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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.