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The trip to Peru was probably my best solo trip. The country is spectacular and diverse; people made me feel at home stage after stage, and encounters with other travellers have turned into lasting friendships. Seven unforgettable weeks in a puff.

The trip to Peru greatly enriched me. I want to discuss it in detail because every city encounter and monument deserves to be told to allow others to enjoy themselves and go beyond. There will be many posts on Peru, but let’s start with the basics. Today, I will give you the practical information to get organized.

There is time for the insights 😉

Viaggio in Perù

Details to know to leave on a trip to Peru

For a stay up to 90 days, you do not need a visa, but as always, your passport must be valid for at least six months on entry into Peru, and you have to show the booking of the return flight or, in any case, one to exit the country.

No vaccine is required, but if you plan to visit the Amazon region or simply you’re planning a low-cost trip, I recommend you get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B … in rural areas, hygiene conditions are often poor and between the Andes and the forest cases of yellow fever are frequent. Do not underestimate these issues, and discuss them with your doctor! As to mosquito bites, homoeopathic prophylaxis based on ledum palustre will make your blood unpleasant to these fearsome critters.

Viaggio in Perù

From a medical point of view, the leitmotif of a trip to Peru, however, is caused by the disorder due to the altitude, and you will notice the presence of hyperbaric chambers in all cities. As I travelled by car/train, I had no problems. I got used to drinking some mate of coca (coca leaves infused) every morning during the stages in the Andes (2800 to 4800 meters above sea level), and I asked a leaf to chew only once, getting off the bus at the top Canon del Colca. But I actually have met some guys travelling from Lima to Cuzco by plane, and they all had problems for a few days while one of the girls had to get oxygen.

The local currency is the Nuevo Sol, Sol in the spoken language, and PEN or S /. when written. Euro is not accepted as a currency of payment and is changed only in certain banks with interest rates relatively inconvenient, while the Dollar circulates as if it was local money … I suggest you buy it a little at a time before departure, according to fluctuations gear.

Throughout Peru, they all speak and write Spanish, but in the region of Puno, you will often hear the Aymara language, while in the central regions, Quechua predominates, and it is really nice to hear exchanges in this idiom … as a sweet song that enchants.

Free WiFi is available almost anywhere, including trains and buses!

Despite the alarmism of the various travel sites and the Lonely Planet, I noticed security issues are just like those of our major cities… As everywhere, avoid showing your wealth to the poorest and be careful.

Viaggio in Perù

Warning: for children of any nationality travelling with only one parent or accompanied by a third party, you need permission to travel (in Spanish and with a certified signature) from the other parent or the guardianship judge. This legislation implies the discretion of the immigration, and then the document can be required as no …

The flight

I travelled with Iberia, and I had a stopover in Madrid. The tourist class of this company is not very comfortable and services really essential, but the € 620 ticket convinced me once again to fly to South America with them.

Except for rare last-minute promotions, remember that flights are generally sold between 15 and 13 months in advance, and if you are sure of your trip, being among the first to book is always more profitable. My hesitation of two weeks cost me about € 90 …

One positive note, however, goes to the dedicated staff at the airport in Lima, who did everything to make me go home without too many hitches despite the general strike in Spain the week of my return.

My favourite itinerary

As always, I travelled as calmly as possible, setting a rough itinerary before departure and following local advice and those of other travellers who met stage by stage.

Including flight, accommodation, meals, souvenirs, tours, and transportation, I have spent € 1960. Upon arrival in Peru, I had only booked the first night in Lima …

Many coach companies connect Peruvian cities; the stations are organized and folk. Tickets can be purchased at the last-minute counter of the chosen company or in advance at the checkout of any supermarket downtown. I was quite impressed with Cruz del Sur, and to film and take pics along the way, I suggest booking the seats or bed seats in the front row on the top floor.

If you decide to join a small group, I recommend this Peru small group tours provider!

Lima, the starting point of a trip to Peru

Where to stay: at the Dragonfly Hostels in the heart of Miraflor, a short walk from the waterfront. My room, a double for single use with a shared bathroom, was simple but very colourful and clean. The rate for two people is 85 S /., but I paid 60 a night with breakfast included, extending my stay and dealing a bit.

Viaggio in Perù

Visits: the central historical quadrangle deserves a full day to visit the cathedral, churches, museums, and monasteries and then stroll around the tiny ancient streets. Among my favourites are the Convento de Santo Domingo and the Palacio Arzobispal. Entrance tickets ranging from 5 to 40 S /. and visits are held peacefully even during the weekend. Very nice also the district of Barranco. Nice and quiet, even Miraflores.

Public transport downtown is very efficient and safe, while it is not recommended to venture into the favelas just outside the centre!


From Lima to Paracas: three hours and forty-five with Cruz del Sur. For more comfort, I booked a seat-bed on the coach at 4.00 am (55 S /.).

Viaggio in Perù

Visits: at 8.00 am, I had already stored my backpack at the port of el Chaco, and I was already in the queue on the dock, ready to embark on a boat for a tour of the Islas Ballestas, after which I also visited the Reserva Nacional de Paracas. Many agencies sell these tour packages, and the rate is always between 35 and 50 S /. I paid 40 with Carol Adventure Travel.

Ica – Huacachina

From Paracas to Ica: just over an hour by bus, again with Cruz del Sur. To visit Paracas calmly, I caught the last bus at 5.30 pm, paying 25 S /. for a simple seat.

Viaggio in Perù

Where to stay: I recommend the hostel Casa de Arena, just a few steps from the oasis of Huacachina, with views over the dunes and a convivial bar next to the swimming pool. For a double room for single use with private bathroom I paid 50 I paid S /., breakfast included.

Visits: Many travel agencies organise tours and activities here, too. The closest to Casa de Arena is Pisco Travel, with whom I booked a day city tour with a visit to the oasis Huacachina, a visit to the vineyards and farms producing pisco, a typical lunch with wine and pisco tasting, a thrilling dune buggy ride and a great sandboarding session at sunset. For the complete package, I paid $ 40.

Viaggio in Perù


From Ica to Arequipa: I took the coach of Cruz del Sur from Ica at 9 pm and arrived at my destination at 9 the next morning. For a seat-bed with a dinner package on board, I paid 145 S /.

Where to stay: I recommend the Casa Dina ($ 15 per night for a double room with a shared bathroom, breakfast included). It is a “casa particular” or a family home opening its doors to foreign guests. The house is located in residential urbanization just outside the centre. Dina and her family welcomed me as one of them, and during the following weeks, they wrote to me regularly to check that everything was fine and that I was having no problems on my road trip …

Viaggio in Perù

Visits: I’m starting by saying that in Arequipa, I predicted three days, and I stayed more than a week … I fell in love with this city! Among the things that I preferred, in addition to the three-day trek in the Colca Valley and the de los Volcanes (290 S. / meals included with the agency Santa Catalina), the fantastic Monasterio de Santa Catalina I have been to several times, the Templo de la Orden Franciscana Seglar and the Casa del Moral.


From Arequipa to Puno: one of the most attractive sections! Following Dina’s advice, with 22 S /. I booked seat No. 02 in first class on the 8.30 am Julsa bus, arriving in Puno at 2.30 pm. The other companies leave simultaneously, but they don’t have the second floor on this route, so you do not have front seats …

Viaggio in Perù

Where to stay: without a doubt,  stay at what has become my second family 🙂 At Casa Panq’arani! (80 S /. per night with breakfast)

Visits: Like in Arequipa, I extended my stay in Puno several times, and finally, when I left, I did it with tears in my eyes. The city is welcoming, and the surroundings are interesting. Besides the ritual excursion on Lake Titicaca, stopping on the islands of Taquile and Amantani and visiting the Uros floating islands (which I did not like at all), I suggest you visit Julli, Amuro, Sillustani and Chuicuito.

Viaggio in Perù

If you visit Puno in early February, do not miss the traditional carnival! Edgar took me with him and his nephew to the rehearsal evening, and I will never forget the emotion I felt.


From Puno to Cusco: I travelled by coach with Tourism Mer, opting for a two-day package (120 S /.) to stop calmly in Pukara, La Raya, Sicuani, Raqchi, and Andahuayllas. Starting at 7:30 am, I arrived the next day at 5 pm. If you have a chance, it’s worth renting a car.

Viaggio in Perù

Where to stay: I chose the Hostal Quipu for the typical structure and why not in the very centre, although within walking distance. The rooms are basic but comfortable and clean, with a nice breakfast served on the pleasant patio ($ 20 per night).

Visits: I recommend buying the Boleto Turistico del Cusco (150 S /. for ten days and sixteen monuments and sites) for greater freedom. I was very impressed by Moray, Chinchero, and Pisac, where spending the day is nice.

Buses are frequent for day trips in the area and cost almost nothing (1-2 S /.).

Viaggio in Perù

It was very nice also Ollantaytambo, where I got stuck for three extra days due to flooding along the roads. A surreal experience that introduced me to wonderful people!

Aguas Calientes

From Cusco to Aguas Calientes: because of the flood, the Ruta Inca was closed, and my hiking plans were cancelled; I then took the train booking for it on the PeruRail website ($ 145 for a round-trip on the Vistadome train, two meals included). The landscape is simply amazing!

Viaggio in Perù

Where to stay: following the advice of a Belgian girl met in Puno, I booked a week at the Hostal el Mystic and had an amazing time! The rooms (50 S /.) are comfortable, clean, and overlook the river. It’s a show, but a very noisy one … the owner’s gems shop on the ground floor is charming, and his tips and stories are precious.

Visits: Aguas Calientes is small, pretty, and relatively touristy. The thermal pools are a must, and sipping cocktails and coca mate being soaked in hot water until late at night has its reason 😉

Viaggio in Perù

I climbed to Machu Picchu several times. The first visit was arranged with a guide to help me understand it all, and when I climbed again during the following days, I took my time and enjoyed the atmosphere and the beauty of the Ciudad del Sol. On my third visit, I also climbed up to Huaynapicchu for a picnic with a view. Tickets can be purchased at the offices of the Municipalidad in the centre or on the website maintained by the Ministry of Culture.

Obviously, I’ll talk about this stage in a dedicated post, but I can already say that this site represents one of the greatest travelling emotions.


From Aguas Calientes to Máncora: not to lose days on the road, I booked a flight on Peruvian Airlines from Cuzco to Piura via Lima ($ 147), and then I took a bus with other guys from Piura to Máncora (20 S /. for a three hours drive).

Where to stay: bungalows and hotels are many, and for every taste and budget, I chose the Máncora Beach Bungalows, and I really enjoyed it. Simple, on the beach, and serving great food.

Viaggio in Perù

Visits: here, there is nothing to see, but after weeks of constant strolling around, I really need three days of nothing on the beach!

Tips and advice against

  • pack a silk sleeping bag to feel comfortable and sleep well even when the venue doesn’t look clean. I’m using this one, and it’s perfect after several years and lots of trips: Stretch Silk Liner,
  • pack clothes for a week to have light luggage to carry around. Laundry shops are everywhere and are quite cheap. For more tips for packing light, you can check my detailed post
  • do not hesitate to travel on shared buses with other people. They leave only when full, but there are an infinite number of them, and they always fill up very quickly. They cost very little and are an excellent meeting option to talk to locals who
  • do not take medicine for blood pressure/altitude. The coca mate and slowness are enough!

Viaggio in Perù

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Silvia's Trips

Hi there! My name is Silvia and after 15 years between the Paris Opera and the Palau de les Arts in Valencia I now run a boutique hotel in Cinque Terre, deal with tourism management and blogging, sail, horse-ride, play guitar and write about my solo trips around the world. For more info about me and my travel blog check my full bio.