Lima as a Gateway to the Highlights of Peru
by Michael Zurakhinsky
(Yonkers, NY, US)
Judy and Mark's Photo of Machu Picchu
Watch for Our Page in the Future
There are many options for excursions out of Lima, by far the most famous of which is the Inca citadel, Machu Picchu. You can also visit colonial cities and explore the massive Colca Canyon, which is twice the size of America’s Grand Canyon. For the adventure seekers, the Cordillera Blanca Mountain Range has some of the best trekking on the continent and contains the largest peaks in Peru. Below is a guide on how to get to some of the most important sites from Lima as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Lima to Cusco and nearby Machu Picchu...
Depending on how much time you have, you could either travel directly to Cusco, or you could take the scenic route and travel south along the coast to the Nazca lines, the Colca Canyon, and Lake Titicaca before heading inland to Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. Once in Cuzco you have the option of taking the classic four-day trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, or take an alternative, shorter route.
Daily flights leave out of Lima to Cuzco, which is a one hour-flight. Daily buses can take you along the coast for a stop at the wildlife-rich Isla Ballestas, or for a tour of the vineyards of Pisco, the country’s wine and brandy capital. Lima to Nazca...
Just South of Lima are the Nazca lines, which you can reach either by bus from Lima, an eight hour ride, or by a one hour flight, which is offered by Aero Condor Peru that will fly you over the gigantic desert drawings. Flights are usually in the morning between 7 and 10am provided the skies are clear.
Then you can travel by bus to explore colonial Arequipa, the massive Colca Canyon and then continue on to Lake Titicaca. Heading northwest from here you can also travel to Cusco , the gateway to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Lima to Huarez...
Only chartered flights can land at Huarez’s airport, but several bus companies have daily departures from Lima (8 hours). Once in Huarez there are many trekking tours within the Cordillera Blanca, which contains some of Peru’s most natural and untouched beauty.
(Ed. note: To our readers... If this sounds a little like a travel brochure, it's because this was written a travel agency. Their website is no longer available. We have not used them. We research many sites when we are planning our trips. We felt this information gives you some interesting options to think about if you're planning a trip to Peru, so we're leaving these notes up. JM