A Bucket List Trip To Peru
Peru is full of bucket-list wonder, ticking boxes for every type of traveller. This nine-day itinerary sweeps you through the Sacred Valley for Inca-focused adventure before making the pilgrimage to iconic Machu Picchu. Then it's city slicking in colonial Cusco with a pit-stop in the must-visit capital, Lima.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Visit Moray's terraces and the Maras salt pans by -bike
- Discover Machu Picchu with an expert guide
- Explore Cusco's colonial Inca splendour
- Put our local Concierge to the test in Lima
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When To Travel
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Day 1: Leave for Latin America
This evening, take an overnight flight from London to Bogota, Colombia.
It's a journey of around 11 hours so remember to pack a good book - we'll also recommend a reading list before you go.
Day 2: Arrive Cusco
Touchdown into Bogota this morning where you have a three-hour layover. If you're travelling with children, now might be a good time to deploy your Sharky & George packs, full of fun games and activities that will keep them entertained.
Next, board an onward flight to Cusco where, on arrival, a private chauffeur will whisk you down to the Sacred Valley. We suggest taking it easy today as you'll be acclimatising to the altitude. If you feel like stretching your legs in the afternoon, take a stroll around the nearby Ollantaytambo, one of the best surviving Inca cities (and one of the prettiest). Its labyrinthine cobbled streets are ideal for a gentle amble.
Day 3: Moray & Maras
One of the best (and the most fun) ways to explore some of Peru's finest Inca landmarks is by mountain bike. Meet your specialist guide who will accompany you on a bike ride to the town of Moray where you can walk around huge stone terraces believed to be an Inca agricultural laboratory.
After spending time here, watch rural life unfold as you pedal down a track past farmers tending to their crops and donkeys hauling bags of coca leaves. After a short while you'll arrive at Maras and its dazzling salt pans, cultivated in exactly the same way since the time of the Incas. After countless pictures, your driver will take you back to your hotel.
- Stand-up paddle boarding
- Mountain biking
- Hiking trails
- Visit the market towns of Pisac and Chinchero
Day 4: To Machu Picchu
This morning, a private transfer will take you to Ollantaytambo for a one-and-a-half-hour train ride to Machu Picchu Town.
The scenery alone is worth the journey from the Sacred Valley's rolling quinoa fields all the way to the steamy tropical jungle. On arrival, hop on a bus which will take you straight up to the iconic Inca citadel. Little can prepare you for Machu Picchu's mountain kingdom. Its expansive grassy avenues, intact stone structures and sacred monuments are nothing short of awe-inspiring.
Your expert guide knows the best spots for the perfect picture and will help you navigate the inevitable crowds, all the while regaling stories of this site riddled with mystery. Afterwards, head back down to town where your hotel awaits.
Day 5: Cusco Bound
After a leisurely breakfast, meet your guide and board the train to the city of Cusco.
You arrive in the afternoon where a private transfer will take you to your hotel in the historic heart of the city. Take the afternoon to unwind or explore as you please.
Day 6: Historic Cusco
This morning is dedicated to exploring Cusco with your private guide.
Once the capital of the Inca Empire before the Spanish conquistadors arrived, today you can still see the remains of once-glorious Inca palaces next to colonial buildings. Don't miss Coricancha, or the Temple of the Sun, a fine example of Inca masonry before travelling to the city's outskirts to Sacsayhuaman.
It may take you a while to get your head around the expanse of this huge Inca fortress, with giant cut stones up to 27ft in height. There's time to duck into the city's main cathedral to see some of the country's finest colonial artwork before lunch and an afternoon at leisure
- White water rafting
- Art tour
- Market visits
- Coffee and chocolate tastings
Day 7: Lima
Wake up early for your short flight to Lima where, on arrival, a private chauffeur will take you to your hotel.
Drop your bags and head out with your guide on an introductory walk around the well-heeled Miraflores District and the artsy Barranco neighbourhood, full of art galleries and characterful mansions.
It's your last night, so why not take advantage of our local Concierge's unrivalled little black book, bursting with restaurants and cocktail bars. The Concierge can hopefully book a table at one of the most innovative eateries in the world. Just say the word.
Day 8: Journey Home
Your international flight isn't until the afternoon, so this morning you have the chance to tour Lima's historical centre.
Get the inside track with a private guide who can take you around its beautiful colonial architecture and palm-dotted main Plaza Mayor. Duck into the 17th century San Francisco Convent to see its eerie catacombs. On the way to the airport it's worth stopping at the Larco Museum to see the largest private collection of pre-Columbian artefacts. After perusing the galleries, make your way to the airport for your connecting international flight home. Your flight to Bogota takes nearly three hours with a three-and-a-half-hour layover. Then it's a ten-and-a-half-hour journey back to the UK. Make sure you've charged the iPad.
Day 9: Arrive Home
You'll land back on British soil today just after lunchtime.
Kate B is our expert for this itinerary and, as a seasoned traveller, has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.