This classic 13-day tour showcases Peru’s best loved natural wonders and colonial gems, including Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca. Your holiday begins in Lima where a city tour is included. Next you explore Arequipa and watch for condors soaring over the Colca Canyon. Visit the Indian communities that live on the Uros floating islands of Lake Titicaca before travelling to the Inca heartland of Cuzco and the wondrous site of Machu Picchu. Your final stop is the Sacred Valley where you can relax by the pool or take part in active pursuits like horse riding and hiking. If you’d like to extend your trip, consider visiting an Amazon eco-lodge, or go further afield to see more of South America; the Iguassu Falls and Rio, or Easter Island are brilliant extensions.
Uk - Lima
Depart the UK for your flight to the Peruvian capital, Lima. The first 2 nights are spent at the Casa Andina Private Collection located in the upmarket area of Miraflores.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores
Today enjoy a introductory half day city tour of Lima. Travel into the historic centre and see the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, the City Hall and the Cathedral which you will visit. Continue with the visit of the 17th century church and cloister of San Francisco, a world cultural heritage site and Santo Domingo Convent. Also visit the Larco Herrera Museum. This private collection, which displays about 45,000 pieces, mainly pottery, was excavated and collected by the Peruvian archaeologist Rafael Larco Hoyle and is today housed in a renovated hacienda house. The museum is famed for its collection of erotic pottery.
Lima - Arequipa
Morning flight to Arequipa. Overnight at the Casa Andina Private Collection, situated on the site of the former Mint building. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Private Collection Arequipa
Enjoy a half day private tour of Arequipa which is an attractive city located in the shadow of the beautiful Misti volcano. At its main square, visit the Cathedral with its altar of Carrara marble, huge Belgian organ and magnificent pulpit. Also see the Jesuit church of La Compañia with its beautifully painted chapel and carved volcanic stone cloisters. The highlight of the tour is a visit to Santa Catalina Convent. This convent, closed to the public for almost 400 years until 1970, is still home to a few nuns, and you will gain an insight into the isolated lives of the nuns in this attractive city with quaint narrow streets and courtyards. Finally, visit the Santuarios Andinos Museum which houses the remains of Juanita, the perfectly preserved mummy of a 14-year-old Inca girl discovered in 1995 on the summit of Mount Ampato.
Arequipa - Colca Canyon
In the morning you will begin this unforgettable tour to one of the deepest Canyons in the World, the Colca Canyon. The tour begins by following the winding road that leaves the "White City" of Arequipa, crossing the snow capped Misti, Chachani and the Ampato Volcanoes, to arrive at the Colca Canyon. Here you will find the famous and majestic eagle, the Andean Condor and elegant Vicuñas wandering the high plains. Continue past the villages of Torja, Chucura, Patapampa with its Colonial Churches and Inca Farming Terraces. In the afternoon, visit the village of Chivay or enjoy La Calera thermo-medicinal baths. Transfer to your hotel, Colca Lodge.
Accommodation: Colca Lodge
Colca Canyon - Lake Titicaca
After breakfast, depart for the Cruz del Cóndor viewpoint, one of the best areas to see the Colca Canyon and the flight of the Condors. Later you will visit the Colca Valley, the Tapay viewpoint, the pre-Inca tombs and stop in the villages of Pinchollo, Maca, Yanque and Cabanaconde.
In the afternoon travel by coach to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Stay at the Casa Andina Private Collection overlooking Lake Titicaca.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Private Collection Puno
A 3 hour boat trip on Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, will take you to the Island of Taquile. To reach the hub of the island one must make a strenuous climb of 600 stone steps but the effort is well rewarded by the views of the Lake and its surrounding mountains. The people of Taquile are famous for their colourful, fine weavings and their hospitality. On the return trip to Puno you will make a stop on Uros Island, built on layers of the totora reeds, hence the name "floating island". Here the Uros Indians live as they have done for generations, seeking out a living by fishing and selling handicrafts. You will be given a box lunch on this tour.
Puno - Cuzco
Leave Puno after breakfast by tourist coach to Cuzco. This is a comfortable coach which leaves at approximately 7.30am, and arrives Cuzco at about 5pm. Sightseeing stops are made en route and the first of these is at the Temple of Pukara. This was one of the first settlements in southern Peru dating back to 1600BC. Early archaeological remains and ceramic pieces are exhibited in the museum. A stop is also made at La Raya Pass, the highest point on this particular journey.
A buffet lunch is included in pleasant surroundings close to the town of Sicuani. After lunch two further stops are made; firstly at Rachi to visit the temple of Wiracocha. This is approximately 118kms from Cuzco and is an archaeological complex built in the Inca period. You will see a number of residential buildings, fountains and terraces that show the site’s importance. Afterwards visit Andahuaylillas and its little church. Peter the Apostle, also known as ‘the Sistine Chapel of America’, due to its lavish interior decoration. On arrival you will be met and taken by private transfer to your hotel.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Private Collection Cuzco
Half day sightseeing in the fascinating colonial city of Cuzco, built on the foundations of the Inca palaces. Visit Koricancha or the Temple of the Sun, where you can view the incredible masonry of the Incas, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral with its carved woodworks, altars and paintings. Afterwards head high above the city to the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman and the nearby sites of Kenko and Tambomachay.
Cuzco - Machu Picchu
For many, today will be the highlight of a holiday to Peru. The day that you finally reach the magnificent Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. The mist-cloaked lost city of the Incas is arguably the most famous sight in all of South America. Take a shared transfer to Sacred Valley train station to go to Aguas Calientes. The Vistadome trains have beautiful panoramic windows offering unsurpassed scenic views and photographic opportunities. With glass surrounding them on all sides, passengers feel as if they are part of Peru's remarkable landscape. Snacks and hot and cold refreshments are included on the journey.
With your local tour guide, take the bus up to the ruins of Machu Picchu for a guided tour, including a delicious buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge next to the ruins. You will have plenty of time to explore this extensive site. Return by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, a lively market town that has grown around the railway and transfer to the delightful Hotel Machu Picchu Pueblo, set in lush tropical gardens next to the river. Dinner at your hotel and overnight.
Accommodation: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel
Machu Picchu - Sacred Valley
You have a free morning to return early to Machu Picchu independently if you wish or relax at the Pueblo Hotel and enjoy some spa treatments.
In the mid-afternoon, you will return to the train station (adjacent to your hotel) for the Vistadome train service to Ollantaytambo, arriving late afternoon. Continue by road to your hotel in Urubamba.
Accommodation: Sol y Luna Lodge & Spa
Today you are free to relax at your hotel visit a local market or go trekking either on foot or horseback. The hotel also offers a host of activities that you can arrange locally.
Lima - UK
Depart Cuzco for your return flight to the UK via Lima. If you wish to extend your holiday please ask for suggestions! One of the most popular choices is the Peruvian Amazon which is easily accessible from Cuzco.
Pricing Information & Dates
13 day tour, from £3560 per person
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