Peru in 15 days: Recommended itinerary

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A trip to Peru can last from just a few days to a few months, in which you can discover each of its corners. As this passing of a few months is not the most normal, today we want to tell you an itinerary of a few days through this beautiful country. It is simply necessary to organize well to make the most of the trip. That said, as we told you everything to see in Peru, today we tell you our recommended itinerary for your trip to Peru in 15 days.

How to move around Peru

First and foremost, consider transportation. If you have enough time, we suggest that you make trips between major cities by bus or train, depending on your preference and the availability of transportation.

On the other hand, if you are going in a tighter time frame, we recommend the plane to make the most of the days. All the main cities that we are going to name have airports and some have direct connections. So it will only be to adjust the days to the flights.

Day 1: Arrival in Lima and visit the city

The vast majority of these trips around Peru start with Lima. It is the capital of the country, so its airport is the most important in Peru and the one that has more international connections.

It is a coastal city, with a taste of ceviche and pisco sour, of modernity and tradition but not surprising enough to dedicate more than a full day to it.

beach lima peru

Lima will be the starting point of your trip to Peru, where you can make some of the most spectacular tours in Peru that you can imagine.

If you want to follow our advice, we recommend you to book a flight to Arequipa for that same afternoon, it will earn you 1 day of travel and you will be able to see more things.

The airline Sky Airlines offers a flight around mid-afternoon that would take you to Arequipa a little before the arrival of the night.

As we have already told you, this option will be the most recommended according to the time you have and what you want to spend. Although this connection is really cheap, and it is the one we recommend in our Peru itinerary in 15 days.

Days 2 and 3: Colca Canyon in Arequipa (2 days)

Very close to the city of Arequipa we find the Colca Canyon. It is one of the deepest canyons in the world, and besides, it is the third tourist place in Peru, so we assure you that you will enjoy it.

There you will be able to visit the Mirador Cruz del Condor, in reference to this spectacular bird that you will be able to see in the area. You can also climb the Patapampa Volcanoes Viewpoint, where you can observe the entire mountain range and the volcanoes that surround the city of Arequipa.

colca canyon condor

Another of the best moments of the tour in the Colca Canyon in Arequipa will be to see the “vicuñas”, the most famous and iconic animal of Peru.

Although two days seem to be enough to tour the Colca Canyon, you can always extend your stay one more day and visit all the points of interest of this incredible place.

Day 4: Arequipa – Puno

Although very close to Puno is the airport of Juliaca, the truth is that there is no direct flight from Arequipa. So, you would have to stop over in Lima to return to Juliaca.
For this reason, the best option is to buy a bus ticket that takes you from one city to the other. It is about 6-7 hours, which you can take advantage of to rest from your adventure in the Colca Canyon.

Day 5: Lake Titicaca, a essential experience in your Peru itinerary in 15 days

Once you have arrived in Puno, the majestic Lake Titicaca and its incredible Uros Islands await you. Besides, you should know that it is the highest navigable lake in the world.

Depending on the time you have available, you can choose to spend one or more days here. In one day you can get to know perfectly what the Floating islands of the Uros are, some artificial islands made of totora reeds that the local people attach to the bottom of the lake as an anchor.

lake titicaca on trip to peru

Although if you really want to immerse yourself in this local culture of the Uros, you can visit the Taquile and Amantani Islands, and even spend a night with them. There are nights when they even throw parties to welcome the tourists.

As a curiosity, you should know that Lake Titicaca is the natural border between two countries, Peru and Bolivia. The Peruvians assure, as a joke, that they anchor the islands to the ground because “they don’t want to go to bed in Peru and get up in Bolivia”.

Whether you choose to spend one day as we have planned, or if you prefer to spend two, the next morning you should be prepared for your trip to Cusco and the Sacred Valley, one of the best places Peru has to offer.

Day 6: From Puno to Cusco by the Route of the Sun

To go from Puno to Cusco there are also several combinations.

On the one hand, you have the option to make the journey by bus. The area between Puno and Cusco is known as the Ruta del Sol. If we recommended the use of the plane on the way from Lima to Arequipa, in this case we recommend that you make the trip by bus.

This route includes stops at some wonderful places such as the Sistine Chapel of the Andes, a church decorated with drawings in gold leaf.  Also the Chimboya, one of the highest mountains in the country with 5,489 meters above sea level.

mountain snowy peru chimboya

The other option is to travel by plane, from the airport of Juliaca to the airport in Cusco. In this case, the flights are usually more expensive than the previous trip.

In our Peru itinerary in 15 days, we have included you this day as a trip from Puno to Cusco by the Ruta del Sol. But you know, you can always modify it and go by plane from one place to the other to take more advantage of the day in one place or another.

Days 7 and 8: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Although if it were up to us we would advise you to stay for a few months in this area of the Sacred Valley, the truth is that you probably don’t have that much time.

We have reduced to 5 days the time you have to stay in the area of Cusco. Although as you will see below, you can extend to 6 or even 7 days the time you spend here discovering new places.

In our itinerary through Peru, we advise you to dedicate days 7 and 8 to the trip to Machu Picchu, although you can always change the order of the days to do the activities according to your convenience since all the tours leave from Cusco.

views machu picchu

There are different ways to access this sacred temple, even on trips of 1 day, although we advise you to dedicate at least, two days to climb.

The option that we like the most and the one we propose you is to do the famous Inca Trail in 2 days, a trekking excursion that will take you through the routes that the Incas used, until the very Machu Picchu. You will also be able to see the sunrise from this beautiful temple.

Another highly recommended option is to visit the most popular places in the area through the tour to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. On this trip, you will be able to visit the most beautiful places of the Sacred Valley. The archaeological zone of Pisac and the fortress of Ollantaytambo, sleep in Aguas Calientes, and climb the next day to Machu Picchu.

Aguas Calientes, the commuter town to Machu Picchu

There are also options to make this trip by train to Aguas Calientes, which will always be the commuter town to climb to Machu Picchu. As we have already told you, there are many excursions from Cusco to climb Machu Picchu. You just have to choose the one that best suits you and the time you have available.

aguas calientes in peru in 15 days itinerary

Day 9: Visit the City of Cusco, the most beautiful place in Peru itinerary in 15 days

In our Peru itinerary in 15 days, on the 9th we have chosen to make the city tour in Cusco. It will be a day to rest from all the previous days, so you will have more time to sleep. But don’t spend hours in bed because this city is worth it.

Cusco will receive you with its cobbled streets and the feeling of having arrived at a special place. Without a doubt, you will find a city that makes you fall in love, in which 5 days is the minimum that should be dedicated to it, if not more. If you have one day left in your plan, dedicate it to Cusco. You will not regret it.

plaza armas cusco peru

Although there are many things to do in Cusco, we especially recommend you to visit the San Pedro Market and its Plaza de Armas, the most famous in the city. You cannot leave Cusco without visiting the Convent of Santo Domingo. This temple still preserves some walls that were built by the Incas more than 6 centuries ago.

Day 10: Vinicunca Mountain

It is another of the emblems of Peru. This mountain, characteristic of its colors, is also very close to Cusco.

The known as Rainbow Mountain is located in the Peruvian Andes. Its colors are due to the composition of minerals found there, among which are clays, rocks with magnesium, sulfur minerals, calcium carbonates, etc. This place will leave you speechless.

rainbow mountain itinerary peru

Cusco is the closest city from which to visit. Although, the truth is that Rainbow Mountain or Vinicunca don’t have any nearby accommodation to sleep in. That’s why you will have to get up early to be able to reach its summit and be able to come back soon to rest for the next day.

Day 11: Maras and Moray

For the 11th day, we recommend a visit to the Salineras of Maras and the town of Moray.

The excursion to Maras and Moray will be much more relaxed than the previous day, and without a doubt, it is also one of the essential excursions if you are in Cusco.

The pools of the Salineras of Maras will leave you in shock, in contrast with all the landscape around. These pools were created by the Incas to take advantage of the salinity of the underground spring that passed through there. When this water evaporates, it exposes the famous pink salt of Maras, which you can buy as a souvenir of your trip to Peru.

There are 3.000 pools of salt in the mountain, a real treat.

maras salt flats moray peru itinerary 15 days

With this excursion, we give for finished the days in Cusco. But, as we have already told you, this city has so many things that you can extend the trip as long as you want if you are here.

Day 12: A direct flight from Cusco to Iquitos

Arriving on day 12, and continuing with our itinerary, the Peruvian jungle adventure begins. To get there, you will have to go, yes or yes, by plane.

Keep in mind that if you arrive in the morning you can even start the tour that same day. Otherwise, we advise you to spend that day in Iquitos and start the next morning. This way you will be able to take advantage of all the hours of the tour and rest for the adventure to come.

Day 13, 14, and 15: Jungle of Iquitos, a must experience in your Peru itinerary

The tour in the jungle of Iquitos has a duration of 3 or 4 days, although, with 3 days inside the jungle, it seems to us sufficient to be able to enjoy this place.

This place is an essential stop in Peru itinerary in 15 days for free, do not stop visiting it although you go with a very fair time.

During these 3 or 4 days, you will be able to see an infinity of animals like caimans, howler monkeys, iguanas, night monkeys, even lazy ones. You will be able to drink directly from the vines, enjoy incredible landscapes, and even taste fruits that you have never seen before.

monkey in jungle boat

As our colleague Javier and his friends told us about their experience in the jungle of Iquitos, it is one of the best tours they have ever done in their lives.

Finally, after 3 or 4 days, you will return to the city of Iquitos, to spend the night in one of its hotels with a swimming pool. Or you will take directly a flight to Lima, where you will spend the night before taking your flight home.

Extra day. Humantay Lagoon

As we know that the days of the return flights are not always going to be adjusted to what you had planned, we propose you one more plan in case you have some free day left.

If you decide to stay one more day in the city of Cusco, we propose you a hiking plan difficult to refuse.

It is the trek to the Humantay Lake, a lake that has been formed by the Humantay Glacier (hence its name) and that has an incredible landscape.

The lake is located at 4,200 meters above sea level and has in its background the majestic Glacier Humantay (which has its peak at 5450 meters above sea level), as well as the entire Villcamba mountain range.

Without a doubt, a spectacular landscape to which is added the blue-green color of the lake. It is a great reward for all the routes you will have done to get there.

lake humantay peru itinerary 15 days

With this, we conclude the Peru itinerary in 15 days, although you know that you can always adapt it to your needs.

And you, you already have your trip planned? would you add some more days or some more places than we have put?

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