Peru Encompassed - 20 days
Explore the incredibly diverse country of Peru and three of its contrasting landscapes – the Andean mountains, the desert and the Amazon rainforest. Get a taste of Bolivia in La Paz, see condors soar over the Colca Canyon and discover the Lost City of Machu Picchu.
Sunday. Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival at the Lima airport you’ll be transferred to our hotel in the city. The rest of the day is at leisure. To get a feel for colonial Lima, take a cab to the Plaza de Armas and watch the changing of the Palace Guard at noon. Walk the streets surrounding the Jiron de la Union for great examples of Spanish-colonial architecture and to get a taste for life in a large South American city.
Today we explore the city on a walking tour. Declared a UNESCO world Heritage site thanks to its marvelously preserved architecture, our tour begins exploring the amazing Plaza de Armas is where you’ll find the Government Palace and the daily changing of the guard whilst nearby, adorning the streets is the beautiful Cathedral and various small palaces and colonial balconies. The afternoon offers free time to explore the city further. Perhaps hunt for a bargain at the busy Polvos Azules Mercados or head to one of the pulsating salsa clubs for a night on the tiles.
Overnight: Lima | Breakfast
Lima - Arequipa. We depart the capital this morning and take a short flight to Peru’s second largest city, Arequipa. Upon arrival the rest of the day is free to explore the ‘white city’. There are some fantastic restaurants in Arequipa and it is possible to enjoy many Peruvian delicacies, a lot of which originated here.
Overnight: Arequipa | Breakfast
We begin our day with a walking tour through the heart of the city, wandering through colonnaded plazas, and passing the famous baroque style architecture. We visit the Santa Catalina Convent, which is almost a city in itself with its maze of cobbled streets, cloisters and decorative buildings. In the afternoon there is an optional visit to the Museo Santuarios Andinos, a museum famous for housing the remains of several Inca mummies that have been preserved in freezing conditions, including the bodies of Incan child sacrifices to the gods.
Overnight: Arequipa | Breakfast
Arequipa – Colca Canyon. Today we drive through the Colca Valley, passing traditional towns, natural lagoons, volcanic peaks and the vicuna national reserve along the way. This is a great place to see many vicunas (a relative of the llama), alpacas, llamas and flamingos feeding from the scrub. Our bus begins to climb around the cavernous crater of an extinct volcano and over a high pass before emerging onto the rim of the valley that boasts spectacular views of the fields and villages below. We then descend into the Colca Canyon passing the hot springs where we have the chance to take a dip in its the warm, healing waters before reaching our hotel.
Overnight: Colca Canyon | Breakfast
Our day begins early as we wake up for a trip along the canyon’s edge, following fields of traditional Andean crops of potatoes and quinoa that line the road to the spectacular Cruz del Condor viewpoint. Along the way we’ll stop at small rural villages where the women continue to wear the traditional embroidered dresses, before we reach the top of the trail where we overlook the deepest part of the canyon and watch condors soaring effortlessly skyward from inaccessible crags and rocky ledges. From here you can choose to follow ancient footpaths linking adobe villages and follow the paths of ancient aqueducts, with spellbinding views down to the canyon floor.
Overnight: Colca Canyon | Breakfast
Colca Canyon - Puno. After breakfast, we take a scenic journey by road across the Andes to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which at 3,855 metres above sea level, is the highest navigable lake in the world. On the way we’ll make stops along small highland lakes in the hopes of seeing some of the flamingos feeding in the mineral-rich waters.
Overnight: Puno | Breakfast
Lake Titicaca, Uros Islands
Puno - Copacabana (Bolivia). Our day begins with a boat trip on Lake Titicaca to see the remarkable floating islands of Uros. These unique islands are made of a certain type of reed called totora, which enables them to float. In the afternoon, there is the option to take an excursion to the Chullpas at Sillustani, where towers of tomb stones are set on the treeless shores of a highland lake, which are said to be the burial site of the ancient Hatun Colla chiefs. Then we continue our journey along the lake towards the Bolivian border where we stop to admire the little church at Pomata before continuing to our final destination, Copacabana.
Overnight: Copacabana | Breakfast
Lake Titicaca & Copacabana
We have the day at leisure to explore Copacabana, which gave Rio’s famous beach its name. This picturesque little town, with its white washed buildings, is a religious sanctuary. Its Moorish-style basilica is frequented by pilgrims who bring flowers and other gifts to be blessed by the 16th century Dark Virgin of the Lake. If you have the energy in this rarefied air, climb the stations of the cross for views out over the lake and the snow-capped cordillera in the distance. From Copacabana there is an optional excursion to the Isla del Sol (Sun Island). Legend has it that this mystical spot is the birthplace of Inca civilisation: the children of the Sun God sprung from its depths to found the empire in Cuzco.
Overnight: Copacabana | Breakfast
Copacabana - La Paz. We travel by road to La Paz on day 10. Built in a steep valley that protects the city from the harsh elements of the Altiplano, just about every building in La Paz is built on some sort of hill, making La Paz the highest capital city in the world. On arrival we become acquainted with this city on a walking tour along the Plaza Murillo, stopping to admire the indigenous women that still dress in the bowler hats and multi-coloured skirts decreed by the Spanish monarch centuries ago.
The next two days are free to explore La Paz and its bustling atmosphere. There is an optional excursion to the Tiwanaku ruins, considered some of the most important ruins of the continent, where you have the chance to explore the museum which provides an amazingly fascinating insight to the history of the ruins and houses over 100 of the civilisations artefacts.
Overnight: La Paz | Breakfast x 3
La Paz - Cuzco (Peru). We continue our journey along the flat plains of the altiplano before we reach the airport and catch our flight to the vibrant city of Cuzco, which was once known as the capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival we check into our hotel and the rest of the day is free to relax or explore.
The next morning, we enjoy a guided tour of the city and surrounding ruins, taking in some of its most famous landmarks. Highlights include the Q'oricancha, once the principal Inca Sun Temple and the colossal zigzag walls of Sacsayhuaman, a magnificent Inca fortress which overlooks the city of Cuzco. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Cusco | Breakfast x 2
Cuzco – Ollantaytambo. A full day is spent visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We visit the Pisac ruins, perched on a hilltop with incredible views of the surrounding mountains. We then go down to the famous traditional market of the same name, which is full of colour and atmosphere. It's a great place for souvenirs! After lunch, we continue along the valley to the temple/fortress of Ollantaytambo with its enormous Inca terracing constructed on the side of a steep mountain.
Overnight: Ollantaytambo | Breakfast
Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu. Our day begins with an incredibly scenic 2-hour train journey from Ollantaytambo to the iconic lost city of Machu Picchu. Situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba River and surrounded by tropical forest, the Inca city enjoys a truly spectacular setting and it's one of the most fascinating ancient sites in the world. Believed to have been built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti, the site was abandoned at the time of the Spanish Conquest and lay buried beneath tropical cloud forest until 1911 when it was discovered by the American historian and explorer Hiram Bingham, who brought it to the world’s attention. Following a guided tour of the ruins we spend the night in the spa village of Aguas Calientes, a couple of kilometres upstream.
Fancy hiking some of the Inca Trail without interrupting your tour? We can organise for you to walk the mini Inca Trail on this day, but still, have a guided tour of the ruins and stay with the group in the evening. Please ask us for more details.
Overnight: Aguas Calientes | Breakfast
Machu Picchu - Cuzco. The morning is free to relax or there is the option to revisit Machu Picchu and continue to explore some of the main trails within the site. You can follow the steep path up Huayna Picchu for spectacular views of over the ruins, or hike to the Inca bridge carved into the cliff edge before we return to Cuzco on the train in the afternoon.
Please note those wanting to book the trails need to enquire with the office and pre-book as availability is limited.
Overnight: Cusco | Breakfast
Cuzco - Amazon. Today we bid farewell to our tour leader before our transfer to the airport for a flight to the jungle community of Puerto Maldonado, gateway to the Amazon. Upon arrival we jump on board a boat and make our way to our eco-friendly lodge where once settled, we can begin to explore the jungle with the help of the local guides, enjoying the rich landscapes and the diverse flora and fauna. You may spot caiman alligator from the boat and you can observe the abundant bird life from our lakeside-viewing platform.
The next day, after an early breakfast, we hike deeper into the jungle, enjoying the surroundings and exploring the delights and hidden wonders of the Amazon Rainforest. There will be several excursions available to participate in including a walk to oxbow lake, an evening boat trip spotting alligator, exploration of a tributary in a small canoe or a night time jungle walk.
Overnight: Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Friday. Amazon - Lima. Our adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. Wake up to the sounds of the jungle before returning to Puerto Maldonado for a flight back to Lima to connect with your international flight.
Please note: International flights from Lima will need to depart from 18.00 onwards. Alternatively we can book post tour accommodation upon request.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies to travellers who would like the comfort of their own room (on all or many of the tour nights) and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
Hotel El Tambo Peru, Lima
Situated in the attractive Miraflores district is the El Tambo Hotel, within walking distance of the beach and the Miraflores main square. The bright guestrooms offer views of the city or the hotel gardens and is feature a TV and safe. You can dine in the on-site restaurant which specialises in Peruvian delicacies and enjoy your breakfast on the garden lawn – you’re bound to enjoy soaking up the morning sun.
La Hosteria Hotel , Arequipa
This bright colonial style hotel is set in a central Arequipa, within walking distance of the main square, and historic district. Each of the guest rooms feature dark wooden furnishings, with modern facilities including minibar and TV. Alongside its ideal location, the hotel also boasts a vibrant inner courtyard with an indoor pool and spa. Spent an afternoon sipping on a drink in the courtyard, or relax with a lovely massage before heading out in the evening and exploring in the evening.
Casa Andina Standard Colca , Colca Canyon
Situated in Chivay at the edge of the Colca Valley, the Casa Andina Standard Colca offers rustic style accommodation in traditional stone houses and is the perfect hotel for those looking to explore the canyon. The simply furnished guest rooms feature a work desk and a heater for the Andean climate. You can dine in the on-site restaurant which offers a variety of Peruvian cuisine. Guests can also enjoy a lovely terrace and fountain or curl up in front of the fireplace.
Hotel Intiqa, Puno
Packed with local flavour, this modern hotel showcases the best of local Pukara culture. Both the building’s interior and the guestrooms are decorated with Pukara art and icons. The rooms are also well-equipped with modern amenities and feature warm tones to provide a cosy atmosphere. At the onsite Pachamama Restaurant guests can enjoy a la carte regional cuisine as well as drinks made from local herbs such as muña and a delicious Peruvian hot chocolate. With staff that never stop smiling, you can be sure to feel very welcome here.
Hotel Rosario Del Lago Copacabana , Copacabana
Set next to the Titicaca Lake, the Hotel Rosario del Lago offers an excellent location in Copacabana. Its guestrooms are individually decorated to highlight elements of Andean culture and boast lake views. To keep you entertained there’s a games room and a garden where you can enjoy a barbecued meal overlooking the lake. The onsite restaurant also serves local cuisine and boasts a selection of the finest Bolivian wines, so you can look forward to a delightful glass of wine in front of the fireplace after a day’s exploring.
Hotel Rosario La Paz, La Paz
Located at the centre of La Paz's Museum District, the Hotel Rosario is the perfect accommodation for anyone looking to immerse themselves in Bolivian culture. Set within a former colonial building, the beautiful property encompasses a stunning courtyard as well as elegant rooms. Authentic Andean handicrafts cover the walls and beds in each room giving the hotel a touch of tradition that certainly doesn't go amiss. The hotel's restaurant offers a selection of hearty Bolivian dishes, which can be washed down with a glass of local wine. The accommodation is located just 5 minutes on foot from the train station.
Hotel Ruinas , Cusco
Situated in the real heart of Cusco, Hotel Ruinas is just two blocks from the city’s main square and close to the Santo Domingo Church. Its spacious guestrooms feature traditional handcrafted furniture and free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. But it’s the food here that’s the most highly recommended, with a generous breakfast buffet followed by a la carte lunch and dinner menus. Expect a delicious mix of Peruvian and international cuisine served by a great team of friendly staff.
Tunupa Lodge , Ollantaytambo
Located just minutes from the main square and train station, Tunupa Lodge boasts spectacular mountain views and is perfect for nature lovers. Guestrooms are simple yet comfortable, featuring private bathrooms and views of the surrounding scenery of the Nevado Veronica. The onsite restaurant offers traditional cuisine as well as an A la carte menu. Take time to enjoy the natural surroundings during your stay, the grounds attract llamas.
Waman Inn, Aguas Calientes
Located on top of a hill just minutes’ walk from Aqua Calientes main square, the Waman Hotel is a rustic charming hotel and the perfect base for those wanting to visit the famous Machu Picchu. Its bright guestrooms feature wood furnishings and include a private bathroom, free WiFi and a flat screen TV. You can dine in the onsite rooftop restaurant and from there go up to the atrium lookout for spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and town below, there’s certainly plent of opportunities for you to enjoy the vistas.
Inkaterra Haciencda Concepcion, Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon
Built in a former cacao and rubber plantation, Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion is a rustic chic jungle lodge. Guests stay in rooms or cabanas, all with beautiful interiors, delightful en suites and comfortable beds. Meals are served in a buffet style, using only the best local ingredients and especially good homemade breads. The lodge also a friendly bar with free Pisco sours served between 5 and 7pm! Positioned within walking distance of the beautiful and secluded Lake Sandoval in the Peruvian Amazon.