Travel to Peru in style, from the hot coastal plains to the high cities of Cuzco and ancient Machu Picchu. Uncover charming colonial towns, stunning Andean landscapes, Inca ruins, colourful markets and a fascinating local culture. Tour through Lima, Pisco, Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. This majestic adventure will take you into the true heart of Peru, unveiling a fascinating culture that is sure to astound.


Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
Lima, Peru
Country
Peru
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
GGKP
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Opt to trek the 1-Day Inca Trail, an excellent option for those wanting to experience trekking in Peru, but don’t want to do the full four days.

  • The giant desert inscriptions of the Nazca Lines are one of Peru's great unsolved mysteries. Scrutinise them up close on a viewing platform or from a bird's-eye-view on an optional flight

  • Cuzco is a great city to explore on foot. Enter a bygone era as you explore the ancient Incan ruins dotted all over the city

  • A trip through Peru wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Enjoy a guided tour around the ruins as well as plenty of free time to discover it on your own

  • Spend a full day exploring the floating islands of Lake Titicaca and Taquile Island, with the chance to meet the local Uru people

Is this trip right for you?

  • Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. If possible, arrive a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

On arrival at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport you will be transferred to your hotel. You'll meet your tour leader and the other members of your group for a pre-tour briefing, which is usually held at 2 pm. Please check the noticeboard near the hotel reception for confirmation of the location of the meeting. Afterwards, your leader will take you on a brief walking tour within the Miraflores area.

This evening, you may want to go out for a group dinner. There are a number of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Lima has some of the most superb cuisine in South America and is especially renowned for its exceptional seafood. During your time here, you may wish to try ceviche, Peru’s national dish, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and often served with hot peppers. This culinary delight is a must for all seafood lovers!

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
  • Lima - Museum of the Inquisition visit - Free
  • Lima - Pachacamac Tour (30 km from downtown) - USD37
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Optional Activities
If you wish to take part in any of the optional activities mentioned below, you will need to book additional accommodation prior to the tour start date as there won't be any spare time on day one once the tour has commenced.
This morning your leader will take you on a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre. Flanked by streets of ornate mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima. Take a walk through the old streets to get a feel for colonial life. On one side of the plaza is the Cathedral of Lima, which houses the remains of Lima's founder, Francisco Pizarro. Visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains. Continue onto the Central market where you'll take a walking tour. The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer, including fruits, vegetables and even guinea pigs. You'll also have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street food. Next head away from the tourist trail and visit ‘Alameda de Chabuca Granda’ an area really only known to locals, it is a place where people go as a treat to enjoy a variety local street food and authentic Peruvian desserts such as ‘Mazamorra Morada’ a sweet porridge made from purple corn or ‘Picarones’ Peruvian donuts made from local squash called Macre and sweet potatoes served with a sweet syrup, these are a must try whilst in Peru!
Later, travel by minivan for around four hours to Paracas, arriving in the late afternoon/early evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lima - Guided tour, including San Francisco Monastery, the Catacombs and Central Market
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Cathedral visit - PEN12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Awake early for an excursion to the Islas Ballestas and make your way to Paracas' port, where you'll board a boat bound for the islands. Islas Ballestas are home to an abundance of wildlife, including pelicans, red-footed boobies, flamingos, sea lions and even penguins. You'll have the opportunity to see the wildlife up close on a boat tour of the islands (approximately 1.5-2 hours). Between June and September the port may be closed due to weather conditions, if this is the case, an alternative land tour of the Paracas National Reserve will be arranged.

You will be driven in a private van from Paracas to Nazca next. This is a three hour drive, but we may stop at the oasis town of Huacachina on the way. Nazca’s origins date back to the 2nd century BC and here, in the dry desert conditions, mummies, textiles, ceramics and other relics have been remarkably well preserved to give archaeologists clear snapshots of this highly developed civilisation. Visit the viewing platform here or to get a bird's eye view of the lines, you can choose to go on a flight tour of the area. The flight is 30 minutes long and covers the 26 figures scattered throughout the desert.

Notes: The flight can be bumpy and it is only recommended for those with a strong stomach. There have been safety issues with these flights in the past, so we have done our best to research the best operators in the area to recommend to you. Our tour leaders are prohibited from recommending or booking through any other operators. This optional tour (flight) costs about US$100 per person (price subject to change).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ballestas Island - Guided tour
Optional Activities
  • Nazca - Flight Over the Nazca Lines - USD100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Nazca Lines flight:
On occasion Nazca lines flights may be cancelled due to poor weather conditions. Should this happen on the day you have booked this activity, it will be rescheduled to the following morning (day 4 of this trip)

Altitude sickness:
Altitude sickness is a common occurrence in this part of the world. Anyone can suffer from the symptoms, so it's important to be prepared for it. Please see the 'Health' section of the trip notes for more information.
Today will be a long day of travel. You will journey to Arequipa by private van (approximately 12 hours including toilet and lunch stops) It is well worth it though, Arequipa is a beautiful Spanish colonial city, known as ‘La Ciudad Blanca’ (The White City) because the buildings have been built almost exclusively from a white volcanic material called 'sillar'. The city lies in a beautiful valley and at the foot of the 5822-metre-high El Misti volcano, a perfectly shaped cone.
Arequipa is without doubt one of the most beautiful cities in Peru. Protected by mountains, its wild surrounding landscape consists of high altitude deserts, hot springs and abyssal canyons.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There will be a walking tour arranged with a local guide that will take you to visit the main square, the Santa Catalina Monastery, the San Ignacio Chapel with its colonial mural paintings and the suburb of Yanahuara. Otherwise, relaxing in a cafe in the main plaza is the perfect way to spend your time here.
You will have some free time today. Perhaps visit the Juanita Mueseum.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Arequipa - Walking tour
  • Arequipa - San Ignacio Chapel Visit
  • Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery
  • Arequipa - Cathedral Visit
Optional Activities
  • Arequipa - Juanita Museum - PEN20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by minivan to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca (approx 8hrs). On the way we stop at the Sillustani archaeological site.
Tucked away in between the many small villages around Puno are the ruins of Sillustani. These ruined towers are set on a beautiful peninsula near Lake Umayo, built by a pre-Inca civilisation hundreds of years ago. The Sillustani Indians built several 'chullpas', funeral towers. Each tower would have contained the remains of noble men, buried together with offerings to secure their comfortable passage into the next life.
Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, so if you're lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sillustani archaeological site (time permitting)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Tour the lake by slow motor boat stopping off to visit the floating islands. The Uros originally built the islands from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the lake's shallows to isolate themselves from the rival tribes. As the reeds closest to the water begin to rot, more layers are added on top. These reeds are used for making everything on the islands, including the boats which can last up to 12 months.
We will also visit the Taquile Island, where knitting is strictly a male domain and women do the spinning. This is a great place to pick up some high quality, locally knitted goods. To reach the main part of the island there is a an uphill trek (approx 1 hour) with great views of the lake. There will also be an optional lunch consisting of a basic set meal where you can taste the nutritious quinua soup and enjoy a muna tea (Andean mint tea).
A descent of approx 500 steps brings us back to the boat which will take us all the way back to Puno (approx 3 hours).

Puno is the hometown of Kusimayo, a terrific local organisation that works towards improving the living condition of children and adults affected by poverty and malnutrition in this part of the world you have now come to know so well. Take a look at this short video for more information on this wonderful project: https://vimeo.com/154422813
Kusimayo is supported by the Intrepid Foundation which means you can donate to this project and your donation will be match dollar for dollar by the Intrepid Group. Please donate through our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/kusimayo/
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by local bus across the spectacular Altiplano to Cuzco (approx 6.5 hours including stops)
The Cuzco region truly is the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here.
Today Cuzco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
Take the time to acclimatise to the city's 3,450 m (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city. Your tour leader will take you out on an orientation walk. You’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. Finally you’ll visit the Chocolate museum where there will be an opportunity to sample a hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. This might be a good opportunity to purchase some gifts or souvenirs. There’s a small store where you’ll find various handicrafts and a variety of artisanal chocolate products. Tonight is free, perhaps head out for dinner your fellow travellers. Your leader will be able to recommend some good place sot eat!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cuzco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You have a free day to explore Cusco today.
For you to make the most of your free time in Cusco, your trip includes a “Full Boleto Turistico”, a tourist pass that gives you access to 15 archaeological sites in and around Cusco, including Qenqo, Tambomachay, Pukapukara, Saqsaywaman, amongst others.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You will drive on to the Sacred Valley on a private bus today.
Just outside of Cuzco you will visit the fortress ruins of Sacsayhuaman where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you an awesome picture of how highly developed Inca engineering was. Looking over the city from its hilltop position, the fortress is built out of massive stone blocks and is the ultimate example of the Inca's military strength. After this included visit we'll continue on to the Sacred Valley. Located between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo the Sacred Valley was greatly treasured because of its climate, fertile land and the presence of the Urubamba (Sacred) River.
You will visit a local community here, to gain a greater insight into the local lifestyle. If it happens to be market day, you will be able to wander the stalls and hunt down beautiful hand painted beads and ponchos. You will enjoy lunch with the local community.
Next you will head to the town of Ollantaytambo. Built over an ancient Inca town, which is a magnificent example of Inca urban planning, this is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. Ollantaytambo's archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas and the upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below.
You will leave the majority of your luggage in Cusco while you spend time in Sacred Valley, Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu, be sure to bring a small backpack that you can pack with necessary goods for the days ahead.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Regular Itinerary:
Nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu, your destination today will be Aguas Calientas. You will travel by train for 90 minutes through the winding Urubamba Valley to reach town.
The remainder of the afternoon is free to relax.

1-Day Inca Trail:
This morning begins at approximately 6:30am. We'll take a train the beginning of the trek.
You begin our walk by crossing the Vilcanota / Urubamba River where we enter the Inca Trail at approximately 9am. Soon after we visit Inca ruins of Chachabamba.
After an upwards climb, you arrive at the Inca site Wiñay Wayna ('Forever Young') (2680m/8792ft). This is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural centre with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector. Many consider this the most impressive site on the whole Inca Trail.
You will then continue for about one hour further onto 'Inti Punku' (The 'Sun gate') (2730m/8792ft) from where you will have your views of Machu Picchu (2400m/7873ft). As you are arriving late in the day you may be lucky enough to enjoy the view by yourself!
Built around 1450, the city was deserted less than a century later following the Spanish invasion and ‘lost’ for hundreds of years before it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. The architecture of Machu Picchu is quite extraordinary, with the mortar-free design particularly earthquake resistant and the stones so precisely cut that to this day not even a knife fits between them.
Depending on what time you arrive to Machu Picchu you'll have some time to take a few pictures and look around, however your guided tour will be tomorrow morning when you return to Machu Picchu.
You take a short bus down to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu town) where you'll spend the night in a hotel.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a very early (5:30am) bus along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approximately 30 minutes) where you will be joined by a guide who will take you through the ruins. Looking at Machu Picchu for the first time, as it sits against a backdrop of forested mountains, is a truly breathtaking experience. No matter how many photos you've seen, it is hard to prepare for its awesome beauty.
MACHU PICCHU: While it's thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There's plenty of time for you to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters.
You will have a guided visit (approximately 2 hours) with plenty of free time afterwards. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cusco for a well deserved shower and a pisco sour.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you have a free day in Cuzco to further explore this wonderful city.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Fly from Cuzco back to Lima (approx 1 hr).
The remainder of the day is free to further explore Lima. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Optional Activities
  • Lima Home Cooked - Urban Adventures - USD74
  • Lima Coast Biking Tour - Urban Adventures - USD45
  • Lima - Night Bites & Sights - Urban Adventures - USD45
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Some departures of this trip are part of a combination trip. As such, some of your fellow travellers may be continuing on to Buenos Aires, Argentina today to start the second part of their trip - Best of Peru, Argentina & Brazil (GGKPC).

Meals

14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Plane, Private minibus, Train

Accommodation

Hotel (14 nights)

Included activities

  • Lima - Guided tour, including San Francisco Monastery, the Catacombs and Central Market
  • Ballestas Island - Guided tour
  • Arequipa - Walking tour
  • Arequipa - San Ignacio Chapel Visit
  • Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery
  • Arequipa - Cathedral Visit
  • Sillustani archaeological site (time permitting)
  • Cuzco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
  • Sacred Valley - Local community visit and lunch
  • Machu Picchu - Entrance and Guided Tour

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Majestic Peru trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Jump to a departure month
Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Important notes

PASSPORT DETAILS
Domestic airlines require passengers' passport numbers to issue their tickets. It is then very important that you provide this information at the time of booking.

ARRIVAL TRANSFER
An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to important sites such as Machu Picchu. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

HIKE ADD-ON:
Your tour itinerary includes taking the train to Machu Picchu however on this trip you can opt to hike:
- The 1-day Inca Trail (day 11 of this itinerary) - Additional surcharge required.
Important: This option is subject to permit availability. Please contact your booking agent if you would like to book this option (the default itinerary does not include hiking, so you must specifically request this)
More information on this trek can be found in the itinerary section your trip notes.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Majestic Peru trips score an average of 4.77 out of 5 based on 44 reviews in the last year.

Majestic Peru, October 2017

Morgan Faets

Majestic Peru, October 2017

Kirsty Macqueen