If you have never been to Peru, you may be missing out. Peru is a most beautiful country full of great culture, amazing food, dancing, adventure, Pisco, and some very kind Quechua people. It is hard not to want to spend time here, but we did get to travel Peru in 11 days.

This is the country that has the legendary lost city of Machu Picchu. The Incans had created a vast empire that made Cusco, Peru the capital. The country is full of mystery with Machu Picchu and even the Nazca Lines of Peru.

The food is absolutely amazing. Fresh Cerviche can be made at the local markets. You can eat lama and alpaca. There are 40 plus different types of potatoes, and the end with a nice Pisco Sour. The original Prisco Sour comes from Peru.

This is one country you want to put on your bucket list. Here is how we traveled Peru.

Inside Machu Picchu

How to get there:

Most people will travel to Peru by flying into Lima. Lima is the capital city with the largest airport in the country. From Lima, you can either catch a night bus to Cusco and other surrounding towns, or catch another flight into Cusco.

Packing for Peru:

When coming to Peru, you will need to take account what season you will be arriving. In the winter (June, July, and August), Lima is quite cold. It is also rainy and cloudy as well. So prepare to be cold. In Cusco and the Andeas mountains it will be quite warm during the day, but once the sun goes down the temperature drops dramatically.

If you are on the Inca Trail prepare for rain, heat, and frigid nights. It may rain on the trail, during the day can be hot, and at night the temperature is freezing and below so pack accordingly. Bring a sleeping bag, a hat, hiking poles if you want to save money on the trail. Have a good packing list.

Bring lots of sunscreen. The higher in altitude you are the more harmful the UV rays are for your skin. Lots of sunscreen.

Insurance:
When I travel, I try to always bring some insurance for emergencies. World Nomads is my go to for insurance. If you are looking for some good insurance here is a nice link.
Best Bus Company:
The best bus company to take is Peru Hop. There are some great bus companies, but Peru Hop helps out with dropping off at certain spots, and it is a company we took close to the end of the trip. They are awesome and take care of everything. Make it easy and book Peru Hop.

Day 1-2: Lima

Depending on when you land in Lima (we landed at 12:50 a.m.) You may either want to sleep or do some exploring.

We lived in Miraflores. It is basically the really nice part of Lima. It is much more expensive restaurants, but it is quite safer as well.

 We stayed at a hostel called Kaccla: the Healing Dog Hostel. It was a great place with late check-in, a great breakfast with some add-ons like eggs if you wanted. It had friendly service, and was a great place to spend a couple of nights.

Lima/ Exploring Lima
If you want to get a great view and tour of Lima you need to check out Inka Milky Way Walking Tour. It is a great free walking tour of downtown Lima. There is great history, cultural tips, and even some recommendations for some local food. Take a walk with Inka Milky Way Walking Tours.

We did the free walking tour, and even explored a bit of Miraflores. Miraflores has John F. Kennedy Park, which is flowing with random cats. It also has these dancing pits where the Peruvian Men will be seen late at night dancing with Peruvian women. During the weekend, this is a great treat and fun part of Lima.

 We only spent two days in Lima, and we were off on the 3rd day to Cusco.

Kennedy Park Dancing
Where to stay in Lima
There are numerous places to stay in this great city of Lima. We stayed in Miraflores, which is nice section of the city very close to the ocean. Our place was the Kaccla: The Healing Dog Hostel. It was a great place to stay, relax, and have a great breakfast. Check it out. 

Day 3: Bus ride to Cusco

There are some great options to take a bus to Cusco. You can enjoy a trip on Peru Hop, which is a great bus company that can allow you to hop on off the bus throughout Peru.

We should have done this and hit Ina for some dune surfing, but instead we wanted to get to Cusco to acclimated to the altitude. Cusco sits at 3600 meters above sea level. The air is thinner, and we would be hiking the Inca trail quite soon.

 We hopped on a Night Bus to Cusco. It would take 22 hours to arrive in Cusco. So spend the next 22 hours on the bus sleeping, eating, watching Spanish movies, and hoping to be well rested by the time we arrived in Cusco.

Day 4-7 Cusco:

You could spend a couple of weeks in Cusco. It is quite a nice city with plenty of things to do, lots of yummy food to try, and nice weather to enjoy as well. We had a few days before we headed off to the Inca Trail so we took advantage of our time.
The city tops of Cusco
Cusco
The first day:
We arrived to Cusco late in the afternoon. So we headed to our hostel from the bus station to check-in. We then proceeded to venture around the city a bit to get acclimated to where we were.

 Since time was short, we booked a couple of tours.

Tours you can go on while in Cusco:

Obviously, you can head to Machu Picchu. We would do the 4 day hike on the Inca Trail so we opted for the other tours.
The Sacred Valley Tour:
On this tour, you leave around 4 a.m to start your tour. The tour takes you to visit about five different spots.

You will go to Chinchero, which is an old Quechua city. The tour will start here. There will be ladies trying to sell you things like hats, gloves, blankets, and anything else. You will then visit a little shop where one of the Quechua ladies will show you how they dye wool and weave it into hats, gloves, and blankets.

The tour will then take you to the Moray, which is circular terrace, where the Quechua people would do some testing of different crops with soil and agriculture.

Then the tour will take you along to a place where you can buy some salt as you head to a Salt Mines.

Later on, the tour will stop in a town for lunch.

 You will then head to many different Incan ruins.

The Sacred Valley Tour
The Sacred Valley Tour
Rainbow Mountain Hike:
The next most popular tour is going up to Rainbow Mountain. This mountain sits at around 5200 meters/ 17,060 feet. It is quite high, populated with multiple tourists, and it is frigid at the top.

The Rainbow Mountain Hike will test your will as you scale up a mountain. It is an hour and half hike, which you can walk. Some people choose to take horse back. Once you get to the last 5 minutes of the hike there is a steep incline, which you need to bundle up for the freezing cold.

Once at the top, make sure to take as many beautiful photos as possible. Most guide groups need to leave at certain times. Get some photos take a look at the awesome views, and it is time to hike back down.

 This would be a hike like no other. Utterly freezing and the altitude if not acclimated could make anyone sick. The earlier you go the better because the later in the day the more tourists will arrive.

Rainbow Mountain
Rainbow Mountain

Day 7-10: Inca Trail

The Inca trail was something unexpected. Sarah and I decided to take Llama Path as a tour group. It was a wonderful company. Our guide was Daniel, whom was amazing.

You will need to book tours for the Inca Trail around 4-6 months in advance to be able to get a permit to enter the park. The cost is around $700 per person. That will include the ticket, transportation, porters carrying gear, guides, and anything else. You can also hire a porter to take your things as well.

These next few days will be spent going around the multiple Incan sites. You will be able to taste wonderful food prepared by the porters. The nights and mornings will be freezing, but your goal is to see Machu Picchu.

At the end of the trek, you will be at Machu Picchu. You will have the opportunities to take iconic pictures, and then be able to take a tour around the ancient city. It is a beautiful site that people should visit.

The llama path group on Inca Trail
The Inca Trail
Machu Picchu

Day 11: Cusco to Bolivia

If you have an extra day, take a walking tour of Cusco. Use the free walking tour called the Blue Team Group. They are lots of fun, plus you get to try some homemade Cerveche, Pisco, and gets some good tips on culture and life in Cusco.

Before you leave, you can go visit the famous San Pedro Market. There you can buy some gifts, get fresh juice, spices, and anything else.

We spent our last full day in Cusco doing the walking tour and going to San Pedro Market. Then we headed to the Bolivia Hop Bus stop to go to Puno and Bolivia.

Drinking Pisco Sours
Eating Cerveche

A Peruvian Itinerary:

That is our Itinerary of how to travel Peru in 11 days. We were a bit bummed that we missed Arequipo. There were some major protests going on in town, and none of the buses were taking people there. It is a beautiful place so we wanted to check it out. Here is a list of things to do in Arequipo.

If you have any suggestions or questions about this itinerary feel free to leave a comment below.

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

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