Find adventure at every turn on this 14-day trip through Peru. Catch the scenic train to Machu Picchu, or challenge yourself by hiking the famous Inca Trail. Peer up into the canopy of the Amazon rainforest to search for jungle wildlife. From sacred ruins to otherworldly mountain vistas and cloud forests, set your sights on this celestial place.
Cusco Planetarium, Visit the Cusco Planetarium, which is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Llaullipata Ecological Reserve. Use telescopes to gaze up at the southern sky and see thousands of stars. Spot the constellations of the southern hemisphere, and learn about the ancient Incas’ relationship with the cosmos.
Lake Titicaca Community Home Lunch, Visit the Luquina Chico community on the shores of beautiful Lake Titicaca and take in sweeping views of the lake and its islands. During lunch in the home of a local family, get a personal view of everyday life in rural Peru.
Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures along with the Planeterra Foundation and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.
Traditional Andean Experience, Exclusive to National Geographic Journeys travellers – and part of G Adventures for Good – visit the “Parque de la Papa” (“Potato Park”), a network of six rural agricultural communities in Peru’s Sacred Valley. Walk through this special community with a local guide for immersive time observing agricultural, weaving, and cultural traditions.
Itinerary - 14 Days
Day 1 Lima
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Please note: if you booked the Lima Cooking Class it does not include extra time in Lima, and we highly recommend booking pre-trip accommodation. You will be picked up from your hotel at approx 10:00 am (10:30 from Aug-Dec) and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. Return back to your hotel around 13:00.
Also, hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
There are some very early morning starts on this trip to make the best use of our time and see as much as we can of Peru as we can.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Lima/Tambopata (1B, 1L, 1D)
After a brief stop in town to store large luggage, drive to the pier and travel by covered motorized boat to the jungle lodge.
En route, spot bird species typical of the local river and forest edge. The Tambopata Rainforest area holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area.
Local community members make up the majority of lodge staff, including multilingual naturalist guides. Take the opportunity to learn about the area’s rich flora and fauna and locals' extensive use of medicinal plants and other forest plant resources through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting.
Enjoy a welcome drink and orientation. Before dinner, head out for a night walk around the lodge grounds.
The lodge itself combines native architectural style and materials with low-impact, eco-friendly technology. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with mosquito netting for individual beds, flush toilets, showers (with solar-heated hot water), and candles for lighting (no electricity).
Wildlife-spotting Night Walk
Plane (2.50 hour(s))
Head by private vehicle to the lodge's office in Puerto Maldonado to store large luggage. From there, travel about 1 hr to reach the boat landing.
Motorized canoe (3.00 hour(s))
Day 3 Tambopata (1B, 1L, 1D)
Head out early to catch the jungle at its wildest (and coolest). Walk slowly through the forest searching for wildlife before heading out on an oxbow lake by canoe.
Search for anaconda, the elusive giant river otter, or black caiman. Even if you don't spot these shy creatures, there are plenty of birds, interesting plants, and other animals about.
Day 4 Tambopata/Cusco (1B)
Afternoon arrival into the Inca capital. Time for strolling around the plazas and markets. Admire the cobblestones streets, and visit some museums and Cathedral.
This adventure travels to high altitude, medically defined as anything over 8,000 ft (2,440m).
Motorized canoe (3.00 hour(s))
Plane (1.00-1.50 hours, 320km)
Day 5 Cusco/Urubamba (1B, 1L)
Traditional Andean Experience
Parque de la Papa (Potato Park)
Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley
Pisac Ruins Guided Tour
Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour
Times includes all stops and visits enroute through the Sacred Valley.
Private Vehicle (1.75 hour(s), 94km)
Day 6 Inca Trail (1B, 1L, 1D)
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.
A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you’ll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.
Inca Trail Hike
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Day 7 Inca Trail (1B, 1L, 1D)
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.
Inca Trail Hike
Day 8 Inca Trail (1B, 1L, 1D)
Cross two more passes and ruins on today's trek. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through the cloud forest on a gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.
At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
Inca Trail Hike
Day 9 Machu Picchu/Cusco (1B)
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down for a guided tour of the site and enjoy free time to explore until noon as permitted by the tourist ticket. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.
Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.
Inca Trail Hike
Machu Picchu Guided Tour
Train (2.00-3.00 hours, 118km)
Private Vehicle (2.00-2.50 hours, 95km)
Day 10 Cusco (1B)
Cusco is considered the mecca of Peru and rightly so. This beautiful colonial town offers nearby ruins, cobblestoned streets, museums, churches, and a lively atmosphere. The more adventurous optional activities available in Cusco include horseback riding around archaeological sites such as Sacsayhuaman, Tambo Machay, and Puca Pucara; white water rafting on the Urubamba River; and mountain biking down to the Sacred Valley, perhaps visiting an Inca ruin along the way.
Please note: if you booked the Cusco Cooking Class you will be picked up from your hotel at approx 12:30 and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return back to your hotel around 16:00.
Day 11 Cusco/Puno (1B)
Enjoy spectacular views of the countryside on this full day of travel from Cusco to Puno, through the high Altiplano.
Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours, 321km)
Day 12 Puno (1B, 1L)
In the morning, board a comfortable 35-foot, fully equipped speed boat to explore the lake. Stop at various islands to enjoy the lake's scenic splendor and to meet the friendly people of these communities.
Day Trip to Lake Titicaca
Lake Titicaca Community Home Lunch
Day 13 Puno/Lima (1B)
Transfer to Juliaca and fly back to Lima to enjoy your last night in Peru.
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Plane (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 14 Lima (1B)
Depart at any time.