Make it truly your own. Start with this TailorMade sample itinerary, then work with our Private Travel team to customize the tour. Ancient civilizations and incredible animal life come together on this Peru itinerary that you can tweak and craft to your liking. Spot boobies, pelicans, and sea lions at the Ballestas Islands (known as Peru's Little Galápagos) then trek the challenging but rewarding Inca Trail to bask in the sight of Machu Picchu at sunrise.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
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 while staying in Pisco's neighbour of Paracas.
Visit the Ballestas Islands before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the Oasis of Huacachina.
Visit the popular Ballestas Islands, an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of birdlife. 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 pastime: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.
Take a guided tour of the Nazca desert cemetery and potter's studio and enjoy 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. From the ground we can make out very little, enjoy the best view from the air.
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.
Enjoy a city tour of Arequipa and visit the Santa Catalina Monastery.
Explore Arequipa, the 'white city' and visit the Santa Catalina Monastery on a city tour.
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 to Chivay, a village near Colca Canyon, for an optional dip in the thermal baths. Continue on to nearby Colca Canyon for the day, take a guided tour to spot condors.
Travel by bus to Puno. Arrive with a little time to wander the markets and explore the city.
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.
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.
After, cruise to another village 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.
Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno.
Spend the morning with the homestay families, then depart after lunch. Visit the floating islands of Uros on the way back, and learn about the unique lifestyle of the locals. Meet residents and learn how they built the islands with totora reeds, which are also used to make their homes, boats, crafts (and are also edible!).
Hop on the bus for a full day's drive to Cusco.
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.
Enjoy a half-day tour of Cusco's main sights. Walk around the Plaza de Armas (main square) and explore this city steeped in one of the world's most alluring and ancient cultures. Visit Qenqo, Koricancha, the Cathedral, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, and the archaeological site of Sacsaywaman. After, enjoy a free afternoon.
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op before visiting the Pisac ruins. Break for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. After lunch, enjoy a guided tour of the Ollantaytambo ruins.
Visit the Ccaccaccollo community centre see local weaving and dyeing techniques used to create garments and souvenirs, and learn how the Planeterra weaving co-operative has impacted the community. This includes the purchase of alpacas to provide a steady supply of wool, looms, and sewing machines as well as several training courses on production, sales and small business management. After, stop for lunch at the Parwa Community Restaurant. Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.
Tour the fascinating hilltop citadel of Pisac, an Incan ruin with plunging gorges, a ceremonial centre, and winding agriculture terracing that's still in use today. Continue on to tour the town and fortress of Ollantaytambo with a local guide. Take a step back in time at this Inca archaeological site.
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Ease into the adventure with a straightforward day of hiking the meandering streams, stunning Andean scenery, and ancient Incan ruins.
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Get your blood pumping on this first day of hiking the Inca trail. You'll trek for 11 km (5-6 hours), this first day is fairly easy and serves as good training for the next few days. Pass rambling rivers and a small village, and enjoy scenic mountain views; it's just a taste of what's to come. End the day at Wayllabamba Camp and get ready for another day of trekking ahead.
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.
Trek over progressively spectacular and steeper terrain on your way to Warmiwañusca (aka Dead Woman's Pass), the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769ft). Be prepared to face strong Andean weather (blazing sun or cold winds) around the pass. Take the hike slow as this is a 12 km day (6h–7h), and drink lots of water along the way – amazing views are waiting as a reward. Enjoy some ample time to rest and relax after reaching the Paqaymayo Camp; most campers arrive around early afternoon.
Cross two more passes and ruins on today's 16km (9h) trek. 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 the cloud forest on a 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).
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 for a guided tour of the site and enjoy free time to explore until noon as permitted by the tourist ticket. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows before returning to Cusco.
Wake around 03:30 to hike for 4km (1h30m) to reach the Sun Gate as early as possible. Head to the checkpoint and join the lineup to wait for the gate to open. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu (fingers crossed for a clear day). Hike down to Machu Picchu (about 45 mins) for a 1.5 hr guided tour of the site, and free time to explore. Gain local insight into the Inti Mach'ay cave, Inti Watana, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Water, the Temple of the Condor, and the Room of the Three Windows. Take time to sit and feel the energy of this 15th-century site, now both a UNESCO World Heritage site and voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World (in a worldwide Internet poll). Opt to visit the Inca Bridge (a 15-min walk one way) for no additional charge, if time allows.
Catch the bus outside the Machu Picchu gate after your visit for a 25-min downhill ride to Aguas Calientes. Eat and relax before the train ride back to Cusco this evening.
Enjoy a free morning in Cusco before visiting a local market and learning about Peruvian cuisine in a cooking class.
Fly to Puerto Maldonado and continue by motorized boat to the comfortable and intimate G Lodge Amazon.
After a brief stop in Puerto Maldonado 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 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.
Later on, get the lowdown on local flora and fauna, and grab a flashlight to discover what's living around lodge grounds. Receive help from the talented, expert naturalist guide to locate heaps of hidden creatures! Keep an eye out for snakes, tarantulas, owls, and poison dart frogs, just to name a few.
Enjoy guided excursions by expert naturalists to spot wildlife at nearby oxbow lakes and along jungle trails. Spend some time relaxing in a hammock, enjoying the local swimming hole or visiting a nearby plantation. Go for a caiman-spotting cruise after dinner.
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.
After dark head out by motorized canoe to search for caimans on the river banks. Enjoy a lesson on caimans from the expert guide. Take advantage of the keen eyes of the expert naturalist guides – they are truly spectacular at spotting these elusive smaller cousins of alligators hiding on the muddy banks.
Fly back to Lima for a final night in the city.
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.
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: TailorMade: Absolute Peru
Duration: 21 Days
From Price: $2,559
Supplier Tour ID: PHPTTM.A/250605
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