Overview

Explore the incredible diversity of Peru in a program that encompasses living cultures, nature, soft adventure, archaeology, and of course, the best of Peruvian cuisine. We’ll first explore the most exciting attractions in Northern Peru. Explore ancient archaeological sites of the Moche civilization and the impressive mud brick citadels of the Chimu Kingdom before venturing into the cloud forest, exploring the Amazonas region, from hikes to majestic waterfalls to a pleasant cableway journey to Kuelap fortress. Finally, travel to Northern Peru on a journey that will transport you through time: watching the Condors soaring above the Colca Canyon, sharing a day working with locals at the shores of Lake Titicaca, or visiting Machu Picchu.

Why we love this trip!

  • Go on a boat trip to Taquile Island at the highest navigable Lake in the World.
  • Hike to the impressive Gocta Waterfall in the Amazonas region.
  • Explore the best of Peruvian History, from the Moche to the Incas.

Itinerary day-by-day

Day 1: Welcome to Peru & Lima

Welcome to Peru and Lima! Upon arrival, you will be greeted by our local staff and transferred to your hotel in Miraflores, where you are free to relax and wander around at your own pace. Depending on your time of arrival, we have plenty of suggestions for you to make the most of your first day in the city. We’ll hand you your travel kit and have a short briefing to answer any last-minute questions.

Day 2: Must-Sees of Lima

Today, we take you back in time through the pre-hispanic and colonial stages of Peruvian history. This tour is the perfect introduction to our country’s culture and way of life. First, we visit the beautiful Larco Herrera Manor, a fantastic museum that features the most exceptional exhibits from ancient Peru. Next, head to Lima’s historic city center to enter a 16th-Century colonial convent and have a look at Lima’s main square. This way, you will see both sides of Peru, our Andean ancestry, and our Hispanic legacy too.

Day 3: Flight to Trujillo

Head to Lima airport to board our flight to Trujillo. Upon arrival, we’ll welcome you and transfer you to your hotel.  Our guide will give us an introduction to Northern Peru and a short trip briefing for the upcoming days exploring this exciting region of the country.

Day 4: Huaca de La Luna, Huanchaco & Chan Chan Mud-Brick Citadel

Trujillo’s history is quite different from Cusco’s as the Inca were not here for long. Visit Huaca de la Luna from the Moche Civilization. Here, the pyramids still preserve the mural art of their chief deities and way of life. Have lunch in Huanchaco, a traditional fisherman’s beach town where small vessels called locally Caballitos de Totora have been used for fishing and surfing in the Pacific since prehispanic times. Finally, we’ll visit the world’s largest mud-brick citadel: Chan Chan.

Day 5: El Brujo Archaeological site, Pacasmayo & Journey to Chiclayo

Set off towards the city of Chiclayo. Our first stop will be at Huaca el Brujo, a Sacred pyramid that rises about 98 feet above the surrounding desert. A few years ago, a well-preserved tattooed mummy of a young woman, who belongs to the Moche Royalty, was discovered deep inside El Brujo pyramid. After visiting Señora de Cao museum, continue to Pacasmayo, a small and beautiful beachside town, to enjoy lunch overlooking the ocean. Finally, continue your journey towards Chiclayo and your hotel.

Day 6: Tucume Pyramids & Tumbas Reales Museum

Begin your day visiting the nearby Tucume archaeological site. Tucume is an impressive complex of 26 mud-brick pyramids belonging to the Lambayeque culture, surrounded by the unique ecosystem, dry forest. Next, continue to the Tumbas Reales Museum to find the remains of the Lord of Sipan’s tomb, the most important archaeological discovery in Latin America for the last 40 years. When discovered, this tomb was compared by national geographic with that of Tutankamun.

Day 7: Scenic Journey from Chiclayo to Chachapoyas region

Today, begin your journey to the region of Amazonas. Prepare for a journey through the Andes, over the Porcuya mountain pass, crossing the rice fields of Bagua, and driving along the gorgeous Utcubamba Canyon to Chachapoyas, the gateway to the territory of the ancient Sachapuyu (Inhabitants of the cloud forest). Upon entering the area, make your way to your charming countryside hotel next to the Utcubamba river.

Day 8: Gocta Waterfall Hike

Make your way to Cocachimba, the starting point of today’s adventure. Once here,  begin a 3-hour hike to the famous Gocta Waterfall, one of the tallest falls in the world (771m /2520 ft). This hike is around 6km long and will take us through cultivated fields and into the cloud forest, home of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, mountain sloth, and the magnificent cock-of-the-rock, Peru’s national bird. If you would rather not walk, you can rent a horse on site.

Day 9: Cableway to Kuelap Fortress

Make your way to Cocachimba, the starting point of today’s adventure. Once here, begin a 3-hour hike to the famous Gocta Waterfall, one of the world’s tallest falls (771m /2520 ft). This hike is around 6km long and will take us through cultivated fields and into the cloud forest, home of the yellow-tailed woolly monkey, mountain sloth, and the magnificent cock-of-the-rock, Peru’s national bird. If you would rather not walk, you can rent a horse on site.

Day 10: Flight to Arequipa, the White City

After seeing the best of Peru’s Northern treasures, head to Jaen Airport, about 3 hours away, to board your flight to Arequipa, with a short layover in Lima. Upon arriving, reception and transfer to your hotel in the colonial center of the city.

Day 11: Guided Walk of Colonial Arequipa

Get ready to explore Arequipa’s main attractions. First, we’ll visit San Camilo, Arequipa’s Market, founded in 1881. It is here where most Arequipeños buy groceries, flowers, clothes, shoes, and other quality items at a low cost. After this delightful visit, we’ll continue to La Compañia Church, famous for its great baroque style and its colorful Cupula of Saint Ignacio. We’ll have a look at El Tambo La Cabezona, a 17th-century apartment built following the classic colonial style. Finally, we’ll arrive at the Santa Catalina Monastery, one of the most fascinating colonial and religious buildings in Peru.

Day 12: Scenic Drive to the Colca Valley

This morning, we leave Arequipa and head to the Colca Canyon on a 160km journey. On route, we’ll enter the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, where it is quite common to see llamas, alpacas, and wild vicuña herds grazing the pastures. Finally, we will reach El Mirador de Los Andes, a high pass with astonishing views of most of Misti, Chachani, and Pichu Pichu, the three volcanoes in the area. We should be arriving before lunchtime.

In the afternoon, you can join a free hike to the Uyo Uyo archaeological site offered every afternoon by the hotel staff.

Day 13: Condor’s Cross Viewpoint

Your second day exploring the Colca Canyon starts with a very early visit to La Cruz del Condor viewpoint, a perfect spot to observe the majestic flight of the condors and the depth of the canyon. On bright sunny days, we can usually see up to 10 condors just a few meters from us. Still, it’s a weather dependent activity and, if it’s rainy, the condors might choose not to appear. After spending some time at the viewpoint, we start our drive back to our hotel.

Day 14: Scenic Drive from the Colca Canyon to Puno

This morning is free to enjoy the beautiful countryside of the Colca Canyon. After lunch, we’ll board our transport to Puno on a scenic 6-hour drive with great views of huge lagoons, beautiful stone forests and small Andean farmhouses. Upon arriving, transfer you to our hotel.

Day 15: Sailing to Taquile, Luquina & Uros in Lake Titicaca

Enjoy a full day visiting Lake Titicaca’s impressive landscapes and lively communities. We will pick you up and sail towards Taquile, a beautiful Mediterranean-like island, where we’ll be able to witness how the Taquileans have kept alive their traditions for centuries. After the visit, we will board our boat to the next village, Luquina Chico. Continue your journey to the floating reed islands of Uros. We will disembark on these bizarre, artificial islands to spend some time with the community and learn about the islands’ construction.

Day16: Scenic Bus Journey from Puno to Cusco

We will set off on a beautiful journey departing from Puno’s highlands and heading towards the city of Cusco. On route, we’ll pass various small Andean towns, herds of llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas, all of it next to breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains. We’ll stop to visit different attractions such as Pukara, La Raya, Racchi, and the famous Andahuaylillas Church baptized as the Sistine Chapel of America. At noon, we will enjoy a buffet lunch before arriving in Cusco.

Day 17: Sacsayhuaman & Cusco Guided Hike

Get ready for a soft hike around Cusco city center and the surrounding countryside! Start in the outskirts of the city, visiting Sacsayhuaman, an Inca fortress overlooking Cusco. Continue with an easy one-hour descent walk through a small portion of an old Inca road until arriving at the iconic San Blas neighborhood. Our walking city tour will take us not only through the most touristic sites in Cusco, such as the Main Square, Cathedral, and Koricancha, also known as Temple of the Sun. You will walk along ancient streets, local markets, and old neighborhoods where you will discover the magic of Cusco. This hike is the perfect way to get a genuine feel of this marvelous city and its people.

Day 18: Misminay, Maras Salt Mines & Circular Terraces of Moray

Visit the Andean community of Misminay and spend all morning with Flora’s family that will be happy to show us as much of their culture as possible. Next, go on a short hike to a nearby viewpoint from where we will have a unique view of the Moray terraces. We believe this site in the Inca times was the place where the Inca tried to adapt plants to different altitudes. It is then time to say goodbye to our hosts and make way to Maras, a salt-extraction complex consisting of thousands of small terraces.

Day 19: Ollantaytambo Fortress & The Lost City of Machu Picchu

Begin your day with Ollantaytambo, a charming village that has not changed much since Inca times. This town is famous due to the Ollantantaytambo archaeological site, a place with impressive Inca stonework only seconded by Machu Picchu. Board the train to Aguas Calientes from the Ollantaytambo station and then head up to Machu Picchu on a 30-minute bus ride. The afternoon is a great time to take the guided tour around the main areas of the site, as many travelers are leaving the site at this point. We will explore the ancient city of Machu Picchu for 3 hours around the main areas of the citadel. Finally, return to Aguas Calientes and board the train back to Ollantaytambo.

Day 20: Returning to Cusco

After a fun day at Machu Picchu, prepare to make our way to Cusco, the old Inca Capital. From Ollantaytambo, our private transport will be ready to take us to our hotel in Cusco. On route, your guide will be happy to offer recommendations for you on your last day in this amazing city.

Day 21: Departure day

You will have some free time to take a last walk around Cusco’s shops and markets as you say goodbye to this beautiful city. At the coordinated time, we’ll drive you to Cusco’s airport to board your flight to Lima and international connecting flights to your next destination. Hopefully, you will be heading home full of happy memories, new friends, and great pictures of your time with us!

What’s included?

  • Personalized attention before and throughout your trip.
  • Brief presentation prior departure.
  • All transfers and transports.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Local English-speaking guide focused on personalized trips.
  • Accommodation at well-thought hotels according to your travel style.
  • Mentioned meals.

What’s not included?

  • Services not specified in the program, extras & tips.
  • Domestic flights.
  • International flights.
  • Travel Insurance.

    Inquire about this trip

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