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How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Peru

Peru is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, so you want to make sure it is as magical and as spectacular as you imagine. As experts in creating customized tours to Peru and other South American countries, our team at Perú InsideOut would like to share their expertise with you. Here are our tips on how to plan the perfect trip to Peru.

  1. Do your research

Before you book your trip, do some research to learn a little bit about the culture, the history and the amazing selection of destinations available to visitors, Peru is a vast country and offers exciting trips to the desert, the jungle, mountainous villages and busy cosmopolitan cities. You can visit the floating islands, or hike the Inca trails and canyons. Once you know what there is, you can start to plan your trip.

  1. Consider your Peruvian bucket list

After you have done your research, you can plan your bucket list – the ultimate must-see destinations you don’t want to miss. Do you intend to go to Machu Picchu? Do you want to visit the Amazon jungle? Is Lake Titicaca on your wish list? Did you want to fly over the Nazca Lines? Once you have decided on what you don’t want to miss, it is easier to come up with your itinerary.

  1. Take into account time restrictions

If you are planning to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and visit Lima, Cusco and Arequipa, with side trips to Nazca, Lake Titicaca and the Ballestas Islands, you will obviously need more than a few days. Some places require a couple of days to visit, whilst others, such as Cusco, need a bit of acclimatization due to the altitude. Your destinations will act as a base guide to the length of your tour.

  1. Think about the best time of year to travel

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is closed in February although the ruins remain open all year long. May to September is the best time to visit Peru as it is the dry season. December through to March is the wettest period with constant showers, although you can still visit during these months and create great memories.

  1. Consider your budget

Your budget will also have something to do with the planning of your trip. If you are looking at the train ride to Machu Picchu, a boat road on Lake Titicaca, a 3-day hike to Colca Canyon and a flight over Nazca Lines, then you will need to cost it out to see if you can manage the expense. Remember you will need to take into account accommodation costs, dining out expenses and enough money for souvenirs.

Once you are ready to book your travel, contact the team at Perú InsideOut, and we can work with your plan. We offer both packaged and personalized plans to Peru and will be happy to advise you on your trip.

How to plan a perfect trip

Travel is fun until something goes wrong, so it is important to ensure you have covered all the basics before you set off. Here are our 5 useful tips to help you plan the perfect trip.

  1. Decide where you want to go

The first thing is to decide where in the world you want to go. Are you dreaming of far-flung destinations like Peru or Bolivia? Or are you looking for something a little closer to home? Think about what you want to see and how much time you have for your vacation. Research your destination and start planning. Let your imagination run wild.

  1. Check your documents

Check your passport  to ensure the validity will expire after you return from holiday. If it is your intention to apply for a passport, make sure you allow enough time for processing and delivery. There are expedited services available, but these, of course, will incur extra fees. If you plan to drive abroad, you may need to consider getting an International Driving Permit. Double check whether a visa and whether vaccinations are required for your destination.

  1. Set a budget

Once you have decided where you want to go and what you want to see, its time to budget for your holiday. Are you aiming for a personalized tour or prefer a group experience? Do you want to travel solo or arrange a trip with friends? Look at the options and assess all costs involved, leaving nothing to chance. Once you have a budget, you can start making a plan.

  1. Create a rough plan of your itinerary

When you know how much you can spend on your trip, you can start to plan your itinerary in more detail. Research the cities and sites you want to visit and ensure you exploit at best the allotted time, staying within your budget. Firm up dates and timing as much as possible, allowing some time for relaxation.

  1. Start saving for your trip

It is important you have enough money, so you have no worries whilst you are away. Also make sure you have enough to let your hair down a little at least once or twice during the trip. 6. Book your flights and accommodation

Once you know you can take the necessary time off work and have enough money available, you need to book your flights and accommodation, maybe also tours. When your flights are booked, you can refine the rest of your itinerary.

  1. Notify your bank and let them know you are traveling

It is always a good idea to let your bank, and/or credit card issuer, know you will be traveling. Banks can be very quick to put a hold on cards if you are in faraway countries. To ensure your transactions are not marked as fraudulent, give them plenty of notice. There is nothing worse than being on holiday without access to money or credit card payments.

  1. Pack well in advance

Make a packing list and make sure you have all you need. Allow yourself enough time to have everything ready so you aren’t running around at the last minute.

  1. Travel insurance

You may not think travel insurance is necessary, but it is definitely worth looking into. It may cover flight delays or lost luggage. Read the fine print and make sure you understand the terms and conditions. You may need to shop around and compare policies to find one to suit you.

  1. Have fun

Once everything is pre-arranged and you are ready to go, don’t forget to relax. It is a holiday after all!

Cusco Attractions: Koricancha and the Temple of the Sun

Koricancha (meaning golden courtyard) located in Cusco was one of the most important sites of the Inca Empire. It was said to be a splendid place with gold doors, emerald studded wall; and courtyards filled with gold statutes.

Within Koricancha the Temple of the Sun was a holy site for the Inca. Dedicated to Inti, the walls were covered gold plated and the temple housed a jeweled-encrusted golden statue of the sun god. Each day the statue was taken outside and moved back inside the temple each evening. A gold and silver garden was created in Inti’s honor featuring a corn field, guinea pigs, birds, shepherds, jaguars, llamas, monkeys, insects and butterflies. What a sight to behold! Unfortunately all that remains today is a selection of corn stalks as proof of the people’s respect for the sun god.

In addition to the Temple of the Sun,  Koricancha housed five separate temples dedicated to Viracocha, the creator god, Quilla, the goddess of the moon, Illapa, the god of thunder, Cuichu, the rainbow god and Venus, the goddess of the dawn. Each temple contained a statue in honor of the god as well as art and other religious objects.

It is said that the original construction of Koricancha had been carried out under the orders of Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui and additional construction was done by Maco Capac in the early 12th Century. The site was built to resemble the sun complete with rays shining in all directions.

The Spanish colonists eventually built the Church of Santo Domingo demolishing the temple and using its foundations for the church in an attempt to obliterate the Inca beliefs. Any remaining gold was melted into ingots and claimed by the Spanish crown.

Little remains of the Koricancha original buildings or the temple other than sections of the stone walls for which the Inca are well known.  Their masonry skills were avant-garde. It is definite worthwhile visiting Koricancha and the Santo Domingo Church to admire the combination of Inca and colonial architecture.

Huacachina – An Oasis in the Peruvian Desert

For thrill seeking and bold tourists, we recommend heading away from Lima and visit Huacachina. Known as ‘the oasis of America’, the famous lush oasis in the desert has quite a folktale behind it; but it is not the mermaid from the lagoon that draws in the majority of the crowds.

The desert of Huacachina entices men, women and children of all ages to climb aboard the dune buggies or slide down the dunes on sandboards. Unlike snowboarding, no experience is required; you can literally lie down on your stomach and ride the sand dunes to the bottom where your buggy driver will be waiting to take you to the next dune. Then repeat twice more, each time the size of the dune gradually increases.

Note that the sand dunes in Huacachina are huge and buggies go fast – very fast; together they ensure quite an adrenaline-fueled rollercoaster-like experience.

This tour is one of the most popular in the area and even rivals the Pisco tours in nearby Ica.

A local legend attributes special healing powers to the mud and the water in the area for curing all manner of ailments including arthritis, asthma and rheumatism.

If you think the oasis looks and sounds familiar, then you may be surprised to learn that the image of the Huacachina Oasis is actually on the Peruvian 50 Nuevo Sol note.

The sand dunes in Huacachina are inspiring and offer a truly out of this world experience. A rare opportunity to have a personalised and unique tour of the desert.

Perú InsideOut –Testimonials Speak For Themselves

We specialize in creating travel packages for visitors from all over South America. Some are first time visitors to Peru and others are return visitors wanting something a little different from what the traditional tour guides offer.

Our team works hard to source quality guides and reputable experiences that showcase the best that Peru, and in some cases Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile, have to offer. Here is what some of our customers had to say.

If you have travelled with Perú InsideOut, we would love to publish your testimonial. Please email the team at with your comments.

Choquequirao Ruins

The remote ruins of Choquequirao lie in the Vilcabama mountain range in Peru and will remain a highlight of the visit to this amazing South American country if you have the time.

If you are looking for an adventurous and alternative hike to Machu Picchu, Choquequirao is perfect and can be reached from Cusco. Treks usually start from the small village of Cachora. Meaning “cradle of gold”, Choquequirao is a trek for those looking for something a little off the beaten path.

Choquequirao shares similar architectural styles to Machu Picchu and, from a historical perspective, was an administrative settlement associated with the Inca Empire. The city was an important link between the Amazon Jungle and the city of Cusco.

For those who embark on this hike, the landscape will offer breathtaking experiences in every direction. From amazing flora and fauna to snow-capped mountains and glaciers, Choquequirao lies I the impressive Apurimac Canyon to reach the ruins.

There are many sections of Choquequirao which are quite spread out usually requiring a full day of exploration to see it all. Unlike Machu Picchu, the site is not overrun with visitors and you will enjoy a tranquil tour. Less than 100 people visit Choquequirao each day in comparison to 2,500 people visiting Machu Picchu. Only 30-40% of the ruins have so far been excavated.

As the hike is quite strenuous, there has been much talk over the years of a cable car which will eliminate the difficulty in access and increase the number of visitors. The Peruvian Government is yet to confirm its decision.

If you are looking to visit ruins which remain fairly untouched, the lost city of Choquequirao is worth exploring.

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