A lifetime might not be enough to discover all Peru has to offer. Converging some of the most spectacularly varied landscapes on the planet, this “megadiverse” country boasts a vast tropical rainforest and staggering spectrum of altitudes and climates.
Although most foreigners and Peruvians themselves associate Peru with the Andes, some two-thirds of the national territory is Amazon jungle – an area teeming with life.
Meanwhile, the coast is one of the world’s driest deserts, and home to a dazzling display of marine species, including humpback whales that you can sometimes see breach from shore along the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
As if Peru’s natural bounty wasn’t enough, the country displays a lengthy list of archaeological and architectural gems. Machu Picchu, the country’s best known treasure, is one of many others that are more than worth a visit. They span a myriad of pre-Inca civilizations and the colonial period when the Spaniards put up breath-taking churches and mansions across the country.
Days 1 - 4
Lima, the former Spanish Vice-Royal capital of South America, is home to some of the most remarkable colonial architecture on the continent. Over the years, this bustling city became famous as a gastronomic hub with several restaurants ranking in the top 10 of “the World’s 50 Best Restaurants”! As a city bordering the Pacific Ocean, Lima and its neighboring southern districts are perfect to catch some solid waves or try out other nautical sports.
Best time to visit: December to May
Climate: Mild temperatures, high humidity, sporadic drizzles in winter
Yearly temperatures: Min: 14.9°C – 58.8°F | Max: 26.8°C – 80.2°F
Altitude: sea level
The Sacred Valley
Days 4 - 7
The Sacred Valley is the ideal starting point to travel on to Machu Picchu and Cusco thanks to its moderate altitude, pleasant climate, beautiful scenery, picturesque villages, and friendly local people. Plentiful original Inca sites, local artisan markets, and even hiking or soft adventure activities ensure that the valley caters to every taste.
Best time to visit: April and May
Climate: Sunny days, but chilly nights. The rainy season (December to March) may bring sporadic heavy rains, but not necessarily every day.
Yearly temperatures: Min: 4°C – 39.2°F | Max: 24°C – 75.2°F
Altitude: 2,765 m a.s.l. – 9,075 ft a.s.l.
Days 7 - 9
Cusco was the ancient capital and spiritual heart of the Inca Empire, as well as an important commercial center during the colonial period. While strolling its cobblestone streets, you will see both marvelous Inca architecture and Andean Baroque structures. Today, Cusco is also known for its extraordinary handicrafts and is home to some of Peru’s most talented textile and ceramic artists.
Best time to visit: April to October
Climate: Sunny days, but chilly nights. Rainy season (December to March) may bring sporadic heavy rains, but not necessarily every day.
Yearly temperatures: Min: 0.2°C – 32.9°F | Max: 20.9°C – 69.6°F
Altitude: 3,400 m a.s.l. – 11,150 ft a.s.l.