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.
Make the Most of Your Time in Peru
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Lima's international airport makes it the most common entry point for travelers heading to Peru's many cultural and adventure destinations, including Machu Picchu. Due to flight schedules, most travelers spend at least one evening in the metropolitan capital—but with so much to do here, it's easy to extend your stay. Enjoy the art galleries and ocean views of lively Miraflores, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants and local food stands, or visit Incan ruins within city limits: read on for more about what to do in Lima, whether you have a few hours or a few days to spend.
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 can conquer part of the Inca Trail plus take a hike to the brilliantly-striped Rainbow Mountain, and culturally-minded travelers who don't mind skipping Machu Picchu can head to the lesser-visited ruins of Northern Peru. Learn more about your options below.
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 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. See more ideas in this great list.
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 of the ruins and villages surrounding Cusco and take a jungle excursion into the Amazon in the same trip. Or head north to the archeological wonders of Kuelap and Chachapoyas. A trip of this length also means more opportunities for trekking, including multi-day treks on the Inca Trail. See more inspiration for your Peru trip below.
For travelers interested in visiting Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley highlights, five days is just enough time to do it. If you've already been to Machu Picchu, consider seeing a different part of Peru on this trip: the Amazon Rainforest, the biodiverse Ballestas Islands, or the lesser-known archeological sites of Northern Peru are all excellent options that showcase more of Peru's outdoor and cultural offerings. Check out more options in the itineraries below.