Upon arrival at Lima's airport (LIM), you will be welcomed by our local staff and transferred to your hotel, where you can relax and wander around the city.
We have plenty of recommendations for you to check out After check-in, we'll hand you your travel kit and have a short briefing to answer any last-minute questions.
On this day, you will travel back in time to the Colonial and Prehispanic stages of Peruvian history.
You will go by Huaca Huallamarca, a 2000-year-old adobe pyramid located in the heart of Miraflores. Afterwards, you will visit the Larco Museum, which will give you a vast perspective on the country's millenary history.
The collection shows the most luxurious gold, silver, and ceramics pieces from ancient Peru.
You will try a local dessert made of lucuma, a native fruit, at the cosy garden restaurant at the Museum, and then head to Lima's City Center to have a look at its colonial past. Here, you will visit the 16th Century Santo Domingo Convent and walk through its historic downtown, considered a Unesco site. This way, you will see both sides of Peru, the Andean ancestry, and the Hispanic legacy too.
Day 3: To the White City, Arequipa
Today, you will be taken back to Lima airport where you will take a 55 minutes flight to the city of Arequipa.
On arrival, you will be welcomed and transferred to your hotel. On the way, you will get a short briefing on Arequipa and the possibilities for your first day in this beautiful city.
We will most certainly provide you with plenty of local tips and recommendations depending on your travel style and interests.
Day 4: Around The Colonial Arequipa
You start your day heading to Cayma, one of Arequipa's traditional districts, taking as a route the bridge of “Chilina” that allows you to have a nice view of the city.
Once in Cayma, you will visit the Main Plaza and its 16th century Church. From there you continue to the Añashuayco quarry; a very unique place used for centuries in the construction of colonial buildings in Arequipa.
The city is nicknamed “The White City” because of the white volcanic rock from here.
Next, you will visit the popular market of Antiquilla, which until today keeps the colonial building style of the “Old Arequipa”.
At Yanahuara square, you will have a wonderful view of the city and its volcanoes. After you head to Arequipa's main plaza and finally, you will enter the famous Santa Catalina Convent, a fascinating 16th-century religious enclosure.
This site is a city within a city and is probably the highlight of any visit to Arequipa.
Day 5: To Colca Valley & Optional Uyo Uyo Hike
This morning, you will leave Arequipa and head to the Colca Canyon on a 160km journey.
You will be able to enjoy beautiful views of the Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu, the three beautiful volcanoes surrounding Arequipa.
You will enter the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, where it is quite common to see llamas, alpacas, and wild vicuña herds grazing the pastures.
You will have a short stop to enjoy a warm Inca tea made with local herbs, one of the most popular beverages in Peru, famous for its properties to help deal with the altitude of the Andes, this state is called “Soroche” by the locals.
Finally, you will reach El Mirador de Los Andes, a popular high pass with extraordinary views of most of the volcanoes in the area.
You will only be there for some minutes before you begin to descend into the Colca Valley. You should arrive at your comfortable hotel in the Colca valley just before lunchtime.
In the afternoon, you can join a free hike to the Uyo Uyo archaeological site. This beautiful 3-hour hike allows pleasant views, to learn a little bit of the local history, and the chance to visit the hot springs at the end of the journey (approximately $5 per person, and are well worth the visit). Finally, you will return to the hotel in time for dinner.
Day 6: Spotting Condors & Free Afternoon
This day starts with a very early visit to La Cruz del Condor (The Condor's Cross) viewpoint, a perfect place to observe the majestic flight of the condors and the depth of the canyon.
On bright sunny days, you can usually see up to 10 condors flying over just a few meters from the visitors; however, this depends on the weather, when it is rainy, the condors might choose not to appear.
After spending some time at the viewpoint, you will drive back to your hotel. On the way, you can make short stops at the traditional villages of Pinchollo, Maca, and Achoma to catch a glimpse of some local culture.
In the afternoon, if you did not do it the day before, you can join in the hike to the Uyo Uyo archaeological or go to the hot springs.
Day 7: Panoramic Road Trip to Puno
This morning, you can maybe take one last walk in the pleasant Colca countryside. After lunch, you will start driving to Puno on a great 6-hour drive with amazing views of huge lagoons, beautiful stone forests and small Andean farmhouses.
Upon arrival at Puno around 7 pm, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Day 8: Lake Titicaca, Taquile, Luquina & Uros
Today you will have an intensive day visiting Lake Titicaca's impressive landscapes and lively communities.
You will be picked up at 7 am and go by boat to Taquile, a beautiful Mediterranean-like island, where you will be able to witness how the Taquileans have kept alive their traditions for centuries.
Their colourful clothing and woven textile handicrafts are something truly spectacular to see.
After the visit, you will walk down some stone stairs to the dock, from where you will board a boat to the next village, Luquina Chico.
Following, you will have lunch at the local restaurant with amazing views of Titicaca Lake. Later in the afternoon, you continue your journey to the floating reed islands of Uros.
You will disembark on these bizarre, artificial islands to spend some time with the community and learn about the construction of the islands, using reed that grows on the shores of the lake. Finally, you will board the boat and return to the city of Puno.
Day 9: Lake Umayo, Sillustani Tombs, Cusco & Sacred Valley
Today you will head to Juliaca's airport to board your flight to Cusco. On route, you will visit the archaeological site of Sillustani located on the shores of Lake Umayo.
In the central part of the lake, there is an island where a family lives, and occasionally they offer tours to this place rarely visited by the tourists that come to Puno.
You will visit a fantastic burial site made up of huge cylindrical tombs called 'Chulpas.' Most of the graves are from before the Incas; however, after the Incas conquered the Pukaras in the 15th century, they continued building Chulpas.
We have to admit that Sillustani is an area filled with energy and mystery.
After the tour, you will continue to the airport.
Upon arriving at Cusco airport, you will be welcomed and taken on private transport towards the Sacred Valley Incas. Because of its lower elevation (2,870 m or 9,415 ft) and peaceful atmosphere, the Sacred Valley is the perfect place to enjoy your first days in Cusco.
On route, you can stop at Awanacancha to see all the different camelids of the Peruvian Andes, or at the traditional Pisac market to appreciate many local customs and regional products.
Day 10: Rural Community of Misminay, Maras Salt Mines & Terraces of Moray
This morning, you will be taken into the breathtaking Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Your first activity is a rather unique one, you will visit the Andean community of Misminay.
You will spend all morning with Flora’s family that will happily show you as much of their culture as possible. You will learn about local textile weaving and cook a nice Andean lunch.
After this amazing morning, you will go on a short hike to a nearby viewpoint from where you will have a very unique view of the Moray terraces.
Moray was a very unique site in the Inca times where they tried to adapt plants to different altitudes.
It is then time to make way to Maras, another impressive site in the region.
Strategically dug into the mountainside, thousands of shallow pools filled with saltwater. Eventually, the water evaporates and leaves behind all the crystallized salt.
These salt pans have been in operation for more than 500 years. To this day, they are mined by local families for their special, beloved Peruvian pink salt.
Day 11: Ollantaytambo Fortress & The Lost City of Machu Picchu
You will begin your day by visiting the wonderful Ollantaytambo.
Ollantaytambo is known as the ‘Living Inca City’ (Ciudad Inca Viviente). A former military, religious and agricultural centre, this fabulous architectural setting is majestic for its size, originality and detail of its structures.
Next, you will head to the Ollantaytambo train station to board the train to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town).
Upon arriving, you take a 20-minutes bus up the steep zigzagging road to Machu Picchu Citadel, located in an impressive mountain setting. Once there, you will find a nice spot overlooking the main site for an initial introduction to Machu Picchu.
A little later in the afternoon, it's the ideal time to go around the main areas of the citadel as most travellers should already be leaving at this point. You will be able to tour the site until it closes at around 5.30 pm, the time at which you will head down to the village where you will spend the night.
- Be sure to be at the train station 30 minutes before your train departure.
- Please don't forget to bring your passport with you, since it will be required when entering Machu Picchu.
Day 12: An Andean Pachamanca & Cusco
This morning, after a long but fun day in Machu Picchu, you will make your way to Cusco, the old Inca Capital.
First, you must return by train to Ollantaytambo station. The train route is the same as before, so you have a second chance to enjoy the views.
At Ollantaytambo, for lunch, you will enjoy an exceptional Andean delicacy, a Pachamanca.
This is a traditional cooking technique where the food is prepared underground using preheated stones and leaves to separate ingredients from the soil. The main ingredients are Andean tubers such as potato, sweet potato, olluco, oca, mashua, as well as beef or lamb along with Andean aromatic herbs for flavour.
After this special meal, you will continue your way to Cusco.
Today, you will embark on a four-hour walking city tour which will take you not only through the most touristic sites in Cusco such as the Main Square, Cathedral and Koricancha (Temple of the Sun); but also along ancient streets, local markets, and old neighbourhoods to discover the magic of Cusco.
The rest of the day is free for you to wander around by yourself.
Day 14: Cusco & Farewell
Today, you will have some free time to take a last walk around Cusco's shops and markets. Then, at the coordinated time, you will head to Cusco's airport to board your flight to Lima and international connecting flights to your next destination.