Day 1 - Departure from the UK
Depart on a daytime flight to Lima. On arrival at Lima airport, you will be met by our representative who will take you to your hotel for two nights.
Day 2 - Tour of Lima & museums
A half day tour of the city to discover both colonial and modern districts of Lima. Following an earthquake in 1746, the city was elaborately rebuilt, and today wide streets, vast plazas and old houses with ornately carved balconies are a legacy of this period. Visit the Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrera in the suburb of Pueblo Libre. Founded in 1926 by the Peruvian archaeologist Rafael Larco Hoyle, the Larco Museum showcases remarkable chronological galleries providing an excellent overview on 3,000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Featuring the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru and to the famous erotic archaeological collection, this museum is one of the most visited Peruvian tourist attractions.
Day 3 - Fly to Lake Titicaca
Morning flight to Juliaca where we will transfer to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
Day 4 - Island communities of Lake Titicaca
Today you will venture onto Lake Titicaca to Uros and Taquile Islands. Although the Uros Indians of the floating islands have intermarried with Aymara Indians and no pure-blooded Uros exist, many of the inhabitants of the islands still practice the old traditions of fishing, trapping birds and living on the lake plants. The totora reeds which grow abundantly in the shallows of the lake are used for their boats, houses and islands. The Indians began living on the reed islands over 500 years ago when the Uros built the islands in an effort to isolate themselves from the Collas and the Incas. Continue to the beautiful island of Taquile, approximately 3 hours from the mainland. The island is famous for its fine weavings made by the local men who still wear their traditional dress - coded so that one knows who is married or single!
Day 5 - Andean Explorer Train
Crossing the Andes on the Puno – Cusco route is an unforgettable experience all on its own. But doing it aboard the PeruRail Titicaca Train will make this a truly once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The PeruRail Titicaca Train was created to provide passengers with all the luxuries they could want in a trip, while offering them a chance to forge a mystical connection with nature. The PeruRail Titicaca Train features an open-air observatory car, allowing you to take in the majestic views while enjoying the typical music and dances of the Peruvian highlands.
During your trip, you will have the chance to take panoramic pictures of some of the quintessential Andean landscapes. The route covered by the PeruRail Titicaca Train is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world, with a trip that lasts ten and a half hours. At the start of the journey, passengers are welcomed at the Wanchaq Station (Cusco) or the Puno Station, where local musicians will provide background music as you board the train. Once aboard, you can enjoy the two dining cars decorated in the style of the Pullman cars of the 1920s. Also, during the trip, you will enjoy a personalized service and have the finest in gourmet food.
Day 6 - Sacred Valley of the Incas
An early start by 07:30 for a full day tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop is at Chinchero to visit the local colourful and authentic market where indigenous people from the surrounding communities congregate to trade their goods, not only trading in money, but in goods as well. The Chinchero Market is also well-known for its woven handcrafts typical of the region. You will also visit a workshop where you can see the artisans of the region working in their place. From here we drive to the Moray ruins, used by the Incas as a type of open-air crop laboratory.
Our next stop is Maras pre-Inca salt mines located on a wide-open hill above the Urubamba Valley. From here we will continue down to the Urubamba River and stop to admire the beautiful views of the valley. Lunch. We cross a small bridge and arrive at a beautiful Spanish Hacienda, overlooking the Urubamba River.
We visit the huge fortress of Ollantaytambo, the archaeological complex believed to have been a gigantic agricultural, administrative, social, religious and military centre. The town itself is geometrically perfect; with straight streets, trapezoidal doors, and Inca drainage systems.
We continue to Pisac a small colonial village built by Viceroy Francisco de Toledo on the ruins of an Inca citadel, standing at the entrance to the immensely fertile Urubamba River valley which was called the "Sacred Valley of the Incas" for the agricultural produce and wealth it brought as the base of the Inca Empire. There is a tourist market with numerous shops full of handicrafts and weaving and also a food market for local people, particularly on Sunday when some women and children dress in their traditional costumes. We drive up the mountain above the town for a short to visit to the Pisac ruins. Entrance fees and lunch are included.
Day 7 - Cusco & Inca Ruins Tour
Departure from your hotel for a visit to the Cathedral in the main square of Cusco and the Koricancha, the Spanish church built on Inca stone foundations. The Cathedral, believed to be built on the foundations of the Palace of Viracocha, stands proudly in the main square and houses an interesting picture of the last supper where Jesus and his disciples are about to tuck into a guinea pig, a Peruvian delicacy.
We drive to the mountains above Cusco to visit the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuaman and Kenko. The largest complex and most famous of the ruins surrounding Cusco is Sacsayhuaman, a mighty fortress, built using massive stones some of which weigh over 100 tons, and somehow fitted together so neatly that even now, after so many years and earthquakes, one can still not slip a knife blade between the pieces of this huge jigsaw puzzle.
We will also explore Tambomachay ruins, which may have served as a military outpost or a spa resort for the Incan political elite; as well as the Puca Pucara site, a red granite huge fortress. On the return we stop at a vantage point above Cusco for a superb view of the city and the surrounding mountains, before returning to your hotel. Entrance fees are included.
Day 8 - Machu Picchu by Vistadome Train
Set off by Vistadome train along the course of the Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes. This is a spectacular journey through a dramatic and changing landscape with some fantastic views. From Aguas Calientes, you will be met by your guide and take a bus up the steep mountain side to the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu, which silently awaits. You will have a private guided tour of the ruins t...
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust