This is a true adventure of South Peru; easily customisable to your group travel requirements. The itinerary detailed below can be adapted to your group in this incredible part of Peru.
Travel from the vast metropolis of Lima; having enjoyed the colonial history, culture & cuisine of Lima; to the stunning white city of Arequipa. Explore this beautiful city and the cultural quarters it possesses, for the adventurous we can incorporate climbs of Chacani or Misti Volcanoes.
Following then; from Arequipa it’s an overnight bed bus to Colca Canyon or the less visited Cotahuasi Canyon. Explore these canyons over the course of 3 to 5 days. Cotahuasi Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the world. With a depth of approximately 3,354 metres (11,004 ft); it is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. There is an abundance of epic landscapes; culture and nature to enjoy here.
So then; onward flying out of Arequipa to Juliaca Airport to enjoy the spectacular Lake Titicaca; the highest & largest navigable lake in the world. Lying between the border of Peru and Bolivia in the heart of the Andes Mountains; this lake remains one of the great attractions of Peru. Visit Amantani, Uros & Taquile Islands; the infrastructure and traditions of these islands is something very unique to Peru and a pleasure to discover. For more adventure; there are options to enjoy a kayak expedition from 1-3 days around the lake also.
Afterwards; flying out of Juliaca Airport to Cusco in readiness for the exploration of a lifetime and discovery of Machu Picchu which lies deep in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Taking a day or so to explore the unique and decorated city of Cusco; you’ll discover famous Incan sites such as Sacsayhuaman, Q’Enko, Tambomachay and more. Following then; you’ll head into the Sacred to discover all of it’s charms and ancient sites that make up the incredible story of this valley. Surrounded by giant nevados such as Salkantay, Veronica and more you’ll feel the reverence of this wonderous Valley before taking one of the most scenic train journies in the world; into Machu Picchu. One of the seven wonders of the world this famously abandonned site of the Incan era remains well preserved and protected for your experience.
From Cusco you’ll fly into the Tambopata National Reserve (Amazon Jungle.) to explore another vast and incredible environment of Peru. Discover the vast ecosystems of the Madre de Dios river and stay in a jungle lodge; with options for adventure kayaking or boating down rivers to explore local communities and tribal existence. The Amazon Jungle will leave you with sense of peace and awe and is a perfect way to finish your expedition of South Peru.
Above all; this 17-day itinerary takes you to Peru’s major highlights, it’s a true adventure of South Peru.
Tips for crew
Any additional extras
|Joining Arrangements||There will be a pre-trek briefing held usually the evening before departure, at your hotel, to go over the details of the trek and any specific requirements not already captured.|
|Food & Water||Prior to setting off we recommend you steer clear of street food and only eat in good restaurants, to avoid any stomach complaints. Likewise with tap water, it is largely untreated, please only consume bottled water only or sterilised water if you have the right equipment.|
|Special Diets||We’ll ensure that we cater for all of your dietary needs, at the point of booking we’ll collect this information from you. We can secure special menu requests also for your trek party.|
|Trekking Crew||We are able to customise our treks to suit you, but usually our treks are guided by a professional bilingual guide, mountain cook, arriero (horseman) and mules to carry all equipment (passenger horses also available on request). They become a large part of your trekking expedition and it’s a great experience working together.|
This is a really important part of your trip planning process, please find a link below which explains a little more about preparing for altitude. Altitude Preparation
|Machu Picchu||An excursion to Machu Picchu is included as part of your trip, including professional bilingual guide, entrance tickets, return trip bus tickets, Huayna Picchu & Machu Picchu Mountains (mountain climbs to be confirmed on reservation) & your return train ticket to Cusco. To be confirmed on reservation.|
|Covid-19 (Coronavirus)||We are working with the latest protocols issued by the Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) to ensure our operations are safe and compliant for the future. We also have access to on-call health services for your time with us.|
|Covid-19 (Useful Links)||World Health Organisation | World Health Organisation – Peru | Covid-19 Data – Peru | Covid-19 Daily Statistics|
|Available Discounts||Throughout 2021 we’re offfering a 25% discount for each member of a group larger than 4+|
|Reservation||Please contact us to reserve your trek and we will send you our deposit & payment options.|
|Customer Service||Please feel free to contact us at any point before your trip for any queries or problems.|
Domestic Flight from Lima to Arequipa – (All domestic flight timings & Carriers to be confirmed) Discover the dramatic beauty of the Colca Canyon, over the next few days, on an exciting two-day excursion from Arequipa.
Explore a fascinating natural formation twice as deep as the USA’s Grand Canyon with an experienced guide; visit an intriguing wildlife reserve to encounter diverse species; and admire the beautiful colonial architecture of two highland villages. Walk on the base of a colossal volcano and admire spectacular views of Peru’s stunning scenery during this enriching experience.
After your hotel pickup in Arequipa, climb aboard your comfortable, air-conditioned transport and relax during the scenic journey to the colossal Colca Valley. Gaze out of the window at volcanic borders and impossibly green hills as you venture closer to the visionary valley.
Pass through the picturesque Pampa Canahuas Vicuna Reserve to see wild vicunas grazing on the vivid highlands then venture to a traditional Peruvian town to enjoy a delicious lunch inspired by regional recipes.
Explore the town independently for the remainder of the day, visiting the steaming baths nearby (own expense) or wandering amid authentic Incan architecture.
Emerge early after a refreshing rest and venture to the fantastic viewpoint at the Condor Cross to view the canyon at a height of 3,960 feet (1,200 meters) above sea level. Gaze at the enormously deep crevices of the colossal canyon, scanning the sky for swooping condors as you admire.
Gain insight into the fascinating Andean creatures alongside your knowledgeable guide, then venture to the provincial villages of Maca (Achoma) and Yanque.
Admire the perfectly preserved colonial churches and artisan stalls of the picturesque pueblos, then enjoy a flavorsome and fulfilling lunch in a rustic restaurant. Relax during the return journey to Arequipa, where this part of the tour concludes.
Between 7.40am and 8am Transfer from the hotel to the port and by motor boat we take you to one of the legendary Uros Islands where you can observe the lives of the Uros people who live on floating reed islands, some only 20 meters in length.
After a beautiful 3hr boat ride we reach Amantani Island where you’ll have the authentic experience of an island homestay. You have the opportunity to trek to the top of the mountain (4,150 m.a.s.l) to see the Temples of the Pachamama and Pachatata and enjoy the traditional customs of the island people. Food and authentic music prepared and performed by your designated family meals’ lunch, dinner with
After breakfast you’ll take a short boat ride to the neighboring Taquile Island, where you’ll tour around the ruins and visit these beautiful cultures, world famous for their intricate and fascinating weavings. After lunch taking the return trip to Puno. Arrival in the afternoon and transfer back to your hotel at around 4pm.
Overnight Puno – Tierra Viva Puno
Domestic Flight from Juliaca to Cusco
Tour of the Sacred Valley: Cusco – Pisac – Ollantaytambo
Leaving Cusco on your arrival for your transfer into the Sacred Valley en route to Pisac, a village known for its traditional market and immense Inca fortress. During your visit, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to stop for photos as you pass terraces, irrigation canals, and picturesque mountain views.
In the afternoon, you’ll depart for the town of Ollantaytambo, which contains some of the best-preserved Inca architecture in the entire Sacred Valley. Roam the winding alleys and vast plazas and gaze upon a marvelous llama-shaped ruin before heading to your local hotel for the night.
This morning, you’ll depart from your hotel in Ollantaytambo for your journey to Moray. Along the way, surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Andes (Cordillera Vilcabamba), lush yellow fields of wheat, and some villages.
Upon arrival in Moray, you’ll see the three famous amphitheater-like terraces made by the Incas. These terraces are carved deep into the earth in the shape of a bowl. It is believed that the Incas once used these terraces as agricultural laboratories to determine the optimal conditions for growing crops.
When you are finished exploring Moray, you’ll head about two miles away, to the salt mines of Maras. This village is known as a former salt-producing center and is thought to date back to pre-Incan times. There are over 3,000 salt pools carved into the mountainside, that are filled daily by a stream of water. Once you are done with the visit, you will head back to Ollantaytambo in time to catch your train to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo).
Get an early start to beat the crowds and get the best views of the ancient ruins. From Aguas Calientes, it’s an easy 25-minute bus ride up to Machu Picchu. This 15th-century Inca citadel is located at 7,970ft (2,430 m) and is a masterpiece of engineering that served as a sanctuary and retreat for the Incan Emperor Pachacutec and his royal court.
Machu Picchu, which means “Old Mountain,” is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Built as a seasonal residence for the Inca family, Machu Picchu was rarely home to more than 800 people, and during the royals’ absence, a mere 100 servants would remain at the site to maintain the grounds. Machu Picchu was abandoned 100 years after construction due to the Spanish conquest and remained largely hidden to the outside world until the early 20th century.
Your guide will lead you around the site and explain the different buildings and curious corners of the building complex. Approximately one-third of the site has been reconstructed into its original structure, giving visitors a sense for the grandeur and artistry of the original citadel. After the tour, take the bus back to Aguas Calientes for lunch and then board the train to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival in Ollantaytambo, meet your driver for your transfer back to Cusco.
Take a walk through the plaza — if the weather is beautiful, it’s a perfect place to sit on a balcony and have a cup of coca tea while adjusting to the elevation. Suggested activities include:
Get an early start to your morning with a 5:30 AM pickup from your hotel in Cusco. Leave the city behind as your head towards the small town of Mollepata, located in the lush valley of the Apurimac River. Enjoy breakfast in a local cafe before continuing for 1 hour to the small town Soraypampa, where you will start your hike to Humantay lake.
The trail is steep but gorgeous, with views of snow-capped mountains and deep glacial lakes along the way. The hike is shadowed by Salkantay Peak, one of Peru’s most sacred mountains, towering at 20,600 ft (6,280 m), with a spectacular sheer and snowy face. It is matched by the equally impressive Humantay Peak, rising 19,412 ft, (5,916) m. Shamans will often give a blessing when safely reaching the crystal-clear waters of Humantay Lake, located at 14,100 ft (4,300 m).
Once you reach the lakeshore, relax, enjoy a snack, go for a swim (if you are brave!) or give thanks to Pachamama (Mother Earth). When you are ready to hike back down, descend to Soraypampa and have lunch while enjoying the breathtaking panoramic views of the snowy peaks. Drive back to Cusco and spend the evening relaxing in the hotel.
Domestic Flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado
REFUGIO AMAZONAS 4D3N – With Chuncho Clay Lick
DAY 1 – Arrival & Reception by Guide Our guides are tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 10:1 ratio in Refugio Amazonas. This means groups smaller than 10 people will be merged with other groups under one guide. If you would like a private guide or a guide in a language other than English please let us know. – Transfer Airport to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters – Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.
Transfer Pto Maldonado Headquarters to Tambopata River Port – Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business.
Transfer Boat from Tambopata River Port to Refugio Amazonas – The two and a half hour boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas will take us past the Community of Infierno and the Tambopata National Reserve´s checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit. – Boxed Lunch
Orientation – Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. – Dinner
Caiman Search – You’ll be out at the river’s edge at night, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes.
Breakfast – Oxbow Lake Visit – You’ll paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and hornerd screamers, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You’ll also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws. – Canopy Tower – A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A banisterred staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your horizon of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely. – Lunch
Farm Visit – Five minutes downriver from the lodge lies a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops – just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose. – Ethnobotanical Tour – Along this trail we will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population with at least the same variety of purposes. We will learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, among several others. – Dinner
Tambopata National Reserve Lectures – Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, our office and the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.