Day 1: Arrive Lima
Transfer to your hotel. Meet your tour guide and fellow travellers this evening at a briefing and welcome dinner.
Day 2: Lima – Arequipa
Morning sightseeing tour of Lima’s attractions: downtown Lima (UNESCO World Heritage site); 16thC Convento de Santo Domingo; Larco Museum featuring the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru. Afternoon flight to Arequipa. Walking tour of the town’s centre.
Day 3: Arequipa
Free day to explore this beautiful city’s colonial architecture, Plaza de Armas with a stunning view of El Misti Mountain.
Day 4: Colca Canyon
Travel to Chivay and then onto the Colca Canyon, deepest canyon in the world (twice as deep as the Grand Canyon) and home to the famous Andean Condor. The Colca Valley is a colourful Andean valley with towns founded in Spanish Colonial times and formerly inhabited by the Collaguas and the Cabanas. The local people still maintain ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces. Optional hike along the crater rim.
Day 5: Colca Canyon
Drive to Cruz del Condor in search of one of the world’s largest birds, the condor, stopping enroute to visit local towns.
Day 6: Puno – Lake Titicaca
Enjoy spectacular views of the countryside on this full day of travel from Colca to Puno through the high Altiplano region to the shores of the magnificent Lake Titicaca and the city of Puno established in 1668. Llamas and alpacas graze on its immense plateaus and plains. Puno is also known as the folkloric capital of Peru due to its wealth of artistic and cultural expressions, particularly dance. There are 41 floating islands. To this day, the Uros people maintain and live on these man-made islands, depending on the lake for their survival.
Day 7: Lake Titicaca
Cruise on the lake with a guide to explain the local history, traditions and agricultural methods as you visit the amazing floating reed islands of Uros. On Amantani Island you can climb to the summit. Stay overnight with a family for a unique cultural exchange.
Day 8: Puno
Travel by boat across the sapphire waters to Taquile Island, famous for its beautiful weavings, friendly people and great hiking opportunities. Return to Puno.
Day 9: Puno to Cusco
Tourist bus to Cusco with an English speaking guide on board to interpret your visits to Pukara museum, Abra La Raya, Raqchi, Andahuaylillas. Short walking tour of Cusco, the historic capital of the sun-worshiping Inca Empire. The city was sacked by Pizarro in 1535. There arestill remains, however, of the palace of the Incas, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun. Altitude is around 3,300m.
Day 10: Sacsayhuaman and Cusco City
Enjoy a guided tour of Cusco’s most stunning ruin, the extensive Sacsayhuaman composed of stones are up to 8.5m high and weighing over 360 tons. Continue to San Cristobal church, Plaza de Armas and Quoricancha - the Sun temple and the very centre of the Inca Empire. Time free to explore further and visit the local market.
Day 11: Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu – Cusco (3,350)
This morning visit the old Inca town of Ollantaytambo then drive to the trailhead at Piscacucho (km 82). Here you meet the porters and cooks that will support your journey to Machu Picchu. With the crowds now long gone, you hike an undulating trail above the Urubamba River to camp beside the spectacular ruins of Llactapata (2,788m / 9,146ft).
Day 12: Inca Trail. Llactapata to Llulluchapampa
Climb gently up the Cusichaca valley to the small hamlet of Huayllabamba. This is the last inhabited place on the trail. A little steeper now, you head up the beautiful Inca path, past hummingbirds and stunted cloud forest to your camp at Llulluchapampa (3,680m / 12,073ft). This beautiful grassy area has outstanding views.
Day 13: Inca Trail. Llulluchapampa to Phuyupatamarca
Climb to Dead Woman’s Pass (4,212m) the high point of the trail before dropping into the Pacasmayo valley. Climbing once more, you pass the Inca control post of Runkuracay to the second pass of the day (3,998m). Continue on a well preserved Inca Trail to arrive at your stunning campsite, Phuyupatamarca, or ‘the place above the clouds’ (3,650m).
Day 14: Inca Trail. Phuyupatamarca to Machu Picchu
Morning views are stunning with the sun rising over the snow-capped mountains of Salkantay (6,200m/20,341ft) and Veronica (5,800m / 19,029ft) or perhaps clouds filling the valleys beneath your feet. Descend through the cloud forest on Inca stairways, to Wiñay Wayna, another interesting ruin. Finally traverse the hillside to arrive at Inti Punku, the gateway of the Sun. As you step through the old stone gate-way, Machu Picchu appears laid out before your eyes. Bus to the lively town of Machu Picchu for overnight.
Day 15: Machu Picchu - Cusco
Bus back to the site early with your guide for a tour of the ruins. Time free. There is an hour long trail up to the Sun Gate, or a shorter trail to visit the Inca Bridge which once spanned a sheer cliff face. Return to Machu Picchu to board your Vistadome train back along the Urubamba River to Cusco.
Day 16 Cusco
Your last day for final shopping and sightseeing in the beautiful city. Arrangements end.
OPTION: to depart for Quito to join a GALAPAGOS CRUISE or return to Lima to fly home.
Introductory trekking means walking through undulating country for up to 5 or 6 hours a day at a slow but steady pace. The Inca Trail goes up to an altitude of 4,918 metres.
Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 2 dinners and all meals whilst camping on the Inca Trail.
Please note that pricing is per person in US Dollars
2017 (Share twin/double): $3288 USD per person based on four people travelling
2017: Every Saturday, 18 March - 21 October. Minimum of two participants required to operate this tour.
Few trips to Peru and Bolivia can possibly offer so much variety in less than 3 weeks. From bustling Lima, to the Peruvian Coast and desert dunes steeped in archaeological treasure.
- The city of Arequipa and 2 nights in the Colca Canyon hiking & spotting Condors.
- Island homestay on Lake Titicaca and floating reed islands.
- 5-day Inca Trail or similar hike to Machu Picchu with local guide, cook and porters.
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu.
- The colonial city of Cusco
- Fine Peruvian cuisine