WHY THIS TRIP
There’s way more to Peru than just Machu Picchu. The Peru Explorer is a comprehensive cultural and hiking tour through Southern Peru, exploring the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, the high desert city of Arequipa and the nearby Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons, Cusco, the stunning and culturally rich Sacred Valley of the Incas, and culminating with a 1-Day Inca Trail hike so that you arrive into Machu Picchu on foot.
This trip is ideal for travelers looking to experience the best of Southern Peru in just 13 days plus have the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu.
You begin your journey in the “White City” of Arequipa in southern Peru dominated by the stunning conical “El Misti” mountain. At 2,600 meters, Arequipa is the ideal place to begin your acclimatization to the rarefied air of the Andes. One can explore Arequipa’s fine Plaza, the ice mummy museum or visit the many alpaca textile shops. You then board a private minibus and head off through remote villages to the impressive Colca Canyon and the delightful Colca Lodge. Here you have the chance to see condors over one of the world’s deepest canyons, hike to local ruins or just relax in some of the finest hot-springs imaginable.
A spectacular drive through the Altiplano takes you to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. This busy lakeside town is the base for your day trip on Lake Titicaca. You take a private express boat to visit the floating reed islands of Uros and Taquile Island. These are renowned for their ancient way of life, weaving and spectacular views of the lake.
You then take one of the world’s classic railway journeys from Puno across the high plains to Cusco. You spend a day exploring Cusco, the former Inca capital and a wonderful place to explore full of culture, history, good restaurants and fun nightlife.
Now fully acclimatised, your next adventure takes you to the local ruins surrounding Cusco and through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, passing local markets and the Inca fortress town of Ollantaytambo, before hiking the last day of the Inca Trail to arrive into Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, on foot through the Gate of the Sun. After a night in the colorful town of Aguas Calientes, you spend a whole day exploring the awe-inspiring citadel of Machu Picchu. The return to Cusco is by luxury train and bus with a final free day for any last minute sightseeing and souvenir hunting before heading back to the airport for your ongoing flight.
Those with more time should consider adding on an Inca Trail Trek or the Amazon Rainforest Jungle Extension.
LOCAL OPERATOR: AMAZONAS EXPLORER
For more than three decades Amazonas Explorer has led high-quality trips and alternative adventures throughout South America. Based in Cusco, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew bring their passion and skills to the travelers they serve and, in turn, build rewarding careers for themselves. This talented staff of local experts is focused on providing you with safe and comfortable adventures, all centered on making your holiday as memorable as possible.