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Peru Explorer

Peru Explorer

01606 720199

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  • Holiday type
    Guided walking
  • Duration
    19 nights
  • Accommodation
    hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • From £3099per person, tour only

    Flight inclusive prices from £3849 per person
  • Departures
    Selected Sundays from 9 Aug '20 to 18 Dec '21
  • What's Included?
  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners included. Additional meals on Inca Trail option.
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Inca Trail permit (if Inca Trail option selected at time of booking)
  • Key Information
  • This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus
  • 17 nights hotels and 2 nights jungle lodge, all with en suite facilities
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Spends time at altitude
  • Travel by internal flight, train, boat and private bus
  • Inca Trail option: no extra cost - please request on booking. 3 nights full-service camping replaces 3 nights hotels. Additional meals included during trek

Peru

Peru Explorer

  • Operated by our sister company, Exodus
  • Discover the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and the colonial cities of Cuzco and Arequipa
  • Have the option to walk the classic Inca Trail, at no extra cost – must be requested at time of booking
  • Spend two nights deep in the Amazon
  • Visit Lake Titicaca's traditional island communities
  • See beautiful Arequipa plus Colca Canyon and its condors

This trip is the perfect introduction to the highlights of one of the most diverse countries in South America. Our journey contrasts the incomparable scenery of the Andes with the lush vegetation of the Amazon Rainforest and the barren coastal desert, as we discover ancient cities, buildings and fortresses of colossal size in settings of amazing beauty. For walking enthusiasts, there is the option to trek the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (at no extra cost), and for wildlife lovers, the Ballestas Islands and the rainforest are sure to impress.



We're here to help

If you have any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open from 9am today) or email sales@headwater.com

Typical holiday itinerary



We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 01606 720199 , or email sales@headwater.com

Day 1: Start Lima.

The trip starts in Lima today. Those on the group flights from London will arrive this evening.

Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

Day 2: Free morning; afternoon city tour.

This morning has been left free, and in the afternoon we have a tour of colonial and modern Lima. We visit the modern residential district of Lima (Miraflores) and then explore the historic downtown area. We will discover the Plaza de Armas, Basilica Cathedral and Government Palace (also known as ‘House of Pizarro’) as we take a short walk around the colonial centre. We also visit 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 complete with the bones of Lima's wealthy eighteenth and nineteenth-century residents. This evening perhaps take a visit to the bohemian district of Barranco for some local food and a taste of the famous Pisco Sour, Peru’s national cocktail.

Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

Day 3: Drive to Paracas, visiting Pachacamac and Pucusana.

We drive south from Lima today, visiting Pachacamac Fortress, the Incas' largest coastal city at the time of the conquest. We stop for a late lunch of fresh seafood at the attractive fishing village of Pucusana. A stroll around the village where the day's catch is displayed at the market and a boat ride around the bay (subject to weather conditions) offer great insight into a contemporary Peruvian coastal town. We continue southwards to the town of Paracas where we spend the night.

Hotel Gran Palma (or similar) 

Day 4: Sail to Ballestas Islands; continue to Nazca via Ica.

A short drive from our hotel takes us to the port where we board our launch to visit the world famous Ballestas Islands, a national park which contains the highest concentration of marine birds in the world. There are sea lions and numerous species of birds on the islands themselves and we will also see the Paracas Candelabra, a curious pre-Inca design on the cliff-face, only recognisable from the sea. We drive on to Nazca in the afternoon and visit the viewing platforms close to 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.

Hotel Alegria (or similar)

Day 5: Drive along coast then turn inland to Arequipa (2350m).

Today we have a long drive (approx. 10 hrs) south through the coastal desert, with great views of the dunes and the Pacific Ocean, before heading inland into the mountains on the road to Arequipa.

Su Majestad Hotel (or similar) 

Day 6: Arequipa city tour, including Santa Catalina Convent.

Arequipa is a beautiful colonial city set in a fertile oasis, with many historic buildings characterised by their use of white volcanic stone from the nearby Misti, whose dramatic cone dominates the town. In the morning we visit the Cathedral, the Jesuit church of La Compañia and the huge serene convent 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.

Su Majestad Hotel (or similar) 

Day 7: Drive to Colca Canyon.

A spectacular drive takes us to the Colca Canyon, one of the world's deepest canyons. On the way we pass volcanoes and will almost certainly see vicuñas in the highlands before we cross the Patapampa Pass (4910m) which marks the descent into the canyon itself. As we take the winding road to the town of Chivay, the sight of the green and fertile terraces of the canyon is a real contrast to the barren yet beautiful landscapes we have travelled through for most of the day. This is the first day where we may feel the effects of altitude – although we do not linger at the top of the pass, we spend the night at around 3600m and so it is a good idea to take it easy on arrival.

Hotel Pozo del Cielo, Chivay (or similar) 

Day 8: To Colca Canyon; explore and search for condors.

Today we have a full day exploring the Colca Canyon, starting with a visit to the Cruz del Condor, the best place to see the mighty Andean condors as they glide on the morning thermals. We also see ancient tombs which line the cliffs on one side of the canyon, and make stops in the villages along the way which house several interesting colonial churches. Depending on time, we may take a short walk along farm tracks to learn more about the agriculture on which the whole region is dependent. After a long day of exploration, an optional visit to the hot springs near Chivay this evening is a wonderful way to relax.

Hotel Pozo del Cielo, Chivay (or similar) 

Day 9: Drive via Sillustani to Puno (3800m), by Lake Titicaca.

Today, we drive through the mountains to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. En route we have opportunities to see vicuñas before making a short visit to the unique burial towers (chullpas) of Sillustani. The altitude here (3800m) makes physical effort very tiring and the evenings are very cold, so taking time to rest is highly recommended.

Casona Plaza Hotel (or similar)

Day 10: Morning explore lake shore; afternoon sail to floating reed islands

We have a full day on and around Lake Titicaca today. In the morning we will visit a local market in Acora district where the local people still use a barter system to trade with those living in other areas of the high plateau. Later in the morning we will take a short walk designed to highlight the culture of the indigenous groups who inhabit the small villages alongside the lake.  In the afternoon we will visit the descendants of the Uros People who live on islands of floating reeds; fishing and weaving remain key elements of their daily life and save for a few modest concessions to the modern world, they still live as their ancestors would have done centuries ago. These days, however, tourism has had a significant economic impact on their lives.

Casona Plaza Hotel (or similar)

Day 11: Drive across the altiplano to Cuzco (3400m).

Today we take a bus ride across the altiplano, the high plains separating the Andes from the jungles. Although it is quite a long drive (approx. 10hrs), it is often spectacular. There are scheduled stops to visit some of the most interesting sites to help break up the day and appreciate the immensity of the Andean landscapes. These include La Raya Pass (4313m), the watershed and geographical dividing line between the altiplano and the Vilcanota Valley where Raqchi Inca temple is located. We arrive in Cuzco (3400m) in the evening.

Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

Day 12: Morning Stand-up Paddle boarding; afternoon cooking class

This morning we will travel to nearby Piuray Lagoon where will spend the morning paddle-boarding surrounded by stunning scenery of mountains and terraced fields.

In the afternoon we’ll enjoy a cooking class, learning all about different plants and herbs used in Peruvian cooking and how to prepare traditional food and drink. After our lesson we’ll have time to enjoy a well-deserved dinner we’ve prepared ourselves!

Meals Included - breakfast

Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

Day 13: Free day in Cuzco for optional activities

Today has been left free for exploring Cuzco, one of South America's most beautiful cities. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people-watching, and Qorikancha – the Sun Temple, located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery, are worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.

Outside the town are more Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. Cuzco is also the gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and should you wish to visit the sites, your leader can help organise an excursion, including Pisac Market (optional).

If you fancy something more active then there are an array of other optional activities available from Cuzco including mountain biking or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.

Meals Included - breakfast

Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

Day 14: Visit Pisac market and Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley.

This morning, we head out of Cuzco to the colourful handicraft market at Pisac, at the entrance to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. After some free time to browse the stalls, we take a walking tour of the huge Inca ruins above the village. We enjoy a traditional 'pachamanca' lunch today, whereby the food is wrapped up and buried in the earth along with hot stones which cook it slowly. After lunch, we drive down the valley to Ollantaytambo where we visit the immense Inca fortress and explore the unique village whose streets still follow the pre-conquest grid plan.

Meals Included - breakfast, lunch

Tunupa Lodge (or similar)

Day 15:  Free morning in Ollantaytambo and then travel to Aguas Calientes 

We have a free morning to explore Ollantaytambo and then make the scenic train journey through the Urubamba River Valley to Aguas Calientes (approx. 1 hour 30 minutes), arriving in the afternoon. The rest of the day has been left free to explore at your own leisure. Aguas Calientes is a bustling town with a large handicraft market (although prices here are at a premium in comparison to Pisac or Cuzco markets).

There are some nearby hot springs, however they are often overcrowded and the water quality suffers as a result, therefore we don't recommend visiting them.

Meals Included - breakfast

Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

Day 16: Morning guided tour of Machu Picchu; afternoon return to Cuzco.

In order to beat the day-trippers arriving from Cuzco and reach the ruins as early as possible, a very early start is required to queue for Machu Picchu; only government-registered buses can make the 30-minute drive up the winding road to the site entrance and during high season (May-October) queues can be hours long. 

Machu Picchu is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world and what makes it all the more dramatic is its mountain backdrop of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records of it, and so Machu Picchu remained a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. 

New regulations for visiting Machu Picchu are now fully enforced; of the three possible visiting slots, Exodus will purchase the morning slot from 06:00 until 12:00 (unless unavailable), you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Exodus selects the most comprehensive route. Please note that exploring the ruins involves a reasonable amount of walking, including up and down steep and uneven stone steps. 

We catch an afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo (1hr 30 mins) and continue by private bus to Cuzco (2hrs 30 mins).

Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

Day 17: Tour of Cuzco and Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

We have a full-day tour combining the highlights in and around the city. Outside the town are Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. In the centre, we visit the Plaza de Armas, and many examples of the famous Inca stonework like those of the Qoricancha Sun Temple located in the Santo Domingo church and Monastery.

Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

Day 18: Fly to Puerto Maldonado; travel by boat into rainforest; afternoon jungle walk.

We leave Cuzco early today as we take a short flight to Puerto Maldonado (please note that due to poor flight availability, on some departures this flight will connect through Lima and be considerably longer), a small town in the rainforest. On arrival, we transfer to the dock for a boat trip to our lodge in the Tambopata Reserve – this journey takes between 1½ and 3 hours depending on which lodge we stay in. On the way, we may see caimans, river turtles and waterfowl. After some time to settle in, we will take a short walk along the forest trails near the lodge to look for nocturnal animals.

Cayman Lodge Amazonia (or similar) 

Day 19: Jungle exploration by boat and on foot.{BOLD}{BREAK}{NOBOLD}

Activities today will vary according to the lodge used, but will generally include a mixture of walks along the forest trails, time spent in canoes to explore rainforest lakes, and the opportunity to go high into the canopy for a completely different view of the forest. The resident guides are normally around in the evening to answer questions, and from some lodges (not all) there is the option to take a canoe out onto the river in search of caiman by torchlight.

Cayman Lodge Amazonia (or similar)

Day 20: Fly to Lima; end Lima.

We return to Puerto Maldonado after breakfast today and board our flight back to Lima. Those who have booked a flight inclusive package through Exodus depart Lima this evening and arrive into London the following afternoon. For land only clients, the tour ends at Lima airport. If booking an onwards flight from Lima today please ensure that it does not depart before 20:00hrs.

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.

To find out more call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open from 9am today) or email sales@headwater.com

Hotels & Jungle Lodge (plus camping on Inca Trail option)

We spend 17 nights in hotels and 2 nights in a jungle lodge all with en-suite facilities. For the optional Inca Trail trek, 3 nights full-service camping replace 3 hotel nights.

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary, however, accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. All of our hotels are clean and comfortable, and we stay in central locations wherever possible in the towns and cities. Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at reception.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug-in heaters and spare blankets. Additionally whilst all of the hotels have a hot water supply, it can be temperamental when there is high demand.

A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, some rooms might hear the trains.

In the rainforest, we use several lodges in the Tambopata Reserve. All offer a similar standard of accommodation and rainforest experience, and each has a network of walking trails through the forest. The lodges are usually located between 1½ and 3½ hours by boat from Puerto Maldonado, and each has a main building surrounded by lodge/bungalow accommodation. The rooms are usually based on two people sharing, and all have private bathrooms with a shower, as well as individual mosquito nets over the beds and, in some cases, mosquito screens on the windows. There is generally no electricity in the bedrooms, and lighting is provided by lanterns or candles. The main buildings each have a dining room and bar, as well as a small library of books relating to the rainforest and its flora and fauna. These are usually the only areas of the lodge with an electrical supply (not 24 hours).

For those who select the Inca Trail Trek option: during the trek we spend three nights full-service camping, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents, cook, and do all camp chores for you. You need only carry your daypack. There will also be dining and toilet tents and bowls of warm water are provided both morning and evening for washing with.

We recommend the early booking of single supplements and of pre/post-tour accommodation. Single rooms can be booked for an optional single supplement, subject to availability at the time of booking (excludes two nights in the Amazon lodge). If you are taking the Inca Trail option, this supplement covers the cost of a single tent for the duration of the trek.


Meals

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners are included in the price of the tour. For those doing the Inca Trail (or Moonstone) trek option, all meals, some snacks, and drinks/water are included during the trek. 

Drinking water is included throughout the holiday as the tap water in Peru is not safe to drink; boiled and filtered drinking water is provided on the trek and elsewhere your leader will buy large water containers for you to refill your bottle from. 

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably, we can not guarantee that wheat/gluten-free products will be available for breakfast in all locations - if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food.

Dinner in Nazca is a traditional 'pachamanca' dinner, cooked on hot coals in the ground. Where lunch and dinner is not included we'll visit a variety of cafes and restaurants. For some of the days with long drives, we may take some packed lunches to eat at a scenic spot along the way.

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), Alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Travel

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open from 9am today) or email sales@headwater.com

Transfers

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about US$25 should you decide to make your way independently.

Should you decide to make your way independently there is also an airport shuttle bus, which runs a direct service from Lima Airport to the Miraflores District of Lima every 30‐60 minutes for US$8 one way or US$15 round trip. Tickets can be bought online or at the counter in Lima Airport. Visit the website and select your hotel to find the nearest stop and see a map of where it is in relation to your hotel: https://www.airportexpresslima.com 

Transportation

A variety of transport is used during this tour and vehicle types may vary depending on group size: travel is by train, boat, bus and three internal flights.

Airport transfers are by private car or mini-bus. All main road journeys are by private mini-bus or coach with heating/air-conditioning and may or may not have a toilet onboard.

We travel by train (with Peru Rail) between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes (the town below Machu Picchu) in Expedition Class. Seating is four seats to a table and the carriages have panoramic windows and there is air conditioning/heating.

The boat on Lake Titicaca is private to our group, and there will be a local guide from one of Lake Titicaca’s island communities. The boat is enclosed as it can get cold at this altitude but there large windows on all sides and an outside deck to the rear. Life jackets are provided. In the Amazon we may share boats with other guests at the lodge.

Inca Trail Option: This point to point trekking holiday requires customers to walk between each overnight stay under their own steam. Other forms of transport may be available along the route (horses, jeeps etc) but Exodus is not able to take responsibility for the safety or the cost of any transport that customers choose to take even if provided with the assistance of our leader or staff.

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 21 Days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways or KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Internal flights during the trip are with a local airline.

Travelling land only: 20 days starting and ending in Lima

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Lima in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

For land only clients, the tour ends at Lima airport on Day 20. If booking an onwards flight from Lima on Day 22 please ensure that it does not depart before 20:00hrs.

Reviews

Here at Headwater we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can continue to develop, and where necessary improve, our services and ensure our holidays continue to be the best they can be. As this is a relatively new holiday, we don't yet have any customer reviews available from our customers, but here are the comments that have been received from previous Exodus travellers.

The trip starts with exploring the capital city Lima, then follows the coast seeing flocks of the sea birds and sea lions on the way before turning inland into the Andes, the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and a brief visit to 'the jungle'. You see magnificent landscapes along the way from the desert-like coastal plains to the fabulous snow-capped Andean mountain tops with an active volcano on the horizon. You visit manu Inca and pre-Inca settlements during the course of the three weeks. After the effort and camping along the Inca Trail there's just enough time to visit the jungle for more wild-life viewing. This excursion has the lot!

An amazing trip full of insight and excitement. 3 weeks seeing the Coast, the Desert, the mountains and the jungle. Lots of early starts but worth it to cram in as much as possible. So many highlights including the Ballestas Islands, the Nazca lines, Arequipa, Colca Canyon and its condors, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, local festivals, the Moonstone Trek, Machu Picchu, the jungle...

Overall this was the trip of a lifetime. Spending three weeks in Peru was worth every minute, from the Anthropological and Archaeological museum in Lima, through the Ballestos islands, flying over the Nazca lines, the Altiplano with volcanoes and the most gorgeous flamingos, Colca Canyon and the condors, Cusco, Ollantaytambo, The Sacred Valley, the Maras saltworks and Moray Inca agricultural research station (if that is what it was) and Machu Picchu. The Peruvian people, their food, their cities. The Andes. The geology, the wildlife. It truly was a cornucopia of delights. We were very lucky with the weather, which was well nigh perfect. The trip was very well planned and allowed plenty of time for acclimatisation, so that by the time we arrived at Cusco, we were quite at home with the altitude. We had chosen not to do one of the hikes to or near Machu Picchu and instead spent an extra three days in Cusco. We were largely left on our own but Exodus and our tour guide had arranged and advised us on the activities we wanted to do. It worked out very well and we didn't exhaust all the extra museums, art galleries, restaurants nor do all the day trips etc. that were available. We were very happy with our choice and we had a lot to discuss with our more active tour companions when they returned to Cusco.

A superb holiday from start to finish, taking in many different facets of Peru as a country. From Pacific coast to historical sites, magnificent mountains, glorious wildlife and fascinating jungle. This trip had it all. Add in the variety of different modes of transport and there is something to appeal to anyone.

Fantastic trip! Great itinerary, great leader and wonderful country. Everything was beyond expectations. A busy and well organised adventure that highlighted the diversity of Peru.

As described, the itinerary encompasses a tremendous range of activities, venues and experiences which provided insights into the country's culture, history and heritage. We met many interesting people along the way and had great fun with fellow travellers and guides. As usual with Exodus trips there were many early mornings and some long journeys, but these are necessary for the trip to achieve the stated aims! Hotels were comfortable and all had suitable amenities. Food - and drink - was plentiful and tasty and generally good quality. The route was well planned and enabled us to fully acclimatise before attempting the focal activity for us - the Inca Trail. It also put the trail and Machu Picchu into a broader context so that we appreciated it all even more. Support on the Inca Trail, from our guide and 'porters' was exceptional. We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed (almost) every minute.

We went on this trip in July which is the Peruvian winter. This tour lasts for around 3 weeks and for the majority is packed with a full itinerary. You start at Lima, known locally as 'Donkey Belly' because it is always cloudy due to the local topography and weather systems. To be honest Lima is OK but a typical capital city with usual buildings of interest and you really don't need to spend much time there. We did however get our first sample of the local Peruvian alcoholic drink - Pisco Sour. A brandy based drink made from the skin of grapes. It is one of Peru's best kept secrets. You must try it! Hotel clean and functional. From Lima we were driven in a coach that had more room than needed for our party of 14 which would see us all the way through to Cuzco. We needed space as the trips can be long and some folks felt a bit nauseous. The two drivers were lovely chaps and couldn't do enough for us. Exodus always provide large boxes of water for each leg of the journey and is always needed. From Lima you then head off down the coast on day 3 to visit Pachacamac Fortress an Inca coastal settlement. . Interesting enough and a good place to take photos of the settlement which is dry and dusty. This a good taste of the first of many Inca sites throughout the trip. Afterwards on to the coastal resort of Pucusana where we had lunch and a boat trip around the bay photographing the numerous pelicans. The food at the restaurants here and throughout the trip was of a high standard and most enjoyable. The hotel here was pretty basic and the rooms small. The following day we headed for another harbour for a high speed boat ride to the Ballestas Islands, which we understand has more sea birds per square metre than anywhere else in the world. If you have a telephoto lens then take it as the variety of birds is fantastic, including penguins. You can't get too close due to the rough sea and rocks but this excursion is truly spectacular. Can imagine folks could feel a bit nauseous if the sea is too rough, so keep looking at the horizon. Later we visit the Nazca lines from watch towers which is really needed to gauge the perspective of these unusual markings. The next day is pretty arduous as we travel inland across dry and sometimes windy uneven roads to Arequipa. A number of our party felt or were ill due to travel sickness on this 10 hour drive. We have a few short stops along the way which are greatly needed. The following day we discover this old city and are rewarded with some great photos of the surrounding dormant volcanoes and one live one. The city is very interesting and gives visitors a much better insight in to local Peruvian life and culture. The trip to the convent is very interesting. The hotel was very quaint but lovely with a huge atrium. The city square is well worth a visit for supplies and at night is pretty lively. On day 7 we visit the Colca Canyon, a spectacular drive along the edge of the valley. The famous Condors are the treat at the end! We leave fairly early after breakfast and are lucky as the thermals are starting just as we arrived. We saw these wonderful graceful birds in all their glory soaring time and time again. Use that telephoto if you have it. They are not the only birds as we also saw lots of other smaller varieties including the South American Large Hummingbird. This spectacular place was surreal, although if the weather is against you (as it was the day after) the Condors won't come out to play. The drive here to Chivay climbs high through the mountains and very bendy but had spectacular views. The hotel at Chivay was more basic but reasonable enough. Wifi here was poor and can be patchy at many of the hotels. Exploring the town here and the local market is relaxing way to spend the evening. Our guide as always will recommend places to eat. We didn't sample the hot springs but many of our party did and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had been put off by previous reports of lack of cleanliness but our group didn't notice anything untoward. The additional local tour guides that are picked up at each stage along the way add immensely to the enjoyment with them imparting their specialist insight to the region we visit. We rated all of them, all of whom had an excellent command of English. The next part of the trip was to travel to Puno on the edge of Lake Titicaca. We are climbing it seems all the time but stop regularly at view points and to see the wild Vicuna and Alpacas roaming the high plains. Puno is a thriving bustling City we plenty of sights and local amenities. The hotel and food here was very good with the central plaza a very popular place to spend some time. The next day we visit the Lake and board a boat that takes us to the Reed People who literally spend their lives floating on the lake on the reeds. Full of local tradition and colour you will be invited to spend some time with these people with ample photography opportunities. You finish off by taking a trip around the reed village in their own boats which would look more at home on a pleasure park, but great fun nonetheless. As you travel higher some travellers may start to feel the effects of altitude. We did take the recommended medication for this part of the journey and all the way through to Machu Picchu. We felt more fatigued than normal, so a more relaxed pace and plenty of fluids is the best solution. Another long coach journey but with more stops and less bendy all the way to the Inca capital of Cusco. We spend more time at Cusco than anywhere else but the hotel is ok but fairly basic. Maybe Exodus should look at an upgrade. My friend didn't do the Inca Trail and spent even more time there. If you are on the ground floor then there seems to be a lot of noise from staff and guests. Cusco however is a lovely City full of history and tradition. As always the central plaza is the main focus of the locals and truly worth an evening visit. The restaurants were also very good and you can try local dishes such as Alpaca or Guinea Pig. We visited the spectacular Sacred Valley and the fortress at Ollantaytambo, and a vibrant local market was well worth a visit . Take care not to take photos of the locals unless they are happy for you to do so. Many will ask for a Soles or two. The next part if the trip is the Inca Trail. Everyone will have wonderful memories of this but here is what we experienced. You start off early to get on the trial so the weather is chilly. You climb for most of the first 2 days then descend for the rest. We travelled in winter and at night it does get very cold and you are under canvas. We chose to take our own sleeping bags but I the ones you can get from Exodus are perfectly good with a warm liner. Unfortunately it did also rain for a couple of the days, which can drench you all the way through. Fortunately we had decent quality ponchos bought in the UK (you need them). The paths can get slippery so robust good quality hiking boots or shoes are a must. Walking Poles, I would thoroughly recommend for steadiness on uneven parts. The tents are waterproof enough although the ends did get wet and although the ground for the most part only had a slight incline you did slip down the tent during the night. Wear dry clothes at night (I wore thermals) especially if your day clothes are damp. You climb as high as 16,000 ft across Dead Woman's Pass (another group photo). The walk is a reasonable pace but due to the altitude a slow pace is best and the guides will keep this steady pace. The Porters and they were probably 25 of them just for our group, did an absolutely fabulous job, packing and unpacking each day, cooking really amazing food and just about seeing to everything. All the water is boiled and therefore clean, make sure you drink plenty. We took small bottles of concentrated juice from home as this helped mask the taste of boiled water. Just remember, you will get wet, you will get cold, you will get hot, so you need to pack for everything but the Porters will only carry 7kg of your kit. The rest is up to you and your day bag, so only take stuff absolutely necessary. All of your other luggage and suitcase will be waiting for you at hotel at the end of the trek. You get an enormous sense of achievement doing this walk but you will get out of breath especially on the way up. Along the way you visit some amazing Inca sites and you have regular stops for rest and refreshments. Exodus plan this very carefully. Although the trail is only about 26 miles, don't forget it's up and down all the time. The travel toilets are as you would expect basic, and only at camp. There are some loos along the way but not many. A trip to the bushes maybe called for but you must take you own paper and you cannot leave it in the bushes. Doggy poo bags probably good to take along. The night before the final day you stay very high up overlooking the mountains that lead to Machu Picchu. We had a lot of mist and cloud but when it cleared the spectacular scenery is breathtaking. On the final morning you say goodbye to the Porters who earn every Soles you tip them. They carry around 25kg each on their back and speed past you as they go the next site, sometimes wearing just sandals in the rain. As you cross the Sun Gate Machu Picchu comes into view in the distance. Nothing prepares you for this awe inspiring site. Forget the photos you've seen, this leaves you speechless. The group gather together for the usual group photo then proceed downhill to this famous Inca phenomenon. You spend quite a bit of time at the site taking photos but don't go in to the main part which is the plan for the next day. As you leave the site weary, smelly but elated you go on a switch back coach ride to Machu Picchu town. After being fairly remote walking in the mountains you are faced with a loud and huge swarm of day trippers. You have to queue for the bus which took us about 20 minutes. The hotel in Machu Picchu was fairly good although some in our group complained they had no hot water, which after 4 days under canvas would have been an extreme disappointment. The following day our Exodus guide Renaldi (Renny) took us on amazing historic guide of the Machi Picchu site. You just can't get enough photos of such an extraordinary and magical place. Nothing really prepares you for what you see. In a way everything is sort of an anti-climax after Machu Picchu but you still wonder at the marvelous scenery of this geographically varied country. The train back to Ollantaytambo through the deep valley was an excellent way to leave Machu Picchu. We then catch a minibus back to Cusco, a bit crampt as all the seats were taken up by the group. The next few days we 'come down' with a few more days in Cusco and visiting other Inca sites. The final part of the tour is a short flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon. You stay in lodges built on stilts and sleep under mosquito nets with no hot water (cold shower), but of course you expect this. After the dryness of the west coast and the elevation of the trek, the Amazon seems to be out of place in Peru. Whilst there we enjoyed the high speed river journeys, the late night Cayman spotting, the night trek in search of wild like and the boat trip on the lake catching Piranhas. Great sunsets along the river and the trek to the lake was very enjoyable. Saw some monkeys and plenty of birds but I guess we were hoping to see more wildlife. Just a final point of caution. On our flight back we landed in Cusco to pick up more passengers for onward to Lima. However at Cusco, the airline company Avianca in their wisdom, decide that the air conditions (too hot) would affect lift off and they offloaded some of the suitcases, some of which were from our party. It took some nearly 2 weeks to be reunited with their baggage with Avianca hopelessly not interested. It didn't detract however from a wonderful and memorable holiday.

Make no mistake, this is not a holiday as such but a full-on early morning to evening priceless adventure and experience. If you are doing the Inca trail you will probably find yourselves with only a couple of half days spare. Not one moment of this will you ever regret - we can honestly say that it was of the best experiences in 40 plus years of travel. Every day was well organised and went as smoothly as any holiday as diverse as this one could do. The hotels were of a good standard, particularly for a third World country. As far as the Inca trail is concerned, we are in our mid sixties, reasonably fit and had no real problems completing it. The porters are just incredible and ran past us as we laboured up and down hills! The food on the trek was amazingly good and we all ate well.

A very special and well coordinated trip, crammed full with different places and experiences - from amazing and varied scenery, plants and wildlife to interesting Inca and pre-Inca history, plus the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu experience.

This trip was fabulous, there was just so much to see and do it really was amazing how much we crammed in. If you want a trip that shows you all of Peru then this is the one for you as you truly explore all of it. Its a long trip and i absolutely loved it!

Very good holiday on the whole

An exceptional holiday experience, far surpasses anything I could have imagined. The history, sightseeing, enthusiasm of the guide, nothing was to much trouble for him. All the team at Exodus and individual guides I could not commend high enough.

A truly wonderful experience packed with wonderful Inca history, fantastic scenery, wildlife, boat trips, train rides and a flight over the amazing Nasca Lines, walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and ending the holiday in the Amazon Rainforest watching Macaws,Chameleons ,monkeys etc with the 'buzz' of Forest life in your ears.

Brilliant overview of this country. It creeps into your heart over the days. It's people, history, culture, cuisine. A great trip well thought out.

Excellent trip.weather hot,cold,freezing.food very good.,and reasonably cheap.use sols not dollars.in a trail terrific.camping very good.porters and cooks great.a Hugh tarantula came into the tent during the night.sacred valley the most scenic.lake titicaca and floating islands great.

We cannot fault this holiday – well done Exodus • Great itinerary, well planned action packed adventure from start to finish. Good accommodation and transport arrangements. • Fabulous insight into Peru, its places, history, food, wildlife and peoples • The greatest accolade goes to our guide who added significantly to our enjoyment of the trip and that of the group as a whole.

I thought my trip to peru was very organised. You are very well looked after. Lots of detailed information. The tour guides very happy to answer all questions. Would recommend exodus to friends. Very enjoyable.

Excellent, and as usual with Exodus, never a moment to get bored ! Exodus are as far as i know, the only company to offer a tour of Peru with an OPTION to do the Inca Trail. This suited me and wife, as i wanted to do trail, she didn't but was happy to get rid of me for a few days as she got on well with rest of group. 4 of the 16 did the trail.

An amazing trip which just kept giving, from sea level to the mountains, it was all unforgettable!

Absolutely fantastic trip, well organised, great diversity of experience, good travelling companions and an excellent guide!

we were really looking forward to this trip and it lived up to expectatations.

This 3 week trip is sensational from start to finish especially if Wilbert Ramos is your guide.  Desert, the Andes and Inca Trail, Lake Titicaca and Amazon rainforest, the Peruvian people, many ecosystems in which the flora and fauna vary considerably, tremendous food even on trek...what's not to love....including the fabulous group of people who were Wilbert's "family" as we travelled.

This was a trip that made you feel you had experienced Peru not just had a holiday, this was due to the variety of the places visited and the excellent guides.  The trip was non stop and you need to be prepared for the fact that you have early starts and a lot of travelling and not a lot of down time but how else could you see so much in three weeks? I would do it again tomorrow.

The Peru adventure was a trip of a life time, to see a large portion of Peru, from the Pacific coast, the Andes, to the Amazon Basin, Inca Trail and Machu Picchu.

This was one of the best holidays I have enjoyed. The leader, Rene Calancha, was brilliant, the variety of sights and experiences marvellous, the company great. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

A fantastic route through some brilliant sites. Well looked after by Rene the guide and the various local guides and porters / chefs on the trek. Small group size (7) really helped. Strongly recommend the route and Exodus

Excellent trip. Well worth taking if you want to see as much of Peru as possible. Driving rather than flying between the various points provide a deeper insight into the real Peru. Its well worth the extra time it takes.

Peru was wonderful, a country of so many contrasts: the colours, the scenery, the wildlife, the people, the flora, all fascinating.  We packed in so much in the three weeks, it really did seem much longer, every day held even more amazing things to see.  

If you want a relaxing holiday, carefree and pampered, choose something else.  Peru Explorer is more of a travel experience and you will need the resilience for some 05.00 starts and long days, climates to challenge your packing, mostly middle of the road, sometimes quirky, hotels, three nights wild camping, and probably a bout of being unwell at some point, as everyone in my group was. What you'll get is the most comprehensive tour of the southern half of this splendid country, all its highlights, an Andean trek, astonishment at the sophistication of the Incas, three starkly different climate zones and, demanding its own mention, the simply world class attraction of Machu Picchu.  Yes, it really is as staggering as you're imagining, not over-hyped, and up there with Angkor, Bagan and the Taj.

The Peru Explorer package was very well organised and led, gave us a pretty comprehensive picture of Southern Peru and was good value for money.   Given the distances involved and the sheer scale of the programme, it inevitably involved a great deal of coach travel - it certainly wasn't a restful holiday!  We were lucky in that our group numbered only nine and we travelled in a coach which catered for more than twice as many people. The Inca trail was wonderful and, although we were by far (a good dozen years) the oldest people in the group, we managed the walking without much discomfort. And  we were tremendously well looked after by the ample contingent of porters, cooks and bottle-washers.

Had wanted to visit the "sights " of Peru since learning about the Incas as a schoolboy .This trip realised those dreams .

Met our expectations in almost every respect.

Wonderful holiday, incredible local trip leader, lots of travelling

Dates and prices

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.

Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.

This 19 night guided walking holiday includes:

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners included. Additional meals on Inca Trail option.

All accommodation 

All transport and listed activities

Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

Arrival & departure transfers

Inca Trail permit (if Inca Trail option selected at time of booking)


How to book:

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 01606 720199 (we're open from 9am today) or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

Complete our holiday enquiry form - we'll get in touch when it's most convenient for you
Speak to our sales team on 01606 720199 - we're open from 9am today
Use our live chat to ask us a question

  • Aug 2020
  • Sep 2020
  • Oct 2020
  • Nov 2020
  • Dec 2020
  • Mar 2021
  • Apr 2021
  • May 2021
  • Jun 2021
  • Jul 2021
  • Aug 2021
  • Sep 2021
  • Oct 2021
  • Nov 2021
  • Dec 2021
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9th Aug 2020 °
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£3199 £4149 Tour only: £3199
Including flights: £4149
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6th Sep 2020 °
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£3199 £3949 Tour only: £3199
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11th Oct 2020 £3099 £3849 Tour only: £3099
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15th Nov 2020 £3099 £3849 Tour only: £3099
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20th Dec 2020 £3099 £4299 Tour only: £3099
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14th Mar 2021 £3199 £3949 Tour only: £3199
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4th Apr 2021 £3199 £4149 Tour only: £3199
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16th May 2021 £3199 £3999 Tour only: £3199
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23rd May 2021 £3199 £3999 Tour only: £3199
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DepartingTour only Prices  
13th Jun 2021 £3199 £3999 Tour only: £3199
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4th Jul 2021 £3199 £4149 Tour only: £3199
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DepartingTour only Prices  
8th Aug 2021 £3199 £4249 Tour only: £3199
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29th Aug 2021 £3199 £3999 Tour only: £3199
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DepartingTour only Prices  
5th Sep 2021 £3199 £3999 Tour only: £3199
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19th Sep 2021 £3199 £3999 Tour only: £3199
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10th Oct 2021 £3199 £3999 Tour only: £3199
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14th Nov 2021 £3199 £3999 Tour only: £3199
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DepartingTour only Prices  
18th Dec 2021 £3199 £4449 Tour only: £3199
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The prices quoted for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and we advise early booking to obtain the best prices. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Key information

This holiday is operated by our sister company, Exodus

17 nights hotels and 2 nights jungle lodge, all with en suite facilities

Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs

Spends time at altitude

Travel by internal flight, train, boat and private bus

Inca Trail option: no extra cost - please request on booking. 3 nights full-service camping replaces 3 nights hotels. Additional meals included during trek

Transfers

The cost of a taxi is likely to be about US$25 should you decide to make your way independently.

Should you decide to make your way independently there is also an airport shuttle bus, which runs a direct service from Lima Airport to the Miraflores District of Lima every 30‐60 minutes for US$8 one way or US$15 round trip. Tickets can be bought online or at the counter in Lima Airport. Visit the website and select your hotel to find the nearest stop and see a map of where it is in relation to your hotel: https://www.airportexpresslima.com 

Transportation

A variety of transport is used during this tour and vehicle types may vary depending on group size: travel is by train, boat, bus and three internal flights.

Airport transfers are by private car or mini-bus. All main road journeys are by private mini-bus or coach with heating/air-conditioning and may or may not have a toilet onboard.

We travel by train (with Peru Rail) between Ollantaytambo and Aguas Calientes (the town below Machu Picchu) in Expedition Class. Seating is four seats to a table and the carriages have panoramic windows and there is air conditioning/heating.

The boat on Lake Titicaca is private to our group, and there will be a local guide from one of Lake Titicaca’s island communities. The boat is enclosed as it can get cold at this altitude but there large windows on all sides and an outside deck to the rear. Life jackets are provided. In the Amazon we may share boats with other guests at the lodge.

Inca Trail Option: This point to point trekking holiday requires customers to walk between each overnight stay under their own steam. Other forms of transport may be available along the route (horses, jeeps etc) but Exodus is not able to take responsibility for the safety or the cost of any transport that customers choose to take even if provided with the assistance of our leader or staff.

Joining instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 21 Days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways or KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Internal flights during the trip are with a local airline.

Travelling land only: 20 days starting and ending in Lima

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Lima in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

For land only clients, the tour ends at Lima airport on Day 20. If booking an onwards flight from Lima on Day 22 please ensure that it does not depart before 20:00hrs.



Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Peru Explorer. Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.

Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 01606 720199 to discuss your requirements in more detail (we're open from 9am today).

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