How to Plan a Surprise Birthday Trip to Peru

By | 18 March, 2020

For some intrepid travelers, the Republic of Peru is a dream vacation come true. First, take the natural beauty of this South American country. You can explore the Andes Mountains, the Amazon Jungle, the desert, and the beaches. All of it is more or less guaranteed to take your breath away. Second, the evidence of culture is amazing and varied; in some cases it’s representative of thousands of years of history; in others it’s modern and cool, like indie rock bands covering Nirvana songs in Spanish.

For these reasons and more, a surprise birthday trip to Peru would be a dream for many kinds of people – from seasoned backpackers to budding world travelers. Imagine the look on that special somebody’s face when, rather than simply inundating them with cool birthday cards (although you should still totally do that), you spring the news that you’ve booked tickets to Peru. What an adventure awaits!

First Things First: The Necessities

Planning a surprise birthday trip to Peru starts with basic necessities. You’ll need plane tickets and passports, and time off from work and other responsibilities. You might want to make sure, if you aren’t already sure, that this special somebody actually really wants to go to Peru and can handle an eight-hour flight. 

You’ll also want to – at the very least – book accommodations for the first night, even if you want much of the trip to be spontaneous. You don’t want to arrive, weary from the flight, in a foreign country and have no idea where you’re staying. That would just cause stress and tension on your relationship. It is also a good rule of thumb to always have a place booked for your last night in a country; it gives you a focus point upon which to set your figurative compass. So, ideally, you should book your first and last nights’ lodgings – as a bare minimum. 

Next, you should plan an itinerary for the trip. This doesn’t have to be set in stone and probably shouldn’t be rigid, because you’re doing this entire planning stage without input from the person you’re booking the trip for. However, a solid, well-researched plan – that can be diverted from – usually makes for a wonderful trip. The “can be diverted from” part of that last sentence is important, but so is the “solid, well-researched” part. In other words, don’t just flip through some websites and be like, “We could go here, I guess.” Find potential lodgings and verify prices/availability. Find things to do and verify the same information. This preparation will do you well even if you wish to be more fluid once you arrive.

And Now: Things to Do in Peru

This portion of the planning stage totally depends on who you are and what your comfort level is. For example, some people travel to Peru on a spiritual journey. Part of this journey is realised through the exploration of nature, and part of it is realised through the ingestion of psychedelic substances. Many travellers come to Peru to take a dose of San Pedro cactus. It is helpful – possibly even crucial – to do this with an experienced guide who will make sure you take the correct dosage. The effects of the plant can last up to 15 hours, and can provide a spiritual experience that some believe will help them discover the path they’re supposed to be on. Others believe that the cactus can help cope with ongoing issues such as PTSD. (This isn’t an endorsement of ingesting San Pedro Cactus – merely a report of why some travellers to Peru go after it.)

Still others visit Peru for archaeological and anthropological reasons, and even more visit just to snap a social media photo in the beautiful mountains. Whatever your reason, you’re bound to find a memorable adventure in Peru that you can share with your special someone. Be sure to do your research and to plan carefully so that you can enjoy the best possible exploration of that South American country. 


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