Explore our selection of Peru tours and find your perfect itinerary. Come to Peru to discover a mystical land with ancient citadels, coastal metropolises, enchanted lakes, bellowing canyons, top-notch hotels, and world-renowned gastronomy. You can see the Amazon Rainforest, the Pacific Ocean, the Andes Mountains, and some of the most revered ruins in the world like Machu Picchu all in one trip. Visit one of the most fascinating countries on the planet with local guides and first-rate accommodations, and cross some top destinations off your bucket list!
Peru is brimming with famous sites to explore. Scenic landscapes, archaeological ruins, mouthwatering flavors, and eye-popping nature are all part of your Peru adventure. Must-see places in Peru include.
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century stone citadel sitting at the top of a mountain. Built by the Inca Empire, Machu Picchu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and “New World Wonder” that is sure to take your breath away.
Follow 500-year old stone pathways directly to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu by hiking the Inca Trail. Choose between the classic 26-mile 4-day Inca Trail trek, or opt for the shorter 2-day Inca Trail. Permits are limited so plan with your Peru for Less travel advisor 6-months in advance.
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest jungle in the world and is the perfect destination for animal sightseeing. Comfortable lodges near Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos will be your base for daily activities and excursions into the rainforest. Those wanting an extra dose of luxury should highly consider an Iquitos Amazon River cruise.
Once the capital of the mighty Inca Empire, Cusco is an outdoor museum with archaeological ruins, colonial buildings, and endless opportunities for exploration. Here you can find Cusco’s best restaurant and hotel options. Don’t miss the picturesque city views from the Sacsayhuaman ruins before you visit Machu Picchu.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the entire world. Its waters are home to the Uros and Taquile floating islands made from totora reeds. Witness stunning sunsets, colorful textiles, and panoramic views of Lake Titicaca.
Lima is the capital city of Peru and where you’ll find award-winning restaurants, government palaces, and the UNESCO World Heritage historical city center. You’ll also come across pre-Incan ruins, artsy bohemian districts, and lots of shopping! We recommend enjoying a Pisco sour with views of the Pacific Ocean.
See some of Peru’s most spectacular landscapes as you visit the Sacred Valley. Surrounded by the Andes mountains and with the Urubamba River snaking through, adventure awaits. Zip line or white water raft, see the Maras salt mins, explore Ollantaytambo and the Pisac market, options here seem endless. Sacred Valley hotels are idyllic retreats you’ll wish you had even more time at!
Hundreds of years ago, the Nazca culture drew huge geoglyphs and geometric shapes into the coastal desert of Peru. Today, they are a beautiful mystery that can be explored in a 12-seater plane that gives everyone perfect views of the famous Nazca Lines. You’ll see the spider, the monkey, the hummingbird, the astronaut, and more!
The Paracas National Reserve brings you close to nature on the coastal desert landscapes of Peru. Resting along the Pacific Ocean, you’ll witness rock formations, migratory birds, and sea lions. The protected Paracas National Reserve houses museums with well-preserved artifacts from pre-Incan cultures. Choose from ATV rides, boat trips to Ballestas Islands, or sit pool-side with a Pisco sour.
Arequipa is the second-largest city in Peru, though it doesn’t feel like it with its quaint shops and cobblestone streets. The white stone used in the construction of the cities buildings like the white-stone basilica Cathedral in the historical center, have given Arequipa its nickname as the white city. See El Misti Volcano backdropped against this city brimming with great food and rich history.
Colca Canyon is where to go in Peru to see Andean condors flying freely. The lush valleys, terraced mountainsides, and crystalline rivers offer spectacular views. Relax in the natural hot springs of one of the deepest canyons in the world.
The very best time to visit Peru is between the months of May and September (Peru’s winter). This is the dry season in the Andes Mountains, therefore it’s the best time to see the most popular sites like Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Inca Trail. The best time to visit coastal Lima is the opposite, between December and April (Peru’s summer). During the summer months you can enjoy Lima’s warm sunshine and avoid the chilly mist and clouds of winter.
You can see the top sites of Peru in as little as four days, while you can get the full breadth of the country in two weeks. The majority of visitors spend somewhere in between — around a week to 10 days depending on what destinations they wish to see. Travelers focused on the beloved Andean sites of Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley and Cusco need a week or so. Travelers wanting to see the coast, mountains and rainforest should plan 10-11 days. Additional destinations like Lake Titicaca, Arequipa and Nazca Lines each add another 2-4 days.
Visitors from the United States, Canada, European Union, Australia, New Zealand and select other countries do not need a tourist visa to visit Peru. Peruvian Immigrations will mark your passport upon arrival to Peru with how many days you are permitted to stay, typically 90 days. Remember that your passport must be valid for more than six months after your departure date. For specific information about additional countries’ visa requirements, visit VisaHQ.
In general, all travelers should have their routine vaccinations up-to-date, plus Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines (especially those staying in rural areas). Yellow fever vaccine is recommended for those visiting the Amazon rainforest. For more information, visit the CDC Peru website and speak with your doctor for information about vaccination recommendations and requirements when traveling to Peru.
The primary language spoken throughout Peru is Spanish. Other official languages of Peru are the indigenous languages of Quechua and Aymara, which you will hear more in rural areas. English is not widely spoken in Peru, though you can get by with no problem with the help of guides, hotel personnel and language translation apps. It is helpful to learn some basic Spanish before your trip if possible as well.
Yes, Peru is a safe tourist destination. Violent crime is no more common in Peru than any other tourist destination in the world. Of course, like anywhere, you should exercise caution to avoid petty crime like robbery by keeping your valuables secure and avoiding dark, non-touristy places at night. Be aware of your surroundings, know your route and keep your personal items secure and you will be fine.
In Peru, the tap water is not safe to drink. For drinking water, stick to bottled water. We recommend brands like San Mateo and San Luis, which can be found at any corner bodega or supermarket. Tap water boiled vigorously for a minute or more is also safe for hot beverages, although those with a sensitive stomach should boil bottled water instead. The tap water is fine for brushing your teeth, just avoid swallowing it.
At Peru for Less, our vacation packages include all your secure transfers and transport with specific pickup locations for your ease and convenience. For any independent exploring throughout the city, we recommend simply booking a secure taxi through your hotel. Or, you can use a rideshare app like Uber or Cabify. We recommend apps like Uber over hailing a street taxi, so that you can confirm your driver/vehicle and easily visualize your route. The street bus system can be a bit tricky to navigate, but Lima’s Metropolitano offers easy rides to the historic center.
Peru uses a 220 volt, 60 cycle current while the US uses a 120 volt supply. Luckily, most laptops, cameras and mobile phones can accept dual voltage (110V/220V) , but be sure to confirm before plugging in. Other electronics, like hair straighteners, are likely 110V so you will need a converter for those. Conveniently, the outlets in Peru are often the two-pronged flat type like in the US, especially at popular hotels, but in some locations you will find the two or three prong circular kind. It’s a good idea to bring both a converter and adapter just in case. However, the converter can be skipped if you are sure your electronics are dual voltage.
The currency in Peru is Peruvian Soles and abbreviation is PEN. Currently, $1 USD is equal to 4.10 PEN. Money can be exchanged at any casa de cambio (exchange house). The touristy areas all have several casas de cambio that you can go to and find a good exchange rate. Some major supermarkets accept USD although the exchange rate won’t be as good, and change will be given to you in soles.
Yes, and they are plentiful in the major cities. You can step into any BCP, Scotiabank, Interbank, BBVA Continental or others and use their ATM with your debit card for a $3-$6 fee. The machines at these banks all have options in English. Opt to use an ATM located inside a bank rather than on the street for higher security.
Absolutely! Lima is a very interesting metro area with many things to see. There is a historic central area, a beautiful coastline with 2+ miles of continuous parks, an artsy bohemian district and a world-renowned culinary scene. You can stay at a comfortable hotel in the popular Miraflores, San Isidro or Barranco districts and enjoy day tours or wander around at your leisure sampling the amazing food and wandering into the shops. Keep in mind that between the months of June and October it is extremely cloudy and often misty in Lima, the rest of the year is more moderate and sunny.
To get to Machu Picchu first you need to fly into Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport. From there, you need to take an hour and a half flight to Cusco. Once in Cusco, you can take a three hour and 15 minute train. Once in the town of Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu, you take a 40 minute shuttle bus up to the citadel.
Most travelers get to Machu Picchu more gradually than outlined. They spend a night or two in Lima, a night or two in Cusco, and a night or two in the Sacred Valley before making their way to Machu Picchu. The train from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu takes a little less than two hours. Some travelers also opt for a multi-day trek to Machu Picchu like the Inca Trail, Lares Trek or Salkantay Trek instead of train.
Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness, occurs in 40-50 percent of people who live in low elevation areas traveling to an elevation of 10,000 feet or more. It occurs in 25 percent of people traveling to a destination of 8,000 feet or more. It is a temporary condition characterized by slight headache, shortness of breath when walking, fatigue, minor dizziness and loss of appetite. Symptoms develop between 6 to 24 hours of being at higher elevations, and last one to three days. It is typically mild and no need for alarm.
There are many ways to combat altitude sickness, like drinking lots of water, avoiding heavy and fatty foods, no smoking or drinking alcohol, eating whole grains and veggies and taking it slow the first couple days. Do not begin a challenging hike the first two days at high elevation, start your trek on day three the earliest.
Contact a travel advisor today, who will help customize your dream trip to Peru.