El Mist Volcano and Arequipa Cathedral - Arequipa, South America

Peru Explorer

23 days
from
£3,479
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Trip code: 
APX
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Cultural Wonders
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

An in-depth exploration of the highlights of southern Peru

This trip is the perfect introduction to the highlights of one of the most diverse countries in South America. Our journey contrasts the incomparable scenery of the Andes with the lush vegetation of the Amazon Rainforest and the barren coastal desert, as we discover ancient cities, buildings and fortresses of colossal size in settings of amazing beauty. For walking enthusiasts there is the option to trek the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu or to follow the remote Moonstone Trek (at no extra cost), and for wildlife lovers the Ballestas Islands and the rainforest are sure to impress.

Highlights

  • Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and the colonial cities of Cuzco and Arequipa
  • Option to walk the classic Inca Trail, at no extra cost - must be requested at time of booking
  • Two nights deep in the Amazon
  • Lake Titicaca's traditional island communities
  • Beautiful Arequipa plus Colca Canyon and its condors

Key information

  • 19 nights hotels and 2 nights jungle lodge, all with en suite facilities
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Spends time at altitude
  • Travel by internal flight, train, boat and private bus
  • Inca Trail option: no extra cost - please request on booking. 3 nights full-service camping replaces 3 nights hotels. Additional meals included during trek

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners included. Additional meals on Inca Trail option.
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Inca Trail permit (if Inca Trail option selected at time of booking)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
(354) 567 8978
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

4 days walking (Inca Trail option only)
Day by day breakdown
Day 1311.4km/7.1miles
Day 147.7km/4.8miles
Day 156.8km/4.2miles
Day 168.9km/5.5miles
El Mist Volcano and Arequipa Cathedral - Arequipa, South America

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Fly to Lima.

    The trip starts in Lima today. Those on the group flights from London will arrive this evening.

    Accommodation: Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar) 

  • Day 2

    Free morning; afternoon city tour.

    This morning has been left free, and in the afternoon we have a tour of colonial and modern Lima. We visit the modern residential district of Lima (Miraflores) and then explore the historical downtown area. We will discover the Plaza de Armas, Basilica Cathedral and Government Palace (also known as ‘House of Pizarro’) as we take a short walk around the colonial centre. We also visit the incredible Church of San Francisco, which houses one of the oldest libraries in the Americas and sits on top of a labyrinthine network of catacombs complete with the bones of Lima's wealthy eighteenth and nineteenth century residents. This evening perhaps a visit to the bohemian district of Barranco for some local food and a taste of the famous Pisco Sour, Peru’s national cocktail.

    Accommodation: Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Drive to Paracas, visiting Pachacamac and Pucusana.

    We drive south from Lima today, visiting Pachacamac Fortress, the Incas' largest coastal city at the time of the conquest. We stop for a late lunch on fresh seafood at the attractive fishing village of Pucusana. A stroll around the village where the day's catch is displayed at the market and a boat ride around the bay (subject to weather conditions) offer great insight into a contemporary Peruvian coastal town. We continue southwards to the town of Paracas where we spend the night.

    Accommodation: Hotel Gran Palma (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Sail to Ballestas Islands; continue to Nazca via Ica.

    A short drive from our hotel takes us to the port where we board our launch to visit the world famous Ballestas Islands, a national park which contains the highest concentration of marine birds in the world. There are sea lions and numerous species of birds on the islands themselves and we will also see the Paracas Candelabra, a curious pre-Inca design on the cliff-face, only recognisable from the sea. We drive on to Nazca in the afternoon, stopping first at the interesting Ica Archaeological Museum, and visit the viewing platforms close to the famous Nazca Lines. These are one of the world's great archaeological mysteries, consisting of enormous figures and patterns etched in the desert sand, best seen from the elevated position of the viewing platforms. There should also be time for optional visits to the nearby Antonini archaeological museum, a pre-Inca cemetery, or the Nazca Aqueduct, which gives an insight into the Nazca civilisation's ingenious subterranean irrigation system.

    We enjoy a traditional 'pachamanca' dinner this evening whereby the food is wrapped up and buried in the earth along with hot stones which cook it slowly.

    Accommodation: Hotel Alegria (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Drive along coast then turn inland to Arequipa (2350m).

    A long drive (approx. 10 hrs) south through the coastal desert, with great views of the dunes and the Pacific Ocean, before heading inland into the mountains on the road to Arequipa.

    Accommodation: Ensueño Hotel (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Arequipa city tour, including Santa Catalina Convent.

    Arequipa is a beautiful colonial city set in a fertile oasis, with many historic buildings characterised by their use of white volcanic stone from the nearby Misti, whose dramatic cone dominates the town. In the morning we visit the Cathedral, the Jesuit church of La Compañia and the huge serene convent of Santa Catalina, which retains typical features from the 16th and 17th centuries and is a peaceful refuge for the nuns who still live here today.

    Accommodation: Ensueño Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Drive to Colca Canyon.

    A spectacular drive takes us to the Colca Canyon, one of the world's deepest canyons. On the way we pass volcanoes and will almost certainly see vicuñas in the highlands before we cross the Patapampa Pass (4850m) which marks the descent into the canyon itself. The sight of the green and fertile terraces of the canyon as we take the winding road to the town of Chivay is a real contrast to the barren yet beautiful landscapes we have travelled through for most of the day. This is the first day where we may feel the effects of altitude - although we do not linger at the top of the pass we spend the night at around 3600m and so it is a good idea to take it easy on arrival.

    Accommodations: Hotel Pozo del Cielo, Chivay (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    To Colca Canyon; explore and search for condors.

    Today we have a full day exploring the Colca Canyon, starting with a visit to the Cruz del Condor, the best place to see the mighty Andean condors as they glide on the morning thermals. We also see ancient tombs which line the cliffs on one side of the canyon, and make stops in the villages along the way which house several interesting colonial churches. Depending on time, we may take a short walk along farm tracks to learn more about the agriculture on which the whole region is dependent. After a long day of exploration, an optional visit to the hot springs near Chivay this evening is a wonderful way to relax.

    Accommodation: Hotel Pozo del Cielo, Chivay (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Drive via Sillustani to Puno (3800m), by Lake Titicaca.

    Today we drive through the mountains to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. En route we have opportunities to see vicuñas before making a short visit to the unique burial towers (chullpas) of Sillustani. The altitude here (3800m) makes physical effort very tiring and the evenings are very cold so taking time to rest is highly recommended.

    Accommodation: Casona Plaza Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Sail to floating reed islands; afternoon explore lake shore.

    We have a full day on and around Lake Titicaca, visiting the descendants of the Uros Indians, who live on islands of floating reeds and, save for a few modest concessions to the modern world, still live as their ancestors would have done centuries ago. These days, although tourism has had a significant economic impact on the islands, the Indians still use a barter system to trade with those living on the mainland, and fishing and weaving remain key elements of their daily life. An afternoon of short walks is designed to highlight the culture of the indigenous groups who inhabit the small towns and villages alongside the lake.

    Accommodation: Casona Plaza Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Drive across the altiplano to Cuzco (3400m).

    Today we take a bus ride across the altiplano, the high plains separating the Andes from the jungles. Although it is quite a long drive (approx. 10hrs), it is interesting and often spectacular. There are scheduled stops to visit some of the most interesting sites to help break up the day and appreciate the immensity of the Andean landscapes. These include La Raya Pass (4313m), the watershed and geographical dividing line between the altiplano and the Vilcanota Valley where Raqchi Inca temple is located. We arrive in Cuzco (3400m) in the evening.

    Accommodation: Hotel Warari (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 12

    Visit Pisac market and Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley.

    This morning we head out of Cuzco to the colourful handicraft market at Pisac, at the entrance to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. After some free time to browse the stalls, we take a walking tour of the huge Inca ruins above the village. After lunch, we drive down the valley to Ollantaytambo, where we visit the immense Inca fortress and explore the unique village whose streets still follow the pre-conquest grid plan.

    Accommodation: Tunupa Lodge (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 13

    Return to Cuzco. Inca Trail option: start trek and walk to Huayllabamba.

    Today the group divides between those doing the Inca Trail and those staying in Cuzco. The trekkers will head to the trailhead for the first day of trekking from KM82 to the hamlet of Huayllabamba, while the rest of the group will return to Cuzco in the afternoon. On all departures, when Inca Trail permits have sold out, the classic Inca Trail can be substituted with the remote and beautiful Moonstone Trek - please ask for details.

    Accommodation: Hotel Warari (or similar)

    Inca Trail Option

    The Classic Inca Trail is a tangential branch part of a 45,000km road network linking the whole empire to Cuzco. It was built in the 15th Century to reach Machu Picchu but was abandoned soon after the Spanish conquest. American adventurer, Hiram Bingham travelled along the trail when he came across Machu Picchu in 1911. The trail opened to the public in 1970.

    We leave Cuzco early and drive for roughly two hours to Ollantaytambo; our last chance to buy any items needed for the trek. From here we veer off the road and follow a track beside the river (45 minutes) to the start of the Inca Trail at Piscacucho, commonly known as Km82. After greeting our trekking crew we show our passports at the checkpoint and begin the Inca Trail trek. The trail runs alongside the Vilcanota River beneath the impressive snowcapped Nevado Veronica, passing through cactus gardens and fields of corn until we reach the enormous Inca ruins of Llactapata, where we continue up a side valley to camp near the hamlet of Huayllabamba.

    Inca Trail option: Meals included - breakfast, lunch, dinner. Accommodation - Full-service camping, Huayllabamba Camp.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Free time in Cuzco for sightseeing or optional activities and excursions. Inca Trail option: cross 'Dead Woman's Pass'.

    For those not walking the Inca Trail today is free to explore Cuzco, which is one of the most pleasant and interesting cities in South America, and an excellent place for shopping, eating and drinking. A variety of optional tours are available, including visits to the sites of Pikillacta and Tipon to the south of Cuzco, exploration of the colonial religious monuments in Cuzco, or hikes in the surrounding hills. 

    Accommodation - Hotel Warari (or similar)

    Inca Trail Option

    This is the longest and most strenuous day of the trek. A long climb takes us first through an area of cloud forest to the meadows of Llulluchapampa, then over the Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman's) Pass, at 4215m the highest point on the trek. After quite a long, steep descent we camp in the scenic valley of the Pacamayo River (3600m).

    Inca Trail option: Meals included - breakfast, lunch, dinner. Accommodation - Full-Service Camping, Pacamayo Camp.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Free time in Cuzco. Inca Trail option: walk via Runcuracay and Sayajmarca to Phuypatamarca camp.

    For those not walking the Inca Trail these days are free in and around Cuzco, which is one of the most pleasant and interesting cities in South America, and an excellent place for shopping, eating and drinking as well as a variety of optional tours, including a visit to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman which lies on a hillside above the city, exploration of the colonial religious monuments in Cuzco, or hikes in the surrounding hills. If you prefer something more active your leader can also help to arrange a mountain biking excursion in the Sacred Valley, or a paddle-boarding tour on a nearby lake.

    Accommodation: Hotel Warari (or similar)

    Inca Trail Option: 

    We start the day with an easier climb which takes us past the ruins of Runquracay and over the Runquracay Pass (3930m). From now on the Inca Trail becomes a clearly defined path made of flat boulders. We pass the ruins of Sayajmarca and suddenly enter rainforest; at one point the trail passes through an Inca tunnel. We camp at a spectacular campsite on the ridge above the Inca site of Phuyupatamarca (3680m) to benefit from the views of sunset and sunrise.

    Inca Trail Option: meals included - breakfast, lunch, dinner. Accommodation - Full-service camping, Phuyupatamarca Camp.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Take the train to Machu Picchu. Inca Trail option: walk via Wiñay Wayna to Machu Picchu.

    For most people the highlight of the trip is the visit to the lost city of Machu Picchu. This is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world, in a mountain setting of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it, the Incas left no records of it, so Machu Picchu remains a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle. We depart Cuzco in the morning, drive to Ollantaytambo and then take the train to the town of Aguas Calientes, arriving in the afternoon. The rest of the day has been left free to explore at your own leisure. You may decide to hunt for a bargain in the lively craft market or alternatively there is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, however in recent years they have become over-crowded and the water quality can suffer as a result. Those who have walked the Inca Trail will meet us in Aguas Calientes this evening.

    Accommodation: Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar) 

    Inca Trail Option

    From the ridge we embark on the infamous Inca steps: a two kilometre stone staircase taking us rapidly downhill amid a panorama of overwhelming immensity, with the peaks of the Vilcabamba range above, and the river thousands of metres below. After visiting the attractive ruins of Wiñay Wayna, we have an undulating walk through cloud forest high above the river to Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. From here we get our first full sight of Machu Picchu itself, with Huayna Picchu rising behind.

    Traditionally busy with groups of trekkers clamouring for photos, we plan our arrival at Inti Punku later in the day so we can enjoy unobstructed views of the magnificent ruins. Passing around the edge of the ruins, we exit the site and descend to Aguas Calientes for a well-earned rest, a shower and a comfortable bed for the night. Our trekking permits allow us one entry into the site, which we use for our tour tomorrow, but anyone wishing to visit the citadel on both days can purchase an additional entry ticket today for PEN152 (approx. US$48) - your tour leader will assist with this.

    There is usually time for an optional visit to the hot springs in Aguas Calientes, however in recent years they have become over-crowded and the water quality can suffer as a result. 

    Inca Trail Option: Meals included - breakfast, lunch. Accommodation - Hotel Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

     

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 17

    Morning guided tour of Machu Picchu; afternoon return to Cuzco.

    In order to beat the day-trippers coming from Cuzco, we wake early this morning and take the short bus ride (approx. thirty minutes) up the winding road to the greatest ruin in the world; Machu Picchu. The well-preserved Inca architecture, combined with its spectacular location on a mountain spur high above the Urubamba River, makes Machu Picchu one of the world's most impressive ruins. Your leader will give you a two/three hour guided tour of the ruins and afterwards there will be free time to explore. There are some spectacular walks around the site that you may wish to do, including following the path to the Inca Drawbridge or even up to the Sun Gate for that iconic view of the ruins.

    Once you’ve had your fill, return to Aguas Calientes in time to catch an afternoon train which winds its way through the beautiful Urubamba River Valley back to Ollantaytambo (approx. one and a half hours), and continue by road to Cuzco (approx. two hours).

    Accommodation - Hotel Warari (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 18

    Tour of Cuzco and Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

    We have a full-day tour combining the highlights in and around the city. Outside the town are Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. In the centre we visit the Plaza de Armas, and many examples of the famous Inca stonework like those of the Qoricancha Sun Temple located in the Santo Domingo church and Monastery.

    Accommodation - Hotel Warari (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 19

    Free time in Cuzco.

    Today has been left free to relax and enjoy the many attractions of Cuzco. It is possible to visit the Cathedral, San Blas Church and a religious art museum (sites not visited the previous day) on a combined entrance fee ticket for approx. US$15.

    Accommodation: Hotel Warari (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 20

    Short flight to Puerto Maldonado; travel by boat into rainforest; afternoon jungle walk.

    We leave Cuzco early today as we take a short flight to Puerto Maldonado, a small town in the rainforest. On arrival, we transfer to the dock for a boat trip to our lodge in the Tambopata Reserve – this journey takes between 1½ and 3 hours depending on which lodge we stay in. On the way we may see caimans, river turtles and waterfowl. After some time to settle in, we will take a short walk along the forest trails near the lodge to look for nocturnal animals.

    Accommodation: Cayman Lodge Amazonia (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 21

    Jungle exploration by boat and on foot.

    Activities today will vary according to the lodge used, but will generally include a mixture of walks along the forest trails, time spent in canoes to explore rainforest lakes, and the opportunity to get high into the canopy for a completely different view of the forest. The resident guides are normally around in the evening to answer questions, and from some lodges (not all) there is the option to take a canoe out onto the river in search of caiman by torchlight.

    Accommodation: Cayman Lodge Amazonia (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 22

    Fly to Lima; depart.

    We return to Puerto Maldonado after breakfast today and board our flight back to Lima, where the trip ends. Depending on our arrival time, there may be time for last-minute shopping or optional excursions this afternoon before the group flights depart in the evening.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 23

    Arrive London.

    The group flights arrive in London this afternoon.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Peru

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.

Vaccinations

Peru

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in Peru. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners are included in the price of the tour. For those doing the Inca Trail option, additional meals are included as the trek is full board.

If you choose the Inca Trail (or Moonstone) trek option, all meals, some snacks, and drinks/water are included during the trek. Water provided on the Inca Trail is boiled, treated and filtered. The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink. We recommend bringing a water bottle with you that can be refilled.

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dishes, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably we can not guarantee that wheat/gluten free products will be available for breakfast in all locations - if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food.

Dinner in Nazca is a traditional 'pachamanca' dinner, cooked on hot coals in the ground. Where lunch and dinner is not included we'll visit a variety of cafes and restaurants. For some of the days with long drives we may take some packed lunches to eat at a scenic spot along the way.

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), Alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Weather

Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate. The coastal desert including Lima, is generally dry but cloudy through most of the year. The exception is January to March when the skies are clear and the temperatures rise.

In Cuzco and the Andes, April to November is the dry season; during these months the sky is generally bright and clear with strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud rolling up from the Amazon basin, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! During the dry season temperatures at night can dip to around the freezing mark (and sometimes below!), particularly around Lake Titicaca. The chart shown only shows average temperatures, daytime and night-time extremes in the Andes, particularly in the dry season can be very different from these.

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the Cloud Forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged.

Whilst the Amazon Rainforest is generally warm and humid, it can be subject to drops in temperature caused by cold fronts pushing in from the south - this can occur at any time of year, but happens most often in June and July. This can send temperatures dropping into single figures, and we recommend that you take some warm clothing with you to the lodge in case of sudden changes in the weather.

Cuzco

Is this trip for you?

You should be aware that the size of Peru means that this trip involves some long drives and early starts. The longest drive is about 10 hours. The private buses used are comfortable and the scenery is outstanding. There will be several stops along the way to help break up the journey.

Although the rainforest lodges we use are clean and comfortable, they are remote and facilities are limited. In particular, you should note that electricity is usually only provided in the main buildings, not in the bedrooms.

There are two itinerary options to choose from on this tour as follows:
1. Spend extra time exploring in and around Cuzco, then take the train to Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes).
2. Trek the four day classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

You must select/request either the 'train option' or the ‘Inca Trail trek option’ at the time of booking.

There are extremely stringent booking procedures in place for the Inca Trail. A trekking permit is required and there is a daily cap on the number of these available. Inca Trail permits sell out very quickly, especially for peak season treks (May to August). If you wish to do the trek, we therefore recommend booking at least 6-8 months in advance to avoid disappointment. We will also need your full passport details (required to purchase your Inca Trail permit) or we will be unable to process your booking.

Should you wish to trek but find that Inca Trail permits have already sold out, we can also offer an alternative trek (not requiring a permit) in its place - the Moonstone Trek. Please enquire for details.

No matter which option you decide on, this trip spends considerable time at altitude. Although we have taken care to design the itinerary to allow for gradual acclimatisation, you should be aware of this. The journey from Puno/Lake Titicaca to Cuzco (day 11) takes us across the high altiplano and over La Raya Pass (4313m). We also travel over Patapampa Pass (4850m) en route to Chivay near Colca Canyon - the highest point on the tour. 

The Inca Trail trek option
Please note that the trek itself is graded as Moderate (level 3). There are 4 days walking with full porterage, at a maximum altitude of 4215m, average 3050m. Though not without its difficulties (in particular the ascent and descent of the first pass, known as Dead Woman's Pass!) this trek is certainly possible for anyone in a good state of health and fitness, but we would not recommend it as a beginner's trek to anyone who is totally unused to walking. If you are not a regular walker you should put in some physical preparation before departure. It is also not particularly suitable for those with bad knees due to the number of steep and uneven steps, particularly on the third and fourth days of the trek.

Inca Trail Regulations
There are a number of important regulations regarding the Inca Trail that we would like to make you aware of:
1. Spaces on the Inca Trail are on a first come, first served basis and we urge you to book as early as possible.
2. If you cancel your booking more than 8 weeks before departure and wish to transfer your deposit to another departure or another trip the transfer fee is £150 as we will lose the permit we have purchased. This is an amendment to our Booking Conditions. No transfers are possible within 8 weeks of departure.
3. Bookings can only be made if we are supplied with your full name, passport details, date of birth and nationality, exactly as per the passport you will be using to travel to Peru (this information is used to purchase your Inca Trail permit). If your passport details do not match those on your permit you will be refused entry to the Inca Trail by the local authorities.
4. Should the passport used to purchase your permit be lost, stolen or expire before your Inca Trail start date, you must purchase a new passport and notify Exodus immediately as we will need to apply to amend your Inca Trail permit. To do so, you must supply copies of both your old and new passports to Exodus in advance of travel and pay an administration fee of £25. For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make a copy of your passport at the time of booking and keep it somewhere safe.
5. Please be aware that these regulations may change at any time, and Exodus is not responsible for the decisions made by Peruvian authorities.
6. There is a possibility that the Peruvian authorities may increase the entrance fees to the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and other major sights at any time. If they do so, we will inform you of this increase and the extra amount will need to be paid locally in cash in Peru.

Please Note: Whilst your departure date may be 'Guaranteed', your Inca Trail permit itself will initially be 'On Request'. If travelling within the current year we will try to purchase your permit immediately upon receiving your booking. If travelling next year, we will apply for your permit as soon as they are released for sale. In either case, in the event that we are unable to get your permit we will contact you to discuss your options.

Call us on
(354) 567 8978
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Jungle Lodge (plus camping on Inca Trail option)

We spend 18 nights in hotels and 2 nights in a jungle lodge all with en-suite facilities. For the optional Inca Trail trek, 3 nights full service camping replace 3 hotel nights.

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary however accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. All of our hotels are clean and comfortable, and we stay in central locations wherever possible in the towns and cities. Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at reception.

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug in heaters and spare blankets. Additionally whilst all of the hotels have a hot water supply, it can be temperamental when there is high demand.

A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, some rooms might hear the trains.

In the rainforest we use several lodges in the Tambopata Reserve. All offer a similar standard of accommodation and rainforest experience, and each has a network of walking trails through the forest. The lodges are usually located between 1½ and 3½ hours by boat from Puerto Maldonado, and each has a main building surrounded by lodge/bungalow accommodation. The rooms are usually based on two people sharing, and all have private bathrooms with a shower, as well as individual mosquito nets over the beds and, in some cases, mosquito screens on the windows. There is generally no electricity in the bedrooms, and lighting is provided by lanterns or candles. The main buildings each have a dining room and bar, as well as a small library of books relating to the rainforest and its flora and fauna. These are usually the only areas of the lodge with an electrical supply (not 24 hour).

For those who select the Inca Trail Trek option: during the trek we spend three nights full-service camping, meaning that our camp staff will erect and dismantle the tents, cook, and do all camp chores for you. You need only carry your day pack. There will also be dining and toilet tents and bowls of warm water are provided both morning and evening for washing with.

We recommend the early booking of single supplements and of pre/post-tour accommodation. Single rooms can be booked for an optional single supplement of From £450, subject to availability at the time of booking (excludes two nights in the Amazon lodge). If you are taking the Inca Trail option, this supplement covers the cost of a single tent for the duration of the trek.

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Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed May 2017
    Eve Gentilhomme

    APX170407 Peru Explorer

    Very good holiday on the whole

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The inca trail was my favourite, but I enjoyed the whole trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    One of the best. Very committed and did everything he could to make the holiday memorable. Very caring and devoted to the group

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for ir

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I don't eat meat and had no problems during the whole trip.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    David Mayne

    Mr David Mayne

    An exceptional holiday experience, far surpasses anything I could have imagined. The history, sightseeing, enthusiasm of the guide, nothing was to much trouble for him. All the team at Exodus and individual guides I could not commend high enough.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Finally getting to the sun gate at Machu Pichu and seeing the fabled Inca ruins shrouded in mist for the first time, just awe inspiring. The porters also deserve a mention for all their hard work and some of those marvelous culinary delights they concocted. The bird life on the islands came a magical second.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wilbert Ramos was a man apart from all others in turn informative, helpful , spiritual, non judgemental, kind. Unlike any other guide we have had in the past. This man was everything you could want in a leader. Words could not praise him highly enough. Special commendation should also go to our driver Nico who drove vast distances and got us all to our destination without any problems. Shandi who was our.second guide on the Inca trail was also a delight.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not fear South America as we initially did, instead embrace the country and all it has to offer The culture will astound you, and the friendliness of the people will live with you forever. It is different, it can, at times be maddening, but take it from me you will never experience such a rich and diverse quality of life than this holiday has to offer.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Once again praise in abundance for Wilbert for making this holiday extra special, and the entire team of guides and porters who, without their help would have made this particular holiday well, - Just very good , but with their help exceptional.
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Martin Bilson

    Peru Explorer

    A truly wonderful experience packed with wonderful Inca history, fantastic scenery, wildlife, boat trips, train rides and a flight over the amazing Nasca Lines, walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and ending the holiday in the Amazon Rainforest watching Macaws,Chameleons ,monkeys etc with the "buzz" of Forest life in your ears.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking on a misty day through the Inca Gate of the Sun to have the mist clear and reveal Machu Picchu in all its glory - magical.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An inspirational leader with extensive knowledge of Inca history, the Peruvian way of life, flora and fauna and excellent organisational skills

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it if you can !
  • Reviewed October 2016
    Linda Killin

    Peru Explorer

    Brilliant overview of this country. It creeps into your heart over the days. It's people, history, culture, cuisine. A great trip well thought out.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Inca Trail for me was a personal highlight. Not having camped for over 30 years I was a wee bit apprehensive but the entire experience was magical. The porters are simply the best. Awakening each morning to a hot drink served at your tent was a great start to the day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Fabricio was the best guide I've ever had on any trip including 2 previous Exodus adventures. He is amazing, knowledgable and passionate about his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If your thinking about this trip I would definitely recommend it. One of the best experiences of my life. The trail is a great challenge in a wonderful part of the world. Definitely try the Pisco Sour too.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I miss you Peru
  • Reviewed October 2015
    Elaine stalker

    Peru Explorer - September 2015

    Exodus describe this trip as leisurely/moderate - it's not. Be prepared for lots of 6am starts, several very long days on the coach and very little free time unless you opt out of organised activities. The Inca Trail is tough going, particularly on days 1 and 2 when the combination of heat and altitude make it quite a slog. Conditions in the jungle are far more basic than described in trip notes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Dead Womans Pass on day 2 of the Inca Trail and knowing that it was mainly downhill from there to Machu Picchu.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Rene and the other local guides were very well organised and knowledgable. My only criticism would be that they tried to cram too much in and we often felt that we were racing round museums and sites without time to take in our surroundings. By the end of our trip I definitely felt Inca'd out!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes before you go. Appreciate just how much of this trip will be spent sitting on the bus. Accept that the standard of hotel used by Exodus (and the hotel rooms allocated to Exodus guests) are perhaps poorer than could/should be. Use sols rather than US dollars (except for Nazca flight). Don't do souvenir shopping until Aguas Calientes or Cuzco markets. Accommodation in Amazon is very basic and rainforest walk in wellington boots is a lot of effort if you hardly see any wildlife. Book an extra day in Lima at the end of your trip so that you don't face a long journey home smelling of the jungle - we were up at 6am in jungle for 2 hour boat trip, 1 hour bumpy bus journey, flight to Cuzco from Puerto Maldonado, flight from Cuzco to Lima, 6 hours in Lima airport, 11 hour flight to Paris, 5 hours in airport then 1 hour flight back to UK when there had been almost no water in our jungle lodge shower

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was an unforgettable experience with many high points but best described as an adventure rather than a holiday.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Thomas Robson

    peru may 2015

    Excellent trip.weather hot,cold,freezing.food very good.,and reasonably cheap.use sols not dollars.in a trail terrific.camping very good.porters and cooks great.a Hugh tarantula came into the tent during the night.sacred valley the most scenic.lake titicaca and floating islands great.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Coming down from inca trail to machu pichu.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I have been on 12 exodus trips and to as rates one of the best.has been guide for 10 years and is still totally enthusiastic.nothing was a bother .terrific organiser.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Lots of walking on this holiday,lots of stone steps.the amazon basin is pretty basic accommodation. Rather squelchy and wet under foot in the forest,but we'll worth it.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Only 8 on trip,no one complained about any thing.everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • Reviewed June 2015
    Peter Goodyear

    Peru Explorer

    We cannot fault this holiday – well done Exodus • Great itinerary, well planned action packed adventure from start to finish. Good accommodation and transport arrangements. • Fabulous insight into Peru, its places, history, food, wildlife and peoples • The greatest accolade goes to our guide who added significantly to our enjoyment of the trip and that of the group as a whole.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The 'Eureka' moment of seeing Machu Picchu for the first time from the Sun Gate on the Inca Trail.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Peruvian guide was a great ambassador for Peru and all that it offers. His knowledge, English vocabulary, contacts, people skills and organisational skills were second to none. The whole group felt that they were looked after 24/7 by someone extremely competent. We have never had a better guide. In my own 40 year career in public service I saw good and bad examples of customer service and personally strove for continual improvement. There are very few who come up to our guide's standard across the board. Please pass on our thanks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Good to do the Inca Trail if you have the time and are fit enough. We didn't use dollars, not many places took them and not the best rates ... we just used Sols (lots of advice favouring dollars that we don't agree with).

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We cannot thank you and all of the team at Exodus enough. We were expecting the holiday to be very special and it exceeded our expectations all round. The fabulous memories of our shared adventure will endure for the rest of our days.
  • Reviewed July 2014
    Tracy Lissenden

    peru

    I thought my trip to peru was very organised. You are very well looked after. Lots of detailed information. The tour guides very happy to answer all questions. Would recommend exodus to friends. Very enjoyable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking the inca-trail for me was the best. The views were mind blowing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    My group leader was fantastic and great fun to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you take enough clothes on the inca trail as i did not expect it to rain so hard. And take a note book to write information as there was so much to learn about.
  • Reviewed April 2014
    Martin Wolverson

    Peru Explorer

    Excellent, and as usual with Exodus, never a moment to get bored ! Exodus are as far as i know, the only company to offer a tour of Peru with an OPTION to do the Inca Trail. This suited me and wife, as i wanted to do trail, she didn't but was happy to get rid of me for a few days as she got on well with rest of group. 4 of the 16 did the trail.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trail was of course, but numerous other bits throughout the holiday

    What did you think of your group leader?

    fine

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I see lots of queries re use or not use walking poles. I'v never used poles so didn't - the porters don't ! I havn't seen it mentioned anywhere, but importantly, the rock used for paths and steps resembles pumice stone, so never seemed remotely slippery even when wet, so i can't see any advantage using poles. Don't take travellers chqs - v few places to change them and v little opportunity time wise. Take cash. If you want to add another experience (independently) i did the highest bungee jump in S America at Cusco on a free day. Was v reasonable cost too. Office in town lay on a car to take you (and spectators) to the location.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Pleasant boat trip to Titicaca floating islands, but once there felt it was a tacky rip off. (The date i have put in as travelled is a guess as only just found this facility)
  • Reviewed October 2013
    Anonymous

    PERU EXPLORER

    An amazing trip which just kept giving, from sea level to the mountains, it was all unforgettable!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's hard to pick just one inspirational moment but my personal highlights were:Seeing penguins in the wildThe Inca Trail... and arriving at the Sun Gate in the Sun - after two days of rain and hail (don't forget to pack a plastic poncho, it could become your new bestfriend!)The Amazon - wow, wow and thrice wow!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Carlos couldn't have done enough for us, even arranging and leading tours on the free days in Cuzco for the people who didn't do the trail. His knowledge was vast and he had a good sense of humour - which I think is a must when dealing with any group of people - Thank you Carlos for a fabulous holiday!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take enough memory cards for your camera - I blew through 1500 photos in the three weeks very easily and I didn't even think I was taking many pics!Definately take a plastic poncho for the Inca TrailWhen they said it could be cold in the Amazon, it really can (still a little in shock at the 3:45am wake up call but it was well worth it!)The food in Peru is amazing! Far better than I was ever expecting - and despite eating like a horse (and making the most of every help yourself buffet) I still came back lighter - result!Apply mozzie repellant in Arrequipe - didn't get bitten anywhere else but was chewed there.Walking poles are a must for the Inca Trail. I'd never used them before and they were an absolute god send for hauling yourself up the big steps and acting as brakes on the 'smaller' onesTake more than one jumper! I foolishly didn't and it can get quite cold at night and the air con on the bus can be a bit of a mixed blessingApply suntan lotion even when its a grey day (found this out the hard way, doh!)You can get sols (currency) in the UK - which I did and the exchange rate was pretty good. Try to keep the notes as small and 'clean'/untorn as possible though as they don't like them otherwise.If you don't have a loo on the bus, which we didn't, you could spend a couple of £ a day on the toilets and they generally cost 1 sol (25p) a pee (and you often needed your own loo roll and soap) so try to get change when you canYou will have an amazing time, go on, book it, you know you want to really!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There's a lot more time spent on the bus than I had appreciated from the trip notes, but then it is a big country and there is a lot to see. Despite feeling a little bus bound at times I would thoroughly recommend doing this trip.  With the extra time there than on the other Peru holidays we were able to spend longer getting used to the altitude and I think this helped me immensely on the trek.If you're humming and ahhing over the cost, just bite the bullet as I didn't regret a single penny and didn't spend excessive when I got there (think I took and spent the equivalent of $500). Have a great time!

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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