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.
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.
You’ll spend the next 2 nights in the youthful town of Puno, from where you’ll set off on a boat trip to the islands and communities of Lake Titicaca. Meet the locals who call this place home, visit a floating reed island, help prepare your lunch using underground ovens, and sit back as you glide across the still waters. Titicaca was a sacred place for the Incas, believed to be the birthplace of the sun, and the lake remains one of the most peaceful and beautiful spots on the continent.
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.
Inca Trail - Following Ancient Footsteps
Over the next few days, you’ll complete the iconic Inca Trail, twisting into the mountains for 44km along an ancient Inca trade route. After a first night in Cusco, you’ll set off early, joining a small group with your local guide and porters. You’ll cross mountain passes measuring a heady 4,200m, walk through cloud forests, and past ancient Inca checkpoints, before camping each night under the stars.
The trail isn’t easy, with some long uphill sections, but when you see Machu Picchu emerge between the clouds on your final morning, your efforts will be rewarded a thousand times over. After exploring the incredible ruins of the Lost City, you’ll take a scenic train ride back to Cusco where you can rest and enjoy the perks of civilisation once more. We’ll book you into the same hotel as before, where your luggage and a comfortable bed will be waiting.
Want to see the full day-by-day? It’s all on our Inca Trail trip page!