This two week Peru holiday doesn't just take you to some of the many highlights of Peru - including Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon and of course, Machu Picchu - it takes you beyond. Your experience will be made even more memorable by staying with local families, farmers and communities along the way, giving you a very special insight into the culture, traditions and the incredible warmth of the Peruvian people that many tourists don't get to see.
This is a suggested itinerary. Dates, stops & activities are all flexible.
14 Days: Lima - Arequipa - Colca Canyon - Lake Titicaca - Cuzco - Amaru Community - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu
Activities: Inca and colonial cities, community and family stays, condors, rural life, weaving, chocolate making, history and culture, hill walking
Day 2: Transfer to the airport in Lima for a flight to Arequipa where you will have the afternoon free to explore at your own pace. Arequipa has some of the finest colonial architecture in the country with many of its downtown buildings constructed from volcanic stone called sillar, whose particular white colour gives it the name 'Ciudad Blanca' (White City). (B)
Day 3: Today you will start the incredible journey towards the Colca Canyon, passing the Las Vicunas National Reserve in Pampa. It’s from this point that you can appreciate the first sight of the Patapampa valley, whose 4800m altitude makes it a natural viewpoint across the tops of snow-capped mountains. After reaching Chivay town continue to the community of Coporaque, where you will be staying in a traditional village with a local family. Take a short tour of the village and share a delicious lunch with your hosts before enjoying a walk around the surrounding area. (B/D)
Day 4: After a delicious home-cooked breakfast you will experience the majestic soaring condors from the Cruz del Condor viewpoint, perched on the sheer walls of the mighty Colca Canyon. You will also visit different viewpoints and churches which are characteristic of the Colca valley before returning to your host's home for dinner. (B/L/D)
Day 5: Say goodbye to your family and the community as you head back to Chivay to meet your transport to Lake Titicaca. On the way, stop off again at Cruz del Condor for a second chance to see the magnificent birds. Evening free in the lakeside town of Puno. (B)
Day 6: Today you explore Lake Titicaca, visiting the famous floating reed islands of Uros with their waterbed-like structures, before continuing to Amantani island. Your first glimpse of the island is likely to be local families coming down the hill to greet you on the beach. You will spend a memorable afternoon, evening and morning with your host family, learning all about their lives and culture. (B/L/D)
Day 7: After breakfast bid farewell and sail back to Puno. On the way you will visit the island of Taquile where a long path takes you to the local village to visit the community co-operative. Here you will enjoy a magnificent lunch with some of the most memorable views of your whole trip! (B)
Day 8: Today you will cross the mighty Andes on a comfortable tourist bus to Cuzco, with an English-speaking guide to tell you more about the wonderful places you will see along the way. The trip takes you through epic passes, ancient temples and a town where time has seemingly stood still since 1580. On arrival into Cuzco check in to your hotel where you will have the evening to yourselves. (B/L)
Day 9: Today is free to explore Cuzco at your own pace. Cuzco was the historical capital of the Inca empire and was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983. Today it is a cosmopolitan city where people from all over the world come to learn about Peru’s fascinating ancient cultures. (B)
Day 10: Drive this morning to the land of the Yachaqs ('wise men' in Quechua), enjoying stunning mountain scenery and Inca ruins. At Pisac, visit its world-famous market where people come from across the highlands to trade all kinds of products including handicrafts, silver jewelry and alpaca wool. Then come face to face with the real Peru at Amaru community, where you will learn about their beliefs, customs and lifestyle. Join a traditional weaving workshop that takes you through the process of shearing, dyeing and tailoring to make your own Andean garment. In the evening, continue to the beautiful Inca town of Ollantaytambo. (B/L)
Day 11: The Inca Trial is not the only way to enjoy the amazing geography between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu. Over the next two days you will experience a side to this region of Peru that very few tourists get to see. Take a public bus with your guide up into ancient Peruvian farmlands, surrounded by mountain rainforest, to Julia and José's house. Here you'll see how they grow fruits, vegetables, cacao and coffee and try traditional farm activities like picking fruits or coffee beans (dependent on season) before sharing a delicious dinner with the family. Overnight in their private lodge. (B/L/D)
Day 12: Say goodbye to Julia and José and walk 5-10 minutes to a nearby cacao farm to learn how chocolate is made. The whole process from fruit to the finished chocolate will be explained and you can even try your hand at making and eating some of your own! Continue by public transport to the hot springs at Santa Theresa, then hop on a train to Aguas Calientes (if you prefer, you can also walk this last stretch). (B)
Day 13: Today is the big one! Often referred as 'The Lost City of the Incas', Machu Picchu is one of the most famous and spectacular sets of ruins in the world - a visit to Peru would not be complete without it. After an early start you will take a bus to the citadel, strategically perched 1000ft above the Urubamba river between deep canyons and impressive mountains called Apus (Gods to the Incas). In the afternoon you will head back down to Aguas Calientes, pick up your bags and take the train back down to the mountain to Cuzco. (B)
Day 14: Sadly it's time to say goodbye to Peru as you are transferred to the airport for a flight to Lima connecting with your international flight home. (B)
Prices from: £1750 per person.
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, entry fees, English speaking guide, 24-hour assistance.
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
Note: stops can be extended, added or cut - just ask us!