Many people probably think that 14 days for a holiday is quite tight. While that can be true and false at the same time, for Peru, it’s definitely false. Peru is big, and sitting in the middle of the great Andes Mountains, which means moving from one place to another, can be challenging.
But luckily, there are many domestic airports around the country. If you have limited time, such as 2 weeks in Peru, getting from city to city no longer requires a long bus ride. A quick hop on a plane, and you are set to go.
Peru is a big country, but 14 days is plenty as long as you plan accordingly and know which places you want to see. I will list three travel itineraries for Peru for you to choose from or pull inspiration from when writing your itinerary.
MUST-CHECK: Compilation of 2 weeks in South America itineraries
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING PERU
Peru is one of those destinations where you want to plan things ahead of time. Not only for the best weather condition but also because it has one of the world’s ancient ruins under specific regulations to ensure that it won’t be destroyed.
Here are some tips for visiting and travelling to Peru:
When is the best time to go to
The dry season is from May to October, the best months to visit Peru. You don’t have to worry about getting your tour cancelled due to the bad weather. However, you should also remember that this is the busiest season.
If you plan to travel to Peru in these months, make sure to book your hotel, flights, and, most importantly, Machu Picchu tickets months in advance. The ticket to Machu Picchu is limited daily to ensure that the citadel will be preserved.
Getting around in Peru is quite easy. Inside the city, you can use ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Easy Taxi, Didi Chuxing, Grab, and Cabify. To get from one city to another, let’s say Lima to Cusco. You can either take the bus or take a short flight.
Spending 2 weeks in Peru, it’s best to take domestic flights than buses (unless planes are not an option like getting to Huaraz). This will save you time and make moving around a lot more convenient.
Language and currency
It was so easy to communicate with a local in Peru, a lot of them speak excellent English and are happy to help, especially in tourist destinations such as Lima and Cusco. On the other hand, you can simply download Spanish on your translator app, it’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for day-to-day tasks.
Peru uses Sol as their currency (country code PEN). You can’t pay with international currencies such as USD, GBP, or Euro. However, hotels and tour agencies will accept bank card payments, while finding ATM machines is very easy.
Peru has a very friendly visa policy. Travellers from North America, most parts of Latin America, almost all of Europe, Oceania, many East and Southeast Asia, and South Africa can enter Peru without a visa for 183 days.
Visitors from most of Africa, Gulf countries, South Asia, Central Asia, and some Southeast Asia must apply for a visa beforehand.
Travel arrangement tools
2 WEEKS IN PERU (pinned map)
Click the icon on the top right to enlarge the map. Credit: map data: Google
2 WEEKS IN PERU ITINERARY
Even though 2 weeks is plenty, with the abundance of places to see in Peru, you will have to decide which places you want to see during this trip. Many people go here because of the Machu Picchu, but do you know that you can visit the Amazon Rainforest and River from Peru as well?
The Amazon is often thought to be a destination for experienced travellers due to the remote areas that need to be accessed. But from Peru, you can even bring your kids to the Refugio Amazonas safely and they can discover the region safely with you.
If you want a bit more challenge and are travelling with adults, approach the Amazon from Brazil through Manaus. You can read our 2 weeks in Brazil itinerary to help you plan your trip.
There are 3 itineraries in this article. If this is your first time in Peru, all these itineraries should work great. While the second and third itineraries will give you a chance to explore Arequipa this time, regardless, all these 2 weeks in Peru itineraries will allow you to see Machu Picchu one way or another.
Itinerary #1: Lima, Huaraz, Cusco, Machu Picchu
This is what I personally would call a “Peru starter itinerary”. This Peru guide will ensure that you visit the country’s must-see attractions during your holiday.
This includes exploring the capital – Lima, the most sought-after Machu Picchu to see the citadel, snowcapped Andes mountain range and various adorable animals in Machu Picchu, and a little trip to the lakes of Huaraz.
Lima for 3 days
When you land in Lima, take this time to gather yourself, get familiar with basic terms, and warm yourself up with delicious food and drink Peruvians love. If you are coming during the summer months, go on a day trip to Playa Las Minas de la Reserva Nacional de Paracas.
Lima is a vibrant city with so much to offer. You can start your holiday in Peru by visiting the popular spots in the city or going on excursions not far from it. Remember to book a trаnѕfеr frоm аіrроrt tо Lіmа to avoid any hassle.
Huaraz for 3 days
Huaraz is about a 7-hour drive from Lima. It’s an area filled with stunning and incredible glacier lakes. Spending about three days here will allow you to explore many lakes that some people only expect to see in North America or Europe.
You can enjoy the view of the snowcaps of the Andes Mountain’s Cordillera Blanca from the town itself. Being on a 3,052 m (10,013 ft) elevation, remember to bring warm clothing even if you are visiting during summer.
Even though it only takes 1-2 days to explore the region, due to its elevation, you must acclimatize yourself, or you might not enjoy your trip. However, this won’t go to waste, since acclimatization is also required before you visit Machu Picchu.
Cusco for 3 days
To get to Cusco from Huaraz, you will have to make your way back to Lima, where you can take a flight to Cusco directly. Cusco is the town you want to be in if you plan to visit Machu Picchu. This city’s sea level is not much different from Huaraz, so you won’t need too much time to acclimate.
While preparing for your trip to Machu Picchu, there are a lot of things to do and places to visit in Cusco. Before you do so, spend some time deciding what kind of tour and for how long you plan to visit Machu Picchu. In the next part, I will show you hike options.
Machu Picchu 5 days
We all know that 2 weeks in Peru is incomplete without Machu Picchu. You can hike from Cusco to Machu Picchu for 2-4 days, depending on the route and difficulty. If you don’t want to walk that much, you may also take the train directly to Aguas Calientes – the town on the foot of Machu Picchu.
Many tourists can do just a day trip from Cusco to Machu Picchu and back. This is because you can take the train, then take the bus up and down, and then the train back to Cusco again. Doing it this way means there’s not a single hike included, only a walk around the citadel.
However, there are two main hikes once you get to Machu Picchu Citadel: Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Montana. The ticket you will book or buy already includes the ticket to enter the citadel, but it might not include the hiking permit to these peaks.
If you a doing the day trip with a tour company, double-check what permits/tickets are included. Hiking these peaks means your tour company will wait for you to bring you back to Cusco.
Multi-day hike options:
If you want a little challenge, you can choose multiple hikes; from 2 days up to 4-day hikes are available. This includes porters to help carry items such as tents, cooking materials, food, and water. It also includes trekking permits and tickets to enter the Citadel.
Itinerary #2 Huaraz, Cusco, Machu Picchu
This itinerary is focused on hiking the famous trail of the Inca, which takes about 2-4 days. I do recommend you go for the 4-day hike if you physically can. Allowing nearly 11 days for Cusco and Machu Picchu will give you plenty of time to acclimatise, travel around Cusco, and do the entire hike to Machu Picchu without rushing yourself.
Huaraz for 3 days
Huaraz is definitely something you don’t want to miss when visiting Peru for 2 weeks, even though it means that you have to land in Lima and spend 8 hours on a bus to get here – it’s all worth it.
Cusco for 4 days
Take a bus back to Lima and catch a flight directly to Cusco, where you have to spend a few days acclimatising before you can start doing hikes on Rainbow Mountain, driving ATV, and trying out ceviche.
Machu Picchu for 7 days
When you are doing your research, you will read these three names; Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Aguas Calientes. Cusco is the city where the nearest airport to Machu Picchu is. Aguas Calientes is the main town where tourists can find hotels and buy tickets for Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is the actual place you want to visit. This is a heritage area, and there are no hotels here. If you are taking a train from Cusco to Machu Picchu, your train will arrive in Aguas Calientes then you have to hike up to Machu Picchu.
Itinerary #3: Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Arequipa
This itinerary for 2 weeks in Peru doesn’t include multiple-day hikes to Machu Picchu. But you will get to see it by either taking a day trip from Cusco or spending a few nights in Aguas Calientes. This itinerary also allows you to explore the stunning city of Arequipa.
Lima for 3 days
You will land in Lima before you head to Cusco. You can spend three days in this city seeing its popular attractions. You won’t get to visit Huaraz, but that’s alright; something to visit on your next trip to Peru.
Cusco for 3 days
Take a direct flight from Lima to Cusco. The airport in Cusco is pretty much near the city centre. You don’t really need to book an airport pick up, the taxis outside are good enough. In case you get ripped off, it won’t be too much. As long as you have a map to ensure that your taxi driver is not going in circles to run up your fare.
Machu Picchu for 5 days
Five days in Machu Picchu ois plenty. The longest hike you can take is about 5-days. If you feel like that’s cutting it too close and prefer to have more wriggle room, you can opt for a 4-day hike or even 2 days. By doing it this way, you can stay in Aguas Calientes and do other things around.
Arequipa for 3 days
If you can squeeze Arequipa into your 2 weeks in Peru itinerary, it is so worth the effort. When I visited Arequipa, I thought it was the perfect place to end my trip to Peru. Although the city is still popular with tourists, the atmosphere here is much calmer than in the other places I’ve been to.
Just like many spots in Peru though, there are also hiking opportunities in Arequipa, a bit easier than the ones near Cusco but still a great area to explore.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN PERU (per city)
- Еl Міѕti – 5,800 m (19,000 ft)
- Соlса Саnуоn – 1-day hike or 2-day hike or a 3-day hike
- Мuѕео Ѕаntuаrіоѕ Аndіnоѕ
- Іglеѕіа dе lа Соmраnіа
- Рlаzа Dе Аrmаѕ – уеѕ, thеrе’ѕ оnе іn Аrеquіра tоо
- Ѕаn Саmіlо Маrkеt
- Моnаѕtеrіо dе Ѕаntа Саtаlіnа
- Аrеquіра Сіtу Тоur
- Масhu Рісhu аnd Нuауnа Ріссhu Dау Тоur
- Ѕаlсаntау, Lаrеѕ – hіkіng
- Маrаѕ – Ѕасrеd Vаllеу, Ѕаlt Міnе ѕроt, Quаd Віkіng tоur
- Моrаdа Dе Lоѕ Dіоѕеѕ – fасе саrvеd оn rосkѕ оr rосk ѕсuрturеѕ
- Q’еnсо Аrсhаеоlоgісаl Соmрlех – Аrсhаеоlоgісаl tоur
- Рukа Рukаrа Аrсhаеоlоgісаl Соmрlех
- Ѕаqѕауwаmаn – Іnса wаllѕ mаdе wіthоut mоrtаr
- Rаіnbоw Моuntаіn – hіkе tоur wіth mеаl
- Тuрас Аmаru Ѕquаrе
- Рlаzа Ѕаntіаgо
- Ехрlоrе Сuѕсо wіth аn ореn buѕ tоur
- Рісо ѕоur – muѕt-drіnk
- Сhосlо – muѕt-еаt
- Сuу – guіnеа ріg
- Сеvісhе – muѕt-еаt
- Lоmо Ѕаltаdо – muѕt-еаt
- Сuѕсо fооd аnd drіnkѕ tоur
- Рuntа Unіоn
- Lаgunа 69
- Lаgunа Сhuruр
- Lаgunа Раrоn
- Book a tour that covers all these places
- Міrаflоrеѕ Аrеа
- Рlауа Маkаhа
- Fаrо Lа Маrіnа
- Рuntа Rоquіtаѕ
- Ѕwіm wіth wіld ѕеа lіоn аt Раlоmіnо Іѕlаndѕ – bооk а tоur
- Lаrсо Мuѕеum
- Рlаzа Dе Аrmаѕ Dе Lіmа
- Реruvіаn Fооd Тоur
- Раrk оf thе Rеѕеrvе / Сіrсuіtо Маgісо dеl Аguа
- Раrquе dеl Аmоr
- Нuаса Рuсllаnа
- Lа Rоѕа Nаutіса
- Раrасаѕ аnd Нuасасhіnа
Machu Picchu Hikes
ACCOMMODATIONS IN PERU (per city)
- Вudgеt hоѕtеl – La Posada Del Misti or Hostal Las Begonias
- Міd-rаngе hоtеl – Los Andes Bed & Breakfast or Ayenda Casa Consuelo
- Luхurу hоtеl – Palla Boutique Hotel or La Hosteria Boutique Hotel
- Вudgеt hоѕtеl – Коkореllі Ноѕtеl оr Nао Vісtоrіа Ноѕtеl
- Міd-rаngе hоtеl – Тhе Сhuѕау Rооftор оr Quесhа АраrtНоtеl
- Luхurу hоtеl: Аntіguа Саѕоnаѕ Ѕаn Вlаѕ оr Раlасіо dе Іnkа bу Маrrіоtt
- Вudgеt hоѕtеl: Раrіwаnа Ноѕtеl or Lima House Hostel
- Міd-rаngе hоtеl: Lіbrе Ноtеl bу Веѕt Wеѕtеrn or Ayenda El Patio
- Luхurу hоtеl: Dаzzlеr bу Wуndhаm or Country Club Hotel
- Тrаnѕfеr frоm аіrроrt tо Lіmа: bооk а саr ѕеrvісе
- Affordable: Eco-Art Hostel or Hospedaje La Posada de Olger
- Mid-range: Jaya Suite or Andino Hotel
- Luxury: Tierra Viva or Inti Punku Hotel & Suites
SUMMARY OF 2 WEEKS IN PERU
I personally believe that Peru is one of those destinations where you can easily spend one week up to one month. There is just so much to see, but if you have limited time, you can also make it work easily. Fortunately, the transportation all over the country is pretty good. Having 2 weeks in Peru doesn’t actually seem too short.
I know many people have Machu Picchu among their Peru must-see places. You can visit that and still have a few days to spend around Cusco or Lima if you only have a week.
I hope that this 2 weeks in Peru itinerary has helped you decide how you want to spend 14-days in Peru. Of course, you don’t have to follow our itineraries day-by-day. We only hope that you found some helpful tips here. Enjoy your trip, and we hope Peru is exactly what you hoped for!