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.


Lake Sandoval Amazon Peru

We venture out onto Sandoval Lake at sunset – the Amazon

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.


Santa Catalina Arequipa Peru

Wandering around the Santa Catalina Monastery as the sun goes down – Arequipa

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.


Laguna 69 Huaraz Cordillera Blanca

The Cordillera Blanca on the Laguna 69 Hike – Huaraz

Top experiences in Peru


Colca Canyon

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.


condor Colca Canyon Peru

The majesty of the condor – Colca Canyon

The Amazon

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.

Snow Andes Peru

Being blow away by the epic scenery int the Andes on the Inca Trail

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.


sandboarding Huacachina Peru

Paul sandboarding in the dunes of Huacachina


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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4 Responses

  1. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    I think you guys did brilliantly to fit as much in as you did for just £55/day. I think this might be a case of your original budget not being entirely realistic rather than you going completely overboard, since it’s not like you went wildly overbudget. I’m slowly coming around to the idea of South America (if only the food were better), and Peru is probably the country I’d be most excited to visit, so it’s nice to know that it’s actually fairly affordable. I’m sure if you traveled slower during your visit, you could have come a lot closer to your target budget too.
    Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Confessions of a Foodie in RomeMy Profile

    • Maddie

      Oh we don’t think we went overboard, we just decided to do a few more trips than initially planned. We always knew the Inca Trail would be the price it was but thought we’d challenge ourselves to do the rest as cheaply as possible. By our standards we travelled very slowly in Peru, we were there for 6 weeks and 2 of those were spent in Cusco and 2 in Huaraz so we saved money on accommodation that way.

      I can’t really sugarcoat the food I’m afraid, Peru was the best of a bad bunch but food is definitely viewed as fuel in South America (at least the places we visited) rather than something to savour. It was a big shock coming from Asia I can tell you!

  2. tanya

    Loved Peru, the landscape combined with all that visible history makes it a special place. I too cant be bothered with the travel snobs & it is very very easy to slip off the tourist trail & experience normal day to day Peruvian life. I’m going back in a few months – I’m lucky to live somewhere where it is pretty cheap to get back to S. America. It also puts me in an even luckier place that I can revisit Macchu Picchu & get there they way I want to ie via the hydroelectric plant route 🙂 I didn’t think the food was that bad – but I do love rice & potatoes 🙂

    • Maddie

      Love the fact that Peru was such a great trip for you that you’re going back so soon! It has such variety in sights and activities that we’re glad we had a good 6 weeks there and yet we know there are huge parts of the country that we didn’t touch. The food was probably the best we had in South America but I think after 3 months we were just missing huge salads and more vegetable orientated food!


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