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Peru

Top Places in Peru: Machu Picchu, Titicaca, Colca Canyon, Arequipa

11 days | 10 nights
Private tour
From 1379USD per person
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Peru is THE country to visit if you are fascinated with history and culture. The land of the Inca empire, the largest civilization in Pre-Columbian America, Peru fostered this mystical culture that left myriads of temples and citadels behind. This tour will take you to the birthplace of this powerful empire in Cusco and the surrounding Sacred Valley where the Ollantaytambo fortress and the ruins of Pisac testify of the passage of the Inca. Machu Picchu, the abandoned citadel rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, will be the highlight of your journey but not the end. There is much more than archaeology to explore in South America's third largest country, a fast-growing society with an extremely rich culture. On your arrival in Lima, the largest city and capital of Peru, you will learn about the continent's colonial history. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Arequipa, 'the white city', where the refinement of the architecture contrasts the magnitude of the nearby volcanoes. Take a deep breath on the edge of the Colca canyon, the world's second-deepest canyon, home to the Andean condor, the largest raptor in the world and the largest flying bird in South America. Sail between islands on the mystic waters of Lake Titicaca, the birthplace of Manco Capac, the first Inca, for another unforgettable experience. 

Destinations

Peru

Trip at a glance

Visits

Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Condor Cross, Lake Titicaca: Uros and Taquile Islands, La Raya Pass, Raqchi, Andahuaylillas Church, Sacred Valley: Pisac Ruins and Market, Ollantaytambo Forteress, Maras Salt Ponds, Moray Terraces, Machu Picchu, Cusco City and Ruins, Modern and Colonial Lima

Accomodation

10 nights in 3 or 4* premium hotels

Transportation

Train trip to Machu Picchu in comfortable economy class: Ollantaytambo/Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo

Premium bus trip Arequipa/Colca Puno on day 4 and 5, Puno to Cusco on day 7, shuttle round trip Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes on day 10

Private car and driver on day 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11

Shared motor boat for the Lake Titicaca cruise on day 6

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Lima

Arrival at Jorge Chávez, Lima international airport. 

Welcome by our local English-speaking staff. 

Transfer to your hotel located in the residential and shopping district of Miraflores, overlooking the Pacific ocean (1 hour). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Lima. 

Day 2 Larco Herrera Museum, flight to Arequipa

Morning

Transfer with your private guide and driver to Pueblo Libre, one of Lima's central districts (30 min). 

Private guided visit of the sumptuous Larco Herrera Museum that hosts the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art in the world (2 hours). 

Housed in an 18th century colonial mansion, the museum displays the finest collection of Pre-Columbian gold and silver artefacts from ancient Peru, along with a famous collection of erotic Mochicas ceramics. 

Take the unusual opportunity to visit the museum's storage area that counts more than 45,000 carefully-classified archaeological objects. 

Afternoon

After lunch, transfer to Lima airport (30 min) for your direct flight to Arequipa (1 hour 30 min). 

Arrival in Arequipa (7,638 ft - 2328m), meet and greet with your local guide and transfer to your hotel downtown (30 min). 

Evening

Free evening to stroll the white streets of this charming colonial city. 

Overnight at your hotel in Arequipa. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 3 Arequipa half-day tour, free afternoon

Morning

Your tour will unlock the secrets of the beautiful colonial city of  Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru. 

The remarkable architectural use of volcanic sillar rock in the contruction of the white buildings of the city center has contributed to Arequipa's fame. The city center is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. 

Visit the Yanahuara neighboroud offering unbeatable views of the three volcanoes surrounding Arequipa. 

Drive back to the city center (10 min). 

Visit the peaceful Santa Catalina Monastery (2 hours). 

This blue and coral town within a town, founded in the 16th century is still home to some 20 nuns. Walk around this colorful and quiet maze that survived many devastating earthquakes over the centuries. 

Afternoon

Free afternoon. Enjoy a stroll along the beautiful Plaza de Armas, or learn about the Juanita mummy and the incredible story behind the Inca 'Ice Maiden'  at the Santuarios Andinos Museum (not included). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Arequipa. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 4 Road to Colca Canyon

Morning

Transfer by bus to the Colca Canyon (6 hours). 

Drive by the iconic Misti (19,101 ft - 5822 m), the snowcapped volcano overlooking the region. This perfectly shaped active stratovolcano last erupted in 1985. 

Get your camera ready for the many stops along this impressive scenic drive. 

Passing through the Pampa Cañahuas National Reserve, you will be greeted by the furry residents grazing on the side of the road. The vicuña, the rarest and most fascinating of the South American camelids is considered the best-looking one and its protected wool is the finest and the most expensive in the world. 

Afternoon

Your bus journey will stop in the little town of Chivay at 12,000 feet (3657 metres), located in the Colca Valley. 

You may have time to soak in the local hot springs, or just relax at your hotel. 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in the Colca Valley. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 5 Colca Canyon, Condors, road to Puno

Remember to bring your binoculars to catch the condor in its flight. 

Morning

Early departure by bus to drive along the Colca canyon, twice as deep as Grand Canyon, it is the world's second deepest canyon (50 min). 

Stop at the Condor Cross viewpoint, one of the best lookout to spot Andean condors (1 to 2 hours). 

A species of the American vulture family, the Andean condor holds several records: it is the largest raptor and land bird in the world as well as the largest flying bird in South America. 

Depart for Puno, a culturally-rich town on the shores of Lake Titicaca (6 hours). 

Afternoon

Late in the afternoon, arrival in Puno (12,560 ft - 3828 m). 

Transfer to your hotel. 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Puno. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 6 Lake Titicaca: Uros and Taquile Islands

Morning

Transfer to the lake's main pier (10 min) to board a shared motor boat. 

Today will be spent sailing Lake Titicaca and exploring two of its islands. 

With its 214 cubic miles (893 km³) of water and an altitude of 12,507 feet (3812 m), Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world. 

According to Inca mythology, lake Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun, moon, stars, and first human beings. Many myths and legends still inhabitate those majestic dark-blue waters. 

A 20-minute boat ride will take you to one of the many floating islands called Uros. 

The Uro floating islands are built from the totora reed that grows particularly well in the shallows of the lake. 

You will be welcome by a local family that will showcase the versatility of the totora, used to build their houses, boats, crafts and even as a source of food. 

After a short visit of the main Uro island you will sail on to Taquile island (1 hour). 

Afternoon

Discover Taquile island, famous for its knitting and weaving tradition. 

You will learn about the numerous customs of the local Taquilenos who still live off the island's ressources, living and working in their traditional clothes on the century-old man-made terraces. 

Enjoy some free time to browse the high-quality handicrafts that are unique to the island and cannot be found anywhere else in Peru. The textile art is actually listed as a 'Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity' by the UNESCO. 

End of the afternoon, sail back to Puno (1 hour 30 min). 

Transfer from the pier to your hotel (10 min). 

Evening

Free evening in Puno. 

Overnight at your hotel in Puno. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch in a local restaurant

Day 7 Road to Cusco: La Raya Pass, Raqchi, Andahuaylillas Church

Morning

Early morning transfer from your hotel to the bus station (10 min) where you will board a premium tour bus to Cusco (10 hours). 

Drinks and snacks are included for the day-long trip during which you will visit four exciting sites.

First stop at the lithic museum of Pukara, a small town named after a pre-Inca civilization that left behind considerable stone statues and a distinctive pottery art. 

Second stop at La Raya pass, the highest point on the journey at 14,222 feet (4335 m), the border between the provinces of Puno and Cusco, and the transition between the Aymara and Quechua cultures (5 to 10 min). 

Afternoon

Third stop at Raqchi, a former Inca stronghold on the edge of the Empire that served administrative, economic and military purposes and hosted the unique Temple of Wiracocha (40 min).  

Final stop to visit the incredible church of San Pedro Apostol of Andahuaylillas known as the 'Andean Sistine Chapel' (30 min). 

Arrival in Cusco late in the afternoon. 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch in a local restaurant

Day 8 Half-day Cusco City and Archaeological Tour, free afternoon

Morning

In the morning, you will meet your guide for a city tour of Cusco including the visit of the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral and the Korikancha, the original Temple of the Sun. 

Drive to the hills of Cusco to explore the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuamán, Q’enqo, PukaPukara and Tambomachay. 

Transfer back to your hotel or to the city centre (20 min). 

Afternoon

Afternoon at leisure to explore the Spanish colonial city known to the Inca as the 'belly button of the world'. 

Stroll around numerous plazas, shops selling incredible art and crafts or visit the great Pre-Columbian Museum MAP (not included). 

Evening

Free evening to discover Cusco's vibrant nightlife. We recommend the lively pisco bar La Republica del Pisco. 

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 9 Sacred Valley: Pisac Ruins and Market, Ollantaytambo Fortress

Morning

In the morning, drive from Cusco to the village of Pisac (1 hour) famous for its Sunday market where many indigenous Quechua communities meet to sell and trade their goods. 

The rest of the week, the whole place is bustling with a large handicraft and souvenir market. You will have time to search for jewellery, ponchos, hats, traditional music instruments, ceramics, alpaca products and many other typical Andean crafts  (1 hour 30 min). 

Visit Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa, and Kinchiracay. (1 hour 30 min). All 4 places are part of an Inca site on the nearby hill at an altitude of 10,980 feet (3345 m). 

The hill was shaped during Inca times by carving ingenious terraces that are still used for agriculture to this day. With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the site was an important and busy place for the Inca empire. 

Afternoon

In the afternoon, transfer to Ollantaytambo, a fortified city built during the reign of Pachacutec, the most powerful Inca emperor. 

Explore this quaint settlement with an interesting orthogonal layout (30 min). 

Climb the Temple Hill known as the fortress to learn about the purpose of those inca constructions (1 hour 30 min). 

Transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley (45 min). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in the Sacred Valley. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 10 Machu Picchu Tour

Your passport is required to enter the Machu Picchu site. You have the option to get a 'Machu Picchu' stamp in your passport if you wish. 

Morning

Today might be THE day you have been expecting from the moment you landed on Peruvian soil as you will finally enter the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. 

Transfer to Ollantaytambo train station (45 min). 

Board the comfortable train that will take you to Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to access Machu Picchu (1 hour 30 min). 

In Aguas Calientes, walk from the train to the bus station (5 min) and hop on a bus to the entrance of the archaeological site. 

Afternoon

Enjoy the impressive 20-minute drive up the hill to the Machu Picchu site at 7,972 feet (2430 m).

The abandoned stronghold was rediscovered in 1911 by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham, Macchu Picchu is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Learn about every secret this ancient Inca citadel holds and grab every opportunity to take amazing photographs (3 to 4 hours). 

Take the bus back to Aguas Calientes (20 min) and board the train back to Ollantaytambo (1 hour 30 min). 

Transfer to your hotel in Cusco (1 hour 30 min). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 11 Lima Historical City-Tour, departure

Morning

In the morning, transfer to Cusco airport for your flight back to Lima (1 hour 15 min). 

Arrival at Lima airport, meet and greet with your local guide and transfer downtown (45 min) for a city tour. 

The city founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, still features many invaluable colonial buildings along the main square (the Plaza Mayor) and the nearby streets. 

Afternoon

Discover Lima's Cathedral, the Government Palace and the San Francisco Convent among many other impressive colonial buildings.

 At the indicated time, transfer back to the airport for your international flight (45 min). 

Assistance for check-in. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
10 nights in 3 or 4* premium hotels

Meals

Bed & Breakfast plan
10 breakfasts + 2 lunches
Full board plan
10 breakfasts + 10 lunches + 10 dinners

Transportation

Train
Train trip to Machu Picchu in comfortable economy class: Ollantaytambo/Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo
Bus
Premium bus trip Arequipa/Colca Puno on day 4 and 5, Puno to Cusco on day 7, shuttle round trip Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes on day 10
Car
Private car and driver on day 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11
Cruise
Shared motor boat for the Lake Titicaca cruise on day 6

Orientation

Guide
Private local English-speaking guides for all the visits except in the Colca and on the Puno/Cusco route

Entrance Fees

All entrance fees to mentioned sites

What's not included

  • Domestic Flights: 390 USD/Person
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Customer reviews

Carolee JOHNSTONE, San Francisco, USA

All I can say is, our trip was just about as close to perfect as it could possibly be. All of the arrangements you made for us for hotels and activities were excellent. Johana, our guide in Lima, and Valentin, our guide for Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu, were both exceptional and amazing – they were both very knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly, and their English is very good. Fabrizio, our guide for Arequipa and Colca Canyon, was also very knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly.

The trip was absolutely fabulous – we particularly loved Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu, but we also thoroughly enjoyed Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, and Hacienda de Ficus – wonderful things to see and great guides to show them to us. And the weather could not have been more perfect – great time to be in Peru, even with the World Bank and IMF there, which I am sure kept you all very busy. And thank you so much for the lovely dinner we had at Calle del Medio – we also had delicious meals at Gastón Acurio’s restaurants in Lima (Tanta in Miraflores) and Arequipa (Chicha). Great food, everywhere we went.

And, not to be forgotten, all of our drivers were great, amazing in fact, very skilled – Alberto in Lima at the beginning, Mr. Élard in Arequipa and Colca Canyon, Abel in Cusco and the Sacred Valley (and back to Cusco), and Ubaldo in Lima at the end. Riding with them was quite an adventure, and we trusted them completely.

The service provided by Latin Discoveries was beyond excellent, you did an absolutely terrific job putting the whole trip together, and I do wish I could have met you.

Written on October 22, 2015
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