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A Detailed Peru Itinerary 8 Days: Everything to Know

Detailed Peru Itinerary 8 Days or More

Traveling to Peru and want a one-stop detailed Peru Itinerary 8 Days or more? In this guide, we created in detail one of our most requested and favorite stops in our South American adventure and how you can format it to your liking – whether you need a shorter or longer trip or want to extend it to neighboring countries, like Bolivia and Ecuador.

Over the next 8 days, we’re going to journey through bustling cities, mysterious ruins, sandy dunes, and the deepest lake in the world. From the culinary delights of Lima to the ancient wonders of Machu Picchu and the adrenaline-pumping dunes of Huacachina, this trip is your gateway to an unforgettable adventure.

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Views from Malecon Peru - Part of Your Detailed Itinerary in Peru 8 Days
Views from Malecon Peru – Part of Your Detailed Itinerary in Peru 8 Days

Whether you’re a history buff, a thrill-seeker, or just in it for some stunning Instagram shots, Peru has something for everyone. And the best part? I’ve tailored this guide to be super tactical and fun. It’s packed with all the insider tips and must-know info to make your first (or next) trip to Peru absolutely epic.

So, grab your pisco sour, and let’s start planning your adventure. Peru awaits to amaze you with its history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes. And who knows? This trip might just be the beginning of your love affair with South America.

What to Prepare for This Peru Itinerary 8 Days or More

CategoryItems to Prepare/Consider
Documentation– Valid Passport (and visa if required)
– Travel insurance with Peru and South America coverage
– Copies of important documents
Health– Vaccinations (consult with a travel clinic)
– Altitude sickness medication
– First-aid kit
– See our recommended travel insurance for Peru
Clothing– Layered clothing for varying climates
– Light rain jacket
– Sun hat, sunglasses
– Sturdy walking or hiking shoes
Gear– Daypack
– Reusable water bottle
– Sunscreen
– Insect repellent (for jungle areas)
Technology– Camera or smartphone with a good camera
Power adapter (Peru uses 220V, plug types A and C)
– Portable charger/power bank
Money– Local currency (Peruvian Sol) for small purchases
– Credit/debit cards (notify your bank of travel plans)
Miscellaneous– Snacks for long bus/train rides or hikes
– Spanish phrasebook or language app
– Maps or travel guidebook
– Hand sanitizer and face masks (considering health guidelines)

Quick Summary and Breakdown of This Peru Trip

1LimaArrival in Lima, explore Miraflores, welcome dinner
2ParacasEarly departure to Paracas, tour of the Ballestas Islands
3HuacachinaSandboarding and dune buggy rides in Huacachina
4CuscoFlight to Cusco, acclimatization, gentle city tour
5Sacred ValleyVisit Pisac (market and ruins), Ollantaytambo ruins, return to Cusco
6Machu PicchuEarly train to Aguas Calientes, explore Machu Picchu, return to Cusco
7PunoTravel from Cusco to Puno, explore Puno and prepare for Lake Titicaca
8Lake Titicaca / Return to LimaVisit Uros Floating Islands and Taquile or Amantaní Island, return to Lima

Detailed 8-day Peru Itinerary: Broken by Days

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Welcome to Lima, the Heartbeat of Peru!

Morning: Touch down in Lima! Upon arriving at Jorge Chávez International Airport, grab a taxi or a ride-share to your hotel in the vibrant district of Miraflores. Known for its cliffside parks and stunning ocean views, Miraflores is the perfect starting point for your Peruvian adventure.

Afternoon: After settling in, head out to explore. Grab a bite at a local cevicheria, where the freshness of the Pacific meets Peru’s culinary magic. A must-try is the classic “ceviche” – it’s a game-changer.

Evening: Take a leisurely stroll along the Malecón, a picturesque boardwalk with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. As the sun sets, the Larcomar shopping center offers not only great shopping but also spectacular views and dining options to end your first day on a high note.

Pro Tips:

Currency Exchange: Exchange a small amount of currency at the airport for immediate needs. Better rates are found in the city.

Safety: Miraflores is one of Lima’s safest districts, but always be mindful of your belongings and avoid flashing expensive gadgets.

Moving to the next section, we’ll cover the journey to Paracas and the exploration of the Ballestas Islands, where wildlife and adventure begin to unfold in your Peruvian journey.

Where to Stay in Lima

Belmond Hotel in Lima Peru 8 Day Peru Itinerary
Beautiful views of Lima Beach from Belmond Hotel, image via

After an exciting first glance at Lima, you’ll need a cozy spot to rest your head and dream about the adventures that await. Whether you’re splurging, sticking to a mid-range budget, going economical, or looking for something uniquely Lima, we’ve got you covered.

High Budget

Miraflores Luxury Oceanview Hotel

Picture this – you wake up, draw the curtains, and there it is, the vast Pacific Ocean greeting you good morning. This hotel doesn’t just offer rooms; it offers experiences. With an on-site gourmet restaurant, a rooftop pool that seems to blend into the ocean, and a spa that promises to whisk away any trace of jet lag, it’s the ultimate indulgence.

Miraflores Park, A Belmond Hotel

Nestled in the chic surroundings of Miraflores, this luxurious hotel offers unparalleled Pacific Ocean views and service that’ll make you feel like royalty. Each room is a haven of comfort, with plush beds and marble bathrooms. The rooftop pool and spa are where luxury meets relaxation, offering a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Dine at their world-class restaurant, where the flavors of Peru come alive in each dish.

Mid Budget

Casa Andina Premium Miraflores

Right in the heart of Miraflores, this hotel combines comfort with cultural immersion. The rooms are cozy, adorned with local art, and the staff is ready to share their Lima secrets with you. It’s a stone’s throw from top-notch restaurants and vibrant markets, making it perfect for foodies and culture enthusiasts alike.


Kokopelli Hostel in Baranco

Kokopeli Hostel in Baranco Hotel
The exterior and interior architechiture in Kokopelli Hostel in Baranco are so beautiful! Image from Booking

Who says budget stays can’t be fun? Kokopelli Hostel is known for its colorful murals, lively bar, and communal kitchen where travelers from around the world exchange stories and recipes. Located in the bustling heart of Miraflores, it’s the ideal base for young travelers looking to make friends and memories.

Selina Miraflores Lima

For the traveler who wants to stretch their soles without stretching their wallet, Selina Miraflores offers a vibrant, community-oriented atmosphere. With options ranging from dormitory beds to private rooms, it caters to solo travelers and groups alike. The on-site cafe and coworking space are perfect for digital nomads, while the weekly social events are a fantastic way to meet fellow travelers and locals.

Unique Stays


Nestled in the artsy district of Barranco, this Bed & Breakfast is a live-in gallery of local art and creativity. Each room is uniquely designed by a different local artist, offering an immersive cultural experience. Plus, it’s within walking distance of Barranco’s best galleries, cafes, and the famous Puente de los Suspiros.

Second Home Peru

This boutique guesthouse is a true hidden gem, offering a unique blend of art and hospitality. Housed in a Tudor-style mansion and owned by a local artist, it’s surrounded by lush gardens and stunning ocean views. Each room is distinct, adorned with the owner’s artwork, and the property feels like a private retreat within the city. For those seeking a stay that’s as memorable as their travels, Second Home Peru is it.

Each of these accommodations offers a different slice of Lima life, catering to your budget, style, and travel dreams. Now, with a place to call home in Lima, you’re all set for tomorrow’s adventures to Paracas and the Ballestas Islands.

With your accommodation sorted, you’re all set to rest up and recharge for the adventures that await. Next, we’ll dive into the journey to Paracas and the exploration of the Ballestas Islands, where the natural wonders of Peru start to unfold.

Day 2: Lima to Paracas – Ballestas Islands

Parque Reserva Nacional De Paracas, Paracas, Peru
Ballestas Islands in the Natural Reserve of Paracas is one of the otherworldly trips you can do in Peru – it’s definitely not to be missed.

Kicking Off the Adventure with Wildlife Galore!

Morning: Rise and shine early, adventurers! You’re heading south to Paracas, a nature lover’s paradise. The best way to get there is by bus, with comfortable options leaving Lima early in the morning. The ride takes about 3-4 hours, giving you a glimpse of Peru’s diverse landscapes as you move from city to coast.

Mid-Morning: Once in Paracas, make your way to the dock for the Ballestas Islands tour. These islands are a sanctuary for wildlife, often dubbed the “Poor Man’s Galapagos.” You’ll be amazed by the sheer number of sea lions, penguins, and birds. Don’t forget your camera – this is a wildlife spectacle you’ll want to capture!

Afternoon: After returning from the islands, explore the Paracas National Reserve. The desert meets the sea here, creating stunning natural landscapes. The red sand beaches and the turquoise waters are a sight to behold. Grab lunch at a seaside restaurant and taste the freshest seafood.

Evening: As the day winds down, enjoy a sunset stroll along the beach, marveling at the colors of the sky as they dance over the Pacific. It’s the perfect end to a day filled with natural wonders.

See the tours below to book the experiences you need for your 2nd day in Peru.

Pro Tips:

Pack for the Boat: Bring sunscreen, a hat, and a jacket – it can get chilly on the water!
Seafood Must-Try: Paracas is known for its seafood, so don’t miss trying a local dish like “choritos a la chalaca” (mussels with a spicy onion relish).

Accommodation Options in Paracas

After a day filled with nature’s marvels, you’ll want a comfy place to rest. Paracas offers a range of accommodations to suit every budget and preference.

High Budget

Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort

Nestling on the edge of the Paracas National Reserve, this opulent resort offers more than just a stay; it’s an experience. Each room provides breathtaking views of the Pacific, with decor that’s both elegant and earthy. Indulge in their spa, savor meals that are a culinary journey, and take advantage of their private boat tours to the Ballestas Islands.

La Hacienda Bahia Paracas

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in luxury with a side of history, La Hacienda Bahia Paracas is your spot. With rooms that open up to stunning sea views and a museum on-site showcasing pre-Incan artifacts, the hotel perfectly blends comfort with culture. Their pool and outdoor dining offer relaxation and gastronomy, hand in hand.

Mid Budget

San Agustín Paracas

Offering great value, San Agustín Paracas is located right by the sea, giving you easy access to the beach and local attractions. The hotel features comfortable rooms, an outdoor pool, and an on-site restaurant with panoramic views of the bay. It’s a great middle-ground option for those who seek comfort and convenience without the luxury price tag.

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paracas

The DoubleTree offers the perfect mix of Hilton’s reliable comfort with a splash of local charm. Spacious, suite-style accommodations give you room to stretch out, and the direct beach access means you’re never far from a sand-between-your-toes stroll. The on-site restaurant serves up some seriously tasty dishes with a view.

Bamboo Paracas Eco Bungalows

We loved our stay in Bamboo Paracas! It’s very near the natural reserve and is just the right quiet you need for the trip here. For a mid-budget stay that connects you with nature, Bamboo Paracas offers eco-friendly bungalows right on the water. It’s like having your private slice of paradise, complete with communal BBQ areas and kite surfing lessons on offer. The vibe here is laid-back luxury, with sustainability at its heart.


Kokopelli Hostel Paracas

For the budget-conscious traveler, Kokopelli Hostel offers a lively and affordable place to stay. With a mix of dorms and private rooms, this hostel is perfect for meeting fellow travelers. Enjoy their beachfront location, bar, and pool, making it a fun and relaxed place to unwind.

Paracas Backpackers’ House

This family-run gem offers a cozy retreat for travelers watching their wallets. Clean, simple rooms, a communal kitchen, and a friendly atmosphere make it a home away from home. Plus, the owner’s local tips are worth their weight in gold.

Unique Stay

La Hacienda Bahía Paracas

La Hacienda Bahía Paracas offers a unique experience with its blend of traditional and contemporary design, capturing the essence of the Peruvian coast. The hotel boasts a collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, making your stay a historical journey. With a focus on relaxation and culture, it’s an exceptional choice for those looking for something different.

Casa Paracas

Nestled in the heart of Paracas, Casa Paracas offers a quaint and intimate lodging experience. Each room is uniquely decorated, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of Peru. Guests rave about the rooftop terrace, where you can enjoy stunning sunsets over the bay.

With these options, you can choose the perfect place to rest after your adventures in Paracas and the Ballestas Islands. Next up, we’ll dive into the thrill of sandboarding and dune buggy rides in Huacachina, ensuring your Peru adventure continues at full throttle.

Day 3: Huacachina – Sandboarding and Dune Buggy Adventure

Ica Huacachina Lima vs Cusco scaled
Some of our best experiences in Peru is the buggy ride in Huacachina – the sunset here is unbelievable and the adventure is so fun to add for your 8 days in Peru.

After the serene beauty of Paracas and the captivating wildlife of the Ballestas Islands, it’s time to shift gears and indulge in the adrenaline-pumping activities that Huacachina has to offer. This small desert oasis, encircled by towering sand dunes, is not just a stunning natural phenomenon—it’s also the epicenter of sandboarding and dune buggy experiences in Peru.

You can see the tours and experiences in Huacachina that you can book below and beyond that how you can split the day in the area.

Morning: Journey to Huacachina

Start your day with an early breakfast in Paracas before making the short journey to Huacachina. This small village is centered around a natural desert oasis in the Ica Region, offering a picturesque backdrop that feels like a mirage. Upon arrival, take some time to wander around the oasis, snap photos, and enjoy the unique landscape.

Afternoon: Dune Buggy and Sandboarding

As the sun begins to lower in the sky, but still high enough to keep the sands warm, start on your dune buggy adventure. These powerful vehicles will take you on a thrilling ride over the dunes, combining speed with stunning desert vistas. After some exhilarating climbs and drops, you’ll have the opportunity to try sandboarding. Sliding down the dunes on a board, you can choose to stand like a snowboarder or lie down on your stomach for a different kind of thrill. It’s an exhilarating way to experience the vastness and beauty of the desert.

Evening: Sunset in the Desert

After the action-packed afternoon, take a moment to relax and watch the sunset over the dunes. The colors of the sky mixed with the shadows and light on the sand create a breathtaking view. Enjoy a quiet dinner at one of the local eateries around the oasis, savoring dishes that blend Peruvian flavors with international cuisine.


The contrast between the morning’s calm exploration of the oasis and the afternoon’s adventurous activities.

The unique experience of riding a dune buggy and sandboarding in one of the most beautiful deserts in South America.

The unforgettable sight of the sunset over the dunes, offering a moment of tranquility after a day of excitement.

This day combines natural beauty with adventure, offering a different perspective on the diverse landscapes of Peru. It’s a reminder of the country’s varied ecosystems, from coastal areas and islands to the sprawling desert, each offering unique experiences to visitors.

Where to Stay in Huacachina

After a day filled with desert adventures, finding the perfect place to rest and recharge in Huacachina is key. Whether you’re looking to indulge in luxury after sliding down the dunes or seeking a cozy, budget-friendly nook, Huacachina offers a variety of stays to suit every traveler’s needs. Here are our top picks for high-budget, mid-budget, budget, and unique stays in this desert oasis.

High Budget

Hotel Las Dunas

Nestled at the edge of the desert, Hotel Las Dunas offers more than just a plush pillow to rest your head. It’s an experience, with rooms that open up to sweeping views of the sand dunes. Dive into their pool, enjoy a spa day, or dine under the stars at their on-site restaurant. It’s luxury meets adventure, with the dunes right at your doorstep.

Desert Nights Ecocamp

For those who want to blend luxury with eco-conscious living, Desert Nights Ecocamp provides an unparalleled experience. Luxury tents equipped with all the modern comforts you could ask for, set against the backdrop of the Peruvian desert. It’s glamping taken to the next level, where every detail is curated to offer comfort and a deep connection with nature.

Mid Budget

Banana’s Adventure Hostel

Banana’s Adventure Hostel strikes the perfect balance between comfort and adventure. With a variety of room options from private to shared, it caters to every type of traveler. Their package deals, including meals and tours, make for a hassle-free stay. Don’t miss out on the pool and nightly activities that make Banana’s a social hub in Huacachina.

Casa de Arena Lodge

This lodge offers the charm of Huacachina with mid-range pricing. Each room provides the basics, ensuring a comfortable stay, with the added bonus of stunning views of the dunes. Their rooftop terrace is the perfect spot to unwind after a day of adventure, offering a panoramic view of the desert as the sun dips below the horizon.


Wild Olive Guest House

For travelers keeping an eye on their budgets, Wild Olive Guest House offers a cozy and inviting stay. Clean, comfortable rooms and a communal kitchen provide a homely atmosphere. It’s a stone’s throw away from the oasis, making it easy to explore Huacachina’s charm on foot.

Hospedaje Rocha

Hospedaje Rocha is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on the essentials. Offering both private rooms and dorms, it’s ideal for backpackers and solo travelers. The friendly staff and communal areas provide a great atmosphere for meeting other travelers, and its location makes it easy to enjoy all that Huacachina has to offer.

Unique Stays

La Casa de Bamboo

Set within a beautifully restored traditional house, La Casa de Bamboo offers a unique stay with a personal touch. The bamboo-themed decor throughout the house adds to the charm, and with only a handful of rooms, it offers a quiet retreat from the bustling oasis outside.

Duna Dorada Hotel

A boutique hotel that stands out for its architecture that mimics an ancient desert castle. Duna Dorada offers a unique blend of comfort and style, with rooms designed to provide a cool respite from the desert heat. The terrace offers breathtaking views of Huacachina, perfect for enjoying the sunset or stargazing.

Each of these accommodations in Huacachina provides a different perspective on desert living, from luxury resorts to eco-friendly tents and budget-friendly hostels. Choose the one that resonates with your travel style and budget, and rest up for another day of adventure in Peru.

Day 4: Cusco – Acclimatization and City Tour

The Beautiful Town of Cusco in Peru
The highlight of any visit to Peru – Cusco

How to Get from Huacachina to Cusco

After the sun-soaked dunes of Huacachina, it’s time to head to the highlands. Cusco, sitting at an impressive altitude of over 3,400 meters (11,200 feet), is more than just your base for exploring Machu Picchu; it’s a captivating city brimming with history, culture, and vibrant street life.

Morning: Arrival and Acclimatization

Arrival: Catch an early flight from Lima to Cusco to maximize your day. Upon arrival, take it slow. The altitude in Cusco can be a bit of a shock to the system, so today’s focus is on acclimatization.

Acclimatization Tips: Drink plenty of water, chew on coca leaves or sip coca tea, and avoid heavy meals. Your body needs time to adjust to the thinner air.

Afternoon: Gentle Exploration of Cusco

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One of our favorite photo of Plaza de Armas in Peru! The view of the centro against the Andes mountains is the perfect intro to the tours that we did the following days.

Plaza de Armas: Once you’re feeling a bit more settled, start your exploration with a leisurely stroll around the Plaza de Armas. This central square is the heart of Cusco, flanked by the stunning Cusco Cathedral and the Church of the Society of Jesus.

Qorikancha: A short walk from the Plaza de Armas is Qorikancha, the Temple of the Sun. Once the most important temple in the Incan Empire, its walls were said to have been covered in gold. Today, it’s a fascinating blend of Incan and colonial architecture.

Evening: Savor the Flavors of Cusco

Culinary Adventure: Cusco is a culinary treasure trove. For dinner, try a local specialty like alpaca steak or the iconic guinea pig if you’re adventurous. Pair it with a Pisco sour, Peru’s national drink.

Nightlife: If you’re up for it, explore Cusco’s vibrant nightlife. The city is known for its cozy pubs and lively bars, offering a great chance to mingle with both locals and fellow travelers.


The shift from sea level to the Andean highlands, presenting a dramatic change in scenery and culture.
The blend of Incan and Spanish colonial architectures, symbolizing the city’s rich and complex history.

The opportunity to taste unique Andean cuisine, offering a direct connection to Peru’s culinary heritage.
Today’s relaxed pace is designed to help you acclimatize while soaking in the beauty and history of Cusco. Tomorrow, we venture deeper into the Sacred Valley, exploring its archaeological wonders and picturesque landscapes.

Where to Stay in Cusco

After your flight to Cusco, stroll through the historic Plaza de Armas, the heart of Cusco, before exploring the artisan quarter of San Blas, known for its bohemian vibe and panoramic views.

Finding the perfect place to stay in Cusco is crucial, not just for comfort but also for acclimatization. This historic city offers a range of accommodation options, from luxurious hotels housed in colonial mansions to cozy guesthouses with loads of local charm.

Here are top picks across different budgets, ensuring you find the ideal spot to rest and recharge after exploring the ancient Incan capital.

High Budget

Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Experience the epitome of luxury in a hotel that’s as much a part of Cusco’s history as the sites you’re here to visit. Palacio del Inka is set in a colonial mansion that dates back nearly five centuries, right in the heart of the city. Its rooms blend historical elegance with modern comfort, and its on-site spa is the perfect remedy for altitude adjustment.

Belmond Hotel Monasterio

Another gem that seamlessly combines luxury with history, the Belmond Hotel Monasterio is set in a former monastery and is a protected national monument. Its rooms offer an oasis of tranquility, many with views of the charming courtyards or the Cusco Cathedral. The hotel also offers oxygen-enriched rooms to help guests acclimatize to the high altitude.

Mid Budget

Casa Andina Premium Cusco

Located just a short walk from the Plaza de Armas, Casa Andina Premium Cusco offers a comfortable stay with a touch of Peruvian culture. The hotel is housed in a 17th-century colonial mansion, offering modern amenities alongside traditional Peruvian hospitality. Its central courtyard is a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Tierra Viva Cusco Plaza

This hotel is a favorite among travelers for its excellent location and value. Tierra Viva Cusco Plaza combines the charm of a colonial building with the comforts of modern accommodation. Its rooftop terrace provides stunning views of the city, making it a perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploration.


Loki Hostel Cusco

For those traveling on a budget, Loki Hostel offers a vibrant and social atmosphere without breaking the bank. Known for its lively bar and daily events, it’s a great place to meet other travelers. The hostel also offers a range of room options, from dorms to private rooms, catering to various needs and preferences.

Kokopelli Hostel Cusco

Another excellent option for budget travelers, Kokopelli Hostel combines affordable rates with a prime location. It offers a mix of dormitory beds and private rooms, all set around a colorful and inviting courtyard. The on-site bar and café are perfect for socializing and relaxing after a day’s adventures.

Unique Stays

Antigua Casona San Blas

The Antigua Casona San Blas offers a unique stay in one of Cusco’s most picturesque neighborhoods. This boutique hotel features beautifully decorated rooms, a charming central courtyard, and a cozy fireplace lounge. Its intimate and warm atmosphere makes it an ideal retreat in the heart of the city.

El Retablo

El Retablo is a visually stunning boutique B&B that celebrates Peruvian art and design. Brightly colored in traditional Andean style, each room is a work of art, offering a vibrant and cheerful place to stay. Its rooftop terrace offers magnificent views of Cusco’s red-tiled roofs and surrounding mountains.

Choosing the right accommodation in Cusco is about more than just a place to sleep; it’s about enhancing your experience in this historic city. Whether you’re seeking luxury, a budget-friendly bed, or something uniquely Cuscan, these options will ensure your stay is comfortable, memorable, and suited to your travel style.

Day 5: Sacred Valley Tour

Sacred Valley in Peru - Full Peru Itinerary 8 Days or More

Exploring the Heart of the Incan Empire

Today’s journey takes you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a region rich in history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes. Stretching from the outskirts of Cusco to the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu, the valley is dotted with traditional villages, ancient ruins, and terraced fields that have been cultivated for centuries.

Morning: Pisac

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Pisac Market: Start your day early with a visit to the vibrant Pisac market, where locals and travelers alike gather to sell and buy fruits, vegetables, handicrafts, and textiles. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts, from hand-woven blankets to silver jewelry.

Pisac Ruins: After exploring the market, head up to the Pisac ruins perched high above the village. These ruins are a stunning example of Incan architectural ingenuity, with agricultural terraces that snake up the mountainside, an ancient sun temple, and panoramic views of the valley below.

Afternoon: Ollantaytambo

Ollantaytambo 8324 scaled

Lunch in Ollantaytambo: Enjoy lunch in this charming town, known for its well-preserved Incan architecture and narrow cobblestone streets. Many restaurants offer traditional Andean dishes, providing a tasty introduction to local cuisine.

Ollantaytambo Ruins: Post-lunch, visit the impressive Ollantaytambo ruins. This fortress and temple site is a marvel of engineering, with huge terraces climbing up the hillside. The views from the top are spectacular, overlooking the town and the surrounding valley.

Evening: Return to Cusco

Relaxing Evening: After a full day of exploration, return to Cusco for a well-deserved rest. The evening is yours to relax, whether that means enjoying a quiet meal at a local restaurant or simply unwinding at your accommodation.


The contrast between the bustling market life in Pisac and the serene, majestic ruins overlooking the valley.

The opportunity to immerse yourself in the living history of Ollantaytambo, walking the same paths once trodden by the Incas.

The breathtaking scenery of the Sacred Valley, a testament to the harmony between nature and Incan engineering.

Today’s adventure through the Sacred Valley offers a deeper understanding of the Incan empire’s history and achievements. It’s a day filled with awe-inspiring sights and insights into ancient and modern Andean life, setting the stage for the upcoming visit to the iconic Machu Picchu.

Day 5: Sacred Valley – Accommodation Options

Today’s full day tour of the Sacred Valley brings you to the iconic sites of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, showcasing the extraordinary Inca ruins set against the stunning backdrop of the Andes Mountains. Consider a brief detour to Maras Salt Mines, a remarkable patchwork of salt pans dating back to Incan times.

The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu remain the crown jewels of the Incan Empire, revealing the sophisticated engineering and architectural prowess of the ancient Incas

After an exhilarating day exploring the Sacred Valley, finding a tranquil place to unwind and reflect on the day’s adventures is essential. While many choose to return to Cusco for the night, staying in the Sacred Valley can offer a more immersive experience, allowing for further exploration of this historically rich area. Here are top accommodation picks across different budgets in the Sacred Valley, offering a mix of comfort, culture, and convenience.

High Budget

Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Valle Sagrado

Set against a backdrop of breathtaking mountains and nestled on the banks of the Urubamba River, Tambo del Inka is the epitome of luxury in the Sacred Valley. This resort not only offers exquisite rooms and suites but also boasts one of the region’s top spas and a private train station to Machu Picchu, making it a perfect base for exploration and relaxation.

Sol y Luna – Relais & Châteaux

Sol y Luna combines luxury with cultural preservation, offering guests a stay in beautifully appointed casitas surrounded by stunning gardens. The property supports a foundation dedicated to improving educational opportunities for local children, providing a stay that’s both luxurious and meaningful. Its world-class restaurant, Killa Wasi, serves up innovative Andean cuisine.

Mid Budget

Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel & Villas

Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado offers a comfortable and serene retreat in the heart of the Sacred Valley. With panoramic views of the Andes, an on-site planetarium for stargazing, and spacious, inviting rooms, it’s a great mid-range option for those seeking comfort amidst nature.

Sonesta Posadas del Inca Yucay

Located in a converted 18th-century monastery, Sonesta Posadas del Inca Yucay blends historical charm with modern amenities. The hotel’s gardens are a highlight, offering peaceful walks among native plants and flowers. It’s an ideal spot for those who appreciate history and tranquility.


Hostal Iskay

Hostal Iskay offers budget-conscious travelers a cozy and inviting stay in Ollantaytambo. With stunning views of the ruins, this family-run hostal prides itself on personal service and has a lush garden where guests can relax. The rooms are simple but comfortable, offering great value.

Pakari Backpacker

For those looking to stretch their soles without stretching their budget, Pakari Backpacker in Urubamba is a gem. Offering dorm beds and private rooms, it’s a clean, friendly, and vibrant place to meet other travelers. The communal kitchen and lounge area are perfect for sharing meals and tales of adventure.

Unique Stays

Sky Lodge Adventure Suites

For a truly unique experience, spend a night at Sky Lodge Adventure Suites, where you can sleep in a transparent luxury capsule hanging from the top of a mountain in the Sacred Valley. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but the views are unparalleled, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Explora Valle Sagrado

Located in one of the valley’s most remote ancient corn plantations, Explora Valle Sagrado is designed for adventure lovers. This unique lodge offers all-inclusive packages that combine luxury accommodation with explorations led by experienced guides. It’s an immersive way to experience the Sacred Valley’s culture, history, and landscapes.

Choosing the right accommodation in the Sacred Valley can enhance your experience, offering not just a place to sleep but a haven to relax, reflect, and immerse yourself in the Andean way of life. Whether you’re looking for luxury, a budget-friendly option, or something entirely out of the ordinary, the Sacred Valley has something to suit every traveler’s needs.

Day 6: Machu Picchu

The Crown Jewel of Incan Civilization

Today marks the highlight of your Peruvian adventure—a visit to the iconic Machu Picchu. This ancient Incan city, set high in the Andes Mountains, is a masterpiece of engineering and architecture. Its mystical ruins and the breathtaking vistas make it a must-see for any traveler to Peru.

Morning: Journey to Machu Picchu

Early Start: Begin your day before dawn to catch the first train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the base of Machu Picchu. The train journey itself is an adventure, offering stunning views of the Urubamba River and the surrounding mountains.

Bus to Machu Picchu: From Aguas Calientes, take a short bus ride up the winding road to Machu Picchu. The early morning fog lifting to reveal the ruins is a sight to behold.

Exploring Machu Picchu

2 Weeks in South America Itinerary Machu Picchu Peru
incredible views of the Machu Picchu

Guided Tour: Join a guided tour to understand the historical significance and the architectural brilliance of Machu Picchu. Highlights include the Main Plaza, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, and the Intihuatana stone.

Hike Huayna Picchu (Optional): For an unforgettable view of Machu Picchu, consider hiking Huayna Picchu, the peak overlooking the ruins. It’s a steep hike but well worth the effort for the panoramic views. Note: Tickets for Huayna Picchu must be booked in advance and are limited.

Afternoon: Return to Aguas Calientes

Lunch and Relaxation: After exploring Machu Picchu, head back to Aguas Calientes. Enjoy a leisurely lunch and perhaps a visit to the hot springs for which the town is named, a perfect way to relax sore muscles.

Evening: Return to Cusco

Train Back to Cusco: In the late afternoon or early evening, catch the train back to Cusco. The ride back is a time to reflect on the day’s experiences and the ancient wonders of Machu Picchu.


Witnessing the sunrise over Machu Picchu and experiencing the serene beauty and mystical presence of the ruins.

Learning about the Incas’ ingenuity in architecture and their deep connection with the natural world.
The sense of accomplishment and awe after exploring one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Visiting Machu Picchu is more than just checking off a bucket list item; it’s a journey into the heart of Incan culture and a testament to human ingenuity. The memories of today will last a lifetime, a reminder of the magic that Peru holds.

Day 6: Machu Picchu – Accommodation Options

Rise early for the journey to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu. Perched high in the Andes Mountains, this ancient city offers insights into Inca civilization and breathtaking vistas that make every step of the hike worth it

After an unforgettable day exploring the ancient wonders of Machu Picchu, a comfortable and restful night is well-deserved. While many opt to return to Cusco, staying in Aguas Calientes offers the advantage of reliving the day’s memories in the shadow of the mountains and provides a relaxed start or close to your Machu Picchu adventure.

Here’s a roundup of accommodations in Aguas Calientes catering to various budgets and preferences.

High Budget

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Immerse yourself in the Andean cloud forest at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Nestled in lush gardens and teeming with local flora and fauna, this luxurious hotel offers a serene retreat. Spacious, elegantly furnished rooms, a world-class spa, and gourmet dining make it a haven for relaxation and indulgence after a day of exploration.

Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel

Offering exceptional views of the surrounding mountains and a commitment to Peruvian hospitality, Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is an upscale choice for those seeking comfort and culture. The hotel’s design is inspired by Incan aesthetics, and it offers culinary experiences, spa services, and cooking classes to enhance your stay.

Mid Budget

Tierra Viva Machu Picchu

For travelers seeking a balance of comfort and value, Tierra Viva Machu Picchu is a perfect choice. Located conveniently close to the train station, this hotel offers modern amenities, cozy rooms, and a hearty breakfast to start your day right. The friendly staff are happy to share tips on making the most of your Machu Picchu adventure.

Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu

Overlooking the Urubamba River, Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu provides a comfortable stay with all the essential amenities. Its location offers easy access to Aguas Calientes and the bus station for Machu Picchu, making it a convenient base for explorers.


Supertramp Hostel Machu Picchu

For the budget-conscious traveler, Supertramp Hostel offers a vibrant and friendly atmosphere. With dormitory beds, private rooms, and a lively rooftop bar, it’s a great place to meet fellow adventurers. The hostel also organizes tours and activities, helping guests make the most of their stay.

Ecopackers Machupicchu Hostel

Ecopackers is another excellent budget option, offering both dorms and private rooms. Focused on sustainable travel, it provides a comfortable and eco-friendly base. Common areas, including a shared kitchen and lounge, encourage guests to exchange stories and tips from their travels.

Unique Stays

Andina Luxury

While not as high-budget as the luxury options, Andina Luxury offers uniquely decorated rooms with a view of the river or mountains, providing a peaceful and slightly more upscale lodging experience. It’s a great option for those wanting a bit of comfort and character in their accommodation.

Gringo Bill’s Boutique Hotel

Gringo Bill’s offers an eclectic and cozy stay with a variety of room types, including suites with private balconies. Its quirky decor, outdoor pool, and central location make it a memorable place to stay for those looking for something different from the standard hotel experience.

Choosing the right accommodation in Aguas Calientes allows you to extend the magical experience of visiting Machu Picchu, whether you prefer the luxury of a cloud forest retreat, the value of a comfortable mid-range hotel, the savings of a budget-friendly hostel, or the charm of a unique stay. Each offers a different perspective on the natural beauty and tranquility of this unique location.

Rainbow Mountain (Optional Extension)

For adventurers with an extra day to spare, a day tour to Rainbow Mountain offers a dazzling palette of colors, created by mineral deposits, that have to be seen to be believed.

Day 7: Cusco to Puno – Journey to Lake Titicaca

locals on Lake titicaca peru itinerary scaled

From the Clouds to the Highest Navigable Lake

The next leg of your adventure takes you from the ancient Incan capital of Cusco to the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, lying at over 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) above sea level. This vast, shimmering blue lake, steeped in history and folklore, is shared between Peru and Bolivia and is home to unique cultures that have thrived for centuries.

The journey from Cusco to Puno introduces you to the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca, where you’ll visit the unique Uros Floating Islands. These islands are a testament to the enduring culture of the people who live on the lake, maintaining traditions that date back to pre-Incan times.

Morning: Travel from Cusco to Puno

Bus Journey: Go on a scenic bus journey from Cusco to Puno, which takes around 6 to 8 hours. Opt for a service that includes stops at key archaeological and natural sites along the way, turning the travel into a full-day tour that enriches your understanding of the region’s history and culture.

Sights Along the Way: Highlights include the church of Andahuaylillas, often referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas” for its beautifully decorated interior; Raqchi, an Inca archaeological site known for its impressive Temple of Wiracocha; and La Raya Pass, the highest point on the route, offering stunning views of the Andes.

Afternoon: Arrival in Puno

Settling In: Upon arriving in Puno, check into your accommodation and take some time to acclimatize to the higher altitude. The town of Puno itself is bustling and offers an array of restaurants and cafes where you can sample local delicacies, such as trout from the lake.

Evening: Explore Puno

Explore the Town: Spend your evening exploring the streets of Puno. The town has a rich cultural scene, with numerous music and dance performances showcasing traditional Andean arts. A visit to the main square, Plaza de Armas, and the Puno Cathedral offers insight into the town’s colonial past and present-day vibrancy.

Preparation for Lake Titicaca: Review your plans for exploring Lake Titicaca the following day. Whether you’re visiting the floating Uros Islands, the community on Taquile Island, or the lesser-known Amantaní, prepare for an immersive cultural experience that offers a glimpse into the lives of the indigenous communities who call the lake home.


The transition from the mountainous landscapes of Cusco to the expansive, high-altitude vistas of Lake Titicaca.

The opportunity to see a variety of important cultural and historical sites along the journey from Cusco to Puno.

The introduction to Puno’s vibrant culture, serving as a gateway to the unique communities and natural beauty of Lake Titicaca.

This journey is a remarkable shift from the remnants of the Incan empire to the living cultures of the Aymara and Quechua people around Lake Titicaca. It sets the stage for a deeper exploration of Peru’s diverse landscapes and traditions.

Day 7: Cusco to Puno – Accommodation Options

As you arrive in Puno, the gateway to Lake Titicaca, finding the perfect place to stay is crucial for enjoying the unique cultural and natural wonders of the region. Puno offers a variety of accommodations, from luxury hotels with stunning lake views to cozy, budget-friendly options that provide a warm welcome after your journey. Here are our top picks across different budgets.

High Budget


Nestled on a private peninsula on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Titilaka is a remote luxury lodge offering an all-inclusive experience. With wrap-around terraces, panoramic windows, and a selection of beautifully appointed rooms, guests can enjoy unparalleled views of the lake. The lodge provides excursions with private guides, allowing you to explore the cultural and natural beauty of the area in exclusive comfort.

Libertador Lago Titicaca Puno

Perched on Esteves Island and offering spectacular 360-degree views of Lake Titicaca, the Libertador is one of Puno’s most luxurious options. The hotel features spacious, elegantly furnished rooms, a bar, and a restaurant serving exquisite local and international cuisine. Guests can enjoy sunrise and sunset views over the lake, making it a memorable place to stay.

Mid Budget

Casa Andina Premium Puno

Situated on the outskirts of Puno, Casa Andina Premium offers comfort and tranquility with impressive views of Lake Titicaca. The hotel’s private pier allows for easy lake access, and the rooms are cozy, with options to view the lake or the hotel’s gardens. The on-site restaurant provides a taste of local cuisine in a warm and welcoming setting.

Sonesta Posadas del Inca Lake Titicaca Puno

Just a few minutes from the heart of Puno, Sonesta Posadas del Inca offers comfortable accommodations with direct access to Lake Titicaca. The hotel’s rooms and suites feature modern amenities and stunning views of the lake, making it a great mid-range option for those wishing to stay close to the water.


Pacha Hostel

For those traveling on a budget, Pacha Hostel offers a friendly and comfortable stay. With a mix of dormitory beds and private rooms, it caters to various types of travelers. The hostel is known for its helpful staff, who are eager to share their local knowledge and assist with tour bookings.

Inka’s Rest Hostel

Inka’s Rest provides a peaceful and budget-friendly option in Puno. Offering both dorms and private rooms, the hostel focuses on creating a relaxed environment for its guests. It includes a shared kitchen, communal areas for socializing, and is conveniently located close to restaurants and shops.

Unique Stays

Uros Titicaca Lodge

For a truly unique experience, consider staying on one of the floating Uros Islands. Uros Titicaca Lodge offers comfortable accommodations on these man-made reed islands, allowing guests to experience the traditional way of life of the Uros people. It’s a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and simplicity of life on Lake Titicaca.

Yavari Bed & Breakfast

Board the historic Yavari steamship, moored in the bay near Puno, and step back in time. This bed and breakfast offers a handful of cozy cabins within the refurbished vessel, combining history with unique charm. Guests can enjoy breakfast on deck with stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Choosing the right accommodation in Puno allows you to fully embrace the beauty and tranquility of Lake Titicaca, whether you’re looking for luxury, a mid-range comfortable stay, a budget-friendly option, or an immersive cultural experience. Each option offers a different perspective on this extraordinary region, ensuring your visit is as comfortable as it is memorable.

Day 8: Lake Titicaca and Return to Lima

Embracing the Splendor of Lake Titicaca

Your final day in Peru begins with a deep dive into the cultural and natural wonders of Lake Titicaca. This vast, high-altitude lake is not only breathtakingly beautiful but also home to communities that maintain a way of life that has persisted for centuries. Today, you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of these unique communities, learning about their traditions and experiencing the serene beauty of the lake.

Morning: Visit to the Uros Floating Islands

Floating Islands: Start your day with a visit to the Uros Floating Islands. These remarkable islands are made entirely of reeds and are home to the Uros people, who have lived on the lake for generations. Learn about their traditional way of life, from reed island construction to fishing and handicrafts.

Cultural Exchange: Engage with the local community, perhaps purchasing handicrafts or taking a short ride on a traditional reed boat. This interaction provides a meaningful glimpse into the daily lives of the Uros people and supports their community.

Midday: Taquile or Amantaní Island

Taquile Island: For those interested in textile arts, Taquile Island is a must-visit. The island is known for its fine handwoven textiles and clothing, which are among the highest-quality handicrafts in Peru. The community here lives by the Inca moral code, ama sua, ama llulla, ama quella (do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy), and the island offers stunning views of the lake.

Amantaní Island: Alternatively, Amantaní is known for its terraced hills, ancient temples, and welcoming homestay experiences. Spending time with a local family offers insight into the island’s customs and traditions, along with delicious home-cooked meals.

Afternoon: Return to Puno and Journey Back to Lima

Return to Puno: After your island visit, return to Puno in the early afternoon. From here, you’ll begin your journey back to Lima, either by flight from Juliaca airport, which is close to Puno, or by bus or train, depending on your preference and schedule.

Reflect on Your Journey: Use this time to reflect on the incredible experiences and memories you’ve collected throughout your journey in Peru. From the coastal deserts and ancient ruins to the breathtaking highlands and the cultural richness of Lake Titicaca, this trip has offered a deep dive into the heart of Peru’s diverse landscapes and traditions.

Evening: Last Moments in Lima

Farewell Dinner: If time allows before your international departure, enjoy a farewell dinner in Lima. Savor the flavors of Peruvian cuisine one last time, reflecting on the journey and planning your next adventure.


The unique opportunity to visit the traditional communities of Lake Titicaca and learn about their way of life.

The stunning natural beauty of Lake Titicaca, from the reed islands to the terraced landscapes of Taquile and Amantaní.

The chance to support local communities through cultural exchange and purchasing traditional handicrafts.

As your 8-day journey through Peru comes to a close, you leave with not just photos and souvenirs, but with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty of this extraordinary country. Peru, with its ancient history, vibrant communities, and stunning landscapes, offers an adventure that truly touches the soul.

Day 8: Return to Lima – Accommodation Options

As you conclude your Peruvian adventure and find yourself back in Lima, choosing a comfortable and convenient place to stay for your final night is key. Whether you’re looking for a place to rest before an early flight or hoping to enjoy a bit more of Lima’s vibrant culture and cuisine, there are plenty of accommodation options to suit your needs. Here’s a roundup of places to stay in Lima, catering to various preferences and budgets.

Final Thoughts on Peru Itinerary 8 Days or More

With this unforgettable 8-day Peru itinerary, exploring from the Andes Mountains to the highest navigable lake on Earth, Lake Titicaca.

This trip to Peru is designed to showcase the country’s breathtaking diversity over eight days in Peru, from the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to the vibrant city of Cusco and the serene waters of Lake Titicaca. We’ve done this trip and are happy to answer questions so just let us know through the comments below!

FAQs to Aid Your Peruvian Adventure

Do I need a visa to visit Peru?

Citizens from most countries in the Americas and Western Europe do not require a visa to enter Peru for tourism purposes. Visitors are typically granted a stay of up to 183 days. Please check the official embassy website or contact your local consulate for the most current visa requirements based on your nationality.

What is the best time of year to visit Peru?

Peru can be visited all year round, but the best time depends on the regions you plan to explore. The dry season between May and October is ideal for hiking in the Andes and visiting Machu Picchu. For the Amazon rainforest, the drier months from April to October are recommended.

Is it safe to travel to Peru?

Peru is generally safe for tourists, but like any popular tourist destination, it’s important to take standard safety precautions. Be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded places, and use licensed taxis or reputable transportation services.

Can I drink tap water in Peru?

It’s advisable to drink bottled or purified water during your stay in Peru to avoid stomach upsets. Bottled water is widely available for purchase.

What currency is used in Peru?

The Peruvian Sol (PEN) is the official currency. US Dollars are also accepted in many tourist areas, but it’s best to have local currency for everyday transactions. ATMs are widely available, and credit cards are accepted in most restaurants, hotels, and shops.

How do I get around in Peru?

Domestic flights are the quickest way to cover large distances between cities like Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa. For shorter distances, buses are a popular and affordable option. Within cities, taxis and rideshare apps are convenient for getting around.

What should I pack for a trip to Peru?

Packing depends on your activities and the regions you’ll visit. For the Andes and Machu Picchu, bring warm clothing and good hiking shoes. For the coast and rainforest, lighter clothing and rain gear are essential. Don’t forget sunscreen, insect repellent, and a reusable water bottle.

Do I need any vaccinations to visit Peru?

No vaccinations are required for entry into Peru, but it’s recommended to have your routine vaccines up to date. Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Yellow Fever vaccinations are recommended for most travelers, especially if visiting the Amazon region.

What is the food like in Peru?

Peruvian cuisine is diverse and flavorful, known for its variety of ingredients and fusion of cultural influences. Don’t miss trying ceviche, lomo saltado, and aji de gallina. Vegetarian and vegan options are increasingly available, especially in larger cities and tourist areas.

How can I respect local customs and traditions?

Respect local customs by dressing modestly in religious sites, asking permission before taking photos of people, and learning a few basic phrases in Spanish. Participate in local traditions and festivals if you have the opportunity, but always show respect for the cultural significance behind them.

Can I use my cell phone in Peru?

International roaming can be expensive, so consider purchasing a local SIM card for your unlocked phone for access to data and local calls. SIM cards are readily available at airports and stores throughout major cities.

Are there any tips for responsible tourism in Peru?

Support local communities by purchasing handicrafts directly from artisans, respecting wildlife and natural habitats, and choosing eco-friendly tours and accommodations. Be mindful of your environmental impact and contribute to the preservation of Peru’s incredible natural and cultural heritage.

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