Lima - Cusco - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Lima
From the modern streets of Lima to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, discover Peru’s diverse destinations on this week long itinerary.
Cross the cultural heart of the Andes with this magical journey. Start in Peru's melting pot, Lima, then journey from the Inca capitals of Cusco and Machu Picchu, to the stunning Lake Titicaca, and finish in the Bolivian capital of La Paz.
Welcome to Peru's ultimate landscape adventure. Admire the mythical Machu Picchu, soak in the indigenous essence of Cusco, contemplate the snowy peaks over Lake Titicaca, and lose tour breath with the imposing flight of condors in the Colca Valley.
Lose your breath as you discover two of South America's most striking sceneries: the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu amidst the clouds, and Bolivia's mirrored landscapes of the endless Uyuni Salt Flats.
Embark on a journey deep down the Amazon to see its unique wildlife as you relax on a cruise, then fly across the Andes to visit the city of Cusco and Peru's undisputed archeological jewel: Machu Picchu.
Unearth Colombia's bounty of nature traveling to the jungles of the Amazon Rainforest, then fly to the other side of the country and relax on the white sand and turquoise waters of its Caribbean islands.
Take in the south of Peru and cross into Bolivia, visiting the Inca capital of Machu Picchu, the breathtaking Colca Canyon, the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, and the wild geology of La Paz.
Embark on an unforgettable adventure in Peru to the ancient ruins in Cusco and Machu Picchu, the desert oasis of Huacachina, the mysterious geoglyphs of Nazca, and the coastal eden of Ballestas Island.
Join a group of likeminded travelers and live the most memorable adventure experience in South America as you walk the ancient path that the Incas followed to get to the sacred Machu Picchu.
Take in all the must-sees of southern Peru: Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Colca Canyon, plus a flight over the enigmatic lines of Nazca, and a visit to the pelicans and sea-lions of Ballestas Island.
Enjoy the majestic and mystical culture of Peru with this complete packaged tour, from the top of the Peruvian Andes to the lush greens of the Amazon River. Feast your eyes at the incredible sights of the geoglyphs as you take flight in the most breathtaking landscape of Nazca.
Enjoy the best spots in Peru, including the city of Lima, Cusco and the grandeur of Machu Picchu while staying at the most luxurious hotels. Spend this joyous tour in awe of the scenic natural landscape of Peru, as you get close to its culture and heritage.
From the modern streets of Lima to the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, discover Peru’s diverse destinations on this week long itinerary.
From deserts, canyons and colonial cities to Inca ruins, this two week Peru itinerary offers a diverse look at this country.
Escape Machu Picchu's crowds and discover the rich history of Peru’s archaeological sites and ancient civilisations of the north.
Take a step back in time to explore the remote mountain landscapes of the Sacred Valley on the iconic Inca Trail during this one week itinerary in Peru.
From the ancient Machu Picchu to Lake Titicaca, this itinerary passes through some of Peru’s most stunning destinations.
Uncover the history behind Peru’s most ancient civilisations on this 7 day itinerary, traveling from modern Lima through the north of the country.
Experience the little visited vibrant highland towns of Peru and the magnificent Sacred Valley on this 10 day itinerary.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Amazon Rainforest - the world’s most biodiverse stretch of tropical rainforest - on this 7 day itinerary.
With exciting wildlife spotting opportunities and unique sights found nowhere else on Earth, such as the Nazca Lines, Peru emerges as a magnificent holiday destination.
The Quechua people, as well as indigenous Aymará, continue their ancient farming methods on Titicaca’s terraced slopes while the Uru weave floating ‘islands’ of reed.
The shy faces of Andean village children wrapped in colourful ponchos of llama wool peeking out from behind doors, playing football at more than 3000 metres with porters.
Some indigenous groups believe that when a photograph is taken it steals the soul of the person and you should never take an image if culture dictates otherwise.
Zooming in on individual section can create a better sense of the immensity of the structure, as well as highlight details or aspects of it that you normally wouldn’t notice.
From wandering through the magnificent architectural ruins along cobble-stone streets to experiencing the bustle of local Guatemalan life, the city is a living, breathing museum of its Spanish colonial legacy.
Set on a mountain ridge above the spectacular Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu is without a doubt Peru's most famous destination. The ruins of this ancient civilisation, 'The Lost City of the Incas', date to the 15th century and remained hidden from the outside world for much of their existence.
Shrouded in mystery, the Nazca Lines are a series of geoglyphs within the Atacama Desert, believed to have been created between 400 and 650 AD by the Nazca people. Naturally preserved, the flora and fauna motifs are best viewed from above in a cessna plane.
Lake Titicaca along Peru's border with Bolivia is home to the artificial Uros Islands, made from woven tortora reeds that grow along the shore. Here indigenous people have made their home in floating reed houses, welcoming tourists to witness their unique lifestyle and handicrafts.
This desert reserve along the Península de Paracas is not only a sanctuary for a number of marine and bird species, but also contains ruins from ancient Paracas people who once inhabited the region. It serves as the launching point for boat trips to explore Peru's 'Little Galapagos', Islas Ballestas.
The small oasis town of Huacachina is nestled between towering sand dunes around a small natural lagoon in the southern Ica Region. This desert landscape is bathed in legendary tales and a great place to sand board or dune buggy, as well as experience some of Peru's most impressive sunsets.
Pacaya–Samiria National Reserve is one of Peru's largest protected areas, set within the magnificent Amazon. Its rich biodiversity includes a number of endangered species, such as the pink Amazon dolphin, and boat trips along the river allow you explore its dense jungle and waters, as well as local villages.
Twice as deep as the United States' Grand Canyon, Colca Canyon offers impressive trekking through steep terrain and ancient hanging tombs to explore at both Choquetico and Litomaquetas. Most come, however, to witness the great Andean condors soaring on rising thermals above the canyon walls.
Lined with captivating colonial architecture and home to an impressive Incan history, the city of Cusco is perhaps Peru's most beautiful. Wander its streets and open plazas, take in the history at its museums, and visit the pre-Incan ruins that surround.
Backed by towering volcanoes, the historic centre of Arequipa is home to grand Catholic churches and monasteries, interspersed with elaborate Spanish colonial mansions. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site with streets that glisten white from the 'sillar' stone used throughout its construction.
Once largely isolated from much of Peru, the beautiful colonial city of Ayacucho is a blend of pastel-coloured buildings, set along cobble-stone streets, and dotted with elaborate churches. It is home to some of the country's most intriguing festivals with a unique and fiercely independent cultural spirit.
Peru's capital is an energetic mix of modern development and ancient history, where some of the country's best restaurants, museums and art galleries await. Explore the upmarket Miraflores beachside district, then venture north to the temples and pyramids of Caral, dating back to 2,500 BC and considered the oldest civilisation in America.
Set along the banks of the mighty Amazon River, Iquitos is the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. A city which flourished with the rubber boom at the start of the 20th century is today an atmospheric blend of distinctive neighbourhoods, beautiful architecture and bustling traditional markets.
The Inca Trail is one of the most famous hikes in the world, stretching more than 40 kilometres through spectacular Andean mountain scenery to the ruins of Machu Picchu.
Considered by many to be more untouched that its Brazilian counterpart, the Peruvian Amazon is a remote landscape of dense rainforest and tropical wildlife, best explored along its magnificent rivers.
Mancora in Peru's far north is home to endless stretches of white sandy beach and offers some of the country's best surf.
With the Andes as a backdrop, the desert-like landscapes of the Ica Valley are home to elegant bodegas and vineyards where the country's best wine can be sampled.
Surrounding the town of Huaraz, the Cordillera Blanca is traversed by stunning mountain trails where glacier-fed lakes emit an otherworldly blue colour, and home to Peru's highest mountain, Huascaran.
When to travel to Peru depends largely on where you want to visit, with the country's geography (and temperatures) contrasting dramatically.
Coast. If you are heading to the coast, then opt for the Summer months (Dec-Feb) when warm temperatures and sunny days are perfect for the beach.
Desert. In the desert, temperatures soar during the summer months, while Spring (Sep-Nov) and Autumn (Mar-May) are more bearable, with little to no chance of rain and fewer crowds than the Winter high season (Jun-Aug).
Andean Highlands. In the Andes, heavy rains descend from December to March (and the Inca Trail closes altogether in February) while the dry and busiest trekking season extends from June to September.
Amazon. The Amazon sees very heavy rains between December and February, while the Spring and Autumn shoulder seasons are still relatively crowd-free.
The Quechua include a number of indigenous groups throughout South America that speak the Quechua language. They inhabit vast areas of the Peruvian Andes, farming the slopes and rearing llamas, and are known for their colourful dress and elaborate headwear or bowler hats. They are also noted for producing beautiful traditional handicrafts, sold throughout the region at local markets.
The Aymara live in large areas of the Peruvian Andes and along the shores and islands of Lake Titicaca. The women are known for their elaborate chola dresses, as well as bowler hats, originating in La Paz, Bolivia but becoming an identity symbol for the group across the region.
The first fortnight of February sees the city of Puno come to life in celebration of its patron saint, the Virgin of Candelaria. This religious festival features traditional dance and music, as well as artistic representations of the local Quechuan culture. The traditional feast which is held during the festival is listed by UNESCO for its cultural heritage importance.
While the religious ceremony known as Inti Raymi or 'Festival of the Sun' traditionally occurred across the Incan Empire, today it is celebrated with most vigour in Cusco. The main plaza is ignited with music, dance and feasting by indigenous Quechua, as well as masked costumes and animal sacrifices to the Earth God, Pachamama.
In mid-July each year, the town of Paucartambo celebrates the Fiesta de la Virgen del Carmen, with street parades of traditionally-costumed locals, masked dancers, musicians and market fairs. Black-masked Capaq Negroes represent African slaves who once worked the silver mines, while blue-eyed masks are the oppressive white man.
Peruvian cuisine is a reflection of its multicultural past, fusing indigenous Incan staples, such as corn, potatoes, legumes and quinoa, with Spanish ingredients (including rice and wheat), and others brought by the country's diverse immigrants. It is also heavily influenced by the region's contrasting geography and includes a few delicacies not found elsewhere, as well as unique preparation techniques.
Peru's Pacific coastline offers up an abundance of seafood, and the famed dish known as ceviche is irresistible. This mixture of raw fish, marinated or 'cooked' in citrus juice, has a chewy texture and makes for the perfect Summer lunch.
Resembling a mango, the lucuma fruit has a delicious, custardy texture and its sweet flavouring makes it a popular after-meal dessert, served fresh or as an ice-cream variety.
Pollo a la brasa is roast chicken, Peruvian style. First the bird is marinated in a mix of soy sauce, garlic, cumin and red peppers, then slow roasted and served with fried yuca, the Peruvian alternative to French fries.
While you will see these camelids and their prized woollen garments all over Peru, few taste alpaca meat, a long-established source of protein in the country. The lean, 'gamey' meat is delicious and incredibly healthy.
Commonly known as guinea pig, cuy is a Peruvian delicacy that tastes somewhat like rabbit. It is normally baked or barbecued on a spit and (uncomfortably for some) served whole with the head still attached.
From the boutiques of Miraflores to the jungle produce at Iquitos' Belen Market, Peru offers exceptional shopping experiences. For traditional handicrafts you can't go past the Sunday markets at Pisac and Chinchero with sellers dressed in typical costume, while the best quality alpaca and vicuña are said to be found in Arequipa. If you want to pick up a one-off piece of art, then don't miss Barrio de San Blas overlooking Cusco where open studios allow you watch artists at work.
Perhaps the most classic Peruvian souvenir is an alpaca wool poncho, worn the country over by indigenous people and perfect for staying warm in the Andean highlands.
Once upon a time only royalty were permitted to wear garments made from the prized vicuña's wool, but today this soft, warm fibre is available for everyone willing to pay the premium price.
Ceramic production in Peru dates back to the pre-Columbian era when they served a ceremonial or religious purpose, but today earthen pottery and figurines make an ideal souvenir.
The indigenous people on Isla Taquile in Lake Titicaca are famed for their fine woven textiles, sold through a local co-operative. While it is more expensive than that found elsewhere in Peru, the quality is also superior.
You can find original, contemporary Peruvian artwork throughout Lima's galleries, as well as Cusco's bohemian neighbourhood of San Blas where artists often work out in the street.
The Peruvian Amazon is home to around 15 indigenous tribal groups who have no regular contact with the outside world and some tour agencies have recently been exploiting these groups for economic gain, offering unique 'sightings' to tourists. These 'human safaris' should be avoided out of respect for the 'un-contacted' tribes, allowing them to retain their traditional lifestyle.