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Peru is one of the hidden gems of South America. Majestic landscapes, a rich culture and history, bustling cities and wildlife galore. Peru has it all. How do you want to explore it?

 

Discover the Real Peru - 21 Day Tour

Discover the Real Peru - 21 Day Tour

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The trip at a glance

Start: Lima                                                                    Duration: 21 Days
Finish: Lima                                                               Group size: Max 16
Destinations: Lima, Paracas, Nazca, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Puno, Lake Titicaca, Inca Trail or Inca Quarry Trail, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Amazon Jungle.
Difficulty Rating: 4/5            

What you will love about this trip

  • Discover the Machu Picchu, one of the wonders of the world.

  • Take a walking orientation of Peru`s capital city, Lima.

  • Hike the Inca Trail or Inca Quarry Trail.

  • View the Nazca lines from above.

  • Learn about the ancient civilisation of the Incas.

  • Explore the Amazon Jungle and see the amazing wildlife.

  • Walk the cobbled streets of Cusco, the oldest inhabited city in South America and centre of the Inca empire.

  • Sample delicious Peruvian cuisine.

  • Explore the ruins in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley.

Is this trip right for you?

  • We will visit places that are at high altitude. Some people may suffer from altitude sickness. Altitude sickness can affect anyone regardless of fitness level or age. However our guides will share ways to mitigate these symptoms such as staying hydrated and limiting alcohol intake.

  • There will be early mornings for us to get to our activities on time.

  • Some of the roads can be windy and bumpy.

  • You will need to bring suitable clothing for trekking. You need hiking boots, comfortable outdoor clothing and warm waterproof gear.

  • There will be lots of exploring so you will need to be able to be on your feet for extended periods of time. A moderate level of fitness is required however let us know your needs and we have plenty of ways to adjust the tour to you.

  • The Amazon Jungle can have a lot of insects including mosquitoes, be sure to bring strong insect repellent for this part of the trip.

Inclusions

Meals

20 breakfasts
9 lunches
6 dinners


Accommodation

19 nights in private twin or double rooms in hotels.
3 nights in a 2 person tents with inflatable mattresses during the hike.


Transportation
Private minivan
Flights
Tourist bus
Motorboat
Train
Activities

Lima city walking orientation
Boat ride in Paracas national park to see amazing sea and birdlife
View the Nazca lines from the viewing tower
Arequipa city walking orientation
Colca Canyon vist to watch for condors
Boat tour of Lake Titicaca
Entrance tickets to the sacred valley ruins
Trekking permits for the Inca Trail or the Inca Quarry Trail
Entrance and tour of Machu Picchu
Cusco walking orientation
Amazon Jungle tour

Day 1 - Lima

To make your arrival to Peru stress free, if you have requested a free airport transfer we will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel. Otherwise you can meet us at the hotel where a welcome note will be waiting for you at reception. You will have the rest of the day to relax after your long flight.

Inclusions

Accommodation: A twin or double room in a hotel in Lima.
Transport: Free transfer from the airport to the hotel

Day 2 - Lima

We meet at the hotel reception for an orientation at 1pm, this is where you will meet your fellow travellers and dedicated tour guide. At this meeting we will discuss the itinerary. Here we will also collect your next of kin, passport and insurance information.

In the afternoon we head off to explore Lima’s historical centre on a walking orientation. Soak up the bustling vibes of the city while you check out the colonial architecture, Plaza de Armas, government building and cathedral. We finish the orientation with a tour of the catacombs which lie underneath San Francisco Church.

Inclusions

Accommodation: A double or twin room in a hotel in Lima.
Meals: Breakfast.
Activities: Walking orientation of Lima’s historical centre and entrance to the San Francisco catacombs.
Transport: Private transport.

Day 3 - Paracas

This morning we drive south through the desert landscapes while catching glimpses of the Pacific coast out the window. We take a stop along the way at Pachacamac to learn about the history of this Inca fortress. We then travel further south to the fishing village of Pucusana. Here we see the fishermen selling their catch in the market stalls. We head out on a small tourist boat for a tour of the bay. We finish our journey in the afternoon, arriving in Paracas where we spend the night.

Inclusions

Accommodation: A double or twin room in a hotel in Paracas.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch.
Activities: Boat tour of Pacusana Bay and tour of the Inca fortress of Pachacamac.
Transport: Tourist boat and Private minivan.

Day 4 - Nazca

We take a tourist boat to the Ballestas islands, known as the Galapagos of Peru. Bird lovers will find this stop a highlight as it has the highest concentration of marine birds in the world. In the 2 hour trip we will hope to see seals, penguins, flamingoes, red footed boobies and pelicans. On our boat journey we can also see the Candelera Inca design etched into the hill side. We then take a drive along the desert coast towards Nazca. We will stop along the way at the Nazca line viewing towers where you can see 3 of the mysteriously created lines. Your guide will tell you some of the theories of their creation and maybe you can decide for yourself.

Inclusions

Accommodation: A double or twin room in a hotel in Nazca.
Meals: Breakfast.
Activities: Boat tour of the Ballastas Islands and a stop at the Nazca viewing tower.
Transport: Private minivan.

Day 5 - Arequipa

This morning there is time free or if you would like you can take a flight over the Nazca Lines where you can get a view of all the lines and take some amazing aerial photographs. In the afternoon we take a 9 hour bus to Arequipa also known as the white city, thanks to its architecture where houses are built from light coloured volcanic rock.

Inclusions

Accommodation: A double or twin room in a hotel in Arequipa.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch.
Optional Activities: Tourist flight over the Nazca lines.

Day 6 - Arequipa

Wake to magical views of El Misti, the volcano that watches over the town. This morning we meet a local guide who will take us on a walking orientation of the city centre to help you navigate around the city and to explore the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. This afternoon you will be free to explore the colonial city of Arequipa. You may want to visit the Plaza de Armas and the Junita museum which houses Peru’s ‘ice maiden’.

Inclusions

Accommodation: A double or twin room in a hotel in Arequipa.
Meals: Breakfast.
Activities: Walking orientation of Arequipa city centre and entrance to the Santa Catalina Convent.

Day 7 - Chivay

Today we drive 5 hours to the town of Chivay, which will be our base for exploring the Colca Canyon and the National Park. Along the way we will make stops to see Peru’s most famous animals - llamas and alpacas as well as stopping for some coca tea and to view the artisan handicrafts. After arriving in Chivay we will relax and adjust to the altitude of 3600m above sea level.

Inclusions

Accomodation: Twin or double room in Chivay.
Meals: Breakfast.
Activities: Road side stops to see llamas and drink coca tea.
Transport: Private minivan.

Day 8 - Chivay

We venture out to see the largest flying bird, the condor soaring through the Colca Canyon which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. On the other side of the canyon we can see ancient tombs carved into the hillside. In the afternoon we have the option to take a short walk to the natural thermal baths which sit next to a rushing river. What a way to spend the afternoon!

Inclusions

Accommodation: Twin or double hotel room in Chivay.
Meals: Breakfast.
Transport: Private minivan.
Optional Activities: Visit to the natural thermal baths.

Day 9 - Puno/Lake Titicaca

Today we drive through the stunning Peruvian Highlands of Altiplano. Along the way we will stop to see highland lakes, the burial towers of Sillustani and if we are lucky, flocks of llamas. Overlooking Lake Titicaca sits the town of Puno. Here the traditional way of life for the local Indian cultures of the Aymara and Quechua is thriving. You will have the afternoon to relax and walk through the cities streets or up to the city view point.

Inclusions

Accommodation: Twin or double room in Puno.
Meals: Breakfast.
Activities: Stop to see the burial towers of Sillustani.
Transport: Private minivan.

Day 10 - Puno

We take a boat tour of Lake Titicaca and explore the man made reed islands and meet the communities who live on and around the lake. We learn from people who live on the islands about how they construct their islands and homes on the lake. We also learn about their history and the bartering system they still use to this day.

Inclusions

Accommodation: Twin or double hotel room in Puno.
Meals: Breakfast.
Activities: Lake Titicaca tour.
Transport: Tourist boat.

Day 11 - Cusco

We drive the approximately 10 hour journey to Cusco, the world famous ancient Inca capital city. Even though the drive is long it is beautiful. We take stops along the way including a stop at La Raya Pass at 4313m above sea level, where we can see amazing views across the vallies on both sides. This evening you will have to relax and acclimatise to the altitude (3450m).where Raqchi Inca temple is located.

Inclusions

Accommodation: Twin or double hotel room in Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast.
Transport: Private minivan to Cusco.

Day 12 - Ollantaytambo/Sacred Valley

We travel from Cusco through the Sacred Valley by private minibus to Ollantaytambo. We visit 2 archeological sites, one of Pisac and Ollantaytambo where we can learn about Inca argriculture and religion. Along the way you can see the meandering river and terraces before stopping to view some local handicrafts and have some lunch. Lunch will be a traditional Pacahamanca meal, where the food is wrapped and buried in the ground alongside hot stones before it is dug up for the feast. In the afternoon we have a tour of the ancient Inca ruins in Ollantaytambo that overlook a beautiful view of the whole valley, here the guide will describe the history and customs of the Incas who once lived here.

Inclusions

Accommodation: A double or twin room in a hotel in Ollantaytambo.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch.
Activities: Traditional Pachamanca meal and a Sacred Valley tour visiting the ruins at Ollantaytambo and Pisac.
Transport: Private minibus to Ollantaytambo.

Day 13 - Trekking

Today you leave for your arranged trek. Either to the Inca trail or Inca Quarry Trail. You will be given a duffel bag which can take 6kg of gear, the rest of your bag will be held safely at the hotel in Cusco. The porters will carry your duffel bag ahead of you on the walk and you can access them each night when you arrive at the camp. You will need a daypack to carry your water, snacks, sunscreen and anything you may need during the day.

The Inca Trail: Today you start out on the 43 km trek that leads you to one of the wonders of the world - Machu Picchu. You will be taken by private minivan to the start of the trek. From here there we hike 10km, an estimated 7 hour mainly uphill hike to the campsite which sits at 3100m above sea level. On the way you will marvel at the Incan ruins of Huillca Raccay, Canabanba and Llactapata.

The Inca Quarry Trail: This morning you start on your 26 km hike that reaches 4450 m above sea level. We will take a private minivan to Rafqà where we start our hike and meet our chefs and porters. Along the way we will stop at Chonquequilla, an archelogical site where the Incas worshipped the moon. We walk all morning past small local farming families and beautiful vistas to our first campsite at 3700 m above sea level. Nearby the campsite there is the archaeological site of Q'orimarca that we can explore after relaxing over lunch.

Trekking Inclusions

Accommodation: Camping in a 2 person tent with an inflatable mattress.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Activities: The Inca trail or Inca Quarry Trail with an English speaking guide, professional chefs and porters.
Transport: Private minivan to the start of your trek.

Train Option: Today we head to the town of Pisac which has a wonderful market where you can try some local street food or pick up some beautiful handicrafts. After enjoying the market is Pisac we drive back to Cusco in a private minivan.

Train Option Inclusions

Accommodation: A twin or double room in a hotel in Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch.
Activities: Visit to a local market in Pisac.
Transport: Private minivan to Pisac and then on to Cusco.

Day 14 - Trekking

The Inca Trail: Today is the most challenging day of the trek, we will walk 12km in total today starting at 3100m above sea level. At half way after approximately 4 hours we will arrive at our lunch spot at Llactapata where will provide a delicious meal and provide more water for your bottles. We will then walk up a steep track to cross what is known as the ‘Dead Woman’s Pass’ at 4215m above sea level. Here you can see the sweeping views across the Pacaymayo Valley and take the great photo opportunity. You will then descend to the campsite at 3650 m above sea level after approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.

The Inca Quarry Trail: Today we embark on the most challenging day of the hike. In the late morning we should cross the mountain pass of Puccaqasa. Here you can enjoy sweeping views across the valley. We walk across a saddle before crossing the second mountain pass of Kuychicassa at 4450 m above sea level. We descend to our second campsite for the night.

Trekking Inclusions

Accommodation: Camping in a 2 person tent with an inflatable mattress.
Meals: Breakfast,lunch and dinner.
Activities: The Inca Trail or The Inca Quarry Trail with an English speaking guide, professional chefs and porters.

Train Option: This morning we take a short taxi ride to the archeological site of Tambomachay. The walk is approximately 4 hours so make sure to wear your walking shoes. From this site we will walk downhill past the archelogical site of Puka Pukara, Q`enqo, Saksaywaman and on the way to Cusco. For the rest of the afternoon you will have free time to explore Cusco as you wish.

Train Inclusions

Accommodation: Twin or double room in Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast.
Activities: Entrance ticket and guide for the archeological sites of Saksaywaman, Puka Puka and Q`enqo.
Transport: Taxi.

Day 15 - Trekking

The Inca Trail: Today we hike 16km, starting by hiking through the valley before crossing the second mountain pass, Runkurakay Pass which sits at 3980m above sea level. We then descend down to a valley where we explore the Sayacmarca archaeological site. We then cross our last pass at 37000m above sea level, here we find ‘The Town above the Clouds’, Phuyupatamarca at 3550 m above sea level. An approximately 2.5 hour hike down the Inca steps takes us to our campsite next to the Winay Wayna archeological site.

The Inca Quarry Trail: With tired legs from yesterday we complete the downhill walk to the end of the trail. We pass the Kachiqata quarry, which lies unfinished beacuse of the Spanish invasion. We return to Ollantaytambo where we take the glass roofed tourist train to Aguas Calientes, also know as Machu Pichu Town. As you roll by watch the high mountains and flowing river. You will have the afternoon to relax or explore the town of Aguas Calientes which is nestled in the mountains with a beautiful river running along the length of the town.

Trekking Inclusions

Accommodation: Camping in a 2 person tent with an inflatable mattress on the Inca Trail option. A night in a twin or double hotel room in Aguas Calientes for the Inca Quarry Trail option.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Activities: The Inca Trail or Inca Quarry Trail with an English speaking guide, professional chefs and porters.

Train Option: A free day in Cusco to explore.

Train Inclusions

Accommodation: A night in a twin or double hotel room in Aguas Calientes.
Meals: Breakfast.

Day 16 - Machu Picchu

The Inca Trail: We wake up before the sun today at 3:45am to hike approximately 1.5 hours to the sun gate. We set off early to the final checkpoint which opens at 5:30am to hike the last 2 and a half hour stretch of trail before entering the site through the famous sun gate. Here we can find a spot to take it all in and watch the mist roll through the mountains around Machu Picchu citadel. Now we have the time to take a private tour with your guide who will bring the city to life with his knowledge of this wonder of the world.

Inca Quarry Trail/Train Option

An early rise of 5:30am to make the sunrise over Machu Picchu and beat the heat of the day. We take the 30 minute tourist bus up the winding mountain to Machu Picchu. Here we can find a spot to sit and take it all in. Watch the mist roll through the mountains around the Machu Picchu citadel and the sunrise over the ancient city. Now we have the time to take a private tour with your guide who will bring the city to life with his knowledge of this wonder of the world. This afternoon we travel back to Cusco on the glass roofed tourist train to Ollantaytambo. Followed by a private minivan to Cusco.

Trekking Inclusions

Accommodation: Twin or double hotel room in Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast.
Activities: The Inca Trail or Inca Quarry Trail with an English speaking guide, professional chefs and porters.
Transport: Return tourist bus to Machu Picchu (1 way for Inca trail option), glass roofed tourist train and private minivan to Cusco.

Train Option: We travel from Cusco through the Sacred Valley by private minibus to Ollantaytambo, where we meet with those who have hiked the Inca Quarry Trail. Together we take the glass roofed tourist train to Aguas Calientes, also know as Machu Pichu Town. As you roll by watch the high mountains and flowing river. You will have the afternoon to explore the town of Aguas Calientes which is nestled in the mountains with a beautiful river running along the length of the town. This afternoon we travel back to Cusco on the glass roofed tourist train to Ollantaytambo. Followed by a private minivan to Cusco.

Train Inclusions

Accommodation: Twin or double hotel room in Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast.
Transport:Private minivan to Ollantaytambo, Return trip on the glass roofed tourist train to Aguas Calientes, Private minivan to Cusco

Day 17 - Cusco

This morning we take a taxi to Sacsayhuaman. Here we explore the ancient fortress and learn about how the Incas fought the Spanish here. This afternoon we will meet for a free city orientation of Cusco. On this orientation we will point out the best tourist spots, museums, resturants and amenities in the ancient Inca capital. We will get go to the chocolate museum and taste some delicious local chocolates.

Inclusions

Accommodation: Twin or double hotel room in Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast in the hotel and dinner.

Day 18 - Cusco

A free day to relax and unwind or set out on another adventure - it’s up to you! Your guide can give you directions and advice on how to enjoy the day from pointing you to the best place for an Incan massage, a spot of shopping or a visit a visit to a museum.

Inclusions

Accommodation: Twin or double hotel room in Cusco.
Meals: Breakfast.

Day 19 - Amazon Jungle

Today we take an early morning flight to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Jungle. At our partner tourist office we leave our bags in secure lockers and take a small duffel bag (provided) with us for our two nights in the jungle. We then hop in a motorboat and head down the river with your English speaking guide. After disembarking at our jungle lodge we will have time to relax and soak up the scenery.

Inclusions

Accomodation: Shared room in a jungle lodge.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Activities: motorboat ride on the river through the Amazon Jungle.
Transport: Airport transfers to and from the airport, flight to Puerto Maldonado

Day 20 - Amazon Jungle

We disembark on a trek through the jungle with plenty of stops to see native plants and animals. Depending on the time of year we will take different routes to ensure we get the best chance to spot wildlife. If we are lucky we may spot macaws, swarms of butterflies, monkeys and otters. The trek is long and can be muddy so make sure you pack appropriately and come prepared. The lodge will provide gumboots for your trek to keep your feet dry.

Inclusions

Accomodation: Shared room in a jungle lodge.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Activities: Amazon Jungle wildlife watching trek ( up to 10km), gumboots to keep your feet dry, motorboat ride on the Amazon river.
Transport: motorboat

Day 21: Lima

We take a short, early morning flight from Puerto Maldonado to Lima where we finish our journey. We say goodbye to our new friends before making our way. You can now choose to spend more days exploring Lima or take a flight on to your next destination.

Inclusions

Meals: Breakfast at the hotel.
Transport: Transfer to the airport, flight to Lima.