Delve into the history and rich cultures of Peru with a two-week journey that takes in Peru’s dramatic diversity of landscapes. Explore the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, scour the Amazon jungle for rare and fascinating wildlife and meet villagers living on Lake Titicaca. Exploring the Delights of Peru will enable you to understand the country in-depth.
An alternative to flying from Cusco to Puno is the Belmond Andean Explorer luxury sleeper train. An all-inclusive ride complete with private sleeping cabins, meals, drinks, and excursions.
- Stay at an authentic lodge in the Amazon Rainforest
- Enjoy activities on the world's highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca
- Explore the iconic ruins of Machu Picchu
Day 1 Lima Arrival in Lima. Overnight at JW Marriott or Hotel B.
Day 2 Lima Full-day tour of the historical sites in Lima with a specialist guide. Overnight at JW Marriott or Hotel B.
Day 3 Lima – Tambopata National Reserve Fly Lima to Puerto Maldonado. Activities in the Amazon rainforest. Overnight at Refugio Amazonas or Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica.
Day 4 Tambopata National Reserve Activities in the Amazon rainforest. Overnight at Refugio Amazonas or Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
Day 5 Tambopata National Reserve Activities in the Amazon rainforest. Overnight at Refugio Amazonas or Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
Day 6 Puerto Maldonado - Urubamba Valley Fly Puerto Maldonado to Cusco. Transfer from Cusco to Ollantaytambo. Overnight at El Albergue or Belmond Rio Sagrado.
Day 7 Urubamba Valley Ollantaytambo fortress. Farm to Table Lunch at an organic farm. Visit Maras and Moray. Overnight at El Albergue or Belmond Rio Sagrado.
Day 8 Machu Picchu Belmond Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. Guided visit of Machu Picchu. Overnight at El Mapi or Sumaq.
Day 9 Machu Picchu - Cusco Second Day at Machu Picchu. Vistadome train back to Cusco. Overnight at El Mercado Tunqui or Palacio del Inka.
Day 10 Cusco Cusco’s key sites. Private BBQ lunch on an Inca wall overlooking the city. Overnight at El Mercado Tunqui or Palacio del Inka.
Day 11 Cusco - Lake Titicaca Fly to Juliaca. Transfer to Puno. Overnight at Libertador Lake Titicaca or Titilaka.
Day 12 Lake Titicaca Activities on Lake Titicaca. Overnight at Libertador Lake Titicaca or Titilaka.
Day 13 Lake Titicaca - Lima Activities on Lake Titicaca. Fly Juliaca to Lima. Dinner reservation at Central. Overnight at JW Marriott or Hotel B.
Day 14 Lima Creative Footsteps Lima walking tour. 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.
Into The Past Lima City Tour with Specialist Guide
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 an ancient adobe pyramid right in the middle of the city, Huaca Huallamarca, which dates back to around 200 BC. Journey to the Larco Herrera Museum, where thousands of years of complex ancient history will be turned into an easy-to-understand story, for kids and adults alike. Continue on to 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 – Tambopata National Reserve
Fly Lima to Puerto Maldonado. Activities in the Amazon rainforest
An Aracari representative will meet you in the lobby of your hotel, 2 1/2 hours before your flight departure, in order to assist you with checkout, and then escort you to the airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado.
Upon arrival from Lima, you will be greeted by the staff from your chosen Amazonian Lodge - Refugio Amazonas or Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. Refugio Amazonas lies deeper in the Amazon for a more authentic experience with slightly better wildlife viewing opportunities, while Reserva Amazonica provides greater creature comforts as you swing in a hammock from your private cabin or indulge in a spa treatment.
To reach Refugio Amazonas transfer by road to their jetty (approx. 45mins ) before the two and a half hour boat ride. To reach Reserva Amazonica, a ten minute road transfer takes you to their jetty for a 45 minute boat ride. You will have time for an afternoon trail walk. Come nightfall, at either property, head out along the river in search of Caiman.
Tambopata National Reserve
Activities in the Amazon rainforest
Activities vary depending on the lodge you choose to stay at.
Head out to an oxbow lake where you will paddle around the lake on a wooden raft, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and horned screamers. With luck, you will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws. A thirty-minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25-meter scaffolding canopy tower. Once at the top, enjoy views of toucans, parrots or macaws flying along the horizon. After lunch, head five minutes downriver to a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a diverse variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops, plants and trees, most of which serve a purpose. Along this trail, you will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population for medicinal purposes. Following dinner, enjoy an informative presentation on conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve from a Refugio Amazonas staff member.
Visit Lake Sandoval in the Tambopata National Reserve. Glide in a wooden canoe across the beautiful, mirror-like oxbow lake that is home to the endangered giant river otter. In the afternoon see the rainforest from a new perspective, from the canopy walkway. Ascending the first tower, 29 meters above the forest ground, you begin your encounter with the treetop realm. Be on the lookout for bright toucans, woodpeckers, trogons, monkeys and the three-toed sloth. Activities at Reserva Amazonica are a la carte. You may opt for the wetlands walk later on. In this lush ecosystem on wooden walkways, you may observe the various species of amphibians, birds, mammals, abundant flora, and trees -- and there is a possibility to see serpents of this flooded marshland.
Tambopata National Reserve
Activities in the Amazon rainforest
After breakfast, enjoy a 15-minute boat ride and one hour hike to a clay lick used both by parrots and parakeets. Here you will see dozens of parrots and parakeets ingesting the clay on the river bank. Afterwards, return to the lodge for lunch. A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful old patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades. Here, your guide will demonstrate the whole process of the rainforest's only sustainably harvested product. A 20-minute hike will take you to a peccary clay lick where wild rainforest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty. Other wildlife such as deer, guan and parakeets may also be spotted. After dinner, you will have the option of participating in a night hike to view mammals and frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
After breakfast embark on a trip to Gamitana Creek, located 25 minutes by boat from the lodge. Be introduced to local exotic fruits and plants. Explore the rainforest along the banks of a winding, dark-water creek that is home to many piranha, caiman, turtles and birds. After lunch, enjoy the Hacienda Concepcion excursion, with over 200 different plant species, and learn about the uses and benefits of traditional tropical flora. This is followed by a 30-minute canoe trip to look for turtles, sun grebes, nightjars and exotic herons. Return to the lodge and perhaps enjoy a night trail to see nocturnal critters.
Puerto Maldono - Urubamba
Fly Puerto Maldonado to Cusco. Transfer to Ollantaytambo
Following breakfast, board your boat for your return journey to the river port, where you will be transferred by land to the Puerto Maldonado headquarters to pick up your luggage and ready yourself for your flight to Cusco. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.
Enjoy a full breakfast before departure. A 45-minute return trip by boat on the Madre de Dios River takes you to Puerto Maldonado. Butterfly House. Peru boasts the greatest variety of butterflies in the world, with 3,700 known species. Many of these can be seen at the Butterfly House where you will make a stop, a showcase for the variety, beauty and adaptability of these fascinating insects.
Upon arrival at the Cusco airport, you will be welcomed by an English-speaking Aracari representative, as well as your guide, and will begin an approximate 1.5-hour drive to your Urubamba Valley hotel. Along the way your guide will brief you on the activities you have planned and answer any questions that you may have.
Visit Ollantaytambo archaelofical site. Farm to Table Lunch at an organic farm. Visit Maras and Moray
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, transfer back to your hotel.
Later, you will enjoy a guided tour of El Albergue’s organic farm, before having the chance to prepare uchucuta, a savory and spicy sauce traditionally prepared by grinding a variety of native herbs and chilis on a stone mortar. Afterwards, sit down at the rustic El Albergue restaurant for a 3-course menu made with 70% organic ingredients from the farm. Choose from a variety of dishes such as chicken and vegetable kebabs, pan-fried trout served with a variety of native potatoes and alpaca steak served with elderberry sauce.
Belmond Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu. Guided visit of Machu Picchu
Today, you will be collected from your hotel and driven by private vehicle approximately 1 hour to the train station in Poroy to begin your journey to Machu Picchu. The Belmond Hiram Bingham Train, which departs from Poroy station, guarantees the highest quality of exquisite, attentive service. Enjoy views of the beautiful mountains and Urubamba River from the comfort of the warm and elegant carriages before arriving in Aguas Calientes, where will then board the bus for a winding uphill journey to your final destination.
“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 back to Cusco
This morning, take an early bus back for an activity-filled day at the ruins. Depending on your interests, there are a variety of excursions available. Hike to Inti Punku, or “Sun Gate,” the original gateway to Machu Picchu that approaches the site along the Inca trail. Another option is to take a strenuous hike up Huayna Picchu, the mountain behind Machu Picchu, which provides unique and stunning views of the ruins below. From here you may extend your hike to the mysterious Temple of the Moon, an exquisite example of Inca masonry. Alternatively, you may choose to climb to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, located south of the archaeological site and offering spectacular panoramic views from above.
Following your visit to Machu Picchu, you will take a bus to the town of Aguas Calientes to catch the Vistadome Train back to Ollantaytambo. As the name implies, the Vistadome features spectacular panoramic windows with incredible scenic views, connecting you with the magnificent landscapes and offering you ample opportunities to photograph this amazing journey. Upon arrival at the Ollantaytambo train station, you will be welcomed by an Aracari representative and transferred approximately 2 hours to your hotel in Cusco.
In and Around Cusco’s key sites. Private BBQ lunch overlooking 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.
Following the visit, from atop an Inca wall, enjoy panoramic views of Cusco during a private BBQ with your own dedicated cook. Sample a variety of local meats – including alpaca – accompanied by fresh, leafy salads from the on-site vegetable garden for hearty, home-cooking at its best. Afterwards, return to your hotel.
Cusco - Lake Titicaca
Fly to Juliaca. Transfer to Puno.
This morning you will be met at your Cusco hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Juliaca. Upon your arrival at the Juliaca airport, you will be welcomed by an Aracari representative and will be driven to your chosen hotel by 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.
- An alternative to flying is the Belmond Andean Explorer luxury sleeper train which runs from Cusco to Puno, and to Arequipa in both directions.
A Day on The Lake
Whether staying at Libertador Lake Titicaca (private excursion) or the luxurious Titilaka (shared excursion), today you will explore Lake Titicaca, including the floating reed island of Uros, home to a fishing and hunting community.
If staying at Libertador Lake Titicaca next depart to Llachon island, where the indigenous populations, adorned in their traditional attire, are famous for their weaving techniques. Enjoy a traditional lunch in a local house specially prepared and hosted by the Community of Santa Maria. Located on the Capachica Peninsula and home to some of the most traditional communities in the Altiplano, this lesser-known community consists mainly of subsistence farmers and fishermen and is where you will be able to spend time getting to know the lovely village and its people. Your boat will then collect you and return you to the pier of your hotel.
If staying at Titilaka, next explore Taquile Island’s rich textile tradition. Declared a part of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Taquile’s textiles are emblematic of the local living culture. As the island enjoys a privileged microclimate, you’ll likely see men weaving wonderful textile pieces outdoors. Enjoy a picnic with views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Return to the hotel around 5:30pm and enjoy cocktails starting at 6:30pm before you sit down for your á la carte dinner around 7:30 pm.
Lake Titicaca - Lima
Activities on Lake Titicaca
Two hours before your flight you will be transferred to Juliaca airport where you will board your plane to Lima. An Aracari representative will be expecting you from your domestic flight with a sign bearing your name. He will escort you to your Lima hotel to assist you with check-in and will be happy to answer any questions that you may have at this point.
This evening, you will enjoy a tasting menu at Central restaurant, number #4 on the World's Top 50 Restaurants List 2015. (Note: table reservation only).
Creative Footsteps Lima walking tour. International Departure.
After meeting with your Friend in the City, you will head to Barranco to saunter from one site to the next, soaking in the atmosphere and admiring the unique architecture in this historic district. Originally a trendy seaside resort for wealthy Lima residents at the beginning of the 20th century, Barranco features holidaymakers’ elegant mansions and stately homes that display neo-colonial style and charming decorative features. As you meander through the area taking in the sites, you will also spend some time exploring a few of the many innovative art galleries, traditional craft shops and trendy ateliers such as the innovative Lucia de la Puente Art Gallery and the Las Pallas and Dédalo craft shops. Before returning to your Lima hotel, take advantage of the amazing dining options in one of Barranco’s many trendy restaurants.
An Aracari representative will meet you in the lobby of your hotel, 3 hours before your flight departure, in order to assist you with checkout, and then escort you to the airport. After you have checked in your luggage, he will accompany you until you pass through to the departure area.
Itinerary pricing as of 2017
Pricing Info - US$6,484
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
- Cost is per person for this 14-day itinerary
- Based on Hotel Selection 1: JW Marriott Lima, Albergue Ollantaytambo, El Mapi, El Mercado Tunqui, and Libertador Lago Titicaca
Pricing Alternatives - US$7,342
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
- Cost per person for this 14-day itinerary
- Based on Hotel Selection 2: Arts Boutique Hotel B, Belmond Hotel Rio Sagrado, Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel, Palacio del Inka, and Titilaka
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
- 13 nights in a hand-picked and personally tested selection of Peru’s finest hotels