Amazing Peru Tour – 21 Days – 20 Nights
Amazing Peru Tour is designed to help you discover the wonders, the pristine nature, and the mysteries of this enchanting country – Peru.
This tour will amaze you with the refined Museo Larco Herrera in Lima, the baffling geoglyphs in the middle of the arid desert in Nazca, and the elegant colonial architecture in Arequipa. You will also discover how the Inca defied human imagination, building the most incredible architectural sites in Sacsayhuaman, Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, Huayna Picchu, and the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Named one the New Seven Wonders of the World, you tour to Machu Picchu will be a surreal once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Amazing Peru Tour is going to bring you face-to-face with the most extraordinary nature on earth.
On your visit to Lake Titicaca, you will be enveloped in a mystical atmosphere, sailing what is considered the highest navigable lake in the world. Lake Titicaca also hosts exceedingly remote communities—namely, Amantani, Taquile and Uros islands.
But the Amazing Peru Tour has more to offer. Nicknamed the Peruvian Galapagos, the wild nature of Paracas surprises most visitors and has become a must-see in Peru.
Surrounded by high, coned-shaped volcanoes and impressive mountain ranges, the Andes and the Colca Canyon are breathtaking and will make you forget the stress and the sometimes chaotic routines of modern life.
Finally, Amazing Peru Tour will showcase the untouched Amazon rain forest. Puerto Maldonado and the Tambopata National Park will give you a taste of heaven on earth!
The real treasure you will return home with, though, is the knowledge of so many diverse cultures: from the desert and the outspoken people of the Peruvian coast, to the somewhat introverted yet peaceful Andean communities, to very colourful folks in the Amazon rain forest.
Still pondering the value of taking our Amazing Peru Tour? Here’s a quick outline of our itinerary:
Price of the tour (per person) USD$: 3,250 (Tambopata National Park option)
Price of the tour (per person) USD$: 3,250 (Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción option)
Departure All Year Long
DAY 1. Welcome to Peru: Lima, “City of the Kings”
Your travel to Peru begins at your arrival at Lima International Airport Jorge Chávez; where you will be met by a staff member and transferred to your hotel. You are free to take the day to rest and prepare for your amazing 20-day tour.
DAY 2. Colonial, Ancestral, and Modern Lima Tour
After breakfast, your Lima tour begins with a panoramic view of Plaza San Martin, the Government Palace and City Hall. Along the way, our local tour guide will explain the historical significance of each site. Lima was named the “City of the Kings” by the Spanish, and its historical centre has been a UNESCO site since 1991.
You will continue by visiting the Museo del Banco; this museum showcases a collection of archeological antiques, such as pottery, gold, textiles, and wooden artefacts from the Chimu, Chancay, Chavin, Nasca Lambayeque, and Inca civilizations. What makes this museum so unique is that it used to be the home to Peru’s Central Bank, giving it a rather unusual flare. Your Lima tour continues with a visit to the most important religious monument in Lima: the Convent and Church of San Francisco.
The day continues with a remarkable panoramic view of Huaca Pucllana. An archaeological site shaped like a pyramid, this clay structure was built on seven impressive platforms. From approximately 200 B.C. to 700 A.D., this site was used as a ceremonial and administrative center and was also considered a holy place to the Incas.
Next, you are off to the exquisite districts of Miraflores and San Isidro, where you will embrace the authentic modernity of this city.
In the afternoon, you make your way to the famous Museo Larco. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Museo Larco houses the finest Peruvian pre-Columbian gold and silver collection in the world, and also showcases the world’s largest gallery of Erotic Pottery, dating back to the 2nd century A.D. Your Lima visit is being eventful, now is time to rest!
Overnight stay in Lima in a hotel.
DAY 3. Paracas National Reserve Visit
The day begins with a legendary ride on the Panamericana Highway. Sand dunes and beautiful desert landscapes will provide the backdrop to this leg of your journey.
In the afternoon, you visit the National Reserve Paracas. First, you will be shown the “Cathedral”, a rock that resembles a cathedral-like dome, and which was shaped by rain and wind over time. The tour to the Paracas National Reserve continues with the exploration of Playa Roja, whose nickname is due to the reddish colour of its sand. Finally, you will visit the local museum dedicated to the National Marine Reserve. Your visit of the Paracas National Reserve is now over. In the evening, by the seaside where a gentle breeze blows, you can enjoy a delicious meal in one of Paracas restaurants.
Overnight stay in Paracas.
DAY 4. The mini-Galapagos: the Ballestas Islands Tour
After an early breakfast, your exciting trip to the Ballestas Islands will begin by boarding a modern boat. On the way to the islands, the guide will point out a unique, prehistoric geoglyph, carved on the sand: La Candelabra. The scenery will astonish you with its vibrant colours, sparkling cobalt-blue water, and rich nature. You will see many exotic animals: penguins, pelicans, boobies and sea lions, among various other sea birds … too many to count!
In the late morning, you will be transferred to Ica by bus. You will have the afternoon free to relax and explore the local Huacachina Oasis, an authentic gem in the middle of the Ica desert!
Overnight stay in Huacachina (15 minutes from Ica’s city center).
DAY 5. Ica City Tour
This morning you will discover Ica, the city of desert-like valleys. Ica is best known for making Peru’s national drink, Pisco (a grape liquor). You will have the opportunity to experience first-hand how traditional Pisco brandy is made by visiting artisanal and commercial vineyards.
Nowit’s time for an authentic Iqueño meal with Ensalada de Pallares, Sopaseca, and Carapulcra, followed by a traditional Pisco wine tasting (lunch offered by Perú InsideOut).
Following lunch, you visit the Regional Museum, which displays fascinating artifacts of the pre-Inca Paracas culture.
Transfer by bus to Nazca, and overnight stay in hotel.
DAY 6. Tour of the Extraordinary Nazca Lines
Your appreciation for Peru’s mysterious sites will continue to grow as we explore the Nazca Lines. You Nazca tour begins in the morning with an overview at the archaeological Museo Antonini. This museum exhibits an original pre-Columbian aqueduct, replicas of the burials and a scale model of the Lines. Once you have had your briefing, you make your way to the viewpoint to finally visit the Nazca Lines: a lizard, a tree, and hands. We also offer the option to take a flight in a small airplane and fly over the Nazca Lines (30 minutes in duration – optional USD$ 125 per person). Please let us know when you make your reservations and we will book a flight for you.
After our exploration of the Nazca Lines, we visit the Cantallo Acueducto (Paracas culture) and the notorious Cementerio de Chauchilla, which exhibits bones, skulls, and mummies from the pre-historic Paracas time.
In the evening luxurious overnight bus to Arequipa.
Day 7. Welcome to Arequipa
The beautiful city of Arequipa, known for its amazing gastronomy and year-round warm climate, welcomes you! “La Ciudad Blanca” or “The White City”—due to its regal colonial style architecture utilizing pearl-colour volcanic ash—will leave you speechless. Free morning to relax. We recommend taking in the sights from Plaza de Armas (the main square) and sipping on mate de coca to help acclimatise to the 2,400-meter elevation (7,874 feet).
In the afternoon, you tour the Santa Catalina Monastery, a must-see in Arequipa! Practically a citadel, it is known as one of Peru’s most famous religious monuments. The Monastery was founded in 1580 but only opened its doors to the public in 1970. Inside the convent, our local guide will share some fascinating insights about the lives of the nuns during that time.
At night, enjoy the beautiful lights of the Plaza and the many bars and fine restaurants that populate Arequipa’s downtown.
DAY 8. A Taste of Traditional Arequipa
Breakfast. Today’s excursions begin with the visit of the sillar caves, where you will assist a demonstration of working the pearl-coloured volcanic ash that gives Arequipa the nickname of the White City. Your next stop is a tour of the Alpaca Museum. Here you will see how alpaca fibre is traditionally woven—a method still used today! Alpacas are South American cameloids from which you get one of the finest fibres in the world, very similar to cashmere.
You end our exclusive Arequipa tour with a more hands-on workshop, in which you have the opportunity to cook some typical Arequipeños dishes—and yes, you can eat them as well!
The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy as you choose. You may find pleasure in simply wandering the colonial streets, relaxing in cafes, or doing some shopping. There are numerous shops in which you can buy alpaca garments and other souvenirs. Overnight stay in Arequipa.
DAY 9. Explore the Colca Canyon in the Andes
After breakfast, you begin your journey to the second deepest canyon in the world, the Colca Canyon (at 3,191 meters, or 10,460 feet, it is twice the depth of the Grand Canyon in the U.S.). Your Colca Canyon tour will amaze you!
En route, you pass across the Pampa Cañahuas in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, inhabited by vicuña and alpaca. The view is stunning! The scenery consists of altiplano birds, herds of alpaca, and many lakes. As we arrive in Chivay (the provincial capital of the canyon), we pass one of the highest points on our tour at 4,830 meters above sea level (approximately 15,800 feet!).
Upon arrival in Chivay, a delicious lunch (included) of traditional Andean cuisine will be served, including quinoa, alpaca, and mazamorra.
You are free to relax in the afternoon, take a stroll around Chivay, and perhaps enjoy the local hot springs. In the evening you may want to assist a traditional musical performance.
Overnight stay in Chivay. (If we have 8 or more people on the Amazing Peru Tour, we will stay in Cabanaconde. There, the canyon is deeper, the community is practically untouched, and we will be closer to the Cruz del Condor for tomorrow’s excursion.)
DAY 10. Cruz del Condor
After an early breakfast, departure to “Cruz del Condor” (Condor´s Cross) and with a bit of luck, you will see majestic condors soar across the sky and above the rim of the canyon.
After a buffet lunch (included) in Chivay, you will depart for Puno and Lake Titicaca.
The drive to Puno is a scenic wonderland in itself, with views of snow-covered Chachani; peculiar rock erosions; and llamas, alpaca, and wild vicuña grazing in the fields. The landscape is astonishing.
You arrive in Puno for an overnight stay in a very comfortable hotel.
DAY 11. Lake Titicaca Tour – Amantani
After breakfast, your Lake Titicaca Tour begins with our boat excursion to Amantani Island (about three hours in duration). Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, covering 8,400 sq km and sitting at 3, 810 meters! With its deep crystalline waters always sparkling, and the glittering high-altitude sunshine always beaming, the intensity of the bright blue sky highlights and spreads across the altiplano; it’s a magical atmosphere!
Once you arrive at Amantani Island, you move to a host family home to eat and rest. Practically untouched by modern technology, this community values the simplicity and authenticity of nature and life. With no electricity, staying in Amantani will remind you of the things that matter most, such as good food and conversation, as well as family and friends. During your stay, you explore some Tiwanaku ruins and hike to the top of the island for the Pachamama (mother earth) ritual. By now, you will have realized why the Lake Titicaca is a mystical place!
At night, islanders perform a traditional dance where you will be offered traditional clothes and be invited to participate. Before leaving Amantani, you typically thank the host family for their generosity by buying some staples (cooking oil, rice, sugar, etc.) as a gift—or school supplies for the children of the island. We are positive that you will think back to this experience for a long, long time! Lunch and dinner are included.
DAY 12. Lake Titicaca Tour: Taquile and Uros
As the early morning sunshine greets the island, you enjoy a breakfast and say goodbye to your host family. Your tour to Lake Titicaca continues on to Taquile (half an hour from Amantani). Our local guide will share stories about the way of life for this Quechua-speaking community. Inhabited for thousands of years, Taquile is known for its fine hand-woven textiles and clothing. As you will see first-hand, the knitting is exclusively performed by males, starting at age eight. Interestingly, only the women make yarn and weave. In 2005, “Taquile and its Textile Art” were proclaimed “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.
You will eat a traditional lunch, and also relax on the hills of the highlands. You continue on our boat tour to the ‘floating island” of Uros (two and a half hours from Taquile).
The Uros islands are the most well-known for traveler who visits the Lake Titicaca. The Uros are made up of 50 or so floating islands that are permanently built using layers of totora (reeds) that grow in the lake. In the latest census, around 2,000 descendants of the Uros tribe were counted, but only a few hundred still live on the islands.
Your Lake Titicaca excursion finishes in Puno. Overnight stay in Puno.
DAY 13. Discovering Cusco: From the Beginning
You leave Puno early in the morning to make your way to the Imperial city of Cusco. Your journey to Cusco, also known as the “Route of the Sun”, will not only be comfortable (traveling by bus, with many amenities) but also enjoyable as we drive through beautiful and scenic landscapes. Along the way, you make stops at historic pre-Inca, Inca and Colonial sites. Your first stop will be in Pukara, located at 3,876 meters above sea level (12,716 feet) this notable village dates back to one of the first Southern Peruvian before the Inca civilization (200 B.C. – 200 A.D.). Known for its beautiful pottery, in Pukara you will visit the Pukara Museum Lytic.
As the tour continues on, you make your way to the La Raya mountain pass, the highest point of this day, located at 4,310 meters above sea level (14,172 feet). This point marks the beginning of the sacred river Vilcanota (known today as well under the name of Urubamba river).
Once you are feeling refreshed, we make our way to a little town called Sicuani for a savory buffet lunch (included).
Your next destination is a tour of the impressive archaeological complex of Raqchi. The tour consists of visiting the various buildings that were once used for baths, living quarters, and temples. The most famous of all the sites is known as the Wiracocha Temple (Templo de Wiracocha). This enormous structure is characterized by its finely carved stonework and extraordinary size; it is the only building constructed by the Incas that utilized columns.
Your last stop will be Andahuaylillas, considered to be the “Sistine Chapel of Peru”. Dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries, this charming church is home to the famous “Virgin of the Assumption” painting.
You arrive in the imperial city of Cusco. Overnight in a hotel.
DAY 14. Imperial City of Cusco
Today, you are free to relax and wander around Cusco as you please. Cusco is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Peru, and with so much to offer, your options are endless. From sitting in the Plaza de Armas (main square), or any of the numerous cafes, to venturing out and visiting the cathedrals and museums, don’t let your day go to waste! You will receive a booklet of tourist vouchers from Perú InsideOut to visit the many attractions in Cusco, including the Cusco Historic Centre, Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Museo de Arte Religioso (Museum of Religious Art). We also recommend visiting the Choco Museo (Chocolate Museum), the local markets, and of course taking a leisurely stroll to Hatun Cancha Rumi Street where you will see the famous “Stone of twelve angles”, an excellent example of Inca stonework. Finally, we suggest you don’t miss the original local market of San Pedro.
Overnight stay in Cusco.
DAY 15. City Tour of Cusco
After breakfast, our local guide will take you on a tour of Cusco (private). Your first stop of the day will be a visit to the Cathedral of Santo Domingo (Cusco Cathedral), known as one of the most divine colonial religious monuments in Peru, the delicate architectural details will astonish you. Next, you visit the Korikancha “Temple of the Sun”; from where every year begin on 24 June begin the celebrations of the Inti Raymi. This was the most important place of worship at the time of the Incas. Subsequently, the Spanish went on to build a structure on top of the temple, called the Convent of Santo Domingo.
Then, you will be driven out of the city to visit the following Inca sites:
- Kenko ceremonial centre, considered a holy place by the Incas
- You will take a trip to Tambomachay, an archaeological Inca site known as the El Baño del Inca, “The Bath of the Inca”. This spectacular venue has a series of aqueducts, canals, and waterfalls that run through the terraced rocks.
- Puca Pucara, known as the Red Fortress, is a military ruin that was part of the defence of Cusco during the Inca time.
- Finally, you stop by the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman for the most important visit of the day. Strategically built on a hill overlooking Cusco and famous for its enormous carved stones—some of them standing over 9 meters high (30 feet) and weighing over 350 tons, Sacsayhuaman is the site where every year on 24 June is celebrated the Inti Raymi (the most important Inca festivity).
Your Cusco visit ends here. Overnight stay in Cusco.
DAY 16. Tour of the Sacred Valley, Pisaq, and Ollantaytambo
You start your adventurous day off early with a private tour of the Urubamba valley, “The Sacred Valley of the Incas”. You stop at the Inca ruins of Pisaq located high above the valley floor. This picturesque historic site, located along a ridge, is divided into four groups: Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa, and Kinchiracay. Once you have taken in the breathtaking scenery, you visit the rather vibrant Pisaq market where you will be amazed by all of the artisans at work. Even though the market brings in many visitors daily, it has managed to retain its authentic charm. You will find great quantities ceramics and handicrafts to buy, but don’t hold back when it comes to bargaining. This is your chance to see how good your negotiating skills really are! The market is open all days but it is on Sundays that the market it’s at its best! Local folks coming from other small communities join in to make the Pisaq marker more vibrant!
You travel now to the charming town of Urubamba where you will enjoy a tasty buffet lunch offered by Peru InsideOut.
The tour continues along a scenic route to the fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo, known as the best surviving example of original Inca city planning. Ollantaytambo is actually one of the most significant Inca ruins. A camera will come in handy to catch the panoramic views. This historic region is even more special because it was one of the last areas in which construction was performed by the Incas prior to the arrival of the Spanish.
In the late afternoon, we finish our tour in Urubambra where you will enjoy a peaceful stay in the Sacred Valley. Dinner included.
DAY 17. Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu pueblo)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Ollantaytambo train station to board the famous local train to Machu Picchu. Your tour to Machu Picchu is finally beginning! This is an authentic experience that will bring you to the heart of the Inca civilization and to the Lost City of Machu Picchu.
Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, our guide will bring to your hotel where you will have a briefing on tomorrow’s Machu Picchu visit.
Free day and possibility to enjoy the local hot springs which give the name to this local charming Andean village: Aguas Calientes!
Overnight in Aguas Calientes.
DAY 18.Trip to Machu Picchu
Quite possibly the highlight of your Amazing Peru Tour, on this day you visit the legendary Machu Picchu. You’ve heard about it, you’ve read about it, but now you are finally going to experience this majestic place for yourself—and set foot on what many consider to be sacred ground. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We will arrive at the entrance to observe the phenomenon of the Inti Punku by 6 am, in time to appreciate the spectacular sunrise; this in itself is an experience worth sharing with friends. Between surreal clouds and a clearing sky, our guide will share with you the secrets and the architecture of this Lost City of the Incas. For those keen on climbing Huayna Picchu, you will not be disappointed. This is a great trekking experience. Once on top, you will enjoy the most stunning view of Machu Picchu. But, please remember that only 400 people per day are allowed and you need to let us know in time to book it. Among the other visits within the site of Machu Picchu, we advise you check out: El Puente de Los Incas and Machu Picchu mountains.
In the late afternoon, once you have taken in the stories and breathtaking sights of one of the most famous Wonders of the World, you travel back to Aguas Calientes. On your way back, you can reflect on your extraordinary day by taking a well-deserved relaxing bath in the hot springs one more time (optional).
Then it’s time to take our train to Ollantaytambo and transfer to our hotel in Cusco.
DAY 19. Puerto Maldonado Tour: Tambopata National Park
You are off early in the morning to explore an entirely different landscape and culture within Peru—the Peruvian Amazon! The next three days are going to be full of adventure, exotic wildlife, and spectacular scenery.
You board a plane for a short flight (under one hour) to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival, you transfer to the Puerto Maldonado Eco-Lodge where you will be greeted with a tropical fruit beverage. You begin a tour via motorboat up the Tambopata River and part of the Madre de Dios River to the Tambopata Lodge and Research Center (box lunch onboard). Your eyes will be glued to the vibrant colors of the scenery as we enter the core rain forest; you will see electrifying coloured butterflies and flocks of exotic birds leisurely flying over the boat. Your senses will continue to be amazed as we encounter extraordinary animals, such as capybaras, turtles, and caiman. Throughout your first day excursion, you will also have the good fortune to pass by a number of traditional Amazon communities.
You return to the Tambopata Lodge and enjoy a relaxing walk through the Amazon while your local guide will explain the rainforest ecosystem. After dinner, you are free to relax to the soothing sounds of the jungle that will continue on through the night. Full board.
DAY 20. Trip to Macaw Clay Lick
You begin the second day early in the morning with breakfast (to start your short boat ride upstream to the Macaw Clay Lick, “El Chuncho”, in the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. Again, you will be mesmerised by the breathtaking sights and sounds of the riverbanks, wildlife, and the natural backdrops of the jungle. As long as weather permits, your experience could become even more unforgettable with the opportunity to witness flocks of these brightly coloured macaws, parrots coming together to collect and eat clay. You continue on with your morning continues with a quiet walk along the river, looking for animal footprints.
By mid-morning, you will return to your accommodation. Now you will have the option to either relax or do adventure activities such as zip lining.
Just before lunch, you take a 10-minute journey to swim at the “Cascades del Gato”, this is known as a “natural Jacuzzi”. You will also have the opportunity to go kayaking or go fishing in the river, home to more than 250 species of fish (optional activities).
Next on your adventure list for the day is to enjoy an ethno-botanical walk in the rainforest. You will learn the significance of the plants and medicinal trees that inhabit the region, as well as discover more about the jungle ecosystem; we will observe giant lupuna trees, palm trees, and snake trees. During the night, we will explore the rainforest in the dark as we go on a search for nocturnal caiman (optional participation but included on the programme).
Return to Tambopata Lodge
DAY 21. Puerto Maldonado-Lima
After breakfast, you head back to Puerto Maldonado by boat and take your flight back to Cusco or Lima. Your visit to the magnificent Peruvian Amazon concludes your Amazing Peru Tour.
The Tour Includes
- Private transfers to and from airport and bus terminals
- Transportation by road and boat as mentioned in the programme
- Air tickets Cusco-Puerto Maldonado and Puerto Maldonado-Lima
- All excursions included on the programme (unless optional)
- Half board – All breakfast, full board in Amantani and the Amazon, 8 lunches (Lima, Ica, Arequipa, twice at the Colca Canyon, Taquile, Sicuani, Urubamba), 1 dinner in the Sacred Valley
- Accommodation in 3 stars hotels, 4 star in Puno, Posada in Paracas and homestay in Amantani (it is possible to upgrade the service)
- Private service with professional English speaking guide in: Lima, Paracas National Reserve, Ica, Nazca, Arequipa, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu
- Group service with professional English speaking guide: Ballestas Islands, Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, Ruta Puno-Cusco, Amazon
- Rubber boots provided in the Amazon
- International and national airfares to and from Peru
- International departure taxes at airports
- Nazca Lines over flight USD$ 125 per person
- Huayna Picchu extra USD$ 12 per person
- Other meals
- Adventure activities (zip lining, kayaking, etc.)
- Personal expenses, such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc.
- Insurance against theft and/or loss
- Entrance fee to the National Park ($15 per passenger)
- Other extras not specified
*Note: Entrance fee to the National Park and Reserve may be subject to change