Last week we told you how hard it was to get to know all of Peru even if you had a year to travel around the country. Sometimes the only time we can spare to travel is just a week and of course, that means sacrificing many things and places you won’t be able to visit, as well as optimizing time as much as possible.
If you want to come to Peru and see Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley, we have a tour just for you. But, if you want to see the Amazon jungle on top of that, here’s the route we recommend. Keep reading!
Day 1: Arrive in Lima, spend the night.
Day 2: Travel to Cusco, stay and explore in this city.
Day 3: Head out early in the morning to Machu Picchu, go back to Cusco for a second night.
Day 4: Take a boat trip to Madre de Dios. Overnight stay at a jungle lodge.
Days 5 and 6: Travel to the Tambopata Reserve and stay in a jungle lodge.
Day 7: Departure to Cusco and then to Lima.
Start your Peru adventure in Lima
Since you are only staying in Peru for one week and there is a lot to see we recommend you take domestic flights so that you don’t waste any time traveling by bus.
Once you arrive in Lima you can stay in this city for one night and take a look around. You can go to the different districts, such as Barranco for instance where you can experience the bohemian side of the Peruvian capital.
Also, don’t forget to try Peruvian food. Seafood is very popular, and we have the list of the best restaurants to go to.
Then, you will travel from Lima to Cusco. There are many ways to do so, but since you only have one week to visit Peru, we recommend you take a domestic flight. In this magical city you can find a city tour since there is so much to explore.
Visiting Machu Picchu
After spending a night in Cusco, it is time to go to Machu Picchu. If you don’t want to spend much money, you can get there spending less than $10 US dollars going through Hidroeléctrica and Aguas Calientes but you will have to hike for a little bit. However, you can also take a train to get there faster and more rested.
After experiencing the glory of the ancient Inca citadel, go back to Cusco for a second night. Your fourth day you will take off from Puerto Maldonado on a boat trip down the Madre de Dios River, a tributary of the Amazon River.
You can arrive in Puerto Maldonado by air since flights are available from Cusco.
Tambopata Reserve and the Peruvian Amazon experience
This itinerary suggests you spend three full days in a jungle lodge in the Tambopata Reserve. Here you can climb to the top of the forest canopy, trek through the rainforest and take canoe trips to discover amazing wildlife.
If you have more time to spare we suggest a 5-day additional trip to Manu National Park, which is deeper in the jungle.
On the seventh day, fly back to Cusco and then to Lima, although there are often direct flights to Lima.
Cover Photo: Latin America For Less
This article has been updated from its original publication on July 18, 2019.