What is the difference between a tourist and a traveller? In this 11-day Connecting with Peru itinerary, you will not only see some of the most impressive places in Peru, but truly connect with its people, culture, and land. After exploring the historical legacies of Lima with a specialist guide and taking a sampling food tour, you will head to the Sacred Valley to visit villages that carry out traditional industries such as weaving. After taking in Machu Picchu, understand contemporary lifestyles on Lake Titicaca with the option for an overnight homestay. When you leave, the memories and experiences you bring home with you will be worth more than any souvenir could ever be.
- Marvel at the intricacies of Incan masonry at Pisac, Ollyantatambo, and iconic Machu Picchu
- Visit a weaving community supported by non-profit organization the Center for Traditional Textiles
- Meet local communities and understand their ways of life on Lake Titicaca
Day 1 Lima Arrival in Lima. Overnight at Hotel de Autor or Hotel B.
Day 2 Lima Urban Eats samplig food tour. Into The Past Lima City Tour with Specialist Guide. Overnight at Hotel de Autor or Hotel B.
Day 3 Lima – Cusco – Urubamba Valley Fly Lima to Cusco and transfer to the Sacred Valley to meet Andean artisans of Chichubamba community. Overnight at El Albergue or Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba.
Day 4 Urubamba Valley Day with the Weavers. Overnight at El Albergue or Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba.
Day 5 Urubamba Valley – Machu Picchu Visit Ollantaytambo archaeological site. Inca Rail First Class or Vistadome train to Machu Picchu and guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight at El Mapi or Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo.
Day 6 Machu Picchu - Cusco Second Day at Machu Picchu with optional hikes. Vistadome train back to Cusco. Overnight at Palacio Manco Capac or Inkaterra La Casona.
Day 7 Cusco Appreciate Cusco's cobbled-street charm with a tour of the city's key sites. Overnight at Palacio Manco Capac or Inkaterra La Casona.
Day 8 Cusco – Lake Titicaca Fly from Cusco to Juliaca. Overnight at Libertador Lake Titicaca Hotel.
Day 9 Lake Titicaca Option 1: Overnight at Suasi Lodge. Option 2: Homestay.
Day 10 Lake Titicaca Option 1: Overnight at Suasi Lodge. Option 2: Homestay and back to Libertador Lake Titicaca overnight.
Day 11 Lake Titicaca – Lima Domestic flight from Juliaca to Lima. International Departure.
An English-speaking Aracari representative will be expecting you from your international arrival, will greet you and give you your customized welcome pack with a booklet of your trip itinerary and other useful information before whisking you off to your hotel, assisting you with all check-in procedures.
Urban Eats sampling food tour and Into The Past Lima City Tour with Specialist Guide
Having exploded onto the global food scene, Peru is now widely regarded as one of the world’s principal food travel destinations. Home to colourful dishes inspired by the country’s dramatically diverse geography, rich ethnic make-up and long culinary history, on today’s sampling tour you will savour some of the flavours that have helped put Peru on the world food map. Visiting a local market, traditional bodegas and artisan eateries that collectively showcase some of the best of Peru’s produce, discover new ingredients and learn more about Lima’s trailblazing gastronomic status by tasting a sample of the extraordinary variety of foods Peru offers.
In the afternoon visit downtown Lima. One of the main fascinations of Lima is the concentration of ancient history in the area; not only do the origins of the city pre-date the Spanish foundation of the city by several millennia, its museums are full of the artistic treasures of magnificent pre-Columbian civilizations that flourished throughout the coastal deserts of Peru. Begin to unravel this multifaceted history and discover the complex past of this fascinating city accompanied our specialist guide. Visit the colonial area of Lima, featuring the Cathedral, the Convent of Santo Domingo, and the Main Square with its beautiful baroque style buildings. You will also have a chance to visit Casa Aliaga, reportedly the oldest home on the Continent and still family-owned after 17 generations. The sites visited today can be tailored to alternatively include: La Casona de San Marcos; the Convent of San Francisco and its catacombs; Huaca Pucllana; and the Museo de la Inquisition. It is also possible to organize cocktails at Casa Aliaga (supplement price applies).
Lima - Cusco - Urubamba Valley
Flight to Cusco and transfer to the Sacred Valley. Meet local Andean artisans.
Our Aracari representative will pick you up from your hotel for your private transfer to Lima airport, where he will assist you with check-in procedures for your domestic flight to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, your personal guide and private driver will greet you and you will head to the Chichubamba community for first-hand insight into local industries. You will be invited into the homes of different local craftsmen to participate in a series of workshops to learn their trade directly from them: pottery-making, chocolate-making, beekeeping and honey production and the preparation of local drink chicha de jora. Each takes around 45-minutes and they are all in walking distance of each other. After lunch in the community you will head to your hotel in the Urubamba Valley.
Day with the Weavers
The Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco is a non-profit organization established in 1996 to aid in the survival of traditional Andean textile traditions and to provide support to weaving communities. After being collected by your guide from your Urubamba hotel, travel to one of the communities that the center works with around the Sacred Valley. As well as learning about traditional weaving techniques and seeing artisans in action, the visit includes a traditional lunch at the community and a chance to interact with its members.
Urubamba Valley - Machu Picchu
Visit Ollantaytambo archaeological site. Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu
Today visit the fabulous town of Ollantaytambo and its ruins. The town is unique in that it still preserves its original Inca plan, with people living in traditional cancha enclosures once occupied by the Inca elite. The archaeological compound found here is a remarkable spectacle, and a site of great historical significance. It was here that one of the greatest battles of the Conquest was fought, and one of the few where the Incas defeated the Spaniards. Following your visit take the Inca Rail First Class Train to Machu Picchu (seasonal – alternatively the Vistadome train). The journey from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes is approximately 1.5 hours. Upon your arrival in the village of Aguas Calientes, you will then board the bus for a winding uphill journey to the entrance to Machu Picchu.
“Magnificence” is the only word to describe the scene, as you gaze upon the ruins of Machu Picchu. The main destination on many travellers’ lists, the ‘lost city of the Incas’ is a man-made marvel that has become a symbol for the ingenuity and prosperity of one of the most expansive empires in Latin American history. Enjoy a 2-3 hour guided visit of Machu Picchu before spending the remainder of the afternoon exploring the ruins after the majority of visitors have left the site. Afterwards, return by bus to your hotel in Aguas Calientes.
Machu Picchu - Cusco
Second day at Machu Picchu. Vistadome train to Cusco
This morning you’ll return to the ruins with your guide. Optionally hike to IntiPunku, the “Sun Gate”, take a more strenuous climb to Huayna Picchu or climb to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, located south of the Citadel and offering spectacular panoramic views. Following your visit, take the bus back to the town of Aguas Calientes to catch the Vistadome train (approx. 1.5hrs) back to Ollantaytambo, where a private vehicle will be waiting to transfer you by road to Cusco (approx. 2hrs) to check in to your hotel.
In and Around Cusco
Since its narrow alleyways were originally designed by the Incas as a city for walking, start your exploration of Cusco on foot. Begin at the Plaza de Armas, the Main Square, which is marked by the exquisite Spanish Colonial architecture and ornamentation imposed by Spanish colonists to exert religious and political influence. Underneath it all, however, you can clearly see remnants of Inca Cusco in the solid stonework. Visit Koricancha, the most sumptuous “Sun Temple” in the Inca Empire, and the breathtaking Cathedral, a repository for Cusco’s colonial art, as well as many other important archaeological relics and artifacts. You will also stop by the colourful San Pedro market and pass through the charming neighborhood of San Blas. Next, visit Sacsayhuaman, an Inca citadel atop a hill, on the outskirts of the city. Not only are the imposing terraces of masterful stonework a sight to behold, but the vistas overlooking the sienna rooftops of Cusco provide a whole new perspective to the city you traversed. Afterwards, return to your hotel.
Cusco – Juliaca – Lake Titicaca
Fly from Cusco to Juliaca. Transfer to Lake Titicaca.
An Aracari representative will meet you at your hotel 2 hours before your flight departure and escort you to the airport. Upon arrival at the Juliaca airport, you will be welcomed by an Aracari representative and transferred approximately one hour to your hotel on Lake Titicaca.
Lake Titicaca, at nearly 4000 feet above sea level between the Peruvian and Bolivian highlands, is the highest navigable lake in the world. This gentle lake is home to a myriad of communities, each with their own specific customs and traditions and with folklore often considered to be the richest in Peru. With rugged landscapes, gentle lapping water, and the crisp air of the highlands, a visit to Lake Titicaca is both a serene and educational experience, providing a unique look into the cultural variety and native wildlife that exists here.
Option 1: Overnight Homestay Luquina Chico & Libertador Lake Titicaca. Option 2: Two nights at Suasi Lodge
Experience Lake Titicaca by choosing between a one night homestay on the lake followed by a night at Libertador Lake Titicaca Puno, or two nights at Suasi Lodge.
Homestay on Lake Titicaca:
At the tip of the Chucuito peninsula of Lake Titicaca lives the indigenous, Aymara-speaking community of Luquina Chico. This Andean community, whose way of life continues to be unaffected by mass tourism in the region, is protected by strict travel regulations. The Luquina Chico initiative raises money and uses the funds to help alleviate poverty in the region, raise their living standards, and provide basic necessities. In the morning, you will be picked up from the pier at your Lake Titicaca hotel and journey by boat to the village. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and shown around the village. As the sun sets over the lake in spectacular fashion, you will have the privileged opportunity to enjoy the traditional dancing and music.
privately owned island complete with its own comfortable lodge, Suasi is near the remote northern shores of Lake Titicaca and makes a beguiling retreat for the discerning traveller – an ideal place to escape for a few days into pristine nature. Begin your memorable journey with a transfer from your hotel to the pier where you embark by shared boat on approximately a four-hour journey towards the picturesque island. Along the way, visit traditional communities such as the Uros floating reeds islands and Taquile. Arrive at Suasi’s private dock and take a short walk to the lodge, surrounded by the scents and colors of the island’s vibrant flora.
- Alternative option: Homestay
Libertador Lake Titicaca or Suasi Lodge
Homestay on Lake Titicaca:
Today you will enjoy a traditional breakfast with you homestay family and then spend the morning interacting with the people of Luquina Chico, gaining an insight into such daily activities as farming, fishing, sailing, cookery, child rearing and energy consumption. Afterwards, say goodbye to the community members and embark on the boat journey back to the Puno pier. Overnight at Libertador Lake Titicaca Puno.
Many of the outdoor activities offered on the island are included in your room rate and are guide-led, including nature walks, canoeing, boating, stargazing and bonfires to name a few. You might go kayaking around the island, take a hike, or visit the owner’s Cultural Cabin, where you can learn about the historical, geographical and cultural importance of the region. Enjoy your meals in the lodge’s restaurant serving up a combination of international and Peruvian dishes.
Lake Titicaca – Juliaca – Lima - International Departure
Fly from Juliaca to Lima. International Departure
If leaving from Libertador Lake Titicaca an Aracari representative will collect you for your transfer to Juliaca airport for your domestic flight to Lima. If leaving from Suasi Lodge enjoy your last tranquil hours before transferring by boat and they two and half hours by car to Juliaca airport for your domestic flight to Lima.
Upon arrival at the Lima airport, an Aracari representative will be expecting you with a sign bearing your name. He will escort you to your hotel to assist you with check-in and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have at this point.
Itinerary pricing as of 2017
Pricing Info - US$4,156
This is an example itinerary and can be entirely customized to suit you. Just get in touch and we’ll design your own tailor-made itinerary according to your interests, travel style and budget.
- Based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy
- Price is per person for the full 8-day itinerary
- Based on Hotel Selection 1: Autor I, El albergue, El Mapi, Palacio Manco Capac, Libertador Lake Titicaca Puno, Homestay (Luquina)
Pricing Alternatives - US$5,010
The alternative pricing is based on the same itinerary with upgraded accommodations showcasing the best luxury hotels that Peru has to offer.
- Based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy
- Price is per person for the full 8-day itinerary
- Based on Hotel Selection 2: Hotel B, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, La Casona, Libertador Late Titicaca Puno, Suasi Lodge
This itinerary is based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy, excluding flights (international and domestic).
- Includes all specified services in the itinerary description
- All transfers and entrance fees
- A welcome pack on arrival including: a pre-loaded cell phone to contact your travel consultant at any time, a printed booklet packed with insider tips alongside your detailed itinerary and up-to-date recommendations on dining and shopping
- Hand-selected English-speaking guides
- Specialist guides (where noted)
- 24-hour support from our locally based team
- 7 nights in a hand-picked selection of Peru’s finest accommodations - all personally tried and tested