Cultural Peru - Machu Picchu, Inca Villages & Lake Titicaca - Awesome Experiences

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Unique trips
at your fingertips

Call us today on 0208 432 0885
or email us

Cultural Peru - Machu Picchu, Inca Villages & Lake TiticacaPeru

From £2,239 per person for 7 nights
Journey into history on this unforgettable adventure through the Incan treasures, colonial cities and lost villages of this captivating country.

Perfect for:

Fitness Level 1Extraordinary & Secret Places
Summary

Peru

Peru is full of ancient wonders, its most famous being the mysterious lost city of Machu Picchu. Laying eyes on it for the first time is a once in a lifetime feeling that can’t be described. Beyond this bucket-list wonder, Peru offers a hugely rich cultural experience, with many of its ancient Inca customs and beliefs still in evidence today. There’s another cultural high on the vast, ocean-like expanse of Lake Titicaca, visiting islands where life has remained unchanged for centuries.


What makes this experience awesome:

  • Private holiday with personal guides and private transport included
  • Travel by train to the unforgettable ruins of Machu Picchu
  • Visit the most important temple of the Incan world, Cusco’s Temple of the Sun 
  • Visit authentic rural Peru, spending time with a locals who will give you a private workshop in Peruvian ceramics 
  • Step back in time in Ollantaytambo, the ‘Last Inca Village in Peru’, visiting a home that's been in the same family for generations
  • Take in incredible views of the Peruvian Andes, from the panoramic windows of the Vistadome train 
  • Cruise across vast Lake Titicaca by boat, visiting the time-travel islands of Uros and Taquile


You’ll start your trip in cosmopolitan Cusco, taking in the spirit of this sacred city. With plenty to explore - from Inca temples to impressive cathedrals - you’ll have a sight-packed first day. After acclimatising to the altitude you’ll journey into the spectacular landscapes of the rural Sacred Valley, experiencing ancient and modern life existing side by side. You’ll learn the art of traditional Peruvian ceramic decoration before visiting a village house among the sleepy, cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo.

Then it’s time for the moment you’ve been waiting for: after the three-hour Inca Trail trek through waterfall-scattered forest towards the Inca Gate of the Sun, you’ll lay eyes on the mist-shrouded ruins of the enigmatic Machu Picchu for the first time. After spending the night in Aguas Calientes you’ll have a full day basking in the magic of this ancient wonderland. Next, you’ll move on to Lake Titicaca: this vast piece of water is the largest lake in South America and some of its islands rise as high as 4,050m, giving incredible views towards Bolivia. You’ll spend the day visiting the reed-woven Uros Islands, whose people have maintained their traditional ways of life for centuries, and Taquile, where the residents still speak the ancient Inca language of Quechua. 


peru


 


To get our mini brochure for this holiday please click here, and we will email you a PDF copy.


For UK Government travel advice on this destination see: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice


Prices for departures to 30th October include a 20% Pioneers Club discount and are subject to Pioneers Club terms & conditions. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Map
Full Itinerary

Itinerary

Peru


To get our mini brochure for this holiday please click here, and we will email you a PDF copy.


Day Zero: Arrive and Acclimatise

You’ll arrive in Cusco, ready for your private hotel transfer. Then it’s time to acclimatise to this seductive city, 3,399m above sea level. Packed with ancient temples, colonial mansions and grand cathedrals, the former Inca capital is the perfect place to start an adventure.

Overnight in Cusco

Classic - Suenos Del Inka Hotel 

Premium - Novotel Cusco 

Deluxe - Palacio del Inka

Meals included: None

Cusco View


Day One: Into the Inca Empire

Time for a morning foray into Cusco’s fascinating history, on a guided walk that takes in its most famous monuments. You’ll start in the grand main square of the Plaza des Armas, visiting its cathedral before wandering down tiny alleys and past high Incan walls on your way to the most important temple of Incan times: Coricancha, the Temple of the Sun.

Coricancha

The afternoon is free for further exploration. You might like to take an optional excursion through the Incan ruins dotted around Cusco. The adventure starts at the old citadel of Sacsayhuaman, which has spectacular views down towards the city. Then you’ll visit the mysterious temple of Qenqo, carved from a single monolith and thought to be the site of grizzly death rituals. Finally, it’s time to see the calm, fortress ruins at Puka Pukara and the aqueducts and waterfalls at Tambomachay, believed by some to be a spa resort for the ancient Incan elite (see Extras tab). 

View of Cusco

Overnight in Cusco

Classic - Suenos Del Inka Hotel 

Premium - Novotel Cusco 

Deluxe - Palacio del Inka

Meals included: Breakfast


Day Two: Village Life

Journey into the lush green landscape of the Sacred Valley, to find out about life outside the city, both ancient and modern. The first stop on your day-long adventure will be Moray, where a mysterious pattern of circular terraces (thought to be an Incan agricultural laboratory) blends beautifully into the surrounding foothills.

Moray

 After that, visit the spectacular terraced salt flats at Maras, which have been harvested since pre-Incan times. Situated at the mouth of a ravine, they’re a holiday must-snap. In Maras village, you’ll spend time with a local family who will teach you the art of decorating Peruvian ceramics during a private workshop: you’ll leave with your own ornament as a souvenir. Your final stop on the excursion will be the village of Ollantaytambo, occupied since the 13th century and nicknamed the ‘Last Inca Village in Peru’. Life continues largely unchanged in its cobbled streets and squares. You’ll visit the fortress ruins that climb into the mountains above the village (where the Incans defeated the conquistadors in battle). Then you’ll get an insight into daily life here, spending time in a typical Ollantaytambo home that’s been occupied by the same family for generations.

Slat Flats

Overnight in Cusco

Classic - Suenos Del Inka Hotel 

Premium - Novotel Cusco 

Deluxe - Palacio del Inka

Meals included: Breakfast


Day Three: All Aboard for Machu Picchu

You’ll take a car to Ollantaytambo, ready to board the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes, the village at the foot of Machu Picchu. The train has panoramic windows, affording you incredible views of the landscape as it wends its way past fast-flowing rivers, ancient ruins and remote villages towards snow-capped peaks. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll take the shuttle bus straight to the incomparable Incan site of Machu Picchu, for your first glimpse at this New Wonder of the World. Your private guide will show you the layout of this magnificent site, taking you to its main attractions while explaining more about its history and culture. Your guide will then accompany you on the bus ride back to your hotel, where you will check in before dinner.

Overnight in Aguas Calientes

Classic - Hotel Casa Andina Standard Machu Picchu

Premium - Hotel El Mapi by Inkaterra

Deluxe - Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast; dinner

Machu Picchu Train


Day Four: Exploring a Lost City 

Having got your bearings yesterday, you’ll have the morning to make a second, unaccompanied visit to Machu Picchu. (Your entrance and shuttle bus fee is included in the experience price.) You might like to set your alarm for an early start: the ruins are even more evocative when they open at 6am, before the crowds arrive. 

After your free morning, it’s time to board the Vistadome train again – heading for Poroy station in Cusco, from where you will transfer to a car which will take you back to hotel. During the train ride, expect a meal of local delicacies, as well as entertainment offering an insight into Peruvian life.

Overnight in Cusco

Classic - Suenos Del Inka Hotel 

Premium - Novotel Cusco 

Deluxe - Palacio del Inka

Meals included: Breakfast

Machu Picchu


Day Five: Towards Lake Titicaca

Leave Cusco for the final time, on the long bus journey to the city of Puno, on the shore of Lake Titicaca. You’ll break up the journey with plenty of stops, accompanied by the tour-bus guide. First, at the sleepy town of Andahuaylillas, you’ll see the ‘Sistine Chapel of the Americas’, an intricately-decorated 16th-century church that’s packed with murals and gold leaf. Then you’ll visit Raqchi, home to the country’s only surviving adobe Incan ruins. Finally, in the enchanting little town of Pukara, you’ll have lunch at a local restaurant, shop for the town’s famous ‘Toritos de Pucara’ pottery and see the pre-Incan treasures of the Museo Litico de Pucara. Upon arrival in Puno, you’ll be transferred to your hotel, ready to explore Lake Titicaca in the morning.

Overnight in Puno

Classic - Hotel Hacienda Puno Hotel 

Premium - Sonesta Posadas del Inca Puno

Deluxe - Hotel Libertador Lago Titicaca 

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch

Scistine Chapel


Day Six: Life on the Lake

You’ll be picked up at your hotel and taken to Puno’s dock, ready for a day-long boat trip on Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. First stop is the Uros Islands: these manmade reed islands, floating within the Titicaca National Reserve, are named after the builders who have lived here for centuries, maintaining their traditional way of life and living in small houses that they also weave from the reeds. Next, you’ll head for the island of Taquile, whose inhabitants still speak the Inca language of Quechua. You’ll notice their colourful clothing, made using weaving techniques that are central to their culture and practiced by everyone. You can buy some garments for yourself, or simply savour the uniqueness of the unspoiled landscape: there are no roads, only agricultural terraces and paved walking paths that criss-cross the countryside. On clear days, you can see as far as Bolivia from the highest point in the island, at almost 4,050m. After your boat trip, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Puno.


Overnight in Puno

Classic - Hotel Hacienda Puno  

Premium - Sonesta Posadas Del Inca Lago Titicaca Puno 

Deluxe - Hotel Libertador Lago Titicaca

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch


Day Seven: Altiplano Adventures

There’s the chance to see the pre-Incan cemetery of Sillustani on your way back to the airport. In a dream-like setting on the shore of Lake Umayo, backed by the wild emptiness of the Altiplano, these funerary towers stand sentinel high above the water. There will be time to explore, before driving onwards towards Juliaca and the airport.


Meals included: Breakfast


Overall meals included: 9 Breakfasts; 3 lunches; 3 dinners

What's included:

  • Private English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers and train tickets, unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise
  • Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu 
  • Boat excursion on Lake Titicaca

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from experience: call 0208 432 0885 for AX specially negotiated flight rates
  • Optional extras listed
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the tour
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry


For Home Office travel advice to this country, read more here

Children: This experience is not recommended for children under 12. Children aged 8 and older can go under parent's responsibility.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £800 per person and take 20 hours. 

For this particular experience, we have found that the best option is normally to book a multi-stop flight from London - Cusco - Juliaca - London.

Experience start point: Cusco (CUZ). Arrive any time.

End point: Juliaca (JUL). Leave any time.


Prices for departures to 30th October include a 20% Pioneers Club discount and are subject to Pioneers Club terms & conditions. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.


Ready to book

Extras

 

 

Optional Extras

To customise your experience, you can select any of these extras at an additional cost during the basket stage.

Excursion through Incan Ruins

You might like to take an optional excursion through the Incan ruins dotted around Cusco. The adventure starts at the old citadel of Sacsayhuaman, which has spectacular views down towards the city. Then you’ll visit the mysterious temple of Qenqo, carved from a single monolith and thought to be the site of grizzly death rituals. Finally, it’s time to see the calm, fortress ruins at Puka Pukara and the aqueducts and waterfalls at Tambomachay.

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