A Journey Through Peru
15 Days from £5299
Fifteen days from £4995pp
An exciting two week journey through Peru, giving you a panoramic view of this diverse Andean country. Spot jungle wildlife in the Amazon rainforest, explore ancient ruins, trek in the footsteps of the Incas to witness the wonder of Machu Picchu and delve deep into exciting and unique Andean culture around Lake Titicaca.
Situated on the arid Pacific coast Peru’s capital Lima is the second driest capital the world. Surrounding the well preserved colonial architecture of the city centre is a bustling cosmopolitian metropolis and one of Latin America’s busiest cities. Both sides of Lima make for a facinating couple of days and your guide will certainly bring the magic to life during your time there.
Day 1 – Lima
On arrival at Jorge Chavez international airport in Lima, you will be met by an English speaking representative and transfered to your hotel by private transport.
Day 2 – Lima
You will start your guided tour of Lima after breakfast with a panoramic view of the “Pucllana Pyramid” a magnificent ceremonial and archeological center built in the 4th century A.D. and considered a “sacred village” by the Incas.
The Viceroyalty of Perú was the most important of the Spanish Empire and Lima was its capital so a walking tour of the historical center of Lima is a must. There are over fifty monuments and colonial buildings to see, including the Paseo de la República, the San Martín Square, the Main Square, the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Cathedral Basilica, and the City Council Palace to name buta few.
You then visit the monumental San Francisco convent, which displays the largest collection of religious art in the Americas but the real highlight will be the underground vaults, known as “Catacumbas” or Catacombs.
Before heading back to your hotel you will see the traditional residential areas of Lima, such as El Olivar of San Isidro, Miraflores and Larcomar.
At 3800 meters above sea level Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable body of water and South America’s largest lake. Shared between Peru and Boliviar to the Incas it was the birthplace of the sun and to travellers a place where many great memories are made. Ladies in bowler hats and petticoats smile as children play with their pet llamas in a place that is home to many Andean cultures past and present.
Day 3 – Lima > Lake Titicaca
After breakfast you will be transferred to Lima’s Jorge Chavez Airport to catch your flight to Juliaca. On arrival in Juliaca, you will be met by an English speaking representative and transferred by private transport to your lodge in Titlaka on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
After check in you will be served lunch on the shore of lake Titicaca. In the afternoon you can relax at the hotel surrounded by beautiful scenery drinking plenty of liquids to help you acclimatise to the high altitude. If you are feeling active you can explore the lake using water sports equipment available at the lodge. Or, if you prefer, ride a bicycle through the nearby fields of Platería, take a walk on country paths, or watch local birds around Puno’s striking landscapes.
Afternoon tea and dinner at the lodge is included.
Day 4 – Lake Titicaca
After breakfast you will be collected by your guide and travel by car and boat to visit the famed Uros floating islands. Here you will meet the traditional families of the Uro Aymara people that inhabit these unique islands. The Uro Aymara are a proud culture, the men skillfully traverse the lake with rafts made from reeds, the women are expert weavers. Calling themselves kot-suña or “people of the lake,” the Uro-Aymara were once persecuted and forced to take refuge on Lake Titicaca where they created the Uros islands out of totora reeds. Considering themselves guardians of Titicaca, the Uro-Aymara claim to have black blood that supposedly makes them impervious to the cold.
You will then explore Quechua beliefs and culture on the island of Taquile. Declared a part of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Taquile’s vivid textiles convey complex messages about the wearer’s social status and life. As the island enjoys a privileged microclimate, you’ll likely see men weaving wonderful pieces outdoors.
You will then enjoy a picnic against the stunning backdrop of Titicaca’s deep blue skies, the lake’s sapphire waters, and on the horizon, Bolivia’s Cordillera Real, or Royal Mountain Range.
Dinner at the lodge is included.
Set high in the Andean mountains the former capital of the Inca empire, Cusco, is a city of attractive colonial architecture surrounded by breathtaking scenery and mystical Inca sites and ruins. The gateway to Machu Picchu it is a centre for travellers across the world to either prepare for or celebrate their visit to one of the world’s 7 wonders. The Incas believed that Cusco was the bellybutton of the world and built their capital city around the navel, today the city and surrounds offer great reward to any traveller.
Day 5 – Lake Titicaca > Cusco
After breakfast you will be transferred to Juliaca Airport to catch your flight to Cusco. En route to the airport you will visit the ancient funeral towers of Sillustani. These ancient tombs were the burial site for chiefs and dignitaries of pre Incan culture then the Incas themselves. These impressive structures are made with large stones weighing up to 6 tonnes and the largest took 50 years to build.
On arrival in Cusco, you will be met by an English speaking representative and transferred to your hotel by private transport.
Day 6 – Cusco
After breakfast you will head out on a guided tour of Cusco. Included highlights are the Cathedral in the Plaza de Armas and the Koricancha, a Spanish church built on Inca stone foundations. The Cathedral, believed to be built on the foundations of the Palace of Viracocha and stands proudly in the main square. On display is a painting of the last supper where on the table Jesus and his disciples are about to tuck into a guinea pig, a Peruvian delicacy.
Then a scenic drive into the surrounding mountains to visit the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuaman and Kenko. Sacsayhuaman is the largest and most impressive of the Inca ruins surrounding Cusco. A mighty fortress, built using massive stones some of which weigh over 100 tons, and somehow fitted together so perfectly that even now, after so many years and earthquakes, one can still not slip a knife blade between the pieces of this huge jigsaw puzzle.
Before heading back to your hotel you will also explore the Tambomachay ruins which may have served as a military outpost or a spa resort for the Inca political elite; as well as the Puca Pucara site, a huge fortress built of red granite.
Day 7 – Cusco > Urubamba
After breakfast you will embark on a guided tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas including Pisac Market and the Fortress of Ollantaytambo.
The Pisac Quechua market attracts thousands of visitors and people from remote communities dressed in colourful, traditional attire who sell their wares in the bustling market.
You then visit Ollantaytambo, named Ollantaytambo in honour of the chief Ollanta, who was famous for courting an Inca Princess daughter of Pachacutec. The ruins of Ollantaytambo fortress are the main attraction here as well as it being the starting point of the Inca Trail.
One of Ollantaytambo’s other highlights is Hanan Hucaypata which lies north of the main square and contains fifteen blocks of well preserved houses built with elegantly crafted stone walls and walk ways.
Then you head to your hotel in Urubamba to prepare to begin the Inca Trail trek the next day.
Lunch is included today.
Watching the early morning mist rise over the lost city of Machu Picchu at the end of your four day trek along the classic Inca Trail will undoubtable be one of the best experiences of your life and a memory that will never fade. However there is so much more to trekking the Inca Trail than the last few miles of excited anticipation as you near the Sun Gate for your first view of Machu Picchu. The four day classic Inca Trail trek is justifiably up there with the world’s iconic treks and for good reason too. The dramatic Andean mountain scenery provides the inspiration to reach the top of the high passes and experiencing the history as you walk in the footsteps of the Incas guided and supported by their friendly descendents delivers a real sense of achievement.
Day 8 – Inca Trail
An early start as you head to KM82 the official beginning of of the Classic Inca Trail trek. Here you will meet the other members of the small group you will be trekking with along with the guides and porters that will be escorting you to Macchu Picchu.
Todays trek is approximately 11km along one of the easier sections and takes around 6 to 7 hours before you reach your campsite. Along the trek your camp is erected and dismantled for you as well as meals prepared by the porters and support crew.
Day 9 – Inca Trail
Today’s is more challenging and includes the notorious Warmihuañusca or “Dead Woman’s Pass”. The steep hike rises to 4200m above sea level is named after shape of the mountain (resembling a sleeping woman) rather than anything more macabre! There is plenty of time allowed (8-9 hours) to complete the 15km hike and you will be allowed to walk at your own pace. It’s a tough but very rewarding day and a vast majority of trekkers complete it without any major problems.
Day 10 – Inca Trail
The scenery along the whole of the Inca Trail is stunning but today it is truly breathtaking. You will notice a change in the eco-system too while walking through the cloud forest of Wiñayhuayna as well as passing two small lakes at the top of the second pass (3950m). Today’s hike is around 5 to 6 hours long and approximately 10km in length.
Machu Picchu has to be the highpoint of any trip to Peru and deservedly so. This magnificent citadel set high in the Andes mountains above the Urubamba River valley was built in the mid 15th century using the traditional dry stone walls of Inca architecture. The secrets of this city were hidden from the Spanish conquistadors and was only revealed to the world when discovered again in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. Today travellers from across the world come to marvel at the splendour of one of the seven modern wonders of the world.
Day 11 – Inca Trail > Machu Picchu > Cusco
A pre dawn start to complete the final section of the Inca Trail to reach the Inti Punku (Sun Gate) to witness sunrise over the lost city of the Incas The last triumphal descent will take almost one hour before visiting the citadel of Machu Picchu around 8.00am. Once at the site you will enjoy a fully guided tour as well as enough free time to explore one of the world’s modern wonders and if you have the energy to climb Huayna Picchu for more incredible views.
In the afternoon you will transferred to the nearby town of Aguas Calientes to catch the train back to Cusco and the comfort of your hotel.
The area of Amazon rainforest contained in Peru comprises 60% of the country’s land mass and the Tambopata jungle region around Puerto Maldanado is especially rich in biodiversity and density of fauna and flora. Our four day visit to this section includes meeting native local communities, nighttime searches for caiman crocodiles, jungle walks guided by an expert naturalist and a visit to a claylick to observe parrots in their natural habitat.
Day 12 – Cusco > Amazon Rainforest
After breakfast you will be transferred to Cusco airport and assisted with checking in for your flight to one of the gateways of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, Puerto Maldonado.
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to Tambopata River Port to take the approximately two and a half hours boat ride to your lodge in the Amazon rainforest. Lunch along the way.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you on your stay in the rainforest lodge and after dinner you will head out by boat along the river in search of caiman crocodile, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman’s eyes.
Day 13 – Amazon Rainforest
After breakfast you will head out into the rainforest with your guide. Included today is a canoe paddle on Oxbow Lake looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and the noisy horned screamer bird while flocks of macaws soar overhead.
Next take a short guided walk to the 25 meter high canopy tower. A staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above for an incredible view over the jungle canopy and the continuous primary forest of the Tambopata National Reserve. You may also be rewarded of views of toucans, macaws and raptors.
After lunch Lunch take a short boat trip to a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular rare Amazon crops – just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose which your guide will explain in fascinating detail.
After dinner you may want to join a Tambopata National Reserve lecture which are prepared by the lodge staff and staff and cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects within the Tambopata National Reserve.
Day 14 – Amazon Rainforest
After breakfast take a short boat ride and jungle walk to a clay lick where from a birdwatching hide you will see many colourful species of parrots and parakeets descend to the bank to ingest the clay so important for their survival.
After lunch visit a beautiful patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) by Brazil nut gatherers. You will be treated to a demonstration of the whole process of this sustainably harvested product from collection through to the finished product.
A short walk from the lodge is a peccary clay lick. These wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning.
After dinner you will have the option of taking an escorted night hike. The rainforest is incredibly active at night but animals are difficult to see however your expert guide can help spot many including frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
Day 15 – Amazon Rainforest > Lima
After breakfast you will be transferred by boat and private transport to Puerto Maldonado airport to board a flight to Jorge Chavez International airport in Lima in time to catch your international flight home.
Start your Peru journey by telling us about your travel plans and a consultant will get straight back to you