17 days

Travel through the Andes of Peru and Bolivia

After arriving in Lima, you will fly to the classic white city of Arequipa, surrounded by snowcapped volcanoes. The journey continues by traveling to the beautiful Colca Canyon, ruled by the mighty condor! Traveling from the depts. of the Colca Canyon, over the Andean Mountains, your will reach the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca. Here you can visit the interesting Uros, Taquile, or Sillustani cultures.

Then it is time to time to travel to the famous city of Cusco, the fertile Sacred Valley and the impressive site of Machu Picchu!
In Bolivia you will visit the sacred town of Copacabana; the chaotic and colorful ‘Market City’ of La Paz; the surrealistic Salar de Uyuni and Sucre, the elegant, colonial capital of Bolivia!

Lake Titicaca tours

Short itinerary Travel through the Andes of Peru and Bolivia:

Day 1: Arrival in Lima and direct flight to Arequipa (2400m)
Day 2: Free day in Arequipa
Day 3: Arequipa – Colca Cañon (3650m)
Day 4: Colca Cañon – Puno (3820m)
Day 5: Puno – Optional: Titicaca Tours – Puno – Cusco
Day 6:  Arrive in Cusco and free day
Day 7: Sacred Valley Tour
Day 8: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Day 9: Cusco -> Puno
Day 10: Puno -> Copacabana (optional Isla del Sol)
Day 11: Copacabana – La Paz and free afternoon
Day 12: Early flight to Uyuni and start of 3 days Salar Tour
Day 13: Salar de Uyuni Tour
Day 14: Last day of Salar tour, Laguna Colorada – Uyuni
Day 15: Uyuni – Sucre, very scenic ride by public bus
Day 16: Free day in Sucre
Day 17: Sucre -> Santa Cruz – Santa Cruz -> back home

Long itinerary of Travel through the Andes of Peru and Bolivia


Day 1: Arrival in Lima and direct flight to Arequipa (2400m)

Arequipa plazaArrive In Lima at … Flight from Lima to Arequipa around 19:20h
After arriving at the airport of Arequipa, we will bring you directly to your hotel in the colonial center of this beautiful city.
Arequipa is also called ‘The White City’, because most of the buildings in the city center are built with stones of volcanic white sillar. To most Peruvians their ‘Ciudad Blanca’, surrounded by impressive volcanoes is the most beautiful city in Peru.
Today you can discover for yourself if the Peruvians are right about their city. Three of the highlights to visit today include: Plaza de Armas, Santa Catalina Convent and Museo Santuarios Andinos.
Overnight and breakfast in Arequipa

Day 3: Arequipa – Colca Canyon (3650m)

Around 8:00 am this morning you will start your tour to the famous Colca Cañon, in shared service, with other international tourists.
Vicuñas Colca CanyonAlong the way there is time enough to enjoy the view and make some great pictures. The road crosses through two National Parks with beautiful scenery’s and a guaranty to see many lama’s and alpaca’s. Most likely you will even 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 the bus cross a pass at 4900m altitude, you decent towards the village of Chivay (3600m). You will get free time 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, which is either in Chivay, or one of the surrounding villages.
In the afternoon you can go for a short hike in the beautiful surroundings and/or relax in the hot springs of Chivay. Overnight + breakfast in the Colca Cañon

Day 4: Colca Cañon – Puno (3820m)

Colca Canyon cultureGet up at 5 am, have breakfast and leave between 6:10 and 6:30 am in the direction of the famous viewpoint ‘Cruz del Condor’. The scenic ride takes about 2 hours, incl. picture stops at amazing viewpoints over the Colca Valley!
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 lucky 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. Time to lunch before the bus goes to Puno
13:30 h – From the Plaza in Chivay you leave with Tourist Bus 4M to Puno, another beautiful ride with great sceneries (5h.).
Overnight + breakfast in Puno

Day 5: Puno – Optional: Titicaca Tours – Puno – Cusco

Taquile Island culture TiticacaPeruvians see Puno as their musical capital and there are often small parades in the streets. From Puno start every day tours to the islands on this side of Lake Titicaca.
In the morning you can decide for yourself if you want to visit the famous Uros Islands. Here the descendants of the Uros will give you a warm welcome and explain you more about their history, present culture and floating reed islands.
You can extend this tour with an afternoon visit to 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.
Sillustani tour Puno
Another option for the afternoon is to visit the mysterious towers of Sillustani. The Collas who supposedly had contact with the Tiawanaku culture, build these towers to bury their death. The Inca’s later adopted and improved these techniques to build their cities.
At 22:00 h you take a comfortable overnight bus from Puno to Cusco (7h)

Day 6: Arrive in Cusco and free day

Qoricancha Temple Cuzco5:00 am – Transfer from bus terminal to hotel in Cusco
Early check-in in your hotel in Cusco
Today you have a free day to discover the interesting city of Cusco, where it’s many historical sites (incl. Sacsayhuaman, and the temple of the Sun, Qurikancha) and museums keep even the most experienced traveler busy! Other options include: a rafting tour, horseback riding, mountain biking, quad riding, etc.
Overnight + breakfast in hotel in Cusco

Day 7: Private Sacred Valley Tour

Salineras de MarasToday at 7:30 am you start your own private Sacred Valley Tour (incl. visits to: Pisac ruins, Pisac, Salineras, and Ollantaytambo. The tour starts with a visit to the archeological site of Pisac. Passing along the ruins and enjoying the great views over the valley the guide will explain you part of the impressive Inca history.
After visiting the archeological site of Pisac, you will have time to stroll around on the colorful market in the village of Pisac.
From Pisac you drive in about an hour to the salt pans of Salineras.For centuries already the Maras civilization extracts here salt from a small stream of salty water that comes out of the mountain. They catch the water in small shallow pools and let it dry in the sun, until they have only salt left. The view of these white pans in the green valley is mind blowing! After Salineras you drive in an hour to the friendly tourist town of Ollantaytambo.
Ollantaytambo fortress
From Ollantaytambo your guide will lead you around the ancient Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. This fortress is one of the very few places where the Inca’s won a big battle against the Spanish conquistadors.
At … h, after visiting the interesting site of Ollantaytambo, you take the train towards Aguas Calientes (now officially called Machu Picchu Pueblo).
Overnight + breakfast in Aguas Calientes

Day 8: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco

Machu Picchu toursToday you can choose to get up early as 5:00 am, have breakfast (incl.) and leave with the first bus at 5:30 am towards Machu Picchu,  so you will have the whole morning, until 12 pm to visit the most famous Inca -, or maybe even the most famous archeological site in the world!
Although the site is famous, it is also still covered with mysteries about its original purpose, how the Inca’s could build this city on and between the mountain tops and even about its original name. Did you know that the name Machu Picchu, just means “Old Mountain” and is actually the Quechua name of the mountain behind ‘Machu Picchu’. More tips and information information about Machu Picchu.
After your interesting guided tour over the site of Machu Picchu you will still (at the moment of writing) have some free time to explore the site by yourself and take amazing pictures from the viewpoint at the ‘Caretakers Hut’.

Huayna Picchu MountainYour train back to Ollantaytambo and Cusco will leave at … h (you have to be half an hour before at the train station), to give you the possibility to take beautiful pictures when most tourists have to leave the site and the warm light of the afternoon sun takes their place.
Important note: For everyone who wants to climb Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, at the edges of the archeological site of Machu Picchu, make sure to let us know BEFORE your booking and we will check availability.
When you climb the Huyana Picchu Mountain there is also a ‘secret trail’, which goes to the back of the mountain to visit the original Temple of the Moon. This beautiful trail takes an additional two hours and you have to start before noon from the top of the Huayna Picchu Mountain.
Overnight + breakfast in hotel in Cusco


Day 9: Cusco - Puno

Around 8:00 am you leave Cusco with a comfortable tourist bus. Along a scenic road you drive out of the valley of Cusco, into the highlands (highest point along the road is 4300 m) and towards Lake Titicaca and Puno (7h).
Overnight and breakfast in Puno.

Day 10: Puno – Bolivia - Copacabana

Copacabana Titicaca Bolivia
In the morning you ride in about 4 hours, inclusive an easy border crossing, from Puno to Copacabana.
After arriving we have the whole afternoon to explore this ‘pilgrim/ backpacker’ town.
You can also decide visit the cathedral, to relax on the beach shore of Lake Titicaca or to climb the Cerro Calvario (Witches Mountain) to watch a beautiful sunset.
It is also possible to join a half day trip to Isla del Sol. This island offers beautiful sceneries and views over the lake and according to some Inca stories it was also the birth place of their first Inca.
Overnight in Copacabana.

Day 11: Copacabana – La Paz (3600 m)

La Paz culture BoliviaIt takes about 4 hours to travel along a winding road, with great views and inclusive crossing the smallest point of Lake Titicaca, to arrive in La Paz. Private transfer from Bus Station to hotel in La Paz
In the afternoon you can stroll through the historical center of La Paz. ‘La Paz’ translates as ‘The Peace’, but ‘The Market’ would have been a better name for this busy never sleeping city. This is one of the best places to shop for souvenirs, or maybe even buy an amulet on the mysterious witches market. We can also highly recommend to ‘take a ride’ in the new Teleferico above La Paz, with great views over the city, the valley and the snowcapped Cordillera Real mountain range around La Paz!
Overnight + breakfast in La Paz

Day 12: Early flight to Uyuni and start of 3 days Salar Tour

Hexagonal salt shapes on the Salar5:00 am – Private transfer from hotel to airport in La Paz
Flight from La Paz to Uyuni:  06:30 – 07:15
7:15 am – Transfer from Airport to the Hotel (to leave part of your luggage)
10:30 am start from the hostel – 3 Days surrealistic Salar de Uyuni Tour in shared international service, incl. transport, overnights, meals and entrance fees (no guide).
Today you have a relaxed day, visiting the seemingly endless salt flats of Uyuni. You can use this special white landscape to make many funny and unrealistic pictures! Read this article for more information about the Salar de Uyuni. We will also visit a small hotel build out of salt blocks and we have lunch on a coral island with huge cactuses in the middle of the salt flat, a surrealistic experience!
Tonight you sleep in a small local village close to the salt flats.

Day 13: Salar de Uyuni Tour, Laguna Colorada

Laguna Colorada BoliviaDay two of the adventures Salar Tour include seeing: scenic landscapes, special rock formations, vicuñas, a smoking volcano, several lakes, incl. Laguna Colorada and even flamingos!
Tonight we go to sleep very early in simple barracks close to Laguna Colorada, a lake at 4200m altitude that receives its color from many different minerals and flamingos!

Day 14: Last day of Salar tour, Laguna Colorada – Uyuni

Laguna Verde BoliviaOn the third day you get up very early (cold!) to visit a natural hot spring, geysers and steaming hot mud pools, which look almost like witches use them as cooking holes in the ground. After this cold, but impressive experience, you will pass the the ‘Dali Landscape’ and Laguna Verde
On the way back to Uyuni we drive through even more impressive landscapes with vicuñas and colorful lakes with flamingos!
Tonight we sleep in ‘the army town’ called Uyuni, in Tonito Hotel, next to the army base the best pizza restaurant of Bolivia.

Note: tour itinerary for the Salar can be slightly different, depending on park regulations and availability of hostels.


Day 15: Uyuni - Sucre, very scenic ride by public bus

Sucre culture BoliviaAround 9:30 am, after breakfast you can take a taxi (let the hotel help you to book one) to the bus office
10:00 am – A very scenic Bus ride of 8 hours from Uyuni to Sucre, which is the official capital of Bolivia!
After arriving in Sucre, you have to take a Taxi (because the arrival times of these busses are too irregular) from bus station to hotel in Sucre (2790 m)
Overnight with breakfast in Hostal in Sucre

Day 16: Free day in Sucre

Sucre trekking BoliviaToday you can decide to find out for yourself why Sucre is often called the most beautiful city of Bolivia, but you can also decide to join a spectacular hike or bike tour in the surroundings of Sucre. The hike is called the Full Day Rockpaintings Hike. The hiking starts at about an hour from Sucre, passing the chapel of Chataquila at 3.665m. We follow the rim of theRockpaintings Hike in Sucre, Bolivia “Cordillera de los Frailes”.

Halfway this hike you visit the rock paintings in the Caves of the Inca Machay and of the Puma. Walking down to the rock paintings will give you splendid views of the valley of the Rio Ravelo and the Crater of Maragua. After visiting the rock paintings you will walk down to a few rivers that we’ll cross and from there you go down to the village of Tumpeka. from here we drive in 2 hours back to Sucre.
Overnight with breakfast in Hostel in Sucre


Day 17: Sucre - Santa Cruz - back home

9:00 am – Transfer from hotel to airport in Sucre
Flight from Sucre to Santa Cruz: 10:30 – 11:00 am
Your international flight leaves at …

Important: For more information about Altitude sickness, we recommend you to check: Symptoms of altitude sickness

Incusive and recommended to bring with:

Included in the tour is:
–    All services as described in the itinerary above incl.:
–    15 nights in middle class hotels (basic during the Salar tour) incl. breakfast (except    in Copacabana)
–    1 Night in a bus from Puno to Cusco
–    3 Flights
–    All transfers in private services
–    All transport over long distances over the road in confortable public busses (Uyuni -> Sucre is semi comfortable,  because there is no other option)
–    A 2 days tour in shared services into the Colca Cañon
–    A private tour into the Sacred Valley, incl. Entrance fees
–    A visit to Machu Picchu, incl. Entrance fees
–    A 3 days tour in shared services (no guide, because no guide who speaks good English wants to work in Uyuni. There is also not much of a need, the drivers are very helpfull) into the Salar de Uyuni

Not included:
–    Services not described in the itinerary above
–    Meals, unless described different
–    Visa for Peru, or Bolivia (travelers from the USA)
–    Entrance fees that are not mentioned in the itinerary
–    Drinks and other personal spending’s
–    International banking costs
–    Obligated travel insurance

Recommendations about what to bring:

–    Small backpack (45 liters)
–    Big backpack or bag
–    Sleeping bag -10 Cª for the Salar Tour (you can also rent one for around 11,- US$ p.p.)
–    Sportive clothes (short pants, t-shirt, sunhat)
–    Sunglasses with UV protection
–    Sun block and repellent
–    Swimming clothes
–    Warm clothes (thermal underwear, fleece jacket and pants, waterproof jacket and pants, gloves, wool hat, 2 or 3 pairs of cotton and wool socks)
–    Camera
–    Headlamp or flashlight
–    Good shoes
–    Sandals/ flip flops
–    Something to make a back-up of your pictures
–    Digital copy of your passport and insurance details

Local girl with lama in Chivay
Gate on Taquile Island
Views during Sucre hike
Santa Cruz nightlife
Salineras de Maras salt pans
Selling coca leaves on market
View of Pisac Inca Ruins
Piles of salt on the Salar
Geysers, Salar Tour
Flamingos in Laguna Colorada
View from Huayna Picchu Mountain
Plaza de Armas, Cusco
Cathedral in Copacabana
Baby vicuñas in Colca
Inca terraces in Colca Valley
Cruz del Condor viewpoint
Plaza de Armas in Arequipa

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