Peru Highlights

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates/Pricing
  • Accommodations
  • Maps
  • Photos & Video
  • Extensions
  • Testimonials
  • Physical Rating
  • Weather

The Peru Highlights tour is an excellent overview of the best that Peru has to offer. Travel to the Amazon basin rainforest in a dug-out canoe. Stay in an impressive lodge, complete with an ethno-botanical center and experienced guides to teach you the ways of the rainforest. This ideal Peru tour continues with a trip to the hidden citadel of Machu Picchu, through the magnificent Sacred Valley in the Andes. Finally, the trip ends with a visit to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world.


Traveling to this Location
Passport and visa requirements
A valid passport is required to enter and leave Peru. A visa is not required for citizens of the USA, Mexico and most Central American, Asian and European countries if visiting Peru for less than 90 days. It is the passenger's responsibility to check with local immigration offices or the Peruvian consulate prior to departure for current entrance requirements. For more information see or
The following vaccinations are recommended when visiting any area of Peru:
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tetanus-diphtheria and measles (as needed booster doses)
  • Typhoid
  • For travelers to the Amazon, a vaccination for Yellow Fever is required.
  • For travelers to certain lower elevations of Peru including the Amazon and rural areas on the coast, the Centers for Disease Control also recommends taking an anti-malarial medication.
  • The Centers for Disease Control provides immunization information for travel in Latin America.
Entry During the flight to Lima, a flight attendant distributes a Peru entrance form to all passengers. At Customs, travelers are asked to show the completed form along with their passport and asked how many days they plan to be in Peru. Normally, the passport will be stamped indicating a permissible stay of 60 or 90 days and a copy of the Customs form will be returned to the traveler.
Exit The Customs document must be presented when exiting the country. Passengers leaving on an international flight pay a departure tax of $25US and a $5 airport departure tax on domestic flights. These taxes must be paid in cash in $US.
Exchanging currency
Peru's unit of currency is the Nuevo Sol. Current exchange rate information is available on our website under "Traveler Information." Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club are the most recognized credit cards in Peru. American Express is not widely accepted. ATM machines (Visa/MasterCard/Cirrus/Plus), with directions in English, are widely available 24 hours a day in all major cities and large towns, providing a convenient and economical way to obtain soles. ATMs are the only reliable method to get money on Sundays. There are no ATMs and no place to cash Traveler's Checks in Aguas Calientes or Ollantaytambo. Travelers going to Machu Pichu and the Sacred Valley should obtain cash before leaving Cusco. On trips of two weeks or less, we recommend carrying only US cash in $20 denominations to exchange as needed. Hotels exchange money, and most offer safe-keeping for valuables. Before departure, we send booked passengers a packet of trip information that contains operating hours for money exchange offices (Casas de Cambio) and more money tips.
Using electricity
In all of Peru, the electricity is 220 volts and 60 cycles, standard to Great Britain. To use 110-volt American-made electrical appliances in Peru (for a hairdryer or to recharge digital camera batteries, etc.), bring 2-pin plug adapters and a voltage transformer. For video cameras, we suggest packing an extra set of charged batteries. Some hotels have hair dryers for guest use, but most do not.
Q: When is the best time to go on a Peru tour?
A: Peru is a diverse country with beaches, mountains, rainforest and desert. For this reason, there is no off-season in Peru. One can travel to Peru any time of year and find good weather in certain areas
Q: How safe is Peru?
A: Petty theft in Peru's cities is no more prevalent than in any large American city. Travelers should take the same precautions that they would while traveling elsewhere. Listen to the advice of your tour leader and hotel reception staff and take common sense precautions such as not going into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night. Use the safety deposit box at your hotel for your passport and extra money (carry only as much as you might spend) and leave jewelry and expensive watches at home. Peru has a stable government and tourism has boomed in recent years. With the added tourist dollars, the government has made a concerted effort to keep travelers and their valuables safe. Current safety information can be obtained from
Q: How concerned should I be about the altitude?
A: Travelers to the Cusco (elevation 11,400 ft) and Andean areas need to take common sense measures to acclimatize to high altitude. Visitors are encouraged to limit exertion for the first few days and stay adequately hydrated. Coca tea assists in the acclimatization process and is available at all hotels. Individuals with coronary or other health problems should consult their physician before deciding to travel to Cusco and other high altitude locations. Ask your doctor about preventative high altitude medications and herbal remedies such as Ginkgo biloba.
Q: What if I have a medical emergency on the trip?
A: Our guides are trained in mountain/wilderness first-aid. To ensure the safety of our travelers, our guides are linked with outside services 24 hours a day in all locations to provide assistance when necessary. Depending on the circumstances, a vehicle, horse or helicopter may take an injured or ill person to the nearest medical facility. English-speaking doctors and clinics are available in all major cities (Cusco, Arequipa, Trujillo, Lima, etc.). While hiking in wilderness areas our guides also carry satellite phones in case of emergency. Passengers are advised to obtain medical or travel insurance that covers medical evacuation.
Q: What is the best way to get money on the trip?
A: The Sol(es) is the official currency of Peru. Current exchange rate information is available on our website. Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club are the most recognized credit cards in Peru. American Express is not widely accepted. Please note that when using credit cards, merchants will often charge a transaction fee in order to cover their costs. ATM machines (Visa/MasterCard/Cirrus/Plus), with directions in English, are a popular choice for exchanging currency at the official rate of exchange (user fees may apply). They debit your account, distribute the money in Soles and are widely available 24 hours a day 7 days a week in all major cities and large towns. Money can also be exchanged at your hotel. For operating hours of money exchange offices (Casas de Cambio) and other money tips, see pre-departure information.
Q: If I need to bring extra luggage with me to South America, where can it be stored?
A: On all of our trips, excess luggage may be stored in the hotel where your trip begins or at our operator’s offices. Luggage may not be stored at the airport.
Q: How will I do laundry during the trip?
A: Peruvian hotels charge very affordable rates for doing a guest’s laundry. You will also have access to laundry facilities on most days in major cities. You can hand wash it yourself; however, please use biodegradable soap.
Q: Do I need a converter/ adaptor for the electricity?
A: In all of Peru, the electricity is 220 volts and 60 cycles standard to Great Britain. If you need to use electricity in Peru (recharge batteries for digital camera, hairdryer etc.), bring plug adapters and a voltage transformer that will allow you to use the equipment on the 2-pin 220 volt outlets. Please note that while some hotels have hair dryers for guest use, most do not.
Q: Will I be able to use my cell phone?
A: Each company is different. Check with your cell phone provider for the most up-to-date information.
Q: What’s the average group size on the scheduled trips?
A: We operate our scheduled group trips with a minimum of two and a maximum of eight guests, except on the Inca Trail trips with a maximum of 12 guests. This policy minimizes our environmental impact, allows us to travel to areas less visited and makes the sightseeing experience more personal. It allows our guides sufficient time to attend to the individual needs of each visitor. Traveling in small groups also increases the likelihood of encountering wildlife in some areas, such as the Amazon.
Q: Who travels on your group trips?
A: While travelers of varying ages from all over the world take our trips, most are Americans between 20 and 60. The more rigorous itineraries tend to attract slightly younger travelers than our other trips.
Q: When will I receive the airline tickets for the flights included in the trip?
A: Tickets will be given to you at the airport or the hotel the morning of your departure for that day’s destination. Some airlines use E Tickets. For these, you’ll just need to present your passport at check-in.
Q: What are the guides’ qualifications?
A: Our exceptional guides have been carefully selected for their knowledge, professionalism, experience and ability to effectively manage groups with finesse. We hire only guides who are native to the destination and are licensed and/or certified in accordance with the government regulations of their country. All are fluent in Spanish and English, and some also speak the indigenous Quechua language. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, Andean culture or another related field. Our team of congenial guides offers priceless insights into the true nature of their homelands, adding immeasurably to the enjoyment of the trip.
Q: What are the meals like?
A: Staple foods in the highlands include several varieties of potatoes and corn, rice, quinoa and meat dishes, often with a spicy sauce. In jungle areas, fresh fruits, fried plantains, and other vegetables are also common. Meals served during all of our Peru adventures are nutritious and plentiful. Hotel breakfasts usually include fresh fruit, breads and eggs, as well as coffee, tea and juices. On the hiking portion of our trekking tours, you will awake to a fresh cup of tea brought to your tent and be served breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by expert trail cooks with years of experience. Dinners usually consist of fresh vegetables, beef and chicken. During our Amazon adventures, the lodge menus generally include a selection of seafood, beef, fresh salads and soups as well as dessert and hot drinks.
Q: Are you able to accommodate special dietary requests?
A: Though vegetarians can be easily accommodated in all areas, Peruvian vegetarian dishes typically just leave out the meat rather than substituting a vegetarian protein source such as tofu, beans, or nuts. If you are concerned about the meals, please bring supplement supplies. If you require a special diet (vegetarian, vegan, diabetic, etc.) or are allergic to any foods and did not indicate your needs on the trip application at the time of booking, please contact us so we can make special arrangements before your departure.
Q: What type of aircraft is used on domestic flights?
A: Most domestic carriers use Boeing 727s or similar jets with a capacity of 80-120 passengers.
Q: How do we get from one tour destination to another?
A: In Peru, we use a mix of private and public transportation to get travelers to their destinations safely and efficiently. This includes local air carriers, trains, private vans/cars, comfortable tourist buses and canoes, etc. For short distances, we may get around in unusual ways such as human-powered rickshaw or bicycle taxi or the wildly fun “chicken bus” to give our guests the local flavor.
Q: Can I extend my stay?
A: We try to balance flexibility and convenience regarding meals. Meals are included on tour days spent off the beaten path where restaurant choices are limited (e.g. Lake Titicaca and the Amazon.) In major cities with a wide variety of restaurants, meals are generally not included to allow our travelers to make their own dining choices. On these days, your hotel will provide a light continental breakfast. Southern Explorations will provide you a list of recommended restaurants for these cities. Your local guide will be a wealth of information about great restaurant options and is usually available to accompany groups that wish to eat together.
Q: How much should I budget for tips?
A: Tipping is a personal matter, and guests are encouraged to tip what they feel is appropriate. Please refer to the pre-departure information for our tipping suggestions.
Q: Are these Peru tours suitable for children?
A: It depends on the trip. Our Peru tours have received rave reviews from families visiting the Amazon, Machu Picchu and even hiking the Inca trail. If children enjoy wildlife, learning about other cultures and meeting new people, Peru may be a great choice. To make family tours more flexible, we often recommend putting together a private group instead of booking one of our pre-set group trips. This works especially well with younger children. We are happy to answer all of your questions to give you the most accurate impression we can of what to expect.
Q: What airport do your passengers fly to?
A: Passengers fly into Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport. Our Peru tours all begin in Cusco.
Q: What are the accommodations like in Peru?
A: All of our Peru accommodations have private baths and hot water. They are located within walking distance of the town center, and most of the reception staff speaks English. Our standard adventures feature 3-star accommodations. If desired, 4 and 5-star accommodations are available upon request. We personally inspect the rooms and amenities of all potential hotels and lodges in each tour location and select only those that meet our rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort, convenient location, safety, customer service and ambiance. We support lodges and hotels that employ sustainability practices and are owned and operated locally.
Peru Highlights

Transfer to your hotel and settle in. If you arrive early, we can arrange optional museum visits or tours of the city and surrounding sites. Ramada Hotel Upgrade - $50 Per Person. Many flights arrive into Lima International Airport late at night. For your convenience we highly recommend an upgrade to the hotel Ramada, a comfortable four star hotel located right in the Lima airport. This upgrade will save you up to two hours of transfer time between the city of Lima and the airport.


You will transfer to the airport for the flight to Pto. Maldonado, hub of the easternmost region of the Peru Amazon. From here you board a canoe for your 45-minute trip downriver to reach the lodge. You’ll get settled in your accommodations and then be welcomed with an orientation, before starting your Amazon adventure. (B,L,D)


During your stay, you will select your itinerary from a range of day and evening expeditions, accompanied by bilingual naturalist guides, on land and water, including canopy walks, dugout canoe trips and rainforest hikes. (B,L,D)


Make an early departure down the river to Pto. Maldonado and then transfer to the airport for the short flight to colonial Cusco, in the heart of the Inca Empire. On the way to your hotel, Southern Explorations guides will take you on a quick tour of picturesque Plaza de Armas. After check-in, you will have the rest of the day free to relax and adjust to the altitude (10,856 ft). (B)


A guided walking tour through the colorful markets of Cusco, the colonial cathedral, and Koricancha, the impressive Temple of the Sun, starts the day. After a lunch of excellent local cuisine, take an afternoon tour of temples and other important Inca sights in the vicinity of Cusco, including: the fortress of Sacsayhuamán, with its megalithic stone terraces; Kenko, with its carved stone surfaces and subterranean altars; the small fortress of Puka Pukara that protected the royal capital from attacks; and the water temple, Tambo Machay. Return to the comfort of your hotel in the late afternoon with time to relax or explore Cusco on your own. (B)


Learn about the history of the Sacred Valley on a day-long guided tour, visiting the picturesque Pisac textiles market and the nearby Inca ruins. After lunch head for Ollantaytambo (9,185 feet), a small town with an impressive Inca fortress, where you'll spend the night at a local hotel. (B,L)


Begin the day with a filling breakfast at the hotel and a guided walking tour of the Ollantaytambo ruins and town. Head to the Ollantaytambo train station mid-morning for your picturesque train to Aguas Calientes. The scenery during the two-hour ride through the Urubamba gorge is a collage of mountain vegetation and cloud forest. After a delicious lunch in town, a bus ride will bring you to the mountain citadel of Machu Picchu (7,875 feet), for a full-day guided tour. You will then return to nearby Aguas Calientes in the late afternoon to spend the night. (B)


Today you have the option of rising early rise to get some early morning photographs of Machu Picchu before the crowds arrive or sleep in and explore the village. Up at the ruins you can also hike to the Temple of the Moon, the Sun Gate, or Huayna Picchu. Return to town for lunch and your early afternoon train that will take you back to Ollantaytambo. Here, meet your driver and travel to the cooperative Chinchero Textile Market known for some of the best textiles in Peru. The local artisans will explain the process and traditions of their beautiful craft and you will have time for last minute shopping. Transfer back to your Cusco hotel. (B)


Embark over the altiplano (high plains) onboard a bus for a full day of high altitude views. Reach Puno, along the shores of Lake Titicaca. Transfer to hotel. Travel Cusco to Puno via bus at no extra charge or upgrade to First Class train* or short flight to Juliaca for an additional $220. (B) * The First Class Train departs Cusco on the following days: April to October: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays November to March: Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays


In the morning, take a short drive to Puno harbor for an 8:00 AM departure across the intensely blue lake by boat, stopping briefly at the famous floating Uros Islands before continuing on to peaceful Taquile Island. Here you'll visit a community of male weavers and spinners who live in a Mediterranean-like setting. In the late afternoon, return to explore the shops and markets of Puno, reputedly Peru's best place to buy alpaca clothing. (B, L) Lake Titicaca, the legendary birthplace of the first Incan emperor, is South America's largest freshwater lake, extending across the border with Bolivia. It is the remnant of an ancient inland sea, one of just seventeen such lakes remaining in the world.


Enjoy breakfast at the hotel on this relaxing free morning before going to the outskirts of Puno to see the mysterious pre-Inca ruins called chullpas including those on a peninsula in Lake Umayo at Sillustani, set against the stark altiplano landscape. These giant cylindrical funerary towers are where the Colla people (a warrior tribe that spoke Aymara) buried their elite. Some as tall as 40 feet with exquisite stonemasonry, these structures are considered by many archaeologists and historians to be more complex and superior even to Inca engineering. Later in the afternoon you fly to Lima to catch your connecting international flight home, marking the end of Southern Explorations’ services. (B)

Peru Highlights

Per Person

Upgrade: +$220 Flight to Lake Titicaca (Cusco - Juliaca)
Upgrade: +$220 First Class train to Lake Titicaca (Cusco - Puno)

The First Class Train departs Cusco on the following days:

April to October: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
November to March: Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays

Domestic Airfare:
$550 (Lima/Pto. Maldonado/Cusco - Juliaca/Lima) – Subject to change

Single Supplement: $905
A single supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy.

Trip Dates
Can’t find a date that works for you in the list below? Southern Explorations can arrange a private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details.
Friday, November 6, 2015 to Monday, November 16, 2015
Friday, December 4, 2015 to Monday, December 14, 2015
Friday, January 1, 2016 to Monday, January 11, 2016
Friday, February 19, 2016 to Monday, February 29, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016 to Monday, March 21, 2016
Friday, April 1, 2016 to Monday, April 11, 2016
Friday, April 29, 2016 to Monday, May 9, 2016
Friday, June 3, 2016 to Monday, June 13, 2016
5 Spaces Left
Friday, July 15, 2016 to Monday, July 25, 2016
Friday, August 19, 2016 to Monday, August 29, 2016
Friday, September 16, 2016 to Monday, September 26, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016 to Monday, October 24, 2016
Friday, November 4, 2016 to Monday, November 14, 2016
Friday, December 2, 2016 to Monday, December 12, 2016
Included in tour cost
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
Aguas Calientes
Lake Titicaca
Sacred Valley

One Day


Our trip was amazing! All of our guides were friendly and professional. Our guide’s knowledge and communication skills were exceptional! He was a fabulous tour guide and we really enjoyed hiking the Inca Trail with him. We always had the best campsites – other hikers were often jealous of where our camp was set up and would ask which company was handling our trip.   Our guides were excellent on the rafting trip. We had never been through class V rapids before so I was a little hesitant at first; but, our guides were so skilled, we always felt completely safe. Chef’s cooking was fantastic! I’m not sure what I expected but I did not expect three course meals every night while camping. On the rafting trip, they noticed I don’t eat many grains and mostly eat meat and dairy foods so the chef brought more meat along on the Inca Trail than usual to make sure I was ok. I never mention it in the special requests because I don’t expect it to be accommodated, and I always carry lots of protein bars with me so it’s not an issue – I do appreciate the extra effort they made and the food was excellent!   -Jerri Lipple, Texas (Peru & Amazon)

Overall a great experience! Have already started to think about Patagonia!!!!   - Barry Tereshkow, California (Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca)

We would highly recommend Southern Explorations for their professional and thorough operation. Our trip was "smooth", well-paced and incredible! Our guides spoke outstanding English, and were informative and friendly - we thoroughly enjoyed each of them as individuals. Drivers were prompt and skilled. The itinerary was packed literally with "the best of Peru", providing enough time to see everything with no wasted time. Thanks it was a great experience.   - Alan and Lindy Jones, Canada (Peru)

Extremely well organized and informative adventure. Guides and local representatives made us feel very comfortable in a strange land. Would highly recommend this trip and Southern Explorations.   - Steve Greenwood, USA (Peru)

I thoroughly enjoyed my travel experience with Southern Explorations! I would recommend you and travel with your tour group again.   - Nancy Sing-Bock, New York (Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca)

We had a wonderful trip, such a journey to Machu Picchu and we enjoyed every single minute of it. Our guide from Cusco onward, Juan, was very informative and interesting and really made the entire trip very exciting. We enjoyed our time alone in each city and then also our excursions during the day with Juan. There was so much to see. Thanks so much for arranging our trip and getting us the best possible of everything. I was happy we did a private tour. I will continue recommending your company to people.   - Leslie Williams, California (Machu Picchu)

We have never traveled using a travel company before but felt it would be a good idea going to Peru. So glad we did! This was the best trip of our lives! Southern Explorations uses very knowledgeable, friendly, and patient guides. We had to change our itinerary while on the trip and the company handled everything perfectly. I highly recommend them to anyone traveling out of the country.   - Laurie Key, Utah (Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca)

Our Luxury Peru trip was wonderful. We had a wonderful guide, Juan who relayed the history and culture to us, was energetic and really made the trip go smoothly. Peru is a fabulous country – we loved our lodging, the food, the sights, everything. This was a trip for my mom who is 83 and always wanted to see Machu Picchu. The guides were so attentive to her and assisted her in seeing every sight we visited. She says it was the best trip of her life. I can’t wait to go back to Peru.   -Sue Strater, Oregon (Peru)

Thank you, Southern Explorations, for a wonderful trip. We'd been looking forward to seeing Machu Picchu for years, yet despite all of that anticipation what you delivered somehow still exceeded our expectations. Thank you not only to Chenna – the best guide on the planet – but also to all the people who worked quietly in the background to make this such a memorable trip for us.   - Gordon McConnell (Peru)

Southern Explorations did a phenomenal job with our vacation in Peru. The travel arrangements were great, the guides very well informed and an extremely well organized trip overall. They even went above and beyond to help us locate and get our lost baggage from Lima to Arequipa. We sure look forward to another trip with them.   - Prashant Bhandare, USA (Amazon, Machu Picchu & Arequipa)

Thank you for your services in organizing our trip to Peru/Machu Picchu. The trip went smoothly and we are very satisfied with all aspects of the trip. I appreciate the professional staff we worked with in Peru to ensure our good health and safety. In Lima, Giovanna was a wonderful guide and accommodated our special requests without question. We sincerely thank her for giving us a look at local Peruvian life, not just the tourist view. She is a great asset to your organization. In Cusco, Augusto our guide and Claudio our driver were very professional and I am most appreciative of their concern for our good health and safety. Augusto is very knowledgeable, and we gained a great deal of history and information from him. Claudio was kind enough to allow us our special requests. -Nicole Peterson, California (Peru & Machu Picchu)

The whole trip was perfect. After all of the wedding planning and the wedding itself, it was awesome to have this trip where we did so much but never had to really think or stress about planning, travel, communicating with locals, etc. It was exactly the honeymoon we wanted. Thanks so much to everyone at SE who helped to make it happen!   -John Gaetzi, Colorado (Peru)

Please extend our thanks to the entire Southern Explorations staff. We had a wonderful visit in Peru, and much of the success is attributed to Southern Explorations. Each of the local guides was a pleasure to meet. We especially enjoyed Patricia’s company for our week in Cusco and the Inca Trail. She is a special person and we arrive home feeling like she is a good friend.

We would again travel with SE without hesitation. Before this trip, we had never been on a tour-style trip, as we are very independent travelers. But you have opened our eyes to a different style of travel and we are grateful for that.  -Peter and Karen Radosta (Peru)

This was our second trip with Southern Explorations. Again, every element was perfect. Our guides were knowledgeable and attentive. The accomadations were superb. The itinerary was varied and fascinating. You think of every detail.
We loved learning about the culture and history of different parts of Peru. We also had a chance to challenge ourselves by hiking to the top of Huayna Picchu and slogging through the mud in the Amazon. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to visit the village of Huilloc and see their beautiful textiles. We were thrilled to give them the books that we had collected for their school.
Again, thank you for another amazing trip.   - Chris Howard (Peru & Amazon

We travel a great deal. We believe that Southern Explorations stands at the top of our experience in its focus on the customer. In addition to a superb job of organizing a trip and attention to details, were most impressed with the way that the US and Peru-based staffs made extraordinary efforts to work with our family. This included making sure our son was safe to eat the foods (due to his food allergies), to adding on specific excursions to a small village of weavers and arranging a bike tour, to the ability of the local guides to get to know us as people, not just to conduct the guided tour. This made for a rich and worthwhile experience. Keep it up! The ultimate compliment in this world is whether we would call again to arrange a trip to another country.
The answer is a definite Yes.   -The Gilman Family (Peru)

Great trip. Extremely well done. Very interesting, good value, very efficient. All guides were great. Hotels were good and the guides worked with us. I didn’t like some of the steep drop offs on the ledges at the sites and Jose stayed between me and the edge so I could get down. Everyone was great.   - Donna Lee, USA (Machu Picchu)

Southern Explorations provides perfectly organized excursions featuring a well-balanced mixture of learning and hiking in very small groups. I enjoyed every moment of my Peru trip; I am fascinated by the Inca Empire and the mind-blowing landscape. I highly recommend Southern Explorations.  - Sven Zuehlsdorf (Peru)

The trip was an amazing once in a life time experience. Juan took us through the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and Wayna Picchu. He was an excellent and very knowledgable guide. The trip was well organized and the Hotel accommadations exceeded my expectations.  - Paul Demarco, USA (Inca Trail, Machu Picchu & Wayna Picchu)

This is our second trip arranged by Southern Explorations. Our first was to the Galapagos, which was exceptional as well.  We’ve pretty much run out of superlatives to describe our adventures!   We have found Southern Exploration – your Seattle staff, the guides you use, the drivers, the tours, the arrangements, etc, all to be wonderful!  Thank you! - Joseph Wright, USA (Short Inca Trail)

Trip of a life time; good outfitter and good friends. - Carol Croom (Classic Inca Trail)

This Trip is Rated: Moderate

Our moderate trips require an average level of fitness. Itineraries may include walks or short hikes of up to two to three hours with little elevation gain, sustained walking at higher altitudes, and/or other similar level physical activities. Many activities are optional.

How We Rate Our Trips

Easy: Our easy tours generally require fairly little exertion. Each day will involve walking, sightseeing and general travel-related activities such as getting in/out of vans, planes, boats, and zodiacs.

Moderate: Our moderate trips require an average level of fitness. Itineraries may include walks or short hikes of up to two to three hours with little elevation gain, sustained walking at higher altitudes, and/or other similar level physical activities. Many activities are optional.

Difficult: Our difficult trips may involve hiking over uneven terrain, with some hikes including significant elevation gain or loss and at higher elevations (up to 12,000 ft). Itineraries may include three to six hour hikes and other activities such as horseback riding, mountain bicycling, rafting and kayaking, which require no previous experience. On many trips, passengers may elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics.

Most Difficult: Our most difficult expeditions are for the adventurer who is in good physical condition. Itineraries may involve multi-day hiking and trekking excursions over steep, rugged terrain and/or where altitude may exceed 14,000 feet. Many trips include camping in remote areas and/or high altitude sites in varying temperature and weather conditions. Trips may also involve many days of demanding Class IV-V rapids, longer sea kayaking trips, horseback riding, and/or mountain bicycling. Training for the physical demands of these tours is highly encouraged. 


When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Peru is a diverse country. With beaches, mountains, rainforest and desert, there is no off-season. But it does pay to know a bit about where you're going, and what you'll need on your Peru tour:

The Andes - Though officially part of the dry season, April and May are considered the Andean spring, while June through October marks the Andean summer. Mid-day temperatures range from 70 to 80 F in the sun. Nighttime temperatures in Cusco range in the 40s F and can dip into the 30s F. Weather is usually clear in the morning with clouds accumulating in the afternoon. Rain can happen in any season, so quality rain gear is essential.

The Amazon - A rainforest environment, the Peruvian Amazon has varied weather conditions and frequent unpredictable rain showers. It is generally hot and humid during the day with more comfortable temperatures through the night. Daytime high temperatures average between 82° and 93° F, and the average nighttime low is between 62° and 73°. Nevertheless, in some areas cold fronts can sweep into the Amazon and push daytime high temperatures down to 50° F and nighttime lows to 43° F. Any time of year, one should always be prepared for cooler temperatures and rain showers. Around 80% of the annual average 79 inches of rainfall occurs during the rainy season (December through March) when heavy rain may continue for hours or days.

Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 68-79 0.0
FEB 69-80 0.0
MAR 69-80 0.0
APR 67-76 0.0
MAY 63-72 0.0
JUN 61-69 0.1
JUL 60-67 0.2
AUG 60-66 0.1
SEP 60-67 0.1
OCT 60-69 0.1
NOV 62-72 0.0
DEC 64-76 0.0

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 44-65 6.3
FEB 44-65 5.2
MAR 43-66 4.3
APR 41-67 1.8
MAY 39-67 0.3
JUN 33-66 0.1
JUL 32-66 0.2
AUG 35-67 0.3
SEP 39-68 0.9
OCT 42-69 1.9
NOV 43-69 3.1
DEC 44-69 4.7

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 38-62 5.2
FEB 38-62 4.3
MAR 38-62 3.8
APR 33-62 1.5
MAY 25-62 0.4
JUN 19-61 0.1
JUL 18-61 0.1
AUG 22-63 0.2
SEP 29-64 0.8
OCT 33-65 1.5
NOV 35-66 2.0
DEC 37-64 3.6

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN 71-88 13.6
FEB 70-87 12.8
MAR 70-88 11.9
APR 69-87 6.1
MAY 66-86 4.2
JUN 63-84 2.3
JUL 62-85 2.2
AUG 64-88 2.5
SEP 66-90 3.9
OCT 69-90 6.5
NOV 70-89 9.3
DEC 70-88 12.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


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