In Peru we stayed at a couple of campsites but we mostly rough camped in the wilderness or in parking lots of ruins. We felt safe camping in Peru and greatly enjoyed it. Although we met enough people along the way, we didn’t stay with them, nor did we use Couchsurfing as we have in other countries.
Let’s take a closer look:
Camping in Peru
During our first 3 months in Peru we mostly traveled around Lake Titicaca and in the Cusco/Sacred Valley area, and finally did a run via Arequipa to the Chilean border to renew our visa.
Around Lake Titicaca we parked in the plaza of a village/town for the night and in Cusco is the basic but splendid Campsite of Quinta Lala where we met a lot of overlanders. To visit Machu Picchu we found a reliable place to park the Land Cruiser as well: Campsite Cola de Mono Ziplining in Santa Teresa.
We took the old road from Cusco to Arequipa (recommended) and enjoyed rough camps along the way.
Read More: Ziplining to Machu Picchu?
From Arequipa we drove to Lima, mostly along the coast. It offered a number of stunning campsites, most noticeably in Paracas National Park.
Read More: A Tumor, an Earthquake, and Lots of Desert
After Lima we returned to the mountains, hit a number of impressive dirt roads and rough camps, and ended up in Chavin, where we stayed in a restaurant’s garden for a bit.
Read More: Travel in Peru – Lima, Mountains, and Ruins
The Cordillera Blanca was impressive to drive and offered good places to camp, but the weather was bad. We were happy to return to the sun, which we found at Huanchaco’s beach so camped there for quite a while. It’s a great place to chill out.
Read More: Peru’s Historical Past
GPS Waypoints of Campgrounds & Free Camping Sites in Peru
Let there be no misunderstanding: no, you don’t have to go to these places. No, these are not by definition the best spots. After having traveled in South America for so long we realize that it’s no problem here to find your own beautiful spots for camping. We decided to continue the page anyway, for travelers who would like some tips about camping spots which we enjoyed or found practical. Please note that this is always our personal experience.
Drinking Water from the Tap
Note that sometimes we write ‘drinking water from the tap’. This means we drank that water because locals told us it was safe and we didn’t get sick from it. Things change, including quality (and safety) of water, so always ask local people if the water is still safe to drink.
Yunguyo – la Plaza. Quiet place to spend the night (3844 mtrs, May '13). Read more here.
gps: -16.24401, -69.09237
Chucuito – alongside Lake Titicaca. Scenic spot to rough camp (3830 mtrs, May '13). Read more here.
gps: -15.88878, -69.88557
Sillustani – parking lot. No problem to get permission to spend the night here. The historical site is well worth a visit (3865 mtrs, May '13). Read more here.
gps: -15.72410, -70.15096
Cusco, Camping Quinta Lala. Right outside town, next to ruins of Sacsaywaman. Large field with hot shower, kitchen, barbecue, laundry and WIFI. Price: 10 soles pp + 10 soles for vehicle, WIFI 5 soles per day (3550 mtrs, Jun '13). Read more here.
gps: -13.50561, -71.98517
Llachón – peninsula in Lake Titicaca. Quiet night on the plaza, next to the hostel run by Prima, who can organize a boat trip to the Uros people as well (3882 mtrs, Jun '13). Read more here.
gps: -15.72299, - 69.78421
|Santa Teresa |
2 kms out of Santa Teresa, at the far west of Valle Sagrada lies Cola de Mono's Campsite amidst nature of forest-clad mountains and along a fast-flowing river. Great place to camp, fantastic place for ziplining with 7 cables (160 soles) and a place to leave your car for a visit to Machu Picchu (hike the 2-3hour trail to Agua Calientes from the nearby Hidroelectra or take the train from there) (1581 mtrs, Jun '13). Read more here.
gps: -13.14126, -72.60926
|Santa Teresa, Baños Termales |
Santa Teresa, Baños Termales. For 5 soles you can soak for hours in warm baths some 2 kms outside Santa Teresa. Enough place to camp. Toilets and showers. Guard until 12pm and from 4am on (1600 mtrs, Jun '13).
gps: -13.10914, -72.60070
Ollataytambo, parking lot ruins. Quiet place to spend the night, nothing special. On walking distance from train station where you can find El Albergue, a hostel that has an organic garden where you can buy vegetables. Worth a visit (2875 mtrs, Jun '13).
gps: -13.25859, -72.26611
|Las Salinas of Maras |
Las Salinas of Maras. We parked across from the Salinas, near a storage building of salt. Quiet place to spend the night ((3075 mtrs, Jul 13).
gps: -13.30306, -72.15266
|Pisaq, campsite |
Pisaq, Campsite El Molle. Just outside town, direction Pisaq ruins. Hostel with small field for 1 or 2 cars. Price 20-30 soles for 2 persons and vehicle (3008 mtrs, Jul '13).
gps: -13.42238, -71.83792
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