Backpacking Peru

Peru, that's Machu Picchu, isn't it? That's right, this historical highlight is located in Peru, but that's by no means the only reason why Peru is a great destination for your backpacking trip. Both the diverse landscape and the exciting culture are worth a trip to the west of South America.



Have fun exploring our ideal backpacking route for Peru.


Important Basics

Official language: Spanish, (Quechua, Aymara)
EnglisSpanish
HelloHola
Goodbyechau
Thank youGracias
Yes
NoNo
Capital city

Lima

Form of government

Semi presidential republic

Best time to travel

May to September

Currency

Peruvian Sol

Telephone area code

+51

Fun Facts
  • In Peru, there is a seven-coloured mountain, also called Rainbow Mountain.
  • Surf waves in Peru can be as long as four kilometres.
  • Peru owns 13 per cent of the Amazon rainforest.

Cities

Lima

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.

Ica

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).

Cusco

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.

Iquitos

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.

Máncora

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.

Lima

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!


Lima

Lima

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.

Ica

Ica

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).

Cusco

Cusco

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.

Iquitos

Iquitos

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.

Máncora

Máncora

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.

Lima

Lima

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!

Peru Route Map

Itinerary and Stops.

Tag
Route/Station
Transport
Unterkunft
1. Home - Lima
Home - Lima
Flight
375
Eight-bed dorm
9
2. Lima
Lima
-
Eight-bed dorm
9
3. Lima
Lima
-
Eight-bed dorm
9
4. Lima- Ica
Lima- Ica
Bus
12
Four-bed dorm
10
5. Ica- Cusco
Ica- Cusco
Night bus
26
Night bus
6. Cusco
Cusco
-
Four-bed dorm
8
7. Cusco
Cusco
Machu Pichu
Tour Accommodation
8. Cusco
Cusco
-
Tour Accommodation
9. Cusco
Cusco
-
Tour Accommodation
10. Cusco
Cusco
-
Four-bed dorm
8
11. Cusco
Cusco
Rainbow Mountains
Four-bed dorm
8
12. Cuso - Iquitos
Cuso - Iquitos
Flight
130
Tour Accommodation
13. Iquitos
Iquitos
-
Tour Accommodation
14. Iquitos- Lima
Iquitos- Lima
Flight
60
Eight-bed dorm
9
15. Lima- Mancora
Lima- Mancora
Night bus
26
Night bus
16. Mancora
Mancora
-
Four-bed dorm
12
17. Mancora
Mancora
-
Nacht (4er Dorm)
12
18. Mancora
Mancora
-
Nacht (4er Dorm)
12
19. Mancora- Lima
Mancora- Lima
Night bus
26
Night bus
20. Lima
Lima
-
Eight-bed dorm
9
21. Lima – Home
Lima – Home
Flight
325

Total price.

Flights 840,00
Transportation 90,00
Tours 255,00
Accommodation 125,00
Total1310,00

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Dos and Donts, Food & Drinks, Costs.

Breakfast

Steamed tamales: This corn flour cake usually consists of various fillings – from savoury to sweet, it’s everything you may wish for.

Soups

Shrimp soup: In coastal areas, shrimp soups are an absolute must-eat! Usually, there is a boiled egg in the middle, ensuring a nice nutritious meal.

Quinoa vegetable soup:  A popular soup in Peru is the spicy vegetable broth with quinoa. Usually, carrots, potatoes and leafy vegetables are added.

Main courses

Ceviche:  This fish dish is a speciality from Lima and consists of raw fish and salad.

Trucha: This fish dish consists of a trout from the famous Lake Titicaca and is a popular dish for visitors from all around the world.

Cuy: This roasted guinea pig is served with various side dishes. For us rather unusual, for the locals very delicious.

Polla a la Brasa: This is the Peruvian version of chicken and is usually prepared on a grill. Due to the local spices, it gets spicy and hot, often eaten together with chips.

Drinks

Pisco Sour: Peru’s national drink, which consists of grape liquor and lime juice with a lot of sugar and cinnamon to top it off with!

Mate de Coca: A tea made from coca leaves, which is considered a healthy healing drink.

Peru

The exchange rate for 1 Peruvian Sol is around €0.27 (as of February 2020). You can see the prices for certain products as well the cost of living below.

Cost of living 

Food

Free time

Personal hygiene

Dos

Take care of your health: In higher altitudes, problems can occur, so always play it safe!

Try Coca tea: Cocaine is made from these leaves, but they are mainly used as tea. The tea is especially effective if you have problems with altitude sickness.

Always have some cash with you, as paying in cash is the norm.

Learn some Spanish words! This is the best way to get in touch with the locals!

Don'ts

Never throw the toilet paper in the toilet: This is strictly forbidden everywhere in Peru – you throw it into a bucket next to the toilet.

Don't reduce Peru only to Machu Picchu: Of course, this is the main highlight but there is so much more!

Don't drink tap water: This actually applies to every South American country, but particularly Peru.

Visa, Visa, Passport & Vaccinations

Passport

Yes

Temporary passport

Yes

National ID

No

Temporary national ID

No

Child’s pass

Yes

Visa

Not necessary 

Vaccine

Yes 

Additional Remarks.

All travel documents must be valid for six months upon entry. We recommend researching the travel document, visa and entry requirements for your home country before your departure. If you travel to Peru, consult a health care provider before you leave to discuss vaccination requirements.

The team at Backpacker Trail wishes you lots of fun and an unforgettable trip!

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