Adventure Tours   >   South America Adventure Tours   >  Upgraded Peru Explorer

Upgraded Peru Explorer Adventure Tour

South America

  • Peru

Discover the cultures, history and landscapes of Peru on this two-week adventure that hits the must-see bucket-list items as well as the highlights of the southern coast. Spot wildlife and seabirds at the Ballestas Islands on the way to Nasca, home to the mysterious Nasca Lines, before diving into the cuisine and colonial charm of Arequipa. Explore the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu from Cusco, and cruise on the highest navigable lake in the world at Lake Titicaca.


Highlights  

Spot sea lions and penguins in the Ballestas Islands, Discover Arequipa's cuisine at a cooking class with a local chef, Stargaze at the Cusco Planetarium, Visit ruins and traditional communities in the Sacred Valley, Wander the temples and terraces of Machu Picchu, Take a boat trip on Lake Titicaca and have lunch with a local family


Meals Included  

14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner


Accommodation  

Hotels (14 nts).


Emergency Contact  

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Lima, Peru.
During office hours (Weekdays, 9-6pm Local Time): +51 1 241 1650 or 01 241 1650 (from mobile within Peru) or 241 1650 (from payphone within Peru)
After hours Emergency number: +51 99 758 2712,

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999


Dossier Disclaimer  

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Emergency Fund  

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


Spending Money  

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


Tipping  

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.


A Couple of Rules  

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.


Max Pax  

Max 16, avg 12


Group Leader Description  

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.


My Own Room  

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops


Packing List  

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)

Essentials:
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Face masks (Clients will be only be required to wear a face mask where it is mandated by local regulations.)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test

Light Hiking:
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet

Smart Dress:
• Smart outfit (For evenings out)

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear


Money Exchange  

The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol (PEN).

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank.

You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies.

Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money, a combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

We do not recommend bringing travellers cheques as they are very difficult to change in country.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com


Optional Activities  

Lima
- Lima City Tour (40USD per person)
- Lima Cooking Class (4hrs)
- Full Day Lima Experience (150USD per person)
- Bike Miraflores and Barranco (35USD per person)
- MALI & Peruvian Paso Horse with dinner (90USD per person)
- Huacas and Larco Museum by Night (90USD per person)

Nazca
- Flight over Nazca Lines

Aguas Calientes
- Hot Springs Visit (6USD per person)
- Butterfly House Visit
- Mandor Gardens Visit

Machu Picchu
- Inca Bridge Visit (Free)

Cusco
- Cusco City Tour (45PEN per person)
- Cusco Archaeological Tour
- Cusco Cooking Class
- Inka Museum (10PEN per person)
- Cusco Cathedral Visit (40PEN per person)

Urubamba
- Whitewater Rafting Urubamba (69USD per person)

Puno
- Sillustani Burial Towers Entrance (59PEN per person)


Itinerary Disclaimer  

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.


Local Flights  

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.


About Accommodation  

Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.


Joining Hotel  

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.


Laundry  

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.


Visas and Entry Requirements  

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here


What's Included  

Your G for Good Moment: Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Lamay
Your G for Good Moment: Parque de la Papa (Potato Park), Pisac
Your Foodie Moment: Pisco winery visit and tasting, Paracas
Your Hands-On Moment: Pachamanca, Nazca
Your Discover Moment: Cusco. Arrival transfer. Ballestas Islands boat trip. Visit the Chauchilla cemetery and potter's workshop in Nazca. Arequipa city tour including the Santa Catalina Convent. Guided boat tour of Taquile and Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca. Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins guided tour. Scenic train and guided tour of Machu Picchu. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Important Notes  

1. MACHU PICCHU REGULATIONS
Current and correct passport details are required at time of confirmation. For more details please see the following page . Please also note that regulations have been implemented for all visitors to Machu Picchu which require that different circuits be followed within the site as a way to relieve crowding. The new circuit-based entrance tickets are available on a first come first serve basis. We will do all that is possible to get everyone traveling in a group on the same route, but be aware that it is possible that members of the same group might be visiting Machu Picchu on a different circuit and not be together during this visit. Rest assured that regardless of the circuit you will enjoy the beauty and grandeur of the site.

2. LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS
Last minute bookings of this trip when choosing the 1-day Inca Trail option will be on an "on request" basis only. To make a booking request of a tour which includes the Inca Trail, G Adventures requires your full name, date of birth, nationality and passport number.

3. EXTRAS
Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Extras! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, Extras are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask your sales GCO or travel agent about booking.

4. All travellers are required to pay the tax on domestic flights in Peru. Foreign travellers are exempt form this, and proving you are indeed a foreign traveller can be done by providing us with your international ticket number (ITN). Travellers who do not submit international ticket numbers at least 30 days prior to Day 1 of their tour will be required to pay the domestic tax on all included flights.

6. ACCOMMODATION NOTE:
Please be aware that properties we stay in with only two stories may not have elevators installed and climbing the stairs with your luggage will be necessary.


Group Size Notes  

Max 16, Avg 10.


Solo Travellers  

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Trip Specific Safety  

Care should be taken when wandering around on your own in central Lima, as some areas can be dangerous and pickpockets are daring.


Meals  

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On truck trips in Africa, aboard the expedition ship Explorer or our Galapagos yachts, while trekking in remote regions etc. food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.


Transport  

Private van, plane, train, boat, walking.


Health  

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Please note your Adventure travels to high altitude. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your Adventure, please consult your physician.


Travel Insurance  

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.


Feedback  

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.


Newsletter  

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation - Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.


Minimum Age  

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.


Joining Instructions  

Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1, please make your way to the joining hotel via your included transfer. Details on where to meet your transfer can be found in your voucher notes or on the G Adventures app.

If you have booked pre-tour accommodations through G Adventures, please note that you must contact us to confirm the included arrival transfer. Check-in time at your start hotel will be in the afternoon.

Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1.


Arrival Complications  

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


What to Take  

Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.


Safety and Security  

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Day 1 Lima

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Arrive in Lima at any time. On arrival you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel.

Please note: if you booked the Lima Cooking Class it does not include extra time in Lima and we highly recommend booking pre-trip accommodation. You will be picked up from your hotel at approx 10:00 (10:30 from Aug-Dec) and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return back to your hotel around 13:00.

Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

Day 2 Lima/Paracas

Drive south along the coast to the town of Paracas. Take an orientation walk with the CEO and enjoy a free evening to try one of the many nearby seafood restaurants.

Enjoy a drive down the coastal desert to Paracas, a sleepy fishing village that serves as the starting point for all tours to the Ballestas Islands.

There is little to do in town, but for those that love seafood and are looking to try Peru's national drink, the Pisco Sour, it's heaven.

Day 3 Paracas/Nazca

Set off by boat in the morning on an excursion to the nearby Ballestas Islands, home to sea lions, penguins and thousands of seabirds. Then continue to the Tacama Winery to learn about wine and pisco production in Peru with the opportunity to sample. In the afternoon drive to Nasca, with a stop en route at the oasis town and sand dunes of Huacachina.

The Ballestas Islands are often referred to as "the poor man's Galapagos." Home to hundreds of sea lions and many species of marine birds, including the Humboldt penguin, incredible wildlife spotting is pretty much guaranteed.

Continue south by land to Nazca with a stop to see the Huacachina sand dunes along the way.

Day 4 Nazca

Visit a pre-Inca cemetery in the desert to see the remains of mummies and pottery, then stop by a local ceramics studio for a demonstration of traditional techniques. Opt for an overflight of the Nasca Lines, mysterious ancient drawings etched on the ground that are best seen by air. For dinner, enjoy a delicious pachamanca meal, an age-old practice of cooking food buried in the ground underneath hot stones.

Nazca is home to one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The entire desert area was also once the home for the ancient Paracas and the Nazca cultures, which preceded the Incas by more than half a millennium.

Day 5 Nazca/Arequipa

Travel south on a full-day drive along the coast and into the Andes to Arequipa, surrounded by volcanoes. Enjoy a free evening after settling into the hotel.

Embark on a very long drive, which will include rest stops and lunch en route.

Day 6 Arequipa

Take a guided walking tour of Arequipa, discovering the historical centre and the 16th-century Santa Catalina Monastery. Afterwards dig into the region's renowned cuisine with a cooking class led by a chef at a traditional restaurant, and eat a delicious lunch of local delicacies. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the city or relaxing at a cafe.

Peru's second most important city after Lima, Arequipa maintains a traditional colonial style and more laid back pace in comparison with the capital. Spectacular mountains surround Arequipa, the most famous of which is El Misti Volcano. Standing at 5822m (19096 ft), it has a beautiful snow-capped peak.

Day 7 Arequipa/Cusco

Take a flight further into the Andes to Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy a free afternoon to acclimatize and to explore the city's plazas, shops and museums.

Every year Cusco attracts thousands of travellers who come to delve into its noble but tragic past. It is the perfect base for optional explorations around the city and area as well as a range of outdoor activities. Relax and explore this fascinating city, and take time to acclimatize to the high altitude.

Day 8 Cusco/Urubamba

Send a full day exploring the Sacred Valley, stopping first at the G Adventures-supported Parque de la Papa, a rural Andean community working to preserve hundreds of varieties of native potato. Take a tour of the Inca Ruins at Pisac and Ollantaytambo, and enjoy a delicious lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo.

Day 9 Urubamba/Aguas Calientes

Board a scenic train along the Urubamba River to the town of Aguas Calientes, at the foot of Machu Picchu. The afternoon is free for optional excursions like a visit to the local hot springs or a nearby waterfall. Visit a botanical garden, or wander the handicraft stalls in town as you prepare for an early start the following day to go up to Machu Picchu.

Board a morning train that winds through the spectacular Sacred Valley to the end of the line: the village of Aguas Calientes, a frontier town nestled in the hills beneath Machu Picchu. This is the closest town to Machu Picchu, making Aguas Calientes an ideal night stop.

To best enjoy this area, take advantage of the opportunity to visit the butterfly house, botanical gardens, or hot springs. Opt for a day hike to Mandor Gardens to see orchids and a waterfall, enjoying the lush, green scenery en route.

Please bear in mind that the town has several amenities, but is also geographically remote meaning services are sometimes more basic than one would assume. As the only option for travellers visiting Machu Picchu, the development of infrastructure has happened quite quickly, much without proper planning, and the focus on providing quality service may not be up to the standards experienced in other parts of the country.

Day 10 Aguas Calientes/Cusco

Rise early for a guided tour of Machu Picchu to explore the temples and terraces of the Inca mountaintop citadel. In the afternoon, return by train and private bus to Cusco.

Rise early to take advantage of viewing Machu Picchu in the early morning light. This is the best time to view the "lost city of the Incas." Join our local guide for a detailed interpretation of the site and Inca history.

Later in the afternoon, return by train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy and then transfer by van to Cusco, arriving in the evening.

Day 11 Cusco

Enjoy a free day in Cusco to continue to explore the city or to choose from a variety of optional activities like whitewater rafting, mountain biking or take a cooking class. In the evening visit the Cusco Planetarium to learn about the importance of astronomy to the ancient Inca and, weather permitting, look up at the stars through telescopes.

Take in the Plaza de Armas (main square) and explore a city steeped in tradition. There are numerous optional activities including horseback riding, mountain or motor biking, rafting, hiking or visits to Inca ruins or museums around town.

Please note if you pre-book the Cusco Cooking Class, on day 11 you will be picked up from your hotel at approx 12:30 and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return back to your hotel around 16:00

Day 12 Cusco/Puno

Travel from Cusco across the high Altiplano to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. The rest of the day is free after checking into the hotel.

The trip to Puno takes the better part of the day, and includes stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region.

Located at 3830m (12,566 ft) above sea level, Puno is the highest night stop on the tour. As a result the weather can be extreme with very cold nights and a strong sun during the day. You also should take some time to acclimatize to the high altitude.

Day 13 Puno

Set off by boat on a guided tour of Lake Titicaca, stopping at the floating reed islands of Uros and then Taquile Island before having lunch with a local family in the community of Luquina Chico on the shores of the lake. Spend the rest of the afternoon free after returning to Puno or opt for a tour to the nearby pre-Inca burial site of Sillustani.

In the morning, board a comfortable 35-foot fully equipped speed boat to explore the lake. Stop at various islands to enjoy the lake's scenic splendor and to meet the friendly people of these communities.

Day 14 Puno/Lima

Transfer to the Juliaca airport and take a flight back to Lima for one final night on the town.

Time for some last-minute shopping in Puno before the flight back to Lima and the final stop on the journey.

Day 15 Lima

Depart at any time.

Details

Duration: 15 Days

Merchandising: IDB Project

Travel Style: Classic

Service Level: Upgraded

Trip Type: Small Group

Merchandising: Planeterra Project

Physical Grading: 3 - Average



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TRAVEL AWARE - STAYING SAFE AND HEALTHY ABROAD

The Department of Foreign Affairs has up-to-date advice for Irish citizens on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more security, local laws, health, passport and visa information see https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/ and follow dfatravelwise