This exhilarating journey visits Peru’s most famous highlights. Admire Lima and Cuzco’s impressive colonial architecture, discover ancient ruins and the tranquil Sacred Valley of the Incas, and journey across the Andes by rail to Machu Picchu, the magnificent ‘Lost City of the Incas’. Finally, discover the spectacular landscapes of Lake Titicaca – home to the famous floating Uros islands, and Colca Canyon.
• Lima: 2 nights
• Cuzco: 3 nights
• Puno: 2 nights
• Colca: 1 night
• Arequipa: 2 nights
Day 1: UK to Lima Depart from the UK on your daytime flight to Lima. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. This evening, get to know the rest of your group during a welcome dinner hosted by your tour leader. Stay: Hotel José Antonio Bellavista (or similar). D.
Day 2: Lima This morning you'll visit a local market equipped with a shopping list of items including fresh fish, exotic fruits and colourful vegetables. Watch a chef from a renowned restaurant whip up some tasty dishes and have a go at recreating them before enjoying a typical Peruvian lunch.
Discover the contrasts of this beautiful UNESCO-listed city during visits to modern and colonial parts of Lima. Begin in the exclusive Miraflores district and the elegant residential district of San Isidro. Along the way you'll see a huaca – a pre-Inca sacred place, and stop to admire the fantastic views from the cliff-top Parque del Amor, or ‘Park of Love’. Continue to the Historic Centre to visit the Plaza de Armas which is home to the Government Palace – the official residence of the president, the Archbishop’s Palace and the baroque cathedral which contains the remains of the conquistador Francisco Pizarro, Lima’s founder. You’ll also visit the Santo Domingo Convent, a striking example of colonial architecture with an ancient crypt. Stay: Hotel José Antonio Bellavista (or similar). B, L.
Day 3: Lima to Cuzco Fly to Cuzco, the former capital of the great Inca Empire, and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon, discover the highlights of this striking colonial city which was built on the foundations of Inca palaces. Visit the Koricancha Temple – an ancient Inca palace – and the Plaza de Armas to take a tour of the cathedral which was built using stone from the nearby Inca fortress of Sacsayhuamán.
Enjoy panoramic views of the city from the San Cristobal lookout point before continuing by road to explore remarkable Inca ruins at Sacsayhuamán. Visit the cave and temple of Kenko and the ruins of Puca Pucara which means 'Red Fortress' in Quechua. Admire local artisans creating artwork including paintings, wood carvings and silver pieces at the ‘Inka’s Expression’ workshop. Approx. flight time: 1¼ hours. Stay: Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel (or similar). B.
Day 4: Cuzco Today is undoubtedly one of the highlights of your tour – a visit to the magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu. Transfer to the train station to board the scenic Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes. Continue on a spectacular bus journey, zig-zagging your way through cloud forest to the top of the mountain and Machu Picchu. Take a guided tour of the legendary citadel, a remarkable testimony to the skills of the Inca, and enjoy some free time to explore by yourself. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Cuzco by train and transferring to your hotel in the city. Approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel (or similar). B, L.
Day 5: Cuzco Today you can look forward to some stunning scenery and colourful culture as you explore the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas, also known as the Urubamba Valley. This fertile area was once the heart of the Inca Empire and is home to Inca ruins, colourful markets and small Andean Indian towns. Visit the small town of Pisac and its local market where you can barter for regional products such as alpaca wool, silver and ceramics.
Continue to the hilltop town of Chinchero to enjoy magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and observe locals using centuries-old Andean spinning and weaving techniques. Try your hand at this ancient art and take your creation home with you as a special memento. You’ll also visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, one of the most impressive Incan archaeological sites. Stay: Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel (or similar). B, L.
Day 6: Cuzco to Puno Board a bus for your long journey to the small city of Puno on the banks of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. Enjoy the views as you pass small villages, and herds of alpacas and llamas grazing on the highland pampas, with the Andes providing a majestic backdrop.
Stop off at the pretty village of Andahuaylillas which is renowned for its 17th-Century baroque church – dubbed the 'Sistine Chapel of America' – that features beautiful frescoes and an ornate organ decorated with cherubs and angels. You'll also visit the archaeological ruins of the Temple of Wiracocha in Racchi and stop in La Raya, which at over 4260 metres above sea level is the highest point on the road between Cuzco and Puno. Enjoy the incredible views of the La Raya mountain range before continuing to Puno. Approx. journey time: 10 hours. Stay: Casa Andina Private Collection Puno (or similar). B, L.
Day 7: Puno Rise early for a full-day excursion on Lake Titicaca. Head out of Puno and sail to Taquile Island for an authentic glimpse into an ancient culture that dates back to Pre-Incan times. The islanders still live according to the traditions and beliefs of their ancestors and are renowned for their colourful outfits and incredible textiles. Visit the community of Huayllano and observe their artistic, handicraft, and farming activities.
Enjoy a traditional lunch before sailing to the famous Uros Islands which lie in the middle of the Lake Titicaca National Reserve. These floating islands are made from totora reeds and expand to support growing Uros communities. Meet the islanders, hunters and gatherers and descendants of the Altiplano’s first inhabitants, before returning to your hotel. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Casa Andina Private Collection Puno (or similar). B, L.
Day 8: Puno to Colca Leave early morning for a full-day road transfer to Colca. This journey is an ideal opportunity to quiz your guide about Peruvian culture, or just relax and enjoy the rolling landscapes as you traverse highland plains and mountain roads, passing Andean villages and grazing vicuñas. Enjoy a packed lunch along the way and stop at the beautiful Laguna Lagunillas to drink in the sweeping views over sparkling waters, sun-scorched plains and rugged peaks. The lagoon attracts a number of birds including flamingos. Arrive in the town of Chivay which is set in the Colca Valley and is home to hot springs. Stay: Aranwa Pueblito Encantado del Colca (or similar). L, D.
Day 9: Colca to Arequipa Rise early for your journey to Condor’s Cross which lies on the forested slopes of Colca Canyon and offers spectacular views. Enjoy river views along the way, as you pass tiny villages and handicraft markets. Condor’s Cross is also one of the best viewpoints for watching Andean condors, the world’s largest flying bird. Watch these majestic birds soar high in the sky, gliding on the thermal air currents and swooping surprisingly close to the viewing platform. Visit the picturesque villages of Maca and Yanque on your way to attractive colonial city of Arequipa. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Libertador Arequipa (or similar). B, L.
Day 10: Arequipa Known as the ‘White City’ due to its white volcanic rock buildings, Arequipa is a delight to explore. Enjoy a walking tour of the main square and its colourful buildings. Visit the Cloisters and Church of the Society of Jesus which houses colourful frescoes in the San Ignacio Dome, and the beautiful Monasterio de Santa Catalina – a 16th-Century citadel-like complex. Explore the traditional districts of Cayma and Yanahuara. Stay: Libertador Arequipa (or similar). B.
Day 11: Arequipa to Lima Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima and connecting flight to the UK, arriving the next day. B.
Is this for you?
This small group tour is a comprehensive introduction to Peru’s most famous attractions, magnificent landscapes and colourful Andean culture.
Good to know
• All departures are guaranteed
• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests.
What to expect
• A number of early starts, considerable travel and changes in climate
• Full-day bus journeys from Cuzco to Puno and Puno to Colca
• You’ll be visiting altitudes of over 4270 metres above sea level
• Unsuitable for those with walking difficulties
• Temperatures and weather conditions in the Andes vary considerably so we recommend taking clothing layers which can be easily added to or removed
• Luggage allowances on domestic flights vary.
Accommodation on tour
Our selection of quality hotels, including charming boutique-style properties that are full of local character, really sets this tour apart. Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel is a 16th-Century colonial mansion that’s been converted into a luxury hotel with an art gallery. Aranwa Pueblito Encantado del Colca is set in a valley with alpacas grazing on the lawn, a restaurant serving traditional Andean flavours, and views of the Andes from every room.
Single room supplement from £675
May 06; Jun 03; Sep 09; Oct 07
Included in price
• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.
Upgrade your tour
Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £955 per person
This tour offers a superb amount of inclusions, from unmissable sightseeing to scenic journeys by bus, train and boat. As well as must-see sights including that bucket-list favourite, Machu Picchu, you’ll also visit traditional villages and enjoy local experiences so that you can fully immerse yourself in Peru’s rich culture and heritage.