When to Go
Though travellers visit Peru year-round, the best (and most popular) time of year to visit is the dry season, which runs from May-October. If you plan to visit Peru during this time and wish to hike (there are some great day hikes aside from the 4 day Inca Trek), be sure to book in advance as permits book out 6 months in advance.
Where to Go: Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu.
You might have heard from other travellers that Lima isn’t worth visiting. Sure, Lima is not as impressive as Rio de Janeiro or as charming as the European streets of Buenos Aires, but it certainly has enough charm to keep you busy for a couple of days. The food alone is reason enough to visit as Lima is the gastronomic capital of South America! Regardless, you’ll be passing through Lima in transit so why not stay a couple nights to rest before your adventure in the Andes.
After Lima, you’ll catch a flight to Cusco, the region in which you will find the renowned Machu Picchu – Peru’s biggest draw card for international tourism. While most travellers choose to stay here overnight upon arrival (as it is cheaper to stay in Cusco than the hotels nearer to Machu Picchu), it is a long day if you choose to visit Machu Picchu by train in just one day. Besides, you will have to leave Machu Picchu to return to Cusco on the train before 4pm, of which is the perfect time to take photos because most of the tourists have gone.
Then there’s the Sacred Valley to consider, which has many great points of interest to stop along the route to Machu Picchu. If you decide to journey by bus (as I did with the tour group) or by car, there are many great places to stop to view Llamas, traditional handicrafts, and exceptional views.