Peru Tours & Travel

Peru is a land of wonders. Machu Picchu, the mysterious Inca enclave high in the Andes, is the most famous among them, but the country’s incredible diversity also encompasses Spanish colonial architecture, treasure-filled pre-Colombian tombs, a network of Inca roads, and the biggest gastronomic festival in South America. Factor in the breathtaking beauty of Peru’s landscapes—from the lush canopy of the Amazon rainforest to the limpid waters of Lake Titicaca to the gorgeous colors of one of the world’s deepest canyons at Colca—and you have a travel experience whose memories will last a lifetime.

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Featured Peru Tours

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Machu Picchu, Peru

Classic Machu Picchu

8 Days/7 Nights from $1,569

Classic Machu Picchu, our Featured Peru Tour, is a great way to experience the most interesting destinations of the country. It includes Lima, Cusco, the…

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, Peru

Classic Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail

10 Days/9 Nights from $2,109

Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu should be on every adventure traveler’s “to do” list. While it is physically challenging, the rewards include spectacular…

10 Best Peru Tours for 2021-2022

Tour Name Price Duration Description
Classic Machu Picchu $1,569 8 Days Classic Machu Picchu, our Featured Peru Tour, is a great way to experience the most interesting destinations of the country. It includes Lima, Cusco, the…
Classic Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley $1,989 9 Days This tour is an extended version of our Classic Machu Picchu Tour. It includes Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and an overnight…
Classic Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca $2,149 10 Days Appreciate Peru’s fascinating cultures and history in one of our most popular tours. It includes Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, an overnight…
Classic Machu Picchu and Nazca Lines $2,249 10 Days Experience the Inca and Nazca cultures in this amazing tour of Peru. Beginning in Lima, you will travel to the Ica Region for an overflight…
Classic Machu Picchu, Nazca Lines, and Lake Titicaca $2,959 13 Days Discover the Nazca, Inca, and Aymara cultures of Peru. Beginning in Lima, you will travel to the Ica Region for an overflight of the Nazca…
Classic Machu Picchu and Reserva Amazonica $2,359 11 Days Explore the cultural history of the Incas and witness the biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon on this incomparable Peru tour. You will begin in Lima…
Classic Machu Picchu and Ceiba Tops Lodge $2,469 11 Days Discover the culture and history of the Incas in Machu Picchu, and explore the Peruvian Amazon in this amazing itinerary. The tour includes Lima, Cusco…
Classic Machu Picchu and 4 Day Aria Amazon Cruise $6,279 12 Days Appreciate the biodiversity and cultural richness of Peru on this captivating tour. Starting in Iquitos, you will have a four day Amazon cruise aboard the…
Classic Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail $2,109 10 Days Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu should be on every adventure traveler’s “to do” list. While it is physically challenging, the rewards include spectacular…
Peru and Machu Picchu Family Tour $3,899 9 Days Peru is one of the best family travel destinations in the world. It combines fascinating cultural heritage, awe-inspiring archaeological ruins, and world-class gastronomy. On this…

Peru Travel Guide

When is the best time to travel to Peru & Machu Picchu?

The best time to travel to Peru and Machu Picchu is April to October. During this time, the temperature in Lima is relatively mild and it is the dry season in the highlands, where the major tourist destinations of Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca are located. The best time to travel to the Amazon rainforest in Peru is during the low water season, which runs from June to November. See all Peru FAQ.

The Best Places to Visit in Peru

Other South American countries may have their attractions, but only Peru was the capital of an empire–twice. From the time of the Incas in the 15th century to that of the Spanish viceroyalty in the 16th, 17th, and 18th, Peru was a place of imperial riches and splendor. With its Andean fortresses and colonial cathedrals, Inca stonework and Sevillian azulejo tiles, no wonder choosing the best places to visit in Peru is so difficult. The country is an embarrassment of marvels….

1. Machu Picchu

The Andes’ most famous ruin, rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911, needs no introduction. No matter how many Instagram snapshots you’ve seen, they can’t come close to the mystic stonework and sublime geometry of the real thing. For those staying overnight, an abundance of secondary marvels…

2. Cusco

The Incas’ legendary capital is a place of enchantment. Solar temples and colossal native palaces fuse with baroque Spanish cathedrals in a city where two worlds collide. Highlights include Sacsayhuaman, the most imposing Inca fortress ever built, and quirky San Blas, a neighborhood of local artisans…

3. The Sacred Valley

The Urubamba Valley was the Incas’ heartland, and when you travel through by bus or luxury train, you’ll see why. The ceremonial complexes here, including those at Choquequirao and Pisac, are among the most awe-inspiring the Americas have ever produced. Don’t miss the fortress town of Ollantaytambo…

4. Lima

Peru’s kinetic capital positively hums with energy. From the colonial monuments of its plaza de armas to the posh eateries of Miraflores and Barranco, the city electrifies via its architecture, food, and nightlife. Don’t miss the nightly danzas folklóricas, with their whirling, colorfully clad performers, or the…

5. Puno & Lake Titicaca

The world’s highest navigable lake is also a living repository of indigenous cultures. Its people, inhabiting postcard-perfect islands like the Uros, Taquile, and Antamani, are the guardians of a heritage that dates back to before the Incas. Interested in experiencing the residents’ lifestyles?…

6. Puerto Maldonado & the Southern Amazon

If you’re looking to go off the grid, Peru’s southern rainforest is the place to do it. Remote and largely untouched by civilization, it’s the site of two of the continent’s most pristine parks for wildlife watching, as well as countless exotic flora and fauna. One Tambopata clay lick is so crowded with macaws…

7. Iquitos & the Northern Amazon

For those wanting to stay at a jungle lodge or take an Amazon cruise, Iquitos, one of Peru’s oddest cities, is your point of departure. Floating markets, stilt-raised huts, and iron architecture by Gustav Eiffel give this frontier town a personality unlike any other. Don’t miss the pink river dolphins: legend has it…

8. Arequipa & the Colca Canyon

Peru’s “white city” is considered by many to be its most beautiful—and to have its best food. A short early-morning jaunt takes you to see Colca Canyon, with its Inca terraces and famous “Condor Crossing,” while inside the city itself, colonial convents and Inca mummies whisper secrets of a remote past…

9. Ica & the Nazca Lines

Archaeologists and pilots continue to discover new geoglyphs at Nazca, ground zero for one of Peru’s most mysterious civilizations. Meanwhile, further up the coast, Ica’s bodegas allow wine lovers to sample Peruvian vintages and piscos at bargain prices. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, dune-buggies and sandboarding…

10. Paracas & the Ballestas Islands

Located just 100 miles south of Lima, this coastal resort offers luxury hotels and outings in high-speed launches. Sea lions, Humboldt penguins, and dolphins serve as the welcome committee. If you’re archaeologically minded, don’t skip the vast Paracas necropolis, with its bottle-shaped tombs and stunning textiles…

11. Trujillo & Northern Peru

Peru’s north coast was home to two great pre-Inca civilizations, the Moche and Chimú. When you visit, you’ll find a legacy of adobe pyramids, silverwork, and grisly human sacrifice. High points include Chan Chan, a strange geometric city full of echoing royal vaults, and the tomb of El Señor de Sipán, the most fabulous…

Top Peru Travel Experiences

Peru Travel Articles

The Great Peruvian Menu

With its varied regional cuisines and incredibly diverse array of platos típicos, Peru is a foodie’s paradise. El Comercio, the country’s chief newspaper, reports that nearly 40 percent of visitors to the South American nation come for the food alone, so that there’s no shortage of gastronomic festivals or tours for those hoping to sample this alimentary abundance. Best of all, all of Peru’s regional cuisines are easily available in Lima, making the capital a melting pot…

Machu Picchu

A Guide To The Main Structures Of Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu isn’t just an archaeological wonder: It’s also an architectural masterpiece. With more than 200 buildings that we know of, intelligently divided into urban and agricultural sectors and an upper town and lower town, there are no finer examples of Inca planning and construction…

Hiram Bingham And The Discovery Of Machu Picchu

On July 24, 1911, a Yale lecturer of South American history stumbled through the dense jungle on the saddle of a steep-sided mountaintop in Peru. Cutting through the undergrowth, he began to see signs of a former settlement. Walls and archways, paths and structures, and monumental architecture…

Day Two At Machu Picchu: Four Top Options

So you’ve finally done it. You’ve bought your PeruRail tickets, your entrance pass, and your chuyo, and you’re on your way to Machu Picchu. Mission accomplished—at least the first stage. By now your envious friends are blowing up your Facebook page with “OMG! How exciting!” posts and asking…

Cusco

Eight Things To Do In Cusco, Peru

Cusco is famous throughout the world, primarily as the gateway to Machu Picchu. But the historic capital of the Inca Empire has far more to offer than just Machu Picchu, and plenty of things to see and do closer to the city. Here we take a look at attractions in Cusco itself, and some sights just beyond…

Ten Interesting Facts About The Inca Empire

When people think of the Incas, they normally think of Machu Picchu. But the Inca Empire was a huge and powerful force in South America, far more so than even the magnificent Machu Picchu may imply. The influence of the Incas can still be seen quite clearly in modern Peru, despite the empire’s…

Art And Artisans In Cuzco’s San Blas Neighborhood

Juana Mendívil has a story she likes to tell about her father, Hilario. As a young boy growing up in Cuzco’s arty San Blas district, Hilario early on was infected by his barrio’s mania for sculpture. Every day after school he’d stop to peer in the neighborhood studios, to watch the masters work. It was his world…

Quipu: Ancient Writing System Used By The Incas

The motorcycle taxi driver had my number immediately. Every time I stepped out of my hotel in Mancora, there he was offering me a ride. It took longer for me to figure out what he was doing with the colorful cords tied to the handlebars of his machine. He knotted one cord whenever I paid him…

The Sacred Valley

Ollantaytambo: Temple-Citadel Of The Incas

Horror: That was the immediate reaction of the Spanish upon seeing Ollantaytambo. Given their situation, you can hardly blame them. At some 200 feet high, and made up of coursed ashlar stones weighing 50 tons or more, the massive walls and terraced parapets of this Inca stronghold…

Pisac: Cuzco’s Most Mysterious Ruin

High above the Andean town of Pisac, carved into a rock face that looks out over a valley of soft green terraces, there is a tunnel. A slender, teardrop-shaped slit arrived at via a narrow pass. This tunnel extends for 16 meters through an outcrop of solid granite, and is just wide enough…

The Road To Ruins: Seven Inca Sites You’ve Never Heard Of, But Should

Machu Picchu. Cuzco. The Hatunrumiyoc or twelve-angled stone. Even for travelers who’ve never been to South America, these Inca sites are iconic to the point of near-cliché. Splashed across Facebook and Instagram backgrounds like pre-Colombian wallpaper, they’re magnets for selfie-snappers…

Beyond The Inca Trail: Walking The Capac Ñan, South America’s Ancient Superhighway

“Can you hear me?” My voice booms out unnaturally over the canyon. In Peru in general, and in rural Peru in particular, cell-phone signals tend to be sketchy even under ideal conditions, so it’s a tiny miracle when Kiki, my journalist friend, comes through loud and clear. “Claro, hombre. Es increíble, ¿no?

Lima

Visiting Lima: Ten Must-Do Experiences

Lima, with its 10 million inhabitants, 49 sprawling districts, and world-class cuisine, may just be Peru’s least-known destination. True, all visitors to the Andean nation “know” Lima in that they’re required to pass through its bustling airport, and some even manage to set aside a day or two to blow through…

Where To Stay In Lima? Miraflores Vs. Barranco For Travelers

Granted, it’s not an easy choice. Especially given the contenders: two equally posh, equally historic seaside barrios in the Peruvian capital, two totally different vibes. Miraflores is, for many, the more obvious pick. A hyper-modern—and also hyper-commercial—hub, it’s a smash-up between a Pacific resort…

Sex, Mayhem, And Snacks In Lima’s Pre-Colombian Museo Larco

Lima, Peru. It’s a quiet weekday morning at the Museo Larco, in the peaceful historic district of Pueblo Libre. Warm sunlight glints off the white manorial façade. In the café, a waiter is laying tablecloths for lunch, while off the deserted courtyard, purple and red azaleas nod in the pre-noon languor…

The Soul Of Black Peru: Lima’s Música Criolla

Three high double-stops from the guitar announce the song’s opening. Two trills and a rapid slide down the neck, and the crowd explodes into whoops and cheers. A series of meditative, arpeggiated chords. A pause. Then the guitarist launches into a fast waltz rhythm, percussive and full of manly swagger…

Letting Them Eat Cebiche: The Art Of Gastón Acurio

A chef for president? Don’t laugh: in Peru, it could really happen. Citizens of the Andean nation take food—and those who prepare it—very seriously. Last year, when rumors began circulating that Gastón Acurio, the country’s superstar cuisinier, might run for the country’s top political office…

Peru’s Great Banquet: Chowing Down At Lima’s Mistura

“¡Oye, maestro, más chancho rapidito!” The cook’s face gleams with sweat as he barks the order to the runner hauling slabs of raw pork to the grill. Spicy smoke rises from the coals, blackening the awning. The line cooks scramble to dish up plates of salad to await the chancho al palo

Puno & Lake Titicaca

Seven Things To Do In Puno, Peru

Puno, Peru suffers from a case of bad PR. Ask most travelers about the windswept Andean town, and you’ll likely get a lot of blank stares. “Puno—where exactly is that?” Those same travelers will prick up their ears at the mention of neighboring Lake Titicaca, or of the Islands of the Sun…

Arequipa & the Colca Canyon

Seven Things To Do In Arequipa, Peru

Surrounded by volcanic cones and some of the world’s deepest canyons, the city of Arequipa is a must-see destination in southern Peru. With some 860,000 inhabitants, it’s the second largest city in Peru, but far less chaotic than Lima, which is ten times the size. Arequipa is also one of…

The Condor Passes: A Guide To Peru’s Majestic Colca Canyon

On the ledge below the overlook, the three birds huddle: a slate-gray mass. One stands slightly aloof, gazing into the distance, while a second, officious, pecks under the wing of the third. Above them the canyon air is warm, with a rising early-morning wind. Rufflike plumes ripple with the breeze…

Ica & the Nazca Lines

The Animal Geoglyphs Of The Nazca Lines, From The Hummingbird To The Whale

The Nazca Lines geoglyphs vary greatly in terms of size, form and complexity. Simple lines and geometric shapes run all across the arid plain, which stretches more than 50 miles across the desert near Peru’s southern coastline. You’ll also see representations of trees and flowers, etched into the dry…

Paracas & Ballestas Islands

Eight Things To Do In Paracas, Peru

The face-off is already underway as the launch sputters up to the rocks. One sea-lion bull, head swiveling in a wide arc to instill shock and awe, is reading the riot act to another, who retorts with a Pfffffftt snorted skyward as his jellied blubber shimmies against the ledge. The dissed bull snaps pettishly…

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