1 month in Peru from north to south; from Chiclayo to Trujillo, from Huaraz to Cusco and Lima. We tell you everything about the budget to visit Peru.
Backpacking Peru: Our travel guide of the best things to see and do in Peru
Are you planing to travel to Peru soon and looking for some inspiration? Peru is part of the itinerary of your round the world trip? You will find here a practical guide that gathers information about Peru and, at the end, you will find the blog posts we wrote about the country when we were there.
We visited Peru during our 19-month round the world trip. In all, we spent more than a month in the country, doing a lot of hiking but also discovering the so-called "classic" cities and tourist sites (for example Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lima, Huaraz and the andes). This is the country that gave us the passion of long distance trekking, especially with a magnificent 8-days trek to Machu Pichu.
Our travel Map of Peru
As I told you earlier, our blog posts about Peru are all available in chronological order at the end of this page. However, if you prefer to plan your trip with a map, you will find below all our blog posts by region. Simply click on the button to display the map of Peru.
How to get to Peru
To get to Peru the easiest is probably to fly. There are several airports in the country, but if you are coming from abroad then you are highly likely to be arriving in Lima, the capital.
If, like us, you are coming from Ecuador, then it is as well possible to arrive by bus. We detailed our trip in this blog post.
Visa for Peru: Should you apply for one?
If you are French, Swiss, Belgian or Canadian and you plan to come to Peru for tourism purposes then the good news is that you will not need a visa. Peru simply issues a residence permit upon arrival in the country (by air or land).
To enter Peru you simply need a valid passport with an expiry date of more than 6 months. Normally, upon arrival in the country, you receive a 90-day tourist permit. The visa cannot be extended.
In total, you are not allowed to stay more than 183 days a year in Peru if you do not have a residence permit. In order to stay more than 90 days, it is therefore essential to leave the territory and then return.
Note: It is prohibited to work in Peru on a tourist visa.
When to travel to Peru?
Peru is not a particularly large country, but there are significant differences in climate between regions. The reason? The altitude! In Peru it can be pretty high in altitude... but there is also the Amazonian region which has a very different climate.
The coastal region is almost desert. Temperatures are fairly constant and it doesn't rain very often. On the coast there is no season that is really better than any other.
In the Andean regions, one is quickly at a fairly high altitude as in Cusco or Huaraz for example. In short, if we make generalizations, "mountainous" Peru knows 2 seasons: a dry season (it goes from April to October) and a wet season (it goes from November to March). It is therefore better to come in winter (we do not forget that the seasons are reversed under the equator... so winter corresponds to the months of June to August);)
In terms of temperatures, you have to be careful in the Andes! In winter (between June and August therefore) it is generally very warm during the day (easily more than 20°C) but at night the temperatures can clearly drop below 0°! During our treks in Huaraz for example we walked during the day wearing a T-shirt, but in the morning we woke up in the tent and everything was freezing around us (and us included).
Next to that is the Amazon. There the climate is relatively constant throughout the year.... It is hot and humid a little bit all the time (with showers)
Things to see in Peru: our top picks
Huaraz: the nugget of the Andes mountain range
Huaraz is probably the best base for hiking lovers! We left totally crazy about the region and would like to come back to the area to discover more about the White Cordillera and the Black Cordillera!
Cusco and Machu Picchu: for its landscapes and history
The great classic of Peru! ;) We admit it, we haven't been the biggest fans of the Disney side of some areas, but we have to admit that the region is sublime and clearly worth a visit! It is there that we did one of our most beautiful treks: 9 days in autonomy to connect the Choquequirao to Machu Picchu, an alternative, sporty and 100% low budget Hike.
Trujillo: the ancient Inca civilizations
We stopped in Chiclayo and Trujillo, which are in the far north of the country because we were arriving from Ecuador. This desert region is known to be the cradle of pre-Incan civilizations and will be a great stopover for history lovers!
Lima: the beautiful capital of Peru
Lima will have been a cultural and gourmet stopover for us. We really liked the city's "flair" but it was there that we ate our best Peruvian meals. An essential stopover for 2-3 days!
Going with a travel agency to Peru?
Peru is a country that lends itself very well to independent travel. During our stay we organized everything by ourselves, generally booking our accommodation directly on-site and organizing our local transport on a daily basis. However, we understand that this is not everyone's cup of tea.
If you would like help with the organization then we recommend that you check out the Evaneos website. Evaneos works exclusively with local agencies and guarantees a very competitive price while carefully selecting the local agents they work with. They offer 100% organized stays for groups or individuals, but they also have so-called "freedom" formulas where only accommodation, transportation and a few visits are organized. This is a good compromise for travellers who want to remain free while avoiding too much logistics. All tours are tailor-made and the quotes are free.
Peru travel tips: some things to remember
When planning your itinerary to Peru, keep the following things in mind:
- Peru is a relatively large country and bus travel times can be relatively long --> so optimize trips and avoid unnecessary round trips.
- Beware of climates and altitude changes... If you are too hot in Lima, it doesn't mean it will be the same in Huaraz ;)
- If you plan to hike at high altitude (in the White Cordillera for example) do not underestimate the effects of altitude and plan at least 2-3 days of acclimatization before you start climbing the peaks. For example, during our Santa Curz trek, a Brazilian guy that was hiking with us regretted coming directly from Lima witout proper acclimatization. Read what happened here
- If you only have a week or two we would suggest you stick to 1 or 2 regions... For example Lima and Cusco if it's your first trip.
Money and travel budget for Peru
Currency in Peru
In Peru the official currency is the SOL. All payments are made in this currency. For your information, 1€ corresponds to about 3,7 SOL (variable rate obviously... to check before your departure, but overall the currency is quite stable)
It is very easy to withdraw money from ATMs. They accept the majority of international cards and they are very easy to find everywhere. To limit bank charges, we advise you to make sure you do not have any charges with your bank, or to subscribe to an online bank.
Travel Budget in Peru
Travelling to Peru is not very expensive, although of course everything always depends on how you travel and your expectations in terms of comfort. To give you an idea, I would say that a "average" backpacker budget should be around 27€-30€ per day. For our part, we had done a lot of hiking (and so we had camped a lot). As a result, our daily budget in Peru had fallen to less than 21€ per day. If you want more information about our budget you can read our article in which we detail our expenses:
Practical information for a trip to Peru
Time Zone: Peru is in the UTC -5 zone, which means that there is a 7 hour difference with France. When it is 5pm in Paris, it is 10am in Lima.
Official Language: In Peru the official language is Spanish. Peruvian Spanish is relatively easy to understand (they speak much slower than Chileans, for example;). In addition to Spanish, there are a few indigenous languages that are still spoken in some regions, such as Queshua, Aymara, Kawki and Aguaruna.
Sockets: The sockets are of the A/B/C type in Peru. You will, therefore, need a universal adapter
Internet: The Internet is globally very good in Peru. The vast majority of hostels, inns and hotels offer free wifi to their guests as well as a growing number of cafés and restaurants. For our part, we had no problems connecting and therefore did not buy a local sim card in Peru.
Health: The Peruvian health system is relatively good. The best hospitals are in the big cities. The prices are quite expensive for the premises but remain reasonable from a European point of view. Of course, it is strongly recommended to have international travel insurance for a trip to Peru. You don't have insurance? Have a look at our travel insurance comparison. The insurances presented are those we recommend for a round-the-world trip, but they can also be taken for shorter stays.
Useful resources for a trip to Peru
- Skyscanner: the best website to find and book a flight (for Peru or an internal flight)
- Hotelscombined: The website we always use to compare the accomodation offers on websites like booking.com, Agoda...
- The Peru Lonely Planet
- Transports: there are bus booking sites online, but it should be noted that these sites charge significant commissions. We have always booked our buses by going directly to the bus station.
Note: This page contains affiliate links to partner sites. By using our links you don't pay anything more, but on the other hand we get a small commission that helps us to maintain this site without advertising to make it live. We know all the products and services we recommend very well and/or use them regularly in our travels as well.