13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS
Lima – Arequipa – Colca Canyon – Lake Titicaca – Cusco – The Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu – Moray – Maras – Lima
Inca citadels, striking Andean scenery, cities brimming with history, one of the deepest canyons on this planet, and the world’s highest navigable lake… The Southern of Peru is host to an astounding list of highlights, and you can see them all on this comprehensive luxury tour of Peru! Start with a lesson in colonial history in Arequipa, then go on condor-spotting excursions and hot spring dips in the Colca Canyon. After meeting the island communities of Lake Titicaca, venture along to Cusco and the Sacred Valley to survey the region’s Inca sites and get better acquainted with the authentic indigenous culture. During this private tour of Peru, the best is saved for last: Machu Picchu. You’ll have two days devoted entirely to exploring and pondering the mysteries of the marvelous “lost city” of the Incas. Travel to Peru with this sample Discover Southern Peru tour as inspiration!
- Discover Peru’s colonial “White City” in Arequipa.
- Pay a special visit to Peru’s famous frozen Inca mummy, Juanita.
- Spot majestic condors soaring at dawn over the vertiginous depths of the Colca Canyon.
- Bliss out in the natural hot springs and mineral baths near Colca.
- Immerse yourself in local life with visits to remote Andean villages that are, for most travelers, uncharted territory, including communities on Lake Titicaca’s islands.
- Observe local weavers at work during private demonstrations.
- Visit rural communities in the Sacred Valley towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
- Embark on a private city tour of Cusco, whose fascinating streets feature a unique concoction of Inca ruins and colonial constructions.
- Scale the ancient stone stairway up Machu Picchu’s neighboring peak, Huayna Picchu.
- Relish a luxury tour to Machu Picchu with your very own expert guide to explain the history, architecture, and theories surrounding the site.
- Discover the delights of Peruvian cuisine at the country’s finest dining establishments.
- Enjoy enriching experiences with local artists at their workshops.
- Relax in hand-picked luxury accommodations throughout your personalized trip of Peru.
Itinerary Day By Day
DAY 1: ARRIVE AT YOUR HOTEL IN LIMA AFTER YOUR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT TO PERU!
When your international flight arrives in Lima, look for your Samextoursperu host holding a sign with your name on it! We know you’ll most likely be a little tired after your long flight, so we’ll save you the stress of trying to navigate and bring you straight to your hotel adjacent to the airport where you can shake off that icky flight feeling with a shower and a sleep. Relax into the evening and enjoy a good night’s rest before your flight to Arequipa early in the morning!
DAY 2: FLY TO AREQUIPA AND ENJOY A PRIVATE CITY TOUR OF PERU’S SECOND LARGEST CITY.
Your Lima host will escort you to the airport in the morning and you’ll fly direct to Arequipa. Often called “the White City,” Arequipa is famous for its bleached bright colonial-era buildings, which are made from a pearly volcanic rock known as sillar. With the assistance of a Samextoursperu host, you’ll travel to your hotel of choice to settle in.
This afternoon, set off on a private city tour of Arequipa’s most intriguing sights, from the handsome colonial architecture to the Juanita mummy, the preserved body of a young Inca girl found atop a glacier who was sacrificed to the gods. You will also explore a 16th century convent before concluding your tour in the main square, Yanahuara, which boasts stunning panoramas of the city and the volcanic peak of El Misti.
DAY 3: DRIVE TO THE DEEPEST CANYON IN THE WORLD, SPYING SOME NEW FUZZY FRIENDS ON THE WAY!
Set off with your guide to the small town of Chivay. En route, you’ll stop at Pampa Cañahuas – a reserve inhabited by llamas and other South American camelids – and the volcano overlook of Patapampa, from where you can gaze over the mighty line-up of snow-hatted volcanic peaks.
After checking into your personally chosen hotel, it’s time to relax and enjoy the beautiful and serene surrounding and if you are staying at Colca Lodge, you can bliss out and sink into the curative waters of the lodge’s natural spring pools.
DAY 4: ENJOY A RELAXING DAY IN COLCA CANYON.
Spend a leisurely day in Colca Canyon or just relax in your hotel enjoying the four pools located on the banks of the River Colca. These pools are fed by natural springs that produce water at temperatures of up to 80ºC. They are rich in minerals such as lithium – noted to promote calmness and relaxation.
DAY 5: GET A CLOSE LOOK AT COLCA CANYON, AND THEN TAKE A PRIVATE DRIVE TO PUNO AND LAKE TITICACA.
Following breakfast at your luxury hotel, head for Condor’s Cross to peer down into the seemingly endless depths of Colca Canyon, which is almost three times as tall as Dubai’s Burj Khalifa skyscraper. While here, be on watch for the majestic Andean condor, which is frequently spotted soaring above the canyon’s abyss. Next, we’ll visit some of the settlements in and around Colca Valley to learn about local customs.
In the afternoon, enjoy views of the picturesque countryside during the five-hour journey to Puno. Because you’ll be in a private car, you can sit back, stretch out and relax. In Puno, your Samextoursperu host will check you into your lovely hotel for the evening.
DAY 6: EXPLORE LIFE ON LAKE TITICACA WITH YOUR PRIVATE GUIDE.
Today, you’ll enjoy a guided private tour – which can be customized to suit those on family tours to Peru – around Lake Titicaca. Travel by boat to the floating islands of Uros, home to an ancient community whose ancestral lineage stretched back to pre-Inca times. Thanks to their self-made reed islands, which require continual renovation, the Uros people have managed to preserve their unique way of life and survive not just the Incas and the Spanish, but also the threat of encroaching modernity.
Next, sail out to Taquile Island, whose residents are honored by UNESCO for their weaving skills. Eat a lunch prepared by the hospitable islanders, before returning to Puno for transfer to your hotel of choice.
DAY 7: FIRST-CLASS BUS TOUR FROM PUNO TO CUSCO WITH SOME INTRIGUING SIGHT-SEEING SPRINKLED IN.
After breakfast, settle in for a seat on a guided bus tour that will take you from Puno to Cusco, stopping at several key points of interest along the scenic route. The first stop-off comes at the Pre-Inca Pukara archaeological site. Next up: La Raya, which at around 14,220 feet, will be the literal high point of your travels. Vistas of glorious glacier-capped peaks loom in the background. In the foreground, artisans hawk their goods on the roadside stalls.
After an enjoyable lunch en route, we’ll break to stretch our legs once more at Raqchi. The Inca ruins here are quite unlike any others. Rather than just temples or ceremonial centers, this town – once the Inca frontier – possesses unusual stone-and-mud-brick walls, designed to ward off invaders from the south.
The penultimate destination on your guided bus tour will be the church of Andahuaylillas. Whitewashed on the outside, this church’s seemingly humble exterior belies the extravagance that lies inside. The interior’s lavish frescoes, dazzling gold leaf and eye-popping wood sculpture has earned it the handle, “Sistine Chapel of the Americas.”
As you step off the bus in Cusco, you’ll be met by a Samextoursperu host who will take you to your stylish hotel, where you can rest and put your feet up.
DAY 8: EXPLORE THE HIDDEN COBBLESTONE STREETS OF HISTORICAL CUSCO ON A PRIVATE CITY TOUR!
It’s time to get acquainted with Cusco, a gorgeous city that wins the heart of most every traveler that passes through it. Get to know the real Cusco during a private tour. After breakfast, meet your guide and wander among the archaeological remains of Sacsayhuaman, where the Incas staged a great battle against the conquistadors. Return to the city and roam the atmospheric streets of the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, which is known for its free-spirited scene. Explore Qoricancha and the Santo Domingo monastery (a colonial structure built on top of the ancient Inca temple of the sun); see where the locals make their grocery runs at the open-air San Pedro market and pass the famous 12-angled stone, whose image appears on the bottle of the local Cusqueña beer.
At the end of the tour, your guide will suggest places to visit for lunch
DAY 9: STEAL AWAY TO THE BREATHTAKING SACRED VALLEY JUST FORTY-FIVE MINUTES OUTSIDE OF CUSCO’S CITY LIMITS
Today, your customized tour of Peru will take you into the Sacred Valley to the time-warp town of Ollantaytambo, where original Inca town planning – including the street canals – remains in place. Climb up past the fertile agricultural terraces, where locals tend to crops such as corn, potato and quinoa. Soon, you’ll reach the remains of the Inca Temple of the Sun, whose elevated position provides stellar valley views. A guide will show you around the rest of the ruins pointing out the storehouses where the Incas would have kept their crops as well as the quarries from where the giant stones were procured for the construction of this very complex.
Return to the valley to the small town of Pisac where you will visit the village and its vibrant artisan market. Here, stalls are stacked with all kinds of interesting items, from curious vegetables and plant-based dyes to artful textiles and ceramics. After shopping in the market, make your way up to the ruins which sit on a ridge overlooking the town. Admire the stonework and gaze over the terraces where the Incas themselves developed many of the thousands of potato species which Peru now famously produces.
DAY 10: ENJOY A MORNING TRAIN THROUGH THE CLOUD FOREST AND VISIT THE MACHU PICCHU CITADEL!
Prepare for a climactic day! In the morning, we will board the train in Ollantaytambo for our journey to Machu Picchu. Watch the cloud jungle pass by through the large glass windows! Upon arrival to Aguas Calientes, we’ll tuck in to an early lunch in order to refuel before ascending to Peru’s lost citadel.
After a bus ride to the gates of this wonder of the world, you will pass through the main gates with your private guide to finally emerge at the top of the world – Machu Picchu. The incredible Inca stone construction will be spread below, alternately hidden and revealed by clouds. Your expert guide will give you a private tour of the ancient city.
Upon conclusion of your tour, return for an evening in Aguas Calientes. Enjoy an excellent dinner on-site at your hotel and fall into bed, lulled to sleep by the sound of the cloud forest around you.
DAY11: HIKE ONE OF THE COVETED, LIMITED-ENTRY HIKES, HUAYNA PICCHU!
Today you have the option to hike two different trails – Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain, so it’s completely up to you on how you would like to culminate your Machu Picchu luxury tour. Consider hiking the steep slope of neighboring Huayna Picchu, which offers unrivalled views over Machu Picchu. Please note that only a limited amount of hikers are allowed to climb Huayna Picchu each day and tickets will need to be purchased in advance along with your Machu Picchu entrance.
In the afternoon, reconvene in Aguas Calientes and board the return train to Ollantaytambo. Your Samextoursperu host will meet you at the station and bring you to your hotel for a well-deserved good night’s rest.
DAY 12: VISIT THE AGRICULTURAL LAB OF THE INCAS- MARAS AND MORAY AND OUR FRIENDS IN A LOCAL COMMUNITY!
After breakfast, you’ll be taken to see the ancient agricultural site of Moray. Experts today believe these grassy amphitheaters served as a farming laboratory, with the varying temperatures and soils of the ascending terraces providing different growing environments. We’ll pass through the town of Maras – known for its beautiful colonial doorways – before arriving at the town’s still-in-use salt pans. The small white evaporation pools that cover the hillside are still harvested by locals in a traditional manner. We’ll pause for a delicious local lunch, where you’ll be able to sample some regional fare.
Post lunch you’ll have a chance to mingle with the locals during a visit to an off-the-beaten-track highland village on the shore of the icy blue Lake Piuray. This rural community subsists on agriculture and many of the women are master weavers, creating exquisite textiles using generations-old techniques. You will have the opportunity to communicate with the residents, visit their houses and fields, and experience what day-to-day life is like in the Andean highlands. You might also get to meet some of the local children who attend Samextoursperu’s after-school program (Monday to Friday) – they love sharing their art with visitors.
Later, you’ll return to your comfortable hotel of choice.
DAY 13: TOUR THE INSPIRED STREETS OF BOHEMIAN BARRANCO AND BID FAREWELL TO PERU!
First, we’ll bring you to Cusco airport for your return flight to Lima. In Lima, a Samextoursperu host will meet you and take you to the seaside bohemian district of Barranco. See the streets of Barranco come alive as you visit a number of local art galleries and shops that support local artisans. Finally, enjoy a first-class gourmet meal featuring world-renowned Peruvian flavors in a restaurant of your choosing before returning to the airport for your journey home! Good Bye Amigos!
Notes: There are many additional activities that can be added to the The Southern of Peru private tour, as our tours are entirely customized to your interests, hobbies, and expectations! Please note that Huayna Picchu has a limited entry quota per day and needs to be booked 4 – 5 months in advance.
- Personalized itinerary planning: Work with a Samextoursperu Designer to create a southern Peru tour of your dreams.
- Samextoursperu hosts take the hassle out of traveling. We’ll be there to assist you – whether with luggage, check in, transport, or translating – at every destination during your private tour of Peru.
- Got a question or query? Samextoursperu operates a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week customer service operation and will provide updates and assistance whenever you need it.
- With Samextoursperu, you’ll never be bundled in with big groups; each visit, activity, tour and experience will be completely private and conducted by your very own expert, English-speaking guide.
- Our private tours of Peru are fully flexible, which means we can modify them to suit your travel mood. If you want to cut an activity or add a new one, just say the word!
- All necessary adventure and trekking equipment will be provided so all you need bring is yourself.
Our staff hand picks the best hotels in the country to ensure you experience utmost comfort and character.
Feel free to browse our recommendations and let us know if you’d like to incorporate a specific property in your customized journey!
Inkaterra la Casona
Casa Andina Premium Cusco
Palacio Manco Capac Hotel
Hotel Pozo del Cielo Colca
This example tour has costs beginning at US $ 5,938 per person, based on two sharing accommodations. If more will travel in your private party, it will benefit you as the cost “per person” will reduce.
Prices are based on final accommodation choices, travel dates and other details within your tour, which are flexible to your individual interests and desires.
Feel free to reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling us directly at +51958192161.