A Taste of Peru

Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Cusco plus Arequipa & Colca Valley optional extension

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Overview

Itinerary at a Glance
A Taste of Peru
Day Destination
1 USA/Lima
2 Cusco & Sacred Valley
3 Machu Picchu
4 Machu Picchu & Cusco
5 Cusco
6 Cusco & Lima
7 Lima/USA

Arequipa & Colca Valley

Optional Extension

6 Cusco & Lima
7 Lima & Arequipa
8 Arequipa & Colca Valley
9 Colca Valley & Lima
10 Lima/USA
Style Fully Escorted & Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departs Los Angeles (LAX), New York Kennedy (JFK), Miami (MIA) (flight schedule)
Highlights Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Koricancha (Cusco), Lima
Included in the Price
  • Round trip flights from Miami via LAN Airlines, including fuel surcharges and airline taxes & fees
  • All ground transportation & transfers
  • Accommodations in first class hotels
  • Vistadome train to/from Machu Picchu
  • 6 Meals: breakfast daily plus 1 lunch
  • Comprehensive guided sightseeing tours including entrance fees
  • Professional English-speaking tour guides
Optional
  • Exciting excursions in Cusco, including Sacsayhuaman, Chinchero and more
  • Post-tour extension to Arequipa and the Colca Valley
What to Expect This fast-paced, partially escorted tour involves a significant amount of walking or hiking, often on uneven terrain, and reaches high altitudes requiring a high level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the trip. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops.

LAN Airlines

Join us on a fascinating voyage of discovery as we visit some of the most splendid and awesome sites in the world. Peru, like the Parthenon in Greece or the Pyramids of Egypt, provides an unforgettable glimpse of the genius of a lost world. Highlights of this tour include visits to Lima, the City of Kings and the country's capital; Cusco, the 11,000 ft high Inca capital; Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas and one of the most impressive archeological discoveries of all time. Explore a less traveled but equally fascinating part of Peru on an optional extension that visits the colonial city of Arequipa and the Colca Canyon, the world’s deepest at more than twice the depth of the Grand Canyon in the USA.

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Testimonials

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We just came back from Peru and it was an amazing trip. The pictures do not do this place justice. The tour was well organized with comfortable accommodations. Our guide Dante was very knowledgable and passionate about his culture. He went above and beyond his job. This is our 2nd trip with Friendly Planet. We will be planning future trips with them.

Anne Mok, Brooklyn NY

Dates, Prices & Options

Sorry, there are no currently available tour dates.

Passengers departing from JFK or LAX will depart one day earlier and arrive in Lima the morning of Day 1. An additional night's accommodation is included. Please refer to the flight schedule for details.

Detailed Itinerary

Passengers departing from JFK or LAX will depart one day earlier and arrive in Lima the morning of Day 1. An additional night's accommodation is included. Please refer to the flight schedule for details.

Taste of Peru tour itinerary Day 1: USA/Lima. Your exciting journey to Peru begins today as you depart Miami on your flight bound for Lima, Peru's diverse capital city, "City of the Kings." Upon arrival, after customs formalities, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Accommodations: Casa Andina Select Lima or similar.

Day 2: Cusco & Sacred Valley. After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board a short morning flight to Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire and located 11,000 feet above sea level. Upon arrival, travel to nearby Pisac, a picturesque Andean village with a wonderful market. Here you'll have a chance to buy locally made ponchos, sweaters and other handcrafted clothing, ceramics and hand-painted beads. Enjoy browsing the "locals" section of the market, where villagers come from miles around, dressed in their traditional clothing, to barter and sell their produce.

Ollantaytambo Continue to Ollantaytambo, located at the foot of spectacular Inca ruins which protected the strategic entrance to the lower Urubamba Valley, also known as the Sacred Valley. The temple area is at the top of a series of steep terraces which helped provide excellent defenses. Stone used for these buildings was brought from a quarry high up on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, an incredible feat involving the efforts of thousands of workers. The complex, still under construction at the time of the conquest by Spain, was never completed. Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley or La Hacienda del Valle. Breakfast provided.

Machu Picchu Day 3: Machu Picchu. It's a short drive from your hotel to the Ollanta railroad station where you'll board the Vistadome train that will take you through the lush Urubamba Valley, passing through stunning scenery en route to the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular and enigmatic archeological sites in the world.

Unknown to the outside world until archeologist Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911, Machu Picchu is now the most recognizable symbol of the Incan Empire. Believed to have served as a country retreat town for Inca nobility, the complex consists of giant walls, terraces, and ramps constructed from precisely cut rock formations. This impressive architectural feat, in combination with its breathtaking natural setting amidst mist-covered green mountains above the rushing Urubamba River, makes for a visually stunning, and even mystical, experience. Enjoy the remainder of the day and evening in Aguas Calientes, at the foot of Machu Picchu. Accommodations: El MaPi Hotel or similar. Breakfast provided.

People of Cusco Day 4: Machu Picchu & Cusco. Early this morning, there will be an opportunity to independently visit Machu Picchu a second time ($74 per person. Please contact us to reserve this option in advance as availability may be limited.) Later in the morning, journey to Cusco by Vistadome train. Upon arrival in the afternoon, a panoramic tour takes you to the main sites of this impressive city. You'll see the Plaza de Armas, center of the Inca Empire, where Francisco Pizarro proclaimed the conquest of Cusco. Here, you'll visit Cusco's beautiful 16th century cathedral. Then, just a few blocks away, you will discover the ruins of the Koricancha, an important Inca temple to the Sun God. During Inca times this temple was literally covered with gold, but within months of the arrival of the first conquistadors, this incredible wealth had all been taken as treasure for Spain. Accommodations: Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco or Novotel Cusco or Sonesta Cusco. Breakfast & box lunch provided.

Cusco Day 5: Cusco. Enjoy the day at leisure in this beautiful town in the high Andes Mountains. You may stroll through the main square, or wander through the many charming side streets. Alternatively, take advantage of an optional morning excursion to Tipon & Oropesa and an optional afternoon excursion to explore Cusco’s nearby ruins, such as the Sacsayhuaman fortress. Breakfast provided.

Optional Excursion: This morning’s excursion begins with a scenic drive to Tipon, an impressive complex located 15 miles outside of Cusco. Tipon is an ancient marvel of engineering consisting of twelve agricultural terraces and an advanced irrigation system that is still used by the local population to this day. Continue to Oropesa and visit its colonial church, one of the most beautiful in the Cusco area. The tour concludes with a stop in Huaro, known for its Jesuit church, San Juan Bautista, which is decorated with a variety of colorful murals painted in the late 17th century. ($103 per person)

Sacsayhuanan fortress Optional Excursion: This afternoon’s excursion begins at the Sacsayhuaman fortress, an emblematic Inca construction built in the 15th century. The size of the fortress and its massive stones are remarkable, and the manner in which they were transported, cut, and laid is still a mystery. Next, travel to Qenqo, a religious complex where it is believed that agricultural rituals were carried out. Continue to Puka Pukara, also known as the "red fortress", which is thought to have been a military stronghold. It has many rooms, courtyards, bathrooms, aqueducts, and towers to explore. Lastly, continue to the fountains of Tambomachay, also known as the "Inca Baths". Likely an exclusive retreat for the Inca nobility, it has highly skilled stonework and hydraulic engineering, and its aqueducts are fed by groundwater aquifers and neighboring hot springs. Return to Cusco early this evening. ($75 per person)

Day 6: Cusco & Lima. This morning will be at leisure, or enjoy an optional excursion to Chinchero. In the early afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, there will be a panoramic tour of the city, driving by the Monastery of San Francisco, the Cathedral of Lima and the ornate Archbishop’s Palace and other buildings. The evening will be at leisure in Lima. Afterward bid adiós as you transfer to the airport for your overnight flight back to Miami, or extend your stay in Peru on our optional Arequipa & Colca Valley extension. Breakfast provided.

Market in Chinchero Optional Excursion: This morning, explore the site of Chinchero, one of the most important cultural and agricultural centers of the Inca Empire. The archaeological complex consists of various terraces that lead to a large Inca fortress built in the location where the Incans believed the rainbow originated. During colonial times, the Spaniards constructed a beautiful church over top of the Incan foundations at the foot of the Main Square. The church’s main altar is carved in gold leaf with a baroque style, and its walls are decorated with paintings of Diego Quispe Tito, the most well-known graduate of the Cusco School of Art. ($89 per person)

Day 7: Lima/USA. Your flight departs shortly after midnight. Your amazing Peruvian adventure ends as you touch down in Miami later this morning.

Arequipa & Colca Valley Optional Post-Tour Extension

Why not take advantage of your included international airfare, and extend your stay in Peru with a visit to Arequipa and the Colca Valley. You will return to the U.S. 3 days later than the dates listed. This extension requires a minimum of 4 passengers to operate.

Cathedral of Lima Day 6: Cusco & Lima. This morning will be at leisure. In the early afternoon, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival in Lima, there will be a panoramic tour of the city, driving by the Monastery of San Francisco, the Cathedral of Lima and the ornate Archbishop’s Palace and other buildings. The evening will be at leisure in Lima. Afterward, transfer to your Lima airport hotel for overnight. Accommodations: Hotel Costa Del Sol-Ramada. Breakfast provided.

El Misti Volcano, Arequipa Day 7: Lima & Arequipa. After breakfast, fly to Arequipa, the third largest city of Peru and recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known locally as the “Cuidad Blanca” (White City), Arequipa conserves one of the best examples of Peru’s colonial architecture with its magnificent white stone buildings and monuments. From atop the Carmen Alto, enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of Arequipa, the Chili River and the surrounding volcanoes. Then, embark on a fascinating city tour including the traditional Yanahuara quarter, Main Square, Church of the Society of Jesus, the Cathedral, and the Monastery of Saint Catherine. Accommodations: Casa Andina Classic Arequipa. Breakfast provided.

Colca Valley, Arequipa Day 8: Arequipa & Colca Valley. This morning, head north through the Pampa Cañahuas Reserve on your journey to the Colca Valley. Continue by Vizcachani, the Toccra Pampas, and then pass the crater of Chucura Volcano to reach the scenic viewpoint of Patapampa for a truly marvelous vista of the Andes and volcanos that surround the Arequipa region. Enjoy lunch in the town of Chivay and continue to your hotel for check-in. The balance of the day is at leisure and we recommend visiting the local hot springs. Accommodations: Hotel Pozo del Cielo. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Day 9: Colca Valley & Lima. Today, start off with a visit to Condor Pass where you can appreciate the grandeur of the Colca Canyon. At a depth of over 13,650 feet, the Colca Canyon is over twice the depth of the Grand Canyon and is the world’s deepest. Watch as Andean condors soar through the air gliding on updrafts along the canyon walls. Next, travel through the small towns of Pinchollo, Maca, Achoma and Yanque, also stopping at the Antahuilque and Choquetico scenic viewpoints as you travel along the canyon. Later today, return to the Arequipa airport and return to Lima. Bid adiós to Peru as to board your overnight flight to Miami. Breakfast provided.

Day 10: Lima/USA. Your flight departs shortly after midnight. Your amazing Peruvian adventure ends as you touch down in Miami later this morning.

Optional Excursions

Optional Excursions Package

To take full advantage of your visit to Peru, we offer a special discount package of optional excursions to other "must-see" sites. These are not "seat in coach" excursions that pick up passengers in various hotels—all our optional excursions are operated for Friendly Planet groups only.

Optional Excursions Package Includes:

  • Tipon & Oropesa (Day 5)
  • Cusco's Nearby Ruins (Day 5)
  • Chinchero (Day 6)

Package Price: $190 per person if booked and prepaid before final payment. Save $77 per person compared to buying them separately!

If you prefer not to book in advance, the individual optional excursions will be available from your guide once you arrive in Peru, based on availability, at individual prices listed ($267 per person for all three). Other optional excursions, mentioned in our detailed itinerary, will also be available to you locally, based on availability.

We regret that we cannot accept bookings for the pre-paid optional excursions package within 75 days from departure or after final payment has been received. Optional Excursions require a minimum of 4 passengers to operate.

Want more? Extend your stay with our Arequipa & the Colca Valley Optional Extension.

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