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Arrive in Cusco
Fly into Cusco and begin your adventure through quintessential Peru. Upon arrival, a Peru Unbound guide greets you and takes you to your hotel where you have some time to freshen up and relax.
This evening, enjoy your first taste of Peru with a guided walking tour of Cusco, visiting the Temple of the Sun, or Korikancha, as well as the San Blas neighborhood. Then, enjoy an authentic Peruvian dinner as well as an orientation before bed.
Cusco, Maukallacta, Hauanoquite and Loretuyoc Camp
Wake early and depart Cusco for Maukallacta, an Incan archeological site that retains its sense of mysticism. Enjoy the surrounding views as we hike to Maukallacta, and take a break with a snack while you learn stories about the Ayar brothers and wives, the founders of the Inca civilization, once there.
Our day’s journey then takes you to Molle Molle and then on to Huanoquite and the heights of the Willkacunca Pass. Travel along the Apurimac River canyon with its impressive views of the river gorge, the headwater of the Amazon River, and surrounding mountain ranges. As we drive, you travel father into the majestic reaches of a native forest over 3 centuries old. Our journey eventually takes us to the Loretuyoc Bridge, where we make camp beside a crashing waterfall. If you wish to immerse yourself in the Peruvian landscape, you have the option to hike from the pass to the campsite. Relax with happy hour before dinner.
Hike to Rocoto Community, Huajachaca Bridge at the Apurimac River
Wake to the sound of the nearby waterfall and a freshly prepared breakfast before setting off on a short hike to the Loretuyoc forest where you can wander amongst groves of 200 year old endangered trees. We then follow part of the royal highway stretching from Cusco toward the Apurimac River and then to the Pacific Ocean. Our hike takes us down through the Kusichaca ruins to the Rocoto village, where you have the special opportunity to meet with the local people and bring some help to the local school.
From Rocoto, you have the opportunity to continue walking or board a van to transfer you to the end of the road. Once there, rejoin with the group and hike down a descent leading to the river near the base of the Inca bridge of Huajachaca, used by ancient Peruvians to exchange goods between the Pacific Ocean and the capital of Cusco. Relax from the morning’s ventures with a picnic lunch near the river.
Our river rafting guides join us here to prepare us for our expedition down the river. As you paddle through Class II-III rapids, look out for stunning views and glimpses of ancient bridges that have been in use since the Incas. Our paddle takes us to tonight’s campsite, where you can enjoy a refreshing happy hour as well as a fresh dinner served around the campfire.
Santos Tomas River & 3 Condores Rapids at the Black Canyon
Rise to the soothing sounds of the river and enjoy a hearty breakfast before walking amongst the surrounding landscape carpeted in orchids and bromeliads. After, we continue our rafting excursion—taking on some easy rapids, passing through a stunning canyon striped with waterfalls and exploring a nearby creek. The calm waters ultimately take us to the Santo Tomas River tributary and pass through a stunning limestone canyon.
Take a break with some lunch on a sandy beach before hopping back into the raft. Take on some Class III rapids and make sure to keep an eye out for river otters, deer, cormorants torrent ducks and other tropical Andean birds that frequent the region. Set up camp on the shore by late afternoon and enjoy another evening immersed in Peru’s enticing wilderness.
"The Other Right" Rapids, Hualpachaca Bridge and The Sacred Valley
We continue our way down the river this morning. Get a shot of adrenaline as you take on the river’s intense set of Class III and IV pool-drop rapids including “The Other Right” rapids. Our path also takes you to several waterfall creeks, which you can explore. Conclude our morning of rafting with lunch before traveling by car to the Sacred Valley. After check-in at the hotel, rejoin for an authentic Peruvian dinner.
Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
Enjoy a leisurely morning in the Sacred Valley before lunch. This afternoon, travel to the Ollantaytambo ruins, a massive citadel that served as both a temple and a fortress in pre-Inca times and which still remains well-preserved to this day. Walk up to the hill overlooking the village and view the distant quarry from which he citadel was constructed. You may also see Incan canchas—enclosures of multi-family living quarters that share just one exit to the street—cobbled streets, ingenious stonework and an extensive communal water system that survives to this day.
This afternoon, take the train to Aguas Calientes and enjoy an evening of independent exploration.
Machu Picchu and Cusco
After an early breakfast, set out to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu—one of Peru’s most iconic archeological sites and a highlight of the tour. Explore the main areas as well as the more obscure as you find yourself immersed in the Inca’s legacy. If you wish, you may also hike up to the looming heights of Huayna Picchu, from which you may not only explore other archeological ruins but enjoy new views of Machu Picchu nestled into the hills below.
After lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, catch a train to Ollantaytambo. From here, continue the day’s travels back to Cusco where you may discover new delicious dining spots and historic sites before bed.
Cusco - Lima - Home
After a final Peruvian breakfast, make your way to the Cusco airport to meet your flight back home.
Dates & Rates
Year round daily departures available.
Price $4100 per person, based on 2 people sharing in Tourist Superior Hotels
Single Supplement: $715
Please inquire for availability and pricing for larger groups.
• All Accommodations as outlined on the itinerary
• All meals as outlined on the itinerary
• Service of a bilingual guide (Spanish/English
• All transportation while on tour
• Full service of our Adventure Consultants
• Airfare to and from Peru
• Meals not specified on the itinerary
• Alcoholic beverages
• Items of a personal nature
FAQ & More
Weather in Peru varies by region, for the coast (Lima, Ica, Nazca, Mancora, Trujillo) the best time to visit are the months of November to March when it is summer on the coast. In February in particular you have events like Carnaval, a very fun time of year on the coast. You can visit coastal cities during the winter (June to August) but Lima will be fairly overcast and cold as well as some other coastal cities.
For Andean cities such as Cusco, Ayacucho, Huaraz, Puno and Cajamarca the best time to visit is during their dry season which runs from May to September. During this time you can expect warm days and chilly nights and very little rain.
The Amazon Jungles of Peru have two season and they both can be equally rewarding. If seeing lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying a slightly cooler temperature) is your thing, then the December to May might be your best choice. (Remember: Despite being the "rainy" season, the Amazon only gets about 10% more rain than falls in the low water season). If jungle hikes, exotic migratory on their way through Amazonia, still having the chance to see monkeys and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions top your list, you might be happier choosing the warmer, low water season (June - November).
U.S citizens do not need a visa to visit Peru as long as it's a tourist visit of less than 90 days. You will be given your visa upon arrival in Lima. It's important that you hold on to this visa as many hotels will ask to see this document in order to exempt you from the IGV or Peruvian Sales Tax.
As Visa and Entry Requirements can change without prior notice, we recommend you check the current regulations before your trip to Peru with the nearest Peruvian Consulate or Embassy.
There are no required vaccinations to visit Peru unless you plan to visit remote areas of the Peruvian Amazon, in which case you will need a yellow fever shot and you may want to take malaria medication as well. The Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos areas have not seen cases of either Malaria or Yellow fever in recent times.
Check with your Travel doctor regarding visiting Peru, we strongly recommend you bring medications for bacterial infections (Ciprofloxacin) that can affect your stomach as well as antidiarrheal medication (Immodium). Dramamine is also great for Altitude and motion sickness. For more Health Information for Travelers in Peru visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Altitude sickness, also known as Soroche in Peru, occurs when there is not enough oxygen reaching your brain. This typically occurs at elevations over 10,000ft. Shortness of breath and a pounding heart are the first symptoms as the thin air in high altitude can make you feel light headed and dizzy. As your symptoms progress you can get extremely nauseous and suffer from vomiting and intense headaches if not remedied by either medication or descending in altitude.
Preventing altitude sickness is easy, always allow for an extra day to acclimate when you visit in a location with high altitude. Relax in your hotel and lie down, drink plenty of fluids and avoid strenuous exercise. It can take up to a week to become full acclimated, many travelers don't have that amount of time so in order to acclimate fastest it is best to take it easy, avoid alcohol, cigarettes and heavy foods. If you begin to feel mild symptoms then we recommend you drink some Coca Tea (legal in Peru), even drinking carbonated drinks like Coca Cola help. It's important to realize that you get altitude sickness by not feeding your brain enough oxygen, so make sure you are breathing well, take decongestants if you have a cold or can't breathe well. Prescription medications such as Diamox can also be a great help.
In the higher elevation locations such as Cusco it is possible to purchase oxygen and buy medications in case you are having a real hard time acclimating. Most larger hotels in these areas can also offer extra oxygen to be pumped in your room for an additional charge.
Travel insurance is recommended to protect your trip as well as your belongings and scheduling should any unforeseen events arise. Guests must provide their own travel insurance. If you decide not to purchase travel insurance then you are directly responsible for your own belongings and wellbeing. Our guides will always be around to help you should any situation arise, however when it comes to paying for any medical expenses or additional flights due to airline cancellations, you will be responsibile for these.
The weather in Peru varied; it has 28 of the world's 32 different climates. Generally speaking, May through October is the dry season; November through April is the rainy season, and the wettest months are January through April in the highlands. In mountain areas, roads and trek paths may become impassable. Peru's climate, though, is markedly different among its three vastly different regions. The coast is predominantly arid and mild, the Andean region (highlands) is temperate to cold, and the eastern lowlands are tropically warm and humid.
On the desert coast, summer (Dec-Apr) is hot and dry, with temperatures reaching 77°-95°F or more along the north coast. In winter (May-Oct), temperatures are much milder, though with high humidity. Much of the coast, including Lima, is shrouded in a gray mist called garua. Only the extreme northern beaches are warm enough for swimming.
In the highlands from May to October, rain is scarce. Daytime temperatures reach a warm (68°-77°F, and nights are often quite cold (near freezing), especially in June and July. Rainfall is very abundant from December to March, when temperatures are slightly milder 64°-68°F. The wettest months are January and February. Most mornings are dry, but clouds move in during the afternoon and produce heavy downpours.
Though the Amazon jungle is consistently humid and tropical, with significant rainfall year-round, it, too, experiences two clearly different seasons. During the dry season (May-Oct), temperatures reach 86°-100°F during the day. From November to April, there are frequent rain showers (which last only a few hours at a time), causing the rivers to swell, and temperatures are humid.
Packing for your trip depends on the season and locations you will be visiting. Peru has almost all of the world’s climates nestled between the coast, the Andes and the Jungle. For that reason it is important that you to pack layered clothing, that is bring a piece of clothing for both hot and warm conditions, clothing you can take on and off easily as the climates change. Refer to the provided packing list for details of what to bring on your specific trip.
Peru is generally safe to visit and the security in the major cities is getting better as the economy and tourism grows. That is not to say that there is no crime, like any of the other big cities of the world opportunistic crimes such as pickpocketing and theft are present. Below are some tips to minimize your chance of falling victim to these crimes.
1. Travel in groups and avoid dark streets at night – Basic advice but good. Thieves will target you if you stumble alone into a dark street. Avoid areas that are not well lit, this applies even if you are in a group
2. When using ATM, have a friend with you – They can keep guard from behind when using an ATM and always check that the card entry slot has not been tampered with.
3. Keep belongings out of site in vehicles - When in taxis or other modes of transport put your belongings under your feet or in the back where they cannot be seen.
4. Valuables – Most hotels will have room safes where you can leave your valuables or will have a safe in reception.
5. Blend in - don't carry large bags or luggage with you all the time, leave valuables at your hotel, try and look and act like a local. If you must check your travel guide or map then step into a cafe or restaurant.
6. Wear backpack on front, bring travel purse - Again avoid carrying large bags, if you must carry a backpack wear it on your front. Invest in a travel wallet, where you can have your money and valuables hidden from view.
7. Be Aware - a commonly used phrase in Peru is Mosca or Fly, the saying means to be aware of your surroundings. When leaving a restaurant or nightclub be sure to check that you have not left any personal belongings.
8. Taxis - If possible always have your hotel call a reputable taxi driver for you if you decide to go explore your location further. Always agree on a price before you get into a taxi to avoid confusion later, taxis are seldom more than S/.20 for a local trip. If catching a cab away from your hotel be sure your driver has identification visible, if possible go to the nearest hotel and ask them to call you a cab.
The currency in Peru is called the Nuevo Sol or just Sol. The current dollar to sol exchange rate is $1 = S/ 3.00
Electricity in Peru is 220 Volts and 60 Hertz (cycles per second). If you want to use a 110-volt appliance in Peru, you’ll need to buy a power adapter. Most outlets in Peru accept US standard two flat blade male. Some larger Hotels have US 110 volt outlets available.
We recommend you do some reading on Peru's history to make the most of your trip. Travel guides are a great resource, this way you get to know a little more about the locations you are visiting.
We can't stress the importance of learning about the incredible cuisine. Search for recipes online and make a list of dishes to try in Peru. These should include Ceviche, Pachamanca, Anticuchos, Papa a la Huancaina, Causa, Rocotto Relleno among others, there really are too many to name.
Learn a little Spanish. A little Spanish goes a long way in Peru, not only will it help you get better prices in cabs for example but you will be able to barter better on souvenirs and goods. Interacting with Peruvians will be more rewarding as you will learn where the local hot spots are as well as get recommendations for places to see and restaurants to try. Even just learning to say thank you (Gracias) and please (Por Favor) when asking for things will go a long way in how well you are treated by others.
Most importantly we ask that you travel with an open mind. Peruvian culture is very different from the westernized world with different values and customs. You should always be mindful of these and be very patient with people.
Although Peru is going through a great period of economic growth and prosperity it is still a third world nation and the service sector still needs room to better develop. We're sure you'll have a great time in Peru if you visit with no expectations and with an adventurous spirit, a relaxed attitude and curiosity to explore a new culture.