• Duration

    12 Days

  • Location

    Lima to Cuzco

  • Price starting from

    € 1,301

  • Package by Tucan Travel

Travelling down Peru’s coast, say hello to sea lions at the Ballestas Islands before heading to Nazca where you can discover the Nazca Lines. Your tour takes you to the highest navigable lake in the world before journeying to Cusco, the base for exploring Machu Picchu.

Day 1 to 1 – Arrive Lima

Welcome to Peru! Your adventure starts here in Lima and you are free to arrive today at your leisure.

Lima was founded by the Spanish Conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535 after he eradicated the Incas and made the city his capital. The city has many beautiful colonial buildings and some of the best museums in South America including the Gold Museum, Museum of the Inquisition and the Catacombs below the San Francisco Church.

Peru’s capital has much to offer and many of the sights, including the city’s two main squares the Plaza de Armas and Plaza San Martin, boast some fantastic sightseeing opportunities. The Plaza de Armas houses the Cathedral, Municipal Palace and Presidential Palace where the changing of the guard can be seen every day at 12 noon.

Another highlight of Lima is the Huaca Pucllana, ruins of a pre-Incan pyramid. The clay structure, built in seven staggered levels is one of the few that remain from the historic pre-Colombian period in Peru. It is thought to have been built around 500 AD and would have been used for spiritual ceremonies. Located in the Miraflores district, it’s surprisingly very easy to get it!

Of course you should also spend time sampling some delicious local Peruvian food. For a breakdown of the best food in Peru and where to eat in Lima, click here

Optional Excursions: Museum Inquisition – free • Monastery and Catacombs – US$3 guided tour • Plaza San Martin, one of the largest and most impressive squares

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Santa Cruz or similar

Day 2 to 2 – Paracas

Today we travel to the small and coastal town of Paracas. Using a comfortable tourist bus, the journey takes around 3 and a half hours giving you a free afternoon to enjoy the sites and fresh ocean air.

Soak up the atmosphere tonight and dine at one of the many shorefront restaurants which serve various local dishes and great seafood.

Approximate Travel Time: 3.5 hrs by tourist bus.

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Gran Palma or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 3 to 3 – Nazca

A visit to Paracas would not be complete without visiting the Ballestas Islands on a two hour boat trip. The islands, sometimes known as the ‘poor man’s Galapagos’, are teeming with over 150 species of bird life (including penguins, cormorants, boobies and pelicans). They are also home to thousands of sea lions and boast some amazing rock formations. Although it is not possible to set foot on the islands, you will experience the magnificent sight and sounds of the vast array of wildlife and maybe even spot seals and dolphins playing around the boat. Our boat trip also takes us past the mysterious Candelabra figure etched on the side of a mountain. Best viewed from the sea, many believe the Candelabra is linked to the Nazca Lines

Leave Paracas behind and journey towards Nazca in a private vehicle. On the way, the group will stop at the Huacachina Oasis, deep in the Huacachina Desert. Here you have the chance to get your adrenaline-pumping with the optional excursions available. Try sand-boarding down the vast dunes or cruise over them in a dune-buggy. After you have explored the desert, continue driving to Nazca.

Approximate Travel Time: 2 hrs to Huacachina Desert and a further 2.5hrs to Nasca.

Included Excursions: Visit Huacachina Oasis,A boat tour of the Ballestas Islands

Optional Excursions: Scenic flight over Nazca Lines – US$100 + S/30 tax • Planetarium show & lecture – US$8 • Chauchilla Cemetery – US$13 (entry & guide) • Cantalloc underground aqueducts – US$8 • Cahuachi pyramids – US$15 (entry only) • Dune buggy tour/Sandboarding experience – US$18

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in a guesthouse at Hellen Ross or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 4 to 4 – Overnight Bus to Arequipa

Today you have the option to visit the Nazca Lines. These strange parallel lines and geometrical figures are etched into the desert floor. Although there is a viewing tower, these strange designs can only be fully appreciated from the air. You can take a fascinating flight over the lines and shapes, which include a monkey, hummingbird, condor, spider and even a spaceman. The designs are thought to have been made by three different groups of people: the Paracas (900 -200 BC), the Nazca (200BC -600AD) and then new migrants from Ayacucho around 630AD. You can also take optional tours to visit the underground aqueducts, gold mines and ceramic shops.

Pack up on snacks as we will take taxis to the bus station and embark on an overnight bus journey to Arequipa.

Approximate Travel Time: 9hrs by overnight tourist bus.

Accommodation: 1 night(s) on overnight sleeper buses

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 5 to 5 – Arequipa

A beautiful colonial city, Arequipa has a lovely central plaza dominated by a large cathedral. There are some fantastic restaurants in Arequipa and it is possible to enjoy many Peruvian delicacies here. Besides the stimulating architecture, one of the the main attractions is the Santa Catalina Convent, which is almost a city in itself with its maze of cobbled streets, cloisters and decorative buildings. Don’t miss the nuns’ café for excellent freshly baked treats! Another popular attraction is the acclaimed Museo Santuarios Andinos which houses many well preserved mummies. The most famous of the mummies is Juanita, a young Inca maiden who was sacrificed around the year AD 1450 atop the Nevado Ampato volcano to appease the gods and ask for a good harvest. Juanita was sacrificed then frozen by snowfall at the top of the mountain, hence her nickname ‘ice princess’. She was rediscovered in the 1990s when ash from the volcano melted the snow around her.

Optional Excursions: City tour – US$12 • Monastery of Santa Catalina – US$12 • Museo Santuarios Andinas, where you can see the frozen Inca ice mummy princess ‘Juanita’ – US$11 • Plaza de Armas and churches – free

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Casona Plaza Hotel Colonial or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 6 to 6 – Colca Canyon

Today you will visit the nearby Colca Canyon, said to be one of the deepest in the world. Take a private vehicle into the high, barren Andean landscape, reaching a maximum height of 4,910 metres above sea level. Along the way you will learn about the local fauna and flora of the region and spot the many vicuñas and alpacas. After checking in to our hotel in the town of Coporaque there is an option to visit the nearby hot springs.

Approximate Travel Time: 6hrs by private vehicle.

Included Excursions: Entrance to & guided tour Colca Canyon

Optional Excursions: Hot springs – S/15

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at La Casa de Mama Yacchi or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s), 1 Local Lunch(es), 1 Buffet Dinner(s)

Day 7 to 7 – Puno

This morning we start early to visit the Cruz del Condor (Condor’s Cross) lookout point in search of the giant condors soaring out of the canyon on thermal currents while taking a walk along the canyon’s edge and admiring the spectacular views. The beautiful scenery continues as you take a combination of buses all the way to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which at 3,855 metres above sea level, is the highest navigable lake in the world.

Approximate Travel Time: 7hrs on a Tourist Bus.

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Munay Tambo or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 8 to 8 – Lake Titicaca

Up next is the beautiful Lake Titicaca itself. We visit the floating reed islands in the Bay of Puno to see the Uros islanders way of life and we will have the option to ride in a traditional reed boat.

Next stop is Taquile Island, an island on Lake Titicaca still holding up many of the traditions values and customs it was built on. Learn about the way of life, from the reasons for why they do their hair the way they do and how they dress. Famous for their textiles and clothing, you will be able to pick up a homemade gift or two from the main square.

Included Excursions: Day trip to Lake Titicaca

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Munay Tambo or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s), 1 Local Lunch(es)

Day 9 to 9 – Cusco

Today you will journey towards Cusco on a tourist bus. Pass breathtaking Andean mountain scenery on this full day journey. Cusco, which means ‘navel of the earth’ in the Inca language of Quechua, has a mostly indigenous population of around 300,000 and is centred around the Plaza de Armas, which is dominated by the Cathedral and La Compañia de Jesus Church. Its cloistered arcades house many fine restaurants, bars and shops which you have time to enjoy this evening.

Approximate Travel Time: 7H by Tourist Bus.

Optional Excursions: Boleto Completo, valid for 10 days and includes entrance to most Inca ruin sites in Sacred Valley and Cusco.– US$40 or 130 soles • Boleto Partial, includes just sites around Cusco – 70 soles • Massages – US$25/hr • City tour – US$30 + 70 soles entry if Completo has not been purchased • Chocolate making course – US$22

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Anden Inca or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 10 to 10 – Sacred Valley of the Incas & Ollantaytambo

A full day is spent visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas. At an altitude of 3800m we take slow walks that take up to an hour, around each of the ruins in order to manage any effects the high altitude may have. Firstly we visit the Pisac ruins, perched on a hilltop with incredible views of the surrounding mountains. We then go down to the famous traditional market of the same name, which is full of colour and atmosphere. A great place for souvenirs! After lunch, we continue along the valley to the temple/fortress of Ollantaytambo with its enormous Inca terracing constructed on the side of a steep mountain.

Tonight you will stay in the town of Ollantaytambo.

Included Excursions: Guided tour of Sacred Valley of the Incas

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Tika Wasi or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 11 to 11 – Machu Picchu & Cusco

Entry to Machu Picchu is split into a morning and afternoon shift in order to ease the flow of tourists to the site and aid conservation and preservation of the citadel. As a result, if you are scheduled to take the train to Machu Picchu, your guided tour will take place in the afternoon shift.

Alternate options for getting to Machu Picchu:

Taking the train: Waking early in Ollantaytambo you will take the train to Aguas Calientes, arriving at 10am. You will have time to get some food before entering Machu Picchu at approximately midday. Enjoy a guided tour around the site before getting the train back to Ollantaytambo and arriving back in Cusco at approximately 10pm.

One day hike:Waking early in Ollantaytambo you will take the train to to Km104 (2100m) where you will start the trek heading towards the ruins of Chachabamba. From here you will follow the Inca Trail to the foot of the Wiñay-Wayna ruins (2700m), hiking until you reach Sun Gate and Machu Picchu in the late afternoon. Enjoy a guided tour around the site before getting the train back to Ollantaytambo and arriving back in Cusco at approximately 10pm.

The lost city of Machu Picchu (Old Mountain) was originally completely self -contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered by natural springs. Located high above the fast flowing Urubamba River, the cloud shrouded ruins have palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation that will simply take your breath away. The ruins were only discovered by the outside world in 1911, when American explorer Hiram Bingham found them while looking for another “lost city” called Vilcabamba. Due to their isolation many of the buildings are still quite intact and you can’t help but admire Huayna Picchu (Young Mountain), which towers above the ruins.

Please note: The one day hike needs to be booked at least three months in advance with your Adventure Specialist. It is a long day and can be quite challenging. Read more about it here

Included Excursions: Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Accommodation: 1 night(s) in hotels at Hotel Anden Inca or similar

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 12 to 12 – Depart Cusco

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Meals: 1 Breakfast(s)

What’s Included

Excursions & Activities:
  • Visit Huacachina Oasis
  • A boat tour of the Ballestas Islands
  • Entrance to & guided tour Colca Canyon
  • Day trip to Lake Titicaca
  • Guided tour of Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Accommodation: 9 night(s) in hotels, 1 night(s) in a guesthouse, 1 night(s) on overnight sleeper buses

Transportation: Overnight Bus, Public Bus, Private Vehicle

Meals: 11 Breakfast(s), 2 Local Lunch(es), 1 Buffet Dinner(s)

What you need to know

  • We will try to run your tour as close to the itinerary as conditions will allow. On very rare occasions, local events may affect the way your itinerary operates. We ask for your flexibility and understanding in these situations.
  • This tour reaches high altitude and some people can be affected by this. Read our handy guide to Altitude Sickness before you travel.
  • On this tour you can either take the train to Machu Picchu or conquer the one day hike. Please speak to your Adventure Specialist for more details
  • The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. You will meet your Tucan Travel rep at 18.00 for the pre-departure meeting. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation.
  • This tour includes a compulsory Local Payment that needs to be paid to the Tour Leader on Day 1 of your tour. For more information on our Local Payments please click here.
  • Many countries have strict rules on the age and quality of foreign cash. We therefore recommend you bring only new, unmarked and undamaged bank notes. This includes your Local Payment on tours where required. ​

What’s not included

  • Visas and travel insurance
  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • International flights to/from the start/end of your tour and departure taxes
  • Tips on excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.
  • Optional excursions – On each trip, you may find there are some excursions that are not included. This might be because they are not to everyone’s taste or there may be various options of differing value to choose from. More information on the excursions we recommend is listed under each day of your itinerary though prices may vary. If you are after something in particular, don’t hesitate to ask your tour leader.
  • Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation

This tour is subject to our general conditions.  Please read them carefully before booking.