12 days in Peru & Rio de Janeiro Itinerary

12 days in Peru & Rio de Janeiro Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Peru & Rio de Janeiro Itinerary

Start: New York City, United States
Fly:  13​h 15​min
1
Cusco, Peru
— 1 night
+2
bus + foot + train:  3​h 15​min
2
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 1 night
train:  1​h 30​min
3
Ollantaytambo, Peru
— 1 night
+4
bus + taxi + Fly + taxi + bus:  4​h 30​min
4
Puno, Peru
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h
5
Lima, Peru
— 2 nights
6
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  13​h 15​min
End: New York City, United States

1
night
Cusco, Peru

Cusco ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Tue): browse the exhibits of Xapiri, admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Precolombino, then delve into the distant past at Sacsayhuaman, and finally contemplate the long history of Plaza de Armas. Keep things going the next day: delve into the distant past at Centro Historico De Cusco, get engrossed in the history at Museo de Vida Monastica - Monasterio de Santa Catalina del Cusco, then take an in-depth tour of Museo Inka, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Cusco Cathedral.

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Cusco travel route planner .

New York City, USA to Cusco is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. Expect warmer weather when traveling from New York City in February: highs in Cusco hover around 68°F, while lows dip to 46°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Centro Historico De Cusco ©
Centro Historico De Cusco
Plaza de Armas ©
Plaza de Armas

1
night
Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu ©
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 6th (Thu): explore the ancient world of Intipuncu and then delve into the distant past at Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu.

To see maps, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Machu Picchu online driving holiday planner .

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can take a train to Ollantaytambo.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Intipuncu ©
Intipuncu

1
night
Ollantaytambo, Peru

Ollantaytambo ©
Retaining much of its centuries-old architecture, Ollantaytambo represents one of the world's finest examples of Incan city planning.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Fri): explore the ancient world of Pinkuylluna Mountain Granaries, examine the collection at Choco Museo, and then delve into the distant past at Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo.

To find other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read Ollantaytambo trip itinerary maker tool .

You can take a train from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In February in Ollantaytambo, expect temperatures between 68°F during the day and 46°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Puno.

Things to do in Ollantaytambo

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Archaeological Park Ollantaytambo ©
Pinkuylluna Mountain Granaries ©
Pinkuylluna Mountain Granaries
Choco Museo ©
Choco Museo

1
night
Puno, Peru

Puno ©
Hugging the western tip of Lake Titicaca, Puno serves as a melting pot of indigenous and imported cultures, and makes a great base for explorations around the region.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Sat): get great views at Mirador Ing. Eduardo Sanchez, then head off the coast to Taquile Island, and then delve into the distant past at Sillustani.

For more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Puno trip planner .

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Ollantaytambo to Puno takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Puno when traveling from Ollantaytambo in February, with lows around 40°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) so you can travel to Lima.

Things to do in Puno

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay Feb 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Taquile Island ©
Taquile Island
Sillustani ©
Sillustani

2
nights
Lima, Peru

Lima ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Sun): delve into the distant past at Huaca Pucllana, then get engrossed in the history at Museo Larco, and then examine the collection at National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take an in-depth tour of AMANO, Museo Textil Precolombino, wander the streets of Miraflores, see the interesting displays at ChocoMuseo, then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Indigo, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco, and finally make a trip to Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor).

To find photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Lima holiday planner.

Traveling by flight from Puno to Lima takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from Puno in February, expect nights in Lima to be warmer, around 70°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 82°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Lima

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Museo Larco ©
Museo Larco
Huaca Pucllana ©
Huaca Pucllana
Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco ©

3
nights
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro
Bustling with samba music and all-night street parties, no city encapsulates the spirit of Brazil better than Rio de Janeiro.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil - CCBB Rio de Janeiro and Praia de Ipanema. You'll explore and learn at Imperial Museum and Museu Casa de Santos Dumont. Take a break from Rio de Janeiro with a short trip to Catedral de Sao Pedro de Alcantara in Petropolis, about 1h 30 min away. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Copacabana Beach, learn about all things military at Museu Historico do Exercito e Forte de Copacabana, explore and take pictures at Maracanã, and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Sugarloaf Mountain.

To see maps, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Rio de Janeiro trip planner .

Traveling by flight from Lima to Rio de Janeiro takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Peru Time (PET) to Brasilia Time (BRT), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Lima in February; daily highs in Rio de Janeiro reach 90°F and lows reach 76°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Museums Beaches

Side Trip

Petropolis
Find places to stay Feb 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Pao de Acucar ©
Pao de Acucar

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