If we only had 2 weeks: Peru itinerary

If we only had 2 weeks: Peru Itinerary | Guanaco llama alpaca at Machu Picchu | Peru Travel Guide by Cuppa to Copa Travels

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Peru is often the first place people have on their list when they’re planning a trip to South America – and too right! Home to the mind-blowing Machu Picchu and countless other archeological wonders, the sprawling mountains of the Andes and thousands of years of rich culture that the Spanish were unable to stomp down, Peru is a fantastic place to start when exploring this region.

Now you know us, we like to travel as slowly as we can, however, that’s not always possible, and we are often asked where we would prioritise for a holiday with a smaller timeframe, like 14 days. So behold! Here is our 2-week Peru itinerary for anyone who is tight on time but still wants to soak up the best that this awe-inspiring country has to offer.

As this is a 14-day trip, we assume that you will be beginning your 2-week Peru itinerary with a flight to Cusco and ending your journey in Lima.

If instead you’re coming from Bolivia overland, it’s simple enough to get a bus straight to Cusco from La Paz, which takes around 11 hours.

Now, this 2-week Peru itinerary is super-super tight on timings, so if you want a bit more breathing space I’d recommend taking out the stint in Huacachina, or skipping the Rainbow Mountain Trek and spending an extra day in Huacachina instead.

How to spend 2 weeks in Peru:

Here’s a quick run-down of my suggested 2-week Peru itinerary with recommended places to stay; below I’ll tell you more about what to do in each of these destinations.

Turn your phone to the side to fit everything in!
DayWhereWhere to stay on a budgetWhere to stay in luxury
1CuscoWild Rover Hostel if you like to party, if not head to Hommam Boutique HostelCasa Cartagena Boutique Hotel & Spa
3Machu Picchu & Aguas Calientes overnight tripIncluded in your tour
5Cusco (Rainbow Mountain Trek day tour)
6CuscoNight bus to Huacachina
7HuacachinaDesert NightsHotel el Huacachinero
8Day bus to LimaKokopelli HostelHotel Antigua Miraflores
10LimaExcluciva night bus to Máncora
11MáncoraThe Point HostelHotel del Mar or Dco Suites Lounge & Spa to be a bit further out of the town
13MáncoraNight bus to Lima

What not to miss in your 2-week Peru itinerary

Days 1-6: Cusco (+ Machu Picchu & Rainbow Mountain)

Spend the first few days of your 2 weeks in Peru acclimatising (no, literally; you’re at 3400m elevation and may experience a little altitude sickness in Peru that usually disappears within 24-48 hours), and use this time to explore the beauty of Cusco, where orange-bricked colonial styles meet indigenous Peruvian culture.

Don’t miss a browse around San Pedro Market for Peruvian llama sweaters, souvenirs and fresh fruit smoothies. Make your own chocolate in a cacao workshop, find out about the city’s history on a free walking tour, and buy a Cusco Touristic Ticket if you want to visit any of Cusco’s many museums.

There are two key away-trips to take from Cusco that your 2-week Peru itinerary wouldn’t be complete without – the obvious world wonder, Machu Picchu (with an overnight stay in Aguas Calientes, whether on what we lovingly refer to as the ‘cheapskate route‘ or with a 2-day tour that gets you there and to a few other notable sites in the valley if you have a meatier budget), and the more newly discovered Rainbow Mountain (return same day).

You’ll want at least one day of rest in Cusco between the two trips, as to do them cheaply and with as little queuing as possible you need to trek up A LOT of very steep mountain passes.

Click here for a full guide to your stay in Cusco.

things to do in peru - 2 week peru itinerary cusco

Days 7-8: Huacachina

Peru’s little oasis paradise! This short-but-sweet stint in your 2-week Peru itinerary is your chance to explore the Ica desert by getting a place on one of Huacachina’s famous (and slightly hair-raising) dune-buggying & sand-boarding adventures, and then climbing to the top of the dunes to marvel at the sunset as it comes down over the small oasis town.

Click here for a full guide to your stay in Huacachina.

Days 8-10: Lima

Walk the Bridge of Sighs in the hipster barrio of Barranco (and if you have an interest in art, photography or just Princess Diana you have to stop in at the MATE Mario Testino Museum); take a dip in the sea from Playa Agua Dulce, then visit the lovely parks of Miraflores and head to its cliffs for sunset.

Spend another day soaking up the culture, getting yourself down to the historical centre to watch the guards changing at the Palace, see age-old skeletons in the catacombs of the Basilica y Convento de San Fransisco and grab some excellent local food (ceviche is top-notch in the city, and if you’re a proper foodie a cooking workshop in Lima is an absolute must).

On the off-chancce that he still works there, take Kokopelli Hostel’s city tour with their manager, Lui, but if he doesn’t, there are plenty of other extremely highly-rated city tours that can whizz you around all the sights of Lima with information at every step.

Click here for a full guide to your stay in Lima.

things to do in peru - 2 week peru itinerary lima

Days 11-13: Máncora

It’d be wrong not to finish off your 2-week Peru itinerary with a relaxing beach destination! Máncora is a coastal town in the North of Peru, and is the perfect place to learn to surf.

Other things not to miss out on are the sunset spot at the end of a hike to the lighthouse, partying at Loki Hostel, and taking a day trip to see waterfalls, go coastal-town hopping, and rafting the white waters.

Avoid the swimming with turtles tours unless you can live the idea of with boats baiting these humongous creatures in and eventually taming them by throwing chunks of ham into the sea.

Click here for a full guide to your stay in Máncora.

Got more than 2 weeks in Peru?

In that case, we’d recommend using the above 2-week Peru itinerary but adding a trip to Arequipa after Cusco from where you can visit the Colca Canyon, and Paracas after Huacachina to go and see the Mars-like desert coastline of the Paracas National Reserve.

If we only had 2 weeks: Peru Itinerary | Paracas National park cycling desert | Peru Travel Guide by Cuppa to Copa Travels

Not yet sold on a 2-weeks Peru itinerary?

If you haven’t yet decided where in Latin America to spend your 2 weeks holiday, you might also want to check these other itineraries out before booking those flights!

peru travel destination guides blog

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2-weeks Peru Itinerary | Quechua man rides horse up to Rainbow Mountain | Peru Travel Guide


Last Updated on 30 October 2022 by Cuppa to Copa Travels

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