A great package for those seeking variety and adventure!
This tour – designed for those who want to take their time, delve into different cultures, understand a new way of life, and truly experience Peru – takes you through some of the most enchanting areas of Cusco and Puno, combining the classic must-see spots with off-beat and unexpected destinations. This is a tour for those who love travel, variety, and activity!
You will hike among snow-capped peaks and colorful mountains, explore ruins from Inca and pre-Inca civilizations, visit the highest navigable lake in the world, watch your coffee as it comes straight from the bean to your cup, trek through a captivating jungle, and watch the sun as it casts shadows over the truly awe-inspiring Lost City of Machu Picchu. All of this in a 11 day, fully organized package!
This tour is family friendly and is created for participants with different styles. It is a very accessible tour that includes some easy treks that take between 1 – 3 hours of walking at most. Most of these short treks are always optional, if anyone does not want to do them, they can choose to travel by private car.
The tour includes a homestay at a local family house, allowing you to experience what life in the Andes is like. Conditions in the local family houses are always very basic, most do not include a private bathroom or hot water.
Minimum number of participants: 2
Day 1: ARRIVAL TO CUSCO
Today is easy day of sightseeing that allows everyone to acclimatize to the altitude before we start the more active section of the tour.
Believed to be the centre of the world (specifically, its belly button) at the time of the Inca Empire, Cusco is the historical capital of Peru and showcases a fascinating mix of Inca and Colonial architecture. We have crafted this part of the tour to take you to some of the lesser known sites in the city, giving you an insider´s look at one of the most visited places in the world.
Max altitude: 11975 ft (3650 m)
Overnight stay in Cusco
Day 2: PISAC - OLLANTAYTAMBO (SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS)
Leaving Cusco in the morning, we will arrive in Pisac at an animal sanctuary which cares for animals rescued from the black market. Learning more about the animals that reside in this area of the Andes is fascinating, it gives us a taste of some of the wildlife we can hope to see over the course of the tour. Next, we will make a short trek along a section of the original Inca Trail which will bring us to the Inca ruins above the town of Pisac. From here we will head back down into the town to visit the market. In the afternoon we will go by private transport to the hotel in the Sacred Valley of The Incas near Ollantaytambo, where we will spend the night.
Max altitude: 12139 ft (3700 m)
Overnight stay in the Sacred Valley
Day 3: OLLANTAYTAMBO - PATACANCHA
Breakfast will be served at 7:45 am. Once everyone has finished eating, we will leave the hotel and make our way to the Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo, from which we can glean some insight into the way of life at the time of the Inca Empire. From Ollantaytambo will travel by private car for about 45 minutes to Patacancha Valley, where we will visit the local Andean community of Huilloc. At 2:00 pm we will embark on a trek of roughly 3 hours from the Patacancha Valley back to Ollantaytambo, passing by the pre-Inca ruins at Pumamarca while enjoying breathtaking views of the Andean landscape. Arriving back in Ollantaytambo at around 5:00 pm, you will have free time to rest and reflect on the day´s activity.
Max altitude: 12139 ft (3700 m)
Overnight stay in Ollantaytambo
Day 4: JUNGLE TREK AND COFFEE PLANTATION
An early breakfast will be served at 5:30 am. As early as possible, we will begin trekking through the high jungle during which we will stop at a local coffee plantation. This is an amazing chance to gain insight into the secrets of small-scale coffee production in Peru, where only the highest quality Arabica beans are used. Caffeine-fueled, we will then continue our walk through the jungle. In the afternoon today you will have an opportunity to go rafting in the river of Urubamba (this is an additional option and needs to be booked in advance, it is not included in the price of the tour).
Max altitude: 14173 ft (4320 m)
Overnight stay in the coffee plantation (very basic conditions)
Day 5: JUNGLE TREK TO AGUAS CALIENTES
We will start the day with a breakfast at 7:20 am. At around 8:00 am we will drive in a private car for approx. 45 minutes to the start of the trail. Today´s trek will be divided into 2 parts. The first part takes us along the Inca trail, and will take approx. 3 -3.5 hour. After the first part of the trek you will have an opportunity to rest and relax in the thermal baths near the town of Santa Maria. The second part will start in a place called Hydroelektica and will lead us to the town of Aguas Calientes – the base from where we will explore Machu Picchu! This will take about 2.5 -3 hours of walking. In Aguas Calientes you will have the evening free to explore the town and rest – keeping in mind that we have a very early start on the next day!
Trekking time: 5-6 hours
Max altitude: 16561 ft (2000 m)
Overnight stay in Aguas Calientes
Day 6: MACHU PICCHU
Day 6 is dedicated to exploring the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu – Peru´s most famous site! Inside the ruins there are many options available to you. You can hike one of the two small peaks, Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, you can even walk to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) and/or Inca bridge.
You will start the tour to Machu Picchu from Aguas Calientes where you will take an early morning bus to the site´s entrance (with this option, an additional fee for the bus ticket is required) or you will walk there (around a 1-1.5 hour trek).
In the ruins you will have a 2 hour guided tour, giving you an overview of the history and culture of the Inca Empire, as well as the spiritual, political and educational importance of Machu Picchu. After the tour you will have time to explore the site on your own until about 5:00 pm (you also have the option to leave earlier if you wish). Inside the ruins there are multiple options available to you.
You will make your own way back to Aguas Calientes via bus (with this option, an additional fee for the bus ticket is required) or on foot (around a 1 – 1.5 hour trek), from where you will take a train to Ollantaytambo. We will arrive in Ollantaytambo at around 8:30, giving you some time to explore the pleasant town.
Max altitude: 10006 ft (3150 m)
Overnight stay in Ollantaytambo
Day 7: OLLANTAYTAMBO - MORAY – SALINERAS DE MARAS – CHINCHERO – CUSCO
The seventh day is an awesome and unforgettable immersion into the local culture of the Sacred Valley! Today you will explore Inca archeological sites, a traditional Inca salt mine, and mystical agricultural terraces. You will also participate in a textile lesson, meeting members of the local community. You will be amazed at just how many things there are to do and explore in one day! Take advantage of the day to really experience and enrich your knowledge of local Andean traditions, crafts and customs.
The day starts with breakfast at 7:00 am. Afterwards, at 7:40 am, we will drive approx. 50 minutes to the first spot we will visit today, the archaeological spot of Moray. We will walk through the ruins for about 45 minutes and then we will drive for about 20 minutes to the next destination, Maras.
We will take a short pause in this small town and learn about the production of the popular Andean beverage,´chicha de jora´ (corn beer). We will also have the chance to walk around and explore the town’s quaint and beautiful streets!
After Maras, we will visit a salt mine in Salineras de Maras, that has been in use since Inca times. We will go there on foot following an easy and relaxing trail for approx. 1 hour. Along the way we will be able to enjoy some spectacular views of the Cordillera Uubamba! Once we arrive at the salt mine, you will have a chance to walk through more than 3000 salt ponds and learn about the methods used to process and produce the salt – methods which have been used since the time of the Inca Empire.
From Salineras, we will drive for about 45 minutes to the last destination of the day, the lovely town of Chinchero. Here we will participate in an interesting lesson about the local textiles of the region.
After a full day of different activities, we will reach Cusco at around 4:00 pm – leaving you plenty of time to discover the restaurants and nightlife of this beautiful city!
Max altitude: 12417 ft (3785 m) above sea level
Overnight stay in Cusco
Day 8: PALCOYO RAINBOW MOUNTAIN – LAKE TITICACA
We have an early start, leaving Cusco at 6:00 am via private car. After about 1 hour of driving we can stop for about 15 minutes for a typical Peruvian street breakfast.
After an approx. 3 and a half hour journey, during which we will pass numerous alpacas, natives who live in the mountains and beautiful winding landscapes, we will arrive at the trailhead. From there we will begin a hike that will last about 1 hour. This hike is accessible for all ages and hiking levels. We will be reaching altitudes of 16400 ft (5000 m) above sea level. The incredible view is well worth the height! You will be able to observe 3 different colored mountains at the peak of the hike. After returning to our transport after a 45 minute downhill hike, we will drive approx. 1 hour to view the Checacupe Inca Rope Bridge.
Afterwards we will drive 4-4.5 hours to Lake Titicaca, arriving there at around 7:30 pm. We will rest near the lake until the next day.
Max altitude: 16400 ft (5000 m)
Overnight stay in near Lake Titicaca
Day 9: LAKE TITICACA – PENISULA CAPACHICA – AMANTANI ISLAND
Breakfast will be served at 7:30 am.
Moving away from the Andes into the region of Puno takes us into a completely different, but equally unique culture of local communities living around Lake Titicaca. During our time at the lake we will visit mummies from the Tiawanaco culture, meet locals from the Uros community of the famed floating islands, and hike to the highest point of Amantani Island from where we can enjoy incredible views of Lake Titicaca as the sun sets.
Today you will enjoy a homestay with a local family in Amantani, sharing both lunch and dinner with them!
Max altitude: 13615 ft (4150 m)
Overnight stay in Amantani Island (local family stay)
Day 10: ISLAND AMANTANI – CUSCO
We will enjoy breakfast with a local family in Amantani island at 7:00 am. Then at 8:00 am we will go by boat to Capachica Penisula. From the Capachica Penisula we will drive in a private car to visit Sillustani near Puno.
After lunch we will travel back to Cusco, visiting some most important spots on the road. You will arrive in Cusco at around 10.00 pm.
Max altitude: 12631 ft (3850 m)
Overnight stay in Cusco
Day 11: CUSCO
Day of leisure in Cusco.
Your “Pearls of Cusco and Puno” tour will end this day in Cusco. If you would like to stay in Cusco region or in any other part of Peru longer and explore more, feel free to contact us. We are happy to modify our tours so that they meet your tastes and expectations.