Dos Manos Peru Travel

Dos Manos Peru Travel Blog

Exploring Peru


Perfect Peru Itineraries for One Week or Ten Days Of Travel

Perfect Peru Itineraries for One Week

With its dramatic ruined Inca fortresses, golden coastline and rugged mountains aching to be hiked, Peru has plenty to keep you busy on a backpacking trip or vacation. Whether you’re planning on spending one week in the country, ten days or more, we’ve got the perfect Peru itinerary for you: Perfect Peru Itineraries for One Week or Ten Days Of Travel.

Peru itinerary 10 days

With this 10 day Peru itinerary, it’s possible to explore the delights of Peru’s colonial capital, Lima, head down the coast to the wildlife reserve off the shores of Paracas, fly over the Nazca lines, watch Andean condors soaring over the Colca Canyon, explore the city of the Inca – Cusco – before dawn at the world-renowned ruins of Machu Picchu.

Day One: Lima

Arrive into Lima’s international airport and get a transfer into town. Spend the day exploring the city’s museums, including the spectacular pre-Columbian ceramics collection at the Museo Larco and the catacombs of the Iglesia de San Francisco.

Experience Lima’s world-famed cuisine by eating ceviche at the excellent branch of Punto Azul in Miraflores.

Got three days in Lima?

Extend with a day trip out to Pachacamac, ruins that were held sacred by the Inca as a shrine of an important oracle that they worshipped.

On your third day in Lima, have a leisurely wander along the parks of Miraflores, stopping to admire the views at the Gaudi-inspired Parque del Amor and the statue of Paddington Bear, gifted by the British Embassy. Book in for a truly unique dining experience at the world-class Central, in new premises in the Barranco neighbourhood.

The Gaudi-inspired Parque del Amor

Get tips for other unmissable things to do in Lima.

Days Two to Three: Paracas

Take a morning bus out to Paracas, a seaside resort once popular with wealthy Limeños (residents of Lima). Spend the afternoon watching for pelicans bobbing on the sea front and grab some salty-fresh seafood at one of the smart restaurants here.

The following day, get a tour of the Ballestas Islands, for their wealth of waddling Humboldt penguins, sea lions and blue-footed boobies, which has seen them often referred to as the “Poor Man’s Galapagos”.

Continue with a tour of the Reserva Nacional Paracas, for its undulating sand dunes and sublime, empty beaches; read on for practical tips for visiting the Ballestas Islands.

Get an evening bus south to Nazca, three hours away.

Day Four: Nazca

Book onto an early morning flight for a bird’s-eye view of the astounding Nazca Lines, some 10,000 lines and geoglyphs etched into the desert floor. Although their purpose remains tantalizingly unknown, they are thought to have been used for water-related rituals.

Nazca Lines, geoglyphs etched into the desert floor

Later, hop on a tour to visit other nearby sites such as the Acueducto de Catalloc and the Los Paredones ruins before taking an overnight bus for the ten-hour journey to Arequipa.

Days Five and Six: Arequipa and Colca Canyon

Wake up in the White City, aka Arequipa, famed for its sumptuous colonial architecture and with a surprising array of things to do for tourists. Spend your first day exploring the 16th-century Catedral and the winding, colorful corridors of the enormous “Monasterio de Santa Catalina”, a convent once inhabited by 200 nuns.

Get a pisco sour sundowner at La Casona del Pisco, a bar with beautiful views of the Iglesia San Francisco and then an early night.

Trip to the Colca Canyon

It’s a very early start for a day trip to the Colca Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world (narrowly pipped to the post by the nearby Cotahuasi Canyon). You’ll stop to admire herds of grazing llamas and alpacas and for views of soaring condors at the Mirador Cruz del Cóndor, among some of Peru’s most iconic wildlife, before a relaxing bath in nearby hot springs.

If you want to hike deep into the Colca Canyon, you’ll need an extra two days for the challenging, steep trek down – and the even more difficult hike back out again.

Hop on an overnight bus for the ten-hour journey to Cusco, a good way to acclimatize as you’ll be swapping from 2,335 meters above sea level in Arequipa to 3,400 meters in Cusco.

Days Seven, Eight and Nine: Cusco and the Sacred Valley

You’re finally in the Inca heartland! You’ll want to spend three days in Cusco and the nearby Sacred Valley, partly to help you acclimatize to the high altitude, but also because it’s one of the country’s most fascinating cities for its Inca history.

Cusco, most fascinating cities for its Inca history

Although much of the Inca building work was destroyed by the Spanish, who were keen to obliterate local customs, you can still get to grips with the exceptional prowess of these master buildings. Head over to the twelve-angled stone along Calle Hatunrumiyoc before a trip to Qorikancha, the main Inca temple that was built over with the Convento de Santo Domingo.

In the evening, enjoy a pisco sour from a bar overlooking the grand Plaza de Armas and don’t miss the pizzas and local craft beer at Baco.

Spend the next day by taking a taxi up to Sacsayhuaman or the other Inca ruins beyond the city of Cusco and hiking or horseback riding back down to the city. Alternatively, go white water rafting on the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley for swirling rapids up to Class III in size.

The next morning, either take a tour or go self-guided to the Sacred Valley, where the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo give further evidence of the incredible stone masonry of the Inca. Drop by at the Pisac market (best on Sundays and a great place to pick up Peruvian souvenirs) and learn about the agricultural Inca laboratory at the Moray terraces in the hills above.

Bed down for the night in Ollantaytambo.

Day Ten: Machu Picchu

Rise early to board the train to Machu Picchu, the legendary “Lost City of the Inca” that has been captivating the imaginations of visitors to Peru for the past century. Spend the day exploring the site with a guide and return to Cusco that evening on the last train home.

Machu Picchu Peru

Alternatively, hike the short Inca Trail, a two-day, one-night version of the longer and more challenging route to Machu Picchu, but still with stunning Andean scenery and high-altitude ruins along the way.

Before you plan your trip to the fortress, make sure you find out exactly how much a trip to Machu Picchu costs.

Peru in two weeks

If you’ve got an extra four days to add to your Peru travel itinerary, why not hike the classic full four-day, three-night Inca Trail, which ends with a day spent exploring the Machu Picchu ruins.

If you’d prefer to escape the crowds (or you’ve let it a little late to book the Inca Trail), consider the Inca Jungle Trek, which takes the same amount of time but includes stretches on mountain bike.

The four-day, three-night Lares Trek is even more unknown and you can expect hot springs, glacial lakes and valleys and visits to indigenous communities as you make pilgrimage to Machu Picchu. It’s another great option to add to the above ten-day itinerary if you have two weeks in Peru.

Alternatively, you can also add a rainforest adventure to your Peru trip, like for example this 3 day Amazon trip.

Peru itinerary 7 days

With only one week in Peru, you can adapt the above 10 days in Peru itinerary. Peru in a week is a challenging and quick-moving trip, but you can still see the most famous highlights.

Day One: Lima

Spend the day exploring the city’s world-class museums as you get to grips with the ancient civilizations that have shaped Peru’s culture and history.

Lima culture and history

Book yourself in for dinner at world-famous Central in restaurant in the Barranco neighbourhood for quite possibly the best meal you’ll have in Peru.

Days Two and Three: Arequipa and Colca Canyon

Get a morning flight to Arequipa from the international airport in Lima. Spend the afternoon enjoying the sumptuous colonial architecture of the White City and exploring some of its spectacularly well-preserved convents. Don’t miss a pisco sour sundowner overlooking the Cathedral at one of the bars surrounding the Plaza de Armas.

The following morning, wake early for a day trip to the Colca Canyon, where you’ll see herds of llamas and alpacas, soaring condors and peer into the depths of what is the second deepest canyon in the world.

Trip to the Colca Canyon

Hop on an overnight bus for the ten-hour journey to Cusco, a good way to acclimatize as you’ll be swapping from 2,335 meters above sea level in Arequipa to 3,400 meters in Cusco.

Days Four to Seven: Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu

Spend two days acclimatising in the Inca heartland and observing examples of the Inca’s exceptional prowess with stonework and visiting Cusco’s most dramatic stone fortress, Sacsayhuaman.

The next morning, either take a tour or go self-guided to the Sacred Valley and the ruins of Ollantaytambo and Pisac, plus the bustling market of the latter.

On your final day, rise early to board the train to Machu Picchu, the legendary “Lost City of the Inca”. Return to Cusco that evening on the last train home and get a flight the next morning back to Lima.

End Perfect Peru Itineraries for One Week or Ten Days Of Travel.

Questions about the planning of your Trip to Peru? The trip consultants at Dos Manos Peru Travel can help! Contact us by email, phone, skype, whatsapp or use this button here!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *