1 Week in Peru Travel Guide

1 Week in Peru Ultimate Travel Guide

Peru is one of those places I encourage everyone to visit once in their life, and it is a bucket-list destination. The country is rich in culture, natural sites, history, food, and great people. I planned to spend two weeks exploring everything I wanted to do. However, I could only take off for about a week to visit during my time at work and school. So, if you have time constraints and can only go for a week, this 1 week in Peru itinerary is excellent for a first-time visit that covers all the major attractions that draw people to Peru!

For my first visit, planning could have been more manageable to ensure we hit the major sites and visited Machu Picchu. This post will help you plan how to see the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. I’ll show you what we did each day in my itinerary and any tips I have for planning your activities!

Ready for an adventure? See below how to spend 1 week in Peru!

Day 1 - Arrive in Urubamba or Ollanta

View of Ollantaytambo in Peru
View of Ollanta

We took a red-eye flight from Tampa to Cusco; you will likely need to stop in Lima. From there, we grabbed our taxi from Cusco and headed for Urubamba, which was about an hour and a half. 

We used Taxidatum for all our transportation needs. Taxidatum allowed us to pre-book all our taxis, which were flexible with changes and adjustments.

While it seems like a lot of traveling, it is worth driving down to Urubamba or Ollantaytambo for your first few days. The elevation in Cusco can take time to adjust and cause altitude sickness.



Urubamba is the perfect place to stay if you want a more luxurious stay. The boutique hotels are lavish and peaceful.

We chose to stay at Sol Y Luna in Urubamba, a great resort if you’re willing to splurge. Once we got in, we took it easy, enjoyed a nice dinner at our lodge, and got a good night of sleep, as the next day was a full day of activities.



Ollantatayambo is another excellent base to stay at upon your arrival in Peru. Unlike Urubamba, you have more options for restaurants and walking around. You’ll also get to stay near one of the Sacred Valley sites.

Day 2 - Sacred Valley

Pisac ruins in Sacred Valley in Peru
Pisac Ruins

We also booked all our transport through Taxidatum for our Sacred Valley exploration. They were great and flexible, picking us up from our hotel and taking us to the sites we wanted to see that day.

We did a Half Day Sacred Valley Tour for our first day of exploring, which included seeing Pisac and Chinchero. With 1 week in Peru, two days was the perfect time to see the Sacred Valley.


We started the morning at the Pisac Ruins, walking around and building our appetites. Then, we headed to Pisac Market, where we grabbed a small snack and bought all our souvenirs.

The market is a great place to try out your bargaining skills!


After the market, we headed to Chinchero to see the ruins, which did not take as long as Pisac. There is also a beautiful church you can check out, though it closes after a specific time. 

If time permits, it is also a great place to see the Textile Demonstrations.

Even though it’s labeled a Half-Day Sacred Valley Tour, we took our time to see everything, which took us most of the day!

Day 3 - Sacred Valley

Maras in Sacred Valley in Peru
Maras in Sacred Valley

While it is possible to do a Sacred Valley Tour in one day, I enjoyed breaking it up into two days, giving us more time to explore the sites.



To start the day, we visited Maras first. Here, there was little walking around, instead grabbing cool pictures. Then, we headed to Moray to walk around the ruins there.

Another option is viewing these two sites through ATV riding. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do that this time. However, if you can get a tour, it’s a fun way to see both sites!



After, we headed to Ollanta for a quick bite. From there, we visited the Ollantatayambo Ruins. Make enough time to walk the ruins, as it can take a while.

If you stay in Ollanta instead of Urubamba as your base, you can see Ollanta and the ruins on Day 1. In addition, staying in Ollanta will allow you more time to either ATV in Maras or Moray or head to Aguas Calientes earlier on Day 3.

We took the train that night from Ollanta to Aguas Calientes, the town you must travel to if visiting Machu Picchu. Getting in the night before gave us more time to sleep by being in town before our big day.

Day 4 - Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu in Peru
Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu was one of the highlights of our trip. I often tell those planning for this to prepare Machu Picchu first and then plan the rest of their Peru trip around it. We checked into Taypikala Boutique Machupicchu the night before, which allowed us more time in the morning to prepare for Machu Picchu.

With 1 week in Peru, one day is good enough to explore Machu Picchu. However, if you have more time, you can undoubtedly spend two days exploring, especially if you tackle one of the additional hikes and Machu Picchu another day.

After an early morning, we lined up for our bus and headed to Machu Picchu. We purchased our bus tickets in advance based on the time entrance for Machu Picchu. Once we got to Machu Picchu, we jumped in with one of the guides at the entrance.


Our ticket also included the Waynapicchu hike, which we hiked after touring Machu Picchu. Waynapicchu is a unique experience and a challenging hike with fantastic views.

If you can get tickets for Waynapicchu, I highly encourage it. However, it is a more advanced hike, and you will need to prepare to be able to take it on comfortably.

Once we returned to Aguas Calientes, we grabbed food before taking our train to our next destination, Cusco!

Day 5 - Cusco

Cusco City View in Peru
Cusco City View

We arrived at Cusco the night before and checked in at Sonesta Hotel Cusco.

After a few jam-packed days, we spent a leisurely morning exploring Cusco, walking around, and watching people in Plaza De Americas while sipping some coffee.

We opted to do an afternoon Cusco City Tour booked through our hotel, which took us to some more Incan ruin sites.

For dinner, we popped into Morena Peruvian Kitchen; luckily got a spot at the bar and ate one of the best Peruvian meals we had on this trip. If you can make reservations in advance, this beautiful restaurant with delicious food!

Day 6 - Rainbow Mountain or Humantay Lake

Rainbow Mountain in Peru
Rainbow Mountain

Rainbow Mountain

We booked the Rainbow Mountain tour through our hotel as well. The day started super early with a bus towards Rainbow Mountain, with a stop for some breakfast.

Once we reached it, we could take a horse or walk a certain distance. We chose to walk as the horse could not go up. Climbing to the top can be challenging with altitude and crowds of people. So we went slowly and made sure to have altitude medicine.

Some say Rainbow Mountain does not live up to the hype that Instagram pictures may show. However, while it is not a splitting image of what you might see online, I found the view quite impressive.


Humantay Lake

Another option, if you want to avoid visiting Rainbow Mountain, is to tour Humantay Lake. If I had the extra day, I would’ve also loved to have done this tour!

Day 7 - Cusco or Lima


As you enter Cusco, you must stop in Lima when leaving Peru. While you can easily spend a week in Lima and do a lot of sightseeing, we only had one day with time constraints.

After leaving Sacred Valley, we flew to Lima and checked into Atrium Miraflores. We opted to do one night and do the Lima Gourmet Company food tour. Not only did this tour offer delicious food, but we got to check out some neighborhoods that allowed us to sightsee some places in Lima before we headed home.

While I was on the fence about visiting Lima, I’m glad I did. Find something interesting, and I think it’s worth exploring for a day! The food scene in Peru is famous, and it’s what I wanted to do in Lima. Also, if you’re interested in historical sites, you can take the day to explore them!



Another option is to spend your last day staying in Cusco. If I were to do it over, I would have rather stayed in Cusco. There is so much to do and see, and I would’ve taken advantage of an extra day there. 

I would like to experience these in Cusco and Lima on another visit from food tours, cooking classes, excursions, and nightlife.

I need to revisit Peru to visit the North, and I hope to see more of Lima then! For 1 Week in Peru, this itinerary hits some of the major highlights of Peru.

I hope this inspired you to start planning your 1 Week in Peru trip!

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1 Week in Peru Ultimate Travel Guide
1 Week in Peru Ultimate Travel Guide

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