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Ultimate Travel Guide To Peru! Itinerary for Peru Travel

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OFF THE BEATEN PATH: ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO PERU

Travel guide Peru!

PERU is a land of many landscapes. From exotic jungles to coastal deserts, the country never falls short of amazing you with the beauty of the land and people. Being one of most popular destinations in South America , most people head to Peru to see the infamous Machu Picchu and trek the Inca Trail but there is so much more to Peru than just that!

I was in Peru for 6 weeks working at an orphanage through AIESEC CANADA so I had a lot of free time on weekends to explore different parts of the country. I went alone, knew no one and was S**** scared to be travelling alone. But I made it, and it was by far ONE OF MY FAVOURITE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES!

PERU IS A COUNTRY THAT MUST BE VISITED BY EACH AND EVERY SINGLE ON ONE OF US. So add that on your bucket list, because Peru will never fail to amaze you.

Flag/Currency: Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN)

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Best Time to Visit:

( May – September) is the driest season and therefore the best time of year to travel, especially if you are planning to visit the Cusco area or trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.  The summer (December – March) is the wettest season, with frequent heavy showers.

PERU TRAVEL MAP & ITINERARY: 

perutravelmapguide

ARRIVAL:

Your arrival will be in the capital city of LIMA at Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM). The best way to get from the airport to the city is by taking the GREEN TAXI. In Lima, they call them “taxi seguro” which means safe taxi. Try to avoid the other taxis as some can be unsafe but with the Green Taxi you have nothing to worry about! Also make sure to never take your cell phones out in Lima even in the taxi, as they often get stolen.

TRANSPORTATION IN PERU: Getting around the country

It is relatively cheap to get around the country and cities.

Travel Tip: When booking city busses or flights make sure you do not select the seats that are for “Peruvians only”. They will be significantly cheaper than the other prices so pay attention to that because they will not be able to change it at the time of departure and you will have to book another flight/bus.

  1. Collectivos: These are cheap buses. They cost around 1-2 PEN for a ride. They are a bit confusing, but there is always a door person (usually a young man) whom you can quickly ask if the bus is going to your location. There are not always marked bus stops, so look for gathering crowds.
  2. Taxi’s: A taxi around Lima should cost no more than 25 PEN.
  3. Bus:  Lima has brand-new, clean intra-city buses. These buses are safe and cost 0.50-3 PEN per trip. Microbuses (colectivos) run as well, and prices vary depending on the distance, but will always cost less than 2.50 PEN. They are a bit hectic and take some getting used to.  Some bus companies that I used to book city to city routes: I was really happy with their service and they are safe. I took these busses to go to Huaraz and Ica and highly recommend them:Cruz Del SurOltursa 
  4. Fly : My recommended companies for flying within Peru are:

Peruvian Airlines

LAN Airlines

Star Peru

SAFETY TIPS IN PERU:

  • Always drink bottled water (tap water is not safe to drink)
  • Never bring out your smartphones in Lima especially on local busses and taxis (there is a lot of theft)
  • Taxis: Do not take local taxis. Always call the “Taxi Seguro” to get around the city if you choose not to use their bus system . I used a taxi service called “Satellital” calling 3555555

TOP 10 THINGS TO SEE & DO IN PERU:

  1. Trek one of the many ways to get to Machu Picchu
  2. Sandboard in Huacachina
  3. Hike Laguna 69 in Huaraz
  4. Eat delicious food in Lima
  5. Paraglide in Lima
  6. Surf in Chicama or Mancora
  7. Take a selfie with a Llama
  8. Explore the White City of Arequipa
  9. Relax at Lake Titicaca
  10. **Disclaimer:    For the adventurer: Take part in a ayahuasca tea ceremony in Iquitos

MUST TRY FOOD & DRINKS IN PERU: PERU STREET FOOD

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FOOD:

  1. Ceviche: raw seafood, which is ‘cooked’ in fresh citrus juices, chilli, onion and herbs
  2. Cuy: Cuy (pronounced ‘kwee’) is guinea pig, and it’s been on the menu in Peru for over 5,000 years
  3. Causa: A savoury, layered dish, made up of potato, vegetables, egg and chicken
  4. Anticuchos: Meat on a stick. Originally made with llama meat, anticuchos are now made with cubed beef heart that’s marinated in a mix of garlic, chilli, spices and vinegar, then threaded onto a skewer and cooked on a barbecue.
  5. Pollo A La Braza: Pretty much the best roast chicken you’ll ever eat. Slathered in a spicy marinade and roasted over coals
  6. Lomo Saltado: traditional Peruvian dish, a stir fry that typically combines marinated strips of sirloin with onions, tomatoes, french fries, and other ingredients; and is typically served with rice

  7. Eat in the Mercado’s of Peru: You’ll see fruits and vegetables you’ve never heard of, smell spices from every corner of the world, and have some of the best ceviche

Tip: Ask for “Aji” every time you want hot sauce

DRINKS:

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  1. Inca Kola: their version of coca cola
  2. Beers of Peru: Cusquena, Cristal, Pilsen
  3. Coca Infused Beer at 3 Owls in Huaraz
  4. Chicha
  5. Mate de Coca: coca infused tea
  6. Pisco Sour

WHAT TO DO IN EACH CITY:

LIMA (1-2 nights)

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  1. Bar Hop in the Barranco District
  2. Explore Miraflores and the Lima Coastline
  3. Try ceviche in Callao
  4. Paraglide over the coast of Lima
  5. Shop for Silver Jewellery in the wholesale markets
  6. Try surfing with Pukana Surf School
  7. Dance to reggaeton and salsa music in many clubs around Lima

Where to Stay:

Make sure to get a hotel, hostel or Airbnb in the MIRAFLORES DISTRICT 

ICA (2-3 nights)

perutravelhuacachina

  1. Sandboard and Duny Buggy in Huacachina
  2. Explore Ballestas Islands and see Penguins in Paracas
  3. Fly over the Nazca Lines
  4. Peruvian Pisco & Wine tasting

Where to stay:

Hostel: Bananas

CUSCO (5-7 nights if you are doing a hike) 

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  1. Hike the Colca Canyon
  2. Take one of the many treks to explore Machu Picchu
  3. Visit the Sacred Valley
  4. Salinas de Maras (Salt flats)

Guide to Machu Picchu Trekking:

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(Image: Me @ the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu)

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(Image above: Me @ the peak of Machu Picchu after 4 days of trekking)

  1. Inca Trail: 4 days 3 nights
  2. Salkantay Trek: 5 day or 4 day option available : Most challenging
  3. Lares Trek: 4 days 3 nights
  4. Inca Jungle Trek : 3 days 2 nights:

Where to stay:

Hostel: Loki Hostel

IQUITOS  (2-3 nights) 

  1. Outdoor shopping in Belen Market
  2. See how Indigenous Indians live at the Yagua and Boras villages
  3. Swim with pink dolphins
  4. Relax at  Quistococha: a warm lake with white sand beaches
  5. Monkey around on La Isla de los Monos

AREQUIPA (1-2 nights)

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  1. Make some furry friends
  2. Santa Catalina Monastery
  3. San Camilo Market
  4. Party on Calle Ugarte
  5. Hike up El Misti: a 5,822 meter (19,101-foot) active volcano, for spectacular views. Caution: high altitude and extreme temperatures can make the climb dangerous

PUNO (1-2 nights)

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  1. Take a boat ride on lake titcaca
  2. Do an overnight home stay on one of the islands
  3. Visit the floating islands of the Uros people

HUARAZ (2-3 nights) 

laguna69peru

(Image above: Me @ Laguna 69. About a 6 hour hike in total)

  1. Hike to Laguna 69
  2. Try the infamous Coca Beer at 13 Buhos Bar
  3. Visit the Hot springs of Monterrey
  4. Drink a Pisco Sour at El Fogon
  5. Visit Huascarán National Park

 

ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST FOR PERU:

  • Travel Size First Aid Kit
  • Raincoat
  • Waterproof Hiking Shoes
  • Travel Adapter
  • Backpack for day trips
  • 3-4 pairs Wool Socks
  • Bathing Suit
  • Toilet Paper
  • Wet Wipes/Face Wipes
  • Water Bottle
  • Plastic Bags
  • Flashlight
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sleeping Bag (you can also rent these there if you don’t have any)
  • 2 Breathable Long Pants
  • 1-2 Warm Sweaters
  • Sunscreen
  • Hiking Sticks (you can rent these if you don’t have any)
  • iPod
  • iPad/tablet
  • Camera
  • Sandals/Flip Flops
  • Snacks
  • Money Belt (a lot of pick pocketing in Peru)

Hope you enjoyed this blog post! Leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of this post and what travel guides you would like to see next:)

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