Cultural Peru itinerary: discover the pre-Incan north & Machu Picchu

Tailor-made holidays
Duration (in days): 14

From: UK

To: UK

From

£2,245

Inc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Overview

Discover how Peruvian culture and history has been shaped by many civilisations, reaching back before the colonial era and even the Incas! Beginning in Lima, you’ll have a tour of the capital before flying north to Trujillo, a city known for its distinctive cuisine where you’ll take a gastro tour. Next, you’ll be guided through some sites of pre-Incan culture including the nearby Sun and Moon temples, built by the Moche people and some interestingly decorated ruins from the Chimú people who came later. Moving on to Cusco, you’ll discover the Sacred Valley, Pisac market and the historical centre of Cusco. The culmination of your tour is, of course, a visit to the Inca citadel of Machu Pichu – Peru’s best-known historical site.

This Peru itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

This holiday includes

  • International flights
  • All transfers
  • All accommodation in Peru
  • Excursions and meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees

Highlights

  • Take a guided city tour of Lima to discover the capital’s highlights
  • Fly to northern Peru to unearth this region’s fascinating pre-Incan history
  • Visit the famous Sun and Moon temples built by the Moche civilisation
  • Taste your way through northern Peruvian cuisine on a gastro tour of Trujillo
  • Discover the mysteries and culture of the pre-Incan Chimú people
  • See how the Huanchaco fisherman use traditional reed boats to fish
  • Journey along the Andean Baroque Route and visit the Sistine Chapel of America
  • Visit the Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu, Peru’s most famous Inca site
Itinerary

 

Itinerary in brief:

  • 2 nights in Lima
  • 4 nights in Trujillo
  • 3 nights in Cusco
  • 1 night in Aguas Calientes
  • 1 night in Cusco

 

Day 1: Depart UK

Depart the UK from your chosen airport.

Included: International flight

Day 2: Arrive in Lima

Today you will land in Lima and will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel in the Miraflores district. You’ll have the rest of the day at leisure to relax or explore a little of the city.

Included: Transfer, hotel 

Day 3: Lima city tour

After breakfast, we’ve included a guided tour of the capital so you can visit the main sights and learn about its rich history and traditions.

Included: Breakfast, tour, hotel

Day 4: Fly to Trujillo

Today you’ll take the short flight north up the coast to the colonial city of Trujillo, which is known for the nearby pre-Incan archaeological sites.

When you arrive, we’ve included a delicious lunch at Costa del Sol Wyndham Trujillo hotel so you can enjoy your first taste of the northern Peruvian cuisine!

Included: Breakfast, transfers, domestic flight, hotel      

Day 5: City tour: Sun and Moon temples

Today, you’ll be picked up from your hotel after breakfast and taken for a guided tour of Trujillo, a city that was important in pre-Columbian times but also flourished under the Spanish colonial era. You’ll visit the colourful churches of Santa Clara and El Carmen as well as the cathedral and the main square. You’ll also visit the House Calonge; a rebuilt colonial residence where Simon Bolivar stayed while he developed his emancipation campaign.

After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll head to the archaeological sites – the Temples of the Sun and the Moon; known as the Temples of Moche. The Moche were an ancient civilisation that flourished in northern Peru between 100 and 700 AD. You’ll see frescos and learn about their importance ceremonially and militarily. After the tour, you’ll stop at a craft workshop run by a local family who is descended from the Moche people.

Included: Breakfast, guided tour, lunch, hotel    

Day 6: Local market: gastronomic experience

Trujillo flourished under the Spanish elite who made their home here and who created very elegant and special gastronomy: the famous Trujillo cuisine.

To help you discover it, we’ve included an experience which first takes you to a local market to shop for produce, followed by a cooking demonstration so you can learn how to prepare a typical dish. Lunch is included, then you can take a stroll down a street where sweet-makers offer a wide variety of cakes and treats!

Included: Breakfast, guided tour, lunch, hotel 

Day 7: Chan Chan, Dragon temple and Huanchaco

After breakfast today, your day starts with a guided visit to the impressive archaeological site of Huaca Dragón (Dragon Temple) on the outskirts of Northern Trujillo. This temple was built by the Chimú culture, which superseded the Moche culture in this part of Peru and is decorated with beautiful mural reliefs

Next, you’ll visit the 20km square Chan Chan archaeological complex from Chimú culture, which is the largest mud city in the Americas. The complex has several pyramids, as well as smaller structures including sidewalks, canals, walls and cemeteries.

Finally, you’ll visit Huanchaco – a fishing village where you can see how local fishermen still use old reed boats, Caballitos de totora, in the thousand-year-old tradition of artisan fishing.

Included: Breakfast, guided tour, hotel

Day 8: Fly to Cusco

After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Trujillo airport to catch a flight to Cusco (via Lima). Once you land, you will be met and taken to your hotel in the historical centre od Cusco, with the rest of the day at leisure.

Included: Breakfast, transfer, domestic flight, hotel

Day 9: Cusco city tour

Today you’ll have the opportunity to find out about the history and culture that’s shaped Cusco - the capital of the Incan Empire and a city that’s both visually stunning and brimming with heritage. Your guide will take show you around the city and help you explore its important past by visiting its main attractions and archaeological sites.

Included: Breakfast, guided tour, hotel

Day 10: The Baroque route

Today you’ll get a fascinating insight into traditional pre-Colombian beliefs and culture, and how the colonial Spaniards attempted to expose indigenous people to a new world of religious belief – and you’ll get to see the architecture, design, sculptures and art that was produced during this era.

You’ll have a tour along the Andean Baroque route, which is a route across the region from Cusco to Puno that visits four spectacular Baroque-era churches. The most impressive is in Andahuaylillas, known as the Sistine Chapel of America for its stunning wall and ceiling art and its sculptures. You’ll visit the church of Huaro - with its magnificent altarpieces, murals and paintings depicting scenes of life after death and the Canincunca Chapel – whose murals showcase typical Andean textile design and depict the bond between the Pachamama (the fertility goddess) and her influence on the productivity of crops and animals.

After this tour, you will have lunch at a local restaurant and return to your hotel in Cusco.

Included: Breakfast, guided tour, entrance fees, lunch, hotel       

Day 11: Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes      

After breakfast, you’ll check out and go for a tour of the Sacred Valley. The first stop is the colourful Pisac market where you can buy local handicrafts. You’ll also visit Ollantaytambo fortress, a large Incan archaeological complex that was conceived as a tambo - a city of rest for anyone travelling for long distances.

You’ll have lunch at a local restaurant, before heading to Ollanta station to catch the train to Aguas Calientes which is the last stop before Machu Picchu. You’ll spend tonight in Aguas Calientes.

Included: Breakfast, guided tour, lunch, train, hotel        

Day 12: Machu Picchu

After breakfast, you’ll make the short bus ride to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu means 'Old Mountain' and is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The impressive complex is a masterpiece of engineering and architecture that served as a sanctuary and resting place for Inca ruler Pachacuti.

After your tour, you’ll hop on the bus back to Aguas Calientes, where we’ve included a tasty lunch at Café Inkaterra. Then you’ll be driven to Aguas Calientes train station to take the train back to Ollanta station, from where you’ll be collected and driven back to your hotel in Cusco.

Included: Breakfast, local guide, return bus journey, entrance fees, lunch, train, transfer, hotel  

Day 13: Departure

After two weeks discovering the cultural heritage of this fascinating country, it is time to catch the flight back home. After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Cusco airport for your flight home.

Included: Breakfast, transfer, international flight            

Day 14: Arrive UK    

Land back in the UK.

Why not add in a stopover?

Info

The mountainous region of the Andes is at its best from May to October when the days are sunny with less rain. Nonetheless, this itinerary can be enjoyed all year round. Do bear in mind that Machu Picchu can be very busy during July and August.

This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.           

What's included: 

  • International and domestic flights
  • Return airport transfers
  • Entrance fees
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary

Not included: 

  • Any meals and excursions not mentioned
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips & gratuities
Accommodation

Eleven nights in 4* standard accommodation.

Hotels in this category include:

  • José Antonio Deluxe Miraflores

  • Casa Andina Premium Trujillo

  • Costa del Sol Ramada Cusco

  • El Mapi Machu Picchu 
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