When it comes to adventurous vacations, the right itinerary is key. Personally, I like to look at books from Lonely Planet and more places like this to show me what can I do. And based on this, I would actually choose the itinerary. A lot of times I’m not good with planning my time there. Often I would spend too much time there, which is how I felt about Lima. More often I would spend too little time, like in Arequipa. And that is far worse. Which is why I decided to make a post just about itinerary about how to spend two weeks in Peru.
Two weeks in Peru
Let’s face is, Peru is a really big country, the shortest time of traveling I spend there was when I went from Lima to Paracas. So my itinerary is mainly about what to do in southern Peru, where is also most of the touristic things I blogged about for about three months now. The issue here is that you can spend one month in Peru and still won’t be bored. So my two weeks are mainly just to get a taste of what can you see here. It might not seem like a lot, but this is still a good variety of seeing different things. So check the itinerary, pack your bags and go for your adventure.
Day 1 – 2 Paracas
After you arrive in Lima, jump to the bus to Paracas. It is a very small village, people here are living mainly out of fishery and tourism. But at the same time, there isn’t really too much thing to do except for seeing the Ballestas Islas. So book a tour on the next day morning and rest a bit after the flight. After the tour, head to the bus station and head to Ica.
Day 2 -4 Huacachina
I would say that Huacachina is ideal place on where to spend 2 days for rest, very often after long haul flight. It is a little magical oasis. I arrived in the afternoon, so I just walked a little bit around the lake and enjoyed my dinner. The day after I hiked around the sand dunes and in the evening I went for buggy rides and to watch the sunset in the desert. Spend the next day by relaxing and book a night bus to Arequipa.
Day 4-6 Arequipa
When you arrive in Arequipa, spend the whole day exploring the city. It is big and beautiful. There are generally only a few things you really shouldn’t miss. So it is good if you book a tour to Colca canyon on the next day. Or alternatively, book a two-day trip and then talk about the transfer from Colca canyon directly to Puno.
Day 6-8 Puno
When going to Puno, expect higher elevation and possible altitude sickness. But that shouldn’t stop you from exploring the city too much. I got to the hotel quite late in the evening, so I just went for dinner in the city and got to see some of the nightlife and night shops. On the next day, I went for a tour to see the reef islands and then I walked around the historic center. I waited around Lake Titicaca to see the sunset and on the next morning early morning I took off for Cuzco.
Day 8-11 Cuzco
If you arrive in Cuzco in the afternoon, make sure you have the whole next day exploring the city. There is a lot to see and Cuzco is a fun city to explore in general. On your second day, think about booking a tour either to Inka sights or to the Rainbow mountain. If you are interested in alternative tour to Rainbow mountain, here is your guide. Both of it is a really interesting experience and you definitely shouldn’t miss it during your two weeks in Peru.
Day 12 Machu Picchu
And we finally get to the one and only thing that most people traveling to Peru don’t want to miss. Machu Picchu. Personally, I did a one day trip, but there is a lot of ways of how to get to that spectacular sight. But whichever way you choose, it is really something big to see. So make sure you choose correctly so you have enough time for exploring and actually see the things you want to see. If you heard about new rules for entering Machu Picchu, check out this guide, it is very helpful.
Day 13-14 Lima
After seeing Machu Picchu, hop on the plane from Cuzco to Lima. In general, there isn’t too much to do in Lima, but after almost two weeks of adventure, everyone deserves a little bit of rest and Lima is definitely a good city for relaxing. There are some interesting sights, so don’t forget to check them out before you head home.
When to spend two weeks in Peru
When it comes to Peru, timing your trip is crucial. The main season is in the Peruvian wintertime, which is from June till about September. Those days you get to see clear skies in the mountains where I have most of my itinerary anyway. But you should still expect very cold nights and especially in areas with a higher altitude, it is really going to be cold.
If you want to go in the summertime, you can go around November till February. In that time humidity in mountain reaches the peak and very often it is misty and cloudy. On the other hand, the coast is perfect during this time.
A lot of travelers prefer to come in shoulder season around April, where there are generally not that many cloudy days in the mountains and it is still relatively warm weather.
General info about two weeks in Peru
When taking a taxi… be sure about the price before you hop in. Also, don’t put your bag there before you are in. It is best to have a bag somewhere close to you.
When taking a bus… It is generally better to take a touristic bus, these are better guarded and less often jumped by thieves. For overnight bus, it is better to reserve it in advance, these tickets might be quickly gone.
When booking a hotel… make sure it exists by trying to talking to them first. That might generally help to avoid all kinds of hotel scams.
When drinking a local tea… It is very common to drink local coca tea, but you need to know that if you will take any drug test anytime soon after, you will probably be positive on cocaine.
When ordering in restaurants… Peru is a big country, so if you order food in a restaurant, choose what you want to eat based on the region you are in. For example, don’t eat fish salad somewhere in the mountains. The fish won’t be fresh and you might get sick
If you get altitude sickness… slow down, stay in the area until you get used to it. Drink coca tea, ask your hotel for a bottle of oxygen. But don’t go anywhere further until you get better, it might be life-threatening.
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