Overview
  • Day 1: Arrival in Lima
  • Day 2: Arrival in Arequipa & Arequipa City Tour
  • Day 3: Colca Canyon Tour & Overnight
  • Day 4: Colca Canyon Tour & Arrival in Puno
  • Day 5: Lake Titicaca Tour
  • Day 6: Arrival in Cusco
  • Day 7: Cusco City Tour
  • Day 8: Sacred Valley Tour
  • Day 9: Machu Picchu Tour
  • Day 10: Departure from Cusco
Map Special #1

Enter into the world of the Andes on this tour package to Peru’s most magical mountain places.

In Arequipa, you’ll hear tales of volcanoes and Inca mummies and you’ll wander streets filled with fantastic white stone architecture. In the Colca Canyon, the main attractions are soaring condors, looming mountains, and a valley landscape that carves deep into the earth. You’ll stop for a night amid hillsides adorned with terraces where Peru’s first agricultural societies settled and you’ll take a soak in natural hot springs renowned for their therapeutic qualities.

You’ll continue to the highest Andes to the city of Puno, folkloric capital of Peru and gateway to Lake Titicaca, where indigenous legends say the sun, the moon and the stars first emerged and where the reed islands of Uros float not too far from shore. You’ll visit with the people of Uros and then sail to Taquile Island to learn about ancient textile traditions.

Near the end of the tour, you’ll arrive in Cusco, redesigned in the 1400s by the Inca emperor Pachacuti to mimic the form of a puma. Pachacuti’s architects also engineered the construction of the final destination on this itinerary: Machu Picchu.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Arrival at Lima airport. Meet our representative for a transfer to your Lima airport hotel.

Day 2: Arrival in Arequipa & Arequipa City Tour

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Arequipa, a city renowned for its delectable cuisine and its beautiful colonial architecture. Upon arrival at the airport, meet our representative for a transfer to your hotel.

In the afternoon, meet your guide for a tour of Arequipa's highlights. The first stop, Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesus, exemplifies the city’s distinctive architectural heritage. The church exterior is a masterpiece of Andean baroque details sculpted from white sillar stone, while the interior displays a collection of paintings and wood carvings from the Cusco School of Art. The highlight is San Ignacio Chapel, the former sacristy, with a stunning dome and walls covered in multicolored murals depicting rainforest flora and fauna — an artifact of the Jesuits’ missionary efforts in the Amazon. Your next stop is the Plaza de Armas, where the elegant stone-sculpted facade of the Basilica Cathedral steals the spotlight. You’ll continue to Santa Catalina Monastery, where the Spanish colony’s wealthiest nuns once resided within a convent big enough to have its own streets and plazas. The final stop on this tour will be a mirador (lookout point), either Yanahuara or Carmen Alto, where you will be able to get pictures of Misti Volcano looming over the city.

Enjoy dinner at one of Arequipa’s many fine restaurants; recommended dishes include rocoto relleno and chupe de camarones, two Arequipean specialities. Visit the Plaza de Armas for evening photos of the Cathedral. Then go back to your hotel for some rest before an early morning pickup tomorrow.

Day 3: Colca Canyon Tour & Overnight

Transfer by car from Arequipa to the Colca Canyon where you’ll spend the night.

Keep your eyes open and your camera ready because the drive is among the most spectacular in the Andes. From Arequipa, you’ll gradually ascend to the highland plains and enter the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, which includes the volcanoes Misti and Chachani within its borders as well as free-roaming herds of llamas, alpacas, vicuñas, and guanacos. You’ll reach Patapampa Pass at 15,300 feet (4,820 meters) above sea level before beginning the descent into Colca Canyon with breathtaking views of agricultural terraces along the way.

Stop in the small town of Chivay for lunch, then drive to La Calera, where you can soak in the natural hot springs or simply enjoy the beautiful terraced landscape that surrounds you.

In the afternoon, check-in to your Colca Canyon hotel for a relaxing night under the starlit Andean sky.

Day 4: Colca Canyon Tour & Arrival in Puno

Wake up early to go to Mirador Cruz del Condor, where you can spot condors soaring across the massive mountain landscape. You’ll drive about 40 minutes along a road flanked by soaring glacier-capped peaks: Mismi on one side and Sabancaya and Ampato on the other. (The headwaters of the Amazon River have been tracked to Mismi; while the Ice Maiden mummy was discovered following the 1990 eruption of Sabancaya). The viewing platform at Cruz del Condor stands 3,960 feet (1,200 m) above the canyon floor, providing mesmerizing views over into one of the world’s deepest valleys.

Return to Chivay for lunch (not included), take some time to browse the local market, and then begin the overland journey to Puno (5 to 6 hours by car).

Upon arrival in Puno, check-in to your Lake Titicaca hotel. Explore the city of Puno or find a spot to enjoy inspiring views over the lake.

Day 5: Lake Titicaca Tour

Enjoy breakfast and then embark on a full-day tour of the world’s highest navigable lake. First, you’ll visit the floating islands of Uros, handwoven islands made from Totora reeds that perfectly complement the dream-like quality of Lake Titicaca. You’ll meet Uros islanders and learn about their culture and way of life. Next, you’ll sail 30 km across the vast blue waters to Taquile Island. Be forewarned: Taquile is infamous for its rugged topography and the 500 steps that lead from the boat dock into town. Once you’ve tackled the stair challenge, you’ll learn about Taquile’s history as an Inca settlement, a Spanish colonial prison, and a modern example of community-based tourism. Then you'll hike across the island for incredible views over the lake. Enjoy lunch (not included) and then begin the trip back to Puno.

Upon arrival in Puno, spend a quiet evening at your hotel or head into town to partake of the nightlife on the Plaza de Armas.

Day 6: Arrival in Cusco

After breakfast, transfer to the bus station for the trip to Cusco. (As an alternative, inquire about flight and train options.) The comfortable tourist-class bus includes a stop for lunch and guided visits to archaeological sites along the way. Notable landmarks include La Raya Pass at 14,220 feet (4,335 meters), the monumental remains of the Temple of Viracocha at Raqchi, and the baroque style Andahuaylillas Church, nicknamed the Sistine Chapel of America for its interior frescos.

Upon arrival in Cusco, meet our representative for a transfer to your hotel in the historic center and spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.

Day 7: Cusco City Tour

This morning you’ll have time to explore Cusco on your own. Visit the Pre-Columbian Art Museum (MAP) or Casa Concha (Machu Picchu Museum). You can also explore the vendor stalls at San Pedro Market or browse artisan workshops and art galleries in the San Blas neighborhood.

After lunch, meet your guide for an afternoon tour of Cusco’s must see sights. You’ll start on the Plaza de Armas, where your guide will begin to tell you about the history of South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city. You’ll enter into the Cusco Cathedral, formerly the site of a temple to the Inca creator deity Viracocha and today a treasure trove for religious art produced by native artisans in the years after the Spanish Conquest. You’ll continue to Santo Domingo Monastery, which was also constructed on the site of an Inca temple, Qoricancha or the Temple of the Sun. The building of the church atop the ruins ironically preserved parts of the Inca structures, which were revealed intact after a devastating earthquake in 1950 crumbled the Spanish construction. Next, you’ll visit the Inca ruins outside of Cusco, beginning at the fortress of Sacsayhuaman (site of an important battle between Inca and Spanish troops), and wrapping up the day with stops at Q’enko, Puka Pukara, and Tambomachay.

At the end of the tour, you’ll be returned to your hotel in Cusco. Hit the town to see Cusco by night or enjoy a quiet evening in.

Day 8: Sacred Valley Tour

After breakfast, meet your guide for a tour of the Sacred Valley, which in Inca times was littered with royal palaces and temples and today is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes. Your first stop is Pisac town, with its famous market and impressive hilltop ruins. At the market, your guide will point out local products like potatoes, giant corn, and natural dyes, and you’ll have a chance to browse the souvenir stalls for one-of-a-kind gifts. Next, you’ll drive up the hill to the Pisac ruins, which sprawl across a narrow mountain ridge and most likely protected the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley. You’ll continue down the road to Urubamba and stop for lunch (not included) at a buffet restaurant serving Peruvian specialties. The final stop is in Ollantaytambo, where you’ll climb to the top of the fortress ruins for panoramic views across the former Inca heartland.

At the end of the tour, you’ll be dropped of at your hotel in Sacred Valley.

Day 9: Machu Picchu Tour

Take an early train to Machu Picchu, traveling for 2 hours along a path that follows the banks of the Urubamba River and descends dramatically from the Andean highlands to the cloud forest. On clear days, you can glimpse the glacier-capped peaks that rise over the valley. Upon arrival at the train station, meet our representative for a transfer to the bus stop and the 25-min shuttle ride to the ruins.

Meet your guide at the ruins entrance for a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu. You’ll visit the primary temples and palaces of the Inca citadel and then you’ll have time to explore the ruins on your own. Take an optional hike to the Sun Gate (entrance from the Inca Trail) or to the Inca Bridge.

In the late afternoon, return to the train station for the trip back to Cusco.

Day 10: Departure from Cusco

Grab breakfast in the morning and then meet our representative for a transfer to the Cusco airport and the start of your journey back home.

Prices
Double/Triple
Budget 3 Star 4 Star 5 Star
$ 1749 $ 2139 $ 2649 $ 3079
Single
Budget 3 Star 4 Star 5 Star
$ 2229 $ 3059 $ 3999 $ 4889
Included
Included:
  • 1 night in Lima airport hotel, 1 night in Arequipa, 1 night in Colca Canyon, 2 nights in Puno, 3 nights in Cusco and 1 night in the Sacred Valley in Peru Hotels based on US standards
  • All tours stated in the itinerary with English-speaking guides
  • Ground transportation and entrance fees
  • Breakfast at all hotels
  • Bus transportation from Arequipa to Puno
  • Bus from Puno to Cusco
  • Trains: Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Cusco (Vistadome Train for 5-star and 4-star packages / Expedition Train for 3-star packages)
  • Budget tours are designed to offer the best value and comfort possible, and have some variations compared to our 3, 4, and 5-star packages. Call or email us to learn more about our Budget tours.
Not Included:
  • Airfare
  • Lunches and dinners (unless otherwise specified)
  • Airport taxes
  • Tips