Take in the highlights of Peru's capital before flying to captivating Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire. Discover the wonders of the Sacred Valley and enjoy an incredibly scenic train journey to the spectacular 'lost city' of Machu Picchu. Meet the islanders of Lake Titicaca and end your adventure back in Lima on this 11 day tour of Peru.
Today we explore the beautiful city of Lima, also known as the 'city of kings'. Our guided tour takes us through Plaza San Martin, also taking in Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace and the City Hall. We continue with a visit to the San Francisco Monastery and its famous underground crypts which are home to an estimated 70,000 remains. This bright yellow architectural wonder also houses an incredible library, holding thousands of antique texts, some of which pre-date the conquest in the 16th century. Later we take in the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, where we see Huaca Pucllana, an impressive clay pyramid that represented the ceremonial and administrative centre of the Lima culture. We also visit El Olivar park, a peaceful space with olive trees that were brought to Peru in the 15th century. The final stop on today's tour of Lima is El Parque del Amor, a romantic spot is situated on the cliffs of Miraflores overlooking the Pacific ocean. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this fascinating city at your own pace.
Lima is fast becoming one of the gastronomic capitals of the world and later this afternoon there is the opportunity to join an exciting optional Lima Gourmet Food Tour, combining gastronomic delights with walks around the capital, experiencing the local culture. Please contact us to book.
Overnight: Lima | Breakfast
Lima - Cusco. This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Cusco. Arriving into Cusco the rest of the day is free to relax and adjust to the altitude. This beautiful city full of history and intrigue, is located 3,399m above sea level.
The following morning we take in the highlights of the beautiful city of Cusco on a guided tour. Starting at the Plaza de Armas, built on the remains of one of the most important Incan gathering spots, we also visit the cathedral, the Kenko Amphitheatre and the impressive Sacsayhuaman Fortress. Built between 1438 and 1474, Sacsayhuaman Fortress took over 20,000 labourers to build and some of the magnificent stone work measures over 4 metres in height and over 100 tons in weight. The afternoon is free to stroll around the cobbled streets, visiting handicraft shops, markets and cafes.
Overnight: Cusco | Breakfast x 2
Cusco - The Sacred Valley. Departing Cusco we travel to the Sacred Valley of the Incas today. Our first stop is the popular Pisac markets where we have the chance to see the variety of colourful handicrafts on offer. Originally only held on Sundays, Pisac Market was a place for artisans from across the region to trade in their products. Today the market is a daily occurrence where locals and visitors alike can find some of the finest textiles, jewellery and clothing typical of this area of Peru. We continue our journey to the remarkable Ollantaytambo fortress which was constructed to guard the entrance to this part of the valley and protect it from possible invasions of tribes from the jungle lowlands. One of the best examples of Incan architecture, many of the inhabitants of Ollantaytambo still live according to the customs and traditions they have inherited from generations of ancestors, leading to it being known as a living Inca town. We spend the night at a converted 18th century monastery nestled in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
Overnight: Sacred Valley | Breakfast
Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Cusco. We have an exciting day ahead, starting with a short drive to the Ollantaytambo train station where we board the train for a scenic journey to Aguas Calientes. Remember to look out the windows as the scenery along the way is utterly breathtaking. In Aguas Calientes we board a bus which takes us along a winding path up the slopes of the great Machu Picchu mountain to the famous Inca citadel.
The incredible lost city of the Incas is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba River, surrounded by tropical forest. Completed in the latter half of 15th Century, archaeologists believe Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Pachacuti, an Incan leader who reigned from 1438 to 1471. Built in the classical Inca style with polished dry-stone walls and terraces that seem to have been crafted naturally from the rock escarpments, Machu Picchu is a spectacular testament to the greatness of the Inca civilisation. Only a century after its completion however, the citadel was abandoned during the Spanish conquest and only thrust into the spotlight in 1911 when it was discovered by the American historian and explorer Hiram Bingham, who brought it to the world's attention.
We explore Machu Picchu on a guided tour and then return to the spa town of Aguas Calientes where there's time to stroll around before travelling by train back to Cusco.
Overnight: Cusco | Breakfast
Enjoy a free day in Cusco to explore the city at your own pace. Alternatively you may wish to join one of the optional excursions on offer. Visit the local Andean market town of Chinchero on a half day tour. Chinchero has one of the most traditional markets in South America, and here you will find locals in colourful traditional dress, buying and selling their produce.
Alternatively, for the fit and active, there's an optional full day excursion to Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain (offered from March to November), with lunch included. After a scenic 2.5 hr drive through rugged mountain scenery, trek with a guide to the summit of Rainbow Mountain, with its striking bright stripes of mineral deposits.
Overnight: Cusco | Breakfast
Cusco - Puno. After an early breakfast, we travel by tourist bus to Puno (approx. 10 hr journey), passing by the lovely Wacarpay Lake, with spectacular views of the mountains reflected in its calm waters. Along the way we make a couple of stops, the first one being in Andahuaylillas to see the Church of San Pedro, which has been given the nickname the Sistine Chapel of the Americas. Moving along, we pass through herds of llamas and spectacular landscapes until we get to Ayaviri, an important livestock and textile centre. Here, we see the Temple of Kalasaya, remnants of a Pucara structure. After a stop for lunch at a countryside restaurant, we continue on to Puno, our base for the next two nights.
The following day we take 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 it to float, despite the weight of a civilisation upon it. We then move on to Taquile Island, where we can mingle with the Quechua-speaking locals and learn about their efficient and unique social system as well as their fine hand weaving techniques, passed down from generation to generation. We're invited into a local home for lunch to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal. After lunch we explore more of this remarkable island including some of the islands archaeological sites. Later this afternoon we return to Puno.
Overnight: Puno | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2
Puno - Lima. This morning we head to Juliaca Airport for our flight back to Lima. Transfer to our hotel in Miraflores and then the rest of the day is free to spend at leisure exploring the beautiful Peruvian capital. Why not visit one of the many fantastic museums around the city, showcasing everything from pre-Colombian art to archaeological gems.
Overnight: Lima | Breakfast
Today our tour of Peru comes to an end with a transfer to Lima airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates marked with a 'G' are operating. All dates are guaranteed to operate when there are 2 persons booked on the tour. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Single Room' prices are applicable to solo travellers or anyone wanting the privacy of a single room.
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.
Hilton Garden Inn Miraflores, Lima
The modern Hilton Garden Inn is conventionally located within the heart of Miraflores, only a 5-minute stroll from Miraflores Central Park and Kennedy Park. Nearby are the popular tourist locations; the Huaca Pucllana Ruins and Peru’s own Bridge of Sighs, enriched with a tale, should you choose to visit. The Inn provides a wide range of features including 24-hour frontal desk service, room service, digital TV and the fitness center equipped with the pool facility and room service. Accommodation at the Hilton Garden Inn offers air conditioning, bar and breakfast.
Sonesta Hotel, Cusco
The recently renovated Sonesta Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Cusco. The Plaza de Armas, Cusco Craft Center, Centro de Textiles and Cusco Museum of Popular Art are all just a short walk away. The well-appointed guest rooms feature either a mountain or city view, with cable TV, free WiFi and private bathrooms. The hotel’s restaurant serves a fusion of Peruvian and international food. There are two bars and a café for you to relax and enjoy a drink after a busy day sightseeing.
Sonesta Posadas del Inca-Yucay, Sacred Valley
Scenically housed in an old monastery at the foot of a mountain in Peru's iconic Sacred Valley, the Sonesta Posadas del Inca-Yucay is located just outside Urubamba and makes a great base for exploring the region. Rooms combine the contemporary and the rustic, featuring private bathrooms, TV, free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. The onsite restaurant serves Andean classic dishes with a modern twist, and there's also a bar for customers to enjoy. As with many rural Peruvian hotels, there are resident alpacas!
Hotel Jose Antonio, Puno
Set on the banks of Lake Titicaca you cannot go wrong with the view from this hotel in Puno. This modern property boasts spacious and comfortable guest rooms outfitted with air-conditioning, safety deposit boxes, TVs and a fully stocked mini bar. The hotel restaurant Sillustani enjoys fantastic has floor to ceiling windows serves up a delectable menu. When you return from a day of sightseeing why not grab a drink from the bar and admire the vista from the lounge. While Hotel Jose Antonio might be located a taxi ride from Puno, but its well worth it for the view.
At a Glance
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