- Visit one of the world's deepest canyons
- Explore the "White City" of Arequipa
- Look for the Andean Condor
- Tour Machu Picchu and Cusco
Combine a classic Machu Picchu and Cusco tour with a visit to the stunning colonial city of Arequipa and the awe-inspiring Colca Canyon.
- TRIP LENGTH10 days
- SUPERIOR PRICEFrom $3,490 (4/5-star hotels)
- STANDARD PRICEFrom $2,990 (3-star hotels)
- INTERNAL AIRFAREFrom $690
- Private group:
- Private tour with professional Andean Discovery guide(s)
- Accommodations based on double occupancy
- All activities, transfers, and entrance fees as per itinerary
- Most meals
- International round-trip airfare to Lima
- Fees for passport and travel insurance
Upon arriving in Lima this evening, a member of our staff will transfer you to your hotel, just steps away from the airport. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Overnight: Lima Airport Wyndham
Note: Superior lodging is listed. Please contact us for information about Standard lodging.
Fly this morning to Arequipa, Peru’s second largest city. In part because of its buildings made of white stone carved from volcanic lava quarries, Arequipa is known as one of the country’s most attractive cities. A guided tour will include visits to the monastery, Plaza de Armas, La Compania Jesuit church, and traditional neighborhoods of Carmen Alto and Yanahuara. Lunch and dinner today are on your own.
Overnight: Casa Andina Private Collection Arequipa (B)
Depart early this morning for an overland trip to Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons—more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon—and set amidst high Andean volcanoes. Along the way observe the magnificent highlands, pre-Inca agricultural terraces, and peaceful rural villages. The journey to the village of Chivay will take you upwards of 12,000 feet above sea level. Upon arrival, you may opt to take advantage of the hotel’s hot thermal baths or Eco-spa services. Enjoy lunch and dinner on your own.
Overnight: Colca Lodge (B)
Set out early this morning set out for the Cruz del Condor lookout point, a nesting place for a large family of Andean condors. With a little luck, you will observe the condors gliding effortlessly on thermal air currents as they rise out of the canyon in search of food. Opt for a mid-morning hike around the canyon rim, and have lunch in Chivay before departing for Arequipa. Lunch and dinner today are on your own.
Overnight: Casa Andina Private Collection Arequipa (B)
This morning transfer to the airport for your short flight above the Andes Mountains to Cusco. Then journey down a winding mountain road with stunning views into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The first stop is the indigenous market in Pisac, a centuries-old market that sells a variety of foods and colorful indigenous handicrafts. Above the market lies the largest fortress-city complex of the Incas. Your guide will lead you on a walking tour through the ruins and the hillside terraces, part of the sophisticated Inca agricultural system. You may opt to hike to the ruins from the Pisac market. After lunch check in at your cozy Andean lodge.
Overnight: Sol y Luna Lodge & Spa (B, L, D)
This morning. head to Moray, an important Inca ruins site whose multi-terraced architecture made it an advanced bio-agricultural laboratory in its time. The changes in altitude between levels allowed for experimentation with different conditions, and ultimately allowed the Inca to perfect their farming techniques.
We’ll then visit a rural Quechua village and participate in a Pachamanca ceremony with community members. This revered tradition pays homage to Mother Earth by cooking meats and produce in a baking hole underground using heat from stones that have been left in the fire. Enjoy delicious local potatoes, lamb, chicken, corn, beans, and cheese, and learn about how this custom celebrates the fertility of the earth. After lunch, we head to the incredible salt ponds of Maras. Since before the Inca, this mountainside cascade of thermal springs has provided salt for the area’s residents. Return to your hotel in the afternoon and relax on your own.
Overnight: Sol y Luna Lodge and Spa (B, L, D)
This morning continue down the Sacred Valley to Ollantaytambo, home to the royal estate of the ninth Inca, Pachacuti, one of the most important Inca rulers because of his role in expanding the empire throughout South America. Today, Ollantaytambo is thought to be the only remaining example of pre-Colombian urban planning. It still retains the original street plan and foundations designed by the Incas. Later this morning, experience one of the world’s great train rides as you embark on the journey to Machu Picchu. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the views as the mighty Urubamba River carves its way through the Andean peaks outside your window. Descend into the cloud forest and arrive in Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. Our staff will assist you to your boutique eco-lodge, Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, situated in 13 acres of cloud forest garden along the Urubamba River. This afternoon is free to spend as you desire, with opportunities to visit thermal hot springs, a natural sweat lodge sauna, and a serene orchid pavilion. For those who just can’t wait, an optional visit to Machu Picchu can also be scheduled during this time. (Additional cost for extra Machu Picchu visit today and must be booked at least 30 days in advance.)
Overnight: Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B, L, D)
Take a short bus ride through tropical mountain forests to reach Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas. Flanked by steep Andean peaks on all sides and the mighty Urubamba River gorge below, it’s no wonder the Spanish were never able to find this secret Incan hideaway. Journey back in time with a walking tour through the complex and learn about the mysterious origins of this other-worldly citadel, which once served as a private retreat for Inca royals and their families. Marvel at the intricate and sophisticated stonework of its dwellings, sculptures, terraces and waterways, all of which make Machu Picchu one of the greatest architectural achievements of all time. Visit the Temple of the Three Windows, the Sacred Plaza, and the famous Intihuatana stone, a sacred stone carved by the Inca to mark the solstice and determine the beginning and end of each agricultural year. After exploring Machu Picchu, relax and watch the clouds of mist roll in over the mountains or opt for an exhilarating hike up to the summit of Wayna Picchu for an unparalleled aerial view of the ruins. Return to Cusco this evening. Dinner on your own.
Overnight: Palacio del Inka (B,L)
This morning you will explore Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire and known as the “Navel of the World” in the Quechua language. Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas fill the streets, proof that this ancient culture is still vibrant today. Meet your guide and wander down cobbled walkways admiring the architecture, a unique blend of Inca and Spanish influences. The first stop is a local, open-air market where Cusqueños buy their produce, meats, and cheeses. Discover exotic fruits, and several varieties of Quinoa, the Andean superfood, as well as unusual items like guinea pig and live frogs. Sample local delicacies, such as Chuta bread, which is cooked in traditional wood-burning ovens. Later this morning, visit the Coricancha, a temple dedicated to the sun that was once covered in sheets of gold and filled with golden figures and statues.
This afternoon enjoy some free time to explore Cusco on your own. Explore the colorful artisan shops of the San Blas neighborhood and search for the famed twelve sided stone. Lunch and dinner not included. Later this afternoon you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, check in for your international flight.
Optional activity: Time permitting, you may choose to visit the market with a professional chef, who will show you how to select the best ingredients and give you a cooking class to prepare a traditional recipe. This activity must be requested in advance for an additional cost.
Ideally located within Jorge Chavez International Airport, the Lima Airport Wyndham Hotel offers guests first class comfort and service.
A majority of the hotel's 46 rooms boast unparalleled views of Lake Titicaca.
The eco-friendly Colca Lodge is blessed with natural hot springs and surrounded by hundreds of pre-Inca agricultural terraces.
The charming Sol & Luna Boutique Spa is set amidst blooming flowers and a backdrop of canyon walls.
This boutique, luxury eco-lodge is located just steps from the train station in Aguas Calientes, but it's a world apart.
Located in the historic center of Cusco, this storied mansion dating back nearly five centuries is a comfortable and luxurious location to lay your head.
Fly over the mysterious Nazca Lines and explore Paracas National Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site. A boat trip to the Ballestas Islands offers great perspective of the desert coastline and up-close viewing of coastal birds, sea lions, and fur seals.