Peru once inhabited one of the oldest civilizations and is a treasure trove of Inca culture, natural beauty, and historical sites. Traveling to Peru is not as expensive as Europe, yet it provides a more wholesome and magical experience. Peru offers a rich cultural experience and the remnants of an ancient civilization. It is one of the most economical countries to visit.
Cost of Travelling to Peru from the USA
- A Round-Trip Flight Cost – $2400
- Low-Budget Travel – $40 per person per day (130 PEN)
- Mid-Budget Travel – $50 per person per day (160 PEN)
- High-Budget Travel – $70 per person per day (230 PEN)
On average a 5-day trip will cost $2700/$2800/$3200 per person including the cost of the flight.
Peru offers something for everybody; both budget travelers and luxury travelers will find it a great experience. When traveling to Peru you will arrive in Lima, the capital of the country. In the past, the city had a bad reputation of being dangerous and untidy; however, in recent years, the government has taken radical steps to make it comfortable for tourists. Here you can get a basic meal at just $6 which will get you a bowl of soup, a Peruvian second, as well as a drink.
From here, you can fly to other cities, where a good airline will cost you between $90 to $140. At the same cost, you can fly from Lima to the Inca city of Cusco. However, it’s worth noting that if you are willing to cut prices you can avail other cheaper flights.
Traveling Around Peru
Peru has a wide network of intercity buses; you can catch a bus from Cusco to Puno to visit Lake Titicaca. If you want a luxury experience you could spend $30 per person for a luxury bus with lunch and a TV.
Train travel in Peru has one of the most exciting experience. It has some of the best train journeys in the world. People who like to travel on the train will get the chance to witness some of the best landscapes in the world. Next, you could travel to Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu in a tourist train at just $4 per person or you can take luxury Hiram Bingham train which will cost you $800 per person for a round trip.
Peru offers a wide range of accommodation options; if you are backpacker you will find a budget room at just $5 per person per night. For a comfortable stay, a budget hotel will cost you around $21 per person per night. A mid-range 3-star hotel will cost you around $30 per person. For a luxury 4 or 5 star hotel, you will have to pay from $90 to $200 per person per night.
Sightseeing in Peru
When you are in Peru you should take some travel tours. There are a number of tours you can choose to travel to Peru. You could take a few day excursion to the Colca Canyon which is one of the deepest places in the world. There are many other places to visit in the Southern Peruvian city of Arequipa. A 2-day tour could cost at a low budget of $70 to as much as $200 per person.
The south of Peru has the lakeside town which is set on the Peruvian Andes and resides in the shore of Lake Titicaca which is one of the highest lakes in the world. From here, you can also get to the Uros Islands which are man-made using the reeds that grow in the shores of the lake. The people of Uros have been living there for centuries and depend little on the outside world. A 1-day tour to the island will cost you just over $35 per person.
Popular Peruvian Attractions
From Lima, you can travel south to see the mysterious Nazca Lines which were etched on the desert in 500 BCE, which is still a mystery to archeologists. To view these ancient lines you have to hire a small aircraft which will take you on a 30-minute ride. The aircraft ride can be expensive, and you should expect to pay at least $200 per person.
For most people, the top of their bucket list will be Cusco and Machu Picchu. Cusco houses some of the stunning old Inca temples and little distance away is the magnificent Sacred Valley of the Incas. This valley has a mild temperature, which is why the region was typically used by Incas to grow their food. From this valley to Machu Picchu will be a full-day trip and will cost around $250 to $1000.
Accommodation and Peru Hotel Prices
For the most part, people use Airbnb to book basic hotels to stay a night at a budget price. You will find numerous options to stay at Lima and Cusco with a room along with kitchen and Wi-Fi. When you will traveling to the floating island on the Lake Titicaca a budget hotel will cost you $15 per person per night. For a more comfortable stay, you can choose from multiple hotels which will cost you over $40 per person per night. In an average, the hotel cost per person per night can vary from a budget price of $12 to $120 per night at a boutique hotel.
For a 5 day trip, total accommodation will cost around $120 per person
Food Cost in Peru
South American people typically consume non-vegetarian dish, so finding vegan food can be a challenge. If you want food in a budget, we would suggest by vegetables and meat from the supermarket and cook at your hotel. However, in general, food cost in Peru is cheap, especially if you dine at local restaurants and buy local produce. For a good meal, salad, and a drink will cost just $5 per person.
For a 5 day trip, total food cost will be around $90 per person
Transportation cost in Peru
A multi-stop ticket from La Paz, Bolivia will cost over $100. If you want to visit local areas, you can take taxis or call for Uber. The most expensive transport in Peru will be taking the train to Aguas Calientes where you will visit the Machu Picchu. The journey is scenic but will cost $130 and then a return ticket at $105 per person.
Average Transportation Cost to Major Tourist Destination:
- Taxi – $2 per person
- Uber – $1.3 per person
- Lima to Paracas on Bus – $1.16 per person
- Puno to Cusco on Bus – $1.26 per person
- Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu on Bus – $0.9 per person
- Ollantaytambo to Cusco – $0.12 per person
- Cusco to Arequipa – $1.26 per person
- Arequipa to Ica – $0.70 per person
- Ica to Lima – $0.30 per person
- Poroy to Aguas Calientes in Train – $2.53 per person
- Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo in Train – $2 per person
An average round-trip flight cost from USA to Peru would be $2400 per person.
Leisure and Entertainment Cost in Peru
Probably the most expensive part of your journey would be visiting Machu Picchu. Even for a basic trek to the popular tourist destination, it would cost you $390 per person. Here, you can visit the Machu Picchu, climb the mountain, and other ruins and Sacred Valley.
Hiking and boat trips in other places such as Paracas and Uros Island would cost you less than $45 per person
Major activities in Peru
- Machu Picchu entrance fee – $60 per person
- Pumamarca entrance fee – $3 per person
- Juanita Museum – $7 per person
- Uros reed boat trip – $3 per person
- Taquile Islands Boat Tour – $14 per person
- Ballestas Islands tour – $20 per person
- Lima walking tour – $3 per person
- Cusco walking tour – $3 per person
- Arequipa walking tour – $7 per person
- Total – $120 per person
Other Expenses in Peru
If you will be using ATM, you will be charged a small fee for using the foreign card. Other expenses such as haircuts, painting, laundry, shoes etc would cost a little.
- Llama painting – $5.7
- Shoes – $15
- ATM fee – $3
- Laundry – $9
- Others – $10
The total breakdown for your trip to Peru would sum around $50 per person per day for a comfortable stay, find dining and visiting all the popular spots. You can reduce this price to a significant low if you ditch the luxury and visit like a local. You can cut costs simply by eating local food and staying in hostels.
Average Peru Travel Cost Breakdown
- Accommodation – $27 per person per day
- Food -$20 per person per day
- Transportation – $13 per person per day
- Activities – $5 per person per day
- Others – $3 per person per day
- Total – $68 per person per day /225 PEN per person per day
Comprehensive Travel Cost Breakdown in PEN and USD
- Average daily cost – 150 PEN/$45 per person per day
- One week stay – 1080 PEN/$325 per person
- Two weeks stay – 2170 PEN/$653 per person/$653
- One month stay – 4650 PEN/$1400 per person
- Accommodation – 83 PEN/$25 per person
- Food – 36 PEN/$11 per person per day
- Bottled water – 5 PEN/$1.5 per person per day
- Local transportation – 14 PEN/$4.2 per person
- Entertainment – 45 PEN/$13.5 per person
- Guides and tips – 9 PEN/$3 per person
- Intercity transit – 90 PEN/$27 per person
- Drinks – 16 PEN/$5 per person per day
Top Things to Do in Peru
01. Colca Canyon Trek
Trekking on the Colca Canyon should be on your bucket list; the beauty is breathtaking! The canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA. The place also popular for the rare Andean Condor, a bird with the largest wingspan of 3.2 meters. A full day trek at the Colca Canyon will cost you nearly $26 per person.
02. Tour to Floating Island of Lake Titicaca
It is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world and is famous for its floating reed island. It is inhabited by the Uros tribe who predate the Inca civilization. A short tour to the floating island will cost $10 per person.
03. Fly Over the Nazca Lines
Located in the Nazca desert, these lines are ancient geoglyphs that date back to 500 BCE. Archeologists are still trying to figure out its purpose. Take an airplane from Lima, Ica or Nazca to view the geoglyphs from above and wonder how and why these indigenous people did it. A 30 minutes ride will cost you $80 per person.
04. View the Rainbow Mountains
Located outside Cusco, it has become a popular tourist spot in Peru. Rarely does someone gets to witness a colorful mountain range, therefore making it a unique experience. If you want, you could also take several days of trekking experience to the Ausangate circuit trek. A full day Rainbow Mountain tour will cost you $30 per person.
05. Wildlife View on the Ballestas Islands
The island can be accessible from Paracas by a boat tour which usually takes 2 hours. People call it the Galapagos Islands of Peru because it houses some of the rarest birds such as cormorants, Peruvian boobies, pelicans, Inca terns etc. You will also spot turtles, dolphins, sea lion and whales. A short tour on the boat will cost your just under $25 per person.
06. Visit the Sacred Valley of Incas
Many think Machu Picchu to be the only remaining Inca archaeology, but the Sacred Valley is an awe-inspiring sight. It runs along the Urubamba river from Pisac to Ollantaytambo. You can get guided tours from Cusco and do activities such as river rafting, mountain biking, hiking etc. You can find multiple other historical sites within the Cusco. Tour to Sacred Valley will cost you $30 per person including lunch.
07. Sandboarding in Huacachina
Located just outside of the city of Ica and is a 5-hour journey from Lima. This desert village is built around a lake which has high sand dunes in all sides. The oasis is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination, especially among travelers who want to sandboard and make dune buggy rides. Ask your hotel or hostel if they can provide you with a proper board. A group tour to Huacachina will cost around $25 per person.
Traveling to Peru is a great way to take some time away from the busy city life. The country has remnants of some of the oldest organized civilizations. Living at a luxury hotel and eating western food would not only take away its local charm but also are expensive. Most of the activities here involve trekking and sightseeing. Peru has some off-the-beat spots that are very different from the usual tourist places. In general traveling, Peru is comparatively cheaper but brings a positive vibe and gives you a unique experience.