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Arrive in Lima
Welcome to Peru! Begin your Peruvian adventure as you touch down in Lima. Our Peru Unbound guides greet you upon arrival and transfer you to your hotel, where you have some time to settle in before rejoining for a brief trip orientation. Spend your first evening exploring the sights, sounds and tempting tastes of Lima before bed.
This morning takes you further into Lima’s rich and cultured past with a tour of the city. Begin your morning with a visit to the Larco Museum, which houses an impressive collection of ancient and pre-Columbian artifacts and erotic archaeological art within an 18th century Spanish colonial building, itself sitting atop a 7th century pyramid.
After wandering the museum’s halls, visit the Parque de la Muralla. Here, enjoy scenic views of the Rimac River before journeying up Cerro San Cristóbal—a high hill featuring a mirador sitting crowning its peak and incredible views of Lima. Your afternoon also includes an opportunity to taste some of Peru’s authentic beverages: “butifarra” and the traditional “chicha morada.”
This evening, view a different side of Lima at the Magic Water Circuit, a newer attraction featuring illuminated fountains that will literally light up your night located. While the installations are visually stunning, they also made it into the Guinness World Book of Records as the world’s largest water fountain complex within a public park. After, enjoy a traditional Peruvian dinner at the Huaca Pucllana restaurant before bed.
Travel to Cusco, Explore the Sacred Valley
Begin your morning with a flight from Lima to Cusco, traveling over the Andes into the heart of the ancient Inca Empire. Upon landing, make your way to the Sacred Valley with a stopover at Awana Kancha. Here, visit with Peru’s famous and fuzzy alpacas as well as other Peruvian wildlife. You also have the opportunity to learn about the traditional art of dyeing still practiced here and the natural resources that make it possible. Get unique insight into the local culture and stop at the farm’s quaint little shop before once again setting off.
En route, we stop to take in the views and catch glimpses of the ceramic Pucará Bulls that perch atop Andean houses as a visual reminder of the bulls’ import to traditional Incan culture.
Arrive at Písac, a lively village neighboring an impressive Incan fortress sitting atop a mountain spur. Tour the ruins nestled into the lush mountains before relaxing with lunch at a local restaurant. After, visit Písac’s artisan market where regional traders and locals gather together in a bright confluence of handicrafts, craftsmanship and locally-sourced goods.
This evening, journey to the Sacred Valley where you check-in to your hotel for the night.
Raft to Ollantaytambo
Get your adrenaline going with today’s Peruvian rafting adventure! After a heart breakfast, set out through the Andean mountains to Pachar. There, you find our private put-in and our awaiting crafts. Hop in for your rafting journey toward Ollantaytambo—a rafting adventure that takes you through stunning mountain views and archaeological ruins. The river itself offers calm waters as well as several class 2-3 rapids and “Es Resbaladero”—an exhilarating class 3 rapid known as The Slide whose waves and whirlpools are sure to get your blood pumping. Debark for a riverside lunch at a local restaurant known for their traditional Peruvian food.
After lunch, we continue on foot to Ollantaytambo, a site of spectacular Incan ruins as well as a bustling town. Enjoy a tour of the history-laden ruins before returning to the Sacred Valley for the night.
Explore Machu Picchu
This morning, board a train to travel to one of Peru’s most iconic sites: Machu Picchu. A World Heritage Site and archaeological wonder, Machu Picchu remains one of Peru’s greatest draws. Explore the complex situated between the jungle and the Andean mountains, look upon the citadel and find yourself staggered by the Inca’s sense of architecture.
If you wish, you may also hike the Inca Bridge—a narrow, vertiginous yet relatively easy trail built into the cliffs on the western entrance to Machu Picchu. Snaking around the sheer mountainside, the Inca Bridge is sometimes referred to as the “secret entrance” to Machu Picchu.
This afternoon, return to your hotel in Aguas Calientes where you relax with dinner before bed.
Explore the Sun Gate and Huayna Picchu
Breakfast early before setting out to Machu Picchu. Here, set off on a trek toward the Sun Gate, or “Inti Punku,” where you find some of the best views of Machu Picchu sprawled before you. Your trek then takes you along a rock staircase to Huayna Picchu, another locale known for incredible views of Machu Picchu. Huayana Picchu, a mountain sitting right behind Machu Picchu, offers views of the Citadel as well as a thrilling ascent.
After today’s hike, return to Aguas Calientes and board a train to Cusco. There, explore the city’s history sights on your own before bed.
Note: If the Huayna Picchu is not available, we trek to Montaña Machu Picchu, where you can take in views of the serpentine Urubamba River, Andean peaks and Incan ruins. At the mountain’s summit, Incan priests once performed rituals greeting to the mountain god, Salkantay Apu.
Delve into Cusco’s evocative history today with a city tour. Begin your exploration with the Main Square, which the Inca once knew as the Warrior’s Square or Huacaypata. After, we visit the El Triunfo Cathedral, a Spanish Colonial monument built on top of the Incan temple of Suntur Wasi (House of God). Enjoy the church's unique engravings before continuing on to the Church and Convent of Santo Domingo—another remnant of the Spanish Colonial era constructed over the Incan Temple of the Sun or Koricancha. Here, the Incas celebrated the Sun by plating the walls with sheets of gold.
After, set forth outside the city to the Incan fortress of Sacsayhuamán and the Incan baths of Tambomachay, where they gathered to worship the element of water. Your day also takes you to the worship site of Kenko, decorated in stone engravings of animals, and the military fortress of Puca Pucará whose turrets, terraces and vaulted niches give insight into the Inca’s enigmatic past.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to your hotel. From there, spend the afternoon exploring Cusco’s many sights at your own leisure. Enjoy your final evening in Peru.
Fly to Lima and Return Home
Travel to airport to meet transfer flight to Lima, where you connect with your international flight home.
Note: A 3 Day Extension Tour is available for those who wish to exten their stay in Peru. Extension pricing starts at $570 per person. Please inquire with our Adventure Consultants for specific dates and rates.
Day 1 - Arrive in Puerto Maldonado and Canoe to Hacienda Concepcion
Begin your journey in Puerto Maldonado and check-in at the Inkaterra Lounge. From there, find yourself immersed in the exotic world of the rainforest as you navigate a dugout canoe along the Madre de Dios toward the Hacienda Concepcion. There, indulge in a buffet made from locally-sourced ingredients and traditional, native flavors.
After lunch, venture further into nature with a hike along the Concepcion Trails, where you learn firsthand about the region’s rainforests. At dusk, set off in the canoe on the Twilight River Excursion, where you learn more about the Amazon’s creeks, critters and constellations while navigating the Madre de Dios River.
Return to your main house for another authentic Peruvian meal.
Day 2 - Explore the Tambopata National Reserve, Lake Sandoval and the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway Interpretation Center
Wake up to a hearty breakfast before setting off on your morning trek to Lake Sandoval—a visually stunning journey through the Tambopata National Reserve’s incredibly biodiverse world. Trek across the limpid oxbow lake where you can find the endangered giant river otter, the red howler monkey, black caiman, blue and yellow macaw, paiche and some of the Amazon’s largest freshwater fish.
After your trek, return for lunch before once again setting out on a canoe ride to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway Interpretation Center. Here, learn about center’s conservation projects and construction before you discover the exotic world surrounding you. Climb up one of the center’s two 98-ft towers, traverse the towering hanging bridges that connect the towers and take in the panoramic views such heights can afford. Trogons, squirrel monkeys, three-toed sloth, white-throated toucans and woodpeckers can be seen in this rainforest. Continue your exploration with a walk along the 200-meter bridge that extends across the region’s swamps and aguajales.
Your day exploring the region’s rich ecosystems concludes as you return to your lodge and relax with a freshly prepared Peruvian dinner.
Day 3 - Transfer to Lima & Return Home
Enjoy breakfast before canoeing your way back to Puerto Maldonado. From there, fly to Lima where you connect with your international flight home.
Dates & Rates
Year round daily departures available for 2 or more people. Please inquire for specific dates and rates.
- Brief presentation prior to departure
- Tours as specified
- Meals and accommodations as specified
- Transfers in private
- Entrance fees
- English-speaking guide
- First Class Train to/from Machu Picchu
- Services not specified in the program, extras and tips
- International and National flight tickets
- Insurance coverage of personal loss, injury, illness or damages incurred during your trip
- Personal laundry, dry cleaner, telephone charges
- Room service and mini Bar
FAQ & More
Difficult to answer, this is really a question of personal preference. The busy season is June to August and it's also the driest part of the year in Machu Picchu. If you don't mind being a little wet while avoiding a heavy flow of visitors, Machu Picchu in December and January is absolutely perfect for you. It's important to remember that tours to Machu Picchu happen all year round but the Inca Trail is closed in February each year.
Like most in South America, Peruvians love any excuse for a celebration and the country enjoys a huge number of religious ceremonies, festivals and local events. Carnival time (generally late Feb.) is especially lively almost everywhere in the country, with fiestas held every Sunday. Tours to Machu Picchu during these requires a bit more planning in advance for airfare prices calendar of major public holidays & festivals:
February Carnival - Celebrated most of the month prior to Lent throughout the whole country.
March/April Easter (Holy Week) - Fantastic parades all over Peru. ROW Adventures like the one in Cusco!
June 24 Inti Raymi - Cusco's main Inca Festival of the Sun. A great time to tour the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.
August 13 - 19 Arequipa Week - Parades, firework displays, plenty of folklore, dancing, and craft markets.
September End of the month Festival of Spring - Involves dancing, particularly the local Marinera dance.
October 18 - 28 Lord of Miracles - Festival featuring large and solemn processions.
Most travelers do not need visas; travelers of most nationalities are granted a 90 day tourist visa. All nationalities, however, need a tourist or embarkation card (tarjeta de embarque) to enter Peru, issued at the customs or on the plane before landing in Lima.
Altitude sickness is common in the highlands when visiting Machu Picchu, but can easily be treated by taking it slow and resting, staying hydrated, and there is medication available over the counter for pills altitude sickness. A yellow fever vaccination is recommended for areas east of the Andes Mountains, but not needed for Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, or other places along the coast or in the mountains. It's advisable to consult with Peru's official website before leaving for any questions.
UTC (universal time) minus 5 hours
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.
The current Peruvian currency, the Nuevo Sol - whose symbol is S/. Simply called a "Sol" . In Lima and Cuzco (and most other cities), Euros are as acceptable as US dollars for changing into soles.