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Essential Peru

Essential Peru

Essential Peru travel package gives you an experience of the special places in the Andes mountains, the Altiplano and the highest navigatable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca.  The southern Peru city of Arequipa is also visited as well as one of the deepest canyons in the world, Colca Canyon, which is the favorite home of the condors. 

This especially organised tour packages gives one many spectacular views, unique, cultural experiences with the friendly Peruvian people and a one of a kind vacation that seems to transform something in everybody. 

Discover the magic and some of Peru's secrets in eighteen days. We will stay in the the ancient capital of the Incas - Cusco , visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the legendary city of Machu Picchu. When you arrive to the lost citadel, will be possible purchase reminders especially in crafting houses, also take a food in a market before to reach Inca ruins.

Exploring and listening the histories of each monument you see.

Don't miss to climb the Huayna Picchu mountain because from there you can have the best panoramic views from landscapes and especially from the lost citadel and the ruins, but you should to book with anticipation due to the tickets fill up faster, the travellers already know about the viewpoint of there. We spend the night in a  homestay on Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca near Puno and visit the Colca Canyon. 

This spectacular country wait for you.  Give yourself an unforgettable holiday. There is only one Peru.


Quick Itinerary of the Essential Peru:


Day 01:  Arrival to Lima.

Day 02: Lima to Cusco flight.

Day 03: Sacred Valley Tour.

Day 04-06: Hike the Inca Trail.

Day 07: Continue the hike to Machu Picchu.

Day 08: Cusco Sightseeing Walking Tour.

Day 09: Drive to Puno.

Day 10 11: Excursion by boat on Lake Titicaca.

Day 12: Free day in Puno.

Day 13: Local bus to Arequipa. 

Day 14 15: Colca Canyon Tour.

Day 16: Sightseeings of Arequipa

Day 17: Fly to Lima.

Day 18: Departure Day


Important info about your Trek:

  • See amazing landscapes on the road
  • Hike on the Inca Trail
  • Excursion among the Titicaca Lake
  • Tour to Colca Canyon
  • A varied weather

Crew: A Inca Trail Machu Tour Lima, Cusco, Puno, Arequipa and professional guide

Accommodation: Hotel*** (13 nights), Camping (03 nights), Homestay (01 night)

Meals: 05 Lunches, 04 Dinners, 16 Breakfasts (Allow 120 - 150 for meals no inclided)

Transportation: 2x local flight, tourist transportation, van, train, motorboat


Packing List:

  • Passport: Carry it is very important
  • Inmigration Card
  • ISIC card: if you booked as a student
  • A good hiking shoes: Comfortable and useful on all terrain
  • Waterproof: Especially in rainy seasons
  • Sunscreen: Avoid the ultraviolet ray
  • Coca leaf

Interesting Information


Day 01: Arrival to Lima.
Inca Trail Machu

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities are planned. Look for a Welcome Note posted in the hotel lobby. Your Tour Leader will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably.

Day 02: Lima to Cusco flight.
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Today, transfer to airport, flight from Lima to Cusco, reception in Cusco, transfer to hotel, rest of the day free, you can visit the around of the imperial city of the Incas, or do some low key activity. Take time to acclimatize to Cusco's altitude.

Day 03: Sacred Valley Tour.
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Early in the morning the bus will pick us up from the hotel and go to the Sacred Valley, starting in Pisac, a picturesque village of Incan,mestizo and colonial characteristics. The archaeological site of Pisac is located on the hill called Intihuatana, with a set of platforms and an impressive view of the valley, continuing the journey; arrive at Ollantaytambo, an architectural whole that was once the Tahuantinsuyo, a giant joint agricultural, administrative, social, religious and military.

Day 04-07: Hike the Inca Trail.
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Early morning, transfer by bus to the trailhead at km82, (2350 m) with local porters, chef and bi-ligual guide. Start our trek through the Inca Trail, in the course of the walk, we will see various archaeological sites and scenic beauty that offered by the Inca. On the last day to get Intipunku, the 'Sun gate" to watch the sunrise over the lost city of the Incas, "Machu Picchu." and the surrounding mountain peaks. In the afternoon return by train to Cusco.

Day 08: Cusco Sightseeing Walking Tour.
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Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore the fascinating imperial city of the Incas, visit its market, buy souvenirs, take optional activities, and get ready for one last night in the city.

Day 09: Drive to Puno.
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Transfer to bus station, drive to Puno, on the way we will visit, Andahuaylillas, R'aqchi (Temple of God Wiracocha), La Raya, Pukara and finally Puno, which sits on Lake Titicaca.

Day 10 11: Excursion by boat on Lake Titicaca.
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Today, very early, transfer to boat, excursion boat across Lake Titicaca; on the trip we will visit two different islands. Firstly we'll visit Uros, floating islands, where people Andean live or Aymara, and then we'll visit the Amantani Island where we will have a warm reception of the local people. In the afternoon we do a trip to the Temple of Pachamama Pachatata or with the Guide. In the evening the family will make a welcome reception for new visitors with folk music. The next day we continue our excursion by boat unto to Taquile Island; here appreciate the traditional life for the local people.

Day 12: Free day in Puno.
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Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore Puno, visit its market, buy souvenirs, take optional activities, and get ready for one last night in the city.

Day 13-15: Arequipa / Colca Canyon
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Transfer to bus station of Puno, drive to Ciudad Blanca, Arequipa is known as “Ciudad Blanca” because to its white color of the stone “sillar” used on its colonial buildings, is surrounded by the Andes Mountains and lies in the shadow of El Misti Volcano. The next two days are dedicated to the Colca Canyon. With walls towering (3280ft) over the valley floor, it is home to nesting condors and is one of the best locales to spot these majestic birds. We spend one night in the Colca area, where we may also enjoy a relaxing dip in the Calera thermal pools. Return to Arequipa on 15 day.

Day 16: Sightseeings of Arequipa
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Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore Arequipa, visit its market, and buy souvenirs. You may visit the peaceful Santa Catalina Monastery or watch the local activities, get ready for one last night in the city.

Day 17: Fly to Lima.
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Fly back to the capital city, Lima, to enjoy our last night with the group.

Day 18: Departure Day
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Transfer from hotel to Lima airport for your flight home.

What is included in the Essential Peru Tour?
Inca Trail Machu

  • Airport arrival and departure transfer.
  • Accommodation: Hotel 3 star (13 nights), Camping (03 nights) and Homestay (01 night).
  • All entrance fee according to itinerary.
  • Meals: 17 breakfasts, 04 lunches, 04 dinners and 03 afternoon hot drinks.
  • Local guide throughout as per itinerary.
  • Porter for carry back packs, food, tents and cooking stuff.
  • One cook for the Inca Trail.
  • Camping equipment: Double tent, sleeping roll mat on the Inca Trail.
  • Communal dinner tent, cooking tent, toilet tent on the Inca Trail.
  • All eating and cooking stuff, stools and tables on the Inca Trail.
  • Sleeping bag (-5 grade) on the Inca Trail.
  • Domestic flight Lima - Cuzco.
  • All land transport along the route.
  • Tourist train from Aguas Calientes town to Ollantaytambo town.
  • Motorboat on Titicaca Lake.

Not Included
Inca Trail Machu

  • Pre & post tour accommodation,
  • Last flight from Arequipa - Lima,
  • International flights and airport departure taxes,
  • Travel insurance,
  • Meals not mentioned,
  • Tips and baggage portage to local staff (please note: it is a custom to give tips in Peru; however, it is not obligatory),
  • Optional tours,
  • Other extras not specified.

Meal budget: Please allow USD 150-200 for meals not included in the package.

Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for this tour, you receive your own single room for all overnights including the Essential Peru Tour.

Local flights: One local flight is included in the cost of your tour unless noted otherwise. It is very important that we have got your passport details at the time of your booking in order to process all air tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and they will be given to you prior to each flight departure!

Inca Trail Machu

Highlights by Archaeological Sites

  • Explore the Machu Picchu citadel
  • Explore the ruins from the Mountain
  • Visit the Sacred Valley ruins
  • Beautiful views on Inca Trail
  • The landscapes from Colca Canyon
  • Amazing landscapes from Titicaca Lake


Best moment of the Trek

  • The tour among the Sacred Valley ruins and landscapes on Inca Trail


Encampment Equipment

  • Inca Trail Machu Tour operator will provide the double tent. Our tents are of the brand  EUREKA MOUNTAIN PASS 3XTE designated for 4 seasons. We provide with 3 person capacity tents; however, just 2 trek participants use it! In this way, we provide you more space and comfort. In case of a single traveller, we provide with a 2 person capacity tent. After each trek, we carefully check our tents and fix them if necessary
    Inca Trail Machu will provide the clean Sleeping bag, Inflatable pillow and blanket. Our porters will leave inside your tent. Once arrived to the camping, you will find inside your all camping equipment.



  • Walking sticks or poles cost $20 to rent.
  • Daypack for your hike U$ 10
  • Rain Poncho U$ 10 
  • There are emergency porters available for rent along this trek if you are unsure you will be able to complete the hike, cost $80.

Doubts and Frequent Questions about Essential Peru

Here is everything you need to know about Essential Peru Tour, one of our most impressive routes.

Where is located the Sacred Valley, the Inca Trail, Titicaca Lake, and Colca canyon?
The Sacred Valley of the Incas, it is located 35 kilometers from Cusco, and about 600 meters below the level of Cusco. It covers the part of the basin of the Vilcanota river between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
The Inca Trail is located in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, between Cuzco, Capital of the ancient Inca Empire, and the citadel of Machu Picchu. The alternation of mountains and valleys along the walk offers incredible and diversified landscapes.
On the other hand, Titicaca Lake is located on the Andes mountain range, between Peru and Bolivia. Specifically, 56% of its water body belongs to Peru, while the remaining 44% belongs to Bolivia. Titicaca Lake is the highest navigable lake in the world. It occupies a surface of 8.562 km², located to an average altitude of 3.812 meters, and its mass of water reaches a maximum depth of 281 meters.
And, the Colca Canyon is located in the northeastern of Arequipa Region, in the Caylloma province of Caylloma. The highest point of the Valley is the inactive Ampato volcano (6288 m.a.s.l.), and the lowest is the confluence of the Colca and Andamayo rivers (970 m.a.s.l.). The Colca Valley has an area of ​​100 km long.

Altitudes in Essential Peru Tour
During the Sacred Valley Tour, we can find this altitudes:
  • "Cusco" at 3,399 m.a.s.l.
  • "Pisaq" at 2,974 m.a.s.l.
  • "Ollantaytambo" at 2,972 m.a.s.l.
  • "Chinchero" at 3,762 m.a.s.l.
During Inca Trail, the following:
  • "Llulluchapampa" at 3 850m a.s.l.
  • "Chaquicocha" at 4 200m a.s.l.
  • "Wiñaywayna" at 3 670m a.s.l.
  • "Machu Picchu" at 2 700m a.s.l.
  • Titicaca Lake, considered the highest navigable lake in the world, at an altitude of 3,821 m a.s.l., and
  • "Colca Canyon" located between 2,300m and 5,000 m.a.s.l.
How many kilometers is walked during the Inca Trail and how many hours do we walk per day?
The Inca Trail is 43 kilometers long or 26.12 miles long. There are camping sites assigned by the Ministry of Culture that are between 10 and 13 kilometers away from each other, so the daily walking time can vary between 5 to 8 hours per day for the first three days and approximately 2 hours for the last day. The hours of walking and the distance covered may vary according to the physical condition of each person.

What does "Pisac", "Ollantaytambo", "Machu Picchu" and "Titicaca Lake" mean?
The origin of the name "Pisac" comes, probably, from Quechua word "p'isaqa", which means partridge (abundant in this place).
The word Ollantaytambo is made up of two words: "Ollantay", which comes from Aymara and means to observe, to look from above, and "Tambo", which comes from Quechua and means shelter, resting place. Therefore, the meaning of Ollantaytambo would be: "resting place from where you can look out".
"Machu Picchu" means 'Old Mountain' in the indigenous Quechua language. "Machu Picchu", the lost city of the Incas, is an unprecedented historical, natural and architectural complex, a tourist destination that has earned the category of inescapable.
The name of "Titicaca" has a deep meaning in local mythology, in Quechua Language, "Titicaca" means "Stone Cougar", formed by the word "Titi", meaning cougar; and "Caca", meaning stone (in reference to the "Sacred Rock" located on the "Sun Island").

How difficult is the Inca Trail?
The Inca Trail is considered an intermediate level trek. Since it does not include rock climbing, or hiking on snow, isn´t required previous experience. The most difficult part comes the second day, when we climb a number of stairs and start from 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) to climb to more than 4000 meters (13,123 feet) walking through a small space, later things become more easy as the road continues downhill. Keep in mind that you will carry your personal items, which may include clothing, camera, water, camp equipment, etc; which may add difficulty to the trek because of the weight. 

Is it possible to do the Essential Peru Tour on my own?
First, to get to the Sacred Valley from Cusco, there are two direct roads that connect the city with the Sacred Valley and the towns of Pisac, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo. To reach the Sacred Valley of the Incas, you must first reach Cusco; generally your visit will begin in the town of Pisac and continue through the city of Urubamba to then visit the beautiful town of Ollantaytambo. Buses leave every day from Cusco to all the cities of the Sacred Valley. You will find buses that leave every 15 minutes heading to Ollantaytambo. Bus tickets cost around 15 soles. Getting to Pisac by bus will take you 45 minutes to an hour and costs approximately 7 soles. From Pisac, you can go to Urubamba in 30 minutes, or to Ollantaytambo in one hour; the prices vary between 5 and 10 soles.
About, the Inca Trail, if you are an experienced hiker, you may want to go hiking on your own, without a tour operator, without a guide, without a carrier, just you and the way. However, that is NOT possible. Government regulations do not allow it, since 2001 hiking independently on the Inca Trail is prohibited. The regulation states that each hiker must be accompanied by a qualified professional guide. The UGM (Management Unit of Machu Picchu) is the regulatory entity that supervises companies fulfill certain requirements to operate this route. The license of each company is renewed annually, likewise, the list of authorized guides and agencies is published on the official website: www.machupicchu.gob.pe
To get to the "Titicaca Lake", you can visit it on your own. All the excursions begin at the lacustrine port of Puno. Here, you will have to pay a "lacustrine boarding fee" of 6 soles.Then, walking along the coastal road, you will inevitably be approached by vendors and intermediaries offering all kinds of boats. It is best to hire a tour directly on the dock and when the boat is about to depart.
And, to visit the Colca Canyon, you must first arrive to Arequipa. Then, you can buy a ticket to Cabanaconde, if you do not plan to get off at Chivay, or if you want to do the trekking on your own. The travel distance from Arequipa to Chivay is 164 km and 3 hours approx. And the distance from Arequipa to Cabanaconde is 220 km. with an average of 5 hours of travel by local bus, where the trekking routes begin.
However, remember that if you booking with us, you will access to special discounts and get a professional service appropriate to your itinerary.

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Days  18 
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