Peru Highlights

From Lima to Cusco
  • Peru
  • Amazon Jungle
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Experience some of the best places to visit in South America as you take in the cultural and scenic highlights of Peru on this tailor-made tour.  Explore Peru's highlights including Lima, Sacred Valley, Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Peruvian Amazon.

You will encounter the many cultures and ancient landmarks that span Peru’s incredible history. From the colonial architecture of the capital city, Lima, with time to acclimatize in the picturesque Sacred Valley, also a fascinating place to delve into the culture and farming.  Visit colourful market stalls, explore Incan sites including Pisac, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa and Kinchiracay, as well as the remains of a giant Inca fortress, Ollantaytambo. Incredible Cusco teems with amazing archaeological remains and Machu Picchu is sure to be a highlight!

Stay in the Amazon jungle in Peru, in a secluded lodge deep in the rainforest. Hike the jungle trails looking for Tapir, Agouti, Toucan, Harpy Eagle and more, cruise the waters of Oxbow lake in search of rare Giant Otters, huge Caiman, or spot Hoatzin and monkeys in the trees. Visit Macaw Clay licks to witness the spectacle of  tiny parakeets, colorful parrots, and brilliant macaws feed. Connect with nature, unwind, awake to the sound of the jungle!

On this journey, you will travel by comfortable bus, boat, plane and train with English speaking guides and stay in well-appointed accommodation. Let us take care of you as you enjoy Peru’s natural and historical wonders.

Viva's Best Bits...

For one of the best tropical bird experiences in the Amazon, you need to visit a Macaw Clay Lick. Due to nutrients, most likely salt, found in the cliff soil, the Clay Lick attracts dozens of species of birds. From huge Red & Green Macaws to Mealy Parrots

Gain insight into the fascinating and colourful culture of Peru as you travel through the beautiful Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, deep into the heart of the Incan empire...including a private tour of Machu Picchu, plus plenty of time to explore.

Handpicked hotels - stay in comfortable accommodation along the way, select from our standard, superior or deluxe options, including Casa Republica, our boutique hotel in bohemian Barranco, one of Lima's most vibrant districts! (superior programme)

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Lima

Lima, the capital of Peru, sits on the country's arid Pacific coast. Founded in 1535, its colonial centre is well preserved, but today Lima is a bustling metropolis and one of South America’s largest cities. The city is home to the various museums including the Museo Larco that houses a collection of pre-Columbian art and the Museo de la Nación, tracing the history of Peru’s ancient civilizations. Lima is known as the “gastronomical capital of the Americas”, encompassing specialties from ceviche and traditional coastal cooking to refined global fare. It even boasts several of the top restaurants in the world.

On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. This service includes a driver and local English speaking guide, who will provide you with any useful information needed for your stay.
Overnight in Lima

Day 2
Lima City Highlights & Tastebud Tantaliser

Embark on a 4 hour walking food tour in Lima's Historic Centre. The tour starts with pick up from your hotel and the first stop is the city's most famous 'Plaza San Martin'. After taking in one of Peru's most famous plazas and a photo opportunity of the Gran Hotel Bolivar, we will head to Lima's very own Chinatown and to the biggest market of the city!

During this food tour, you will have the chance to taste popular on-the-go delicacies that locals devour. While trying some tasteful local treats, you’ll be learning more about Peru's history and interesting facts around the local – informal – economy and daily life in Peru.

In the historic center of Lima, you will get to observe Lima's most emblematic architectural masterpieces, of Spanish and Moorish heritage. It will also be a great opportunity for you to people watch and immerse yourself into a truly joyful local experience – we designed this food tour so that you could feel like a real Liman!

*Private tours can be scheduled to start between 10:00 and 15:00

*NB that this tour requires a minimum of 2 passengers to operate
Overnight in Lima

Day 3
Cusco Sacred Valley

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

On arrival in Cusco, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where your representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel located in the Sacred Valley. Please note this service is with a driver only.

You have arrived to 3400m. Please walk slowly and take it easy, allow porters to assist with luggage if required. You will descend to 2700m on the 90 minute drive to the Sacred Valley Enjoy the spectacular local scenery and views of the Andes.

(NB Average altitudes - Cusco 3400m, Sacred Valley 2700m , Aguas Calientes 2050m, Machu Picchu 2400m)

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is a region in Peru's Andean highlands which, along with the nearby town of Cusco and the ancient city of Machu Picchu, formed the heart of the Inca Empire. Stretching roughly 60 kilometres from Pisac to Ollantaytambo, it’s an area of fertile farmland irrigated by the Urubamba River and Spanish colonial villages like Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

Overnight in Sacred Valley

Day 4
Sacred Valley Full Day Tour

You will be collected from your hotel for a day of exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This fertile river valley was home to many important sites for the Incas, both strategic and religious. The first stop is the village of Pisac, with its famous market and Inca Ruins. There is free time to wander the colourful market stalls before heading uphill to the Pisac, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa and Kinchiracay ruins. Enjoy a fine buffet lunch in gardens overlooking the Valley.

Continue your journey along the River Urubamba, to Ollantaytambo. The town, which is dominated by a giant Inca fortress, is perhaps the best surviving example of Inca town planning and was the scene of a rare Inca victory over the invading Spanish. Transfer to your hotel for the night.

Full Tourist Ticket included in your programme
Full BTG: Valid for 10 days. It grants you entry into the following sites in and around Cusco & the Sacred Valley:
Cusco cathedral, Religious Art Museum, Church of San Blas, Regional History Museum, Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, Pisac ruins, Ollantaytambo, Chinchero,Pachacutec Monument, Performance of Andean dance and live music.

Overnight in Sacred Valley

Day 5
Sacred Valley Machu Picchu

Today will be transferred from your hotel to Ollantaytambo train station.

You will travel by train from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes.

*Due to limited space for luggage storage on trains, luggage restrictions apply: one bag or backpack (carry-on luggage) with a maximum weight of 5.0 kg/11 lb, measuring no more than 62 linear inches/157 linear cm (height + length + width)

Private Machu Picchu Guided Tour:
You will be astonished by your first view of Machu Picchu, a stunning display of ancient architecture with incredible surroundings. Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca site, located 2,430 metres above sea level on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley. It is the most famous of all Inca sites, but it was not until 1911 that it was brought to the world’s attention by the American historian Hiram Bingham. The Incas abandoned the city just prior to Spanish colonisation, the city was never pillaged and as a result the ruins are still in fantastic condition. With its location on a dramatic ridgeline surrounded by sheer cliffs and the Urubamba River on three sides, the city of Machu Picchu is a remarkable place to visit. Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and in 2007 it was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Enjoy a tour of the ruins and monuments, such as the Main Square, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Solar Clock, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Cemeteries.

The tour includes guided tour with local English speaking guide and return bus from Aguas Calientes village. Please be aware that your tour of Machu Picchu does not include an entry permit to Huayna Picchu (the iconic hill behind the Machu Picchu ruins). If you want to climb Huayna Picchu then you need to pre-book your permit at least 3 months in advance and an extra day in your itinerary due to new site visit regulations. Please contact your Destination Specialist if you would like to do this.

Overnight in Aguas Calientes

Day 6
Aguas Calientes - Maras and Moray Cusco

Travel from Machu Picchu to Ollantaytambo in this comfortable train, and let your feet have a rest. Enjoy an authentic Andean experience, while relaxing in modern and comfortable interior design illuminated by Latin American music. Comfortable seats with tables in front to share the journey with friends.

Private Maras and Moray Tour
Today we will pick you up from Ollantaytambo train station for your Maras and Moray tour. Upon collection we will make a brief stop at your Sacred Valley hotel to collect your main luggage. The first stop will be Maras Salt ponds, believed to pre-date the Inca period, these shallow pools were dug into the mountainside which are filled with salt water from an underground spring from an adjacent mountain. Once the water evaporates, the salt is carefully collected and packaged up for sale. Witness locals harvest salt in the traditional way that has been practiced for well over 500 years. Situated roughly 7 km to the southwest of Maras, continue to Moray, which boasts an impressive Inca ruin of giant circular terraces that are believed to have been used for agricultural experimentation due to their exceptional irrigation system. On completion of this tour, you will be taken to your hotel in Cusco.

Cusco
Cusco, set at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Peruvian Andes, was once the capital of the Inca Empire. It is known for its Spanish colonial architecture and Incan remains. Narrow, cobble-stoned streets lined by Inca walls stretch out from the main plaza in every direction. Many of the colonial buildings were built on top of Incan foundations and the stonework is unparalleled in its precision and beauty.
Overnight in Cusco

Day 7
Cusco Walking Tour and Sacsayhuaman

Today, explore the city’s fascinating history, from the Inca times to colonial rule to the present day. Wind through narrow cobble-stoned streets and visit the market of Cusco. Along the way, get the chance to see the colonial buildings. Visit the fascinating Koricancha Temple of the Sun and the Cathedral, built on the ruins of an Inca Palace. From here, head to Sacsayhuaman, a former Inca fortress perched atop the hill above Cusco, it presents a work of impeccable engineering (gigantic carved rocks that fit with absolute precision).

Overnight in Cusco

Day 8
Free day in Cusco

Today is at leisure allowing you to spend time wandering the cobble-stoned streets of the ancient Inca capital. With treasures around every corner, Cusco is a wonderful city to explore on foot. Vibrant markets and stores give the traveller a plethora of shopping opportunities set amongst fine Inca and Spanish colonial architecture. The UNESCO World Heritage city is lined with history and ancient monuments, a truly enthralling city to spend time in.
Overnight in Cusco

Day 9
Cusco Puerto Maldonado - Amazon

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.
Fly to Puerto Maldonado

On arrival at Puerto Maldonado Airport, you will be met by a representative of Refugio Amazonas to begin the journey to Refugio. Enroute we will stop at the local office so that you can repack your luggage and only take what is required for the next four days. The rest will be stored securely in the office. Continue by road and a two and a half hour boat journey to Refugio Amazonas, located in a 200-hectare private reserve. The boat ride from the Tambopata River Port to Refugio Amazonas takes us past the Infierno Community and the Tambopata National Reserve checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit. A boxed lunch is provided to eat along the way.

On arrival to the lodge, you will be welcomed and given a brief orientation. After dinner at the lodge there is the option to join a night walk when most of the animals are active but sometimes difficult to see. The frogs are easier to see with their fascinating shapes and colours and fascinating sounds.

Note: Please ensure your arrival flight is no later than 13:05

Overnight Refugio Amazonas

Day 10
Tambopata National Reserve

Refugio Amazonas have a set of activities where you can choose from onsite, allowing you to create your own personalised experience deep in the Amazon. Below are suggested options you may like to choose from through-out your stay.

After breakfast venture out onto the lake by canoe or catamaran, looking for wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman, horned screamers, macaws and otters that are sometimes seen in the area. Back on land, a 30 minute walk from the lodge takes you to the 25 metre scaffolding canopy tower, complete with staircase running through the middle and providing safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built on high ground to give views of the primary rainforest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. Enjoy excellent views across the canopy and look for toucans, macaws and raptors.
After lunch you will visit a farm to learn about local agriculture and Amazonian crops before an ethnobotanical tour to learn about the medicinal uses of the various plants and trees of the region. In the evening, Refugio Amazonas staff offer lectures covering topics such as conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.

Day 11
Tambopata National Reserve

Refugio Amazonas have a set of activities where you can choose from onsite, allowing you to create your own personalised experience deep in the Amazon. Below are suggested options you may like to choose from through-out your stay.

Witness the audio and visual spectacle of a clay lick, watching vibrant coloured macaws, parrots and parakeets feast on clay. Species such as dusky-headed and cobalt-winged parakeets are often seen and with luck we may also see mealy and yellow-crowned Amazons, blue-headed pionus, severe macaw and orange-cheeked (Barraband`s) parrots.
After lunch, take a short hike from the lodge brings us to a beautiful Brazil nut forest that has been harvested for decades. Here you can learn about the whole process of the rainforest’s only sustainably harvested product, from collection through transportation to drying.
In the afternoon, there will be a visit to a peccary clay lick, this time to see mammals. Wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of up to twenty to eat clay, alongside deer, guan and parakeets.

Overnight Refugio Amazonas

Day 12
Tambopata National Reserve - Puerto Maldonardo Lima

After breakfast, return to Puerto Maldonado for your departure flight. Depending on airline schedules, this may require a dawn departure.

Please note: Depending on airline schedules, this may require a dawn departure. We recommend flight LA2074 departing at 13:35

*Schedule of activities are subject to change without notice

Fly to Lima, services end

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 Standard accommodation with breakfast daily
  • Included Copy 31 Upgrade to superior or deluxe accommodation
  • Included Copy 31 Alternative lodges available, including Posada Amazonas
Food
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast daily, and other meals as outlined in the included sightseeing tours
  • Included Copy 20 All Meals while at the Amazon Lodge
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Sightseeing on a shared basis as outlined in the tour itinerary with English speaking guides
  • Included Copy 20 All transfers, mostly on a private basis
  • Included Copy 20 Machu Picchu by train, with entrance fees, tickets and private tour
  • Included Copy 20 Entrance fees & National Park fees, unless otherwise stated
  • Included Copy 20 All river transportation
  • Included Copy 20 Internal flights as part of this itinerary*
  • Included Copy 7 Flights, Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable), tips, travel insurance
Transportation
Land, Air, Ship, Train ...

Activities

  • Included Explore the Amazon jungle by boat and by foot
  • Included Sample the local food in Lima, 'gastronomical capital of the Americas'.
  • Included Enjoy a private guided tour of iconic Machu Picchu.
  • Included Learn about the local culture in Peru's Sacred Valley.
  • Included Wander the narrow cobble-stoned streets of Cusco.
  • Included Witness the incredible Maras Salt ponds and impressive circular terraces at Moray.
  • Included Discover the ruins of the Inca Empire at Ollantaytambo.
  • Included Wildlife - peccary, sloth, caiman, otters, monkeys, agouti, and even a slim chance of jaguars!
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

12 days

Price from

$4,016 USD

Per person, sharing

Daily departures