11-day Peru discovery


There is so much to see and discover in Peru that no single itinerary could ever do it justice…

… but this 11-day Peru itinerary is the perfect starting point to plan your Peru adventures. This itinerary captures the most popular places… Lima, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca… plus time in The Sacred Valley to hike and explore this beautiful and often forgotten destination.

We tailor every itinerary we create so you can experience what interests you most. The Amazon and Colca Canyon are popular additions in Peru while keen hikers can change the Sacred Valley and Cusco plans to include short or long Inca Trails or add a couple of days to hike to Rainbow Mountain as well.

Day 1. Lima

DAY 1. LIMA

Arrive in Lima where you will meet your guide who will drive you to your hotel in the coastal suburb of Barranco.

This is the bohemian district of Lima with its colourful buildings, beautiful street art and charming streets filled with galleries, boutiques and restaurants.

Day 2. Lima Cathedral and Plaza de Armas

DAY 2. LIMA

Head off on a morning sightseeing tour exploring the modern districts of Lima and its historic centre, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.

You’ll then visit the acclaimed Larco museum and go on a journey through the pre-Inca cultures. The masterpieces at Larco are considered worldwide icons of pre-Columbian art and will set the scene for the history and culture you will experience in Peru.

Day 3. Sacred Valley

DAY 3. SACRED VALLEY

This morning you will fly to Cusco where you will be met by your local guide to travel through The Sacred Valley to Pisac. Now one of South America’s most famous and best souvenir markets, Pisac is where people from remote communities once met to barter their products. The ‘empanadas’ baked in traditional clay ovens are to fx  die for. And your accommodation in either a converted monastery or a small guesthouse in town is pretty special too.

Day 4. Discovering hidden gems in the Sacred Valley

DAY 4. DISCOVERING HIDDEN GEMS IN THE SACRED VALLEY

Today you will hike from Moray to the salt terraces of Maras and head into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Moray’s circular terraces hidden among the hills are similar to that of a Greek amphitheatre, and one of the valley’s great surprises. Surrounded by an impressive backdrop of snow-covered mountains, Moray once served as an agricultural lab for adapting crops to different environmental conditions.

You will continue on to the salt mines of Maras, which have an intense white snow-like shine, where salt has been extracted using the same method since ancient Inca times. From here you will hike for about an hour through the valley before being driven to Misminay, a traditional Andean community. Here you will join a local weaving family in their home to learn about the Andean weaving process. It’s a magical experience to watch as the wool is carded, spun and dyed, and you learn about the techniques they use to create belts, ponchos and shawls.

Day 5. Sacred Valley - Llama trek

DAY 5. SACRED VALLEY - LLAMA TREK

Today’s llama trek offers a different insight into the Sacred Valley.

You’ll hike with llamas through pristine landscapes to the archaeological remains of Inkarakai – formerly a retreat centre for the ‘ñustas’ or Virgins of the Sun.

Among the beautiful scenery you will have time to relax and enjoy a picnic before heading to the river falls.

Day 6. Machu Picchu – Cusco

DAY 6. MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO

Take the 1.5hr train to Aguas Calientes where are a small coach takes you up to Machu Picchu itself. This archaeological site is truly one of the great wonders of the world, owing to the uniqueness of its location and the genius that went into its construction.

You will have a private guided tour of the site and then have time to explore on your own… maybe you could climb to the summit of Huayna Picchu, the high point behind Machu Picchu where you will find incomparable views over the lost city. Late this afternoon you will take the train to Cusco.

Days 7 and 8. Cusco

DAYS 7 AND 8. CUSCO

Two full days to discover the charm of Cusco, starting with a private guided tour. Visit the famous cathedral and Temple of the Sun… see the 12-angled stone in the walls of what used to be Inca Roca’s Palace… visit San Blas quarter with its steeped cobblestone alleys lined with workshops and galleries, a great place to soak in Cusco’s artistic atmosphere.

In the afternoon you will visit nearby ruins starting with Sacsayhuaman, a hilltop fortress overlooking the city, where the largest stones are nearly 8.5m high. You will then move to Kenko, the temple dedicated to Mother Earth, and stop at Puka Pukara (the red fortress) and Tambomachay (the resting place of the Inca) before returning to Cusco. The following day is yours to explore, or we can add other excursions if you prefer to explore with a guide.

Day 9. Train across the Andes to Lake Titicaca

DAY 9. TRAIN ACROSS THE ANDES TO LAKE TITICACA

Today is guaranteed to be another highlight of your journey, as you travel by luxurious train across the Andes to Lake Titicaca. The spectacular rail journey cuts across the formidable Peruvian Altiplano. The first half of the full day journey is dominated by the magnificent Andean Mountains which tower over the deep valleys of the Huatanay River. It then reaches the gentler, rolling Andean Plains.

The journey includes meals and entertainment, and the train has an observation car with bar which provides the perfect place to view the passing scenery.

Day 10. Lake Titicaca

DAY 10. LAKE TITICACA

Today you will avoid the tourist boats and take a full day speedboat trip across the lake. The first stop is on Taquile, the weavers’ island, where the ‘Taquilenos’ have preserved centuries old traditions, such as a communitarian life where everything is shared. Men are always walking around the island knitting the woollen caps they wear.

Around noon you reach the remote community of Luquina on Chucuito Peninsula. Locals in this lesser known area are not visited by mass tourism yet, and their weaving is exquisite. After a lunch of typical Andean dishes, you will have time to soak up the mesmerising views of the red soil in the strong highland sunlight contrasted against the deep blue of Lake Titicaca against the backdrop of the snow-capped Cordillera Real on the far side.

On your return journey to Puno there is a final stop to visit one of the famous floating reed islands of the Uros.

Day 11. Onward travel - Bolivia

DAY 11. ONWARD TRAVEL

Continue your travels in Peru, or cross Lake Titicaca to explore the wonders of Bolivia.

We would be delighted to tailor-make a Peru itinerary for you. Whether you want to hike every day or immerse yourself in the culture of traditional Peru, as South America travel specialists we can take our knowledge and expertise to create a dream holiday you will never forget. Get in touch to start planning your dream journey.

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