Peru Cultural Itinerary – 14 Days 13 Nights
Our most popular Peru vacation package
This comprehensive journey is our most popular Peru itinerary, 14 days of spectacular attractions — from Colonial Lima and the enigmatic Nazca Lines to the magnificent Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu and the floating islands on Lake Titicaca.
This package is designed to enchant you with Peru’s history, archaeology and living tapestry of culture. It includes private tours with our guides and delicious meals featuring traditional Peruvian cuisine.
Prices available upon request
Hotel ⭐⭐⭐ & Expedition Train to Machu Picchu
Hotel ⭐⭐⭐⭐ & Vistadome Train to Machu Picchu
Hotel ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ & Hiram Bingham Train to Machu Picchu
Detailed 14 days in Peru Itinerary
Day 1: City Lima International Airport Arrival
We meet you on your arrival at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima and transfer you to your selected hotel.
Day 2: Lima City Tour
Take the morning to rest and relax. In the afternoon, around 2 pm, you embark on a city tour with our private guide and driver to take in the most important and attractive sites in Lima, the “City of Kings.”
The tour features a walking tour through the historic center: following Paseo de la República, and taking in the colonial architecture of the Plaza San Martin, and the Plaza de Armas, surrounded by grand buildings like the Government Palace, the Cathedral (housing the tomb of Pizarro) the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Municipal Palace. We pass through old streets with colonial mansions, and Lima’s intricate wood-carved balconies.
Next stop is a visit to the Convent and Church of San Francisco, which holds the oldest collection of colonial art in the Americas, with an exquisitely carved chorus, a library of ancient manuscripts, and the Sacristy with paintings by Zurbarán and Rivera.
The grand courtyard of the main cloister is decorated floor-to-ceiling in blue and white Sevillian tiles, depicting scenes from the bible that dates back to the 16th Century. Moroccan arches lead us to the Catacombs, a subterranean crypt from the colonial period, where the bones of 25 thousand colonial-era Lima residents are entombed.
The tour continues through the most traditional residential areas of the city: San Isidro, the Central Park of Miraflores and down to the cliff-side shopping complex of Larcomar, a symbol of modern Lima. (B)
Day 3: Paracas National Marine Reserve / Nazca
Early in the morning, we travel from Lima to the Paracas Peninsula, where we enter the most important wildlife sanctuary on the Peruvian coast. A guided boat tour takes you to the Ballestas Islands, in the Paracas National Reserve, home to sea lions, boobies, pelicans, penguins and other marine birds.
On the way back you’ll see El Candelabro, a gigantic figure of unknown origin, in the style of the Nazca Lines, drawn into the sand of a hill on the mainland. In the afternoon we transfer by bus to the town of Nazca where you’ll stay the night. (B)
Day 4: Nazca – Nazca Lines / Arequipa
Early in the morning, after breakfast, we go to the airport for a 30-minute flight over the mysterious Nazca Lines, enormous drawings of animals, birds, and geometric figures etched into the desert floor, which can only be truly appreciated from the air.
At midday we start our overland journey to Arequipa, about 8 hours away, passing through desert sands and coastal valleys. Transfer from the bus station to the hotel. (B)
Day 5: Arequipa – City Tour
In the morning, following breakfast, we travel into the countryside around Arequipa, visiting the Mill of Sabandia, a flour mill built in 1621. It’s powered by the flow of a waterfall and is still working today.
The Mansion of the Founder, dating from the 16th Century, belonged to the founder of the city, The Lord Lieutenant of the Governors and Governor Garci Manuel de Carbajal. It was later sold to the Jesuits, who used the building as a retreat. It then passed into the hands of the Goyeneche family. We also visit its beautifully restored chapel.
In the afternoon, after lunch at a local restaurant, we take a guided tour of Arequipa, starting at the Plaza de Armas (the main square) one of the most beautiful in Peru, and the Cathedral, a fine example of 19th Century Peruvian architecture, which houses precious artifacts of gold and silver.
We visit the “city within a city,” the Convent of Santa Catalina, with its vibrantly colored walls and courtyards that remained cloistered for centuries and was only opened to the public in the 1960s. We also visit the Compañia Church, an old Jesuit complex, perhaps the most historically significant in Arequipa, with a beautiful church facade covered in columns carved into spirals, laurel wreaths, flowers and birds. Transfer back to your hotel.
We recommend you have dinner in the hotel, and have an early night, as your guide will collect you very early the next morning to start your journey to the Colca Canyon.
Day 6: Arequipa / Colca Canyon
Early in the morning we embark on an incredible 4-hour bus journey to the Colca Canyon. It’s one of the deepest canyons in the world (3,400 meters), passing through the Cañahuas plateau to the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, a habitat for vicuñas and alpacas (species of South American camelids related to the llama).
We stop for lunch at a local restaurant before setting back out on the road. En route you’ll see pre-Columbian terraces that are still used today to grow native crops. Refreshments are served along the way.
When we arrive at Valle de Colca, you’ll be transferred to your selected lodge. In the afternoon we recommend you rest to acclimatize to the altitude.
If you find yourself in good physical shape, take a walk around the surrounding countryside or take a bath in the nearby thermal pools. You’ll then have dinner and stay overnight in your selected lodge. (B/L)
Day 7: Colca / Cruz del Condor
Very early in the morning we depart for the Cruz del Condor lookout, where you’ll have a chance to see the largest flying bird in the world in full flight.
On the return journey we visit the towns of Yanque, Coporaque, Achoma and Maca. It’s a great opportunity to see the daily life of the inhabitants, which hasn’t changed a great deal since Inca times.
We stop for lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon we return you to your selected hotel in Arequipa. (B/L)
Day 8: Arequipa / Cusco – City Tour and Surrounding Archaeological Sites
We transfer to Arequipa airport early in the morning for the flight to Cusco. On arrival we transfer you to your selected hotel. We recommend you take the rest of the morning to acclimatize to the altitude and have a light lunch in or near the hotel.
In the afternoon we start to explore the city of Cusco on a tour, in which your private guide will explain the history and significance of our Inca culture and vast changes that took place with the Spanish Conquest.
You will visit the main plaza, the Cathedral, and the Temple of the Sun or Koricancha. We then visit the ruins on the outskirts of the city, stopping at the Inca ritual site of Quenqo, the water temple of Tambomachay, the customs house of Puca Pucara and the impressive temple fortress of Saqsaywaman, built strategically on the hill above city of Cusco.
It’s famous for its enormous stone blocks, assembled with incredible precision to form the imposing external walls of the complex. Some of the stones stand 9 meters tall and weigh more than 350 tons. We then return you to your hotel. (B)
Day 9: Cusco / Sacred Valley of the Inca
In the morning after an early breakfast, you set out with your private guide and driver on a tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, along the Urubamba River, to visit the famous Andean market town of Pisac. We have lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon we pass through the towns of Calca and Urubamba on the way to the Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo, built to guard the entrance to the Valley and protect the Empire from possible invasions by the people of the jungle.
We have the opportunity to walk through the stone alleyways of the city and get an idea of what life was like in a military, religious and cultural center at the height of the Inca Empire.
On the way back to Cusco we stop at the picturesque town of Chinchero, where we visit the ruins of a royal hacienda built for Tupac Inca Yapanqui.
You’ll admire the well-preserved Inca wall in the main plaza, and visit the beautiful colonial church with intriguing frescos painted on its portico, all built on Inca foundations. We return you to your hotel in Cusco. (B/L)
Day 10: Cusco / Machu Picchu / Aguas Calientes
Breakfast at the hotel, then pick up and transfer either to the train station at Poroy or Ollantaytambo for travel to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Inca.
We arrive at the town of Aguas Calientes, and take a bus for about 30 minutes, ascending up a series of switchbacks to reach the incomparable Machu Picchu.
The excursion includes a private tour of the citadel, visiting the main plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sundial, the royal quarters and the Temple of the Three Windows.
You also have some free time to walk around the complex at your own pace. We have lunch in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes, before you settle in at your selected hotel.(B/L)
Day 11: Aguas Calientes / Cusco
After enjoying a buffet breakfast, return to the ruins to explore on your own, in relative quiet before other visitors arrive on the train from Cusco.
Afternoon, board train for return either to the train station Ollantaytambo or Poroy, where you will transfer to the waiting bus back to Cusco and your hotel. (B)
Day 12: Cusco / Puno
At 7:30 in the morning your tour bus leaves for the city of Puno at 3,860 meters above sea level. During the journey we pass the Lake of Wacarpay, offering spectacular views of snow capped mountains reflected in its tranquil waters.
Near the lake we visit the Pre-Inca citadel of Pikillacta, Quechua for “City of the Thumbs.” It’s one of the most impressive sites built by the Wari culture, consisting of more than 700 structures, with walls almost 12 meters high.
We continue to the charming town of Andahuaylillas, where we visit the temple of Saint Peter of Andahuaylillas, also known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas for its rich colonial artworks and painted murals that cover the walls, arches, entranceways and ceilings.
Further on we stop at Archí, where we visit the spectacular sanctuary built by the Inca Pachacútec, dedicated to the sun god Wiracocha. It has a grand central stone wall, with other walls built from adobe bricks.
Around the temple you’ll find a multitude of ancient buildings that were used as houses or storerooms. About 70 kilometers later we reach the pass of La Raya, the highest point of the journey at 4400 meters above sea level, where you can spot herds of vicuñas and llamas.
We then travel along the Collao plateau, stopping at the town of Ayaviri, an important cattle and textile center, where we visit the temple of Kalasaya, belonging to the ancient Pucara culture.
We stop for a buffet lunch in a rustic rural setting where we can sample the culinary delights of the region. We arrive in Puno in the afternoon, and then you’re transferred to your selected hotel. (B/L)
Day 13: Puno / Floating Islands of Uros / Island of Taquile
Early in the morning we start an unforgettable boat tour around Lake Titicaca. Our first stop is the Floating Islands of Los Uros, where people have lived since pre-Inca times.
These Andean natives have built their own islands out of reeds, stacking new layers to form floating structures dozens of meters deep. The vegetable fiber used is Scirpus Totora, from the papyrus family. They also use this material to build their houses and boats.
We continue to Taquile, inhabited by Quechua speakers who have developed, generation after generation, an efficient and original social system, and their own magnificent textile techniques.
After lunch at a local tavern on Taquile we walk around its hillsides and archaeological sites. In the evening we return you to Puno, and your hotel. (B/L)
Day 14: Puno – Sillustani / Lima
On the way to the airport in Juliaca we detour to visit the burial towers of Sillustani.
The famous cylindrical stone structures were started by the Aymara people to entomb their high priests, and were then used by the Inca to bury their nobles. Umayo Lake, in front of the “chullpas” only adds to the beauty of the site.
We also have the chance to observe native birds of the region. After the flight to Lima we take you to your selected hotel to relax for the day as you wait for your international flight. At the appropriate time we transfer you back to the airport. (B)
(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner
Suggestion: Altitude is a consideration for anyone planning to travel to Peru’s highlands. For trips to Cusco, it can make a huge difference to spend your first day in the Sacred Valley (2,400 mts./9,000 ft) to acclimatize and avoid problems with altitude sickness, before ascending to the Inca capital city of Cusco (3,360 mts./11,152 ft.). We are happy to adjust your itineary to help ensure that “seroche” isn’t a factor during your vacation.
14 days in Peru Includes:
- Airport transfer in and out in each city
- City Tour Lima in private service
- Bus ticket Lima – Paracas
- Islas Ballestas excursion & Paracas National Reserve in shared service
- Bus ticket Paracas – Nazca
- Over flight Nazca Lines ( 30 min aprox) in shared service
- Bus ticket Nazca – Arequipa
- City Tour Arequipa in private service + lunch
- Mill of Sabandia in shared service
- 2 days Colca Canyon excursion + 02 lunches in Colca in shared service
- City Tour Cusco + Ruins in private service
- Sacred Valley excursion + lunch in private service
- Transfer Cusco – Train Station – Cusco
- Machu Picchu excursion in private service + lunch
- Train ticket + entrance fee
- Re-entry ticket to Machu Picchu on Day 11 w/ bus transfer to/from ruins
- Bus ticket Cusco – Puno
- Full Day Uros Island + Taquile in shared service
- Tour Sillustani enroute in private service
- Accommodation in each City of the itinerary + breakfast
- National or International flights
- Non-itinerary meals or drinks
- Tips or services not described in the itinerary
Some date restrictions may apply.
Peruvians and legal residents of Peru subject to IGV.
Hiram Bingham Train service offers luxury transportation with porter & waiter service, gourmet brunch, dinner and cocktails and an exclusive guided tour of Machu Picchu.
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