Luxury Peru Vacations 2024/2025

Combining a fascinating history and vibrant culture with beautiful natural landscapes and scenery, Peru is one of Scott Dunn’s most enthralling destinations.

  • Bespoke Peru travel customized to you
  • Expert on-the-ground knowledge providing exclusive access to unique experiences
  • Seamless service with 24/7 support
  • Peru vacations from award-winning luxury travel experts
Peru

For a first-time Peru vacation, we recommend exploring the thriving city of Lima, where modern and ancient Peru meet. Here you can choose between visiting local museums, basking on glorious beaches or sampling gastronomic wonders at some of the best restaurants in South America. To discover Peru’s captivating Inca heritage, don’t miss a trip to Machu Picchu taking in the Sacred Valley and the architectural wonders of the city of Cusco along the way.

The Peruvian Amazon is another must-visit destination, ideal for those seeking an adventure-filled break. From trekking through the lush jungle to catching sight of colorful birds and exotic animals on a luxurious Amazon river cruise, a trip to the rainforest is a truly unique experience.

At Scott Dunn, our travel experts use their insider knowledge to help you find your perfect vacation in Peru. So, whether you’re planning an epic solo adventure or a summer break with your family, get ready to enjoy the trip you’ve been waiting for.

Best Tours in Peru

Ready to learn about the historical sights of Northern Peru? Or perhaps you can’t wait to discover ancient ruins on a Machu Picchu vacation, guided by a passionate local. Our travel experts have curated a series of itineraries and tours that will allow you to explore Peru’s travel highlights at your own pace. With a range of short excursions and longer tours to choose from, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Scott Dunn.

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Top Hotels in Peru

At Scott Dunn, we’ve tried and tested countless hotels so we can help you find the very best accommodation for your luxury Peru vacation. Embrace rich historical beauty at a boutique hotel in the oldest cities in the country or reconnect with nature at a rustic jungle lodge in the rainforest - the choice is yours.

Kira McNeil

South & Central America Specialist

Travel has been a driving factor in my personal life and career for over a decade. My specialty, and the area that is most near-and-dear to my heart, is Latin America.

Key information about Peru

  • Best time to visit: May to September
  • Average flight time:6-8 hours
  • Time difference: 0-hour EST, + 3 hours PST
  • Currency: The sol

FAQs About Luxury Peru Vacations

  • When is the best time to go to Peru?

    The best time to visit Peru largely depends on the experiences you want during your trip. Here are a few things our experts recommend you consider.

    The dry season, from May to September, is generally considered the best time to visit Peru. The weather is drier, making it ideal for trekking to Machu Picchu or exploring other regions like Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Lima. However, keep in mind that this is the peak tourist season, so popular attractions are more crowded.

    The shoulder season, April and October, marks the transition between the wet and dry seasons. They offer a balance between fewer crowds and relatively good weather. April is a good time as the landscape is lush after the rainy season.

    November to March is the rainy season, and while it might not seem ideal, it has its perks. The landscapes are incredibly green and vibrant and there are fewer tourists. However, heavy rains can affect travel plans, especially in more remote areas or during treks.

    If you're interested in cultural experiences, consider visiting during festival times. The Inti Raymi festival in Cusco (June 24th) celebrates the Incan sun god and includes colorful processions and reenactments. Semana Santa (Holy Week before Easter) is also celebrated with fervor in various cities, particularly in Cusco.

  • What are the best things to see and do on a vacation in Peru?

    Peru is an incredibly diverse country with a wide array of destinations and many incredible things to see and do here. Here are our top recommendations.

    Undoubtedly, one of the most iconic and awe-inspiring attractions in Peru is Machu Picchu. Taking the Belmond Hiram Bingham train is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with delicious food and on-board entertainment, and is a great way to arrive or depart from Machu Picchu. For something truly unique, stay at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge and be one of the first visitors of the day with 6am slots at Machu Picchu. At Lake Titicaca, stay at the hotel Titilaka, which partners with local indigenous communities like the Uros who live on floating islands made of reeds. Through their partnerships, they can offer exclusive and intimate tours of the floating islands to their guests that are unavailable to other travelers.

    Peru is also an up-and-coming spot for culinary enthusiasts, and home to some of the world’s greatest chefs and restaurants. In Lima, guests can participate in a private gastronomic tour, where they can eat their way through the city’s delicacies and end the tour enjoying lunch in front of the Huaca Pucllana ruins.

  • How long should I travel in Peru for?

    When you travel to Peru we recommend at least a week to give yourself time to adjust and take in all this country has to offer.

    If your main goal is to see Machu Picchu, we suggest about 7-8 days as the minimum, in order to give yourself time to acclimatise to the higher altitude before visiting the ruins. During this time, you will enjoy a few days in Lima, head to the Sacred Valley, spend 1 night in Machu Picchu, and finish the trip with a couple nights in Cusco.

    If you would like to visit additional destinations in Peru, such as the Amazon, Colca Canyon or Lake Titicaca, please give yourself an additional 2-3 days per destination. If you have the time, Peru can also be perfectly paired with Ecuador or a trip to the Galapagos Islands for amazing wildlife, or you can head south to Bolivia for some incredible scenery.

  • What can I experience on a Machu Picchu vacation?

    A Machu Picchu vacation offers a multitude of experiences beyond just visiting the iconic citadel itself. Here's what you can expect and consider when planning a Machu Picchu tour:

    • Exploring Machu Picchu: The main highlight is, of course, visiting the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. Take a private guided tour to learn about its history, architecture, and the mysteries surrounding its purpose and get the iconic panoramic photo in front of the site.
    • Inca Trail Trekking: If you enjoy hiking and adventure, consider trekking the classic Inca Trail. This multi-day trek offers stunning views and a chance to experience other archaeological sites along the way. For a shorter (6-hour) hike, check out the 104km trek, which will have you hiking along the train tracks and you will pass through the sungates to get your first view of Machu Picchu.
    • Sacred Valley: Any trip to Machu Picchu will begin with a visit to the Sacred Valley, home to numerous Incan ruins like Ollantaytambo, Pisac, and Moray. It's a beautiful region with picturesque landscapes and cultural richness.
    • Cusco: The historic city of Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Empire, is usually the ending point for Machu Picchu tours. It's filled with history, architecture, markets, and vibrant cultural experiences.

  • What are the best cities to visit in Peru?

    While Machu Picchu vacations may dominate the headlines for Peru, this country is bursting with cities waiting to be explored. Here’s what our Peru expert Kira had to say about her favorite spots.

    “Peru’s capital Lima is an incredible destination for foodies. Whether that means a 12-course dinner at Central (just voted #1 Best Restaurant in the World), a private gastronomic tour or cooking class, it is a paradise for those who enjoy top-notch food.

    Situated on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno offers a glimpse into the indigenous cultures of the Andes. Visitors can explore the lake's islands, including the famous floating Uros Islands. Located in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, Iquitos is the gateway to exploring the jungle. Visitors can visit the Amazon by luxury cruise or lodge, and they can expect to visit indigenous communities and experience the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon.

    Arequipa, known as the "White City" due to its buildings made of white volcanic stone, is a popular choice for somewhere with more time to dive deep into Peruvian cities. Surrounded by stunning volcanoes, its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and nearby attractions include the Colca Canyon, a great spot for viewing Andean condors.”

  • What nature and wildlife can I see on a Peru vacation?

    Peru boasts incredible biodiversity and a wide variety of ecozystems, making it a paradise for nature and wildlife enthusiasts.

    The most common and obvious place to discover wildlife is in the Amazon Rainforest. Expect to see diverse bird species, monkeys (like howler monkeys and capuchins), sloths, caimans, anacondas, colorful insects and various plant species. Just 4 hours driving from Lima, you can visit Coastal areas such as Paracas National Reserve, which are rich in marine life. Take boat tours to see colonies of sea lions, Humboldt penguins and various seabirds. The Ballestas Islands, known as the “mini-Galapagos of Peru” are particularly famous for their wildlife.

    Lake Titicaca, the highest-altitude lake in the world, offers incredible scenery of the lake and the man-made floating islands, as well as some unique species like the giant Titicaca water frog and several bird species like the Andean goose. Visitors to the Colca Canyon near Arequipa can expect magnificent views of the canyon on the surrounding volcanos and can often spot the majestic condor flying through the sky.

  • What's the food like in Peru?

    Peruvian cuisine is renowned worldwide for its diverse flavors, fusion of cultural influences, and use of fresh, high-quality ingredients. Due to their proximity to the Pacific Ocean, seafood, and ceviche in particular, is very prolific in Peruvian cuisine. For those who enjoy a cocktail, the Pisco Sour is the most iconic drink in Peru. When staying at Palacio Nazarenas in Cusco, your own personal butler will be happy to prepare a fresh Pisco Sour for you, or even teach you how to make your own.

    In terms of experiencing Peruvian cuisine, here are a few suggestions from our Peru travel experts:

    1. Local Markets: Visit local markets like Mercado San Pedro in Cusco or Mercado Surquillo in Lima to sample fresh fruits, street food and regional specialties.
    2. Fine Dining Restaurants: Lima especially has an exceptional dining scene with renowned restaurants like Central, Maido and Astrid y Gastón, offering innovative interpretations of Peruvian cuisine.
    3. Cooking Classes: Participate in a cooking class in Lima to learn how to prepare traditional Peruvian dishes.
    4. Street Food Tours: Take a private guided tour in Lima focused on street food to sample a wide variety of authentic dishes from local vendors.

  • How can I plan a luxury family vacation in Peru?

    To start planning your Peru family vacation, get in touch with our travel experts who will build a personalized itinerary perfect for your family.

    Prefer activities planned for the whole day? We’ll make sure your days are filled with engaging experiences without overdoing it. Want some free time instead? We can offer recommendations for things to do and you can go off and explore at your own pace.

    Whether you’re traveling with younger kids, older ones or grandparents, we know the best hotels to keep the whole family happy and create a trip that allows everyone to experience Peru at its best.

  • Will I be affected by altitude sickness on a Peru vacation?

    Altitude sickness can affect travelers visiting high-altitude destinations in Peru, especially places like Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, which are situated at elevations above 2,400 meters. Here are some tips to help prevent and manage altitude sickness:

    • Acclimatize: Take it easy when you first arrive at high altitudes. Allow your body time to acclimatise by spending a day or two at a lower altitude before ascending further. We typically will have our guests stay in the Sacred Valley for 2-3 nights before heading to Machu Picchu, and we do our best to keep their first day at the higher altitude as relaxed as possible.
    • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol and limit caffeine intake, as they can contribute to dehydration.
    • Medication: Some travelers find relief with medications like acetazolamide (Diamox), which can help prevent and alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. However, consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medications.
    • Coca Tea: Coca tea, made from the leaves of the coca plant, is a traditional remedy in Peru believed to help alleviate altitude sickness. However, be aware of local regulations and use it in moderation.
    • Oxygenated rooms: In Cusco, we can offer oxygenated rooms to guests who are particularly worried about altitude sickness. These rooms pump a constant flow of fresh oxygen in, compensating for the lower levels of oxygen at higher altitudes. At Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, all rooms are oxygenated.

  • What should I wear on a vacation to Peru?

    Peru is a casual country, so no need to worry about fancy evening wear (unless you plan to go to a nice restaurant in Lima or Cusco). When preparing for a Peru vacation, especially considering the varied climates and activities, here are some staple items and clothing suggestions:

    1. Layered Clothing: Peru's diverse geography means varying climates. In the highlands (Cusco, Machu Picchu), layers are crucial. Bring thermal base layers, long-sleeve shirts, sweaters and a waterproof jacket or poncho. Evenings can get cold.
    2. Comfortable Walking Shoes: Whether exploring cities, hiking trails or archaeological sites, comfortable and sturdy walking shoes are essential.
    3. Sun Protection: Peru’s sun is strong at high altitudes. Pack a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen (with a high SPF) to protect against the sun's rays.
    4. Insect Repellent: Especially important if visiting jungle areas like the Amazon, where mosquitoes can be prevalent.
    5. Adventurous Gear: For those booking adventure activities like trekking or jungle tours, consider packing quick-drying clothes, a good backpack, moisture-wicking socks, and possibly trekking poles.
    6. Swimwear: If you're planning on visiting coastal areas or the Amazon, or using hotel pools, don't forget your swimwear.

  • Do I need vaccinations before a Peru vacation?

    There are no additional vaccinations required for traveling to Peru outside of those already required and recommended by the American government.

    There is a risk of yellow fever in some areas of Peru, specifically if you’re visiting the Amazon. However, if you’re above the 2,400m altitude mark, like in Cusco, Lima and Machu Picchu, then the yellow fever vaccination is not recommended.

    You can learn more on the government travel website.

  • Do I need a visa for a Peru vacation?

    American citizens do not need a visa when traveling to Peru for tourism purposes or short visits. However, you must have at least 6 months on your passport before its expiration date from the date you arrive in Peru, not the date you book.

    For more information, check the government website for foreign travel advice.

  • Where do your luxury Peru vacations fly from and to?

    Most of our vacations to Peru start in Lima. You’ll find direct flights to Lima from Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, New York, Toronto, and Montreal.

    The flight is around 6 to 8 hours depending on where in the U.S. you are flying from.

  • What's the best way to travel in Peru?

    The best way to get around Peru is via domestic flights or private transfers. There are some train options as well, however, we recommend flights to save some time.

    We’ll arrange all private transfers, trains, and flights for you before your trip so you can explore the country with ease.

  • How much do your luxury Peru vacations cost?

    Our luxury Peru vacations start at around $8,000 per person and can go up to $17,500 per person and more depending on the final itinerary.

    You’ll have a complete view of costs during the entire planning process, from hotels, experiences, flights, and whatever else we can arrange for you, so you’ll know the exact cost before booking.

  • How do I book a vacation to Peru?

    To book a vacation tour to Peru with Scott Dunn, get in touch by calling us at the number listed below or filling out our online inquiry form.

Why choose Scott Dunn for luxury Peru vacations?

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  • We’ve curated an elevated collection of accommodation, experiences, and guides.
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Plan your Peru vacation today

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