Peru highlights tour, Inca trail, Titicaca and Nazca

“Trekking for four days to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu is a magical experience, just make sure you save some camera space for sea lions, Cuzco, Nazca and Lake Titicaca. ”

Highlights

Lima | Ballestas Islands | Nazca Lines | llamas and flamingos in the high Andes | acclimatise in Cuzco (3400m) | visit Inca Saywiti stone and Tarawasi ruins | trek the Inca Trail from km82 | Vilcanota River | Dead Woman's Pass (4200m) | Runcuray Pass (3800m) | Sayajmarca and Phuyupatamarca ruins | approach Wiρay Wayna and Machu Picchu via the Sun Gate | guided tour of Machu Picchu | Lake Titicaca | Uros floating islands | Optional activities, include: sand surfing, scenic flights, paddle boarding |

Description of Peru highlights tour, Inca trail, Titicaca and Nazca

This is a seventeen day Peru highlights tour includes a four day trek up the Inca Trail, as well as visits to Lake Titicaca and the famous Nazca lines. Staying in hotels along the way, although you will be camping on the Inca Trail for three nights, where all equipment is provided and there will also be full porterage.

Starting on the coast in Lima, we spend a day exploring this 16th century Spanish colonial city which, although vast, is fascinating. Moving swiftly away from the crowds, we journey south and take a sailing trip out to the Ballestas Islands National Park, one of the most populated habitats for marine bird species in the world. Back on dry land, highlights of Peru’s coastal desert includes giant sand dunes at Huacachina, where sand surfing is a lot of fun, and also the extraordinary Nasca Lines, where vast geometric shapes and animal designs were carved into the dry earth almost a thousand years before the Inca. Their existence is still a mystery to experts.

Less of mystery are the Andes and their overwhelming presence as we travel north by road to Cusco, the beautiful gateway town to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. After time to acclimatise in Cusco and enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage town, architecture and Quechua culture, we hit the Inca Trail with our expert guides and porters. There will be a guided tour of Machu Picchu at the top and we will descend by train and foot.

With a long day of travel to help you recover from the trek, all you have to do is sit back and watch the great altiplano pass by, with fine views across these high plains that separate the Andes from the jungles. Our destination and final inland stop on this tour is the world famous Lake Titicaca, where Puno is the main mountain town at 3,800m. We spend a memorable day out on the Lake, visiting the fascinating Uros Indians’ floating islands which are made of reeds, and also the island of Taquile where the local community is famous for its traditional lifestyles and weaving skills. Our final leg is by air, flying back to Lima with some free time in the city to explore some more and reflect on this journey into Peru’s highlights and heavenly terrains.

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£3049
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Our top tip:
Go slow and keep hydrated whilst at altitude. Walking poles, layers of clothing and good hiking boots should also be noted as well as small denominations for tipping. Finally, listen to your guide as they are a mine of impassioned Inca information.
Trip type:
Small group. Average group size 12. Minimum age 16.
Activity level:
Moderate. 4 days trekking 4-6 hours per day at altitude.
Accomm:
10 nights en-suite hotels, 4 nights camping (dining and toilet tents).
Included:
Accommodation, transport, listed activities and tour leader.
Meals:
All breks, 4 lunches, 4 dinners.
Solos:
Indivudals welcome, single hotel rooms only, at a surcharge.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Peru highlights tour, Inca trail, Titicaca and Nazca

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. Permits are limited on the Inca Trail in order to reduce overcrowding and damage due to footfall, but our guides and porters are still very mindful of how we treat the environment. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants and to purchase traditional crafts. In addition to the Inca Trail, we also visit the Ballestas Islands and the mysterious Nazca lines where our entry fees go towards maintenance of these sites, leaving a positive impact.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with cycling trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should re-fill a singular bottle. In order to make this easier, we provide treated water throughout the Inca Trail trek. We also recycle waste along the trail with organic and non-organic containers and we do not dispose of it until there is an appropriate place to do so.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and meals:
We will spend ten nights in hotels and the remaining four nights on the trek in full service campsites. We prefer to use small businesses for our accommodation, activities and services as these are the companies which have most direct benefit to the communities which we visit. All of our hotel managers have signed a sustainability contract which ensures they employ locals and endeavour to reduce waste, whilst our campsites are very eco-friendly in terms of energy reduction. We buy all of our food to cook on the trail from local supermarkets or even indigenous groups where possible despite this sometimes being more expensive. Where meals are not included, clients are encouraged to eat at authentic restaurants and to try snacks at markets e.g. Local markets in Puno and San Pedro market in Cuzco.

Local Craft & Culture:
We walk through the Huayllabamba village on the first day, which is the only community inside the trail. They sell produce and various homemade snacks, so by stopping and buying something we are providing an avenue of income for these people. There is also an optional opportunity in the Sacred Valley where clients can eat a traditional meal in the village and buy handicrafts. Our local guides are able to advise clients on which products to buy and which to avoid- for example, walking sticks made of wood are one to avoid as they are potentially a product of deforestation.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

5 Reviews of Peru highlights tour, Inca trail, Titicaca and Nazca

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 23 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The Moonstone Trek

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make sure you are reasonably fit in order to get full enjoyment from it. Otherwise the trip notes are very comprehensive as is the packing list.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Benefited local people in that it gave employment to guides, horsemen, cooks, bus drivers etc and supported local restaurants. There was a lot of travelling
involved so it had a negative environmental impact in that respect but the tour leader provided boxes of water so that we could refill our water bottles and we
were positively discouraged from buying bottled water. Also given bags for our daily rubbish.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Reviewed on 08 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The complete experience was great with so many highlights it is difficult
to pick just one highlight. I think all of Peru was great and the home stay
was probably the best although I would have liked more time spent with
the families.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The tour was great but a lot of long days with early starts so get as much
rest before you start the tour.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The tour did benefit local people, guides, restaurants and hotels and did
support wildlife conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent holiday but very tiring. I would have liked a few more rest days
to reduce the travelling a bit. Giuliani our guide was great, very helpful
and knowledgeable and had everything well organised. The coach drivers
were very good and we never felt unsafe on some very challenging roads.

Reviewed on 15 Jul 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Completing the Inca Trail and getting to Machu Picchu as they have both been on our Bucket list for a long time. Walking the trail was very hard in places, but so well organised that it was a great sense of achievement to complete each day and the trail itself. When we got to the Sun Gate above Machu Picchu we arrived in a lot of low cloud which took the edge off it, however we walked on a bit further and got a great high level view of the lost city so we were more than happy with this.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you are a regular walker the Inca Trail should not be a problem. If you haven't walked for a while get in some training during the two-three months before your holiday as the altitude takes it toll. There really is only one way to arrive at Machu Picchu and that's by walking the trail!! Be prepared for a lot of travelling by coach, however that said Exodus organised a number of stops that really added to the holiday and broke up the travelling.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the operator took great care of the environmental impact of the holiday. They certainly treated the porters very well on the Inca trail when compared to porters working for other travel companies. The porters were paid well, provided with appropriate clothes and boots, and the weight of what they carried was kept within strict limits.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was more an experience than a holiday, and what a fantastic experience! We would certainly recommend this holiday as it takes in all the major highlights of Peru, it is well organised allowing travellers to become acclimatised to the altitude, includes very interesting visits to the important sights and the tour manager and the local guides did a super job.

Reviewed on 16 Jun 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There is so so many moments that made this trip a memorable one! However, the most memorable moment was passing the Sun Gate, seeing the Machu Picchu site from above in the setting sun and inhaling its magic. Visiting floating Islands, meeting their inhabitants and learning about their culture will stay for ever in my memory also. And what about a banana flambe in the tent?

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I was much too much concentrating on the hiking part of the holidays and I was
not well prepared for the hot days near Nazca and ICA. When packing, prepare for cold and hot days.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The tour organizers took a very good care in protecting the environment. We
obeyed their directives. Local people might have benefited financially.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was the most challenging holiday I have ever been on. I came back home with
many wonderful memories. Our guide, Carlos Luchuga, contributed a great deal in the success of my holidays. At the most challenging parts of the trek Carlos
encouraged me to continue when I was ready to give up. His knowledge of history and culture of Incas, Peruvian plans, trees and birds is astounding. He always answered our questions patiently and in details.

Reviewed on 04 May 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Hiking the Inca Trail to see Macchu Picchu at the end. The Nazca lines

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take motion sickness tablets before going in a plane to view the Nazca lines.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, guides and porters on the trail directly benefitted locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Great

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