Days
19
Price from
$4,680USD

Mountains high, valleys low and cultures ancient: welcome to majestic Peru

Experience the best of Peru on this 18-day journey through the Incan heartland. Travel south from Lima to the Galapagos of Peru, the Paracas National Reserve, a rich marine ecosystem that is home to sea birds, dolphins and sea lions. Visit the confounding Nazca Lines – an assortment of perfectly straight etched lines of birds and beasts on an enormous scale – and one of the deepest canyons in the world, Colca Canyon. Journey along the well-worn path of the Inca Trail, or take the road less travelled on the Quarry Trail, and marvel at the magnificence of Machu Picchu.

Optional Hike Add-on's:

On this trip you can opt to hike the Classic Inca Trail on days 13-16 (or the Quarry Trail on days 13-15, if Classic Inca Trail permits are sold out) or the 1-Day Inca Trail. More information on the treks can be found in the itinerary section your trip notes. Please contact us if you are interested in either of these options.


Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Lima, Peru
Country
Peru
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSLRC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Peru is a world-class culinary destination. Visit an area unknown to tourists and try a variety of street food and authentic Peruvian desserts

  • Lookout for pelicans, flamingos, sea lions and penguins on a tour through Paracas National Reserve, often referred to as the 'Galapagos of Peru'

  • The giant desert inscriptions of the Nazca Lines are one of Peru's great unsolved mysteries. Scrutinise them up close on foot or from a bird's-eye-view on an optional flight

  • Explore Spanish colonial Arequipa, one of Peru's most beautiful cities. Set at the base of a volcano, much of the historic 'White City' is constructed with pale volcanic rock

  • 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, then spend a couple of nights on a private Island overlooking Lake Titicaca. Watch the sun go down at the highest point of the island while enjoying a truly memorable picnic and drinks

  • Marvel at ancient Incan architecture throughout the fertile Sacred Valley, before discovering the mother of all Incan cities, magical Machu Picchu

  • Join a specialist historian guide on one of you included visits to an archaeological site around Cuzco who will provide interesting insight and knowledge about Peru's history and culture

  • Enjoy two included visits to Machu Picchu! One guided tour of the ruins and the second visit with free time to explore on your own

Is this trip right for you?

  • Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary! Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.

  • At high altitude, the sun is unusually strong and it’s easy to get burnt, especially when out on the water in Lake Titicaca. It’s important to wear sunscreen and other sun protection, and always drink plenty of water.

  • 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

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 orientation tour of the Miraflores area. Your in-depth city tour will be tomorrow morning.

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
  • Hotel Antigua Miraflores or Similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
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 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 Lima. 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 ofLima's founder, Francisco Pizarro. Visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains.Continue onto the Central market where you'll take a walking tour.The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer, including fruits, vegetables and even guinea pigs. You'll also have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street food. Next head away from the tourist trail and visit ‘Alameda de Chabuca Granda’ an area really only known to locals, it is a place wherepeople go as a treat to enjoy a variety local street food and authentic Peruvian desserts such as ‘Mazamorra Morada’ a sweet porridge made from purple corn or ‘Picarones’ Peruvian donuts made from local squash called Macre and sweet potatoes served with a sweet syrup, these are a must try whilst in Peru!
Later, travel by minivan for around four hours to Paracas, arriving in the late afternoon/early evening.
Included Activities
  • Lima - Guided tour of Catacombs
  • Lima - City tour including visits to the Basilica Cathedral of Lima and the Catacombs
  • Lima - Alameda de Chabuca Granda - Street food tasting
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
  • Hotel 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
  • Hotel 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
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
  • Hotel Casa Andina or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a free day to explore the laid back city of Arequipa further. Pick up an Alpaca jumper and meet the llamas and alpacas of Mundo Alpaca, stroll to the pretty, peaceful neighbourhood of Yanahuara or take part in any optional active adventures in the surrounding hills and rivers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Casa Andina or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Arequipa - Juanita Museum - PEN20
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
  • Hotel 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
  • Hotel Hacienda Puno or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sillustani archaeological site (time permitting)
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 next two nights.
Accommodation
  • Suasi Island Eco lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning you will visit the cultural museum on the island. Here you will find maps, pictures of the Lake, and books about history of the lake and its communities. There are handicrafts and fabrics from the different groups that developed around the Lake, types of Andean grains like quinoa, and a chance to learn about the painting process of wool. Then you will navigate across the island in Canadian canoes, passing through totora reeds and observing lake birds such as Titicaca flightless grebe, Andean geese, black skimmer, Peruvian booby and many species of gulls. On 106-hectare Suasi Island, you may see mammals such as all four species of camelids (llamas, alpacas, vicunas and guanacos) and viscachas.

An easy late-afternoon walk (approximately 1-2 hours) will take you to the highest point of the island – the perfect place to witness an unforgettable sunset over the waters of Lake Titicaca. Enjoy a private picnic with drinks; a unique moment to soak in the beautiful landscape, appreciate the serenity, and if the clouds behave, watch the sun go down.
Accommodation
  • Suasi Island Eco lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Suasi Island - Cultural Museum Visit
  • Suasi Island - Lake Titicaca Canoe Excursion
  • Suasi Island - Spectacular Sunset over Lake Titicaca, Picnic & Drinks
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel back across the lake to Puno today. 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.

Notes: 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
  • Hotel Hacienda Puno 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
  • Hotel San Agustin Plaza or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Coricancha Archeological Site, guided tour
  • Cuzco - Specialist Historian Guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you are hiking the Inca or Quarry Trail a pre-trek briefing will be held this evening.Your tour leader will provide details of the exact time and place.
Your leader will take you on a orientation walk of Cuzco today. Visit the Coricancha Temple which was the empire's richest temple. Once plated in thick gold, the Spanish built a Dominican church atop its walls, here you'll  take a tour with a local guide. Soon after 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. 

During your time in Cuzco today or the Sacred Valley tomorrow, a specialist Historian guide will lead one of your included tours to an archaeological site in the area. The Historian will provide interesting insight and knowledge about Peru’s history, people and cultures that made these sights so important in the world today.

Accommodation
  • Hotel San Agustin Plaza or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
On this trip you can opt to hike the Classic Inca Trail on days 13-16 (or the Quarry Trail on days 13-15, if Classic Inca Trail permits are sold out)
These treks are within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but you must be prepared, as you will hike up to 45 kilometres often on steep terrain. The maximum altitude reached on the Inca Trail is of 4,200 metres above sea level and each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch.
Please see the below link for more information:
http://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/peru/classic-inca-trail

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, here you'll also enjoy an included lunch.
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
  • Tanupa Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
  • 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
Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, your destination today is Aguas Calientas. Travel by train for around 90 minutes through the winding Urubamba Valley to reach the town. From here take a 30-minute bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu. where you will be joined by a guide who will take you through the ruins and tell you stories of its history and the ancestral people of the region. Looking at Machu Picchu for the first time, as it sits against a backdrop of forested mountains, is a truly breathtaking experience. No matter how many photos you've seen, it is hard to prepare for its awesome beauty. The true purpose behind Machu Picchu may always be a mystery, since no historical records of the complex exist. In fact, none were made in the first place, since the Incas had no written language. Some historians have argued it was a place of spiritual worship; others, a military stronghold, and some even think it was a prison. Most archaeologists, however, believe it to be the 15th-century headquarters of ‘he who shook the earth’, Emperor Pachacuti. You will have a guided visit (approximately 1.5-2 hours), then free time to wander around. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cuzco for a well-deserved shower and a pisco sour.

Notes: Due to Peregrine's internal safety policy, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking trips to the mountaintop ruins of Wayna Picchu.
Accommodation
  • Hatun Inti Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided visit of Machu Picchu
Optional Activities
  • 1 Day Inca Trail - Add-on (Must pre-book) - USD350
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
1-day Inca Trail
The 1-day Inca Trail is a great option for those wanting to experience trekking in Peru, but don’t want to do the full 4 days. This trek starts in from the train station known as “Km 104” and after a steep ascent, it follows the last portion of the Classic Inca Trail.
Trekkers enter Machu Picchu at the sungate in the afternoon where there will be some time to take a few photos before taking a short bus ride down to Aguas Calientes to spend the night and re-join the rest of the group. This trek is subject to permit availability, must be pre booked and will incur a surcharge. The price listed below is in USD, however will be paid in your local currency.
Please see the below link for more information:
https://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/peru/one-day-inca-trail

At 5:30 am this morning, take the bus back up the winding road to Machu Picchu to take in the sunrise over this incredible sight. On your second visit to the ruins you'll have free time to explore and take any photos you may have missed yesterday. Explore more of the extraordinary architecture of the many temples, palaces and living quarters, where the mortar-free design is particularly earthquake resistant and the stones are so precisely cut that to this day not even a knife fits between them. In the afternoon, 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
  • Hotel San Agustin Plaza or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Second visit of Machu Picchu (unguided)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bid farewell to your fellow travellers who may be finishing in Cuzco today or heading to the jungle. Enjoy a free day to relax, shop or explore more of Cuzco's sights. Perhaps head to a cafe on the Plaza de Armas, or for those seeking an active adventure, try mountain biking in the hills surrounding Cuzco. In the evening, you might like to unwind with a meal and drink in a local restaurant. You could even sample the Peruvian delicacy of cuy (guinea pig), if you are yet to try it and are brave enough.
Accommodation
  • Hotel San Agustin Plaza or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today head to the airport and take an included flight back to Lima. This flight will be unescorted, however you will be met by our representative in at the airport in Lima.
After checking into the hotel, you'll have some free time in the afternoon to explore or relax. You could even head to the huge shopping complex of Larcomar, which is set over the ocean. In the evening, perhaps head out for one final group dinner to reminisce on your adventures.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Antigua Miraflores or Similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today your Peruvian adventure comes to an end after breakfast. Flights out of Lima can be booked for anytime, as there are no planned activities.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

18 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Boat, Bus, Minibus, Plane

Accommodation

Hotel (16 nights), Eco Lodge (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
  • Lima - Guided tour of Catacombs
  • Lima - City tour including visits to the Basilica Cathedral of Lima and the Catacombs
  • Lima - Alameda de Chabuca Granda - Street food tasting
  • 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)
  • Suasi Island - Cultural Museum Visit
  • Suasi Island - Lake Titicaca Canoe Excursion
  • Suasi Island - Spectacular Sunset over Lake Titicaca, Picnic & Drinks
  • Cuzco - Coricancha Archeological Site, guided tour
  • Cuzco - Specialist Historian Guide
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
  • 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)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

HIKE ADD-ON:
Your tour itinerary includes taking the train to Machu Picchu however on this trip you can opt to choose between either of the below hiking options if you advise at the time of booking:
- The 4 day /3 night Classic Inca trail (Days 13 to 16 of this itinerary) - Included in the tour price if advised at the time of booking.
- The 1-day Inca Trail (day 15 of this itinerary) - Additional surcharge required.
Important: Both options are subject to permit availability. Please contact your booking agent if you would like to book either option (the default itinerary does not include hiking, so you must specifically request this)
More information on the treks can be found in the itinerary section your trip notes.

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.