|Cusco, Cusco, Peru
On the floating islands of Lake Titicaca you will stay with a local Uros family. The Uros civilisation pre-dates the Incas and, according to legend, existed when the earth was still dark and cold and there was no sun. The Uros live a simple lifestyle, but housed in basic reed huts they outlasted the mighty Incas - who had extensive road systems, stone temples and terraces.
Why we love it:
- After catching a train to the town of Aguas Calientes, we visit the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu – the lost city of the Incas.
- A spectacular bus journey then takes us further inland to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, home to the fascinating floating reed islands of the Uros Indians.
- Before we arrive in Bolivia’s capital of La Paz we discover the ruins of ancient Tiahuanaco.
- La Paz is the highest capital city in the world and combines a modern cosmopolitan city with ancient traditions, creating a vibrant finale to our adventure.
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1-2: Cusco
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Accommodation: Eco inn or Similar, Cusco
- Arrive Cusco and take your complimentary transfer to the joining hotel. Today you have a pre-departure meeting at 2pm.
- The oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere, Cusco is a wonderful place in which to stroll aimlessly or participate in an outdoor activity. If you are feeling energetic there are a myriad of adventures available in and around town, such as cycling and horse riding.
- There are plenty of opportunities to shop for handicrafts or wander around the cobblestone streets and visit museums, churches and colonial sites. You may just wish to relax with a 'cerveza' or a 'pisco sour' in one of the restaurants and 'penas' (traditional local bars) surrounding Plaza de Armas.
- You will go on a guided walking tour while you are here, visiting the Coco Museum and the San Pedro market. The cathedral that was built atop an Incan palace presides over the Plaza de Armas, the city's cultural heart. It is the houses an impressive collection of art, and boasts a silver-coloured Neoclassical altar.
- Coricancha is the most easily accessible of the Incan ruins within the city. It was the empire's richest temple and was plated in thick gold.
- If you are interested in visiting the many museums of Cusco, you should consider purchsing the Boleto Turistico (Tourism Ticket). This will also cover surrounding archaeological sites, for example Saqsaywaman, Q'enqo, Pica Pakara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo. The Contemporary Art Museum, Regional History Museum and Qosqo Native Art Museum can only be accessed with a Boleto Turistico.
Day 3: Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch
Accommodation: Samanapaq hotel or similar
- You will drive on to the Sacred Valley on a private bus today. The journey will take approximately one and half hours.
- The Sacred Valley, located between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, was greatly treasured because of its climate, fertile land and the presence of the Urubamba (Sacred) River.
- You will visit a local community here, to gain a greater insight into the local lifestyle. If it happens to be market day, you will be able to wander the stalls and hunt down beautiful hand painted beads and ponchos. You will enjoy lunch with the local community.
- Next you will head to the town of Ollantaytambo. Built over an ancient Inca town, which is a magnificent example of Inca urban planning, this is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. Ollantaytambo's archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas and the upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below.
Day 4: Aguas Calientes
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Andina hotel or similar
- Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, your destination today will be Aguas Calientas. You will travel by train for 90 minutes through the winding Urubamba Valley to reach town, where you can spend some free time exploring the natural hot springs after which the town was named.
Day 5-6: Machu Picchu- Cusco
Meals included: 2 breakfasts
Accommodation: Eco inn or Similar, Cusco
- Take a very early (5:30am) bus along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approximately 30 minutes) where you will be joined by a guide who will take you through the ruins. 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.
- MACHU PICCHU: While it's thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There's plenty of time for you to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters.
- You will have a guided visit (approximately 1.5-2 hours) with plenty of free time afterwards. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cusco for a well deserved shower and a pisco sour.
- You will have the rest of today day and Day 6 free to further explore Cusco.
Day 7-9: Puno- Lake Titicaca - Puno
Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner
Accommodation: Taypikala hotel or similar, Puno
- You will travel on to Puno today, situated on the shores of Lake Titicaca (approximately 6 hours drive). You'll stop en route at the Sillustani archaeological site, a collection of ruined towers built by a pre-Inca civilisation near Lake Umayo. The towers are chullpas - funeral towers built to commemorate noble men, and fitted with offerings to help secure their passage into the next life.
- Puno is situated on Lake Titicaca, and is a fusion of Quechuan Indian and Aymara culture. It is recognised as the cultural capital of Peru, with an abundance of festivals, music and dancing.
- You will go on a tour of the lake on a motor boat, visiting the floating islands that are built on totora reeds. In fact everything on these islands are crafted from reed, including their boats which last up to 12 months.
- You will stay overnight with a local community in the lake region, offering you invaluable insight into daily life here. The home-stay will be a mud brick house, the rooms have beds and multiple blankets. The drop toilets are shared, and there is no shower. Take this opportunity to practice the local language, be immersed in the culture and perhaps play a soccer game with the locals.
- After breakfast the following day, you will also visit Taquile Island, a place where knitting is strictly the domain of men, while women are relegated to spinning. This is the place to get your hands on some beautiful knitwear.
- You will hike uphill for an hour to reach the main part of the island. It has great views across the lake. There will be an optional lunch here as well, with a simple set menu of quinoa soup and muna tea (Andean mint tea). You will return down 500 steps to the boat that will take you on the three hour journey back to Puno.
Day 10: La Paz
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Accommodation: Rosario Hotel or similar
- Today you will travel to the Bolivian border at Desaguadero. Here you will complete immigration and customs formalities. There will be a few stops and you will be required to leave the bus to complete the formalities. The journey by road to the Bolivian capital, La Paz, will take you via the ancient ruins of Tiahuanaco.
- This was the base of a great civilisation that began around 500 BC before mysteriously 'disappearing' around 1200 AD. It is believed that the ceremonial complex date back to the 8th century AD and was once at the centre of a powerful and self-sustaining empire based in the southern Central Andes. The sprawling ruins comprise of temples, courtyards, terraced pyramids, monolithic stone statues and gateways. The most famous structure is the Puerta del Sol (Gateway of the Sun).
- From the ruins it is less a than two hour drive to La Paz, where you'll spend the night. You will enjoy spectacular views of the city on your approach, due to its unique location in the middle of a vast volcanic crater that resembles a bowl.
- Whilst in La Paz you will take a walking tour around Down town with a local guide.
Day 11: La Paz
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Accommodation: Rosario Hotel or similar
- Your trip will come to an end after breakfast in la Paz.
- The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour throughout the tour, and professional local guides at some sites.
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable):Cusco; La Paz; ancient ceremonial ruins of Sacsayhuaman; the Sacred Valley (full day) including Qenko and Inca citadel at Ollantaytambo;
- Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Rarely-visited Pumamarca ruins; burial towers at Sillustani; and the 8th Century AD ceremonial complex at Tiahuanaco.
- Cultural visits to the market town of Pisac, and to the small town of Sicuani for lunch.
- Visit to Awana Kancha tourist centre to encounter llama, alpaca, vicuna and guanaco
- Train and bus to Machu Picchu (non-trekking trip) with a guided tour of Machu Picchu.
- Boat cruise on the highest navigable lake in the world - Lake Titicaca including the floating reed islands of the Uros people.
- Arrival transfer.
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
- International flights
- Internal/regional flights
- Visas where required
- Meals not included in the itinerary
- Any optional tours or activities during free time
- Items of a personal nature
- Daily budget
What to know
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.
Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Americans currently require a visa for Bolivia. Australians, British, Canadians and New Zealanders currently do not require a visa for Bolivia. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.
Australians, Americans, Canadians, British and New Zealanders do not currently require a visa for Peru. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
A Traveller’s Guide to El Dorado & the Inca Empire-L Meisch Backpacking and Trekking in Peru & Bolivia-H Bradt
Cut Stones and Crossroads - R Wright Exploring Cusco - P Frost The Incas and Their Ancestors - M Moseley
On this trip you may link up with travellers on another of our tours.
Public Holiday Inconveniences
Please be prepared for the inconvenience of sights such as museums and churches being closed to tourists on public holidays (ie. Christmas Day and New Years Day). Throughout Latin America, quite a few museums are closed on Mondays.
Partner organisations on the ground:
Peregrine works with partner organisations in each country we visit. This ensures we provide employment opportunities within local communities, including our experienced local leaders. We minimise the negative impacts of travel and maximise the benefits to the regions we travel, through working with our ethical services providers.
For assistance whilst you are travelling, please contact the local numbers listed on your travel itinerary or below, as your call will be received in the same time zone. Alternatively, if you have already joined your tour, please direct your enquiries to your local tour leader. For any assistance prior to travel, please contact your travel agent.
Local Emergency contact numbers:
Peak Adventure Travel
+51 99605 5559
+51 97009 4823
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
4 March 2014
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Peregrine