Holiday in the Heart of the Inca Empire
12 day Peru holidays in the Inca Heartland for £1450pp
Our twelve day Inca Heaven holiday takes you right to the heart of Peru's Inca history. You will start in Cusco, the ancient Inca capital, and journey through the Sacred Valley of the Urumbamba before making your way by train to the breathtaking lost city of Machu Picchu. We’ll then take you right through the Andes to the stunning Lake Titicaca where you can experience the magical atmosphere of the lake and visit the fascinating floating reed islands.
- Day One: Arrival in Lima
- Day Two: Free Day in Lima
- Day Three: Fly to Cusco
- Day Four: City tour of Cusco
- Day Five: Free Day in Cusco
- Day Six: Tour of the Sacred Valley, staying overnight
- Day Seven: Tour of Machu Picchu, staying overnight
- Day Eight: Return to Cusco
- Day Nine: Travel to Puno
- Day Ten: Tour of Lake Titicaca
- Day Eleven: Fly back to Lima
- Day Twelve: Overnight flight to the UK
Day One – Begin your Peru Holidays
Your Peru holidays will begin today with your arrival in Lima. We will meet you at the airport and drive you to your hotel in the stylish Miraflores area of the city for you to check in. Depending on your arrival time, you may just want to rest, but if you’re feeling up to it then we’d highly recommend taking a walk around the lovely Parque Kennedy and perhaps to one of our recommended restaurants to sample some of Lima’s world-famous cuisine.
Day Two - Free Day in Lima
You will have a full free day today to settle into your holiday and relax into the Peruvian pace of life. We recommend taking a trip to the colonial centre of Old Lima or perhaps just walking a short distance to the beaches and cliffs for lunch with a sea view. (B)
- Or how about asking us to organise a visit to the pre-Inca ruins of Pachacamac?
- Or for the gourmets, a cookery tour of Lima, including the chance to prepare your own meal with an expert chef?
Day Three – Travel to Cusco: the Ancient Inca Capital
This morning we will take you back to the airport for a short flight up to Cusco, which was formerly the capital of the Incas. We take you to your hotel and then we have left the rest of the afternoon free for you to explore. Your hotel is centrally-located so although you will still be getting used to the altitude, you are perfectly placed to wander around this unique city, where Spanish colonial buildings stand right next to ancient Inca structures. In the evening it's worth trying out one of the restaurants around the buzzing Plaza de Armas as Cusco has some of the best food and nightlife in South America. (Breakfast included)
Day Four – Tour of Cusco
We’ve kept this morning free to give you chance for a leisurely breakfast and some time to introduce yourself to the city. In the afternoon, we’ll pick you up from your hotel and take you on a guided tour of Cusco and the Inca ruins just outside the city, such as Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay. Your tour will be on foot to allow your guide to help you get your bearings and point out the more interesting quirky Inca features you pass by which you don’t get to see from the window of a coach. (B)
- Our walking tour concentrates on giving you plenty of time at our favourite sites, but it does mean that we don’t visit absolutely everywhere. If you’d prefer to change to a more conventional guided tour by coach then just let us know.
Day Five – Free time in Cusco
We usually like to give people some time to explore on their own, so today is up to you. You could visit the bustling local market, walk up to the bohemian San Blas district with its galleries and jewellers, or perhaps just sit back with a cup of coca tea and get those postcards written... Of course, if you’d prefer something more active then we’d be delighted to make some suggestions. In the evening we will have a short briefing session before we start our trek tomorrow, and if we have arranged an extra porter for you, we will pick up the items they will carry at the same time. (B)
- Or we could take you out of Cusco to visit the Maras Salt Pans or the Inca agricultural laboratory at Moray?
- Or for something more adventurous on your Peru holidays, how about some white-water rafting or mountain-biking?
Day Six - Into the Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley of the Urubamba awaits you today as we journey further into the Andes for a full day tour of this peaceful and scenic valley. You will visit many Inca sites today including the village of Pisac (and its famous market) and the stunning temple-fortress of Ollantaytambo, as well as the royal site of Chinchero with its unique colonial church. Your guide will be on hand with all the information you will need to start understanding the spirit of the Incas. After your tour you will be taken to your hotel in the valley for a peaceful night’s sleep in this tranquil setting. (B/L)
- If you have the time we can easily add a free day to relax in the valley or if you’re more adventurous at heart some whitewater rafting down the Urumbamba or mountain biking in the hills?
Day Seven - Machu Picchu
Today’s the one you’ve been waiting for..... We will pick you up early in the morning and take you to the train station in Ollyantaytambo for your Vistadome train up to Machu Picchu. We’ll give you a full guided tour of the site and then leave you to explore the nooks and crannies yourself. Although you’ll never forget your day here or your first glimpse of the breathtaking lost Inca city make sure you remember your camera as we can guarantee you’ll be wanting to show these photos off! When you’re ready, you’ll take the bus back down through the cloud forest to the foot of the mountain and head to your hotel for the night. (B)
- Fancy a bit of luxury after visiting Machu Picchu? Ask us about upgrading your hotel to the stunning Machu Picchu Pueblo and treat yourself to a massage or a nature walk through its grounds to meet the local wild spectacled bears...
Day Eight – Back to Cusco
You will have a free morning in Aguas Calientes today, so you can relax and enjoy the hot springs that give the town its name (or enjoy a second visit to Machu Picchu - see the options below). Your train back to Cusco will depart in the mid-afternoon to get you back to your hotel in time to head out for your last evening in the Inca capital. (B)
- If you’re not sure one day will be enough at Machu Picchu we can organise an extra ticket to Machu Picchu so you can experience sunrise from the sun-gate, or climb up to the Inca watch-tower on neighbouring Huayna Picchu for a new perspective on the site.
Day Nine – Travel to Puno
We will head to the coach station this morning for your journey to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Your guide on your coach will be on hand to answer any questions you might have and you’ll stop at the Inca temple of Wiracocha, the Stone Museum museum at Pucara and the road's highpoint at La Raya. The coach also stops at Sicuani for your buffet lunch which is included. You should be well-acclimatised to the altitude by now so even though Puno is somewhat higher than Cusco, you will be able to enjoy a wander around and enjoy some fresh grilled trout by the lakeside. (B/L)
- Why not ask us about taking the world famous Andean Explorer train to Puno instead of the coach? The open viewing carriage at the end of the train is ideal for those perfect photo opportunities.
Day Ten – Lake Titicaca
You will enjoy a full day on Lake Titicaca today. We will pick you up after breakfast for your day on the Lake. After visiting the floating reed islands you will stop on the ‘real’ island of Taquile to visit the Inca ruins and have lunch. The lake has been a focal point for many Andean cultures and as you experience the tranquillity you’ll begin to understand why. (B/L)
- For a truly unique way to experience Peruvian life, we can arrange for your to stay overnight on one of the islands with a local family.
Day Eleven - Back to Lima
For your last day in the Andes we’ve given you a free morning and plenty of time to pick up some alpaca scarves or get those postcards finally written. We will pick you up after lunch for your flight back to Lima. Once again we will meet you on arrival and take you back to your hotel in Miraflores for your last night in Peru. (B)
- If you’d like to squeeze in just one last short excursion why not ask us about stopping off at the pre-Inca burial ground of Sillustani on your way to the airport?
Day Twelve – Final Day of Your Peru Holidays
We have left the last day of your Peru holidays free to make sure we can accommodate any international flight time and get you to the airport in plenty of time for your journey home. If you don’t depart until the evening we can organise some extra sightseeing for you and we always make sure you keep your hotel room until you leave for the airport so you can leave your packing until the very last minute if you so desire. (B)
Options for our Peru Holidays
Amazon Rainforest – 3 days from £575pp
Get back to nature by adding on some time in the Amazon jungle. Just a short flight away from Cusco or Lima are a range of fantastic jungle lodges where you can immerse yourself in the full rainforest experience (in comfort!) with our experienced local guides, who’ll make sure you get the most out of the incredible wildlife to be found in deepest, darkest Peru...
Beach Breaks in Peru – 3 days from £495pp
The best beaches in Peru are in the North and as they’re much closer to the equator the weather is warmer all year so they’re an excellent choice to soak up some sun on the sand and enjoy some downtime on your holiday. The palm fringed white sands of Mancora and Punta Sal are our favourites.
Sacred Valley Spa Break – 3 days from £175pp
Whether you’ve been trekking, into the jungle or just fancy a treat after all of your sightseeing a few days at one of the luxurious spa hotels in the Sacred Valley is well worth thinking about. The hotels offer top-notch treatments and facilities and there aren’t many settings as serene as here to spend a couple of days relaxing.
Colca Canyon - 3 days from £335pp
The Colca Canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and is a definite must-see on your Peru holidays. The enormous Andean Condors alone are worth a trip into the Canyon, but then when you add in the hot springs, stunning scenery, giant hummingbirds and herds of vicunas it’s hard to think of a reason you wouldn’t want to visit. You can also combine your visit with some mountain-biking through the Canyon or trekking if you’re feeling a bit more active.
Whitewater Rafting – 1 day from £75pp
If you’re keen to get your blood pumping, how about a bit of rafting action? There is a good choice of rivers with excellent white-water rafting opportunities near Cusco and we can organise a full day’s rafting for you or even a couple of days with camping overnight to go that extra mile.
The standard price for our "Inca Heaven" Peru holidays is £1450 per person, which is based on two sharing a double or twin room in our standard hotels.
That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees. It also includes lunches in the Sacred Valley, on Lake Titicaca and on the journey from Cusco to Puno, plus breakfast every day.
We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of special national holidays, this price is valid for the whole of 2014.
So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.
We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.