The capital of Peru will immerse you in colonial architecture and history while the enchanting Machu Picchu will underscore the intricacies of indigenous culture. From a bustling city to the famous citadel perched in the Andes mountains, your ideal Lima and Machu Picchu itinerary is best designed alongside Zicasso’s travel experts.

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Lima and Machu Picchu Itineraries

Lima and Machu Picchu at a Glance

You should consider these easy-to-use travel tips to make the most of your Peruvian adventure.


Peru's capital city of Lima is bustling with activity at all hours of the day. Not only can you get lost in the fervor of downtown markets, high-end shopping centers, and fine dining establishments, but you can also venture to Peru's historic downtown for a peek into the city's captivating past.

Miraflores: Miraflores A coastal neighborhood that is regarded as the most prestigious in all of Peru. It's marked by stark white skyscrapers, luxurious hotels, and five-star restaurants that overlook the Pacific coast. Here, you can stroll through Parque del Amor and visit La Marina Lighthouse.

Plaza de Armas: Lima's main square is the city’s center of historical intrigue. Cobblestone streets line the downtown area, and elaborate church facades are decorated with Spanish colonial aesthetics. Here, you can visit Lima's basilica and get an up-close look at the Huaca Pucllana pyramid, which was constructed by the Lima Culture between 200 and 700 AD.

Barranco District: The Barranco District is known as an artistic and trendy neighborhood of Lima. Street Art lines every corner, and vibrant facades form the skyline. Hip bars and restaurants offer a relaxing place to unwind inside former mansions of Spanish nobility. Here, you can cross the Puente de los Suspiros bridge for impeccable views of the city.

Machu Picchu

Every year, the recently coined New Wonder of the World attracts millions of visitors. Machu Picchu is emblematic of expert Inca engineering and flawless innovation. Due to its secluded positioning in the Andes Mountains, the ruins have remained in excellent condition.

UNESCO Ruins: The ruins are home to incredible remnants of the Inca Empire that were first constructed in the year 1450. These ruins are nestled amongst the Andes Mountains and cloud forest just beyond Cusco and the Sacred Valley. You can reach the ruins via a luxury train ride or on foot on the Inca Trail. You can ascend to the ruins alongside your expert guide to visit remarkable features, such as the Sacred Rock, Temple of Three Windows, and Principal Palace.

Huayna Picchu: Huayna Picchu is the majestic mountain peak that is often photographed to the rear of Machu Picchu. You can admire it from afar or climb to the top alongside your guide. At the summit, you can enjoy a bird's-eye view of the ruins and a panoramic view of the Andes.

Aguas Calientes: Aguas Calientes is the sleepy mountain town at the base of Machu Picchu. The town is marked by picturesque valleys, rugged mountainsides, and sparkling rivers that flow through the downtown area. After a day of adventure at the ruins, you can indulge in the thermal baths for which Aguas Calientes gets its name.

Best Time to Visit Lima & Machu Picchu

We have compiled the best times to visit Lima and Machu Picchu to maximize your expedition to Peru. Below, we discuss the best time to visit Lime and Machu Picchu.


The ideal time to visit Lima is between December and April. Since Peru is located in the Southern Hemisphere, Lima experiences warm and sunny weather during this time. Temperatures in Lima tend to be mild and dry, and the rainy season is less severe than in the Andean region (Machu Picchu). Travelers can explore beach outings with temperatures that average 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Lima is most saturated with visitors during March, April and May. Therefore, in order to avoid the crowds, travelers may choose to come earlier (between December and February or early March).

Machu Picchu

For the best weather, the best time to visit Machu Picchu is between April and October. This is considered the dry season in the Andean region. During these months, temperatures are mild. Traveling to Machu Picchu from November to March is possible, but rainy weather is likely, which may affect ground transportation and sightseeing visibility. Most tourists visit Machu Picchu in June, July, and August. Therefore, visitors who travel in April, and May or in September and October can enjoy nice weather without the massive crowds.

How to get to Lima & Machu Picchu

It's best to plan your transportation logistics ahead of time when traveling to Peru. While getting around cities is easy with both private and public transportation, traveling to and from Machu Picchu is a bit more complex.

To Lima: Lima is home to the Jorge Chavez International Airport. You can plan your international flight in and out of Peru's national capital. Once you are in the city, transportation is easily available via local combis, metro, or private ground transportation.

To Machu Picchu: Visitors can get to Machu Picchu in one of two ways. First, travelers can board a luxury train car from Poroy outside of Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Second, travelers can arrive on foot via the Inca Trail. The trek typically takes between two to four days. Once in the base town of Aguas Calientes, you will board a shuttle and ride to the UNESCO ruins themselves.

Essential Experiences in Lima & Machu Picchu

You should consider making these experiences part of your getaway to Machu Picchu and Lima.


Larco Museum/Huaca Pucllana: You can visit the Larco Museum and the ancient Huaca Pucllana pyramid for an immersive look at Lima's history from centuries ago. At the Larco Museum, you can admire beautiful pottery and jewelry from several of Peru's ancient civilizations. At Huaca Pucllana, you can witness the grand stone temple that was created by the Lima Culture between 200 and 700 AD.


Coastal Paragliding or Scenic Bike Ride: You can enjoy the sense of adventure as you glide over Lima's illustrious coastline. From the top of a jagged cliffside in Miraflores, you can partake in a thrilling paragliding adventure to the sandy beaches. If you're looking for something a bit more relaxing, you can enjoy a scenic bike ride along the Pacific.

Private Ceviche Cooking Class: You can roll up your sleeves alongside an expert chef at one of the city's five-star restaurants. Together, you will make one of Peru's most prized culinary delights: ceviche. You will mix fresh seafood ingredients, pepper, onion, and lemon-lime dressing. Then, you can enjoy your masterpiece on a nearby patio.

Machu Picchu

Temple of the Moon: After a day at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu, you can venture to the Temple of the Moon, which was an Inca ceremonial temple. The site is tightly tucked into a cavernous alcove and tells a fascinating story of Inca architecture.

Hike up Huayna Picchu: You can ascend to the peak of Huayna Picchu, which is the mountain that is often pictured behind the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. You can follow a guide up the somewhat arduous climb to delight in spectacular views of the ruins and surrounding Andes Mountains.

Thermal Bath of Aguas Calientes: After a full day at the ruins, you can return to the base town of Aguas Calientes. After a three-course meal in the charming downtown area, you can bask in the thermal waters from which the town gets its name.

Travel Considerations

Prior to traveling, you should take these packing and transportation tips into account.


Temperatures in Peru tend to be mild. Traveling to Lima is best between the months of December to April, although traveling outside of this time frame is also possible. Throughout the year, daily temperatures average between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Since Peru is located in the Southern Hemisphere, winter takes place during June, July, and August. During these months, temperatures cool to an average of 60 degrees.

Traveling to Machu Picchu is best between April to October. This is considered the dry season in Peru. Traveling outside of this time can result in rainy and foggy weather that can make sightseeing difficult. Average temperatures reach a high of 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the Southern Hemisphere's summer months. Low temperatures dip to about 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months. During the dry season, temperatures from day to night can fluctuate significantly.


Transportation in the city of Lima is made easy via public transportation (metro and combi) and private ground transportation. Traveling to and from Lima is easy via Jorge Chavez International Airport. Visitors should plan their travels to Machu Picchu in advance, regardless of if it is by train or on foot via the Inca Trail. As of last year, Machu Picchu has become accessible to all guests, including those with mobility challenges. Partnering with Zicasso can considerably ease these challenges.


Travelers should pack durable walking shoes or hiking boots. For those hiking the Inca Trail, some camping supplies may be necessary, such as a durable backpack.

Weather Considerations

If visiting the Andean region between October and March, travelers should pack rain gear, including rain boots, rain jackets or ponchos, and umbrellas.

Electrical Considerations

Peru operates on a 220-voltage system at 60-hertz. North American travelers should bring a two-prong plug converter that can adapt to round and flat-end plugs.

Pharmaceutical Considerations

Travelers should pack all necessary medications. In heavily touristed cities, including Cusco and Lima, pharmacies are readily available. For any questions related to access to pharmacies, you can consult with your Zicasso trip specialist.

Cultural Considerations

Public bathrooms are available throughout Peru, although travelers should consider packing toiletries because amenities are not always available.

Travel Insurance

You’ve booked your dream vacation, now protect it with travel insurance. A wide range of factors can leave your vacation in limbo. Medical emergencies, inclement weather, and unexpected cancellations can cause turmoil for your trip, so in the unlikely event of a disaster, get the travel insurance coverage that provides peace of mind. To get a quote, visit our travel insurance page.

Flights Via Zicasso

Zicasso Air Desk is an international air ticketing service that eliminates the stress of finding and booking the right flights for your upcoming vacation by employing the same personalized service you can expect from planning a trip with Zicasso. Our competitive flight pricing, 24x7 Service & Support, and Complimentary Consultation of Routing vs. Pricing with an Expert Flight Specialist make finding the perfect flight for your trip effortless.

Travel Documents

Making sure that you carry the appropriate travel documents is essential when visiting Peru. For this reason, you should be sure to pack the proper paperwork to ensure the most pleasant and problem-free travel experience. Listed below are some of the most important documents to have on you while traveling in Peru:

  • Personal medical information
  • Pertinent information regarding any condition(s) from your doctor, especially any medication that you are taking
  • Emergency contact information
  • Passport
  • Visa, if necessary
  • Proof of airline tickets and reservations
  • Customs forms and documents
  • Hotel or accommodation reservations
  • Travel and medical insurance (see above section regarding this)

Your Zicasso travel specialist will be able to provide requirements that are specific to your trip, although responsibility always lies with the traveler to ensure that all is in order. Travel requirements can change with little to no notice, so all are wise to stay updated as your trip nears.

Finances & Tipping

ATMs are readily available in large cities throughout Peru. Travelers should consider bringing cash when traveling to small towns and shopping at markets. Bartering at local markets is expected. Tipping typically includes a 10% gratuity at bars and restaurants. Usually, this is calculated in the price of your bill, but you should check your check each time to be sure. When traveling with a private guide, it's common to tip $10 per day, per guide. For any other concerns related to tipping, bartering, currency conversion, etc., you can consult with your Zicasso travel specialist.

Safety & Accessibility of Resources

Consider these safety tips to make your Peruvian vacation as enjoyable as possible.

Peru is generally a safe country, although crime does occur. In areas that are heavily frequented by tourists, most crime is limited to petty theft. Altitude sickness is a risk for any international traveler who plans to visit the Andean region, which includes places like Cusco and Machu Picchu. You can consult with your doctor ahead of time to arrange preventative medication. Most hotels also stock an oxygen supply and masks for guests who become faint or otherwise demonstrating signs of altitude sickness. In the case of an emergency, you can connect with your Zicasso trip specialist to find immediate medical assistance.

Crime Rate

The crime rate in Peru is at a moderate level. Travelers should take precaution when visiting crowded areas or sightseeing at night.

Things to look out for

Most petty thefts are cases of pickpocketing. When visiting crowded areas or traveling on public transportation, you should carry all essentials (money, passport) in a money belt or inner coat pocket.

Medical & First Aid

You should carry all of your medications with you. In the case of an emergency, you can speak with your Zicasso trip specialist. It is recommended that all international travelers consult with their primary care physician prior to traveling to Peru. This information is not intended to substitute professional guidance from a doctor.

Water & Food Safety

Travelers should avoid tap water. Instead, you should drink bottled water or water that has been boiled. Likewise, travelers should avoid raw produce that has been washed with tap water. Travelers should avoid street food and, instead, indulge in meals that are freshly prepared at a hotel, cafe, or restaurant. When visiting high-altitude destinations, such as Machu Picchu, travelers should eat their largest meal around the middle of the day.

Travel with Zicasso

When you travel with Zicasso, you will receive the very best in travel care throughout your trip.

When planning a luxury vacation, every detail matters, which is why our approach is different. We will match you with leading travel specialists who are the most qualified to make your dream trip happen. They know their country better than anyone, and each travel specialist in Zicasso’s network is among the finest travel agents and tour operators, comprising of the top tier of the industry. Experience the wonder of an exceptional itinerary crafted just for you.

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