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Peru is one of those destinations that hits everyone’s bucket list. I mean what’s not to love about the country? Peru is home to the iconic Machu Picchu, the Amazon jungle, and the rainbow mountains. If you are a person who is always scouring for a place to travel, you’ve probably already seen these pictures all over the internet. All that’s left is to book a flight and pack your bags for 7 days in Peru.
Haven’t figured out a 1 week in Peru itinerary yet? Don’t worry. We have you covered. From the perfect destinations for your trip to the transport, let’s take a look at how to make your 7 days in Peru count.
You are going to have to bear in mind that this 7 days in Peru itinerary is packed with loads of things to do. You just can’t help it. There is so much to see and do in the country. Plus, transport from one location to the next takes time. Be prepared to always be on the move.
Lima: Day 1 Of The 7 Days In Peru Itinerary
Lima is the capital city of Peru. Odds are, you are likely to enter the country through the international airport located here. Located on the Pacific coast, this bustling metropolitan city is the best introduction to the country that you could get. While many people stop in and out of Lima, I highly recommend staying a night or two here.
Lima is famous for its flavorful cuisine, gorgeous sunsets, and for impressive cathedral. In fact, people even call it the gastronomic cathedral of South America! So if you love food, you can rest assured that you will fall in love with the city.
Plus stopping in the capital also helps you get your basic necessities sorted out. You can exchange currency, find a sim card and get a feel of the culture before you move off from the more urban part of the country.
While you are roaming through the city, keep an eye out for Peru tours. The next day will be spent on an island and a desert oasis. So don’t forget to book your tour to the Ballestas islands and to Huacachina for the next day. Alternatively, you can also book the tours online.
Ballestas Islands & Huacachina: Day 2 Of The 7 Days In Peru Itinerary
The second day of your week in Peru itinerary would involve heading to the gorgeous Ballestas islands. You can book this trip in advance or you can book it on your first day in Lima. The Ballestas islands are often compared to the popular Galapagos islands. This is a stop that you really don’t want to miss.
The Ballestas islands are famous for their sea lions, seals, and a number of rare species of birds. Yes! The boat tour will give you a chance to see these amazing animals up close.
Once you return back to Lima, you can head to Huacachina. If you think nothing can compare to the wild beauty of the Ballestas islands then think again. Huacachina is a desert oasis. Here you can indulge in a lot of adventure activities like sandboarding down the desert dunes.
There are many tours that combine both these spots. I would recommend looking at those so that you don’t have to coordinate between two different tour companies.
Cusco: Day 3 Of The 7 Days In Peru Itinerary
Day 3 involves heading closer to Machu Picchu. The aim is to head from Lima to Cusco. Cusco is the closest town to Machu Picchu. It also has plenty of things to do.
Now there are different ways to do this. You can choose to take a bus. If you do so, I would recommend leaving on Day 2 evening so that you save time and travel through the night.
You can also drive there or hire someone to drive you. The advantage of using road transport is that it helps you acclimatize to the change in altitude. Gradual acclimatization is always recommended otherwise you can suffer from altitude sickness.
Unfortunately, whether you go by bus or by car, the route takes anywhere between 22 to 27 hours. It is long, tedious, and difficult. With just 7 days in Peru, you will have a time crunch. That means you want to get from Lima to Cusco fast. It leaves the last option which is to take a flight.
The flight from Lima to Cusco is a short one. This is good because it saves time. The downside is that you do not have much time to acclimatize to the altitude change. This is why it is better to stay in Cusco during day 3 and do things in the city.
A perfect thing to do is to plan to reach in the early hours of the day and to head out to explore the Inca ruins. Again, you can book the tour in advance.
Short Inca Trail To Machu Picchu: Day 4 Of The 7 Days In Peru Itinerary
It is now time to start making your way towards Machu Picchu. Don’t expect to be able to head to the site right away though. You have to head closer to the destination first. One great way is to start hiking along the famous Inca trail. The trail heads in the direction of Machu Picchu.
This is a great idea for multiple reasons. It gives you a chance to acclimatize to the changing altitude, it takes you away from the noise of the city and the trail has some really interesting archaeological sites.
Intipunku also known as the Sun Gate is one of the iconic stops along the way. In fact, keep your phones and cameras ready because this spot offers some spectacular views.
The evening will be spent in a place called Aguas Calientes. This spot is great to kick back and relax. After the hike, you probably really want to rest your feet. It is also the best place to start out to Machu Picchu from.
Machu Picchu: Day 5 Of The 7 Days In Peru Itinerary
Machu Picchu requires an early start to the day. Remember that Agua Calientes is still a distance away from the site. In order to reach Machu Picchu, you need to catch a bus which will take 25 – 30 minutes to traverse the distance.
Since Machu Picchu is so famous, it is almost always crowded. The only way to try and avoid the crowds is to be one of the first people to arrive. It will also give you a nice long time to enjoy the site. You will have to leave back in the mid-afternoon though. This is because you need to catch a bus back to Cusco.
Plus Rainbow mountain requires more trekking. So you will need the rest in between.
Rainbow Mountain: Day 6 Of The 7 Days In Peru Itinerary
Rainbow mountain is a really colorful place that is not far away from Cusco. In fact, the rainbow mountain is actually Mount Vinicunca. It got the name rainbow because of the myriad of colors caused by the minerals that were deposited over millions of years.
At 16,000 feet above sea level, it is one of those hikes that people love to head out on. There are loads of tours that head out from Cusco here every day. This involves getting up early in the morning. The bus ride from Cusco takes about 3-4 hours. Expect your tour to pick you up as early as 4 or 5 in the morning. After 2 hours, they usually stop for a quick breakfast before continuing on.
The actual trek up Rainbow mountain is 7 km which roughly translates into a 1.5 – 2 hour walk. Most tour guides will allow for about 2.5-3 hours at the side. This accounts for a nice half an hour’s rest at the top where you can click photographs of the iconic mountain.
With this done, you will then embark on the long bus ride back. Luckily there is a short stop for lunch on the way.
Lima: Day 7 Of The 7 Days In Peru Itinerary
The last day of the trip involves heading back to Lima. You can choose to spend some time in the city before you depart or just head out on a connecting flight.
And there you have it. The perfect 7 days in Peru itinerary covers the iconic Machu Picchu and the rainbow mountains. The itinerary takes you through both the urban part of the country and the wide open spaces. The hikes are beautiful and the archeological sites are mind-blowing. Peru is a country that keeps calling people back. There is always more to explore and experience.