Days
15
Price from
$4,380USD

Ancient cities, floating islands, mysterious desert inscriptions — Peru's natural and manmade wonders delight

Discover a country of modern cities and ancient worlds, wandering wildlife and welcoming locals. Explore the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, climb up high up to the mystical blue waters of Lake Titicaca, spot wildlife in the Ballestas Islands, feel energy of past generations in Cuzco and the pulse of the modern world in Lima. This trip will show you the best that Peru has to offer.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 01st January 2017 the itinerary of this trip will change.

To constantly improve our itineraries we take on all feedback from our previous travellers and local teams. As a result of this process, in 2017 we will be extending this itinerary out to 17 days in length in order to allow extra time to explore Arequipa and Suasi Island in Lake Titicaca.

More details will be published in coming months, with the new itinerary outlined below:

Day 1 Lima
Day 2 Paracas
Day 3 Nazca
Day 4 Arequipa
Day 5 Arequipa
Day 6 Arequipa
Day 7 Colca Canyon
Day 8 Puno
Day 9 Lake Titicaca - Suasi Island
Day 10 Lake Titicaca - Suasi Island
Day 11 Puno
Day 12 Cuzco
Day 13 Cuzco
Day 14 Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo
Day 15 Aguas Calientes/ Machu Picchu
Day 16 Machu Picchu/Cuzco
Day 17 Cuzco - Departure date

A proportional surcharge will apply to 2017 bookings on this trip to cover the extra days.

Dates from 01st January 2017 currently showing online have been updated. Their start and finish date reflect that of the 2017 (17 days) itinerary.


Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Cuzco, Peru
Country
Peru
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSLC
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
11 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Peru is a world-class culinary destination. Feast on ceviche in gastronomic Lima and sip a Pisco Sour in Paracas

  • Visit the magnificent Colca Canyon, deeper than the Grand Canyon and dotted with ancient Indian villages. Scan the skies for the mighty Andean Condor, one of the world's largest flying birds

  • The floating reed islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca are a marvel of concept, construction and history. Take a boat tour on the world's highest navigable lake

  • Machu Picchu may be one of the most photographed sights in South America, but nothing can prepare you for the magical experience of being there. On this tour we include two visits to Machu Picchu!

Is this trip right for you?

  • Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, some people can experience altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary! Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.

  • There are a couple of long journeys on this trip, in particular from Nazca to Arequipa, which is a 10-hour drive in a private van. Although this may be tiring, it's a great chance to sit back and enjoy the passing scenery and chat to your fellow travellers. Plus, the beautiful city of Arequipa will make it all worthwhile.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Welcome to Peru! On arrival into Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport you will be transferred to your hotel. Meet your leader and fellow travellers for a pre-trip briefing, usually held at 2 pm. Please check the noticeboard near the hotel reception for confirmation of the location of the meeting. After the meeting your leader will take you on a brief walking tour of the Miraflores area. Your in-depth city tour will be tomorrow morning.

This evening you might like to head out for a group dinner at one of the city's many restaurants. Lima has some of the best cuisine in South America and is especially renowned for its seafood. Perhaps sample Peru's national dish of Ceviche, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and often served with hot peppers.

Note: As this trip takes you to locations at high altitude, it's possible that some travellers may experience adverse health effects due to altitude sickness. Please see the 'Is this trip right for you?' and 'Health' sections of the trip notes for important information about this.
Accommodation
  • Antigua Mira Flores or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary arrival airport transfer to the Peregrine joining hotel
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
  • Lima - Museum of the Inquisition visit - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning your leader will take you on a half day walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre. Flanked by streets of ornate mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of this city. Take a walk through the old streets to get a feel for colonial life. On one side of the plaza is the Cathedral of Lima, which houses the remains of Lima's founder, Francisco Pizarro. Visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains.

Move onto the Central Market in the afternoon, where you'll be taken on a walking tour. The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer including fruits, vegetables and even guinea pigs, where you'll have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street food. This will be followed by a visit to China Town, which is close to the market. Afterwards, travel by minivan for around four hours to Paracas, arriving in the late afternoon/early evening.
Accommodation
  • Posada del Emancipador or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lima - Guided tour of Catacombs
  • Lima - City tour including visits to the Basilica Cathedral of Lima and the Catacombs
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Cathedral visit - PEN12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning rise early for an excursion to the Ballestas Islands, making your way to Paracas' port to board a boat bound for the 'Galapagos of Peru'. The Ballestas Islands are home to an abundance of wildlife, including pelicans, red-footed boobies, flamingos, sea lions and even penguins. You'll have the opportunity to see wildlife up close on a boat tour of the islands (approximately 1.5-2 hours). Between June and September the port may be closed due to weather conditions. If this is the case, an alternative land tour of the Paracas National Reserve will be arranged.

Afterwards, journey in a private van from Paracas to Nazca. This is a three hour drive, but there may be a stop on the way. On arrival to Nazca, visit the viewing platform of the famous Nazca Lines. Etched into the landscape some 22 kilometres north of Nazca, are an assortment of perfectly straight lines, trapezoidal zones, strange symbols, and images of birds and beasts on a giant scale.

Tonight enjoy an included 'Pachamanca' dinner, which is a traditional way of baking (usually meats) using hot stones.
Accommodation
  • Majoro or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ballestas Island - Excursion
  • Nazca Lines - Viewing tower
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
To get some perspective on the Nazca Lines, you can choose to go on a flight tour of the area this morning. The flight is 30 minutes long and covers the 26 figures scattered throughout the desert. The flight can be bumpy and is only recommended for those with a strong stomach. There have been safety issues with these flights in the past, so we have done our best to research the best operators in the area to recommend to you. Our tour leaders are prohibited from recommending or booking through any other operators. This optional tour (flight) costs about USD 100 per person (price subject to change).

Later in the morning, make the ten-hour journey to Arequipa by private van. The trip may be long, but it's well worth the effort. Arequipa is a beautiful Spanish colonial city. Known as ‘La Ciudad Blanca’ (The White City), the buildings have been built almost exclusively from a white volcanic material called 'sillar'. The city lies in a valley at the foot of the El Misti volcano, a perfectly shaped cone.
Accommodation
  • Casa Andina or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Arequipa - Walking tour
  • Arequipa - San Ignacio Chapel Visit
  • Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery
  • Arequipa - Cathedral Visit
Optional Activities
  • Nazca - Flight Over the Nazca Lines - USD100
  • Arequipa - Juanita Museum - PEN20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today enjoy a walking tour of Arequipa with a local guide. Explore the main square, the Santa Catalina Monastery, the San Ignacio Chapel with its colonial mural paintings and the suburb of Yanahuara. You may like to spend the rest of the day relaxing in a cafe in the plaza. Another option is a visit to the Juanita museum to see the Inca mummy of a young girl who died in the 1440s.
Accommodation
  • Casa Andina or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today drive through the 'Altiplano’ (High Plains) to the Colca Valley and Canyon. On the way you'll see grazing vicunas, llamas and alpacas, as well as stone cairns built by the local indigenous people. More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Colca Canyon provides some breathtaking views. The pre-Incan terraces carved into its walls are still cultivated today, and traditional Indian villages are dotted around it, where its possible to see locals in colourful traditional dress. Stop at the highest point (4,910 metres) to enjoy views of the bleak landscape below and the snowcapped volcano of the Nevado Ampato in the distance. At this point you might feel a little shortness of breath, but after taking some photos, you'll quickly get back in the vehicle and descend to a lower altitude. Continue on to the town of Chivay, where you'll have some time to visit the local hot springs. In the evening, you may wish to visit a local 'pena' to enjoy a Peruvian dance and music show. Spend the night in Chivay.
Accommodation
  • Eco inn or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Colca Canyon visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning visit the Condor View point, where Andean Condors, one of the world's largest flying birds, can often been seen soaring in the air. After lunch it's about a four-hour drive in the van to Puno. On the way the group will stop at the Sillustani archaeological site. The ruined 'chullpas' or funeral towers of Sillustani were built by a pre-Inca civilisation centuries ago to house the remains of noble men. Arrive into Puno. Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances.
Accommodation
  • Taypikala hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sillustani archaeological site (time permitting)
  • Lake Titicaca tour & Suasi Island feature Stay
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Be enchanted by the striking scenery and unique cultures on a cruise around Lake Titicaca today. As Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, the sun can be extremely strong, so make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Stop by the floating Uros Islands. The Uros people constructed these islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes in ancient times. They are built completely from multiple layers of totora reeds, which grow in the shallows of the lake. Next call into Taquile Island for some woollen handicrafts. On the island, knitting is strictly a male domain, while women do the spinning. In the evening, retire to the private island of Suasi where you'll spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Suasi Island Eco lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today the group will make their way back across the lake to Puno. Enjoy a free night in Puno to explore, eat dinner at a local restaurant or relax in the hotel. Puno is famous for its festivals. If you're lucky, your visit might coincide with an evening parade, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians.

Puno is the hometown of Kusimayo, a terrific local organisation that works towards improving the living condition of children and adults affected by poverty and malnutrition in this part of the world you have now come to know so well. Take a look at this short video for more information on this wonderful project: https://vimeo.com/154422813
Kusimayo is supported by the Intrepid Foundation which means you can donate to this project and your donation will be match dollar for dollar by the Intrepid Group. Please donate through our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/kusimayo/
Accommodation
  • Taypikala hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today take a local six-hour bus across the spectacular Altiplano to Cuzco. This region is truly is the heart and soul of Peru. Cuzco is the South America's oldest continuously inhabited city, and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cuzco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets, and many of the city's colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. Take time to acclimatise to the city's high altitude (3,450 metres, or 11,150 feet above sea level). Perhaps take a wander and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples dotted around town.
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Coca Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your leader will take you on a orientation walk of Cuzco today. Visit the Coca Musuem to learn how the infamous plant has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries. Head to the San Pedro market, where you can practice your bargaining skills and take some colourful pictures. The tour will also stop at the Plaza de Armas in the heart of the city. Here you will see the main cathedral, built on top of an Incan palace and one of the city's greatest repositories of art. There are several impressive Incan ruins within the city. The most easily accessible is Coricancha, which was the empire's richest temple. Once plated in thick gold, the Spanish built a Dominican church atop its walls.
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today board a private bus for the Sacred Valley. Treasured for its climate, fertile land and the Urubamba (Sacred) River, the valley has long been the main source of food in the high Andes. Head to the fortress ruins of Sacsayhuaman. The massive stone blocks forming the settlement's walls give you an idea of the ingenuity and military strength of the Incas.

Next you'll visit a nearby community to gain insight into the local lifestyle. If it happens to be market day, wander the stalls in search of hand painted beads and ponchos. Enjoy lunch with the community. Afterwards, continue on to the town of Ollantaytambo. Built over an ancient Incan settlement, this is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. The ruins of the upper terraces offer great photo opportunities over the town below.
Accommodation
  • Samanapaq hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit
  • Cuzco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Travel by train for 90 minutes today through the Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientas. The town is nestled in cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. From here take a 30-minute bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu. It's thought the city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that Machu Picchu was an astronomical observatory. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters (1.5-2 hours), and enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own.

Note: Due to Peregrine's internal safety policy, our leaders are prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking a climb up the steep mountain of Wayna Picchu.
Accommodation
  • Santuario Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided visit of Machu Picchu
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
At 5:30 am this morning, take the bus back up the winding road to Machu Picchu. On your second visit to the ruins you'll have free time to explore and take any photos you may have missed yesterday. In the afternoon, the group will return by bus and train to Cuzco, where you'll spend the night. In the evening, perhaps head out for one last group dinner in the city.
Accommodation
  • San Agustin Plaza Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Second visit of Machu Picchu (unguided)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today your Peruvian adventure comes to an end after breakfast. Flights out of Cuzco can be booked to depart at anytime, as there are no planned activities.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

14 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Boat, Bus, Minibus, Plane

Accommodation

Hotel (13 nights)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary arrival airport transfer to the Peregrine joining hotel
  • Lima - Guided tour of Catacombs
  • Lima - City tour including visits to the Basilica Cathedral of Lima and the Catacombs
  • Ballestas Island - Excursion
  • Nazca Lines - Viewing tower
  • Arequipa - Walking tour
  • Arequipa - San Ignacio Chapel Visit
  • Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery
  • Arequipa - Cathedral Visit
  • Colca Canyon visit
  • Sillustani archaeological site (time permitting)
  • Lake Titicaca tour & Suasi Island feature Stay
  • Cuzco - Coca Museum
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit
  • Cuzco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included)
  • Guided visit of Machu Picchu
  • Second visit of Machu Picchu (unguided)

Reviews

Our Lima to Cuzco trips score an average of 4.73 out of 5 based on 11 reviews in the last year.

Lima To Cuzco, October 2016

Cecilie Yates

Lima To Cuzco, October 2016

Eric and Kathleen Townend

Dates & availability

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Important notes

For departure dates commencing prior to May 2016 please see trip code PSPW- Peruvian Wonders

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.