitude before embarking on a day tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at Inca-built terraces and the crafts market at Pisac before ending up in Ollantaytambo, a riverfront town noted for its impressive Inca fortress. On day six, you'll take to the Inca Trail and hike to your first view of Machu Picchu. You won't enter the site yet—first, you'll overnight in nearby Aguas Calientes. You'll rise early on the last full day of the trip to make the most of your time at the lost city of the Incas. Back-track to Cusco for one last Peruvian meal before catching a flight out the next day. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Sacred Valley & Inca Trail Excursion

Follow the footsteps of the Incas on this active adventure through the Sacred Valley, including a hike along the Inca Trail.

Hiking on the Inca Trail, Peru
Hiking on the Inca Trail, Peru
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Lima Lima
Day 2 Arrival in Cusco, Exploring the City Cusco
Day 3 Sacred Valley Tour: Pisac - Urabamba - Ollantaytambo Cusco
Day 4 Inca Trail Day 1/4: Cusco to Yuncachimpa Inca Trail
Day 5 Inca Trail Day 2/4: Yuncachimpa - Warmihuañusca Pass - Chaquicocha Inca Trail
Day 6 Inca Trail Day 3/4: Chaquicocha - Phuyupatamarca - Wiñayhuayna Inca Trail
Day 7 Inca Trail Day 4/4: Wiñayhuayna - Machu Picchu - Cusco Cusco
Day 8 Departing Cusco  


Arrive in Lima and spend the afternoon getting to know the coastal city before catching a quick flight to Cusco on day two. This is a good place to get an overview of what you'll see in the coming days: Cusco's museums, Spanish cathedral, and Inca-built Coricancha ("Temple of the Sun") provide context for the rest of the trip. On day three, you'll venture into the Sacred Valley to shop for textiles and crafts in the colorful market at Pisac, stop for lunch and a visit to an old Inca palace in Urubamba, and rest for the evening in the Inca city of Ollantaytambo.

Hit the Inca Trail early the next morning. For the following few days, you'll wind along the famous path, passing highlights like the ruins at Llactapata, crossing rushing rivers, taking in sweeping views of the Andes, trekking challenging segments like Warmihuañusca Pass (which translates to "Dead Woman Pass"—but not to worry!) and camping under the stars. On day seven, you'll be handsomely rewarded with a sunrise view of Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu from the hiking trail. Then you'll be first inside the gates of the old citadel to explore the 15th-century lost city of the Incas. At night, have dinner in Cusco and make a toast to Peru before you fly home the following day. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Lima, Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca

There's no need to choose between Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca—on this diverse trip plan, you'll visit both, and spend some time in Lima, too.

Boating on Lake Titicaca
Boating on Lake Titicaca
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Lima Lima
Day 2 Fly to Cusco - Free day in the City Cusco
Day 3 Sacred Valley Tour: Cusco - Chinchero - Ollantaytambo Ollantaytambo
Day 4 Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes
Day 5 Machu Picchu Excursion: Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Cusco Cusco
Day 6 Arriving in Puno: Cusco - Puno Puno
Day 7 Lake Titicaca Tour: Uros Floating Islands & Taquile Island Puno
Day 8 Fly from Puno to Lima, Depart Peru  


After a day in Lima to get acquainted with Peruvian culture and cuisine, you'll move onto Cusco to explore the Inca's ancient capital and its charming stone streets lined with museums, shops, and cafés. Tour the Sacred Valley on day three, stopping in Moray to see a series of Inca-built stone amphitheaters and the village of Chinchero, believed by the Inca to be the birthplace of the rainbow. You'll overnight in Ollantaytambo on the banks of the Urubamba River. Check out the town's amazing Inca fortress, then turn in early: you'll need the rest.

Day four begins with a hike on the Inca Trail. You'll rest for the evening in Aguas Calientes, gateway to Machu Picchu. Have a relaxing dinner of ceviche or freshly caught fish (or if you're feeling adventurous, give cuy, or guinea pig, a try—it's a local specialty) before the next day's early start to the world-famous 15th-century Inca citadel. Spend the day exploring the site, then back-track to Cusco and make the connection to Puno, located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. On the last full day of the trip, boat around the continent's largest lake, visiting the Uros Floating Islands and observing indigenous people and their ways of life on Taquile Island. You'll fly to Lima the next day to catch a flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Machu Picchu & Amazon Jungle

Tour the lost city of the Incas and the heart of the Amazon rainforest—plus Cusco and a quick stop in the Sacred Valley—on this varied itinerary around Peru.

Looking down at the lost city of the Incas
Looking down at the lost city of the Incas
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Lima Lima
Day 2 Arrival in Cusco, Exploring the City Cusco
Day 3 Sacred Valley Tour: Cusco - Chinchero - Ollantaytambo Ollantaytambo
Day 4 Machu Picchu Excursion: Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Cusco Cusco
Day 5 Puerto Maldonado to Refugio Amazonas Lodge Puerto Maldonado
Day 6 Jungle Excursions, Parrot Clay Lick, Botany Tour Puerto Maldonado
Day 7 Jungle Excursions - Farm, Dugout Canoe Tour, Fitzcarrald Puerto Maldonado
Day 8 Depart from Puerto Maldonado & Lima  


Touch down in Lima, then move onto Cusco—sip some coca tea to help yourself adjust to the rapid change in altitude. Explore the city's Inca roots and Spanish history, then shop for souvenirs in the artsy neighborhood of San Blas. You'll drive through the Sacred Valley on day three, stopping to see Inca-built terraces, craft markets, and postcard-perfect vistas along the way. Spend the night in riverside Ollantaytambo, known for its Inca fortress. You'll have an early start on day four: this is the day you'll visit Machu Picchu and get to know the stories and mysteries behind the fascinating 15th-century Inca citadel.

On the second part of the trip, you'll head into the Amazon. Fly to Puerto Maldonado and transfer to Refugio Amazonas Lodge, your home base in the jungle. For the next few days, you'll enjoy active and educational excursions in the rainforest, including a dugout canoe tour, a botany lesson, a visit to a local farm to learn about medicinal plants, and an outing to Parrot Clay Lick to see hundreds of colorful parrots. Bring your camera: you'll see a wide array of flora and fauna while hiking and boating. After one last night falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle, you'll catch a flight out of Puerto Maldonado on day eight. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Machu Picchu & Rainbow Mountain Adventure

Get ready for world-class photo ops on this colorful adventure that takes you to Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu.

The striking contours of Rainbow Mountain in the Andes
The striking contours of Rainbow Mountain in the Andes
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Lima Lima
Day 2 Lima Bike Tour Lima
Day 3 Arrival in Cusco, Exploring the City Cusco
Day 4 A Taste of Cusco Cusco
Day 5 Sacred Valley Tour: Cusco - Chinchero - Ollantaytambo Ollantaytambo
Day 6 Machu Picchu Excursion: Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Cusco Cusco
Day 7 Rainbow Mountain (Mount Vinicunca) Hike Cusco
Day 8 Departing Cusco  


Most visitors to Peru make it to Machu Picchu; far fewer see the stunning views at Rainbow Mountain. This trip plan takes you to both. Start in Lima with a guided bike tour and some time to indulge in traditional Peruvian ceviche and pisco sours. Then it's off to Cusco for a crash course in Inca history and Spanish colonialization. On day four, you'll experience a lighter side of the ancient Inca capital during a culinary circuit that takes you to the Coffee Museum for a caffeine fix, then to ChocoMuseum for sweet treats, followed by a pisco tasting at Pisco Republic.

On the second part of the trip, you'll tour the Sacred Valley's Inca ruins and market towns, finishing with a tour of the Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo, where you'll spend the night. Day six is dedicated to Machu Picchu. Spend the day touring the Inca's lost city (and snapping photos of the llamas that live in the hills around it) before back-tracking to Cusco. On the last full day of the trip, you'll hike from Chillca to Rainbow Mountain, taking in views of glacial peaks, rocky hills, grazing alpacas, and brightly hued topography. It's the fitting end to the adventure. On day eight, you'll fly back home. Learn more