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Introducing Peru

Peru is a country steeped in culture and natural beauty. From the lush Amazon Jungle to the sacred peaks of the Andes, down whitewater rivers that carve their way toward the South Pacific, Peru has endless regions and highlights to explore. 

Most travelers come to Peru to see Machu Picchu, the iconic ruins perched high above the Urubamba River, yet this is just a small glimpse into what Peru has to offer. One could spend over a week exploring the other ruins of the Sacred Valley, a corridor of villages, mountain peaks, and hiking routes above the Urubamba River. Travelers can also experience the Peruvian Amazon along the border of Brazil, which gives birth to many of the mighty tributaries of the Amazon River, full of wildlife, indigenous cultures, and pristine wilderness. The north of Peru, still undiscovered by mainstream tourism, rewards any traveler who ventures off the beaten path with untouched ruins and vistas. Then down along Peru's West Coast, past beautiful beaches with year-round surfing, you'll arrive at the mysterious Nasca lines, immense geoglyphs carved into the desert sand.

When is the best time to visit? 
Every region in Peru is a bit different. May is one of the best months to visit the Sacred Valley - it marks the end of the rainy season, and travelers can beat the crowds that arrive from June to August. September to November are the best months for wildlife viewing in the Amazon, and November offers some of the best surfing along the Peruvian coast. Learn more here

Things to do in Peru
Peru is a great destination for outdoor activities as well as cultural exploration. Trekking, rafting, and biking are all popular activities. The Sacred Valley offers some of the best outdoor activity options in Peru - you can learn more here. If you're looking for a more relaxed trip focused on culture and history, get inspired by these itinerary ideas.

Getting around in Peru
Distances in Peru are very large, so domestic flights (for example from Lima to Cusco to reach Machu Picchu) are typically part of itineraries in Peru. Read more

How many days do you need to visit Peru? 
No matter how much time you have in Peru, whether it's just a few days or a few weeks, this country can offer some unforgettable experiences. With just five days, it's possible to visit the national highlights of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. With a week or more the experiences just get better, allowing you time for historic cities and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Learn more about how many days you should spend in Peru here

Explore trips by duration: 5 days · 6 days · 7 days · 8 days · 9 days · 10 days · 11 days · 12 days · 13 days · 14 days · 15 days · 16 days

Peru Tours & Itineraries

Get inspired by trips other travelers have loved
Salkantay peak as seen during the Salkantay trek
Map of Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

The Salkantay trek is one of Peru’s best alternatives to the Inca Trail. Trek over a beautiful mountain pass at the foot of Mt. Salkantay before stopping at a local organic coffee plantation, followed by a visit to the Llactapata ruins. Finally, get up early the last day to catch sunrise at the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu
Map of Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

If you’re looking for the best way to hike the Inca Trail, this classic route offers a unique approach which avoids the main crowds, and follows the ideal schedule for timing your visit to Machu Picchu.

Caravan in Cordiliera Huayhuash
Map of Cordillera Huayhuash - 9 Days
Cordillera Huayhuash - 9 Days

Explore the Cordillera Huayhuash on this 9-day adventure through one of the most impressive regions of the Peruvian Andes. This is one of the lesser-known and uncrowded treks due to the remote location of this beautiful mountain range.

Ausangate Trek
Map of Ausangate Camping Trek
Ausangate Camping Trek

If you’re looking for a beautiful and more remote trek in Peru, the Ausangate trek may be perfect for you. On this 8-day itinerary, you’ll discover the beauty and rugged highlands of the Ausangate region, hike past glacial lakes, and wander amidst herds of alpacas.

Cotahuasi Canyon Trek
Map of Cotahuasi Canyon Trek
Cotahuasi Canyon Trek

Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Cotahuasi is the deepest canyon in the world, cutting through the Coropuna and Surimana massifs. With numerous hiking trails and vantages points, Cotahuasi is a beautiful region that few travelers get to see. With single and multi-day tours, you’ll get to hike the length of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.

Looking down on the city of Cusco
Map of Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Tour - 7 Days
Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu Tour - 7 Days

Explore Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu on this epic one week adventure. While in the Sacred Valley, you'll get to choose from a selection of great adventures, including mountain biking, horseback riding, or zip-lining. 

Make the Most of Your Time in Peru

Have a fixed number of days? Maximize the things to see and do during your visit
Colorful Carnival in Puno, Peru
How Many Days Should You Spend in Peru?

No matter how much time you have in Peru, whether it's just a few days or a few weeks, this country can offer some unforgettable experiences. With just three or four days and...

Cusco Plaza de Armas
Map of 7 Days in Peru - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
7 Days in Peru - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

In seven days, it's easy to combine Machu Picchu with day trips within the Sacred Valley, or with a visit to another region like the Amazon Rainforest or Lake Titicaca. Trekkers...

Stone mask on the ancient temple at Chavin de Huantar
Map of 10 Days in Peru - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Peru - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days in Peru, you can explore up to three regions by taking internal flights or focus on one off-the-beaten-path area like Northern Peru. The highlights of the Cusco...

The vast expanse of the Sacred Valley
Map of 2 Weeks in Peru - 5 Unique Itineraries
2 Weeks in Peru - 5 Unique Itineraries

A two-week visit to Peru allows travelers to comfortably combine Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley with one of the country's more remote regions. Enjoy the culture and history...

Peru Travel Essentials

All you need to know to get started planning the perfect trip
Agricultural terraces surrounding the ruins
Best Time to Visit Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu and its surrounds offer a variety of seasonal outdoor activities and phenomenal festivals throughout the year. For ideal weather (bright, dry and cool), you'll want...

View of Machu Picchu
Top 10 Places to Visit in Peru

From ancient Inca ruins to the mysterious Nazca Lines, snow-capped peaks to dense Amazonian jungle: Peru is one of the world's most diverse destinations. That diversity is also...

Peru Travel Advice

Read our detailed insights to make sure you have the best trip
Machu Picchu - the perfect set
5 Movies to Watch Before Your Trip to Peru

Grab some popcorn! Your adventures in Peru will be even more fulfilling if you take the time to watch a film or two before you begin the trip. And these comedies, biopics, and...

Peru Destination Guides

Detailed travel guides for the main regions of the country
Estancia El Chillo, Amazonas Region
Northern Peru: Everything You Need To Know

While the majority of travelers head straight for Machu Picchu in southern Peru, the North remains a hidden gem for those willing to venture off-the-beaten-path. You'll have...

Peru Experiences

Unique things to do in Peru
Rainbow Mountain
Rainbow Mountain (Mount Vinicunca) Hike

It's a 3.5-hour drive from the city of Cusco to the trailhead leading up Vinicunca, known as the Rainbow Mountain. Also called the Montaña de los Siete Colors (Mountain of the...

On the trail to Machu Picchu
One day Inca Trail Machu Picchu

The most famous trek in Peru is the Inca Trail, a five-day hike from Cusco that culminates at the ruins of Machu Picchu. But for those with scheduling constraints, there's...

Nazca Lines & Huacachina Adventure

This day excursion includes an aerial tour of the famous and mythic Nazca Lines of the southern Peruvian desert. The lines are a series of about 300 giant Pre-Columbian...

Our Latest Peru Content

Machu Picchu shining in the sun
Experience Magic and Adventure in Peru: Machu Picchu, Kuélap, Cusco - 17 Days

Embark on a journey through Peru into the incredible world of the Incas and other Andean civilizations. You'll visit some of the most significant archaeological sites of Peru while also experiencing the unforgettable nature of the Andes. Wander through the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, feel the mists of one of the world's highest waterfalls at Gocta, taste new flavors and dishes on a unique culinary tour of Cusco, and much more.

The fortress of Kuélap under clear skies, (c) JYB Devot
Introduction to Northern Peru - 4 Days

Embark on this adventure through Northern Peru, an area filled with impressive ruins and unforgettable natural beauty. Travel back in time as you visit Kuélap, an ancient citadel built in the mountains, immerse yourself in the magic of Gocta waterfalls, and discover Chachapoyas, the capital of the Peruvian Amazonas Region. If you only have a limited time to visit this area, we can tailor this itinerary to fit three days instead of four.

Machu Picchu citadel
Map of Best of Peru: Cusco, Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, & More - 7 Days
Best of Peru: Cusco, Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain, & More - 7 Days

Tour the essential highlights of Peru's Sacred Valley, Cusco, Machu Picchu, and the Rainbow Mountains over seven days. Starting in Lima, you'll travel to the Sacred Valley of the Inca's, where you'll find a huge concentration of ancient Incan sites, including nearby Machu Picchu. Spend a day hiking to the high-altitude Rainbow Mountains, which have to be seen to be believed. End in beautiful Cusco, a city with centuries of history and culture to be explored.

Peru Travel Videos

Peru Travel Specialist Interview - Nicole
Peru Travel Specialist Interview - Clara
Exploring the Sacred Valley

Peru Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
7 Days in Peru - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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10 Days in Peru - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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2 Weeks in Peru - 5 Unique Itineraries
View article

Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for Peru
Travel specialist Steve Wilson
active 6 hours ago

Steve Wilson

I love Peru! Its culture, history, food, people and incredible scenery. And I love talking about Peru with culturally-minded travelers and helping them create an experience that reflects their...

read more...
Travel specialist Anne Godoy
active 8 hours ago

Anne Godoy

Once I finished school, I learned that my country and the rest of the world had so many unique and beautiful cultures and experiences. I decided to travel around Peru to some off-the-beaten-path...

read more...
Travel specialist Jesus Martel
active 10 hours ago

Jesus Martel

I discovered my passion for traveling when I was a child. Working in the travel industry has enabled me to pursue my passion, experience all that my country has to offer, and share my love for...

read more...
Travel specialist Martina Capel
active 15 hours ago

Martina Capel

My name is Martina, I am German and the co-founder of Phima Voyages, together with my husband Philippe who is French. We created Phima Voyages three years ago when we arrived in Chachapoyas, as we...

read more...

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Trip Reviews for Peru

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim
Carlos

Wonderful Experience from our Trip to Peru · Peru - Dec 26 - Jan 1, 2020

Traveler: Carlos D. - Local specialist: Liz Karen Llolle Jihuallanca

My wife and I used Kimkim for our honeymoon to Peru. Their services, prices, availability of their staff and willingness to accommodate our travel arrangements were beyond wonderful. Booking our trip and mapping each stop, the length of the stay for each city, the mode of transportation through Peru, and the tickets for attractions and local flights was very easy and comprehensive. Across Peru, their team was friendly, on time, extremely knowledgeable about every site we visited and so very... read more

My wife and I used Kimkim for our honeymoon to Peru. Their services, prices, availability of their staff and willingness to accommodate our travel arrangements were beyond wonderful. Booking our trip and mapping each stop, the length of the stay for each city, the mode of transportation through Peru, and the tickets for attractions and local flights was very easy and comprehensive. Across Peru, their team was friendly, on time, extremely knowledgeable about every site we visited and so very flexible. We loved the hotels Kimkim selected for us and were happily surprised by the meals they arranged to welcome us in Cusco and on the way to Machu Picchu. We absolutely recommend this company to anyone planning a trip abroad and will use them again in the future.

Carlos

Wonderful Experience · Peru - Jan 11 - Jan 19, 2020

Traveler: Colm K. - Local specialist: Anne Godoy

From the first inception of the trip consulting with Anne to conversing with the great tour guides, especially Julio, the whole Peru experience was a wonderful experience for me and my family. Everything went off as planned: Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, and back to Lima. I highly recommend KimKim and Peruvian Soul if you are considering a trip for the great culinary scene in Lima or the wonder of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.

Anne Godoy profile photo
Anne Godoy, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Com,
Thank you. I am glad we could meet and exceed your expectations. Also, it was great that we could meet once you were here in Lima.

If you decide to visit Peru again, please don't forget to say hi 😊.
I wish you all the best on your future journeys!

Matthew

No Hay Palabras! (There Are No Words!) (But I’ll Try Anyway) · Peru - Jan 2 - Jan 16, 2020

Traveler: Matthew M. - Local specialist: James M

Let me start by explaining that I made this as difficult as I possibly could. Not intentionally, of course, it just happened that way. I started planning this trip in January of 2018, with intention of paying it off (they offer simple payment plans) by the end of the year, with departure the first week of January 2019. I set up an itinerary and began the payment process. Half way through the year, however, life happened, throwing a giant roadblock in my way. I had already been working with... read more

Let me start by explaining that I made this as difficult as I possibly could. Not intentionally, of course, it just happened that way. I started planning this trip in January of 2018, with intention of paying it off (they offer simple payment plans) by the end of the year, with departure the first week of January 2019. I set up an itinerary and began the payment process. Half way through the year, however, life happened, throwing a giant roadblock in my way. I had already been working with James, who I guess left the company and transferred me to Hayley. When I told her that I needed to postpone my trip for at least a year, she jumped right on it. Despite the fact that we had already reserved travel and admissions tickets, she was able to get all but $77 refunded to me, with everything else I had paid for to roll over to the next year when I could continue payments. Simple, right? It doesn’t end there.

Over the next year, I had more time to explore online what Peru had to offer, and of which KimKim was connected to about everything. The more I learned, the more I wanted to do. As I began to think about extending my trip from 10 days to 14, Hayley got transferred and yet a third travel specialist was assigned to my planned journey, Carla, who was up to date on all that I had been going through as soon as we were introduced. I proposed my new ideas of itinerary to Carla, and within a few days she had amended it and adjusted the cost, explaining why certain attractions and activities cost different amounts than others. When another financial burden in life fell upon me and I had to change the itinerary again (what a pain the @$$ I am, yah?) Carla finally helped me settle in on an impressive experience for even the biggest adventurers. Sacsayhuaman led it off in Cusco the day after I was retrieved at the airport by my guide for the two weeks, Rolfi, who came highly recommended by a former Peru visitor whom I met through one of these reviews! Then we embarked into the Sacred Valley, where the majority of the adventuring would take place. Rolfi really was incredible, and on our first day hike to Huchuy Quosco I quickly recognized why he had been so well reviewed. Not only was he knowledgeable of all the sites we visited over the next two weeks, but he was from Calca, just about the center of the Valley, and knew so many of the locals. His English is college level (fortunately for a Spanglish speaking gringo like myself), and even speaks Quechua, so no matter where we were he had a kind word for everyone we encountered. Then we were off to Chinchero for some paddleboarding. The guide for this water trip was a Cusco local named Barrac, and was not only very informed of the area but super friendly and easy to talk to. I had one day off to do my own thing and when I asked Rolfi what I should do, he suggested a local half day hike that would bring me past a very seldom seen by tourists archeological site in town and offered to walk with me. We had a great time buddying up and talking about all types of subjects from personal to international. Next was the Via Ferrata day, with a stay overnight in the Skylodge, and the zip line tour back down the following morning. For this, Rolfi kept his feet on the ground. Also, the whole experience comes with a bit of a price tag, but I can assure you, it is worth every last bit. The folks at Natura Vive were not just incredible guides and safety instructors, but considering what they had to work with in a plexiglass and aluminum (aerospace grade) dome hanging off of the edge of a rock face, these guys were great cooks as well! And so darned hospitable that I felt as though I was staying at the Ritz Carlton. The next morning, as the last zip line end had been reached and the harnesses were coming off, there were Rolfi and our driver ready to whisk us off to the next experience. Up towards the high countryside we went again for a day of mountain biking that started with an easy peddle to the Moray archeological site where we had lunch and walked around the area as Rolfi explained the site’s significance and development. Then, since the light rain had ended and our awesome driver had scraped all the red mud from our bike tires and brakes, we shed our rain jackets and headed for the downhill single tracks to the village of Maras, where we stopped momentarily at the town square. Then we continued on to the salt pool mines in the canyon where Rolfi again had much information on the matter, and finally down to the lower level of the valley floor again. That was the point where I recognized the awesomeness of this trip and gave myself the first appreciation of putting together so much happiness for myself. Another day hike was positioned in this time period somewhere, just around Calca and really enjoyable with all the evening rains bringing such a beautiful green out across the valley and mountains, with flowers blooming everywhere, of which Rolfi of course knew all the names. Then came the apex of the trip, the Lares Trek. I don’t want to spoil any of it for everyone, but fricken WOW! The hike was manageable for someone like me who is in pretty darned good physical shape, but I feel that Rolfi sensed my desire for a leg burn workout on this journey and rather than insist on too many breaks allowed me to romp onward at my own pace. The first night of camp I felt came too soon, as I still had energy to burn. But Rolfi assures me that I would want plenty of stored fuel for the next day, set to begin at 5:30am. He wasn’t joking. The elevation change of the next day had my heart and lungs trying to figure out a pattern together, but by about the time we were an hour from the summit I was stepping with a good rhythm that wouldn’t drop me but get me there steadily. Recognizing this, Rolfi let me take point for the final 300m of the climb. You can see in the expression on my face in the photo he took right when we reached the acme of around 4300m that my mind was the clearest it had ever been and I’ve never been higher on happiness (pun so very intended). After a snack and a pleasant sun soak session we continued further downward to our camp for the evening surrounded by majestic peaks and the sound of waterfalls, creeks and rivers flowing all around us. Oh, and the porters cooking our food, setting up our sites, providing tea, coffee, and even hot water bottles for our sleeping bags at night? Top notch, first rate, unbeatable...there just aren’t enough words to explain them. The hike down the valley to our waiting driver the next day was pleasant after such a thigh burning push the day prior, and I welcomed the open doors of the pickup truck when we reached our driver. In Calca, KimKim had arranged for me lodging at Casa de Aida, a wonderful zen style retreat of a hostel run by the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful mama in the whole valley. Breakfast was fresh from her garden and hens each morning, with freshly roasted and ground coffee to fill my belly to the point of tastebud happiness. No, that doesn’t sound like it makes any sense, but that’s how it felt. Stay there. You’ll see. My time with Rolfi culminated with two days of hiking Machu Picchu. Despite the departure time from Calca at 4:30am, Mama Aida had a thermos of coffee and some breakfast sandwiches prepared fresh for us and hand delivered on our way out the door. When I say that she is the best, I absolutely mean it. There is no one better, I promise. Machu Picchu, I think, is what you make of it, so take the time to spend two days. Get off the train like we did at KM 104 and hike the Inca Trail to again pass through a separate site not many see close up, and then pop out over a ridge through the Sun Gate, the true entrance to Machu Picchu and a stunningly awesome view of the site and the looming Huayna Picchu looking over it all. We took a break there and absorbed the energy before slowly making our way down through the site to the buses which brought us to Aguas Calientes, a town only accessible by train or hiking. Seriously, there are no cars, cabs, rickshaws or even scooters on these streets. The buses that run up to Machu Picchu and back to town? Yup, brought in by train. We spent the night in town after a pleasant dinner at one of the many fine restaurants and awoke bright and early the next morning to catch the bus up. The stairway is also an option if you are feeling courageous, but we had reserved tickets to hike that protector peak, Huayna Picchu, which must be reserved months ahead of time since they only allow two groups of 200 guests per day access to the famed “Stairs Of Death”. They weren’t that bad, considering the view from the top of this wonder of the world, but if you charge them without stopping the way I did, you’ll definitely feel it. I was beyond happy to have my trekking poles for this, especially on the decent. Also, if you opt for this exclusive opportunity, do yourself a favor and attack it in the first group, earlier in the morning before the sun is high. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself when the sun starts beating down on you on the way back down. Being the most famous of the country’s attractions, Rolfi of course knew much about the site and not once did he bore me with facts. Tourist trap or not, a truly impressive experience. After this I was sad to part ways with Rolfi, as I returned to Cusco for another night at the hostel El Balcon, of course set up by KimKim. This place was about as comfortable as can be with a fantastic breakfast in the morning. For the final part of my itinerary, I was greeted the next day by none other than Barrac, the paddleboarding guide who was now going to be my rafting guide. We drove back down from the upper elevations of Cusco for a three hour rafting experience which culminated with a hot shower, sauna, excellent hot meal with tea and coffee, and a review of the photos and videos captured by the onboard GoPro camera. I was returned to Cusco for one last night at the hostel, then picked up the next day by the driver once more. At the behest of a friend back home, I decided to extend my trip an extra few days to just kick back and relax, decompress before heading back to the states. This idea came before my first itinerary change, and Hayley was kind enough to connect me with a couple in the Sacred Valley who have an apartment that they rent out through Airbnb. KimKim was even gracious enough to have the driver cart me all the way back out to the valley (90mins)! I’m telling you, KimKim went above and beyond to make my dream escape come true, and I am already scouting their website for my next adventure...and I’m still sitting at the Airbnb right now! I really can’t say enough, porqué no hay palabras! Peru és paradíso, and KimKim and Quechua Treks know how to show it to you! Feel free to check out all my pics from this incredible adventure on Instagram @rain_downfire and shoot me a message if you have any questions or want any advice. If you journey with KimKim, you’ll never be lost. Safe travels, and happy trails!