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Embark on a Peru tour to explore the soaring Andes, fascinating Machu Picchu and majestic Lake Titicaca. In just one week, visit the legendary Inca ruins of the Sacred Valley, stopping along the way to bargain at colorful Indian markets. Explore the town of Cusco, an architectural jewel, full of Inca and colonial history. Spend two days in the hidden city of Machu Picchu, walking through its mysterious ruins and the surrounding cloud forests. Then travel to the world's highest navigable lake. At 12,500 feet above sea level, Lake Titicaca is one of the Andes' most impressive natural wonders. Experience one of our most popular Peru tours.

 

Itinerary
Day 1 LIMA

Arrive in Lima and transfer to your hotel. If you arrive with time to spare, you can kick off your Peru travel with optional tours to explore the city, including museum visits and other sites of interest, arranged upon request by Southern Explorations.

Day 2 LIMA - CUSCO

Take a morning flight to Cusco, center of the Inca Empire. From the airport, Southern Explorations' guides will take you on a brief tour of the stunning Plaza de Armas on the way to your hotel. Then spend the remainder of the day on your own relaxing and acclimatizing to the altitude (10,856 ft). (B)

Day 3 CUSCO

Start the day on a guided walking tour of Cusco, visiting the markets, the colonial cathedral, and Koricancha, the impressive Temple of the Sun. After a delicious lunch of local cuisine, your Peru travels continue with an afternoon tour of Cusco's temples and a visit to several prominent Inca sights, 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 and the water temple, Tambo Machay. In the late afternoon, return to Cusco to relax at your hotel or venture out on your own to further explore the town's sights. (B)

Day 4 CUSCO - SACRED VALLEY

On this next leg of your Peru tour, you'll enjoy a day-long guided excursion through snowcapped peaks to the famed Sacred Valley of the Incas. See the Inca terracing that climbs the steep valley walls, the temple ruins of Pisac with panoramic mountain vistas and nearby, the market of Pisac where great bargains may be had on distinctive textiles. After lunch, you'll reach today's final destination, Ollantaytambo (9,185 ft.), a small town with a mammoth Inca fortress. Spend the night at a local hotel. (B)

Day 5 SACRED VALLEY - OLLANTAYTAMBO - MACHU PICCHU

Begin today with a guided tour of the Ollantaytambo ruins before walking to the train station at Ollantaytambo. The train travels along the scenic the Urubamba River before gaining elevation and mountain views and passing through a magnificent cloud forest before reaching the town of Aguas Calientes for lunch and making connections for the last leg of the trip by bus. Spend the entire day exploring the mountain citadel of Machu Picchu (7,875 ft.), returning in the late afternoon to nearby Aguas Calientes for a soak in the hot springs before a delicious dinner of regional cuisine. Spend a restful night at a local hotel. (B)

Day 6 MACHU PICCHU - CHINCHERO MARKET - CUSCO

Start the day with the unforgettable experience a Machu Picchu sunrise, the best time for photographing the ruins. Continue your explorations, climbing to the sacred peak of Huayna Picchu or walking through cloud forest vegetation to reach the Temple of the Moon. Return to the train station for a ride back to Ollantaytambo where you will meet your driver who will take you to the Chinchero artisan market. Here, local artisans explain their craft of textile work, describing their traditional ways of shearing, processing, dyeing, and weaving from alpaca wool. After some last minute shopping, return to Cusco where you are transferred to your hotel. (B)

Day 7 CUSCO - LAKE TITICACA

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 your comfortable hotel. (B) Travel Cusco - Puno, via bus at no extra charge. Upgrade: +$150- Flight to Lake Titicaca (Cusco - Juliaca) 

 

Day 8 LAKE TITICACA

Lake Titicaca, the cradle of Incan civilization, is the largest freshwater lake in South America, extending from southeastern Peru to western Bolivia. The 122-mile long 35-mile-wide lake has waves, testament to its size. Fed by the snow-clad Andes, the lake does not invite swimming. It is the remnant of an ancient inland sea, and its vivid blue waters make a beautiful contrast to the stark altiplano. No Peru tour is complete without a photograph of this natural wonder. In the morning take a short drive to the dock at Puno harbor for an 8 AM departure by boat to the famous floating Uros Islands for a quick visit. Continue the journey by boat to reach tranquil Taquile Island, housing a community of male weavers and spinners in a Mediterranean-like setting. In the late afternoon, return to Puno to shop. Puno is known for its alpaca wear, so it's the great place to find unique souvenirs of your Peru travels. (B,L)

Day 9 LAKE TITICACA - LIMA - RETURN HOME

You'll have the morning free to enjoy breakfast at the hotel. On the outskirts of Puno are mysterious pre-Incan ruins called chullpas (funeral towers), the finest of which sit on a peninsula in Lake Umayo at Sillustani. The Colla people, a warrior tribe that spoke Aymara, buried their elite in these giant cylindrical tombs, some as tall as 40 ft. The stonemasonry is exquisite (many archaeologists and historians find them more complex and superior even to Inca engineering). Explore this area before your late afternoon flight to Lima for your connecting international flight, marking the end of Southern Explorations' services. (B)

Weather

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
 

LIMA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN68-790.0
FEB69-800.0
MAR69-800.0
APR67-760.0
MAY63-720.0
JUN61-690.1
JUL60-670.2
AUG60-660.1
SEP60-670.1
OCT60-690.1
NOV62-720.0
DEC64-760.0

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

CUSCO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN44-656.3
FEB44-655.2
MAR43-664.3
APR41-671.8
MAY39-670.3
JUN33-660.1
JUL32-660.2
AUG35-670.3
SEP39-680.9
OCT42-691.9
NOV43-693.1
DEC44-694.7

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

PUNO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN38-625.2
FEB38-624.3
MAR38-623.8
APR33-621.5
MAY25-620.4
JUN19-610.1
JUL18-610.1
AUG22-630.2
SEP29-640.8
OCT33-651.5
NOV35-662.0
DEC37-643.6

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches
 

PUERTO MALDONADO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN71-8813.6
FEB70-8712.8
MAR70-8811.9
APR69-876.1
MAY66-864.2
JUN63-842.3
JUL62-852.2
AUG64-882.5
SEP66-903.9
OCT69-906.5
NOV70-899.3
DEC70-8812.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


 

Maps

Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca - An Andean Natural Wonder

Pricing
Per Person
$2,795


Upgrade: +$150Flight to Lake Titicaca (Cusco - Juliaca)

Domestic Airfare:
$375 (Lima/Cusco - Juliaca/Lima) – Subject to change

Single Supplement: $750
A single supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy.
 

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
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Hiking boots and other necessary sports gear

Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca - An Andean Natural Wonder

Trip Dates
Private Departures can be arranged. Please Contact Us regarding details and private departure costs.
Sunday, September 16, 2018 to Monday, September 24, 2018
Available
Sunday, October 14, 2018 to Monday, October 22, 2018
Available
Sunday, November 4, 2018 to Monday, November 12, 2018
Available
Sunday, December 2, 2018 to Monday, December 10, 2018
Available
Sunday, January 13, 2019 to Monday, January 21, 2019
Available
Sunday, February 10, 2019 to Monday, February 18, 2019
Available
Sunday, March 10, 2019 to Monday, March 18, 2019
Available
Sunday, March 31, 2019 to Monday, April 8, 2019
Available
Sunday, May 12, 2019 to Monday, May 20, 2019
Available
Sunday, June 2, 2019 to Monday, June 10, 2019
Available
Sunday, July 14, 2019 to Monday, July 22, 2019
Available
Sunday, August 11, 2019 to Monday, August 19, 2019
Available
Sunday, September 15, 2019 to Monday, September 23, 2019
Available
Sunday, October 13, 2019 to Monday, October 21, 2019
Available
Sunday, November 3, 2019 to Monday, November 11, 2019
Available
Sunday, December 1, 2019 to Monday, December 9, 2019
Available
Aguas Calientes
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Lake Titicaca
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Cusco
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Lima
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Sacred Valley
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

One Day

Multi-Day

machu picchu toursWe just returned from our Galapagos/Machu Picchu trip and I wanted to send you a note to thank you for planning such a phenomenal trip for us! Juan, our guide, and Boris, our driver, were FANTASTIC! The bus we traveled on was much larger than we anticipated and a great way to travel around!  We cannot say enough nice things about Juan and Boris! They were flexible with our schedule, providing extra time to us when we wanted it at the market in Pisac, able to provide other options for us when a planned activity had to be cancelled due to a mudslide, and even stopped on the side of the road for us to grab some cuy (guinea pig being roasted on a stick in this tiny town we were passing through). There is so much more I could say. Trip of a lifetime! I will definitely recommend you to everyone! - Debbie Cohen (Ocean Spray & Machu Picchu)

machu picchu tourIt was GREAT traveling to Peru with Southern Explorations. All the arrangements were done very well, and tour guides have a tremendous knowledge of their culture. They had a willingness to share and really good attitudes. My special THANKS to Patricia, who was our tour guide for Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu. She is one of the amazing people I met there. Her enthusiasm and knowledge is great. THANK YOU for such wonderful service, Southern Explorations. - Vandana Bajikar (Machu Picchu)

machu picchu toursSouthern Explorations was very organized and planned an excellent and memorable trip for my family. Thanks for everything. We have already recommended you to our friends! - Jodi Sandler (Machu Picchu)

 

machu picchu tourOur Cusco/Machu Picchu experience was nothing short of FABULOUS. We loved the streets and markets in Cusco, visiting the cathedrals and archeological sites, and our visits in the Sacred Valley before arriving at Machu Picchu. Waiting for the sunrise on our second day at Machu Picchu was one of those priceless moments I shared with my two daughters. Our guide Patricia was knowledgeable and wonderful and a real pleasure to have with us. We were well taken care of from arrival to departure by Southern Explorations, and I have only good things to say about how great this trip was. - Jean Smith, Virginia (Machu Picchu & Galapagos Island Cruise)
 

I just wanted to say thank you for all the coordination and help you and all at Southern Explorations staff did for our trip to Peru. Everything went as planned, all of the accommodations were excellent,  clean comfortable and safe. The two young ladies that picked us up at the airport and took us back to the air port in Lima were so very helpful and nice. Our driver in Cusco, Boris did a great job helping and keeping us safe, great driver. I want to say a very special thank you to our guide Milagros. She is very special, extremely knowledgeable, attentive to the smallest detail, and just the best guide that we have ever had. Thank You for a great trip and memories that will last a lifetime! - David L. Byer (Experience Machu Picchu)


The Experience Machu Picchu journey was a once in a lifetime FAMILY trip!  It well exceeded our expectations.  It had just the right balance of organized excursions versus free time to explore on our own.  The guides were not only informative, but made the journey more enjoyable by their attitude and approach.  I can't say enough good things about Southern Explorations and this experience. - Pete & Jen Castello (Experience Machu Picchu)


 

I just wanted to say thank you for all the coordination and help you and all at Southern Explorations staff did for our trip to Peru. Everything went as planned, all of the accommodations were excellent,  clean comfortable and safe. The two young ladies that picked us up at the airport and took us back to the air port in Lima were so very helpful and nice. Our driver in Cusco, Boris did a great job helping and keeping us safe, great driver. I want to say a very special thank you to our guide Milagros. She is very special, extremely knowledgeable, attentive to the smallest detail, and just the best guide that we have ever had. Thank You for a great trip and memories that will last a lifetime! - David L. Byer (Experience Machu Picchu)


Our guide was great. Made our trip easy and enjoyable. He kept us on schedule without being pushy. He let us have space to spend time together without being absent. He delivered a wealth of great information in an interesting way. He's an all-star all around.  He did a good job allowing us to have more time at the more interesting places and moving us quickly through the interesting but not super interesting places. The accommodations were great. The hotels in Cusco and Ollantytambo were delightful, tasteful, comfortable centrally located and had great service. The hotel in Aguas Caliente was hip and stylish. Great food. The quality and abundance of the food allowed us to see more and do more. The sites were all super interesting. - Ky Calder (Inti Raymi Festival & Machu Picchu)

Antonio was EXCELLENT! Milagros was also very good and attentive. Southern Expeditions is a first-class outfit, perfect for those seeking varied levels of adventure, good value, efficiency and very good accommodations. Elliott Mercer (Custom Machu Picchu with Short Inca Trail Hike)

Our guide was absolutely excellent. Very patient and extremely knowledgeable. Accommodations were adequate. Staff in the hotels in Sacred Valley, Cusco and Lima were very nice. Glenn Braunstein (Custom Machu Picchu with Short Inca Trail Hike)

 

Peru - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer a wide variety of itineraries suitable for all ages, fitness levels and personal interests. Figuring out the total number of days you are available to travel is a good starting point and your Adventure Travel Coordinator can guide you through the options.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to modify any tour to meet your needs and also add pre and post-excursion extensions. If you sign up for a group departure we cannot change the group portion, but we can add extensions before and after.
Q: When is the best time to go to Peru?
A: Many travelers like to visit Peru between the months of April and October, when the chances of rain are much lower. Avoid the height of summer (June through August) and the Christmas holiday season for smaller crowds and the best selection of accommodations.
Q: What is the weather like in Peru?
A: The most traveled section of Peru, where Cusco and Machu Picchu are located, has a dry season (April – October) and a rainy season (November – March) with daytime temperatures in the 60s and 70s and lows in the 40s. Rainfall and temperatures vary in other regions depending on season and elevation. Please see the weather tab on your specific trip for more details.
Q: What is a typical day like in Peru? 
A: A typical day in Peru will vary from tour to tour, but generally you can expect to start your excursions right after breakfast with a full day of scheduled activities or sightseeing. Contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the specifics of your tour.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a trip to Peru? 
A: Our trips vary in level of activity, so the requirements differ based on itinerary. It’s important to keep in mind that much of Peru is at or above 8000’ above sea level which can add some difficulty to the activities. Please check our physical ratings for each itinerary to see what may be required of you when assessing your ability to enjoy a trip. If you have any specific questions, please contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator. We have personal experience with these activities and can help you decide whether a trip is right for you.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Peru?
A: We offer trips as short as 5 days, but recommend 7 days to adequately explore the Andean highlands (Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu). If you wish to visit more than one region, we recommend travelling for at least 12 days.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: Peru is a popular destination and space at the most desirable hotels fills up quickly. As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. We recommend planning at least six to nine months in advance throughout the year, and a year ahead of time for anything over the Christmas holiday season.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: Our 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 indigenous languages. Most have advanced degrees in tourism, biology, native culture or other related field. All guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We primarily work with 3 and 4-star hotels that meets our standards. We also work with several amazing 5-star properties. All of our hotels are clean, comfortable, well-located, offer en suite bathrooms and have been personally vetted by a Southern Explorations’ staff member.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: We will confirm all airfare within South America and this price will be listed separately from our base tour costs. You are responsible for booking international flights to/from Peru.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: We operate our scheduled group trips with a minimum of two and a maximum of eight guests, except on the Inca Trail trips, which have 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. Some all-inclusive lodges and cruises offer excursions with their in-house guides and groups for those days may exceed eight travelers.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.