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Peru Essentials

21 Days | Deep dive into a Peruvian way of life

4.9 out of 5 based on 18 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
USD $2,444
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Get Peru-sing through this South American hotspot on a 21-day in-depth adventure. Setting off from its cultural capital in Lima, pass by Paracas, Nazca and Arequipa on your way to Cusco. Watch condors ruling the skies of Colca Canyon, follow the ancient trade route of the Inca on the legendary Inca Trail – finishing up at the breathtaking Machu Picchu – and get a feel for local life on a visit to Lake Titicaca's floating islands. You’ll have a knowledgeable local leader alongside to point you in the right direction, plus plenty of freedom to tailor your own adventure, so what’s stopping you from getting a feel for Peru?

Trip overview

Map of Peru Essentials including Bolivia and Peru
Start
Lima, Peru
Finish
La Paz, Bolivia
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
Bolivia, Peru
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Basix
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
GGBL
This trip generates 28.41 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • The giant desert inscriptions of the Nazca Lines are one of Peru's great unsolved mysteries. See them up close on foot or treat yourself to a bird's eye view on an unforgettable scenic flight.
  • Wake early and observe Andean condors taking to the sky during their morning routine as the sun rises in the spectacular Colca Canyon.
  • A trip through Peru wouldn't be complete without a visit to Machu Picchu. With three different options to choose from, how you experience this lost Inca citadel is up to you.
  • Experience a memorable night with a local family on Lake Titicaca, taking you right to the heart of island traditions.
  • Consider extending your stay in Bolivia to peer through the shop windows of the Witches’ Market in La Paz, witnessing a world of unique, curative traditions.
  • At Intrepid we’ve always been about balancing profit and purpose and as the largest B Corp certified operator on the Inca Trail we’re committed to operating our treks for the benefit of all – join us and help make the world a better place.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip involves a lot of travel on local buses, including some long trips and an overnight bus. Bus travel can be tiring, but is also a great opportunity to relax, rub shoulders with the locals and enjoy the scenery.
  • There will be a lot of hiking and walking on this trip – especially if you choose the Inca Trail option – so travellers require at least a moderate level of fitness. There are a few different trail options to suit your interests and physical capabilities. Please bring durable footwear suitable to hiking. See the ‘What to Take’ section of the Essential Trip information for more details.
  • You’ll be staying in some very basic group accommodation with shared facilities, especially along the Inca Trail and on Lake Titicaca (where there are drop toilets and no showers). This is all part of the adventure of being among nature.
  • 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 ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip information for more details.
  • 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

Map of Peru Essentials including Bolivia and Peru

Inclusions

Meals

20 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Train, Public Bus, Private Vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (15 nights), Overnight bus (1 night)

Activities
  • Lima - Leader-led walking tour
  • Colca Canyon - Guided tour
  • Colca Canyon Condor Visit
  • Cusco - Leader-led orientation walk
  • 3 Night/4 Day Inca Trail (or 2 Night/3 Day Inca Quarry Trail) guided hike(s) with porters' support. Or guided Cusco stay (Machu Picchu by train)
  • Machu Picchu - Entrance & Guided visit
  • Sacred Valley - Community visit & lunch
  • Lake Titicaca - Boat tour & Homestay
Add on activities
  • Lima - Archaeological Museum - PEN15
  • Lima - Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
  • Lima - Banco Central de Reserva Museum - PEN5
  • Lima - Museum of the Inquisition - Free
  • Lima - Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Lima - Coast Biking Tour - Urban Adventure (Price based on 2 participants) - USD52
  • Lima - Private: Home Cooked Tour Ceviche experience Urban Adventure (Based on 2 Participants) - USD85
  • Lima - Lima Water Show (Based on 4 participants) - USD40
  • Lima - Lima Pisco Making (Based on 4 participants) - USD35
  • Lima - Private Larco Museum (Based on 4 participants) - USD50
  • Lima - Bohemian Barranco (Based on 4 participants) - USD75
  • Lima - Lima Eat Street (Based on 4 participants) - USD75
  • Lima - Lima Discovery + San Francisco and Pisco Sour - Urban Adventures (Price based on 2 participants) - USD39
  • Lima - Guided tour of San Francisco Monastery including The Catacombs - PEN20
  • Paracas - National Reserve guided tour - PEN97
  • Ballestas Islands - Guided tour - PEN97
  • Nazca - Scenic flight over the Nazca Lines - USD100
  • Arequipa - Juanita Museum - PEN20
  • Arequipa - Santa Catalina Monastery - PEN45
  • Colca Canyon - La Calera hot springs - PEN15
  • Cusco - Full Boleto Turistico Pass (access to 16 archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN135
  • Cusco - Cathedral Entrance Fee - PEN40
  • Cusco - Coricancha Temple (entrance fee) - PEN15
  • Cusco - Half Boleto Turistico Pass (access to selected archaeological sites, transport & guides not included) - PEN75
  • Cusco - City tour and 4 Ruins - USD15
  • Cusco - Pre-Colombian Museum - PEN20
  • Cusco - Inca Museum (entrance fee) - PEN10
  • Cusco - Pisco Making Urban Adventure (Based on 2 participants) - USD57
  • Cusco - Cusco Cooking Class - USD70
  • Ollantaytambo - Archaeological site - PEN70
  • Cusco - Full Day Via Ferrata & Zipline - USD95
  • Cusco - Rainbow Mountain Hike (Based on 4 participants) - USD105
  • Cusco - Full Day Stand Up Paddle Boarding (Based on 4 participants) - USD85
  • Cusco - Humantay Lake Hike (Based on 4 participants) - USD130
  • Cusco - Palcoyo Rainbow Mountain Hike (Based on 4 paticipants) - USD100
  • Sacred Valley - Mountain Biking (Price Based on 2 Participants) - USD170
  • La Paz - Visit to the 'Witches Market' - Free

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. Nationals from the United States need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border. Please see the visa information on these Essential Trip information (ETI) for more information.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 18 (Homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for bus, train or flight tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
4. 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.
If Inca Trail permits 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 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.
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.
5. 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.
6.Please be aware that while hiking the Inca trek or the Quarry trek that you may be joined by passengers from other Intrepid & Geckos groups.
7. Our only alternative is to make passengers explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun gate and Inka Bridge) before their guided tour starts (so about 2 hours before meeting the guide). Your Tour Leader will provide more information on what the group options are at the Welcome meeting.
8. As you can choose different ways of reaching Machu Picchu (Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train), there is a small chance you may be the only traveller on your selected option.
9. Fees may apply if you choose to change from the Inca Trail to the Train or Quarry Trail after your booking has been made.

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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.9 out of 5 based on 18 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

Filter by rating

Rowena · Traveled July 2023
I 100% would recommend the essentials travel trip to Peru! It covers everything you could possibly want, apparent from you have to pick between the Hamantay Lake or rainbow mountain. Overall the trip is extremely well organised and the tour guide is very informative and helpful through our (shout out to Beto- fab tour guide)!
Review submitted 10 Aug 2023

Julia · Traveled July 2023
This trip has been the most wonderful and unexpected experience in my life. Peru kept surprising me from the desert in Paracas from the high mountains of the Andes. And all this is thanks to our guide Beto, who made it possible for us to just seat back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Review submitted 10 Aug 2023

Jasmine · Traveled July 2023
I would 100% recommend this trip to absolutely anyone seeking an authentic version of Peru and real adventure. You will learn so much culturally and historically that allows you to embrace Peru wholeheartedly. Although it is very intense with lots of travelling and hiking packed in to each day, this is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday you should not miss!
Review submitted 10 Aug 2023

Andrew · Traveled July 2023
Absolutely epic trip but you need to be ready for it. It’s much more of an adventure than a holiday. It’s full of breathtaking places but it’s pretty rough and tumble and fast paced. Excellent bang for your buck and a truly life changing experience if you’re willing to take it on.
Review submitted 09 Sep 2023

Andrew · Traveled July 2023
Thanks to this trip that made my way of see my life back at home I feel like traveling is a great opportunity to learn more of people and be a better person for people who are around us. The trip was so good and having a great crew and tour guides . 10 of 10 points
Review submitted 17 Aug 2023
Peru Essentials
From
USD $2,444