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Family Peru In Depth
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13 Days / 12 Nights Trip to Peru

Family Peru In Depth

Experience a lifetime’s worth of adventure in Peru, the land of the fabled Incan empire, on a journey that inspires wonder and fires the imagination. Visit the Sacred Valley, Cusco, explore iconic Machu Picchu itself and come aboard the boat trip on Lake Titicaca.
Colour, culture and Incas - get ready for feisty, fiery and variety-filled adventures in Peru. Get ready to explore the legacy of the Incas in Machu Picchu, and take in the cultural highlights of its intriguing modern cities such as Lima and Cusco. Enjoy a boat trip on Lake Titicaca. Adventurers can further venture into the Amazon rainforest or go on to trek the Incan Trail, which is a must for any hiker.
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  • 10 Reviews
    4.5/5  
  • Duration
    13 Days
  • Starting From
    $2,997
    /person
    Twin sharing
  • Travel Operator
    Explore
  • Flights
    Not Included
    Flight booking assistance will be provided.

Trip highlights

Sacred Valley of the Incas
Highlight #1
Sacred Valley of the Incas
Explore famous and beautiful Inca ruins, including the Pisac ruins, the Ollantaytambo temple, and local markets.
Family Peru In Depth
Highlight #2
Lake Titicaca: The sacred lake of the Incas.
Take a boat trip on this lake which has floating reed islands which preserve its ancient heritage, giving you an opportunity to explore its sacred culture.
Family Peru In Depth
Highlight #3
Cusco: Peru’s historical capital
Take in the highlights of the captivating capital of the Incan empire, and explore the historic Sacsayhuaman fortress - its construction remains a mystery to this date!
A train ride like no other!
Highlight #4
A train ride like no other!
Every seat boasts a full window view of the countryside; mountains playing peekaboo with each turn and bend.
Machu Picchu: the 5th wonder of the world!
Highlight #5
Machu Picchu: the 5th wonder of the world!
Bookended by two immense forested peaks, it is the ultimate symbol of the Incan empire at the peak of power.

Reviews

10 Reviews

Frances

Written on 01 Oct, 2018

5.0 out of 5
Busy trip with great bunch of people and excellent guide Olmer. Highlight of course Machu Picchu which was wonderful. Interesting country and people. Great train ride through amazing scenery. Really enjoyed it
Andrew

Written on 01 May, 2019

5.0 out of 5
This was an amazing trip which takes in all of the best destinations and sites in Peru. The tour has a lot of travelling which was very well organised and comfortable. Our guide David was 1st class ensuring that the trip went smoothly and that our group needs were met. There were many highlights including Lima, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa, Puno, Cusco and the fabulous Machu Picchu which we experienced with amazing weather. The way explore arranged the trip ensured that we acclimatised to altitude gradually, the highest point being over 16000ft!
Maria Berrow
5.0 out of 5
I just did the "inside Vietnam" and "highlights of Cambodia trips, back to back, returned home only last weekend. Our guides were absolutely brilliant. Binh in Vietnam particularly when I contracted bronchitis after inhaling a piece of grit and required a local doctor! He also dealt superbly with the situation when we were stranded on the overnight train from Hanoi to Hue after the typhoon left the train tracks flooded. He was regularly in touch with his office and updated us accordingly. We were collected by two minibuses, returned to Hanoi and then flew to Danang and drove from there to Hue. All taken by everyone as an adventure. We saw wonderful places, met great people and there was a smooth transfer for the 4 of us travelling on to Cambodia. I loved Vietnam, can't choose a personal highlight as each place very different and I loved them all. Cambodia very special. Killing fields horrific and very distressing. I couldn't go into the genocide museum. All a part of the awful tragedy of the very recent history of this beautiful country. Angkor was staggering in terms of beauty and scale. Hotels were great. Trip notes accurate, guides brilliant throughout. These were my first adventures with Explore. They won't be my last. Highly recommended. About to book to Walk the Great Wall of China with you for 2018. Thank you Explore!
Sara Findlay
4.0 out of 5
We have just returned from a 14 day tour to Costa Rica, this was a family trip and very enjoyable. The tour guide Alex and our driver Antonio were wonderful, nothing was too much trouble for them, in fact I broke my tooth on the first Sunday and Alex found me a dentist immediately that could help so that my holiday was not spoilt. We had some lovely trips and saw amazing scenery and wildlife. The accommodations were acceptable, clean and comfortable. If there are any negatives to report it would be the time we spent in the bus as we travelled vast distances. The last day Friday was pretty much wasted as no excursions were planned and we were taken back to San Jose in preparation for our departure Saturday afternoon. Personally I would have preferred to spend the whole day at Manuel Antonio with an early morning departure Saturday to the airport. We met some lovely people and had a great time, thank you
Drew Thompson
4.0 out of 5
Just (yesterday) completes the 3 day Kiev & Chernobyl tour. Really well organised by Explore. Our guide, Anastasia, was lovely, knowledgeable, attentive and really made the trip. Please pass on my thanks to her.
John Mathers
5.0 out of 5
I've just returned from walking in La Gomera. We had an absolutely great time. Excellent walking over varied and trails which were just challenging enough - lovely graded rocky tracks, mostly. Great scenery, excellent accommodation and the group of 13 bonded really well. We were overjoyed to have Emma as our guide having been with her in Andorra. She is seriously competent and (as one person put it) is "the sunshine on our snow" (yes, there was some snow on Teide). Emma is always cheerful and resourceful, an admirable leader. All the various arrangements passed off perfectly and I look forward to booking my next Explore trip before long.
Donna Horsley
4.0 out of 5
My 1st explore holiday to Botswana, Namibia & Zambia, it exceeded my expectations, very well organised, exceptional guide”Titus” 5* accommodation, would recommend this trip for anyone interested in getting up exceptionally close to wildlife, a holiday of a lifetime, a hard 1 to top!
Eleanor Biggin
4.0 out of 5
My husband, four year old daughter and I have just returned from a private version of the Family Taj and Palaces trip. It was absolutely amazing. There wasn’t a single thing I could fault about the trip. We saw and did so much, but we didn’t feel rushed at all. Our guide, Yadu, was brilliant and incredibly knowledgable. The highlights for me were the Taj Mahal and seeing tigers and a leopard at Ranthambore National Park. My daughter loved it so much that she has decided she wants to move to India when she’s older! We will definitely be booking trips with Explore in the future.
Ian Garvie
5.0 out of 5
My wife and I are just about to go on our ninth trip with Explore, each trip has been exciting, fun, and we have been to some places we have been dreaming of, what's not to recommend? :-)
Emma Feakins
4.0 out of 5
I have recently returned from the Levada Trails of Madeira trip. It was a fantastic trip and provided a real taste of what the island can offer. Our guide Benny made the trip special by offering an insight to the island, it's cuisine and nothing was too much trouble. Was one of the best holidays I had had in a long time.
Video

Peru: Color, culture and Incas!

From Lima to the Amazon, sites from  Ollantaytmbo to iconic Machu Picchu, Peru is a South American extravaganza like no other. Watch this video for a glimpse of your journey to come. Video Credit: Jacob + Katie Schwarz.

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Itinerary

Join tour Lima

Arrive Lima and check-in at hotel.

Tour Lima, fly to Arequipa

Founded in 1535 and called the City of Kings, Lima today is both ancient and modern. We will make an orientation tour on foot, passing through the colonial squares and under the intricate modern balconies of old Lima, seeing some of the city's best surviving examples of colonial architecture (optional). Time permitting there might be the opportunity to stroll through Plaza San Martin and Bolivar and enter the fascinating Catacombs of the convent of San Francisco. In the afternoon, we transfer to the airport where we will take our flight to reach the beautiful city of Arequipa.

In Arequipa; visit the Santa Catalina Convent

This morning we visit Santa Catalina Convent, a miniature walled town which once housed 450 nuns and serving ladies in total seclusion. The rest of the day is free to explore this charming city, situated at 2380m and surrounded by snow-capped mountains including the perfect conical peak of El Misti (5822m). Arequipa is famed for its colonial architecture and the arcaded city square, dominated on one side by the twin towered cathedral, is among the finest to be found in South America.

Drive to Chivay

This morning we head north where we enter the world of the altiplano. We pass behind the volcanoes that ring Arequipa and onto Chivay. Passing herds of llama and alpaca - if lucky we may spot the elusive vicuña. Today we cross the Patapampa pass to briefly reach the highest point of our trip at 4910m where we stop for a photo before descending towards the Colca Canyon.

Visit the Colca Canyon, continue to Puno

We have an early start this morning to the Colca Canyon. A spectacular river gorge, the Colca Canyon measures twice the depth of the more famous Grand Canyon and at one time it was believed to be the deepest gorge on earth (until it was eclipsed by the deeper Cotahuasi Canyon). Largely unknown to the outside world until the latter years of the 20th century, today it affords us an opportunity to discover a world of Andean villages and Inca terraces that make up one of the most outstanding natural settings in the Americas. This is the world of the Altiplano, where the Rio Colca meanders through a landscape of towering volcanic peaks that offer a stunning backdrop to a land inhabited by Cabana and Collagua Indians. Home to the massive and majestic Andean Condor, these awe-inspiring vistas derive their name from the old Incan practise of storing harvested grain in natural vaults carved into the canyon walls, vaults that the Indians called colcas. This afternoon we drive east, via the Patapampa pass again at 4910 m, heading towards the beautiful landscapes that surround the unique waters of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the word (3856m). Our destination is the town of Puno, a centre of Incan folklore nestling in a bay at the northwestern tip of the lake and the perfect base from which to explore something of the cultural and historical significance of the lake itself.

Boat trip on Lake Titicaca; visit Uros and Taquile Islands

From Puno we take a boat trip on Lake Titicaca to explore the floating reed islands, home to the Uros people who live on the lake itself. Their islands are made from totura, a reed-like papyrus that grows in the shallows and is used in most aspects of their life, including the construction of their boats and homes. We then continue to the less visited island of Taquile which has preserved much of its Inca and pre-Inca heritage and the islanders still speak the language of the Inca - Runa Simi or Quechua. We take our time walking across the island and we will have the chance to buy locally produced embroidery - the men's handiwork for once! After lunch we then descend to the jetty to board our boat back to Puno.

Journey to Cusco

Today we follow the legendary route taken by the first Inca ruler - Manco Capac - on his way to find Cusco. Travelling aboard our private bus, we will watch the spectacular Andean scenery rolling past our window as shepherds graze their flocks of llamas and alpaca on the altiplano grasslands. En route, we make two valuable stops to the archaeological sites at Sillustani and Raqchi. Sillustani is a pre-Incan burial ground with impressive views across Lake Umayo, near Puno. An old vestige of the Aymara culture, it makes an interesting comparison with our second stop at the Inca ruin of Raqchi, near Cusco, whose remnants have been kept in remarkable condition. We arrive in Cusco in the late afternoon and head to our hotel.

Alternatively you may wish to take the classic Titicaca train journey from Puno to Cusco (optional) - one of the great railway journeys of the world, the full day journey covers some spectacular scenery over the high altiplano. This includes a sumptuous meal aboard the train, with perhaps the chance to try some local delicacies before we arrive in Cusco in the late afternoon and head to our hotel. If you'd like to take the train, this can be booked through Explore prior to travel.

Please note that rail strikes are common in Peru and so there is the possibility that the train may not always be running. In the event that you have chosen the optional train ride and it is not operating, then we will make the journey from Puno to Cusco by bus, with the rest of the group. Refunds due to trains cancelled due to strike action is at the rail companies discretion.

In Cusco; visit Sacsayhuaman Fortress

The old capital of the Inca empire survives only in its ruins, imbued with an atmosphere of mystery and grandeur. The Spanish colonial city, with its attractive pink tiled roofs, arcaded plazas and steep winding alleyways, stands upon tremendous Inca foundation stones. This morning we take a walking tour of this lovely city to see important Inca and Colonial monuments, such as the Plaza de Armas (main square) and the Inca wall of Hatunrumiyoc with its famous twelve-sided stone. The stone, measuring some 5 feet across, has the typical bevelled joints which create the patterns of light and shadow on Inca walls. We will continue on by bus to the outlying Inca site of Sacsayhuaman which broods high above the town, its huge, zigzagging stone walls broken into 66 sharply projecting angles to catch attackers in a withering crossfire. 20,000 conscripted workers toiled for 90 years to finish it. The afternoon is left free for some further exploration of Cusco.

Free Day in Cusco, optional Misminay village trip

Today has been left free for you to enjoy further optional activities in and around Cusco or perhaps finish off the final souvenir shopping in the winding streets and alleys of the city.

Train to Aguas Calientes; visit Machu Picchu

We take an early morning train along the side of the Rio Urubamba, flanked by high cliffs and peaks, then climb by bus to Machu Picchu - the famous 'lost city' at 2400m. The existence of this exquisite masterpiece of ancient civilisation remained unknown to the outside world until it was 'discovered' by an American archaeologist, Hiram Bingham in 1911. We explore this mountain-top stronghold - the most spectacular feat of engineering in ancient America. Returning to the valley floor, we stay in a hotel in Aguas Calientes, with the chance to soak in the nearby natural hot baths.

More time to discover Machu Picchu (optional); train to Ollantaytambo

We have another chance this morning to explore the site. It is also possible to climb the steep peaks of either Machu Picchu Mountain or Huayna Picchu Mountain to look down on the citadel. Machu Picchu Mountain is a 700m climb from the top of the citadel. There are cobbled stairs all the way up with a few eye-opening drops in some parts, and the round-trip takes about 2.5-3 hours. Huayna Picchu Mountain is only 350m, half the size of Machu Picchu Mountain, but much steeper. There are many more sheer drops, and it is definitely not suitable for someone with a fear of heights. For those who fancy doing the 1 hour climb, you'll be rewarded with world-beating views of Machu Picchu, and the feeling that you're standing on a precipice at the top of the world.

These must be pre-paid at time of booking. If you change your passport between your time of booking and prior to travel please take your original passport with you.

Later we take the train to Ollantaytambo and transfer to our hotel in Yucay, nestled in the heart of the Sacred Valley where we can relax and enjoy the views as the sun sets.

In the Sacred Valley; optional whitewater rafting; return to Cusco

Today is a free day with a wide choice of things to do. For river-lovers there is a the opportunity of a full-day raft-trip (optional and in season) down the Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This is an exciting way to see the valley and no previous experience of rafting is necessary - full instruction and safety equipment are provided. Please note: Participation in rafting requires that you are able to swim 25 metres unaided. There is also the opportunity to visit Misminay, home to many of the porters who work along the Inca Trail and within the valley itself. We can learn a little more about the lives of these descendants of the ancient Inca during our visit. Alternatively you could visit Maras and Moray where hot springs at the top of the valley have been diverted into terraced saltpans. Ollantaytambo itself is also worth spending time in; during the Inca Empire it was the royal state of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region and built the town as a ceremonial centre. After our sight seeing or rafting is finished we will drive back to Cusco for our final evening.

Trip ends in Cusco

Our trip ends this morning after breakfast.

Inclusions

 Included meals - 12 Breakfasts

 Trip Staff - Expert tour leader, boat crew, driver(s), local guide(s).

 Transport - Bus, Boat, Flight, Train

 Accommodation - 9 nights premium hotel, 3 nights standard hotel.

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This Trip Is Operated By Explore

At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Our authentic travel experiences explore the sights and culture of a country, with hand-picked accommodation that balances comfort and location. Our average group tour size is just 12; perfect for meeting new people and getting to the heart of our destinations.

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