See the best of Peru on this comprehensive private journey of her highlights. Stand atop the world as you admire the Machu Picchu ruins, explore the capital Lima's key attractions from the historic center to the fascinating Larco Museum, travel to Arequipa and marvel at the architecturally colonial legacy, see the historic monastery, and learn why it's called the White City. See the beautiful Colca Canyon, come face to face with llamas and alpacas, try to spot the majestic condor, and visit rural towns before heading to Puno for a guided tour of the Taquile and Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca. Head to Cuzco admiring the South Valley scenery, explore local villages, including Misminay and Chinchero, and take in the bounty of history at the Sacred Valley before heading to legendary Machu Picchu for two guided tours of the archaeological wonder before ending your tour with a guided walking tour of Cuzco. Complete with English speaking guides, Peruvian cuisine, and much more!
“Every aspect of the tour was professional, fun and executed seamlessly. The guides were fabulous - knowledgeable, flexible, and most importantly fun to be with.”
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Tailor-Made Private Trip
This itinerary is privately guided and crafted to give you an idea of what is possible.
We can tailor this trip and it's inclusions and accommodation to meet your requirements, budget, and interests.
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Prices, if shown, are per person based on a party of at least 2 adults traveling together. The Single Room Supplement cost is in addition to the twin sharing cost for those who would like a single room. If traveling alone, please contact us for a solo traveler cost.
Hotel with daily breakfast, lunches & dinners as indicated, services of expert English speaking local guides, entrance fees to sites listed on the itinerary, shared bus journey from Puno to Cuzco with guide, private A/C transportation with expert drivers, train tickets from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes to Cuzco, and airport transfers. Peak season surcharges may apply. International and domestic flights are not included, please enquire for our preferred rates.
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Upon your arrival at Lima’s International Airport, you will be met by a representative who will be holding a name-board. Receive a warm welcome with transportation to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then depart for your guided tour of Lima’s key attractions. Visit the colonial downtown, the Historic Centre of Lima, go around Main Square where you will see the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Metropolitan City Hall in addition to varied historic and traditional buildings. You will then see Santo Domingo Church and Monastery, recognized as a UNESCO heritage site. Continue on to the modern district of San Isidro, considered the financial quarter of the city where many businesses now call home, and then head to the Larco Museum, housed in an 18th century Viceroyalty-era mansion, surrounded by gardens. With your guide, gain insight into Peru’s intriguing ancient history. Enjoy the best of Peruvian cuisine for lunch in a magical and welcoming atmosphere at the museum restaurant. Later, visit the impressive Magic Water Circuit, one of the biggest water fountain complexes in the world, and must for a night out in Lima. See the choreographed light show as it plays off the fountains, and then head to dinner for delectable Peruvian cuisine.
At the scheduled time, you will be met at the hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Arequipa, one of Peru’s largest cities, located in Southwestern Peru. On your arrival, meet and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Ciudad Blanca (White City), one of the most important in Peru, surrounded by three volcanoes. Founded in 1540, the city has a historic downtown made out almost totally of sillar (a white volcanic stone), from where the city gets its name. Take a tour around the Main Square and its colonial buildings, see the Church of the Society of Jesus, a beautifully ornate exponent from the mixed baroque and Spanish churrigueresque baroque art from the XVII century, along with colorful fresco paintings at the San Ignacio Dome, known as America’s Sistine Chapel. The visit includes Santa Catalina Convent, a monastery of nuns of the Dominican Second Order, and then we will continue on with the tour to appreciate the typical districts of Cayma and Yanahuara, the latter with its viewpoint and church.
You will leave your hotel this morning and pass through Pampa Canaguas, part of the Aguada Blanca National Reserve and Salinas, where you will be able to observe the four species of South American camelids: vicunas, llamas, alpacas and wild guanacos. The journey will go on through the Pulpera area and the rock formation known as the Window of Colca, where you will appreciate the very start of the Colca Valley, before you reach Mollepunku and the formations that look like medieval castles, known as the Callally Castles. The tour goes on through the town of Sibayo and the Canocota Village, until you reach Chivay, the capital of the province of Calloma, where you will check-in to your hotel. You will enjoy a box lunch on the way.
Depart the hotel early to the Cross of the Condor, the best location to admire the Colca Canyon and the flight of the majestic condor. Afterwards, visit the picturesque villages in Pinchollo and Maca Village, and return to the lodge. After lunch, you will start your journey through the high plateau to the city of Puno. The way from Colca to Puno has beautiful natural scenery and impressive views of the lovely Lagunillas lagoon, where you can appreciate trout farms and, very often, Andean flamingos feeding themselves by the lake. On the way, you will visit the Sillustani archeological site, a pre-Incan burial site on Lake Umayo’s shores. The site’s appeal is the tall, stone burial towers, some of which stand 12 meters in height and are 7.5 meters in diameter. You will arrive in Puno by late afternoon where you will check-in to your hotel.
The trip begins early as you head out of the city of Puno towards Taquile Island, about 35 kilometers away and 3950 meters above sea level. The culture on the island dates back to pre-Incan times. The islanders still live according to the traditions and beliefs of their ancestors and are world renowned for their traditional dress and incredible textiles. UNESCO has declared the textile art of Taquile Island as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, a ringing endorsement. Next, while still on the island, you will visit the community of Huayllano, whose members will show you their arts, handicrafts, and farming activities. Afterwards, you will enjoy a traditional lunch and then sail over to the famed Uros Islands, a set of man-made floating islands in the middle of the Lake Titicaca National Reserve. Here, you will meet the islanders, hunters and gatherers and descendants of the first altiplano inhabitants, who still live on totora reed platforms. At the end of the trip you will be taken back to your hotel in Puno.
This morning, after breakfast, you will receive transportation to the bus station where you will take the regular journey to Cuzco with stops and visits en route, admiring the wonderful scenery of the South Valley of Cuzco. You will continue with a visit to La Raya, the highest point on the road between Cuzco and Puno, from where excellent photo opportunities abound. Continue onwards and reach the Raqch’i ruins, known as "The Temple of the Inca God Wiracocha". The last stop will be at Andahuaylillas, a small and rural town, where a stop will be made at a precious church from the 17th century, before arriving in Cuzco where you will check-in to the hotel. This is a group journey, not by private car, and can take upwards of 10 hours or so, with stops en route. Should you be interested in taking the deluxe Andean Explorer train to Cuzco, this service is available Monday, Wednesday & Saturdays all year; also Fridays from April to October. Please enquire for additional cost.
Take a tour of one of the most popular archaeological sites in the city of Cuzco, starting with the Sacsayhuaman archaeological complex, a masterpiece of Incan architecture in which you will see mindboggling huge stone blocks, almost 9 meters in height, placed perfectly together without the use of mortar, a true wonder. Next is the Kenko temple, dedicated to animal worship, and then, Puca Pucara, another Incan archaeological site located on top of a hill and used as a fort and administrative center. Last, there is Tambomachay, a place also known as the Inca Baths. Once you’ve finished there, it’s off to the Urubamba Valley, otherwise known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, for a visit to some of its most attractive towns, like Pisac. In Pisac, visit the ancient city, located on the top of a hillside, an Inca archaeological site that reveals the skill of the country’s ancestors. Then, you will descend to the town, known for its traditional market, where you will be able to do some shopping at your leisure. Your lunch today will be a delicious picnic lunch with magnificent landscapes as your setting.
Today, you will visit two communities that share a rich Andean past. Start the day at Chinchero, 35 kilometers northwest of Cuzco. The townsfolk are famous for having preserved traditional Andean weaving techniques. Next, visit the village of Misminay populated by about 500 families and located at an elevation of 3700 meters. From this height, you will have the most incredible view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the surrounding landscape, and snowcapped mountains. The villagers will share with you their traditional Andean way of life through different activities you can engage in, from weaving demonstrations to plowing with Andean tools, and more. If you wish, you can take a hike around the area and reach the natural lookout at Moray. At the end of the day, you will return to your hotel where you may enjoy the evening at your leisure.
Meet at your hotel for transportation to the Ollantaytambo train station for your train journey to Aguas Calientes. Awaiting you today is one of the most extraordinary experiences on the world map: Machu Picchu. Your adventure starts on a train ride to the city of Aguas Calientes where you will disembark and then board a bus that drives you to the actual Machu Picchu archaeological site to begin your unforgettable Machu Picchu experience. The tour includes every nook and cranny of this Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site; afterwards, there is some free time for you to explore the site on your own and relax in one of the world’s most remarkable settings. Enjoy lunch at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, and at the agreed upon time, you will descend to Aguas Calientes and transfer to your hotel. Dinner is included at the hotel restaurant.
This morning you will have your second guided visit of the Machu Picchu archeological complex and then will the majority of the day at leisure. Today’s visit includes entrance to the citadel, a round trip bus ride and guide. Later, at an agreed upon hour, board the train for your return trip back to Cuzco where you will be met and then transferred to your hotel.
Spend half a day guided walking tour of the city of Cuzco, an ancient capital of the Incan Empire and where we can see the interesting blend of the Incan and Spanish cultures. The outing begins at the Koricancha Temple, an old Incan palace and main center for the worship of the sun god, Inti. Once the Spanish conquered Peru, the Dominican order built a lovely church over this temple’s foundations: the church of Santo Domingo, which is still there today. You will continue on foot to the neighborhood of San Blas, where the finest artisans of Cusco live and work. At the scheduled time, you will be transported to the airport for your evening flight to Lima where you will connect with your international flight onward.
Day 4: Admire the scenery of the Colca Canyon.
Days 10 & 11: Explore the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu.
This itinerary has been tried & tested and can be booked as-is. However, should you wish to customize your tour, you may contact us here.
LAKE TITICACA EXTENSION
LIMA, PARACAS & CUZCO