WHY THIS TRIP
There’s way more to Peru than just Machu Picchu. The Peru Explorer is a comprehensive cultural and hiking tour through Southern Peru, exploring the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, the high desert city of Arequipa and the nearby Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons, Cusco, the stunning and culturally rich Sacred Valley of the Incas, and culminating with a 1-Day Inca Trail hike so that you arrive into Machu Picchu on foot.
This trip is ideal for travelers looking to experience the best of Southern Peru in just 13 days plus have the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu.
You begin your journey in the “White City” of Arequipa in southern Peru dominated by the stunning conical “El Misti” mountain. At 2,600 meters, Arequipa is the ideal place to begin your acclimatization to the rarefied air of the Andes. One can explore Arequipa’s fine Plaza, the ice mummy museum or visit the many alpaca textile shops. You then board a private minibus and head off through remote villages to the impressive Colca Canyon and the delightful Colca Lodge. Here you have the chance to see condors over one of the world’s deepest canyons, hike to local ruins or just relax in some of the finest hot-springs imaginable.
A spectacular drive through the Altiplano takes you to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. This busy lakeside town is the base for your day trip on Lake Titicaca. You take a private express boat to visit the floating reed islands of Uros and Taquile Island. These are renowned for their ancient way of life, weaving and spectacular views of the lake.
You then take one of the world’s classic railway journeys from Puno across the high plains to Cusco. You spend a day exploring Cusco, the former Inca capital and a wonderful place to explore full of culture, history, good restaurants and fun nightlife.
Now fully acclimatised, your next adventure takes you to the local ruins surrounding Cusco and through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, passing local markets and the Inca fortress town of Ollantaytambo, before hiking the last day of the Inca Trail to arrive into Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, on foot through the Gate of the Sun. After a night in the colorful town of Aguas Calientes, you spend a whole day exploring the awe-inspiring citadel of Machu Picchu. The return to Cusco is by luxury train and bus with a final free day for any last minute sightseeing and souvenir hunting before heading back to the airport for your ongoing flight.
Those with more time should consider adding on an Inca Trail Trek or the Amazon Rainforest Jungle Extension.
LOCAL OPERATOR: AMAZONAS EXPLORER
For more than three decades Amazonas Explorer has led high-quality trips and alternative adventures throughout South America. Based in Cusco, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew bring their passion and skills to the travelers they serve and, in turn, build rewarding careers for themselves. This talented staff of local experts is focused on providing you with safe and comfortable adventures, all centered on making your holiday as memorable as possible.
Lori A. –
Robyn and I enjoyed the trip immensely. We had a wonderful time and really felt that all was very well organized and timed to get the most out of all the activities. All three guides were excellent, showed an understanding of the country, history and culture as well as having a good sense of humor. We learned a great deal from them and felt as though we were in good hands. We’d highly recommend all three. We enjoyed their different personalities and approaches to life. All the accommodations were excellent. Colca Lodge turned out to be one of our favorites. Casa Esmerlda had excellent service but was a little distant from the downtown area. However it was nice and quiet. Queltani in Puno was our least favorite, but no major complaint. Of course Machu Picchu was fantastic. Robyn did have a bout of altitude sickness on the way to Colca Lodge but Mauricio was able to administer oxygen which took care of the problem. We went on to thoroughly enjoy the next day watching the condors. Manuel thankfully was able to pace the climbs on the islands at Lake Titicaca for which I was very thankful…and yet we enjoyed the views as well as being able to connect with the families. The least favorite day was the trip from Cusco to Puna on the bus…lots of uncomfortable time on the bus, hard to understand guide and hurried through looking at the points of interest on the way. However the train would not have allowed stopping to see anything.
In all it was a great trip….thanks so much for all of your planning and hooking us up with Amazonas!
Scarlett B –
Our trip was absolutely phenomenal. We give it a Five plus. All the guides were wonderful and took great care of us. Everyday was another exciting adventure and just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, it did! We loved the people of Peru, the food, the historical sites, wildlife, scenery of the sacred valley, high Andes, lake Titkaka and Machu Picchu. The timing and pacing was perfect. We only wished we had gone to Colca Canyon to see the condors too. I think my three favorite things were the visit to the family on the floating islands, climbing Huayna Picchu, and our safari tented lunch by Moras/Moray with views of the Andes in the background, besides all the hundreds of macaws at the clay lick in the to boats preserve and petting all the llamas. You have a great company and run a top notch operation.
Robyn Thibado –
My mom and I had a wonderful trip! All three of our guides were courteous, knowledgeable and concerned about our welfare and making sure we were having a great trip. The hotels were fine and the pace of the trip was well planned. I would definitely recommend this trip and can’t wait to go back to Peru!
Lois K –
We had good tour guides with lots of local knowledge, beautiful scenery, lots of history, Great itinerary. Had a great time!
Thank you for all your help in planning our trip. We now have thousands of photos and 10 hours of video to go through. I would recommend all of our tour companies and of course Detour Destinations to anyone planning a trip. I really enjoy picking and choosing what I want to see and do and also I like to visit my destinations in more detail than most tour companies allow. All our pickups and drop-offs went extremely well and the hotels we stayed in were great. Also all our local tour guides and drivers were very knowledgeable about the local history and nature.