An epic and comprehensive private tour of both Peru's lesser known and more prominent ancient treasures

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Every trip helps support Conservation

Every detail taken care of

  • Personalised journeys from start to finish

  • Every trip helps support Conservation

  • Every detail taken care of

Itinerary highlights

  • Discovering the vibrant food scene in Lima
  • Flying over and learning about the mysterious Nazca Lines
  • Hiking to and around the famous lost city of Machu Picchu
  • Trekking the unforgettably beautiful path to Choquequirao

What's included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • All tours specified in the itinerary description
  • All internal flights and private transfers
  • Full support from your Travel Designer and Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

From seeing the northern desert kingdom of Chan Chan and the Tucume Pyramids, to Chachapoyas in the Cloud Forests and flying over the Nazca Lines and the walking among Andean citadels of Machu Picchu and Choquequirao, this is an epic and comprehensive tour of Peru’s most incredible ancient treasures.

After a few days discovering the vibrant capital of Lima, you will head to the northeast to explore the fascinating pre-Colombian complexes of Chan Chan, El Brujo, Tucume, Ventarron and the Royal Tombs of Sipan.

You then head into the interior to hike the valleys of Leymebamba, visiting the town’s renowned museum and the Revash archaeological site, then spend some time exploring the lesser-known ancient site of Chachapoyas and the Kuelap Fortress.

From here you will journey south to discover Paracas, flying over the mysterious and intriguing Nazca Lines as well as touring this desolately beautiful coastline and its resident marine wildlife. It’s then onto Cusco, the Sacred Valley and the astonishing Machu Picchu citadel – areas steeped in rich history. You will enjoy a private tour with an expert guide, as well as time to explore by yourself.

The challenging four-day trek to Choquequirao (Machu Picchu’s lesser known sibling) offers a truly extraordinary finale and exploration of the hardly-visited marvel of the ancient Incan world

Example trip itinerary

Days 1-3


Flights & transfers


Meet and greet at Lima airport


Private transfer to your hotel in Lima

Accommodation in Lima

Two nights in Lima Two nights in Lima

Enjoy the Capital of Peru, known particularly for its excellent cuisine and good museums, as well as the historic down-town areas.

Full day tour of Caral Pyramid Full day tour of Caral Pyramid

Following breakfast you will be collected from your hotel and travel for four hours to Caral in Northern Lima. Upon arrival you will witness Caral, the civilisation responsible for the oldest urban complex (of the same name) in America, and which redefined the history of societies when it was discovered that it is 5,000 years old, as old as China, Egypt, India and Mesopotamia. Discover the huge pyramids, squares, atriums and altars where numerous sacred ceremonies and offerings to deities have taken place. You will then enjoy lunch before returning to your hotel in Lima.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to Lima airport


Flight from Lima to Trujillo


Private transfer to your hotel in Trujillo

Days 3-6


Accommodation in Trujillo

Huacas del Sol y de la Luna tour Huacas del Sol y de la Luna tour

This tour will give you an insight into the history in the Moche river valley, one of northern Peru's most fascinating rural areas. Over 2,000 years ago archaeologists believe the capitol of the Moche kingdom was built here, one of the most powerful and impressive cultures of pre-Incan Peru. The Moches are chiefly known for their high level of mastery in pottery and decorative iconography of their monuments. Visit the main attraction of the Moche countryside route, the Huacas del Sol y de la Luna (Temples of the Sun and Moon) archaeological complex and the Huacas de Moche Museum. The Temple of the Moon is a beautifully decorated temple symbolising the spiritual center of the Moche culture and boasts a series of temples built one on top of the other for many years. Within the site, besides a huge amount of ceremonial objects, approximately 40 skeletons of sacrificed soldiers have also been found. In the upper reaches of the adobe ramparts see the remains of vast walls embellished with figures of multi-colored divinities, the most of important being the Moche “God of the Mountains”. You will then enjoy lunch a Huanchaco Beach restaurant.

Trujillo city and colonial quarter Trujillo city and colonial quarter

Tour of the main attractions of the city of Trujillo, known as the "City of Eternal Spring", and which has a rich colonial heritage, standing out with its baroque-style properties as well as the republican art of its neo-classical mansions. Your tour begins at the Plaza de Armas, a beautiful historic setting where Martin de Estete began tracing the city on behalf of the founder Diego de Almagro in December of 1534, and where you will find the monument of La Libertad, a baroque sculpture built of marble. Proceed to the main city Cathedral, which dates from 1647 and holds in its interior rococo altars painted in white and gold, and baroque paintings by the Cusco and Quito schools. The cathedral also houses the Cathedral Museum, with mainly religious works in gold and silver dating from virreynal times. Continue with a visit to the Urquiaga or Calonge neoclassical Mansions, and in whose interiors you'll find the desk of Simon Bolivar, a large collection of pottery and dishes donated by the Libertador to Mr. Juan Antonio Ochaita y Urquiaga. Today, the mansion belongs to the Banco Central de Reserva del Peru.

It's then onto to visit the House of Emancipation, also known as the "House of Windows", which was the residence of Dr. Pedro Madalengoitia y Saenz de Zarate, cantor of the Cathedral and brother of the Bishop of Trujillo. Continue to the Ganoza Chopitea House, located near the Main Square and called the Lions house. Enjoy a panoramic view of the Plaza El Recreo and the ancient City Wall of Trujillo, before heading to the south of Trujillo to visit a religious center of the Mochica culture, built in the fifth century.

Chan Chan Peru
Chan Chan Chan Chan

Your next stop is a comprehensive guided tour of the pre-Colombian archaeological complex of Chan Chan, the largest adobe city in America and also the largest of the Chimu culture, covering an area of 20 km² approximately.

Constructed by the Chimor people, who originated from the Moche civilisation, around AD 850 and what became part of the Kingdom of Chimu. This ancient and imperial adobe city, reported to be where 30,000 inhabitant once lived, lasted until the fall of the Incan Empire in AD 1470.

El Brujo and Cao Museum El Brujo and Cao Museum

El Brujo consists of a variety of temples built by the Moche people sometime between AD 1 and 600. The main temple, Huaca Cao Viejo, houses the famous mummy of the Lady of Cao, the only female Moche governor from this era. Other vestiges found here include remains of an important ceremonial precinct with two of its walls decorated with small high-relief iconographic designs. The narrative scenes that adorn the walls each contain around fifty iconographic figures which display scenes of fishing and navigation, human figures related to the cosmic world, mythical animals, shamans, warriors, and human sacrifice.

The museum is divided into six halls - the first two offer general information on the archaeological site with pottery and textiles from the pre-Hispanic period until the present day. The third houses an impressive wooden idol that was used for important rituals and then was buried in an enclosure of the temple. The fourth hall is dedicated to describing the human sacrifices of the Moches, the fifth showcases ceramic pots that belonged to an important woman of the Moche elite, while the sixth is dedicated to the Lady of Cao.

Tucume private tour Tucume private tour

Your guide will drive you to the famous Túcume archaeological complex, also know as Peru's 'Valley of the Pyramids'. With over 200 hectares, this complex is home to twenty-six major pyramids and other monuments such as squares, walls, courtyards and water canal systems, all reflecting the ancient Lambayeque's sophisticated growth system and complex social structure. Your guide will brief you on the history and help bring to life what was once one of Peru's most impressive cities built over 1000 years ago.

Private tour of Ventarron and Huaca Rajada with lunch Private tour of Ventarron and Huaca Rajada with lunch

Ventarrón is an archaeological site which represents the first evidence of civilisation in northern Peru more than 4,500 years old. One of the most ancient temples devoted to fire worship has been discovered here, it is the earliest representation of the “Andean Cross” or “Chacana”. Go on to see Huaca Rajada and museum. It is here that the tomb of the renowned and powerful Moche Lord of Sipan was unearthed. The tomb is an excellent example of the splendour and great power of the Moche rulers. Other archaeological works including vast amounts of fine jewelry made on gold, silver, and copper and ceremonial utensils have also been found here. These discoveries help archaeologists gain a better understanding of the Moche culture. You will then be transferred to the town of Lambayeque and have lunch at El Cántaro restaurant.

Private tour of Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum Private tour of Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum

Visit the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum, one of Latin America's most modern and impressive archaeological museums. Boasting a collection of amazing Moche artwork found in the tomb of the Lord of Sipan, at the Huaca Rajada site, see silver and gold jewellery, fine weaving, emblems of religious and military power, and great quantities of ceremonial utensils.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer across the Andes to Chachapoyas

Days 6-8


Accommodation in Chachapoyas

Revash museum and hike Revash museum and hike

This morning you will be collected by your guide and privately transferred to the town of Leimebamba. During the drive you will stop off at the Revash mausoleum and take a four hour hike (round trip) to the archaeological site, a wonderfully colorful structure found on a shelf or platform high up on a cliff. The cliff walls in the shelf area are adorned with geometric designs representing animal figures.

Leymebamba Museum Leymebamba Museum

Enjoy a visit to the Leymebamba Museum, one of Peru's most fascinating museums. Take a look at the collection of over 200 Inca-Chachapoyas mummies which are in an excellent state of preservation and the country's largest collection of Kipus. You will then be privately driven back to your hotel.

Kuelap Fortress Kuelap Fortress

A two-hour drive will bring you to Kuelap Fortress, a striking building which sits on a cliff edge. Surrounded by an impressive wall almost 2,000 feet long, this archaeological research point may have been a significant religious centre dedicated to the Chachapoyas gods. Kuelap's gates or main entrances are built as narrow walled passageways that continue to narrow as they reach upwards into the fortress, so the complex would remain restricted. Enjoy lunch in the small town of María before returning to your hotel.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to Chiclayo airport


Flight from Chiclayo to Lima


Private transfer to your hotel in Lima

Days 8-9


Accommodation in Lima

Overnight in Lima Overnight in Lima
Flights & transfers


Private transfer from Lima to your hotel in Paracas

Days 9-12

Paracas and Nazca

Accommodation in Paracas

Three days exploring Paracas and Nazca Three days exploring Paracas and Nazca

Enjoy exploring this fascinating stretch of coastline to the south of Lima. The Nazca lines are one of the most beguiling mysteries left by the ancient civilisations of Peru, while the Ballestas islands are Peru’s answer to the Galapagos, a protected area rich with bird and marine life.

Ballestas Island Ballestas Island

This morning you will start your tour toward the Paracas pier to sail until the Ballestas Islands, home to a large population of sea lions, Humboldt penguins and other species found in the archipelago, an ideal place for their reproduction and coexistence.

Light aircraft flight over the Nazca Lines Light aircraft flight over the Nazca Lines

The famous Nazca Lines found are but more confounding geoglyphs left by the Nazca culture which succeeded that of the Paracas between 300BC-700AD. More than seventy giant animal and plants figures etched into the sand of the pampas, some reaching 1,000 feet in dimension, have prompted many hypotheses and premises from academics to religious fantasists. However not an awful lot is known about this civilisation as little was left behind.

This is the best way to see the Nazca Lines: a monkey, a spider, a humming bird, all of vast size, can be seen from light aircraft - try to decipher the mystery yourself. Your flight will cross the twenty geoglyphs on the Nasca plain as well as those discovered more recently at Palpa. The trip ends by flying over the mountains, where you will find marine fossils up to 150 million years old, and take in the unfolding scenes of strikingly beautiful desert, valleys and craggy coastal pampas.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to Lima airport


Flight from Lima to Cusco


Private transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley

Days 12-14

Sacred Valley

Accommodation in Sacred Valley

Two days exploring the Sacred Valley Two days exploring the Sacred Valley

Spend your days relaxing and exploring the incredible scenery of the Sacred Valley. It's a great place to experience the beautiful scenery and culture of Peru.

Ollantaytambo Ollantaytambo

Visit the Inca fortress town of Ollantaytambo. The site was built just as the Spaniards arrived and is one of the most important if not visible vestiges of how the Incas inhabited and functioned in their cities making it a fascinating place to explore. There is a fortress at the top of the hill (and quite a few steps) which is particularly interesting to investigate for the techniques the Incas used in its construction.

Maras and Moray Maras and Moray

Your guide will bring you to the fascinating (and beautiful) sites of Maras and Moray. Maras is an open system of terraces that has been used for centuries to harvest salt from a stream of mineral rich water that comes from within the mountain. Moray is an ancient system of Inca terraces which they used to acclimatise new plants to the high altitude environment.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to Ollanta station


Train to Machu Picchu

Days 14-15

Machu Picchu

Trains to Machu Picchu

Private tour of Machu Picchu Private tour of Machu Picchu

Your private guide will take you on a comprehensive tour of the Machu Picchu citadel, really bringing it to life by detailing the history, significance and myths surrounding it as well as taking you to the hidden corners and best viewpoints. After your tour, you'll descend to Aguas Calientes for a delicious lunch at the rustically elegant Inkaterra hotel, before an afternoon at leisure. You can explore the areas around Machu Picchu or carry on exploring the ruins.

Return in the evening to overnight at your chosen hotel in the Machu Picchu area.

Accommodation in Machu Picchu

Morning free to explore Machu Picchu Morning free to explore Machu Picchu

You have the morning free to explore the famous site on your own.

Flights & transfers


Train from Machu Picchu

Trains from Machu Picchu

Flights & transfers


Private transfer from Ollanta Station to your hotel in Cusco

Days 15-17


Accommodation in Cusco

The terracotta roofs of the Cusco skyline, Peru
Two days exploring Cusco Two days exploring Cusco

Enjoy this beautiful city and UNESCO World Heritage site. You'll have our list of recommendations as well as private guides on hand to enjoy the best of this beautiful city. We can arrange a number of private, interest-led tours to booking fine restaurants for you. Your personal travel designer will be able to recommend activities that are most suitable to your interests.

Tour of Cusco and nearby ruins Tour of Cusco and nearby ruins

Your local expert guide will collect you from your hotel for a tour of the city, starting out at the Santo Domingo convent monastery. This former colonial monastery was previously the Koricancha Temple, one of the most important temples devoted to the worship of the sun. According to the chronicles, it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. Your next stop will be the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral. After touring the most interesting sites of the city, you will be driven by private vehicle to the countryside just outside Cusco to visit some of the remarkable Inca ruins in the area such as the cult centre of Sacsayhuaman, the temple and amphitheatre of Kenko, and the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara.

Days 17-20


Private Choquequirao Trek: Day One Private Choquequirao Trek: Day One

You will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco in the early morning and taken to the Cachora town, the starting point of the trek to Choquequirao. After enjoying lunch at a local house, you will start hiking amidst the wild flora until you reach Chiquisca, the location of your camp. Enjoy a refreshing cup of tea followed by dinner.

Private Choquequirao Trek: Day Two Private Choquequirao Trek: Day Two

Wake up early and enjoy breakfast at daybreak before starting the hike to Marampata. After lunch you will start the last section of the route to Choquequirao through a subtropical jungle road that has a spectacular fauna composed of condors, taruca deer, vizcacha rodents, foxes, skunks, pumas, hummingbirds, bears and the Andean cock-of-the-rock, Peru's national bird. You will arrive late afternoon and watch the sunset at the citadel.

Private Choquequirao Trek: Day Three Private Choquequirao Trek: Day Three

After breakfast you will explore the citadel on a guided tour. The name Choquequirao is mentioned in Spanish chronicles since 1710, although it is believed that this was the last refuge of the Incas after the Spaniards conquered Cusco and the neighboring towns between 1532 and 1533. Located on the foothill of the snow-capped Salkantay mountain, in the La Convención province, the Choquequirao urban complex was built among huge mountains and it is considered Machu Picchu's 'sacred sister', due to their structural similarities.

The complex houses numerous administrative and religious buildings, a ceremonial platform, warehouses, agricultural terraces, squares and houses, and some scholars believe it is a huge unfinished project.

Private Choquequirao Trek: Day Four Private Choquequirao Trek: Day Four

You will wake up early and start the trek to Cachora town, where you will enjoy lunch before transferring to Cusco.

Flights & transfers


Private transfer to Cusco airport


Flight from Cusco to Lima

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Ancient Peru

20-Day Example Trip
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