Magical Peru is a two weeks tour in Peru and includes the main highlights of the country; Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Sacred Valley, and the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.
14 days / 13 nights
After breakfast you are picked up for a guided tour of the colonial and modern Lima which includes the cathedral built in 1654 where the remains of the Spanish conqueror of the Inca Empire, Francisco Pizarro, rest, the Main Square with a bronze fountain from 1650 and some unique wooden colonial balconies around the main square (Plaza de Armas), the San Francisco monastery with the famous catacombs and the modern areas of Miraflores and San Isidro. Lima is also known as “The city of the kings”, and was founded 1535 by Francisco Pizarro and 1991 it was declared a world heritage by UNESCO.
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Arequipa (The white city), maybe the most beautiful city in Peru, where we will meet you at the airport for a transfer to your hotel. Rest and relax in the morning to get used to the altitude. In the afternoon we pick you up for a city tour of Arequipa where you will visit the Chilina valley and the old San Lorenzo district. You will get a nice view of the city and you will visit the Main Square and the Cathedral as well as the extraordinary Santa Catalina Monastery which is built of volcanic lava and dated back to the 16th century. You will end the day with a visit to Juanita, the best preserved mummy in the whole Americas, which was found in 1995 during an expedition high up in the mountains.
(In Arequipa you may also enjoy yourself with river rafting, mountain biking, trekking, and other adventure activities. Let us know if you want to add a day or two).
In the morning we will pick you up at the hotel for a two days Colca Canyon tour. You travel towards the hot springs of Yura, passing the volcano Chachani and then further up to the natural reserve of Pampa de Cañahuas, where you will see groups of llamas and alpacas. In the wetlands of Tocra you can see lots of various migratory birds, including flamingos. We pass the crater of an extinct volcano (Cuchura), and make a stop at the highest point of the trip, Patapampa, (4,910 m), where you will have spectacular views of the Andean mountains. Then starts the descent to the Colca Valley where you will arrive in Chivay, the main-village in the Valley. You are accommodated in your hotel and are then having a free afternoon to discover the Colca Valley district and maybe visit the hot springs for a nice bath. In the evening you may enjoy a delicious dinner in a restaurant with folkloric show and local dances.
After an early breakfast we head further into the Valley towards the deep ravine, Cruz del Condor, where the condors mostly are seen. The view from this place is amazing and you'll also stop by several times during the journey to admire the Colca Canyon. The condors can have a wingspan of over three meters and in the morning they take advantage of the warm upwind from the gap to be able to sail out from the cliffs in search of food. After a walking tour along Colca Canyon, it is time to return to Chivay. On the way we stop in the picturesque villages of Pinchollo, Maca and Yanque, with beautiful colonial churches and at the viewpoints of Choquetico and Antahuilque, where you will experience beautiful views over terraces in the valley as well as Inca and pre-Inca graves. On return to Chivay, you will then travel by bus to Puno (approximately 6 hours with breaks for sight-seeing). We will meet you at the bus terminal for transfer to your hotel.
After breakfast you are picked up for your guided tour of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. On the first stop you will visit the floating reed islands of Uros. The inhabitants will show you how the islands are built and you may go for a short trip in one of their reed boats. Then you go to Taquile, a truly beautiful island where the locals live as they have been doing during centuries with their small scale agriculture and animals. You walk around on the island with the guide and after lunch it is time to go back to Puno where you will arrive late afternoon and get transferred to your hotel.
(It is possible to stay overnight on the island in a family´s home. This is a very nice and special experience which we really recommend, keep in mind that the houses are very rustic though).
Early transfer to the bus station for your tour with a comfortable tourist bus to Cusco. You travel across the Andean highlands in a very beautiful landscape, and make several stops on the way to visit museums, ancient Inca ruins, markets and small villages. A stop for lunch is also made at La Raya, 4310 m above sea level. The journey takes about 9 hours, but it never becomes tedious thanks to all interesting stops along the way. Late in the afternoon you arrive in Cusco, the Inca Empire's old capital. We meet you at the bus terminal for transfer to your hotel.
Enjoy a morning to sleep a little longer or explore Cusco on your own. After lunch you will be picked up for a guided tour in Cusco and its surroundings, with visits to the four famous Inca ruins which lies in the outskirts of Cusco; the water temple of Tambo Machay, the Puca Pucara fortress, the oracle place Quengo and the impressive fortress and temple of Sacsayhuamán. Three enormous boulders, each one weighs 120 tons, are making three perfect zig-zag walls and the view over Cusco from this place is wonderful. You will finish the day with a walking tour in the centre of Cusco with visits to the Cathedral, the Main Square and the Sun Temple of Korikancha.
Today you will do a full day excursion to Urubamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You visit the village of Pisac that was founded during colonial times and is located at the foot of some impressive Inca ruins. Visit the Pisac market on the Main Square where the Indians sell their products and handicrafts. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays are the busiest days, but the market is always open. After lunch, visit Ollantaytambo, the only Inca village that the Spaniards never conquered, and explore the ruins located above the village. On the way back to Cusco you will visit the typical market in Chinchero.
You are picked up at your hotel in Cusco and driven on a scenic two-hour route through the Sacred Valley until you reach Ollantaytambo. In Ollantaytambo you will be prepared with equipment, food, and porters for the trek. A good idea is to bring coca leaves for altitude sickness relieving tea and wooden walking sticks to help you on the trek (trekking poles with metal tips are not permitted). Once set you will continue on to Piskacucho by bus (altitude: 2700m).
After crossing the Piskacucho bridge over the Urubamba River the trek starts. You now have a 12 km hike ahead of you before the day is over. You start with walking on flat terrain along the river until you take a break at the community of Miskay (altitude: 2800m). The path then continues a bit steeper towards a high plateau. From here you will have a spectacular view of the Inca ruins of Patallacta (altitude: 2750). The trek then goes on for two more hours before you reach the site where you´ll have lunch. After lunch it is only 2 hours left before you reach the campsite of Wayllabamba (altitude: 3000m). The highlights of this path are the views of the Vilcanota ridge on the other side of the Urubamba River and the snow-capped Mount Veronica.
The second day of the Inca Trail is the toughest one. After an early wake up and breakfast you will ascend for 9 km, surrounded by lush vegetation and crispy streams. It is important to take it easy and to take many shorter breaks to not exhaust yourself. You will take a longer break at the Llulluchapampa village and after that it is time to hike the highest and most famous mountain pass; the Abra Warmihuaña or “Dead Woman´s Pass” (altitude: 4200m). This hike takes around 2 hours and the last part before reaching the top is quite tough because of the altitude so it is even more important to take breaks. At the top of the Dead Woman´s Pass you can relax for a while and take some photos before you continue. Then you descend on a winding 2,5 km path of steps that crosses a natural valley, the habitat of much wildlife. You will have lunch along the way and continue to the campsite in the Pacamayo Valley (altitude 3600m). There you will rest and relax and have a nice dinner.
Today you will trek 15 km along an impressive and archeologically rich path. First you will ascend to the Runkurakay Pass (altitude 3970m). Halfway through the pass you will encounter the ruins of Runkurakay, an Inca watch-house. On the following pass you will have great views of the mountain ranges of Vilcabamba and Pumasillo. You then continue on to the spectacular ruins of Sayacmarca (altitude: 3624). After this you will trek through the cloud-forest to the last climb that will lead you to the third pass, the Abra de Phuyupatamarca (altitude: 3700m). Then the trail goes mostly downhill to the archeological site of Phuyuoatamarca. This ruin is called the “Town above the Clouds” and is surrounded by Inca terraces consisting of sophisticated irrigation and fountain systems. By sunset you will reach the ruins of Wiñaywayna, or “Forever Young”. This is believed to have been a center where water was worshipped, flower enthusiasts will be pleased to see the pink orchids in addition to learning about the ruin. Very close by is the camp site where you can find hot showers and a restaurant. Tonight you say goodbye to the cook and the porters who will leave early the next morning on the train back to Cusco.
You wake up at 4:00am and have breakfast at 4:30am in order to start the trek at 5:00am and reach the Inti Punko, or the “Sun Gate”, by 6:00am. The trek will take you through a narrow trail of cloud forest. As you reach the Sun Gate, just before sunrise, the fog will lift and Machu Picchu will be lit with sunlight. The view is truly magical and awe-inspiring. You then descend to the citadel to start the two hour tour during which you will learn everything about Machu Picchu. After the tour you have plenty of free time. Some people choose to climb the lush peak of Hyana Picchu. From there you will have a great view over the ruins and the surroundings. It is a tough climb though, especially after 4 days of trekking, so extreme caution must be taken.
In the afternoon you take the train back to Cusco. We pick you up at the train station and transfer you to the hotel.
(If you want to stay a night in Aguas Calientes to go back to Machu Picchu on the following day this is possible of course, ask for details.)
You will have some time on your own to spend in Cusco until we pick you up at the hotel for transfer to the airport in time for your flight to Lima. Depending on when you leave Cusco and your international flight leaves from Lima, you will either wait at the airport for your flight or spend a few hours in the city before departure.
Price does not include:
Note 1: Because of the nature of hotels and the travel industry, it is not always possible to secure the hotels and lodges listed in the itinerary. Tailor Made Peru will endeavour to secure the hotels listed in your itinerary. However, Tailor Made Peru reserves the right to secure the next best available option or an upgrade in the event that the original hotels are not available or overbooked.
Note 2: Please ensure that your passport expiration date is good for at least 6 months past the end of your tour.
Note 3: Please make sure to inform Tailor Made Peru of any health or dietary restrictions.
Note 4: Tailor Made Peru strongly recommends that all clients purchase travel insurance after booking your tour to cover your investment.
Destinations: Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and the Inca trail
Time: 14 days / 13 nights
Price: From 3080 USD
Included in the tour: