Peru Itinerary and Budget

Peru is a country full of beautiful landscapes, wonderful wildlife, captivating cities, riveting history and llamas. 

From May 1st-May 14th of 2017, I took 9 people with me to explore this beautiful country. There was a lot I wanted to see, so I made a pretty strict itinerary. It was a successful trip, and super affordable.

Flights excluded, our total in-country cost per person was around $800

So let me break down the itinerary and finances for you, so you can do the same.

Reminder! This trip was for 10 people, so you may have to adjust accordingly (unless you find 9 other people to go with you) 

Fresh out of the womb baby llama that we found at Machu Picchu, with it’s steaming placenta cooking in the background.



May 1st: Travel day. Land in Lima in the evening, stay the night at our first hostel.
May 2nd: Take bus from Lima to Ica and taxi from Ica to Huacachina. Check into hostel (then drink beer and climb sand dunes while tipsy)
May 3rd: Explore the little town of Huacachina and go on an adrenaline pumping sand dune tour, sand board down giant dunes and watch the sunset over the oasis.
May 4th: Boat tour of Islas Ballestas and explore Paracas National Reserve. Take an overnight bus to Arequipa.
May 5th: Arrive in Arequipa, check into hostel, find coffee, find food, find gelato.
May 6th: Visit San Camilo Market, explore the Santa Catalina Monastery
May 7th: All day trip to Colca Canyon
May 8th: Take bus from Arequipa to Puno. Check into hostel.
May 9th: Visit the floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca.
May 10th: Take early bus to Cusco. Check into hostel.
May 11th: Early morning train ride to Aguas Calientes. Check into hostel. Head to Machu Picchu for the day.
May 12th: Take train to Ollantaytambo. Explore a market. Take van back to Cusco.
May 13th: Wake up extremely early and hike to Rainbow Mountain.
May 14th: Take flight from Cusco –> Lima. Take late night flight home
May 15th: Arrive home. Go back to work.

Budget for 10 people…

Roundtrip Flights $500 : Detroit –> Fort Lauderdale –> Lima (and back again)

We flew Spirit the entire way.  Say what you will about Spirit, but I love flying cheap and therefore, they are one of my favorite airlines.


Our view from the hostel rooftop in Lima


We only stayed for one night in Lima. There is a lot to see in Lima, but we had to sacrifice  that to be able to see everything else. If you go to Peru and you have more time on your hands, I would encourage you to explore Lima.

Hostel: Tupac-Lima Airport Hostel $80 for a 10 dorm room

Taxis: Budgeted $80 for airport pickup, transport to hostel and then transport to bus station.


The 10 of us after sand boarding down giant sand dunes in Huacachina. (The man insisted that we put our hands into the air for the photo…which was a common demand every time we asked anyone in Peru to take our picture. So when you go, save the awkward conversation and just lift your hands into the air enthusiastically)


Bus: Lima –> Ica $15/person (Cruz del Sur)

Taxis: $40 for the group (to and from Ica)

Hostel: Mr. Llama $86/night for two 4 bed dorm rooms and one double room.

Dune Tour: $12/person. This two hour dune buggy tour included sand boarding and a long stop at the top of the dunes to watch the sunset over the oasis.

Islas Ballestas and Paracas National Reserve: $30/person for entire day long tour

Click here for a detailed post on our stay in Huacachina!


Plaza de Armas at night (on my way to find gelato…duh)


Bus: Ica  –> Arequipa $26/person (Cruz del Sur)

Taxis: $40 for the group (to hostel from bus station and back again)

Hostel: Home Sweet Home $61/night for one 4 bed dorm room and two 3 bed dorm rooms

Colca Canyon: $20/person for a full day tour

Click here to read more about my favorite things to do in Arequipa!


On one of the floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca


Bus: Arequipa –> Puno $17/person (Cruz del Sur)

Taxis: $40 for the group (to hostel from bus station and back again)

Hostel: Aymarak Hostel $60/night for a 10 bed dorm room

Floating Islands of Uros: $19/person for a boat ride to the islands and personal interaction with the islanders.

Click here to read about our short stay in Puno!


Of course we went here. Don’t be silly.


Bus: Puno –> Cusco $18/person (Cruz del Sur)

Taxis: $80 for the group (to hostel from bus station and back, to train station and back)

Hostel: Inca Wild $79/night for a 6 bed dorm room and a 4 bed dorm room

Hostel in Aguas Calientes: $162/night for a 4 bed dorm room and two 3 bed rooms.

Train ticket to Machu Picchu: $90/person on Peru Rail

Machu Picchu tickets: $65/person

Train ticket to Ollantaytambo: $70/person on Peru Rail

Rainbow Mountain: $30/person for an all day hike and transport

Flight from Cusco –> Lima: $80/person

Click here for a detailed post on what we did in Cusco.

Here are some boobies from Islas Ballestas

So as you can see, you can do a LOT in Peru for very little. My biggest tip to people planning a trip to Peru is DO NOT BOOK TOURS ONLINE THROUGH A COMPANY. A lot of people think booking tours online is a good way to guarantee that they will be able to see what they want to see, but every tour I wanted to do I was able to book through our hostels and got them all at half of the price that I saw online. Also, you can just literally walk down the street of any of these cities and find a tour place to take you where you want to go, but I felt more safe booking them through our hostels.

Thats it for now…stay tuned for individual posts on each city we visited, with a play-by-play on everything that we did.


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