Best of Northern Peru

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Northern Peru
Plan your trip to Peru
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Northern Peru Essentials

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 amazing ruins to yourself, discover unique landscapes, and learn about ancient cultures that pre-date the Inca civilization. 

Citadel of Kuelap, Amazonas region
Map of Best Places To Visit in Northern Peru
Best Places To Visit in Northern Peru

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.

Northern Peru Itineraries

Traveling - experiences and encounters
Map of Discover Northern Peru: A Journey For The Senses - 14 Days
Discover Northern Peru: A Journey For The Senses - 14 Days

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.

View on the river in Chazuta
Map of Northern Peru: Jungle To The Andes - 9 Days
Northern Peru: Jungle To The Andes - 9 Days

This 9-day tour through northern Peru will not only show you the culinary side of Peru, but also a range of natural highlights. You will visit the major attractions in the Amazonas region, such as the fortress of Kuelap, also called the “Machu Picchu of the North”, and Gocta, one of the 10 highest waterfalls in the world.

Discover the villages of northern Peru
Map of Explore Rural Northern Peru - 16 Days
Explore Rural Northern Peru - 16 Days

Get off the beaten path and explore rural communities on this 16-day tour of northern Peru. Discover fascinating archaeological ruins and perfectly preserved mummies as you encounter the pre-Inca Chachapoya, Chimú, and Moche cultures. Stay with host families in remote villages where you'll learn traditional Peruvian handicrafts and farming techniques.

Fortress of Kuelap, picture Audrey Courtan
Explore Northern Peru: Trujillo, Chiclayo, Chachapoyas, Cajamarca - 11 Days

This off-the-beaten-path itinerary takes you the archaeological sites of the Chachapoya culture in northern Peru. You'll visit pre-Inca ruins, see hundreds of mummies in perfect condition, hike to one of the world’s highest waterfall, and see funeral constructions built into cliffsides—and have some fun in Lima at the start and end of the trip, too.

Fortress of Kuelap, picture Audrey Courtan
Explore Northern Peru: Trujillo, Chiclayo, Chachapoyas, & More - 12 Days

Discover the intriguing remains of the Chachapoya culture on this colorful tour of northern Peru. Visit archaeological sites, see hundreds of mummies in Leymebamba, then take a break and hike to Gocta Waterfall, one of the world's highest cascades. Find out how to manage your time with this 12-day trip plan.

Kuélap ruins
Map of Northern Peru: Kuélap Ruins, Gocta Waterfall, Museums, & Mausoleums - 5 Days
Northern Peru: Kuélap Ruins, Gocta Waterfall, Museums, & Mausoleums - 5 Days

Embark on a quick-yet-adventurous five-day tour of Northern Peru’s highlights. Upon arrival in Jaen, head to Chachapoyas, your home base throughout the journey. Hike to the Mausoleum of Revash, followed by a visit to Musuem Mallqui, which is home to more than 200 preserved mummies. Then, take a day trip to discover the Kuélap ruins for a day of exploration. The grand finale includes a scenic hike to one of the highest waterfalls in the world—Gocta Waterfall—before flying to Lima for your departure.

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.

Chan Chan
Map of Archaeology & Culture in Northern Peru: From Trujillo to Chiclayo - 8 Days
Archaeology & Culture in Northern Peru: From Trujillo to Chiclayo - 8 Days

Explore the culture and archaeology of Northern Peru on this eight-day adventure. Discover La Ruta Moche, the “road” along the northern coast of Peru, which includes the kingdoms of Moche, Chimu, and Lambayeque, with impressive archaeological sites that are among the most famous in South America. See a horse show, take a city tour, and visit the temples and Chan Chan in Trujillo. Then, check out the Archaeological Complex and the Museum of the Lady Cao in El Brujo. Spend time learning about Sican culture, and head to Túcume to enjoy traditional activities after visiting the iconic pyramids.

Gocta Waterfall
Map of Secrets of Northern Peru: Kuelap Ruins & Gocta Waterfalls - 5 Days
Secrets of Northern Peru: Kuelap Ruins & Gocta Waterfalls - 5 Days

This quick trip through the highlights of Northern Peru includes the impressive ruins of Kuelap, the incredible sarcophagi of Karajia, and the Museum of Leymebamba with over 200 mummies on display. You'll also head deep into the Amazonas region to find the waterfalls of Gocta (considered being the third highest in the world) and the rare spatuletail hummingbird, found nowhere else on the planet.

A mountain road in Leymebamba
Map of Archaeological Tour of Northern Peru: Cajamarca, Chachapoyas, & Chiclayo - 8 Days
Archaeological Tour of Northern Peru: Cajamarca, Chachapoyas, & Chiclayo - 8 Days

In just over one week, explore the best of Northern Peru. Begin in Cajamarca and head to the archaeological site of Cumbemayo, then explore a pre-Incan cemetery. Next, drive to Leymebamba, take a woodworking class, and visit a museum that houses 200 mummies, followed by a visit to the Mausoleums of Revash. Tour the Kuélap ruins, check out the Sarcophagi of Karajia funeral statues, explore the Amazonas region of Chiclayo, and more.

View of the ancient ruins of Kuélap
Map of Northern Peru Adventure: Lima to Iquitos - 17 Days
Northern Peru Adventure: Lima to Iquitos - 17 Days

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.

Citadel of Kuelap ruins
Ancient Cultures of Northern Peru: Cajamarca, Leymebamba, Trujillo & Lima - 15 Days

Explore the history of the pre-Inca civilizations that inhabited northern Peru on this thrilling 15-day tour. You will start in Lima, the coastal capital. Enjoy a cosmopolitan experience before heading north to Cajamarca to see temples and ancient graves. From here, you'll drive to the Amazonas region to visit mausoleums, mummies, and the ruins of Kuelap. Then, you'll drive to the coast for more archaeological excursions, including Caral, the oldest civilization in the American continent.

Catarata de Gocta is one of the highest waterfalls in the world
Best of Lima & Northern Peru - 13 Days

Steeped in history, this fascinating tour covers the most important archaeological sites of Northern Peru. Start the adventure with a few days to explore the capital of Lima. From here, fly north to Chiclayo and begin an epic road trip—by private transfer—visiting exceptional pre-Incan museums, complexes, and ruins. Over 13 days, you'll see a range of landscapes, like coastal deserts, Andean mountains, and a portion of the Amazon jungle, culminating with a hike to one of the world's highest waterfalls.

Remnants of round houses in an archeological site called Kuelap
Northern Peru Cultural Tour - 8 Days

This 8-day tour is perfect for history buffs with a sense of adventure. Starting from the desert coast, make your way to where the Andes meets the Amazon, stopping to see some of Peru's best archaeology sites. Here you will find the impressive ruins of Kuélap (the Macchu Picchu of the north), the incredible sarcophagi of Karajia, painted mummies in Leymebamba, and a spectacular waterfall. Back to the coast, pay a visit to a museum with elaborate artifacts from the Moche civilization.

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.

Kuelap ruins in northern Peru
Map of History & Culture of pre-Inca Peru - 11 Days
History & Culture of pre-Inca Peru - 11 Days

From the coast to the mountains, explore Peru's pre-Inca cultures and ruins in this 11-day itinerary. Start in metropolitan Lima, then visit Pisco on a day trip to take a spectacular flight over the iconic Nazca lines. From here, head north up the coast to Trujillo to discover the Mochica pyramids, the mud-brick city of Chan Chan, and the Tucume pyramids of the Sican people. Drive inland through the cloud forest into the Amazonas region to see Gotca waterfall and Kuelap fortress, a walled Chachapoya structure known as the "Machu Picchu of the North". With over 5,000 years of architecture and civilization to experience, this trip is a must on any traveler's list.

Kuelap ruins in northern Peru
Map of History & Culture of Peru - 14 Days
History & Culture of Peru - 14 Days

From the coast to the mountains, explore Peru's Inca and pre-Inca cultures and ruins in this 14-day itinerary. Start in metropolitan Lima, then head north up the coast to Trujillo to discover the Mochica pyramids, the mud-brick city of Chan Chan, and the Tucume pyramids of the Sican people. Drive inland through the cloud forest into the Amazonas region to see Gotca waterfall and Kuelap fortress, a walled Chachapoya structure known as the "Machu Picchu of the North".  Next, head to Cusco to walk in the footsteps of the Incas and explore beautiful landscapes and cultures of the Sacred Valley. Top it all off by spending a day visiting the iconic Machu Picchu citadel. With over 5,000 years of architecture and civilization to experience, this trip is a must on any traveler's list.

Gotca waterfall
Map of History & Culture of Peru - 15 Days
History & Culture of Peru - 15 Days

This exploration of ancient and modern Peru starts with Lima—and a spectacular flight over the Nazca Lines. You'll then make your way north to tour the Mochica and Tucume pyramids, along with the mud-brick city of Chan Chan. Drive inland to the Amazonas region to see the "Machu Picchu of the North" before walking in the footsteps of the Incas in Cusco. Top it all off with a private tour of the iconic Machu Picchu ruins.

Sunset in Huanchaco with traditional totora reed boats
Map of Peru Cultural Tour & Short Inca Trail - 16 Days
Peru Cultural Tour & Short Inca Trail - 16 Days

Explore Peru's history from Pre-Incan cultures to the Inca empire, all the way to modern times. Start in the modern capital of Lima, then take a spectacular flight over the iconic Nazca lines. From here, head north to discover the Mochica pyramids, the mud-brick city of Chan Chan, and the Tucume pyramids of the Sican people. Then, challenge yourself on the short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and enter the iconic ruins through the Sun Gate.

Other popular travel destinations in Peru
Sacred Valley · Machu Picchu · Lima · Cusco · The Amazon · Southern Peru · Paracas · Arequipa & Colca Canyon · Nazca