Peru is a country of splendid landscapes, 32 micro climates, including the magical Andes mountains and a dense Amazon jungle rich in a large variety of plants and animal species. Peruvian mix of cultures, folklores and traditions make the country very mysterious and attractive to visitors. One of the cultures that stands out is the Inca´s culture.
The Incas built their palaces, temples and roads of sophisticated stone technique which resisted a long passage of time.
If you like to visit Peru, join the Inca Trail Adventure tour and explore all the Peruvian mysteries with us.
Among the Inca Steps we'll watch the traditional birds and animals around the mountains, the landscapes are shocking while at the same time take pictures before pass to the cloud forest.
No doubts it's fantastic, especially the main attraction called Machu Picchu and the lost citadel. The route to Machu Picchu maybe is strenuous and the roads are too challenging but at final the reward will be waiting for us.
The Peru Highlights takes you from the Pacific coast of Peru, over the high Andes and through the country of the Incas to the Amazon forest, accentuating cultural, archaeological and ancient attractions, also Peru's natural resources in the form of the Tambopata National Reserve, Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, Peru is one of the five most plentifully diversified countris on Earth, with 84 of the 117 life forms that exist on the planet.
Day 01: Arrival to Lima
Day 02-04:Peruvian Amazon Tour - Cusco
Day 05: Sacred Valley
Day 06-09: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Day 10: Cusco City
Day 11: Sightseeing bus to Puno
Day 12-13: Titicaca Lake Tour
Day 14: Puno
Day 15: Bus to Arequipa
Day 16-17: Colca Canyon Tour
Day 18: Arequipa City
Day 19: Flight to Lima
Day 20: Departure
Crew: A Inca Trail Machu Representatives in Lima, Puerto Maldonado, Cusco, Puno and Arequipa as well as professional local Tour Guides.
Accommodation: 13 nights in 3* hotels, 2 nights in a jungle lodge, 3 nights in campsites, 1 night in family homestay.
Meals: 18x breakfast, 8x lunch, 6x dinner, 3x afternoon tea (Please allow USD 200-250 for meals not included).
Transportation: 3x domestic flight, local transfers, private transportation by van, a train round trip, motorboat transportation, canoe.
The tour starts with a pick-up from Lima airport where our representative awaits you holding a sheet with your name. Then you are transfered to your hotel.
Please note that the first day is arrival day and no activities are planned, so that you can arrive at any time!
However, if you arrive early and you like to see around the city, we can arrange you a Lima City Tour upon request!
We transfer you to the Lima´s airport to take a flight to Puerto Maldonado which lies deep in the Peruvian Amazon. There you will be met by your guide and transported to a dugout canoe for the journey up the Tambopota River to the lodge. On our journey to the lodge, you have a chance to see bird species typical of the river and the forest edge such as the black skimmer, a pied lapwing, a capped heron, a roadside hawk (Buteo magnirostris), a kingfisher, a swallow or a tyrant flycatcher.
The jungle lodge is located on the banks of the edge of the Tambopota River in the central part of the Tambopota National Reserve. The detachment and serenity of our lodge creates a completely valuable experience in the rainforest. Situated roughly four hours from Cusco it is one of the most reachable rainforest destinations in Latin America. It combines a native architecture and materials with a low-impact technology intending to preserve the local environment. Rooms of the lodge are simple, but comfortable, containing mosquito´s nets over each bed, flush toilets, showers (but without hot water) and kerosene (paraffine) lamps for lighting (there is no electricity). Staff of the lodge are multilingual naturalists-guides that mostly consist of local community members.
Every day, you explore the Peruvian jungle with our local Tour Guide. The Amazon jungle covers about a half of Peru's territory.Thanks to its isolation it is kept hidden from passer-by travellers. Puerto Maldonado is the main city of the region and is mostly accessed by air from the capital and from Cusco. The city lies on the confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers. It is a busy and booming tropical frontier city which principal activities are gold mining, cashew nut collecting, timber exploitation, agriculture and ecotourism. Commonly seen mammals around here are saddle-black tamarinds, brown capuchins and agoutis.
The Tambopota National Reserve covers an area of 678,800 acres of semi-tropical rainforest under the protection of the Peruvian government. The area of Tambopata ranges from Andean highlands situated around headwaters of local rivers through to the last remaining intact cloud forests to the lowland rainforests of Peru´s Amazon Basin. There has been a lot of research done on the flora and fauna in the region, which discloses a marvellous fruitfulnes of life-forms. The ecosystems in this part of southeast Peru are the most divergent on the planet, including over 1,300 bird species (including 32 parrot specias that are equal to 10% of the world parrot population!), 200 mammal species (4 species of primates included), 90 species of frogs, 1,200 butterfly species and 10,000 species of higher plants! Harpy eagle, a prehistoric looking hoatzin, tapir, peccary, jaguar, ocelot and playful river otters inhabitating its oxbow lakes are just a few to name some of these rainforest rare species! This means there are endless chances to see the tropical rainforest and its wildlife.
On the last (third) day of this Amazonian trip, we transfer you back to the airport at Puerto Maldonado for your flight to Cusco located in the high Andes. You are welcomed by our representative and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free so you can acclimatize to the high altitude, relax and explore this fascinating city.
One of the most spectacular days of the tour takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas that was once an important source of food to Incan people. Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that keep supplying the city of Cusco with much of its production. As it lays 600 metres lower than Cusco, its average temperature is 5ºC higher so it has got a very pleasant climate.
The tour shows us around the major archaeological sites placed in Pisaq and Ollantaytambo. At Pisaq, an optional two hour (5 km) trek allows us to fully appreciate this huge antique Incan city nestled high above the Sacred Valley of the Incas and is made up of an Intiwatana, a temple complex, residential areas and far reaching agricultural terracing, with the exquisite Urubamba River far below. The full of life markets of the valley are open in the mornings, you can buy Peruvian art, jewellery and fabrics and observe the classic fruits and vegetables markets where local people buy and sell.Then, we stop in Urubamba, considered to be the capital of the valley, where we have a buffet lunch offering Andean cuisine (not included in the package).
Afterwards, we continue to the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo, with its impressive temple complex and interesting village, the only place in Peru that still retains its original Inca street plan. This major ruin is known as the best surviving example of Incan urban planning and engineering! But Ollantaytambo is more than that, it is an alive and breathing Incan town! We stay overnight here to absorb its unique atmosphere as well as to get ready for the Inca Trail the next morning!
The 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is physically demanding but worth it! An entire system of connections of joining roads linked Cusco to its colonies and its other commonwealths. The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was part of that system. This wonderful route runs from high mountains down to cloud forest, going through ecological zones with an array of flora and avifauna and a variety of archaeological sites. There will be cooks, and porters to carry most of the equipment so you just need to bring a backpack with the necessities. It is within the ability of the most reasonably fit. This 44 km (27 mile) trek is often steep with 2 high passes to be crossed. Temperatures at night may fall below zero so it is important to be prepared for that! It also sometimes rain, even in the dry season.
Day 6: From the trailhead at km82 the route follows the left bank of the Urubamba River. We visit the Inca archaeological sites of Willca Raccay and the ruins of Llacatapata. We then continue up the Cusichaha River Canyon which offers magnificent views of the Cordillera Oriental, including the beauteous Veronica Mountain (5850m). Lunch in Chamana and continue along the Cusichaca River until reaching the village of Huayllabamba. From there we ascend through high Andean land coverd with trees and bushes named to a large area of flat land without trees named Llulluchapampa, the location of our first campsite.
Day 7: You will cross the highest pass on your second day at Warmiwañusca (translates to 'Dead Woman's Pass)! (4050m)(13,280ft) before descending as far as Pacamayo where you have a lunch break. We then go down hill, along a paved Incan road to the ruins of Runkuracay and Sayacmarca. We then you get over the second pass - Abra Runkuracay and walk down the 'Royal Inca Highway' down to Sayacmarca, finally reaching our campsite at Chaquicocha.
Day 8: Today we come into the cloud forest and descend to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca by way of a stone stairway. This is one of the best preserved and completed sites. It is on top of a hill and its name in Quechua means "Town above the clouds". After a guided tour we have lunch there. From there the route goes down a dizzying slant along Inca stone steps for about 3 hours to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna, a charming Inca site positioned in thick forest. We have a guided tour, after dinner we set up camp at Wiñay Wayna.
Day 9: We hike the ancient steps to Intipunku, the Sun Gate, a further 2 hours from where we get our first sight of MachuPicchu. Accompanied by our guide we will go to the temples, houses, agricultural terraces and palaces and then have some time to have a look by ourselves. Afternoon return to Cusco by train.
Early morning of the last day, you will trek the last 5 kilometers of the Inca Trail to reach Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) before sunrise where we will enjoy the sanctorium of Machu Picchu as the sun comes up. You will have guided tour of the site and free time to explore. After your visit you descend to the town of Aguas Calientes where you can eat and unwind before taking your train back to Cusco in the evening.
Machu Picchu, the commonly named "Lost City of the Incas" stayed undamaged because it was never found by the invading Spanish. Built on a high, forested mountain overlooking the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu were lost in time and thick vegetation until they were found in July 1911 by the American historian, Hiram Bingham.
Our guide will describe the history of this one-of-a-kind place and guide us around its terraces, temples, palaces and watercourses.
Please note! Inka Trail is closed during Februaries due to general maintenance. Also, closures sometimes may occur as a result of inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. In this case, we may hike the 4 day Lares Valley Trek.
FREE OPTION: Those, who are not able or interested in to hiking Machu Picchu, can get back to Cusco or just stay at the Sacred Valley of the Incas and spend the following 2 days there. In this case, they reach Aguas Calientes by a tourist train (Expedition Service). They overnight in a hotel and they take a shuttle bus the next morning to Machu Picchu where they reunite with that first group consisting of the Inca Trail hikers. This option is for no additional cost!!
IMPORTANT: If you decide not to do the trek, you must advice us enough time in advance (usually, a couple of weeks ago) in order to secure your train tickets!! Otherwise, we are not able to guarantee you this option for free!!
If you have any query, please do not hesitate contacting us!
Cusco is situated in extraordinarily handsome Andean countryside. It is 3400 metres above sea level and its inheritance as the center of the Inca Empire is apparent: Most of the city streets are paved with Inca constructed stome walls and is busy with Quechua speaking heir of the Incas.
Today, we need to rest after the hike to Machu Picchu. We can walk around the fascinating capital of the Incas, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs or do some optional activities (such as a Cusco City Tour) as well as get ready for the last night in the city!
During the optional Cusco City Tour, we start the tour with a visit to the Cathedral, constructed between 1560 and 1654 on the site of the palace of the Inca, Wiracocha. we then continue to Qoricancha - the Inca Golden Temple of the Sun and the main temple of the Incan empire. Here we can see some fine instances of Inca stone masonry. We will walk through the Inca lined walled streets on our way to the San Blas neighbourhood, notable today, as in Inca times for its skillful artisans.
You can also explore by yourself some of many very good museums such as the Inca Museum, the Qoricancha Museum, the Archaeological Museum (which also houses a small art exhibition), the Regional Historic Museum and the Religious Art Museum.
The ruins of Sacayhuaman
You can discover the old Inca sanctuary with its extremely large monolithic walls made from stones that weigh up to 130 tons each, all linked perfectly together. You can then stop at the amphitheatre at Qenqo, the fortress of Puka Pukara and the ritual Inca baths at Tambomachay.
Today, we take a tourist bus that takes us to each important site of the Cusco-Puno route.
First, we need to pass through Southern Valley (also called the Sun Route), where we stop at the charming village of Andahuaylillas to visit the famous San Pedro Church, which is called the "Sistine Chapel of the Americas" to observe the quality of its works of art! The church was constructed by Jesuits in the edge of the 16th and the 17th centuries. Its architectural structure is typical of small town churches while its wide walls are characteristic of colonial buildings. It is made of adobe and its facade is decorated with white painting. Two stoned columns are projected towards its main entrance. Although its architecture is relatively modest, its interior is richly decorated with amazing wall paintings!
After seeing the church, we continue towards the pre-Inca site of Piquillacta, the only pre-Inca archaeological site near Cusco. Piquillacta is important for its classic Wari culture style architecture, with two floor houses encircled by an outer wall. The word Pikillaqta is made up of Quechuan words "piki" = flea and "llaqta" = town, so that the meaning of the city´s name was the “City of the Fleas”. It does mean to say that fleas lived in the city nor that its inhabitants were lousy. The name was derived from the fact that each inhabitant lived in cramped conditions, in a very small room. Constructions of Pikillaqta consists of over 200 kanchas (apartments), 504 golgas (storages) and other constructions. The city accommodated a population of approximately 10 thousands of inhabitants! Some investigators supposed that Pikillacta turned into a city of “mitimaes” during Incan times ("Mitimae" comes from the Quechuan word "mitma" meaning "resettlement". Mitimaes were originally groups of families taken by Incas from their native place to loyal or conquered towns to perform political, cultural, social, and economic functions.).
After this guided tour, we continue to Raqchi where we observe the Temple site of Wiracocha (Incan god - creator).
Then, we go to La Raya representing the border between Cusco´s region and Puno´s region. This place is well- known for its viewpoint overlooking splendid views of surrounding Andes.
Our last stop is in the village of Pucara where we visit the Lithic Museum exhibiting artefacts of an pre-Inka culture.
Finally, we reach the Puno City, where we accommodate ourselves in a hotel.
Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore around Puno, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs, take some optional activities (for example, a visit of the Chullpas de Sillustani) and enjoy the last night in the city.
Puno is the most important city of the same named region. The city is considered as the Capital of Folklore because of its typical dances, for example, the Sikuri and the Diablada that are typical dances performed during festivities such as the Virgen de la Candelaria, the city’s patron.
Today, we take a tourist bus to get to the commonly named "White City" - Arequipa, which is the second most important and biggest city of Peru! The city is placed at 2380 m above sea level and is surrounded by Andean mountain range. Arequipa´s city centre is built from a white volcanic stone called sillar. For this reason, buildings in its centre dazzle in the Sun that result in the nickname - the White City. The highlight of the city is its Cathedral with its main square: the Plaza de Armas that can be viewed from one of the many surrounding coffee shops. Also the church and cloisters of the Jesuit church, colonial mansions, San Francisco Church, the artisan fair and the overlook at Yanahuara. Those, who are interested in history and architecture, may take an optional visit to the Santa Catalina Convent offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a way of life in bygone times. It was built in 1580 and was entirely secluded from the outside world until 1970. We can also view the Misti Volcano (5,822 m/19,096 ft.) from the city with its beautiful snowcapped peak. The historic centre of Arequipa was declared by UNESCO as a "World Cultural Heritage"!!
We can also offer you some of our optional Arequipa tours, for example, an Arequipa City Tour or an Arequipa Rural Tour (not included in the package).
Overnight in a comfortable 3 star hotel.
Colca Canyon is one of the world's deepest canyons! It covers an area of about 100 miles (160 kilometers), 5 hours northwest of Arequipa. Colca Valley is a colourful Andean valley with pre-Incan roots and towns founded in Spanish colonial times. These towns are still inhabited by the people of Collagua and Cabana cultures! Local people preserve the traditions of their ancestors and the farmers still cultivate the hundreds of pre-Incan stepped terraces for agricultural purposes. Life in the valley has changed very little over the centuries.
The canyon is home to the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), a specie that has been in focus of worldwide conservation efforts. Condors can be seen in range as they fly along the canyon´s walls. A popular tourist stop is a viewpoint named "Cruz del Condor" (Condor´s Cross) where people watch condors soaring on warm air waves in the morning and the afternoon. This point is situated at 1,200 metres (3,960 ft) below the rims of the canyon, 60km from Chivay. The back drop at the canyon is utterly beautiful.
We leave Arequipa in the morning, arriving in Chivay around midday.On the way, you can appreciate the incredible landscape of the Altiplano reaching up to 4,900 metres above sea level. We stop on the way at Cañahuas, a wildlife reserve where you can hope to observe beautiful South American cameloids such as alpacas, llamas, vicuñas, some birds, viscachas as well and now and again the much scarcer guanaco. Later on, we get to the town of Chivay, where we accommodate ourselves in a hotel. In the afternoon you are free to discover the village on foot. After that, you can visit the local thermal baths called La Calera where temperatures reach 38°C, just outside the town. In the evening, we have dinner at a local restaurant and then we overnight in our hotel.
The second day, we leave Chivay to visit the Cruz del Condor to observe the very large Andean condors flying above the valley on the morning thermals. Before we get there, we make some stops along the way to view the local villages of Cabanaconde and Yanque with their colonial churches and typical clothing as well as the nearby pre-Incan tombs placed in the mountain walls.
After our visit to the Cruz del Condor, we start our return to Arequipa City via Chivay, where we get to in the late afternoon.
Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore around the Arequipa City on your own. So you can visit its markets, and buy some souvenirs. You may also visit the peaceful Santa Catalina Monastery, the Juanita Mummy Museum, watch locals during their daily activities or undertake the Arequipa City Tour, if you had not time to do so at the arrival. After that, you can enjoy Arequipa´s nightlife!
We take a flight back to Lima today. Then we transfer you from Lima airport to your hotel to be later given time off to explore the city on your own. You can do some optional activities such as the Lima City Tour that we can arrange for you upon request. This starts with a trip to the main sights of the centre of Lima: the government palace, the Arab-influenced design of San Francisco church which includes a mostrance made in 1671 and an assemblage of jewels and underground tunnels. The tour then continues with a stop to the closeby Cathedral on the main square which is furnished with the city's emblem and contains the remains of Francisco Pizarro, the establisher of Lima. You can also visit some of local excellent museums such as the Rafael Larco Herrera Museum housing an impressive collection of pottery, mummies and textiles of the Paracas and Nazca cultures or the notable Gold Museum which contains an exceeding private collection of more than 6500 pieces from the Mochica, Nasca and Chimu cultures collected by the philanthropist Miguel Mujica Gallo. Limeños (Lima’s residents) are friendly and the city itself is full of marvellous coffee shops, restaurants, especially "cevicherias" so that seafood lovers will feel like in a paradise! The rich districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro, situated on the the coast, offer perfect nightlife so do not forget to enjoy your last night there! Overnight in your hotel.
Transfer to the Lima´s airport for your international flight.
End of service!
Meal budget: Please allow USD 200-250 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 and a single tent for the Inca Trail.
Local flights: All local flights are 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!