Itinerary | Latin America | Peru

Peru in 17 days itinerary

Take a trip of a lifetime on this 17-day journey through Peru. Find adventure at every turn as you make your way from the Amazon Rainforest to Machu Picchu and then up into highlands, taking in Lake Titicaca, the Colca Canyon and the cities of Cuzco and Arequipa.

Visiting Peru is a truly unforgettable experience, and ideally you would stay for 2 or 3 months and see it all! Here we have picked what we consider to be the highlights, which can be comfortably achieved in around two and a half weeks.

With British Airways now running regular direct flights from London Gatwick to Lima, it’s also more accessible than ever before, and with a bit of careful planning and booking ahead a hassle free tour of this stunning corner of South America can be organised with relative ease.

One thing we leant while planning a recent trip to Peru was to book key excursions and flights well in advance. For instance you should think about booking tickets for Machu Picchu (including the bus from Aguas Calientes) and train tickets at least 3-4 weeks in advance. Only book your tickets for Machu Picchu through the official government website, the website itself is slow and generally dreadful but it's worth the battle!

Accommodation in the Puerto Maldonado / Tambopata region also gets booked quickly so if you want to stay in one of the better lodges then you should be looking to book 2-3 months in advance.

With regard to transport, it is often more comfortable and reliable to travel in a private car with a driver than to undertake long cramped bus journeys and look out for reward flights on available on LATAM booked using Avios points through British Airways which can cut the cost of internal flights substantially. Another thing to note is that you should always plan to arrive 2-3 hours before flights (yes even internal flights) as airports in Peru can be somewhat chaotic at times. We have listed our recommendations for hotels and transportation underneath the itinerary.

Peru in 17 days Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 - Lima

Arrive in Lima and spend the first day (or what is left of it) getting your bearings in Miraflores district. Spend day two sightseeing, shopping and sampling gastronomic delights on the Lima Gourmet food tour.

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Days 3 & 4 - The Peruvian Amazon

Head to the airport in the late morning and take the short (around 1 hour) flight from Lima to Puerto Maldonado (usually around 2pm departure) in the heart of the southern Amazon region. Meet you lodge representative at arrivals to begin a two day experience of the Amazon Rainforest.

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Days 5 to 11 - Cusco & The Sacred Valley

Take a flight around lunch time from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco, flight time is usually less than one hour. Then travel by road to spend four days exploring the beauty of The Sacred Valley with incredible views of the Andes. Stay in either Ollantaytambo or Urubamba from where you can take a scenic train journey to see the spectacle of Machu Picchu. Finally travel back to the Cusco for a two night stay to explore the city.

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Day 12 - Lake Titicaca

Spend an evening relaxing in Puno, followed by a full day exploring Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at just over 12,000 feet above sea level. Visit Taquile Island to experience breathtaking scenery and marvel at the famous reed islands of the Uros. Get up early after your second night in Puno to take the 6am coach to the Colca Canyon.

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Days 13 & 14 - The Colca Canyon

Arrive in to Chivay (at the top of the Colca Canyon) at around lunch time after stopping en-route to see flamingos and enjoy the view from Patapampa (4950m / 16250ft). See Andean Condors close up and go for a scenic hike in the canyon.

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Days 15 & 16 - Arequipa

Spend the last two days of your holiday relaxing in the “White City”, visit the city within a city at Monasterio de Santa Catalina, climb to the roof of Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa, eat at top Peruvian restaurants and enjoy sunset cocktails with a view of the cathedral and Mt Misti. On your last morning here we advise taking a morning flight back to Lima leaving you a few hours before the long flight home.

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