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Backpacking in PERU – The Ultimate Travel Guide [2024]

Backpacking In Peru

From Machu Picchu to the Amazon, here is the ultimate beginner’s guide to backpacking in Peru!

One of the most visited countries in South America, Peru retains its appeal thanks to the now emblematic landmark of Machu Picchu.

But there’s far more to this country than trekking along the Inca trail or chowing down on ceviche in the capital city, Lima. Instead, backpacking in Peru is guaranteed to throw up some unexpected delights.

Similar to its next-door neighbour, Bolivia, Peru is a country that oozes traditional South American charm, particularly in the Andean region in the south-east.

Although it might be difficult to traverse at times, stunning scenery and implausibly towering mountains make the effort of backpacking in Peru more than worth the effort.

Backpacking In Peru
Machu Picchu – Don’t miss it when you’re backpacking Peru!

Guide To Backpacking in Peru

Few travellers set on backpacking in South America miss Peru off of their lists. But, there’s far more to this country than the stone terraces of Machu Picchu and the golden sands and party hostels of Mancora.

Get under this country’s skin by understanding more about how the country works, what to expect when it comes to accommodation, food and transport and where to find the best adventure spots in Peru.

General Advice for Backpacking Peru

It helps to have a general idea of what to expect when you’re backpacking Peru. Here are some good tips to hel get you started.


  • They speak Spanish here, but in tourist hubs, such as Lima, Arequipa and Cusco, you’ll find broken English in abundance.
  • Learning the basics (¿Á cuánto cuesta? (How much does that cost?), ¿Cómo llegas a…? (How do you get to…) will always be useful when backpacking in Peru.

Staying Healthy

  • As with most south American countries, don’t drink the tap water. Instead, invest in a good water filter, boil your water for 5-10 minutes (just remember you need to do this for longer at higher altitudes) or resign yourself to buying lots of bottled water.
  • Always have toilet roll and hand sanitiser available. Although there are a lot of public toilets available in urban areas, their cleanliness cannot be relied upon and they often don’t have access to running water.
  • Bring Imodium. You will likely get ill at some point.
  • Don’t forget travel insurance. If you’re unsure about this, have a read of our “Do I Need Travel Insurance” resource page.

Food and Accommodation

  • Peru is renowned for having the best food in…

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