Adventure and Cultural Peru Itinerary

11 Days 10 Nights

Itinerary Overview

This is a 10 – night itinerary filled with adventure and culture. You will visit Lima, the capital; Machu Picchu, the legendary Inca ruins; Cuzco, the former Inca capital; Paracas where the desert and the sea come together in spectacular landscapes; and will fly over the Nazca Lines. In addition, you will enjoy ziplining, horseback riding, hiking and e – biking.

Day 1 Arrive Lima

You will be met at the airport and will transfer to your hotel.

Lima, the capital of Peru, is situated on a plateau overlooking the Pacific Coast. It is a sprawling metropolitan city of over 10 million Peruvians and is a naturally perfect location for sampling the famed national cuisine with its vast base of ingredients and spices.

Furthermore, the city offers tours to convents, churches and historical plazas and centers, as well as beautiful gardens, bars and nightspots. Meanwhile, the ancient tradition is very much alive at Huaca Pucllana Temple, just steps away from the hotels and hostels of central Miraflores district and the impressive pyramids of Pachacamac are just a 40km drive south.

Your guide will take you on a walk to introduce you to the surrounding area of your hotel so that you can get your bearings upon arrival. It is also an opportunity for your guide to provide advice, explain your program, answer questions and direct you to local amenities such as the nearest supermarket, metro station, bus stop, pharmacy or anything else you may need. This short introduction will help with your orientation so that you can feel confident to be on your own afterwards. This introduction is offered after checking into your hotel.

Hotel: JW Marriott Lima
Day 2 Lima

After breakfast, bike in Pachacamac. About an hour away from the city of Lima, to the south, is the Pachacamac Valley. Depending on the level of the cyclist and the season, the trails will vary in terrain and difficulty. On the basic route, you pedal on dirt tracks and from there the difficulty increases with greater distance or you can choose to increase the difficulty on a different trail.

The pre-Inca archaeological complex is 35 km southeast from Lima. In this large complex, archaeologists have discovered more than fifteen pyramids built by the Wari People between 600 and 800 AD. When the Wari Empire became less important, Pachacamac became famous as a religious center. It was extended with temples and other sacred buildings between 800 and 1450 AD. Even the Incas made it part of their religious system.

Enjoy lunch in the Sky. A crane lifts a platform 45 meters high with a capacity of 22 people seated in a reclining chair similar to Formula 1. Lunch will have three courses including wine.

Hotel: JW Marriott Lima
Day 3 Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley

After breakfast, enjoy a Lima city tour.

Lima is the bustling capital of Peru and a great city to explore. With this half-day city tour, start at the city’s main square to admire the Government Palace. Visit the cathedral, where the conqueror Francisco Pizarro got his final resting place. Also visit the religious museum of the cathedral.

Afterwards, your guide will take you to the San Francisco Church and the Monastery, where several areas are embellished with authentic Sevillian tiles dating back to 1620. The Museum of Religious Art, the Zurbaran Room and the library are quite remarkable. The complex was built on top of underground catacombs which were used as cemeteries during the colonial times.

After the founding of Lima on January 18th, 1535, Captain Jerónimo de Aliaga y Ramírez received a colonial house in the elegant area near the house of Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish Conqueror. Today, this is the Government Palace. Ever since then, the Aliaga family and their descendants have lived in the house called Casa Aliaga. This is the oldest dwelling in the Americas that has been home to the same family for 17 generations.

Rebuilt and reshaped after earthquakes and some changes in architectural trends, the mansion has served for almost five centuries of Lima’s history. Its artistic value emerges from the beauty of its interior space and the original distribution of the rooms. As you wander through the beautiful rooms of this old mansion, you can enjoy both the Colonial and Republican history of the city of Lima.

Visit the Larco Museum, located in an 18th century vice-royal mansion, built on a pre – Columbian pyramid of the 17th century. This museum showcases remarkable chronological galleries providing an excellent overview on 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre – Columbian history. The museum was founded by Rafael Larco Hoyle, an early 20th century historian, and his collection of over a thousand artifacts of different Peruvian cultures is featured. Especially interesting are the artifacts from the discovery of the Moche Culture, which include many items from human sacrifice and cannibalism on exhibit.

Transfer to the domestic airport for your flight to Cusco.

Cusco was originally the historic capital of the Inca Empire, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has an elevation of over 11,000 feet allowing visitors to acclimatize before setting off on long treks towards Machu Picchu’s on legendary routes used by the Incas towards the citadel. Cusco is pleasant to explore with wonderful and ancient stonework, narrow streets and important Inca temple remains, complemented by the Spanish colonial buildings. Numerous museums showcase Inca and pre-Columbian culture, as well as textiles and sacred plants. Being a rich agricultural region, many fusion and neo-Andean restaurants offer unique Peruvian gastronomy. Meanwhile, day trips to nearby lagoons can be connected with visits to Inca ruins such as Pisac, Tambomachay, Kenqo, Sacsayhaman and Ollantaytambo.

Arrive in Cusco and transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is the eternal home of abundance for the indigenous and locals who continue to call this area their home. The Sacred Valley is essentially the Urubamba Valley, home to flourishing lands and rivers perfect for agriculture. It is also home to Machu Picchu, built in the 15th century for the Inca emperor, Pachacuti. From Cusco, the former Inca capital, visitors can decide on trekking on the “Inca trail” of multiple days, or taking the train to visit the world wonder of Machu Picchu. The region was prized by many civilizations for its agricultural potential.

Hotel: Libertador Tambo del Inka Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
Day 4 Sacred Valley

Today is a day of adventure. This tour called Zip Line and Via Ferrata offers an amazing mountain experience for people without any experience. It will be an experience of a lifetime!

It is a combo of both activities. You will climb 400 meters of Via Ferrata and descend the mountain using 6 zipwires (150 mts to 700 mts).

Hotel: Libertador Tambo del Inka Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
Day 5 Sacred Valley

After beginning your horseback ride at “Hacienda del Chalán”, cross the Vilcanota river over a traditional suspended bridge. The next part of the path goes along the side of the river crossing through an area of native forest where it is possible to see one of the biggest Inka cemeteries along the side of the path. Pass through the heart of the village of Yanahuara, cross through many cornfields and ride until you reach the other part of the river. Once again cross the suspended bridge of Paucarbamba, and return to Hacienda del Chalán.

Lunch in Cusco at Wayra Restaurant (Sol y Luna Hotel).

In the afternoon, visit the Ollantaytambo Ruins. These famous ruins are named after Ollanta, a warrior who fell in love with an Inca princess but was not allowed to marry her. One of the best – preserved sites of this area is known as Hanan Huacaypata and is north of the main square. This ruin has elegantly crafted stone walks.

Hotel: Libertador Tambo del Inka Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
Day 6 Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu

The journey starts early in the morning. After the arrival at km 104 by train, the Royal Inca Trail begins with a hike to Chachabamba (2270m/7448f), where your guide will inform you about the previous function of this archeological site. Reach Wiñayhuayna (2650m/8694f), the most important archeological site besides Machu Picchu. After that, the trail continues towards the Sun Gate “Inti Punku”. This is a nice viewpoint from which you can enjoy nightfall on Machu Picchu (2400m/7874f). Continue the walk to the hotel in Aguas Calientes. Only a little time will be spent in the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu on this day.

Level of difficulty: Moderate, Hiking time: 6 hours
Total distance: 12 km

Take the Vistadome train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes. The Inca Trail does not operate in February due to the rainy season.

Hotel: Belmond Sanctuary Lodge
Day 7 Aguas Calientes - Poroy - Cusco

Leave the hotel for Machu Picchu after breakfast at about 5:30 am by bus. You are leaving early because at this time Machu Picchu is less crowded and the morning is a good time to enjoy the calmness and the ancient spirit of the best-known archaeological site on the continent.

After your arrival at the citadel around 6:00 am, your guide will give you detailed information about Machu Picchu and the history and culture of the Incas. You will have enough free time to enjoy and explore the site on your own.

In addition, you can climb Waynapicchu for an amazing panorama picture.

A bus takes you down to Aguas Calientes. You will take the Hiram Bingham Train back to Cusco at 5:50pm
Level of difficulty: normal
Hiking time: 2 hours
Total distance: 4 km

Travel on the exclusive and luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham train and enjoy the elegant dining car, the bar car and the observatory, where you can take in the unmatched scenery in the open air while sipping on a traditional Peruvian cocktail and listening to live local music.
The return trip includes a fine dining experience at dinner to the beat of the Peruvian cajón and tambourines. There is no service the last Sunday of every month

Transfer from Poroy to Cusco.

Hotel: Libertador Palacio del Inka Luxury Collection
Day 8 Cusco- Lima

In the morning take a walking tour of Cusco with a visit to Sacsayhuaman.

Begin your city tour at the Cusco Cathedral and enjoy some incredible panoramic views of the city. Visit the main square known as Huacaypata or “The Warriors Square” in the Inca times. This was the scene for many key events in Cusco’s history. The cathedral, built between 1560 and 1664 with large stones of red granite taken from the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, is one of the most imposing structures in the city. It also houses one of the most significant collections of gold and silver work of the colonial period, elaborately engraved wooden altars and a beautiful collection of oil on canvas paintings from the Escuela Cusqueña.

Next visit Sacsayhuaman. See its impressive stone buildings and hear about the construction techniques used by the Incas.

Private transfer from your hotel in Cusco to the airport for your flight to Lima.

Hotel: JW Marriott Lima
Day 9 Lima – Paracas

The desert and the sea come together in spectacular landscapes in Paracas, in the area of Ica, just a few hours south from Lima. The cliffs that fringe the beaches are teeming with life, millions of birds that live here year-round, and thousands of others that fly from the northern hemisphere and from further south, ranging from guano birds to Humboldt penguins.

Arrive in Paracas after 4 hours.

Hotel: Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort
Day 10 Paracas

Discover the Ballestas Islands, home to peculiar and diverse coastal fauna. This two-hour journey takes you around several small islands while hearing cries from sea lions, spotting Humboldt penguins and a wide variety of guano birds. On the way to the islands you will be able to appreciate the magnificence of the “Candelabro” (the Candlestick), an enormous and mysterious geoglyph carved on the desert soil, making this a morning of archeological and natural history discovery.

The E-bikes are the perfect way to visit Paracas National Reserve. They do not pollute, they do not make noise and they are a versatile and fun vehicle.

Hotel: Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort
Day 11 Paracas – Lima - Departure

Take a flight over the Nazca Lines from the airport of Pisco in Ica (1h40m). You will see the Ocucaje Valley, the 12 classic figures of Nazca (1. The Whale, 2. Trapezoids, 3. Astronaut, 4. Monkey, 5. Dog, 6. Condor, 7. Spider, 8. Hummingbird, 9. Alcatraz, 10. Parrot, 11. The Hands, and 12. The Tree) and the Palpa Lines (the Hummingbird of Palpa and eventualy the Star).

In the afternoon, private transfer to Lima.

Arrive Lima and check into the hotel located inside the International Lima Airport.

Your guide will meet you at the hotel to assist you on connecting with your international flight.

Hotel: Costa del Sol Wyndham Lima Airport