How to Plan a Short Trip to Peru

Peru is a country with diverse landscapes, amazing archaeology, and spectacular nature-based activities. It’s a destination that is on the bucket list of many travelers around the world. However, due to its long distances and high altitudes, planning a short trip to Peru can be a bit overwhelming. In this article, we’ll help you plan a one-week or ten-day trip to Peru by narrowing down your destinations and offering tips for an enjoyable and responsible trip.

The first thing to keep in mind when planning a short trip to Peru is to narrow down your destinations. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to feel like you need to visit every corner of the country. However, this approach will leave you exhausted, and you won’t be able to enjoy the places you visit fully. Instead, focus on the areas that interest you the most. Learn as much as you can about our Peru destinations and choose the ones that best fit your travel style.

Peru’s high altitude is another factor to consider when planning a short trip. When planning your short trip to Peru, we recommend that you avoid traveling straight to a place above 3,000 meters altitude and staying there. For the first two or three nights, sleep below the critical limit of 3,000 meters altitude, and take it easy in terms of activities. This approach will help you acclimate to the altitude and avoid altitude sickness. Applying the slow travel principle will ensure you stay safe & healthy, enhance your experience, and improve your positive impact on the people of the destinations visited.

So, let us help you narrowing down your choices. Use our comprehensive guide to all tourism destinations in Peru for a better understanding of each location. 

Proud hikers at the Palomani Pass - Ausangate Trek - Responsible Travel Peru

Short Trip to Peru: Don’t Miss These Essential Destinations

The Cusco region is the most popular region for tourists in Peru. With its amazing archaeology, authentic native people with colorful costumes, and spectacular landscapes, it’s no wonder why. Machu Picchu is a true highlight of the region and should be a part of any traveler’s trip to Peru. Lima is another base ingredient for any short trip to Peru. Cusco is not well connected internationally, so Lima is the gateway that you’ll most probably pass through. The city has a lot to offer, even for just half a day or a full day. Its award-winning gastronomy and culture make it a must-visit destination.

With just Lima and Cusco, your one-week itinerary to Peru is already full! For inspiration, take a look at this Impactful 7-day itinerary to help plan your trip or even to book it directly.


Recommended add-on destinations for 11-day Peru itineraries

Aside from Cusco and Lima as your base ingredients for a short trip to Peru, you could add other destinations if time allows. Destinations closer to the base ingredients will reduce travel time and CO2 emissions, so they have our preference.

Lake Titicaca is a popular destination to add after a one-week trip including Lima and Cusco. It offers new landscapes and unique living culture that you won’t experience anywhere else. You’ll only need three more travel days. Here’s an example of an 11-day short itinerary to Peru

Another great tip is to add the jungle to your itinerary, you’ll need at least three extra travel days. From Cusco, the recommended jungle destinations are Manu (reachable over land from Cusco) or Puerto Maldonado (reachable by night bus or a short (but contaminating) flight from Cusco which isn’t available every day). By adding the jungle, you will have added the third subworld of Peru to your short trip: after the coast of Lima and Cusco in the Andes. Your short trip to Peru will become a complete experience that you won’t want to miss.

Flying back to Lima is possible from both Lake Titicaca and Puerto Maldonado, so that simplifies your travel planning.

Machu Picchu on a cloudy day and Urubamba river | RESPONSible Travel Peru

What is a good itinerary for a one week or 10-day trip to Peru?

Well, that might depend on your Travel Style. At Impactful Travel, we understand that everyone has different priorities and preferences when it comes to travel. That’s why we categorize our trips according to Travel Styles, so you can choose one that suits your needs. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a culture enthusiast, or a foodie, we’ve got you covered. With our expertise, we can craft an itinerary that will make the most of your time in Peru, allowing you to see and do the things that matter most to you. So why not contact us today and let us help you plan the perfect short trip to Peru?

If you prefer to continue learning on your own, feel free! Here are our tips for short trips to Peru based on different travel styles:

How to Plan Your Ideal Short Adventure Trip to Peru

If you are an Adventure Traveler planning a short trip to Peru, we highly recommend setting aside time in Cusco to hike to Machu Picchu. Trust us, taking the train will be disappointing – you’ll want to immerse yourself in the incredible history and landscapes of the Incas. Even if you have ten days to spare, we suggest focusing on the base ingredients: a quick visit to Lima followed by Cusco for an unforgettable hike along the Inca Trail or the Coffee Route. For even more excitement, add in some short adventure activities in the Cusco area before returning home totally satisfied. And if you can swing it, don’t forget to explore Huaraz or take an active excursion on Lake Titicaca!

Hiking an Inca Road to Machu Picchu - Coffee Route - RESPONSible Travel Peru

Plan Your Short Adventure Trip to Peru:

Tips to Plan Your Unforgettable City Escape to Peru

Are you a city lover seeking an unforgettable short trip to Peru? These are our recommendations. Start your itinerary in Lima, it will certainly be a highlight for you. Why not visit the city both at the start and end of your trip to buffer any flight delays or cancellations? Next, head to Arequipa to acclimate and enjoy a Walking Tour and unique tours around the city. Finally, wrap up your adventure in Cusco with a cultural program culminating with a visit to Machu Picchu. This perfectly balanced trip idea offers the ultimate combination of city and street culture for any urban explorer. Let us help you plan your dream getaway!

Plan Your Short City Trip to Peru:

How to Plan a Short Trip to Peru if You Love Community-Based Tourism

Are you interested in immersing yourself in the authentic culture of Peru’s local communities, but don’t have a lot of time to spare? Community-based tourism is a great way to experience the customs and traditions of the people who make up this fascinating country. Although a 30-day Peru trip would be dreamy, it’s not always possible. Luckily, there are still options available for visitors with less time. In Lima, make sure to explore the outskirts and take a trip with local fishermen. As you continue on to Cusco, focus on communities in the Sacred Valley or along the Coffee Route to Machu Picchu. If you have a bit more time, consider a visit to Taquile island in Lake Titicaca or take a Manu tour that includes a stop in Shipetiari. Even with a shorter itinerary, you can still experience a wide variety of Peru’s authentic communities.

A couple of local inhabitants of the authentic Andean village of Huacahuasi is enjoying lunch with travelers visiting their community. As always, they are wearing beautiful colorful typical garments made of wool. | Community-Based Tourism with RESPONSible Travel Peru

Plan Your Short Community-Based Trip to Peru:

A Short Trip Guide for Culinary Tourists

If you’re a culinary traveler, then Peru is a dream destination waiting for you to explore. With a short trip to Peru, you can experience the country’s gastronomic wonders and discover the origins of some of the world’s most beloved ingredients. Lima is the capital city that boasts a wealth of culinary tours and experiences, along with globally acclaimed restaurants, where you could probably stay for the whole duration of your trip. However, if you want to take it up a notch, venturing out to Sacred Valley to visit potato farmers and tasting the best organic coffees on your way to Machu Picchu, should be on your agenda. This way, you can experience the true essence of Peruvian gastronomy and make your short trip an unforgettable experience.

Travelers enjoying a tasting of different preparations of the national dish ¨ceviche¨ | Responsible Travel Peru.

Plan Your Short Culinary Trip to Peru:

Essential Tips for a Short Cultural Trip to Peru

If you’re looking for a short cultural trip, Peru should definitely be on your radar. With its rich history and diverse culture, this South American country has many options to offer the culture lover in you. Begin your trip in Lima, the grand capital, where you can explore numerous museums and prepare yourself for the rest of your journey. From there, head to Cusco where you’ll be awed by the well-known top-class archaeologic sites. However, the highlight of your trip should be the Ruta Moche which spans around Trujillo and Chiclayo. This route is scattered with archaeological remains and museums that are simply unmissable. So, try to extend your stay and make it a trip of a lifetime!

A beautifully carved adobe wall in Chan Chan, the world's largest mud city close to Trujillo, Ruta Moche. Visit the archaeological wonders of Peru with RESPONSible Travel Peru!

Plan Your Short Cultural Trip to Peru:

Little Tips for Planning a Short Family Trip to Peru

If you’re traveling with smaller children, it’s important to take a few things into consideration before setting out. Firstly, take the recommendation to narrow down your itinerary seriously. Visiting fewer places and spending more time in each location will not only make for a more relaxed trip, but it will also allow for valuable interactions that can help your child’s development. For a short family trip to Peru, we suggest starting with a visit to Lima before exploring the Cusco area from a base somewhere in the Sacred Valley. With light hikes and community-based tourism activities, there is plenty to keep both kids and parents entertained. And if you have time, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the jungle or Titicaca for safe immersive experiences that will enrich and enlighten the whole family.

At the base of El Balcón del Diablo where nature and a little of archaelogy combine | RESPONSible Travel Peru

Plan Your Short Family Trip to Peru:

Recommendations on how to Plan a Short Hiking Trip to Peru

Are you planning a thrilling short hiking trip to Peru? Look no further than the breathtaking Cordillera Blanca mountain range in Northern Peru, around the city of Huaraz. With dream routes that cater to every adventurer, it’s no wonder this area is known as the real hiking mecca of Peru. To make the most of your adventure, acclimatize well before you start off, for example by staying in our welcoming community of Vicos.

If you’re looking for a short hiking trip that also includes highlights, then Cusco is the perfect destination for you. As the ultimate choice for most travel styles, Cusco offers unforgettable hiking experiences, including the must-do hike to Machu Picchu. You can acclimatize along our Coffee Route or in the Sacred Valley before taking on more serious altitude treks, such as the iconic Inca Trail or the Ausangate trek.

And for those who want to discover the rich history of our country on foot, check this article on how to Discover the Great Inca Trail network. With so much to explore, your short hiking trip to Peru is sure to be an unforgettable adventure!

Ausangate Hike

Plan Your Short Hiking Trip to Peru:

Planning a short trip to Peru for Nature lovers

Looking to focus your short trip on Peru’s breathtaking natural beauty? Then you might want to consider skipping Lima. If time is of the essence, we recommend to start with the Cusco area, where you can explore the Route of Goodies to Machu Picchu but also tick off the most important tourist hotspots. Then, combine it with a visit to the Manu National Park or Puerto Maldonado for an unforgettable nature experience. If you have extra time, adding a trip to the unique Chaparrí Reserve on the northern coast or exploring the stunning mountains of the Huaraz area will certainly enhance your nature-focused adventure in Peru!

Torrential river and lush jungle in Manu | Responsible Travel Peru

Plan Your Short Nature Trip to Peru:

How to Plan a Short and Unique Off-The-Beaten-Path Trip to Peru

Looking to venture off the beaten path during your short trip to Peru? If you’ve already seen the country’s main highlights, we recommend setting your sights on Chachapoyas. Although this region requires at least a week to fully explore, it offers an abundance of unique experiences and sights that are well worth the trip. Check out our one-week itinerary to the Chachapoyas region for inspiration! Of course, if you’re looking for a shorter excursion or have different travel preferences, any of the other regions in Northern Peru can also provide an unforgettable off-the-beaten-path adventure. But most importantly: enquire! We can take you to many special places in the country, that you won’t find even on our platform. 

The so-called skycrapers of the Andes, the archaeological site of Tantamayo in Huanuco, Peru. A very spectacular off the beaten destination that you could visit with RESPONSible Travel Peru.

Plan Your Short Off The Beaten Path Trip to Peru:

Short Trips to Peru versus Sustainable Tourism

Of course, the longer you can stay in a long-haul destination, the better. Unfortunately, the negative impact of your flight can’t easily be offset by the positive impact of sustainable travel within the destination. That’s why Impactful Travel promotes longer itineraries for all our travelers. If possible, we suggest speaking to your employer about working some extra hours before and after your holiday or working on festive days to save up enough free time for your trip to Peru. However, if extending your stay isn’t an option, don’t worry! Our travel designers are here to help you make the most out of your short trip by creating a personalized itinerary that maximizes your experience and minimizes your impact on the environment. Let’s work together to ensure that your transformative journey through Peru is as conscious and rewarding as possible!

Wrapping up

Planning a short trip to Peru doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By narrowing down your destinations, focusing on more responsible tourism, and taking into account the high altitude, you can have an unforgettable experience. Visit Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and the jungle, and you’ll have a trip full of diverse experiences. Remember to take your time, and enjoy every moment of it. Peru is waiting for you!

Explore some examples of short Peru trips

Click on the tour you like most to find all the information and book directly!
  • Kuelap's slim entrance in a yellowish rock wall that seems to be infinite along the mountain ridge | Responsible Travel Peru
    Routes to discover

    Searching for the Lost Kingdom of the Chachapoyas

    7 Days 6 Nights
    Availability : from April to October
    After this trip you will never see Peru in the same way. The Chachapoyas culture and its former kingdom is something not to miss.
  • You could soon be sailing the waters of Lake Titicaca in a traditional sailboat with RESPONSible Travel Peru!
    Packed with authentic experiences

    Impactful Peru Trip in 11 Days

    11 Days, 10 Nights
    Availability : March-January
    Experience authentic and responsible travel in Peru in just 11 days! Explore Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca with our expertly crafted itinerary designed for […]
  • Moray terraces with backlight | RESPONSible Travel Peru
    Combine highlights with authentic experiences

    Active and Immersive 7-Day Peru Trip

    7 Days, 6 Nights
    Availability : March-January
    Embark on a 7-day immersive journey through Peru’s stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, including authentic experiences with the local population, en route to breathtaking Machu Picchu.


Impactful Travel's mission is to empower transformative journeys through sustainable and responsible experiences, we are committed to enriching lives - both for travelers and local communities in Latin America.

We seek to connect meaningful tourism experiences with a committed global audience, enhancing communities and encouraging sustainable choices.

Together with you, we improve day by day, on the always-demanding path towards sustainability.


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