Discover the highlights of Peru as you explore in depth the regions of Cusco and Lake Titicaca. Delve into the living culture of the Andean people as you learn about the history of weaving and local indigenous communities. Included in the tour are visits to the local market of Pisac in the Sacred Valley alongside the important sites of Maras and Moray.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu will certainly be the highlight of your trip. Spend time exploring the extensive citadel and learning about the different sectors and Inca history.
Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world where the indigenous Aymara people live on floating reed islands. You will also visit the island of Taquile to relish the spectacular views of the lake framed by the backdrop of the Cordillera Real mountain range.
12 days / 11 nights
All year round
Any day – this is a flexible tailormade tour
Arrival to Lima with assistance and transfer to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival we can include a half day city tour of colonial and modern Lima. Visit the most iconic sites around the Plaza de Armas main square and explore the upmarket area of Miraflores and bohemian Barranco. A vibrant mix of history and gastronomy, the Peruvian capital of Lima is a great introduction the diversity of the country.
Depart Lima for the short flight to Cusco, high in the Andes mountains. On arrival transfer for approximately 1 hour to Huaran in the Sacred Valley of the Incas where you can gently start acclimatizing to the altitude.
Along the way, stop at Awana Kancha, a demonstration center for South American camelids. Here you will have a close-up view of the four species of camelids – llama, alpaca, vicuna and guanaco. Overnight in Huaran near Calca in the Sacred Valley. (B/L)
Transfer via Pisac to the community of Amaru, where we are welcomed by our hosts, the locals from “Laraypas Indígenas de Amaru Association”. After a short talk about daily life, traditions and the work that the Association does on behalf of the traditional culture we will join the locals in the fields to learn about the ancestral agricultural traditions.
The “Weaving workshop” demonstration includes a short hike through the native forest to collect plants used to dye the natural fibers. Local women will show us their ancient weaving techniques which are still used. After a delicious local lunch, we will drive back to the Sacred Valley, past impressive agricultural terraces with a visit to Pisac and its colorful market before arriving back to Huaran. (B/L)
Follow the winding road through the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo and a dirt track which takes us through the Patacancha Valley to the community of Pallata. Observe the Quechua way of life where crops are sown and textiles woven with simple hand tools.
A steep hike brings us to the small archaeological complex at Pumamarca, an Inca settlement overlooking the Patacancha Valley. Continue along the trail through the terracing complex of Choquecancha with outstanding views of the surrounding landscapes. It takes around 3 hours to descend to Ollantaytambo town for lunch. In the afternoon visit Ollantaytambo ruins and fortress, an Inca village which has been extremely well maintained. Here we can see Inca canchas; a great example of family living quarters. Early evening departure by train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu village) and overnight. (B/L/D)
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu, one of the most photographed places in the world. Your guided tour will last around 3 hours, bringing to life this magical citadel alongside the history of the Inca Empire. Explore all the varying sectors of this intricate site.
After your tour, descend by bus to Aguas Calientes for a relaxed lunch before boarding the train to Ollantaytambo. Overnight in Huaran, as before. (B/L)
Travel via the Cusco High Plateau to the archaeological site of Moray. Here enormous natural depressions in the ground were used for constructing irrigated farming terraces with unique microclimates. This allowed cultivation of a vast range of crops within a small area.
Towards Maras village are the famous Maras salt pans which are around 4 inches (10cm) deep. As the water evaporates in the strong Andean sun the salt s dried and packed up for the local market. After lunch, visit the indigenous town of Chinchero to visit the colonial church and a weaving center to learn about the traditional methods with natural dyes before traveling to Cusco. (B/L)
Explore the cobblestone streets in Cusco, discovering colorful stores and charming cafes around the Plaza de Armas main square.
Afternoon city tour visiting Sacsayhuaman, a vast fortress built on three platforms which overlooks the city of Cusco. Continue to Kenko, a worship site carved into the shame of a puma. In the outskirts of Cusco, the last sites you will visit are Puka-Pukara and Tambomachay, an impressive display of Inca Baths. Return to downtown Cusco and visit the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas and the Sun Temple of Koricancha inside Santo Domingo Church.
Free day in Cusco to soak up the charm of this magical city. Visit the colorful San Pedro local market and barter for souvenirs or learn about chocolate making at the Museo de Chocolate. We can arrange a cooking class to learn about the world famous Peruvian cuisine and the classic Pisco Sour. In the evening dine at one of Cusco’s great restaurants such as Uchu where you can sample wonderfully tender alpaca steak with a bold Peruvian red wine.
Travel from Cusco to Puno by tourist bus with several stops along the route. The highest point of the journey, La Raya (14,220ft /4320m) where you will be able to visit the nearby hot springs.
En-route visit the seventeenth century church at Andahuaylillas with its spectacular interior of murals and paintings. The ruins of Raqchi and the main wall of the Temple of Wiraqocha probably the largest roofed building made by the Incas. As you near Puno, stop at the town of Pucara to learn about the tradition of Toritos de Pucara, a local tradition designed to bring good luck and fortune to your home. Overall journey time is 7-8 hours arriving to Puno around 530pm. (B/L)
Early morning departure along the shore of Lake Titicaca to the Llachon Peninsula with stunning views of the lake and colorful local communities. At Llanchon, we will settle into our homestay before meeting the local residents and learning a little about their traditional customs. Afternoon is at leisure to relax, enjoy the beach and explore the area. (B/L/D)
From Llachon we will board our motorboat for Taquile Island. Here the local Taquileños work under a communal economy allowing a lifestyle and society based on mutual cooperation. Upon arrival to the island, walk along the trail to the main plaza and visit the village before lunch at a lodge managed by a local family.
Returning to Puno, stop at the Uros floating reed islands. The inhabitants rely wholly on the lake resources to subsist, like their ancestors did many years before. These floating islands are made from tortura reeds which need continual replenishment. Return to the city of Puno and overnight. (B/L)
Transfer to the airport in Juliaca via the ruins at Sillustani. This pre-Inca cemetery is located on the shores of Lake Umayo and consist of massive stone cylinders know as chullpas. Great dignitaries of the Tiahuanaco culture were buried here and Sillustant has been considered the religious capital of this culture.
On arrival to Lima, connect to your international departure.