Peru Expedition

Price
£££ From £3995.00 /PP
Highlights
  • Historic centre of Lima - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Immersive culinary experience in Lima guided by a chef.
  • Climb towards the Chachapoyas through the stunning Utcubamba Canyon.
  • Gocta Waterfall Trek.
  • Visit the colonial city of Cajamarca.
  • Pass by the famous El Candelabro.
  • Boat trip to the Ballestas Island.
  • See Humboldt penguins.
  • Huacachina Lagoon.
  • Basílica Catedral de Arequipa.
  • Aguada Blanca National Reserve.
  • Chucura Volcano.
  • Taquile Island.
  • Cultural Immersion at Misminay Andean Community.
  • Maras, Moray & Ccorccor Community experience.
  • Machu Picchu archaeological site.
  • Walk the Concepción trails in the Amazon.
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  • Itinerary
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Overview

Step into the allure of this Expedition Peru Package, where echoes of ancient civilizations and mysteries of untamed landscapes await you on a 30-day adventure. Imagine yourself amidst the Andes' towering peaks, where each step reveals a spectacular view spanning centuries of history. Feel the embrace of the lush Amazon Rainforest, a haven of biodiversity and untamed beauty that promises unforgettable interactions with nature.

As you travel across the rugged terrain, you'll come upon vestiges of pre-Colombian ruins, each stone telling a story from another time. Explore the architectural marvels of Spanish colonial palaces along the coast, where history comes life through exquisite designs and timeless grace.

Magical Peru unfolds in front of you, delivering more than simply a vacation, but a tapestry of thrilling adventures and one-of-a-kind encounters. Every day promises something exceptional, from the bright energy of Lima, where modernity meets tradition, to the peaceful periods among ancient ruins.

Immerse yourself in Peru's rhythm, savouring the brilliant colours of local markets, indulging in the flavours of Peruvian food, and engaging with the friendly inhabitants. This 30-day journey is more than simply a holiday; it's a transformative tour of a land that flawlessly weaves together history, nature, and culture to create an unparalleled tapestry of experiences.

Itinerary

When you arrive in Lima, an ARCA Origins Travel team member will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your accommodation by private transportation. Then you'll have the entire day to rest and enjoy the beauty of Lima and its surrounds.

Your transfer will take approximately 2.5 hours.

Accommodation: Jose Antonio Hotel in Standard Room or similar

Meals: None
The first destination on our Lima city tour is Huaca Pucllana, a massive archaeological site in Miraflores, one of Lima's most popular neighbourhoods. Huaca Pucllana was a significant ceremonial and administrative centre for the Lima culture, which flourished along this stretch of Peruvian coast between 200 and 700 AD. This religious site was constructed using seven staggered platforms encircled by a plaza and massive walls. It's a truly impressive site, and not what you'd expect to see near bustling Miraflores!
After exploring Huaca Pucllana with your bilingual guide, we'll drive to Lima's historic centre, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll visit the stunning Plaza de Armas (Lima's main square), which is bordered by majestic colonial and Republican-era buildings, many with intricate wooden balconies. The square is surrounded by some of Peru's most notable buildings, including the Government Palace, Lima Cathedral, Lima Archbishop's Palace, Municipal Palace, and Union Palace.
We will go to the Cathedral of Lima, which was built in 1649. The church also houses the tomb of conquistador Francisco Pizarro.
Next, we'll go one block to the Convent of Santo Domingo. It is one of Peru's most notable ecclesiastical buildings, dating back to the 1530s and finished in 1766. Its enormous bell tower is a landmark in Lima's historic centre. As we wander around the interior of the monastery, we'll notice the gorgeous Sevillian azulejos (ceramic tiles) that decorate the walls, which date from 1604 and 1606. There is also a sequence of paintings depicting scenes from the life of Saint Dominic, the founder of the Dominican order, dating from around 1608.

Accommodation: Jose Antonio Hotel in Standard Room or similar

Meals: Breakfast
Our culinary adventure begins when we visit a typical local market in Lima, accompanied by our chef. We shall witness many of Peru's distinctive components, not only from Lima, but also from the Andean mountains and the Amazon rainforest. The sights, smells, and noises of the market are exciting, and we'll witness the large variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and other items that Peru is famous for.

We'll scour the market for the ingredients we'll need for our cooking session and then prepare a classic Peruvian lunch. We'll have a variety of dishes to pick from, which can be decided by you.

After purchasing all of our ingredients, we will leave the market and proceed to our culinary workshop. Our chef will teach us how to cook some of Peru's most traditional and tasty dishes. Learn how to make traditional Peruvian dishes including ceviche, causa limeña, tiradito de pescado, and lomo saltado.

After learning how to cook your selected dish, we will relax as we hand over the kitchen to the chef, who will demonstrate all of his culinary skills as he prepares a classic Peruvian lunch. At the same time, the chef will discuss Peruvian cuisine, its rich history, and the numerous odd ingredients found throughout the country.

We'll all settle down to eat lunch and continue talking with the chef. After lunch, our culinary journey will come to a conclusion. Full of newfound information and Peruvian cuisine, it will be time to say thank you and goodbye to the chef, after which we will transport you back to your hotel.

Accommodation: Jose Antonio Hotel in Standard Room or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
At the appropriate time, we will pick you up from your Lima hotel and transport you to the airport for your journey to Jaen.

When you arrive, we will meet you in Jaén* for lunch before travelling to Chachapoyas by private vehicle, which will take around four hours. We will explore the Marañon River Valley, a key tributary of the Amazon River, before ascending to Chachapoyas via the breathtaking Utcubamba Canyon. About 20 kilometres north of Chachapoyas, we'll take a side route to Cocachimba. We'll spend the night at the lovely Gocta Lodge**. The resort provides breathtaking views of the Gocta Waterfall from both its 18 rooms and its outdoor swimming pool.

*Depending on flight schedules, it may be possible to fly directly from Lima to Chachapoyas.  

**An alternative to Gocta Lodge is Gocta Natura Cabins: beautiful cabins hidden by trees with views of Gocta Waterfall. 

Accommodation: Gotta Lodge or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Our trek to Gocta Waterfall begins at our hotel door, which is just a short walk from the trailhead. The hike follows the slopes of a gorgeous cloud-forested valley, going through forests teeming with animals, birds, and butterflies. If you're very lucky, you might even see (or hear) a yellow-tailed woolly monkey, a mountain sloth, or the beautiful cock-of-the-rock (Peru's national bird).

The trail to Gocta is well-kept and exceedingly picturesque. If you're in decent shape and enjoy walking and trekking, this is a relatively easy excursion. However, several areas feature steep inclines, which may cause some guests to struggle during the journey. Hiring a horse for a portion of the journey, or for the return leg, is an alternative to trekking.

You'll catch glimpses of Gocta Waterfall from various spots along the trail, and you'll hear it grow louder as you get closer, but it won't be until around two hours later that you'll come face to face with this towering waterfall, which stands over 771 metres tall and is one of the world's largest waterfalls. Locals have known about Gocta for as long as they can remember, but it wasn't until 2006 that the rest of the world learned about it. It's breathtaking up close, with furious streams cascading into a vast, churning pool beneath. If you're feeling courageous and have a poncho or other waterproof clothing (or even just a bathing suit), you may stroll up to the plunge pool, where the sensation of cascading water and rainbow-flecked spray is almost overwhelming.

After visiting the falls, you can return along the walk to the lodge for some much-needed rest. The trip to Gocta and return usually takes approximately six hours. Make sure you have good walking shoes.

Accommodation: Gotta Lodge or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After breakfast, we'll travel back down the stunning Utcubamba Canyon before crossing into the neighbouring province of Luya. From Luya, we will go to Cruz Pata, where we will begin our relatively short but lovely walk to Karajia.

When we eventually come around a bend in the valley, you'll notice the spectacular sarcophagi of Karajia standing on ledges on the cliff face above you. These human-shaped figurines reflect one type of burial used by the Chachapoya culture, which governed this region of Peru from approximately 900 to 1470. The figures are extremely huge, with the seven major sarcophagi measuring up to 2.5 metres tall and made of clay, wood, and grass. They stand facing the rising sun. Their location on a mostly inaccessible cliff has kept them safe from looters, which the ancient Chachapoya most certainly considered while putting them there. Each sarcophagus includes a mummy and other artefacts, some of which are valuable. They were most likely Chachapoya civilization elites.

After marvelling at these magnificent sarcophagi, we'll return down the trail to our vehicle. We return to the main valley and go south to Casa de Doña Lola, where we will stay for two nights.

Accommodation: Casa de Doña Lola or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
In the morning, we'll drive to Tingo and board the cable car for a thrilling ride across a gorge to Kuelap Fortress. After a short walk, we'll arrive at this stunning ancient site.

While not as well-known as Machu Picchu, Kuelap is perhaps equally spectacular, which is why it is often referred to as "The Machu Picchu of Northern Peru." The comparison is maybe a little harsh because the two sites have extremely distinct histories and structures.

Kuelap was created by the Chachapoyas culture in the sixth century AD, approximately 500 years before Machu Picchu. It sits 3,000 metres (9,900 feet) above sea level on a peak overlooking the Utcubamba Valley, commanding the surrounding area. As you approach the fortress, you will definitely be surprised by the high outside walls, which can exceed 20 metres in some areas. The entire oval-shaped complex measures approximately 584 metres long and 110 metres wide at its widest point. It is estimated that the colossal fortress required over 40 million cubic feet of stone to construct, making it the largest known ancient stone construction in South America and three times larger than Egypt's Great Pyramid.

As we go around the very impregnable outside walls, we'll eventually come to one of the three exceedingly narrow entrances to Kuelap. These offered great protection against possible invaders. As you travel up the small stairwell, you can imagine how difficult and terrible it would have been for any assailants attempting to force their way through these tight stone passageways.

At the top of the entranceway, you will ascend to a peaceful plateau within the fortress walls. As you do so, you'll see why the term "fortress" doesn't do Kuelap justice. It was more akin to a walled city or citadel, capable of accommodating thousands of people. The castle contains the remnants of almost 400 circular homes, some of which have been rebuilt to how archaeologists believe they would have appeared hundreds of years ago. These buildings are ornamented with unusual zigzag designs and rhomboid friezes, which may depict the families that lived there. We'll explore the rest of the complex, including religious buildings, defence towers, and a bizarre construction that may have served as a solar observatory, after passing through a lightly wooded region within the complex where orchids flourish and hummingbirds fly about.

There's a lot to see in Kuelap, so we'll make sure you have plenty of time to explore with your guide and then by yourself. When you're ready, we'll board our private transport and return to Chachapoyas.

Accommodation: Casa de Doña Lola or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today starts with a picturesque two-and-a-half-hour drive over the hills to the small community of Yerbabuena. We walk for two hours uphill to the enchanting site of Revash, a cliff-side burial complex (or we may drive you another 10 km to the settlement of San Bartolo, from which it is a 30-minute walk to Revash).

Revash, built approximately 1200 AD by the Chachapoya culture, is unique among the region's funerary sites. Rather than sarcophagi or simple tombs, the mausoleums, or chullpas, at Revash were designed to resemble small dwellings, creating the illusion of a miniature, colourful hamlet constructed on a cliff.

The graves are made of rock and adobe, painted pink and cream. The sloping roves are merely symbolic, serving no practical purpose (the cliffs above shelter the chullpas from the rain). The walls of the small "houses" are adorned with painted figures of felines, South American camelids, people, and geometrical motifs.

The study of the bones discovered at Revash indicates that each tomb was not utilised for a single person. Instead, each tomb served as a communal burial resting place for members of a prominent or powerful family.

After touring Revash, we'll drive to Leymebamba (45 minutes) to visit the new and spectacular Leymebamba Museum. The museum displays about 2,500 artefacts from the Chachapoyas culture and teaches visitors about this interesting civilization. And then there are the famed mummies—more than 200 of them! The museum was designed specifically to hold the mummies discovered at the Laguna de los Cóndores archaeological site. It's quite an experience to see them all lined up in their climate-controlled area. They are so perfectly preserved that they can be seen as individuals, locked in time with unique expressions.

The museum structure was meant to represent local architectural traditions, and the gardens surrounding it are filled with lovely flowers and trees, including over 100 native orchid varieties. Inside the museum, all of the exhibits have thorough descriptions in multiple languages, making them easily accessible to foreign visitors.


Accommodation: La Casa de Doña Lola or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we go from Leymebamba to the magnificent historical city of Cajamarca. The six-hour drive is among Peru's most breathtaking. The hike starts at a mountain pass at 3,600 metres above sea level, offering views of the Marañon Canyon. The route then descends to the river, going through a variety of environments. We'll pass the bridge at the valley's bottom, 850 metres above sea level, and then drive up to 2,400 metres on the canyon's west side. Just beyond it is Celendin, a market town known for its straw hats. We travel for another three hours across rolling hills and agricultural land before arriving in Cajamarca. Afterwards, you fly from Cajamarca back to Lima 

Accommodation: Jose Antonio Lima or similar

Meals: Breakfast

Our day begins about 06h00, when we pick you up from your hotel in Lima. We'll then drive south from Lima for around four hours on the Pan-American Highway to Paracas. When we arrive in Paracas, we will visit the local interpretation centre, which provides extensive information about the flora and wildlife of the Paracas Peninsula. We'll then take a boat into the Bay of Paracas to reach the Ballestas Islands (Islas Ballestas).

On the route, we'll pass by the famed El Candelabro (Candelabra), a large-scale geoglyph created by the Paracas people approximately 200 BC. While its actual purpose is uncertain, some hypotheses claim it depicts the god Viracocha's trident or lightning rod, and it may have served as a signal to mariners who could see it from the sea.

When we get to the islands, we'll have approximately an hour to explore by boat. Going ashore is restricted because it may disrupt the natural equilibrium of this crucial reserve. But we can see a lot from the boat, and you'll get stunning vistas of the islands and their diverse inhabitants. Your guide will point out the numerous species that inhabit these rugged islands. Humboldt penguins can be seen hopping around, as well as a large number of seabirds such as gulls, terns, pelicans, guanay cormorants, and blue-footed boobies. You may also see hundreds of fur seals and sea lions, as well as marine otters and humpback whales, which visit these seas from August to October.

We'll return to Paracas harbour and, at 10h00, drop you off at your hotel. Then, enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Accommodation: Bahia Paracas Hotel or similar
Meals: None
On the route to Nazca, we will pass via the city of Ica, which is well-known and popular for its gastronomy and vineyards, and is unquestionably the most popular among national and foreign tourists visiting the Ica lands. A tour of the oldest distillery in America will be conducted. Enjoying 333 years of heritage, we will visit our pisco producing factory, which is considered the most advanced in Peru. We will also have a unique sampling of our five most awarded Piscos, followed by a typical lunch at Los Horcones de La Caravedo.

Next, we'll travel to the magnificent Huacachina Lagoon, also known as "The Oasis of America." This charming community is bordered by a stunning dunes scenery, with a shimmering lagoon in an otherwise parched setting. The greenish water flows from a subsurface spring, resulting in a genuine oasis. Aside from being a relaxing place to visit, Huacachina is also well-known for two adrenaline-pumping activities (at an additional cost): sand boarding and dune buggy rides, both of which are really enjoyable! Anyone in reasonably good physical shape can go sandboarding. Beginners slide down the dunes on their stomachs, whilst skilled sand boarders ride their boards like snowboards.

Following this excursion, we will transfer you to Nazca.

Accommodation: Casa Andina Standard Nazca

Meals: Breakfast
Our Nazca Lines adventure begins when we take you up from your hotel in Nazca or the bus port. We'll next go to the modest Nazca Aerodrome to board a light aircraft for our breathtaking journey over the Nazca Lines.

The light aircraft seats provide a good view of the geoglyphs, and each passenger is equipped with professional noise-canceling headphones that allow them to hear the pilot's instructive commentary. The pilot will direct you over all of the major geoglyphs, which cover an area of around 50 km2 (19 square miles). The vistas are stunning, and it's intriguing to consider how and for whom the Nazca Lines were created as you see these massive shapes and people from above.

Pick up from the hotel, visit the Chauchilla Cemetery, where we will locate the bones of the most prominent people from the Pre-Inca period as well as the relics of the Inca civilization, and then transfer to Arequipa.
Our Arequipa city tour will take you through the streets of the White City, past cathedrals, churches, and monasteries. Your guide will tell you about life in Arequipa from colonial times to the present. You'll learn about how the city has transformed and how the first Spanish colonists built on land originally inhabited by ancient Peruvian Andean peoples.

We will see the city's iconic buildings, including the Basílica Catedral de Arequipa. Located on the city's magnificent Plaza de Armas, this massive cathedral has been devastated by earthquakes several times throughout the years, yet each time it has been restored, becoming even more impressive.

After touring the Plaza de Armas and its surrounding streets, we'll go to Yanahuara, a famous viewpoint. With its carved sillar stone arches, this stunning viewpoint provides breathtaking views of Arequipa and the volcanic peaks of Misti, Chachani, and Pichu Pichu. Yanahuara was created in the nineteenth century and is located near to the beautiful San Juan de Yanahuara Baroque church, which was erected in 1750. Yanahuara's sillar stone bears the names of significant persons who have lived in Arequipa during the last two centuries.

After our tour of Arequipa, we will return you to your accommodation, confident that you will have a much higher respect for this wonderful colonial city.

Accommodation: Hotel Conquistador or similar

Meals: Breakfast
Today begins early as we leave Arequipa and head to the Colca Valley. It's a breathtaking trip through snow-capped peaks, steep pampas, traditional terraced farms, and lovely villages where old traditions still thrive.
Our first visit will be to Aguada Blanca National Reserve, where we may observe guanacos, alpacas, and vicuñas grazing. The reserve, which encompasses almost 366,936 hectares, was established to protect the local flora and fauna, as well as their natural environment, which had previously deteriorated at an alarming rate. The reserve protects the native vicuña population through a repopulation programme. Aside from the massive herds of camels, the area is also home to the southern viscacha (a giant and adorable rodent), foxes, condors, and Andean flamingos (also known as parihuanas). The reserve contains 169 animal species, including 23 mammals and 138 bird species such as blue-billed ducks, eagles, and kestrels. During their journey, flamingos visit Salinas Lake and spend time wading.

We'll leave the reserve and drive along the edge of Chucura Volcano to the Patapampa Andes Viewpoint. We'll now be 4,900 metres above sea level, with views of the Arequipa Region's snow-capped mountains and volcanoes, including Hualca Calca, Sabancaya, and Ampato. Our next stop will be in Chivay, where one end of the Colca Valley begins. The traditional terrace systems found here, created by indigenous people of the area, are notable for their size and precision. Chivay itself was founded by the Spanish, as evidenced by its church and other colonial structures. You can enjoy a typical meal in town (not included) before we check into our hotel.

You'll then have the afternoon free to explore the town on your own, and if you choose, you can visit the hot springs in La Calera, which is just 3 kilometres from Chivay. Because of the region's seismic activity, natural hot springs and thermal spas can be found throughout Colca Canyon and the Colca Valley. La Calera features public thermal pools with medicinal powers, with temperatures ranging from 38 to 98 degrees Celsius.

Accommodation: Casa Andina Standard Colca or similar

Meals: Breakfast
Today is another early start because there is so much exciting stuff to see! First, we'll visit Cruz del Condor (Cross of the Condor), a viewing point near the little settlements of Maca and Cabanaconde. Strong winds rise from the canyon, making it a popular habitat for Andean condors. They soar on thermals in couples, usually in the early morning or late afternoon. There's a considerable chance you'll see these massive condors with three-meter wingspans flying very near to the lookout point, presenting a very magnificent spectacle. The vantage point also provides breathtaking views of Colca Canyon's depths.

We will then return to Chivay, stopping first at the traditional town of Pinchollo and the Antahuilque viewpoint. This viewpoint (or mirador, as they are known in Spanish) provides stunning views of the 1,500-year-old agricultural terraces that arc along the slopes like an amphitheatre. You may also see some of the Colca Valley's beautiful lagoons. In the afternoon, we will stop for lunch in Chivay before continuing on to Puno, Peru's folklore capital. Along the highway, you will make a quick halt at Patapampa (4900 m.a.s.l.), the highest point of your adventure in Peru thus far. Nature will spread out in front of you from this mountain, and you will have wonderful views of the volcanoes to the west, Sabancaya, Ampato, Misti, and Chachani. At the same time, you will be able to admire the massive pile of stones placed here by travellers and pilgrims over the years. Leaving a stone on the pile is typically a means of asking deities for a safe and enjoyable journey.

Finally, you'll arrive in Puno around 18:00. Our experts will assist you in settling into your hotel, where you can enjoy a well-deserved rest on the edge of Lake Titicaca.

Accommodation: Hotel Royal Inn Puno or similar

Meals: Breakfast
Our Titicaca journey begins at 07h45, when we take you up from your accommodation in Puno and drive you down to the port. We'll then take a comfy motorboat to the Uros' floating islands. The artificial islands are approximately 14 kilometres from the port and take about 30 minutes to get - but you won't be in a hurry because the landscape is breathtaking.

When we arrive at the floating islands, you'll undoubtedly be astounded by the size of these floating reed structures. The Uros initially built these islands for defence purposes: if a threat came, they could relocate their island houses to a more secure position. The islands are created of totora reeds that grow surrounding the lake, and each island is constantly being rebuilt as old reeds are replaced by new ones.

Stepping onto the islands is an unusual experience, since the springy reed substrate feels weird underfoot. We'll visit the main island and view the cottages, watchtowers, and other structures made of reeds. One of the locals will next give a brief talk about how the islands are made, followed by an opportunity to meet one of the local families and observe how they live.

Following the Uros islands, we will go to the natural island of Amantani, which is home to approximately 4,000 Quechua-speaking residents. You'll have a fantastic cultural experience on Amantani because you'll be staying with a native family. They will take you to their home, where you can freely engage in any of their regular activities, such as cooking and football! Later, you'll trek up to the island's highest point to visit the Temple of Pachamama (or Pachatata), from which you may enjoy the breathtaking sunset over Lake Titicaca.

Back at the family home, you can enjoy a delicious dinner with your host family before heading to the nearby town centre for a modest celebration. It's all wonderful fun, and most people like their nice hosts! After a day of cultural immersion, you'll retire to your cosy room in the Amantani family home for the night.

Accommodation: Amantani Family Stay
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a tasty breakfast with your host family, we’ll then head back to the pier on Amantani. At around 08h00, we’ll board a boat for the wonderful Taquile Island, which is about an hour away.  

We’ll arrive at a secluded and picturesque section of Taquile Island, from which we’ll set off to explore this stunningly beautiful island. We’ll go to the less touristy northern area, where we’ll have spectacular panoramic views across Lake Titicaca. After relaxing here for a while, we’ll hike along a pre-Inca trail, visiting families of weavers to learn about their textile art and the rich symbolism that decorates their textiles. After a traditional lunch in a local restaurant – quinoa soup and grilled trout being particularly popular – we’ll walk to the main port and descend some steps to the pier. At around 12:30 p.m. we’ll board a boat for the return trip to Puno. When we arrive, we’ll take you back to your hotel. 

Accommodation: Hotel Royal Inn Puno or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

The pick-up from your hotel is scheduled for 06:10 in the direction of the bus terminal. The bus to Cusco departs at 7:00 a.m. Once onboard, the departure of our tour will begin since the first stop will be the Pukara Lithic Museum, which is a culture that formed between 1600 BC and 400 AD This museum, located 106 kilometres north-east of Puno, showcases pottery and sculptures depicting zoomorphic characters, including the well-known sculpture of HATUNÑAQAC, also known as the supreme cutthroat.

After recharging our batteries, we will continue our journey for about 50 minutes to Paso de la Raya, which is the border between Puno and Cusco at more than 14222 Ft (4335 masl) and is home to the famed snowy Chimboya, where the Amazon River originates. We'll know when we arrive at our final destination.

At the end of our visit to this impressive location, we will continue for about 30 minutes to a local restaurant for lunch (buffet lunch). The buffet includes a variety of national and regional foods, starters, fresh vegetables, garnishes, the richest desserts, and hot drinks. Following this great meal, we will explore the Raqcchi Archaeological Complex.
Also known as the Temple of the God WIRACOCHA, the ultimate Inka deity, this site contains the greatest number of Colcas (Barns), as well as exquisite stone and adobe structures. After seeing this spectacular ancient site, we will visit the Andahuaylillas chapel, a 17th-century church.
Sixtina de Los Andes is also recognised for its beautiful murals, gold leaf works, and paintings from the Cusco school that it houses.

Continuing our journey, you can have a one-hour break till we arrive at our ultimate destination, the world's navel, about 5:00 p.m. on the bus.

Accommodation: Jose Antonio Hotel or similar

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Our Cusco city trip begins in the morning with a visit to the beautiful Koricancha, which is located near to Santo Domingo Church. According to chroniclers who wrote shortly after the Spanish Conquest, the Koricancha was the most revered and important temple in the Inca Empire. Its walls were covered in gold, and life-size statues of plants and animals fashioned entirely of gold and silver adorned its chambers and passageways. Unfortunately, the Spanish conquistadors took this treasure away. It remains a lovely temple, however, and your guide will lead you around the Koricancha, pointing out elements that you would almost likely miss if you went without a guide.

After touring the Koricancha, we will proceed to Cusco Cathedral, which is located on the Plaza de Armas. Built between 1560 and 1654 on the ruins of an existing Inca temple, this magnificent cathedral has several works of art by the Cusco School of artists, and its main altar and pulpit are adorned with gold and silver relief work. Look closely and you'll notice elements of indigenous religious symbolism interwoven into the church by the local people who built it, such as the carved head of a jaguar on the doorway.

Our next visit is the majestic Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, located on a hill above Cusco. Some of the best specimens of Inca stonework and architecture can be found here, featuring gigantic rocks that were meticulously carved and flawlessly fitted together to build the walls. Beautiful panoramic views of Cusco are also available from this location.

After exploring Sacsayhuaman, we'll climb the hill to the Tambomachay Archaeological Complex. This site's specific purpose is uncertain, however it could have served as an Inca spa in some capacity. The terraced rocks are dotted with aqueducts, canals, and waterfalls, demonstrating Inca hydro-engineering.

Tambomachay is the last stop on our city tour, following which we'll return to Cusco and drop you off at your accommodation.

Accommodation: Jose Antonio Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast
Our journey begins in Cusco, where we will pick you up before going to the Misminay Community, which is located northwest of Cusco. The picturesque trip takes around 90 minutes as we travel through the Sacred Valley towards Moray (home to the magnificent circular agricultural terraces created by the Incas).

When we arrive, the people will greet us with a warm welcome with traditional music and dances passed down through the generations. We'll then have a tour of the settlement, seeing the native crops grown there and taking in the views of the Sacred Valley.

You'll then be able to immerse yourself in the local culture and decide how you wish to spend your day. The town is well-known for its textiles, and you can spend time learning about their weaving processes. Other everyday activities you can assist with include constructing adobe blocks for dwellings, dying yarn, farming the land and learning how to create a genuine Andean supper utilising the finest ingredients provided by the community (depending on the season). When the meal is finished, you'll join your hosts for a delicious lunch and get to know them even better.

In the afternoon, your hosts will lead you up the walk to the Moray viewpoint, where you will enjoy a stunning view of the circular agricultural terraces erected by the Incas as a sort of outdoor laboratory for cultivating various crops.

After saying our goodbyes to our hosts, we'll journey back through the Sacred Valley to Cusco, sad to leave the welcoming Misminay Community but grateful for the opportunity to spend time with these great people and learn about their traditional way of life.

Accommodation: Jose Antonio Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Our journey to the Maras, Moray, and Ccorccor begins at 08:00, when we pick you up from your Cusco accommodation. First, we will visit the spectacular Moray, an Inca agricultural laboratory. It takes around 1.5 hours to get there, but we'll pass through stunning Andean landscape, including fields of bright wheat, small traditional villages, and snow-capped mountains.

Upon arrival in Moray, your guide will show you the three terraced, amphitheater-like constructions. These terraces, carved in a circular pattern to form a bowl shape, are said to have been utilised as trial grounds for various crops to determine the best growth conditions. It is a magnificent sight that demonstrates the genius of the Inca Empire.

After touring Moray, we will travel to Maras, which is barely two miles away. We will witness the magnificent salt evaporation ponds that were employed by the Incas and probably pre-Inca civilizations. More than 3,000 salt pools have been cut into the mountainside to capture the very saline water that flows from a mountain spring. Ponds gather this water, which slowly evaporates, leaving just salt. This is harvested in a communal method and is best known for producing Maras salt, the popular pink table salt. It's remarkable to look down into the salt ponds, which appear to be coated in snow or ice.

Then, visit the Andean Community of Ccorccor. Ccorccor is famed for its weaving, and you can always watch a demonstration of the techniques utilised by the community since the Incas' time. If you're feeling very dexterous, you can try it. Other activities available will depend on what the locals are working on at the time of your visit. It is conceivable that you will see people cooking corn chicha or working their crops depending on the season you visit this village.

Ccorccor is predominantly a rural community. You can find yourself assisting with the community papa allay or potato digging. These potatoes are essential to the community and the Cusco Region as a whole, and several different varieties of potatoes and tubers are farmed, including ulluco and oca. You may observe the traditional technique of freeze-drying potatoes for chuño and moraya. Other traditional agricultural duties include ploughing the field with animal-drawn ploughs and asking the Apu mountain spirits to bless the land through a little rite known as El Tinkuy, which involves making sacrifices to the Apus and Pachamama (Mother Earth).

You'll also see a lot of adorable kids running around at Ccorccor, and they may let you play some of their traditional games. These include earlier forms of the spinning top, the game of rings, and plic plac, often known as hopscotch.

After spending some time in Ccorccor and eating lunch with the people, we will have to say our goodbyes to this charming hamlet. Then, we'll return to Cusco and drop you off at your accommodation.


Accommodation: Jose Antonio Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
We will get you up from your accommodation in Cusco around 05h00 because we need time to drive to the trailhead and then finish our journey. The drive takes roughly three hours and passes through stunning Andean scenery along the South Valley. We'll stop for breakfast along the road before continuing on to the trailhead in the village of Quesiuno, which is around 4,326 metres (14,189 feet) above sea level.

From here, we'll begin our trip, first following a beautiful creek and witnessing herds of alpacas and llamas grazing on the slopes. We'll also get consistent views of the sacred Ausangate Mountain. As we continue, we will travel through towns where old Andean traditions are still practiced.

We'll stop for a packed lunch somewhere along the trail and enjoy the surroundings while eating and relaxing. As we continue, we will travel past the distant potato fields of this rocky terrain, and we may even glimpse some local fauna. If we're lucky, we'll see some chinchillas, adorable Andean rodents with the thickest fur of any land mammal. We'll also look out for vicuñas, one of the two wild South American camelids that dwell in the high alpine sections of the Andes (the other being the guanaco).

As we approach our goal, we will notice an increase in the number of red mountains. After around five hours of trekking, we will arrive at our destination: Vinicunca, the beautiful Rainbow Mountain. We'll begin touring the area here, at a literally breathtaking 5,020 metres (16,466 feet) above sea level, which is actually a succession of coloured mountains rather than just one. We'll walk up to the summit of Rainbow Mountain for around 30 minutes, giving us plenty of time to appreciate the scenery and snap photos.

After we've had time to take in all of the breathtaking sites, we'll embark on our three to four-hour return journey. When we return to the trailhead, our private transport will be waiting for us, and we will go back to Cusco, which will take approximately three hours. We should arrive in Cusco about 16h00, and we'll drop you off at your hotel with memories of the breathtaking Rainbow Mountain still vivid in your memory.

Accommodation: Jose Antonio Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast
We will pick you up at your Cusco hotel at 7:30 a.m. and depart for the Sacred Valley. Leaving Cusco, we will travel through Ccorao and head into the mountains before dropping approximately 1,500 feet (450 metres) to the valley floor. We will meet near the sacred Urubamba River and the charming village of Pisac. We will visit Pisac's colourful traditional market, where you may peruse a range of local artisan work and other souvenirs, which you can, of course, purchase to take home. We will spend around 30 minutes here before continuing on to the Pisac ruins, which are positioned on top of a hill at the valley's entrance.

We will visit the huge ruins at the Pisac archaeological site while taking in the stunning valley vistas. You will be given a guided tour of the ruins, passing by diverse constructions that previously served as residences, storerooms, and temples, as well as Inca altars, carvings, tunnels, caverns, and the famed Intihuatana, the "hitch." post of the sun." We'll be exploring Pisac for about 90 minutes. Alternatively, if you choose to spend more time in the Pisac market rather than visiting the ruins, you can speak with your guide and arrange a time and place to meet when the tour group returns via the market after visiting the ruins.

We will now go to Urubamba, where we will stop for approximately 45 minutes for lunch (not included). After another 30-minute journey, we'll arrive in Ollantaytambo, a beautiful Inca village and archaeological site. Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Inca emperor Pachacuti, who conquered the area and erected the town and ceremonial centre. We will spend about an hour seeing these stunning ruins, including the incredible Temple of the Sun and viewing massive blocks of rock masterfully cut and polished by Inca master stonemasons. Ollantaytambo is also an excellent example of Inca agricultural building and hydroengineering, with a complex network of stone water sources, canals, and agricultural terraces arranged by height to create varied microclimates for crop experimentation.

We'll see the breadth of the water system when we return to town, where the Incas built fast-flowing water channels that are still in use today. Walking towards the town square, we'll have great views of the ruins above us, as well as the Inca granaries and warehouses carved into the surrounding steep slopes. We can also see daily life in Ollantaytambo, where many inhabitants still dress traditionally.


After Ollantaytambo, we will go to Chinchero, where we will spend approximately 30 minutes touring a local manufacturer.
Visit a textile exhibition to learn about local customs and traditions.

Chinchero's people are deeply rooted in their traditions, and many still dress in colourful clothes influenced by both indigenous and Spanish cultures. We'll also have great views from Chinchero, which is bordered by the stunning snow-capped peaks of Chicón and Verónica.

This is the final stop on our tour of the Sacred Valley, so we'll return to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel.

Accommodation: Jose Antonio Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast
Our journey begins in Cusco at 09:00, when we will pick you up and take you to the train station to board the train to Aguas Calientes (commonly known as Machu Picchu Pueblo). The train departs around 11:30, though the exact time varies. The two-hour train ride is memorable in and of itself, as we pass through river canyons and rolling hills.

Aguas Calientes, located in a deep ravine at the base of Machu Picchu's mountain, serves as the gateway to the site. It is a picturesque town that combines traditional living with a large tourist infrastructure, including numerous markets, souvenir stores, hotels, and restaurants. It's also heavily pedestrianised, making it an enjoyable spot to explore on foot. Aguas Calientes is bordered by mountains and jungle-covered cliffs, and the Urubamba River runs right past the town, occasionally thundering through the canyon.

Aguas Calientes is also surrounded by hot springs, and after we arrive, you will have plenty of time to unwind and have a dip in one of the steamy natural springs. You will also have the opportunity to roam around the city and enjoy the vibrant marketplaces and general bustle of this distinctive Peruvian hamlet.

It's an early start the next day, so we'll make sure you're comfortable at your hotel and ready for your first visit to Machu Picchu.

We recommend you that keep your luggage at the storage room of your hotel in Cusco (Jose Antonio Hotel) and bring the necessary for the visit to Machu Picchu. Jose Antonio Hotel usually storage their guest luggage for free. They also have a safe box for valuable things. You just need to ask for it at the reception / front desk. Train Companies only allow 7 kilos carry-on per person. If you bring more kilos, they will ask you for an additional payment. 

Accommodation: Hatun Inti Boutique or similar

Meals: Breakfast
To really appreciate Machu Picchu, we'll get up early to arrive to the citadel in good time. You will have time for breakfast before your tour picks you up from the hotel about 5:40 a.m. We'll then proceed to the bus stop for the short but winding journey up the road to Machu Picchu.

We'll then walk through the gates of the Machu Picchu ancient site. You'll start your guided walking tour with an experienced and educated guide. Our Machu Picchu trip will last approximately two hours and will take you to all of the most famous and breathtaking areas of the vast ancient complex. These include the House of the Guardian, Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, the Sacred Plaza, and other significant sites. (It will depend on the circuit determined by the Ministry of Culture.) As we stroll around, we'll see beautiful views of Machu Picchu's agriculture terraces as well as the surrounding mountains and canyons.

After our tour of Machu Picchu, we will take the bus back to Aguas Calientes, where you can relax and eat lunch (not included) before boarding the train back to Poroy and Cusco. When you arrive at the station, we will be waiting to drive you back to your accommodation in Cusco.

Accommodation: Jose Antonio Hotel or similar

Meals: Breakfast
Your Amazon experience begins when we pick you up from the Puerto Maldonado airport. We will then board our boat for the 25-minute voyage down the river to Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción, keeping an eye out for animals along the way. When we arrive, we will walk you to your cabin or room and introduce you to the hostel's great facilities. We will then all congregate in the dining area for a delicious lunch made with locally sourced, organic foods and native flavours.

After lunch, go through our Concepción trails, which are located on our 819 private acres of virgin woodland. During the walk, you will be able to examine the flora and wildlife while also learning about the major and secondary rainforests, its components, uses, and the human impact on the rainforest.

Later in the evening, we will depart in our little motor boat for the Twilight River cruise. We will sail the Madre de Dios River, and your guide will educate you on the surrounding ecosystem, Amazonian streams, and the behaviour of the nocturnal birds we will see and hear.

When we get back to the lodge, we will enjoy a great meal in the dining room.

Accommodation: Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Following breakfast, we will go to the famed Sandoval Lake in the Tambopata National Reserve. We can take canoes to a lovely oxbow lake, which is home to endangered giant river otters, red howler monkeys, red-bellied macaws, anacondas, side-necked turtles, black caimans, and other wildlife. After touring the lake, we'll head back to the lodge for lunch.

Then we may proceed to the amazing Inkaterra Canopy Walkway and Anaconda Walk. The Canopy Walk leads us up a 29-meter-high tower to the kingdom of the treetops. The walkway, which spans more than a quarter mile, traverses the canopy via a network of suspension bridges that connect eight viewing levels. Toucans, woodpeckers, trogons, monkeys, and the three-toed sloth will be visible from this excellent vantage point.

Then we can go on the Anaconda Walk! This boardwalk crosses a 200-meter-long wooden bridge across the Aguajales estuary, allowing us to see a wide range of amphibians, birds, mammals, trees, and other jungle plants. There is also the prospect of sighting snakes, including a massive anaconda.

Prepare for an unforgettable night of adventure as we go out to explore the Amazon jungle after dark. Nocturnal animals exhibit intriguing behavioural patterns and increased senses as a result of their adaptation to nocturnal living. We'll go out to find some of these nocturnal creatures and listen to the tremendous cacophony of sounds that come from the rainforest at night.

Accommodation: Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Following an early breakfast, we will visit a traditional Amazonian farm where you can learn about local farming techniques and sample some of the produce. Then we'll go to the botanical garden, where you can see the vast array of medicinal plants that make up the "natural pharmacy" used by the tropical jungle's residents.

Then we will return to Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción for lunch and relaxation before leaving on the Cocha aquatic adventure. We will go out in canoes on the gorgeous lake near the lodge and practise catch-and-release fishing. The backdrop is beautiful, and we can see a variety of birds, including hoatzins (skunk birds), flycatchers, and gray-necked rails.

During the afternoon, you can go on an excursion to the Collpa Interior and see several species of animals licking dirt in quest of salt before returning to the lodge for a well-deserved relaxation.

Accommodation: Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This is your last day at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción, but there's still plenty to do! After an early breakfast, we will ready for our trip to the Chestnut. Your guide will lead you on a walk through the jungle on the resort grounds, where you will witness a Brazil nut plantation. The Brazil nut tree is crucial to Madre de Dios' local economy. Your guide will demonstrate how to harvest the Brazil nut using traditional equipment and techniques, and you will be able to crack one yourself with a machete and nutcracker, before eating the nuts.

We'll return to the lodge for lunch. Then, in the afternoon, we will visit the cacao plantation at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción and take part in the chocolate-making process. You will learn how to select fresh cacao fruits, how the nibs are fermented and dried, and how to peel and ground the roasted cacao nibs into a fragrant paste. We will conclude this excursion by sampling a variety of treats produced with our organic chocolate.

In the evening, we will go out to see more animals before wrapping out the day with a fantastic dinner.

Accommodation: Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Unfortunately, today is the final day of this Amazon adventure. Following a hearty breakfast, we will board the boat returning to Puerto Maldonado. Please keep in mind that events and excursions may change depending on the weather during your visit. If you have time before your flight, we can visit the butterfly farm, where you can observe a wide range of colourful butterflies, some small and some as large as your hand. You may learn about the various life phases of these stunning insects and stroll among them as they flutter. Then we will transport you to the airport or your accommodation in Puerto Maldonado. We hope you had a fantastic time at Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción in the middle of the Amazon jungle!

Meals: Breakfast

Price Includes

  • Transfers as mentioned
  • 29 nights of accommodation
  • Professional guide who speaks English
  • Round trip train tickets to Machu Picchu on the Expedition Train
  • All national park fees, entrance fees, taxes, permits and vehicles as applicable to the itinerary
  • Meals specified on your program. Vegetarian meals or special diets are available upon prior request
  • Round trip bus ticket from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
  • 24/7 support and emergency line available throughout the itinerary

Price Excludes

  • Evacuation: in the event of a serious medical injury, we will coordinate with your travel insurance company to arrange evacuation.
  • Meals and drinks other than those mentioned in the itinerary
  • Internal Flights: Lima to Arequipa / Cusco – Puerto Maldonado – Lima
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional excursions
  • Items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and telephone calls
  • Travel insurance