Ultimate Peru: Mountains to Sea

Advisor - Caroline Dietrich
Curated By

Caroline Dietrich

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A man standing on a mountain in daytime.
Curator’s statement

Peru isn't just a destination; it's an exhilarating journey that's etched in my heart forever. My very own Peruvian adventure was born out of the shared passion for exploration among my best friends, and it was the trip that sparked my love for travel planning. Together, we embarked on a trip of a lifetime through this amazing country and found a land of breathtaking views, unforgettable wonders and beautiful people.

The Fora Difference

Book with Caroline to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

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Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in Peru

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

An intimate Andean village with terraced hills, waterfalls, stone pathways and 83 whitewashed adobe casitas tucked away in the cloud forest.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • Complimentary lunch & dinner.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Cusco

Centuries-old Cusco mansion that embraces Peruvian culture with modern conveniences.

Fora Perks
  • Complimentary round-trip private airport transfers

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel

This luxury hotel combines personalized service, exceptional dining and indulgent facilities to create the perfect base from which to explore Lima.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Unlock perks by contacting Caroline to book your trip.

Things to do in Peru

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Imagine a place where ancient civilizations meet modern marvels, where lush rainforests transform into towering mountains that plunge into captivating coastlines and where culinary delights orchestrate a symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds.

Our adventure began in Lima, a city where the culinary scene is nothing short of mesmerizing. As the sun kissed the Pacific, Lima came alive with vibrant energy. Any foodie knows that if you're going to Lima, you must try the famous "Central". Led by chef Virgilio Martínez, patrons are invited on an unforgettable gastronomic voyage through Peru's diverse ecosystems and altitudes. For a taste of the sea, "La Mar" served up mouthwatering ceviche that was nothing short of a revelation. As we wandered through Lima's neighborhoods, each with its own unique character, we couldn't help but fall in love with the rich tapestry of Peruvian culture, new and old.

Where to stay in Lima

Belmond Miraflores Park - Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this luxurious hotel offers impeccable service, stunning ocean views and an outdoor pool. It's located in the upscale Miraflores district and features elegant rooms and exceptional dining options.

Casa Andina Select Miraflores - This well-appointed hotel is situated in the heart of Miraflores and offers comfortable rooms, modern amenities and a rooftop terrace with city views. It provides a great balance of quality and affordability.

Our journey then took us south to the Ica Valley, where the Tacama Winery, South America's oldest vineyard, stood as a testament to tradition. Here, we savored the rich flavors of Peruvian wines amid serene vineyards in the middle of the arid desert. Later, in the oasis town of Huacachina, we embarked on an exhilarating sandboarding adventure, combining adrenaline with relaxation against the backdrop of the sun setting over the Pacific coast.

Next, we ventured eastward into the heart of the Andes, where Cusco, the historical heart of the Inca Empire, awaited. It was here that we delved into intriguing local customs, including the practice of eating guinea pig, a true Peruvian delicacy. Our exploration of the cobblestone streets and markets unveiled a world of rich traditions and vibrant colors, matched only by the warmth of the people. Don't miss Chicha restaurant by renowned chef Gastón Acurio, offering a traditional take on contemporary Peruvian cuisine.

Where to stay in Cusco

Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel - Located near Cusco's main square, this opulent hotel boasts a historic setting, luxurious rooms and top-notch services. It's a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern comfort.

Tierra Viva Cusco Centro - Situated in a central location, this semi-luxury hotel offers comfortable accommodations with Peruvian touches. It's a convenient and charming option for exploring Cusco.

Day by day, our journey led us closer to the heart of the Andes, at the beginning of the Salkantay Trek, guided by our local guide, Coco. This challenging yet rewarding trek unveils breathtaking landscapes, from snow-capped peaks to lush forests. Each evening, our camp transformed into a haven with delicious meals crafted by our own skilled chefs using only local ingredients. The glass domes in the Salkantay Valley, where we spent nights one and two, provided a celestial spectacle that etched the night sky with a million stars.

On the second day of our trek, we embarked on a steep ascent to Lake Humantay, a sight so breathtaking that it felt like a well-earned treasure amid nature's grandeur. Our guide, Coco, told us tales of Andean life and legends into our journey. We embraced the Peruvian concept of "Pachamama," feeling her presence in every step and every encounter with nature.

As our trek reached its end, we boarded a glass-ceilinged train that cut its path through the Amazon. Along the way, we connected with locals in the ancient Incan town of Ollantaytambo, sharing a taste of "chicha" in the home of a gracious Peruvian woman. This experience connected us intimately with the culture and warmth of the people. In Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu, we took a dip in the soothing hot springs to rejuvenate our tired muscles before our destination.

Where to stay near Machu Picchu

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel - Nestled in the lush cloud forest, this luxury eco-lodge offers a serene retreat. It features beautiful accommodations, exquisite dining and access to the breathtaking natural surroundings.

Casa del Sol Machu Picchu - This semi-luxury hotel provides comfortable rooms, excellent service and an ideal location for those visiting Machu Picchu. It's a fantastic choice for a comfortable stay.

Our journey reached its peak as we stood atop the ruins of Machu Picchu, an archeological marvel and one of the seven wonders of the world. As we explored the ancient citadel, we were transported back in time to the era of the Incas. Machu Picchu not only connected us to those who stood there in the past but also inspired gratitude for the journey we had just undertaken.

Peru, from its mountains to the sea, is more than an adventure; it's a journey that imprints memories for a lifetime. From Lima's stunning coastline to the highest peaks of the Andes, there's a stark contrast in the beauty of Peru's landscapes, but what truly captivates and beckons you to stay is the incredible kindness of its people. This adventure is an invitation to immerse yourself in Peru's rich tapestry of experiences. Now, it's your turn to embark on this life-changing adventure. ¡Vamos! (Let's go!)

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Lauren Martin’s guide, Popping around Peru: 6 Day Peru Itinerary.

Advisor - Caroline Dietrich

Travel Advisor

Caroline Dietrich

Get in touch with Caroline

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Peru.