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Welcome to Peru! Fly into Lima Upon arrival to Lima, you’re greeted by a Peru Unbound guide who takes you to your accommodation’s for the evening. If you have time, explore Lima’s excellent restaurants, fascinating museums and bustling streets.
Lima - Cusco - City Tour
After breakfast, catch a flight at the Lima airport to Cusco—the ancient capital of the Incas. Upon landing, enjoy the bracing altitude and settle into your accommodations.
This afternoon, rejoin with your guides for a tour of Cusco’s ancient Inca ruins and Spanish colonial monuments. We begin our tour with a stop at Huacaypata or the Warrior’s Square; now the Main Square, it witnessed many critical moments throughout Cusco’s tumultuous history. We also visit Cusco’s El Triunfo Cathedral, constructed by the Spanish on the former Incan temple of Suntur Wasi, or House of God. Then, make your way to another Spanish colonial feat: the Convent of Santa Domingo. Once again, the convent is laid over the the Inca Temple of the Sun known as Koricancha. This “site of gold” was said to have been plated with gold and decorated with finely carved stonework. Our day’s tour ultimately takes you to the ruins of Sacsayhuamán, a grand Incan fortress, and the city of Cusco. Return to your hotel this evening and discover what fine dining Cusco has in store for you.
Cusco - Whitewater Rafting
We have an adrenaline-filled day ahead as we head off on a thrilling white water rafting trip. Raft the Chuquicahuana section of the stunning Urubamba River and take on Class III and IV rapids bordered by breathtaking scenes. After our morning on the water, relax with a freshly prepared hot lunch by the river before returning to Cusco for the evening. Relax, explore and indulge in another delicious Peruvian meal!
Cusco - Huchuy Qosqo Trek
Explore the lesser-seen side of Cusco as we begin to make our way to Huchuy Qosqo. Follow this lesser known path through small hamlets to an area that is scarcely seen by tourists. The Inca Site of Huchuy Qosqo, or “little Cusco,” sits high above the Valley of Urubamba and offers spectacular vistas overlooking the Sacred Valley and snow-capped peaks of the Vilcabamba range.
We begin our trek to Huchuy Qosqo with a drive to the small village of Patabamba, nestled in the heart of the Andes. Here, begin the hike through iconic Andean landscapes up to Pukamarca Pass. Continue on to Siwas town, where stretches of wild crops, masses of cacti and archaeological ruins await you. Enjoy the views and explore before descending to the beautiful remote Andean pueblo of Pukamarca for a brief break.
Back on the trail we continue downhill on a mystical ancient path. Travel through a narrow corridor bordered by immense rock walls until you come upon secluded ancient Incan remains, various Inca bridges and a set of stairs that represent some of the best-preserved Inca stairs around. This magical narrow canyon boasts geological formations surrounded by majestic rocks and boulders on the river Huchuy Qosqo.
We meet a local family here invite us to share dinner with them and provide tonight’s accommodations next the Huchuy Qosqo ruins. (Hiking Time: 6 hours)
Huchuy Qosqo Trek - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes
Enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast before heading off to explore the Incan ruins of Huchuy Qosqo. This archaeological complex is perched precariously on the side of a mountain, and its imposing architecture includes a large open ceremonial center from which you can behold amazing panoramic views. Explore the complex on a guided tour before continuing on our way down a steep descent to Lamay village.
We’re met by a waiting car and driven to the picturesque village of Ollataytambo in the Sacred Valley, at which point you will board the train toward Aguas Calienetes. Enjoy an evening of exploration and delicious food in Aguas Calientes.
Arrival to Aguas Calientes train station, reception and accommodation at the hotel.
Machu Picchu - Cusco
Wake up to a fresh breakfast before beginning today’s travels to the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Hike through the lush mountain landscape, explore the legendary ruins and experience the Inca’s lasting heritage. If you would like, you also have the opportunity to stretch you legs and hike to Huayna Picchu—another iconic site in the region that you won’t regret visiting.
After another delicious lunch, we travel by bus back to town to catch the train to Ollantaytambo. Once here, you are driven to Cusco where a leisurely evening awaits you.
Cusco - Mountain Biking to Moray and Maras
Take in the Sacred Valley’s fascinating archeological sites and stunning landscapes from the best seat around: a mountain bike. This half-day mountain biking excursion begins with a short stop at Moray’s archaeological park where you learn about the Inca’s advanced agricultural technology and the region’s distinct microclimates essential to the propagation of a wide variety of plants.
Relax with a picnic lunch before hopping back on your bike and pedaling to Maras. This cross country path takes you through mountainous countryside until reaching Mara’s truly breathtaking salt mines near the bank of the Urubamba river. Transport awaits you at our final destination, and this evening you can refresh yourself at your accommodations and relax with a well-deserved meal.
Cusco - Lima
Rise early for breakfast and set off to the Cusco airport to catch your return flight to Lima. Enjoy an afternoon exploring Lima and it’s tasty dining options at your leisure.
Lima - City Tour - Airport
Either this afternoon or this evening, explore the Historic Centre of Lima on a half-day tour. This UNESCO World Heritage Centre has plenty to explore, and we start with San Martin Square, or “Plaza de Armas,” where the Town Hall, cathedral, Archbishop’s palace and Government Palace can all be found.
Our tour then takes you to the San Francisco Church, a tour de force of Spanish colonial architecture. Next up, visit the Larco Herrera Museum known for it’s exceptionally diverse pre-Columbian archaeological displays. The exhibits give an evocative overview of Peru’s ancient past.
After our tour, head to the Lima airport to catch your return flight home.
Dates & Rates
Year round daily departures available.
Price $4080 per person, based on 2 people sharing in Tourist Superior Hotels
Single Supplement: $795
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 responsible 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.