Luxury Peru by Rail features Peru’s first luxury sleeper train, the Belmond Andean Explorer, taking in dramatic scenery from Cusco to Arequipa via Puno on Lake Titicaca. This itinerary covers the top destinations in Peru including Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu in 11 days. Explore Lima with a specialist guide for an in-depth insight into life in the capital – past and present. Choose from a variety of activities in the Sacred Valley such as stand up paddle boarding, biking, hiking or connecting with local weavers in rural villages. Take the renowned Belmond Hiram Bingham train from the wondrous ruins of Machu Picchu, and admire the cobbled streets of Cusco. This Luxury Peru by Rail journey can be personalized to suit your interests and travel style.
- Stay aboard South America's first luxury sleeper train to visit Cusco, Puno and Arequipa
- Bike, hike, or visit traditional weaving communities in the Sacred Valley
- Take in Lima's historic sites with a specialist in history and folk art
Day 1 Lima Arrival in Lima. Overnight at Belmond Miraflores Park.
Day 2 Lima Lima's city highlights with a specialist guide and a walking tour of shops and galleries in Barranco. Overnight at Belmond Miraflores Park.
Day 3 Lima – Cusco – Urubamba Fly Lima to Cusco. Visit Pisac archaeological site and market. Overnight at Belmond Rio Sagrado.
Day 4 Urubamba Paddle boarding and biking OR visit Chinchero, Maras and Moray OR visit traditional weaving communities. Overnight at Belmond Rio Sagrado.
Day 5 Urubamba – Machu Picchu Vistadome train to Machu Picchu and guided visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overnight at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.
Day 6 Machu Picchu – Cusco Second Day at Machu Picchu with optional hikes. Belmond Hiram Bingham train to Cusco. Overnight at Belmond Nazarenas.
Day 7 Cusco Appreciate Cusco's cobbled-street charm with a tour of the city's key sites. Overnight at Belmond Nazarenas.
Day 8 Cusco - Puno Transfer to Cusco train station to board Belmond Andean Explorer for a 3 day, 2 night journey.
Day 9 Puno Activities on Lake Titicaca. Overnight on Belmond Andean Explorer
Day 10 Arequipa Arrival in Arequipa (Or early departure from train at Km 93 to visit Colca Canyon). Transfer to hotel. Overnight Libertador Arequipa.
Day 11 Arequipa - Lima Tour of the White City. Transfer to airport for flight 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.
Lima's city highlights with a specialist guide and a walking tour of shops and galleries in Barranco
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. 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.
The sites visited today can be tailored to alternatively include: Casa Aliaga, reportedly the oldest home on the Continent and still family-owned after 17 generations; 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.
In the afternoon, explore the Bohemian neighborhood of Barranco to appreciate the architecture of the casonas, visit the art galleries and pick up souvenirs in the specialty shops.
Lima – Cusco – Urubamba
Flight to Cusco, Awanacancha, Pisac Market & Ruins
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 at the airport to head straight to the Urubamba Valley - also known as 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.
Paddle boarding and biking OR visit Chinchero, Maras and Moray OR tour weaving communities.
Choose from one of the following three suggested activities in the Sacred Valley:
Stand-up Paddle Boarding and Biking | Drive to Lake Huaypo, outside of Cusco, where your guide will instruct you in the art of stand-up paddle boarding surrounded by views of snow-capped mountains and high altitude plains. After a gourmet picnic lunch on the shores of the lake, set off down dirt roads and llama tracks by bike through the Urubamba Valley, Paths offer different levels of difficulty as you descend down into the pre-Inca salt mines of Maras.
Guided Visit to Chinchero, Maras, and Moray | Head to the town and ruins of the village of Chinchero (3,800m/12,500ft). Chinchero was once home to the great conquering emperor Inca Topa Yupanqui and features his magnificent palace. Held next to the ruins is the fascinating Sunday market where people come to sell and trade goods and produce, a perfect spot to gain insight into local life. After lunch visit the salt pans of Maras which have been in use since pre-Columbian times. Visually the shining, salt-encrusted terraces are extraordinary. Nearby Maras lie the most enigmatic Inca terraces at the site of Moray. Probably used for agricultural experimentation, it consists of several enormous terraced circular depressions.
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. Travel to one of the communities that the center works with to learn about traditional weaving techniques and see artisans in action. A traditional lunch at the community with the weavers is included.
Urubamba – Machu Picchu
Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel this morning to transfer to Ollantaytambo to catch the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu. On arrival in Aguas Calientes you will board a bus to reach the entrance of 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. 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 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 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, Belmond Hiram Bingham train
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. Transfer to the train station to board the luxurious Hiram Bingham train - a must for those seeking the utmost level of luxury - to Poroy where you will be taken to your hotel in Cusco.
Cusco walking tour
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.
Cusco - Puno
Start 3 day, 2 night journey on Belmond Andean Explorer
This morning you will be taken to the train station in Cusco to board the Belmond Andean Explorer to begin your journey to Puno and then on to Arequipa. After you settle into your cabin, enjoy a delicious lunch on board as the train heads towards Puno followed by a guided hour-long visit to the Inca ruins of Raqchi. Afterwards, return to the train to relax and take in the scenery. Tea and snacks are provided in the afternoon in the dining car or one of the lounges. Take in the sunset over La Raya, the highest point during the journey, where you will make a brief stop to take in the view and visit a small artisanal market. After dinner on board, you will arrive at Lake Titicaca for the night.
Overnight on Belmond Andean Explorer
Activities on Lake Titicaca
Bright and early this morning enjoy breakfast on board as you take in the sunrise over Lake Titicaca. Afterwards it is time for your first guided excursion on the lake to visit the Uros Islands. The islands are made of totora reeds and are still inhabited by a local community. Continue on to Taquile Island to visit the small town, Lunch will be waiting for you at a private location on Collata Beach where locals will perform a typical dance and a presentation of artisanal works. In the afternoon, you will return to the dock in Puno for tea time before you board the train and depart for Arequipa. In the evening dinner will be served on board before stopping in Saracocha for the night.
Overnight on Belmond Andean Explorer
Arrival in Arequipa. Disembark Belmond Andean Explorer.
Today, you will have an early breakfast at Saracocha followed by an hour-long visit to Sumbay Caves. Afterwards, the train will continue on to Km 93 where you can optionally disembark for a visit to the sweeping Colca Canyon which offers dramatic scenery, Andean condor spotting, natural thermal baths, and a variety of cultural and adventure activities. Those remaining on the train will be served lunch. In the afternoon, you will arrive in Arequipa where you will be met at the train station by an Aracari representative and taken to your hotel for the evening.
Arequipa - Lima
City tour of Arequipa. Fly to Lima. International Departure.
Begin your morning in the Plaza de Armas of Arequipa, also known as the White City, where you will explore one of the most impressive main squares in Peru, the Cathedral, and neighboring streets. Then head to the Jesuit church of La Compañia, a unique example of American baroque architecture with a wonderfully intricate facade illustrated with local motifs and a superb polychrome chapel dome.
You will also visit Santa Catalina monastery, Arequipa’s must see site and a masterpiece of colonial architecture. The expansive convent is a ‘city within a city,’ with narrow twisting streets, tidy plazas, colorful courtyards, and simple living quarters. Exlplore Santa Teresa convent, a fascinating ‘living museum’ where nuns still dwell and worship. Built in 1710 the building is beautiful and historic, with rooms adorned with colonial art older than the convent itself. Also enjoy an hour-long visit to the Museum of Andean Sanctuaries, where the body of Juanita, a frozen Incan girl, is on display. Uncovered atop Ampato Mountain in 1995, Juanita was a teenage girl sacrificed to the Inca gods in the 1400s and is eerily well-preserved.
Arequipa also has other interesting sites to visit and the tour can be tailored to your interests.
Afterwards you will be taken to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival an Aracari representative with assist you as you prepare for your international departure.
Itinerary pricing as of 2018
Pricing Info - US$9,048
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 per person for the full 11-day itinerary
- Based on a selection of hotels: Belmond Miraflores Park, Belmond Rio Sagrado, Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, Belmond Palacio Nazarenas, Belmond Andean Explorer, Libertador Arequipa
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
- 10 nights in a hand-picked selection of Peru’s finest accommodations - all personally tried and tested