Lima │ Arequipa│ Colca Canyon │ Puno│ Sicuani│ Cusco │ Aguas Calientes│ Machu Picchu │ Sacred Valley
Upon arrival at the airport of Lima you will already be expected by your guide and drive to your hotel. The day is at your own leisure to explore the surroundings by yourself or just to relax. From your well-located hotel, you can explore the modern and safe district of Miraflores on your own. For example, the archaeological site Huaca Pucllana is only about a 20 minutes’ walk from the hotel.
This morning, a cooking class is on your program. Before the course begins, you can look forward to a special market tour where you will get to know many ingredients of Peru’s typical dishes as well as unknown fruits and vegetables, which you can try later. In the approx. 3-hour class, you get to learn and prepare Peruvian recipes like Ceviche, but also others like Lomo Saltado (beef with fried vegetables) or Picarones (fried dough rings doused with delicious syrup). In the afternoon, you will go on a city tour of Lima. You will visit the historical center with the main square and the monastery of San Francisco. The evening is at your free disposal.
Today you fly to Arequipa. In your city hotel, you will meet your guide and get to know the beautiful colonial city of Arequipa on a guided city tour. For example, you will visit the convent of Santa Catalina and the oldest market of Arequipa, San Camilo. Furthermore, you will have a look at the main square with the mighty cathedral. The rest of the day is at your own disposal for further explorations. Ask your guide for tips to make the most of your free afternoon in Arequipa.
In the morning, you will leave Arequipa and set off on the journey to the Colca Valley. In the National Park Salinas y Aguada Blanca you will see many alpacas, llamas and vicuñas in their natural environment. At the highest point of this tour, the Patapampa Pass (4.910 m), you can enjoy an impressive view of the surrounding snow-capped volcanoes and slowly get used to the altitude. Afterwards you will drive on a serpentine road through a fascinating landscape to Chivay (approx. 3.650 m), and to the small village Coporaque. In the afternoon, there is the possibility to do a short hike to the viewpoint and the ruins of San Antonio or to get to know the authentic village of Coporaque with its beautiful church. There is also the possibility to visit the nearby thermal springs (optional).
Today you have to get up early in the morning to experience the majestic flight of the condors at the Cruz del Condor viewpoint. On the way back, you will stop at other viewpoints and visit another typical village and its church. After lunch (not included), you will set off for Puno. First, you drive back on the Patapampa Pass and then take the turnoff towards Puno. At the picturesque Lagunillas Lake you will make a short stop. Through barren highland landscapes, you reach today’s destination, Puno at Lake Titicaca, in the evening.
After breakfast, you will be taken from the hotel to the harbor where you will start an exciting boat trip on Lake Titicaca with an international group. First, you will visit the floating reed islands of the Uros and learn more about their unique way of life. Afterwards you continue your boat trip to the island Taquile, famous for its knitting men. From the boat landing stage, you take a short hike up to the village and can enjoy the fantastic view of Lake Titicaca. Your lunch you will have on the island. Afterwards you will start your return journey, reach Puno in the late afternoon, and transfer to your hotel.
Today you have to say goodbye to the enchanting Lake Titicaca. A very varied journey from Puno over the plateau to Sicuani awaits you. On the way, we will make a stop in Lampa, known as “the pink city”, where we will visit the famous church “Santiago Apostle”. Afterwards we will continue to the beautiful canyon of Tinajani, whose rock formations, formed by wind and weather, we will get to know on a hike. If time permits, we will visit the temple of Raqchi before we continue to our hotel in Sicuani.
Today is a real highlight on your program. You will start your journey early in the morning to the rainbow mountain Vinicunca. After an approx. 1-hour drive, you will reach the small village of Cusipata (3,310m), where you will have the opportunity to do some last minute shopping. After another 1-hour drive, you reach Pulawasipata, the starting point for the hike to the Rainbow Mountain. After a hike of about 1 ½-hours, you will see the Vinicunca Mountain (5,020 m), the so-called Rainbow Mountain, which offers you a unique view in very different colors. After you have enjoyed this view, you will start the way back and stop for lunch on the way. On this day, the maximum altitude you will reach is 5,020 meters and you will hike for about 3 hours (total of about 8 km). If time permits, you can visit the church of San Pedro of Andahuaylillas, known as the Sistine Chapel of the Andes.
After breakfast, your guide will pick you up at the hotel and you will begin your tour of Cusco. You will visit the four ruine sites around Cusco – the water sanctuary Tambomachay, whose basins are still fed by the crystal clear water of underground springs, the ‘red fortress’ Pukapukara, which once served as a control and camp post; the labyrinth Q’enko, situated between craggy rocks, where you can admire holy altars and finally the extensive fortress of Saqsaywamán, which is located above the city and offers a magnificent view over the former capital of the Inca Empire. Afterwards you will visit the old town with the stately cathedral and the temple of the sun Qoricancha. The evening is at your free disposal so you can enjoy the extraordinary atmosphere of the city. There will be enough time for a last walk or a shopping tour through the old artists’ quarter San Blas or the lively market San Pedro, where you will get an impression of the local culture.
In the very early morning, you will take the group bus to Ollantaytambo station, where you will take the train to kilometer 104 (the beginning of the trek). A pedestrian bridge will take you over the Urubamba River and the trek continues through beautiful, green mountain canyons, past streams and the Chachabamba Inca ruins. In about 4 hours, you will climb over many steps to 2.700 meters of altitude. Afterwards you take a short break and can enjoy your delicious lunch box with a unique view. In the afternoon, you will first arrive at the Inca ruins Wiñaywayna and later at the Sun Gate, where you will have the first impressive panoramic view of the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.
From there you will take the last part of the way towards the old citadel. Before reaching Machu Picchu you will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes and save your visit to Machu Picchu for the next day.
Alternative: Excursion Sacred Valley and train ride to Aguas Calientes
In the early morning, you will take the bus to the ruins of Machu Picchu and visit the most important points of the Inca citadel during the 2 ½-hour guided tour. Afterwards, you will return to Aguas Calientes and continue via Ollantaytambo to Cusco. You will travel the first part of the route by train, and afterwards take a transfer to your hotel in Cusco.
Two eventful weeks come to an end today. We hope you have enjoyed your Peru trip and travel home with a suitcase full of memories.We recommend to continue with our 5-day group extention on the Galapagos Islands.
Soon you can find our travel dates here.