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Real Peru

Real Peru

From $ 3,875 AUD

Description

Not only does this two-week adventure visit one of the famed Seven Wonders of the World (Machu Picchu), but it also dips into the natural wonder of the Amazon Jungle as well as Puno, capital city Lima and bustling Cusco. Whether you opt to sweat it up on the ancient Inca Trail or take the scenic train route, you can choose your own adventure – then celebrate it all with a few pisco sours! Stay in a proper eco-lodge in the jungle, where you’ll explore by day and float on the Amazon River by night (look out for anacondas, jaguars and caimans) then stay with a local family on the shores Lake Titicaca, where you can soak away your worries. Hit the nightlife in Cusco, then end it all with a couple of relaxing days in foodie paradise Lima.

Trip Name
Real Peru
Last Updated
2024-02-14
Days
15
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • 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.
  • Roam the Amazon Jungle by boat at night (with an expert local) and float down the river, keeping an eye out for the glaring eyes of jaguars, anacondas and caimans. 
  • Head to a local community and rub shoulders with the inhabitants of the Sacred Valley – if you’re lucky, your travel day might even fall on market day where you can pick up some hand-painted beads or a warm poncho. 
  • The floating islands of Uros on Lake Titicaca look like they could be straight out of a Pixar or Studio Ghibli movie! Spend the night under the stars in a traditional island village.   
  • Explore Lima in your own time, at your own pace. This trip gives you heaps of free time to explore all the best bits of Peru’s capital. This is also Peru’s best spot for foodies – so make sure you eat your way through the coastal streets – yum!   
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Awamaki. Donations help them empower indigenous women artisans in Peru with skills training and job opportunities that provide financial independence.   

Itinerary

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
La Bienvenida! Welcome to Lima, the capital of Peru. Your adventure begins at around 2 pm with a welcome meeting. Then, your trip leader will take you on a walking tour of the Miraflores district, including Central Park (Parque Kennedy), the LarcoMar entertainment complex and Parque del Amor (Love Park) for great views over the coast of Lima. Along the way, maybe treat yourself to some Limenian desserts like mazamorra morada, rice pudding or rice zambito. Tonight, you’re free to explore or hit the city’s nightlife with your new fellow travellers. Maybe head to the famed Tanta restaurant in downtown Lima – home to the most famous chef in Peru Gaston Acurio.
Day 2-3 - Puerto Maldonado (Amazon Jungle lodge)
This morning, you’ll fly to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Jungle, where you'll be staying for two nights. When you arrive, the lodge staff will take you to their office in town. Here, you can leave most of your luggage in safe storage and continue travelling with a small pack of essentials. You’ll take a motorised canoe upriver to your jungle lodge right in the middle of the jungle, in the Madre de Dios area – this is a real pinch-me moment! The next two days are packed with activities. Your full day in the jungle includes a half-day trek – this can get muddy and tiring, but what better way to explore the Amazon than on foot? There will be regular stops on the way and you'll encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. You might even spot macaws, monkeys, peccaries, jabirus and otters, not to mention thousands of butterflies. The guides will also teach you about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the local plants. For your night-time excursion, you’ll venture out in the dark in search of caimans on the Tambopata River. The naturalist guide will use a spotlight in order to locate them on the banks of the river, so you can observe them from a respectable distance. Travelling in the dark, on the river in the jungle can be a bit spooky, but this atmosphere just adds to the fun!
Day 4 - Cusco
Say goodbye to the jungle and fly to Cusco, where you’ll spend the day acclimatising to the high altitude. After dropping off your luggage and having some lunch, your leader will take you on a walk around downtown Cusco. You’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, the Twelve Angled Stone, Regocijo Square and San Blas Square. Maybe try some delicious donas along the way. This afternoon is free to explore. Maybe head to the Cusco cathedral or discover the history of Saqsaywaman. As you’re acclimatising today, it’s recommended that you keep strenuous activity to a minimum.
Day 5 - Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo
This morning, unwind on a drive through the Sacred Valley, on the fringes of Cusco. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas – this lush, fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Head to a local community to learn about the valley’s lifestyle and activities – if your travel falls on a Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday, it’s market day! Comb the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos and master the local Quechuan language (a few words will be deemed a success). Take a short drive to Ollantaytambo. Later in the afternoon, maybe head out to visit Ollantaytambo’s awesome Incan ruins. Tonight, rest up at your hotel and prepare for the Inca Trail – one of the Wonders of the World!
Day 6 - Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option
Depending on the travel arrangements you made before the trip, during the next four days, you’ll be doing one of the following – 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. 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 Cusco 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, along with the trail's food and equipment. 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 Travel by minivan to the 82 km marker and meet your crew of local porters, your cook and your guide. Today you’ll trek uphill to the campsite, 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. Tonight, 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 structures 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 Enjoy a free day in Cusco – the heart and soul of Peru. You may like to purchase a boleto turistico, which allows entry to the city's many museums and archaeological sites. Ask your leader for their recommendations.
Day 7 - Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option
Route 1 Inca Trail Today is the most challenging day of the trek, as you’ll ascend a 5-hour long steep path to 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 Today is the most challenging and rewarding day of the trek. A 3-hour long walk takes you to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4370 m high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, you’ll stop for lunch. Then make the 2-hour hike to Kuychicassa – the highest pass of the trek at 4450 m. From here, descend to the sacred site 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, at 3600 m. Your trek today will take about 5 hours. Route 3 Cusco Today is yours to spend as you wish in Cusco. Perhaps use the day to indulge your inner foodie at Cusco's many cafes, restaurants and markets. The ChocoMuseo is a must for those with a sweet tooth – they offer tastings and chocolate-making workshops, too.
Day 8 - Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option
Route 1 Inca Trail Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay Pass (3980 m). Enjoy views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending for 2 to 3 hours to the ruins of Sayacmarca. Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3850 m), also known as '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. If time permits, you can explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo 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 After a drive to Ollantaytambo, catch a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes. The city is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Quarry Trail. Spend the night in a hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.
Day 9 - Inca Trail, Quarry Trail or Train Option and Machu Picchu
Route 1 Inca Trail This is the final and most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. Start your day before dawn with breakfast at a crisp 4 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station and then begin hiking. Walk 2.5 hours to Intipunku (the Sun Gate) and, weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over the ‘Lost City of the Incas’ as you enter Machu Picchu through the Sun Gate. When you arrive, all the hiking and the early morning will definitely be worth it! Route 2 and 3 Machu Picchu to Cusco Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 5.30 am. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for 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. 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 10 - Cusco
Today you’ll enjoy free time to relax, shop for souvenirs or see more of Cusco's sights. Maybe head to a cafe on the Plaza de Armas, or if you're a thrill-seeker, try mountain biking in the hills surrounding Cusco. You might also want to go for a walk through Seven Borreguitos – one of the most Instagrammable streets in Cusco! In the evening, you might want to chew the fat with your group over dinner and share photos of your Machu Picchu experience. Cusco is also a hotspot for fun nightlife, so if you’re feeling like a boogie or a cocktail (or three), grab your new mates and hit the streets.
Day 11 - Puno
This morning, travel by bus through the Altiplano plateau to Puno. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. If you're lucky, your visit might coincide with an evening parade, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians. Once you're settled, head out in town and shake your tailfeather!
Day 12 - Lake Titicaca (Homestay)
Puno sits on Lake Titicaca's shores, the world's highest navigable lake. Today, you'll take a tour of the lake by slow motorboat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros peoples built these islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes in ancient times. They're built completely from multiple layers of totora reeds, which grow in the shallows of the lake. Tonight, enjoy a homestay in a local community on Llachon – a cosy mud-brick house with shared drop-toilets (no shower is available here). It can get quite cold, but the homestay will provide plenty of blankets. It’s recommended that you pack thermals and plenty of layers. Help your host family with their daily activities or maybe play a game of soccer in the village.
Day 13 - Puno
Enjoy a home-cooked breakfast by your host family this morning, learning about their life and their stories. Then, explore the rest of the island. In the afternoon, take the boat back to Puno, where the rest of your day is free to explore.
Day 14 - Lima
After breakfast today, you’ll take a flight from Puno to Lima. When you arrive, the rest of your afternoon is free to see the last of the sights in the Peruvian capital. Maybe you’d like to take a class on how to make the perfect pisco sour. Maybe you’d prefer to take a foodie walking tour or hit the streets on your own and try some of the famous eats and treats in Lima’s favourite foodie hotspot. Tonight, why not reflect on your epic trip with a farewell dinner with your group?
Day 15 - Lima
Your adventure ends today after breakfast, and you’re free to leave anytime. If you’d like to explore Lima further, why not take a coastal bike tour or book a homecooked ceviche experience with Urban Adventures? If you’d like to book extra accommodation in Lima, just speak to your booking agent.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
15-04-202429-04-2024AUD $ 4,330-
13-05-202427-05-2024AUD $ 4,415-
03-06-202417-06-2024AUD $ 4,090-
24-06-202408-07-2024AUD $ 4,370-
08-07-202422-07-2024AUD $ 4,050-
22-07-202405-08-2024AUD $ 4,250-
05-08-202419-08-2024AUD $ 4,050-
02-09-202416-09-2024AUD $ 4,625-
30-09-202414-10-2024AUD $ 4,415-
07-10-202421-10-2024AUD $ 4,205-
14-10-202428-10-2024AUD $ 4,245-
28-10-202411-11-2024AUD $ 4,050-
04-11-202418-11-2024AUD $ 4,050-
18-11-202402-12-2024AUD $ 3,895-
25-11-202409-12-2024AUD $ 3,895-
02-12-202416-12-2024AUD $ 3,895-
09-12-202423-12-2024AUD $ 3,895-
16-12-202430-12-2024AUD $ 3,895-
06-01-202520-01-2025AUD $ 3,875-
03-02-202517-02-2025AUD $ 3,875-
03-03-202517-03-2025AUD $ 3,875-
07-04-202521-04-2025AUD $ 3,875-
28-04-202512-05-2025AUD $ 3,875-
19-05-202502-06-2025AUD $ 3,875-
02-06-202516-06-2025AUD $ 3,875-
23-06-202507-07-2025AUD $ 3,875-
07-07-202521-07-2025AUD $ 3,875-
21-07-202504-08-2025AUD $ 3,875-
11-08-202525-08-2025AUD $ 3,875-
01-09-202515-09-2025AUD $ 3,875-
15-09-202529-09-2025AUD $ 3,875-
06-10-202520-10-2025AUD $ 3,875-
13-10-202527-10-2025AUD $ 3,875-
27-10-202510-11-2025AUD $ 3,875-
03-11-202517-11-2025AUD $ 3,875-
17-11-202501-12-2025AUD $ 3,875-
08-12-202522-12-2025AUD $ 3,875-
22-12-202505-01-2026AUD $ 3,875-

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights),Homestay (1 night),Hotel (6 nights),Jungle Lodge (2 nights)

Transport

Plane,Motorised Canoe,Boat,Private Vehicle,Public Bus

Map