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Important Please Note

For departures after 31 December 2014 this trip has variations.
Please click here for details.

Peru Uncovered

Trip Length

Trip Code

10 days PSIE

Maximum Passengers

16 people

Countries Visited

Peru

Start City

End City

Lima Lima
Peru Uncovered

In the 15th century, Peru was the heartland of the Inca Empire. Today, the country is rich in both Inca and Spanish colonial culture. Our jumping off point is Lima, nestled between the mountains and the sea and offering some of Latin America’s finest seafood. Just a short flight away is Cusco, built on the foundations of the old Inca capital. A remarkable cathedral dominates the city, overlooking cobblestone streets lined with ancient shops and delicious restaurants. To the north, looming over Cusco is the temple of Sacsayhuaman, whilst out in the Sacred Valley we visit the market town of Pisac. A highlight for many who visit Peru is a camping trek along ancient Inca pathways culminating in a visit to the magnificent mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu.

Why we love it:

Peru Uncovered


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Lima

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Antigua Mira Flores or Similar, Lima

Arrive Lima and take your complimentary transfer to the joining hotel.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2pm on Day 1. Please check the notice board in reception for confirmation of this meeting time.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
While Peru's capital officially began life in 1535, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of an existing palace and temples that belonged to the local chief who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city's attraction now lies in its well-preserved historical centre.
Your leader will take you on a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre - so there's no need for you to visit the downtown area prior to the trip. Flanked by streets of ornate colonial 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, which houses the remains of Lima's founder, Francisco Pizarro.
If you arrive early, we recommend you take a walk around Miraflores. Go from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to LarcoMar via Larco Avenue. Alternatively go to Parque del Amor (Love's Park) for a nice view of Lima's beaches. Other things to see and do include a tour to Pachacamac (approx 30 km from downtown Lima), the Museo de la Nacion and the Gold Museum. Limenos (Lima's residents) are friendly and there are plenty of great restaurants and cafes to sample ceviche, a local seafood speciality.

This evening we enjoy an included dinner.

Day 2-3: Amazon Jungle (Puerto Maldonado)

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Accommodation: Posada Amazonas lodge or similar, Puerto Maldonado

Fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado (approx 2 hrs).

Upon arrival, the lodge staff will take us to their office in town where you'll leave most of your luggage in a safe storage and continue travelling with a small pack with just the necessary items for our next two nights in the jungle. Then take a motorized canoe up river to our jungle lodge in the Madre de Dios area. Head into the jungle with our local, multilingual guides and encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. Spot everything from macaws and monkeys to peccary, jabirus, otters and thousands of butterflies. The guides can also teach us about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants.After exploring the wilds, it's time to jump back in the canoe and return to Puerto Maldonado.The lodge is eco-friendly and combines low-impact architecture with traditional native style. Rooms are simple, but comfortable with flush toilets (en suite), showers (cold water only), mosquito nets and kerosene lamps for light.

Day 4: Puerto Maldonado- Cuzco

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Eco inn or Similar, Cusco

Fly from Puerto Maldonado to Cuzco (approx 35 mins).
The Cuzco region truly is the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent'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 elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities. Take the time to acclimatise to the city's 3,400 m (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city.
Your leader will take you on a walking tour including a visit to the Coca Museum - where you can learn more about this infamous plant which has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries - and the local San Pedro market.

Day 5: Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch

Accommodation: Samanapaq hotel or similar

Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley. Known as Wilcamayo by the Incas, the lush, fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls.
At the Sacred Valley you will visit the stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you an awesome picture of how highly developed Inca engineering was. Looking over the city from its hilltop position, the fortress is built out of massive stone blocks and is the ultimate example of the Inca's military strength.
We'll head to a community along the valley to learn about local lifestyle and activities, and if our visit coincides with market day, we can spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos and maybe practising a little bit of the local language, Quechua. Lunch is provided today by the local community.
Continue the journey to Ollantaytambo.
The town of Ollantaytambo has been 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. The upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below.

Day 6-8: (Important Note)

We trek the ‘Classic’ and the ‘Quarry’ routes, both of which include a visit to incredible Machu Picchu at the end of the trek. Although we normally trek the 'Classic' route, it is restricted by the number of trekkers permitted on the trail each day and unless you have booked early, it may be difficult or impossible for us to secure the necessary group permits (especially during the peak season). It is also closed during the month of February for cleaning and rejuvenation. If we are unable to confirm your permit for the 'Classic' route we will use the ‘Quarry’ trail. This is an exceptional alternative. Venturing further off the beaten path, this trek winds its way through remote rural villages and provides stunning views across the Andes. Along the way you can mingle with local families, llama herders and weavers, renowned for their brightly coloured hats and ponchos. The trek is of similar altitude and level of difficulty as the 'Classic' route and also includes a visit to the town of Aguas Calientes and the magnificent Machu Picchu, recently voted one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’.

The following description refers to the 'Classic' route. Please refer below to the 'Itinerary Variation' section of this trip note for details of the 'Quarry' route.

Day 6: Start Inca Trek

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Day 7: Inca Trek

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Day 8: Inca Trail- Winaywayna

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Day 9: Machu Picchu - Cusco

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Eco inn or Similar, Cusco

The day starts before dawn with breakfast served nice and early at approximately 4.30 am. The early start serves two purposes, one we farewell our porters as they descend to the train station to catch their 6.30am train home and two, we are ready to start hiking by 6am by when the gate that leads through to the Inti-Punku (sun gate) opens. The walk to the sun gate takes approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.
Here you will enjoy your first views of the complex of Machu Picchu, often referred to as the Lost City of the Incas. On a clear morning the view from the Sun Gate can be quite stunning and creates a lasting impression that will stay with you long after you return home.

Built around 1450, the city was deserted less than a century later following the Spanish invasion and ‘lost’ for hundreds of years before it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. The architecture of Machu Picchu is quite extraordinary, with the mortar-free design particularly earthquake resistant and the stones so precisely cut that to this day not even a knife fits between them.

Day 10: Cusco

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Eco inn or Similar, Cusco

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time


Your Trip

What's Included

Transport

Not Included

Optional Extras

We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.


What to know

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. 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.

Peru
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. 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.

Insurance

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.

Responsible Travel

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.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

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. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
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.

Further Reading

Peru

Cut Stones and Crossroads - R Wright Exploring Cusco - P Frost The Incas and Their Ancestors - M Moseley


Important Information

On this trip you may link up with travellers on another of our tours.

Local contact numbers: Peak Adventure Travel Emergency phone: +51 99605 5559 +51 97009 4823

High Altitudes

High altitudes may be experienced during this trip. Please refer to our Altitude Sickness document for more info.

Meals during trek: Please note that we are unable to cater for those with a gluten intolerance (Coeliac) during the trek. Food labelling standards vary quite dramatically from country to country so it is not always safe to rely on ingredient labels in another country. Secondly, due to the remote nature of the trek and available cooking facilities, cross-contamination cannot always be fully avoided.

Typical meals during the trek: Breakfast (toast, fruit salad, ground corn tortillas, vegetable omelette, fried plantains), Snack (biscuits, tea, pop corn, chocolate bars, hot chocolate), Lunch (Vegetable soups, steamed trout, roast beef, quinoa grained, mashed or scalloped potatoes), Dinner (Chicken, rice, goulash, rosemary potatoes, chicken wrapped in tomato sauce)

Hotel Breakfasts: Breakfasts in Latin America are simple affairs. They consist of tea or coffee, fruit juice, bread rolls, butter and jam. Eggs and fruit are sometimes available on request, for a small charge.

Meal requests/ allergies: Please note - any special meal requests must be noted on your booking form when making your reservation. We may not be able to cater for any late requests advised on arrival.

---- Alternative Itineraries for this trip - Machu Picchu ----

 

Quarry Trail

In the event that trekking permits for the 'Classic' Inca Trail route are unavailable, we will use the 'Quarry' route. The Quarry Trail, is an exceptional alternative to the 'Classic' trail.

This trek has all the components you expect from a Peregrine operated hike in the South American Andes: it’s safe, landscapes are breathtaking, there are opportunities to interact with local communities and to visit smaller and less known Inca archaeological sites.The overall distance hiked on this trek is approximately 26km, the maximum altitude reached is 4,450 metres above sea level. Since permits are not required for this trek, there are no restrictions as when you book your trip.

 

INCA QUARRY TRAIL: The Inca Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. It's 26km long in total. The trails highest pass is at 4,450 metres above sea level.

Throughout the trek your gear (and camping gear) will be carried by horses (as opposed to porter).

The first two nights of the trek are spent camping and the third one at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. Tents are set up by the porters. Meals are prepared by the trek cook.

 

Day 1 - We leave Cusco early in the morning to drive to Ollantaytambo and on to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas used to venerate the moon. A short drive from here takes us to Rafq'a, the starting point of our trek and where we meet the horsemen that will join us during the hike. After about an hour we reach the small community of Socma.

A further 60 minutes walk takes to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout. This is a perfect opportunity to stop for photos and a snack.

From here we continue on to our campsite, at 3700 metres above sea level. All going well, we should reach our campsite by lunch time. After lunch we set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which used to serve as a check point during the times of the Incas

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

 

Day 2 - This is the most challenging but most rewarding day of the hike. A 3hr walk takes us to the top of the first pass, known as Puccaqasa (approx 4370 metres). After enjoying the views of the valley below we walk down for 30min to our lunch spot.

Rested and full of energy again we take on a 2 hour hike to the highest pass of the trek: Kuychicassa (4450 metres).

From here we head down for 2hr to a site the Incas called Inti Punku, (meaning Sun Gate - this is not the Sun Gate where you enter the Machu Picchu site) with imposing views over the valley bellow and the Veronica mountain raising over the horizon.

Our campsites is a stone throw away at Choquetacarpo (3600 metres)

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

 

Day 3 - Day three is all downhill hiking. The first stop is at the Kachiqata quarry, where we witness the work the Incas could not complete due to the Spanish conquest.

Approximately at midday we finally arrive to the town of Kachiqata - the end of this challenging and fascinating trek.

From here we visit Ollantaytambo and in the afternoon we travel by train to Aguas Calientes. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to spend a late afternoon/early evening. Tonight we overnight at a simple but comfortable hotel.

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

 

Day 4 - Today we take a very early bus (5:30am depending on weather conditions) along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx. 30 minutes). In Machu Picchu we join the travellers who opted to hike the Classic Inca Trail option of this trip before taking on a guided walk of Machu Picchu.

Meals included: 1 breakfast

 

NON-TREKKING ALTERNATIVE – Machu Picchu by Train

The Inca Trail is a highlight of any visit to Peru and it is highly recommended to anybody who is up to the physical demands of a Moderate trek. For those people joining a Peregrine trip who do not wish to join the four-day hike, Peregrine can make alternative arrangements that allow additional time in Cusco and return transport and accommodation to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Should you choose these alternative arrangements, the price for your Peregrine holiday remains the same.

You must notify Peregrine at the time of booking if you wish to take this option, which replaces the 4 Day Inca Trail.

Day 1 & 2: Cusco

Enjoy two full days to explore the epicenter of the Inca Empire. Take your time to explore the many baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city. The cathedral, built on top of an Incan palace, dominates the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco's picturesque heart. The cathedral is one of the city's greatest repositories of art, and houses an elegantly carved choir stall and a gold-covered Renaissance altar. Also worth visiting are the churches of La Compania, La Merced and San Blas.There are several impressive Inca ruins within the city, the most accessible being Coricancha, which was the Incan Empire's richest temple. Once plated in thick gold, the Spanish built a Dominican Church atop its sturdy walls. Other ruins close by are Saqsayhuaman, Qenqo and Tambomachay. Your ticket to these sites is included.

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

Day 3 : Aguas Calientes -

We take a bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo where the train station is for our short journey to Aguas Calientes. Aguas Calientes is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu.While away your free time in the natural hot springs that give the town its name.Please note today you'll leave most of your luggage in Cuzco while we visit Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. Make sure you have a small backpack to carry the necessary items for 2 days travelling.

Day 4: Machu Picchu - Cusco

Take a bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx 30 mins).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 (approx 2 hrs) with plenty of free time afterwards.Those in your group who have trekked the Inca Trail will arrive at the site around 7am on today. It is possible to arrange to meet up with the other members in your group at the ruins, to join a fully guided tour of this ancient and mystical Inca City. Before taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, there is free time to explore the ruins at your own pace, soaking in the atmosphere.You can make the short hike up to the Sun Gate for that classic photo of Machu Picchu if you wish. In the afternoon we have time for lunch, before catching the train back to Cusco with your fellow trekkers.

WAYNA PICCHU: Due to Peregrine's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.

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.

Meals included: 3 breakfasts

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!

Last Updated

7 October 2014


General Contact Details

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E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine