Peru is a land of mountains and mystic, from its natural wonders to its historic cities.
Machu Picchu might be what draws most travellers to Peru. However, this eclectic country has so much more to offer than incredible, world-class and breathtaking hikes (although the hikes are pretty damn good). On a tour from Lima to Cusco, you’ll discover a distinguished culinary scene full of fresh seafood, Pisco sours and empanadas. You can even submerge yourself in the Amazon jungle in search of monkeys, river dolphins and anacondas. Now that's what we call an unforgettable adventure.
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Lima to Cusco FAQs
Trips on or before 31 December 2022
If your Intrepid trip starts on or before 31 December 2022, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Your destination or airline may still require specific proof of testing or vaccination. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
Peru has visa-free travel agreements with most countries, and foreign nationals including those from the United Kingdom, United States, New Zealand and Canada do not require a visa for tourism purposes.
Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. You can also check the Essential Trip Information section of your itinerary for more information.
Peru is a fascinating country with four distinct geographical regions. Not many countries can offer beaches, mountains, rainforests and deserts in one visit. These distinct regions offer something for everyone, which is why most Intrepid tours operate all year round.
June, July and August are considered the driest months in the Highlands and Amazon basin and are optimal for hiking and river journeys. However, even during the rainy season in the Amazon, the rains only fall for a few hours at a time. In the Andes, the rainy season can sometimes just mean a bit of overcast weather. The advantage to travelling in these areas at this time is that many other travellers make the mistake of postponing their plans until the dry season, leaving you with more of Peru to yourself.
The best time to visit the infamous Nazca Lines or the coastal areas is from December to April, although the other months of the year are perfectly good times to visit as well. Remember that the Inca Trail is closed for cleaning during February, although there are other treks to Machu Picchu which are available at this time.
One of the best ways to get from Lima to Cusco (while still seeing all of the breathtaking sights Peru has to offer) is to jump on a pre-organised tour that takes away the stress of travelling, but if that's not your thing, there are still several options to get between the two destinations. These options include flying (the flight time is approximately 1 and a half hours), taking the bus (which takes between 18 and 21 hours but is the cheapest option), and self-driving (the car journey will take approximately 15 hours).
Many travellers fly into the capital of Cusco, before taking the train or choosing a hiking tour. The stepping stone to Machu Picchu is Ollantaytambo, which is about 1.5 hours away from Cusco by bus.
From Ollantaytambo the most common ways to get to Machu Picchu are:
- By train
- Hiking the Inca Trail (one way to Machu Picchu)
- Taking the equally scenic and rewarding Quarry Trail
- Trekking the challenging 8-day Choquequirao Trail
For a day trip exploring Machu Picchu, it is recommended to take a small backpack with the essentials: sunscreen, hat, water bottle (filled before departing for the day), a few snacks and mosquito repellent. It helps to wear breathable pants, a long shirt and to bring a waterproof jacket – since the UV index is higher in the Andes and the site is prone to receiving rainfall.
If you plan to trek before visiting Machu Picchu, be sure to read our detailed packing instructions in your Essential Trip Information.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to our Travel Insurance hub.
Read more about travel in Peru