18-day tour: Peru's highlights

Tour from Lima to Jorge Chavez Intl, Lima (LIM), Peru

About this activity

Experience Lima, Arequipa, the Colca Canyon, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Amazon region.

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Day 1

Arrival Lima

Arrival in Lima and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight stay in ***Hotel Allpa.

Day 2

City tour Lima

You will be picked up from the hotel and taken to the city centre of Lima, where your sightseeing tour begins.

You will visit the main square where the Government Palace and the Archbishop's Palace are located. Next is the cathedral and its religious museum. Then visit the San Francisco Monastery, which exhibits the largest collection of religious art in America. The highlight of this visit are the underground catacombs.

Towards the end of the tour, you drive through the residential areas of San Isidro and Miraflores. San Isidro, Lima's "garden district," consists of extensive green spaces and exclusive neighborhoods. Miraflores, on the other hand, is famous for its shops, gardens and parks full of flowers.

Afterwards you will visit the Larco Herrera Museum, which exhibits Peru's largest private collection of archaeological finds - more than 45,000 exhibits. Here you will experience 3000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history in chronological order and see fine gold and silver works from ancient Peru. The museum itself is located inside the former palace of the Peruvian viceroy and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Overnight stay in the ***Hotel Allpa.

Day 3

Day at leisure

Today is free for your own explorations.

Overnight stay in the ***Hotel Allpa.

Day 4

Flight from Lima to Arequipa

In the morning you fly from Lima to Arequipa. Transfer from the airport to the hotel.

Afterwards you have a city tour through the "white city" in front of the impressive scenery of three volcanos. A highlight is a visit to the monastery town of Santa Catalina, which was completely isolated from the outside world for almost 400 years and has been open to the public only since 1970.

Overnight stay in the ***Hotel La Casa de mi Abuela.

Day 5

Day at leisure

Today is free for your own explorations.

Overnight stay in the ***Hotel La Casa De Mi Abuela.

Day 6

Drive to the Colca Valley

You will drive over the Patapampa Pass (4,850 m) and through the Pampa Cañahuas National Park with its vicuñas and alpacas to the Colca Canyon. The canyon is 70 kilometres long, up to 3,000 metres deep and surrounded by the volcanoes Corupuna and Ampato.

Overnight stay at the ***Hotel Casa Andina Standard Colca.

Day 7

Cross of the Condor - Drive to Puno

In the morning you make a trip to the Condor Cross with breathtaking views into the canyon and - hopefully - the opportunity to observe the majestic Peruvian national bird as it rises from the valley. Afterwards you take the tourist bus up to the Altiplano to Puno at Lake Titicaca (without tour guide).

Transfer to the hotel in Puno. Overnight stay in the ****Hotel Royal Inn.

Day 8

Full day excursion on Lake Titicaca

You will experience Lake Titicaca, the second largest lake in South America and one of the highest navigable lakes in the world.

Your motor boat takes you to the floating reed islands of the Uros. These are artificial islands woven from totora reed, which thanks to the light yet stable material float on the water and represent the habitat of the Uros culture. The Uros constructed the islands as they were more and more oppressed by the Aymara people and still live there today. The excursion gives you an insight into the way of life of this tribe.

Afterwards you continue by boat to Taquile Island, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of Lake Titicaca after a 30 to 45 minute ascent to the village centre. There you will see that not only the local women make beautiful weaving, but also the men make the finest knitwear.

After a short walk across the island you will return to Puno by boat.

Overnight stay in the ****Hotel Royal Inn.

Day 9

Tourist bus trip from Puno to Cusco

Full day trip with the tourist bus from Puno across the pass of La Raya (4.313m) to Cusco. The impressive trip offers an insight into the varied and fascinating landscape of the High Andes. On the way there will be stops in Andahuaylillas with the "Sistine Chapel of South America" and at the Wiracocha Temple of Raqchi.

Transfer to the hotel in Cusco. Overnight stay in the ***Hotel Tandapata Boutique.

Day 10

City walk through Cusco

Today begins with a city walk, during which you first visit the "Plaza de Armas". While visiting the cathedral, you will be able to see the patron saint of earthquakes, the "Señor de los Temblores", venerated by the locals. The smoke from the many candles has already turned the figure black.

We continue to the most important square of the former Inca Empire, the place of sun worship. The former sun temple "Coricancha" testifies to the impressive building technique of the Incas. Huge, precisely carved stones hold together without mortar. Most Inca buildings were destroyed by the Spaniards and only the foundations were preserved to build palaces, monasteries and churches. On the foundation of Coricancha the Spaniards built the Dominican monastery Santo Domingo.

The afternoon is at leisure.

Overnight stay in the ***Hotel Tandapata Boutique.

Day 11

Excursion to the Sacred Valley

After breakfast, we head to Sacsayhuaman, an Inca fortress long considered impregnable, but ultimately captured by the Spaniards during the conquest of Cuzco. Even today there is an underground passage connecting Sacsayhuaman with the former Coricancha Sanctuary in Cuzco. Particularly impressive are the huge stone blocks, which have been cut together to a perfect fit. Afterwards you visit the nearby complex of Qenko, a cult place of the Inca and the "red fortress" Puca Pucara, which is strategically located at the entrance to the Urubamba Valley as well as the ruins Tambo Machay, whose sources probably served as a water sanctuary.

Afterwards we will visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas, located between Cusco and Machu Picchu, with its wonderful landscape of valleys and mountains, sleepy villages and the country's most colourful markets. It is also home to some of the most important Inca ruins in the country.

Continue to the traditional market in Pisak. Here you have some free time to stroll around the market, to trade with the sellers and to buy some souvenirs. If you want to taste local specialities, we recommend you to buy bread and empanadas from the wood stove.

Then you will go to Ollantaytambo, an enchanting little town that has been inhabited since the Inca period. Here you visit the temple of the same name, which served during the resistance of the Incas.

Overnight directly in the holy valley in the ***Hotel La Casona de Yucay.

Day 12

Visit of the Inca site Machu Picchu

In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the train station. Here you get on the train, which takes you past small villages and through the beautiful landscape of the Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes. At the train station you walk a short distance to the bus station, from where you take a shuttle bus in about 20 minutes up the serpentines to the ruins. Machu Picchu, the "lost city of the Incas" was built in the 15th century in 2.430m height on a mountain ridge and only rediscovered in 1911. After a detailed inspection of the different areas with temples and terraces you drive with the shuttle bus back to Aguas Calientes.

Overnight stay in the ***Hotel Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu.

Day 13

Second visit to Machu Picchu and return to Cusco

Today you have the opportunity to explore Machu Picchu again on your own (without a tour guide). We recommend that you have breakfast early and then take the shuttle bus up to the ruins. With some luck you can explore Machu Picchu before the first tourists arrive by train from Cusco or Ollantaytambo. For the more sporty, we recommend climbing the Huayna Picchu (tickets must be purchased in advance). Or you walk to the sun gate Inti Punko, a former checkpoint from where you can enjoy a magnificent view of Machu Picchu.

In the afternoon you take the shuttle bus back to Aguas Calientes to take your train back to Poroy or Oallantaytambo. You will be met at the station and taken to your hotel in Cusco.

Overnight stay at the ***Hotel Tandapata Boutique.

Day 14

Day at leisure

Today is free for your own explorations.

Overnight stay in the ***Hotel Tandapata Boutique.

Day 15

Flight to the Amazon region

Transfer to the airport and flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado. You will be met at the airport and taken by boat to Explorer´s Inn Lodge. Once you arrive at the lodge, you will move into your room and receive a briefing on the program for the next few days. In the afternoon we will do our first hike through the rainforest.

Dinner and overnight at Explorer´s Inn Lodge.

Day 16

Lake Cocococha - Observation tower

Excursion to the Cocococha Lake, about 5 km away ( approx. 2.5 hour hike), to observe birds at sunrise. This lake is also inhabited by the giant otter.

Return to the lodge. After lunch climb the 42 m lookout tower. Here you can see macaws, parrots, toucans, arassaris and many more.

Dinner and overnight at Explorer´s Inn Lodge.

Day 17

Parrot Salt Lick

10-minute boat trip to the "Collpa de Loros" (parrot salt lick). Return to the lodge and breakfast. After breakfast visit a local farm.

In the afternoon excursion on the path "Laguna Chica", which leads through different types of forest.

Dinner and overnight at Explorer´s Inn Lodge.

Day 18

Return flight to Lima

After breakfast transfer back to the airport in Puerto Maldonado and flight to Lima.

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