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Uros Island - Floating island at the Titicaca

Panoramic Peru

Example 16 Day Tour
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Tour the best Peru has to offer on this 16 day holiday traveling along the desert coast, up to the altiplano and down to jungle clad ruins. From your first sip of a Pisco Sour to your last cup of corn chicha, you're sure to be charmed by the smiles, laughter and generosity of this Andean country. This tour of Peru includes the countries greatest highlights -- the Nazca Lines, Colca Canyon, the islands of Lake Titicaca, and the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
Students and their teacher pose for a photo in PeruMachu PicchuSpider, Nazca LinesArequipaArtistically terraced agricultural slopes Meeting locals during a tour of Peruintricate weavingMoray RuinsPlaza de Armas in QuitoPlaza de ArmasOverlooking the Plaza de Armas, Cusco - double rainbow Andean condor in flight in Colca Canyon during a Peru tripNasca astronautPlaza de ArmasMacchu Picchu from aboveTraditional wear can be spotted around the streets of CuscoThe Colca CanyonColca CanyonUros Island - Floating island at the Titicaca
Highlights
  • View sea lion colonies lounging on rocks in the Ballestas Islands
  • Take a short flight for a bird's eye view of the Nazca lines
  • Explore the deepest canyon in the world, Colca Canyon
  • Visit the floating islands of the Uros people on Lake Titicaca
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Lima

Arrive to Lima on the flight of your choice today. After picking up your luggage and clearing customs, walk across the street to the comfortable and conveniently located Wyndham Costa del Sol Hotel. Settle into your room and rest up for your Peru tour ahead.

Day 2: Free Day Arequipa

Walk across the street to the airport in Lima for your domestic flight to Arequipa.  A driver will meet you upon arrival and take you to your hotel to drop off your luggage.

Located 7750 feet above sea level and surrounded by snowy peaks, Arequipa delights visitors with its colonial charm and friendly inhabitants. Along with your guide, visit the Santa Catalina Monastery, a 4.5 acre maze of gardens, plazas, and churches in the town center.  People watch in the main plaza, discover local markets, and track down some authentic Peruvian cuisine.  Your guide will help you explore this beautiful city at your own pace.

Day 3-4: Colca Canyon

  • Hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Depart Arequipa early this morning for the deepest canyon in the world. The drive to Colca Canyon takes you back in time, past herds of llamas and alpacas and through 400-year old colonial towns where residents raise potatoes and tend sheep according to the rising and setting of the sun. During your two nights in the canyon at the Colca Lodge, take ample time to relax in the hot springs! While here, visit the Cruz del Condor where you'll have your best chance to see the Andean condor.

Day 5: Drive to Puno | Lake Titicaca

After breakfast transfer to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca (approximately 5-6 hours). Feel free to make short stops for photos and village visits along the way. Arrive at mystical Lake Titicaca in the early afternoon. Legend has it that the first Inca rose out of its azure waters. Transfer to your hotel and explore on your own this afternoon.

Day 6: Islands of Lake Titicaca

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depart this morning with your guide to see the floating islands of the Uros people. Peru's floating islands are built using the buoyant totora reeds that grow along Lake Titicaca, and these reeds are interwoven to make homes, boats, and crafts.

We continue to Amantani Island, a quiet island known for its hilltop ruins that honor Pachamama and Pachatata (Mother and Father Earth). Here we meet our host families whose generosity is apparent with their open arms (and open doors to their homes) and smiles. Explore this island with your guide and then settle in to share a short day in the lives of the Aymara.

Day 7: Visit Taquile Island | Return to Puno

After breakfast and bidding farewell to your host family, travel to Taquile Island. Climb the steps to the plaza at the center of the island for breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

In the afternoon, return to Puno and relax this evening on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Day 8: Bus to Cusco

A luxury-class bus takes you from Puno to Cusco. This is an approximately 8-hour journey with stops along the way to stretch your legs.

Arrive in Cusco in the afternoon and enjoy the rest of the evening!

Day 9: Journey through the Sacred Valley

This morning, journey into one of the most beautiful areas of Peru. The Sacred Valley often becomes one of the highlights of your trip and you will soon see why! The day is flexible based on your interests, market days, and the weather. You'll test your bargaining skills with the locals while visiting one of the great textile markets in the area. You may also hike to the inspiring ruins of Pisac or take a short walk through the countryside to the seldom-visited town of Maras, where pre-Columbian salt mines still operate today. Visit the Inca agricultural terraces of Moray, thought to have been a nursery to experiment with and modify different varieties of crops. Eventually, you make your way to the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo and overnight.

Day 10: Ollantaytambo Ruins | Train to Machu Picchu

In the morning, visit the under-rated ruins of Ollantaytambo before the larger groups of tourists arrive. During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo served as a royal estate and later a refuge after the Spanish conquered Cusco. The ruins feature expansive terraces, giant building blocks and well-preserved architecture.  Even the town itself is still laid out as it was during the Inca empire, allowing its visitors to glimpse the history which still exists within its boundaries.

Board the Vistadome train late this morning and follow the Urubamba River as it tumbles its way towards the Amazon and the sacred city of Machu Picchu, Peru. After checking into your hotel and enjoying lunch in Aguas Calientes, take the short bus ride up to the gates of Machu Picchu and begin exploring this amazing site - the former retreat of Inca kings. After walking amongst the massive complex of ruins and learning about its fascinating history, you'll return to the village of Aguas Calientes (located at the base of Machu Picchu). Enjoy one of many excellent local restaurants after exploring one of the most magical archaeological sites in the world.

Day 11: Free Day at Machu Picchu | Return to Cusco

Today you will return to the ruins of Machu Picchu for further exploration. Return early with the hope of catching the sun coming up over the mountains at Machu Picchu. Depending on your preference in permits, arrive in time to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu for incredible views of the entire area or choose to simply walk amongst the vast expanse of ruins and listen to the spirits of the city's past inhabitants with your guide. (The basic re-entry permit is included in the cost of this tour. Hiking permits require additional costs and should be reserved at the time of booking your tour due to limited availability.)

After your final exploration of Machu Picchu, return to Aguas Calientes to catch an afternoon train toward Cusco.  Settle into your hotel or head out on a famous Cusco culinary adventure.

Day 12: Explore Cusco

Today is free to explore with your guide. You can visit the churches and surrounding ruins, such as the enormous Sacsayhuamán ruins that overlook Cusco (these ruins showcase building blocks the size of pickup trucks). You can also wander through the bustling Plaza de Armas in the heart of Cusco, shop for love potions in the local markets, or people watch from the cafes and restaurants that line these lovely streets. For those bursting with energy, horseback riding, mountain biking, or even whitewater rafting (Class III-IV) can be arranged in advance.

The evening is yours to take in some of Cusco's varied and exciting nightlife where live folk music and excellent food abounds! Enjoy the night of your Peru vacation.

Day 13: Fly Cusco to Lima | Bus to Paracas

Today catch your flight from Cusco to Lima. Transfer to the Lima bus station and journey by bus with your guide to Paracas (approx. 4 hours). Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.

Day 14: Islas Ballestas and Paracas National Reserve

Referred to as a Little Galapagos, this morning you'll depart by boat to the Ballestas Islands. Sea lion colonies lounge on the rocks and thousands of sea birds (such as Guanay Cormorants and Peruvian Boobies) circle overhead and strut along the rocky shoreline. After your island visit, it's off to the giant sand dunes of Paracas National Reserve for a bit of hiking.

Overnight at your hotel in Paracas. 

Day 15: Paracas | Nazca Lines Over-Flight

Transfer directly from the Paracas bus station to the airport this morning for your flight over the Nazca Lines or wait for the others on the ground. These mysterious lines date back to the Nazca period, between 900 BC and 600 AD. The images of the monkey, hummingbird and lizard are so large that they can only be fully viewed from the air. After you are back on ground, return to Lima by bus and enjoy a night's rest in your hotel.

*If weather does not permit for flights in the morning, they can be scheduled for later in the afternoon.

Day 16: Lima City Tour | Return Home

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Today, explore Lima with the opportunity to visit Lima's principal attractions such as the Cathedral of Santa Domingo, the 1535 home of Francisco Pizarro & his descendants, Aliaga House, and Larco Herrera Museum. Enjoy lunch at the museum cafe before transferring to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodations

Colca Canyon Lodge

Colca Canyon Lodge
Colca Canyon Lodge
Colca Canyon Lodge

Amantani Homestay

Enjoy the hospitality of the local people during your homestay on your Peru trip
Chris's host family on Amantani Island
Doing laundry, Amantani style

Paracas - Hotels

Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) - Hotels

Lima - Hotels

Cusco - Hotels

Sacred Valley - Hotels

Puno - Hotels

Arequipa - Hotels

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$4,808

Notes

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Included
  • 12 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 3 Dinners, 2 Box Lunches
  • 15 Nights Accommodations
  • 13 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Round Trip Vistadome train
  • Park Entrance Fee
  • Maras Entrance Fee
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Entrance Fees in Arequipa - Travelers pay locally
  • Optional Excursions - Hiking pass for second day at Machu Picchu US$20
  • Internal Flights - Cusco-Lima, Lima-Arequipa

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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