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Inca Heartland
This trip has alternate itineraries available.
Please select your preferred option to see itinerary and pricing.
Inca Trail Until Dec 17 Lares Trek Until Dec 17 Cusco Stay Until Dec 17 Inca Trail From Jan 18 Lares Trek From Jan 18 Cusco Stay From Jan 18

Experience the archaeological highlights and the cultural treasures of the Andean highlands, then uncover the secrets of the mysterious Nazca Lines and Peru's desert coast on this incredible 3-week adventure. Embrace Incan culture past and present in Cusco and get a taste of Bolivian culture in La Paz. Travel by boat on Lake Titicaca and trek to the stunning ruins of Machu Picchu. As the Inca Trails largest operator, we run our own treks, which ensures quality food, service, and equipment. Join us for an immersive experience that few travellers get to know.

Latin America
  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: PXML.E/201817
  • Starts: Lima, Peru
  • Finishes: La Paz, Bolivia
You will Visit
  • Lima
  • Paracas
  • Nazca
  • Arequipa
  • Chivay
  • Cusco
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Cuncani
  • Kuyoc
  • Aguas Calientes
  • Puno
  • Lago Titicaca
  • La Paz

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Lima

Arrive at any time.

02

Day 2: Lima/Paracas

Enjoy a free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas.
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 cocktail while staying in Paracas, the neighbouring town of Pisco.

03

Day 3: Paracas/Nazca

Opt to visit the Ballestas Islands, an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of bird life, before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the oasis of Huacachina.
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 near the oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect subjects for photographs 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.

04

Day 4: Nazca/Arequipa

Take a guided tour of the Nazca desert cemetery and potter's studio. Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines before the overnight bus to Arequipa.
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. It's difficult to make out the lines from the ground. The best view is from a light aircraft, which can easily be arranged.

Remains of the Nazca culture are still visible during the included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla, with 1500-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.

05

Day 5: Arequipa

Enjoy a free day in Arequipa, the "white city". Opt for a city tour or visit to the Santa Catalina Monastery.
Interested in history and architecture? Opt to visit the Santa Catalina Monastery, offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life.

For 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.

06

Day 6: Arequipa/Colca Canyon

Travel to Chivay, a village near Colca Canyon, for an optional dip in the thermal baths. Continue on to nearby Colca Canyon for the day.
Travel a rough, rutted road through high plains flanked by extensive Inca and pre-Inca terracing that goes on for kilometres, en route to the Colca Canyon — the deepest canyon in the world. Stop at villages and miradors (scenic lookouts), searching for the famous symbol of Peru, the condor.

07

Day 7: Colca Canyon/Arequipa

Enjoy time at the canyon in the early morning before heading back to Arequipa for the night.
Start early to catch the condors in flight. Travel from Chivay to the condor viewpoint to admire these magnificent birds. On the way back, stop by some local villages and viewpoints to see ancient terraces and different sections of Colca Canyon. Return to Arequipa in the afternoon for one final night in the 'white city'.

08

Day 8: Arequipa/Cusco

Fly to Cusco. Opt for a city tour or to explore the city's markets, museums, and plazas.
Take the short flight to Cusco for an afternoon wandering this fascinating city.

09

Day 9: Cusco/Ollantaytambo

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op before visiting a local pottery making community. Break for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. After lunch, head out on a hike to the Ollantaytambo storehouses and lookout over the ruins.
Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs and textiles directly from the women who made them.

Have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the G Adventures for Good project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch. Proceeds of this meal go directly back to the remote community.

10

Day 10: Lares Trek

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to Lares town where the hike begins. Spend the first night at a G Adventures-supported campsite in Cuncani.
The Lares Trek is a scenic, less touristic route to hike through the Andes. It is one day shorter than the Inca Trail but higher in elevation. Enjoy G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Lares Trek.

11

Day 11: Lares Trek

Start early to hike from the foothills of Sicllaccasa Mountain to its high pass (4,750m/15,583 ft), providing scenic views of lagoons and the snow-capped Chicon Mountain. Celebrate after reaching the highest point by making an offering of coca leaves to the Andean gods. After the morning hike, stop to rest and take in the amazing view. Continue hiking downhill to our second campsite near the stream for the night.

12

Day 12: Lares Trek/Aguas Calientes

Enjoy the last few hours of hiking before travelling by van to Ollantaytambo and train to Aguas Calientes. Spend some time relaxing in town or visiting the nearby hot springs.

13

Day 13: Machu Picchu/Cusco

Enjoy a guided visit to Machu Picchu at sunrise. Use some free time to explore the ruins on your own. Later, travel back to Cusco.
Rise early to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu with your guide. Enjoy a guided visit to the ruins followed by free time to explore. Opt to walk up to the Sun Gate or Inca Bridge.

When ready, head back down by bus to Aguas Calientes to meet up with the rest of the group. Take the scenic train back to Ollantaytambo to meet the van for the ride back to Cusco.

14

Day 14: Cusco

Enjoy free time to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Nature lovers can book an optional adventure to go to the Amazon Jungle for a 3-day/2-night excursion.
Free days to relax, explore, and shop in Cusco, or discover its surroundings on any of the many optional excursions.

15

Day 15: Cusco

Enjoy free time to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Nature lovers can book an optional adventure to go to the Amazon Jungle for a 3-day/2-night excursion.
Free days to relax, explore, and shop in Cusco, or discover its surroundings on any of the many optional excursions.

16

Day 16: Cusco

Enjoy free time to explore Cusco or relax. Active options include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Nature lovers can book an optional adventure to go to the Amazon Jungle for a 3-day/2-night excursion.
Free days to relax, explore, and shop in Cusco, or discover its surroundings on any of the many optional excursions.

17

Day 17: Cusco/Puno

Travel day by bus from Cusco to Puno. Spend some time on arrival wandering the small city.
Today, travel through the high Altiplano region from Cusco to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is the largest lake in the world above 3800m, and the views from its Islands are stunning. The trip takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route.

18

Day 18: Puno/Lago Titicaca

Enjoy a guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village.
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 another village for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake (the homestay location can vary based on community availability). 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.

19

Day 19: Lago Titicaca/Puno

Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit the Sillustani burial site.
Leave the homestay families late morning, and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.

20

Day 20: Puno/La Paz

Travel by bus and cross the border into Bolivia, arriving in La Paz.
Enjoy a full-day drive around the lake and through the Altiplano to La Paz. Bolivia is filled with spectacular views of the countryside. La Paz sits nearly 4000m (13,120ft) above sea level, so be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.

21

Day 21: La Paz

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Nazca desert cemetery and potter's studio guided tour
    • Arequipa stay
    • Colca Canyon guided tour
    • Sacred Valley guided tour with visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving project (full-day)
    • Pottery making demonstration
    • Lunch at the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco, an indigenous village
    • Ollantaytambo storehouse ruins and hike
    • Lares Trek guided hike with cooks and porters (3 days)
    • G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Lares Trek
    • Machu Picchu guided tour
    • Floating islands of Uros visit
    • Lake Titicaca guided tour and homestay
    • La Paz stay
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (16 nts), overnight bus (1 nt), camping (2 nts), homestay (1 nt)
    • 18 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Public bus, plane, train, boat, hiking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, specialist Lares Trek CEO on hike
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Tour Highlights:
  • Spot condors at Colca Canyon
  • Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Experience local life at a homestay on Lake Titicaca
  • Explore the world's highest capital city