I’ll pack a bag… get it?
Let yourself be carried away to the Andes through the notes of the panpipes and the Andean flute. The green of the mountains, the impressive canyons and valleys that the condor flies over will appear before your eyes. If you want to experience tradition, exchange cultures, be amazed by breathtaking landscapes and enjoy one of the best cuisines in the world… this trip will not leave you indifferent.
You will tour the country’s must-see sites: from Lima to Machu Picchu, probably Peru’s most famous site, where history blends with nature.
From Arequipa, surrounded by volcanoes, you will visit the Colca Canyon, crossing the Andes, stopping at islands that still maintain the essence of tradition, to reach Puno and Lake Titicaca.
You will live with the inhabitants of small islands and villages, who will teach you about their daily life and customs. You will delight in your walk through the streets of Cuzco listening to the stories told by the stones of this lively city, and you will finish the adventure with the excitement of the sacred site of Machu Picchu.
It’s hard to choose in Peru, but you can always come back!
DAY 1: City of origin - Lima
Welcome and private transfer to the hotel.
Accommodation in a 3* hotel located in the historical center of the city.
DAY 2: City tour in Lima - flight to Arequipa
You will visit on foot the historic heart of Lima, walking through the different environments, smelling the smells of the kitchen, and admiring the baroque facades, the magnificent balconies of the Torre y Tagle Palace and the pre-Columbian collections of the Central Bank Museum. Then, you will enter the Basilica and Convent of San Francisco, and you will also visit the Plaza de Armas with the changing of the presidential guard composed of dragons or hussars in period uniforms, to finish walking along the pedestrian walkway of Jiron de la Union to the Plaza San Martin.
Free lunch in a small local restaurant to taste the first typical flavors of Peruvian cuisine.
In the afternoon, you will leave for the airport to take the flight to Arequipa, located 1000 km to the south and built at an altitude of 2,300 m, at the foot of a magnificent chain of volcanoes. Transfer to the hotel.
Dinner and overnight at a charming 3* hotel in downtown Arequipa.
DAY 3: Arequipa
Day to walk the streets and beautiful alleys of the historic center of the “White City”, declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity. You will see its magnificent Plaza de Armas surrounded by portals, the baroque facades of the churches and the pediments sculpted in ashlar. Then you will go to the convent of Santa Catalina and walk through the San Camilo market, full of flavors, colors and smells of spices, cheeses, vegetables and meats that compete with the pyramids of the most exotic fruits from the four corners of Peru.
For lunch, a local gastronomic meeting in a “Quinta”, usually attended by locals to taste one of the best regional cuisines. The afternoon will be free to discover the corners of the city dominated by the Misti and Chachani volcanoes.
Accommodation in a charming 3* hotel in downtown Arequipa.
DAY 4: Arequipa - Colca Canyon
Early departure to gradually gain altitude and surround the impressive volcanoes. You will enter the Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve through an immense plateau where vicuñas and later, llamas and alpacas live. With the help of your expert guide, you will be able to get close to one of the many herds in the area. Transportation by shared tourist bus.
You will pass the highest point of the trip (4,910 m) at the Mirador de los Andes. Afterwards, you will have a great descent into the Colca Valley until you reach the village of Chivay, where you will have lunch at an Andean cuisine restaurant.
To continue acclimatizing to the altitude, you will take a short walk near the village where you can learn about the daily life of its inhabitants. These will be your first encounters with the Andean population, heir to ancestral customs and knowledge.
Optionally, you will have the opportunity to visit the hot springs of La Calera.
Accommodation in a charming 3* hotel in Colca.
DAY 5: Colca Canyon - Puno
After breakfast, you will leave in the direction of the Cruz del Condor, along the spectacular Colca Canyon, 3191 meters deep. Here the Colla populations have married with nature by molding thousands of cultivation terraces and following the curves of the relief. Barley, tarwi (edible lupinus), quinoa and kiwicha overlap and form a giant tapestry.
Near the highest point of the trail, you will have an appointment with the lord of the Andes, the great condor. The best condor watching is in the morning, starting at 7:30 am. If you are lucky, you can have a close encounter with this mythical bird that can reach a wingspan of 3.20 meters. Transportation by comfortable bus.
The road will take you back to the beginning of the valley for lunch in Chivay and in the afternoon you will cross the Andes mountain range. In the middle of the mountains you will reach the blue lagoon called “Lagunillas”, in contrast with the pale color of the sheltered hills of Ichu (Andean grassland preferred food of South American camelids). You will cross part of the “Altiplano” to finally reach the city of Puno which is located on the edge of Lake Titicaca, the most navigable and highest lake in the world.
Dinner and overnight at a 3* hotel in downtown Puno.
DAY 6: Puno - Floating Islands of the Uros - Amantani
This morning you have a date with a unique lake in the world: Titicaca. It all starts with a navigation of less than an hour, in a shared covered boat, to reach the islands of Uros where you will have the feeling of walking on a soft and smooth ground. Its inhabitants, the Uros, will welcome us showing us their way of life, their traditions and craftsmanship.
You will continue your journey to Amantani Island. After organizing to stay with the family of one of the villagers, our hosts will introduce us to their traditions, customs, clothing and history.
Lunch usually includes quinoa and fish from the great lake.
In the afternoon, you will walk in the company of your local guide until you reach the top of the island, where the most sacred place for the locals is located. This is the place where the ceremonies of thanksgiving to the Pachamama take place. You are in the heart of the Andes and its cosmovision!
Dancing night with the inhabitants of the island.
Lodging in a local family home.
DAY 7: Amantani - Taquile - Puno
Breakfast and farewell to the local family, with whom you will have shared unforgettable moments, navigation to Taquile where you will meet the inhabitants of this island that are characterized by keeping traditions and ancestral customs. Their mother tongue is Quechua of the Incas. They practice the “sirvinacuy” or love test before marriage. There is no police station because justice is based on the Andean ideology of “ama sua, ama llulla and ama quella” (do not steal, do not lie, do not be idle).
Lunch on the island before returning to the city of Puno.
Accommodation in a 3* hotel in the center of Puno.
DAY 8: Puno - Cusco
In the morning, a private transport will take you to the station to take a semi-private bus to Cusco. The trip passes through breathtaking landscapes, especially between the Altiplano and the inter-Andean valleys. Stop in the village of Pucara to visit the small museum that presents the vestiges of this Andean culture. Ascent to La Raya pass, where the Altiplano ends. This pass is dominated by the magnificent Chimboya glacier that culminates at 5,489 meters. Descend 1,000 meters and cross the fertile valleys of the Cusco region.
Lunch en route.
We continue climbing a little further to Racchi, a typical Andean village where you will visit the Temple of Viracocha, its storage barns and its tambos.
Last stop at the so-called “Sistine Chapel of the Andes” in the town of Andahuaylas, before finally arriving in Cusco.
Accommodation in a charming 3* hotel in the center of Cusco.
DAY 9: Cusco - Sacsayhuaman - Temple of the Sun - Cusco Cathedral
In the morning, visit the city of Cusco. You will start with the imposing Cathedral of the city, followed by the great temple of the sun, known as the Qoricancha or Enclosure of Gold and the great temple of Sacsayhuaman, one of the most significant archaeological legacies of the city. Next, you will visit the sacred site of Q’enqo, where the mummies of the most important rulers are preserved. Finally, you will finish in Tambomachay, a place where water fountains were built that emerge naturally from the mountain itself.
Lunch and free afternoon to enjoy the capital of the Inca Empire.
Transportation: Shared bus with groups of approximately 20 people.
Dinner with traditional dances show.
Accommodation in a charming 3* hotel in the center of Cusco.
DAY 10: Cusco - Sacred Valley - immersion with an Andean host family
We will visit the magnificent Sacred Valley (2,900 m). High above, dominating the valley and considered one of the most beautiful Inca achievements, the site shows the impressive cultivation terraces called “andenes” that literally follow the curves of the mountain.
On the way back to the valley you can lose yourself in the colorful market town of Pisac.
Free lunch at a restaurant en route.
Then, visit Ollantaytambo, one of the most imposing Inca sites with its stone terraces. At the top of the site, you will find yourself in front of the base of the Temple of the Sun and its huge pink granite monoliths.
Finally you will visit Chinchero, a village that has preserved part of its Inca identity. Here José Luis, a local inhabitant, will be waiting for you to take you to his even more remote village to show you the deepest secrets of his Andean culture.
Before dinner, the stories and the presentation of the local family will allow you to share an intimate moment with the Peruvian culture, which few visitors have the opportunity to experience from the inside.
DAY 11: Sacred Valley of the Incas - immersion with an Andean host family
Today you will meet the weavers of the village who will show you their ancestral knowledge of working with wool. You will see the plants and roots used to wash and dye the wool in all shades and learn the weaving techniques.
Then, a short walk to learn about the ways of cultivating the land with manual and ancestral techniques before tasting a “pachamama”. Meats and the inevitable potatoes will be buried with the hot stones and cooked slowly, guaranteed delight!
On the way you will visit the salt mines of Maras. Return to Ollantaytambo to take a seat on the train downhill to Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night.
Accommodation in a 3* hotel
DAY 12: Machu Picchu - Cusco
We will take one of the buses that drive along a spectacular road to the entrance of Machu Picchu. The great moment has arrived, to discover with excitement one of the most sacred sites: the citadel of Machu Picchu, perched between abysses and peaks at 2,400 meters.
Revealed to the world in 1911 by archaeologist Hiram Bentham, Machu Picchu is one of the greatest Inca architectural achievements and has become the emblematic monument of Peru, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We will have lunch in Aguas Calientes and take the train to Ollantaytambo and then to Cusco.
Accommodation in a charming 3* hotel in the center of Cusco.
DAY 13: Free morning in Cusco and flight to Lima
Free morning to rest, recover your strength and enjoy Cusco.
In the afternoon, transfer to the airport to take a flight to Lima.
Dinner and lodging at a 4* hotel located in Miraflores.
DAY 14: Lima - City of origin
Time to say goodbye. Transfer to the airport to take the flight home.
Accommodations associated with community-based tourism
Two nights in the home of local families
A night in a homestay is an unusual experience, but it allows you to spend a few hours in a space that is difficult to see in a “classic” circuit. It is obviously less comfortable than a night in a hotel, but we strive to provide the best possible comfort. We will have a room with comfortable beds, wool blankets for the cold due to the lack of heating, or polar sheets. The bathrooms are clean and correct, but not necessarily inside the room. We are making efforts to equip the houses with solar hot water systems, but for the moment we cannot guarantee that all the houses have this service. Therefore, we recommend having wet towels for personal hygiene in case you do not want a shower with cold water.
Most of the transfers are made by public and semi-private transportation, which reduces the carbon footprint. Public transportation in Peru stands out for its high quality and comfort.
Nature walks (low difficulty). Visits to natural reserves. Observation of local wildlife.
Culture and tradition
Ceremony of the Pachamama. Tasting of local dishes. Close contact with different rural populations and their traditional activities.
A portion of the proceeds is used in a social support fund that helps to continue improving the infrastructure of the communities for the benefit of the villagers and responsible tourism.