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Essential Peru13D / 12N

A timeless introduction to Peru exploring Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco

We create fully personalised trips from start to finish. From locations to accommodation and guides, everything is selected to suit you.

We give back to two regional charities from the profits of each one of our trips.

From expert private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your time off.

Use our trip ideas to inspire your bespoke experience

 Visit Peru and live unique moments with the best hotels, start in Lima with its beautiful museums and colonial streets, visit Cusco navel of the world and return in time with its culture and archeology discovering the landscapes of the sacred valley connecting you in train with Macchu Picchu, feel the warmth of the inhabitants of the islands of the highest lake in the world in Puno, and the amazing Colca Canyon.

  • All transfers and entrance fees
  • A welcome pack on arrival including: a printed booklet packed with insider tips alongside your detailed itinerary and up-to-date recommendations on dining and shopping
  • Hand-selected English-speaking guides
  • Specialist guides (where noted)
  • 24-hour support from our locally based team
  • 6 nights in a hand-picked selection of Peru’s finest hotels

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Trip Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival Peru

An English-speaking representative will be expecting you from your international arrival will greet you and give you your customized welcome pack with a booklet of your trip itinerary and other useful information before whisking you off to your hotel, assisting you with all check-in procedures.

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight:

Libertador

Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel

Hotels in Cusco

Day 2 LIMA

City tour Lima

One of the main fascinations of Lima is the concentration of ancient history in the area; not only do the origins of the city pre-date the Spanish foundation of the city by several millennia, its museums are full of the artistic treasures of magnificent pre-Columbian civilizations that flourished throughout the coastal deserts of Peru. Begin to unravel this multifaceted history and discover the complex past of this fascinating city accompanied our specialist guide. Visit an ancient adobe pyramid right in the middle of the city, Huaca Huallamarca, which dates back to around 200 BC. Journey to the Larco Herrera Museum, where thousands of years of complex ancient history will be turned into an easy-to-understand story, for kids and adults alike. Continue on to the colonial area of Lima, featuring the Cathedral, the Convent of Santo Domingo, and the Main Square with its beautiful baroque style buildings. You will also have a chance to visit Casa Aliaga, reportedly the oldest home on the Continent and still family-owned after 17 generations. The sites visited today can be tailored to alternatively include: La Casona de San Marcos; the Convent of San Francisco and its catacombs; Huaca Pucllana; and the Museo de la Inquisition. It is also possible to organize cocktails at Casa Aliaga (supplement price applies).

Meals: Breakfast

Overnight:

Libertador

Belmond Miraflores Park Hotel

Hotels in Cusco

Day 3 LIMA  – CUSCO – URUBAMBA VALLEY

Flight to Cusco, Awanacancha, Pisac Market & Ruins

Our Machu Picchu Luxury Tours representative will pick you up from your hotel for your private transfer to Lima airport, where he will assist you with check-in procedures for your domestic flight to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, your personal guide and private driver will greet you at the airport to head straight to the Urubamba Valley – also known as the ‘Sacred Valley’. Your guide will accompany you throughout the Urubamba Valley, Cusco and Machu Picchu.

En route, stop for a short visit of Awanacancha where you will have the opportunity to see the different camelids that live in the Andes such as llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos. In Pisac experience the sights and sounds of the town’s famous market, with its variety of handcrafts and fresh produce. Continue on to the Pisac ruins. With Inca masonry of superlative quality, the stunning terracing following the contours of the mountain and superior view of the valley will leave you in awe. After lunch (own cost), check-in to your chosen hotel.

Meals: Breakfast*

Overnight:

Luxury Collection Tambo del Inka

Inkaterra Hacienda Hotel

Hotels in Cusco

Day 4 SACRED VALLEY

Today, you will visit Maras, the site of the remarkable and unusual Salinas, located in the heart of the Sacred Valley and not far from Urubamba. This site consists of a huge number of watered terraces that collect salt by evaporation from the saline waters that gush from an underground stream. Built in a similar way to agricultural terraces seen throughout the Andes, the Salinas have been in use since pre-Columbian times. Visually, the shining, salt-encrusted terraces are extraordinary. Nearby Maras lie the most enigmatic Inca terraces at the site of Moray. This unique site, probably used for agricultural experimentation, consists of several enormous terraced circular depressions. Following your visit, enjoy lunch (at own cost) before transferring back to your hotel.

For lunch, enjoy an elaborate picnic, for an unforgettable, first-class dining experience in the heart of the Andean outdoors. Following lunch, you will be escorted to your hotel.

Meals:

Breakfast

Picnic Lunch

Overnight:

Luxury Collection Tambo del Inka

Inkaterra Hacienda Hotel

Hotels in Cusco

Day 5 URUBAMBA VALLEY – MACHU PICCHU

Machu Picchu visit, arriving by the Hiram Bingham Train

Your guide will pick you up from your hotel this morning to transfer to the train station to board the luxurious Hiram Bingham train – a must for those seeking the higher level of luxury – to Aguas Calientes, at the foot of Machu Picchu. Enjoy a gourmet brunch during the spectacular journey descending into the Sacred Valley and passing through lush landscapes and Andean villages. On arrival in Aguas Calientes you will have the afternoon at leisure you can visit Machu Picchu by your own or you can spend the day exploring your beautiful hotel

Meals: Breakfast*

Overnight:

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Belmond Sanctuary Lodge

Hotels in Cusco

Day 6 MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

Second Day at Machu Picchu, Vistadome train

This morning you will visit Machu Picchu with your guide. “Magnificence” is the only word to describe the scene, as you gaze upon the Inka city of Machu Picchu. The main destination on many travellers’ lists, the ‘lost city of the Incas’

Optionally climb to Huayna Picchu or climb to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, located south of the Citadel and offering spectacular panoramic views. Following your visit, take the bus back to the town of Aguas Calientes to catch the Vistadome train (approx. 1.5hrs) back to Ollantaytambo, where a private vehicle will be waiting to transfer you by road to Cusco (approx. 2hrs) to check in to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast*

Overnight:

Casona Inkaterra

Belmond Monasterio hotel

Hotels in Cusco

Day 7 CUSCO

Since its narrow alleyways were originally designed by the Incas as a city for walking, start your exploration of Cusco on foot. Begin at the Plaza de Armas, the Main Square, which is marked by the exquisite Spanish Colonial architecture and ornamentation imposed by Spanish colonists to exert religious and political influence. Underneath it all, however, you can clearly see remnants of Inca Cusco in the solid stonework. Visit Koricancha, the most sumptuous “Sun Temple” in the Inca Empire, and the breathtaking Cathedral, a repository for Cusco’s colonial art, as well as many other important archaeological relics and artifacts. You will also stop by the colorful San Pedro market and pass through the charming neighborhood of San Blas. Next, visit Sacsayhuaman, an Inca citadel atop a hill, on the outskirts of the city. Not only are the imposing terraces of masterful stonework a sight to behold, but the vistas overlooking the sienna rooftops of Cusco provide a whole new perspective to the city you traversed. Afterwards, return to your hotel.

Meals: Breakfast*

Overnight:

Casona Inkaterra

Belmond Monasterio hotel

Hotels in Cusco

Day 8 CUSCO – PUNO

Flight to Juliaca, Transfer to Puno

An Machu Picchu Luxury Tours representative will meet you at your hotel to transfer you to Cusco airport for your domestic flight to Juliaca. Upon arrival at the Juliaca airport, you will be welcomed by an Machu Picchu Luxury Tours representative and transferred approximately 1 hour to you hotel.

Lake Titicaca, at nearly 4000 feet above sea level between the Peruvian and Bolivian highlands, is the highest navigable lake in the world. This gentle lake is home to a myriad of communities, each with their own specific customs and traditions and with folklore often considered to be the richest in Peru. With rugged landscapes, gentle lapping water, and the crisp air of the highlands, a visit to Lake Titicaca is both a serene and educational experience, providing a unique look into the cultural variety and native wildlife that exists here.

Meals: Breakfast*

Overnight:

Libertador Lake Titicaca Hotel

Casa Andina Private Collection

Hotels in Cusco

DAY 9 TITICACA LAKE

Buffet breakfast at your hotel. Early in the morning, we will have an unforgettable motorboat excursion on the waters of Lake Titicaca to the unique “Floating Islands” of the Uros. These ancient inhabitants of the lake, known as the Water Tribe, have built their own “islands” by periodically adding new layers of a type of reed called “totora” (Scirpus Totora), vegetable fiber of the Papyrus family. Their homes and boats are also made from th is material. We continue our motorboat trip to Taquile Island, inhabited by Quechua-speaking natives who have developed efficient and unique social systems down through the generations, as well as fine hand weaving techniques.

 

Upon arrival at the Town of Taquile we will have a lunch. Then we will walk through the various hills and archaeological sites of this 6 km long Island. In the afternoon, return to Puno. Lodging.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Overnight:

Libertador Lake Titicaca Hotel

Casa Andina Private Collection

Hotels in Cusco

DAY 10 PUNO – COLCA VALLEY

Transfer by road to Colca Canyon

 

The Colca Valley and Canyon (3,650m/11,975ft) constitute one of Peru’s most dramatic and spectacular natural landscapes.

You will depart from your hotel by Lake Titicaca by private car setting out for the Colca Valley, a journey of approximately six hours. Along the way, pass the towns of Juliaca, Santa Lucía, and Imata. Drive along the coast of Lake Lagunilla, hoping to catch a glimpse of its variety of wild birds and flora. Continue your journey through picturesque Andean farms, dotted with sheep, llama, and traditionally dressed workers. Stop to take a photo of the natural landscape with the surrounding Peruvian Andes acting as the perfect backdrop. Upon arrival at the Colca Valley you will be transferred to Colca Lodge to check in.

 

Meals:  Breakfast*

Overnight:

Aranwa Colca

Colca Lodge

Hotels in Cusco

Day 11 COLCA VALLEY & CANYON

Depths of the Canyon

 

In the morning, you and your guide will journey firstly to the recently renovated colonial church of Lari before driving further down the valley toward the famous Condor Cross to view the majestic condor in flight. The Andean condor has an average wingspan of 3m (10ft) and is one of the largest land flying birds in the world. Although it cannot be 100% guaranteed that they will show up, you will have a very high chance of observing the condor from this vantage point.

In the afternoon, we will start the journey through wonderful scenery and traditional towns, leading you to a lookout point from where you can see snow-capped mountains. You will continue through a forest filled with interesting rock formations and the Pampa of Cañahuas. The mountains surrounding the area provide the quintessential scene of the Peruvian Andes, dotted with farms, sheep and llamas along the way. Following this, you will make the return journey to Arequipa, a journey of approximately four hours.

Following your excursion, you will be transferred back to your hotel for dinner (at own cost) and to enjoy your evening at leisure.

Meals:  Breakfast

Overnight

Casa Andina Private Collection Arequipa

Libertador Arequipa Hotel

Hotels in Cusco

Day 12 AREQUIPA

The White City

 

Peru’s second largest city is commonly referred to as “The White City” as it is constructed from sillar,

Begin your morning on the outskirts of Arequipa, where you will visit the Ruta del Sillar. Dating back to Colonial days, the sillar rock was used to build casonas, churches, public buildings and more. Back in the center, visit impressive main square, the Plaza de Armas then head to the Jesuit church of La Compañía, a unique example of American baroque architecture. Next, take in the Santa Teresa convent, a former religious Center that has been converted into a Colonial Art Museum. After lunch (own cost) – we recommend you try local specialties such as rocoto relleno – visit the Santa Catalina monastery, the pride of Arequipa. This expansive 29,426 square meter convent was founded in 1580 and is a masterpiece of Colonial architectural design. Afterwards, you will be taken to the Santuarios Andinos Museum, where the body of Juanita, a frozen mummy, is on display. Uncovered atop Ampato Mountain in 1995, Juanita was a teenage girl sacrificed to the Inca gods in the 1400s and is eerily well-preserved.

Meals:  Breakfast*

Overnight

Casa Andina Private Collection Arequipa

Libertador Arequipa Hotel

Hotels in Cusco

Day 13 AREQUIPA – LIMA

Departure from Arequipa.

 

An Machu Picchu Luxury Tours representative will meet you at your hotel for your transfer to Arequipa airport for your domestic flight to Lima.

 

Lima – Arequipa, Arequipa – Cusco, Juliaca – Lima to be quoted on the day of enquiry (prices vary from US$100 to US$399 per person depending on the season. can be booked by  Machu Picchu Luxury Tours is you wish.