Planning Peru & Bolivia

Where do you start?

The three most common sources we’ve been using this far are:

  1. Books: there are plenty of good ones (Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Trotter, ….). Buy one if you want to take it on the way (heavy though) or keep as a souvenir, get yourself an e-book (light) or just borrow one from a friend.
  2. People: while you’ve asked to borrow that book, maybe also ask your friend what he liked (assuming he already went there) about the place, best places to stay / stay away from. If you’re lucky, there are maybe some locals currently living in your home town (so far, we’ve not found Bolivians in Leuven).
  3. The Internet: it’s huge, and from time to time, very unorganized. We’ve been focusing more on travel blogs, with general destination postings, DIY posts, and so on (For a listing of top travel blogs, check this). Furthermore, there are plenty of travel websites, Wikitravel, travel forums, etc.

All of this information led us to the following route for Peru and Bolivia. It’s a quite classic tour, but the route for Peru and Bolivia looks like this.
Rule of thumb: once we get on the way, we hope to get much more information from locals, from other travelers on the road, … and make some changes to it.

peru bolivia

What’s on the menu?


  • getting lost in Lima city and getting a tan on Miraflores beach side.
  • peaking at birds and bees (let’s hope some other animals as well) at the Islas Ballestas
  • discovering how to make a great Pisco Sour (Peru style)
  • rolling down some sand dunes, with or without a board in Huacachina
  • getting altitude sickness in Cusco
  • hiking the 5-day Salkantay trail (DIY style) towards Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes)
  • visiting Machu Picchu (“Duh”) and hiking Huayna Picchu
  • getting blinded by white buildings in Arequipa
  • looking out for more birds (condors) at Colca Canyon and hiking a 3-day trail (DIY style)
  • swimming in Lake Titicaca, going to touristy Uros islands or possibly to the more off the beaten track Anapia Island


  • checking the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca at Isla del Sol
  • going nuts in hectic La Paz
  • ticking off death wish of bucket list by doing the Death Road by bike
  • going underground in the silver mines of Potosi
  • gazing at the Salt flats in Uyuni (and making funny pictures). Something like this:

uyuni 2uyuni 1
What we will (probably) skip in both countries, mainly due to transportation and timing issues:

  • The northern shores of Peru: surfing in Trujillo (we expect to do some quality beach time in SE Asia)
  • Flying over the Nazca lines (we think it’s a little overrated)
  • Hiking in the Coridillera Blanca (Huaraz, Peru) (yes, a pity)
  • Jungle trekking in Iquitos, Puerto Maldonado (Peru) or Rurrenabaque (Bolivia) (we will do some in Xishuanbanna, China and in SE Asia. Or on another South America trip)
  • Relaxing at Sucré and Cochabamba, Bolivia
  • Hiking in the  Coridillera Real (Bolivia) (again, a pity)
  • and much more…


These countries are the cheapest ones we’ll be visiting in South America. Our estimates of financials take into account lower accommodation costs due to hiking (i.e. camping with rental tent) and lower transportation costs. Nevertheless, the overall picture depends highly on the amount and type of activities you’re willing to do. For example: Machu Picchu, mountain biking the Death Road, 3 days Salt Flats Tour, can take already quite the charge on the budget. Our current estimates for the period in Peru and Bolivia (17 days + 6 days) gets close to 1750 EUR. Or on average 76 EUR per day.

We’ll keep you posted about our route and the financials, once we’re on the way!




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