Luxury Peru adventure holiday

“If you want to take on the Peruvian Amazon and the Andes without missing out on the finer things, this tailor made luxury adventure is just the ticket.”

Highlights

Lima | Cusco | Sacred Valley | paddle-boarding | train to Mapi | Machu Picchu tour | Puerto Maldonado | optional Amazon jungle activities

Description of Luxury Peru adventure holiday

From the depth of the Amazon jungle to the dizzying heights of Cusco, this is this is the ultimate itinerary to travel Peru in style. A true bucket list trip to visit one of the 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. Beautiful hotels, spectacular scenery and the little touches along the way ensure you experience an adventurous trip fit for a modern Inca King!

Imagine scenery on the epic scale of an Indiana Jones or Lara Croft flick: forgotten temples entangled in jungle vines, cobwebbed ancient tombs baking in the desert sun and bejewelled buried treasures beyond all reckoning. Wild rivers that rage, pumas prowling in the night and hallucinogenic shaman rituals – it’s not just a movie here, it’s real life.

Ten thousand years of history are lived through 180 museums and historical places. While Peru inevitably evokes images of Machu Picchu and the Inca Empire, the country is also riddled with archaeological sites which are a legacy of even more ancient times, when great civilizations bequeathed a legacy of their art, customs and rituals, their wisdom and skills.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1Arrive in Lima and you will be met by a person holding a board with your name on it. They will assist you with your luggage to the awaiting minibus and transfer you to your hotel, the transfer time is roughly 45 minutes. The rest of the day is yours to relax.
Day 2Locals Guide to Lima Barranco & Pedro de Osma & MATE : Visit the bohemian district of Barranco with a specialist guide who will take you to the corners where artists have been inspired. Barranco is the cradle of several writers, composers, sculptors, and artists in general. Visit the Pedro de Osma Museum and MATE, Mario Testinos collection. Return to your hotel for overnight.
Day 3Lima to Cusco: In the morning you will be collected from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Arrive into Cusco airport. On arrival in Cusco airport please proceed to the baggage hall. At the exit to the building your transfer guide, will be waiting for you with a sign at the barrier outside the arrivals gate. Your guide will then escort you on the seventy minute journey to the Sacred Valley and your hotel for the night.
Day 4A great day to enjoy the amazing ruins, markets and scenery of Peru is with our one-day Sacred Valley tour. The time this trip leaves is suitably flexible to your needs. Our first stop is the picturesque Andean village of Pisac. The village is famous for its local market and superb artisan stalls throughout the week. Time can be spent shopping or, for the more energetic, visiting the extensive Inca ruins at the top of the hill. Old Pisac ruins have much to explore with a circular hike along a well-defined Inca trail through royal buildings, look-outs, terraces, tunnels and irrigation channels before returning on another good trail to the bus. We may also visit a traditional bakery to try freshly baked bread and learn about the guinea pigs of Peru. Afterwards we take a short journey along the river to visit the Inca fortress town of Ollantaytambo: this was the site of the last big battle between the Incas and Spanish before the remaining Inca rebels fled into the jungles of Vilcabamba. In this lovely, well-preserved village and ruins you can still feel the true magic of the Incas. The hill-top, Inca sun temple displays some of the finest stonework in the area. The site was unfinished and some magnificent stones still lie un-erected, providing important clues to the building methods. Pachamanca lunch experience at El Albergue organic farm: A Pachamanca is a traditional way of preparing food in the Andes. In the absence of a stove an oven is built out of stones, the stones are heated with a wood fire and once brought to a very high temperature. The meat and vegetables are then carefully covered with the rocks.Herbs are then added and the whole mound is covered by wet sheets and finally a mound of earth. While the meal is cooking, you will be shown around this organic farm, working to sustainable methods to provide food for the Cafe Mayu restaurant. After 45 minutes the meal is ready and we have the pleasure of digging our delicious potatoes, yams, corn, fava beans, lamb, pork, alpaca, and chicken straight from the earth.
Day 5Half day of stand-up paddle boarding then bike to Maras saltpans: You start the day with a full instruction in the art of stand-up paddle boarding, before practicing your new skills on this beautiful lake. It is actually really easy to learn and soon you will be gliding serenely across the emerald green lake, all under the watchful eyes of your expert stand up paddle guide. Enjoy amazed looks from local farmers, spot rare birds in the reeds around the lake and relax, enjoy the quiet and take in the stunning Andean scenery. After a couple of hours of paddling and hopefully mastering this fun sport, you can enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. You then put on your helmets and hop on our state of the art mountain bikes. You take a smooth mule trail to the town of Maras for the descent of a lifetime down into the amazing salt-pans. Thousands of salt-pans cover the whole of the hill-side creating a stunning white landscape. They have been constantly worked since Inca times and were even mentioned in The Chronicles. Your vehicle will be waiting for you at the end. *If you prefer not to cycle, we can offer an easy downhill hike instead.
Day 6Train to Mapi & tour: Today you take a train to the base of Machu Picchu itself. On arrival you take a short bus ride direct to the ruins. Once there, you can enjoy an extensive walking tour of the site and a full explanation of the fascinating history behind it. If time permits you can explore further to the Inca bridge, Watchman’s hut or try the strenuous climb to the sun gate – Inti Puncu. Some may prefer to just relax and take in the stunning location. When you are ready, you can take a bus down to Machu Picchu town and your hotel for the night.
Day 7In the morning you return to Machu Picchu with the day free to explore residential, religious and agricultural sectors. There is time to hike to the Inca Bridge, Watchman’s hut or else just wander through the ruins, soaking up the atmosphere. In the afternoon, you board the train for the lovely ride along the Sacred Valley of the Incas and transport to your hotel. Hiram Bingham train: Hiram Bingham train return from Machu Picchu. This deluxe Orient Express run train service includes the option of high tea served in the Sanctuary lodge hotel beside the Machu Picchu ruins and a chance to be one of the last to leave the ruins, before catching the bus to the train station and boarding this amazing train. A full bar and fine dining service is included, along with entertainment.
Day 8Cusco City tour - half day: We tailor this trip to you and your interests. You will have an expert guide at your disposal to show you some of the highlights of this beautiful city. Tell him what you like and he can advise as to the best route for your tour. You may choose to start with the Plaza de Armas and a visit to its impressive cathedral. Qoricancha temple, once home to life sized statues in solid gold is another very popular option. If time permits, you could visit one of the bustling markets, full of tropical fruits fresh from the Amazon or even head up through the San Blas artisan district to San Cristobal church for a spectacular view over the red tiled rooftops of Cusco.
Day 9This morning you will transfer you to Cusco airport in time for your onward flight. You will be met at Puerto Maldondao airport by your expert resident guide and taken to the docks to board a motorized dugout canoe for the trip to your jungle lodge. You will be able to leave any excess luggage at their offices in Puerto Maldonado. On arrival at the lodge you can choose from a number of activities: jungle hikes, canoe trips or simply taking a siesta and enjoying the sounds of the jungle from your hammock.
Day 10Today there are a huge variety of options to choose from. The jungle is usually alive very early in the morning so try to get out pre-dawn and explore, as this will be your best chance to see wildlife. There are monkeys, birds, giant otters, ants galore, and a chance to learn about the rainforest from your expert resident guides either on foot or by dugout canoe. There is plenty of time to have a siesta to avoid the hottest part of the day. You can then take a canoe trip on a lake or explore more trails and catch a beautiful sunset over the Amazon basin. The evening can be free to relax or for those still eager to see wildlife there are two more options: either head out on foot in search of nocturnal mammals or take a canoe in the hope of glimpsing the rare black caimans that inhabit the nearby water. Also there is an opportunity to travel downriver and experience Inkaterra's Canopy walkway.
Day 11You will be transferred back to the airport in time for your flight home.

Travel Team

If you would like some help or advice, or just want to discuss your ideas for your next trip, do give us a call.

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Luxury Peru adventure holiday

Environment

Spend half an hour in Peru and you will see the huge amount of waste produced by disposable bottles of water. Recycling helps but is not the answer. What is needed is to reduce the amount of plastic produced in the first place. We have pledged to work to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles being used by travelers. Clients will always be provided with large containers of purified water from which you can refill your non-disposable water bottle. We also promote the use of UV filters, water bottles with in built filters and spend time trying to convince hotels we work with to make drinking water available, rather than selling plastic disposable bottles. This last point is quite a hard task as hotels and restaurants make a lot of money from selling throw away bottles of water.

Getting around in Peru can be self powered throughout your stay - you have so many alternatives that you can choose from including walking, hiking, rafting, kayaking, by stand up paddle board, horse riding - anything but sitting in a bus will reduce the impact that you will make during your visit.

Our itineraries are for small or private tours and aim to explore new areas away from the busiest sites. Ground arrangements made through our approved operator mean your travels in Peru will be carbon neutral. Our ground agents work with a carbon offsetting company called Regenera, they are based in Peru, and offset the carbon by preserving forest in the Manu National Park (about 8 hours away from Cusco) and importantly they also work with local communities there to help them gain an income from the forest so that they can act as guardians of the forest, to protect it from the pressures of illegal mining and tree felling.The concept is that behind a tree is a hugely diverse and sensitive ecosystem which is totally dependent upon it.

Our supplier in Peru is a member of B Corps; these are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Community

The guides we use while out on the walks are all local to the area, not only do they know the routes very well and their knowledge is fantastic but we feel that it is important to create local employment from adventure tourism.

All porters are freelance. The fact many have chosen to work with our ground agents for over ten years, speaks for itself.
They are provided career progression opportunities – porter to waiter to assistant cook to cook.
The porters we work with are paid more than the wage stipulated by the authorities.
The porters are contracted by a designated Head porter and payment is made directly by the Head guide, thus avoiding any intermediaries or other possible conflicts.

The ground agents pay the porter’s Inca Trail fee and do not take it out of their wages.
Inca trail rules set a maximum load for porters – 20kg of company equipment and 5kg of personal equipment. Our ground agents abide by this and it is enforced by the Inca trail governing body at several weigh stations on the trail.
A large communal tent with carry mat floor is provided for porters to sleep in. It is not the clients’ dining tent.
The porters are provided with plenty of good food. This is not the same menu given to the passengers, but it is nutritious, abundant and what they are used to eating. They have their own cooking facilities so do not have to wait for the clients to finish eating before they get their food.
The porters are provided with transport from Ollantaytambo to the trail head and with return train tickets (with designated seat allocation) from Aguas
Calientes to Ollantaytambo. This is not deducted from their wages.

Only registered Inca trail porters (as Inca trail rules stipulate) are used – these have to pass several forms of ID, character reference and a letter of good health and to have attended an Inca Trail Porter Awareness course.
Each porter is provided with a uniform, a back support, a carrying frame and footwear. (Please note the porters often prefer their sandals.)
As good quality camping equipment is unavailable in Peru, we encourage clients to donate any excess outdoor clothes, sleeping bags etc directly to the porters.

Tipping porters is also encouraged and guidelines are provided at the pre-departure meeting. The tip is administered by the clients with assistance from the head guide whose tip is completely separate. Our tree planting is done above our porters’ villages. The porters are proud to participate in caring for their future.

If you would like to give a donation to a charity whilst in Peru then do look at Chicuchas Wasi – The Children’s Project. The charity’s focus is on providing free education; teaching academic skills to poor indigenous girls who are otherwise forgotten by mainstream education. One of our head guides was a student and is now a patron. The school can be contacted directly by visiting their website: www.chicuchaswasi.org

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