Mancora – 3 nights

Getting there:

Peru was the last country we were backpacking through during our Central and South America trip in 2014 and there were definitely some long travel days. We came over the Ecuador/Peru border from Guayaquil airport via a bus to Mancora (5 hours).


We stayed in Loki hostel which is a chain of hostels throughout Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia. See link: It has a great pool and Lokis are known for its party atmospheres.

Things to do:

– Learn to kite surf

-Visit the beach

-Lay by the pool

-Nightlife is bustling here

What I wish I knew/did:

Mancora was a good stop-over for us from Ecuador as we were in for some long travel days.

Huacachina – 1 nights

Getting there:

The trek over to Huacachina took close to 26 hours. We used the company Cruz del sur: for our travels throughout Peru as they were safe and had T.V.’s, sleeper seats, and serve meals.


We stayed at a cute hostel with a pool called Banana’s Adventures:

Things to do:

– dune bugging throughout the sand dunes is the main tourist activity here

-Huacachina is the only desert oasis in Peru, which is cool to see

-the town is very small and can be explored within a day

What I wish I knew/did:

Amount of time was perfect and was a great stop-over.

Cusco – 3 nights

Getting there:

We took the Cruz del sur bus from Huacachina to Cusco which took about 25 hours. I recommend looking into flights as they are around $100 and usually take about an hour.


Instead of the Loki hostel in Cusco, we stayed at Wild Rover. See link:; we stayed at the Wild Rover instead because it was more central to town. Loki Hostel was walking distance but had to walk up several stairs to get there.

Things to do:

do the free walking tour of Cusco

-it is important to stay here for a few nights to acclimitize before heading off to hike Machu Picchu

-visit the vegan Green Point restaurant: its $12 for salad, entree, dessert, and a juice for the best vegan food ever (I’m not even a vegan)!

-Night life is so much fun here; tons of salsa and reggae music

-see the Alpacas

-shopping was great here

What I wish I knew/did:

Cusco is a bit colder in the evenings due to the elevation. Bring altitude sickness pills as it is likely your body will need to adjust and it is not uncommon for you to get sick.

Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu – 3 nights

Getting there:

Aguas Calientes is the town at the bottom of Machu Picchu.

Out of Cusco at the Loki hostel we booked a common tour called the Jungle trek. The Jungle trek consist of a 4 day, 3 night tour. This tour starts in Cusco, consists of mountain biking, trekking, sleeping in the jungle, zip lining, sitting in hot springs, and climbing Machu Picchu. See link for details:


See tour details via the link above. It is all organized via the tour.

Things to do:

Mountain biking

-River rafting is an option


-Hot springs

-Zip lining

What I wish I knew/did:

We booked in advance the Inca Jungle Trek. Similar to the Inca Trail (5 day trek to Machu Picchu) it does get booked up, therefore I recommend booking the tour if you are sure of dates you want to do it. When you are at the bottom of Machu Picchu, know that there are two peaks: Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu. Both peaks give the same view and Huayna Picchu is the easier option of the two. It gets booked out really quickly so I recommend looking into this in advance as well! There are other x # of day tours that all end up at Machu Picchu, we chose the Jungle trek and it gave the most variety of activities on the tour. Being that Peru was our last country over 3 months, we didn’t want to do heavy hiking.

Cusco – 1 night

After Machu Picchu, the tour takes you back in the evening via train to Cusco. We stayed here for one more night before our flight out to Lima.

Paracas – 3 nights

Getting there:

From Cusco, we flew into Lima and took the bus to Paracas (4 hours). Paracas is a little beach town on the coast of Peru. We wanted to spend our last few nights relaxing on the beach.


The hostel we stayed at was on the beach front, had hammocks (check!), and a pool. See link:

Things to do:

-stand-up paddle board

-kite surf

-rented bikes through Paracas Natural Reserve and visited beaches

-visit Islas Ballestas (we didn’t do this tour as we visited Galapagos in Ecuador but heard you can see Blue Footed Boobies here as well)

What I wish I knew/did:

This was the perfect last few days before we flew home – tan, sun and relaxation!

Lima – 1 night

Getting there:

Took the Cruz del sur bus for 4 hours up to Lima.


We stayed at the Loki Hostel in Lima.

Things to do:

walked all around the city (we were lucky here as we met a friend in Colombia who lived in Lima, so he toured us around the city)

-ate true peruvian food

-went shopping in the markets

What I wish I knew/did:

If you ever come here – I’ll set you up with my friend Victor who I’m sure would love to show you around (sorry Victor for volunteering you!)

Overall Recommendations:

Be prepared for long travel days! There are also some other good spots to check out that I never went too along the cruz del sur bus line such as Colca Canyon. The amazon is also another place I would’ve loved to check out!


One thought on “Peru

  1. We love your article, next time make sure to visit us in Ica for an unique desert adventure. Just 5 hours south of Lima – pure desert, family hospitability, unique desert tours and visit of wineries. We make sure your stay is unforgettable.

    Liked by 1 person

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