866 862 3031

A privately guided tour of Peru's cultural highlights, ancient civilizations and Andean highlands

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel

Every detail taken care of

What's Included

  • Two nights on the Belmond Andean Explorer
  • Luxury accommodation, private transfers and internal flights
  • Private tours in Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon
  • 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

Explore the living history and breathtaking scenery of the Peruvian highlands on this incredible adventure, visiting the country’s ‘must sees’ and some lesser known favourite spots of ours in fine style.

Journey from Lima to the Sacred Valley, iconic Machu Picchu and Cusco for an introduction to the Inca Empire and the rich culture of the mountains which still thrives today. Then board the opulent Belmond Andean Explorer – the most luxurious rail trip in South America – for a two-night journey to the shores of Lake Titicaca and on to the colonial gem of Arequipa, before a final two nights by the breathtaking Colca Canyon where you’ll encounter traditions which date back to before even the Inca Empire.

All your activities and tours are privately guided and are at your own pace, and the itinerary can easily be extended to take in other destinations or shortened should you require.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-3

Lima

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Lima

Accommodation in Lima

lima-coast
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. your Travel Designer can arrange a tour for you should you wish and you'll have all of our recommendations at hand for the best things to see and do in the city to make the very most of your stay.

market-tour-lima-peru
Culinary tour: Market visit and lunch at La Picanteria Culinary tour: Market visit and lunch at La Picanteria

Start with a visit to one of Lima’s most emblematic and picturesque markets, where you can see, taste and purchase the most popular ingredients used in Peruvian cuisine. In the hands of our culinary expert, you may have the chance to try fruits from the coast, mountains and jungle, such as chirimoya, pacay, mango, passion fruit, aguaymanto, aguaje, and stop by the impressive seafood section selling the likes of prawns, shrimp, octopus and scallops. You also have the opportunity to try and buy dried fruits and browse the handicrafts on offer. You then go to La Picanteria, a restaurant owned by famous chef, Hector Solís. The restaurant looks to reproduce the rustic and traditional atmosphere of a picanteria and menus vary according to what's best in the market that day.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Lima airport

Flight

Flight from Lima to Cusco

Days 3-5

Sacred Valley

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer from Cusco airport to your hotel in the Sacred Valley

Accommodation in Sacred Valley

urubamba-river-sacred-valley-peru
Two nights in the Sacred Valley Two nights in the Sacred Valley

Northwest of Cusco, the Sacred Valley is one of the most beautiful and historically important parts of Peru. The Valley was one of the bases of Inca civilization, the river that winds its way through believed to be aligned with the cosmos. The valley is also home to many indigenous people living the same way they have been for centuries and it’s possible to visit local markets and communities.

ollantaytambo-peru
Ollantaytambo, Maras and Moray Ollantaytambo, Maras and Moray

Your guide will collect you from your hotel in the Sacred Valley and take you on a full day private tour. Start at 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.

Pachamama ceremony and picnic lunch Pachamama ceremony and picnic lunch

Enjoy a picnic lunch for an amazing cross-cultural experience and to be part of a special ceremony of song and traditional offerings to Pachamama, meaning Mother Earth. This ceremony evokes the spirit of healing with many sacred medicines involved, including Palo Santo, Tayta Sayri, Mana Coca, Agua Florida, Condor's Feathers, Grandfather Puma, Essences and Incenses. Many pre-hispanic instruments that have no musical register are used to help heal through joy, love, color and life.

Days 5-6

Machu Picchu

Vistadome Train, Peru
Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu from the Sacred Valley Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu from the Sacred Valley

The Vistadome train takes you to the magnificent ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu in superb modern comfort. As per its name, the train has wide glass windows built into the roof and sides of the carriages so you really do get to see the rich Peruvian countryside rushing by. Large leather seats, air conditioning, heating, and good service reflects all the contemporary efficiency and standards of Peru Rail too.

machu-picchu-ruins
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.

Accommodation in Machu Picchu

A llama walks around the ruins of Machu Picchu
Morning free to explore Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain Morning free to explore Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain

Discover the Machu Picchu citadel by climbing up either Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Both scenic sites offer incredible, sweeping views, but vary in route. Huanya Picchu is a steeper route for the confident hiker as you pass sheer drops and takes around 2 hours. Machu Picchu Mountain is a rewarding 3 hour ascending hike taking you away from the larger crowds to enjoy the vistas.

Vistadome Train from Machu Picchu to Cusco's Poroy Station Vistadome Train from Machu Picchu to Cusco's Poroy Station

Catch the Vistadome Train from Machu Picchu to Poroy Station in Cusco.

Days 6-8

Cusco

Accommodation in Cusco

cusco-skyline-peru
Two nights in Cusco Two nights in Cusco

Enjoy this beautiful city and UNESCO World Heritage site. Capital of the Incan Empire from the early 14th century until its Spanish conquest, Cusco is a beautiful city where you can find Incan ruins next to (or underneath) but Spanish colonial architecture.

Cusco city and nearby ruins tour Cusco city and nearby ruins tour

Today you will visit the Imperial City, a living example of the mixture of the Andean and Spanish cultures. You start your trip visiting the Santo Domingo Convent, built over the Koricancha Palace.

Later, you will stop at the Main Square, where you can find the Cathedral of Cusco. Going on with the tour, you will visit the Sacsayhuaman Fortress, which is the largest and most impressive of four archaeological ruins on the outskirts of Cusco. Built by the Incas, it served an important military function and was the site of a major battle with the Spanish in 1536. The complex was constructed out of massive stones, some weighing as much as 300 tons, cut to fit together without the use of mortar.

Later, you will take a look at the archaeological sites of Qenko, Puca-Pucara and Tambomachay, located north east of the city.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Cusco train station

Days 8-10

Andean Explorer

Accommodation in Andean Explorer

Belmond Andean Explorer - Cusco to Arequipa (3D/2N) Belmond Andean Explorer - Cusco to Arequipa (3D/2N)
Belmond Andean Explorer - Cusco to Arequipa (3D/2N): Day One Belmond Andean Explorer - Cusco to Arequipa (3D/2N): Day One

Board the Belmond Andean Explorer train in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire. Settle down and unwind in your luxurious cabin as the train begins its journey southeast towards Puno. Savour your first lunch on board in one of the elegant dining cars, where refined Andean specialities are served with contemporary flair.

After, disembark to visit Raqch’i. Once an important control point for the Incas, it is today a fascinating archaeological site brimming with history. Return to the train just in time for tea. Soak up the sensational sunset over La Raya Mountain range, before preparing yourself for an elegant dinner on board. Afterwards, perhaps head to the bar car and chat to your fellow travellers as the train continues to Lake Titicaca, where it will stable for the evening.

Belmond Andean Explorer - Cusco to Arequipa (3D/2N): Day Two Belmond Andean Explorer - Cusco to Arequipa (3D/2N): Day Two

Awake early to catch the breathtaking sunrise across Lake Titicaca, before enjoying a delicious breakfast on board. Today’s tours explore the eclectic beauty and rich diversity of life on Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and home to many islands. First you’ll take a traditional boat ride out to the Uros Islands, stunning man-made lands carefully created from woven reeds that are constantly being replenished.

Continue on to Taquile island, a beautiful island with a way of life barely touched by time. Enjoy a private lunch on Collata Beach, with demonstrations from traditional dancers and artisanal workers.

Return to the train for tea as your journey continues on to Arequipa. In the afternoon take the opportunity to disembark and find out more about this stunning city, considered one of the most important settlements in Peru. Return to the train for a final delicious dinner, before retiring to your cabin for a restful night.

Belmond Andean Explorer - Cusco to Arequipa (3D/2N): Day Three Belmond Andean Explorer - Cusco to Arequipa (3D/2N): Day Three

Enjoy breakfast before setting off on an early morning excursion to the spellbinding, rugged scenery of Lake Lagunillas. Afterwards visit Sumbay Caves, home to fascinating cave paintings that are estimated to be almost 8,000 years old. Return to the train for lunch as the trains continues to Arequipa where you will disembark.

Days 10-11

Arequipa

Arequipa city tour with Santa Catalina and Juanita Arequipa city tour with Santa Catalina and Juanita

Arequipa is renowned for being one of Peru’s prettiest townships, and nicknamed the ‘White City’ for its beautiful architecture built from the local sillar, a pale volcanic rock. Its monuments, cultural buildings, home and day-to-day life is best admired from a comprehensive city tour such as this. You will be collected from your hotel by your expert, local guide and walked through the UNESCO Historic Centre and Plaza de Armas with its splendid Cathedral before stopping at the Jesuit Church.

Built in 1579 and enlarged in the 17th century, the Santa Catalina Monastery is a self contained complex just off Arequipa’s central square. The founder of the monastery was a rich widow, Maria de Guzman. The monastery accepted only women from upper class Spanish families, with each family paying a dowry of 2,400 silver coins, equivalent to about $150,000 today. At its height, the monastery housed approximately 450 people, about a third of them nuns and the rest servants, before being reformed by a a strict Dominican nun in 1871 who sent the rich dowries back to Europe, and freed all the servants and slaves, giving them the choice of either remaining as nuns or leaving. Today, there are approximately 20 nuns currently living in the northern corner of the complex; the rest of the monastery is open to the public.

Finally, proceed to the Amato's Princess Museum, where you'll see the momia Juanita (Juanita mummy). Discovered in September 1995 by the anthropologist John Reinhard in the heights of Ampato Volcano at 6380 m.a.s.l, she is believed to have been an offering to the Apus over 500 years ago. Her discovery astonished scientists due to the conservation of her body.

Accommodation in Arequipa

One night in Arequipa One night in Arequipa

Overlooked by the Andes mountains, enjoy the views, sublime weather, and now UNESCO-protected colonial splendour of Arequipa, known as the 'White City' (thanks to its buildings being constructed from white volcanic 'sillar' rock). We can organise many interest-led, private tours here with our team of expert, local guides to explore the history, Andean culture, fascinating architecture, to the culinary delights of Arequipa and expeditions to the Colca Canyon - just talk to our travel designers about how you would like to spend your time here.

Days 11-13

Colca Canyon

Private scenic transfer from Arequipa to the Colca Canyon Private scenic transfer from Arequipa to the Colca Canyon

Usually an early morning departure, you'll be collected from your hotel in Arequipa for your private transfer to the Colca Canyon across the Pampa Cañahuas, which lies in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve. You leave the city via Yura, a district characterised by its rugged scenery, hills and ravines. This is quite a splendid drive as you enter the Pampa Cañahuas Reserve, an extensive plain where you can spot the herds of alpacas, llamas and possibly wild vicuñas. Continue on through the fascinating volcanic landscape to the village of Chivay for lunch before arriving at the Colca Valley and your hotel in the area. This transfer will take about four hours.

Accommodation in Colca Canyon

Two nights in the Colca Canyon Two nights in the Colca Canyon

Blending a dramatic geography of volcanoes and canyons with sleepy Andean valleys, Incan ruins and centuries-old colonial villages, the Colca is one of Peru's most beautiful and traditional of locations. Packed with adventure activities from white water rafting, hiking and spotting the soaring Andean condor, mix this with its hot springs and relaxing right down to life at a slower pace.

Cruz Del Condor Cruz Del Condor

Head to the Cruz del Condor to view the incredible Colca Canyon. This is the most popular point for viewing the canyon – it’s around 1200m (3937 feet) deep here – and you can almost guarantee seeing several huge condors circling up from the depths against the breathtaking scenery. A short walk will show you pre-Inca terraces where people still grow Andean products like corn, quinoa, kiwicha and others.

Yanque and Maca Yanque and Maca

Explore the nearby towns of Yanque and Maca to see their colonial churches, meet the locals and see their unique crafts.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer from the Colca Canyon to Arequipa

Flight

Flight from Arequipa to Lima

Use the navigation to jump down to a particular part of this example trip
What's Your Dream Trip?
We design private journeys for people who wish to go beyond the typical and experiencing something truly special. Our amazing team of travel designers, concierges and local guides work together to create unique journeys that get deep under the skin of where you’re visiting.

Get in Touch

Peru Highlands Explorer

13-Day Example Trip
 
1
Simply complete the form below or give us a call
2
We'll get in touch within 24 hours and work with you to perfect the details of your trip.
3
Sit back and relax while we plan the perfect itinerary for you.
Travel Information
    Please enter the number of passengers.
    Your Trip
    Please leave a message so we can start planning your bespoke trip.
    Budget
    Your Details
    You haven't entered your name.
    Please enter a valid phone number so we can get in touch.
    Please enter a valid email address so we can get in touch.

    How We Work

    We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.

    Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.

    From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.