PERU EXPLORER

22 days departing LIMA from

Style: Active
Destination: Peru
Tour Code: PEX

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Trip Overview

This comprehensive journey through Peru is a collision of ancient historical tradition and unrivalled natural beauty. This epic trek explores the best this country has to offer, from the coastal Ballestas to the centre of Peruvian beliefs at Lake Titicaca. Experience some of the world's most breath-taking mountain scenery, along with some of the Inca's finest archaeological sites. The mysterious Nazca Lines, Colca Canyon's condors, and the option to hike the Inca Trail's stone steps to the lost city of Machu Picchu; you'll see the top spots of Peru's many impressive highlights. This 22 day tour reveals a varied and wonderful blend of Peru's many treasures.

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Book by Friday 21st November and save 5% on all Peru Explorer tours departing in 2015 (subject to availability). Secure your trip today and start getting excited about your next adventure! See Dates and Prices tab for savings. (Discount applies to new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other promotional offer except Loyalty discounts)

Included Highlights
  • Visit the Inca city of Machu Picchu
  • Option to hike the Inca Trail at no extra cost
  • Two nights exploring deep into the rainforest including night canoe trip
  • Explore Lake Titicaca's floating reed islands
  • Visit Pachacamac Fortress
  • Enjoy a fresh seafood lunch in Pucusana Village
  • Boat trip to the Ballestas Islands to see wildlife
  • Visit the working Convent of Santa Catalina
  • Tour of Cusco and Sacsayhuaman
  • Visit the Sacred Valley, Pisac market & Inca Ruins
  • Spectacular drive across the Altiplano to Cusco
Tour Facts & Features
Accommodation: 19 hotel nights in twin share accommodation + 2 jungle lodge nights with en suite facilities. Inca Trail option: 3 nights full-service camping replaces 3 nights hotel. For your own room request our optional Solo Sleeper (see Dates & Prices tab).
Transport: All transportation by private vehicle, 2 internal flights & boat transfers
Meals: 21 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 2 dinners included
Guided: Services of a professional bilingual tour leader
Group size: Maximum 16
Age range: 18+

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Trip Itinerary

Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as local and operational conditions may vary and unforeseen circumstances can arise, the following itinerary should be used as a guideline.


Download Trip Dossier (2014 departures)

Download the Peru Explorer 2014 trip dossier for tour-specific details including full itinerary, pre-departure information, packing tips and more about our style of travel. 2015 dossiers will be available by end of December.

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Optional Activities (paid locally)
  • Cusco city tour US$10-$40
  • Urubamba River Rafting US$50-$85
  • Combined entrance to all sites in the Cuzco area US$50
  • Antonini Museum entrance, Nazca US$6
  • Chauchilla Cemetery entrance, Nazca US$3
  • Nazca Aqueduct entrance US$3
  • Tipon and Pikillacta tour from Cusco US$50
  • Nazca Lines flight US$150-$200


Trip Departure Time

As this tour departs at 1200 on day 2 we recommend that you book pre-tour accommodation. Please request hotel details at the time of booking.

Day 1-2: Lima

Arrive into Lima on day 1 and get ready to meet your group and tour leader in the evening. On day 2 you will get the chance to start your Peruvian adventure as you mean to go on and today's tour incorporates all of the main highlights from the capital, including the Plaza de Armas and the Palace of Torre Eagle. A highlight is the incredible church of San Francisco, which houses one of the oldest libraries in the Americas and sits on top of a labyrinthine network of catacombs which still house the bones of Lima's wealthy 18th and 19th century residents.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Paid locally

Day 3: Paracas

Head south to Paracas via the Pachacamac Fortress, the Incas' largest coastal city at the time of the conquest. Pucusana is a picturesque fishing village and presents your first chance to discover life outside of the city. Fresh fish, boat rides and a stroll around the village make this a thoroughly worthwhile stop-over to enjoy a late lunch prior to continuing onwards to Paracas and your overnight accommodation.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast and lunch included

Day 4: Ballestas Islands & Nazca

Continue southwards to the bird abundant shores of the Ballestas Islands before passing pre-Inca rock carvings and the famous Nazca Lines. Often described as Peru's answer to Galapagos, the Ballestas Islands are covered in sea lions and hundreds of birds and you'll be treated to an amazing marine life spectacle as you travel by boat before heading to the mysterious lines of Nazca.

Nazca is home to the interesting Ica archaeological museum, and of course the famous Nazca Lines. These are one of the world's great archaeological mysteries, consisting of enormous figures and patterns etched in the desert sand, best seen from the elevated position of the viewing platforms. There should also be time for optional visits to the nearby Antonini archaeological museum, a pre-Inca cemetery, or the Nazca Aqueduct, which gives an insight into the Nazca civilisation's ingenious subterranean irrigation system.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast & lunch included

Day 5: Arequipa

Take in the folding desert dunes before they morph into the Pacific as you journey into the mountains of Arequipa. Although this is a long drive day, it does offer travellers the chance to sit back and appreciate the changing scenery which helps to paint a more comprehensive picture of the country.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast & lunch included

Day 6: Arequipa

Set within the shadow of the Misti Volcano, the UNESCO World Heritage 'White City' of Arequipa is awash with cathedrals, monasteries, parks and gardens. Visit the Cathedral, the Jesuit church of La Compania and the huge serene Monastery of Santa Catalina, which retains typical features from the 16th and 17th centuries and is a peaceful refuge for the nuns who still live here today.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 7: Colca Canyon

Today's all about volcanoes, vicuñas (local llamas) and highlands as you cross the Patapampa Pass and into the Colca Canyon before acclimatising overnight in nearby Chivay. Note: As you'll be staying overnight at high-altitude (over 10,000ft) the chances are that you'll be starting to feel the effects. Best advice is to get acclimatised gradually and carefully by resting and taking on-board lots of fluids (other than alcohol).
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 8: Colca Canyon

Welcome to the Colca Canyon, one of the world's deepest canyons. Start the day early to view condors who ride the morning drafts with their massive wings that can stretch up to 3.2 metres! A day of walking to cliff-face tombs and colonial churches, whilst Andean Condors soar overhead. There's nothing better than rounding off a good day's walk with a visit to the thermal springs and with the possibility of undertaking a short stroll around the surrounding farmsteads and rural landscapes this will prove to be a day of discovery and relaxation.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 9: Puno & Sillustani

Explore the fascinating burial towers of Sillustani Sillustani, a pre-Incan burial ground on the shores of Lake Umayo near Puno. The tombs, which are built above ground in tower-like structures called chullpas, are the vestiges of the Colla people. Continue your journey to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 10: Lake Titicaca

Spend a full day on and around Lake Titicaca, visiting the descendants of the Uros Indians, who live on islands of floating reeds and, save for a few modest concessions to the modern world, still live as their ancestors would have done centuries ago. Everything is built of reeds including their homes, the ground their homes are built (and float) on, and items they use around the house. These days, although tourism has had a significant economic impact on the islands, the experience is rewarding. An afternoon of exploration with short walks is designed to highlight the culture of the indigenous groups who inhabit the small towns and villages alongside the lake.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 11: Cusco

Crossing the high plains is an incredible experience and as you enjoy the scenery and stop en route at pre-Inca towns and ancient temples, you'll soon find yourself in Cusco.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Breakfast included

Day 12: Sacred Valley & Ollantaytambo

Cusco is blessed with an abundance of architectural heritage and as you tour the markets, squares and Inca ruins you'll be well aware that tomorrow may present the start of your expedition to one of the most-famous citadels of all, Machu Picchu.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Breakfast included

Day 13-15: Cusco (Non Hikers)

Depending on your preference, the next few days today are free to go rafting, hiking or further explore the sites of Cusco. For the adventurers in the party it's time to embark on the 4 day Inca Trail hike (see Inca Trail itinerary below).

For those not hiking on the Inca Trail, there is the chance for some optional rafting on the Urubamba River this morning before our return to Cusco in the afternoon. There is an abundance of optional activities in Cusco including visits to the sites of Pikillacta and Tipon to the south of Cuzco, exploration of the colonial religious monuments in Cuzco, or hikes in the surrounding hills.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 16: Machu Picchu (Non Hikers)

An early departure from Cusco takes you by train to Machu Picchu. Your time here has been divided between private guided tour and plenty of free time to explore. This is such an exceptional site and from meditative reflection to learning about the innovation and endurance of the Incas, there's such a lot to absorb and every effort has been made to ensure you get the most from your once-in-a-lifetime visit.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast

Day 13: Inca Trail - Vilcanota River (Hikers)

NOTE: If you opt for the Inca Trail walking option, there is no additional cost but this MUST be confirmed at the time of booking. If you want to hike the Inca Trail, we advise you to book early. In order to preserve the Inca Trail Trek and its surrounds, the Peruvian authorities currently limit the number of Inca Trail trekking permits to 500 per day. These permits are often sold out 4-5 months in advance, especially for the popular summer months, and we cannot reserve permits. As soon as you book we will request a permit for you.

Leave Cusco early this morning and drive to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snow-capped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn towards the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where you'll camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba. Today is mostly flat except for the last few hours, the perfect introduction to the Inca Trail and good practice for the following day.
Accommodation: Full service camping included | Breakfast, lunch, dinner included

Day 14: Inca Trail - Dead Woman's Pass (Hikers)

This is the longest and most strenuous day of the trek where you follow the Inca steps uphill most of the day. A long climb takes you first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman) pass, at 4234m the highest point on the trek. After a steep descent, camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo river (3600m). It is peaceful and beautiful, with time to reflect on the ingenuity and spirit of the Incas.
Accommodation: Full service camping included | Breakfast, lunch, dinner included

Day 15: Inca Trail - Runquracay Pass / Phuyupatamarca (Hikers)

It's time to tackle a more sedate gradient as you walk to the Runquracay Pass via the ruins of Runquracay. At almost 4000 metres, it's a beautiful pathway past the Sayajmarca ruins, into a rainforest and through an Inca tunnel. This evening's sunset, from your overnight encampment above the site of Phuyupatamarca, should be unforgettable and early risers will be treated to an equally impressive sunrise.
Accommodation: Full service camping included | Breakfast, lunch, dinner included

Day 16: Inca Trail - Machu Picchu (Hikers)

Today's the day that you've always dreamt about and as you descend the world-famous Inca stone stairway past the ruins of Winay Wayna and Inti Punku (The Gate of the Sun) you'll get your first glimpse of the fabled ruined citadel of Machu Picchu. This is indeed a sight to savour and if you can't wait until tomorrow morning's dawn tour then additional entry tickets can be purchased on arrival for approx. US$50 - your tour leader will assist with this. The cost of the trip includes a night camping below Machu Picchu tonight, but it is often possible to change this for a night in a hotel for an additional local payment (the amount will vary depending on which hotels are available). Ask your tour leader to help with booking the hotel before you set off on the Inca Trail if you wish to sleep in a hotel tonight.
Accommodation: Full service camping included | Breakfast, lunch, dinner included

Day 17: Machu Picchu (Group Reunites)

An early start promises the chance to catch Machu Picchu at its quietest and most intense. Here you are reunited with your group. After an opportunity to swim in the hot springs at Aguas Calientes, you return to Cusco by train in the afternoon.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Breakfast and lunch included

Day 18: Cusco

A guided tour of Cusco and the surrounding area enables you to compare sites with yesterday's Inca experience. Outside the town are Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. The centre of the town is framed by the main Square, the Plaza de Armas which you will visit as well as many examples of the famous Inca stonework like those of the Coricancha sun temple located in the Santo Domingo church and Monastery. Cusco is a warm and welcoming city and it is not uncommon to see locals in their traditional dress and Llamas being walked through the centre.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 19: Cusco

Today is yours to do with as you will and presents the chance to indulge in religious art history or maybe discover an earthquake-defying 12-angled stone.
Accommodation: Hotel included | Meals: Breakfast included

Day 20: Amazon Rainforest

Leave Cusco behind as you travel by plane and boat into the Amazon Rainforest. Take boat trip to your lodge in the Tambopata Reserve, spotting caimans (crocodile), river turtles, colourful birdlife and waterfowl along the way. After some time to settle in, enjoy a short walk along the forest trails near the lodge to look for nocturnal animals. Your time in the Amazon Rainforest is an incredible experience, and reveals a side to Peru many travellers don't see. You will experience the Amazon from the comfort of a small boat, as well as on foot as you explore the rainforest and all it has to offer.
Accommodation: Lodge accommodation included | Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 21: Amazon Rainforest

Explorations on land, water or high up in the rainforest canopy allow you to get ever-closer to the wildlife of the Amazon. Activities will vary according to the lodge used, but will generally include a mixture of walks along the forest trails in search of wildlife, time spent in canoes to explore rainforest lakes, and the opportunity to get high into the canopy for a completely different view of the forest, and certainly one you won't forget. The resident guides are normally around in the evening to answer questions and bestow their knowledge to you, and tonight, take a canoe out onto the river to search for caiman by torchlight.
Accommodation: Lodge accommodation included | Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner included

Day 22: Lima

All good things must come to an end and as you bid the Amazon adieu and fly back to Lima you'll be laden with stories and adventures that you'll be able to recount for many years to come.

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  • A 10% deposit per person is required to book
  • Full payment is due 8 weeks before the tour departure
  • We are an ABTA and ATOL operator offering financial security for our inclusive tours.
  • If you prefer to book by telephone please contact our sales office
  • Prices are land only. Call 0333 999 7951 for a flight inclusive quote (UK)

Solo Sleepers   Optional Solo Sleeper

There are no forced supplements for single travellers. Accommodation is based on twin-share, so if you're travelling on your own, you'll share with a fellow passenger of the same sex. However, if you would prefer your own space our Solo Sleeper Option can be requested from per person. This will guarantee you your own room for every night of the tour (and a single tent if you are doing the Inca Trail option). The number of single rooms we can offer is limited, so it's best to book early. Simply select the "Solo Sleepers" check box on the booking form or request over the phone.

Important Notes

We highly recommend you book this trip at least 60 days prior to departure. Reservations received within 30 days will be on request and subject to availability of en-route accommodation.

An upgrade to premium accommodation is available on selected departures of this tour.


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Private Departures

Why not arrange your own Grand American Adventures departure? For groups of 8 or more, we can offer private departures on any of our published itineraries enabling friends, families or organizations to enjoy our style of travel at special rates. Although tours will run as per our standard itinerary shown here, slight modifications may be considered and dates can be chosen to suit your needs. (Subject to seasonal/operational restrictions). So contact us today and start planning your own adventure.

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Tour Extras

We've offer a whole range of travel extras with everything from city sightseeing, additional hotel nights, insurance and more so you can organise everything you'll need for your trip in one easy place

Hotels Before and After your trip

Tours begin and end at designated hotels in the departure and arrival cities, starting at 7.30am (check your tour voucher for exact details) and finishing at around 5pm, so it's a great idea to book a room for the night before and after your tour. You can book hotels either online when you book your tour or by call our sales team.

Hotel Leon de Oro

LIMA - HOTEL LEON DE ORO
This boutique hotel offers classic and comfortable accommodation and is located in the heart of Miraflores close to shops, parks and museums.

  • Twin share:  per person per night
      Matched with another traveller of the same sex.
       
    Full room:  per room per night
      Single or double room for travellers on the same booking.


Book Flights

Our specialist flights department can offer UK customers a great airline fare to all of our travel destinations.

Book Flights

We have preferred contracts with many international carriers and have secured some of the most competitive prices in the industry. We are also ATOL protected and IATA licensed.

Special offers are regularly available, so call us now on 0208 682 8920 or click below to request a flight quote by email.

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Travel Insurance

At Grand American Adventures we believe that your safety and enjoyment are the most important parts of your holiday.

Travel Insurance

Before you join your Grand American Adventures tour you MUST be covered by insurance that includes adequate coverage for baggage, medical expenses and the cost of repatriation. We can offer you a comprehensive travel insurance policy which is completely tailored for your trip and is specially designed to include all the activities listed.

See our insurance page for more information.


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