12 days in Peru Itinerary

12 days in Peru Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Peru Itinerary

Start: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Fly:  8 h
1
Lima
— 1 night
Fly:  2 h
2
Arequipa
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
3
Puno
— 2 nights
+4
Fly + Taxi + Bus + Foot + Train:  11 h 15 min
4
Machu Picchu
— 2 nights
+2
Train + Foot + Bus:  3 h 15 min
5
Cusco
— 3 nights
Fly:  10 h 30 min
End: San Juan, Puerto Rico

1
night
Lima

Founded in 1535 by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro, Lima represents an interesting blend of modern attractions and preserved colonial architecture, much of it clustered in the World Heritage-listed city center.
To see ratings, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Lima sightseeing planning website .

San Juan, Puerto Rico to Lima is an approximately 8-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from San Juan to Lima is minus 1 hour. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from San Juan in December; daily highs in Lima reach 28°C and lows reach 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can travel to Arequipa.

Things to do in Lima

Tours Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
Centro Historico de Lima ©
Centro Historico de Lima

2
nights
Arequipa

Arequipa ©
In an area dominated three imposing volcanoes, Arequipa vacations allow visitors to admire well-preserved colonial architecture in a dramatic setting.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): get to know the fascinating history of Yanahuara, get engrossed in the history at Museo Santuarios Andinos, then get to know the fascinating history of Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus, then steep yourself in history at Historic Centre of Arequipa, and finally see the interesting displays at Santa Catalina Monastery. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the striking features of La Mansion del Fundador, make a trip to Complejo de la Compania de Jesus, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de Yanahuara ( San Juan Bautista), then admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Virreinal, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Museo de la Catedral de Arequipa, and finally get a taste of life in the country at Mundo Alpaca.

For maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Arequipa road trip planning tool .

You can fly from Lima to Arequipa in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, Arequipa is slightly colder than Lima - with highs of 24°C and lows of 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Puno.

Things to do in Arequipa

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Highlights from your plan
Museo Santuarios Andinos ©
Museo Santuarios Andinos
Historic Centre of Arequipa ©
Historic Centre of Arequipa
Museo de la Catedral de Arequipa ©
Museo de la Catedral de Arequipa

2
nights
Puno

Puno ©
Hugging the western tip of Lake Titicaca, Puno serves as a melting pot of indigenous and imported cultures, and makes a great base for explorations around the region.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): step off the mainland to explore Taquile Island, then take a tour of Yavari Museum, and then steep yourself in history at La Casa del Corregidor.

For maps, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Puno holiday planner .

You can drive from Arequipa to Puno in 4.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect slightly colder evenings in Puno when traveling from Arequipa in December, with lows around 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Puno

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Taquile Island ©
Taquile Island
Catedral de Chucuito ©
Catedral de Chucuito
Yavari Museum ©
Yavari Museum

2
nights
Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu ©
A symbol of the Incan civilization, the abandoned city of Machu Picchu represents a must-see on a Peru vacation.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): see the interesting displays at Museo de Sitio Manuel Chavez Ballon and then contemplate the long history of Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu. On the next day, take in nature's colorful creations at Los Jardines de Mandor, then delve into the distant past at Winay Wayna, and then identify plant and animal life at Jardin Botanico en Machu Pichu.

To see maps, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Machu Picchu travel route planner .

You can drive from Puno to Machu Picchu in 11.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Winay Wayna ©
Winay Wayna
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu
Los Jardines de Mandor ©
Los Jardines de Mandor

3
nights
Cusco

Cusco ©
Capital of the Inca Empire for three centuries, World Heritage-listed Cusco is now a major tourist destination, drawing nearly 2 million annual tourists with its well-preserved colonial architecture and proximity to Machu Picchu.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Sat): take in the dramatic natural features at Cerro Colorado Vinicunca and then explore the ancient world of Sacsayhuaman. On the 29th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the ancient world of Piquillacta, then trot along with a tour on horseback, and then get engrossed in the history at Museo Quechua.

To see other places to visit, photos, maps, and tourist information, go to the Cusco trip maker website .

Getting from Machu Picchu to Cusco by combination of train and bus takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Cusco are 24°C, while nighttime lows are 9°C. On the 30th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Tours Parks

Side Trips

San Pedro Apostol de Andahuaylillas, Piquillacta
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Horseback Riding Tours
Piquillacta ©
Piquillacta

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