๐Ÿ’ฐ My 2024 Peru Trip Cost: A Budget Breakdown

A woman throwing up peace-signs against a mountain background.

Peru, a country famous for breathtaking natural wonders and archaeological sites, can be visited with a budget of $40 to $130 a day.

My 10-day trip to Peru cost a total of $2,098. In this post, I share:

  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Expected travel costs
  • ๐Ÿ’ก Budgeting tips
  • ๐Ÿ’ต How much cash to bring
  • โœˆ๏ธ My trip’s costs by category

Planning a trip? Here’sย what to know about Peru.

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Is Peru Affordable To Travel To?

Peru ranks as one of the most affordable destinations in South America. It has a relatively low cost of living, many local markets and street food where you can eat cheaply, and an extremely competitive tourism market that drives costs down.

Along with Ecuador, Colombia, and Bolivia, Peru is among the region’s cheapest countries to travel.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Trip Daily Budget for Latin American Countries

For comparison, I visited these countries in Latin America within a year of visiting Peru, and here’s how much I spent per day at each one:

CountryDaily Budget
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท Costa Rica$233
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฟ Belize$186
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช Peru$149
Daily Travel Budget for Destinations in Latin America

See all my daily budget for each destination I’ve visited.

How Much Is a Trip to Peru?

This section covers estimated trip costs depending on your travel style. I share my actual travel expenses further below.

๐ŸŽ’ Budget Traveler โ€“ Peru Trip Cost

A budget traveler in Peru can expect to spend approximately $40 per day or $650 for two weeks of travel in Peru, excluding flights.

Here’s what a budget traveler’s cost breakdown can look like:

CategoryCost per Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$10
๐ŸŸ Food$10
๐Ÿš™ Transportation$10
๐Ÿฆ™ Entertainment$10
Total$40
Peru Daily Budget for a Budget Traveler

Traveling Peru on a Budget

To travel to Peru on a budget, here are some things youโ€™ll need to do:

  • ๐Ÿ  Accommodation โ€“ For the cheapest options, stay at a dorm-style hostel for as little as $8 a night in major cities like Lima and $6 in places like Cusco. Private rooms at hostels will increase the cost to about $15 a night.
  • ๐Ÿš™ Transportation โ€“ Take Peru’s buses, the most common form of public transport for short and long distances. Bus tickets that travel between locations about four hours apart (e.g., Lima to Paracas) can be as low as $12 per ride.

Keep in mind that while local buses are the cheapest way to travel, they can also be difficult for tourists to navigate.

  • ๐ŸŸ Food โ€“ Eat at local restaurants for less than $12 a day, which can save you more than $10 per meal compared to eating at a more touristy restaurant.
  • ๐Ÿฆ™ Entertainment โ€“ One of the best ways to keep costs low is to avoid doing popular Peru tours like Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, and Colca Canyon. This will save you a few hundred dollars. Try to visit these places on your own if it’s feasible (not all of them are).

Some attractions have relatively expensive entrance fees. Machu Picchu’s admission fee is roughly $45, but a guided tour of it costs more than $100.

  • โ˜€๏ธ Travel Season โ€“ The best time to travel to Peru to save money is during its low season, which runs from January to April. This coincides with the rainy season, but you’ll also experience fewer crowds and some of the best deals on accommodations.

If you plan to do popular tours in Peru (e.g., the four-day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu), your total cost will likely be closer to a mid-range traveler’s budget. This is true even if you travel on a budget in the other categories.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Mid-Range Budget Traveler โ€“ Peru Trip Cost

A mid-range budget traveler like myself can expect to spend approximately $130 per day or $1,820 for two weeks of travel in Peru, excluding flights. I break down my trip expenses by travel category below.

A small town with an old building and mountains in the background.
Cusco, Peru.

About My Peru Trip

To give context to the expenses below, here’s what you need to know about my trip:

  • ๐Ÿ—“๏ธย 10 days โ€“ I spent 10 days in Peru, visiting four places:
  • โ˜€๏ธ Low season. I went to Peru in April, which is part of the low season, coinciding with the wet season.

Peru’s high season is during the dry season from May to October.

  • โœŒ๏ธย Group travel โ€“ I traveled with one to three other friends in Peru, so I was able to split costs, such as housing.
  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Mid-range budget โ€“ I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler, and these expenses reflect that. I donโ€™t aim to travel on a budget, but Iโ€™m thoughtful about how and where I spend.
  • ๐Ÿ€ Self-funded โ€“ My trips are self-funded, so I paid for everything listed below. None of my excursions or experiences are sponsored.
  • ๐Ÿ’ต US dollars โ€“ All costs listed in this post are per person and in US dollars, converted from Peru’s local currency, the Peruvian Sol (PEN).

The exchange rate was $1 USD = S/ 3.70 at the time of writing.

Two people standing and facing a vast valley.
Hiking the Inca Trail.

Total Cost for a Peru Trip: $2,098

My 10-day trip to Peru cost a total of $2,098, including flights.

See the highlights of my trip in this Peru itinerary.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Cost Breakdown for Peru

Here’s a quick overview of my expenses by travel category:

CategoryCost% of TotalDaily Budget
โœˆ๏ธ Flights$61329%
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$1497%$15
๐ŸŸ Food$1708%$17
๐Ÿš™ Transportation$1155%$11
๐Ÿฆ™ Entertainment$1,05350%$105
Total$2,298100%$156
Peru Trip’s Cost Breakdown

๐Ÿ—“๏ธ Daily Budget in Peru: $149

My Peru trip cost $149 per day, excluding my round-trip flights from and to the United States.

Daily Budget
Excluding flights$149
Including flights$210
Peru Trip’s Cost Per Day

A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend approximately $130 per day in Peru. This is someone who generally stays at mid-range hotels that cost about $50 per night, eats at a mix of $ local and $$ high-end restaurants, and pays for experiences even if they’re pricey.

โœˆ๏ธ Flight Cost to Peru: $613

My round-trip flight from the East Coast of the United States to Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima was $613.

A round-trip flight between the US and Peru that costs under $350 is considered cheap; international flights typically cost over $500.

๐Ÿ  Accommodation Cost in Peru: $149

My average cost of accommodation in Peru was $15 per night. I was able to split all my accommodation costs with one other person at all times.

(This total doesnโ€™t include overnight stays on the four-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu; those are included in the tour price under entertainment.)

Here are the accommodations I stayed at and how much I paid for each:

AccommodationTotal CostCost per Night
Lima hotel$46$46
Lima Airbnb$54$14
Cusco Airbnb$49$24
Peru Trip’s Accommodation Costs

A private room at mid-range accommodation in touristy cities like Cusco, Lima, and Aguas Calientes will cost approximately $55 a night. Mid-range accommodation in quieter cities that tourists still visit, like Arequipa, Trujillo, and Pisac, will be roughly $25 a night.

๐Ÿฅ˜ Food Cost in Peru: $170

My average cost of food in Peru was $17 per day.

(This total doesnโ€™t include meals provided by the four-day Inca Trail tour; those are included in the tour price under entertainment.)

A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend $25 per day on food in Peru.

Cheapest Meals in Peru

Here are the most affordable meals I ate during my trip:

MealLocationCost
Omelettes and empanadasLima cafe$8
Rice with proteinTupana Wasi (Aguas Calientes)$15
Guinea pig and side dishesPachapapa (Cusco)$15
Cheapest Meals in Peru
Four people about to eat a dish holding a whole roasted guinea pig.
Guinea pig in Cusco.

You can eat street food at local markets to save on food. However, it’s not uncommon for tourists to get stomach issues in Peru, so consider taking a street food tour if you have a sensitive stomach.

Most Expensive Meals in Peru

Here are the most expensive meals I ate during my trip:

MealLocationCost
Nikkei cuisineOsaka (Lima)$56
Seafood and other entreesChicha por Gaston Acurio (Cusco)$25
Seafood lunchLocal restaurant (Lima)$25
Most Expensive Meals in Peru
Two plates, one with beef heart and another with beef and rice.
Two popular Peruvian foods: anticucho and lomo saltado.

Lima is known as the gastronomical capital of South America, so you’ll find restaurants ranging from budget to high-end.

๐Ÿš™ Transportation Cost in Peru: $115

My average cost of transportation in Peru was $11 per day.

(This total doesnโ€™t include transportation provided by the Inca Trail or Huacachina tours; those are included in the tour price under entertainment.)

Here are the transportation methods I took and how much I paid for each:

TransportationTotal Cost
Domestic flight (Cusco โ†’ Lima)$53
Taxi to Inca Trail trailhead$30
Uber and taxis$25
Tuk-tuks$7
Peru Trip’s Transportation Costs

For short distances, Uber is available and relatively affordable in tourist places like Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa. Split with one other person, my Uber rides to the Cusco and Lima airports averaged about $6 per ride. For long distances, buses are the most common transportation method in Peru.

๐Ÿฆ™ Entertainment Cost in Peru: $1,053

My average cost of entertainment in Peru was $105 per day. This total includes a 10% to 20% tip at certain places.

Here are all the activities and attractions I paid for and how much each cost:

ActivityCost
4-day Inca Trail hike to Machu Picchu$870
Huacachina day trip$135
60-minute massage$36
Souvenirs$12
Peru Trip’s Entertainment Cost
The blog's author standing in a desert holding a sand board.
Day trip to Huacachina, Peru.

Expected Cost for Peru’s Top Attractions

Although Peru is an affordable country to visit, many of its main attractions will significantly increase your trip’s budget.

  • Machu Picchu โ€“ My unforgettable Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, costs over $800, and you generally don’t want to pay less than $650. Anything less likely means the tour operator isn’t paying its porters well.

If you plan to visit Machu Picchu, make sure you’re prepared for altitude sickness.

  • Sacred Valley and Rainbow Mountain โ€“ If you’re already in Cusco for Machu Picchu, adding a trip to the beautiful Sacred Valley costs around $40. A trip to the colorful Rainbow Mountain costs about the same.
A view of large amount of salts in rectangular areas nestled between valleys.
Salinas de Maras in Sacred Valley. (Photo by my friend, Shannon Tsai.)

Do You Need Cash in Peru?

Peru’s economy is largely based on cash transactions, especially in non-tourist areas, so bring some cash. Major cities like Lima have a great credit card infrastructure, and you will only sometimes need cash there.

Below are tips on bringing and using cash in Peru.

๐Ÿ’ต 1. USD is widely accepted in Peru.

The US dollar and Peruvian soles are widely used in Peru, so you can withdraw cash in either currency.

If you use USD, expect to receive change in soles, and remember that you may not get a favorable exchange rate.

๐Ÿง 2. Carry about $60 worth of cash per day in Peru.

On a typical day, a mid-range budget traveler in Peru will need at least $60 in cash to cover food, transportation, and attractions. A daily cash expense breakdown can look like this:

  • $20 at local markets, restaurants, and cafes
  • $30 to tip tour guides, drivers, and other service workers
  • $10 for shopping and miscellaneous spending

I keep my cash in my crossbody bag, but if you want extra protection against pickpocketing, carry it in a hidden money belt instead.

Woman standing in front of a dry fruit market stand.
At a market in Cusco where everything was cash-only.

๐Ÿ’ฐ 3. Tipping is customary in Peru.

In Peru, a 10% to 15% tip is customary and standard. Tips are expected for tourist activities.

Tipping is best done through cash and small bills, especially when you’re tipping tour guides who may need to split tips with other workers.

See other essential travel tips for Peru before visiting.

Peru Trip Planner

To make your travel planning easier, download the trip planner below and use it as a starting point. The planner has country-specific travel information, an itinerary, a packing list, and a map with key places pinned.

The trip planner is built on Notion, which I use for all my travel planning (I genuinely love this tool). If you don’t have Notion, creating an account is free.

Three Notion template screenshots are shown: travel information, itinerary, and map + packing list templates.
Preview of Peru trip planner.

Thoughts? Questions? Leave a comment below.

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1 Comment

  1. Diane Greer

    Iโ€™m an older single traveler wanting to go to Peru from Costa Rica. I prefer a tour for safety in # reasons and Iโ€™d like to go to the best sites. I can get my own airline tickets but looking for a tour group once there that does it all- hotels transportation meals etc. Can you recommend a tour co?

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