This weeklong adventure in Peru will take you both on and off the beaten path, discovering highlights up and down the coast while staying in luxury hotels. Start with a stay in Lima's upscale Miraflores district before hitting the road to the unspoiled desert beaches around Paracas. After visiting the Ballestas Islands (the "Galápagos of Peru"), you'll learn about pisco production in Ica and cap the trip with a scenic flight over the legendary Nazca Lines—ancient geoglyphs etched into the arid landscapes.


  • Dine amid ancient ruins in Lima and visit Spanish-colonial landmarks
  • See exotic animals, like penguins and sea lions, on the Ballestas Islands
  • Enjoy a 30-minute scenic flight over Peru's famous ancient geoglyphs
  • Take a guided tour of Lima's exciting food scene before departure

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lima, Free Time, Dinner at Huaca Pucllana Lima
Day 2 Half-Day Lima Tour, Transfer to Paracas Paracas
Day 3 Day Trip to the Ballestas Islands Paracas
Day 4 Transfer to Ica via the Canyon de los Perdidos, Free Time Ica
Day 5 Transfer to Nazca, Cahuachi Pyramids & Ceramics Workshop Nazca
Day 6 Scenic Flight Over the Nazca Lines, Transfer to Lima Lima
Day 7 Lima Food Tour, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lima, Free Time, Dinner at Huaca Pucllana

Shake off jet lag with a dip at the rooftop pool before dinner (photo courtesy of Belmond Miraflores Park)

Welcome to Peru! With just a week to spare, it's best to focus on one or two regions—which is why this adventure will take you to highlights along Peru's dazzling coast. You'll arrive in the capital of Lima, and your personal driver will meet you at the airport terminal. From there, it's a 1.5-hour ride into the city proper and your hotel Belmond Miraflores Park.

Located in the upscale coastal suburb of Miraflores, this 5-star hotel is set amid verdant gardens and is known for its exceptional service and dazzling sea views. Many of the Belmond's well-appointed rooms and suites feature private balconies overlooking the Pacific. Other welcome features include a spa/wellness center and a rooftop pool where you can relax after a long flight in a sun lounger. There are many dining options at the hotel, including the acclaimed Tragaluz restaurant, serving innovative Peruvian/international cuisine.

After setting in, you'll get a taste of Peru's famous pre-Hispanic culture (both literally and figuratively) when you visit nearby Huaca Pucllana. This adobe pyramid was a vital ceremonial center in the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 CE and 700 CE. Adjacent to the site is a restaurant where you'll enjoy your maiden dinner in Peru. The diverse menu showcases the country's rich culinary heritage, with classic dishes, like ceviche, prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy your meal amid epic views of the illuminated ruins, creating a timeless ambience that combines history and gastronomy.

Day 2: Half-Day Lima Tour, Transfer to Paracas

Check into your beach resort on the Pacific Ocean and relax (photo courtesy of Hotel Paracas)

Spend the first half of the day discovering Lima's rich history. It was officially founded by the conquistador Pizarro in 1535 as the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru—once the largest such viceroyalty on the continent. Many highlight Spanish-colonial landmarks remain, which you'll see for yourself. Meet your guide in the morning and travel to the historic center and the Plaza de Armas, Lima's main square. Here, you'll visit impressive colonial landmarks, including the 16th-century Convent of Santo Domingo.

Then, after a break for lunch, leave on a four-hour coastal ride down the Pan American Highway to Paracas, a town in the secluded coastal deserts of central Peru. Famous for its golden sands fronting turquoise waters, Paracas is also rich in biodiversity, as it includes the Paracas National Reserve, a protected area known for its dramatic desert landscapes, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife. 

As it happens, you'll be staying right next to this protected area at Hotel Paracas. Located on the water, this beach resort has its own private jetty used to run boat tours into the reserve. As for amenities, the resort features multiple pools surrounded by lush gardens and a spa and wellness center. Each suite offers beautiful views of the Pacific coastline and offshore islands.

Day 3: Day Trip to the Ballestas Islands

Boat past the mysterious geoglyph called "The Chandelier" to complete your day trip
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Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Indulge your inner naturalist on a half-day adventure to the Ballestas Islands. This offshore archipelago of rocky islets is known as the "Galápagos of Peru" as they're home to thousands of seabirds and marine animals. The speedboat leaves in the morning right from your hotel pier, and from there, you'll zip across the water on a quick trip to the islands.

As you cruise around the Ballestas' three main islands, you'll observe exotic animals and birds such as sea lions, Humboldt penguins, marine iguanas, Inca terns, Peruvian boobies, oystercatchers, and more. Keep your camera ready, as you'll have plenty of opportunities to snap epic shots of the area's wildlife in its natural habitat.

Throughout the trip, your knowledgeable guide will impart fascinating info about the islands and the resident wildlife. You'll learn all about the history of the Ballestas Islands, their geological formation, and the importance of protecting this biodiversity hotspot. The boat will also pass by The Chandelier, a mysterious geoglyph etched into the surface of a hill. The Chandelier is visible only from the sea, and its purpose and origin remain a mystery.

Day 4: Transfer to Ica via the Canyon de los Perdidos, Free Time

Stay a night amid the picturesque vineyards and mountains of Ica

Say goodbye to Paracas, as this morning, you'll hit the road again on a drive inland to Ica. This town is something of an oasis, as it's nestled amid rolling sand dunes and is home to vineyards that produce fine pisco—the famous grape brandy that's Peru's national spirit. 

On the way, you'll stop for a tour of Canyon de los Perdidos. This open fault in the middle of the desert–a mini Grand Canyon—is the perfect spot to stretch your legs on a brisk hike. You can also relax and enjoy a packed lunch amid splendid canyon views. 

Later, you'll arrive in Ica. Spend the rest of the day enjoying this desert wine country, as you'll be staying at Viñas Queirolo, a luxury estate celebrating fine wines and piscos. After settling in, you can tour the property, relax on the veranda, or take a dip in the shimmering pool as you sip on a crisp white or a perfectly mixed pisco sour.

Day 5: Transfer to Nazca, Cahuachi Pyramids & Ceramics Workshop

Soak in the palm-filled courtyard after exploring the Cahuachi Pyramids (photo courtesy of Casa Andina Standard)

Continue south this morning on a two-hour drive deeper into the desert to Nazca. This region is the ancestral home of the ancient Nazca people, a pre-Inca society that existed from around 100 BCE to 800 CE. You can see the remaining hallmarks of their civilization with a stop at the Cahuachi Pyramids

Though the specific purpose of these pyramids remains unknown, the impressive irrigation systems at this archaeological site reveal much about the ancient Nazcas' engineering prowess. The site also features ancient ceramic art, and after hiking around the pyramids, you'll visit a workshop where you'll learn to reproduce these ancestral techniques. 

Later, you'll arrive in Nazca and Casa Andina Standard. This 4-star hotel is central to all the highlights in and around town, including the Plaza de Armas and the Nazca Lines geoglyphs. Make yourself at home in one of the 60 air-conditioned guest rooms featuring complimentary WiFi and cable. Enjoy amenities such as the outdoor pool, or relax on the terrace and enjoy the desert views. There's also a gourmet restaurant on-site and a bar/lounge where you can cap the day with a sundowner pisco cocktail.

Day 6: Scenic Flight Over the Nazca Lines, Transfer to Lima

Look for Nazca's enigmatic geoglyphs in various shapes, such as the hummingbird, on today's flight

This morning you'll enjoy another bucket-list activity in Peru: a flight over the awe-inspiring Nazca Lines. This thrilling 30-minute plane ride will take you over the country's most famous geoglyphs, which were built by the Nazcas sometime between 500 BCE and 500 CE. They consist of hundreds of geometric shapes, including straight lines, triangles, trapezoids, and spirals, etched into the desert floor. These shapes vary in size, with some stretching for hundreds of meters.

In addition to geometric shapes, the Nazca Lines feature numerous figural designs depicting animals, birds, humans, and mythological creatures. Some of the most famous figures include the hummingbird, monkey, spider, condor, and the enigmatic Nazca astronaut.

The actual purpose of the geoglyphs remains a mystery. Some say they were astronomical calendars, and others say they marked pilgrimage routes. Perhaps you can formulate a theory to stump the scholars. After the tour, you'll meet your driver for the ride back across the desert and up the coast to Lima, where you'll check back into Belmond Miraflores Park.

Day 7: Lima Food Tour, Depart

Until next time, Peru!

There's time yet to gobble up Peru's world-class cuisine on a food tour. Meet your guide in the morning and set off on a three-hour jaunt around the bohemian Barranco neighborhood. As you go, you'll stop at various eateries to try the best of the best. All told, you'll sample more than 15 classic dishes and snacks, which might include staples like lomo saltado (a beef tenderloin stir fry) and causa limeña (layers of mashed potato filled with chicken or fish). 

The tour ends with a visit to a local kitchen where you'll learn to prepare the famous ceviche and pair it with a pisco sour. Afterward, meet your driver for the transfer back to the airport and catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Peru's Luxurious Coastal, Desert & Vineyard Tour - 7 Days
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