Impressions from a month in Peru

Last modified 16.03.2022 | Published 28.12.19871980's, Peru, South America, Travelogue

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What impressions do I have from a month in Peru? Like in Brazil and Ecuador we stayed in Peru approximately a month (32 days) and I would like to summarise some impressions from our stay.

This article is part of a travelogue from of a five month journey in 1987-1988 to several countries in South AmericaBrazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile.

(Here is an introduction to our visit to Peru at the time of blogging: As the map below shows we entered Peru from Brazil. We stayed a few weeks in the Amazon and the Andes before going north for a month in Ecuador. Upon returning to Peru we went straight to Lima and from there to Cuzco in the south before leaving for Bolivia.)


WR Latin America

Our journey through South America (blue line)



We had each a daily expenditure of 11 dollars US. In comparison to Ecuador and Brazil we ended up in the middle. It is however worth taking note of the fact that we only spent 2 dollars each on hotels, on average. The actual daily cost of living was even less (10.5 USD) if we subtract souvenirs.

Dinners would cost us about a dollar.


Peru - Cuzco

Lady weaver in Cuzco



The roads around Cuzco are well developed because of all tourism, but elsewhere they seemed in poor shape. And so did the buses. We did not find the same system with central bus stations as in Brazil and Ecuador.


Peru - Cuzco

Inca wall in Cuzco


People and land

In northern Peru people seemed nice and friendly towards us foreigners. In the south they were not exactly unfriendly, but given the much bigger foreigner exposure the local population is subject to, it is more fair to say that they are insensitive and uninterested in us. This is of course if we look beyond the interest the sellers have in attracting our attention.

The large tourist crowds in the south is probably also causing a much higher risk of petty theft – it was actually so high that we had to stay constantly alert of what could happen. Many of those we met had been unfortunate.

It was not until we came to Cuzco that we met the Andes Mountains and the Indians we had anticipated home in Norway. (We had the same encounters of Indians in Ecuador as well, but not in northern Peru.)

There is a lot of poverty and beggars everywhere on the sidewalks and even inside the restaurants.

In the south we also saw many llamas and alpacas. The coast was very different from the mountains, with deserts and many mestizos. Terrorism has a marked influence in certain regions.


Peru - Cuzco

Cuzco street view


All articles from Peru

This is the story of a five month journey to South America. My girlfriend Bo and I visited five countries on the continent, from Brazil in the east to Peru in the west, from Ecuador in the north to Bolivia and finally Chile in the south. These were the chapters from Peru:


First visit

(9) Peru (1) – The Amazon and beyond: This is the story of our travels in the Amazon region in Peru and its difficult connections. We had stayed the night in Leticia, Colombia, the twin town of Tabatinga in Brazil and were set for an onward flight into the Peruvian Amazon and the town of Iquitos. Our journey out of the Amazon and into the Andes had begun.

(10) Peru (2) – Crossing the Andes: The next week we continued across the Andes in northern Peru and prepared to move on up north to Quito, Ecuador. I also wrote a letter home.


Second visit

(16) Peru (3) – Lima: Lima and the long journey to get there: After a month in Ecuador we returned to Peru. We spent two days nearly continuously on buses from Riobamba in Ecuador to Lima, Peru over a distance of 1,700 km. Lima had some old colonial buildings, interesting museums, and we were twice subjected to the good old toothpaste trick.

(17) Peru (4) – First days in Cuzco: Christmas was coming up and we wanted to press on into the mountainous southern Peru, and away from Lima. We flew to Cuzco, the ancient capital of the once mighty Inca people.

(18) Peru (5) – Machu Picchu: Finally, one of the highlights of this South American journey was coming up. We were going to visit Machu Picchu. In addition we’re going to spend Christmas in a foreign land.

(19) Peru (6) – Puno, Titicaca and reed boats: The next leg of our journey through South America went to the town of Puno, right on the world’s highest navigable lake, Titicaca, 3,800 metres above sea level.

(20) Peru (7) – Impressions: Like in Brazil and Ecuador we stayed in Peru approximately a month (32 days) and I would like to summarise some impressions from our stay.


Read more

The next chapter: This is my story about the trip from Puno on Lake Titicaca across the Bolivian Altiplano on the road to the city of presumable peace – La Paz.

Read the introduction to this journey 

View a full screen map of the journey 

Read about my visited World Heritage Sites in Peru: LimaCuzco and Machu Picchu.

See all images from Peru.