Your trip begins in Cusco, the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Transfer to your hotel in time for a welcome meeting at 5pm and then out for dinner with your fellow travellers.
This morning you will head out on a guided tour of the city, which is the oldest in Peru and filled with Incan, Andean and Spanish architecture. Visit churches, pretty squares, the Coricancha Temple and Cusco Cathedral. You’ll also get a Full Boleto Turistico Pass, which provides entrance to 16 historic sites in and around the city.
After breakfast, a private minibus will take you to Moray, an important Inca archaeological site that used to be an experimental agricultural area. This is where your cycling trip begins to the Maras Salt Flats, a journey of around 35 kilometres. You’ll be given bikes, helmets, gloves, knee and elbow pads and there will be snack breaks along the way. A support vehicle will follow if you don’t want to cycle the whole way.
Explore the striking salt pans, which feature geometric salt pools before continuing downhill to Pichingoto. From here, you’ll take a minibus to Ollantaytambo, which has its own ruins set on a hillside and grid-like Incan streets.
Catch the train to the 104-kilometre mark where your trek begins. Start off by crossing the Urumbamba River and heading towards the ruins of Chachabamba, this will be your first sight of the ancient Inca civilisation. Take the upward climb to Winay Wayna, this amazing complex includes many terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector. This is considered one of the most impressice sites on the Inca Trail. Continue on for 1 hour before arriving at the Inti Punku (Sun Gate), from here you can enjoy magnificent views of Machu Picchu below you. Take in your first panoramic views of this lost Incan city, which dates back to 1440 AD, before you take a bus to Aguas Calientes. Check into your hotel, have a well-deserved hot shower and rest up for the tour to Machu Picchu the next day.
Breakfast and Lunch Included
Machu Picchu – Cusco
Head out early for the 5.30am bus to Machu Picchu for a two-hour guided tour of these legendary Incan ruins. It’s thought the site was once used as a retreat for Incan nobles and you can explore the remains of its living quarters, palaces and temples. There will be time to wander independently and get photos from the best vantage point, the guard tower, before heading back to Cusco via train and bus.
Today will involve a 10-hour drive (including stops) to Puno. The journey will be broken up to check out the ancient cemetery Sillustani and archaeological site of Raqch’I. There will also be a stop for lunch. Along the way keep an eye out for llamas, alpacas and flamingos. We would suggest getting an early night tonight as you have an early start tomorrow when you begin your Lake Titicaca adventure.
Wake up early to take a 3-hour paddle on a traditional Polynesian Canoe across the lake. As you make you way towards the floating islands of Uros, you will be able to spot many local birds. From here, you will transfer by boat to your homestay. Over lunch you will have the perfect opportunity to get to know your hosts. Spend the rest of the day helping with activities such as harvesting, feeding the animals and preparing dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included.
This morning after breakfast you will say goodbye to your host family and board a boat to Taquile Island. Here is a great place to pick up gifts and souvenirs. From here take a 1-hour hike uphill to the main part of the island. You will get to enjoy fabulous views across the lake and eat a local lunch, likely quinoa soup muna (Andean mint) tea. Make your decent back the boat for the 3-hour trip back to Puno.
Breakfast and Lunch Included.
You will have some free time this morning to explore Puno, before catching your flight to Lima. Once you arrive in Lima your guide will be happy to show you around the city so that you can decide how to spend the rest of your day. This evening you can meet up with the rest of the group for an optional dinner and then check out the evening water and light show of the Magic Water Circuit.
Your Peruvian adventure comes to an end and there are no activities planned for the day. Depart the accommodation whenever you like, fitting in some final sightseeing if you have time.