Experience Peru’s iconic sites and the legendary Inca citadel of Machu Picchu before travelling to spectacular Lake Titicaca and enjoying an immersive stay in Bolivia. Discover indigenous communities living on floating reed islands and learn about the mysterious world of the witch doctors and healers of Bolivia. You’ll also get to stay on the edge of one of the world’s largest salt flats in a unique hotel made entirely of salt blocks – this is a unique itinerary which ticks off bucket list experiences.
- Lima: 2 nights \
- Sacred Valley: 2 nights \
- Machu Picchu: 1 night \
- Cuzco: 2 nights \
- Huatajata: 2 nights \
- Uyuni: 2 nights \
- La Paz: 1 night
Combine with Highlights of Argentina & Brazil to create our Ultimate South America tour.
Day 1: UK to Lima Depart from the UK on your daytime flight to Lima. Transfer to your hotel for an evening at leisure. Stay: Hotel Jose Antonio Deluxe (or similar).
Day 2: Lima Buy fresh ingredients at the market, before watching a local chef cook traditional dishes and recreating them yourself. Enjoy a welcome lunch then an afternoon tour to admire the colonial architecture and pre-Inca ruins. Visit the modern Miraflores and San Isidro districts and admire the views from the clifftop Parque del Amor. Continue to the historic centre for the Plaza de Armas which is home to the Government Palace, Archbishop’s Palace and 16th-Century Baroque cathedral. You’ll also see Santo Domingo Convent with its ancient crypt. Stay: Hotel Jose Antonio Deluxe (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 3: Lima to Sacred Valley Fly to Cuzco (approx. 1½ hours) and transfer to beautiful Sacred Valley, or Urubamba Valley. This fertile area was once the heart of the Inca Empire and is home to ruins, markets and small Andean towns. Transfer to your hotel on the banks of the Vilcanota River. Take an afternoon lesson in making Pisco Sours at your hotel bar. Stay: Aranwa Sacred Valley (or similar). B.
Day 4: Sacred Valley Start at the small town of Písac – barter at the local market for regional products such as alpaca wool, jewellery, trinkets and ceramics. Continue to Ollantaytambo to see one of the most impressive Incan archaeological sites. Explore narrow cobbled streets and climb stone steps on the steep terraces up to the fortress at the top, with town and valley views. Visit the ancient Maras salt mines, built on the slope of a mountain in pre-Inca times, and the huge agricultural terraces of Moray, built in natural holes in a circular form and resembling a Roman amphitheatre – it is believed they were used as an agricultural research station by the Incas. Stay: Aranwa Sacred Valley (or similar). B, L.
Day 5: Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu Today you'll visit iconic Machu Picchu. Ride the Vistadome train (approx. 1½ hours), with mountain and valley views through panoramic windows, en route to the town of Aguas Calientes. Disembark for lunch before a scenic and thrilling bus journey through mountainous cloud forest up to Machu Picchu – the mysterious citadel was ‘lost’ to the world until its ‘rediscovery’ by archaeologist Hiram Bingham III in 1911. Take a guided tour before free time to explore by yourself. See orchids, bromeliads, butterflies and birds including Andean motmots and the masked fruiteater. Return to Aguas Calientes and walk the short distance to your hotel. There is limited luggage space on the train and restrictions on what can be taken into Machu Picchu, so you'll need a small overnight bag today. The rest of your luggage will be stored and waiting for you in your Cuzco hotel. Stay: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 6: Machu Picchu to Cuzco This morning is free, giving you the chance to explore Machu Picchu independently at your own pace. Your hotel is just a short stroll from Aguas Calientes where you can go by bus to the ruins (additional entrance not included, we recommend booking in advance). In the early afternoon, board the Vistadome train for your journey (approx. 1½ hours) to Cuzco, the Inca Empire's former capital. Stay: Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel (or similar). B.
Day 7: Cuzco See the highlights of this colonial city, built on the foundations of Inca palaces. Visit Qoricancha – an ancient Inca palace built to honour the sun god, Inti – and the Plaza de Armas for a cathedral tour. Enjoy panoramic city views from the San Cristobal lookout point before continuing by road to the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuamán – it is believed to have taken 20,000 men to cut and transport the huge stones needed to build it. Visit the cave and temple of Kenko and the ruins of Puca Pucara, or ‘Red Fortress’ in Quechua. Admire local artisans creating paintings and wood carvings at the ‘Inka’s Expression’ workshop. Enjoy dinner at Incanto, a charming restaurant at the heart of Cuzco which fuses Italian and Peruvian cuisine using local ingredients. Stay: Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel (or similar). B, D.
Day 8: Cuzco to Huatajata Transfer to Cuzco Airport for your flight to La Paz (approx. 1 hour). On arrival, transfer to Huatajata on the shore of Lake Titicaca and join a hydrofoil cruise to Kalauta Island, where you'll see ruins of an ancient stone village. Cruise through totora-reed canals to reach Uros Iruitos Floating Islands and the Quewaya Sustainable Project – it aims to preserve historic local culture. Enjoy a typical indigenous lunch, candlelit dinner and audio-visual night experience of the ‘mystic world of the Kallawayas’, Bolivian natural healers. Approx. journey time: 2 hours, 56 miles. Stay: Inca Utama Hotel & Spa (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 9: Huatajata Board a hydrofoil cruise to Sun Island to visit the Inca ‘Grand Staircase’ and sacred fountain. Eat lunch at the Uma Kollu archaeological restaurant and visit the market before continuing by hydrofoil to Moon Island. See the Sun Virgin Temple of Inak Uyu before visiting Copacabana for the shrine dedicated to the patron saint of Bolivia, the Dark Virgin of the Lake. Return to Huatajata by road, stopping en route at the Andean Roots Eco village, Altiplano Museum and a handicrafts village. Later admire the Southern Constellations at the Native Observatory Alajpacha. Stay: Inca Utama Hotel & Spa (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 10: Huatajata to Uyuni Return to La Paz and fly (approx. 1 hour) to Uyuni, bordering Salar de Uyuni – the world’s largest salt flat. See the contrast of crystalline salt and pure blue sky then eat lunch at Isla Pescado, a desert oasis dotted with giant columnar cacti over 12 metres tall. Stay in a unique salt hotel made entirely of salt blocks on the banks of the lake. Stay: Hotel Luna Salada (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 11: Uyuni Visit the small village of Tahua at the base of the Tunupa Volcano – take a short hike to the caves of the Coquesa Mummies and explore the ruined ancient villages and burial grounds of this lesser-known civilisation. Return to your hotel in the afternoon – enjoy spa treatments and views over the salt lagoon. Stay: Hotel Luna Salada (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 12: Uyuni to La Paz Return to the airport for your flight to La Paz (approx. 1 hour). Take a city tour to discover its pre-Hispanic traditions. See the indigenous, colonial and modern parts, stopping by the Indian and Witch Doctor market. Visit Moon Valley, a clay formation resembling the face of the moon high above the city with breathtaking mountain views. End the day with a cable car ride. Stay: Hotel Casa Grande (or similar). B.
Day 13: La Paz to UK Transfer to the airport for your return overnight flight to the UK via Santa Cruz and Sao Paulo, or continue your South American adventure in Argentina and Brazil. B.
Combine with Highlights of Argentina & Brazil to create our Ultimate South America tour.
Is this for you?
For those looking to get a little more off the beaten track and discover the contrasting landscapes of Peru and Bolivia.
Good to know
• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 10)
• Average group size of 12 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests
• Journey times do not take into account stops or local traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag
• A good level of fitness is required
• During rainy season in Bolivia (usually January, February and March) the salt flats can get flooded, and Tunupa Volcano and the caves of the Coquesa Mummies are closed to visitors.
What to expect
• You will need a small overnight bag for your night in Machu Picchu, the rest of your luggage will be forwarded on
• Tour is not suitable for those with walking difficulties due to uneven terrain, steps and hills to climb
• Tour is not suitable for those with respiratory problems as you will visit altitudes up to 4000m (13,125ft)
• A pair of comfortable walking shoes is recommended
• For internal flights in Peru, a local baggage fee of approx. US $23 per flight is payable locally.
Accommodation on tour
In Peru you’ll stay in stunning Sacred Valley on the banks of the Urubamba River and a spectacular restored mansion in Cuzco. In the small town of Aguas Calientes your hotel is tucked away in the cloud forest reserve, just a short walk from the bus departure point to Machu Picchu. In Bolivia you'll stay on the edge of Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, in a unique hotel made entirely from salt blocks and with superb lake views.
2020 Apr 15; May 13; Aug 19; Sep 16; Oct 14
Included in price
• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights.
This tour ticks off bucket-list spot Machu Picchu, and staying overnight in the area lets you maximise your time there. We’ve included an introduction to Peruvian cuisine with a gastronomic tour of Lima and a cocktail class for making a Pisco Sour, Peru’s national drink. In Bolivia you’ll stay in a unique salt hotel on the edge of Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat; discover the southern skies' constellations during a candlelit dinner; and enjoy a cable car ride over La Paz.