After 11 months, when we returned back home to Europe, friends and family often asked us which country we liked best. Although this question is impossible to answer, Peru was definitely one of the highlights. We loved it!
During our South America backpacking trip we spend in total 2 months in Peru, visiting the country twice (before and after Bolivia). Peru is probably the best spot in South America if you are looking for natural and cultural diversity and lots of history. There is probably no other country in SA that has so much to offer when it comes to ancient ruins and artisanal traditions.
Here is an overview and map of all the places we visited in Peru:
- Huaraz / Huascaran
- North Coast (Trujillo/Huanchaco/ Mancora)
- South Coast (Paracas / Ica)
- Cusco / Machu Picchu / Valle Sagrado
- Arequipa / Colca
- Lake Titicaca (Peruvian site)
Peru is actually one of the biggest countries in SA and therefore if you don’t have unlimited time it is important to prioritize and understand what you cannot miss out on. Besides Machu Picchu there is so much to see, we hope that with our itinerary + descriptions on each place we can make your choice a lot easier (single posts will follow soon)!
In terms of general information you will be glad to know that traveling in Peru can be done on a small budget.
Accommodation: Prices vary throughout the country, the North is generally cheaper than the highly frequented South. On average you can expect to get dorm beds for 7-12€ and privates from 15-20€. The most expensive places are Lima and Cusco when it comes to hostels, but if you search a bit longer you can also find deals in lower price-ranges.
Food: The kitchen is outstanding and in our opinion one of the best, if not the best in SA. A must try is “ceviche” in Lima and at beach spots, also very recommendable is “chupe de camarón” (shrimp soup) and “chifa” (fusion of Chinese and Peruvian kitchen). Meals in restaurants will cost you around 3-7€, while you can find lunch at markets for 1-3€. If you prefer to cook you’ll always find market places where you can purchase fresh vegetables and fruits for very low prices. You could easily buy food for 3 days for 5€.
Transportation: In terms of public transport, there is Uber in bigger cities, but it doesn’t always work very well. You should consider taking colectivos (public buses). For longer distances there are countless bus companies to choose from, most tourists stick to “Cruz del Sur”, as they are very known for their good service. In our opinion there are several other companies that have the same type of modern buses with a decent service, therefore it is not necessary to only go with one company. Prices are average for Latin America. A trip from Arequipa to Lima (1000km) shouldn’t cost you more than 20€, prices are nearly always fixed, you will only seldom have the chance to negotiate.
Safety: When it comes to safety Peru is one of the safest countries to travel in. The main reason for that is that the country get’s a lot of tourism. But that does not mean you can be careless. As always: Pay attention to your valuables and keep a close eye on your backpack/wallet wherever you are.
Feel free to reach out to us if you have further questions or would like to know more about certain places!