Day 1: Puno - Uros floating Islands tour 

6-hour bus to Arequipa

Days 2-5: Arequipa - 2 days in town, 2-day Colca Canyon hike 

Overnight bus to Nazca

Day 6: Nazca - Flight over Nazca lines

2-hour bus to Ica

Days 7-8: Ica - Huacachina desert oasis, Pisco distillery tours

4-hour bus to Lima

Days 9-12: Lima - Eating all the foods! 

Overnight bus to Huaraz

Days 13-15: Huaraz - Hiking in Huascarán National Park

Days 16-17: Buses and more buses

8-hour bus from Huaraz to Trujillo, 20-hour bus from Trujillo to Guayaquil, Ecuador


Circling the perimeter of Lake Titicaca, my first stop in Peru was Puno, known for the Uros Floating Islands. From there, I hopped on the “gringo trail,” heading west to Arequipa, a pretty colonial city near the coast, and launching point for the popular Colca Canyon. After spending four days there, I tore up the coast toward Lima, with short stops in both Ica and Nazca to see the desert oasis, Haucachina, and the ancient Nazca Lines, respectively.

After nearly two months of eating food that was mediocre at best, I spent four delectable days eating all the foods in South America’s gastronomic capital, Lima.

My last stop in Peru was Huaraz, which is mostly known for its proximity to one of South America’s best hiking destination, Huarascán National Park.

Notice anything missing?

Looking back

What I would have done different

I spent four days in Lima, when two or three would have been sufficient.

I loved Hauraz, and I wish I would have had time to do the 3-day Santa Cruz trek.

I regret skipping Mancora.


The US Department of State website gives Peru a level 1 out of 4 (4 being most dangerous) travel advisory rating, which means “exercise normal precautions” when visiting. In the Global Peace Index, which measures various safety attributes such as homicide rate, violent crime, terrorism, and internal and external conflict, Peru is ranked #74 out of 163 — just a few spots behind France and way ahead of the United States, which is ranked at #121.