• Overview
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  • Dates
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For those looking to travel to Peru on a tour that includes epic day hikes in the legendary Andes Mountains and to Machu Picchu along with creature comforts along the way, here is the tour for you.  This Peru trip visits all of the significant Inca sites, ending each rigorous day of high-altitude hiking with a hot shower, tasty restaurant meal, and comfortable hotel lodgings.  It is a trip filled with roads truly less traveled and sites not seen by most visitors on Peru tours, offering an intimate view of the fascinating cultural mix that has shaped the Andean experience.  This unforgettable nine-day trip explores the Inca Empire from Cusco to the hidden city of Machu Picchu on six unique day-hikes, culminating in a visit to Machu Picchu Mountain that starts at Machu Picchu and continues along the stone Inca Trail high above the citadel for a bird's-eye view of these most famous of Inca ruins.

 

Itinerary
Day 1 ARRIVE LIMA

Your tour begins in Lima where our representative will transfer you from the airport to your hotel. For anyone arriving early, we can arrange optional tours according to your interests, of the city, museums and other sights. Overnight at a Lima hotel.

Day 2 LIMA - CUSCO

You'll be picked up in the morning to fly to Cusco, center of the Inca Empire. There a Southern Explorations representative will be waiting to take you to your hotel, after stopping for a short guided tour of the much-photographed Plaza de Armas. You'll be on your own the rest of the day to acclimatize to the altitude (10,856 ft.) while getting acquainted with the well-preserved colonial city of Cusco. Overnight in your comfortable Cusco lodgings. (B)

Optional Excursion – Children’s Library For those wanting to visit a Children’s Library that Southern Explorations supports, a van will pick you up at your hotel at 4pm to drive the group to the Library. This is an optional visit for those who would like to see the new library built by Amy Bacal of New York for the children in Cusco. Amy will be there to introduce the small library to the group. Return to your hotel after the visit to the library.

Day 3 CUSCO HIKING CITY TOUR

Today you'll spend hiking in the Inca Empire, learning about the region's rich cultural history. The day starts with a guided walking tour through Cusco's craft markets. You'll visit the colonial cathedral and Koricancha, the Inca's Temple of the Sun, before enjoying a delectable lunch of regional cuisine. The afternoon will be spent visiting the other significant Inca ruins in the vicinity of Cusco including the mammoth fortress of Sacsayhuaman above the city, noted for its megalithic stone terraces, Kenko with its distinctive zig zag-patterned carved stone and subterranean alters, the hillside outpost of Puka Pukara, a small fortress that formerly protected the royal capital and the Tambo Machay water temple that served as royal baths. You'll be returned to your hotel for another free evening in colonial Cusco. (B)

Day 4 HIKE TO HUCHUY CUSCO – CUSCO
After breakfast transfer in private van to start a fantastic trek combining an old Inca road, impressive views, local farming techniques and a chance to visit some rarely visited Inca Ruins.
We start by driving high above Cusco and the outlying town of Corao. At 4200m the end of the road and Lake Qoricocha, we leave the vehicles behind and slowly contour around to 4,300m and some ancient Inca platforms on the col in the hillside. These are believed to mark the boundary and entrance to the Huchuy Cusco Inca Estate. The rest of the day’s trek is flat or downhill, past herds of Llamas & Alpacas.  On the hike travel through the rustic village of Pucamarca, pass an Inca bridge through a narrow canyon and take in the spectacular views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Arrive at a spectacular vista and enjoy our lunch.  A contour on the high ridge brings us to the entrance gates of Huchuy Cusco and the extensive ruins themselves. Little is known about this mysterious site, ‘little Cusco’ as it translates in Quechua may have been the country retreat of one of the first Incas. Its three-story-high storage houses, extensively trapezoid-niched walls, large main central square, three meter high terracing walls and its hidden location above the Sacred Valley make this gem a real pleasure to explore.  After exploring the ruins, continue hiking down where the van will be waiting.  Return to Cusco and overnight.  (B,L)
 
Hike Details: Approx - 8.2 miles | 6+ Hours Altitude: from 11,385 ft to 14,110 ft. 

Day 5 DAY HIKE - COMMUNITY OF AMARU TO PISAC RUINS

After yesterday's climb, you'll enjoy a mostly downhill route today with some options for hiking a little or a lot. From your hotel in Cusco, you'll travel by private van to the village of Amaru where you'll get acquainted with the citizenry before hiking to the once-pivotal Inca citadel of Pisac that includes a Sun Temple, extensive terracing and water ducts. The path to the ruins passes through fields of potatoes, quinoa, wheat and other crops. As you explore the area, your guide will explain the significance and history of this magnificent complex. After a late lunch, anyone interested may hike through the town of Pisac. You'll continue by van through the Incas' Sacred Valley to reach the historic village of Ollantaytambo, a mountain town designed by the Incas and known for its namesake Inca fortress. One of the Incas' last stands against the Spanish took place here. You'll spend the night at a hotel in Ollantaytambo. (B)

Peru Hiking Details: Approx 6.5 miles | 4-5 Hours Altitude: from 12,370 ft to 9350 ft (downhill).

Day 6 DAY HIKE - CACHICATA TO OLLANTAYTAMBO

Today's rigorous hike takes you to Cachicata, a site of great importance because it is here that the Incas formed the stones for some of their monumental building projects. To get to the quarry, this three to four hour trek takes a gradually ascending trail, crossing the Urubamba River through scenic mountainous areas visited by few travelers on Peru tours. This experience allows visitors to appreciate the great ingenuity of the Incas who were able to construct their colossal structures at locations so distant from their building materials without the benefit of the wheel. After lunch in an idyllic setting, you'll descend back to the Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo for a free evening and second night at your Ollantaytambo hotel. (B, L)

Peru Hiking Details: Approx 7.9 miles | 5+ Hours Altitude: from 8,745 ft to 12,175 ft.

Day 7 OLLANTAYTAMBO - MACHU PICCHU

On today's Inca adventure, you'll finally reach the long-anticipated destination of Machu Picchu, symbol of the Inca Empire. To get there, you'll walk from the hotel to the train station for a picturesque ride along the Urubamba River into a cloud forest before arriving in Aquas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu. You'll go by bus the rest of the way to Machu Picchu at an elevation of 7,875 ft. You'll spend the day exploring the ruins and then return to Agua Calientes in time for a soothing soak in the town's famed hot springs before enjoying a leisurely dinner on your own. Overnight at a hotel in Aguas Calientes. (B) UPGRADE - INCA TRAIL HIKE KM 104 | $150 Per Person (If permits available) Departure from Ollantaytambo by train 8:00 am. 10.30 am arrive at station KM 104. After registering at the checkpoint, begin the hike to WinaWayna (approx. 3.0 hours). During the hike you will see ruins, waterfalls and many varieties of flora and fauna. Spend one to two hours exploring the impressive and beautiful ruins of WinaWayna. From here it is another 2 hour walk to arrive at Machu Picchu. You will arrive in the ruins in the late afternoon when there are few visitors. After a brief tour of Machu Picchu, transfer to Aguas Calientes by bus. Spend the night in a charming hotel in Aguas Calientes. The evening is free to explore this charming town and soak in the hot springs. (B,L)

Day 8 DAY HIKE - MACHU PICCHU MOUNTAIN - CHINCHERO MARKET - RETURN CUSCO

Rising early enough to escape the crowds, today's extraordinary itinerary returns to the royal citadel, starting with what is for most travelers the highlight of their Peru tours, sunrise at Machu Picchu. From here, you'll continue along the Inca Trail ascending another 2,000 feet to the summit of Machu Picchu Mountain for a breathtaking view of the magnificent complex and surrounding area that most travelers never get to experience. This three to four hour hike concludes after returning to Machu Picchu. You'll go by bus to Aguas Calientes and take the early afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo where you'll transfer to a private van to travel to the colorful market in the village of Chinchero. Here you'll visit a community of textile artists who craft original organic pieces according to the techniques of their ancestors, learning how the wool and alpaca are shorn, spun, dyed and woven into the high-quality creations for which this region is known. The visit to Chinchero gives travelers the perfect place to find uniquely Andean souvenirs of their Peru tours. You'll be transported back to Cusco for a final relaxing evening and overnight at your hotel. (B)

Peru Hiking Details: Approx 5.8 miles | 3-4 Hours Altitude: from 7,800 ft to 10,055 ft.

Day 9 CUSCO - LIMA - HOME

In the morning, you'll be transferred to the airport to return to Lima for your connecting international flight. This ends Southern Explorations' services. If your schedule allows time for more Peru tours, we offer a number of fascinating trip extensions to add to your Machu Picchu adventure. (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

Peru Day Hiker Tour | Epic day hikes in the Andes including Machu Picchu

Pricing
Per Person
$2,995


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

Single Supplement: $830
A single supplement is the additional cost of a single traveler not sharing a room in double occupancy.

 

Included in tour cost
  • Private transportation
  • 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

Peru Day Hiker Tour | Epic day hikes in the Andes including Machu Picchu

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.
Saturday, September 8, 2018 to Sunday, September 16, 2018
Available
Saturday, October 6, 2018 to Sunday, October 14, 2018
Available
Saturday, November 10, 2018 to Sunday, November 18, 2018
Available
Saturday, December 8, 2018 to Sunday, December 16, 2018
Available
Saturday, January 26, 2019 to Sunday, February 3, 2019
Available
Saturday, February 23, 2019 to Sunday, March 3, 2019
Available
Saturday, March 23, 2019 to Sunday, March 31, 2019
Available
Saturday, April 13, 2019 to Sunday, April 21, 2019
Available
Saturday, May 18, 2019 to Sunday, May 26, 2019
Available
Saturday, June 15, 2019 to Sunday, June 23, 2019
Available
Saturday, July 6, 2019 to Sunday, July 14, 2019
Available
Saturday, August 10, 2019 to Sunday, August 18, 2019
Available
Saturday, September 7, 2019 to Sunday, September 15, 2019
Available
Saturday, October 5, 2019 to Sunday, October 13, 2019
Available
Saturday, November 9, 2019 to Sunday, November 17, 2019
Available
Saturday, December 7, 2019 to Sunday, December 15, 2019
Available
Aguas Calientes
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

peru biking

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)


machu picchu tours

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


peru tour

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)


 

machu picchu travelWe 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)


machu picchu toursI 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)


machu picchu tourOur 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)



peru tourThank 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)


machu picchu toursThank 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)


peru toursWe 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)



peru travelSouthern 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)


peruvian local artisanThe 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)


machu picchu toursThis 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)


peru toursOur guides were all organized, professional, extremely informative and passionate. Most highly recommended. Organization was flawless. Guides exceptionally helpful and informative. - Ronald Shapiro (Best of Peru)


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)


Even more impressed with our second SE trip than our first. A minor injury (twisted ankle) precluded the planned arduous hike for the day - instead of just telling us to hang out at the hotel (what we expected), the guide on her own called her boss asking for clearance to change the itinerary to a visit to an equally interesting site which consisted of a drive and just minimal walking. This change represented greater cost for SE but saved the day for us. A wonderful, thoughtful way of proving the goal is to create a memorable trip. - Andre Lucio Denis (Peru Day Hiker)

 


We had a wonderful time!  Absolutely a life memory and highlight! Thank you for ALL your help – of course, we gave Southern Explorations five stars in all categories! Your last minute tips on traveling were especially helpful. Thank you again. Meg and Bruce Cummings (Luxury Peru & Amazon)
 

Our guide was absolutely fantastic. She made this a memorable experience. Billy Chiquito, a National Park guide, was more than we could have imagined for a guide. All accommodations were first class. - Howard Flicker (Private Experience Machu Picchu and Legend)
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)

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)

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)

Just returned from a 12 day trip to Peru and have to say this was the best vacation ever. I have never arranged travel through a company before so I was a little leery about what to expect. Needless to say I was quite impressed by how comprehensive and well planned every detail of the trip was put together. Southern Explorations did an amazing job especially considering I only booked the trip one month in advance. Our guide in Lima, Natalia was excellent and very knowledgeable. Our guide in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, Washington Gibaja Tapia was incredible. He shared a part of his culture and community with us on a deep spiritual level so we were able to leave Peru feeling like we understood the significance and true beauty of the place and people we visited. Thank you Southern Explorations for a trip of a lifetime. - Michelle Barker (Inti Raymi Festival & Machu Picchu & Amazon)

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 accommodations 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)


All the guides were great. Hotels were all very nice. Great experience all round. We will be back for another tour with your company. - Lisa Gumpel (Peru Highlights)

The guides were wonderful. All guides spent a lot of time explaining the culture and history of this fascinating country. This was the trip of a lifetime. We enjoyed every minute. - Leslie Klaff (Best of Peru)

Trip of a life time; good outfitter and good friends. - Carol Croom (Classic Inca Trail)
Our guide was exceptional!!! She was so knowledgeable and accommodating to our needs. I've traveled around the world, and I don't think I've had a better guide. - Christina Trunz (Experience Machu Picchu)
 

 

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.