Time to tick Peru off your bucket list. Our Best of Peru tour takes you on a nine-day journey to discover the ancient treasures and natural wonders of this South American country. Peruvian culture is an unusual mix of age-old indigeneous traditions, local folklore and European influences. The spectacular Andes Mountains run the full length of the country, providing breath-taking vistas of towering snowy peaks at every turn.
One of your tour highlights is a boat cruise on Lake Titicaca. Here, you will discover the Uros people, an ancient community, who live on artificial islands made out of reeds. Their way of life is entrenched in traditions from the past.
Our Best of Peru tour also takes you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas where you will get the chance to discover Peru’s ancient civilization. Dating back to the 15th century, the impressive engineering feats of the Inca Empire are still visible centuries later.
Our tour will take you to many of Peru’s famous archaeological sites. Visit the Inca Empire’s capital in Cusco, marvel at the salt mines of Maras, or stand in awe in the lost city of Machu Picchu. It’s the combination of the Inca’s intricate stonework and the jaw-droppingly beautiful mountain landscape that makes discovering Peru for the first time a truly magical experience.
Guaranteed tour dates in 2020: 17th Jan, 7th Feb, 28th Feb, 13th Mar, 17th Apr, 15th May, 29th May, 12th Jun, 12th Jun, 26th Jun, 10th Jul, 24th Jul, 7th Aug, 21st Aug, 18th Sep, 9th Oct, 6th Nov, 20th Nov
- Visit one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, the Lost City of Machu Picchu
- Enjoy a boat ride on Lake Titicaca, stopping to visit Taquile Island, and the manmade floating Uros Islands
- Explore the artisanal handicrafts and Peruvian vibrant textiles at the rustic town of Chincheros’ Sunday morning market
- Discover Peru’s capital with a fascinating sightseeing tour of Lima
Start your Journey
After landing in Lima, a transfer will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. After check-in, the rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure.
Your day begins with a sightseeing tour of Peru’s capital city, Lima. Starting in the city’s historic centre, discover Lima’s colonial past when you visit its important landmarks, buildings and cathedrals. At the heart of the historic centre is the Plaza de Armas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, that is considered to be the place where Francisco Pizarro founded the city in 1535. Important buildings surround the Plaza, including the Catedral de Lima, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Municipal Palace (Lima’s town hall). Take a moment to marvel at the workmanship that went into the ornately carved wooden balconies at both the Archbishop’s Palace and the Municipal Palace. Venture onto San Francisco Monastery. Behind its baroque architecture and canary yellow facade, the monastery houses the largest collection of religious art in America. Don’t miss visiting its underground vaults or the monastery’s library with its Harry Potter-like ambience.
After discovering the cultural delights of Lima’s historic centre, you will have the opportunity to explore the modern districts of San Isidro and Microflore.
In the afternoon, head to Lima’s beaches where you can witness the rocky shores of the Pacific coastline. Your final stop of the day is at Lima’s most noted institution, Larco Museum. Teeming with fascinating artifacts, the museum encloses 5,000 years of Peruvian history.
After breakfast, we will take you to the airport so you can catch a flight to Cusco. Landing in Cusco, you will be driven to the small rustic town of Chinchero, where you can explore the community. Discover Chinchero’s ancient history at the remains of Inca Tupac Yupanqui’s royal hacienda, or within the beautiful colonial temples. Your visit to the colourful and lively Sunday market offers an insight to the Chinchero people and their local traditions. You are sure to find the perfect keepsake or gift among the markets’ variety of artisanal handicrafts and textiles.
Afterwards, you will be driven to El Mirador de Racchi, where you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views over the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Today, you will visit the ancient village of Ollantaytambo, which is considered one of the finest surviving examples of an Inca settlement. If you’re a history buff then you will be delighted to discover the phenomenal Inca fortress ruins. The steep terraced fortifications rise up from the edge of the village to the fortress, which sits atop a hill. It was here that Inca men led by Emperor Manco rained rocks, spears and arrows down on an attacking Spanish battalion in 1536. A stone stairway leading up to the fortress, cuts through the terraced walls that cling to the valley’s steep sides. The view from the top of the hill is worth the climb alone.
After enjoying a traditional lunch in a local restaurant, there is a choice of activities for your afternoon.
You can visit the two small towns of Moray and Maras. Starting in Moray, you will visit its circular terraced platforms. The Moray ruins look very similar in shape to a Roman amphitheatre, but it’s actual purpose is still unknown and widely debated. Next, you will head to Maras to see the salt mines. As you look out over the complex of almost 3,000 salt ponds, you will find yourself standing in awe at the ingenuity of the Incas. The beauty of these two little towns in the Sacred Valley is that you can explore them almost entirely by yourself - the crowds from the Inca Trail tend to miss the delight of visiting these little Andean communities.
Alternatively, you can enjoy a relaxing hike to the terraces of Yucay. Behind the Plaza of Yucay lies an impressive group of terraces that follow the outline of the mountain and that are still in use today by the local people. You will also discover an Inca water channel, a clever method of irrigating the ancient agricultural terraces.
After breakfast, we will take you to Ollantaytambo where you board a train to Aguas Calientes. The train journey travels through the beautiful fertile plains of Urubamba Valley. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, a small bus will drive you up the steep mountain to visit the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu.
Here, you will enjoy a two-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu, which is the most famous archaeological site in South America. Called the Lost City of the Incas, the impressive stone citadel was left undiscovered until the early part of the 20th century. Historians believe that Machu Picchu was used as a home for the Inca aristocracy after the Spanish invasion in 1532. Built without the use of tools, machinery, or even mortar, Machu Picchu is an engineering marvel. The stones are carved so precisely to fit so closely together that not even a credit card can be put between them.
Afterwards, you will travel back to Ollantaytambo train station, where a transfer will take you back to your hotel in Cusco.
Today, you will enjoy a half-day tour of Cusco, the capital city of the former Inca Empire. Situated in the Peruvian Andes Cusco is considered South America’s archaeological capital and is Peru’s oldest existing inhabited city. Quechua-speaking Inca descendents still live within the city’s centuries-old stone walls.
During your tour, you will visit the lively main square, the Plaza de Armas. It’s here that you will discover Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin, which was built on the ruins of an ancient Inca Palace, and the old quarter with its beautifully restored colonial buildings. The tour will end at Sacsayhuaman, an ancient ruin that stands about 3km above Cusco and offers the best views over the city and its surrounding ruins.
After the tour, your afternoon is free to enjoy on your own.
Enjoy your journey from Cusco to Puno by bus today, which will venture through the Peruvian highlands, dotted with pretty small villages. The scenic views of the Andes Mountains and their snow-covered peaks are truly breath-taking. En route you will visit the town of Andahuaylillas, the Incan ruins of Racchi and the sleepy small town of Pucara. Your tour today includes a stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Upon arrival in Puno, a transfer will take you to your hotel.
Uros Islands and Taquile Island
Today’s excursion takes you to the deep blue Lake Titicaca where you will visit the enthralling Uros Islands. After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to Puno’s docks to board your boat. Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and the Uros Islands attract guests from all over the world. Located in Titicaca National Reserve, there are roughly around 70 small floating Uros islands, which have been man-made from the lake’s native totora (reed). What’s especially interesting about these islands is their ability to be moved. The small group of indigenous people that live here, known as the Uros, live just as their ancestors did before them, maintaining age-old customs and traditions.
After visiting the Uros Islands, continue by boat onto Taquile Island, where the local people have successfully maintained their unique customs, and continue to wear traditional dress.
There aren’t any roads or electricity on Taquile island. In the main square there is a small church and a shop that sells local artisanal products. The Taquilenos are known for their high-quality handicrafts, particularly hand-woven and knitted items. Before you return to your boat, enjoy a delicious lunch as you tuck into the typical cuisine of Taquile Island.
After your day’s interesting excursions on Lake Titicaca, we will return you to your hotel. We will then drive you to the airport in Juliaca to catch a flight to Lima. Landing in Lima, you will be met and taken to your hotel for check in.
Today, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the airport for your flight home. If you have enough time before your international flight, there are a choice of optional excursions - such as The Gastronomic Tour (4 hours) or the Barranco district tour (3 hours) - that you can book with us.
- International flights
- Board basis is Breakfast
- Cost of accommodation (standard double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 8 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
- Private/small group (air-conditioned) transport / transfers
- Assistance and porterage: meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels
- English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
- Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee) for monuments and palaces and entertainment, and park fees for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
- Visa arrangements and fees
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
- Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
- Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
- Meals (unless specified)
- Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)
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