You might be wondering: how can one explore Peru in just seven days? Well, from Machu Picchu to Cusco, there are many places to cover. However, with Peru’s efficient travel system consisting of planes, trains, and buses, you can always cut travel time in half for your Peru Itinerary if you are prepared and know everything before you go.
Therefore, if you’re going to Peru for seven days, you can certainly go through each must-see location, whether it’s the Amazonian jungle or the Andes Mountains. You just need the right Peru itinerary.
Luckily for you, we’ve come up with the best 7 day Peru itinerary you’ll want to copy. With this one week in Peru itinerary, you can explore Peruvian culture extensively in just seven days.
Table of Contents
- 1 Things to Consider While Planning Your Peru Trip
- 2 Our 7 Day Peru Itinerary You’ll Want to Copy For Quick Exploring
- 3 Conclusion
Things to Consider While Planning Your Peru Trip
As mentioned, if you’re planning a quick trip, you need the right itinerary. Or else, you won’t make the most of your short time.
Be mindful, though. With itineraries, being organized and detail-oriented is essential, especially if you’re short on time. However, planning out a travel itinerary is a challenging task. There are things you need to know before you visit Peru.
There are so many factors to consider you need to know, including:
- Travel time
- Accommodation and dining
Moreover, many things can go wrong, like travel delays, weather problems, double-bookings. That’s why you also need to think about contingencies.
It sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
Well, planning a trip always is. However, with this article, things will be much easier. All you need to do is set a budget and work with it. Luckily, there are multiple budget-friendly hotel options in Peru, including hostels, motels, and Airbnbs.
But–you also need to consider safety. Don’t be hasty with booking accommodation. Do so in reliable neighborhoods. (For this purpose, we’ve added hotel recommendations within each itinerary component).
Our 7 Day Peru Itinerary You’ll Want to Copy For Quick Exploring
Day 1: Lima, The Capital City
When you’re in Lima, the best way to start your Lima itinerary is with the Lima Free Walking Tour. Tours leave the Tourist Information Center in Miraflores every morning at 9.50 sharp. All the tours stop at the cultural and historical centers of the city.
These centers include landmarks like Casa de Aliaga and museums like Huaca Pucllana. This is an excellent way to learn more about the city in one day.
However, if you miss the tour, don’t worry. Mirabus is a fun alternative. Mira Buses are panoramic buses in which you explore the city view while learning about its history. These run multiple times during the day and night, departing from Parque Kennedy in Miraflores.
If you don’t want to take a tour, you can go to:
- Palomino’s Island in Callao to swim with seals. (Remember to pre-book the tickets).
- Huaca Pucllana in the epicenter of Miraflores. (Instead of with a tour, you can visit this separately).
- Any of the Miraflores, Barranco or San Isidro coastlines to paraglide
- Puente de los Suspiros in the Barranco district (for great restaurants and historical sites)
- Parque de la Reserva, Lima’s water fountain park. It has incredible light shows at night, and admission costs only four Soles.
- Visit any of the incredible Lima Beaches.
Moreover, if you need a place to stay, check these places in Limas Best Neighborhoods:
- Alpes Lima Hostel – in Calle Jose Gonzàles 170, Miraflores
- Puriwasi Lima Hostel – at Avenida la Paz 174, Cusco, Miraflores
- Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel – near Larcomar Clifftop Shopping Mall, Miraflores
Day 2: Ballestas Islands & Huacachina
Do you like marine life, mysterious caves, and beaches? If yes, your next stop is undoubtedly the Ballestas Islands. The Ballestas Islands are a group of islands near the coastal town of Paracas.
If you’re going by bus, it takes four hours to reach your destination from Lima. On the other hand, Huacachina is only one hour away from Ballestas. Therefore, you can easily explore both in one day.
In Ballestas, you can do many things, including:
- Bird-watching unique birds like Peruvian Pelicans, Red-legged Cormorants, Inca Terns, Peruvian boobies
- Exploring the caves and landscapes
- Wine-tasting at the Caravedo Distillery (open all day)
Additionally, when you’re in Huacachina, there are some fantastic Peruvian restaurants. For example, there’s Desert Nights, located in Malecon de 139. It’s famous for its local cuisine and ambiance, particularly its vegetarian dishes.
Also, Huacachina is a popular addition to your Peru trip itinerary for its buggy rides. Unless you’re prone to motion sickness, you’ll enjoy adding this to your Peru Travel Itinerary.
If you leave early in the morning, you can do all this and return to your Lima hotel by night.
Day 3: Lima to Cusco
There are two ways to go to Cusco from Lima:
- By plane
- By bus and train
Since you’re short on time, it’s better to travel by plane because it only takes one hour and ten minutes. However, if a plane ride isn’t in your budget, you can take a bus from Lima to Puno.
This is because there are no direct train routes from Lima to start your Cusco itinerary. Consequently, you need to know that you should go to Puno, where you’ll take a train to Cusco.
By bus and train, the entire journey takes eight to nine hours. Therefore, you should book a night bus and train, so you’re in Cusco by morning. Once you’re there, you can check into your hotel.
Here are some popular options:
- Mama Simona Hostel – in Calle Ceniza 364, Centro Historico
- Millhouse Hostel – in Quera 270, Centro Historico
- Casa Andina Premium – at Plazoleta Limacpampa Chico 473, Cusco City Center
- Santo Domingo & Coricancha
- Plaza de Armas & Cathedral
All these are historical sites with exquisite architecture. They’re all open to tourists during the day.
Day 4, 5, & 6: Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is the main event, which is why you must spend the most time here. Also, being in one place for a bit will give you some rest.
What is Machu Picchu? Well, dating back to the 15th century, Machu Picchu is an Incan fortress, located in the Andes Mountains.
Depending on the weather, a train takes about three hours to get from Cusco to Machu Picchu.
If you need a place to stay, you can try:
- Sumaq Hotel – near Avenida Hermanos Ayar Mz 1, Aguas Calientes
- Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel – four minutes away from the train station
Of course, to explore Machu Picchu, you must book a guided tour. Wildland Trekking, Journey’s International, and Inka Rainbow are the top three Machu Picchu tour companies. You can book their tours online. Make sure to check out the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu
Each of these tours extensively explores the area, with activities like:
- Trekking in the Inca Trail
- Visiting the Sun Temple
- Climbing up to the Sun Gate
- Looking for the Intihuatana
- Climbing Huayna Picchu (the famous rock)
- Exploring the agricultural terraces
While you’re in Machu Picchu, you can also visit nearby areas like the Maras Salt Ponds.
You can take a local train to the village of Aguas Calientes. This takes about an hour and a half. Afterward, it’s a 20-minute journey to the Maras ponds.
These ponds are quaint and magical, predating the Incan civilization. There are about 5000 small ponds on the side of the mountain. The scenery is stunning, and the local food gives you the authentic Peruvian experience.
Day 7: Back to Cusco
After these three days, take a train back to Cusco. Since it’s the final day, you can leave it open for resting or packing.
However, if you want to do some light activities, you can:
- Visit San Blas (Plazoleta de San Blas) – an artsy neighborhood with lots of restaurants, cafes, and tourist shops.
- Check out San Pedro Market (located in Thupaq Amaru) – where the locals buy groceries, spices, juices, and souvenirs.
- Go to the Cusco Planetarium in Fundo Lalipata.
- Revisit the city square near Plaza de Armas.
However, since it’s the end of the trip, make sure to get rest before your flight home.
In sum, this was the Peru Itinerary 7 days you’ll want to copy. The best Peru itinerary encompasses most of Peru’s historical and cultural centers. If you’re genuinely interested in all the unique places in Peru, going by this itinerary will undoubtedly help you explore it.
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