Home to some of South America’s most incredible sights, deep Amazon jungle, cuisine, and Inca sites, Peru is probably the perfect destination for your next adventure. With no end to exciting places to visit, Peru is a vibrant country that can be experienced on almost any budget. Whether you’re traveling on a budget or looking to splash out, let’s talk about the costs of traveling in Peru and how to get the most out of this incredible country.
Not only is Peru a fantastic destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers, but it is also one of the most affordable ones in South America. Perhaps your biggest expense, which you will need to account for well in advance, is your airline tickets. Flight prices to Peru are very diverse and based on your departure location and the time of year you’re traveling (high vs low season). To find affordable flights to Peru, it might be wise to use platforms that allow you to compare airline tickets, such as Skyscanner.
The next things to consider are the places you want to explore in the country, as this will be a major factor when calculating your overall travel costs. For example, the prices for a fully customized 8-day trip to Peru, including transportation for the tours, an English-speaking guide, meals, accommodation in an Amazon lodge, and tickets to Machu Picchu, start at over USD 1,000 and then reach the sky, depending on the experience you are looking for.
Peru offers all different types of accommodation from party hostels to upmarket chic hotels. Here is the general cost of what you should expect to pay per night for accommodation in Peru. (Based on a double room and 2 people sharing).
Dorm Room or Hostel $8USD to $35 USD
3-star hotel $75- $150
4-star hotel $180-$300 USD
Boutique Hotel $300-$500 USD
Luxury Hotel USD 500 and above
Peru has a good public transportation system and using public transport is one of the cheapest ways to explore the country. Buses connect most major cities and tourist destinations. The cost of your bus ticket will generally depend on the bus company, the route, and the extras that they offer (e.g. air-conditioning or onboard meals).
Hopping on a train is another great option, specifically if you’re trying to reach Machu Picchu. There are two rail companies operating trains from Cusco to Aguas Calientes (the town closest to Machu Picchu) – Peru Rail and Inca Rail. A one-way budget train ticket from Cusco to the ancient site of Machu Picchu will set you back between USD 70 and $85 USD. Both companies further offer several different travel classes with added extras such as air conditioning and complimentary snacks. For those who want to travel to Machu Picchu in the lap of luxury, The Hiram Bingham Train service is around the USD 900 to get to Machu Picchu in style.
Peru is a foodie paradise and eating/drinking all the local goodness here is a huge part of your travel experience to come! If you eat locally, which you definitely should, then food and drink here is very affordable too. Most hostels and hotels in Peru include breakfast in their prices. While this is often a simple affair of cereal, fruit, yogurt, and toast, it’s an ample start to the day and one less meal to worry about.
When it comes to lunch, fresh juice plus a sandwich in a local market will set you back just $1-3 USD, as will a good espresso coffee at a tourist café.
The best value here is to buy a 5l bottle and then decant it into a smaller metal water bottle you carry with you during the day. This saves money and plastic waste.
Beers are cheap in Peru too, especially when bought in a store, or at a cheap local place, costing $1-2 each.
For dinner, if you eat in local cafes/restaurants, you can expect to pay around USD 5 for a decent feed. If you want to splash and out in a fairly decent restaurant in Peru however, which you can certainly do in Lima and Cusco, then prices start from around USD 20 and then the sky is the limit!
Entrance fees and guides can be hard to price up in Peru because if you take a tour or a guided trek to many of the most popular ruins and sights, these will be included in the price.
Of course, there are many free and cheap attractions in Peru, but for the main attractions, you will obviously have to spend some cash, especially if it involves a trip to a wonder of the world!
Here are some examples:
Entrance to Pachacamac Ruins by Lima: USD 4
Hot Springs Entrance in Colca Canyon: USD 3
Santa Catalina Monastery Entrance in Arequipa: USD 12
Entrance to Inca Museum in Cusco: USD 3
Entrance to Choquequirao Ruins: $18 USD
Entrance to Machu Picchu: $65 USD
Cusco Tourist Ticket (10 days): USD 45
This last option is essential if you think you’ll be visiting a lot of the ruins around Cusco as it’s a combined entrance ticket that will save you money in the long run. It covers 16 sights in total, both in and around Cusco and The Sacred Valley. The 10-day ticket is good if you have a decent amount to explore all this city has to offer otherwise, there are a couple of smaller circuit 1-2 day options too for USD 20.
If you are unsure about how much things will cost on a trip to Peru, contact us here for more detailed information!