One of the longest trips in Peru, this tour covers a little of everything that the country has to offer, and that’s why we call it ‘Absolute Peru’. It starts with a quick twirl in the vibrant capital, Lima, moving on to the weird and wonderful Nazca Lines and beautiful Arequipa. Colca Canyon boasts its majestic soaring condors and on Lake Titicaca the locals are waiting to welcome you into their home. Check out the market, artisan-style shops and tuck into local treats in the colonial city, Cuzco, before you can set off on the challenging Inca Trail to see Machu Picchu. A trip into the Amazon Jungle with abundant flora and fauna finishes it up nicely.
Arrive at any time.
If you booked the Culinary Bundle it does not include extra time in Lima and we highly recommend booking pre-trip accommodation. You will be picked up from your hotel at approx 10:00 and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return back to your hotel around 13:00.
Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Take the morning to explore more of Lima before journeying down the coast to Paracas. Walk the town's lively peatonal (pedestrian avenue) and find a café to sample some Peruvian food, such as ceviche or papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a chili cheese sauce).
Try your first Pisco sour while staying in Pisco's neighbour of Paracas.
Local bus (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
Minibus (0.50 hour(s))
There is time in the morning for an optional excursion to the popular Ballestas Islands, an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of bird life.
Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica.
Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year-round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located around the nearby oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect subjects for photography and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.
Huacachina Winery Visit
Huacachina Oasis visit
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 60km)
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 140km)
Travel south to one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The lines consist of patterns and pictures etched in the ground, crisscrossing a wide area of flat desert. From the ground we can make out very little, and the best view is from a light aircraft, which can easily be arranged.
Remains of the Nazca culture are still visible during our included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla, with 2000-year-old mummies, bones, and pottery on the desert floor. The tour also includes a visit to an artisan's workshop, where modern masters create Nazca style pottery.
Later, board a night bus to Arequipa.
Nazca Desert Cemetery and Potter's Studio Guided Tour
This comfortable double decker bus has toilet facilities on board.
Overnight bus (10.00 hour(s), 560km)
Explore Arequipa, the 'white city'. Interested in history and architecture? Opt to visit to the Santa Catalina Monastery, offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life.
For those spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa holds a variety of regional food— alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces waiting for you to dig in.
Travel a rough, rutted road through the Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve. Along the way there are chances to see vicunas, alpacas and llamas. Stop at Mirador de Patapampa lookout, the highest point on the tour at 4,910m with views of nearby volcanoes.
Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 165km)
Take a tour around the canyon, stopping in fascinating villages and at “miradors” (scenic lookouts), where, with a little luck, Andean condors will soar over the majestic mountains.
Colca Canyon Guided Tour
Climb over the mountains today, descending at Puno, which is on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is also the largest lake in the world above 2000m, and the views from its Islands are stunning.
Local bus (6.00 hour(s), 250km)
Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on the Taquile Islands and stop at a local restaurant to enjoy a lunch with spectacular views.
After, cruise to the another village (this can vary based on community availability) for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake. This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, learn some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.
Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 1
Lake Titicaca Homestay
Leave the homestay families late morning and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is to visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.
Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 2
Uros Floating Islands Visit
The trip from Puno to Cusco takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region. Check out a bit of Cusco, find a spot for dinner, or get prepared to head into the Sacred Valley.
Local bus (7.50 hour(s), 389km)
Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women who work there and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing practices. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs right from the source.
Take a guided tour of the impressive Pisac ruins, the colourful artisan market (on market days only), and a small indigenous village of Huchuy Qosco. Here, have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch, the proceeds from which go directly back to the remote community.
Continue on to the town of Ollantaytambo. Go for a guided tour of the large ruin site just adjacent to the town. Ollayntaytambo is the first taste of what lies ahead in Machu Picchu.
Ccaccaccollo Community and Women's Weaving Co-op visit
Pisac Ruins Guided Tour
Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley
Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour
Make stops along the way as you pass through this gorgeous valley, descending in elevation the whole way.
Private Vehicle (95km)
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.
A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you'll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.
Inca Trail Hike
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman's Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.
Inca Trail Hike
Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.
At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
Inca Trail Hike
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore until noon as permitted by the tourist ticket. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.
Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.
Inca Trail Hike
Machu Picchu Guided Tour
Train (1.50 hour(s), 118km)
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Enjoy a free day to explore Cusco or relax. Opt to go whitewater rafting, mountain biking or get a massage.
If you booked the Culinary Bundle, you will be picked up from your hotel at approx 12:30 and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return back to your hotel around 16:00.
Fly to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the lowlands of the Amazon Jungle.
After a brief stop in town to store large luggage, drive to the pier and travel by covered motorized boat to the jungle lodge. En route, see birds typical of the river or forest edge. The Tambopata Rainforest Area holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area.
Local community members make up the majority of the lodge staff, including multilingual naturalist guides. Here you have the opportunity to learn from them not only about the area's rich flora and fauna, but also about their extensive practical uses for medicinal plants and other forest plant resources, through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.
The lodge itself combines native architectural style and materials with low-impact eco-friendly technology. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with mosquito netting for individual beds, flush toilets, showers (with solar-heated hot water), and candles for lighting (no electricity).
Wildlife-spotting Night Walk
On arrival, take a private vehicle to the lodge's office in Puerto Maldonado town to store large luggage. You will be provided with duffels to bring only what you need into the jungle. From there, travel about 1 hr to reach the boat landing.
Plane (0.75 hour(s), 320km)
Motorized canoe (2.00-3.00 hours)
Head out early to catch the jungle at its wildest (and coolest). Walk slowly through the forest searching for wildlife before heading out on an oxbow lake by canoe. Search for anaconda, the elusive giant river otter or black caiman. Even if you don't spot these shy creatures, there are plenty of other birds, interesting plants and other animals to discover.
Have a final delicious Amazonian breakfast before heading back towards the airport by motorized boat and van. Fly to Lima and opt for a final night out for dinner or Pisco Sours.
Motorized canoe (3.00 hour(s))
Take a van from the pier to pick up stored luggage before heading to the Puerto Maldonado airport. Make a brief stop in Cusco en route to Lima. A private vehicle will be waiting to take the group to the Lima hotel.
Plane (1.50-2.00 hours)
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Absolute Peru
Duration: 21 Days
From Price: 3039
Trip Code: 126570
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