While Peru is well-known for its archaeological wonders, the country is also an up-and-coming destination for spotting birds and wildlife in pristine eco-systems. At luxury lakeside lodges, cloud forest escapes and rustic rainforest retreats you can look for everything from poison dart frogs and spectacled bears to magnificent birds such as the Andean cock-of-the-rock. This article covers best places to stay for an up close and personal experience of Peru's phenomenally diverse nature.
Peru Travel Insights
With 10 days in Peru, you can explore several regions by taking internal flights or get to know one region in more depth. The highlights of the Cusco and Machu Picchu region can easily be combined with Lake Titicaca or the Amazon jungle. Alternatively, head north to enjoy lesser-known archaeological highlights, spectacular treks and beaches. Another very popular route is to travel south into the desert, then up through the canyons to the high Andean plains. Here are five different itineraries to help you make the most of your trip.
The five-day Lares Trek takes you high up in the Andes, hiking during the day and overnighting in luxurious lodges along the way. Providing impressive views of snow-capped peaks and glacial lakes, it’s a relatively demanding hike that will test your fitness.
Named after the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range, the Salkantay Trek takes you high in the Andes outside Cusco, providing specular views of snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes, and lush cloud forest. It’s an easy to moderate hike, with some sections of challenging terrain. The six-day trek involves comfortable stays at luxurious lodges in remote locations so that you can enjoy the gorgeous Andean scenery without having to give up your comforts.
The Santa Cruz four-day trek takes you high into the Cordillera Blanca in northern Peru, providing spectacular views of glacier-wrapped peaks, turquoise lakes and fields of wildflowers. It's a demanding hike that will test your body and lungs, but well-worth it for the epic scenery. This article will help you make the most of your Peruvian high altitude adventure, and provide information on extending the hike to five or more days.
This 4-day adventure is perfect for those planning to visit the top two sights in Peru – Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. In addition to these unforgettable highlights, this itinerary will take a detour over some stunning Andean scenery, from icy peaks to steamy jungle. Along the way, enjoy a dip in hot springs, a visit to a coffee cooperative and shopping in traditional Andean markets.
Cusco serves as the perfect base to explore the numerous sights of the Sacred Valley. Colonial settlements and ancient Inca towns are dotted here and there, while in remote mountain settlements life has largely remained unchanged for centuries. Use this guide to plan your day trips from the ancient Inca capital.
For several millennia, Peru's Cordillera Vilcabamba mountain range was an important cradle for ancient civilizations. These steep slopes and valleys also served as a refuge for the last rebel Incas retreating from the Spanish invasion. This itinerary provides an intimate look at this region of ancient trails and archaeological sites, perfectly suited for active travelers looking to explore the Peruvian backcountry on foot and sleep out under the stars.
Combine the Andean highlights of two diverse countries on this 11-day tour. Explore the Inca sites of Peru, including Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Then travel south by train through high Andean plains to spectacular Lake Titicaca, and cross into Bolivia to the unworldly Valley of the Moon, before exploring two contrasting capital cities: La Paz and Lima.
Experience the best Peru has to offer in just two weeks with this exciting itinerary that takes in the very best the country has to offer. From freewheeling into the jungle to visiting ancient Inca ruins and remote islands on Lake Titicaca, this tour takes you to Peru’s most exciting destinations where you will delve into local culture, age-old customs, and traditions.
This day trip offers active travelers of any ability the chance to cycle along ancient trails once used by the Incas. The ride includes three spectacular Inca terraces, joined together by roads that meander over the central cordillera of the Andes: it's the perfect blend of culture, fitness and history.
Peru’s spectacularly varied landscapes offer endless opportunities for outdoor activities and sports: trekking, rafting and mountain biking are just a handful of the activities on offer. Home to the world's longest continental mountain range, Peru also possesses the Amazon jungle and a long Pacific coastline, meaning adrenaline junkies will be able to find their next fix at every corner. This list highlights the best activities in Peru.
Experience the ultimate introduction to Peru in just two weeks with this active itinerary that includes options for both hiking and biking. From Inca ruins to quaint villages, bustling streets to serene landscapes, this journey across the Andes will include all the main destinations that highlight Peru's unique culture and history.
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 good planning, it's even 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. Use this guide to help you make the most of your visit.
Thousands of tourists flock to Peru each year to visit the famed ruins of Machu Picchu. But while the masses are headed toward this archaeological wonder, many sites of great interest pass the days in relative obscurity. There are deep canyons, high-altitude lakes and spectacular rail journeys – plenty for those wanting to get off the beaten path. Here are some suggestions to escape the crowds.
Avid hiker and kimkim traveler Kristin Monesmith lives in Peru halftime, working remotely and exploring the endless mountain trails. The Ausangate Trek checked all her boxes: incredibly beautiful, essentially devoid of tourists, and enough of a challenge to leave her feeling accomplished at the end. She spoke with us about her five-day adventure circumnavigating one of the most spectacular mountains in Southern Peru.
Three days is the minimum time you need to enjoy the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, two of the major highlights of any visit to Peru. On this tour, you'll shop for handicrafts in historic Pisac, go to a traditional garment workshop and hike to the amazing salt pans produced by the Incas. A day exploring the ruins of Machu Picchu is the perfect way to cap your visit to this extraordinary region.
This 14-day trip will take you to the best cities and historic places of interest on the north coast of Peru. From the fascinating archaeological sites around Trujillo and Cumbemayo, to visits with local woodcarvers and environmentalists, you'll get an in-depth experience with this little-visited area. Along the way, you'll hike to one of the world’s highest waterfalls, make some cocktails, visit superb museums, and sample delicious local cuisine.
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.
Lima is one of South America’s most cosmopolitan cities. In the hip neighborhoods of Barranco, Miraflores, San Isidro and beyond, new boutique hotels are popping up overnight. There are artsy hotels, bohemian hotspots, swish modernist joints bathed in white, and plenty of options in between that cater to all tastes and budgets.
The former capital of the Incas, Cusco is today a bustling city that attracts scores of travelers for its ancient Incan remains, Andean culture and Spanish colonial splendors. Small stonewalled alleyways spill onto impressive plazas full of brightly dressed indigenous women, while tucked away are surprisingly excellent museums, quirky nightlife venues, and stylish clothing stores. This guide will direct you toward the best Cusco has to offer.
This foray into the Peruvian Amazon basin offers a wide variety of activities over five days. In addition to exploration of the jungle and its extraordinary plant and animal life, you'll encounter local communities and farms, learning the traditional ways of the indigenous people who call this land their home.
This adventurous 9-day trip has all the ingredients of a legendary and enduring journey. The trip starts out with a drive over a 15,000 ft. pass, and then continues down the Tambopata River for six days, running class IV rapids and camping out each night. Excellent opportunities for spotting wildlife comes with the territory in this remote section of the Amazon jungle.
Located deep in the Amazon, the area of Huitoto Lake, is one of the most biodiverse regions in Peru. Trek out from your lodge in this remote outpost to spot monkeys, alligators, toucans, tapirs and more, then by night listen to the deafening cacophony of the jungle. The pristine nature and extraordinary plant and animal life can be enjoyed over 3 to 5 days.
Beyond Machu Picchu, where the Andes slope off into the Amazon, lies the forgotten region of Concepción. Little penetrated by foreign tourists, it is a multisport playground for adventurous travelers. If you're prepared to rough it a little, you'll be richly rewarded with biking, hiking, ziplining, swimming in rivers, waterfalls and jungle water parks, and the best rafting in Peru!
Exploring Inca ruins, watching Amazon wildlife, riding dune buggies, rafting on river rapids, petting alpaca, learning to make chocolate - Peru has so much that will captivate children and adults alike. So if you want to explore this fascinating country with your family, this guide will tell you all you need to know - from the best destinations and activities, to how to prepare for challenging terrain.
Cusco and the Sacred Valley are brimming with accommodation, from friendly guesthouses to luxurious hotels. This article highlights the best among them, giving you options for the perfect stay during your time in the area.
In a place like Peru, there's so much to see and do that many travelers often miss the truly amazing and authentic experiences. With journeys to these off-the-beaten-path destinations, you have the chance to connect more closely with the people, places, history and culture that make Peru special. Trek to forgotten ruins, explore a witch's market and come closer to the living heart of Peru in tiny villages and enchanted valleys.
With one week in Peru you can explore one region in detail or take internal flights to enjoy the highlights of two regions. Southern Peru has an incredible diversity of landscapes, while the north boasts archaeological sites that rival Machu Picchu. The popular Cusco region is perfect for sightseers and trekkers alike, and the jungle is accessible enough to combine with a trip to the highlands.
With its mysterious Inca ruins, quaint villages, beautiful sunsets and colorful Quechua culture, Peru makes for a fascinating and romantic honeymoon. The following list covers the best places to visit in Peru after you say “I do.”
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 reflected in the stunning places and range of activities you can enjoy. Here's our list of the top 10 Peru highlights to check consider adding to your itinerary.
The spellbinding scenery and perfect stonework of the Lost City of the Incas have fascinated historians, architects and tourists alike since the ruins were uncovered from the jungle over a century ago. To make the most of this unforgettable place, use our expert guide to Machu Picchu to plan your trip.
This adventure takes you through the less-visited corners of Peru. Along the way, you will connect with the history of pre-Columbian civilizations in remote archeological sites, pass through wild jungle in the Amazon Basin, and unite with the authentic spirit of the Andes in small villages.
A week exploring the unique cultures of North Coast of Peru, with a visit to Trujillo, Chiclayo, and Chimbote for some of the finest cultural spots in the North of Peru. A great 7-day trip for seeing the ancient cultures of this unique and vast region.
Experience the best hotels and fine dining in Cusco and the Sacred Valley. You'll visit the important cultural sites of Cusco and the region, explore trails, and experience some great outdoor activities.
Explore Southern Peru's most famous region through a uniquely immersive local experience. This tour will allow you to experience the trails, traditions, and daily lives of subsistence farmers while still making time for the more well-known highlights of the Sacred Valley.
In the span of a week, bike across Peru's most famous region and see the Sacred Valley from a different perspective. This itinerary uncovers both the natural beauty of Southern Peru as well as the historical legacy of the Incas.
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 amazing ruins to yourself, discover unique landscapes, and learn about ancient cultures that pre-date the Inca civilization.
Off-the-radar for most tourists, Northern Peru has its own set of amazing highlights. You can experience Peru's cultural diversity and numerous archaeological sites, given many pre-Inca civilizations settled in the northern regions. Besides culture, you can also enjoy the amazing wildlife, the beautiful flora and fauna, enjoy a hike in the Andes or relax along long stretches of white sandy beach.
Cachicata is a relatively new and less-crowded trek in Peru's Sacred Valley. You'll pass beneath beautiful snow-capped mountains, cross over a high pass, and descend down into the Sacred Valley, arriving at the village of Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, it's a short train journey to Machu Picchu where you can enjoy a private tour of the ruins.
Peru has some of the best tracts of the Amazon in the world, and no better way to explore than by boat. Traveling around the Amazon by plane, you see precious little of its wondrous wildlife, and road access is a real challenge. To really experience Peru’s wild jungle, you need to take to its rivers and waterways.
Trek the last day of the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. If you're short on time or permits are sold out for the full Inca Trail, this is a great option for those wishing to experience a taste of this famous route. You'll enter the ruins through the Sun Gate as the sun sets over Machu Picchu, then have a full tour of the ruins the following day.
Trek through the Lares Valley, where you'll pass between glacier-capped mountains where llamas and alpacas graze in the surrounding hills. You'll visit the town of Lares, a colourful traditional town in the heart of the valley. Combined with the Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, this is a trek that combines two wonderful valleys & mountain ranges with very different ecologies & landscapes.
For people who enjoy backpacking in the mountains and beautiful hot springs, this is the ideal multi-day trek. You'll have a local guide who will help you discover Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world, with stunning views of the Andes.
Explore southern Peru on this multi-day itinerary, passing through some of the most beautiful places in the south. You'll visit Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Puno & Lake Titicaca.
An activity-filled expedition to the South of Peru. A multi-day tour full of new experiences that excite & challenge. This is a tour for all age ranges, group sizes and all types of experience.
A great 12-day tour that incorporates the best of Peru. In under two weeks, you'll explore the Amazon Jungle and trek to the heights of Machu Picchu. You'll experience the best of both worlds — from the jungle to the Andes.
An active tour of the important mountain ranges around the Cusco Region: the Urubamba & Vilcanota. This is the perfect week-long itinerary for those who enjoy adventure and want to have an authentic Andean experience in the mountains.
A stunning tour which includes the best of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. See the most important Inca ruins in an activity-filled week. This is the best way to experience the Cusco Region in our opinion!
Journey through an undiscovered land of wild desert landscapes, snow-capped peaks, herds of alpacas, to arrive at the ultimate destination: the rainbow-painted slopes of Rainbow Mountain hidden deep in the Andes.