The most popular tour in Peru
Because we know that a tour of two weeks can be very busy, with not enough time to really enjoy your traveling, we have balanced this tour, so the busy days are followed by free days in interesting places, like Arequipa and Cusco.
To give you more clarity about the total price we have already included the most popular excursions, like: Islas Ballestas, sleeping in the oasis of Huacachina, a tour to Colca Cañon, visiting the islands in Lake Titicaca, a Sacred Valley Tour near Cusco and of course a visit to Machu Picchu. On request you can make this very complete tour even more complete, or personal with your own ideas or using some of the options mentioned below.
For a much better price quality comparison, you will travel long distances with comfortable public transport. Another advantage to travel this way is that you are not just a spectator behind a window, but you temporarily become part of daily Peruvian life.
Short itinerary of The most popular tour in Peru:
Day 1: Arrival in Lima
Day 2: Lima – Paracas – Huacachina
Day 3: Huacachina – Nasca – comfortable night bus
Day 4: Arequipa
Day 5: Arequipa
Day 6: Arequipa – Colca Cañon
Day 7: Colca Cañon – Puno
Day 8: Puno – Uros – Amantani
Day 9: Amantani – Taquile – comfortable night bus
Day 10: Cusco
Day 11: Cusco
Day 12: Cusco – Sacred Valley – Aguas Calientes
Day 13: Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu – Cusco
Day 14: Cusco
Day 15: Cusco – Lima – End of tour.
The most popular tour in Peru, complete itinerary
Day 1: Lima
Arrival in Lima. Lima is the capital of Peru and has more than 10 million inhabitants. Despite this huge amount of citizens and the busy traffic, it is still recommendable to visit the impressive colonial city center. A popular city tour will bring you through the Plaza de Armas, the impressive San Francisco monastery, with colonial style catacombs and even Parque del Amor on the coast. If you have enough time it is also recommendable to visit the interesting Larco Museum and in the evening the spectacular lightshow of Parque del Agua.
Day 2: Lima - Islas Ballestas - Huacachina
A busy, but very varied day! You leave today very early by comfortable public bus to the harbor of Paracas. At 8 am you will join a two hour boat-tour around Islas Ballestas, included. Some people refer to these ‘arch’ islands as ‘Little Galapagos’, because of their abundant birdlife, the presence of many sea lions and even some penguins.
After the Ballestas tour you will travel with private transport from Paracas to your hotel in Huacachina. Just before arriving you will also visit a farm where they grow grapes and make Pisco, the famous National drink of Peru! After arriving in Huacachina you can choose to relax and/or join a spectacular ‘Sunset Buggy Tour’ over the sand dunes around Huacachina, an adventures ending for an interesting first full day in Peru!
Day 3: Huacachina - Nasca - Arequipa
Today it is only a 2 hour bus ride to Nasca, famous for the presence of the mysterious Nasca-lines. There are still many theories about why and how these lines were drew in the dessert, but most likely the real answer will always stay a mystery. Depending on the weather conditions it is optional to fly in the morning or afternoon over these lines.
Under normal circumstances there will be plenty of time left to also visit the unique cemetery of Chauchilla, where century old, but well preserved mummies and skeletons look up at you from their holes in the dessert ground.
Tonight around 22:00h you will take a very luxury public bustowards Arequipa.
Day 4: Arequipa
Before arriving in Arequipa they will serve a small breakfast with coffee or tea. After arriving in Arequipa around 7:30 am you have a free day to discover Arequipa (on 2350m altitude) and start acclimatizing. Arequipa is also called ‘The White City’, because most of the buildings in the city center are build with stones of volcanic white sillar. To most Peruvians their ‘Ciudad Blanca’, surrounded by impressive volcanoes is the most beautiful city in Peru. Discover for yourself if you agree with them. We recommend to visit at least the famous Juanita Ice Princes and impressive Santa Catalina Convent.
Day 5: Arequipa
Day 6: Arequipa - Colca Canyon
Today you will join together for two days with some other international travelers to visit the famous Colca Cañon. The road crosses through two National Parks with beautiful views and a guarantee to see many lama’s and alpaca’s. Most likely we will also see some vicuñas. These elegant members of the South American camel family are more shy and are protected by Peruvian law, to preserve them from extinction.
After crossing a pass at 4900 m altitude, the bus descents towards the village of Chivay (3600 m). You will get free time here to walk around on your own and have lunch on the market or in a local restaurant.
After lunch you will be brought to your hotel in Chivay, or one of the surrounding villages. Around sunset you can go to the hot springs were the spring water is so hot that it needs to be cooled down before it enters the several small swimming pools.
Note: It is optional to book an alternative Colca Cañon tour, or even to visit the the Cotahuasi Cañon, the deepest canyon in the world!
Day 7: Colca Canyon - Chivay - Puno
Today you will have to get up early to drive along a very scenic route with great views over the the Colca Cañon to the special condor viewpoint ‘Cruz del Condor’. Depending on the season it is almost a guaranty to see condors ascending from the depth of the canon where they have their nests. This fact makes that Cruz del Condor draws many tourists, but luckily for us these giant birds don’t seem to be the least disturbed with all this attention.
After saying goodbye to the condors, you drive back to Chivay. Here you have time to lunch before going to Puno.
Days 8 and 9: Puno - Lake Titicaca - Uros - Taquile - Amantani -- Cusco
Peruvians see Puno (3830m) as their musical capital and there are often small parades in the streets. From Puno start every day tours to the famous islands of this side of Lake Titicaca and for you it is included to join one of these tours. The tour leaves around 8:00 am and the first stop is at the floating reed islands, were the descendents of the Uros give you a warm welcome. After learning more about their culture, the tour continues over Lake Titicaca towards Amantani Island.
On this small island with great views, but no cars and limited electricity, the people live mostly from farming, fishing and tourism. You will be invited to stay and eat with a local family, learn more about their culture and enjoy a beautiful sunset above Lake Titicaca.
Next day the boat takes you to nearby Taquile, the island where men have to knit hats to ‘conquer’ their wife. While you walk across the island your guide will explain more about the history and culture of Taquile.
A three hour boat trip takes you back to Puno and after dinner you ride with a very comfortable night bus in about 7 hours to Cusco.
Day 10: Cusco
Day 11: Cusco - Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes
For today we’ve included a beautiful private tour through the Sacred Valley. The tour starts with a visit to the huge archeological site of Pisac. Passing along the impressive ruins build on a hill, you can enjoy the great views over the Sacred Valley.
After visiting the archeological site of Pisac, you will have time to stroll around on the colorful market of the village of Pisac and or have lunch.
On the way to the village of Ollantaytambo, you will also bring a visit to Salineras. This is a pre-Inca salt winning place from the Maras culture. Hundreds of years ago they started to collect the water from a mountain in small shallow pools. The sun would dry the water and what was left was salt. Even now this system is still working and the white ‘salt pans’ profide a great view in the green valley. From Salineras you drive further to the village of Ollantaytambo.
After a short walk through the village, your guide will lead you around the ancient Inca fortress of this village. The fortress of Ollantaytambo is one of the very few places where the Inca’s won a big battle against the Spanish conquistadors.
After visiting this interesting site you will say goodbye to your guide and take the train to Aguas Calientes (now officially called Machu Picchu Pueblo).
Those who booked the famous Classic 4-days Inca Trail, will stay tonight in Ollantaytambo, so tomorrow they don’t have to get up as early as their companions who leave from Cusco.
Day 12: Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Today you can choose to get up early as 5:00 am to leave with the first bus at 5:30 am towards Machu Picchu, so you will have the whole morning until noon to visit the most famous Inca -, or maybe even the most famous archeological site in the world.
Today also start the different optional hikes towards Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo (or Cusco). These hikes include the famous Inca Trail, the impressive 4-day Salkantay Trek and the Inca Jungle Tour.
Although the site of Machu Picchu is famous, it is also still covered with mysteries about its original purpose, how the Inca’s could build this town on and between the mountain tops and even about its original name! More information about Machu Picchu.
After you’re guided tour of 2h30 min. around Machu Picchu, you will have free time to explore the impressive archaeological site by yourself and try to get a feeling of how it must have been to work and life here while Machu Picchu was still a busy Inca town! Your train and bus back to Ollantaytambo and Cusco will leave late afternoon/ evening, to give you enough time to relax and have lunch in the tropical tourist town of Aguas Calientes. Note: please let us know already with your booking if you want to climb the Huayna Picchu, or Machu Picchu Mountain.
Day 13: Cusco
A free day to discover Cusco and surrounding, where its many historical sites and museums keep even the most experienced traveler busy. We highly recommend to explore the historical, small and steep streets around Plaza de Armas and the San Blas area, where you can admire combinations of Inca and Colonial architecture. Other options include a rafting tour, horseback riding, mountain biking, bungee jumping, parapenting, or maybe even visiting an interesting volunteer project.
Day 14: Cusco
Day 15: Cusco - Lima
Today we have scheduled in the tour an early flight back to Lima is, but this itinerary can easily be changed for passengers who want to stay longer in Cusco (30 US$ p.p. for each night longer. Please inform us with your booking if you want to stay longer.
Note 1: day 15: If you had booked an Inca Trail, or other trekking you will arrive today in the evening back in Cusco. Your flight to Lima will be re-scheduled for day 16 in the morning.
Aditional information about flying over the Nasca Lines:
Due to ‘new’ regulations from 2012, persons who weigh more than 90 kg might be asked to pay 40% additional! There is a balance at the airport and each passenger will be obligated to step on this balance before entering the plane…
Please let us know with your booking if you want to fly over The Nasca Lines and what your weight is and we try to give you as soon as possible the actual flight prices for that date.
Tour extention options:
For more information about extending this tour with an adventures trekking, please visit: Recommendable Machu Picchu options in Peru!
Another highly recommendable extention of this tour can be to visit the Amazon Rainforest. Please check out our tour options for more information: Our Amazon Tour Selection in Peru!
Included and recommended to bring on this tour:
This tour includes:
– ALL transfers with private transport!
– Overnight stays in hotels with a price range between 40-60 US$, including all breakfasts
– Day 3 and 9: night bus, we don’t have a hotel today
– Transport over long distances in public busses and:
– Train Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu Pueblo-Ollantaytambo
– Bus Machu Picchu Pueblo – ruins of Machu Picchu (2 ways)
– Entrance fee to Machu Picchu + guided tour, please be informed that you already have to decide with the booking of your tour if you want to climb up Huyana Picchu, or Machu Picchu mountain (30 US$ additional fee).
– Flight Cusco-Lima, including airport taxes
– Included tours, always have English speaking guides:
– day 2: Tour to Islas Ballestas in pool, including entrance fee
– day 6-7: Colca Canyon, including entrance fees
– day 8-9: Lake Titicaca, including entrance fees
– day 11: Sacred Valley Tour in private services, including transport, guide and entrance fees worth USD 26 per person.
– 24h emergency support in English
The price doesn’t include:
– Optional excursions
– Extensions of the tour.
– International flights
– Other entrance fees, not mentioned in the itinerary (exit) taxes for international flights, food and other personal expenses
– Tips (in restaurants, for guides, drivers and more) during the tour
– Additional price for one person a room,around 200 US$
– All things not mentioned in the tour above
– International banking costs
– Obligated travel and health insurance
We recommend you to check the local visa and vaccination obligations.
We recommend you to bring at least with:
– Valid identification and travel documents and when needed a valid visa
– The information of your travel insurance
– Valid vaccinations, ask you countries health centre for more information
– A good backpack, or big sport-bag, preferable no hard suitcase
– A small day (back)pack
– Good shoes
– A warm jacket/ fleece
– A rain jacket/ poncho
– A warm sweater
– Two light trousers
– One pair of shorts
– 3 T-shirts
– A flashlight
– Something to be able to back-up your photos
– Protection against the sun and mosquito’s (you can also buy in Peru)
Be aware that Peru is not a Third World Country anymore, so most things are available. If you do have any doubts about what to bring, please feel free to ask us.
Note 1: During high season, from half May until half of September, this tour will cost 50 US$ p.p. more.