Peru by the Numbers

With everything from the lush Amazon jungle, to snow-capped Andean mountain ranges, to scorching hot sand dunes, to the world’s deepest canyons, and mystical lost cities, we knew there would be a lot to see in Peru.

In the end, we spent more than six weeks in the country, where we were able to discover many of these amazing sights (and more). It’s possible we could have spent even more time there, if we hadn’t stupidly asked for only 45 days stamped into our passport when crossing over from Ecuador.

We had heard a lot about Peru and had high expectations for this part of the trip. While we had an amazing time there, we’re not quite sure it entirely lived up to the hype. Alas, that’s the danger of traveling with expectations; our best experiences tend to be unexpected surprises in places we have never heard of before.

Favorite/Least Favorite

Favorite Place: Cuzco and The Sacred Valley
Least Favorite Place: Piura (hectic, dusty city in Northern Peru we spent a night in after crossing the border)

Favorite Food: Llama (Erik), Roast Chicken (Heather)
Least Favorite Food: Chifa (Peruvian-Chinese) Restaurant in Lima

Favorite Alcohol: Cusqueña beer (supposedly made with water from an old Incan fountain of youth)
Least Favorite Alcohol: Pisco (even with the bodega tours, we just couldn’t warm up to the national drink)

Favorite Accommodations: Suiza Hotel, Huacachina
Least Favorite Accommodations: Family Backpackers, Lima

Favorite Sight: Huaca de la Luna (Moche ruins near Trujillo)
Biggest Disappointment: Cumaceba Lodge on the Amazon

Offbeat Must-Do: Sandboarding in Huacachina
Must-See: Machu Picchu

Other Numbers

Days in Peru: 44
Distance Traveled: 2,820 miles (includes a 1,250 mile round-trip flight to Iquitos)
Cities/Towns Visited: 12
Long Distance Buses: 6
Night Buses: 2
Local Buses: 10
Taxis: 24 (including 1 “tuk tuk” moto-taxi)
Dune Buggies: 1
Floating Islands (Lake Titicaca): 2
Speed Boats: 5
Canoes: 1
Paddle Boats: 1
Planes: 2 (Lima to Iquitos, round-trip)
Beds slept in: 17
Nights camping (tent): 3
Rooms with A/C: 2 (both in roasting hot Iquitos)
Nights under mosquito net: 4
Hot Springs: 2
Ruins: 11
Islands: 1 (Islas Ballestas)
Traveler’s stomach incidents: Many!
Days on antibiotics: 44
Churches/Cathedrals: 5
Monasteries: 1
Museums: 6
Restaurants: 46 (1.04 times per day, on average – fairly low thanks to a number of tours that included food)
American Chain Restaurants: 3
Casinos: 1
Pictures Taken: 3,347 (Peru) / 15,816 (Total, trip thus far)


Peru is a fairly cheap country, though with a relatively developed tourism industry (compared to its neighbors), offers higher end luxuries for those wishing to spring for something a little nicer. We took advantage of these luxuries on occasion, including some of the nicer restaurants in Lima and Cusco, resulting in a daily budget a little higher than the average backpacker.

The multi-day treks and Amazon expedition (where food and lodging was included), helped bring down our food and lodging costs, though resulted in a very high daily average for activities.

Here were our daily expenditures:

Food $20
Drinks $2
Lodging $23
Transportation $15
Activities $35
Other $4
Total $99/day

Most/Least Expensive

Most Expensive Lodging: $44 (Suiza Hotel, Huacachina)
Least Expensive Lodging: $21 (Inka’s Rest Hostel, Puno)

Most Expensive Meal: $21 (Lunch at Tony Roma’s, Lima)
Least Expensive Meal: $2.85 (Lunch in Arequipa)

Most Expensive Drinks: $3.60/ea (Beers in Irish Bar, Cusco)
Least Expensive Drinks: $1.78/ea (Beers at Hot Spring on Salkantay Trek)

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