Why Book with Tours of Exploration?
- We specialize in customized, personalized tours that can suit your needs, interests, and hobbies.
- We choose to work with local partners and expert guides, not only to guarantee an immersive, culturally and naturally authentic experience; but also to economically support the area's local population. Wildlife conservation is one of our key values!
- Book with confidence as deposits are risk-free and refundable.
2021 Departure Dates and Costs
October 4 - 19, 2021
Tour cost: $ 3035 CAD from Lima. Includes domestic airfare
Tailor-made trips for 5 - 21 days are available to suit individual interest and travel preferences
Single room supplement $ 725 USD
Ask about airfare from your home city!
Oct. 4 Arrive in Lima
Reception and transfer to hotel. Runcu Hotel in Miraflores or similar. The hotel is tourist class – 3.5 stars and chosen for atmosphere, settings or other features.
Oct. 5 Lima (B)
Breakfast at the hotel
9:00 am Colonial city tour of Lima. Of the important buildings seen, the government palace, built between 1921 and 1938, the San Francisco church, and its catacombs containing the remains of thousands of people are of particular interest. Also visit the cathedral that houses the remains of Francisco Pizarro, the founder of Lima.
Visit the Larco Herrera Museum specialising in ceramics, with an excellent overview of the work of a number of early Peruvian cultures, as well as an important collection of gold and silve
r objects, textiles and mummies. Afternoon Lima 'Foodie' and stories discovery. This will include walking, a visit to the market, fruit and snack tasting, a Spanish cooking class with a dine on your creation.
Oct. 6 Lima (B)
Day at leisure.
Optional tours can be booked locally or better in advance ($ 103 USD per person).
One nice option would be a day tour to Pachacamac. This archaeological complex is the largest in the region, totally made of adobes (very different from those in Cusco). In addition, a site museum is being built that will be the most modern in the country. Can also be combined with a Peruvian Paso horse show and lunch.
This would be a guided tour through the splendid Citadel of Pachacamac, The Sanctuary of God Pachacamac, Temple of the Sun, the Temple of Pachacamac and the Acllahuasi or Palace of the Virgins of the Sun. A unique archaeological and mystical Experience. 36 km. to Pachacamac, one way. (1 h) paved road. Then on to the Peruvian Paso Horse Exhibition where you would visit a private estate house “Casa Hacienda los Ficus” located in the valley of Lurin. a skillfull horsewoman or horseman will introduce you to the world of the Peruvian Paso Horse. 6 km. from Pachacamac, one way. (20 minu) paved road. The show includes lunch. Return to Lima 42 km.
Oct. 7 Lima/Cusco/Sacred Valley (Yucay) (B,D)
Breakfast. Some time at leisure. Check out of the hotel and late morning transfer to the airport.
Flight to Cusco.
Latam LA 2035 1:20 pm / 2:41 pm Lima/Cusco. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Sacred Valley. Stops enroute
4 nights Posada del Inca’s Casona Yucay or similar. This property has warm architecture, it has gardens. http://hcy.pe/index.php/es/
Oct. 8 Sacred Valley of the Incas (Yucay) (B,D)
Day at leisure. Tours can be done locally. A nice option could be Perolniyoc waterfalls hike This could be a warm up walk for the Mini-Inca trail and the Rainbow Mountain hike. Or you can talk to the guide for other options. ($ 35 USD per person). In the evening we have a cooking class followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
Oct. 9 Sacred Valley of the Incas (Chinchero & Maras) (Yucay) (B,L)
Full day exploration of the Sacred Valley. Drive to Chinchero. Visit the markets and ruins (3,650 meters). Enjoy the landscape and rural setting. Lunch at a local family / hacienda in Maras, a small and exclusive experience. Also visit the salt pans. Some of the day’s activities will be decided day of depending on physical condition and appetite for culture or adventure.
Oct. 10 Sacred Valley of the Incas (Pisac) (B,L)
Drive to the market town of Pisac for a cultural spectacle. Enjoy the market. Visit the ruins and enjoy lunch. In the afternoon cultural excursion. One of the newer cultural experiences being developed in the Pisac area are potato culture tours and experiences. There is even a potato park with displays and cultural interactions. After Pisac you would continue to Potato park (8 km. dirt road 30 minutes) to the Potato Park; Paru Paru and Amaru community. Share the lifestyle of local farmers through experiential and cultural tourism. You can be involved in agricultural activities, festivals, and rituals, making a true exchange of life in balance with nature and Andean culture. Meals: the farmers of Paru Paru will offer an Andean Lunch based on native products and ingredients. Depending on the community and market, the order of the day may be reversed.
Oct. 11 Sacred Valley of the Incas (Ollantaytambo) (B)
Breakfast and a transfer to Ollantayambo, an authentic town near the rail station enroute to Machu Picchu. Tour day included that will explore the ruins and market and area attractions.
2 nights Tunupu Hotel or Pakaritampu or similar. http://www.tunupalodge.com/ The hotel is in a convenient place for walking to the main square and enjoying the atmosphere of the town.
Oct. 12 Sacred Valley of the Incas (Ollantaytambo) (B)
Morning at leisure. 4 seasons tasting in a local restaurant for lunch included. Early evening in preparation for the mini-Inca trail hike tomorrow.
Oct. 13 Mini trek to Machu Picchu. (B,L,D)
Morning transfer to the train station for the journey on the vistadome train to Machu Picchu. The site lies 122 kilometers north of Cusco and is often called the “Lost City Of the Incas.” There are many theories as to who built the city. Many say it was the last refuge of the Inca Empire after the Spanish Conquest. The site was never found by the Spanish and when the last of the city inhabitants died, so did the secret of its existence. The sacred site lay buried beneath vines and jungle growth for 400 years until American Explorer Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911. The 220 stone temples and buildings of Machu Picchu crown a 9,000 foot ridge.
Inca permits included. If this option is too physical, a non-trekking option can be arranged with exploration of the town of Machu Picchu (formerly and aka Aguas Calientes).
Leave the train with a guide at km 104where another guide will await in the train station. Just carry your day pack. The rest of your luggage will be transferred to the hotel. On reaching Km 104 we cross the Urubamba river and head for the archaeological complex of Choquesuysuy where we will pass through the Inca Trail control point. Here the trail climbs slowly to half-way up the mountain where we arrive at Wiñay Wayna, surrounded by lush vegetation. This part of the trek may take about 2 – 2/12 hours. We pass a high waterfall where we can cool off. The Wiñay Wayna complex was once inhabited by farmers who used terraces to reclaim these steep slopes for agriculture. Short time to visit the ruins here. Then continue along the trail to Inti Punku (another 2 hours), enjoying along the way the spectacular scenery, with the river far below, and the snowy peaks emerging from the surrounding cloud forest. Following a path which is very narrow in places, we eventually arrive at the Sun Gate above Machupicchu from where we will get our first glimpse of the ruins below us. From here it is a forty minute walk to Machupicchu. After a short visit, Bus below to the village of Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes. Dinner. Overnight El Mapi. Overnight.
Oct. 14 Machu Picchu/Cusco (B,L)
Early am before the crowds the full group will get up to visit this lost city which was rediscovered in 1911. This citadel, standing at the top of a steep, forested hill overlooking the Urubamba River, was hidden by dense vegetation for centuries until Hiram Bingham began to clear the site. Today the city has been completely restored and even if it has lost some of its mystery it still remains an unforgettable sight. Our tour includes a visit to the temples, plazas, palaces, watercourses and residential areas and will also leave you time to explore the ruins on your own. Lunch at café Inkaterra. Return to the town located 20 minutes from the ruins. Late afternoon train to Cusco. Dinner on own. Suggestions would be provided.
2 nights Casa Andina Plaza or similar.
Oct. 15 Cusco (B)
Half day Cusco city tour visiting the Cathedral, Koricancha (temple of the sun), Sacsayhuaman fortress and the sites of Kenko, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. The Inca pass would allow exploration of other Inca site on own. Lunch on own and afternoon at leisure.
2 day Rainbow Mountain trek with full board
We offer a 2-day program to Vinicunca, the amazing Rainbow Mountain. On the first day, we travel from Cusco enjoying stops in places such as the village of Pitumarca and the archaeological site of Machupitumarca. That night we sleep under the stars. An early morning start as we enjoy the day exploring the impressive scenery and learn about local culture. Suggest you bring just an overnight bag and leave the main luggage in Cusco. Suggest this is in a duffel or weekend bag. For the hike – you will carry just your back pack.
Oct. 16 Cusco / Pitumarka / Chillca (B,L,D)
08:00 we will collect you from your hotel in Cusco by a private vehicle with driver, guides, porters and cooking staff. We will drive south on the main road to Sicuani/Puno, turning off at the attractive small town of Checacupe with its beautiful bridges and continuing to Pitumarca (105 kilometers / 65 miles). After a welcome glass of barley chicha in the main square of this indigenous town, we will visit the ruins of Machupitumarca. This impressive pre-Inca archaeological site is well looked after and has undergone considerable restoration but so far it remains off the tourist track and is a place of tranquility, interest and beauty. Like many of the sites it is positioned above the ‘modern’ town and is surrounded by stunning mountains and agricultural fields. After the visit, our lunch will be served ‘al fresco’ in a pleasant spot with beautiful views.
We will continue from Machupitumarca along a smooth, unpaved road (22 kilometers / 13.6 miles) with dramatic rock formations towering above, dropping into deep canyons. At the end of the road, at 4,300 meters /14,107 feet, the tents will be set up for the night as the sun sets behind the snow-capped Ausangate Mountain, with just herds of alpacas and llamas to keep you company. After a delicious, hot dinner it will be time to drop into our tents, wrapped up in extra-thick sleeping bags for a night under the stars. Leave your luggage behind the next day and take only your back pack for the hike.
Traveling time: Cusco – Pitumarca: 105 kilometers / 65 miles; 2 hours. Pitumarca – Ramal Pitumarca (Chillca) 80 kilometers / 49 miles
Altitudes: Cusco: 3400 meters / 11,159 feet; Pitumarka: 3570 meters / 11.713 feet; Machupitumarca: 3465 meters / 11,368 feet
Oct. 17 Chillca / Vinicunca / Cusco (B,L)
05:30 wake-up call to find the ground and even the inside of the tent frozen! This will be a good incentive to get dressed quickly and tuck into a hearty, cooked breakfast. The sun comes up at around 6am and it will be time to start the 11 kilometers / 6.8 miles uphill walk to the Rainbow Mountain. The slope will be gradual on firm ground through pastures, passing small settlements and herds of alpacas. Accompanied by our guide who greets the locals in Quechua and tells us stories about the area, it will be a spectacular walk with views of Ausangate and the other snow peaks. It is highly recommended to hire a horse (payable locally) if you need to rest. The walking will be not hard but many people will find the altitude challenging as they reach over 5,000 meters /16,404 feet.
Nothing can prepare us for the spectacular sight of Vinicunca with its beautiful colours spreading across the horizon. At 5,100 meters /16,732 feet. We will have a 360 degrees view of the Ausangate snow-caps on one side and the multi-coloured Vinicunca on the other side – it is pure magic! The descent down the other side will be easy and as the oxygen returns, we will have a chance to breathe deeply and reflect on our amazing experiences over the last couple of days. Another wholesome, hot lunch will await at the bottom after which we will climb wearily into the vehicle for the return to Cusco, arriving at around 7pm.
It is highly recommended to do this excursion in 2 days with a night’s camping. This gives you the chance to visit Pitumarca and Machupitumarca, experience camping in the wilderness and enjoying the walk to and from Vinicunca at a leisurely pace. It is not a difficult walk, however the altitude can be problematic for some as you are climbing gently from 4,300 meters /14,107 feet to 5,100 meters /16,732 feet. It is imperative that you have had time to acclimatize.
Trekking distance: 15 kilometers / 9 miles (6-7 hours)
Altitudes: Vinicunca: 5100 meters /16732 feet, Checacupe: 3.446 meters / 11,306 feet
Note: We could provide an alternative for anyone not interested in the trekking (spa, cultural etc…). Overnight in Cusco
Oct. 18 Cusco / Lima (B)*
- *Flight to Lima Latam tba approx. 1:24 pm/2:50 pm Cusco /Lima.
- * Extensions to Lake Titicaca or elsewhere in Peru or Galapagos.
Oct. 19 Arrival home.
Post tour to Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca is the centre of the world for the Inca empire for it Sun Island that the Sun God sent his son and the Moon Goddess sent her daughter to arise from the lake and create the Inca people. Many Inca sites are on both the Peruvian and Bolivian sides of this navigable lake.
Oct. 19 Cusco / Puno (B,L)
Private transfer to rail station. Titicaca Rail luxury train service to Puno/ Lake Titicaca - train runs Wed/Fri/Sun. On arrival transfer to Puno Taypikala Lago located only 15 min from the city of P
uno, near the Inca Uyo or temple of fertility in the village of Chucuito the shores of Lake Titicaca. The Taypikala is an attractive colonial style implemented and has spectacular views of majestic Lake Titicaca. Note - Luggage can be left there for the overnight visit to Amantani
Oct 20 Lake Titicaca (Uros & Amantani Islands) (B,L,D)
Uros Amantani 2 day trip. Our trip begins with a transfer to the port of Puno for the three and a half hour boat trip to Amantani. On our way to the island we will visit the artificial floating islands of the Uros, who inhabit the artificial totora reed islands on Lake Titicaca, are the descendants of the oldest race on earth. However, very little is actually known about them. Their most characteristic tradition is their use of the aquatic totora reed, which they use to build their houses, boats and the very islands on which they live, which are made from thick layers of reed which are replaced periodically. Then we will go to Amantani island, is similar to Taquile but much larger, the islands have simple restaurants, there is a plentiful supply of lake trout, and visitors who stay for a night will find themselves sharing a few moments in the peaceful lives of these marvelous people. Overnight in a local home
Oct 21 Lake Titicaca (Taquile Island) (B,L)
Morning connecting to the local culture. Then boat to Taquile Island the most fascinating on the lake (1.5h). The backdrop of the snow-capped Cordillera Real on the far side completes a splendid picture. The people wear colourful traditional clothe (3h). Return to Puno (2.5h). Overnight Taypikala Lago hotel
Oct 22 Puno / Lima (B,D)
Morning at leisure by the lake. Visit Sillustai ruins enroute to the airport.
Flight to Lima Latam 2121 2:53 pm / 4:27 pm. On arrival the full group to travel to Miraflores for a farewell dinner.
Transfer to the terminal for the flight home.
Oct 23 Arrive home.
What our clients say...
"Our Peruvian adventure was everything we had imagined and more. All the transfers worked smoothly....the hotels were most comfortable and welcoming....the drivers and guides were skilled and professional. Our guides especially kept us engaged with the history and culture and natural history of each region we visited. Santiago kept amazing us with his grasp of history, his obvious love of the land and its culture, and with his ease setting a doable pace through Ollantaytambo, Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Raqchi. Herbert and Carlos helped us see so much on the long drive to Manu, on the river trips and at each lodge- their sense of humour, their care for each of us and their exceptional knowledge of the cloud forest and the jungle made these visits a real highlight for us. We always had something to do, trails to take and time to relax.” Mike and Gerree Beacom,
"We all enjoyed our trip very much. Everyone we met was friendly and tolerant. Even the locals were will ing to jolly us along as we practiced our awkward Spanish (which we only started studying a month before.) ... Our guides were excellent. Again many thanks for an exciting and educational vacation, which has given us some happy memories and a new appetitie for travel.” E. Griffith, British Columbia
We customize travel to Bolivia and Peru for individuals and groups year round. Ask for details.