Culture, Vultures and Cuisine

16-Day Peru Andes Holiday Itinerary - Huacachina, Colca Canyon, Cusco & Machu Picchu

Prices from £1,995 pp

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Duration16 days / 15 nights (flexible)


ItineraryLima - Huacachina - Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Cusco - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu

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Skip the trekking and instead delve into the culture and cuisine of the Andes. Begin with a market tour in colonial Lima before journeying along the coast to magical Arequipa for a cooking lesson in a local home. Watch condors soar overhead in the Colca Canyon and help out on a local farm. Wander through the cobbled streets of Cusco then journey into the Sacred Valley for a chocolate making workshop and trip to the iconic Machu Picchu.

What's included

  • Accommodation – price based on 2 people sharing
  • Breakfast
  • Transport as described
  • Excursions as described

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Location map

Your day-by-day itinerary

Markets & Plazas of Lima

A proud Latino city, often cloaked in mist from the Pacific Ocean and with a famed food scene, Lima fizzes with energy and is more than just a handy starting point for your holiday. You’ll spend 2 nights in a cosy hotel in a pleasant part of town, and you’ll be shown around the lively Miraflores food market and the charming colonial centre by your local Limeño guide, before setting off to explore the city independently.

Woman holding up fruit in a fruit market Lima

Sea Lions and Sand Dunes

Sleep next to a surreal desert lagoon and sail around islands crammed with sea lions. Welcome to the curious coastline of Peru. From Lima you’ll travel through coastal Peru by private car, with the surreal garúa mist rolling in from the sea, stopping to take a boat trip to the Islas Ballestas, where sea lions bark and penguins patrol along the shorelines. You’ll spend the evening and most of the next day in the charming oasis town of Huacachina, surrounded by sand dunes, before catching an overnight sleeper bu to Arequipa.

seals in peru

Culture and Cookery in Arequipa

Arequipa is an understated highlight of Peru – an attractive city with a distinct personality and a striking volcanic backdrop. Wander along cobbled streets to the local market and enter an explosion of colour, sounds and smells, before exploring the nooks and crannies of the fascinating Monasterio de Santa Catalina. During your time here you’ll also step inside a local home and learn the secrets of how to cook perfect quinoa, chicha or caldo verde from your Arequipeño host.

Woman cooking local dish with host

Condors in the Colca Canyon

Around twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Colca Canyon slices through the Andes and affords some of the most spectacular views on the continent. Joining a small group, you’ll begin with a scenic drive past volcanoes, lakes and grazing alpacas, before arriving at your lodge in the town of Coporaque. In the afternoon you can relax or head out hiking through this striking landscape with your guide.

Woman trekking Colca Canyon, Peru

In the morning you’ll head to the deepest part of the canyon – a nesting site for the huge Andean condor, where they glide on thermals close above your head. In the afternoon you can hike or relax in the nearby hot springs, before meeting Josefina and Oswaldo, who live in the valley and will host you tonight in their simple farmstay. After a tasty breakfast prepared with local ingredients, you’ll spend a couple of hours helping out (as best you can!) on the farm, before you continue you Peruvian journey.

Explore the Cobbled Streets of Cusco

Explore Cusco, the Inca heartland and a city of colourful contrasts. During this trip, you’ll spend two nights in Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Travellers from all over the world meet here before heading into the mountains, making it a lively hub of restaurants, bars and museums. Scattered with Inca ruins and colonial churches, it’s a brilliant place for an atmospheric wander.

Narrow street in Cusco Peru

Train Tracks to Machu Picchu

Skip the trekking and take the train to Machu Picchu, arriving in easy style. Train and car are a great way to explore the Sacred Valley without any of the sweat and blisters of trekking. If you’re looking to relax en route to Machu Picchu, it’s absolutely the best way to travel. You’ll spend a couple of nights in the relaxed town of Ollantaytambo, before hopping on the train to Aguas Calientes ready to see the Lost City the following morning. Afterwards, we’ll arrange your train ticket back to Cusco.

peru machu picchu train cusco_landscape_
Man standing with mountain view in the background in Peru

Speak to our Peru specialist, Ross

Speak to Ross, our Peru travel specialist, and start planning your holiday to Peru today.

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