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.
How to get there:
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.
Best Bus Company:
Day 1-2: Lima
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
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.
Where to stay in Lima
Day 3: Bus ride to Cusco
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:
The first day:
Since time was short, we booked a couple of tours.
Tours you can go on while in Cusco:
The Sacred Valley Tour:
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.
Rainbow Mountain Hike:
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.
Day 7-10: Inca Trail
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.
Day 11: Cusco to Bolivia
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.
A Peruvian Itinerary:
If you have any suggestions or questions about this itinerary feel free to leave a comment below.