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.
Best of Northern Peru
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Northern Peru Essentials
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ancient fortresses, a museum with hundreds of mummies, towering pyramids, one of the highest waterfalls in the world: this 13-day trip showcases the best of northern Peru, featuring stops in Trujillo, Kuelap, Chiclayo, and Cajamarca.
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.
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.
This quick 5-day trip through Northern Peru uses the cloud forest-surrounded city of Chachapoyas as a base to explore regional highlights like the impressive pre-Inca ruins of Kuélap and a hike to one of the world's highest waterfalls, Gocta Falls.
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.
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.
Go off the beaten path in northern Peru to discover some of the country's most incredible archaeological sites. Besides touring pre-Columbian temples and pyramids, you'll also visit Indigenous and Spanish-colonial landmarks in cities like Cajamarca. As a bonus, you'll hike up to one of the country's most beautiful waterfalls, tour "Machu Picchu of the North," and visit an actual mummy museum.
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.
Peru is famous for the ruins of Machu Picchu to the south, but the lesser-known pre-Inca sites across the country are just as impressive. This 15-day itinerary brings you up close to some of the largest and oldest sites, like the sprawling city Chan Chan, the mysterious Moray terraces, and the imposing Kuélap fortress, as you travel from arid desert to misty cloud forest.
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.
Traveling by car, plane, train, and foot, you'll experience Peru's ancient civilizations and customs on this active cultural adventure. Soak up the vibrant energy of cosmopolitan Lima and explore the former Inca capital, Cusco, then learn about the rituals of ancient civilizations at El Brujo. In Chachapoyas, see the mysterious Karajia Sarcophagi and learn about Peru's pyramids and engineering feats at the Royal Tombs museum. Hike to a hidden waterfall at Gocta, sleep under the stars at Waqrapukara, and stand in awe at Machu Picchu.
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.
Beginning your Peruvian odyssey in cosmopolitan capital Lima, this 11-day itinerary sees you first travel to jungle metropolis Iquitos. You then embark on a trip along the main source of the River Amazon, the River Marañón, using a lodge near Pacaya Samiria Reserve as a base for jungle adventures including rainforest hikes and meeting indigenous communities. You next travel up into the stunning Andes, to ancient Inca capital Cusco. You will then spend two days in the Sacred Valley, seeing archaeological marvels like Moray and Ollantaytambo: a journey culminating in a visit to the ultimate Inca citadel, Machu Picchu. You end this itinerary by exploring another of Peru's geological wonders: Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain.
Beginning your Peruvian odyssey in the cosmopolitan capital of Lima, this 8-day itinerary will see you first travel to jungle metropolis Iquitos before embarking on a trip down the Amazon river. You will use a jungle lodge as your base for jungle adventures including night-time rainforest hikes and meeting indigenous communities. You will next travel up into the stunning Andes, to ancient Inca capital Cusco, before venturing into the Sacred Valley: a journey that culminates in the ultimate Inca citadel, Machu Picchu.
Uncover Peru's natural and cultural wonders on this comprehensive 16-day trip. Begin in the north-coast desert, where you'll discover archaeological sites and ancient pyramids, then spot endangered wildlife on a four-night cruise through the Amazon Rainforest. Next, tour Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley, including UNESCO-listed Machu Picchu, before heading south to witness marine life in Paracas National Reserve, camp among the Huacachina dunes, and fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines.
Beginning your Peruvian odyssey in cosmopolitan capital Lima, this 10-day itinerary sees you first travel to jungle metropolis Iquitos. You then embark on a trip along the main source of the River Amazon, the River Marañón, using a lodge near Pacaya Samiria Reserve as a base for jungle adventures including night-time rainforest hikes and meeting indigenous communities. You next travel up into the stunning Andes, to ancient Inca capital Cusco and the Sacred Valley: a journey culminating in a visit to the ultimate Inca citadel, Machu Picchu. You end this itinerary by exploring another of Peru's geological wonders: Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain.
Family adventures don't get more exciting than this fast-paced, 10-day tour of Peru, which is best suited for older kids. After arriving in Lima, head deep into the Peruvian Amazon for a three-day cruise in the rainforest. Next, change things up in the high-altitude Peruvian Andes, where you'll stay in exclusive mountainside accommodations that can only be reached by zipline or via ferrata. Finish the trip with a tour of Machu Picchu and free time to explore Cusco, the archaeological capital of the Americas.
While Machu Picchu is a must-see in Peru, there's more than one way to reach the iconic Inca site. During this 15-day itinerary, take on the lesser-known, more challenging Salkantay Trail on your way to the 15th-century citadel, catching stunning mountain views and visiting villages, coffee farms, and archaeological sites along the way. Once you've completed the trek, kick up your feet for a four-day cruise within the Peruvian Amazon rainforest.
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.
Two weeks of nonstop adventure and bucket-list activities make this Peruvian itinerary the perfect choice for curious, active kids and teens. Set off from Lima for the Amazon rainforest, where you'll spot sloths and pink dolphins, take nighttime jungle excursions, and try your hand at traditional fishing. It's on to the Sacred Valley to learn about Inca astronomy, hike alongside llamas, and explore the mighty Machu Picchu. After a scenic trip by vintage-style train, end at Lago Titicaca to explore its floating islands by kayak.
Young adventurers will love this two-week family tour of Peru that encompasses desert dunes, high Andean peaks, and the Amazon rainforest. Explore Lima's historic city center and take a food-focused bike tour, then it's off to Cusco and the Sacred Valley for rock climbing, ziplining, and the wonders of Machu Picchu. Hike up the rainbow mountain of Palcoyo, then settle into a rainforest lodge to canoe past sloths and monkeys, fish for piranhas, and seek out nocturnal frogs and tarantulas.
On this 10-day journey, you will truly get to see the very best of Northern and Andean Peru. In the north, you will be based in Chachapoyas for trips to one of the world's mightiest waterfalls, Gocta Falls, and the amazing pre-Inca fortress of Kuélap. You will then begin discovering the Andean Inca heartland of Peru, seeing magical Sacred Valley ruins such as those at Moray, Pisac and Ollantaytambo before exploring the regional highlight, Machu Picchu. The trip ends with a trek to one of Peru's geological highlights, Vinicunca Rainbow Mountain.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sacred Valley · Lima · Aguas Calientes/ Machu Picchu · Machu Picchu · Cusco · The Amazon · Southern Peru · Puno · Arequipa & Colca Canyon · Paracas · Arequipa · Inca Trail · Trujillo · Chachapoyas · Iquitos · Chiclayo · Tambopata · Colca Canyon · Nazca · Ausangate Trek · Mancora · Ica · Ayacucho