PERU TRAVEL GUIDE: Tourist Spots, Itinerary & Budget

Our comprehensive PERU Travel Guide featuring the country’s top tourist spots, must-try restaurants, recommended hotels to stay, plus a sample itinerary.

Once home to the Incans, a civilization now considered obsolete but not extinct, Peru was a cradle to a great culture that had shaped the country’s many amazing feats. From the tall elevations of the Machu Pichu whose access was hidden for hundreds of years, to a number of lakes that themselves have tales to tell, and other significant landscapes that are worth checking out for, Peru remains an interesting place to visit emanating from its rich historical past.

Peru Travel Guide

VISA REQUIREMENTS TO PERU

Philippine passport holders do not require a visa to enter Peru for up to 183 days depending on the discretion of the immigration officer. Based on my experience, you’ll be asked by the immigration officer how many days do you intend to stay in Peru and the days you will be allowed to stay in the country will depend on your answer plus a couple of days extra.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT PERU

The best time to visit Peru is during the winter season, between May and September. Winter is the driest season so it will be nice to explore Peru, especially if you’re planning to go to Cusco or trek to the famous Machu Picchu.

HOW TO GET TO PERU FROM THE PHILIPPINES

There are no direct flights between Peru and the Philippines but numerous airlines offer connecting flights from Manila to Lima. It is quite expensive to travel to Peru from the Philippines but some airlines offer promotions from time to time. I flew from Manila to Bogoto because I got an awesome deal from Turkish Airlines. The point is, find the cheapest fare within South America and just take a regional carrier from there to save cost. Imagine, I got my ticket from Manila to Bogota via Istanbul for only Php20,000 roundtrip. Great deal, right?

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HOW TO GET TO YOUR HOTEL IN LIMA FROM THE AIRPORT

If you have booked accommodation in Miraflores District, the most popular area for tourists, you can take the Airport Express Lima to get to your hotel. The fare is only USD8 / Php410.00 and it’s pretty much convenient, safe and cheap compared to taking a taxi which will cost you around USD20-25. You may also use Uber to pick you up from the airport to your hotel in Lima.

HOW TO GET TO YOUR HOTEL IN CUZCO FROM THE AIRPORT

There is no direct bus from the airport to the town proper but if you are really on a budget, you can take a public local bus call combis from outside the airport near the Pecsa gas station. The fare to the town center is only about USD0.25 / Php13.

The most common way of getting out of the airport to the town proper is by taxi. There are two types of taxis – the official (airport taxi) and non-official. The official Llama taxi is a bit expensive at around USD12 /Php630 for a 10-minute ride to the town while the unofficial taxis (regular) will likely to ask you around USD7-10 but ideally it should just be around USD3.5-5. So, haggle if you can.

Cusco, Peru

HOTELS IN PERU: WHERE TO STAY IN PERU

Hotels in Lima

Mandala Hospedaje – bunk bed rates start at around Php400 / USD8 per night.
Check availability and book.
Miraflores Guesthouse – room rates start at around Php1,500 / USD28 per night. Check availability and book.
PayPurix Hostel Lima Airport – bed in a dorm room starts at less than Php400 per night. As the name suggests, this is close to the airport and ideal if you are transiting to Cuzco. Check availability and book.
Pariwana Hostel Lima – bed in a dorm room starts at Php700 a night. One of our recommended to stay in Lima if you are backpacking or in a tight budget.
Check availability and book.

Check more hotels and hostels in Lima, Peru

Hotels in Cuzco

Pariwana Hostel Cusco – dorm rates start at around Php600 / USD11.5 per night. Check availability and book.
Novotel Cuzco – room rates start at around Php4,500 / USD86 per night. This is very close to the plaza and other places of interest. Check availability and book.
JW Marriott El Convento Cusco – room rates start at around Php10,000 / USD190 per night. Close to the church and the plaza. Great interior and cozy rooms. Check availability and book.

Check more hotels and hostels in Cusco, Peru

TOP TOURIST SPOTS IN PERU

Machu Pichu

Located at 7000 feet above sea level, Machu Pichu may easily be viewed as nothing more than just a tall mountain from the ground and whose entry into is a puzzle. Yet, these two very descriptions are what made the Machu Pichu, actually the Inca’s last stronghold against the invading Spaniards, a hidden remnant of the Incan culture. Essentially a place fit only for the Incan elites, not even an average Inca person gets access to this place. Book your Machu Picchu tour.

Machu Picchu, Peru

With the Incas now long gone and after the discovery of the place as opened to the public, however, the Machu Pichu is unsurprisingly a massive marvel, even for the people of today.

Lake Titicaca

Set within the borders of Bolivia and Peru, the Lake Titicaca within the Andes is famed for being the “highest navigable lake” which highlights its position as the deepest lake in all of the Americas. But while seeing the panoramic view of the lake may seem like a privilege in and on itself, one of the major highlights of its visit is being able to travel across its waters and island hopping to inhabited landmasses. Lake Titicaca Full-Day Tour.

Lake Titicaca, Peru travel guide

Lake Humantay

Getting to the famed multicolor body of water, Lake Humantay is no easy feat. Not only is the distance needed to be traveled to get to the drop off point from the nearest launch pad is very far, getting to the actual lake itself by foot is another part of the challenge. But like anything that is worked hard for, the ultimate experience is worth it. Book your tour to Lake Humantay.

Lake Humantay, Peru

Rainbow Mountain

Not many mountains exhibit multiple colors as a landscape. But in a certain mountain ranges in Peru, that is indeed what you will see. Eponymously called “Rainbow Mountain,” this place makes for an amazing showcase of beautifully-painted colors, all done by Mother Nature herself. Book your Rainbow Mountain Tour.

Rainbow Mountain, Peru

Cuzco and the Sacred Valley

Mixing elements inherent from the Incas with its conqueror’s influences, Cuzco is a hybrid between an ancient civilization and the Spanish. Once regarded as the “belly button” of the world by the Incas themselves, Cuzco has now become a gateway to a larger region that encompasses many significant villages, high-standing terrains, and ruins that are a vestige of a faded civilization—the Sacred Valley. Book you Sacred Valley Tour now.

Salinera de Maras, Peru

Amazon River in Iquitos

Iquitos is known as a Peruvian port city. But while the city itself is a place worthy of an adventure, one of the major highlights of this developed metropolis is the Amazon river which, not only showcases the rustic side of Peru with houses build atop the river, is a gateway to Amazon’s tribal villages.

Iquitos, Peru
Floating Houses in Iquitos, Amazon River , Peru | Photo by: Global Water Forum

DISCOUNTED TOURS IN PERU

MUST TRY RESTAURANTS IN PERU

Maido
Calle San Martin 399, Miraflores 15074, Peru
Lunch Monday to Saturday from 12:30 to 4:00 pm; Sunday from 12:30 to 5:00 pm Dinner Monday to Saturday from 7:00 to 10:45 pm
Reservations: (511) 313-5100
Must-try: Nikkei Cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian

Pachapapa
Address: Plaza San Blas 120, San Blas, Cusco, Peru
Contact No.: +51 (84) 241 318
Must-try: oven-fried trout and anticucha de alpaca (alpaca meat skewer)

PERU ITINERARY & BUDGET

Day 1 Peru Travel Guide Itinerary & Expenses – Bolivia to Peru

  • Taxi from hostel to Adventure Brew for Bolivia Hop bus pick up Php230. Bolivia Hop only picks up from the hotel/hostel within the city proper. I stayed close to the airport.
  • Bolivia Hop Php2,885. It covers my bus trip from La Paz to Copacabana to Puno and to Cusco. Great deal, actually.
  • Breakfast Php308
  • Lunch Php193
  • Isla del Sol Tour Php540
  • Cross the Bolivia-Peru Border in Copacabana/Puno
  • Hostel in Puno Php535
  • DinnerPhp260

Day 2 Peru Travel Guide Itinerary & Expenses – Full Day tour in Puno

  • Lake Titicaca Full Day tour (including lunch) Php1,020
  • Traditional boat ride in Uros Php162
  • Dinner Php245
  • Overnight bus to Cusco

Day 3 Peru Travel Guide & Expenses – Cusco!!!

  • Breakfast complimentary at Marriott El Convento Hotel Cusco
  • Lunch Php260
  • Dinner Php730
  • Taxi rental around Cusco Php1,465/3. We visited Tambomachay, Pucapucara, Saqsayhuaman, and Qenqo)
  • General tourism admission ticket (Cusco attractions, sacred valley, and museums) Php2,110
  • Hotel Tupac Yupanqui Php4,270/3. Originally from Php6,400 but I asked for a discount since we are staying for 4 nights.
  • Grocery Php488
  • Poncho + hat Php1,463

Day 4 Peru Travel Guide Itinerary & Expenses – Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas

  • Sacred Valley Tour Php1,137 (includes lunch). We visited Chinchinero, Ollantaytambo, Moray, Pisac, and Salineras de Maras.
  • Hat Php245
  • Dinner Php292
  • Hotel Tupac Yupanqui Php4,270/3

Day 5 Peru Travel Guide Itinerary & Expenses – Day trip to Lake Humantay

  • Lake Humantay Tour Php1,137 (includes lunch)
  • Water Php80
  • Entrance to the lake Php163
  • Horse rental Php810
  • Dinner Php520
  • Grocery Php230
  • Hotel Tupac Yupanqui Php4,270/3

Day 6 Peru Travel Guide Itinerary & Expenses – Explore Machu Picchu

  • Machu Picchu Tour from Cusco (includes lunch, dinner, first class train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes and back) Php12,790
  • Sweat shirt made from Alpaca hair Php570
  • Ref magnets Php325
  • Hotel Tupac Yupanqui Php4,270/3

Day 7 Peru Travel Guide Itinerary & Expenses – Trek to Rainbow Mountain

  • Rainbow Mountain Tour Php1,300 (includes lunch and breakfast)
  • Entrance to Rainbow Mountain Php163
  • Horse rental Php1,462
  • Dinner Php910
  • Hotel Tupac Yupanqui Php4,270/3

Day 8 Peru Travel Guide Itinerary & Expenses

  • Private car from Hotel to Airport Php1950/5
  • Plane fare from Cusco to Lima via Peruvian Air Php4,275
  • Private car from Lima Airport to Westin Hotel Php2,356/3
  • Hotel at Westin Lima Php15,900/3
  • Taxi from hotel to Larcomar Php245/3
  • Grocery Php975
  • Starbucks tumbler Php650
  • Midnight snack Php260

Day 9: Off to Bogota, Colombia

BASIC SPANISH TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE LOCALS

  • Hola (OH-lah) – Hello/Hi
  • Que Pase (keh PAH-seh) – Have a good day
  • Como estas? (KOH-moh-ehs-TAHS) – How are you?
  • Muy bien, gracias (MOO-ee-byehn, GRAH-syahs) – Fine, thank you.
  • Encantado/a (ehn-kahn-TAH-doh/dah) – Nice to meet you.
  • Por favor (POHR-fah-BOHR) – Please
  • Gracias (GRAH-syahs) – Thank you
  • De nada (DAY NAH-dah) – Welcome
  • Si (SEE) – Yes
  • No (NOH) – No
  • Disculpe (dees-KOOL-peh) – Excuse me (getting attention)
  • Perdone (pehr-DOHN-eh) – Excuse me (begging pardon)
  • Permiso (pehr-MEE-so) – Excuse me (may I get by)
  • Adios (ah-DYOHS) – Goodbye
  • Hablo un poco español (ah-BLOH oon POH-koh ehs-pah-NYOHL) – I speak a little Spanish.
  • No hablo español (noh AH-bloh ehs-pah-NYOL) – I can’t speak Spanish.
  • Hablas Ingles? (AH-blahs een-GLEHS?) – Do you speak English?
  • Ayuda! (ah-YOO-dah) – Help!
  • Buenos dias (BWE-nohs DEE-ahs) – Good morning
  • Buenas tardes (BWE-nahs TAR-dehs) – Good afternoon
  • Buenas noches (BWE-nahs NOH-chehs) – Good evening / good night
  • No entiendo (NOH ehen-tyen-doh) – I don’t understand
  • Donde esta el baño? (DOHN-deh ehss-TAH ehl BAH-nyoh?) – Where is the toilet?

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