Days
17
Price from
€3,930EUR

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.

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
Cuzco, Peru
Country
Peru
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSLC
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
58 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

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

  • 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, 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

  • 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

  • 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

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 2018 to 31 December 2018. 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 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
  • Lima - Leader led orientation walk of Miraflores
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Optional Activities
If you wish to take part in any of the optional activities mentioned below, you will need to book additional accommodation prior to the tour start date as there won't be any spare time on day one once the tour has commenced.
This morning at approximately 8am 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 of Lima's founder, Francisco Pizarro. You have an included visit to 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 where people 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 in the afternoon, travel by minivan for approximately four hours to Paracas, arriving in the late afternoon/early evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel San Agustin Paracas or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lima - Guided tour, including San Francisco Monastery, the Catacombs and Central Market
  • Lima - Alameda de Chabuca Granda - Street food tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning rise early for an excursion to the Ballestas Islands. We will depart the hotel at approximately 7:30am. Make your way to Paracas' port to board a boat at approximately 8am.
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.
Late morning we make the journey in a private van from Paracas to Nazca. This is a three hour drive, but there may be a stop in Huacanchina on the way. The leader will offer the group the option of making this stop and the outcome will be based on a majority decision. Huacachina is a little settlement that sits beside a small lake with dramatic sand dunes. There are opportunities to go sand-boarding or simply enjoy the photo opportunities.
Later in the afternoon 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.
To get some perspective on the Nazca Lines, you can choose to go on a flight tour of the area this afternoon. 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Majoro or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ballestas Island - Excursion
  • Nazca Lines - Viewing tower
Optional Activities
  • Nazca - Flight Over the Nazca Lines - USD100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Nazca Lines flight:
On occasion Nazca lines flights may be cancelled due to poor weather conditions. Should this happen on the day you have booked this activity, it will be rescheduled to the following morning (day 4 of this trip)
Early this morning, make the 10-12 hour journey (depending on traffic and stops) to Arequipa by private van. The trip may be long, but it's well worth the effort. There will be toilet stops and a lunch stop along the way. 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)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Nazca Lines flight:
As mentioned on day 3, on occasion we may need to schedule Nazca Lines flights for this morning. Should this happen, we will have an early lunch in Nazca before boarding the bus for Arequipa. In this case there will be toilet stops, however the next meal break will be in the evening for dinner.
This morning starts at approximately 9am. 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. The tour will finish at approximately 1pm. 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)
Included Activities
  • Arequipa - Walking tour
  • Arequipa - San Ignacio Chapel Visit
  • Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery
  • Arequipa - Cathedral Visit
Optional Activities
  • Arequipa - Juanita Museum - PEN20
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)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning will begin at approximately 8 or 9am (as agreed by the group the night before) Drive through the 'Altiplano’ (High Plains) to the Colca Valley and Canyon. This drive takes approximately 5-6 hours including toilet stops. 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 it's 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 snow-capped 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 - Guided visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Early this morning at approximately 6:00am you'll visit the Condor View point, where Andean Condors, one of the world's largest flying birds, can often been seen soaring in the air. This journey is approximately 5 hours return. After lunch it's about a six-hour (including stops) 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)
  • Colca Canyon - Condor view point
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.
This morning at about 8am you will depart from the port in Puno for the floating Uros Islands. The boat journey will take about 30 minutes before reaching the 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. You will spend approximately 1-1.5 hours here. Later the afternoon you will travel a further 1-1.5 hours to the private island of Suasi where you'll spend the next two nights.
Accommodation
  • Suasi Island Eco lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Titicaca - Floating Uros islands & Taquile island visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Luggage for the next 2 days:
Due to a luggage restrictions on the boat you will be required to pack all necessary items for the next 2 days into a smaller bag. The remainder of your luggage will be stored securely in the Puno hotel.
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. 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 - Spectacular Sunset over Lake Titicaca, Picnic & Drinks
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Around midday today you will travel back across the lake to Puno. On the way you will be provided with a packed box lunch. 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
  • Lunch
Travel from Puno to Cusco by private vehicle across the spectacular altiplano a journey that should take approximately six hours (plus any stops)
Cuzco is 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. At 3,450 metres (11,150 feet) above sea level, it’s important to take time to acclimatize to the city’s altitude.
After settling in at the hotel, embark on a casual walking tour around the hotel and Plaza de Armas with your tour leader. This tour will also include a visit to the Cusco Cathedral with specialist guide, Professor Alfredo Hinojoza Galvez. Alfredo was born and raised in the city of Cuzco. He studied at the National College of Sciences of Cuzco and later studied Administration and Tourism at National University San Antonio Abad del Cusco (NUSAAC), where he graduated in 1983. He then pursued a Masters in Colonial Art at NUSAAC. Alfredo has served as Dean of the College of Tourism and he has published eight books, including a guidebook for the Touristic Tour of the East Valley. Alfredo is considered an icon among colonial art and tourism students for his impressive career spanning 30 years. Alfredo will be uniquely placed to offer special insight into Cusco Cathedral, which is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Accommodation
  • Hotel San Agustin Plaza or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Orientation Walk
  • Cuzco - Cathedral Entrance Fee
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.
This morning your leader will take you on walking tour of Cuzco today. Visit the Coricancha Temple for a tour with a local guide. Once plated in thick gold, the Spanish built a Dominican church atop its walls. 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 again see the main cathedral (this time from the front only), built on top of an Incan palace and one of the city's greatest repositories of art. This afternoon you'll have some free time to further explore Cuzco.
Accommodation
  • Hotel San Agustin Plaza or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Coricancha Temple entrance fee
  • Cuzco - Walking Tour: Main Square, San Blas Square, Coricancha Temple, San Pedro Market & 12 Angle Stone.
Optional Activities
  • Cuzco - Inca Museum - PEN10
  • Cuzco - Pre-Colombian Museum - PEN20
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
This morning at around 9am you'll board a private bus for the Sacred Valley.
Just outside of Cuzco you will visit 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. After this included visit you will continue on to 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.
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
  • Hotel Tika Wasi Valley or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included)
  • Cuzco - Guided visit of Sacsayhuaman
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Luggage for the next three days:
Due to a luggage restriction of 7kg per person on the train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes you will be required to pack all necessary items for the next 3 days into a smaller bag. The remainder of your luggage will be stored securely in the Cuzco hotel.
Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, your destination today is Aguas Calientas. Early this morning at approximately 0745am you will 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 surreal 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. Later, you'll take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes to spend the night before heading back up to Machu Picchu first thing in the morning for your second visit.

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
  • Hotel Hatun Inti 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 sun gate 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 around 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. 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
Today your Peruvian adventure comes to an end after breakfast. Flights out of Cuzco can be booked to depart at any time, as there are no planned activities.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
There are two slightly longer versions of this trip. As such some of your fellow travellers may be continuing on to the Amazon Jungle or some may be continuing to Lima to finish their trip. For more information please see our website – Peru Highlights (PSPKC) & Peru Explorer (PSLRC)

Meals

16 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Boat, Bus, Private Vehcile, Plane

Accommodation

Hotel (14 nights), Lodge (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
  • Lima - Leader led orientation walk of Miraflores
  • Lima - Guided tour, including San Francisco Monastery, the Catacombs and Central Market
  • 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 - Guided visit
  • Sillustani archaeological site (time permitting)
  • Colca Canyon - Condor view point
  • Lake Titicaca - Floating Uros islands & Taquile island visit
  • Suasi Island - Cultural Museum Visit
  • Suasi Island - Spectacular Sunset over Lake Titicaca, Picnic & Drinks
  • Cuzco - Orientation Walk
  • Cuzco - Cathedral Entrance Fee
  • Cuzco - Coricancha Temple entrance fee
  • Cuzco - Walking Tour: Main Square, San Blas Square, Coricancha Temple, San Pedro Market & 12 Angle Stone.
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which gives you access to 16 archaeological sites in/around Cuzco (Transport & guides are not included)
  • Cuzco - Guided visit of Sacsayhuaman
  • Guided visit of Machu Picchu
  • Second visit of Machu Picchu (unguided)

Reviews

Our Lima to Cusco trips score an average of 4.86 out of 5 based on 58 reviews in the last year.

Lima to Cusco, September 2017

Michael & Maureen Ball

Lima to Cusco, September 2017

Richard Walker

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.

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to important sites such as Machu Picchu. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

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.