Peru adventure journey
If you are an adventure seeker, get ready to explore Peru’s unique natural and cultural heritage in a journey that combines adventure, off-the-beaten-path destinations and the most authentic experiences in the country! Start your trip in Lima and enjoy its beautiful coastline by bike. Then, continue to the Amazon and choose your preferred activities – from paddling and kayaking to tree climbing and hiking in the Rainforest, you name it! Head to Cusco next, and take part in the Llama pack project hike, an easy (but fun) biking excursion to the terraces of Moray and the salt flats of Maras and, of course, a visit to Machu Picchu! Finish your trip with some hiking, sailing and kayaking excursions in the highest navigable Lake of the World. Get ready to experience the best of Southern Peru in the adventure of a lifetime!
- Explore the Tambopata Reserve, one of the most biodiverse areas in the planet
- Hike with eco-friendly llamas conserving the Andean mountain ecosystems
- Paddle, sail and hike in the highest navigable Lake of the World
Arrival to Lima
Upon arrival to Lima’s Airport, you will be welcomed by a Peruvian Soul representative and transferred to your hotel in Miraflores, where you are free to relax and wander around at your own pace. Depending on the time of arrival, we have plenty of suggestions for you so you can make the most of your first day in Lima.
Bohemian bike tour in Lima
Today, we’ll meet at your hotel in the morning and go on a short walk to the starting point of our biking activity. We’ll begin our ride at about 10 am, presumably after a short briefing. Then, picture yourself strolling around the two main cultural areas of Lima: Miraflores and Barranco. On route, we’ll admire examples of Lima’s architectural heritage, once home to renowned writers, painters and musicians. We’ll ride along the “Costa Verde” promenade, enjoying a spectacular ocean view while sharing anecdotes, learning about history and taking in the “good vibes” of the coolest part of town. We’ll also enjoy a snack in a traditional, local bar. Our trip will end at 2pm, at the bike office. From here, you can either walk back to your hotel or get some lunch at a nice, nearby restaurant.
Reaching the Amazon Rainforest
Today at the coordinated time, we’ll head to Lima’s airport to board our flight to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to Peru’s Southern Amazon and the Tambopata National Reserve. Upon arrival, we’ll be welcomed by our jungle specialist guide and transferred to an office in the city to leave any excess luggage we may have. We’ll then be embarked on a 40-minute to the Infierno community, from where we’ll board a motorboat and sail for 2 and a half hours to our jungle lodge in the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve. It’s likely that we’ll spot macaws, herons, caimans and capybaras on route, so make sure to have your cameras ready! We’ll also be providing a box on the motorboat. Once we get to the lodge, the manager will welcome us and brief us on important navigation and security tips. Then we’ll have some free time to relax, and in the evening, we’ll go along the river’s edge, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleaming reflection coming from the eyes of elusive, Amazonian caimans.
Amazon a la carte
After breakfast, we can prepare ourselves to take our pick from 23 available excursions, offered by Refugio Amazonas. These activities range from soft-adventure, family-friendly activities, research and cultural experiences. We can do 3 to 4 excursions per day, depending on the ones you choose. This program is perfect for couples, friends or families looking for flexibility to decide in situ which activities to do.
Amazon a la carte
Picture yourself waking up in the middle of the Amazon in a 200-hectare private reserve, enjoying the colors, sounds and smell of nature in its more pristine way. Same as yesterday, you´ll have plenty of options to choose from. If you like adventure, you can go kayaking or paddling near the river banks, join a canopy-climbing session or explore the system of trails on a mountain bike. If you like to experience an amazing natural and colorful spectacle, we recommend visiting Chuncho clay lick to observe thousands of birds in their natural habitat. For those of you interested in science, you can decide to help biologists and researchers in their daily work, to find new species, and collect data for their research. Another interesting activity is to paddle in an oxbow lake, namely in a traditional canoe or catamaran looking for lakeside wildlife. There are also plenty of options for families such as “The Childrens trail” in which the kids will need to find clues, follow maps and solve riddles in the Rainforest, the Rainforest Tatoo experience, or farm visits where you and the kids will learn all about the diversity of plants and trees in the Amazon. However, if you want a bit of a peaceful day, you can decide to stay at the lodge, join a lecture, or simply relax in the hotel’s wellness center.
Amazon a la carte and arrival to the Sacred Valley
After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to our Amazonian friends. Well board our boats to return to Puerto Maldonado where we’ll pass by our office to collect any baggage we might have left and then continue to the local airport to board our flight to Cusco. Upon arriving ´to Cuzco airport, we will be met by our local staff who will welcome us and take us on our private transport towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Because of its lower elevation (2,870 meters above sea level or 9,415 feet) and its peaceful atmosphere, the Sacred Valley is the perfect place to enjoy your first days in Cusco as you adapt to the high altitude. Our guide will explain in detail the activities of the following days in the Cusco region and then you can just relax and enjoy the hotel’s facilities.
Hiking with llamas
Before European conquerors came to South America, llamas where the main means of transport and commerce in the Andes. The Incas travelled with hundreds of llamas throughout their empire, using them to transport a large amount of their products (llamas where never ridden though, they were only used for cargo). The “Llama’s Project” seeks to reevaluate the use of llamas in contemporary society and help the few llama herding communities that still remain in Cusco.
Today we’ll explore a remote area at the Sacred Valley called Pumahuanca, a beautiful valley in which native trees such as the Queñual, Aliso and Chachacomo can still be found wild (quite rare in other areas of our Andes nowadays). We’ll be walking at a slow pace in the company of friendly llamas as we enjoy the sound of a small river by our side, until we reach the archaeological site of the Inkarakai. If we could travel back in time, we’d see this place as a retreat center for ñustas, or Inca Virgins of the Sun. Not only will we be rewarded with a beautiful view of the valley here, but also with a delicious picnic brunch. If we still have energy, we’ll explore the surrounding Pachaspata community (only 15 minutes away) or local river falls (30 minutes further). The entire activity lasts about 7 hours and we’ll be walking approximately 4 km. In the afternoon we’ll be dropped back at our hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Ollantaytambo in the early morning and Machu Picchu
Today, after enjoying a nice breakfast, we’ll have a short 20-minutes drive to the archaeological site of Ollantaytambo, an impressive Inca complex that protected this area from invasions from the Amazon Basin. Ollantaytambo is one of the best examples of Inca architecture we can see nowadays. We’ll take a guided excursion, after which we’ll board the train to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town). The train journey is a spectacle in itself as we’ll be able to appreciate the changing landscape from green fields and eucalyptus forests to lush, green jungle, always travelling beside the meandering Urubamba River. Upon arriving to Aguas Calientes, we’ll leave our luggage at the hotel and then take the bus up to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Today is the big day, but we we’ll be patient and not rush to the site since normally the afternoon is the best time of the day to visit Machu Picchu, with less people and, thus, avoiding big crowds. Once in Machu Picchu, we´ll explore all corners of this archaeological site and in the late afternoon we’ll come back to Aguas Calientes where we´ll spend the night.
Train ride back to Cusco and free afternoon
This morning, after a long but fun day in Machu Picchu, we can sleep in and have a late breakfast. We’ll then take the train back to Ollantaytambo, from where a private vehicle will be waiting to take us back to Cusco, the old Inca Capital. The journey to Cusco takes roughly 2 hours from Ollantaytambo, but will reward you with breathtaking views of the Peruvian Andes. Cusco is one of the most interesting cities in Peru and South America, and we’re thrilled that you’ll have most of today to explore the streets, plazas and markets of this UNESCO World Heritage City at our own pace.
Important note: Cusco is a city that is quite easy to explore individually which is why we aren’t including a city tour initially (and we’ll be providing you with plenty of recommendations too). However, if you prefer a guided excursion in the city, please let us know.
Biking to Maras and Moray
This morning, we’ll leave our hotel and drive to Cruzpata, starting point of our mountain-bike adventure. This tour is perfect for people wanting to enjoy the Sacred Valley of the Incas in an active way. Along the mountain trail, you’ll find yourself delighted with stunning views of Andean peaks and local villager working on their daily activities. We’ll visit the Inca experimental agricultural terraces of Moray and afterwards proceed on a downhill dirt road to Maras, a surreal landscape of ancient salt mines. Our adventure ends at the bottom of the valley, in the small town of Pichingoto, from where our transport will take us back to Cusco.
Day at leisure
After yesterday´s adventure, today we can relax. Today, we´ll have a completely free day to enjoy the old Inca capital of Cusco at our own pace. If interested we can organize another nice adventure such as a rafting activity, a horseback riding excursion to the beautiful Apu Wanakaure or a full day hike in the sourroundings of Cusco. Please let us know in advance if you´d like to include any of this activities so we can add this optional experiences to the program.
Scenic bus ride from Cusco to Puno
Today we take a beautiful bus ride departing from Cusco heading towards the city of Puno. We drive along roads through little Andean towns, populated with herds of llamas, alpacas and vicuñas and with breathtaking views of snowcapped mountains in the background. On the journey we stop to visit different attractions such as Pukara, La Raya, Racchi and the famous Andahuaylillas Church baptized as the ”Sistine Chapel” of America. We also stop on route to have a buffet lunch which includes Andean and international menu. In the afternoon we’ll arrive to Puno and have a short briefing for our upcoming adventure at the Lake.
Hiking at the shores of Lake Titicaca – Luquina Chico
Today we’ll embark on the first of a two-day adventure, exploring Lake Titicaca in such an authentic way that it’ll be a story to tell for generations to come! In the morning, we’ll leave the hotel and head to the Chucuito Peninsula in our private vehicle. The ride takes about 1 hour and we’re likely to see villagers working in the fields along the route, preparing the land, harvesting their crops or feeding their animals. We might also make a short stop in a Fertility temple. Our first stop will be in the small community of Socca, where we’ll have our first encounter with the Lake in a nice, secluded beach. Before starting our hike, it’s important to make an offering to the Pachamama or “Mother Earth” and Mamacocha or “Mother water”, as the locals have done for centuries. We’ll start hiking from a natural viewpoint called Perka, from where we’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of the Lake, including the gorgeous Taquile and Amantani islands in front of us and, if we have a clear day, we might even see the Bolivian side of the Lake! This 10km hike will take us along an off-the-beaten-path trail at the shores of the Lake, all the way to the Karina beach. Some sections of the path are through a well preserved pre-Hispanic trail. You’ll feel like an explorer, a discoverer of pristine beauty, walking along incredible, hidden beaches – if you’re brave enough, we encourage you to bring your swimwear and take a dip in the cold and refreshing waters of the highest navigable lake on the planet! Once in Karina, we can either continue hiking through a fishermen’s trail all the way to Luquina Chico or take our private vehicle. Upon arrival to Luquina Chico, we’ll meet our Aymara host family and be warmly welcomed to their charming houses (Luquinas Homestay facilities are amongst the best in the Lake’s communities). The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax and enjoy the shores of the lake at your own pace.
Kayaking at the Lake and boat back to Puno
Today, we recommend waking up in the early morning and make a short hike to a special place where we shall enjoy beautiful views of the sunrise at the Lake. Upon return, we´ll have breakfast together with our host family and have some time to rest and enjoy with them. We have a kayaking adventure schedule for the morning. We´ll first go through a safety briefing by our kayac instructor and once ready start paddling at the shores of the Lake. Kayaking is a great way to appreciate the lake’s breathtaking views and wildlife from a unique perspective.
Paddling at the highest navigable Lake in the world, enjoying the scenery, the calm waters in the morning and the local Andean birds will be definitely a memorable experience. For the ones that would like a soft adventure we can paddle along the coastline and for the more experiences kayakers we can paddle all the way to the floating Islands of Uros, artificial islands built using reed gathered from the shores of the Lake. After our today´s adventure we´ll return to Luquina Chico on time for a delicious buffet lunch. Afterwards, we´ll board a shared boat all the way to Puno.
Sillustani tombs and flight back to Lima
Today at the coordinated time, we’ll head to Juliaca’s airport to board your flight to Lima. On route we’ll visit the archaeological site of Sillustani located at the shores of lake Umayo. This visit will allow us to observe something a bit different to what we’ve found at Lake Titicaca. We’ll be visiting an amazing burial site made up by huge cylindrical tombs called ”Chulpas”. Most of the tombs are from before the Incas, however, after the Incas conquered the Pukaras in the XVth century, they continued building chulpas. Sillustani is an area full of energy and mystery. After the tour we continue to the airport.
- What’s Included
- Brief presentation prior to departure
- All transfers and transports with the exception of domestic flights
- Train Ollantaytambo/Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo
- Bus tickets (Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes)
- All excursions and entrance fees
- English speaking guide in each destination
- Accommodation and specified meals
- Entrance tickets to all tourist attractions mentioned in the itinerary