This is clearly very overdue, but I’m determined to finish what I started and these round-up posts were some of our most popular. Plus, this is the last one from our RTW! Please bear in mind that all costs are from August and September of 2013 so average prices will have changed. The exchange rate has also improved against the Pound but I’ve kept to our original figures.
Peru saw some of our greatest adventures of the whole 17 months and the landscapes we encountered varied to extremes. From the humid Amazon jungle to the oxygen sapping Andes and everything in between. We were ready to leave when we did but we had an undeniably cracking 6 weeks seeing all it had to offer.
Stats for Peru
44 days on the road, our budget was £45 (S 196 Soles) per day. This had to factor in the additional expense of the Inca Trail, which was just over £700 for both of us.
£55.00 (S 240.35 Soles) TOTAL spend per day
£10.46 (S 45.71 Soles) per day on accommodation
£12.75 (S 55.74 Soles) per day on food
£5.61 (S 24.51 Soles) per day on transport
£20.64 (S 90.23 Soles) per day on activities
Peru isn’t as cheap as Bolivia but the day to day expenses are still pretty reasonable. Where you start spending the cash is on the excursions and activities that Peru is famed for. Trips to the Amazon are fairly pricey and the Inca Trail is vastly over-priced in my opinion. The way we looked at it was that we wouldn’t ever get home and lament about how much money we’d spent, we’d be remembering how it felt to be in those places. As I sit and write about it so long after the trip, I promise that’s all I’m thinking about! On reflection, It’s not bad that we only overspent by £440 when I consider how many activities we did.
Where we slept
37 nights in hostels – Peruvian hostels are slightly better than their Bolivian counterparts but only slightly! They were still mostly freezing with terrible showers but the people were incredibly friendly and we didn’t have any major disasters.
3 nights in a tent – On the Inca Trail, it was beyond cold but we were so exhausted that we passed out each night!
2 nights on sleeper buses – The night buses continued to be of a high standard in Peru. I really have no idea why people complain about buses in this part of the world when you can get a luxurious sleeper bus for so little money – complete with dinner and wine served to you in your seat.
2 nights in a jungle lodge – In the beautiful Sandoval Lake Lodge in the middle of the Amazon. It was lovely and rustic and the noise from the jungle was incredible.
Top experiences in Peru
Colca was one of the greatest hiking experiences we’ve had, full stop. It can get extremely busy on the 1-2 day routes but I will never forget sleeping in the tiny Peruvian hamlet of Fuga on day 3 knowing that there were just 4 of us hikers that made it that far out. Read about our Colca experience here.
I still get gasps and unbelieving looks when I tell people we’ve been to the Amazon. It just sounds terribly remote and exotic that most people don’t think ‘tourist’ when they hear the name. I’ll never forget seeing the giant river otters of Sandoval Lake, incredible. Read about it here.
Macchu Picchu and the Inca Trail
It took me a really long time to appreciate the Inca Trail! I still think it’s vastly overpriced and there are much better hikes out there, but I can now totally appreciate making the effort to walk to Macchu Picchu. Read about our experience here.
Hiking in Huaraz
We felt like we escaped for a little bit in Huaraz. We fell into a routine, visiting the same bakery for breakfast and the same little family restaurant for dinner. The town itself will win no beauty contests as it was all rebuilt in concrete after a massive earthquake, but the surrounding mountains are unbelievably stunning. I feel privileged to have visited. Read about our time in Huaraz here.
Peru is probably the most touristy country in South America and I think it gets a bit of stick from hardcore travellers about this. Yes, Cusco will be full to the brim with people on two week holidays but what do you expect? Macchu Picchu is probably the most famous site on the continent, at least people are making the effort to visit. If you want quieter areas head to Arequipa or Huaraz where, certainly from our experience, there are much fewer tourists. The people are welcoming, we ate great food (by South American standards!) and Peru is home to some of the most epic landscapes on earth.
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