Machu Picchu - Lima - Cuzco - Colca Valley - Sacred Valley - Puerto Maldonado
Upon your arrival in Lima, a transportation service will transfer you from the airport to your hotel. Enjoy your leisure time in Lima!
Lima is the capital of Peru; the jumping-off your 2-week travel itinerary to Perú. In the Colonial Era, it housed the viceroyalty, making it the most powerful city hub of South America. Today, its native and foreign heritage coexist; its well-preserved, amazing colonial churches and archeological sites (heading south to Caral Sacred City) exist in harmony with Peru’s beautiful beaches overlooking the Pacific Ocean and its delicious seafood.
Enjoy your leisurely evening by taking an exploratory walk over to the Plaza Mayor, and make sure to try the typical cebiche (fish cooked with lemon) or the special anticuchos (we’ll let you figure it out on your own…!).
Today we’ll pick you up at your hotel to explore Lima old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with fascinating historic buildings.
We’ll start with a scenic tour in the colonial downtown, which expands from the Main Square, where you can appreciate the grandiose architecture of the Spanish Empire, like that of the Cathedral, built up in the 16th century and finished after 80 years of hard work!
Our next stop will be at the Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion that was granted in 1535 by chief conquistador Francisco Pizarro to Jerónimo de Aliaga, one of his captains. This is the only house from that era that still belongs to the same family after all these centuries.
The last part of this historical day trip will be dedicated to the Larco Museum. Located in the traditional Pueblo Libre district, this meticulously maintained museum is housed in a beautifully restored viceroyal mansion. Its exhibits boast the most complete pre-Hispanic collection of gold and silver artifacts, as well as pieces of ancient erotic art.
Since we’re on the topic of love encounters, we’ll finish the day at the “Love Park”, built in 1993 to celebrate love in all its forms. Nestled in the upscale coastal district of Miraflores, you can admire the cliffs from its colorful mosaic benches and take in the most beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean.
After enjoying this romantic place and meeting the famous sculpture which immortalized the tender kiss of two passionate lovers, we’ll drive you back to your hotel.
Our transportation service will pick you up from your hotel at the established time to continue with your 2-week itinerary to explore Peru. You’ll be transferred to the airport of Lima to take your 1-hour flight to Arequipa where upon arrival we’ll be waiting to drive you to your hotel.
Arequipa – also known as “The White Stone City”- sits between the coast and the southern highlands of the country. It’s a semi-arid region – temperatures can go from 72 to 41 °F – and rainy season is from January to March. It’s famous for its varied history and the natural wonders that surround the city, like the Patapampa viewpoint, where you can ascend to the highest altitude in the city (16108 feet above sea level).
You can take just the day to visit the city’s historical center, but to see the valleys, volcanoes and secluded islands, the best option is to stay for a few days in the region.
Before starting your trip to the valleys, we suggest that you enjoy the afternoon in Arequipa; learn about its historic heritage, trace its Catholic influence, and understand how its architecture has been so crucial. Take some time to visit the Cathedral, made of volcanic stone, and its 50-foot tall organ.
At night, make it your mission to try the stuffed rocoto, a traditional hot chili pepper dish, or the mouthwatering queso helado (literally “iced cheese”), made of milk, cinnamon and spices.
We’ll pick you up from your hotel in the morning to start the trip to the Colca Valley. Our first stop will be the Cruz del Condor viewpoint, from where you can watch the huge and majestic condor flying, and get a wide picture of the Colca Valley, which features the second deepest canyon in the world (with a depth of more than 2 miles on its deepest side).
Right after, we’ll visit the villages of Pinchollo, Maca, Achoma, and Yanque to finally get to the viewpoints of Antahuilque and Wayrapunko, where you can continue marveling at this mountainous backdrop.
We’ll take you to Chivay, a quaint and beautiful town, where you’ll have lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy your leisure time at the hotel or visit the thermal baths called La Calera, just 2 miles away from town. You can spend this night in Chivay or in Colca Valley.
This tour of the valleys continues with us passing by Vizcachani, the Pampas de Toccra, and the crater of the Chucura volcano to reach the Andes viewpoint in Patapampa (15750 feet above sea level) from where you will see the different volcanoes surrounding Arequipa.
After traveling for 4 hours, we’ll make a stop at Patahuasi to enjoy a coca tea. During the journey we’ll pass through the city of Juliaca, known as a commercial hub, and on the way you will be able to enjoy great volcanic landscapes like stone forests and lakes. In the area of Lagunillas, you will be able to see plenty of native wildlife of the Andes, such as alpacas, llamas, vicuñas and a variety of birds, including the abundant Kara-Kara, flamingos, etc.
After enjoying lunch at Colca, we’ll head to the city of Puno, arriving between 4 – 5 pm. Puno sits near the great Titicaca lake, which used to be a sacred place for the Incas, full of natural and artificial islands. The city is also famous for their chullpas; big circular tower-type constructions from the pre-Hispanic period which are visited by many tourists every year.
Enjoy your evening in Puno by walking through the historic downtown and tasting the delicious kancacho (roasted lamb marinated with garlic and olive oil).
Continue your itinerary and marvel with Perú traditions! We’ll pick you up from your hotel and drive you to Puno’s lake port where you’ll take a boat to the floating islands of the Uros & Taquile.
Uros is an ancient society that inhabits a series of artificial islands built with totora, a reef that grows in the lake. The islands are built by weaving together totoras in the places where they grow thickest in order to form a natural layer. They build their totora houses over this naturally constructed base
You’ll continue your journey to Taquile Island where you’ll take a 1.5-hour tour to know the history and culture of the city. Unlike other islands in this area, which are inhabited by Aymara-speaking people in the lake, Taquile residents speak Quechua. The island was part of the Inca Empire and vestiges of the ancient culture can be noted in their buildings. Nevertheless, when the Spaniards arrived, they forced its residents to get rid of their typical Incan clothes and culture, forcing them to wear traditional European farmers’ clothes.
You’ll have time to tour on your own until lunch (you’ll have lunch in a local family house!), after which we will return to Puno.
At the appropriate time we’ll drive you from your hotel to Puno airport (Juliaca) to take your flight to Cuzco, the world-famous heart of Inca civilization. Upon arrival at the Cuzco airport, you will be received by your guide and head towards your selected hotel. Along the journey, your guide will be telling you about the attractions and services you can find in the city.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, this colonial city is currently one of Peru’s most popular destinations. It is an absolute must in your travel itinerary to Perú and to visit Machu Picchu. Cuzco also contains the top examples of Incan architecture, which is based on their multiple uses of rock as the main building material. Enjoy your first evening in town by sipping a traditional pisco sour in a bar near Plaza Mayor. Cuzco is very international all year round, so you can easily meet with people from everywhere around the globe.
Today we’ll pick you up at your hotel to start your Cuzco tour with a visit to the Coricancha, also known as the “Temple of the Sun” the construction of which was ordered by Inca Pachacútec (1438-1471).
This is where the Sun (Inti, in Quechua) was worshipped during the reign of the Inca Empire, and during that time its walls were fully covered with gold sheets and its courtyards were adorned with golden corn and life-sized sculptures of llamas.
We’ll continue on to visit the Cathedral, the most important building in the Main Square (whose construction lasted almost a century) and one of the most splendid Spanish colonial churches in America.
Our next stop will be the Sacsayhuamán fortress, an emblematic Incan piece of work, which protected the Holy City. The Sacsayhuamán complex was constructed with giant megalithic blocks, the transportation and construction of which continue to be a mystery.
This day will end with a visit to some archeological main attractions. You’ll visit Qenqo, located just over 2 miles away from Cuzco City, an archaeological complex mainly used for religious purposes, and where it is believed that agricultural rituals took place.
You will finally visit Qenqo, an archaeological complex mainly used for religious purposes, and the vestiges of Puka Pukara, located 4.5 miles away from Cuzco. Puka Pukara, which means “red fortress”, was an architectural complex presumably used for military purposes.
At the end of this full historical and natural immersion in Cuzco’s heritage, we’ll drive you back to your hotel.
Start exploring the Sacred Valley, and visit Pisac, famous for its craft market where you’ll find the most exquisite piece of jewelry, ceramic and textile craftwork. We’ll continue our trip visiting the archeological site of Pisac to admire the stone terraces built by the Incas, and last, we’ll head to Ollantaytambo to visit its stunning fortress. Admire the remaining towers and walls that used to keep safe the citadele and the royal guests that it used to host.
Today begins with a 4-hour train ride to Aguas Calientes (literally, hot water). This town is also known as “Machu Picchu Pueblo” and is the last stop before entering the remains of the most important archaeological site in Peru. Machu Picchu means “Old Mountain” and is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
You’ll finally reach Machu Picchu (the ancient sanctuary and retreat for the Inca Pachacutec) after a short transfer by bus through the mountains.
Here, when we arrive at the exact destination that is the highlight of your trip, we will have special moments which will most certainly be cherished forever. Enjoy your first impressions of this jaw-dropping place, and breathe the magic in the air.
At the end of the tour you will take a bus back to Aguas Calientes and have lunch at Café Inkaterra in Machu Picchu. Enjoy a leisurely time during the rest of the afternoon and a restful sleep in the town of Aguas Calientes.
Some of the places you can visit include the Intipunku, or “Sun Gate”, where the sun rises every day through a stone passageway, or the Inca Bridge, an incredible stone building that served as the entrance and exit of the citadel.
In the morning we suggest that you return to Machu Picchu and continue exploring some of the many attractions of the citadel.
In this second visit you can climb the Wayna Picchu (subject to space availability), which means “Young Mountain” as opposed to Machu Picchu, the “Old Mountain”. This ascent takes about an hour and its main attraction is the “Temple of the Moon”, a complex of underground structures likely to have been used by the elite.
If you would prefer a different option, take the day to visit the interesting town of Aguas Calientes, its historic Plaza de Armas, and the many local markets nearby.
In these markets you can find various types of local handcrafts, typical food, and even different potions for finding love or keeping good luck on your side.
In the afternoon you will head to the train station of Aguas Calientes and take the train to Cuzco where you’ll spend the night.
Today, we’ll pick you up from your hotel at the established time to transfer you to the airport where you’ll take your flight to Puerto Maldonado.
Upon arrival we’ll meet at the airport drive you to the local pier. You will navigate by motorized canoe along the Madre de Dios River to Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion, taking approximately 25 minutes.
Explore the jungle of Puerto Maldonado and meet its endless wildlife, either through its trails or by cruising the Madre de Dios River. Discover the rich biodiversity of the Tambopata National Reserve and observe the Peruvian Amazon from the treetops through an amazing network of suspension bridges.
Enjoy a lunch with organic ingredients and native flavors. Afterwards, take a walk through Concepcion Trails, where you will discover and learn about both the primary and secondary rainforest, and their relevance for the world.
At dusk, navigate by motorized canoe as a part of the Twilight River Excursion. By sailing on the Madre de Dios River, you will learn about its ecosystem, Amazonian creeks, nocturnal animals’ behavior, and the southern constellations. In the evening enjoy a nice dinner in the Casa Grande’s dining room.
Another day to keep on exploring this amazing destination of your 2-week itinerary to explore Perú. Journey on a long trek through into the Tambopata National Reserve towards lake Sandoval. Here you will understand why the Madre de Dios is called the biodiversity capital of Peru, while learning about the reserve’s conservation efforts and the lake’s formation.
Navigate by dugout canoe across this mirror-like oxbow lake that is home to the endangered giant river otter, the blue and yellow macaw, the red howler monkey, the black caiman, and one of the world’s biggest freshwater scaled fish, the paiche.
You will return to the lodge for lunch. Make sure to gain some serious energy because the Inkaterra canopy walkway & anaconda walk await for you after lunch.
In this visit, you’ll take a 20-minute ride by motorized canoe to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway Interpretation Center where you will learn about the walkway’s construction and the various conservation projects of ITA-Inkaterra Asociación (NGO).
Ascend one of the two 98-foot towers and cross the 7 hanging bridges that connect the treetops at 91 feet high. Enjoy the breathtaking vistas and get the chance to watch white-throated toucans, woodpeckers, trogons and squirrel monkeys.
After descending, keep on feeling the incredible primary rainforest energy as you traverse along the 650-foot wooden bridge over the swamps.
At night, get ready for another adventure called the Rainforest by Night excursion, where you will explore the Amazon rainforest as it gives way to nocturnal animals who display intriguing behavior patterns, and enhanced senses as an adaptation mechanism. Listen to the sounds of nocturnal nature come to life, and penetrate this hidden world. Return to the lodge and enjoy a nice dinner.
After a breakfast buffet, you’ll take a ride back to Puerto Maldonado by motorized canoe. Arrive at the butterfly house where you will wait for your flight to Lima, while getting to visit this beautiful butterfly sanctuary and learning about the fascinating transformation of these colorful insects. Upon your arrival in Lima, we’ll transfer you from the airport to your hotel.
Enjoy the last night of this amazing trip by making a toast in any of the multiple thematic bars of Miraflores neighbourhood, or maybe even dancing with some locals in one of the many nightclubs of the city.
Last stop of your trip. Today we’ll pick you up from your hotel and drive you to Lima airport. Hope to see you back here soon! We have many more ideas to keep on exploring Peru or other must-see destinations in South America!
FLIGHTS NEEDEDFOR THIS ITINERARY
Lima - Arequipa / Puno - Cusco / Cusco - Lima
Flights in South America cost approximately $100 to $300 USD per segment (destination).
We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.
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