Imagine a journey that takes you through a miraculous spectrum of landscapes and destinations, a trip that features the highlights of two contrasting countries whose emerging popularity and increasing accessibility have made such an experience possible. We have hand-selected the best accommodations, guides and regions of Peru and Bolivia to create this perfectly-paced Extraordinary Peru & Bolivia itinerary. Bolivia’s relative rusticity as a travel destination is offset by the incredible rewards of its magical landscapes ideal for the seasoned traveller with a sense of adventure. Combine an in-depth examination of each of the destinations with expert guiding while you travel through the beautiful and diverse natural landscapes that are often glanced over.
- Marvel at the masterful Incan masonry at Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Machu Picchu
- Ride a cable car over the expansive city of La Paz
- Explore the sublime Salar de Uyuni
Day 1 Lima Arrival in Lima. Overnight at Atemporal
Day 2 Lima Explore local markets and eateries. Half-day tour of historical sites in Lima with an expert guide. Overnight at Atemporal
Day 3 Lima – Cusco – Urubamba Fly Lima to Cusco. Visit Pisac archaeological site. Overnight at La Casona de Yucay
Day 4 Urubamba Visit Ollantaytambo. Lunch at a traditional hacienda. Overnight La Casona de Yucay
Day 5 Urubamba – Machu Picchu Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu. First Day at Machu Picchu with Guide. Overnight at El Mapi
Day 6 Machu Picchu – Urubamba– Cusco Second Day at Machu Picchu. Vistadome Train to Ollantaytambo. Transfer to Cusco Overnight at Palacio Manco Capac
Day 7 Cusco A half-day visit to the city of Cusco and the Inca sites around it. Overnight at Palacio Manco Capac
Day 8 Cusco – La Paz Fly Cusco to La Paz. Overnight at Atix
Day 9 La Paz City tour of La Paz, taking in the Witches’ Market, Museum of Ethnography and (optional) Salar Gallery. Table reservation at Ali Pacha. Then visit the Moon Valley. Overnight at Atix
Day 10 La Paz - Lake Titicaca Overland transfer to Copacabana on the edge of Lake Titicaca. Cruise to Sun Island. Dinner and overnight at Ecolodge La Estancia
Day 11 Lake Titicaca - La Paz Lake Titicaca visits: Inca Grand Stairs and Sacred Fountain. Visit Moon Island. Transfer to La Paz. Dinner reservation at Gustu. Overnight at Atix
Day 12 La Paz - Uyuni Flight to Uyuni. Visit the Salt Museum, Ojos de Agua and Colchani. Salar de Uyuni excursion. Dinner and overnight at Luna Salada
Day 13 Uyuni Excursion to Coquesa Village and Museum Visit. Picnic lunch on the Salar. Evening stargazing. Dinner and overnight at Luna Salada
Day 14 Uyuni - La Paz - International Departure Flight to La Paz. Assistance between domestic and international flights
International Arrival Assistance
An English-speaking Aracari representative will be expecting you from your international arrival, will greet you, and whisk you off to your hotel, assisting you with all check-in procedures.
Explore local eateries and tour Lima's historical sites with a specialist
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.
Next, spend some time with one of our specialist guides in the areas of Lima that best demonstrates its Spanish colonial roots as well as its pre-Colombian past. Discover Lima’s multifaceted history and the complex past of this fascinating city with visits to a selection of sites including Huaca Huallamarca, the Larco Museum, Lima’s Main Square with its beautiful baroque style buildings, and Casa Aliaga, the city’s oldest mansion.
Lima – Cusco – Urubamba
Explore Pisac ruins and market
Transfer by private vehicle from your hotel to the airport in Lima for your domestic flight to Cusco.
The gorgeous Urubamba Valley, also well known as the “Sacred Valley”, is an essential element of any trip to Peru. Upon arrival in Cusco, on your way from the airport to your hotel, you will visit Pisac, one of the most important Inca sites in the Urubamba Valley, featuring Inca masonry of superlative quality, stunning terracing and picturesque views. Explore the ruins, then experience the sights and sounds of Pisac’s famous market, with a variety of handcrafts and fresh produce.
Ollantaytambo Town & Fortress, Lunch at Hacienda Huayoccari and Maras & Moray
Today you’ll 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.
Following your visit, your private transfer will bring you to the delightful world of a traditional hacienda in the Sacred Valley. Enjoy a private tour of the on-site gallery with pre-Colombian and Colonial artwork and a delicious lunch of typical Peruvian dishes.
In the afternoon, you will visit Maras, the site of the remarkable and unusual Salinas, located in the heart of the Sacred Valley and not far from Urubamba. This site consists of a huge number of watered terraces that collect salt by evaporation from the saline waters that gush from an underground stream. Built in a similar way to agricultural terraces seen throughout the Andes, the Salinas have been in use since pre-Colombian times. Visually, the shining, salt-encrusted terraces are extraordinary. Nearby Maras lie the most enigmatic Inca terraces at the site of Moray. Transfer back to your hotel afterwards.
Urubamba - Machu Picchu
Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu & First Day at Machu Picchu
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 to Aguas Calientes.
“Magnificence” is the only word to describe the scene, as you gaze upon the ruins of Machu Picchu. Only 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 D.C. allowed Machu Picchu to gain the prominence that it deserves. Its fascination is due in part to its position, high on a mountain ridge, 2,430 metres (7,972 feet) above sea level. Believed to be an Inca settlement built to control the economies of neighbouring communities, it is associated with being the royal estate of Pachacuti, the great Inca who sparked the expansion of the empire. Here, enjoy a 2 to 3 hour guided tour before spending the remainder of the day at the ruins, enjoying the evening hours after the majority of visitors have left the site.
Machu Picchu – Urubamba– Cusco
Second Day at Machu Picchu
This morning you’ll return to the ruins for an activity-filled day with your guide. Depending on your desired duration and physical exertion, there are a variety of excursions available including a hike to IntiPunku, the “Sun Gate”, a more strenuous climb to Huayna Picchu or perhaps climb to the top of Machu Picchu Mountain, located south of the Citadel and offering spectacular panoramic views. Following your visit, take a minibus to the town of Aguas Calientes to catch the opulent Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo, where a private vehicle will be waiting to transfer you to Cusco.Following your visit, you will then take a minibus to the town of Aguas Calientes to catch the Vistadome Train to the Ollantaytambo train station. Then transfer approximately 2 hours from Ollantaytambo to your hotel in Cusco.
In and Around Cusco
Cusco is without a doubt the most beautiful town in Peru and arguably in South America. It was considered the navel of the earth and was the capital of Tahuantinsuyo (the Inca Empire), an empire that, at its peak, stretched northwards to the south of Colombia, southwards to northern Chile and Argentina, and westwards across the Andes to the Amazon basin. Spend the day visiting the highlights of Cusco, including the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, the Inca Sun Temple and Sacsayhuaman. Following this series of most informative visits, you will enjoy a BBQ lunch with a panoramic view of the city then return to your Cusco accommodations.
Cusco – La Paz
Today, an Aracari representative will pick you up from your hotel and bring you to the aiport for your flight to La Paz, Bolivia. Upon arrival, you will be greeted and taken to your accommodations.
La Paz City Highlights, Salart Gallery, Moon Valley OR Cholets tour
The city of La Paz and its surroundings are rife with a living history where indigenous, colonial, and modern customs collide, all under the watch of the majestic Illimani mountain. Peruse the Witch's Market, where mysterious treasures await around every corner. During the morning, take a short break for salteñas, a savoury Bolivian baked empanada. During your tour of La Paz, stop for a visit to the impressive Museum of Ethnography and Folklore which showcases regional particularities and unique characteristics of the many cultures of Bolivia.
Optional visit at extra cost: A visit to Salar Gallery where you can meet the owner, Gastón Ugalde, or the gallery curator, his son Mariano Ugalde. Gastón Ugalde is Bolivia’s most celebrated living artist, considered a visual arts leader in the region and referred to by critics as the ‘Andean Warhol’. Salar is a gallery that operates on a global scale and represents a select group of international contemporary artists. The gallery showcases a 50 year retrospective of Ugalde’s own work, along with carefully curated work from international artists.
Enjoy lunch at Ali Pacha (table reservation), meaning Universe of Plants in the native Aymara language, this exciting new restaurant has a menu entirely based on plant products, with the aim of showcasing under-used produce and championing micro-producers from around Bolivia. (Table reservation only – meal and drinks own cost).
In the afternoon continue to the Moon Valley, a series of polychromatic clay formations created by the persistent wind and water erosion of the area's mountains.
La Paz - Lake Titicaca
Guided Visit to Sun Island
Today head through the highlands of Bolivia on your way to Lake Titicaca. On route you will visit a workshop where Totora Reed boats are made. Learn about the ancient history of the boats, before continuing on through local villages and beautiful mountain scenery.
Arriving at Lake Titicaca you will make your way Sun Island, which is a gateway into the ancient Inca past. With many remnants of ancient temples, terracing and treasures uncovered here, you will surely enjoy your time spent exploring the hills and Inca trails throughout this wild terrain. Upon arrival to the island, you will be escorted by your guided to the Pilcocaina Sun Temple, one of the most important archaeological sites located here. Following your visit, trek the short distance to your overnight accommodations, accompanied by llamas!
Visits around Lake Titicaca
Enjoy an early breakfast before heading out to walk down by the Inca “Grand Stairs” and the Sacred Fountain to taste the water believed to provide eternal youth and happiness. Afterwards, enjoy lunch on Sun Island before taking a boat ride to visit Moon Island and the Sacred Temple of the Virgins of the Sun.
From there boat back to shore and disembark to stretch your legs before your overland transfer to your hotel in La Paz, enjoying views of the lake and the Andes along the way.
Tonight, enjoy dinner at leading restaurant, Gustu, from the founder of Denmark’s acclaimed two-Michelin star restaurant, Noma.
La Paz - Uyuni
Excursion to Salt Lake
This morning, you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Uyuni.
Spend the day at the largest salt flat on Earth, Salar de Uyuni, with stunning sceneries unmatched anywhere else in the world. Covering 12,000 square kilometres (4,633 square miles) of Bolivian Altiplano, the salt flats of Uyuni are an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon that is sure to be an unforgettable experience. In the dry season, surreal pentagons of crystalline salt form, while in rainy season the salt flats have a layer of water on them which acts as a natural mirror, reflecting the sky for a fantastic visual display that is perfect for out-of-this-word photos: visiting any time of year is impressive and will certainly make you feel that there is no place like this in the whole world.
During today’s tour you will stop at the small town of Colchani, a village on the edge of the Salar de Uyuni, that is home to salt processing. Here locals sell salt figurines and bottles and bags of authentic Salar de Uyuni table salt as souvenirs. There is also a Salt Museum in this town, which is not only made from salt, but also features salt furniture and sculptures of animals. Nearby are the Ojos de Agua, round holes where water wells up from under the salt crust. Finish off the day, you will be able to enjoy a gorgeous sunset over the salt flats before ending the day back at your accommodation.
Further Activities in and around the Salar de Uyuni
After breakfast, head north to the village of Coquesa which affords excellent views all around and you can visit the small community museum which is most famous for its mummies. The specimens retain their skin, hair, and nails thanks to the dry cold of the Bolivian Altiplano. Take a short hike to visit a cave of mummies before heading out into the middle of the salt flat for an exclusive open-air picnic lunch. Keep your eyes out for flamingos! Afterwards, enjoy another sunset over the salt flats before spending the evening star gazing in the open air.
Uyuni - La Paz
Transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to La Paz, followed by check-in for your international departure flight.
Itinerary pricing as of 2018
Pricing Info - US$6,834
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 this full 14-day itinerary
- Contact us for alternative hotel options
- Contact us for information on upgrading to a Deluxe Airstream overnight on the salt flats
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 and Bolivia’s finest hotels