10 day peru itinerary

Uncover Wonder with our 10-day Peru Itinerary Guide

Peru is a stunning destination with a lot to offer. Our 10-day Peru itinerary covers some of the most impressive sites in the country, from the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to the vibrant city of Lima. Whether you’re a nature lover or a history buff, this itinerary has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the historic city of Cusco and visit the ancient Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman.
  • Take a tour of the Sacred Valley and visit the Pisac ruins, Ollantaytambo ruins, and the village of Chinchero.
  • Hike the shortened version of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and spend a full day exploring the ancient ruins.
  • Embark on a unique hike to Palccoyo, Peru’s alternative Rainbow Mountain, and enjoy breathtaking views of the Andes.
  • Spend a day in Lima, exploring its vibrant culture and historical sites, before heading to Huaraz.

Day 1 – Explore Cusco and Visit Sacsayhuaman

On the first day of your 10-day Peru itinerary, embark on an exciting adventure as you explore the historic city of Cusco and visit the ancient Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman. Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the region as you wander through the cobblestone streets of Cusco, marveling at the well-preserved colonial architecture and vibrant atmosphere.

A highlight of your day will be a visit to the impressive Sacsayhuaman, an archaeological site located just outside of Cusco. This ancient fortress showcases the incredible stone masonry skills of the Incan civilization and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Take your time to explore the intricate stone structures and imagine the grandeur of the Incan empire that once stood here.

As you explore Cusco, be sure to indulge in the local cuisine and try traditional dishes such as ceviche and lomo saltado. Don’t forget to visit the Plaza de Armas, the main square of Cusco, where you can soak in the lively atmosphere and admire the colonial buildings and beautiful fountain at its center.

Table: Top Things to Do in Cusco

Attraction Description
Machu Picchu Take a day trip to this ancient Incan citadel and marvel at its architectural wonders.
San Pedro Market Explore this bustling market and discover a wide range of local products and crafts.
Qorikancha Visit the Temple of the Sun and learn about the Incan religious beliefs and rituals.
Coricancha Marvel at the stunning gold-plated walls and beautiful architecture of this ancient Incan temple.
San Blas Neighborhood Wander through the narrow streets of this artistic neighborhood and visit local artisan shops.

After a day of exploration, treat yourself to a delicious dinner at one of Cusco’s many fine restaurants, where you can savor the flavors of Peruvian cuisine and reflect on the wonders you have experienced on your first day in Peru.

Day 2 – Sacred Valley Tour

On the second day of your Peru itinerary, embark on a fascinating Sacred Valley tour that will take you to some of the region’s most remarkable attractions. Start your day by visiting the Pisac ruins, where you can explore the ancient terraces and marvel at the impressive Incan architecture. As you wander through the ruins, take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

After exploring Pisac, continue your journey to the town of Ollantaytambo, known for its impressive Incan fortress and charming streets. Climb the steep terraces of the fortress and imagine what life was like for the ancient Incas who once inhabited this magnificent site. In Ollantaytambo, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the picturesque streets, visit local markets, and immerse yourself in the rich culture of the Sacred Valley.

Your final stop for the day will be the village of Chinchero, where you can learn about traditional weaving techniques and browse the local market. Watch skilled weavers create intricate textiles using ancient methods passed down through generations. Admire the vibrant colors and exquisite craftsmanship of their work, and perhaps even purchase a unique piece to take home as a souvenir.

Attraction Highlights
Pisac ruins Explore ancient terraces and admire Incan architecture.
Ollantaytambo Visit the impressive Incan fortress and explore the charming streets.
Chinchero Learn about traditional weaving techniques and browse the local market.

With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, the Sacred Valley is a must-visit destination during your time in Peru. This day tour will provide you with unforgettable experiences and insights into the ancient Incan civilization. Immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of the Sacred Valley as you explore its archaeological sites, interact with locals, and discover the unique traditions that have shaped this remarkable region.

Days 3 & 4 – Hike the Shortened Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Andes as you embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure hiking the shortened version of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This iconic trek is a must-do for any traveler seeking a truly unforgettable experience in Peru. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to explore ancient ruins, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage.

The shortened Inca Trail is a 2-day trek that covers a distance of approximately 12 kilometers. While it may be shorter than the traditional 4-day trek, it still offers a rewarding and immersive journey through the Andean mountains. Along the way, you’ll pass through diverse ecosystems, including lush cloud forests, majestic mountain passes, and ancient Incan ruins.

Quote: “The Inca Trail is not just a hike, it’s a pilgrimage. It’s a journey that takes you through time and connects you with the ancient civilizations that once thrived in these mountains.” – Local Guide

As you hike, take in the awe-inspiring views of snow-capped peaks, vibrant wildflowers, and cascading waterfalls. Explore the ruins of Wiñay Wayna, an impressive Incan site that offers a glimpse into the architectural marvels of the past. Finally, reach the highlight of the trek: Machu Picchu. Descend through the Sun Gate and soak in the awe-inspiring sight of this ancient citadel nestled amidst the mountains.

hike to machu picchu

To ensure a successful trek, it’s important to be prepared and physically fit. Pack lightweight but essential gear such as a good pair of hiking boots, a backpack, and appropriate clothing layers. Stay hydrated and fueled with plenty of water and snacks. Follow the guidance of your experienced guide, who will provide insights into the history and significance of the Incan civilization.

Embarking on the shortened Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu is a truly transformative experience. It allows you to not only witness the natural beauty of the Andes but also to connect with the ancient history and culture of Peru. Don’t miss the opportunity to tick this incredible adventure off your bucket list.

Day 5 – Hike Palccoyo, Peru’s Alternate Rainbow Mountain

On the fifth day of your Peru itinerary, embark on a hike to Palccoyo, an alternative to the famous Rainbow Mountain. This lesser-known trail offers equally stunning views of three rainbow-colored mountains and the surrounding landscapes. Marvel at the natural beauty of the Andes and encounter alpacas and llamas along the way. This hike is a unique and rewarding experience for nature lovers.

Palccoyo is located in the Cusco region, about 3 hours from the city. The trail is less crowded compared to the popular Rainbow Mountain, allowing you to enjoy a more peaceful and immersive hike. As you make your way through the picturesque landscapes, breathe in the fresh mountain air and take in the breathtaking views.

“Hiking in Palccoyo was an incredible experience. The vibrant colors of the mountains were unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. It was also great to see the alpacas and llamas grazing in the area. I highly recommend adding this hike to your Peru itinerary!”

– Traveler’s review

The hike to Palccoyo

The hike to Palccoyo starts from the village of Palccoyo itself. The trail is relatively easy, making it suitable for hikers of all levels of experience. Along the way, you’ll pass through beautiful landscapes of rolling hills, lush valleys, and small streams. Keep an eye out for wildlife, as the area is home to a variety of bird species.

Once you reach the viewpoint, you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the three rainbow-colored mountains. The colors are a result of the different minerals present in the rocks, creating a unique and awe-inspiring sight. Take your time to soak in the beauty of the scenery and capture some memorable photos.

Peru’s Rainbow Mountain (Vinicunca) Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain
High number of tourists Less crowded
Tough and steep hike Relatively easy hike
Longer distance Shorter distance
Single mountain Three mountains
Higher altitude Lower altitude

After enjoying the view, you’ll make your way back to Palccoyo village, where you can interact with the locals and learn about their traditional way of life. Immerse yourself in the local culture and sample some delicious Peruvian dishes.

The hike to Palccoyo offers a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of the Andes without the crowds. Make sure to include this alternative rainbow mountain in your Peru itinerary for a memorable and off-the-beaten-path experience.

Palccoyo Rainbow Mountain

Day 6 – Spend a Day in Lima Before Heading Up to Huaraz

Before heading to Huaraz, spend a day in Lima, the capital city of Peru. Explore Lima’s vibrant culture, visit historical sites such as the Plaza de Armas and the Convento Santo Domingo, and indulge in the delicious local cuisine. In the evening, take a night bus to Huaraz, a gateway to the stunning Cordillera Blanca mountain range.

Lima offers a plethora of activities and attractions to keep you entertained during your day in the city. Start your day by exploring the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and immerse yourself in the colonial architecture and rich history. Visit the Plaza de Armas, the main square of Lima, and admire the beautiful buildings, including the Government Palace and the Cathedral of Lima.

Lima Peru Itinerary

For art enthusiasts, the Larco Museum is a must-visit. This renowned museum houses a vast collection of pre-Columbian artifacts, including intricate pottery, gold, and textiles. Stroll through the museum’s beautiful gardens and learn about Peru’s ancient civilizations.

No visit to Lima is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Lima is known as the gastronomic capital of South America, and there are countless restaurants and street food stalls to satisfy your culinary cravings. Be sure to try ceviche, a traditional Peruvian dish made with fresh fish marinated in citrus juices, and don’t forget to sample the national drink, the pisco sour.

In the evening, board a night bus to Huaraz, located in the Ancash region of Peru. This picturesque city is the starting point for many outdoor adventures in the Cordillera Blanca, a mountain range famous for its stunning glaciers and peaks. Huaraz offers a range of accommodation options and is the perfect base for exploring the natural beauty of the region.

Day 7 – Visit Laguna Parón

On the seventh day of your Peru itinerary, it’s time to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range by visiting Laguna Parón. This breathtaking alpine lake is a hidden gem that offers stunning turquoise waters and majestic snow-capped peaks. Get ready for a day filled with awe-inspiring views and unforgettable experiences.

To start your adventure, you’ll embark on a scenic hike around the lake. The Laguna Parón hike takes you through picturesque landscapes, including lush meadows and towering mountains. Along the way, you’ll be captivated by the tranquility and serenity of the surroundings, making it the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature.

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Laguna Parón, where stunning turquoise waters meet snow-capped peaks.

As you walk along the trail, keep an eye out for the local wildlife that calls this area home. You might be lucky enough to spot Andean geese, ducks, or even the rare Andean condor soaring above. Take your time to capture the beauty of Laguna Parón through your camera lens, as every angle offers a postcard-worthy view.

After your hike, take a moment to relax and admire the breathtaking scenery. Find a peaceful spot by the lakeshore and simply soak in the beauty of Laguna Parón. It’s an experience that will leave you in awe of the wonders that nature has to offer in Huaraz, Peru.

Laguna Parón

Table: Laguna Parón Hike Details

Difficulty Level Hiking Time Distance
Moderate Around 4-6 hours Approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles)
Elevation Gain Highest Point Starting Point
350 meters (1,150 feet) 4,185 meters (13,731 feet) 4,200 meters (13,780 feet)

Table: Laguna Parón Hike Details

Day 8 – Hike Laguna 69

On the eighth day of your Peru itinerary, prepare yourself for an exhilarating and challenging hike to Laguna 69. This scenic trail in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range is a must-do for any hiking enthusiast. Lace up your boots and get ready to be amazed by the breathtaking beauty of this pristine glacial lake.

The hike to Laguna 69 is known for its stunning turquoise waters and towering snow-capped peaks. As you ascend the trail, you’ll be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the surrounding landscape, including cascading waterfalls, lush valleys, and rugged mountains. It’s no wonder why this trek is considered one of the best in Peru.

“The hike to Laguna 69 was an unforgettable experience. The crystal-clear waters of the lake and the majestic mountains that surrounded it left me in awe. It’s a challenging trek, but the sense of achievement and the beauty of the destination made it all worth it.” – Traveler testimonial

Be prepared for a long and strenuous hike, as the trail to Laguna 69 is approximately 13 kilometers round trip. The altitude can also be challenging, so take it slow and listen to your body. Make sure to pack plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen to keep yourself hydrated and protected from the sun.

Once you reach Laguna 69, take the time to soak in the beauty of this natural wonder. Sit by the lakeside, enjoy a picnic, and capture stunning photos to remember this incredible moment. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply appreciate the beauty of nature, the hike to Laguna 69 is an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Day 9 – Pastoruri Glacier

On the ninth day of your Peru itinerary, immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of Pastoruri Glacier. Located in the stunning Cordillera Blanca mountain range, this glacier offers a unique opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring wonders of nature.

Embark on a guided hike to explore the glacier up close and personal. As you make your way through the icy terrain, marvel at the striking blue formations and the sheer magnitude of the glacier. Learn from your knowledgeable guide about the impact of climate change on these natural wonders, and gain a deeper understanding of the need for environmental conservation.

Activity Details
Hike to Pastoruri Glacier Enjoy a guided hike to Pastoruri Glacier and explore the icy landscape.
Learn About Climate Change Gain insight into the effects of climate change on glaciers and the importance of conservation efforts.
Take in the Mountain Scenery Marvel at the breathtaking views of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range.

As you hike through this majestic environment, take a moment to reflect on the sheer power and beauty of nature. The Pastoruri Glacier is a testament to the fragile balance of our planet and the need to protect these natural wonders for future generations to enjoy.

End your day in awe of the stunning mountain scenery surrounding Pastoruri Glacier, and carry the memories of this unique experience with you as you continue your Peru adventure.

Day 10 – One last day in Lima OR day tour to Huacachina

On the final day of your 10-day Peru itinerary, you have the option to spend one last day in Lima, exploring more of the city’s attractions and savoring its culinary delights. Lima is a vibrant and bustling city with a rich history and a thriving food scene. Visit the historic Plaza de Armas and admire the colonial architecture of the surrounding buildings. Take a walk along the picturesque Malecon and enjoy stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Don’t miss the chance to try some of Peru’s famous dishes such as ceviche or lomo saltado at one of the city’s many renowned restaurants.

If you’re looking for a unique and adventurous experience, consider taking a day tour to Huacachina. Located just a few hours from Lima, Huacachina is a desert oasis surrounded by towering sand dunes. Take a thrilling dune buggy ride and try your hand at sandboarding down the steep slopes. Relax by the oasis and soak in the stunning views of the desert landscape. Huacachina is a haven for adrenaline junkies and nature lovers alike, offering a one-of-a-kind experience that you won’t soon forget.

Things to do in Huacachina:

  • Take a dune buggy ride: Hold on tight as you navigate the sandy terrain in a thrilling dune buggy ride. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you speed over the dunes and explore the vast desert landscape.
  • Go sandboarding: Strap on a sandboard and glide down the steep slopes of the sand dunes. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, sandboarding is a thrilling activity that guarantees fun and excitement.
  • Enjoy the sunset: Witness a breathtaking sunset over the desert as the sky transforms into a palette of vibrant colors. Find a cozy spot on the dunes and soak in the beauty of nature’s spectacle.
  • Try local cuisine: Indulge in delicious Peruvian cuisine at one of Huacachina’s many restaurants. Sample regional specialties such as cebiche, anticuchos, and pisco sour, and savor the unique flavors of Peru.

Whether you choose to spend your last day in Lima or embark on a day tour to Huacachina, your 10-day Peru itinerary will end on a high note. Reflect on the incredible experiences and memories you’ve made throughout your journey in this beautiful South American country.

Tips for a Successful 10-Day Peru Itinerary

Planning a 10-day trip to Peru? Here are some valuable tips to ensure a successful and unforgettable experience:

1. Be Prepared for High Altitude

Peru is known for its high-altitude destinations, such as Cusco and the Sacred Valley. To prevent altitude sickness, it’s essential to take your time adjusting and allow your body to acclimatize. Stay hydrated, avoid strenuous activities during the first few days, and consider taking altitude sickness medication if necessary.

2. Obtain Permits and Tickets in Advance

If you plan to hike the Inca Trail and visit Machu Picchu, make sure to secure the necessary permits and tickets well in advance. These popular attractions have limited daily visitor quotas, so booking ahead will guarantee your spot and avoid disappointment.

3. Pack Appropriately

Peru offers a diverse range of climates, from the high mountains to the coastal regions. Pack layers of clothing to accommodate varying temperatures and be prepared for both rain and sunshine. Don’t forget to bring comfortable hiking shoes, a waterproof jacket, sunscreen, and a hat.

4. Sample the Local Cuisine

Peru is renowned for its gastronomy, so be sure to indulge in the local cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to try traditional dishes such as ceviche, lomo saltado, and causa. Wash it down with a refreshing pisco sour, Peru’s national cocktail.

5. Respect the Local Culture

Peru has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect the customs and traditions of the local people. Learn a few basic phrases in Spanish, ask for permission before taking photos of people, and dress modestly when visiting religious sites.

6. Purchase Travel Insurance

When traveling to Peru, it’s always a good idea to have travel insurance that covers any unexpected events or emergencies. From flight cancellations to medical emergencies, having insurance will give you peace of mind throughout your journey.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a memorable 10-day adventure through Peru. From the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to the stunning landscapes of the Andes, this South American gem has plenty to offer for every traveler.


As your 10-day Peru itinerary comes to a close, reflect on the incredible experiences you’ve had in this beautiful South American country. From exploring historic cities and ancient ruins to hiking through breathtaking landscapes, Peru has offered you a taste of its rich history, vibrant culture, and natural wonders.

Throughout your journey, you’ve marveled at the architectural wonders of Machu Picchu, immersed yourself in the vibrant culture of Lima, and hiked to stunning alpine lakes in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Peru’s diverse landscapes and captivating sites have left a lasting impression on you.

By following this carefully crafted itinerary, you’ve been able to make the most of your limited time in Peru, ensuring that every day was filled with adventure and discovery. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or simply seeking new experiences, Peru has proven to be the perfect destination for your 10-day adventure.

With memories of Peru’s wonders and the friendships made along the way, you can look back on this journey with a sense of fulfillment. Your 10-day Peru itinerary has provided you with a taste of the country’s magic, leaving you longing to return and explore more of what this incredible destination has to offer.


Is this 10-day Peru itinerary suitable for all types of travelers?

Yes, this itinerary offers a mix of history, culture, and outdoor adventure, making it suitable for nature lovers, history buffs, and anyone looking to explore the best of Peru.

What should I pack for hiking in Peru?

It is recommended to pack appropriate clothing and gear for hiking, including comfortable hiking shoes, layers for changing weather conditions, a hat, sunscreen, a reusable water bottle, and a daypack.

Do I need permits and tickets for the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu?

Yes, it is important to secure permits and tickets in advance for both the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. These can be obtained through authorized tour operators or online.

How should I prepare for the high altitude in Cusco?

It is recommended to take your time adjusting to the high altitude in Cusco. Stay hydrated, avoid strenuous activity on the first day, and consider taking altitude sickness medication if necessary.

What are some must-try local dishes in Peru?

Some must-try dishes in Peru include ceviche (raw fish marinated in citrus juices), lomo saltado (stir-fried beef with onions and tomatoes), and pisco sour (a traditional cocktail made with pisco, lime juice, syrup, and egg white).

Is travel insurance necessary for this trip?

It is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance to cover any unexpected situations, such as medical emergencies or trip cancellations. Make sure to read the policy and understand what it covers.

Can I book accommodations and activities ahead of time?

Yes, it is advisable to book accommodations and activities ahead of time, especially during peak tourist seasons. This will ensure you have a place to stay and can participate in the activities you’re interested in.

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