The Ultimate Peru Honeymoon Guide [2024]

Young Couple at Machu Picchu in Peru

Picture this: you and your partner, hand in hand, embarking on a journey to one of the most fascinating honeymoon destinations in the world: Peru. A land of ancient wonders, mystical landscapes, and vibrant culture, this South American gem awaits your exploration. From essential logistics like using cash in Peru to insider tips on what to do, our Peru honeymoon guide has everything you need for an unforgettable trip.

With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture and cuisine, Peru has become a sought-after destination for honeymooners seeking a unique experience. From the lively streets of Lima to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru promises a romantic adventure like no other.

In this ultimate Peru honeymoon guide, we will take you on a journey through the best destinations in Peru, from Lima to Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and finally, the iconic Machu Picchu. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of Peru as we unveil the most enchanting experiences, hidden gems, and unforgettable moments that will make your honeymoon truly magical.

Lima: The Gateway to Love and Gastronomy

Discovering Lima’s Unique Neighborhoods

So, you may be wondering: what is the capital of Peru? For those not familiar with the county’s Pacific Ocean pearl, it’s time to meet Lima. Founded in 1535, the Peruvian capital is located on the west coast and often seen as a gateway to other destinations in the country.

However, don’t underestimate the charm and allure of this bustling metropolis. Lima is a city is a city of contrasts, with its modern skyscrapers juxtaposed against colonial architecture and stunning sea views. And each neighbourhood has its own character and charm.

Begin your Lima adventure in the upscale neighbourhood of Miraflores, renowned for its stunning coastal cliffs and lively atmosphere. Take a romantic stroll along the Malecón, a scenic esplanade that provides breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and roam the romantic Parque del Amor (Park of Love). Scroll down to see more on this delightful open-air wonderland.

Barranco District, Lima, Peru
Barranco District, Lima, Peru

Another neighbourhood worth exploring is Barranco, Lima’s bohemian district. Wander through its charming streets with colourful colonial houses, art galleries, and artisan shops. Discover the vibrant art scene, visit cultural hubs like the Museo Pedro de Osma, and immerse yourself in the enchanting ambience of this artistic haven.

Related article: Discover Peru’s must-see landmarks with this comprehensive guide

Indulging in Culinary Delights

Peru has emerged as one of the world’s top culinary destinations, and Lima is at the forefront of this gastronomic revolution with chefs including Gastón Acurio, Virgilio Martínez, Pía León and Rafael Osterling. Indulge in a unique culinary journey as you explore Lima’s vibrant food scene, which combines traditional Peruvian flavours with innovative techniques.

Take a food tour with Lima Gourmet Company and discover the diverse flavours and ingredients that make Peruvian cuisine unique. Visit local markets, learn to make ceviche and pisco sours, and savour the delicious dishes prepared by world-renowned chefs.

Book a table for two at Astrid y Gastón, Rafael or Central, which recently topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for 2023, to savour the richness and diversity of Peruvian cuisine. Or add Maido (meaning ‘welcome’ in Japanese) to your culinary itinerary. Headed up by Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura, this much-lauded destination celebrates a unique Japanese/Peruvian fusion cuisine called Nikkei and is perfect for date night.

Exploring the Romantic Park of Love

If you’re looking for a romantic spot in Lima, head to the Parque del Amor (Park of Love). This gorgeous space, with echoes of Antoni Gaudi’s Parc Guell in Barcelona, is located on the cliffs of Miraflores and delivers breathtaking sea views.

As you stroll around, take the time to appreciate the intricate mosaics, statues, and love poems embedded in the pavement, adding to the serene vibe. Find a quiet spot to sit and enjoy the sunset over the ocean or snap your own moment in front of the park’s iconic kissing couple sculpture El Beso (the kiss).

Fun fact: larger-than-life El Beso is the site of an annual kissing competition!

Cusco: The Ancient Incan Capital

Acclimating to the Altitude and Relaxing in Luxury

As you journey inland from Lima to Cusco (also called Cuzco), prepare for a change in altitude and an entirely different atmosphere. Cusco, the ancient Incan capital, is nestled high in the Andes Mountains and offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

When you arrive in Cusco, leave yourselves time to adjust to the high altitude. This is crucial. Cusco sits at an elevation of more than 11,000 feet (3,400 metres), so it’s essential to give your body the time it needs to acclimate. It’s your honeymoon — so why not book one of Cusco’s luxurious hotels that offer spas (a couple’s massage would be lovely!) and jacuzzis to help you unwind and adapt?

Exploring the Historic Centre and Cusco’s Cathedral

Step back in time as you explore the historic centre of Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander through the charming cobblestone streets, marvel at the colonial architecture, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

Cusco’s Cathedral, a stunning example of Spanish colonial architecture, is a highlight of the city. Step inside and prepare to be awed by its ornate interior, filled with gold leaf altars, intricate woodwork, and beautiful paintings. A memorable spot to reflect on Cusco’s rich history and the Inca civilisation’s enduring legacy.

Our tip? The San Blas neighbourhood, known for its bohemian vibe and artisan shops. Browse through the galleries, admire the intricate artwork, and find a unique piece to take home as a memento of your honeymoon in Peru.

Unveiling Incan Ruins and Mountain Landscapes

No visit to Cusco is complete without exploring the ancient Incan ruins that dot the surrounding landscape and immersing yourselves in the natural beauty of the Andes Mountains. Journey back in time as you visit sites like Sacsayhuamán, an impressive Incan fortress on the city’s outskirts, known for its massive stone walls and panoramic views of Cusco.

Take a moment to marvel at the precision and engineering prowess of the Inca civilisation as you walk among the perfectly fitted stones. Feel the energy of the ancient ruins and imagine what life was like during the height of the Inca empire.

Related: Discover the Wonders of Chile’s Atacama Desert

The Sacred Valley: A Haven of Tranquillity and Natural Beauty

Immersing in the Rural Charm and Incan Ruins

Leaving Cusco, venture into the scenic serenity of the Sacred Valley. This picturesque region offers a glimpse into rural Peruvian life, with its charming villages, fertile farmland, and ancient Incan ruins.

Brave the steep hike to the ruins of Písac (don’t worry, you can also taxi up and hike down), an archaeological site known for its terraces, temples, and stunning views of the surrounding valley. And don’t miss the vibrant Písac markets, nestled in the town’s narrow streets, for traditional handicrafts, artisan-made souvenirs, and excellent empanadas.

Visit the agricultural terraces of Moray, showcasing the incredible agricultural knowledge of the Incas, to marvel at the concentric terraces which served as experimental agricultural laboratories. The Salineras de Maras (Maras Salt Pans) are also worth a stop, with the earthy patchwork of ancient salt pools still used by local communities today.

Experiencing the Serenity of the Mountain Landscapes

The Sacred Valley is famous for its stunning mountain views, where snow-capped peaks, green valleys, and winding rivers combine to create a truly peaceful atmosphere. Many hotels in the Sacred Valley offer incredible views and luxurious amenities, providing the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. Relax in a hot tub overlooking the mountains, take a dip in a pool surrounded by lush gardens, or simply enjoy a quiet moment together as you gaze at the starry sky.

The Sacred Valley is also great for outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Explore the region’s beauty together, hand in hand, as you create memories that will last a lifetime.

Stargazing and Romantic Moments in the Sacred Valley

As night falls in the Sacred Valley, the sky comes alive with a dazzling display of stars. The region’s high altitude and clear air provide the perfect conditions for stargazing so wrap yourselves in a warm blanket (perhaps made from local alpaca wool), cuddle up, and enjoy the spectacle. As you wish upon a shooting star, let the magic of the night sky and the beauty of the Sacred Valley inspire your dreams.

Machu Picchu: The Crown Jewel of Peru

Embarking on a Magical Journey to Machu Picchu

The highlight of any honeymoon in Peru is undoubtedly a visit to the iconic ruins of Machu Picchu. This ancient Incan citadel, perched high in the Andes Mountains, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

To reach this bucket-list destination, you will first travel to the village below Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes, also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo. Then take a shuttle bus or embark on a challenging but scenic hike up the mountain to the citadel’s entrance. As you arrive, be prepared to be awestruck by this ancient wonder’s sheer beauty and mystique.

Exploring the Mystical Ruins and Incan Architecture

Experience the exquisite realm of Machu Picchu as you delve into its ancient ruins and intricate Incan architecture. Stroll along the stone pathways, admire the precision of the construction, and uncover the fascinating history and myths that envelop this mysterious location.

Our tip? Take a guided tour of the citadel and learn about the Inca civilisation, their beliefs, and their ingenious engineering feats from an expert. Look out for sacred landmarks including the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana Stone, and the Temple of the Three Windows, among other remarkable structures. Take the time to simply absorb the atmosphere and embrace the spiritual energy of the site.

Related: Explore the Secrets of Easter Island

Adventures in Machu Picchu – Hikes

Hiking the Inca Trail

Following the Inca Trail is the most popular option if you plan to trek to Machu Picchu. This trail follows the Incas’ path from the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. It’s recommended to book your camping accommodation in advance, especially during peak season, as this trek usually takes about three nights and four days to complete. You can explore three main campsites, which are Wiñayhuayna, Huayllabamba, and Pacaymayo.

If you’re planning to hike the Inca trail, there are some things you’ll need to prepare in advance. For starters, the Peruvian government requires a professional guide to accompany all hikers on the Inca Trail. Only 500 people are allowed on the trail per day, so it’s essential to organise your permit and private guide or book a tour ahead of time.

The Inca Trail is a challenging trek that requires a lot of physical and mental preparation. It is best to hike with your gear beforehand to ensure that you can handle the weight and make necessary adjustments to your packing list. You should also consider incorporating cardio, such as running or cycling, into your fitness routine leading up to the hike, as it can help improve your endurance for the trail.

Preparing your mind is just as important as training your body. The Inca Trail is not just a physical challenge but also a mental one and it’s essential to push through the challenging moments and keep your motivation in mind as you trek through the Andean mountains. Staying hydrated and taking breaks when necessary is also crucial to avoid altitude sickness.

Huayna Picchu

If you’re looking for a less challenging hike in Machu Picchu, you can try Huayna Picchu. It’s an iconic peak with stunning views of the citadel from various angles and magnificent surrounding mountains.

The Huayna Picchu hike also has its own set of ruins just below the summit, which are less visited and allow you to explore a unique part of the site. While the climb is steep and requires endurance, the reward is a breathtaking panoramic view of Machu Picchu that is truly awe-inspiring.

Related: 10 Incredible Off-The-Beaten-Path Adventure Holidays

Machu Picchu Mountain

If you’re looking for a longer hike than Huanya Picchu but are not ready to embark on the Inca Trail, consider climbing Machu Picchu Mountain.

Early in the morning, visitors from all over the world queue outside the bus station in Aguas Calientes, hoping to be one of the first 400 people to enter Machu Picchu. Only the first 400 visitors can climb Huayna Picchu. However, most people don’t realise there is another mountain on the opposite end of the site, Machu Picchu Mountain, which offers equally stunning views.

Although it’s a more challenging trek than Huayna Picchu and takes you to higher altitudes, Machu Picchu Mountain provides multiple lookout points that allow you to see the citadel and surrounding mountains from the summit.

Check the official government website for Machu Picchu tickets here.

Souvenirs and Departure: A Farewell to Peru’s Treasures

As your honeymoon trip to Peru draws to a close, allocate a little shopping time. Peru is known for its artisan-made textiles, ceramics, jewellery and crafts that make wonderful keepsakes to forever remind you of this unforgettable journey. Head to the local markets and boutiques to pick up a soft alpaca-wool scarf, handmade pottery piece, traditional Andean instrument, Chakana (Incan cross) silver jewellery or adorable llama dolls to cherish as a reminder of Peru’s rich culture and vibrant traditions.

Money in Peru

In Peru, the official currency is the Peruvian Sol. Although some hotels and travel agencies may accept USD (especially in tourist places like Cusco), Soles are more widely accepted and will save you from paying a poor exchange rate. Our tip? Always have local currency on hand for trips to the markets. If you want to avoid exchanging cash, you can always withdraw money from ATMs in Peru. Visa is also Peru’s most widely accepted card for purchases at shops and restaurants.

Best Time to Visit Peru

This is a vast country, and choosing the best time to visit depends on where you’re planning to travel in Peru. The two main seasons are the wet season (around November to April) and the dry season (May to October). But it should be noted that the coast doesn’t receive the same Wet Season rainfall as the highland and jungle regions.  

If you want to experience the famous Inca Trail, the ideal time is June to August when you can expect dry weather and warm temperatures.

For more of a classic beach holiday in Lima, consider December to March for summertime conditions.

If you’re planning to explore the Amazon, visiting from June to November is recommended. This period has less rainfall, so the trails won’t be closed and the temperature will be comfortable.

However, if you’re on a budget and want to save money, the wet season is the least expensive time to visit Peru. It lasts from December to March, and you can take advantage of lower airfare and hotel rates. Although you might face occasional rainstorms, this is an excellent time to explore the country’s top attractions with fewer crowds.

Safety in Peru

Peru was once known for its high crime rate in the major cities. However, the situation has improved over the years, and it is now a comparatively safe country to travel around. Nevertheless, petty theft remains common, so (as with any trip) keep an eye on your belongings while travelling in Peru.

More great South America Destinations for you: A gourmand’s guide to Chile // Take a Journey into the Wild – Patagonia // Exploring the Wonders of Chile’s Atacama Desert

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