3-Week Itinerary: Peru Travel Guide

3-Week Itinerary: Peru Travel Guide


Peru is one of the most popular countries in South America due to its extraordinary diversity and the world-famous Machu Picchu. Having 28 of the world’s 32 climates in a single country provides an abundance of reasons to visit Peru. Hike to pristine lagoons and mountain peaks with rainbow-colored peaks. Explore deserts, coastlines, and the Amazon. Learn about their culture, wildlife, and delectable cuisine. Also, Alpacas. Several Alpacas!

Peru Travel Guide: 3-Week Itinerary

Due to the availability of convenient buses and aircraft, three weeks is a sufficient amount of time to explore Peru. Here is a day-by-day travel guide for Peru. Explore the locations of this route’s highlights on our map of Peru.

  • Day 1–3: Lima
  • Day 4: Paracas
  • Day 5–6: Huacachina
  • Day 7–9: Arequipa
  • Day 10–12: Cusco
  • Day 13: Sacred Valley
  • Day 14: Machu Picchu
  • Day 15: Back to Cusco
  • Day 16: Rainbow Mountain
  • Day 17–20: Iquitos Amazon
  • Day 21: Lima, the final day of the Peru travel guide

Day 1–3: Lima

Hello! This is Lima, the capital city of Peru. This city in Peru, built along the beautiful coastline, is a great place to begin your trip. Explore the artist area of Barranco, ride a bike along the city and coastline, and try Peru’s famous dish ‘Ceviche’.

Day 4: Paracas

Every day, something amazing happens with the animals at the Ballestas Islands in Paracas. Many sea birds dive into the water to catch fish that are being chased by sea lions.

Paracas is a small and relaxed village that is perfect for spending the night, going on a tour of the Paracas National Reserve, and doing a Pisco Wine tasting tour.

Hacienda San Jose:

When you’re going to Paracas, take a break and visit the pretty Hacienda San Jose country house. There is a tunnel system under the house that is 9 kilometers long. It was used to smuggle African people to work on farms and avoid taxes. You can enter the tunnels and learn about the dark history that happened there.

Lima to Paracas:

You can reach Paracas by bus in just 3 hours. It’s best to book your bus ticket online with a reliable company or take a public bus.

Day 5–6: Huacachina

Big sand hills in South America around a small lake with pretty palm trees. You should visit Huacachina in Peru because it’s a really cool oasis that you won’t find anywhere else. Watch the sunset from the top of a dune, take a tour of the desert in a sand buggy, and spend the night there.

Paracas to Huacachina:

You can reach Huacachina by taking a bus from Paracas, which only takes 45 minutes. There is no public transportation available, but you can hire a taxi from Ica or book a bus tour company.

Day 7–9: Arequipa

Arequipa is a big city in Peru that is surrounded by volcanoes. It is the second-largest city in the country. Most tourists only visit Machu Picchu, so this place is often overlooked. Arequipa is a beautiful city that is great to explore by walking. The historical center has white colonial buildings that make you feel like you’re walking in Europe.

The city is situated at a height of 2,400 meters. You need to get used to this altitude before visiting the city of Cusco, which is even higher.

Nazca Lines:

As you travel to Arequipa, you’ll see the Nazca Lines. They’re ancient drawings on the desert floor that are over 2000 years old. The tower by the highway lets you see drawings of a tree and hands really well. You can also book a flight to view the Nazca lines from the sky.

Huacachina to Arequipa:

Taking the overnight bus from Huachachina to Arequipa is a comfy and convenient way to travel a far distance. The bus trip lasts for 12 hours, but it will make a stop at the Nazca Lines viewing tower.

Day 10–12: Cusco

Cusco is the starting point for visiting the Sacred Valley and Macchu Picchu. This cute city has cobblestone streets and is located at a high altitude of 3,200 meters. It may take some time to adjust to the height. Cusco is a great city with pretty buildings, churches, museums, and really good restaurants!

Arequipa to Cusco:

On the eighth day in Arequipa, you can either take a bus through Puno or fly directly to Cusco. To visit the floating villages of Puno, just add an extra day to your travel plans in Peru.

Day 13: Sacred Valley

Once you get used to the altitude in Cusco, visit the amazing Sacred Valley. Explore places such as Moray circular terraces, Pisac, Maras Salt Mines, and Ollantaytambo. Take the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, which is also called Machu Picchu town. If you stay overnight in Aguas Calientes, you can wake up early and watch the sunrise on Machu Picchu mountain.

Day 14: Machu Picchu

Wake up early because today is the most important day of your 3-week trip to Peru! Machu Picchu is an ancient Incan city that was lost for a long time. It’s located on a mountain and it’s best to visit it during sunrise. Explore Machu Picchu in the morning and make sure to get your passport stamped as a souvenir.

Take it easy in Aguas Calientes for the rest of the afternoon since you’ll need to rest after waking up early.

Day 15: Back to Cusco

Take the morning train from Aguas Calientes back to Ollantaytambo after spending the night there. Two trains leave in the morning at 8:30 and 10:32. Don’t forget to buy your tickets ahead of time. This train ride is one of the most beautiful in the world. There are many windows that let you see the whole Sacred Valley.

Ollantaytambo to Cusco:

To go back to Cusco by taxi, it takes about 1.5 hours and costs around 100 SOL (30 USD). You can take a local bus from Ollantaytambo to Cusco. It will take 2 hours and cost around 30 SOL (9 USD).

Day 16: Rainbow Mountain

Get ready for a challenging hike up to the rainbow-colored mountain top of Palccoyo, which is 5000 meters high. The colors of the rainbow, made of different metals, were hidden by snow on mountains. But now, because of climate change, they will be seen in the summer. A special thing to do during your trip to Peru.

Day 17–20: Iquitos Amazon

Go from the mountains to the jungle and spend your final days in the Amazon jungle of Peru. You can reach the Amazon by taking a boat on the river from the city of Iquitos, which is located deep inside the jungle. You can stay at a lodge by the river and see sloths, pink dolphins, and birds. You can also visit a nearby tribe.

Cusco to Iquitos:

Iquitos is in the middle of the jungle and you can only get there by taking a 2-hour flight from Cusco because there are no roads. Make sure to plan ahead because flights to Iquitos are not available every day.

Day 21: Lima- Final Day At Peru

On the 20th day in the evening, return to Lima and spend the last day in the city enjoying tasty ceviche and buying souvenirs.

Iquitos to Lima:

Take one of the two-hour flights that operate daily from Iquitos to Lima.

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