37 days in Peru & Colombia Itinerary

37 days in Peru & Colombia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South America trip builder

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Lima, Peru
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Paracas, Peru
— 1 night
Bus to Lima, Fly to Arequipa
3
Arequipa, Peru
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Cusco, Peru
— 5 nights
Bus to Ollantaytambo, Train to Machu Picchu
5
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Iquitos, Peru
— 5 nights
Fly
7
Medellin, Colombia
— 3 nights
Fly
8
Santa Marta, Colombia
— 5 nights
Drive
9
Tayrona National Park, Colombia
— 1 night
Drive
10
Cartagena, Colombia
— 6 nights
Fly

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Lima, Peru

— 4 nights

City of the Kings

Founded in 1535 by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro, Lima represents an interesting blend of modern attractions and preserved colonial architecture, much of it clustered in the World Heritage-listed city center.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like San Isidro and Huaca Pucllana. Get outdoors at Parasailing & Paragliding and Balneario La Punta. There's lots more to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Museo Convento San Francisco y Catacumbas, take in the spiritual surroundings of Basilica y Monasterio de Santo Domingo, see the interesting displays at Museo Nacional de Arqueologia, Antropologia e Historia del Peru, and steep yourself in history at Casa de Aliaga.

For reviews, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Lima trip planner.

Milan, Italy to Lima is an approximately 19-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time to Peru Standard Time, which is usually a -6 hour difference. Prepare for warmer weather when traveling from Milan in December: high temperatures in Lima hover around 28°C and lows are around 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to Paracas.

Things to do in Lima

Historic Sites · Museums · Outdoors · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 3 — 7:

Paracas, Peru

— 1 night
A port town largely devoted to tourism, Paracas serves as a popular starting point for exploration of Peru's south coast.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Yumaque Beach and then kick back and relax at Supay Beach.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Paracas journey maker website.

You can drive from Lima to Paracas in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In December in Paracas, expect temperatures between 28°C during the day and 20°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can travel to Arequipa.

Things to do in Paracas

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 8:
Highlights from your trip

Arequipa, Peru

— 2 nights

White City

In an area dominated three imposing volcanoes, Arequipa vacations allow visitors to admire well-preserved colonial architecture in a dramatic setting.
Step off the beaten path and head to Museo Santuarios Andinos and Playa los Arcos. Your inner history buff will appreciate Petroglifos de Toro Muerto and Iglesia la Merced. It doesn't end there: do some two-wheel cruising with MotoAndes and pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de Yanahuara ( San Juan Bautista).

To find ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Arequipa day trip planning site.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Paracas to Arequipa takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In December, Arequipa is little chillier than Paracas - with highs of 24°C and lows of 12°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can catch the flight to Cusco.

Things to do in Arequipa

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 8 — 10:

Cusco, Peru

— 5 nights

Imperial City

Capital of the Inca Empire for three centuries, World Heritage-listed Cusco is now a major tourist destination, drawing nearly 2 million annual tourists with its well-preserved colonial architecture and proximity to Machu Picchu.
Visiting Santuario Animal de Cochahuasi and Cerro Colorado Vinicunca will get you outdoors. Sacsayhuaman and Spas & Wellness are good opportunities to explore the local culture. And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Tipon, take in the exciting artwork at Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and trek along exploor.

To find other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read our Cusco trip planner.

Getting from Arequipa to Cusco by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect little chillier evenings in Cusco when traveling from Arequipa in December, with lows around 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites · Tours · Outdoors · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 15:

Machu Picchu, Peru

— 2 nights
A symbol of the Incan civilization, the abandoned city of Machu Picchu represents a must-see on a Peru vacation.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Thu): soothe aching muscles at SPA Rocas Sagradas and then stroll through Jardin Botanico en Machu Pichu.

For traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Machu Picchu trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. On the 17th (Fri), you'll travel to Iquitos.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Spas · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 17:
Highlights from your trip

Iquitos, Peru

— 5 nights

Capital of the Peruvian Amazon

The largest city in the Peruvian Amazon and the world's largest metropolis unreachable by road, Iquitos represents a major starting point for river and rainforest adventures.
Step off the beaten path and head to Amazon Rescue Center and Iguana Lodge & Camp. Iglesia San Juan Bautista and Belen are good opportunities to explore the local culture. And it doesn't end there: stroll through Rainforest Awareness Rescue Education Center, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, take a stroll through Bulevard Iquitos, and delve into the lush surroundings at Jairo Mejia Prado.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Iquitos attractions planning app.

Getting from Machu Picchu to Iquitos by flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of train, bus, and ferry. December in Iquitos sees daily highs of 37°C and lows of 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can fly to Medellin.

Things to do in Iquitos

Wildlife · Parks · Neighborhoods · Spas

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 17 — 22:

Medellin, Colombia

— 3 nights

City of the Eternal Spring

Nestled between rising hills in a narrow valley, Medellin serves as an energetic melting pot of people from all socio-economic classes.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Catedral Basilica Metropolitana de Medellin and Iglesia San José del Poblado. Discover out-of-the-way places like Museum Pablo Escobar and Horseback Riding Tours. There's still lots to do: see the sights as you ascend with a climbing tour, get outside with Alma del Bosque, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For more things to do, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Medellin road trip website.

You can fly from Iquitos to Medellin in 11 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, ferry, and bus. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Iquitos in December, with highs in Medellin at 32°C and lows at 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to fly to Santa Marta.

Things to do in Medellin

Find places to stay Dec 23 — 26:

Santa Marta, Colombia

— 5 nights

America's Pearl

Many visitors begin their Santa Marta holiday, surrounded by urban clutter and heavy traffic, expecting little from the city in terms of historical importance.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Playa Cristal and El Dorado Bird Reserve. Get in touch with nature at Scuba & Snorkeling and Playa Blanca. Step out of Santa Marta with an excursion to Cascadas de Marinka in Minca--about 1 hour away. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Ensenada de Chengue, contemplate the long history of Paseo El Camellon, and stroll through Playa Neguanje.

To see where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Santa Marta trip planner.

You can fly from Medellin to Santa Marta in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In December, Santa Marta is a bit warmer than Medellin - with highs of 39°C and lows of 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Tayrona National Park.

Things to do in Santa Marta

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 26 — 31:

Tayrona National Park, Colombia

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona.

To see photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Tayrona National Park day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Marta to Tayrona National Park takes 1.5 hours. December in Tayrona National Park sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can drive to Cartagena.

Things to do in Tayrona National Park

Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your trip

Cartagena, Colombia

— 6 nights

City of Heroes

The site of the continent's first Spanish colony, Cartagena retains much of its colonial flavor thanks to a World Heritage-listed old town, encircled by old walls and protected by imposing fortresses.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Barrio Getsemani and La Gorda Gertrudis. Get a sense of the local culture at Catedral Santa Catalina de Alejandria and Iglesia de la Trinidad. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the long history of Walled City of Cartagena, make a trip to Plaza de La Trinidad, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de Santo Toribio, and wander the streets of Centro Historico.

To see reviews, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Cartagena visit planner.

You can drive from Tayrona National Park to Cartagena in 4 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. In January, daytime highs in Cartagena are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. You'll set off for home on the 7th (Fri).

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Tours · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 7:

Peru travel guide

4.6
Historic Sites · Parks · Landmarks
Land of the Incas
In a country renowned for its pre-Columbian archeological sites, no Peru vacation would be complete without an adrenaline-inducing hike to Machu Picchu, World Heritage-listed symbol of the once-mighty Incan Empire. Aside from visiting these spectacular ruins set against the backdrop of photogenic mountain peaks, most holidays in Peru also include an exploration of the country's pretty cities, boasting well-preserved colonial architecture and a slew of modern buildings housing fine museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants. Ideal for active vacationers, Peru trips are also tailor-made for gourmands, as the country's eclectic cuisine blends tasty influences from Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Colombia travel guide

4
Historic Sites · Landmarks · Churches
Diverse in terms of landscapes, climates, and cultures, Colombia remains one of South America's least explored tourist destinations, overshadowed by its more popular southern neighbors. Combining the best of what the continent has to offer, a vacation in Colombia allows you to blend outdoor adventures with tours of picture-perfect cobblestoned towns dating back to the colonial era. Tourists on a Colombia holiday can easily hop from sun-kissed coastal spots to the hilly coffee-growing region, where thriving plantations quickly give way to a landscape of snow-covered volcanic peaks and the paramo--alpine ecosystems sheltering some of the rarest plants growing above the continuous forest line.