If you like to walk surrounded by amazing scenery, this is the trip for you… a fantastic trek is the highlight of this trip: the Inca Trail, Salkantay, or Lares. Off to the discovery of the Andes and Inca culture with only a backpack… without missing the Peruvian treasures of Cusco and the Sacred Valley, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon. All paired with visits to rural communities and local realities to come into contact with this country’s spirit, like true travelers…
International flight. You meet one of our staff members at the airport. Airport pick-up and transfer to hotel.
Transfer to Lima airport to take the flight to Cusco. Airport pick-up and transfer to the hotel where we get time to rest so our bodies can adjust to the altitude. Free afternoon, we recommend resting and eating light. Night at the hotel.
After breakfast, we walk through the city center with our guide and reach San Pedro market, where we feel the typical Andean flavors, aromas and colors. Then, using private transportation, we visit the archeological sites located in Cusco’s surroundings: Sacsayhuaman fortress, Qenqo, a temple dedicated to the snake God who is the creator of life in Andean cosmology, Puka Pukara and Tambomachay. We then visit the cathedral in the Main Square and Qoricancha or sun temple.
Free afternoon. In the evening we go on a cultural and alternative walking tour. Strolling under the stars through the historic city center, we discover a less-known side of Cusco: myths, legends, tales, ghosts and saints. A unique experience to see the real Cusco, Peru’s iconic city. Night at the hotel.
Today, with our tour guide and by private transport, we explore the mythical “Sacred Valley of the Incas” to discover one of the most beautiful and magical places in Peru. We visit Chinchero with its rainbow temple. Then Moray, an ancient and wonderful biological lab of the Incas; Maras, impressive salt ponds embedded in a beautiful landscape, which have been in operation for over 1000 years; and Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town that is still inhabited today and is an extraordinary model of urban planning. We get back to Cusco in the afternoon. Night at the hotel.
The Inca Trail only allows of 350 visitors per day (reason why it must be reserved with booked several months in advance). If there is no availability during your trip dates, there are other truly incredible options like the Lares trek (4 days concluding by the Machu Picchu visit on the last day) or the Salkantay trek.
At dawn we embark on a dream. We take the bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and enter the “lost city.” For the more adventurous there is also the possibility to climb to the top of Huayna Picchu or visit the Machu Picchu Mountain or the Huchuy Picchu. In the afternoon we take the train back to Ollantaytambo or Poroy, and then the bus to make our way back to Cusco. Night at the hotel.
Free day to walk around the beautiful city of Cusco. Some must-see places we recommend: Plaza de Armas; MAP (Museum of Pre-Columbian Art); San Francisco Convent; and the quaint neighborhood of San Blas. Night at the hotel.
Note: it is possible to include in this program a trip to Rainbow Mountain (at an extra cost) by adding an additional day to the itinerary (recommended option) or during this free day.
At 6am, we get picked up to start our trip to the alternative Rainbow Mountain of Palccoyo, located approximately 100 km away from Cusco.
After a 4-hour journey by private transport, we reach the starting point of our gentle hike, which goes from 4700m to 4900m.
We walk for about an hour and a half in the surroundings of the rainbow mountain. On our way back, we have lunch in a family restaurant located in Cusipata. Return to Cusco expected around 18.00. Night at the hotel.
Note> if you wish so, you can visit Vinicunca instead of Palccoyo. It is the most famous rainbow mountain. But it is also much more touristy. Besides, the hike to Vinicunca is more strenuous (from 4600 to 5100 m). Between them, we recommend you Palccoyo because it is more “intimate”.
We get picked up at 06:15 from the hotel and begin our journey towards the city of Puno. The comfortable touristic bus (including heating, air conditioning, chemical bathroom, DVD, on board service, and buffet lunch in Sicuani) will make several stops during the journey: Andahuaylillas, Rajchi, and Pukara. Pick-up from the bus station in Puno. Night at the hotel.
After breakfast, we head to the port and embark on a boat to Uros floating islands, located north of Puno’s bay. Then we reach Amantani island where we have lunch and spend the afternoon discovering the island. Dinner and night with a local family.
After breakfast we go towards Taquile, the biggest island of the Lake Titicaca. We disembark on the northern side and walk till the main part of the island. Lunch in Taquile. We get back to Puno in the afternoon (estimated arrival at 18:00). Night in Puno.
In the morning, between 06:15 and 06:30, we take a bus from Puno to Chivay where we arrive in the afternoon. Chivay is located in the Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon on Earth. There, we can enjoy beautiful landscapes and see the natural habitat of alpacas, llamas, guanacos, vizcachas, etc. Option to bathe in the thermal waters of the valley. Night in Chivay.
In the early morning we depart towards “The Cross of the Condor,” a lookout point from where we are able to closely see this spectacular Andean bird in flight. After lunch we begin our trip to Arequipa, stopping at various villages along the valley. Estimated arrival at 18:00. Night at the hotel.
Free day in Arequipa, “The White City.” A few spots you cannot miss: Santa Catalina Convent, Museum of mummy Juanita, and the delicious traditional dishes of Arequipa. At night we are picked up from the hotel and taken to the airport. Flight Lima-Arequipa. Airport pick-up and transfer to the hotel. Night at the hotel in Lima.
Airport transfer. International flight. If your flight departs at night, we recommend you spend the day on our City Tour, where we take you to discover an authentic Lima.
City to city transfers in comfortable tourist buses: restroom on board, heating, air conditioning, and reclining seats.
If your international flight arrives in Lima in the morning, please note that the room is available from 3 pm. You can then leave your luggage in the hotel luggage storage for free, but you cannot enter the room before the check-in time. In this case we recommend to include a room available from the moment of your arrival, with an extra cost.
Machu Picchu: Passengers must take luggage for only two days and one night in Aguas Calientes. Due to train restrictions, please only take a backpack or carry-on size luggage that weighs no more than 5kg. The rest of your luggage should be left in storage at the hotel in Cusco.
Campsite may be changed due to weather conditions and are set by DRC (Cultural Regional Department).
PeruEtico does not operate directly the trek. We use a reliable and professional agency that has a fair salary policy and is environmental friendly.
Palccoyo: we reach 4900 meters above sea level so you will feel the altitude. We recommend you walk slowly. This tour is only for fit people. During the rainy season (from December to March), it is not always possible to visit Palccoyo due to bad weather. If necessary, this tour will be replaced by an excursion to the Huatanay Valley (south of Cusco), including Tipón, Piñipampa Pikillaqta.
Housing in Amantani is very basic. Rooms are cozy and there are enough thick blankets to keep you warm. Bathrooms are located outside the house.
In Arequipa, the hotel checkout time is 11:00. Luggage can be left in the hotel storage. (To keep the room for the rest of the day there is an extra charge of $30.00 per person).
As from the arrival in Peru, the passenger is responsible for any additional costs caused by a variation in the program (net cost plus agency rights).
Through the stay and experience in Amantani, and the visit to the Maras salt ponds, you are directly helping and supporting the local families and their projects.
Peruetico is committed to reducing the environmental impact and the use of plastic and paper during your travels.
WHAT DID YOU LIKE? Impeccable organization and support always ready by Gianni. A very vast country with the most varied landscapes and all very beautiful. I loved the Lares Trek (recommend) and the islands of Lake Titicaca. I enjoyed an interesting culture and found welcoming people. In Peru I felt a general sense of security (apart from some areas of Lima).
WHAT DIDN’T YOU LIKE? Instead of the day off in Cusco I could have gone to the Rainbow Mountain. I still saw so much poverty and virtually zero industrial development in a country that has all the natural resources to start it. I did not like the street vendors / vendors who sell products of dubious quality / origin at every tourist point.