The south of Peru is home to some of the most incredible, sought-out destinations in the country. On this 12-day experience, you will get to experience both the country's diverse ecosystems and its rich cultural heritage without having to plan a thing! Discover the ancient Inca ruins of the Sacred Valley, explore the Colca Canyon, and take a boat ride across Lake Titicaca.
Along the way, your local guide will be there the whole time to make sure the trip runs smoothly so that you really get to see the most interesting and unique parts of the country. No matter where this adventure takes you, your breath is guaranteed to be stolen by the beauty of southern Peru.
Day 1: Arrive in Lima
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to your hotel in Miraflores. From there, you are invited to relax and wander on your own. Don’t worry, your local guide will give you plenty of tips for your first day!
Day 2: Bohemian bike tour of Lima
Your local guide will pick you up at your hotel at 9:15 am for your bike tour. During this tour, you will get to cycle through the two main cultural areas of Lima: Miraflores and Barranco. On the way, you’ll admire examples of Lima’s old architecture and ocean views while listening to anecdotes and local folklore of this cool part of the city. After your 4-hour cycling tour, you are free to eat lunch and enjoy Lima’s famous cuisine.
Later in the day, you will meet your guide again and be taken to the airport for your flight to Arequipa.
Day 3: Exploring Arequipa
Today, you will be given the entire day to explore Peru’s stunning "white city." One of the main advantages of this beautiful city is that everything is close to the colonial city center, meaning you can easily explore its main sites at your own pace. Arequipa is a great city to wander in, and your local guide will give you maps and plenty of useful information so you can make the most of your day!
Day 4: Off to the Colca Canyon!
Starting the day bright and early at 7:30 am, you will head to Chivay. Along the way, you’ll experience incredible views of the Misti, Chanchani, and Pichu Pichu volcanoes. You’ll also get to see the pre-Inca terraces still used today by local farmers!
First, you will stop at Pampa Cañahuas, a natural reserve where you'll see some of the typical Andean wildlife such as wild vicuñas, llamas, alpacas, deer, wild rabbits, foxes, different species of birds, and sometimes even Andean flamingos. Afterwards, your local guide will take you to the Andean community of Patawasi for an amazing view of the Misti and Chachani volcanoes.
Next, you will stop in Coporaque for lunch, and you'll be given the option to participate in an hour-long hike to the San Antonio ruins for stunning views of the Colca Canyon terraces. Afterwards, you will get to visit La Calera Hot Springs, where you’ll relax and enjoy the sunset surrounded by mountains.
Day 5: The Condor’s Cross viewpoint
Today, your local guide will take you to the Condor’s Cross viewpoint, where you will get to witness the incredible flight of the condor and the depth of the Colca Canyon. After this stunning viewpoint, you will head to Chivay, stopping along the way at the traditional village of Pinchollo. Here, you will visit the Antahuilque viewpoint. Continuing along the way to Choquetico, your next stop will be the Andean community of Maca and Yanque, home to the most beautiful colonial church of the valley. After lunch at Chivay, it will be time for the 6-hour scenic drive to Puno, with views of huge lagoons, stone forests, and small Andean farmhouses.
Day 6: Floating islands of Uros, Taquile, and Luquina
This morning, around 7am, you will board a private motorboat and navigate through Lake Titicaca. After about 40 minutes, you will reach the floating reed islands of the Uros Community, where you will learn about their unique, age-old lifestyle with a visit to two of their floating islands. After, you will head to the peaceful island Taquile, where we’ll have some time to relax and explore.
At Taquile, lunch will be served at a traditional venue overlooking the lake. After a tasty Andean lunch, your local guide will take you to the small town of Luquina, located on the Chucuito Peninsula.
Upon arrival, you will meet your host family, who will show you around their land. If you’d like, you can even choose to participate in an additional fun activity like fishing, sailing, or hiking. By night, you will dine with your host family and learn even more about their culture and community.
Day 7: Kayaking in Luquina
Today, your local guide will take you on a beautiful trip along the countryside. You will set off on your kayaking adventure in Lake Titicaca, where you will get a unique new perspective of the famous lake. After lunch, you will return to Puno via motorboat for a good night’s rest in your hotel.
Day 8: Scenic bus ride from Puno to Cusco
This morning you'll be picked up and transferred to the bus station to board a big, comfortable tourist bus. Here, you will set off on a beautiful journey, leaving the highlands of Puno and traveling towards Cusco. Along the way, you will pass various small Andean towns and herds of llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas and take in breathtaking views of the snowcapped Andes Mountains.
Along the way to Cusco, the bus will make stops at interesting attractions such as Pukara, La Raya, Racchi, and the famous Andahuaylillas Church, known as the "Sistine Chapel of the Americas." Along the way to Cusco, you will also stop for a buffet lunch, which includes tasty traditional and international food.
Day 9: Cusco and Sacsayhuaman guided hike
On your first day in Cusco, enjoy an easy and short hike starting in the city’s historic center all the way into the surrounding countryside. At the end of the hike, you will reach Sacsayhuaman, a huge Inca fortress which overlooks the city. After touring the ruins, you and your local guide will head down, passing parts of an old Inca road and arriving in the bohemian San Blas neighborhood.
Afterwards, your local guide will show you the most popular sites in the city, such as the main square and the Qorikancha "Temple of the Sun." In addition to these key sights, you will also explore off-the-beaten-path destinations, ancient streets, and the local market, giving you an authentic feel for the city and allowing you to discover the magic of Cusco.
Day 10: Touring the Sacred Valley
In the morning, you will be picked up by your local guide to set off on a fascinating day in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Your first stop will be Pisaq, a traditional village with a very well-maintained archaeological site and a picturesque Andean market. Here you will get to learn about local customs and artisan crafts. After touring this village, you will enjoy lunch at a restaurant in Urubamba, before seeing the fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo. Once finished at the citadel, you’ll get to wander the narrow, ancient streets of the city.
From Ollantaytambo station, you will then board the comfortable and scenic train to the town of Aguas Calientes, which will be your starting point to Machu Picchu. The train journey is a spectacle in itself, and you’ll be able to witness the changing landscape, from green fields and eucalyptus forests to lush jungle.
Day 11: Discovering Machu Picchu
It’s the day you’ve been waiting for! Starting bright and early, you will take a 20-minute bus up the steep and zigzagging road to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by an expert local guide to give you an insider’s look into the mystery and beauty of this world wonder. After, you’ll be given free time to continue exploring every corner of the "Lost City of the Incas” at your own pace.
After exploring Machu Picchu, you will return to Aguas Calientes for lunch and will board your train back to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be taken back to your hotel.
Day 12: Departure day
Today you will say goodbye to Peru. Enjoy some free time for one last stroll or to pick up some extra souvenirs. At a coordinated time, you will be taken to the airport for your flight.
Born and raised in Lima, I moved to Germany to study business and marketing. Following the traditional business path, I began working in sales and marketing at a multinational company, but realized that going to work every day felt more like a chore. I decided it was time I pursued my two passions: entrepreneurship and travel. I started my travel company in 2009 and have since loved every day of my job. Having grown up in Peru, I understand the beauty that lives within the land, and I absolutely love showing it to others. On each trip I lead, I get to share my world while also meeting new people and learning new things. I invite you to come to Peru and explore the soul of my country, together.