Peru’s capital is also the country's largest city with almost seven million inhabitants. There are so many things to discover.
Popular sights are the Plaza de Armas with the presidential palace and cathedral, the colourful artists' quarter Barranco and the Park of the Reserve with its evening light show.
Lima is also the country’s culinary hotspot and a perfect place to try Peruvian cuisine specialities. Join the market on Avenida Abancay, discover the dynamic international district of Miraflores or stroll along the coast on the Malecón.
You can stay in a hostel here for only €9 in an 8-bed dorm.
Continue by bus for around €12 southwards to Ica.
Ica is also called the 'city of eternal summer' because of its location at the edge of the desert. The city is rich in culture with numerous museums and buildings from the Spanish colonial period.
However, the main attraction is the nearby desert landscape with the highest dunes in South America. With a height of up to 100 meters, they are perfect for sandboarding or a speedy tour with the sand buggy. Don’t miss Huacachina, the American continent’s only oasis.
During your time in Ica, stay overnight in a centrally located hostel, for €8 (five-bed dorm).
Take the bus for about €26 to Cusco.
The old royal city is Peru’s tourist hotspot and the starting point for excursions to the country’s most famous sights.
The old Inca city, Machu Pichu, is one of the greatest archaeological mysteries. Due to its location on a mountain peak in the Andes at 2,360 meters above sea level, it is also called the 'city in the clouds' and is an unmissable architectural masterpiece.
Much less touristy, but absolutely worth seeing are the Rainbow Mountains. The mountain rock has a series of various colored stripes that formed millions of years ago due to the sediment of minerals throughout the area. This gave the mountains turquoise, lavender, gold and other colors.
The hike takes you through the surreal landscape of the Rainbow Mountains, past traditional mountain villages and lamas. The route’s destination is Vincinca Mountain at 5,000 meters above sea level, where you will have a unique 360-degree view over the colourful landscape, as well as the glaciers and snow-covered peaks of the Andes in the distance.
The air becomes much thinner at higher altitudes, so only go on such a tour with a guide and the appropriate equipment. Including hostel pick-up/drop-off in Cusco, transport, food and equipment, the tour starts from €43.
In Cusco itself, there is another large Inca excavation and a magnificent viewpoint. Hostels near the centre offer you an ideal place to stay. For 8 euros a night, you can get a bed in a 4-bed dorm.
Save money by travelling by bus instead of by train. PS: The tour should not cost more than €185,40.
The next stop is the world’s largest city that cannot be reached by road.
Iquitos is located in the northeast and is surrounded by tropical rainforest. Flights from Cusco to Iquitos start at €130.
The city is the starting point for excursions into the surrounding Amazon region. The following three-day Amazon jungle tour is an unforgettable experience! Explore the rainforest’s fantastic landscape, observe exotic animal species and learn about the culture and customs of the jungle community.
A boat tour on the legendary Amazon River brings you to Sinchicuy Lodge where you will spend two nights in the wilderness. Dive into the rainforest and enjoy its exquisite nature for three days.
This jungle adventure only costs €215 per person and includes airport transfer on arrival and departure, a tour guide, accommodation and full board.
Return to Lima for about €60 and take a bus to Máncora for €26.
The bathing paradise in the country’s north is the perfect place to relax after last week’s exciting experiences. The miles-long sandy beaches around the fishing village make it the perfect place to just lie down and enjoy the sun.
Máncora is also a hotspot for water sports enthusiasts; so how about a kite surfing course or a surfing lesson? Enjoy fresh fish, seafood and many other specialities in the coastal town’s numerous restaurants and bars.
You can stay in a hostel in Máncora for as little as 12 euros a night. For that, you get a bed in a 4-bed dorm.
After a few days of relaxation, take the bus back to the capital for €26.
The districts of Miraflores and Barranco are perfect for shopping for last-minute souvenirs for friends and family. At the street markets, you also have the opportunity to try typical local dishes such as ceviche, cuy or picarones.
At the end of your South American adventure in Lima, take the plane back home – with lots of nice memories and a little bit of Peruvian joie de vivre!