Cost for 9 Days In Peru | Sacred Valley, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, Lima
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The cost to travel in Peru can be incredibly difficult to estimate. Even if you are a backpacker trekking around the country, the prices you will encounter can vary widely. Peru is a fairly inexpensive country, but you will likely experience a "tourist tax" – paying more for items than the locals. Visiting the major sights in Peru, like Machu Picchu, is pricey no matter how you get there (Inca Trail vs Train). However, other luxuries may be a lot cheaper in Peru than elsewhere. With some pre-planning and knowledge on fair prices, you can get some great deals on food, accommodations, and ground transportation. In this article, every individual cost during our 9 day travels in Peru is outlined, with tips on saving money.
A bit about our trip first.
We (2 people) spent 9 days in Peru visiting 4 different areas: the Sacred Valley, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, and Lima. We got around the country via taxi, trains, or flying. We stayed at moderately-priced hotels, favored comfort over cost for interal Peru transport, and ate at mid-range restaurants.
Cost for a 9 Day Trip to Peru for 2 People
Roundtrip tickets to Peru from the USA: $2416
STL -> DFW -> LIM -> CUZ (St. Louis to Cusco)
LIM -> MIA -> STL (Lima to St. Louis)
Internal Peru Flight: $300
JUL -> LIM (Juliaca - Lake Titicaca to Lima)
We paid for our flights using credit card reward points, as we have done on previous trips. If you are able, look into travel reward credit cards to get free flights.
Internal Peru flights have different prices for locals and for foreigners. You may see low prices for domestic Peru flights that double when you indicate you are not a Peruvian.
For a fully planned tour through Peru, check out Intrepid Travel.
Ground Transportation: $1085.50
Taxidatum Sacred Valley Taxi (Cusco Airport -> Pisac -> Urubamba Hotel): $65
Taxidatum Sacred Valley Taxi (Maras, Moray, Chinchero, Ollantaytambo): $65
Taxi from Urubamba Hotel to Ollantaytambo Train Station: $9
Train to Machu Picchu (Vistadome there, Expedition back): $320
Taxi from Ollantaytambo Train Station to Urubamba Hotel: $12
Taxi from Urubamba Hotel to Cusco Hotel: $25
Lake Titicaca Train (Cusco to Puno): $520
Taxi from Puno Hotel to Juliaca Airport: $24
Taxi from Lima Airport to Hotel: $20
Uber from Lima Hotel to Parque de la Reserva: $2
Taxi from Miraflores to Plaza de Armas: $5.50
Taxi from Plaza de Armas to Lima Hotel: $7.50
Uber from Lima Hotel to Airport: $10.50
Whew! That was a lot of taxis. Renting a car and driving yourself is not really an option in Peru, neither is public transit. Travel around Peru is difficult.
For inter-city travel in Peru: due to the size of the country, the Andes mountain range, and lack of an extensive rail network, no one option is ideal. Inter-city buses, while often the cheapest option, are extremely time-consuming. Driving yourself is still time-consuming and scary with the aggression of Peruvian drivers and the lack of road signs in some parts of the country. Domestic flights can be pricey but save you tremendous amounts of time (think 16 hours driving vs. a one hour flight). There is only a limited amount of tourist train routes, which are often pricey and still moderately time-consuming. Local trains typically cannot be purchased by foreigners.
For travel within a town, taxis are the most convenient. Taxis in Peru are cheaper than many other places in the world, but they are still the most expensive option for getting around. The Taxi industry is mostly unregulated. You will see Taxi signs on cars and a license around their neck, but that might not mean anything. You have to negotiate for the price before you get in – there is no meter. Uber is also operational in Lima, we found this to be a cheaper option than the traditional taxi in most circumstances. The "public transit" option is private vans called Combis and Colectivos. There is a fare collector hanging off the door shouting where it is headed. These vans are jam-packed with people. Online you can find accounts of people being pick-pocketed in them or getting lost. If you are not fluent in Spanish, I would advise sticking to Taxis or Ubers. There are several different taxi companies, some of which you can book rides in advance. We used Taxidatum to book the longer rides in advance, before we got to Peru, with great success.
We used Booking.com for all of our accommodations.
2 Nights in Cusco: $134
2 Nights in Puno: $147
1 Night in Lima: $163
We chose high to moderately-priced accommodations that averaged $80 a night. You can get much cheaper accommodations if you choose hostels, which will cost $9-$25 a night for a shared room or dorm bed.
In Lima, we stayed at the Hyatt in San Isidro, which we paid for in Hyatt Reward Points.
Cusco Tourist Ticket (Cusco Boleto Turistico): $80
Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary: $6
Maras Salt Mines: $6
Machu Picchu Tickets: $96
Lima Circuito Magico del Agua: $2.50
Basilica and Convent of San Francisco Entrance: $9
Most of the Incan sights we saw were included in the Cusco Tourist Ticket. You can purchase this at the first Incan ruin you visit to be paid in cash. The full ticket ($40, 130 soles per person) includes entrance to 16 sights/museums.
Machu Picchu is a separate ticket which can be bought on the official old-school confusing website (like we did), or you can pay a bit more and buy it through a 3rd party site.
Sunshine Cafe in Ollantaytambo: $10
Aguas Calientes Restaurant: $10
Organika in Cusco: $30
Nuna Raymi in Cusco: $10
Qucharitas in Cusco: $9
Bottled Water: $15
Hyatt Lima - Breakfast: $30
To keep food costs low we maximized the free breakfast buffets at our hotels. Most days we ate a large breakfast and ate at a moderately-priced restaurant for the other meal that day. Only eating one or two large meals each day. Altitude sickness also takes away your appetite and eating large meals can worsen other altitude-induced symptoms.
Food was included in the price of our two train journeys. On our flying days, we ate a meal at the Priority Pass Lounge in the airport.
There were cheaper local restaurants to be found in the cities we visited. Since food costs are low in Peru, including high-end cuisine, we decided to treat ourselves for a few nice Peruvian meals (i.e Organika).
Water – Drinking tap water in Peru is highly ill-advised. Getting bottled water is a must. Depending on where you get water, it can either be really cheap or expensive. We were able to get a huge 2.5 L water jug for 5 soles, or $1.50. We got multiple of those throughout our trip. A few times we did have to pay a bit more to get a water bottle in a touristy area when we were parched. Most of our hotels also included two free bottles of water in the room.
Travel Insurance: $178
This was the first trip we have ever decided to get trip insurance for. It provided incredible peace of mind that we would be protected in the case of theft, lost luggage, getting sick, etc. We did not have to use the insurance, thankfully, but I would still get it again.
We also got a few souvenirs including knitted hats, small alpacas, Peruvian chocolate, and salt from Maras Salt Mines.