bing

'Peru Odyssey'

What makes this trip special?

Colonial Lima

Colonial Lima

Lima

The conquistadors founded Lima, and the wealth they accrued built impressive cathedrals and monasteries, and a thriving colonial centre.

Ancient Lima culture

Ancient Lima culture

Huaca Pucllana

A great adobe pyramid and ceremonial complex, in the heart of the Miraflores neighbourhood in modern Lima, from the 'Lima' culture which flourished 200-700AD.

Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

The Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley was heaven on Earth for the Incas. You can easily see why. A lush steep-sided valley wih a wide floor brought alive by the Urubamba river tumbling through its fields and pastures. Great for country walks, striding out on the highlands above, exploring some very very fine Incan ruins, and shopping in local markets. Hearty food, sparklingly clean air - it's the kind of place you might feel you could live in some day.

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu

Absolutely unmissable. One of the most world's evocative sites, an Incan sanctuary beautifully set among seemingly impenetrable mountains, lost for centuries. Approach it by the Inca Trail, or by rail. Truly wonderful.

Centre of the Incan world

Centre of the Incan world

Cusco

A hugely atmospheric city, steeped in its Incan past, with so much to explore. Fine temples of intricate stonework, narrow lanes running to wide plazas, vibrant traditional cultures, busy markets, lively arts, bustling restaurants, with the Andes on all sides. One of the world's great travel destinations.

Artists of the floating world

Artists of the floating world

Uros community, Lake Titicaca

Afloat on Lake Titicaca. An extraordinary existence, lived on 40 or so artificial islands woven from reeds harvested from the lake shore. The Uros consider themselves the oldest people on earth, with a welcome for their less blue-blooded visitors.

Textiles on the Lake

Textiles on the Lake

Taquile Island

Taquile Island is home to a self-sufficient Quechua-speaking traditional community, world-renowned for dramatic finely woven fabrics and traditional dress.

Incan terraces

Incan terraces

Colca Canyon

The Colca river descends through a broad valley edged with stone terraces, still farmed today, that ranked as a second Sacred Valley for the Incas. The river carves a deeper and deeper course dropping steeply to form a canyon that is among the deepest in the world - fully twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.

Condors

Condors

Colca Canyon

You wait in the early morning sun at a look-out above the world's deepest canyon. Soon condors begin to appear, riding the thermals from their roosts somewhere in the cliffs below. They rise up to your level, circling so close you can almost hear the wind in their wings. They circle again, and soar away to hunt over the altiplano, or to valleys a hundred miles away and more.

The White City

The White City

Arequipa

Gleaming serenely in its 'eternal spring' sunshine, Arequipa's historical centre is a beautiful ensemble of baroque churches and fine colonial buildings in the white stone of the region. Narrow streets run between grand plazas, with views of 3 snow-capped volcanoes.

Lock up your daughters

Lock up your daughters

Santa Catalina Monastery

Arequipa's Santa Catalina Monastery is an extraordinary phenomenon of colonial religious culture. A walled city within a city, its cobbled lanes and courtyards - vividly painted in Mudéjar style - once housed 450 nuns, typically the second daughters of wealthy families who paid a 'dowry' equivalent to £100,000 to live a closeted life of service to the Dominican Order.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Peru Odyssey'

DAY 1

Lima

You are met at Lima airport on the arrival of your international flight and driven to your hotel in the city for 2 nights.

DAY 2
B

A day in Lima to explore this wonderful city. You are collected from your hotel for a morning tour with a guide. On towering cliff tops at Miraflores you visit the Parque del Amor, where mosaics decorated with romantic poetry look out over the Pacific. In the midst of the city itself you visit the site of Huaca Pucllana, a centre for the pre-Incan ‘Lima’ culture. At the Plaza de Armas, the heart of colonial Lima, you see the Government Palace and the City Hall, and step inside the Cathedral if it is open for visitors (the pre-Incan Huaca Huallamarca pyramid is the alternative). Finally you visit the impressive San Francisco Monastery, the height of Spanish baroque; its library and catacombs date from the earliest colonial times. You are returned your hotel around lunchtime with the rest of the day for you to explore Lima for yourself. You might ask the hotel to order you a taxi to the wonderful Larco Museum, for example.

DAY 3
BL

The Sacred Valley of the Incas

A driver picks you up from your hotel in time for your early flight to Cusco, where you are met and driven down into the Sacred Valley with your local guide. You pause at Awanacancha at a community project where you can get up close to llamas, guanacos and alpacas, and see how their wool is spun, dyed and woven into traditional textiles. Approaching the Sacred Valley, the dramatic Incan fortress of Pisac appears high over the valley entrance. After visiting the ruins you stop in the town at its daily market, with stalls for local ladies in hats and billowing skirts, and for the curious traveller. Further along the valley you visit the Inkariy Museum and arrive at your hotel. Sleeping here, at a significantly lower altitude than Cusco, helps to acclimatise more gently.

DAY 4
BL

This morning you are collected from your hotel to explore the Sacred Valley, its long history and its traditional ways of life. Farmers till fields by hand or ox-plough beside the tumbling waters of the Urubamba river, small boys shepherd llamas and alpacas, sturdy housewives bargain in busy markets, and artisans create finely-worked handicrafts. You visit the magnificent Incan fortress of Ollantaytambo, with its finely-made temples, observatories, grain stores and terraces guarding the far end of the valley. In the mountains above the valley you arrive at a dramatic plateau with spectacular panoramas of distant snow-capped mountains. Your guide shows you the circular terraces of the Incan site at Moray, said to be their centre for agricultural experiments, and the salt pans of Maras, where tier-upon-tier of gleaming salt pans are stepped into the hillside. Later you board the train down the narrow river valley to Machu Picchu Pueblo, below the Incan citadel. At the station you are met and taken to your hotel in the village for 1 night.

DAY 5
B

Machu Picchu

At first light the bus zigzags up to the ruins of Machu Picchu where your private guide shows you the main citadel complex. After the guided tour you can soak up the atmosphere, explore the citadel some more, or walk out to the Inca bridge or the Watchman’s hut. To hike up Huaya Picchu or Machu Picchu mountain you need us to apply for a permit in advance–they are limited in number, so please book early. In the late afternoon you travel by train and road to your hotel in Cusco, for 3 nights.

DAY 6
B

Cusco

This morning your local Cusco guide meets you at your hotel to visit Incan sites around the city. At the great fortress and sun temple of Saqsawaman you walk among massive Incan stone walls at the jaguar’s head of the Incan city, with wonderful views across Cusco and beyond. At the small site of Qenko you delve into Incan beliefs, entering passages carved into a sacred rock that lead to its revered divining stone. You visit Incan baths at Tambo Machay, where a mountain spring cascades from a rock channel at just the right height for a (rather short) Inca to enjoy. At nearby Puca-pucara you see a lovely example of a classic Inca post-house, or tambo, of the kind that marked each day’s journey on Incan roads throughout their empire. In the afternoon you tour the city itself. Stopping beside the church of San Cristobal there is a lovely panorama of Cusco on your way to bustling St Peters Market–its aisles stuffed with Andean produce. You next visit Qoricancha (p5), the most important temple in Incan times, with walls once lined with gold. In the oldest, most atmospheric part of Cusco you visit the narrow street of Hatunrumiyoc flanked by the walls of the palace of Inca Roca (on which the Spanish built their Archbishop’s Palace–now the Museum of Art). A long sloping wall of magnificent Incan ‘pillow’ stonework of green diorite runs beside the alley; near the centre is a 12 sided stone intricately worked to fit each neighbour exactly. Hatunrumiyoc runs towards the Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s impressive main square, where you visit the Cathedral (p6). Later you should have some free time left to explore this lovely city yourself and perhaps choose your restaurant for dinner.

DAY 7
B

A free day to get to know Cusco, a frequent winner of ‘world’s favourite city’ awards. Churches and museums vie with art galleries and craft shops, photogenic streets bustle with colour and life, while lovely cafes and restaurants await the traveller just when you might start to wilt.

DAY 8
BL

Lake Titicaca

A scenic journey by comfortable tourist bus across the altiplano to Puno, with a lunch break and comfort stops at archaeological sites and places of cultural interest. The first stop is the beautiful chapel in Andahuaylillas. At Racchi, the temple of the Wiracocha god has an immense 20m high adobe wall that once supported the largest single roof in the Incan empire. At the Pucara Museum with its stone monoliths and ceramics you might buy a pair of little bulls, the ‘Toritos de Pucara’ that bless houses throughout the Andes from their rooftop perches (they stand on the roof of our meeting room in London too!). At the end of a journey of about 8 hours, sometimes longer in wet weather, you arrive at Puno beside Lake Titicaca and are driven to your hotel for 2 nights. We can arrange for you to reach Puno by train or by air if preferred.

DAY 9
BL

A day by boat on Lake Titicaca starting with time on the floating reed islands of the Uros community in the bay near Puno. You walk about on the soft squidgy reeds, meet the people, and learn about the extraordinary life of the Uros. Onwards into the lake for 1½h you reach the rocky island of Taquile, home to master weavers. After a greeting by the shore it’s a steep puff up a well-paved slope to the village at the top of the island for a traditional lunch with a wide views of Lake Titicaca and the chance to hear about their traditions and buy some of their high quality work. A homestay on Taquile is possible if you can add an extra night.

DAY 10
B Sn

Altiplano

A journey over the altiplano by tourist bus. Stop for photos at Laguna Lagunillas, where Andean Flamingos are usually seen. You pass the ‘stone forest’ of Imata with rocks eroded into shapes of trees and people. Another stop is at a look-out point at the Patapampa Pass, with panoramic views of mountains, including the mighty volcanic peak of Ampato (6288m), where the ‘Juanita’ mummy was found. Arriving at Chivay, at the head of the Colca valley, the rest of the afternoon is free to relax and explore: you might visit its outdoor hot springs.

DAY 11
B

Colca Canyon

Free day to relax in the scenic Colca Valley.

DAY 12
BL

Very early this morning after breakfast you are picked up and driven along a road that follows the contours of the valley through traditional villages beside pre-Incan farming terraces above the river as it plunges into its deep canyon. Reaching the Condor Cross viewpoint high above the canyon a succession of condors rise from the canyon to wheel on morning thermals below and above you. You return via the colonial-era hamlets of Maca and Yanque and lunch in Chivay. You rejoin your journey by tourist bus through Aguada Blanca and Salinas reserves with very good chances to see wild vicuna, to the ‘White City’ of Arequipa and your hotel for 2 nights. The evening is free to relax or explore Arequipa.

DAY 13
B

Arequipa

A morning free in Arequipa: shopping for fine woollens perhaps, or visiting the ice maiden museum (take a jumper). In the afternoon you are collected for a tour of the White City, starting in the district of San Lazaro’s picturesque streets, then heading to Carmen Alto with wide views across the countryside to the three majestic volcanoes of Misti, Chachani and Picchu Picchu–often with coverings of snow. You stop in Yanahuara, then return to Arequipa’s colonial centre to the Plaza de Armas and Cathedral, before entering the Santa Catalina monastery’s maze of cobbled streets, brightly painted walls and small flower-filled plazas.

DAY 14
B

Onwards

In the morning you are collected from your hotel and driven to Arequipa airport for your flight to Lima arriving in time for evening international flights to the UK, or for onwards travel in Peru, perhaps to Paracas and the Nazca Lines, the desert kingdoms of the North, or Iquitos in the northern Amazon.

Guide prices for 'Peru Odyssey'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Mid-range hotels, shared tours 2 people sharing £2,145
Mid/upper range hotels, shared tours 2 people sharing £2,480
Upper range hotels, shared tours 2 people sharing £3,050
Upper range hotels, private tours 2 people sharing £4,250
Top range hotels, private tours 2 people sharing £5,340
Prices are per person and include:
  • all transport within Peru (inc domestic flights Lima-Cusco/Arequipa-Lima)
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • meals as indicated B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
  • all excursions
  • Peru Rail executive class train to/from Machu Picchu villlage
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc

Customer reviews for 'Peru Odyssey'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average

Seasonal information for 'Peru Odyssey'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Lima 27°C rainfall 2mm
2 Lima 27°C rainfall 2mm
3 Lima 27°C rainfall 2mm
3 Sacred Valley 16°C rainfall 143mm
4 Sacred Valley 16°C rainfall 143mm
5 Machu Picchu 22°C rainfall 187mm
6 Cusco 17°C rainfall 155mm
7 Cusco 17°C rainfall 155mm
8 Puno 15°C rainfall 160mm
9 Puno 15°C rainfall 160mm
10 Colca Canyon 20°C rainfall 73mm
11 Colca Canyon 20°C rainfall 73mm
12 Arequipa 22°C rainfall 28mm

Typical weather for January

rainchart

Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Peru Odyssey'

Days 1 - 2

Casa Andina Classic, Miraflores Centro, Lima

Central Miraflores

Casa Andina Classic, Miraflores Centro, Lima
Traditional room
Day 3

San Agustin Monasterio de la Recoleta

Sacred Valley

San Agustin Monasterio de la Recoleta
Outside
Day 4

El Mapi

Machu Picchu Pueblo
rating

Average rating 5.0 (1 ratings)

El Mapi
Superior room
Days 5 - 7

Tierra Viva Saphi Hotel

Cusco

Tierra Viva Saphi Hotel
Outside of the hotel
Days 8 - 9

Eco Inn Lago Titicaca

Puno

Located on the outskirts of the town of Puno, Eco Inn looks over the magnificent Lake Titicaca.  All 61 rooms at the hotel have Cable TV, direct-dial telephones, safes, wifi access and hairdryers.  The majority of rooms have views over the lake.

The 'Sikuri' restaurant is located on site and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Eco Inn Lago Titicaca
Outside of the Hotel
Days 12 - 13

Hotel San Agustin Posada del Monasterio

Arequipa

Hotel San Agustin Posada del Monasterio
Standard Double Room