Your ultimate Peru travel guide

Machu Picchu Mountain Peru, South America

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Peru, the legendary land of the Incas, is one of the world’s most diverse and spectacular Countries, brimming with natural wonders, snow-capped Mountains, tropical glaciers, and turquoise lakes stretching from the Andes to the Jungle. To plan 3 weeks in Peru is quite a challenge with the trillions of things to see and do. After an amazing time in Peru, I’ve decided to share our 3 week Peru Itinerary and reasons to visit this incredible Country.

“The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao Tzu.”

A couple standing on Rainbow Mountain Peru
Us on Rainbow Mountain Peru

Best Adventure Holidays in Peru

Travel Tips for Peru

Where is Peru located?

Being the fourth largest country in South America, Peru borders Ecuador and Colombia in the North and Brazil and Bolivia in the East. Home to Huascarán, one of the highest mountain peaks in South America, plus at least 30 other Mountains above 6,000 metres mark, with the Andes that separates the rainforest from the desert.

The Best 3-Week Peru Itinerary

Highlights of Peru

Alpacas on Alpaca farm Huacaya Alpaca Peru

The legendary land of the Incas offers more than a Machu Picchu holiday. Peru promises an unforgettable lifetime experience and offers much more than trekking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu.

Besides the famous Peru places, there are endless things to see, do and experience in this legendary land of the Incas.

A 3-week Peru Itinerary promises a beautiful experience, but you will want to return as 3 weeks in Peru is not nearly enough to explore all the famous places in Peru.

Adventure Holidays Peru Famous Places

  • Laguna Humantay trek / Lago Humantay
  • Experience the Colca Canyon Condors
  • Experience the Sandoval Lake Otters
  • Macaw clay lick at Puerto maldonado
  • Cusco to Lake Titicaca tour
  • Sandboarding in Peru Huacachina desert

Things to know before going to Peru

Peru Official languages

Although Peru is a multilingual nation, its official Peru language is Spanish, and Quechua is the second most widely spoken native language. Quechua, the Peru language of the Inca empire, remains strong in the Andean regions. Other indigenous languages are Aguaru, Aymara, Ashaninka, and Shipibo.

Travel Insurance for Peru

You can obtain a free quotation for travel insurance to Peru. You can see the 13 reasons you cannot afford to travel without travel insurance. World Nomad Travel Insurance also provide cover for altitude sickness and extreme sport.

How to get to Machu Picchu from Lima

International flights fly into Lima, the Capital of Peru and gateway to Machu Picchu. We arrived in Lima at 5 a.m., from where we flew out to Cusco to save us time and money. We suggest exploring Lima at the end of your journey.

Getting flights to Peru Machu means first getting to Cusco via Lima. We headed straight to the Sacred Valley when our flight landed in Cusco. We booked a taxi with ‘Taxidatum’ way in advance and even received a discount. Another option is by bus or train.

How to travel in and around Peru by Train.

Peruvian Andean women and children dressed in traditional clothing with baby Alpacas in street in Peru
Andean women and children dressed in traditional clothing with baby Alpacas in Peru

The Best time to visit Peru

As the climate differs between each distinct geographic region, the best times to visit Peru depend on where you want to go and the experiences you wish to enjoy during your 3-week Journey in Peru. May is the end of summer, and Machu Picchu weather in June is excellent! Everything is still relatively green in May, with lovely warm days and little rain.

The best months to visit the Andes and Jungle regions are the Peruvian winter or dry season between May and October. We visited Peru in May, and it was perfect, with the surroundings relatively green, with less rain than during the summer months.

Peru Weather

Peru, with its 90 different microclimates and impressive Andes mountains, that includes 28 of 32 world climates and 5 most biological countries. Peru’s three central regions Coast, mountains, and jungle, contain three central climates.

Andean region

The Andean region will take your breath away and is a fantastic place to visit in Peru. Firstly, the Andean region gets a lot of rain in the summer, from December to April. With dry winters when days are still lovely and sunny, but it gets pretty cold at night.  The primary tourist season, generally, is May to October, with the busiest months being June to the end of August.

Coastal region

Secondly, with its subtropical climate, the Coastal area gets very little rain from June to September, their mild winter months.

Eastern rainforest

Thirdly, with its equatorial climate, the Eastern rainforest gets rain all year round, with scorching temperatures.

Amazon region

The Amazon region has a tropical equatorial climate and is hot all year round.  

Altitude sickness Peru

One should take necessary precautions against altitude sickness to avoid ruining your vacation or getting hospitalised. Some people, especially those not used to high altitudes, get badly affected in Peru. Altitude sickness is a severe condition that affects many people, one shouldn’t take any chances. Hypoxia is caused due to reduced oxygen in your blood.

2 Alpacas on Advertisement of Altitude sickness medication
Altitude sickness medication adversative

How to Prevent Altitude Sickness naturally

Before your trip, talk to your doctor or health clinic and obtain medication. One popular Altitude sickness remedy is Diamox tablets. We also used them, and we had no side effects. Secondly, you must travel slowly for at least two days to let your body get used to the thin air and low oxygen levels.

Natural remedies for altitude sickness

Ginger, Coca-Cola, Muña, and Guaraná are natural products recommended to prevent altitude sickness. Locals chew the leaves, and sweets containing coca can be bought nearly anywhere.

Benefits of Coca leaves

Coca-Cola is a mild stimulant known for reducing the symptoms of altitude sickness. Its antioxidants and essential minerals boost the immune system and enhance concentration.

Coca lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and regulates blood glucose levels. Furthermore, it helps with indigestion. Virtually all hotels and lodges in Peru offer complimentary Coca-Cola tea to their guests. Local people recommend one drink of at least two cups of coca tea daily to relieve altitude sickness.

The Sacred Valley (Day 1)

The Sacred Valley, surrounded by the world’s most extended Mountain range, the Andes, is an excellent region to acclimatise. Ollantaytambo’s altitude is lower at 2 792m than Cusco’s at 3 399m. However, Cusco’s altitude is higher, so we’ve decided to explore the Sacred Valley first.

How to get to the Sacred Valley

There are various transport options to get from Cusco Airport to Sacred Valley. You can take a taxi, rent a car, take a minibus or go by train. Usually, your hotel or guesthouse will ask if they can arrange transport from the airport. We got the best price for transport to the Sacred Valley with Taxidatum. The route from Cusco to Sacred Valley is scenic.

Ollantaytambo Peru

Our Sacred Valley tour started in the quaint village of Ollantaytambo. The peaceful Sacred Valley, surrounded by the world’s most extended Mountain range, the Andes, lies halfway between Cusco and Machu Picchu. About 90 minutes later, we arrived at Ollantaytambo’s most amazing quaint village, surrounded by picturesque mountains, narrow cobbled streets, and shabby old doors.

Walking in Ollantaytambo’s unique Inca village with its original uniquely built Inca streets and buildings feels like stepping back into ancient times. Lastly, we arrived safely to explore the legendary world of the Incas. Moreover, you don’t want to miss Ollantaytambo and have to add the Quaint village to your Peru itinerary.

Mist on Mountain in Ollantaytambo
Mist on Mountain in Ollantaytambo

Along the narrow streets and alleys are many cosy restaurants, compact shops, and street vendors selling Alpaca wool items, Coca-Cola toffees, and trinkets. In addition to Coca-Cola leaves, you can get Coca-Cola in many forms, ranging from toffees to tea, biscuits, and even chocolates.

Cute red and Yellow 3 wheel Car in the Village of Ollantaytambo, Peru
3 weel Car in Ollantaytambo Peru

Where-ever you go, the relaxing sound of water follows. An Inca woman in a traditional bright-coloured dress greeted us with her friendly, broad smile. Her shining halo-white teeth gleamed as much as her silver-grey hair.

We soon discovered that Andean people are heartwarming and mainly dog lovers.

Cute short Andean woman in bright Pink traditional dress in Ollantaytambo
Andean woman in Ollantaytambo Peru

Where to Stay in The Sacred Valley

We stayed at Quechua Lodge, situated next to a cobbling water stream, surrounded by Mountains and magnificent views. On arrival, a brown Labrador, sleeping on the sun-baked cobblestones outside the entrance, came to meet us. At QuechuaLodge, Ollantaytambo, our host, Edith, a beautiful Andean woman, welcomed us.

‘How high do you want to fly? ‘ she asked, and we laughed while she poured hot water and a pinch of dry mint over coca leaves in our cups. We plunged into the comfortable sofa to enjoy our greenish-yellow Coca-leave tea. Coca tea is freely available at hotels throughout Peru and is a trendy remedy against altitude sickness. On your first day, take it slow by exploring the old town of Ollantaytambo, which is accustomed to the altitude.

Ollantaytambo Hotels

For a variety of accommodations in the Sacred Valley, check From hostels and guest houses to 3-star hotels in Ollantaytambo, 4-star-hotels in Ollantaytambo, or treat yourself to a luxury 5-star hotel in Ollantaytambo.

With its impeccable rustic-style décor, the El Albergue Ollantaytambo hotel in Peru is one of the favourite Peru hotels and features magnificent vicinity views. Besides a continental breakfast, The Hotel El Albergue offers packed lunches should you go on any excursion. One can even rent a bike to explore the Ollantaytambo Inca Village and the Ollantaytambo ruins, which are only 800 meters away. The Velasco Astete Airport is only 95 kilometres away. Your hotel can arrange a Car rental or an airport shuttle.

The beautiful Peru accommodation at Quechua Lodge, Ollantaytambo, offers a restaurant, a continental breakfast, and free WiFi. Although Quechua Lodge is beautiful, our double room was tiny, and there was no space to hang our clothes. Kamma Guest House in Ollantaytambo offers private rooms, some with a balcony, each with a private bathroom.

Quechua Lodge in Ollantaytambo
Quechua Lodge in Ollantaytambo
Ollantaytambo hotel Quechua Lodge
Ollantaytambo hotel Quechua Lodge

Pisac and Urubamba (Day 2)

After a traditional Peruvian breakfast, Ollantaytambo, we head to Pisac’s lovely village, which is most famous for the Pisaç market. On the road to Pisac, we passed through Urubamba’s historic town and the snow-capped peaks of the Peruvian Andes.

Alongside the road, people had a great time barbequing Cay. The aroma curling up from the grill smelled heavenly. But oh my gosh, I saw that the small pig-like animals on sticks are Guinea pigs.

In Peru, ‘Guy is a delicacy; however, we keep them as pets in our country. We laughed when Johan said, ‘We don’t play with our food.’ Now, who would want to eat their beloved pet?

Look for the next best thing to a Condor’s nest outside Urubamba. The Condor is a bird sacred to the Incas and represents the world above heaven.

Peruvians admire Condors, especially their enormous wingspan and ability to fly long distances in the Andes. The Incas also believed that Condors were the messengers of the skies.

Stuffed Guinea Pig, Cuy
Stuffed Guinea Pig, Cuy

Have you ever wanted to sleep in a Condor’s nest?

Sky Lodge adventure suites Peru
Sky Lodge Adventure Suites Peru

With a birds-eye view, a few transparent cubes were hanging from a mountain cliff. A person can only imagine the panoramic view from up there.

These luxury see-through cubes offer magnificent views over the sacred valley and come at a steep price. To reach the Skylodge Adventure Suites, one must be prepared to zipline or climb 400 metres.

Inca children and Llamas at the Pisac market Sacred valley tour

The popular village of Pisac is famous for its Market. On Sundays, Quechua locals, dressed in traditional clothing, come from the mountains to partake in a traditional mass.

The Pisac Market is also where Quechua locals come to sell their fresh produce and stock up on supplies. Andean children with baby Alpacas and Llamas walk around, posing for pictures at a fee of one Peruvian sol.

The smell of freshly cooked corn was in the air, and we followed the smell. Finally, we saw the largest-kernel variety of field corn from the Andes, served with a big chunk of cheese.

The Pisac ruins lie on a hill above Pisaq, built to protect Cusco from possible attacks. You can visit the ruins by car, on tour, by taxi, or on a 4 km hike from Pisac town.

Besides wearing comfortable shoes, as the trail is steep, remember your hat, sunscreen, and water. 


The small village of Urubamba lies under the snow-capped mountain Chicón, close to the Urubamba River. In town, you will see the remains of the Inca Palace, Quispiguanca.

Lunch at Urubamba restaurant

On our way back to Ollantaytambo, we stopped for lunch at Inca’s house, a Peruvian restaurant in Urubamba. The buffet at the Incas house offers various dishes, and this was our chance to sample Ceviche.

Peru’s national dish, Ceviche

Peruvian Ceviche, say-beach-chay, is made from lemon-cured raw fish marinated in lime, cilantro, spices, tomatoes, onions, and Chilli-peppers. The marinated fish’s astringent flavour in zing lemon and the burning sensation of chilli and coriander overflowed my senses.

Ceviche bar, ceviche Peru, mexican ceviche
Ceviche Peru
Inca House, Urubamba
Inca House, Urubamba

What is Cuy- dish?

These cute pet-like creatures are one of Peru’s most famous dishes, Cuy. Experts say the best Peruvian Cuy is Picante de Cuy or Baby Cuy. Besides fried guinea pigs, the Incas also prepared roasted and cooked guinea pigs and primarily served potatoes and salad. After lunch in Urubamba, we returned to Ollantaytambo to visit the Ollantaytambo ruïns and spend the night.

Ollantaytambo Ruins

As locals, the Ollantaytambo ruïns, or Aka Ollay, are of significant religious value and recognised by the monolithic stones built in the 1400s. Climb up the Inca fortress to admire the face of Wiracocha, uniquely carved into the mountainside on the opposite side. Observe the uniquely built Inca buildings and learn the Incas’ construction and stone-cutting techniques. The Temple of the Sun Incas was built soar above the town’s cobbled streets, characterised by an extensive set of agricultural terraces higher and broader than the usual Inca gardens.

Face of Wiracocha, ruins Ollantaytambo
Face of Wiracocha, Ruins Ollantaytambo

Day 3: Maras and Moray & Chinchero

We sadly left the majestic old town of Ollantaytambo to explore the rest of the Sacred Valley before heading to Cusco. We shall sleep in Cusco tonight, but we hope to return to this beautiful Inca village someday. Our guide for the next two days is Vincent from the Trexperience Tour Company.

Chicha De Jora and Chicha Morada

Before entering the Chicha bar, we had to play a game, as seen in the photo. The person who wins has the first beer. Inside, they escorted us to the kitchen and showed us the process of brewing Peruvian beer. 

Before we entered the Chicha bar, we had to play a game, and the winner could enter the bar first. After the whole process was shown to us, it was time to taste the different variants. Johan opted for the unique brew while I had the strawberry-flavoured Chicha.

Peruvian snacks

The snacks served were Cancha Salada, consisting of roasted Peruvian corn kernels and banana chips, spiced and salted to taste, and Maize Cusco, corn kernels fried in oil, dried, and then spiced to taste.

In one corner of the kitchen was the cutest Guinea pig home, with a fence where they played and had fun. They need to know what is waiting for them. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for these cute little creatures we know as pets.

Peruvian Guinea pig, cuy peru food, best Guinea pig food
Peruvian Guinea pig

Visit a Peruvian Chicha Bar

Our guide, Vincent, stopped at a local bar outside Urubamba. A red flag was hanging from a stick outside the house, indicating that Chicha de Jora beer was ready and available.

Chicha de Jora and Chicha Morada are old traditions throughout the Andes. Chicha de Jora is a fermented alcoholic beer, whereas Chicha Morada is a non-fermented beer.

The non-fermented Chicha is mainly made from purple corn (maise Morado) and boiled with fruit rind, cloves, and cinnamon. During our 3-week Peru Itinerary, this dark purple beverage is served daily.

Salud pronounced Sah-lud

Couple drinking home-made Chicha de Jora Peruvian beer, Urubamba
Chicha de Jora Peruvian beer, Urubamba

Maras Moray and Salineras Cusco

You will reach the agricultural terraces, Inca cemeteries, and royal buildings in about 20 minutes. The altitude at Maras Moray is higher than in Ollantaytambo and even in Cusco, and we could feel the difference. With varying temperatures, these terraces are still in use today and are used for more productive farming.

Salineras Cusco Salt mine

The historical Maras Moray Salineras Cusco salt mine, first used by the Indigenous Incas who cached the mountain water in pans, is still used more than 500 years later.  Climb to the top of the Salineras, where the beautiful view and the altitude leave you breathless. Maras, a district in the Urubamba village, is the primary source of salt production.

Locals extract the salt by evaporating the salt water from the more than 3000 salt pools in its natural form, which they then process further to different spices for various uses. These salt deposits from ancient underground lakes explain the salty taste. Check out the Maras Moray tour options to experience during the three-week vacation in Peru.

Chinchero Town

Peru Chinchero Weavers

You can take advantage of the little rustic town 3 762m above sea level. Chinchero, meaning Rainbow, is towered over by the Vilcabamba Range and the snow-capped peak of the Salcantay mountain and is a must-see during a three-week Peru Itinerary. The famous Chinchero, a Peruvian textile centre, keeps Inca traditions alive.

Peruvian Weaving

The weaving cooperative in Chinchero, Peru, differs from those in other communities with their specific design incorporated into their weaving patterns. Inside the textile centre, a few Quechua women, all beautifully dressed in traditional clothing, were seated, busy weaving while alpacas watched. Finally, a cute baby alpaca came running towards us, humming and sucking on one woman’s finger.

The young lady gave an in-depth presentation showing us their techniques, from obtaining the wool from sheep, alpacas, and llamas to the final product. It indeed was one of the most exciting presentations we’ve ever seen. We were amazed by their different techniques and natural products for washing and dyeing the wool.

Andean people’s mission is to continue their ancestors’ legacy by impregnating the Peruvian colour in all their handmade items and using the same natural sources to colour or dye the wool. Guess what Andean women use to wash their hair? The soapy root prevents grey hair and is used to clean wool. To see what insect the Incas used for red dye, read About Peru Textiles.

Cusco City (Day 4 – 5)

Plaza de Armas, Loreto Street and Temple of the Sun

Cusco City is the gateway to incredible treks, adventures, the Temple of Sun, and Machu Picchu. But Machu Picchu is not the only attraction to Peru; there are eternal things to see and experience in and around Cusco.

Explore the fantastic and historical city of Cusco, the capital of the great Inca Empire, surrounded by the beautiful Andes Mountains. Visit the Plaza de Armas-Main Square, and after that, visit the famous 12-angle stone and Loreto Street.

Then, enjoy lunch at one of the many cosy restaurants before exploring the streets and small markets for souvenirs to take home. As you return to the lower part of the city, stop at the San Pedro Market, where you will be delighted by various unique and traditional local products.

Temple of Sun Cusco koricancha
Temple of Sun Cusco Koricancha
Cusco Temple of Sun coricancha cusco

Coricancha Temple of the Sun

During your three-week Peru Itinerary, when in Cusco, you must visit Coricancha or the Temple of the Sun. The interior walls are covered in gold.

It is unbelievable to see the Incas’ unique building techniques. The picture on the left, a bronze plate with the sun, the moon, and the stars, represents their idols and Mother Earth, taken in the Temple of the Sun. I took it inside the building.

The Inca Empire included Peru, Ecuador, and the region from Columbia to Chile. For more about the Inca culture and their significant god, Inti read the article by ThoughtCo.

Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu

Day 6 – 9

For a unique, unforgettable experience, take advantage of the 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. Read all about the Salkantay hike by clicking on the link below.

Beautiful Salkantay Mountains with horses in the valley

Aguas Calientes (Day 9)

After the exciting 4-day Salkantay trek, we arrived in the late afternoon in Aguas Calientes, eager to relax our weary bodies in the warm thermal baths. This Spanished name town is Ideally located next to the Vilcanota River. The village of Aguas Calientes is famous among travellers who finished their Peru hiking expedition. Altogether, it is the closest access point to Machu Picchu, a mere 6 kilometres away. Besides the many markets, there are many cosy shops, various hotels, and restaurants; Aguas Calientes is famous for its thermal baths.

Machu Picchu (Day 10)

After a good night’s rest and breakfast, we took a short bus ride to one of the Wonders of the ancient world, Machu Picchu, on the morning of day ten. You do not have to book your Machu Picchu tickets way in advance; however, only 800 tickets are available daily.

How High is Machu Picchu?

Nestled high in the Andes’ slopes, at 2 350 meters, Machu Picchu is located northeast of Cusco in the Machu Picchu Archaeological Park, which comprises a large area of Urubamba.

Aguas calientes Machu Picchu
Aguas calientes Machu Picchu

Best time to Machu Picchu

The best times to visit Machu Picchu depend on the available time, as visiting hours are from 6 in the morning until 5h30 pm. Booking Machu Picchu tickets in advance to avoid disappointment, You can Book your best Machu Picchu ticket here!

How to get to Machu Picchu

The best way to get from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu is relatively easy. Many tourists prefer to walk the steep 1,5 hours to Machu Picchu. We, however, decided to take the most popular Machu Picchu bus.

Bus Machu Picchu

The Consettur bus company is the only bus that travels between Aguas Calientes town and Machu Picchu. Therefore, Consettur charges a steep price for the 25-minute ride. Bus tickets are available in Aguas Calientes town next to the bus stop. You don’t have to obtain tickets upfront. The first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu departs at 05h30.

How to get to Machu Picchu from Cusco

The Cusco to Aguas Calientes, the Cusco to Machu Picchu train, and the Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu train are the most popular ways to reach this 7th wonder of the ancient world.

Peru train expeditions

Experience a ride in the highest railroad tunnel globally onboard the luxurious Ferrocarril Central Andino S.A., also known as Ferrocarril Catalan Railway. Read more about the PeruRail Vista-dome train, the Andean Central Railway, the Bimodal service, and the Perurail Vista dome in Peru trains.

How to get from Aguas Calientes to Cusco

The most popular way to travel from Aguas Calientes to Cusco is by train. Although the train is the cheapest way, you can also take a faster option to travel by taxi at a higher fee.

Huayna Picchu hike, and Wayna Picchu Mountain

Another exciting attraction is climbing Huayna Picchu mountain, 260 meters (850ft) higher than Machu Picchu. The altitude of Huayna Picchu is quite a challenge, as the peak is 2 693 meters (8 835ft) above sea level. Know that as the Huayna Picchu stairs of death thence, you must be fit to take up the challenge. So, climb Huayna Picchu a day after your Peru hiking journey, after a good night’s rest in Aguas Calientes town.

Huayna Picchu Tickets

Only 400 people are allowed to experience the Huayna Picchu hike each day. Book your Huayna Picchu tickets at least three months in advance to climb the most popular and adventurous mountain at Macchu Picchu. Sadly, we missed out on getting Huayna Picchu tickets, but we hope to return one day to experience the adventurous challenge of climbing Huayna Picchu.

Day 11: Cusco

Back in Cusco, after the unforgettable Salkantay Trek, we chose to spend a relaxing day exploring Cusco’s old city and re-visit the San Pedro market. Altogether, visit coffee shops and book Rainbow Mountain Peru and Red Valley tours.

San Pedro Market Cusco
San Pedro Market Cusco

There are a few stalls inside the San Pedro Market where one can buy Baby Alpaca clothing and Alpaca farm Products, unique materials, and other Inca products.

San Pedro Market

One can buy anything at the San Pedro market; it is a must-visit during your time in Cusco. From coca products, coffees, teas, sweets, fresh meat, cheese, loaves of bread, and even dog food.

Here, you can sit down to a cheap meal or fresh fruit smoothies and discover new aromas and tastes. Do you have any sickness or ailment? Then, visit the health stall, where a mixture will be prepared specifically for your condition.

There are a few stalls inside the San Pedro Market where one can buy Baby Alpaca clothing, alpaca farm Products, unique materials, and other Inca products.

Alpaca clothing and Alpaca farm products
Alpaca clothing and Alpaca farm products

More Highlights of our 3 Week Peru Itinerary

Rainbow Mountain (Day 12)

Hike to one of the top natural destinations, the most Colorful Mountain in Peru. With an altitude of 5,200 meters above sea level, Vinicunca, or Rainbow Mountain trek Peru, is an exceptional experience you don’t want to miss. Also known as Winikunka, Narrow Neck Hill, or Montaña de Colores, it is the fourth largest Mountain in Peru.

Our 5-kilometre climb up Rainbow Mountain was quite challenging due to the high altitude, but it was an unforgettable experience. Avoid the crowds and book the earliest Cusco to Rainbow Mountain tour. It’s a two-hour drive from Cusco, and most tours include breakfast. Do not get discouraged by the high altitude.

Rainbow mountain tour Ausangate trek
Rainbow mountain tour

Red Valley Peru

Red Mountain is a beautiful and incredibly Colourful Peru Mountains and The Red Valley on a full-day Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley Tour.

Both are extraordinary and spectacular and a must-do during your 3-week Peru Itinerary.

Ausangate Trek

The picturesque 5-day Ausangate trek is not for the faint-hearted. During your epic journey through the foothills, you will visit remote Andean villages and experience more of the Andean culture.

The 70-kilometre Ausangate Trek will take you on a circuit route up to 6,384 meters.

Peru Airlines

Flight to Puerto Maldonado

Flights with Peruvian Airlines from Cusco (PEM) to Puerto Maldonado (CUZ) are relatively cheap, and there are few affordable accommodations. I booked our flights online with Peruvian Airlines. As their website is in Spanish, I used a translation app. The 195-mile journey takes about 55 minutes. On day 14, we flew excitingly to the next entirely different adventurous place.

Tambopata National Reserve

Peru Rainforest Tour (Day 13 – 18)

The Amazon adventure during our three-week journey in Peru

During our Peru Itineraries, we spent three nights at Passiflora camp, one of the most affordable Tambopata lodges. Passiflora, located outside Puerto Maldonado, is only 15 15-minute drive from Padre Aldamiz Airport. Situated in Tambopata, Madre de Dios, Puerto Maldonado, and is ideally situated for exploring the surroundings.

Accommodation Puerto Maldonado

Passiflora Lodge

The accommodation is lovely wooden cabins. Nothing fancy, but very comfortable and just what we wanted, with hammocks on the patio and in the garden. The lodge is surrounded by nature, a beautiful big garden, and many friendly animals.

Passiflora camp Puerto Maldonado lodges
Passiflora camp Puerto Maldonado lodges

The owners of Passiflora, Eduardo and Carlita, are fantastic hosts, and Eduardo, the cook, serves delicious meals. If you’re looking for something simple, I can recommend Passiflora Lodge. Although our Hosts couldn’t speak English, it wasn’t a problem as we communicated using a translation app. We enjoyed every moment at beautiful Passiflora, and Eduardo went out of his way to arrange trips with local guides who knew the area.

Funny enough, the name of our stilted wooden cabin was Johannes (the same as Johan’s birth name). After leaving Passiflora Jungle Lodge Puerto Maldonado, we travelled to the Chuncho Lodge Tambopata National Reserve. After a few hours by 4×4, we stopped next to the banks of the Tambopata River to travel further by boat.

Chuncho Lodge

During our three-week Peru Itinerary, we explored the Amazon rainforest. We stayed at Chuncho Lodge, situated next to the river in the Peruvian jungle. Throughout the four days, Alan Huinga, a local Peruvian guide, accompanied us. Alan is an excellent, knowledgeable guide. We had lots of fun and laughter, and he also taught us a lot about the plants and animals in the Peruvian rainforest.

Besides watching beautiful sunsets from the canopy tower overlooking the rainforest, we saw abundant Peruvian animals and bird species. Furthermore, we observed different species of monkeys, wild dogs, tapirs, the cutest capybara giant rodents, and peccaries.

Peruvian monkey specie Tambopata National reserve
Peruvian monkey species Tambopata National reserve
Monkey specie Tambopata Peru
Monkey specie Tambopata Peru

Jaguars in Peru are typically seen on the river banks in the Amazon jungle. They are also called ‘Otorongo,’ which means beast in South America. Jaguars live up to 12 years in the wild, although in captivity, they live up to 20 years.

Peruvian Jaguar spotted coats are excellent camouflage and make it difficult to spot them in the wilderness. Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any Jaguars or three-towed sloths, the slowest mammals on Earth.

Jaguar at Tambopata Peru #Peruvianjaguars
Jaguar Tambopata Peru photo by Alan Huinga

Rainforest Macaws Clay Lick

Another highlight of our time in the Amazon rainforest was admiring the rainforest Amazon Macaws clay-lick parrots for hours while enjoying coffee and even having breakfast in the jungle.

Macaw Clay lick Tambopata National reserve
Macaw Clay licks Tambopata National Reserve.

The Popular Tambopata Research Centre is the only lodge inside the Tambopata Nature Reserve with a steep price. Although we had a great time, the Tambopata Ecolodge is entirely overpriced. Subscribe and follow my blog to receive notifications on detailed articles on our fantastic time in the Amazon jungle in Peru and other adventures.

Sandoval Lake (Day 19)

Madre de Dios to Lake Sandoval

Lake Sandoval is accessed by the Rio Madre de Dios River, located about 12 kilometres downriver from Puerto Maldonado. Reaching the entrance of Lake Sandoval, we got into a canoe. While canoeing, we went past turtles baking in the sun, surrounded by beautiful butterflies. We also noticed many cayman and bird species. After about an hour, we reached Sandoval Lake Lodge.

What to do at Lake Sandoval?

Although Sandoval Lake is an idyllic wildlife haven filled with abundant species of birds, wildlife, sloths, monkeys, and Cayman, the main attraction is the Giant Otter family. The Sandoval Lodge is overpriced, and one doesn’t get value for money. The accommodation is fundamental, with fans but no air-conditioned rooms. Although they charge 5-star prices, don’t expect 5-star meals.

Why do the Butterflies drink the Tears of Turtles?

We saw the turtles on our way to Sandoval Lodge, surrounded by beautiful butterflies, drinking their tears for a sodium source. Another highlight during our three-week Peru Itinerary was watching the cutest Otter family. It was such an incredible and entertaining experience watching the Otter Family, but people could not keep trying to follow them as they swam incredibly fast. The tropical Hoatzin, also known as a reptile or skunk bird, is found in the mangroves and swamps of the Amazon jungle.

Lima (Day 20 – 22)

Explore Lima

During our three-week Peru Itinerary, we spent three days in the vibrant city of Lima, known as the city of the kings. Lima is internationally renowned by world chefs for its best cuisine. Ceviche, the full-flavoured lemon-marinated raw fish dish, is a favourite in Latin America. Lima is also known for its rich culture, diversity, hectic traffic and paragliding.

Lima city of the Kings
Lima City of the Kings

Things to do in Lima Peru

Here are a few of the top things to do in Lima.


We stayed in the bohemian neighbourhood of Barranco. The cosy Barranco is filled with colourful artwork and a charming area to stay in during your time in Lima. The neighbourhood is centrally located and within walking distance of Miraflores. Besides visiting beautiful parks, there are plenty of charming restaurants and coffee shops.

Rent a bike or scooter to explore the region quickly. Go to the beach or go parasailing. Another great and fun way to explore the neighbourhood is by going on a Free Barranco walking tour. The Barranco and Chorrillos walking tour is available from Mondays to Saturdays and starts at 11h00 in front of Starbucks.


Bustling Miraflores is a popular and busy hangout place and one of the most expensive neighbourhoods. Explore Miraflores, and visit the San Isidro district if you have time. For more things to see and do in Lima during your 3-week itinerary, visit the Backpack and Snorkel page on Lima.

Check out these tours, with the best ticket prices for excursions in and around Lima.

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. Should you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you, I might earn a commission.  

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