Peru Road Trip
Peru has it all: mountains, volcanoes, rainforest, colonial cities, Inca ruins and welcoming locals. If you want to freely explore all this at your own pace, then the best way to do that is to rent a car. You can stop wherever you want, organize your own day and easily veer off the paved road. Your Peru road trip awaits!
Self-drive in Peru
Driving in Peru yourself may seem like a challenge at first, but in the south of the country it’s very doable. You can pick up your rental car in the beautiful city of Arequipa and head straight into nature. You’ll drive past volcanoes, over mountain passes almost 5000 metres high and through the fertile Colca Canyon. Every now and then you can take a scenic off-road detour and stop to chat with some of the locals – just remember to give right of way to any passing lamas or alpacas. Throughout your Peru road trip, you can stay with local hospitable families, such as in the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca. Of course, don’t forget to visit the old Inca cities of Pisac and Ollantaytambo and round off your trip with the famous Machu Picchu. At the end, you can drop off your car in Cusco.
Why a Peru road trip?
The biggest advantage of driving yourself around in Peru is that you can stop wherever you want. The various landscapes are so incredible, it’s a shame to only be able to see them from your bus window. With a rental you can often stop along the way to take photos, stop for a picnic with a beautiful view and veer off the main roads. So instead of following the main road from Lake Titicaca to the Holy Valley, you can choose for the off-road route Circuito Cordillerano where you can witness amazing rock formatoins, small villages and unique Puya raimondii flowers along the way. A stunning part of Peru that you wouldn’t see without your own car.
Tips for your Peru road trip
A Peru road trip is very doable, but it is important that you do have enough driving experience. Peruvians drive in a much more South American way and you’ll have to adjust to that. Overall the roads are good quality, even non-paved roads, but watch out for unexpected speed bumps or pot holes. And don’t forget to install Google Maps or Maps.me on your phone for navigation. That will make it much easier!
Stay with hospitable locals
During your Peru road trip, you can stay with various host families. For example, the town of Coporaque in the Colca Canyon has several local families with their own homestays. You can eat together with the family, learn about their daily life, sleep in your own room and even take warm showers. A great way to really get to know Peruvians. Another great place to stay is with coffee farmer Julia along the Coffee Route. Julia can teach you everything about fruit, coffee, cacao and chocolate and will provide you with the most delicious meals. Perfect after a day of driving on the Peruvian roads!
The ideal route
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