How To Spend A Week In Peru Without Doing Machu Picchu

Earlier this month I flew to Peru with a friend  simply because Expedia was having a sale and tickets to Lima were dirt cheap. We only had 5 days to explore, so we decided to skip out on Machu Piccu and focus on exploring other parts of the country. If you’ve ever visited Machu Picchu (not me! – yet), then you know what a journey that can be. It requires buses, trains, 2 or 3 different cities and an altitude adjustment, so we simply didn’t have the time to do it comfortably. I’ve put together a little itinerary of how we ended up spending those 5 days in Peru, which ended up being one of the best trips I’ve been on!

 
 

 

Flew into Lima, Peru

Spent one night here to recharge, and got some bomb freshly-made pizzas for dinner.

 

Ica, Peru

Early the next morning we took a Cruz del Sur bus (highly recommend them!) to Ica, Peru. We stayed at the Sol de Huacachina hostel (also great), and ate at a sea food restaurant that was half a block away. The ceviche was perfectly made and paired with Peru’s famous soda, Inka Cola.

 

Nazca, Peru

We booked a tour that we found online where they picked us up from the hostel, drove us to the executive airport and from there took us on a small plane to fly over the Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are geoglyphs on the ground and mountains believed to have been made in 50BC by the Nazca culture. There’s about 15 that you fly over! My favorite by far was the spider.

 

Huacachina, Peru

The great thing about staying in Ica is that it’s only about a 5 minute drive from Huachuca, Peru – an oasis in the middle of the desert. Ica is situated next to massive sand dunes (did anybody else know that Peru had deserts?!), which can easily be crossed to reach Huacachina.

The town of Huacachina is quite small, although it does have a couple of hostels. While we were there we did some sand boarding and went on a sand-buggy ride. Our driver was craaaazy, flying off dunes and speeding downhill. We also happened to catch the last outing of the day, so we stopped to watch the sun set over the dunes. It was definitely the best $10 I’ve ever spent.

 

Back to Lima

On our second to last day we returned to Lima. We took a taxi over to the Lima catacombs, which also came with a guided tour of the church. We later had lunch, tried the national drink Pisco Sour, and walked over to Kennedy Park. From there we decided to be very touristy and grab a seat on one of those double-deckers that take you around the city. It was definitely a great way to see Lima, I’ll give them that! They toured us around el centro, the coast, Miraflores and Barranco. We even drove by Parque del Amor (Love Park), and instantly understood why it was named that.

 

Our 5 days in Peru were ver enjoyable and incredibly well-paced. I’ll definitely be back one day to see the magnificence that is Machu Picchu, but this trip opened my eyes to the beauty that is Peru in general and how much that country has to offer. If you want to see some of the cool desert shots, you can check them out on my Instagram - @globetrottingblonde.