backpacking with a friend for 20 days. starting in Lima. what are some 'not to miss' places?


Country: Peru


its so many things that you can see in Peru and Lima.. i know a bunch of places let me know and if you want i can show you!
In 20 days you can do a lot!
Obviously u gotta go visit Lima's main square, where u will find Lima's Cathedral... 2 blocks away from there u can visit El Paseo de Chabuca where u can taste the most incredible deserts including mazamorra morada, at a very low price (2 or 3 dollars THE MOST)
then u shud visit Parque de la Reserva which is an amazing place containing lots of water games in the evenings(very amusing in deed and only 10 minutes far from the center)
then u shouldnt miss Huachipa ZOO which is 40 minutes far from the center of Lima... and so on u can visit Miraflores' Calle de las Pizzas for fun at night if you want to party with beautiful ladies ;)
If u happen to use any help from me, my name is Luis Yañez and I am a teacher of English but I can also spend some time with u guys having some fun... mail me to rolondo2 at hot mail and I will be glad to help you visit most touristic places in our Capital City. Have fun ;)
Hi there, besides the usual places which you might already find described on any guide (pachacamac ruins to the south, some spots downtown as churches or the san francisco monastery and catacombs, etc) the most important place to visit nowadays is Caral, just 3hrs north of Lima it has only recently been discovered and opened to visitors, don't miss it, we know now that it was the oldest city yet discovered in the whole americas. I've seen people recommending petty attractions, try to get the real worthy stuff, not small restaurants,zoos or public parks that will not parallel those in any first world country, go for that which is unique here, no matter if locals don't get why
I totally with Sergio Lira: by far Caral is something you will remeber in the near future for its importance in south american cultures; in Lima city don't miss the catacombs of the San Francisco Church; a great attraction nowadays is El Circuito Mágico del Agua (The Magic Water Circuit) but you should check the showtimes first; of course, the best time to visit it is durng tha summer, but anyway ... it is spectacular. Something spectacular also is our peruvian food: don't forget to ask for cebiche, our emblematic meal, papa "a la huancaína", lomo saltado, pollo a la brasa, anticuchos, picarones for dessert and of course our delicious pisco sour (the list is too large to write it here); you should try some well known retaurants as La Mar, Manos Morenas, Pardo's Chicken, Astrid y Gastón, etc.
Enjoy our country, shure you will like to come back many times later.
Visit Miraflores lot of bars, discos, it's a turistic zone. I recommend you to stay in a hostel around San Isidro, it´s a safe and quiet zone in Lima.Check it out:
hello well in ima a couple of days will be enough i think downtowm and dont miss pachacamac a preinca city outside lima after that colud be great nomore than 2 days between ica and pisco (reserva nacional de paracas ) after that arequipa there you can spend a couple of days visiting the city and after that i think you can choose between mountain like misti or chachani ( chachani is one of the easier 6000 in the whole world) or maybe do trekking inside the colca canyon ( one of the deepest canyons inthe worl this and cotahuasithe second one are located ion arequipas region) trekking in the canyon coul be between 03 or 4 days is amazing, after that a ccouple of days in puno visiting the islands amantani taquile uros fater that cusco im not sure if you can find places to teh ionca trail but if is not possible visiting machupicchu by train will take you a couple of days more othe roptions to do trekkiing and visit incas cities could be choquequirao in cusco and sorroundings toy ccan spend easily 8 days more and thats it if you wont more information writte m,e i will help you as much i can im from argentina but im a tour conductor and adventure tourism guide ,, but dont worry i dont want to sale you my services im only oferring you my help at the moment im living in arequipa if you need something else just let me know my mail is
good luck
starting in lima is a good start point but where are heading to? north, east, south? any of them is a great option: north > huaraz, casma, trujillo, huanchaco, chan chan, chiclayo, sipan, puerto eten, piura, colan, punta sal, tumbes, mancora. South > all the way the well known tourist track. East > oxapampa, pozuzo, villa rica, huancayo, huancavelica, etc., etc, the whole country is a not to miss place. good luck
Hey! In order to have a complete visit in Lima, you have to go to the touristic places, if interested. The Historic Centre of Lima is perhaps the best choice, you'll get in touch with the european colonial/republican area of Lima: churches, buildings, museums (don't miss the Museum of Italian Art, the only european arts museum in Peru), parks and public sites made by european architectors in the XIXth Century, mostly. There's also an interesting cultural life in Miraflores and Barranco' galleries, where you'll find contemporary peruvian art.

For food, there are some good restaurants in the Historic Centre (around Plaza San Martín), but most of them are in Miraflores and Barranco. If you want to meet the nature, you'll find pleasnt a visit to Parque de Las leyendas zoo, if you cannot go outside of Lima.

Archaeology and history is everywhere in Lima. From the Historic Centre to Miraflores, and from San Isidro to Puruchuco, and in Pachacamac (these last ones have site museums), you'll find archaelogical lefts from pre-incas cultures: architecture, ceramics, textiles, and others.

By night, good cafes or discos are in the Miraflores area, mostly. for more free info, email me at
hi, well you must visit Lima Downtown, it´s very historical, you will find churchs, the cathedral,lots of restaurants( with peruvian food)and bars like: Rincon cervecero, Munich and Estadio futbol club( turistic restaurant), also in the heart of Lima you will find the "reserve park ", with the biggest water park of the world ( lot of fountains)(better if you go at night), to go out at night.. partying etc, you should go to Miraflores ( district full of nichtclubs , pubs and bars)and if you prefer to drink something and listen music ... go to Barranco.... also as some people here had told you ... you should go to Pachacamac, Caral and Churin ( a few hours from Lima) ...after all those crazy places yo will go , after partying ... in a very sunny day you will find a bit of our culture , very historical, beautifull and peacefully...well I wish you have a very good time in Lima,if you want to ask something else just write me, good luck =)
I live in north of Peru. I suggest don't miss visit Sipan in Chiclayo and Punta Sal beach.
If you want to have a wonderful vacation, contact to me: . you will can know the museums with the history of Peru, the famous culture of inca, gold room.
You will can know the city of Lima is a place cultural with colonial churches, and modern city with the best deserts, and the food with the tradicional and delicious potato.
In Miraflores is a city elegant, Barranco is quiet and free, but in the night you can fun in the disco, nightclub, and join with the music of Peru: salsa and modern music.
You also can join sport in the air in Miraflores in the evening and skating San Borja, you can found the castle of pirate in Callao. An if you like shopping you'll found the best store here.
In Lima
Miraflores San Isidro- Maybe if have time Cieneguilla Valley.
Down Town ,Nerxt to the main plaza two blocks ask Bóbeda del Banco Central de Reserva(Museo del Banco Central de Reserva) and ask for the Cohen Collection (big nice gold pieces) (free entrance take passports), San Francisco Chusrch & Catacumbs.
Chincha, Cañete-Lunahuaná,Pisco Ica in Ica (Bodega Tres Generaciones next to El Catador, Lunch) take a night in Huacachina in Desert Nights Operator, in front of the Oasis) sand dunes in buugies.
Nazca go to Wasipunko.(lodge ,food)..and the observatory in the Nazca Hotel, take a plane to see the lines!
Arequipa, Cabanaconde in the Colca Valley, dont miss the hotsprings in Chivay.
Then go to Puno, ask for Edgar Adventures, stay one night in Llachón península or in Taquile or Amantaní...
Go to Cusco dont miss La Custodia de La Merced Church aznd take a good luch in Incanto or Pachgapapa rest in San Blas
In Aguas Calientes take all Rupawasi!!!
Mr B.
Three weeks is a fair amount of time to visit. You can probably get to some of the natural beauty spots of Peru as well as cultural sites. For instance from Lima, you could go down the coast to Nasca and Ica and then to Arequipa and Colca cañon and from there to Titicaca and the islands, and on to Cusco, quick trip to the Amazonian forest (Manu)and finally to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, before flying back to Lima.
Nice thing about this is that it is a complete circuit that you can do by public transport (except for the last leg, but you could also do that by bus), and never retrace your steps.
Of course you can add or substitute along the way. For instance go north from Lima to Trujillo and Chiclayo and overland to Chachapoya, one of the most underrated places in Peru. And/or make it to Iquitos for a deeper feel of the Amanazon.
Good luck and let me know if I can help with anything,
"Not to miss" places to eat for a fair price:
- Punto Azul (good ceviche and seafood)
- Parque de la Reserva (nice park and u can also find peruvian food and local ppl having fun on sundays)
- Pasquale (kinda fast-food sandwich place but with peruvian flavors and owned by Acurio, one of our most known chefs)
- Parque Kennedy in Miraflores (have a "butifarra" near the flea market at the center of the park)
- Ayahuasca (good peruvian cocktail drinks, in Barranco)
if you want, i can show you all LIMA
Day 1: Lima
Try to go on Pachacamac ruins, I don’t remember how much does the entrance costs, but if it’s too expensive, Huaca Pucllana in Miraflores is a good alternative.
It could be a good idea to spend one more day here as well if you want to enjoy of Lima’s nightlife, but always ask in your hostel about safety measurements.

Day 2: Pisco – Paracas
Head to the south by bus (it should take you 4 hours) and get some rest in a nice beach in Paracas, as you book a full day tour to Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Reserve. Amazing time, really nice and fresh fish and unmissable Pisco Sour!

Day 3: Paracas – Ica
Enjoy your booking on the islands, as you see many sea lions, penguins and, if lucky, maybe some dolphins on the way there. Later, when you go on the bus tour, get some nice fish again (Sea bass, sole, etc…) because I’m sure you will miss it!
In the afternoon, as soon as you come back, you should take a bus to Ica. A bus ride will take 1 hour only Head to Huacachina (the oasis) because is much safer to sleep and move around there than out in the city. For this you will need a taxi. It should cost some 5 Peruvian soles and that ride should take you 5 minutes but it will be worth. I recommend “El Huacachinero”, a nice hostel with swimming pool and great rooms for backpackers!

Day 4: Ica – Nazca
Enjoy a lot of sun in the swimming pool! If you prefer you could book a tour to the vineyards of Ica in the morning so you can try a wide variety of sweets and stuff made out of the local fruits Ica is got to offer to you. Important not to miss Ica’s wine and Pisco (it’s a spirit, made out of grapes) yummm….!!! I wish I was there!!!
In the afternoon, go for a ride on the sand dunes. I recommend you to do it with “El Huacachinero” hostel. They have good drivers and really nice buggies. When you go on these dunes, they will take you with some sand boards so you can surf on the cleanest dunes of the dessert. (Of course this is something really important not to miss!!!)

When you’re back, you can take a night bus to Nazca. This ride is only 2 hours long, so you will still arrive at night to sleep in Nazca, but this is good because next day you have an early start. The previous day you should have book a flight over the Nazca Lines (I recommend “Aeroparacas” for this, since they have their own planes) so you can see why are they called “Enigmatic”.

Day 5: Nazca - Arequipa
Enjoy of your flight over Nazca Lines! They should cost some US$50 (plus 10 or 20 soles for airport taxes, I think) but its worth to pay for it.

If you prefer, you can also get on one of those tours to Chauchilla cemetery, The process of Gold and Clay by the artisans, Cantalloc Aqueducts, but I wouldn’t rush into them, since they are complementary tours. In the afternoon, book a bus to Arequipa for a night ride. This one will take you some 10 hours through the dessert and some small villages and that is why I recommend you to do it by night.

Day 6: Arequipa
Here we are in the Big South. Already on 2350 m.a.s.l. on the Peruvian Andes, You should try and see if the altitude is a problem to your health. If it is, try a “Mate de Coca” to get back on your health (coca leaves are not considered drugs in Peru or Bolivia, but you can’t pass them through any border…). In the morning you should book a tour into Colca Canyon. By now you should be bored of being in a bus seat, so I recommend you to book for a trekking tour 3days/2nights. For this you can contact me. I am currently living in Arequipa and I work as a tour guide here for this. I will get you a lot of help according to what you might prefer to see.

Arequipa has a wide variety of options to give you. Besides Colca Canyon, you can visit Misti or Chachani mountains (in order to trek them you will need to invest 2 or 3 days, not including this one).
In this first day, you could go to see Santa Catalina Monastery (known as a city inside the city), Santuarios Andinos Museum (you will find the frozen princess of Ampato, wrongly named “mummy”), or maybe go and see the nice villages on the countryside of Arequipa by taking a “Bustour” (departing from the main plaza) which should take half a day away. Trekking tours to Colca Canyon start very early, so get a hostel where to leave your big bags and some of your tiredness! Here there’s a really big variety of alternatives, but my recommendations here are “Arequipay Backpackers” and “Posada del Cacique” because I know they give you a nice service for the same cheap “backpackers” price. Please notice that right here you have only spent your first week in Peru!
(to be continued...)
Day 7, 8 and 9: Colca Canyon trekking
Enjoy of the best views of the nature! Native people are authentic and the legendary Condor glides as a master in the sky!!! You will have the chance to stay one night in the Canyon and one more night in Cabanaconde. I would show you the best things in town not to miss.

When we come back to Arequipa, on the 9th day, I would still recommend you to stay one more night in the city to see the surroundings and get used to the altitude. Tomorrow you should get a bus to Puno and it will only take 5 hours in a bus.

Day 10: Arequipa – Puno
I recommend you to take a breath and enjoy of Arequipa. Time is not tight. Any time in the day, busses will depart to Puno. Every hour.

Day 11: Puno
Here you will be to some 3800 m.a.s.l. Coca tea will be your helper again.
Is better to book one of those tours of 2 days to the Islands in Titicaca Lake, because then you will be able to sleep in one of the family’s houses. You will see 3 islands: Taquile, Amantani and Uros (this last one is a big collection of floating islands). I’ll now show you the way it goes on the next 2 days.

Day 12: Puno –Amantani
So, the tour should start at 8am from your hostel in Puno and will drive you around to pick up everyone else until you arrive to the lake. The boat will take you to Uros floating islands and Amantaní, where you will spend the night.

Day 13: Amantaní – Puno
You will leave from Amantaní and then Visit Taquile before you sail back to Puno. Spend the night there but book a bus to Cusco before going to bed. If you can get a night ride to Cusco on the same night is better, since Puno – Cusco by bus should take 9 to 10 hours

Day 14: Cusco!
This is the Capital of the Inka Culture. The altitude here is as high as 3400 m.a.s.l.(we always use “meters” above sea level here, huh???)
Here in Cusco there are so many things to see… the list would be endless, for sure. I’d recommend you to book a train to MachuPicchu as soon as you arrive and spend 2 days there in “Aguas Calientes” (this is the town on the bottom of MachuPicchu hills).
1 day forth and 1 day back should make a nice visit.

Day 15 – 19: More of Cusco
2 days for Machu Picchu, one for sacred Valley and one more to enjoy in whatever you prefer should make your day in Cusco. This means, of course, MachuPicchu and Sacred Valley are the 2 things not to miss in Cusco.

Day 20: Flight to Lima
Cusco is got a nice airport. A Flight to Lima should take about an hour and a half, so program your time from here carefully, since they ask you to be with some time in advance in Lima for international flights. All flights must be reserved with at least a week in advance to find good prices.

I am a tour guide with 7 years of experience that has been for a while in all of those places and that is why I recommend this and that place, because I know the way they work is good. I am sure many tourists would have loved to have this list in their hands before starting their trips!!! (Actually I made this list out of what they said they enjoy the most of Peru…)

Hope this is helpful for your 20 days trip! Good luck, Safe trips!
What do yo like, coast, higland, or jungle
In Lima the down town, the cathedral, San Francisco church, Santo Domingo church, the main square, Barranco, Miraflores
Cuzco, Machu Pichu, Arequipa, Titicaca Lake, Sipan museun in Chiclayo, Kuelap in Amazonas, Iquitos and Amazon river, Huaraz and Callejon de Huylas if you like trekking, the Manu reserve.
What a tough question you've asked! Peru has got so many opportunities and "must see" places, it could keep a traveler busy for months! It really depends what you want to get out of your holiday...

There's the popular loop that covers most of the country's biggest destinations, from Lima, to Ica/Paracas, Arequipa, Puno & Lake Titicaca, Cusco, the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu, back to Lima. You can easily do this in 20 days.
But then you might want to visit the jungle, which may be up to four days in a lodge, plus traveling time...

Or you might want to spend more time in the highlands, Huaraz is a popular trekking region, as is the Sacred Valley region...

And then there's the coast, the northern coast is very popular, with great beaches and weather...

So it's really down to what you want from your trip! Check out for some more ideas.
Happy planning and buen viaje!

All depend what would yoyu like to see, or what are you expecting. Lima was founded in 1535 and like any spanish foundation has a main square a Cathedral and several houses of that time, with her particlar architecture. She also was founded on an incas´ town, so you also can find tempñes and incas and pre incas buildings, pointing that the most important temple of the pacific coast was located on Lima, Pachacamac Temple at 20 km from downtown.

At the other side take note that the time have elapsed and Lima has been changing accordingly, so you can find all the history along side the city. Barranco is a good place to see, The modern city is also interesting, and
do not forget to go to Miraflores. There is a new part of the city called Comas where there is the biggest disco in Lima. Lima like any big city has all waiting for you, discover it by yourself, Good luck and enjoy,

One alternative to see is Callao the Port my born town, where is located the Real Felipe fortress the unique survival spanish, fortress on the South Pacific and the old town around and Cantalao , the beach and his 20¨s town La Punta . Also you can sail to Palamino Island to see tha natural Reserve of sea wolf.


Staring in LIma take the north route to SUpe, at 5 hours from and find Caral the ancient human agroupation(city) of the world probably. fromm there to Huaraz and all the Callejon de Huaylas, where you can see the Huascaran the higgesr mountain of Perú ( 4 days) From there to Lima 8 hours, The south route you must go to PIsco ( destroyed by and earthquake) but you can taste a Pisco sour in HOtel Paracas, from there to Ica to launch anf there to Nazca to see Nazca Lines by plane You muts rest there to start the next day your trip to Arequipa, Churches, valley and an old city called the white city because of the volcanic stone used in their construction. Near there is the Colca Canyon 5 ours from the city, From Arequipa you must take the train to Cuzco. One day to see tha city and one day to go to Machu Pichu amd to not waste time take a plane from Cuzco to Lima. Are you expecting to see tha joungle, Iquitos is a good alternative but you must go there by plane or take 5 days to arrive.

In any case there are another no touristic routes with wonderefull views.
Take a pen a calendar and chose your route.
Visit this site at to see the most outstanding sites in Peru from Caral, Machu Picchu to rain forest.
Colca , Arequipa, puno , and cusco in the south , Mancora , piura , trujillo in north , caral lima

good luck

Jose Antonio

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