Peru Encompassed


Peru Encompassed

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Visit Peru and discover its highlights from Lima to Cusco on an exciting journey that encompasses modern cities and ancient worlds. From the depths of the Amazon to the heights of the Andes and on to the unique islands of Lake Titicaca, be immersed in fascinating Peruvian culture while discovering its history buried deep within the walls of lost cities. Take the chance to hike the iconic Inca Trail and witness the glorious Machu Picchu, delve into the heart of preserved island traditions during a homestay with the Uru people, observe Andean condors take the sky at sunrise over the Colca Canyon and acclimatise to the altitude with a classic pisco sour cocktail in the city of it’s creation.

Trip Name
Peru Encompassed
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  • Colonial facades, Spanish houses, endless culture and delicious cuisine during your free time in the Peruvian capital.
  • Take the opportunity to board a scenic flight over the Nazca Lines – whether they’re the work of ancient civilizations or something more supernatural, it’s an incredible experience.
  • Trek the Inca Trail, the Quarry Trail or take the scenic train route, no matter how you get there, the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu are a majestic destination.
  • Explore Cusco, South America's oldest continuously inhabited city, with its ancient foundations and interesting blend of Inca and colonial influences.
  • Experience the untouched world of the Amazon rainforest. Stroll along jungle trails on the lookout for monkeys, parrots, otters and caimans.
  • Whether you trek the Inca Trail, Inca Quarry Trail or take the scenic train route, you'll be travelling responsibly with a company that cares about balancing profit and purpose. Intrepid is the largest B Corp certified operator on the Inca Trail and we’re committed to operating our treks for the benefit of all.


ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. DEMONSTRATIONS & STRIKES: Demonstrations and protests, often in response to local labour or social issues, occur regularly in Peru. National strikes can be called at short notice and can cause disruption to road networks leading to inevitable itinerary changes. We will do everything possible for these changes to be at little or no extra cost; however in such circumstances we find that travellers may need to use their contingency funds to cover the costs of itinerary changes. HEAVY RAIN ON THE INCA TRAIL If it rains heavily for a number of consecutive days, the terrain at the third campsite (Wiñaywayna) can become unstable, increasing the danger of landslides and making it unsafe to camp. This occurs mostly during the wet season (December to March) although it can also happen at any time of the year. Your trekking guide may assess that it's safer to spend the third night in a hotel in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu), or if available, to camp at Puente Ruinas campsite. You may need to use your contingency funds to cover any additional costs. An letter can be provided for lodging a travel insurance claim for these costs.

Day 1 - Lima
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru. With Indigenous cultures dating back millennia, this country is a fascinating land of Amazonian rainforests, diverse wildlife and soaring mountains. Your adventure begins in Lima with a welcome meeting at 4 pm at your hotel. Embark on an optional Lima Bites and Sights Tour with Urban Adventures, taking you to the bohemian Barranco district to sample the best local street food and pisco cocktails.  
Day 2 - Pisco
Set out on a Walking tour of Lima downtown, where streets are flanked with colonial mansions, palaces and churches. See the iconic Plaza Mayor with its imposing Cathedral on foot, then board a local bus bound for Paracas. The bus may stop about three or four times along the way during the 4-hour journey. There are no planned activities upon arrival, but you may want to seek out a bar serving Peru's national libation – this is the birthplace of the Pisco sour, after all.
Day 3 - Pisco
This morning, wildlife enthusiasts might like to visit the Ballestas Islands in Paracas National Reserve for a chance to spot pelicans, red-footed boobies and flamingos on a 2-hour boat tour. Otherwise, take it easy with some more self-paced sightseeing in Paracas before the drive to one of the world's most mysterious archaeological sites – the Nazca Lines – a group of geoglyphs in the soil of the Nazca Desert, created between 500 BCE and 500 CE. Along the way, you’ll stop in the town of Huacachina. This little settlement sits beside a small lake with dramatic sand dunes. Here, enjoy the photo opportunities, you can also climb to the viewing platform or take an optional flight over the lines for the best views.
Day 4 - Arequipa
This morning after breakfast, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the eerie desert graveyard of Chauchilla, where the arid conditions have naturally interred the remains of the Nazca people buried here. In the afternoon you'll board a bus from Nazca to Arequipa.
Day 5 - Arequipa
Arrive at Arequipa this morning, check into your hotel room, refresh and enjoy some breakfast before you venture out for the day. Standing at the foot of El Misti Volcano and oozing Spanish colonial charm, Arequipa vies with Cusco for the title of Peru's most attractive city. Built out of a pale volcanic rock called sillar, the old buildings dazzle in the sun, giving the city its nickname – the White City. The main plaza, with its cafes and nearby cathedral, is a lovely place to while away the day. You have free time today, so maybe wander the main plaza and explore the cathedral, many cafes and eateries. You may like to visit the Andean Sanctuaries Museum, which houses Peru’s famous Ice Maiden – the Inca mummy of a girl who died in the 1440s.
Day 6 - Chivay
Today you’ll travel about 5 hours by minivan to the town of Chivay. Along the way, you’ll see llamas, alpacas and vicunas – not sure how to differentiate between these adorable creatures? Your tour leader will explain the differences between them. You’ll also stop for breaks, photo opportunities and to try some local coca tea. The third stop takes you to the highest point on the tour at Patapama (4800 metres above sea level) before descending to your destination of Chivay. Enjoy a break for lunch in town, from here you can either spend the evening soaking in the baths, dining on llama steak at a nearby restaurant or seeing some live Andean music at a pena (local bar).
Day 7 - Colca Canyon to Puno
This morning visit the Colca Canyon, more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, the Colca has some breathtaking views. Here you’ll see terraced crops that have been cultivated since pre-Inca times by local villages. This is also the home of the Andean condor. Witness one of the world’s largest flying birds soar above and below you from a prime viewing point above the canyon. Later you’ll board a bus to Puno, it’s a long drive, but the dramatic views of Peru’s highlands – the Altiplano – make it an exceptionally scenic one too. Puno is located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which you’ll explore in the coming days. Upon arrival, take the change to get acquainted with the town. Puno is known as Peru’s folklore capital, this is due in no small part to its thriving indigenous cultures, including the Aymara and Quechua. If you’re lucky enough to arrive during a festival, you’ll be treated to an elaborate parade of costumes and dances.
Day 8 - Llachon community
This morning, you’ll take a tour of the immense Lake Titicaca by motorboat, stopping at the floating Uros Islands that look like they could come from a Pixar or Studio Ghibli movie. Built by the Uros people to protect themselves from encroaching Inca forces hundreds of years ago, the islands are constructed from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. Get a closer look at contemporary life on the shores of the lake with a homestay in a local community. Help your host family with their daily activities, try out a few words in the Quechua language and maybe even join a local soccer game to make some friends on the makeshift pitch. Tonight, sit down and swap stories with your hosts, who will cook you a feast full of traditional Peruvian favourites.  
Day 9 - Puno
This morning after breakfast, board another motorboat and cruise to Taquile Island – known for the intricate, hand-knitted textiles the locals produce. Here, knitting is strictly a male domain and women do the spinning. It's a great place to pick up some high-quality, locally knitted goods, with the added bonus of supporting the local community. Then, take an hour uphill trek to the main area of the island, where you can shop for handicrafts. After, descend about 500 steps to the boat. Return to Puno, where you might like to gather your group and find a local watering hole to enjoy a drink or two – try a chilcano or indulge in another pisco sour.  
Day 10 - Cusco
Take a scenic bus ride across the Altiplano towards Cusco – the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Here, colonial buildings are built on foundations from ancient Inca times. Spend some time acclimatising to the high altitude of 3450 m, then set out to discover some of Cusco's lesser-known sights on a guided walking tour. Visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, San Pedro market, the main square, 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. End the walking tour at Cusco's Chocolate Museum where you'll get to sample a dissolute cup of hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. There’s also a small store where you can browse handicrafts and artisanal chocolate products.
Day 11 - Cusco
Enjoy a free day in Cusco – the heart and soul of Peru. You may like to visit one of the city’s many museums and archaeological sites with a boleto turistico (tourism ticket). This includes the Contemporary Art Museum, Regional History Museum, Qosqo Native Art Museum and the Inca ruins of Saqsaywaman, Q'enqo, Puka Pukara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo. The most easily accessible among these sites is Coricancha, which was once the Incan empire's richest temple until the Spanish built a Dominican church on top of it. Just speak to your trip leader to organise this pass.
Day 12 - Inca Trail
Depending on the travel arrangements you made before the trip, during the next four days you’ll be either hiking the Inca Trail (Route 1), hiking the Quarry Trail (Route 2) or staying in Cusco for two days before taking the train to Aguas Calientes (Route 3). All routes visit Machu Picchu.   While away from Cusco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail or the Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave, you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5 kg maximum). Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. You won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cusco and travel with only a small bag for the overnight stay in Aguas Calientes.   Route 1 Inca Trail   Today, travel by minivan to the 82 km marker and meet your crew of local porters, your cook and your guide. Your first day will include uphill trekking to the campsite, which sits at 3100 m above sea level. On the way, you’ll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay and Llactapata, as well as incredible views of snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal prepared by your cook.   Route 2 Quarry Trail   Make an early start today and drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. From here, you’ll head to the small community near Qory Song’o (Golden Heart) hill, where you’ll climb to the top for the incredible views of the Soqma Perolniyoc, Pachar and Huarocondo valleys. There are also several sacred tombs in the area, protected by the locals, which you can explore with your leader and even see some of the original structure crafted from wood and leather. These remains have never been seen by travellers before, so you can be a part of this exclusive experience. Carry on to the Perolniyoc Cascade lookout, where you can stop for some snacks and photos. Arrive at the campsite, 3700 m above sea level, around lunchtime. After, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.   Route 3 Cusco:   Train Option stays in Cusco to have time to visit one of the many museums and archaelogical sites; the most accesible among these sites is Coricancha that was the richest temple in inkan times. Just speak with your tour leader to organise an optional activity as well.
Day 13 - Inca Trail
Route 1 Inca Trail   This is the most challenging day of the trek, as you ascend a 5-hour long steep path to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4200 m above sea level, providing amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3650 m.   Route 2 Quarry Trail   This is the most challenging and rewarding day of the hike. A 3-hour walk takes you to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa, about 4370 m high. After enjoying the picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. After, make the 2-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4450 m. From here, descend to the sacred site that the Incas called Intipunku. This is a sun gate, where the sun will stream through at particular times of the year and there are views of the Nevado Veronica mountain year-round. The Incas built several sun gates, the most notable overlooking Machu Picchu. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away and at 3600 m.   Route 3 Cusco   This morning, drive through the Sacred Valley. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, the valley has been a source of livelihood for the locals for hundreds of years. You’ll see maize crops covering the terraced walls and the sacred river beneath. Stop for lunch in a local community, where you'll also get the chance to learn about their traditional lifestyle and maybe wrap your tongue around a few words of the Quechua language. stay tonight in Ollantaytamb, where you will have the option to check out the town’s fascinating archaeological site – ancient remnants of an Inca city with soaring views over the present-day settlement.
Day 14 - Inca Trail
Route 1 Inca Trail   Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay Pass at 3980 m. Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for around 2 to 3 hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca at 3850 m, also known as the 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the 2-hour descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site.      Route 2 Quarry Trail    Today’s hike will all be downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo when you finish your trek, before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Spend the night in a hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.      Route 3 Train to Aguas Calientes   Today you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who may have hiked the Quarry Trail. You’ll catch a 1.5-hour train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes. The city is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. Spend the night in a hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.    
Day 15 - Cusco
Route 1 Inca Trail   This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu – one of the famed Wonders of the World. The day starts before dawn, with breakfast at 4 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and begin hiking. Once the final checkpoint opens at 5 am, you’ll begin the final 2.5-hour trek to Intipunku (the Sun Gate). Weather permitting, you’ll enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as you enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate.   Route 2 and 3 Machu Picchu to Cusco   Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 6:00 am. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for the Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces and living quarters. This is a day to remember!  For all travellers, after taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to catch the bus to Aguas Calientes, where you’ll stop for lunch together. From here, take a scenic train ride to Ollantaytambo, then drive back to Cusco, arriving in the evening.  
Day 16 - Cusco
Enjoy free time to relax, shop and explore more of Cusco's many sights. Maybe rest your weary legs at a cafe on Plaza de Armas or head to the San Pedro Market where you can find vegetables, meats, local cheeses, chocolates, herbal medicines and many local handicrafts. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs or ingredients for a picnic. The market is also where many locals (and daring travellers) go to eat ‘mystery soups.’ Some may be just chicken – however, the most popular among the locals usually contain frogs or offal. For those looking for something active, why not try mountain biking in the hills that surround Cusco?  
Day 17 - Amazon Jungle
Rise and shine early today for your journey into the wilds of the Peruvian Amazon. Take an early transfer to the airport, then fly to Puerto Maldonado. Here, you’ll pack a small duffle bag with essentials for the next two days. Board a motorised canoe and cruise deep into the jungle. The journey to your eco-lodge in the Madre de Dios region will take a couple of hours, so you’ll stop for lunch along the way. Settle into your thatched-roof lodge before a short orientation walk of your surroundings. Spend the evening taking in the sights and smells of the jungle and enjoy an I’m-so-far-from-home moment. 
Day 18 - Amazon Jungle
Get ready for an unforgettable day exploring the depths of the jungle! Set out on a half-day trek guided by local experts on the area's flora and fauna. Learn from your guides about the medicinal and practical uses for some of the plants that grow here, which Indigenous people have been studying and using for thousands of years. On your walk, keep an eye out for rainbow macaws and butterflies, and listen for the barking call of the peccaries and chattering of monkeys that call the jungle home. This part of the Amazon is also known to house capybaras, giant otters and jabirus, so keep your eyes peeled for these exotic creatures. Return to the lodge for lunch and some free time to relax. Once the sun goes down, venture out on a night walk in search of some of the jungle's nocturnal inhabitants (caimans, jaguars and anacondas). 
Day 19 - Lima
Leave behind the natural wonders of the Amazon and return to Puerto Maldonado where a short flight will take the group back to Lima. One of our local representatives will meet you at the airport and will accompany you back to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore more of Lima's sights and maybe do some last-minute souvenir shopping. In the evening, maybe gather the group together for one last night out on the town and a celebratory farewell dinner of Peruvian favourites.
Day 20 - Lima
With no activities planned for today, you’re free to leave after breakfast. If you’d like to stay in Lima for longer, just speak to your booking agent. 

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
09-06-202428-06-2024AUD $ 5,748-
16-06-202405-07-2024AUD $ 5,476-
23-06-202412-07-2024AUD $ 5,268-
30-06-202419-07-2024AUD $ 5,376-
07-07-202426-07-2024AUD $ 4,939-
14-07-202402-08-2024AUD $ 5,268-
21-07-202409-08-2024AUD $ 5,268-
04-08-202423-08-2024AUD $ 5,532-
11-08-202430-08-2024AUD $ 5,476-
25-08-202413-09-2024AUD $ 5,476-
08-09-202427-09-2024AUD $ 5,684-
15-09-202404-10-2024AUD $ 5,740-
22-09-202411-10-2024AUD $ 5,684-
29-09-202418-10-2024AUD $ 5,796-
13-10-202401-11-2024AUD $ 5,740-
20-10-202408-11-2024AUD $ 5,684-
27-10-202415-11-2024AUD $ 5,528-
10-11-202429-11-2024AUD $ 5,584-
24-11-202413-12-2024AUD $ 5,268-
08-12-202427-12-2024AUD $ 5,268-
22-12-202410-01-2025AUD $ 6,585-
26-01-202514-02-2025AUD $ 6,915-
02-03-202521-03-2025AUD $ 6,915-
16-03-202504-04-2025AUD $ 6,915-
30-03-202518-04-2025AUD $ 6,915-
13-04-202502-05-2025AUD $ 6,915-
27-04-202516-05-2025AUD $ 6,915-
11-05-202530-05-2025AUD $ 7,470-
25-05-202513-06-2025AUD $ 7,470-
01-06-202520-06-2025AUD $ 7,190-
15-06-202504-07-2025AUD $ 7,190-
22-06-202511-07-2025AUD $ 7,190-
06-07-202525-07-2025AUD $ 7,190-
20-07-202508-08-2025AUD $ 7,190-
27-07-202515-08-2025AUD $ 7,190-
03-08-202522-08-2025AUD $ 7,190-
17-08-202505-09-2025AUD $ 7,190-
24-08-202512-09-2025AUD $ 7,190-
07-09-202526-09-2025AUD $ 7,470-
14-09-202503-10-2025AUD $ 7,470-
21-09-202510-10-2025AUD $ 7,470-
28-09-202517-10-2025AUD $ 7,470-
05-10-202524-10-2025AUD $ 7,470-
12-10-202531-10-2025AUD $ 7,470-
26-10-202514-11-2025AUD $ 7,470-
02-11-202521-11-2025AUD $ 6,915-
23-11-202512-12-2025AUD $ 6,915-
07-12-202526-12-2025AUD $ 6,915-
21-12-202509-01-2026AUD $ 6,915-


Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights),Homestay (1 night),Hotel (12 nights),Jungle Lodge (2 nights),Overnight Bus ( 1 night)


Plane,Taxi,Public bus,Private Vehicle,Canoe,Boat,Train