In total, we spent 30 days in Peru:
- 12.09: arrival in Peru, night bus to Huaraz
- 13.09 – 20.09: Huaraz with day trip to Laguna 69 and Pastoruri Glacier + Santa Cruz Trek
- 21.09: Bus to Lima and night bus to Arequipa
- 22.09-24.09: Arequipa, visit of the city and the Monastery of Santa Catalina
- 25.09-28.09: Trek in the Colca Canyon
- 29.09: Night bus from Arequipa to Cusco
- 30.09-02.10: Visit of Cusco and day trip to the Rainbow Mountain
- 03.10-05.10: Sacred Valley, where we visited Pisaq and Ollantaytambo ruins + the Moray terraces and the Salineas
- 06.10-09.10: Inca Jungle tour to Machu Picchu
- 10.10: Cusco
- 11.10: Night bus to Copacabana, our first stop in Bolivia
To give you a better idea, here is a map of our itinerary. We used the website A contresens to create it, have a look at it, it’s actually a great help when you plan your trip!
We spent 59€/ day for 2 persons. Can you visit Peru and send less money? Yes, definitely! For example, we only took double rooms, no dormitory. We also chose to travel with cama seats for almost every bus ride. Here are examples of prices we paid on average (for information, 1€ = 3,8 soles):
- for a double room with breakfast, between 40 and 60 soles – the equivalent to 10 – 15€
- for a meal, between 5 and 15 soles in a local restaurant for a set menu. If you want to eat in a touristic restaurant, plan around 30 soles for the lunch and 45 for the diner
- If you want a good coffee, you will have to go to a place for tourists and therefore pay more than what you would in a local place, so plan between 8 to 10 soles
Some tips to save up a little bit in Peru
Share you taxi when you arrive at a bus terminal to go to the Main Plaza with other passengers: all the hostels are anyway located maximum 15 minutes away from the Plaza de Armas 😉
Eat out mainly for the lunch – the menus are cheap, but try to cook for dinner. Indeed, very few restaurants offer set menus for the dinner, and if you order individual dishes from the menu, you will definitely spend more.
In Peru, hostels make a distinction between a double room and matrimonial room: the first is actually a twin room whereas the second is a room with a double bed. The price different between both can be surprisingly big, so if you are a couple but you don’t mind sleeping in separate beds for some nights, go for the “double” rooms. You can anyway squeeze into a single bed if you really want to sleep next to your love one – it will even help you to keep warm 😉
We mainly chose cheap accommodations but avoided those with bad ratings on Tripadvisor or Booking – in general, we tried to pick hostels with ratings above 8 on Booking. Here are the hostels we tried:
- Huaraz: Artesonraju Hostel – the twin or triple rooms are better than the double rooms! The environment is quiet and the hostel is clean. The prices are very good and include the breakfast. The atmosphere is ok, nothing particular. The hostel is located some 10-15 minutes uphill from the city center.
- Arequipa: El Albergue Español Backpackers – good hostel with fair prices for Arequipa, great location within a few walking minutes from the Plaza de Armas. The rooms are nice and the rooftop is great to have a beer in the evening 😉 we also tried the Hostal Katty – it was not bad, but not good either, quite pricey for what you get in our opinion.
- Cusco: America Guesthouse – our favorite hostel in Peru! The prices were really good for Cusco, with some beautiful paintings on the walls. The included breakfast was actually tasty and the staff helpful. If you can, book it directly when you arrive in Peru, the price difference between Booking.com and what you pay directly at the hostel is quite high…
The typical food in Peru consists of a trigo based soup and a main dish containing chicken, rice and potatoes. This carbohydrate heavy combination helped us sustaining intense periods of exercises and we can assure you that we did not gain weight! But when you look around, you see that the Peruvians are globally far from slim, so this alimentation is probably only good when you do a lot of sport… Here are some sample pictures of the food we ate in Peru.
While we mainly stayed with the very economic Peruvian food, especially the 5 to 10 soles almuerzo menu for lunch, we sometimes found restaurants with a more cuisine European style that we enjoyed a lot, like Ratatouille in Arequipa! Overall, we ate very well in Peru, even during our treks. The variety of fresh fruits and cheap freshly pressed juices enabled us to have a healthy and enjoyable diet 🙂
A special notice is certainly the Ceviche restaurant we found in Cusco, which was amazingly good and gave me the opportunity to test Peru’s national dish – besides the guinea pig: delicious 😀
What we liked
Almost everything! We really loved Peru: the landscapes are amazing, the people are nice and helpful… We loved our Santa Cruz trek, probably the best we did in Peru! When you plan to mainly visit the South of Peru, it seems a little bit a hassle to go up to Huaraz but believe us, it is totally worth is. We loved the feeling of the city and the surrounding mountains offer so many hiking possibilities 😀
The Sacred Valley had a very nice flair as well, we enjoyed spending a few days there! And of course, our visit to Machu Picchu was a highlight.
What we liked less
For Kai, definitely the strawberry jam we had at each breakfast: it seems to be the only kind of jam you can get in Peru and when you don’t like strawberries, well… Sad for you! Globally, if you only eat the cheap local menus, you will eat a lot of rice, chicken and potatoes – so the variety is a little bit limited.
For me, the bus day between Huaraz and Lima and the night bus between Lima and Arequipa: when you spend hours trying not to puke, time passes by sooo slowly!!