12 days from £2265pp plus international flights.
We pack a lot in to these 12 days – it’s an exhilarating adventure with expert guides, but we never forget that you need some time to yourself as well. After spending a night in Lima, you have six days to explore Cusco and the wonders of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, then we whisk you off to the Peruvian Amazon.
Following a three-hour boat trip to your remote lodge you’ll spend three nights in the heart of the rainforest, with a range of activities to choose from to ensure that your time in this amazing location is spent in the way that suits you best, whether that’s on foot, by water or in the tree tops. You’ll even have the option to contribute to scientific research at the lodge.
All transfers and services are pre-arranged, so you don't have to worry about anything, just enjoy the experience of Peru. We have included a guide where we think that this will add to your experience, but you also have times when you can explore on your own. In the rainforest you are escorted the whole time by a professional nature guide, on walks, boat trips, bird watching and so on.
This is a lovely and diverse holiday with a great balance of sightseeing and nature. You’ll stay at high-standard but mid-range hotels and lodges, and there’s the flexibility for you to upgrade hotels or stay in a private rainforest lodge if you wish.
You’ll be met on arrival at Lima Airport and transferred to the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport hotel, where you can enjoy a good night’s sleep after your flight. The hotel has a bar, restaurant, indoor pool, spa and fitness centre, and you’ll have time to relax before settling down for the night.
This morning you’ll make the short walk back to the airport to catch your flight to Cusco. On arrival at Cusco you’ll be met and taken to Hotel Pakaritampu, a charming hotel set in pretty gardens in Ollantaytambo, 1½ hours from Cusco. Ollantaytambo is at a lower altitude than Cusco, so you’ll be able to acclimatise to altitude more easily here. Breakfast.
Upgrade option – if you prefer you can stay in the Libertador Tambo del Inka Hotel in nearby Urubamba.
This morning you will be taken to Pisac, to spend time at the bustling market for which this small town is renowned. You can browse and buy alpaca textiles, paintings, jewellery etc., and watch colourfully-dressed locals trading produce as they have done here for centuries before heading to the impressive archaeological site that sits above Pisac where your guide will explain the history of the site. After lunch you return to Ollantaytambo, to explore this fascinating town which was created by the Incas and features their characteristic narrow alleyways with houses and courtyards. Above the town are magnificent Inca ruins, with baths and a ceremonial complex, and some superb stonework. You’ll return to your hotel in the evening. Breakfast.
Today you will travel through the Andes in style, taking in the incredible scenery through the train’s huge panoramic windows. On arrival at Aguas Calientes you board the bus for the short uphill journey to Machu Picchu. Your expert guide will give you a comprehensive tour of the site, helping bring this iconic citadel to life for you. Then you head back down the hill to Aguas Calientes in time for a late lunch and to check into El MaPi hotel. This bright, airy hotel has a spa with sauna, heated plunge pool and hydro-massage showers. Don’t lose your entrance ticket to Machu Picchu – you’ll be returning there tomorrow! Breakfast, Lunch.
Upgrade option – Hotel Sumaq in Aguas Calientes.
After enjoying the generous breakfast buffet at your hotel you catch the bus back to Machu Picchu and you are free to explore the site at will, perhaps walking to the Inca Bridge or the Gate of the Sun. Then it’s time to take the bus down to the station to catch the train back to Cusco and take in those views again. On arrival at Cusco you’ll be transferred to the El Retablo Hotel. Enjoy the colourful décor, showcasing Peruvian art. Breakfast.
Upgrade option: Libertador Palacio del Inka Hotel.
Your guide will collect you after breakfast and take you on a half-day tour of Cusco, starting in the bohemian San Blas district, which is full of art galleries, craft shops and workshops. Then you’ll go to the San Pedro market, where you will find, amongst other produce, a quite remarkable number of different varieties of potatoes! Then you’ll head to the Plaza de Armas – great for people watching – and visit the Cathedral and the Convent of Santo Domingo. The convent was built on the remains of Koricancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun. Finally, you will drive north of the city to the ceremonial complex of Sacsayhuaman, before lunching at the Inka Grill restaurant and returning to your hotel. Breakfast.
Today you return to the Sacred valley. You’ll be driven the 45 minutes from Cusco to Chinchero. Sitting at about 3,500m and built on a terrace, this was a very important town for the Inca Empire. The surrounding landscape is beautiful, and you’ll be able to see the snow-capped Chicón and Verónica mountains. Chinchero is particularly known for its large Sunday market, which attracts traders from many communities. From here you will head to the white saltpans at Maras, which have been worked since pre-Inca times. And you’ll go to Moray, a fascinating series of concentric terraces on the plateau, which some believe was an Inca agricultural research centre. You’ll then have a snack before being transferred back to your hotel in Cusco. Breakfast, lunch
This morning you will be collected from your hotel and taken to Cusco airport for the 1-hour flight to Puerto Maldonado. You will be met on arrival at Puerto Maldonado and start your jungle adventure with a 45-minute road transfer to the Tambopata River followed by a 3-hour boat trip to the Refugio Amazonas, your home for the next two nights. Set in a private reserve within the Tambopata National Reserve buffer zone the lodge has a wellness centre, a shop selling artisanal crafts, and wonderful canopy views of the forest. One wall in each guest room is open to the great outdoors. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Upgrade option: Amazon Villa - a luxury private villa with hot tub, private dining and garden.
For the next two days, whether you’re staying at Refugio Amazonas or Amazon Villa, you will have an identical range of activities to choose from. Both are well located for wildlife viewing, and you can discuss your activity options with the staff. Activities on offer include watching parakeets and macaws at the clay lick, jungle night walks, oxbow lake boat trips, visiting the canopy tower, and taking a sunset river trip. Any youngsters in your party could well enjoy the children’s rainforest trail. The lodge specialises in soft adventure such as kayaking and standing paddle-boarding. You could also hire a private, bilingual guide (additional cost), visit a jungle farm or take part in the Wired Amazon citizen science programme. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
This morning your jungle adventure ends in the style in which it began, with a boat trip followed by a car journey to Puerto Maldonado from where you catch your plane to Lima. You’ll be met on arrival at Lima airport and transferred to the Casa Andino Centro hotel in Miraflores. This comfortable modern hotel is close to Parque Central and Parque Kennedy and a short taxi ride from the Larcomar shopping centre. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in Miraflores itself, and Lima is renowned for its cuisine, so you will have no trouble finding a great place to eat. Breakfast.
Upgrade option: Hotel B in Barranco.
This may be your last day in Peru, but you still have more to explore. Your guide will meet you after breakfast and take you on a sightseeing tour of Lima. This will be tailored to your interests, so you could, for example, choose to visit the Larco Museum, with its fabulous collection of pre-Inca gold, silver and ceramics. Lima’s colonial buildings are also very impressive, with the 16th century Casa Aliaga being particularly interesting; it’s been lived in by the same family since 1532 and its interior is beautifully preserved. Later in the day you will be transferred to the international airport for your flight home. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £2265 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2019 guide price pp sharing: from £2265.
Meet & greet at Lima Airport; airport and rail station transfers; accommodation in twin share; 4 days breakfast, 1 day breakfast & lunch, 4 days full board; guided tours of Cusco, Sacsayhuaman, Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu; entrance fees; minibus and second entrance fee to Machu Picchu on day 6; Vistadome train to Cusco; 4-night rainforest programme.
International flights and taxes;domestic flights (to be bought as add-ons with international flights); meals not shown; drinks; visa; tips; personal expenses.
To get to Peru you need to fly into Lima. From here a domestic flight takes you to Cusco. From Europe Iberia Airlines or KLM are most frequently used for this route. There is no direct flight from the UK to Lima. A return flight will cost from about £900.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor made trip which you can take any time you like subject to availability. To coincide with fixed departure dates for the rainforest section, the trip needs to start on a Tuesday or Friday.
A secluded villa where you balance your time between guided activities and private relaxation, ideal for those who value their privacy.
El MaPi is a modern hotel in Machu Picchu town offering comfortable contemporary accommodation
A lovely colonial-style hotel in the heart of Cusco, owned by Mountain Lodges of Peru.
El Retablo is a showcase for local art with dazzling hand-painted decoration throughout, a little way from the main square.
A remote rainforest lodge about 6 hours by boat from Puerto Maldonado. Excellent for macaws, and good general flora and fauna too.
Hotel B is an immaculately restored historic mansion in the popular neighbourhood of Barranco in Lima.
37-room hotel located in Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Sandoval Lake Lodge is a 25-room lodge located in a superb position on the bank of the stunning Sandoval Lake in Tambopata National Reserve.
How this holiday helps
After the excitement of seeing the cultural side of Peruvian life and history in Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, we take you down to the Amazon to see some of the incredible wildlife and wilderness here. The two lodges you’re staying at both positively affect their environments and local communities, so whilst you’re enjoying giant otters, red-bellied macaws, sloths, monkeys and more, your money is helping make a difference in two very sensitive areas.
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Flight time: Both KLM and Iberia have flights to Lima via Europe, leaving the UK early in the morning to arrive in Lima in the evening. The flight time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly to Lima via America.
Language: Spanish and Quechua are the official languages.
Visas: Not required for British travellers (up to 90 days). EC nationals can ask us for further advice.
Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.