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Classic Peru
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14 Days / 13 Nights Trip to Peru

Classic Peru

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 or 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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  • Duration
    14 Days
  • Starting From
    $2,398
    /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.
Lake Titicaca: The sacred lake of the Incas
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.
Cusco: Peru’s historical capital
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.
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 in Lima

Join the tour in Lima and check-in at the hotel.

Fly to Arequipa, free afternoon to explore

This morning we transfer back to the airport and fly to the beautiful city of Arequipa.This afternoon is left free for you to explore and acclimatise.

In Arequipa; visit South 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 beautiful city, situated at 2380m and surrounded by snow-capped mountains including the perfect conical peak of El Misti (5822m). Arequipa is famed for it's colonial architecture and the arcaded city square, dominated on one side by the twin towered cathedral (1612), is among the finest to be found in South America.

Drive to Chivay

We head north today where we enter the world of the Altiplano, passing behind the volcanoes that ring Arequipa and on to Chivay. There are herds of llama and alpaca en route, and if lucky we may spot the elusive vicuña. Today we briefly reach the highest point of our trip at 4,910m where we stop for a photo before descending towards 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 Islands and overnight on Taquile Island

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. This evening we stay in a local village house on the island.

Morning on Taquile Island, afternoon return to Puno

This morning is free on Taquile Island to make the most of a setting where the local people still preserve a rich tradition of music and dance. You might like to take a walk up to the Inca ruins , or visit the market, presenting an ideal opportunity to buy some of the locally made embroidery that is produced by the men of the island. Later this afternoon we then return to Puno by boat, where we can take a stroll through the markets in search of excellent llama and alpaca wool items.

Bus to the Sacred Valley

Today we follow the legendary route taken by the first Inca ruler - Manco Capac - on his way towards Cusco. Our destination is in the Sacred Valley at Ollantaytambo. Setting off from the hotel at around 5.30am, we take the scenic journey in our public coach. Driving up to the northern limit of the Altiplano we cross La Raya pass (4,335m) and descend to Cusco. Depending on time, those who wish may visit the colonial church at Andahuaylillas or the Inca temple ruins at Raqchi. The scenery is desolate but magnificent and we may spot flocks of llamas and alpacas grazing on the windswept pastures. We arrive into Cusco in the late afternoon, and from here drive to the Sacred Valley, heading towards our hotel for the evening. 
 
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. 
 
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 Sacred Valley; optional whitewater rafting

Today is a free day with a wide choice of things to do. For river-lovers there is a the opportunity of a raft-trip down the Urubamba in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (optional and seasonal). This is an exciting way to see the valley and no previous experience of rafting is necessary - full instruction and safety equipment are provided. 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 seriously impressive 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.

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, towards the mountain town of Aguas Calientes. Once a tiny village of no more than a few houses, this town throngs with travellers and trekkers coming to-and-from the famous 'lost' city of Machu Picchu. After dropping bags at our hotel, we climb by bus to the ancient site at 2,400m. 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 simple hostel in Aguas Calientes, with the chance to soak in the nearby natural hot baths.

More time to discover Machu Picchu (optional); return to Cusco

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 afternoon train to Ollantaytambo from where we get the bus to Cusco.

Walking tour 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, the Koricancha 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 also visit one of the outlying Inca sites - Cusco's temple-citadel, 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.

Free day in Cusco

Today has been left free for you to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere in Cusco's old town and perhaps do some souvenir shopping in the winding streets and alleys of the city.

Trip ends in Cusco

Your trip ends this morning in Cusco after breakfast.

Inclusions

 INCLUDED MEALS - Breakfast: 13

 TRIP STAFF - Expert tour leader, boat crew, local guide(s)

 TRANSPORT - Bus, boat, train, public bus.

 ACCOMMODATION - 1-night simple bus, 1-night simple guesthouse, 8 nights standard hotel, 2 nights simple hotel, 1-night simple village house.

Not Included

 Additional 5% GST

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14 Days / 13 Nights

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14 Days / 13 Nights

$2,757

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Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

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02 Oct 2020

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14 Days / 13 Nights

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$2,398

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

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19 Sep 2020

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02 Oct 2020

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Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

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Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

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10 Oct 2020

End date

23 Oct 2020

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14 Days / 13 Nights

$2,763

$2,445

Byond Postpaid starting at $216/month! Enquire with us now!

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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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