Trails to Titicaca - 15 days
See the best of Peru with fascinating Inca ruins, colourful Indian markets, spectacular mountain scenery and the lush landscapes of the Amazon rainforest. End with a little taste of Bolivia and the dizzy heights of La Paz.
Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival at Lima Airport you'll be met and transferred to our joining hotel. 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. Later this evening our group welcome meeting takes place.
Lima – Amazon Jungle. A short flight takes us to the jungle community of Puerto Maldonado, the starting point for our journey into the Amazon. From here a bus followed by a motorised canoe ride downriver brings us to our jungle lodge. During our time in the rainforest we’ll visit Monkey Island, renowned for its great variety of monkey species, as well as birdlife. Trekking through dense jungle and marshland, our guide will point out the various species of bird and plant found in the forest. We will enjoy the view of the lake from our viewing point/observation platform, where you can experience the canopy wildlife such as parrots, guacamayos, toucans, camungos, shanshos, herons, turtles and caiman. There will also be an opportunity to take a canoe ride drifting along one of the small lakes hidden away in the jungle, observing caiman and the abundant bird life.
Overnight: Amazon | Breakfast x 1, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Today we head back to Puerto Maldonado for our return flight to Cuzco where the rest of the day is free to explore this fascinating ancient capital.
Overnight: Cuzco | Breakfast
Cuzco – Ollantaytambo. A full day is spent visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas, including the Pisac ruins, a traditional Indian market and the temple fortress of Ollantaytambo with its enormous Inca terracing constructed on the side of a steep mountain.
If you are doing the Inca Trek to Machu Picchu, tonight you will stay in Ollantaytambo. If you are doing the Lares Trek or have opted to take the train to Machu Picchu, this afternoon, you will return to Cuzco where you will spend the night.
Overnight: Ollantaytambo | Breakfast
Cuzco – Inca Trail Trek. On day 6 we begin the once in a lifetime journey on the ancient trail of the Incas. Spread over four days, the spectacular 44-kilometre Inca Trail Trek crosses three stunning high passes and encounters many ancient archaeological sites, culminating at the citadel of Machu Picchu. There are few treks in the world that combine natural beauty, history and mystery with such an awe-inspiring final destination.The trek begins after a short bus journey and the first day is a relatively easy 4½ hour 13 kilometre walk. Day 7 will be your biggest challenge as you reach the highest pass at Warmiwañusca (4,200 metres) which translates to “Dead Woman's Pass”! You will cover approximately nine kilometres in about 5-7 hours and after the high pass it's all down hill as the trail winds its way along old Inca stairs to our campsite. On day 8 we pass the ruins of Runkurakay, Sayacmarca and Phuyupatamarca, walking approximately 15 kilometres in seven hours.
If the Inca Trail Trek is not available you can opt to hike the scenic Lares Trek or enjoy free time in Cuzco and visit Machu Picchu by train (see bottom of page for further details).
Overnight: Inca Trail (camping) | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Machu Picchu - Cuzco. On the last morning of the Inca Trail Trek, after an overnight stop at Wiñay-Wayna, you will rise early for the final walk to Machu Picchu and greet daybreak over the famous “Sun Gate”. There will then be time to explore on your own or simply take in the magnificence of the place after our guided tour of the ruins. After spending most of the day at Machu Picchu you have the chance to meander through the markets of Aguas Calientes before enjoying a scenic train ride back to the Sacred Valley where our transfer to Cuzco will be waiting.
Overnight: Cuzco | Breakfast
Enjoy two free days in Cuzco exploring its amazing churches, colonial buildings and picturesque streets, many of which have Inca walls, arches and doorways. On a hill overlooking the city stands the ceremonial fortress of Sacsayhuaman, where some of the most spectacular Inca walls can be found, including a massive 130 ton stone. There are also many optional excursions and activities available such as white water rafting, horse riding, mountain biking and canoeing on offer.
Overnight: Cuzco | Breakfast x 2
Cuzco – Puno. Leaving Cuzco, we'll drive along roads abundant with herds of llamas, alpacas and vicuñas before reaching the Altiplano (high plain) where our journey takes us past hot mineral pools, snow capped mountains and through villages where the locals sell food, fur hats and alpaca sweaters. The beautiful scenery is continual all the way to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which at 3,855 metres above sea level, is the highest navigable lake in the world. We'll arrive in time so you can visit the colourful local market.
Overnight: Puno | Breakfast
This morning we take a day trip to Lake Titicaca. We visit the floating reed islands in the Bay of Puno to see the Uros islanders unique way of life and we will have the option to ride in a traditional reed boat. Next stop is Taquile Island, an island on Lake Titicaca still holding up many of the traditions values and customs it was built on. Learn about the way of life, from the reasons for why they do their hair the way they do and how they dress. Famous for their textiles and clothing, you will be able to pick up a homemade gift or two from the main square.
Overnight: Puno | Breakfast
Puno to La Paz
Puno - La Paz. As we continue our journey we have breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains as the road winds its way into La Paz, the highest capital city in the world at 3,636 metres. Built on a series of hills and considered one of the world's most beautiful cities, La Paz was established in the basin of a canyon with the snow-capped Mount Illimani in the background. Our hotel is very centrally located and is just around the corner from the city's colourful Indian street markets including the fascinating and suitably named 'witches market' where bowler hat wearing women in their flared skirts sell such items as dead cats and llamas foetuses said to ward off evil spirits. The main square, Plaza Murillo, is also within walking distance. The square still retains its colonial buildings including the Presidential Palace. La Paz is possibly the best place to experience a traditional pena show of Andean music and dance where local bands play time -honoured instruments such as zamponas (pipes) and charangos (ukulele). There are also many optional excursions available. You might like to visit the Moon Valley with its stange rock formations shaped by the weather ortake in the incredible views from Mount Chacaltaya and the world's highest ski resort at 5,221 metres. Another fantastic excursion is to the emerald green area of Coroico, the gateway to the Bolivian jungle region and a great place to see sub -tropical vegetation and plants. En route you will cross a 5,000 metre high pass before descending to 1,300 metres on narrow mountain roads bordered by sheer drops. The excursion to Coroico can also be done by mountain bike, as it is downhill nearly all the way and very exhilarating, but not for the faint hearted!
Overnight: La Paz | Breakfast
Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.
Inca Trail , Lares Trek or Machu Picchu by Train
If you have always dreamed of trekking the Inca Trail you will need to book your trip in advance (4 months is ideal) as the number of Inca Trail permits is limited to 500 per day. Booking early gives us the best opportunity for securing one of these permits.
When booking your tour with us we'll need your full name as it appears in your passport, date of birth, nationality and passport number. With this information we can then apply for a permit.
If the Inca Trail is unavailable, you can opt to hike the Lares Trek. With its breathtaking passes, glacial lakes and hot springs, this less crowded option, which also ends with a full day’s visit to Machu Picchu, is thought to be equally if not more spectacular than the Inca Trail. Alternatively you could also choose to spend your time in Cuzco and take a day trip to Machu Picchu by train.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. 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.Read More
Extra Tour Info
Tour was great. Saw a lot and didn't spend too much time just travelling. Our guide wasn't the best. He spent most of his time studying. However most days we had other guides anyway so managed to get a lot from them. ”