Itinerary in brief:
- 1 night in Lima
- 3 nights in Cusco
- 1 night in the Sacred Valley
- 1 night in Machu Picchu Pueblo
- 1 night in Cusco
- 2 nights aboard the Andean Explorer
- 2 nights in Arequipa
Day 1: Depart UK
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
Included: International flight
Day 2: Arrive in Lima
When you arrive in the Peruvian capital, you will be met by your guide and driver at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the colourful Miraflores district. The rest of the day is free to relax and shake off the jetlag, or (if you’re feeling energetic) we can add a private city tour in the afternoon – just ask!
Included: Private arrival transfer, hotel
Day 3: Lima to Cusco
After breakfast you will be met by your driver and taken to Lima airport to board your flight to Cusco. When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by an English speaking representative and transferred to your atmospheric hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to relax and acclimatise to the higher altitude.
Included: Breakfast, private transfers, domestic flight, hotel
Day 4: Cusco
Today you will be picked up after breakfast for a private tour of the city and some of the incredible ruins on its outskirts. First, you will delve into the heart of Cusco’s colonial past with a visit to its historical centre. Here, you will find the imposing Cathedral and Coricancha, whose Inca ruins form the base of the colonial church and convent of Santo Domingo.
You will then be taken to the Sacsayhuamán complex, situated just outside the city. These Inca ruins form the backdrop of the famous Inti Raymi Sun Festival that takes place every year on the 24th of June. You will finish off the tour at the ruins of Quenqo and Puka Pukara before being taken back to your hotel. The afternoon will be free for you to explore as you wish.
Included: Breakfast, private tour with English speaking guide, entrance fees, hotel
Day 5: Peruvian life and handicrafts tour
Today, you will set off on a tour to discover the rich culture and traditions of Peru! First, you will be guided through Cusco’s major market, where you can find anything from local produce to traditional Andean food, as well as flowers, handmade crafts and much more. You will then visit Choco Museum, where you’ll take part in a chocolate workshop and relax with a delicious hot chocolate. The last stop will be the Andean Textile Centre Awanacancha, a museum committed to traditional methods and ancient weaving techniques of camelids’ wool, all still practiced today by the area’s farming communities. At the end of the tour, you will be driven back to your hotel in Cusco.
Included: Breakfast, tour with English speaking guide, entrance fees, hotel
Day 6: Sacred Valley
This morning after breakfast you will be collected from your hotel and driven to the Sacred Valley. You will start the tour at Pisac market, where the town main square will be filled with stands selling handicrafts made by the local people. Here, you’ll find beautiful alpaca textiles, musical instruments, paintings, carving and colourful replicas of ancient Inca pieces. You will stop for lunch in a typical Peruvian restaurant before continuing on to Ollantaytambo, a picturesque Andean town crowned by an impressive Inca fortress. After the visit, you will be taken to your hotel in the Sacred Valley, where you can grab a Pisco sour as the sun goes down.
Included: Breakfast, tour with English speaking guide, lunch, hotel
Day 7: Machu Picchu with Hiram Bingham train
This morning, you’ll be collected from your hotel and driven to Ollantaytambo train station where you will board the beautiful Hiram Bingham train. This luxury train has elegant finishes and large windows to enjoy the Andean panoramas all around you. The train also serves Peruvian gourmet food and you’ll find a relaxing bar beside the scenic wagon, where musical concerts are held. The trip takes around 2 hours and twists through the fantastic landscapes of the Cusco Highlands, gradually descending to the subtropical jungle where Machu Picchu is located.
Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will be met by your guide and take a bus to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu for a guided visit. While it may be one of the most photographed sites in the world, nothing beats seeing these incredible ruins in person. After the tour, you will enjoy an afternoon tea before boarding the bus back to Aguas Calientes to relax for the rest of the day.
Included: Breakfast, private transfer, train, bus ticket, tour with English speaking guide, entrance fees, afternoon tea, hotel
Day 8: Machu Picchu to Cusco
If you like, you can make second visit to Machu Picchu this morning, or, if you’re in the mood for something active, you can trek up to Wayna Picchu to get different perspective of the ruins. Alternatively, you can relax at your hotel, wander through the charming town of Aguas Calientes or buy some souvenirs from the indoor market. In the afternoon, you will take the train back to Cusco where your transportation service to your hotel will be awaiting.
Included: Breakfast, train, private transfer, hotel
Day 9: All aboard the Peruvian Highlands Belmond Andean Explorer
This morning, you’ll be collected from your hotel and driven to the train station where your guide will accompany you to the boarding gate of your deluxe train. Your journey aboard the luxury Peruvian Highlands Andean Explorer will take you through wonderful mountain landscapes on your way from Cusco and Puno, before the trip ends in Arequipa.
The train will leave Cusco in the morning and travel in the direction of Lake Titicaca and you will have lunch on board surrounded by staggering views. You will enjoy several stops all along the journey, including the fascinating the archaeological site of Raqchi, also known as the temple of Viracocha. In the afternoon you will be served tea and enjoy the sunset at La Rayan, situated at over 4,200 metres above sea level and circled by imposing Andean peaks. In the evening, you will sip a signature cocktail before sitting down for a gourmet dinner. You will arrive at Puno station, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, around 10pm.
Included: Private transfer, shared tour with English speaking guides, full board, overnight on the Andean Explorer
Day 10: Lake Titicaca
Today, you can witness a glorious sunrise on Lake Titicaca and enjoy breakfast on board the Andean Explorer. After this, you will make a visit to the famous Uros Islands - floating islands made of plants that grow in the lake. This is followed by an excursion to Taquile Island, where you will have lunch on Collata Beach and watch a demonstration of typical local dances. Next, you will take the boat back to Puno and be transferred back to the train. Afternoon tea, evening cocktails and dinner will all be served on board while the Andean Explorer continues its scenic journey towards Arequipa.
Included: Shared transfers, shared excursions, full board, overnight on the Andean Explorer
Day 11: Puno to Arequipa
This morning, you can enjoy an early breakfast before setting off on an excursion to the rugged scenery of Lake Lagunillas. Afterwards, you’ll visit the Sumbay caves with displays of paintings estimated to be almost 8,000 years old. Next, you’ll return to the train for lunch as it continues towards Arequipa. When you arrive, you’ll bid farewell to the crew and your unforgettable experience as you disembark for a panoramic city tour. After the tour, you will be collected and taken you to your hotel in the city.
Included: Breakfast, lunch, shared tour with English speaking guide, private transfer, hotel
Day 12: Arequipa
After breakfast you will take a guided tour of Arequipa, also known as the White City for the colour of its buildings, constructed from sillar, a white volcanic stone. The city, framed by three imposing volcanoes, is beautifully colonial. During the tour, you will visit the main city sites including the Main Square, the Church of the Society of Jesus and the famous Santa Catalina Monastery.
The rest of the day is at your own leisure. Arequipa is, after Lima, the culinary capital of Peru so we suggest to enjoy dinner in one of its famous gourmet restaurants.
Included: Breakfast, private tour with English speaking guide, hotel
Day 13: Depart Arequipa
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before meeting your driver, who will transfer you to the airport for your onward flight.
Included: Breakfast, private transfer, international flight
Day 14: Arrive in UK