Peru and Inca Trail small group tour

“This unique Peru tour combines ancient Andean culture, action-packed activities and iconic landmarks such as the Nazca Lines and Machu Picchu. ”


Lima | Ballestas Island | Ica Desert | Sand Boarding | Oasis of Huacachina | Nazca Lines flight | Chauchilla Cemetery mummies | Arequipa | Colca Canyon | Andes | Cuzco | Inca Trail | Machu Picchu |

Description of Peru and Inca Trail small group tour

Just one of many unforgettable moments on this Peru tour is when you take to the skies in a light aircraft, soaring like a condor over the mysterious Nazca Lines.

But before that you’ll camp beneath the stars in a romantic desert oasis surrounded by palm trees and huge sand dunes, taste Peru’s national drink, Pisco, at a renowned winery, and explore a marine reserve teeming with wildlife off the Ballestas Islands. And that’s before you get anywhere near the Inca Trail.

This is a fantastic trip for thrill-seekers, with the opportunity to try sand boarding in the Ica Desert, hike through the dramatic Colca Canyon, and raft the white waters of the Urubamba River. Along the way you can discover fascinating secrets of ancient Andean culture, from the mummies of the Chauchilla Cemetery, to a guided tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. And you can bask in the colonial architecture and electrifying nightlife of Arequipa and Lima.

The tour culminates in what for many people is a bucket list destination, and a must-see on any trip to Peru: Machu Picchu. The ruins of this 15th century Incan citadel lay undiscovered for centuries, in a stunning mountain location. Now, they form one of the world’s most sought-after attractions. Trek the famous four-day Inca Trail alongside other pilgrims and accompanied by local porters, or opt for an alternative, perhaps shorter route if preferable, before taking the train back to Cuzco.

Travel Team

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Check dates

2021: 28 Mar, 20 Apr, 9 May, 9 Jun, 6 Jul, 3 Aug, 31 Aug, 5 Oct, 26 Oct
Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Upon booking this trip (as with all our trips) clients receive detailed pre-departure information which includes advice on responsible travel. This information is re-emphasised by the Tour Leader at the start of the trip-clients, for example, are advised about respecting local customs, litter disposal etc.

The numbers of clients we take on this tour are limited, to a maximum of twenty, thus reducing the environmental and cultural impact of a large group.

The Impacts of this Trip

Our aim on this trip is to put as much of the trip costs directly back into the local Peruvian community and economy as possible. All the hotels and hostels we use are small, family-run three star establishments. The restaurants and cafes we use are all locally run Peruvian establishments. We do not use large international chains. Our trips are led by local Tour Leaders that will take you to their favourite haunts, off the main tourist track.

One of the highlights of this trip is obviously trekking the Inca Trails to Machu Picchu. This trek offers opportunities of employment to large numbers of the local community. Porters, cooks and guides are required. However, much of this employment is poorly paid and working conditions are not good. The local company we use to organise our trails has a commitment to the welfare of their porters-providing them with a professional wage and health insurance. They are also in the process of completing a house for the porters so that they have somewhere comfortable to stay the night before they start the trail, as many of them travel in from rural areas.

This trip supports local transport providers-from the boatmen of Lake Titicaca to local coach provision between towns.

On this trip we support a small, Peruvian charity called Pachamamas Children, based twenty minutes outside of Cusco, in the community of Tika-Tika. The charity is in the process of reconstructing a derelict school in an impoverished community. The children of the community currently have no access to formal education. Once completed the school will not only provide education to the children of the community but the plan is also to provide adult education and a basic Medical Centre. We make a regular monthly, financial contribution to this project and once the building work has been completed we hope that our clients will be able to visit the school and that we will be able to offer volunteering opportunities there.


1 Reviews of Peru and Inca Trail small group tour

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 09 Apr 2014 by

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

It is hard to pick one, as all the parts were really wonderful. I suppose the trip to Machu Picchu stands out just because it is such an iconic place, but the rainforest, the desert, lake Titicaca, Cusco, Colcha Canyon, were all brilliant places to visit. A lot of the success of the trip was down to Ricardo our wonderful Peruvian guide, who was not just a guide but became a lovely friend.

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

Take the altitude sickness possibility seriously. It affects some people, but some get away with no effect, just be careful. Be prepared for imperfection, these trips require you to go with the flow, put up with things when they are not quite right, it is that sort of country, and you need stamina.

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

The use of local people, local facilities, and avoiding using global companies will definitely benefit local communities. I am less convinced about the impact on the environment and conversation being of benefit. It is the age long dilemma of the costs versus benefits of tourism, at least this way the impact is softer and more considerate.

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

One of the best I have had, a truly wonderful experience.

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