9 Day Peru Itinerary

by Meghdut

Picture this: you, as a travel planner, have been tasked with creating the perfect itinerary for travelers looking to explore the captivating wonders of Peru. Over the course of nine unforgettable days, you will take them on a journey through ancient ruins, vibrant markets, and breathtaking landscapes. From the ancient city of Machu Picchu to the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, this itinerary will immerse your travelers in the rich history and natural beauty that Peru has to offer. Get ready to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure across the enchanting landscapes of Peru.

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Arrival at Jorge Chavez International Airport

Welcome to Lima, the vibrant capital city of Peru! Your adventure begins as you arrive at Jorge Chavez International Airport. Step off the plane and take a deep breath, as you are about to embark on an unforgettable journey through this enchanting country.

Transfer to hotel

After your arrival at the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel in Lima. Sit back and relax as you soak in the sights and sounds of the city on your way to your accommodation.

Exploring Lima’s historic center

Once you have settled into your hotel, it’s time to explore the historic center of Lima. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture as you stroll through the colonial streets, admiring the beautifully preserved architecture. Don’t forget to visit the stunning Plaza de Armas, the heart of the city, and take in the grandeur of the Cathedral of Lima and the Government Palace.

Optional activities: Visit the Larco Museum

For those interested in delving deeper into Peru’s history, a visit to the Larco Museum is highly recommended. This world-renowned museum houses an impressive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, including an extensive collection of ancient pottery and gold and silver pieces. Learn about the fascinating civilizations that once thrived in this region.

Accommodation: Hotel in Lima

After a day full of discoveries, relax and unwind in the comfort of your hotel in Lima. Get a good night’s rest and prepare for the next leg of your Peruvian adventure.

Day 2: Exploring Cusco

Flight to Cusco

Today, you will catch a flight from Lima to Cusco, the gateway to the mystical wonders of Machu Picchu. Sit back and enjoy the scenic journey through the Andes mountains as you make your way to this ancient city.

Transfer to hotel

Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be transferred to your hotel. Take some time to acclimate to the high altitude and let your body adjust to the change in elevation. Drink plenty of water and allow yourself to rest before setting out to explore.

Acclimatization and rest

Cusco is located at an altitude of over 11,000 feet (3,400 meters), and it’s important to let your body adjust to the thin air. Take it easy on your first day in Cusco, walk at a leisurely pace, and avoid any strenuous activities to avoid altitude sickness.

Optional activities: Visit the Qorikancha Temple and Sacsayhuaman

If you’re feeling up to it, visit the Qorikancha Temple, also known as the Temple of the Sun. This ancient Inca site was once the most important religious and ceremonial center in the Inca empire. Marvel at the precision stonework and learn about the spiritual significance of this sacred place.

Next, head to Sacsayhuaman, an impressive Inca fortress located just outside of Cusco. Explore the massive stone walls and marvel at the remarkable engineering prowess of the Incas.

Accommodation: Hotel in Cusco

After a day of exploring, return to your hotel in Cusco and unwind. Take some time to relax and rest up for the adventures that await you in the days to come.

Day 3: Sacred Valley Tour

Full-day tour of the Sacred Valley

Today, prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking beauty of the Sacred Valley. Embark on a full-day tour of this picturesque region, known for its stunning landscapes and archaeological sites.

Visit to Pisac Market and Ruins

Your first stop is the colorful Pisac Market, where you can immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture. Browse the stalls filled with traditional handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs. Don’t forget to sample some delicious Peruvian cuisine from the local food vendors.

After exploring the market, make your way to the Pisac Ruins. Perched high above the valley, these ancient Inca ruins offer sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Marvel at the intricate terraces and the impressive agricultural and ceremonial structures.

Exploring Ollantaytambo

Continue your journey to the charming town of Ollantaytambo. This living Inca village is famous for its well-preserved Inca fortress and its narrow cobblestone streets. Take a leisurely stroll through the town, soak in the atmosphere, and visit the fascinating archaeological site.

Optional activities: Maras Salt Mines and Moray

For those looking to delve deeper into the history and culture of the region, consider visiting the Maras Salt Mines and the Moray archaeological site. The Maras Salt Mines are a network of thousands of salt pans that have been used for centuries by local communities. Moray, on the other hand, is a unique Inca site featuring circular agricultural terraces that were used for experimental farming.

Accommodation: Hotel in Ollantaytambo

After a day filled with awe-inspiring sights, settle into your hotel in Ollantaytambo. Relax and recharge, as tomorrow you will embark on the highlight of your trip – a visit to the magnificent Machu Picchu.

Day 4: Machu Picchu

Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes

Get ready for the moment you’ve been waiting for – a visit to the iconic Machu Picchu. Catch a train from Ollantaytambo to the town of Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu.

Bus to Machu Picchu

From Aguas Calientes, board a bus that will take you up the winding road to the entrance of Machu Picchu. As the bus ascends, anticipation builds for the awe-inspiring sight that awaits you.

Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Step foot into the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu and prepare to be amazed. Explore the fascinating ruins with a knowledgeable guide who will bring the history and stories of this mystical place to life. Marvel at the precision stonework, the intricate terraces, and the stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Optional activities: Hike to Huayna Picchu

For the adventurous souls, consider embarking on a hike to the summit of Huayna Picchu, the iconic mountain that overlooks Machu Picchu. This challenging hike offers breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment for those who make it to the top. Please note that reservations for this hike need to be made in advance.

Return to Cusco

After exploring Machu Picchu, return to Aguas Calientes by bus and catch a train back to Cusco. Reflect on the incredible sights and memories you have made as you make your way back to the city.

Accommodation: Hotel in Cusco

Upon your return to Cusco, rest and relax in your hotel. Take some time to process the beauty and grandeur of Machu Picchu and the fascinating history you have experienced.

Day 5: Free Day in Cusco

Explore the city at your own pace

Today, take the opportunity to explore the city of Cusco at your own leisure. Wander through the cobbled streets, soak in the vibrant atmosphere, and discover hidden gems tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the city.

Optional activities: Museums and markets

If you’re interested in learning more about Peruvian history and culture, visit some of Cusco’s fascinating museums, such as the Museo Inka or the Museo de Arte Precolombino. Alternatively, meander through the local markets, sampling delicious street food and picking up unique souvenirs to take home.

Accommodation: Hotel in Cusco

After a day of exploration or relaxation, return to your hotel in Cusco and savor the remaining time in this magical city.

Day 6: Nazca Lines

Flight from Cusco to Nazca

Today, you will embark on an exciting adventure to witness one of the world’s most mysterious landmarks – the Nazca Lines. Catch a flight from Cusco to Nazca and prepare for a bird’s-eye view of these enigmatic geoglyphs.

Aerial tour to see the Nazca Lines

Board a small plane for an unforgettable aerial tour over the Nazca desert. From above, marvel at the intricate and massive figures etched into the earth, such as the hummingbird, the spider, and the astronaut. Let your imagination roam as you try to uncover the secrets behind these ancient works of art.

Optional activities: Visit Chauchilla Cemetery

For those with an interest in ancient civilizations and archaeology, a visit to Chauchilla Cemetery is highly recommended. This ancient burial site dates back 1,000 years and is home to well-preserved mummies and artifacts from the Nazca culture.

Transfer to Paracas

After exploring the Nazca Lines, you will be transferred to the coastal town of Paracas. Situated along the majestic Pacific Ocean, Paracas is known for its stunning natural beauty and abundant wildlife.

Accommodation: Hotel in Paracas

Check into your hotel in Paracas and take some time to relax and enjoy the seaside atmosphere. Rest up for the adventures that await you in the days to come.

Day 7: Ballestas Islands and Huacachina

Boat tour to the Ballestas Islands

Get ready to encounter an incredible array of marine wildlife as you embark on a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands. Known as the “Galapagos of Peru,” these islands are home to thousands of birds, sea lions, and even penguins. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of dolphins and whales in the surrounding waters.

Optional activities: Sandboarding and dune buggies in Huacachina

After exploring the Ballestas Islands, make your way to Huacachina, a desert oasis surrounded by towering sand dunes. For thrill-seekers, try your hand at sandboarding, gliding down the sandy slopes on a board. Alternatively, hop on a dune buggy and enjoy an adrenaline-pumping ride through the desert terrain.

Transfer to Lima

Bid farewell to Paracas and make your way back to Lima, the bustling capital city. Sit back and enjoy the scenic drive as you reflect on the incredible natural wonders you have witnessed.

Accommodation: Hotel in Lima

Return to your hotel in Lima and take the evening to relax and unwind. Rest up for your final day in Peru, as you explore the vibrant city of Lima.

Day 8: Lima City Tour

Guided tour of Lima’s main attractions

Today, embark on a guided tour of Lima’s main attractions. Discover the modern districts of Miraflores and San Isidro, known for their beautiful parks, upscale shopping, and stunning ocean views.

Visit to the Gold Museum

One of the highlights of the city tour is a visit to the Gold Museum. Marvel at the impressive collection of ancient gold artifacts and learn about the rich history of the civilizations that once inhabited this land.

Optional activities: Visit Barranco district

For those looking to soak in the bohemian and artistic vibes of Lima, a visit to the Barranco district is a must. Explore the charming streets lined with colorful colonial buildings, visit art galleries and museums, and relax in the lively Plaza de Barranco.

Accommodation: Hotel in Lima

After a day of exploration, return to your hotel and reflect on the fascinating encounters and memories you have made throughout your journey in Peru.

Day 9: Departure

Transfer to Jorge Chavez International Airport

It’s time to bid farewell to Peru as you are transferred to Jorge Chavez International Airport for your flight back home. Take one last look at the beauty and diversity of this remarkable country as you say goodbye.

Flight back home

Board your flight back home, cherishing the memories of your incredible 9-day adventure in Peru. Reflect on the breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality that has made this journey truly unforgettable. Until next time, Peru!

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