This tour is a suggested itinerary designed by our specialist team! Choose this itinerary or alter it to design your own Journey.
This comprehensive tour visits all the major highlights of Peru. Starting in Lima the trip journeys south to Ica, Nazca and Arequipa before heading up into the Andes via Arequipa. Once in the Andes we spend time on Lake Titicaca before heading onto Cusco and of course Machu Picchu.
After Machu Picchu we take a trip down to the Amazon Jungle - a perfect place to relax in your Jungle lodge after such a long itinerary.
DAY 1: Arrival transfer in Lima
Arrive at Lima and transfer to your hotel. Guide assistance is included.
DAY 2: Lima City Tour
Spend some time touring Lima, the Colonial ‘City of Kings’. Visit a number of well-known sites including the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Plaza de Armas, and 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: Arrival transfer in Paracas
You will be transferred from the bus station to your hotel in Paracas.
Transfer to bus station for outward journey from Lima.
Travel by bus from Lima to Paracas.
DAY 4: Maritime Excursion of Ballestas Islands
From the small port of Paracas we take a boat cruise around the Ballestas Islands to see the remarkable marine mammals and birdlife the islands are famous for. We also check out the incredible ancient etchings in the coastal cliffs including the mysterious Candelabra of the Andes. A 180 metre tall painting carved into the side of the mountain along the Paracas Bay. Includes Transfer Hotel - Pier and vice versa.
You will be transferred from your hotel to the bus station for your outward journey.
Travel by bus from Paracas to Nazca.
Arrival into Nazca and transfer to hotel.
DAY 5: Transfer to bus station for onward destination
Transfer to the bus station for your outward journey from Nazca.
This afternoon take a luxury bus with hostess service to Arequipa to arrive at midnight.
On arrival you will be transferred from the Arequipa bus station, to your hotel.
DAY 6: Arequipa Free Day
Today is free to spend at your leisure and discover the city of Arequipa.
DAY 7: Arequipa to Colca Canyon
This morning leave Arequipa and cross the snow-capped Misti, Chachani and the Ampato Volcanoes to arrive at the Colca Canyon. The canyon, thought to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, is home to a large population of Andean Condors which float majestically on the rising thermals as they scan the canyon below. Continuing your journey into the Andes, pass the villages of Torja, Chucura, Patapampa, with their Colonial churches and Inca terracing. In the afternoon, visit the sleepy village of Chivay where you may choose to enjoy La Calera thermo-medicinal baths. Includes transfers and guide.
DAY 8: Colca Canyon to Puno
Following breakfast travel to the ‘Cruz del Condor’, a spot considered to be the best viewpoint to watch the majestical Condors ascending from the valley. After this amazing spectacle, continue your journey passing through a number of villages and taking in the beautiful Andean scenery and fascinating pre-Inca, Inca and Colonial history of the area. In the evening reach Puno, situated on the shores of the famous Lake Titicaca.
Arrive in Puno and transfer to hotel.
DAY 9: Uros and Amantani Overnight - Day 1
Travelling by boat, begin by visiting the Floating Islands of Uros, where the friendly locals continue to practice their traditional way of life, living by fishing. Situated four km from Puno, the original inhabitants of these floating islands are said to descend from one of the most ancient peoples of the Americas. Their dwellings made of totora reed, are built on the surface of Titicaca Lake. Continue to Amantani Island, where you will have the chance to enjoy traditional local hospitality while taking in some incredible landscapes. The island is also home to some captivating archaeological sites including the temples of Pachatata and Pachamama. In the evening you will spend the night with a local family and experience first-hand the traditions and customs of this fascinating island. Lunch & dinner included.
DAY 10: Uros and Amantani Overnight - Day 2
After bidding a fond farewell to your host family, travel to the island of Taquile, a place where time appears to have stood still. Around 350 Quechua-speaking families live here, operating a collective agricultural system dating from the 14th Century. Renowned for textiles - beautifully woven chumpis (belts), chullos (caps), and ojotas (sandals), Taquile’s charm is further enhanced by the stunning landscape and outstanding views of the snow-capped Cordillera Real mountain range. From Taquile, board the boat once more to return to Puno where you will be transferred to your hotel.
DAY 11: Transfer to bus or train station
Transfer to bus or train station for outward journey from Puno.
After breakfast you will be driven across the Altiplano to Cusco. This drive will take you through sleepy Andean villages, 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. Arrive in the famous city of Cusco in the early evening. Includes lunch. Available alternative: Luxury Andean Explorer Train can be booked for an extra charge. Monday-Wednesday-Saturday (November to March) or Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Saturday (April to October). For more information, please ask our sales consultant.
Arrive at Cusco and transfer to hotel.
DAY 12: 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 the giant rock, the ancient site of Puca Pucara and finally the Water Temple of Tambomachay.
DAY 13: 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. There is free time to wander the colourful market stalls before a typical Andean lunch at a local restaurant. 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. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to your hotel in the Sacred Valley or the Ollantaytambo train station to take the train to Aguas Calientes. Includes lunch.
This evening travel by train from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes.
DAY 14: 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. Please contact your sales consultant if you would like to do this.
This afternoon travel by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.
Transfer from the Ollantaytambo train station in the Sacred Valley to Cusco.
DAY 15: Welcome to Refugio Amazonas
You will be met at Puerto Maldonado Airport to transfer by land and a two and a half hour boat journey to Refugio Amazonas. Pass the Infierno Community and arrive into the Tambopata National Reserve, a 1.3 million hectare conservation unit. From Refugio, venture out at night, on the search for caiman, spotting the red reflection from their eyes.
Transfer to the airport for your outward flight from Cusco.
DAY 16: Amazon Activities
After breakfast venture out onto the lake by canoe or catamaran, looking for wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman, horned screamers, macaws and rare otters. Back on land, a thirty minute walk from the lodge will take you to the 25 metre scaffolding canopy tower, complete with staircase. Enjoy excellent views from the tree tops, sighting toucans, macaws and raptors. After lunch you will visit a farm to learn about local agriculture and Amazonian crops before an ethnobotanical tour to learn about medicinal procedures of the region. In the evening, Refugio staff offer lectures covering conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
DAY 17: Amazon Activities
Witness the audio and visual spectacle of a clay lick, watching vibrant coloured macaws and parrots feast on clay. Later, a short hike will bring you to a beautiful brazil nut forest where you can learn about the whole nut process from collection through transportation to drying. In the afternoon, there will be a further clay lick visit, this time to see mammals. Wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of up to twenty to eat clay, alongside deer, guan and parakeets. After dinner you have the option of a night hike when most mammals are active.
DAY 18: Refugio Amazonas Departure
After breakfast, return to Puerto Maldonado for your departure flight. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.
If you're looking for something more adventurous then consider our El Chimu Grande tour. A little longer than this tour and including the four day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.