The Peruvian Highlands involve some of the best Peru tours! During this tour we visit extraordinary and unique architectonic, archaeological and natural beauties! The tour shows us around the most impressive cities of the southern Peru such as the former capital of the Inca's Empire - Cusco, the "Capital of the Peruvian Jungle" - Puerto Maldonado, the "White City" of Arequipa and the "Folklore Capital of Americas" - Puno as well as breathtaking historic and natural jewels such as the monuments of the famous Inca Trail, the mystique "Lost City of the Incas" - Machu Picchu, the amazing Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Arequipa's dominant - The Misti Volcano, the deepest canyon of the world - Colca Canyon and the highest navigable lake on the world - Titicaca and the "Lungs of the World" - Amazon Rainforest.
You can find all of these Peru tours in one - the Peruvian Highlands tour! Come and visit Peru with us.
Day 01: Arrival to Lima
Day 02-04: Peruvian Amazon Tour / Cusco
Day 05: Sacred Valley Tour
Day 06-09: Hiking the Inca Trail
Day 10: Cusco City
Day 11: Sightseeing bus to Puno
Day 12-13: Titicaca Lake Tour
Day 14: Puno
Day 15: Bus Puno-Arequipa
Day 16-17: Colca Canyon Tour
Day 18: Arequipa City
Day 19: Lima
Day 20: Departure
Crew: Tierras Vivas Representatives in Lima, Puerto Maldonado, Cusco, Puno and Arequipa as well as professional local bilingual Tour Guides, a Cook and Porters for hiking the Inca Trail.
Accommodation: 15 nights in 3* hotels, 2 nights in jungle lodges, 3 nights in campsites, 1 night in a family homestay.
Meals: 18x breakfast, 6x lunch, 4x dinner (Please allow USD 150 - 200 for not included meals).
Transportation: 3x domestic flight, transportation by a private van as well as tourist buses, a train (Expedition Class), motorboat transportation.BOOK ONLINE
All our Peru tours begin with a picked up from the Lima´s airport by our Representative and tranfer to a hotel in lovely Miraflores district. No activities are planned so that you can arrive at any time!
We transfer you back to the Lima´s airport to take a flight to Puerto Maldonado laying deeply in the Peruvian Amazon. Then we travel by a motorized boat over the Madre de Dios River to our lodge settled deeply in the jungle. On our journey to the lodge, you have a chance to see bird species typical for the river and the forest´s outskirts such as a black skimmer, a pied lapwing, a capped heron, a roadside hawk (Buteo magnirostris), a kingfisher, a swallow or a tyrant flycatcher.
The jungle lodge combines a native architecture and materials with a low-impact technology intending to preserve the local environment. Rooms of the lodge are simple, but comfortable, containing mosquito´s nets over each bed, flush toilets, showers (but without hot water) and kerosene (paraffine) lamps for lighting (there is no electricity). Staff of the lodge as well as multilingual Naturalists-Guides mostly consist of local communities' members.
Every day, you explore the Peruvian jungle with our local Tour Guide. The Amazon jungle covers about a half of Peruvian territory and it is located in the Amazon Basin! Thanks to its isolation it keeps hidden to casual travellers. Puerto Maldonado is the main city of the region and is mostly accessed by air from the capital and from Cusco. The city lies on confluence of the Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers. It is a busy and booming tropical frontier city which principal activities are gold mining, cashew nut collecting, timber exploitation, agriculture and ecotourism.
The area of Tambopata ranges from Andean highlands situated around headwaters of local rivers through last remaining intact cloud forests to the lowland rainforests of the Peru´s Amazon Basin. Tambopata is famous for a wide variety of plants and animal populations that include over 1,300 bird species (including 32 parrot specias that are equal to 10% of the world parrot population!!), 200 mammal species (4 species of primates included), 90 species of frogs, 1,200 butterfly species and 10,000 species of higher plants! All of them are protected by law!!! Harpy eagle, a prehistoric looking hoatzin, tapir, peccary, jaguar, ocelot and playful river otters inhabitating its oxbow lakes are just a few to name some of these rainforest rare species!
On the last (third) day of this Amazonian trip, we transfer you back to the airport at Puerto Maldonado for your flight to Cusco located in the high Andes. You are welcomed by our Representative there and taking to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to be able to acclimatize to the high altitude as well as relax and explore a bit around this fascinating city.
One of the most spectacular days of the tour takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas that was once an important source of food to Incan people. Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that keep supplying the city of Cusco with much of its production. As it lays 600 metres lower than Cusco, its average temperature is 5ºC higher so it has got a very pleasant climate.
The Sacred Valley Tour shows us around the major archaeological sites placed in Pisaq and Ollantaytambo. At Pisaq, an optional two hour (5 km) trek allows us to fully appreciate this huge antique Incan city nestled high in this Andean range. Later on, we can observe a colorful handicraft market at the modern Pisaq Town that is without any doubt a unique place to find perfect souvenirs! Then, we stop in Urubamba, considered to be the capital of the valley, where we have a buffet lunch offering Andean cuisine (included in the package). Afterwards, we continue to the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo, a place that can boast with another large Incan site. Its major ruin is known as the best surviving example of Incan urban planning and engineering! But Ollantaytambo is more than that, it is an alive and breathing Incan town!! We stay overnight here to absorb its unique atmosphere as well as to get ready to start the stunning Inca Trail the next morning!
Hiking the 4 day Inca Trail trek is physically challenging, but worthwhile!! Its difficulty is within ability of the most reasonably fit. This 44-km (27 mile) Machu Picchu hike is often steep including 3 high passes to be crossed, one of which reaches an elevation of 4,200 m (13,776 ft). Temperature at nights may fall below zero so it is important to get ready for that! It also sometimes rains, even during a dry season!
Today, we start this Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Tour by a morning trip to Km 82 - the initial hiking point. It is very important to not forget your passport with you because it is checked at the entrance as well as you get a stamp of the Inca Trail on it!! Our Porters and Tour Guide are a guarantee that the Machu Picchu hike is without any worries, so you enjoy its awesome Incan ruins (Llactapata, Runkuraqay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarka, Wiñay Wayna) and spectacular mountain scenery every day as much as you can!! The Inca Trail hiking finishes with a climb of antique Inka steps to Inti Punku (Sun Gate) to watch the Sunrise above the long-expected citadel of Machu Picchu!! Then, you enjoy a 2 and half an hour guided visit of the so called "Lost City of the Incas"!! Afterwards, you have an opportunity to climb either the peak of Huayna Picchu (45 minutes up and the same time back) or the Machu Picchu Mountain (1 and half an hour hike) on your own to take some panoramic pictures of Machu Picchu!! In the afternoon, you descend to the town of Aguas Calientes. The Inca Trail and Machu Picchu Tour ends up by taking a return train to the Cusco City. Arrival in the evening.
Please note! Inca Trail is closed during Februaries due to general maintenance. Also, closures sometimes may occur as a result of inclement weather or other conditions beyond our control. In this case, we may hike the 4 day Lares Valley Trek.
FREE OPTION: Those, who are not able or interested in to hiking Machu Picchu, can get back to Cusco or just stay at the Sacred Valley of the Incas and spend the following 2 days there. In this case, they reach Aguas Calientes by a tourist train (Expedition Service). They overnight in a hotel and they take a shuttle bus the next morning to Machu Picchu where they reunite with that first group consisting of the Inca Trail hikers. This option is for no additional cost!!
IMPORTANT: If you decide not to do the trek, you must advice us enough time in advance (usually, a couple of weeks ago) in order to secure your train tickets!! Otherwise, we are not able to guarantee you this option for free!!
If you have any query, please do not hesitate contacting us!
Today, we need to rest after the hike to Machu Picchu. So we can just laze around the fascinating capital of the Incas, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs or do some optional activities (such as a Cusco City Tour) as well as get ready for the last night in the city!
During the optional Cusco City Tour, you visit the most important monument of the Cusco City, which is without any doubt, Qorikancha - the Golden Temple and the main temple of the Incan empire - Tawantinsuyo! There, the Sun god was worshipped. Other visited places, which are situated outside the city, are Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay.
You can also explore by yourself some of many very good museums such as the Inca Museum, the Qoricancha Museum, the Archaeological Museum (which also houses a small art exhibition), the Regional Historic Museum and the Religious Art Museum.
The city is also a perfect base for every adventurer as it offers a wide range of optional outdoor activities such as white river rafting on the Urubamba River, horseback riding around the nearby archaeological sites (Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambo Machay and Puca Pucara) to see them from a horseback perspective or mountain biking down to Maras-Moray-Salineras, mountain climbing in the Sacred Valley, bungee jumping near Cusco and many others!
Today, we take a tourist bus that takes us to each important site of the Cusco - Puno route.
First, we need to pass through Southern Valley (also called the Sun Route), where we stop in the village of Andahuaylillas to visit the famous San Pedro Church, which is called the "Sixtine Chapel of Americas" to observe the quality of its works of art! The church was constructed by Jesuits in the edge of the 16th and the 17th centuries. Its architectural structure is typical for small town´s churches while its wide walls are characteristic of colonial buildings. It is made of adobe and its facade is decorated with white painting. Two stoned columns are projected towards its main entrance. Although its architecture is relatively modest, its interior is richly decorated with amazing wall paintings!
After seeing the church, we continue towards the pre-Inka city of Pikillaqta beeing once one of the most impressive regional centers of the culture Wari!! The culture was seated in Ayacucho and its centres were occupied by Incas for many years. Today, Pikillaqta is a national archaeological park of great importance!! The word Pikillaqta is made up of Quechuan words "piki" = flea and "llaqta" = town, so that the meaning of the city´s name was the “City of the Fleas”. It does not want to say that fleas lived in the city nor that its inhabitants were lousy. The name was derived from the fact that each inhabitant lived in cramped conditions, in a very small room. Constructions of Pikillaqta consists of over 200 kanchas (apartments), 504 golgas (storages) and other constructions. The city accommodated a population of approximately 10 thousands of inhabitants!! Some investigators supposed that Pikillacta turned into a city of “mitimaes” during Incan times ("Mitimae" comes from the Quechuan word "mitma" meaning "resettlement". So mitimaes were originally groups of families taken by Incas from their native place to loyal or conquered towns to perform political, cultural, social, and economic functions.).
After this guided tour, we continue to Raqchi where we observe the Temple of Wiracocha (Incan god - creator).
Then, we go to La Raya representing the border between Cusco´s region and Puno´s region. This place is well- known for its viewpoint overlooking splendid views of surrounding Andes.
Our last stop is in the village of Pucara where we visit the Lithic Museum exhibiting artefacts of an pre-Inka culture.
Finally, we reach the Puno City, where we accommodate ourselves in a hotel and get ready for the next of our Peru tours - the Titicaca Lake Tour!
In the morning, we board our comfortable motorboat to explore Uros Floating Islands as well as Amantani and Taquile islands laying on Titicaca Lake. We stop at the islands to view the magic of the lake's scenery and to meet friendly people of its communities.
The lake is located at 3,830 metres above sea level resulting in extreme wheather conditions with very cold nights and strong sunshine during days. The city of Puno situated on its shores is well-known for wealth of its traditional dances, there are up to 100 different varieties, usually performed in street processions celebrating of Catholic feast´s days. Another highlight and a popular optional activity of Puno is a visit of its nearby spectacular Chullpas of Sillustani, tower-like tombs of pre-Incan culture Colla.
Titicaca Lake is the largest lake in the world above 2,000 metres and the highest placed navigable lake in the world! Our first stop on the lake are the floating islands of the Uros people. The Uros began their unusual floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate themselves from militant Colla´s and Incan tribes. Unfortunately, Uros´ language got extincted, so nowadays´ Uros people speak Aymara due to intermarriages with Aymara´s speakers. There are about 300 families living on the islands, however, their number has been slowly declining.
The islands are made of layers upon layers of totora reeds that grew in the shallow of the lake. When layers, which are the nearest to water, start to rot, they are replaced with fresh totora layers on the top. Totora is basically used to make everything on the islands, including real boats and small model boats serving as souvenirs. A construction of a real totora boat takes up to 6 months!
After visiting the Uros Floating Islands, we continue towards Amantani Island. There, we land and our Tour Guide shows us around the island with its stunning Titicaca Lake views and friendly inhabitants with their particular folklore. We overnight in familial houses on the island to experience a bit more of the local culture.
The following day, we continue our motorboat ride after breakfast in the familial houses. Our next destination is Taquile Island, famous for its fine handwoven textile and clothing considered as the highest-quality handicraft of Peru. Taquile and its textile art was even recognized by UNESCO in 2005!!
After a visit of this spectacular island and enjoying its amazing Titicaca Lake views, we return to the Puno City at afternoon hours. There, we transfer you from the Puno´s port to your hotel.
Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore around Puno, visit its markets, buy some souvenirs, take some optional activities (for example, a visit of the Chullpas de Sillustani) and enjoy the last night in the city.
Puno is the most important city of the same named region. The city is considered as the Capital of Folklore because of its typical dances, for example, the Sikuri and the Diablada that are typical dances performed during festivities such as the Virgen de la Candelaria, the city’s patron.
Today, we take a tourist bus to get to the so called "White City" - Arequipa, which is the second most important and biggest city of Peru! The city is placed at 2,325 m (7,626 ft.) above sea level and is surrounded by Andean mountain range. This magnificet colonial city is absolutely worth of a visit! Arequipa´s city centre is built from a white volcanic stone called sillar. For this reason, buildings in its centre dazzle on the Sun that result in the nickname - the White City. The highlight of the city is its Cathedral with its main square that can be viewed from one of many surrounding coffee shops. Those, who are interested in history and architecture, may take an optional visit to the Santa Catalina Convent offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into bygone times and a way of life. We can also view the Misti Volcano (5,822 m/19,096 ft.) from the city with its beautiful snowcapped peak. The historic Arequipa´s centre was declared by UNESCO as a "World Cultural Heritage"!!
We can also offer you some of our optional Arequipa tours, for example, an Arequipa City Tour or an Arequipa Rural Tour (not included in the package).
Overnight in a comfortable 3 star hotel.
The last of our Peru tours takes us to the world's deepest canyon - the Colca Canyon!! It is a canyon of Colca River located in southern Peru. It covers an area of about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Arequipa. Colca Valley is a colourful Andean valley with pre-Incan roots and towns founded in Spanish colonial times. These towns are still inhabited by people of Collagua´s and Cabana´s cultures! Local people keep traditions of their ancestors as well as keep cultivating pre-Incan stepped terraces for agricultural purposes.
The canyon is home to an Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), a specie that has been in focus of worldwide conservation efforts. Condors can be seen in range as they fly along the canyon´s walls. A popular tourist stop is a viewpoint named "Cruz del Condor" (Condor´s Cross) where people watch condors soaring on warm air waves. This point is situated at 1,200 metres (3,960 ft) below the rims of the canyon.
On the way, you can aprecciate the incredible landscape of Altiplano reaching up to 4,900 metres above sea level. We stop on the way in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve where we observe beautiful South American cameloids such as alpacas, llamas, vicuñas, guanacos and some birds and viscachas as well. Later on, we get to the town of Chivay, where we accommodate ourselves in a hotel. After that, you can visit the local thermal baths called La Calera which temperature reaches 38°C!! In the evening, we have dinner at a local restaurant and then we overnight in our hotel.
The second day, we visit the Cruz del Condor to observe condors flying above the canyon. Before we get there, we make some stops along the way to view the local villages of Cabanaconde and Yanque with their colonial churches and typical clothing as well as nearby pre-Incan tombs placed in mountain walls.
Upon our visit of the Cruz del Condor, we start our return way to the Arequipa City, where we get in the late afternoon.
Today is a relaxing day, free time to explore around the Arequipa City on your own. So you can visit its markets, and buy some souvenirs. You may also visit the peaceful Santa Catalina Monastery, the Juanita Mummy Museum, watch locals during their daily activities or undertake the Arequipa City Tour, if you had not time to do so at the arrival. After that, you can enjoy Arequipa´s nightlife!
We take a flight back to Lima today. Then we transfer you from the Lima´s airport to your hotel to be later given time off to explore the city on your own and buy some souvenirs. You can do some optional activities such as a Lima City Tour that we can arrange you upon request. You can also visit some of local excellent museums such as the Rafael Larco Herrera Museum housing an impressive collection of pottery, mummies and textiles of the Paracas and Nazca cultures. Limeños (Lima’s residents) are friendly and the city itself is full of marvellous coffee shops, restaurants, especially "cevicherias" so that seafood lovers will feel like in a paradise! The rich districts of Miraflores, Barranco and San Isidro, situated on the green coast, offer perfect nightlife so do not forget to enjoy your last night there! Overnight in your hotel.
Transfer to the Lima´s airport for your international flight.
End of service!
Meal budget: Please allow USD 200-250 for meals not included in the package.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for this tour, you receive your own single room for all overnights and a single tent for the Inca Trail.
Local flights: All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless noted otherwise. It is very important that we have got your passport details at the time of your booking in order to process all air tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and they will be given to you prior to each flight departure!
If you like to do the Peruvian Highlands Tour, please first check an availability of Inca Trail on this Peruvian government website: Ministerio de Cultura. You can choose your language clicking on flags on top of the page. Then, go to the section “Consultas” (“Queries” in English version), select “Inca Trail” from the Archaeological Centre section, choose year and month when you like to do the tour. Please note: the Inca Trail starts on the sixth day of the Peruvian Highland Tour! (For example, if you like to start the tour on the 6th of August, you need to check Inca Trail availability of the day 11th of August!)
If there is still availability of the Inca Trail on your date requested in the time of your booking, the booking of the Inca Trail Expedition Tour will be confirmed firstly by our Reservation Department via e-mail. Then your full personal details wil be required as well as a deposit in order to purchase your Inca Trail permit. (Please note that an Inca Trail booking is valid only for 1 hour!! If it is not paid within this time, it expires!!!)
Each February, the Inca Trail is closed to allow its conservation as well as to give vegetation a chance to recover. This is a suitable month to close it since it is the wettest month of the year too. However, Machu Picchu itself remains open during the month so you can visit it!
All Tierras Vivas adventurous group tours are accompanied by a Tierras Vivas Tour Guide, a Representative or an expedition team. The aim of our Tour Guides is to take a hassle out of our customers’ trips and to help them to have the best trip possible. The Tour Guides provide information on places visited, offer suggestions of what to see and to do, recommend a good place to eat and introduce to his/her colleagues. The Guides have a broad general knowledge of each country visited during a tour, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local Tour Guides where we think that more specific knowledge could add more enjoyment to visited places.
These following hotels are used to accommodate you during your tour:
Accommodation in Lima:
Address: Calle Bellavista N 320
Tel: (+51) 1 4446033
Accommodation in Cusco:
Address: Calle Matara N 394, Cusco
Tel: (+51) 84 224466
Accommodation in Ollantaytambo:
Hostal Las Orquidea Real
Address: Av Ferrocarril , Ollantaytambo
Tel: (+51) 84 204032
Accommodation in Puno
Accommodation in Lake Titicaca
Accommodation in Arequipa
Accommdation in Colca Canyon
During the tour, we request our hotels to get ready your rooms for time of your arrival, especially, if you arrive prior to standard check-in time. Nevertheless, this is not always possible. In this case, you just store your luggage in that hotel storage room and you can explore around your new destination in between.
Please note! If you have purchased pre or post trip accommodation, you might be asked to change your room during your trip.
A kind of luggage you need to take with depends on a kind of tour you plan to undertake, a part of the country you like to visit, a year season and a length of your trip. In general, you should pack as lightly as possible because you carry your own luggage during most of our tours (however, there are not long walking distances – up to 30 minutes). We recommend you to keep weight of your luggage under 10 kg (22 lb.).
Most of travelers use a suitcase. However, a big backpack would be more suitable. In any case, please do not forget a small rucksack that you will need for daily travels (to carry your bottled water, camera, snacks, etc.). It is better to avoid a wheeled luggage and use luggage with shoulder straps.
Clothing to take with you depends on a year season in Peru and a part of country you plan to visit.
When visiting coastline of the Northern Peru and surroundings of Lima, then you need to pack some light cloths (for example, shorts, skirts, dresses, T-shirts), flip-flops, sandals, a head cover as a protection against the Sun (a hat or a cap), sun protection cream, sunglasses, mosquitos repellent and swimsuit, of course.
If you plan to visit Peruvian mountains (Andean mountain range or Altiplano), then we recommend you to take some trousers suitable for hiking, shorts, T-shirts and trekking shoes for the days; and sweaters, fleeces, hats, scarves and warm jackets for the nights. You also should take a sun protection cream, sun glasses and in some cases, mosquito repellent (depending on a route chosen). It is very convenient to have a light rain-gear available in a daypack (e.g. a waterproof poncho or jacket and/or waterproof trousers) as weather changes quickly and rains can suddenly occur. For more details, please check the below link of “What to Bring on the Inca Trail Expedition Tour”.
If you like to see the Amazonian rainforest (Manu, Puerto Maldonado, Iquitos, etc.), then the most important item of your luggage must be a mosquito repellent (20 DEET as a minimum recommended)!! Except that, you should take some light clothing with long sleeves and long trousers (to put into your shoes as a kind of protection against insect). You should not forget some waterproof cloths (especially, if you plan to visit the rainforest during a rainy season), comfortable and closed footwear, long socks and a hat.
A tour of the highlands of Peru along the highest lake in the world Titicaca (3812 MASL), and other places in the Andes of Peru, where fauna and flora of high altitude and high Andean people, in harmony with the mountains, apart from the turmoil of the modern world, visiting the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu with all its attractions. The visit to the deepest canyon in the world Colca Canyon with pre-Columbian fields and terraces that still supports agriculture and the life of the current inhabitants, the Colca Canyon is also home to the largest bird in the world: The Condor. This trip through the highlands of Peru is an unforgettable experience. Peru Inca Trail
This fascinating trip to Peru takes us to the geography, culture and history of Peru, a country that offers a fascinating combination of guided excursions and free time to explore at your own pace. You will have the opportunity to fly over the Nazca Lines, explore the wildlife canopy in the Paracas National Reserve, appreciates the condor flight in Colca Canyon, sail on Lake Titicaca, travel on one of the most luxurious trains in the world, the Andean Explorer between Lake of the gods and the historic city of Cusco, dine with people in a family house, enjoy the views of the capital of the Inkas and travel the famous Inca Trail to the sacred city of Machu Picchu and finally a incredible tour in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest. Deep Peru Discovery
The Amazon, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca in a single tour of Peru! From the green of the interior of the Amazon to the Andean peaks covered with fog to the coastal deserts, this trip through Peru shows the great diversity of the country's landscapes. After a brief stay in the exciting capital of Peru, Lima, and leave behind the urban surroundings for a luxury getaway to a jungle in the middle of the jungle of Puerto Maldonado. Here, you will discover how the so-called "lungs of the world" work, as well as take a look at the seemingly endless number of species that crawl, sway and glide through here.
Change the jungle by the intoxicating heights of the Andes while immersing yourself in a unique hybrid culture that blends aspects of the Inca and colonial histories of the country. This is also when you finally put your eyes on Peru's most outstanding attraction: Machu Picchu. The fun continues with a panoramic bus trip to the crystal clear waters of Lake Titicaca. Amazon Inca Trail Titicaca