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Peru Itinerary Planning Advice

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Planning your Peru Itinerary...


Peru is a large country and there are quite a few good ways to enter it. There are few flight connections to its cities, others than Lima, and, the road network is not as modern and as


Flying to Peru


Peru has 3 main airports: at Callao, near Lima, Cuzco (Cusco) and Arequipa. All other airports are rather domestic and rarely receive occasional international flights.


Most travelers arrive into Peru through Lima. Some choose to fly in to Cuzco, which has a busy international airport connection with Canada, the USA and a number of Western European countries.

Basically, if you want to start visiting Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley region, then you can start looking for a flight to Cuzco, the closest city to these attractions.


Our Peru airports guide will present you a table of all the main Peruvian airports with IATA and ICAO codes.


Travelling to Peru on Land


Pan-American Highway

Peru is crossed by this major artery that runs from Northern Alaska down to Southern Chile and Argentina.

You could drive down from North America to Peru! But it is a dangerous and very tiring, not to mention... very expensive way to get there!

The Pan-American highway enters Peru at the border crossing with Ecuador, at the Peruvian city of Tumbes.

The highway exits Peru in the southern part of the country, after the city of Tacna, then crosses into Chile, where the next city is Arica.


Road S3 into Bolivia

This one runs on the southern bank of Lake Titicaca and takes you into Bolivia.

After the Peruvian town of Zepita comes a long road and then right after the entrance into Bolivia, you will encounter the town of Desaguadero.

The Road S3 continues as Road 3 in Bolivia.


Many travelers first arrive to Peru, visit various places and then head south: either into Chile through the vast dry Atacama Desert, or into Bolivia near Lake Titicaca.




Planning Domestic Trips in Peru


So let's say you're clear with how to get to Peru and back.


Now, how to travel within the country?


Let's check the internal transportation network to see what options there are...


Rail Travel


The only parts with good railway connection are the eastern parts of Peru: Machu Picchu, some parts of the famous Sacred Valley area, the city of Cuzco, southeastward to the Lake Titicaca to Puno city.

The city of Arequipa also has its own railway station, but passenger service is rare.


Road Travel


Buy yourself a paper road map, regardless whether you are going to drive or just travel like a passenger.


There are very few good up-to-date maps of Peru available on the internet. But there is Google Earth and Yahoo Maps, which are very good for those wanting to take trips between various locations in Peru, by road. Though, you will need fast internet connection and a good laptop with you on the trip, if you want to rely on these web-based services.


The paper road maps, especially if they are fresh (new) edition maps, then they are also good for orientation.

GPS equipment usage is also useful, but they won't give you a broad picture about Peru's infrastructure and their software is often not updated.

We advise you to rely primarily on paper maps. You can find new maps in Peru at various shops, airports, museums, hotels etc.

Travelling by road in Peru with your own or a rented car or motorbike can be quite easy if you are taking a north-south trip. East-west will be harder: roads are poor, there are many remote areas, plenty of unpaved roads.

The worst roads are in the northeast and in the southeast areas. Namely, the Loreto, Amazonas, Ucayali, Madre de Dios areas. This is due to the dense rainforests, jungles where rivers and vast swamps are located, but population is rare.


River, Lake, Ocean Ship Travelling


Very few ships will take you to Peru across the Pacific Ocean. Peru's Callao port is the biggest in the country and not a popular cruise ship destination... The situation is a bit different in Chile, where Valparaiso - Viña del Mar is indeed a very luxurious and increasingly popular cruise travel destination.


Lake Titicaca is crossed by a number of ships, although, this is not the most popular way for getting into Bolivia. Most of these trips are between real and man-made floating islands. Ships, boats will take you from one part of the Titicaca Lake to the other.


Rivers in the Amazonian rainforest areas are navigable. Especially in the Loreto and Madre de Dios provinces, river boat travel is very popular. Some companies even offer luxury trips.


Domestic Flights in Peru


It is popular to travel to the cities like Puno, Arequipa, Ica, Iquitos, Nazca and Cuzco by plane. Most travelers reach them from Lima.

For information about the airports, check out the Peru Airports section.


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