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Peru In Depth

Get to know Peru inside out during this extensive 20-day tailor-made itinerary packed with culture, history and a one-day trek to ancient Inca citadel Macchu Picchu. Enjoy a spot of mountain biking, a spectacular train journey, friendly and informative encounters with local communities and some superb rainforest wildlife, staying in modest yet comfy hotels and lodges along the way.

Ideal for unhurried travellers looking for a thoroughly comprehensive guided tour of Peru’s most enticing destinations, with magnificent Machu Picchu and the splendid Amazon Rainforest the inimitable highlights.

Tailor-made Classic 1 - 1 hour

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,413 per person economy class from London

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Itinerary

Overview


  • Comprehensive 20-day adventure tailored to travellers with time on their hands keen to delve deep into Peru’s top destinations

  • Visit historic churches and pretty cloisters in colonial Arequipa

  • Witness majestic Condors soaring over the vast and breath taking Colca Canyon

  • Visit friendly communities on Lake Titicaca’s man-made floating reed islands
  • Delight in an iconic Andean train journey to laid-back Cusco where Inca and Colonial history combine with vibrant modern-day life

  • Discover impressive ancient Inca fortresses and colourful markets in the Sacred Valley, meet Andean families and enjoy a spot of mountain biking

  • Enjoy a short, ‘bite-sized’ hike to world-renowned ancient Inca citadel Machu Picchu, with time factored in the following day to explore the site both independently and with a private guide

  • Witness the Amazon’s mind-blowing biodiversity from monkey-clad tree canopy vistas to oxbow lakes and clay-licks packed with colourful parrots and macaws

Day-by-day

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LIMA
Upon arrival in Lima you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel where you will have a chance to freshen up and rest. Villa Barranco is a characterful boutique hotel with fabulous roof-top views.
Accommodation: Villa Barranco

DAY 2: DISCOVER LIMA
Explore Lima at your own pace. We recommend making your way to the Historic Centre to see World Heritage Site Santo Domingo Convent, the Main Square and the Larco Museum, an incomparable private collection of treasures from ancient Peru which offers up a superb overview of more than five thousand years of Peruvian history. Alternatively, enjoy an easy day exploring the thriving neighbourhoods of Miraflores and Barranco, making time to sample Lima's world class food scene and don’t miss the chance to try a traditional ‘Pisco Sour’ tipple.
Accommodation: Villa Barranco

DAY 3: FLIGHT FROM LIMA TO AREQUIPA
You’ll be transferred from your hotel in Lima to the airport to make the 90-odd minute flight to Arequipa. After checking in and freshening up at your hotel, head out on a guided tour of Arequipa. This walking tour will take you through the charming, historical centre; a world heritage site with churches, beautiful buildings fashioned from ‘sillar’ (volcanic rock) and the pretty Santa Catalina Convent. Arequipa is famous for its cloisters, attractive streets and small squares and is a real pleasure to explore.
Accommodation: Katari Hotel

DAY 4: EXPLORE AREQUIPA
Enjoy a day at leisure to wander around Arequipa at your own pace, and perhaps take some time to enjoy the wonderful views from the lovely rooftop terrace at your hotel.
Accommodation: Katari Hotel

DAY 5: BEAUTIFUL DRIVE FROM AREQUIPA TO COLCA CANYON
Today, depart Arequipa on a spectacular four-hour drive to the Colca Canyon via the Aguada Blanca and Pampa Cañahuas National Reserve. After lunch in Chivay, you’re free to spend the rest of the afternoon making the most of the hotel facilities, or you could pay an optional visit to the hot springs at La Calera. The journey from Arequipa to Colca, and then onto Puno tomorrow, is with a private guide and vehicle. For those on more of a budget, a shared service (by coach) is available, with one less night in Colca, please get in touch if you’d like more information.
Accommodation: Colca Lodge

DAY 6: DAY AT LEISURE - COLCA CANYON
A free day to enjoy the dramatic landscapes and picturesque villages of the Colca Canyon. Colca Lodge is an eco-friendly property in a fabulous mountain setting with hot springs and a lovely spa on site so it’s worth allowing some time to relax back at base.
Accommodation: Colca Lodge

DAY 7: DRIVE COLCA CANYON TO LAKE TITICACA VIA CRUZ DEL CONDOR
This morning visit the Cruz del Cóndor, the best location from which to admire the Colca Canyon and, weather permitting, you should be able to see the majestic condors, with their magnificent wingspan, in flight over the vast canyon below. The journey then continues on to Puno, one of Lake Titicaca’s main destinations, passing through the picturesque villages of Pinchollo, Maca and Chivay along the way. It’s a five-hour drive overall today, with a lunch stop on the way and arrival at Lake Titicaca in the late afternoon. Casa Andina Premium Puno is a modern, conveniently located hotel with 45 air-conditioned rooms.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Premium Puno

DAY 8: VISIT UROS AND TAQUILE ISLANDS ON LAKE TITICACA
Today’s first adventure is a trip to Taquile Island, where the welcoming community will meet you in their colourful, traditional clothing and share the ancient customs that they maintain to this day. The islanders are skilled artisans and still use many surprising craft techniques developed over centuries by their ancestors. Next, it’s on to visit the floating islands of the Uros, also known as the ‘Town of the Lake’. These intriguing islands are manmade from totora reed and serve as homes and trading centres for the Uros inhabitants who travel about on hand-built rafts.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Premium Puno

DAY 9: FULL DAY’S STUNNING TRAIN JOURNEY FROM PUNO TO CUSCO
Cross the Peruvian Andes today from Puno Station to Cusco on one of the world's most breath-taking train rides. During this epic 10 and a ½ hour journey, dine in one of the two 1920s-style Pullman dining carriages and enjoy some gourmet food along with great service. There’s even a top-notch afternoon tea. You can take a carry-on bag aboard, and the rest of your baggage will be safely stored in the luggage car.
Accommodation: El Mercado

DAY 10: PRIVATE GUIDED TOUR OF CUSCO
Explore the once Inca capital, Cusco, with a private guide. The tour begins at Koricancha Temple, an ancient Inca palace and centre of worship of the sun god, on the site of which the Dominicans built a church which survives to this day. Then on to the Main Square, where you will visit the cathedral, the most important religious building in the city. The climb then continues to Sacsayhuamán fortress, an impressive example of Inca military architecture followed by a visit to Kenko, where the sun, moon and stars were once worshipped. Next, there’s the chance to explore Puca-Pucara, which is thought to have once been a "tambo", or rest and lodging place, for the ancient Inca people. Finally, a visit to the Inkas Expression art workshop, where you will be able to see Andean art being created by artists working in silver, paint and wood.
Accommodation: El Mercado

DAY 11: EXPLORE CUSCO AT LEISURE
Spend today independently exploring bustling Cusco, the breathtakingly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site, at your own pace. Spend some time in one of the many cafes at the Plaza de Armas and visit the chocolate museum and a whole host of ancient Inca palaces, temples and Spanish Colonial buildings.
Accommodation: El Mercado

DAY 12: CUSCO TO SACRED VALLEY
This morning you’ll be transferred to your hotel for the next three nights, Pakaritampu, and can spend the rest of this relaxed day at leisure in the charming Sacred Valley where ancient traditions continue to this day.
Accommodation: Pakaritampu

DAY 13: SACRED VALLEY - PISAC MARKET, OLLANTAYTAMBO FORTRESS & CHINCHERO
The town of Chinchero, surrounded by a stunningly beautiful landscape and standing over the foundations of an important Inca hub dating back to the late 1400s, is an absolute delight to visit. Colourfully dressed, the local inhabitants gather in the main square to exchange food and offer up regional handicrafts to visitors. Afterwards, continue on to Ollantaytambo, once the military, religious and agricultural centre of the Inca Empire. The impressive and well-preserved ruins of the fortress at Ollantaytambo are located on top of the mountain, a superb viewing point from where Incas of old would look out for potential invaders in order to protect the whole valley. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant followed by a visit to colourful Pisac market and a wander around the town's ancient Incan architecture and characterful colonial buildings.
Accommodation: Pakaritampu

DAY 14: SACRED VALLEY - CYCLING, MISMINAY & MORAY
Explore more of the Sacred Valley today with a private guide. First, visit the Misminay community where you’ll receive a warm welcome from the locals and witness typical traditional dance and music. This is also a wonderful opportunity to see Andean families at home and share in their daily tasks. There are various activities you can choose to get involved in, from working on the land and learning about local agriculture, to spinning and dying wool to produce beautiful textiles using ancestral techniques. In the afternoon, enjoy a superb mountain bike adventure which begins with a descent to the Moray archaeological complex comprising several concentric terraces that were once farmed by the Incas. Then on to Maras, enjoying the open road and impressive views of the surrounding mountains along the way, followed by a climb to the Maras salt mines, where salt has been extracted for thousands of years. At the end of the cycling route, you’ll be met and transported back to the hotel for a well-earned rest.
Accommodation: Pakaritampu

DAY 15: ONE-DAY HIKE ON THE INCA TRAIL TO MAJESTIC MACHU PICCHU
Depart the hotel early this morning and catch the vistadome train to ‘Kilometre 104’ to join the Inca Trail for the hike to the Sun Gate. En route, visit the archaeological complex at Chachabamba and, depending on the weather, make the ascent up to the magnificent waterfall. In the afternoon, hike up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku), a wonderful vantage point from where views of the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu open out. Once you’ve had a chance to soak up the spectacular scenery, return to the village of Aguas Calientes where you will stay overnight in a hotel.
Accommodation: El Mapi

DAY 16: EXPLORE MACHU PICCHU
Wake at about 5.30am today to catch a train and bus back to Machu Picchu. You will be accompanied by a guide who will then give you a private tour of this mind-blowing ancient archaeological site. The private tour takes about 2 hours and then the rest of the time is free to spend at your leisure. In the afternoon, travel back to Cusco for an overnight stay and rest before the final leg of the adventure begins.
Accommodation: El Mercado

DAY 17: FLY TO PUERTO MALDONADO AND TRANSFER TO REFUGIO AMAZONAS
Make the short flight to Puerto Maldonado and then travel by boat to Refugio Amazonas for your holiday’s ‘grand finale’, a 3-day immersive Amazon experience.

DAY 18: SPECTACULAR RAINFOREST EXPERIENCE AT REFUGIO AMAZONAS
Highlights of the many activities on offer at the Refugio include visits to the Canopy Tower, Clay lick and Oxbow Lake. The Canopy Tower takes you high above the dense vegetation, and from the top you will see miles of pristine forest stretching out in every direction. Because animals are at their most active up in the tree canopy, this experience provides some incredible opportunities to witness the local wildlife.

The Oxbow Lake visit reveals the most important and distinct habitats in the Amazon. These lakes form when a river bend gets cut off from its main channel, creating calm, fish-filled waters. After a quick boat trip from the lodge, you hike a short distance inland to the lake where you’ll enjoy pleasant catamaran ride with your guide to spot wildlife. Due to the lake’s biodiversity and rich abundance of fish, there’s a good chance of spotting the Hoatzin - a bizarre, dinosaur-like bird - along with troops of Squirrel Monkeys, rare Giant Otters, huge Caiman, and majestic Macaws flying overhead. Moreover, if you visit the Oxbow Lake at the Posada Amazonas lodge, you might even get to see the fascinating and much-feared Piranha.
Accommodation: Refugio Amazonas

DAY 19: REFUGIO AMAZONAS
For one of the best tropical bird experiences in the whole of the Amazon, a visit the Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick is a must. Due to particularly rich nutrients, most likely salt, found in the cliff soil, the Clay Lick attracts dozens of species of colourful birds; from huge Red and Green Macaws to Mealy Parrots, the birds flock here to munch on the nutritious clay. The macaws are the largest — and certainly the loudest — of the bunch and the humid jungle air fills with their screeches as they settle into trees above the bluffs, swooping down to feed on the clay. The Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick is one of the most stunning wildlife spectacles in the world, making it a must-see for any nature lover. In addition to the above-mentioned activities, there are several different guided hikes on offer, plus local farm visits, opportunities to take part in scientific research and beautiful sunset cruises on the Tambopata River.
Accommodation: Refugio Amazonas

DAY 20: TRANSFER FROM REFUGIO AMAZONAS TO AIRPORT FOR ONWARD FLIGHT
This morning, you'll be transferred by boat back to Puerto Maldonado airport to catch your onward flight.

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Characterful boutique hotel
- Rooftop terrace with excellent views
- Pretty gardens
- Well located for exploring Barranco

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Extremely central Arequipa location
- Fabulous rooftop terrace
- Charming, characterful rooms
- Lovely spa and restaurant

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Stunning setting amidst mountain terraces
- Eco-friendly retreat offering great value
- On-site hot springs and spa
- Cycling, hiking, alpaca farm, Inca ruins

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Contemporary lakeside hotel
- Canoe expeditions to nearby islands
- Excellent on-site restaurant
- One hour from Machu Picchu

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Historic property with contemporary touches
- Excellent central Cusco location
- Near main square, museums, markets, cafes
- Excursions further afield available

Pakaritampu

Sacred Valley

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Superb Inca Fortress and hillside terraces
- Pretty, landscaped gardens
- Modest, comfortable accommodation
- Perfect base before or after Inca Trail

El Mapi

Machu Picchu & Inca Trail

Our rating

6/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Large, reliable hotel in Aguas Calientes
- Unbeatable location for Machu Picchu
- Facilities include spa and restaurant
- Good value for money, lively and relaxed

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Immersive Amazon experience
- Best for adventurous travellers
- Activities for all ages, great for families
- Mountain biking, cruises, jungle walks

Details

Getting there

Flight prices, details and operators will vary depending on date of travel, however the below gives an overview of key operators, routes and flight duration from the UK and the US at the time of writing. Note that it’s always possible to fly direct into Lima and overnight there before catching the morning flight to Cusco the following day. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements and obtain a current, detailed quote.

From the UK to Cusco
The fastest flight from London to Cusco is with Avianca airlines who make just one stop en route (Bogota) with a total flight time of around 17 ½ hours. Latin American Airlines (LAN) partner with British Airways to operate flights from London into Cusco via Lima, with flight times varying from around 15 to 24 hours. There are also several other indirect flight options (generally via Lima) with a couple of stops en route which take around 30 hours overall; examples include KLM, Iberia and Air France who all operate in partnership with LAN to operate flights from London to Cusco stopping both in Lima and in Amsterdam/Madrid/Paris respectively. Flights cost in the region of £800 to £1,500 per person depending on season and demand.

From the US East Coast to Cusco
Avianca operates flights from New York into Cusco with either one stop (Bogota), or two stops (Bogota and Lima), and flight times of around 11 to 14 hours. LAN also operate New York to Cusco, with just one stop in Lima and a similar flight time of around 11 hours. Flight costs range from $800 to $1,800 per person depending on season and demand.

From the US West Coast to Cusco
Avianca operates flights from Los Angeles into Cuzco, usually with just one stop in Bogota (and sometimes two stops; Bogota and Lima), with flight times of around 12 hours. LAN also operates on this route, as do Air Canada, Aeromexico and Finn Air depending on the time of year. Flight costs range from $800 to $1,500 per person depending on season and demand.

Price includes

Price includes domestic flights, all accommodation (bed and breakfast basis in Cusco, Sacred Valley and Lima, all meals in Amazon), transfers and tours as mentioned in the itinerary.

When is best?

Peru’s peak tourist season is June - August when the main tourist sites will be at their busiest. The weather at this time of year is lovely, with little rain and clear, sunny days. Nights, however, are cold. The rainy season generally lasts from November to April in both the mountains and the jungle, with the wettest months being January & February. It is naturally much quieter in the sites at this time of year - although note that the Inca Trail closes in February for maintenance.

The Amazon is an area of tropical rainforest which is always humid, and it can rain at any time of the year. There isn’t a huge amount of climate variation from season to season – although the wettest months overall tend to be January and February, with sometimes 5 or 6 hours of rain per day. The main advantage of going in the rainy months is that you’ll see more parrots and macaws on the clay licks, since they’re nesting and therefore particularly active – although do be prepared for more mosquitoes at this time of year.

Is it for me?

If you have time on your hands and don't need to hurry home for work commitments, then this is the itinerary for you. Although the holiday is extensive in scope and encompasses a wide variety of adventurous physical activities, history, culture and contact with local people, there's plenty of time factored in to really get to know each destination. The classic level accommodation is modest yet very comfortable.

This particular itinerary includes a one-day trek which covers a short distance at the end of the classic Inca Trail to reach the 'Sun Gate' from where wonderful views of Machu Picchu can be seen. You'll then stay overnight in a hotel in Aguas Calientes and the following day, you'll catch a train and a bus back to Machu Picchu for a private guided tour of the awe-inspiring ancient citadel, plus there'll be time to explore independently. Thus this itinerary is perfect for travellers looking to witness the key highlights of the magical Machu Picchu experience without participating in the full 3-day Inca Trail hike.

A visit to the rainforest is best suited to adventurous, outdoorsy travellers who have a keen interest in wildlife. There are of course plenty of insects, wild animals and changeable weather patterns. Make sure you are vaccinated against any jungle diseases and that you are fully medically prepared for your trip - anti-malarials are normally advised. Waterproof clothing and good footwear are a must for a visit at any time of year. We politely remind all rainforest visitors to respect the natural environment by leaving no rubbish behind, adhering to trails and listening to the safety advice given by guides.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 507 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • Driver-guide: Very punctual, except for pick up for airport when he was delayed by >30 mins due to road closures. Vehicle very clean and well maintained- plenty of water and supplies of clothing for religious sites, tissues, postcards etc. Very good at understanding what level of conversation we wanted. Happy to stop for paracetamol, supermarket etc. Took us to signal box at railway since we were early (which was very interesting)

    The Walawwa: Lovely place to arrive at and get a bit of rest. Great pool, lovely rooms and food etc. Peaceful oasis so close to town.

    Wilpattu Camp: Wonderful food- really enjoyed trying lots of new things in excellent surroundings.Felt like the place had not been visited much recently (which I don’t think it had due to the terrorist attacks) so our safari guide had been brought up from another park and did not know the park too well- it worked out well though and we saw all the animals we hoped to see so no complaints on that front. We did feel that we should have been told about extra things we could have done- when we commented on the great food on final day we were told that they could have done a cookery demo for us, but it was too late at that point. It worked well for us but clients should probably know that they are likely to have multiple wildlife in their tents (eg frogs)- didn’t bother us at all, but others it might do. We were given a questionnaire to fill in at the end whilst all the staff were standing around, which wasn’t ideal as you felt a bit of pressure! Felt really well looked after here!

    Water Gardens Sigiriya: Beautiful suites with plunge pools- quiet and peaceful with lovely big swimming pool. Food good

    Jungle Beach: Beautiful location on beach. Rooms good. Food a bit limited I would have liked a bit more variety ideally.

    Camellia House: Lovely location- beautiful views. Food OK but service below average- our food orders were wrong a couple of times and even pre-ordered food was delayed. Tea factory tour was only an hour and that was the main reason to be here. It was interesting but quite brief seeing it was the main attraction according to our itinerary. Also, we were taken there in a minibus which didn’t have seatbelts on all seats and was quite smelly- not up to the standard of the usual transportation. Rooms were described as having panoramic views- one did have amazing views but the other one definitely didn’t.

    Galle Face: Lovely old hotel- but it did have some problems (leaking ceiling and ‘smuts’ coming out of air conditioning.) Weather very bad (spectacular storms). It was a shame the street food tour couldn’t take place but totally understandable given the weather, however we enjoyed our dinner here and free drinks/canopes!). Good choice at breakfast.

    MissingPippa R reviewing Sri Lanka Highlights - Classic on 30 September 2019

  • Once again you organised a really good holiday for us.
    If there was one criticism it was that there were too many flights. I don’t know whether you could do Bangkok first, Chiang Mai, then fly down South?
    Your drivers and Guides - all really good. The variety of transport on the tours in Bangkok and Chiang Mai; we all loved.
    Tamarind Village - Our room was a bit of a squeeze, with the 3 of us and 3 big suitcases.
    Lisu Lodge- I enjoyed our time here. Going forward I would suggest only 1 night or they need to have some more activities. I liked how we ate on the floor, the food was really good. Staff very friendly. We liked the cycling, tea plantation, trekking and white water rafting.
    Riva Surya- good location.
    Elephant Hills- we loved looking after the elephants, the lake was also a really good experience. The guides were informative and looked after us well. The resort locations and tents were perfect.
    Santiburi - amazing; we upgraded to a beach bungalow which was fantastic. The hotel is in a stunning location, the facilities and the service was impeccable. Sam has some private Thai boxing lessons, which he loved. We had cookery lessons and used the paddle boards. A perfect end to quite a busy holiday.

    MissingNatasha L reviewing Thailand Family Adventure on 24 September 2019

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

15-day Peru holiday for energetic, outdoorsy families (12yo+) with a keen sense of adventure who want to trek the Inca Trail and experience Peru's highlights. Includes the Sacred Valley, Cusco, Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and Amazon.

Tailor-made Classic 15 days

Families from $3,485 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,413 per person economy class from London

8 Day Peru trip including the classic 4-day Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley and Cusco.

Tailor-made Adventure 8 days

Adults from $1,371 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,028 per person economy class from London

Families from $1,297 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,028 per person economy class from London

9 Day Peru Trip combining the Salkantay Trail , Cusco and The Sacred Valley.

Tailor-made Adventure 9 days

Adults from $1,702 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,028 per person economy class from London

Families from $1,621 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,028 per person economy class from London

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