Map of Peruvian Pathways including Peru

Travel to Peru and discover its fascinating history, from the depths of the Amazon to the heights of the Andes and on to the unique islands of Lake Titicaca. Experience diverse ecology, geology, cultures and witness daily Peruvian life. Uncover the mystery of Peru's culture and history on this unforgettable journey that is sure to leave you enthralled and wanting more.


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

Why you'll love this trip

  • Tour Peru's enthralling capital with a guide, checking out its majestic colonial architecture and colossal cathedrals. There's nothing quite like being shown around by a local

  • Venture deep into the Amazon Jungle with your local, multilingual guides and encounter magnificent fauna, flora and wildlife in their natural habitat

  • Enjoy a day out on tranquil Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable body of water, and explore the floating islands crafted by the indigenous Uru locals

  • In the early hours of the morning, soak up a sublime sunrise from the gates of Machu Picchu. Afterwards, take a guided tour of the ruins and explore the area in your own time

  • Peru is a world-class culinary destination. Feast on the nation's favourite dish of ceviche in gastronomic Lima and sip on a pisco sour

  • Enjoy plenty of free time in Cusco to discover the city's colonial and Incan architecture

Is this trip right for you?

  • The Amazon Jungle can be very hot and humid, so it's important to drink plenty of water and wear light cotton clothing. Make sure you also bring tropical-strength insect repellent.

  • While accommodation in the Amazon is clean, comfortable and ideally located, it's pretty basic compared with other accommodation throughout the trip. Remember that this is a very remote part of the world. As there's no electricity at night, the rooms are lit with candles and kerosene lamps.

  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Medical and Health Information’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more detail. 

  • A decent level of fitness is required to hike the Inca Trail, as the walks are long, tiring and challenging. The rewards are all worth it!

  • According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only, and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted. Please refer to the itinerary for details.

  • Travellers who choose different ways of reaching Machu Picchu (Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train), will not follow the same routes within Machu Picchu. This means that you may not be able to have photos together, overlooking Machu Picchu. This applies to travellers on the same booking or separate bookings.

Itinerary

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Lima, Peru. On arrival at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport, you'll be transferred to your hotel in the well-known coastal suburb of Miraflores. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2pm where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. After the formalities are out of the way, dive into life in Lima. Jump on public transport and head downtown for a guided walking tour of the city's historical centre. Take in the ornate spectacle of the colonial mansions, palaces and churches that line the streets; pay a visit to the San Francisco Monastery and its catacombs; and browse the fresh produce on offer at Lima's central market. Your walking tour wraps up in Lima's main square, with the rest of the day free to do as you wish. Perhap head out for dinner with the group.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lima - Guided tour of San Francisco Monastery including The Catacombs
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Optional Activities
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Lima - Museum of the Inquisition - Free
  • Lima - Cathedral visit - PEN12
  • Lima Coast Biking Tour - Urban Adventures - USD52
  • Lima - Night Bites & Sights - Urban Adventures - USD68
  • Lima - Private Lima: Home Cooked Tour Urban Adventure (price from) - USD83
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

The arrival transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 14 days prior to travel, as we may not be able to confirm a request made within 14 days of travel.
Rise and shine for your journey into the wilds of the Peruvian Amazon. Take an early morning transfer to Lima airport, then board a three-hour flight to Puerto Maldonado. Upon your arrival, lodge staff will take you to their office in town. Pack a small duffle bag with clothing and other items needed for two days in the jungle, stow the rest of your luggage and then travel by private vehicle to the water. Here, board a motorised canoe and cruise deep into the jungle. The journey to your eco-lodge in the Madre de Dios region will take around three hours, and you'll be given a packed lunch on the way. Arrive and settle in to your thatched-roof lodge before a short orientation walk of the immediate area and a briefing. Spend the evening getting aquainted with the sights and smells of the jungle and fall asleep to the sounds of nature.
Accommodation
  • Jungle Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Rooms at the lodge are simple but comfortable. They are built using local materials such as bamboo, adobe mud and palm trees. Rooms don't have regular doors for the entrance and bathroom, instead traditional curtains are used. Each room opens out to the rainforest, providing a true jungle experience. Rooms are equipped with flushing toilets, showers (cold water only), mosquito nets and kerosene lamps. Electricity and internet are only available in the common areas at designated times. Drinks and tips are not included.
Get ready for an unforgettable day exploring the depths of the jungle! Set out on a half-day walk guided by local experts on the area's flora and fauna. Learn from your guides about the medicinal and practical uses for some of the plants that grow here, which indigenous people have been studying and using for thousands of years. On your walk, keep an eye out for rainbow coloured macaws and butterflies, and listen for the barking call of the peccaries and chattering of monkeys that call the jungle home. This part of the Amazon is also known to house capybaras, giant otters and jabirus, so keep your eyes peeled for these exotic creatures. Return to the lodge for lunch and some free time to relax. Once the sun goes down, venture out on a night walk in search of some of the jungle's nocturnal inhabitants.  
Accommodation
  • Jungle Lodge (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leave behind the natural wonders of the Amazon for the man-made wonders of Cusco today. Return to Puerto Maldonado to collect your luggage, then take a flight to the lofty city. Once you have arrived, maybe head out for dinner with your fellow travellers – your leader can recommend some good places to grab a meal. If you're feeling adventurous, why not try one of the many establishments serving up cuy, which you might know by the English name of guinea pig. Or perhaps head to Manos Unidas cafe, a central pizzeria which also provides vocational training for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cusco - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass (access to 16 archaeological sites, transport & guides not included)
  • Cusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Due to the high altitude of many of the places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer from altitude sickness. Be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. Please see the ‘Medical and Health Information’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more detail.

The direct flight between Cusco and Puerto Maldonado is temporarily suspended and you’ll transit in Lima between Cusco and Puerto Maldonado. Your time in Cusco maybe impacted but no activities will be affected by this. We will revert to the direct flight once they are operating again. Your leader will provide you with the latest update.
After a short walking tour of Cusco, travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, the valley has been a source of livelihood to the locals for hundreds of years. You’ll see maize crops covering the terraced valley walls and the sacred river beneath. For lunch, visit a community that live in the valley and learn about the local lifestyle and language. If it’s market day, you may have the opportunity to browse the local handicrafts such as beads and ponchos. Continue your journey to the town of Ollantaytambo where you’ll spend the night. If there’s time you may like to see the town’s archaeological site, which includes remnants of an Inca city and soaring views over the present-day settlement.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sacred Valley - Community visit & lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Depending on the travel arrangements you made before the trip, during the next four days you’ll be doing one of the following: hiking the Classic Inca Trail, hiking the Inca Quarry Trail or staying in Cusco for another two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes. While away from Cusco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel.

If you’re hiking the Classic Inca Trail or the Inca Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cusco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5kg/10lb maximum). Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. You won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cusco and only travel with the necessary items during the excursion by train.

Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
Today travel by minivan to the 82 kilometre marker and meet your crew of local porters, cook and guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite, which is at 3100 metres above sea level. On the way you’ll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal.

Note: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45km/28mi long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, and meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos and a food break. Continue to the campsite, which is 3700 metres above sea level. You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.

Note: The Inca Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. The hike is 26km/16mi long in total and its highest pass is at 4450m/14600ft above sea level. Throughout the trek, horses will carry your gear and camping equipment. The first two nights are spent camping and the third night you will stay at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Route 3 Train:
For those travellers not hiking, today you visit the archaeological site of Chinceros, on the way to Cusco. Your Intrepid leader travels back to Cusco with you and is at hand to assist you make the most of your time.

Note: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Classic Inca Trail or Inca Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long steep path (approximately five hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4200m/13800ft above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3650m/12000ft.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes us to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4370m/14300ft high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4450m/14600ft. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Route 3 Train:
Today is free for you to continue exploring Cusco at your own pace. 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 16 archaeological sites in and around Cusco, including Qenqo, Tambomachay, Pukapukara, Saqsaywaman, amongst others.

Note: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Classic Inca Trail or Inca Quarry Trail only.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3980m/13000ft). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around two to three hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3850m/12600ft), also known as 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the two-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.

Route 2 Inca Quarry Trail:
Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, come to the end of the trek. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a soothing way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.

Route 3 Train:
After a drive to Ollantaytambo (about 1.5 hours), catch a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes (another 1.5 hours). The city is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. After meeting up with those who hiked the Inca Quarry Trail, you can while away the afternoon in the natural hot springs at Aguas Calientes.

Note: Included lunch and dinner on this day is for people trekking the Classic Inca Trail. Included lunch is for people trekking the Inca Quarry Trail.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Classic Inca Trail
Due to safety reasons the final checkpoint for all Classic Inca Trail trekkers does not open until 5am. The estimated arrival time to Machu Picchu’s Sun Gate is approximately 7.30am.

Inca Quarry Trail & Train
The first bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu departs at 5.30am. The estimated arrival time is approximately 6.30am. The sun rises at Machu Picchu at approximately 5.30am, therefore it's not possible to be there in time for sunrise.
Route 1 Classic Inca Trail:
This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. The day starts before dawn with breakfast at 4am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and then begin hiking by 4.30am. Once the final checkpoint opens at 5am, begin the final leg of the trek. The walk to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) takes around 2.5 hours. Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as you enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate.

Route 2 and 3 Inca Quarry Trail & Train:
Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5.30am this morning along the winding road to Machu Picchu. The journey takes around 30 minutes. At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If skies are clear, enjoy spectacular views over the ancient city from the Sun Gate. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters.

For all travellers, 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)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences exiting and re-entering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.
Enjoy free time to delve deeper into all Cusco has to offer. Those with weary legs may want to simply grab a coffee from a cafe at Plaza de Armas and do some people-watching.

The Manos Unidas is a great choice for a meal. In addition to serving up delicious food, this central pizzeria also provides vocational training to young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. For those who can't get enough active adventure, the hills that surround Cusco are well-suited for some mountain biking. Ask your tour leader for advice on optional activities and how to make the most of your free day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by comfortable public bus (with reclining chairs) for around 6 hours to the tiny but unique town of Puno, which will be more or less a full day's journey. This will take you on decent roads through spectacular mountain scenery, with the chance to stop at several sites along the way, including adobe Inca ruins. Along the way you'll also make a short roadside stop at La Raya, which at 4,335 metres is the highest point of your journey. You will also drive through the large sprawling town of Juliaca on your way to Puno, which is a colourful and lively place renowned for its traditional street dancing, often performed in celebration of Catholic festive days in February each year. You will then arrive in Puno, located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture where traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, especially the Virgen de la Candelaria, 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
High up in the Peruvian mountains lie the mystical blue waters of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. From the shoreline, the water stretches out almost as far as the eye can see, its expanses just waiting to be explored. Today, sail across Titicaca to the intriguing floating islands of the Uros. The Uros originally built their islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes. The islands are built from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. 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 boats that can last up to 12 months. Here you will set foot on the islands and learn about a unique traditional lifestyle that’s been around since pre-Inca times. You will visit Taquile Island, a place where knitting is strictly the domain of men, with women focusing on spinning. This is the place to get your hands on some beautiful knitwear. You will hike uphill for an hour to reach the main part of the island, and enjoy great views across the lake. There will be an optional lunch here as well, with a simple set menu of quinoa soup and muna tea (Andean mint tea). You will return down 500 steps to the boat that will take you on the three-hour journey back to Puno.

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/
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
You will fly to Lima from Puno today (approximately 1-2 hours). If time permits you will have the opportunity to visit the Sillustani archaeological site, a collection of ruined towers built by a pre-Inca civilisation near Lake Umayo. The ruined 'chullpas' or funeral towers of Sillustani were built by a pre-Inca civilisation centuries ago to house the remains of noble men, and are fitted with offerings to help secure their passage into the next life. Lima has some of the best cuisine in South America and is especially renowned for its seafood. Tonight, perhaps sample Peru's national dish of Ceviche, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and often served with hot peppers.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
The trip comes to an end today after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Plane, Canoe, Private vehicle, Public bus

Accommodation

Hotel (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Lima - Guided tour of San Francisco Monastery including The Catacombs
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Cusco - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass (access to 16 archaeological sites, transport & guides not included)
  • Cusco - Chocolate Museum Visit & Hot Chocolate
  • Sacred Valley - Community visit & lunch

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

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

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for Entrance Tickets, bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary. This will be used for applying for your Inca permit and if any info doesn’t match your passport, Inca authority will refuse your entry.

2. Please note this trip starts at 2pm on day 1. If you are unable to find a suitable flight it is possible to book additional nights at the joining accommodation. We recommend that travelers intending to depart Lima on the final day of the trip book flights out of Lima no earlier than 12 at noon, to allow for possible delays on returning to Lima or in the event of needing to take antigen or a PCR test. Intrepid staff will be able to assist in booking any required tests in Lima.

3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 2,3 (Jungle Lodge) and Days 6,7,8 (Camping) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

4. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. Please provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.

5. Inca Trail permits are sold on request basis only. Once deposit is paid and passport details provided, Intrepid will endeavor to secure a permit for you. Due to the reduced capacity of Inca Trail during Covid period, if Inca Trail permits of our chosen route are unavailable by the time you book, you can opt to hike the Inca Quarry Trail instead https://www.intrepidtravel.com/machu-picchu-peru/quarry-trail
The timing of trekking may vary depending on the route and time slot we are given for entering the Inca Trail. Your group leader will give you the details at the welcome group meeting on Day 1 of your trip.

6. The Inca Trail closes in February to allow cleaning and restoration works. If the trek portion of your trip starts in February, you will be automatically booked to hike the Inca Quarry Trail.

7. Should you choose not to hike at all, please let us know in writing at the time of booking so alternative arrangements can be made. Without this prior warning, local fees may apply.

8. While hiking the 4-day Inca Trail or the 3-day Inca Quarry trail portion of this trip you may be joined by other Intrepid and/or non-Intrepid travelers.

9. Mask wearing is mandatory in Peru during Covid period as part of the local regulation. Travelers will be required to wear masks in situations where they are unable to physically distance themselves from other group members, whether hiking, in public gathering areas such as campsites or when visiting local communities.
10. Parts of your trip go above 2800 m/ 9200 ft where it is common for travelers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. Please consult your doctor for professional advice about travelling at high altitude if you have a health condition.

11. Starting from 23rd Jan, the Peruvian government has enforced new regulations around movements in the country and access to public indoor venues by requiring anybody over 40 to show evidence of a booster shot. This includes catching domestic flights, trains, and going to restaurants, museums, banks, shops etc. We strongly advise you to book and complete your booster dose if you haven’t got it before your trip so that this new regulation won’t impact your experience and enjoyment in travelling in Peru.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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