21-day backpacking itinerary in Peru

Next month I will take the longest trip of my life, a 21-day backpack in Peru. I have already assembled and reassembled this script several times, including or not Bolivia and Chile, but in the end I decided to stay only in Peru, which already has incredible enough landscapes.

The main attraction, of course, is Machu Picchu. Access to the sacred temple and the main trails is controlled, so first I closed this tour with a tourist agency, and then set up the rest of the tour. To do the trails it is preferable to go between the months of May to October because of the dry weather. Tickets for the most popular trails sold out months before, so as I was unable to book the classic Inca trail (4 days), I booked the short Inca trail (2 days) and a tour of the sacred valley by the company Living Lands.

I plan to spend the first three days getting to know the city of Cusco and acclimating myself. Cusco is about 3400m above sea level, and physical activity without acclimatization can result in Soroche, a discomfort caused by the lack of habit with the rarefied air. On the fourth day, the Terras Vivas guide comes to pick up tourists at their respective hotels to discover the Sacred Valley, spend the night in Ollantaytambo, take the short Inca trail to the Gate of the Sun, spend the night in Águas Calientes, and finally get to know the sacred temple of Machu Picchu. An optional tour is climbing the Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountains - the most popular is Huayna Picchu, where the most famous pictures of the sacred temple are taken, so tickets sell out faster. Once again I arrived late, and on the date that I will be there, I only got the ticket to the Machu Picchu mountain. Okay, I’m told you’re just as beautiful!

That alone would make for a sensational trip, but for me it will only be the beginning 🙂 After returning to Cusco, I will take the 8:00 am bus to Puno, a city that borders Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world (above 3800m ). It is an eight hour journey, so I will be able to enjoy the afternoon and night there, so that the next day I can visit the Floating Islands of Uros and Taquile. In them practically everything is made with totoras, a species of plant very associated with the local culture, including boats, houses and even the islands themselves:

Finishing the tours in Puno, I will take the night bus to Arequipa (another six hours by bus). Arequipa is a mega charming city, with its white stone buildings and huge El Misti volcano marking the landscape. It has the Andean Sanctuary museum, where you can see the Juanita Mummy, and the Canyon del Colca, deeper than the Grand Canyon of the United States. It is worth staying at least two days to know everything.

From Arequipa I will take another night bus, this time a long journey of almost twelve hours to Ica. I will finally be able to fulfill my dream of flying over Nazca lines and seeing the famous inscriptions on the ground! It is estimated that they were created between 400 and 650 AD, but were only "discovered" in 1930, with the beginning of the use of airplanes over the area.

The tour is short, just over an hour long, so I can visit the beautiful Oasis of Huacachina on the same day. You can do some walks in the dunes, have dinner in front of the lagoon and sleep there.

The next day, I will take the bus to the Paracas nature reserve, just an hour away from Ica. I want to know the beaches, islands, and as much as I can of the natural landscapes. I will continue to Lima on the third day.

Lima is one of the gastronomic capitals of the world. I don't intend to spend much time there, but I will make sure that every meal is a memorable experience. 🙂

The next and last stage, which is shorter than I would like, will be to visit the white mountain range in Huaraz. It has some well-drawn trails, where the reward is the view of turquoise lagoons and snowy peaks. It is the stretch where I will face the highest altitude - mountains of 4500m or more, but I believe that I will be acclimated enough by then.

Summing up:


# Activities
1 - Arrival in Cusco at 3pm and tours
2 - Tours in Cusco
3 - Tours in Cusco
4 - Sacred Valley Tour
5 - Short Inca Trail
6 - Machu Picchu
7 - Departure at 8 am to Puno, arrival at 2:30 pm. Tours in Puno
8 - Tours on the Uros and Taquile Floating Islands. Departure at 10:30 pm to Arequipa
9 - Arrival at 4:30 am in Arequipa and tours
10 - Tours in Arequipa. Departure at 9:30 pm to Ica
11 - Arrival at 9 am in Ica. Flight over the Nazca lines, tours in Huacachina
12 - Tours in Huacachina. Departure at 3pm, arrival at 4pm in Paracas and tours
13 - Tours in Paracas
14 - Tours in Paracas. Departure at 3pm, arrival at 7pm in Lima and tours
15 - Tours in Lima
16 - Departure at 10:30 am and arrival at 6 pm in Huaraz
17 - White Mountain Range
18 - White Mountain Range
19 - White Mountain Range
20 - Departure at 11am, arrival at 6pm in Lima and tours
21 - Return to São Paulo

Almost two thousand kilometers of guaranteed fun. I know it will be tiring, I am willing to adapt whatever is necessary, and let's see what happens!

Published by

Grazi Bonizi

I lead the .Net Architecture track at The Developers Conference, share code on GitHub, write on Lambda3 Medium and Blog, and participate in Meetups and PodCasts typically on DevOps, Azure, .Net, Docker / Kubernetes, and DDD

One thought on “Roteiro de 21 dias de mochilão no Peru

  1. Good afternoon Grazi!
    I saw your posts. I am planning to do this same route that you did for 21 days with my fiancee. Maybe I'll stay in Huaraz for a few more days. I wanted to know how much more or less each one should spend taking the ticket.
    Thanks!

Leave a Reply