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14 days

Peru, including 2-day Inca Trail trek

Take a 2-day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu through the fairy tale landscape of the Andes. You will also discover the Inca capital, Cusco, as well as Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca.

Peru, including 2-day Inca Trail trek
Peru, including 2-day Inca Trail trek
14 days

Peru, including 2-day Inca Trail trek

Take a 2-day Inca Trail trek to Machu Picchu through the fairy tale landscape of the Andes. You will also discover the Inca capital, Cusco, as well as Lima, Arequipa, Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca.

HomeLatin AmericaPeruPeru, including 2-day Inca Trail trek
What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flight from the UK to Lima with connecting flight(s) on the way (enquire regarding direct flights)
  • Flight from Cusco to the UK with connecting flight(s) on the way
  • 1 domestic flight: Lima – Arequipa
  • Transfers to and from airports (in small international groups)
  • Bus: Arequipa – Colca Canyon – Puno – Cusco
  • 12 nights at good hotels, including breakfast
  • 4 x lunch (days 4, 6, 7 and 10)
  • Individual tour; however, all excursions are in small, international groups with local, English-speaking guides.
  • ATOL certificate
  • Emergency hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip
  • Departure guarantee – The price is valid when at least 2 people travelling. Please ask for a price if you are travelling alone

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • Half-day guided tour of Lima including Larco Museum
  • Half-day guided tour of Arequipa including visit to the Monastery of Santa Catalina
  • Full-day excursion to Colca Canyon with thermal baths, old agricultural terraces and condors
  • Half-day excursion to Lake Titicaca including the islands of Uros and Taquile
  • Half-day guided tour of Cusco and its surroundings
  • Full-day excursion to the Sacred Valley
  • 2-day Inca Trail trek including transport from and to Cusco with English-speaking guide and guided tour at Machu Picchu
  • Admission to all attractions mentioned

THE TOUR IN SHORT

Join us on an adventurous tour to Peru, where amazing natural experiences, impressive Inca ruins and beautiful colonial gems await you.

The tour starts in Lima, where you will see both the modern district and the city’s UNESCO-listed historic centre with the Church and Convent of San Francisco, built during the colonial era.

You will then fly to Arequipa, also known as the “White City” because of its beautiful white buildings built from volcanic rock. You will see the famous colonial Monastery of Santa Catalina and enjoy the view of the three surrounding volcanoes: Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu.

From Arequipa, the tour takes you to incredible nature experiences in Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world. The barren highland landscape is home to alpacas, llamas and the majestic condor, to name but a few animals.

Before heading to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas, you will visit Lake Titicaca, where traditional indigenous communities still uphold ancient traditions.

An exciting historical mix of relics from the colonial era and Inca ruins awaits you in Cusco. The highlight will undoubtedly be your 2-day trekking adventure along the ancient Inca trails through the enchanting landscapes of the Andes to the most famous Inca ruin of them all: Machu Picchu.

Why choose this tour

  • On this 2-day Inca trek, you will walk along the original Inca trail to Machu Picchu, but sleep comfortably at a hotel at night.
  • See majestic condors glide elegantly over the deep Colca Canyon
  • Visit historic colonial buildings in Lima and Arequipa, and ancient Inca ruins in Cusco
  • Discover the traditions of colourful indigenous communities on Lake Titicaca and in the Sacred Valley

Our prices always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All destination transfers
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • All accommodations
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in Lima

Today, you will leave the UK and head to Peru with connecting flight(s) along the way.

On your arrival at Lima airport, you will be met by a representative of our partner in Peru, who will drive you to your hotel. The drive from the airport to the hotel takes around 1 hour and along the way you will be given information about your tour and answers to any questions you may have.

The rest of the day is yours to do as you please.

Day 2: Guided tour of Lima

Today, you will be going on an exciting half-day guided tour of Lima, which takes you both to the modern district and the historic centre of the city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Peruvian capital was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, and the buildings in the city’s historic centre therefore also bear characteristics of the colonial era.

You will be picked up from the hotel and head to the vibrant central square of the city, Plaza Mayor, which is adorned with flowers in red, white and yellow, tall palm trees and a fountain with the city’s guardian angel placed at the top. The historic square is surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings, including the Government Palace, the the Archbishop’s Palace and Lima’s impressive cathedral, where Pizarro’s earthly remains rest.

The tour continues to the Church and Convent of San Francisco, the entrance of which is adorned with fine mosaic tiles from Seville. Housing more than 25,000 ancient texts – some from before the conquest – the church library is world famous. Beneath the church are impressive catacombs with skulls and bones placed in such a way as to form geometric figures.

You will then visit the San Isidro district with its beautiful parks such as the lovely Parque El Olivar, followed by the modern district of Miraflores with its beautiful gardens, squares, boulevards and cosy cafés and restaurants.

The guided tour rounds off with a visit to the Larco Museum, one of Lima’s best-known museums. Dedicated to pre-Columbian art, it houses an extensive collection of intriguing objects from various pre-Columbian cultures, including Moche, Nazca, Chimú and Inca.

The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to do as you please.

Day 3: Flight from Lima to Arequipa – guided tour of Arequipa (2,335 metres)

Arequipa is scenically situated in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of almost 2,400 metres, with the volcanoes Misti (5,822 m), Chachani (6,057 m) and Pichu-Pichu (5,669 m) as a beautiful backdrop. The city is known as “The White City” because most houses are built of volcanic rock.

You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Lima and driven to the airport, from which you will fly to the charming city. Drive: approx. 1.5 hours On your arrival in Arequipa, you’ll be picked up from the airport and driven to your hotel.

In the afternoon, you’ll go on a guided tour of the city and discover the many stately mansions and colonial buildings from the 18th century with their carved doors, French windows and cosy courtyards. You will also visit the central square, Plaza de Armas, with its palm trees, old gas lanterns, fountains and, of course, the city’s huge cathedral.

You’ll then visit Arequipa’s biggest attraction, the Santa Catalina Monastery, which once housed more than 400 nuns. Santa Catalina was founded in 1580 by the rich widow Maria de Guzmán. It was primarily aimed at the upper classes, for whom, during colonial times, it was customary for the family’s second child to serve the church. The girls were brought to the monastery at the age of three and never ventured outside the walls again.

The monastery has been hit several times by earthquakes but has been rebuilt in its original style, and the historic buildings still stand to this day. Although the monastery is open to the public today, there is still a small religious unit living at one end of the complex. Today, however, the nuns are free to receive visits and leave the Monastery of Santa Catalina whenever they want.

The last stop on the tour is Yanahuara Plaza, where you have every opportunity to take some beautiful pictures of the city’s breathtaking volcanic surroundings.

You have the evening to yourself in Arequipa.

Accommodation:
Day 4: Bus ride from Arequipa to Chivay in Colca Canyon (3,650 metres)

It’s an early start this morning, as you’ll be heading to Colca Canyon, which is a 3,400-metre-deep canyon and actually one of the deepest canyons in the world. By comparison, it is around twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the US.

Over the next few days, you’ll really get to experience the mighty Andes Mountains. You’ll cross the spectacular Altiplano plateau, which is characterised by its dry, barren landscape with vast open expanses where you can spot grazing llamas and alpacas. In several places, you will be driving at an altitude of over 4,000 metres. The highest pass and vantage point on the route is called Mirador de los volcanes, and on a clear day, you have a fantastic view from here of the surrounding volcanoes. The vantage point is located at an altitude of around 4,900 metres, and you’ll notice immediately that the thin air at this altitude affects your breathing. So, it will just be a brief stop to take photos before continuing down towards the town of Chivay, which serves as the entrance to Colca Canyon.

In the afternoon, it’s time for a spot of pampering in Chivay’s thermal baths, which are naturally heated by the area’s volcanic activity. Chivay is also surrounded by high volcanoes: Sabancaya at 5,976 metres and Ampato at 6,288 metres.

Distance: Approx. 167 km

Transport time: around 4 hours

Day 5: Excursion to Colca Canyon - bus to Puno (3,827 metres)

After breakfast, you’ll drive to the magnificent vantage point, Mirador Cruz del Condor, which overlooks one of the deepest sections of Colca Canyon. Standing here, looking down and out over the vast canyon, is an amazing experience. At this point, you might even be lucky enough to see condors gliding silently above your head. The condor is the world’s largest bird of prey, with a wing span of up to 3 metres. It hovers on the warm air currents that rise from the canyon.

After this breathtaking nature experience, you’ll go for a short walk in the valley, where you’ll discover the ancient agricultural terraces that have been in use for centuries. There will also be ample opportunity to buy a colourful souvenir to take home with you. You then drive back to Chivay for lunch before boarding the bus to Puno.

Puno is located on Lake Titicaca, which is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world. The city was of great historical significance to the Incas. It was here that the first Inca, Manco Capac, rose from the waters of Lake Titicaca to start the Inca Empire, becoming the first king of Cusco. Today, Puno is an agricultural city specialising in the breeding of llamas and alpacas, so wool products can be bought here at a good price.

Distance: Chivay – Cruz del Condor return + Chivay – Puno: Approx. 385 km

Transport time: around 9 hours

Day 6: Excursion to Lake Titicaca (3,810 metres)

Today, you’re going on a full day excursion to Lake Titicaca, which Peru and Bolivia share. Here, an exciting encounter with two very different highland Indian communities, where old traditions are still maintained, awaits you.

You start by sailing out of the harbour to the floating reed islands, Islas Uros, which are still inhabited by the Uros people. The Uros use the lake’s free building materials – the strong totora reeds – to build islands, houses and boats. Despite the islands having become a little commercial, it’s still fascinating to learn about the culture and ancient traditions of the Uros people and not least to see their impressive craftsmanship.

You then sail on to the peaceful island of Taquile, which is known especially for its colourful crafts and its “knitting men”. Here on the island, it’s the men who knit – and they’re good at it! The pattern on a man’s hat, called a chullo, not only shows his creativity, but his civilian status, too. It’s women’s job to spin the yarn and weave. The women weave the beautiful belts for the men’s costumes.

You’ll enjoy lunch on the beautiful hilly island, and afterwards your guide will take you on a walk up to the highest point of the island, from which there are breathtaking views of Lake Titicaca, with the high mountains in the background.

Mid-afternoon, you’ll be sailed back to Puno and the rest of the day is yours to do as you please.

Day 7: Bus ride from Puno to Cusco (3,400 metres)

Today, you have a long but adventure-filled journey ahead of you. You’ll be picked up from your hotel and driven to the bus station, where a bus will be waiting to take you to Cusco, the formal capital of the Inca Empire and now an elegant, thriving multi-cultural city.

You’ll cross the Altiplano, where you’re in with a chance of seeing vicuñas, which are related to the camel, but resemble the llama and the alpaca. Several stops will be made on the way, and you’ll be given a guided tour of old ruins and monuments such as those found at the Pukara Museum. Pukara, the first regional town closest to Lake Titicaca, dates back to 500BC. The museum is part of an archaeological area where impressive stone sculptures, ceramic pieces and other archaeological excavations have been found, providing an exciting insight into the history of Andean civilisation.
You will then pass La Raya, which is the highest point on the route at 4,319 metres. From here, you’ll head down through a scenic valley brimming with crops such potatoes and maize. You’ll then come to Raqchi, where you’ll see the ruins of the temple Viracocha, one of the Inca’s most sacred sites. The last stop before Cusco is the famous colonial church, Andahuaylillas, better known as under the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas” due to its beautiful ceiling paintings and other lovely art.

On your arrival in Cusco, you’ll check in at your hotel, and in the evening, you can explore the city and its good restaurants.

Distance: Approx. 390 km

Transport time: Approx. 10 hours including stops

Day 8: Guided tour of Cusco (3,400 metres)

Today, you will have time to relax in the morning before heading off on an exciting half-day guided tour of Cusco and its surroundings in the afternoon.

On the tour, you will visit the city’s central square, Plaza de Armas, which the Incas called Haucaypata or “place of the Warriors” and where many of the important events throughout Cusco’s history have taken place. Cusco Cathedral is also located here, built during the colonial era using stones from the Sacsayhuamán Inca complex on top of the former Inca palace, Viracocha, and a wonderful mix of the Incas’ fine stonemasonry and Spanish Renaissance architecture.

The street next to the cathedral leads you to what was once one of the most important temples of the Inca Empire: Koricancha. This once magnificent sun temple was built without mortar, and each individual stone fits perfectly into its structure. Today, Koricancha forms the foundation of Santo Domingo Church, which was built on top of the temple during the colonial era.

You then proceed to Q’enqo, which is an Inca shrine whose name means ‘maze’ or ‘zigzag’ and is characterised by its carvings in a zigzag pattern. The site is dedicated to the worship of Pachamama (the Incas’ ‘Mother Earth’), and you will see an underground space with altars and water channels carved into the massive rock and a tall boulder which is said to resemble a puma.

Further along the same road is the Inca Puka Pukara ruin, the function of which remains a mystery. Some archaeologists claim that the site once served as a fortress that guarded the route to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, while others believe it served as a hunting lodge and repository for the Inca nobility. The site may well have been both, as it has stairs, terraces, storage rooms, large walls and a great view of the area.

A little further north, you arrive at Tambomachay, which the Incas built to worship water, which was an important element for them. Due to the site’s Quechua name, which means ‘resting place’, it is also believed to have served as a spa resort where the noblemen of the Empire came to recuperate. It’s a civil engineering masterpiece, consisting of a series of aqueducts, canals and waterfalls, which still run through the rocks to this day.

The last stop of the day is at the impressive Inca military complex, Sacsayhuamán, which enjoys a scenic location with an amazing panoramic view of Cusco. The complex is a prime example of the Incas’ formidable architectural skills with its impressive double walls built of solid stones of up to 4 metres, which are cut to a perfect fit. The magnificent military complex is considerably smaller today than it was originally, as the Spanish destroyed the complex after their conquest of Cusco and used many of the stones to erect new Spanish buildings in the city.

The tour then heads back to Cusco, where the evening is yours to do as you please.

Day 9: Excursion to the Sacred Valley (approx. 2,800 - 3,400 metres)

Today, you will be going on an excursion to the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Inca. You will start out by visiting the Indian market in Pisac, where you will be able to buy everything from Peruvian wool sweaters and colourful bags to lovely dolls and jewellery. Pisac is also known for its ruins, located on a mountain high above the city. The ruins lie at the top of impressive agricultural terraces and is built of smaller stones than those in Sacsayhuamán, but with the same precision – and the view from the top is absolutely incredible!

After lunch, you head to the charming town of Ollantaytambo, which is also located in the Urubamba Valley. Ollantaytambo is one of the only towns in Peru that still has its original Inca walls and street grid with old, long stone walls and narrow cobbled streets. The town is best known for its magnificent Inca fortress of the same name, which consists of large, steep terraces, baths, temples and military installations. This is also where the Incas managed to defeat the Spanish in 1536, albeit temporarily.

Afterwards, the tour returns to Cusco, where the rest of the day is yours to do whatever you please. As you’ve got a very early start the next morning, it might be a good idea to go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep.

Distance: Approx. 160 km

Transport time: Approx. 10 hours incl. stops

Day 10: Bus/train from Cusco to KM 104 – the Wiñay Wayna ruin (2,650 metres) – Aguas Calientes (2,040 metres)

Hiking in the Andes is a truly amazing experience, and today sees the start of your unforgettable 2-day adventure, walking in the footsteps of the Incas along the world-famous Inca trails. The Inca trail, you’ll be walking is part of the extensive Inca trail network, which stretches all the way from Mendoza in Argentina to the Ecuador–Colombia border. You will walk along paths used by the Incas hundreds of years ago, and on the way, you’ll come across impressive Inca ruins, all with their own intriguing history. The trail takes you through breathtaking landscapes surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks, green valleys and gushing rivers.

At around 5 am, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to Ollantaytambo, where you will take the train to the KM 104 station at the start of the Inca Trail. You set course for the Chachabamba Inca ruin at an altitude of 2,170 metres. It’s a really scenic hike, crossing the Urubamba River and taking you through the valley of the same name.

Then starts the ascent to Wiñay Wayna at an altitude of 2,650 metres, which is one of the largest and best preserved complexes along the Inca Trail. Set on a green mountainside, the ruins consist of old buildings, towers and impressive agricultural terraces up the mountain. The magnificent complex is surrounded by the lush, dark green cloud forest and affords a beautiful view of the mountains and the Urubamba River in the valley below.

The tour then continues to the Sun Gate, Inti Punku, where you get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu as you watch the sun set over the fabled Inca city, the Urubamba Valley and the surrounding mountains. You really get a sense of the mystery and history of the area while standing in this very special place.

The tour then heads to Aguas Calientes, where you spend the night. Aguas Calientes is a small town located on the Urubamba River, not far from the Machu Picchu ruin complex. The town is known for its hot springs, which it is is named after.

Distance: Approx. 12 km
Hike duration: Approx. 6–8 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Transport time from Cusco to KM 104 (bus + train): approx. 3.5 hours

Day 11: Visit to the Inca ruin Machu Picchu – Train/bus back to Cusco (3,400 metres)

You will be picked up from your hotel early in the morning and driven by bus back to the legendary ruin complex, Machu Picchu, which has also been named one of the new seven wonders of the world. The ruin complex sits on a steep, green ridge in the Urubamba Valley and is framed by the fairy-tale cloud forest, green mountains and snow-capped peaks further out on the horizon. You will go on a guided tour here, when you will discover the narrow terraces on the steep mountainside and areas with temples, small buildings, prisons and burial sites as well as gain an insight into the Incas’ fascinating culture and history

American explorer Hiram Bingham is said to have been the first to discover Machu Picchu, on 24 July 1911. This is not entirely true, however, but it is thanks to him that the world became aware of the fairy-tale Inca city. The Spanish never discovered – or got to loot – Machu Picchu, so the complex has a special cultural significance and is considered sacred.

Machu Picchu was built in the mid-15th century during the heyday of the Inca Empire but was abandoned less than 100 years later, most likely due to a smallpox epidemic. Before it was abandoned, the city housed senior officials, priests, servants and virgins, who were chosen to devote their lives to the Sun God. It was a magnificent city with temples, homes, streets, fountains and aqueducts, through which water still flows down to the many agricultural terraces on both sides of the mountain.

There will be time to explore the area on your own after the guided tour.

A bus will then take you back to Aguas Calientes, where you will have time on your own before heading back to Cusco. You might like to eat lunch in the town or relax in the hot springs. Remember to bring your swimwear!

In the afternoon, you will take the train back to Cusco. Your guide will let you know the precise time after the Machu Picchu tour. On your arrival in Cusco, you will be driven to your hotel.

Distance: Approx. 4 km

Hike duration: around 2 hours

Level of difficulty: Easy to moderate

Transport time from Aguas Calientes back to Cusco (train + bus) around 4 hours

Day 12: Cusco on your own (3,400 metres)

Today, there are no planned excursions, so the day is at your disposal. Perhaps you would like to head out and buy some final souvenirs, or just take a stroll around this gorgeous, historical city.

If you would like to experience even more of the magical Andes Mountains, we recommend purchasing an excursion to the magnificent Rainbow Mountain. This mountain is just one of the many beautiful, rainbow-coloured mountains just outside of Cusco, whose colours are due to the mountains’ combination of colourful minerals. It is a truly unique experience to see a mountain in so many wonderful colours.

We also offer an excursion to the Inca ruins at Moray and the salt mines in Maras, or how about trying your hand at a small cookery class where you gain an exciting insight into Peruvian cuisine?

Day 13: Departure day

The time has come to say goodbye to Peru. Today, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the airport, from which you will fly to the UK, with connecting flight(s) along the way.

Day 14: Arrival back home

You arrive in the UK many unforgettable experiences the richer.

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Please note that the price of a single room only applies when for at least two people. Please contact us if you’re travelling alone.
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Laura Arundell Trelborg

Laura loves to travel and is extremely passionate about helping others achieve their travel dreams.

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