- Visit the iconic ruins of Machu Picchu
- Hike the Ancascocha and explore Inca Ruins and a portion of the Inca Trail before your journey to Machu Picchu
- Cruise the Amazon in first-class comfort aboard the luxurious Delfin I
Gain authentic insight into Peru with this two-week Luxury meets Authenticity itinerary which offers a balance between first-class comfort and authentic experiences. Visit vibrant villages in the Sacred Valley to learn about local customs and traditions, trek the Ancaschocha trek in the Andes Mountains along paths without crossing other tourists, and delve deep into the lush Amazon aboard the luxurious Delfin I vessel. From comfortable camping to the ultimate refinement of international first class hotels, all accommodation included hold a strong sense of place, firmly nodding to their surrounds. This itinerary allows you to understand the diversity of Peru’s geography and communities, taking in Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Ancascocha Trek, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon. This itinerary can be enjoyed year-round, though March-November are drier months and therefore better for camping treks.
Daily Summary 14 Days / 13 Nights
LimaView on map
Arrival to Peru
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. Overnight Villa Barranco or Hotel BAccommodation options0
- Day 2
LimaView on map
Into The Past Lima City Tour
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.Accommodation options
- Day 3
Lima – Sacred ValleyView on map
Visit Pisac Market & Ruins
You will be collected 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 at the airport to head straight to the Sacred Valley'. Your guide will accompany you throughout the Urubamba Valley, Cusco and Machu Picchu.
En route, stop for a short visit of Awanacancha where you will have the opportunity to see the different camelids that live in the Andes such as llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos. In Pisac experience the sights and sounds of the town’s famous market, with its variety of handcrafts and fresh produce. Continue on to the Pisac ruins. With Inca masonry of superlative quality, the stunning terracing following the contours of the mountain and superior view of the valley will leave you in awe.
Following your visit, transfer to Hacienda Huayoccari for a three-course lunch in this traditional hacienda, owned and lived-in by one of the oldest land-owning families in Cusco. Take a look at their private collection of folk art and ancient artifacts. After lunch, check-in to your chosen hotel.Accommodation options
- Day 4
Sacred ValleyView on map
The Legendary Leaves of Achupalla: Andean Village Visit
Transfer from your hotel to the Janac Chuquibamba community in the Sacred Valley for a first-hand insight into genuine local customs, beliefs and traditions. To reach this rural hamlet you will pass through countryside brimming with wild flowers, looming mountains and a colorful yellow, pink and red tapestry of quinoa and kiwicha fields. The last 30 minutes of the journey are on an unpaved road from the village of Lamay. On arrival at the community you will be greeted by the local leaders playing traditional instruments, dressed in bright, local attire – you will have the opportunity to try this clothing on. After a snack, follow the village representatives playing their potutos as you walk approximately half an hour amidst fields of lupin, cantutas and other wildflowers up the slopes of the mountain where the achupalla plant is found in abundance.
Expect stunning views as you receive an explanation about the indigenous legends surrounding the achupalla plant—both its scientific background and its many uses, which include cooking utensils, baskets, firewood, animal food and medicine.
Return to the village for a plentiful lunch using local ingredients. Typical dances and music follow the meal.Accommodation options
- Day 5
Sacred Valley View on map
TREK: Qamicancha & Ancascocha
Today you will drive for two hours from your hotel in The Sacred Valley to the trail-head of your trek, which is half an hour beyond Ollantaytambo. During this trek, you will experience all manner of stunning native flora and fauna such as Bromeliads, wild Orchids, and various species of exotic birds. You will pass cascading waterfalls that flow from the mountains that surround the valley before arriving at our first camp. Stop in a clearing for lunch where a tent will be set up and waiting for you. You’ll be able to freshen up with a hot towel and re-energize with a steaming mug of traditional coca, which the Incas use to cope with the altitude. Enjoy a beautifully served and hearty lunch before setting off again to round up the 13 km / 8 mile journey of the day at at altitude of 4300 m / 14107 ft above sea level. You will notice the landscape become more sparse the higher up we go, as less vegetation grows up here due to the elevation and drop in temperature. Enjoy the raw, untouched beauty of nature with hardly a single soul in sight, save for the sheep and alpacas grazing in the distance. The landscape at this level is known as Puna, and this is where we will stop for dinner and camp for the night. The tents will be pitched in front of the sprawling blue waters of the Ancascocha Lagoon.
Camping overnightAccommodation options
- Day 6
Sacred ValleyView on map
TREK: Abra Huayanay & Paucarcancha
After a good rest, a hot shower, and a hearty breakfast — you’ll be ready to start the next part of your adventure. From our campsite in front of the Ancascocha Lagoon, we will begin our ascent to the highest point of our journey known as the Abra Huayanay which stands at an imposing 4650 mt / 15255 ft in height. After passing the Abra, flanked on both sides by steep rocky terrain, we will begin descending into the valley of the Qesqa river. There you will be greeted by a stunning rugged landscape where glaciers sit glistening in the sun and red tinged mountains stand in stark contrast to black hills. We will stop for a short rest and to enjoy lunch, then continue our descent to the archaeological site of Paucarcancha. After exploring the ancient ruins of the site, we will camp nearby and enjoy dinner.
Camping overnightAccommodation options
- Day 7
Sacred Valley - Machu PicchuView on map
TREK: Huayabamba & Piscacucho
Today we will head from the unique and rugged landscape of Paucarcancha and join up with the start of the traditional Inca Trail. The climbing today will be less intense than the previous days, allowing you to relax a little more and enjoy the surrounding scenery. We will visualise the archaeological site of Huayllabamba surrounded by green terraces and steep stone steps, and then pass through through Tunasmoco and Miskay before stopping for lunch. After lunch we will carry on to Piscacucho which is where the Traditional Inca Trail officially starts. Drive for 30 minutes to Ollantaytambo and explore the village and fortress. Visit the fabulous town of Ollantaytambo and its archaeological sites. 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 is a sensational sight to behold and is of great historical significance for the Incas during the Spanish Conquest: 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.
Afternoon/evening Vistadome or 360 Panoramic train to Aguas Calientes. The journey takes approximately 1.5 hours. Overnight at El Mapi or Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo.Accommodation options
- Day 8
Machu PicchuView on map
This morning you will visit 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.
“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. Only a bit over a century ago were the incredible ruins uncovered; a two year-excavation led by Yale archaeologist Hiram Bingham and the National Geographic Society of Washington DC allowed Machu Picchu to gain the prominence that it deserves. Its fascination is due in part to its position, high on a mountain ridge and 2,430m/7,972ft above sea level. Believed to be an Inca settlement built to control the economies of neighboring communities, it is associated with being the royal estate of Pachacuti, the great Inca who sparked the expansion of the empire. Enjoy a 2-3 hour private 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.
- Day 9
Machu PicchuView on map
Visit Machu Picchu
This morning you can take a second visit into Machu Picchu early in the morning and then take your bus back to Aguas Calientes. Alternatively you can enjoy the wonderful nature walks available on the ample grounds the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel. From Aguas Calientes 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).
En route to Cusco and time allowing, visit the town of Chinchero. Higher than Cusco and the Urubamba Valley, Chinchero was once home to the great conquering emperor Inca Topa Yupanqui and features his magnificent palace, with a parade ground and royal viewing pavilion alongside. The town also boasts a hillside of terraces studded with rock-outcrop shrines, a charming village with a layout dating back to Inca times and a magnificent view of the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Vilcabamba range. Held next to the ruins is the fascinating Sunday market where people come to sell and trade goods and produce and to have a picnic with the family, a perfect spot to gain insight into local life. On arrival in Cusco check in to your hotel.
- Day 10
CuscoView on map
Cusco walking tour & Private BBQ lunch
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.Accommodation options
- Day 11
AmazonView on map
Delfin I Cruise
Fly to Iquitos (via Lima, or limited departures direct from Cusco). On arrival you will be met for your shared transfer to board the luxurious Delfin I vessel where you can settle into your private cabin with private deck and exacting service. Aboard the Delfin I, the smallest and most unique river vessel in the Amazon, the expert staff will serve you an exotic cocktail as your naturalist guide briefs you on your journey's schedule, activities, highlights, wildlife and vegetation to keep an eye out for, geographical and historical background, and other useful details. As you continue in the jungle, take in the sounds of the wildlife that surrounds you, watching for troops of passing squirrel monkeys and iguanas lounging on the sun-warmed rocks. Finish your day with a delicious gourmet dinner and unpararlleled views of the stars over the Amazon.
- Day 12
AmazonView on map
Delfin I Cruise
After a hearty breakfast of natural juices and fresh foods, start the day with a unique opportunity to traverse the only canopy walkway in this area, an experience unequaled in the rainforest! At a height of over 25 meters (85ft) and with 8 hanging bridges extending for 500 meters (1,680ft), the canopy walkway provides a view of the rainforest from the treetops, the best vantage point for observing Amazon wildlife and vegetation. On your way to and from the canopy walkway you will paddle through the tranquil Tahuampa Lake, a black water lagoon with giant arapaima fishes known locally as paiche, the largest fresh water fish in the world.
In the afternoon, you will cruise through the Yanayacu and Pucate Rivers on an aluminum skiff as you explore one of the best preserved and protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guide will use his expert eye to pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region such as a myriad of bird species, colorful butterflies and insects, noisy monkey troops and active pink and grey river dolphins. If desired, you may also get a chance to paddle down the river on your own or with luck swim alongside the famous pink dolphins! Afterwards, you will visit the village of San Regis which receives few visitors, and even fewer that visit the Shaman, Carola. Carola is known far and wide in the rainforest, leading a normal village life with her wood carver husband, while at the same time acting as spiritual caretaker and healer to hundreds of jungle dwellers spread over many roadless miles. Her prestige and position are beyond reproach. The role of shaman is often misunderstood in the west, associated with black magic, and spells. While these things all have their place, the actual practitioners are as varied as in any profession. Carola is known as a "White" shaman, a healer and spiritual guide.
- Day 13
AmazonView on map
Delfin I Cruise
This morning, we recommend rising early to appreciate the flora and fauna of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve as the sun rises over the tropics. Enjoy a hike along the Fundo Casual jungle trail as you venture deep into the rainforest on terra firme (non-flooded forest) where your guide will point out the dynamic creatures and vegetation of the Amazon. Be sure to keep an attentive eye out for spotting wildlife!
After emerging from the depths of the forest, you will be treated to a world-class gourmet meal. The diverse menu will always surprise you with new ingredients and flavors, all prepared with an Amazonian touch. After lunch, visit the village of Amazonas to meet the friendly local people and learn about jungle life. Then head to the confluence of the 3 rivers to witness where the three different colored rivers meet and enjoy what is sure to be a stunning Amazon river sunset. Return to Delfin I for an exquisite farewell dinner and live music.
- Day 14
Iquitos - LimaView on map
Depart the Delfin I this morning. On the way from Nauta back to the Iquitos airport, you will visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) where you will have the chance to meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile creatures and why they are on the endangered species list. You will also have the chance to pet and feed the manatees. Donations are welcomed. At the port of Nauta, the ground crew will be waiting to take you by private vehicle back to the city of Iquitos for your domestic flight to Lima and international departure.
Aracari specializes in tailormade travel. Here are just some of our further trip suggestions. Contact us for more bespoke ideas to inspire your travels.
Journey pricing as of 2022
Basic Pricing - US$14,500 per person
This is a sample journey and can be tailored to your interests and travel style.
- Based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy
- Price is per person for the full 14-day itinerary
- Based on Hotel Selection 1: Villa Barranco, Sol y Luna, El Mapi, Casa Cartagena, Camping, Delfin I
This journey is based on two people travelling together in double or twin occupancy, excluding flights (international and domestic).
- Includes all specified services in the journey 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 journey 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 accommodation
What's not Included?
Luxury Meets AuthenticityFirst-class comfort and authentic experiences
- Domestic flights (quoted separately).
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Travel Insurance.
- International Flights and airport taxes.
- Neither personal expenses nor any other service not specified in the itinerary.
- Day 2