Peru is the ultimate destination. This 2 week Peru itinerary, is fulled with unforgettable experiences, breathtaking natural wonders and vibrant culture. Whether you are an avid hiker, history buff or outdoor adventure enthusiast, Peru is a country that appeals to anyone.
Located on the west coast of South America, Peru is a country full of diverse landscapes including snow capped mountains, lush rainforests, arid sand dunes and a dreamy coastline. In this article, I’ll go into detail the best ways to spend your time in Peru and offer any tips that will aid you in your travel planning.
A trip to Peru is a remarkable blend of history, nature and cultural experiences that will leave lasting memories. From the depths of the Amazon to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, this ultimate itinerary showcases the best of what Peru has to offer.
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The average person only gets about 2 weeks of vacation time, so that’s the time frame I’m going to use for this Peru itinerary post. I spent 2 months traveling around Peru and the only reason I left was because our visas were about to run out.
If you have the gift of time, spending as much time in Peru as you can will only increase your experience. Below is a quick view at what this 2 week in Peru itinerary looks like.
I’ll suggest several different itinerary options because 2 weeks in Peru is not enough time to explore all of its wanders. For more information about a specific location or activity, click on the blue links below.
- Arrive in Lima
- Fly to Cusco
- Book Accommodation in Cusco for 5 Nights
Day 2-5 Explore Cusco & Sacred Valley:
Day 6-10 Trek to Machu Picchu:
Day 10-13 Choose between exploring:
Day 13 & 14:
Peru Travel Vlogs
Joe and I filmed a lot of travel vlogs as we explored Peru. If you’d like to see for yourself what it’s like to travel around Peru, check out the video above or click below to watch the whole series.
Peru Itinerary Day 1: Arrive
Begin your journey in Cusco. All international flights will connect through Lima so be prepared for a long travel day. Flights from Lima to Cusco are an hour long and affordable. The alternative is the bus and it’s not worth your time or comfort. This is speaking with experience.
By the time you arrive in Cusco, you’ll be tired. Take the evening to get settled in and start to adjust to the altitude. Cusco sits at 11,152′ feet in elevation so you may experience altitude sickness. Drink plenty of water, avoid booze and cigarettes and buy some cocoa leaves at the store.
Day 2-5: Explore Cusco & Sacred Valley
Book accommodation in Cusco for 5 nights. This will give you time to explore Cusco and some places in Sacred Valley. You’ll also be acclimating because you should climatize at least 4 days before you attempt any hike in Peru.
Cusco is a captivating and picturesque city nestled high in the Andes Mountains. Its cobblestone streets are lined with charming boutiques, fantastic restaurants and vibrant markets. I spent half a month exploring Cusco and its surroundings.
That covers Cusco, but you’ll also want to go on a few day trips. Sacred Valley is an area located just outside Cusco. Continue the adventure into Sacred Valley surrounded by towering mountain peaks and picturesque villages. These are some of the best day trips from Cusco.
Rainbow Mountain – Hike that takes you to the stunning seven colored rainbow mountain with the snow capped peak of Apu Ausangate towering in the distance.
Pisac – Small town in Sacred Valley known for its Inca ruins and large market.
Lake Humantay – A lake located at the base of Soraypampa village. The hike is strenuous to get to the lake at 13,900 feet.
Ollantaytambo – A major stop on the train journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu. Known for its ruins and traditional Andean charm.
Moray & Maras Salt Mines – These places can be explored together in a day as they are located close to one another. Moray contains ruins and Maras contains salt mines.
Day 6-10: Trek to Machu Picchu
I’ve included trekking to Machu Picchu as part of the 2 week Peru itinerary because this was my favorite experience in Peru. If you aren’t into multi-day trekking, you can replace these 4 days with one of the areas I talk about in the section.
There are 2 separate ways to trek to Machu Picchu. You can book a tour and trek the classic Inca Trail or you can trek the alternative route to Machu Picchu which doesn’t require a permit.
Trekking the Inca Trail requires a permit and you must be apart of a booked tour. Trekking Salkantay however can be done without a guide or permit. Each trail takes minimum 4 days to complete depending on which tour your book.
Best Inca Trail Tours
If you weren’t able to get a permit or just prefer more of an adventure, the Salkantay Trek is 46 miles and peaks at 15,000 feet at the Salkantay Pass. You can hike from village to village sleeping in local homestays along the way.
This is what Joe and I did and we hiked Salkantay without a guide, tent, snacks or reservations. Don’t worry, I wrote several guides and we vlogged the entire way.
Of course Machu Picchu itself is life changing. A beautiful mystery perched high on the top of the mountains. Hiking Huayna Picchu gives you a birds eye view of Machu Picchu. This requires a specific entry ticket. Book the earliest time slot to have the top all to yourself.
- Tickets to Machu Picchu must be booked in advance. You can do this is Cusco or online here.
- Book Tickets to Huayna Picchu even earlier.
- Train tickets in and out of Aguas Calientes should also be booked in advance. Tickets out of town book up quicker than coming in.
- Splurge on a stay at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
- There are some biting mosquitos at Machupicchu and Aguas Calientes, wear long light clothing and use plenty of strong insect repellent.
2 Week Peru Itinerary Day 10-13
For these next three days, there are several different areas in Peru to explore. Peru is a pretty big country and there’s no way to cover all its ground in a two week itinerary. Choose between Puno & Lake Titicaca, Arequipa & the Colca Canyon, Cordillera Blanca/Huaraz or Iquitos in the rainforest.
Puno & Lake Titicaca
Another highlight in Peru is Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Explore the floating Uros Islands, constructed entirely out of reeds and see the traditional way of life of the indigenous communities that call the lake home.
There are four ways to travel from Cusco to Puno and Lake Titicaca – by air, by train, by bus and by car. Train being the most scenic and luxurious.
Puno sits at an elevation 12,556 feet so prepare to be cold. Check out the guides below for information exploring Puno region and Lake Titicaca.
Arequipa & Colca Canyon
Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city, surrounded by volcanoes and known for its stunning colonial architecture. Many visitors use Arequipa as a home base to explore the nearby Colca Canyon.
The Colca Canyon offers breathtaking landscapes and the opportunity to spot majestic Andean condors soaring through the skies. It is possible to go trekking in the canyon staying at different villages along the way.
We explored the Colca Canyon on a 2 night, 3 day trek. The first night we were rewarded with hot springs and the second night we slept at the bottom of the canyon.
The Cordillera Blanca is a premier hiking area in Peru, geared towards experienced hikers as you’ll have altitude and extreme weather conditions to deal with. To get to Huaraz, you’ll have to connect through Lima.
Since this is back in the mountains, I’d only choose this area if I had more than a couple days. There are tons of great hikes, alpine lakes and mountain huts to explore.
To complete your 2 week Peru itinerary, head to the Amazon rainforest. The only way to reach Iquitos is to fly from Lima. If you followed the itinerary and trekked to Machu Picchu, you’ll already be in Cusco. This makes it easy to hop on a flight to Lima and then another flight to Iquitos.
Embark on an adventure through the lush jungle. Explore the incredible biodiversity, encounter exotic wildlife and learn about indigenous cultures that have called the Amazon home for thousands of years. Stay in a jungle lodge, kayak along the meandering rivers and take guided hikes to discover the wonders of this awe-inspiring ecosystem.
Days 13 & 14: Lima
Your 2 week Peru itinerary will end in Lima, the capital city. Lima is a vibrant and historically rich destination that offers a multitude of experiences.
Nestled along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, Lima is known for its culinary scene, showcasing a mouthwatering fusion of traditional Peruvian ingredients and international influences. Spend your last couple days in Peru exploring its charming districts and sampling delicious Peruvian cuisine and sipping Pisco sours.
2 Week Peru Itinerary Tips
Best Time to Go to Peru
Dry season lasts from March through October, this means warmer weather at night and blue bird skies during the day. The best time to visit Peru is in the shoulder months of dry season – March-May or October-September.
Traveling to Peru during dry season also means busy season, especially June to August. But if you time it right, you can travel during the off peak months which allows you have the best of both worlds – great weather and thinner crowds.
What to Pack for Peru
If you plan on doing some trekking, make sure you bring:
Peru has a beautiful coast line and in the North you’ll have summer weather:
What to buy in Peru:
- Alpaca Scarf
- Alpaca Sweater
- Hiking Poles
Peru Accommodation Guides
A bed in a dorm will cost 2- 10 USD’s. You can get comfortable accommodation for $20-$25 a night for 2 people. A higher budget allows you luxury that’s worth the cost. Peru is a great place to travel on a budget and ball out in luxury.
Below are city specific Peru Travel Guides for accommodations to help plan your trip.
How to Get Around Peru
Transferring between towns is plentiful and straight forward. Download the apps Bookaway, 12Go Website and Rome2Rio to help navigate the best route. They are very helpful to check bus, boat, and train schedules ahead of time.
By Bus: This will be the easiest way to travel around Peru. Buses are frequent within the country. Bus rides are never the most glamorous way to travel but usually the cheapest.
Taking the bus isn’t just for tourists, most Peruvians travel via bus. Roads are well maintained in most parts of the country. Always plan a few extra hours on bus travel days as buses are never fully on schedule.
By Plane: Domestic flights within the country are frequent and plentiful. New budget airlines pop up every year but the most established airlines are LAN, Peruvian Airlines and Star Peru.
Peak season for air travel within Peru is North America summer time – late May to early September. So plan ahead if you are traveling Peru during this time.
By Train: Peru Rail has services between Cusco and Aguas Calientes, Cusco to Puno and Puno to Arequipa.
Peru Travel Budget
You can spend $50 a day in Peru, living comfortably and not denying yourself any comforts or pleasures. It is possible to get by on $15 -20 a day traveling Peru but that’s only eating street food and staying in a bed in a dorm.
For a slightly higher budget it’s nice to have your own room and bathroom. If you have a budget of $100 a day, you’ll get to stay in some of Peru’s nicest hotels and travel the country by plane.
Peru Travel Tips
- It’s not uncommon to see stray dogs as you explore Peru.
- Book tickets to Machu Picchu in advance and to Huayna Picchu farther in advance.
- Trains out of Aguas Calientes sell out quicker than trains coming.
- You need to show your physical passport to enter Machu Picchu and to purchase bus tickets to get to the top of the mountain.
- Tap water throughout Peru is not safe to drink.
- Knowing some basics in Spanish will go along way.
- Cash is the preferred way of paying for things in Peru but credit cards are accepted in major areas.
- Many of Peru’s cities such as Cusco and Puno sit at a high elevation so you could experience altitude sickness.
Peru Travel Guides
📍Plan your Trip:
- The Ultimate Guide to Peru
- 17 Useful Tips to Know Before Traveling to Cusco
- 14 Remarkable Things to do in Peru
- 15 Incredible Places to Visit in Peru
- 20 Essentials Tips for Traveling Peru
🗺 How long to travel Peru? 2 Week Peru Itinerary
☔️ Best Time to Visit: Shoulder months of dry season – March-May or October-September.
💰 Average Daily Budget: $40 - 50 a day for basic accommodations and sit down meals.
⛺️ Peru accommodation Guides
- Machu Picchu
- Best Hikes in Peru
- Trekking Salkantay Independently
- Sacred Valley
- Exploring Cusco
- Hiking Colca Canyon
- Homestay on Lake Titicaca
- Lima's Food Scene
- Trekking Cordillera Blanca
- Huacachina Desert Oasis
🧳 What to Pack: Salkantay Trek Packing List
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