Join us on this special trip through Peru, combining the incredible highlights of this beautiful country with the colourful Inca festival of Inti Raymi. This ancient festival is brought to life each year with thousands of visually striking participants enacting an incredible ceremony to celebrate the winter solstice. From Lima, you'll visit the lush Amazon, the incredible Machu Picchu and the tranquil Lake Titicaca before returning to the capital.
Today we explore the beautiful city of Lima, also known as the 'City of Kings', we'll visit the well preserved historical centre. Making our way through Plaza San Martin, we'll also take in Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace and the City Hall. Our tour of the city continues with a visit to the San Francisco Monastery and its famous underground crypts, which are home to an estimated 70,000 remains. This bright yellow architectural wonder is also home to an incredible library, holding thousands of antique texts, some of which pre-date the conquest in the 16th century. Later we'll head through the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, passing by Huaca Pucllana, a clay pyramid that was the ceremonial and administrative centre of the Lima culture and later considered a sacred town by the Incas. Next up we'll stop at El Olivar park, a peaceful space where we'll find olive trees that were brought to Peru in the 15th century. Our final stop on today's tour of Lima is El Parque del Amor, the Peruvian Love Park. This romantic spot is situated on the cliffs of Miraflores, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore this fascinating city at your own pace. With Lima fast becoming one of the gastronomic capitals of the world, be sure to taste some of the delicious local cuisine.
Overnight: Lima | Breakfast
Lima - Puerto Maldonado. Transferring to the airport this morning we board our flight to Puerto Maldonado. We’ll then travel by canoe to our wonderful jungle Eco lodge. After lunch we will embark on a walk along the property’s nature trails. Your guide will explain the importance of the rainforest and the vital role that this ecosystem plays in the equilibrium of the planet. As the sun begins to set we head back in the canoes, hopefully spotting some of the nocturnal animals that are found in this area as well as learning about the constellations.
Day 4 starts with an excursion on the lodge’s private cocha. You'll be able to try your hand at some native fishing, one of the main techniques being the 'catch and release' method. Disembarking the boat we'll visit the remains of the old Fitzcarrald steamboat. After this, we take a boat trip to Rolin - this river island has an abundant and interesting ecosystem. Exploring the island, you can admire the vibrant vegetation, also be sure to keep an eye out for the birds who will be making their way back to land.
Overnight: The Amazon | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Puerto Maldonado - Cusco. This morning we travel back to Puerto Maldonado before flying on to Cusco. On arrival, you'll have the chance to relax and adjust to the altitude. This beautiful city full of history and intrigue, is located 3,399m above sea level.
On the morning of day 6 we enjoy a guided tour of the highlights of ancient Cusco. Along the way we will visit some of the most famous landmarks of the city, starting at the Plaza de Armas, built on the remains of one of the most important Incan gathering spots. We'll also visit the Cathedral, the Kenko Amphitheatre and the impressive Sacsayhuaman Fortress. Built between 1438 and 1474, Sacsayhuaman Fortress took over 20,000 labourers to build and some of the magnificent stone work measures over 4 metres in height and over 100 tons in weight. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to do any independent exploring of Cusco.
Overnight: Cusco | Breakfast x 2
Cusco - The Sacred Valley. Bidding farewell to Cusco, we travel on to the Sacred Valley today. Our first stop is the popular Pisac markets where we will have the chance to see the variety of colourful handicrafts on offer. Originally only held on Sundays, Pisac Market was a place for artisans from across the region to trade in their products. Today the market is a daily occurrence where locals and visitors alike can find some of the finest textiles, jewellery and clothing typical of this area of Peru. Then we travel on to the remarkable Ollantaytambo fortress, which was constructed to guard the entrance to this part of the valley and protect it from possible invasions of tribes from the jungle lowlands. One of the best examples of Incan architecture, many of the inhabitants of Ollantaytambo still live according to the customs and traditions they have inherited from generations of ancestors, leading to it being known as a living Inca town.
Overnight: Sacred Valley | Breakfast
Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Cusco. We have an exciting day ahead, starting early with a short drive to the Ollantaytambo train station. From here we'll take a scenic train journey to Aguas Calientes. Remember to look out of the windows as the scenery along the way is utterly breathtaking. Watch as the landscape changes from Andean Highlands to the beginning of the jungle. Upon arrival we board the bus up to Machu Picchu, where you'll enjoy a guided tour of the magnificent Lost City and have plenty of free time to explore and take photos.
For many visitors to Peru, Machu Picchu is the main highlight and rightly so, with it's incredible history and beautiful views, it's a truly mystical part of the country. Macchu Picchu was built in the 15th century. Believed to have been constructed as an estate for the Inca Empror Pachacuti, it was abandoned only a century after completion during the Spanish conquest. However, it lay largely unknown until 1911, when the American historian and explorer Hiram Bingham brought it to the worlds attention. Later this afternoon we take the train back to Cusco.
Overnight: Cusco | Breakfast
24th June. Today we will witness one of the most important festivals in Peru and across South America, Inti Raymi. Dating back to the Inca period, it is a festival that celebrates the winter solstice with worship of the sun god. Inti Raymi means 'Sun Festival' in Quechua, an ancient Inca language which is still spoken by around 8 million people. Taking place at the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, we'll watch from the best seats available as thousands of actors bring the past to life. Expect to see colourful Incan rituals, Sapa Inca (the Sun King) giving a rousing speech and an incredible golden chariot.
The first ceremony took place in 1412, but was suppressed in the 16th century by the Spanish conquistadors. It was re-introduced in 1944 based on the writings of a 16th century poet and is today seen as a positive opportunity to celebrate Inca heritage & culture.
Overnight: Cusco | Breakfast, Lunch
Cusco - Puno. After an early breakfast, we’ll travel by bus to Puno, passing by the lovely Wacarpay Lake, with spectacular views of the mountains reflected in its calm waters. Along the way we’ll make a couple of stops, the first one being in Andahuaylillas to see the Church of San Pedro, which has been given the nickname the Sistine Chapel of the Americas. Moving along, we pass through herds of llamas and spectacular landscapes until we get to Ayaviri, an important livestock and textile centre. Here, we’ll be able to lay eyes on the Temple of Kalasaya, remnants of a Pucara structure. After a stop for lunch at a countryside restaurant, we continue on to Puno, our base for the next two nights.
The following day we take a boat trip on Lake Titicaca to see the remarkable floating islands of Uros. These unique islands are made of a certain type of reed called totora, which enables it to float, despite the weight of a civilisation upon it. We’ll then move on to Taquile Island, where we can mingle with the Quechua-speaking locals and learn about their efficient and unique social system as well as their fine hand weaving techniques, passed down from generation to generation. Next we'll be invited into a local home for lunch to enjoy a delicious home cooked meal. After lunch, we'll discover more of this remarkable island including some of the islands archaeological sites. Later this afternoon we return to Puno.
Overnight: Puno | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2
Puno - Lima. Today we head to Juliaca Airport for our flight back to Lima. On arrival, we'll be met and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore the beautiful Peruvian capital of Lima. Why not visit one of the many fantastic museums around the city, showcasing everything from pre-Colombian art to archaeological gems.
Overnight: Lima | Breakfast
Today our amazing tour through Peru comes to an end with a transfer to Lima airport.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' is compulsory for solo travellers or if your booking party cannot reach the minimum of 2 persons in a room and the amount needs to be added to the per person price. The single supplement offers the comfort of your own room and is also available to any other person wanting their own room.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Hotel Jose Antonio Lima , Lima
The modern and well-designed Jose Antonio Hotel offers a comfortable stay in Lima's flourishing Miraflores district. The contemporary guestrooms feature classy neutral decorations and furnishings with an excellent selection of amenities. The hotel's Las Espuelas restaurant serves delicious Peruvian and international cuisine in an elegant setting whilst the La Jalca bar is a great place to unwind over a cocktail. The Jose Antonio Hotel is located in the residential district of Miraflores with many options for shopping and dining nearby. The international airport is 30 minutes away and it's only a 20 minute drive to the historic centre of Lima.
Inkaterra Haciencda Concepcion, Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon
Built in a former cacao and rubber plantation, Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion is a rustic chic jungle lodge. Guests stay in rooms or cabanas, all with beautiful interiors, delightful en suites and comfortable beds. Meals are served in a buffet style, using only the best local ingredients and especially good homemade breads. The lodge also a friendly bar with free Pisco sours served between 5 and 7pm! Positioned within walking distance of the beautiful and secluded Lake Sandoval in the Peruvian Amazon.
Xima Cusco Hotel, Cusco
Boasting a fantastic location by Cusco’s largest craft market, Xima Cusco Hotel is just a short walk from the city’s main square, as well as plenty of local shops and restaurants. Its modern guestrooms provide free internet access and a flat-screen TV, with some also featuring a balcony with views over Parque Orellana. The hotel’s spa offers a range of massage treatments using techniques from the Inca culture, the perfect way to unwind after visiting the world-famous citadel of Machu Picchu. Guests can also enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet in the Atrium Café.
La Casona de Yucay, Sacred Valley
Located in the spectacular Sacred Valley, this Peruvian property exudes local charm and has a stunning mountainous backdrop to match. The hotel itself is situated in a colonial house dating back to the 1810, which has since been remodelled and now consists of 54 cosy guest rooms; a restaurant serving a variety of international and local dishes; and bar serving nibbles and traditional Peruvian Pisco Sour. The courtyard with its chairs and tables is the perfect place to sit back and appreciate the view.
Hotel Jose Antonio, Puno
Set on the banks of Lake Titicaca you cannot go wrong with the view from this hotel in Puno. This modern property boasts spacious and comfortable guest rooms outfitted with air-conditioning, safety deposit boxes, TVs and a fully stocked mini bar. The hotel restaurant Sillustani enjoys fantastic has floor to ceiling windows serves up a delectable menu. When you return from a day of sightseeing why not grab a drink from the bar and admire the vista from the lounge. While Hotel Jose Antonio might be located a taxi ride from Puno, but its well worth it for the view.