Two-week itineraries for visiting Peru
Peru is an enormous country with a huge variety of truly breathtaking nature – from dry desert climate in the coastal regions, over the colder Andean mountain regions to the humid Amazonian rainforest in its interior. Indeed, the nature is so spectacular and diverse that Conservation International listed Peru as one of the world’s 17 megadiverse countries owing to its richness in biodiversity and endemic species. Adding to this, Peru is one of the archeological wonders of the world, being the birthplace to a range of civilizations and empires dating back to as early as 12500 BCE.
Because of the above, it is clear that a two-week trip Peru is barely enough to scratch the surface of the many wonderful experiences that this country has to offer. Anyone planning such a visit should therefore carefully piece his or her trip together to get the most out of the time spent. Moreover, in doing so, it is important to consider whether one prefers a busy schedule with the aim of seeing as much of Peru as possible or a less tight schedule, where more time is dedicated to a few selected places. In this post, we suggest two different itineraries that can serve as inspiration for a two-week stay in Peru.
Itinerary 1: Lima, Cusco, Inca trail and Puno
This first itinerary provides a lot of flexibility and time for relaxation. It is centered around hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, which many put on the top of their bucket list when visiting Peru.
- Day 1-2|Lima: Spend the first two days exploring and relaxing in Peru’s capital city. As one of the largest cities in South America, Lima is home to an amazing culinary scene and nightlife as well as a range of history and art museums.
- Day 3-4|Cusco: Take a flight from Lima to Cusco (or opt for the cheaper 20 hour bus ride if you want to see more of the Peru’s landscapes) and spend a few days exploring and relaxing in Cusco while acclimatizing to the change of altitude. As the historic capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco has no shortage of beautiful architecture as well as many amazing day trips to the surrounding area.
- Day 5-10|Inca trail: Spend the next five days hiking the famous Inca trail, which ends at Machu Picchu. The length of this trail is typically four days, but some tours do it in shorter or longer time depending on your preferences. The amount of days set aside in this itinerary provides sufficient time for relaxing after the hike.
- Day 11-14|Puno and Lake Titicaca: From Cusco head to Puno and spend the last days of your trip relaxing in the area around Lake Titicaca, where there are plenty of options for day trips such as e.g. visiting the islands of the Uros.
Itinerary 2: Lima, Cusco, Amazon tour, Arequipa, Puno
In contrast to the first itinerary this one aims at seeing as much of Peru as possible.
Day 1-2|Lima: Similar to the first itinerary, we recommend starting out in Lima and exploring the many experiences that this metropolis has to offer.
Day 3-5|Cusco and Machu Picchu: After exploring Lima, grab a flight to Cusco and spend a day adapting to the change of altitude while exploring the city. Next day head straight for Machu Picchu on one of the popular day trips offered by the many tour companies. Spend the last day either relaxing or going on a day trip to places like the Rainbow Mountain or the Sacred Valley.
Day 6-9|Amazon rainforest: Take a flight to the town of Puerto Maldonado, which is roughly an hour’s flight away from Cusco. From here book a three-day trip into the Amazon jungle and return to Cusco on the evening of the last day.
Day 10-12|Arequipa and Colca Canyon: Grab a morning flight to Arequipa and spend the first day exploring Peru’s second largest city. On the second day head for a trek in the Colca Canyon.Day 12-14|Puno and Lake Titicaca: On the final days head to Puno, which is roughly a 5-hour drive from Arequipa. Here you can spend the last two days relaxing in the area around Lake Titicaca and visiting the islands of the Uros.