2-Week Introductory Trek Across Peru

Advisor - Priyanka Juneja
Curated By

Priyanka Juneja

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  • Peru

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • International Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Local Culture

  • Mountains

  • Sightseeing

Advisor - 2-Week Introductory Trek Across Peru
Curator’s statement

Peru is a country of contrast, being a major South American port and also one of the key ancient civilization sites at Machu Picchu. Its topography scales similarly, with sea level locations like Lima and those which need acclimation like Aguascalientes. But it is through these differences that Peru unveils its charm – rich cuisine and ancient ruins. It’s the kind of place that you can return to again and again. There is a whole world of wonders hidden in these sacred Incan lands.

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Where to stay

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Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

Nature-focused hideaway near Machu Picchu, with 83 adobe casitas on 12 forested acres.

Sanctuary Lodge

Stay for the elegant interiors and crowd-beating location at the entrance to the citadel.

Fora Perks
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

  • Daily Breakfast for two guests per bedroom

  • A complimentary 50 minute massage for up to two people, per room, once during stay

Country Club

A grand hotel with a golf club and spa, located just outside the center in residential San Isidro.

Fora Perks
  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

  • Daily Buffet breakfast for up to two guests per bedroom per stay, served in Perroquet Restaurant

  • Complimentary lunch or dinner for two people/room, once during stay

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Advisor - Priyanka Juneja

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Day 1-2: Lima

2-Week Introductory Trek Across Peru - Day 1-2: Lima

Check into your hotel and explore

On your first day to Peru, you will likely land in its capital city – Lima. It is the best city to start off your two-week getaway in Peru and a curious destination to explore with its many culinary treasures and cultural value. Settle into your lodgings before heading out to explore the contemporary city. Being the largest city in Peru, and a port city, expect a crossroads of distinct cultures, seafood based restaurants and a staple fish market (a must visit!).

City center and unique cuisines

Grab a quick breakfast from Pastelería San Antonio, and then hire a private car (if it is within your budget) to tour the most beautiful neighborhoods around Lima, such as Miraflores, Barranco (a location with amazing street art) and the historic city center. 

End the day with dinner at Maido, a unique restaurant in the Miraflores neighborhood specializing in fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine.

A note from Priyanka

One thing I would recommend is to take a private tour on your first day in Lima so you can get a sense of your surroundings and get local recommendations on specific areas you can visit. Overall, I would say I felt safe while vacationing in Peru, but you can never be too careful!

Day 2-3: Cusco

2-Week Introductory Trek Across Peru - Day 2-3: Cusco

Now that you’ve acclimated, a flight to Cusco (or a 20-hour drive) is underway. Spend the day in the ancient city of Cusco. This is a key stopover city to visit since it is at a higher altitude than Machu Picchu, giving you a day or two to adapt to the heights. 

Wander around the city or book a walking tour to discover the artisanal markets, the local vendors and the hole-in-the-wall gems of this ancestral city. For dinner, check out A Mi Manera, a great family owned restaurant serving up the best of Peruvian cuisine.

Day 5-6: Sacred Valley

2-Week Introductory Trek Across Peru - Day 5-6: Sacred Valley

Spend the next part of your trip in Peru’s Sacred Valley. The heart of the ancient civilization is still very much alive in these lands, with incredible nature and breathtaking panoramic views. 

I would recommend booking a tour of the valley so that you can get the most out of the experience. You have the option of booking a car and exploring the region on your own, but it's best to book the tour so that you know what you’re looking at. The tour takes care of everything for you, allowing you to just sit back, relax and enjoy the view.

A note from Priyanka

MThe tour company I would recommend for a tour of the Sacred Valley is Machu Picchu Viajes Peru (and yes, they can take you to Machu Picchu itself too). They offer flawless service that takes away the worry and planning and lets you enjoy the trip.

Day 7: Aguas Calientes

2-Week Introductory Trek Across Peru - Day 7: Aguas Calientes

You’re now finally making your way to the infamous Machu Picchu. You'll start by taking a train from Ollantaytambo station to Aguas Calientas, and exploring the area before your trip to the ancient ruins. For lunch, a stop at Tree House is a must for its traditional cuisine that will fuel you for your trip. 

Dinner at Mapacho with its traditional cuisine and craft beer will get you ready for another day of adventures tomorrow.

A note from Priyanka

I recommend booking a tour for your Machu Picchu visit, although it is possible to explore the region on your own!

Day 8-9: Machu Picchu

2-Week Introductory Trek Across Peru - Day 8-9: Machu Picchu

This is the day! Enjoy the majestic sight of Machu Picchu. To make the ascend more insightful, book a tour. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and interesting – providing us with background on the history of Machu Picchu as a 15th century Inca citadel. I would recommend visiting during the off-season to avoid large crowds. 

After the tour, we spent some time exploring the ancient citadel a bit more, taking the opportunity to get some great photos before heading to lunch at Full House, which features a modern take on traditional cuisine.

A note from Priyanka

I traveled to Peru in the off-season, late November, and went to Machu Picchu in the early morning. Crowds were minimal at this time and I truly think that it is worth going during quieter seasons as big groups would have really deterred from my visit.

Day 10-12: Return to Lima

2-Week Introductory Trek Across Peru - Day 10-12: Return to Lima

Begin the day by taking an early flight from Cusco back to Lima. Once you have arrived, head over to your lodgings to drop your luggage off before setting out to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the city. I recommend a trip to Larcomar, a shopping center, followed by a stroll down Barranco for the amazing street art. 

Finally, the cherry atop our trip was a 13-course meal at Astrid y Gaston, one of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants, by patron saint of modern Peruvian cuisine Gastón Acurio. The restaurant focuses on raw, traditional Pervurian ingredients and ancient recipes to create contemporary plated art.

A note from Priyanka

I’m a vegetarian, and so all of the food recommendations I’ve included have plenty of vetted options for anyone on a plant-based diet.

Advisor - Priyanka Juneja

Travel Advisor

Priyanka Juneja

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