Set off on a memorable journey that takes you from Lima, established by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, all the way to the serene waters of Lake Titicaca.
You’ll find yourself exploring the Inca relics of the Sacred Valley, meeting the locals of floating reed islands and admiring superbly preserved colonial architecture. You’ll go kayaking, paddling boarding and hiking, and follow an ancient Inca Trail to the greatest archaeological site of all – the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu.
London – Lima
Check in at London Gatwick for your direct flight to Lima. You will be met upon arrival and taken to your hotel – less than an hour’s drive away. The following day you will enjoy a tour with a private guide, who will show you both the colonial and contemporary aspects of the “City of Kings”. You’ll explore the Miraflores and San Isidro districts, and stop at Parque del Amor to get a stunning view over the Pacific Ocean. You’ll also venture to the city’s historic centre where you’ll find impressive colonial buildings and beautiful baroque churches.
Stay: Two nights in an Alcoba room at the B Arts Boutique – bed & breakfast
Today you fly to Cusco, where you will be transferred to your hacienda-style hotel in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This valley, traversed by the Urubamba River, was a region of great importance to the Incas. Many structures built during the Inca Empire can still be seen today, from the spectacular terraces of Pisac to the remarkable fortress at Ollantaytambo. A private cycling tour will show you both of these incredible sites, plus quaint local villages, bustling artisan markets and wonderful Andean scenery.
The next day you will enjoy kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding on the emerald waters of Laguna Huaypo. It’s a great and fun way to spot rare birds and drink in the beautiful landscapes. After a traditional picnic lunch, you will grab a mountain bike and follow a mule trail to the vast salt-pans at Maras – a truly astonishing sight. After you will be driven back to your hotel.
Stay: Three nights in an Urubamba casita at the Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba – bed & breakfast
Now comes the most magnificent Inca site of all. Early in the morning you will catch a train towards Machu Picchu, disembarking at KM 104 to begin your trek along the legendary Inca Trail. Accompanied by a guide and porter, you will start with a visit to the restored ruins of Chachabamba before hiking through cloudforest to the base of Winay Wayna. You will have time to explore this ancient Inca site built into the hillside, with its old stairways, terraces and water features.
Your trek continues through lush vegetation – peppered with wild orchards – to Inti Punku, known as the gateway of the sun. As you pass through the old stone gateway you will get a fabulous view of the mighty Machu Picchu, laid out on the mountainside in all its glory. Hidden away in the jungle, this is one of the few Inca sites to have escaped 400 years of looting and destruction. After soaking in the majesty of the ruins, and taking plenty of photos, you will continue to your hotel for the night.
Stay: One night in superior deluxe rooms at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel – including dinner on Day 6 & breakfast on Day 7
Today you will have the option of re-visiting the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, and spend more time exploring its beautifully preserved terraces, staircases, fountains and temples. Alternatively, you can choose to relax at the hotel or follow a leisurely trail to the site of Hiram Bingham’s base camp. Later you will hop on a train back to Cusco.
Spend the next day exploring the attractions of this ancient Inca city and UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll visit many important Inca sites, from the 8.5 metre walls of the Sacsayhuamán fortress to the Sun temple of Coricancha – which boasts exceptionally preserved stone work. There’s also time to admire Cusco’s beautiful colonial buildings, such as the Cathedral and the Church of the Company of Christ, and pick up a souvenir at the local market.
Stay: Two nights in a patio suite at the Inkaterra La Casona – bed & breakfast
On day nine of your holiday you will board the train to Lake Titicaca, a long but scenic journey filled with picturesque landscapes. Relax in the open-air observatory car and watch as lush green fields, winding rivers and remote villages roll by. You will disembark in the city of Puno, which sprawls along the banks of the lake, and be taken to your hotel.
Straddling Peru’s southern border with Bolivia, Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. The region is home to the Aymara and Quechua Indians who pre-date the Incas by over 1,000 years. During your stay you can take birdwatching tours, go on trekking expeditions and try horse riding. Don’t miss the remarkable Inca funeral towers of Sillustani, or boat excursions to the lake’s enchanting floating islands.
Stay: Three nights in a Dawn suite at Titilaka – including all meals & drinks
Juliaca – Lima – London
Today you will be taken to Juliaca airport in time to catch your flight to Lima. Once there, you will meet your connecting flight home, arriving in London the following afternoon.