Highlights of this incredible 8-day tour include some of Peru’s most spectacular and awe-inspiring sites. We visit Machu Picchu, one of the new 7 Wonders of the World and the spiritual home of the Incan empire; we follow in the footsteps of the Inca pilgrims, trekking high in the Andes on the world-famous Inca Trail; and we explore the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca.
You’ll start your Peru adventure in Lima, the country’s fascinating capital. Lima’s history predates the colonial presence in the country, when the establishment of the viceroyalty transformed the city into the main political and administrative center of South America. During this period, significant churches, monasteries, mansions and balconies were built. The arrival of modernity didn’t transform the historic center, which is now recognized as a World Heritage Site. The exquisite cuisine available also gives the capital an authentic personality and makes tourism in Lima a truly unique experience.
From Lima we continue to Peru’s 2nd city. Cusco was an important center for the indigenous people and is widely recognized as the capital of the Inca Empire. Many believe that the city was planned as an effigy, built in the shape of a Puma, a sacred animal worshipped by the Incas. We will explore the ancient architecture and fascinating museums, and enjoy the popular Cusco nightlife before venturing deeper into the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Our tour of the Sacred Valley takes us to the incredible Inca sites at Pisac and Ollantaytambo before beginning our unforgettable trek on the Classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Arriving at the spectacular Sun Gate, we spend a full half day exploring this ancient, spiritual citadel.
From Cusco we follow the “Route of the Sun” to Puno where we will spend our final 2 days. We take a tour on Lake Titicaca, visiting the famed floating islands of Uros, as well as the Amantani island and the island of Taquile. We stay overnight with a local family in Amantani experiencing their warm hospitality and traditional cooking.
This is an 8-day adventure packed with so many highlights to truly make it a trip of a lifetime.
Welcome to Lima, City of the Kings and the starting point for our epic 8-day journey!
From Lima airport you will be transferred to your hotel in the exclusive area of Miraflores. Whatever your arrival time you will have the remainder of the day free to explore the highlights of this fascinating city. Visit the beautiful old square, flanked by Lima’s incredible cathedral on one side and the Presidential Palace on the other; take a stroll along the spectacular cliffs of Miraflores where you can watch people parascending; or maybe wander the Bohemian streets of Barranco, with it’s wonderful street art. Whatever you choose, end the day in one of the many world class restaurants available and discover why Lima is known of one of the gourmet capitals of South America.
After breakfast we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, one of our representatives will meet you to take you to your hotel.
Cusco is a city nestled high in the Andes mountains so be sure to take it easy on this first day while your body gets used to the altitude. Visit a museum, people-watch on the Plaza de Armas, wander through the artisan markets or simply find a cafe where you can relax. In the evening, choose from one of Cusco’s many options for casual or fine dining.
After breakfast, meet your guide for a tour of the stunning Sacred Valley. In Inca times the valley was littered with royal palaces and temples and today is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and stunningly preserved ruins.
Our first stop is at Pisac where the Inca ruins are notable for their striking, curved agricultural terraces. Here you can take in stunning views right across the Sacred Valley. The town of Pisac sits below the ruins and hosts a bustling handicrafts market, where local artisans from across the valley come to sell their wares; a great place to buy some authentic local souvenirs.
Next, we visit the ancient military town of Ollantaytmbo. The focal point of this charming town is its namesake Inca fortress, which ascends the surrounding mountain slopes in a cascade of intricate stone terraces. The winding cobbled lanes at the base of the ruins are one of the only remaining examples of an intact Inca street grid. This is a truly fascinating place to visit.
We will stop in Urubamba for lunch (not included) before driving you to your hotel in Ollantaytambo.
One of our expert tour guides will pick you up from your hotel early in the morning (around 6:00am) and then walk with you to the train station.
Our train journey is to Km 104, and takes about 1 1/2 hours. As the train carves along the valley floor there will be plenty of photo opportunities to be had from the comfort of your seat. Km 104 is an unscheduled train stop and so you will probably feel a twinge of satisfaction knowing that the train is stopping especially for you!
After leaving the train we pass the Inca Trail checkpoint and our time on the world-famous trail begins.
We first pass the archaeological center at Chachabamba (2,170 m / 7,170 ft). These ruins were one of the last shelters that the Incas used before they reached Machu Picchu. This site was used as a religious and administrative center, and features several buildings that are still very well preserved.
We then make a steep ascent for about 2-3 hours, the trail still made in places from original Inca stone steps. Our guides are experts in the flora and fauna of the area and provide a fascinating narrative to the trek.
We pass a waterfall before arriving at the archaeological site of Wiñay Wayna at (2,650 m / 8,700 ft), named after an orchid and meaning “Forever Young” in the Quechua language. Climbing to the top of the ruins we will enjoy lunch with an incredible view of Wiñay Wayna and the Sacred Valley before touring the site. Sitting high on the mountainside the site features experimental terraces that the Incas used to grow different crops, a temple with 7 windows that was dedicated to the rainbow and a series of water channels that still function today.
After the tour we continue our hike for about 1 ½ hours on a relatively flat section of the trail. At about 4:00 pm we will reach the magnificent Sun Gate (2,720 m / 8,920 ft), called Intipunku in Quechua. It is from here that we will have our first stunning views of Machu Picchu. No matter how many pictures you may have seen of this incredible site, nothing quite prepares you for seeing it for yourself. It is truly an experience of a lifetime!
We walk down to the entrance of the ruins to take the bus down to Aguas Calientes where you will check in to your hotel. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to spend a late afternoon/early evening if time is available before dinner. Dinner will be at local restaurants in town.
After a very early breakfast prepared at your hotel we take one of the first buses (5:30 am) along the winding road to Machu Picchu. If the weather is kind then you may get the chance to see the magnificent sunrise over the Andes before we make our way into the site. Your entry ticket to Machu Picchu is included in the price of the trek.
After taking a little time to absorb those first iconic views, your guide will give a 2-hour walking tour, sharing with you much of the history and stories of these legendary ruins.
If you have elected to climb Huayna Picchu mountain (for more spectacular views), you will begin the hike at 10am (NB. the price for hiking Huayna Picchu Mountain is not included in the trek price). If you are not climbing the mountain you will have some free time to explore Machu Picchu.
After taking the bus back to Aguas Calientes you will board the expedition train to Poroy or Ollantaytambo. From Poroy or Ollantaytambo you will travel by private van to Cusco and we will drop you off at your hotel. Arrival time in Cusco depends on the time of your train ticket, but is generally between 8 and 9 pm.
Today we will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the bus station to catch the “Inka Express” bus leaving at 6:50 AM. The bus to Puno takes the whole day but makes a number of stops/tours at attractions along the way, including;
You will be provided a buffet lunch as part of your bus trip.
Upon your arrival in Puno (at around 5:00 PM) our representative will pick you up at the bus station and transport you to your hotel.
On the morning of your Lake Titicaca Tour, you will be picked up at your hotel around 7:30 AM and transported to the dock. You will take the motorboat to the famous floating Islands of Uros (tour included) before being transported to the Island of Amanti where you will dine and stay overnight with a local family
On the morning of our final day you will have a delicious breakfast prepared by your host in Amantani before taking a 2-hour trip by motorboat to the Island of Taquile.
An island full of color and bustling with life we take a walk of 50 minutes from the port by a footpath that takes us past traditional house and ancient ruins to the town’s Plaza de Armas. Located on the top of the island, you may well feel a little out of breath as a result of the altitude, but you will have time to rest as we are treated to a typical lunch of fresh fish (rainbow trout). There will also be time to explore the traditional craft fair on the plaza.
We will take the motor boat back to Puno arriving at approximately 4:00 PM.
We will then transport you either to your hotel or to the airport depending on your travel plans.
NB.If you are staying longer in Puno then we will transport you to the airport for whenever your flight is scheduled.
Note: This itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions, strikes, roadblocks, or other events which are beyond our control. At Action Treks Peru we will always do our best to follow the itinerary as closely as possible.