Peru Travel Itinerary

Overview

Start your highlights tour of this wonderful country in Lima, located on the Pacific Ocean, before flying to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. From here you will cross the famous scenery of the Altiplano to the capital of the ancient Incan Empire - Cusco, where you visit the amazing Machu Picchu ruins. Finally return back to the capital city of Lima and learn about it's historic past and taste some of its world class seafood.

DAY 1: Arrival transfer in Lima

On arrival into Lima you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Guided assistance is included.

DAY 1: Lima

Lima, the capital of Peru, sits on the country's arid Pacific coast. Founded in 1535, its colonial centre is well preserved, but today Lima is a bustling metropolis and one of South America’s largest cities. The city is home to the various museums including the Museo Larco that houses a collection of pre-Columbian art and the Museo de la Nación, tracing the history of Peru’s ancient civilizations. Lima is known as the “gastronomical capital of the Americas”, encompassing specialties from ceviche and traditional coastal cooking to refined global fare. It even boasts several of the top restaurants in the world.

DAY 2: Lima - City Tour

Today is spent touring Lima, the Colonial ‘City of Kings’. On the city tour you will visit a number of well-known sites including the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Plaza de Armas as well as the Catacombs located beneath the San Francisco Convent. This is a chance to appreciate Lima's magnificent Colonial architecture as well as vignettes of its pre-Colombian past.

DAY 3: Transfer to the airport for onward destination

You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the airport for your outward flight from Lima.

DAY 3: Transfer from Juliaca airport to Puno

On arrival into Juliaca you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Puno, stopping on the way to take in the pre-Inca burial ground of Sillustani. Here you can wander through the remarkable tombs built from volcanic stone. Known as Chullpas, these funerary towers reach heights of up to 12 metres. Overlooking the beautiful Lake Umayo, Sillustani is considered to be one of the most important necropolises in the world.

DAY 3: Arrival in Puno

Puno lies on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. It is the largest city in the Southern Altiplano and an important agricultural and livestock (llamas and alpaca) region. It sits at an altitude of over 3,800 metres and is a picturesque hillside city and a melting pot of the Aymara and Quechua culture.

DAY 4: Full Day Tour to Uros & Taquile Islands

The excursion begins at 6:30am with a transfer from your Puno hotel to the port. We travel by motorboat (35 feet long with 25 individual seats and a covered section in case of rain or cold weather) to the floating reed islands of Uros, situated four kilometres from Puno. Here the locals continue to practice their traditional way of life, living by fishing. The original inhabitants of these floating islands are said to descend from one of the oldest cultures of the Americas. The Uros Islands, as well as the houses on them and the boats used by their inhabitants, are all made from the totora reeds that grow in Lake Titicaca. Optional rides on traditional reed boats can be arranged. We visit two of the 60 islands before continuing on to Taquile Island.

The journey to Taquile Island takes 2.5 hours, giving you the chance to enjoy the spectacular views offered by Lake Titicaca. On arrival at Taquile, we hike for around 45 minutes along a long path that gradually ascends to a village with a unique community. The views along the way are incredible. We visit the communal cooperative where there are craft textiles of a high quality. Lunch is served at one of the many local restaurants. 

After lunch we descend down 500 steps to the main port of the island in time for a 2:30pm departure back to Puno City. We arrive into Puno at 5.30pm and on arrival you will be transferred to your Puno hotel.

(Lunch is included on the tour. Approximate duration of tour: 10 hours.)

DAY 5: Transfer from Puno hotel to bus or train station

This morning, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to either the bus or train station for your journey from Puno to Cusco.

DAY 5: Puno to Cusco

The spectacular journey from Puno to Cusco takes you across the Altiplano and you will travel accompanied by an English-speaking guide. The drive takes you through sleepy Andean villages and past spectacular snow-capped mountains, sheer cliffs and rampaging rivers. Stops along the way include the atmospheric towns of Pucara and Andahuaylillas and the pre-Inca ruin of Raqchi. Lunch is included and you will arrive in the famous city of Cusco in the early evening. 
Approximate duration of drive: 10 hours.

DAY 5: Arrival transfer in Cusco

On arrival into Cusco, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

DAY 5: Cusco

Cusco, set at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Peruvian Andes, was once the capital of the Inca Empire. It is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and Incan remains. Narrow, cobble-stoned streets lined by Inca walls stretch out from the main plaza in every direction. Many of the colonial buildings were built on top of Incan foundations and the stonework is unparalleled in its precision and beauty.

DAY 6: Cusco - City Tour

Take a sightseeing tour through Cusco, the heart of the Inca Empire. Visit the fascinating Qorikancha Temple of the Sun, the 12-Angled Rock and the Cathedral, built on the ruins of an Inca Palace. From here head to the archaeological remains located around the city, including the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo (giant rock), the ancient site of Puca Pucara and finally the Water Temple of Tambomachay.

DAY 7: Sacred Valley Full Day Tour

Today, explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This fertile river valley was home to many important sites for the Incas, both strategic and religious. The first stop is the village of Pisac, with its famous market and Inca Ruins. There is free time to wander the colourful market stalls before heading uphill to the Pisac, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa and Kinchiracay ruins. Enjoy a fine buffet lunch in gardens overlooking the Valley.

Continue your journey along the River Urubamba, to Ollantaytambo. The town, which is dominated by a giant Inca fortress, is perhaps the best surviving example of Inca town planning and was the scene of a rare Inca victory over the invading Spanish. Transfer to your hotel for the night or should you be returning to Cusco, visit Chinchero en route, an important Inca town with a colonial church and plaza.

DAY 7: Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes

Travel from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu in this comfortable train, and let your feet have rest. Enjoy an authentic Andean experience, while relaxing in modern and comfortable interior design illuminated by Latin American music. Comfortable seats with tables in front to share the journey with friends and partake of a refreshing beverage. On-board services includes a fun and refreshing selection of drinks prepared using Andean herbs and fruits, all of which boast revitalising properties to fill you with energy and keep you ready for the next adventure waiting ahead of you.

*Due to limited space for luggage storage on trains, luggage restrictions apply: one bag or backpack (carry-on luggage) with a maximum weight of 5.0 kg/11 lb, measuring no more than 62 linear inches/157 linear cm (height + length + width).

DAY 8: Machu Picchu Guided Tour

Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca site, located 2,430 metres above sea level on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley. It is the most famous of all Inca sites, but it was not until 1911 that it was brought to the world’s attention by the American historian Hiram Bingham. The Incas abandoned the city just prior to Spanish colonisation, the city was never pillaged and as a result the ruins are still in fantastic condition. With its location on a dramatic ridgeline surrounded by sheer cliffs and the Urubamba River on three sides, the city of Machu Picchu is a remarkable place to visit. Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and in 2007 it was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

The tour starts with a bus ride from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu. You will be astonished at your first view of Machu Picchu, a stunning display of ancient architecture with incredible surroundings. Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins and monuments such as the Main Square, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Solar Clock, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Cemeteries. 

Tour includes guided group tour and return bus from Aguas Calientes village. 

Please be aware that your tour of Machu Picchu does not include an entry permit to Huayna Picchu (the iconic hill behind the Machu Picchu ruins). If you want to climb Huayna Picchu then you need to pre-book your permit with at least 3 months in advance. Please contact your travel specialist if you would like to do this. 

DAY 8: Machu Picchu Mountain

Huchuy Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain towers nearly 3,050 metres above sea level and is a spectacular yet often overlooked optional trek at Machu Picchu. It is an excellent option for those who do not want to climb Huayna Picchu or who have been unable to secure a permit for Huayna Picchu.

Located to the south west of the citadel, Machu Picchu Mountain offers unparalleled views of Machu Picchu sanctuary and incredible panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. The Machu Picchu Mountain trek is well marked and ascends gradually from the Warden’s Hut, the views becoming more impressive as you ascend. As you near the top of the mountain, the trail becomes a little more challenging with steeper, narrower steps that wind upwards to a stone gateway and then along a narrow ridge to the summit, where Inca priests once performed rituals on special dates. From the viewpoint there are spectacular views of Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu.

DAY 8: Expedition train: Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo

This afternoon travel by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.

*Due to limited space for luggage storage on trains, luggage restrictions apply: one bag or backpack (carry-on luggage) with a maximum weight of 5.0 kg/11 lb, measuring no more than 62 linear inches/157 linear cm (height + length + width).

DAY 8: Private Transfer Ollantaytambo - Cusco

Transfer from Ollantaytambo train station in the Sacred Valley to Cusco.

DAY 9: Transfer to the airport for onward destination

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your flight from Cusco.


Inclusions & Details

*Inclusions: Airport transfers, accommodation with breakfast everyday, tours as stated on the itinerary, internal flight from Lima to Puno, other meals where stated.