Machu Picchu & Andean Highlights
Destinations Destinations
Machu Picchu, Lima, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Arequipa, Colca Canyon
Activity Activity
Nature & Wildlife, Culture & History, Luxury, Family
Tour Type Tour Type
Custom itinerary, Private tour
Physical Level Physical Level
Mild
Season Season
January - December

Good to know

  • Private tour: all days & activities tailored to your preferences
  • Explore at your pace, choose your own travel dates
  • Tours and excursions with your own private guide
  • 24/7 in-country support and assistance
  • Carefully-selected, quality assured hotels

This popular route covers the best of Peru's southern highlands, a region of remarkable natural and historical heritage. Starting from Lima you'll head south to Arequipa, Peru's elegant second city and gateway to the Colca Canyon. From here you'll travel to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake on earth and cradle of the Aymara pre-Colombian cultures. Finish the epic trip in the Sacred Valley, exploring Cusco and, of course, Machu Picchu.

If you've got time to extend your trip you can get truly off the beaten path with a visit to some of Peru's lesser-known archaeological sites, the Amazon rainforest, or simply spend a little longer in Lima and Cusco for a better insight into contemporary Peru, its fascinating culture and world-beating cuisine.

Suggested Itinerary

All days can be adjusted as required

Choose your direction

This is a customisable trip

Use the following itinerary for inspiration. Remember: all days, hotels and activities can be altered to suit your requirements. A SA Expeditions travel expert will be happy to advise.

Arrival to Lima

Welcome to Peru! Today is a transit day, and after a long flight you're probably looking forward to a nice meal and some relaxation. A representative will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The Costa del Sol hotel is located right across the street from the airport and is the best choice for travellers connecting to Cusco early the next morning. But if you want to spend longer exploring Lima, you’ll have the time to head into the picturesque waterfront district of Miraflores. Peru's capital city is well worth exploring - get in touch if you'd like to tailor this itinerary with more time in Lima.

Colonial Arequipa

You'll take a short flight from Lima to Arequipa, an elegant colonial-era city constructed from white volcanic stone, has some fantastic cafes, and the year-round sunshine makes it very tempting to linger. In the evening, we suggest you take a relaxing stroll around the Plaza de Armas and enjoy some tasty Arequipeña cuisine at one of our recommended restaurants.

On your second day in town you'll take a half-day Arequipa tour, allowing you to fully appreciate why many consider this to be the most beautiful city in all of Peru. Key sights include the Santa Catalina Monastery where nuns lived in seclusion for 400 years and the Plaza de Armas. Then head back to your hotel or continue across the plaza independently to visit the museum that houses the world's best- preserved mummies, including Juanita the Ice Maiden.

Plumb the depths of Colca Canyon

Early in the morning, you will depart for Colca Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world, where Andean culture has preserved its way of life for hundreds of years. Majestic volcanoes form the backdrop of the alpine landscape as you venture into this breathtaking valley.

Islands of Lake Titicaca

As the sun is rising over the canyon you will take off for the Cruz del Condor, a fantastic outlook point where you stand the best chance of viewing the Andean condor. To see groups of these enormous birds with 10-foot wingspans glide by at such close range is unforgettable. Continuing the journey to Puno, you will arrive at your hotel on the banks of Lake Titicaca by evening.

On your second day you'll head out onto the azure waters of Lake Titicaca, calling first at the floating islands of Uros where local families build not just their houses but also boats and whole islands out of reeds. Then you'll briefly visit the island of Taquile en route to the private island of Isla Suasi, where you will spend the night in an eco-lodge.

Featured Accommodation
Isla Suasi
Superior

Isla Suasi

Explore historical Cusco

We recommend travelling overland from Lake Titicaca to Cuzco to take in the scenery and historical sites along the way. However, if you desire a bit more luxury, the Andean Explorer train conveys you to Cuzco in the utmost of comfort and classic style. To give you the chance to acclimatise, the first day is free for relaxation. But if you're up for a bit of exploring, the city centre is pedestrian-friendly and full of fascinating sites, colours and people. Your guide will happily recommend the city's best options for delicious dining and exciting shopping.

On your second day in Cusco you'll take a full-day private tour of the city, which was once the capital of the Inca Empire. You'll visit Sacsayhuaman, an immense Inca complex with impressive stonework, and Koricancha, one of the most important Inca temples (the walls were once actually coated in gold!). You’ll also stop at Cusco Cathedral where you'll learn about the intricacies of the Cusco school of art and view fascinating historical artefacts.

Private tour of the Sacred Valley

Prepare to have your breath taken away! On a full day private tour of the Sacred Valley you'll visit the ancient circular agricultural terraces of Moray, the salt mines at Maras, and the ruins and village of Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, you’ll be treated to a scenic train ride through the Sacred Valley to the town of Aguas Calientes where you will stay in comfort to await the highlight of your tour.

Private Machu Picchu tour

This is one for your bucket list. Uncover the mystical secrets of Machu Picchu during a private, expert-guided tour of the famed citadel. You'll have the opportunity to visit the most important parts of the ruins to wonder at how they were constructed. You can also hike to the top of Huayna Picchu for a bird's eye view of the ruins and valley beneath you. The steep path takes about an hour and a half to ascend. After a day you’ll remember for the rest of your life, you’ll depart from Aguas Calientes by train for Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival at the train station you will be met and transferred to your Cusco hotel.

International departure

A representative will pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the Cusco airport for your flight to Lima and onward connection.

More time? We highly recommend spending longer in Lima for a tour of the city, including the Larco Museum, the San Francisco Monastery and its famous catacombs, Lima's historic colonial squares, and contemporary Miraflores. For longer extensions this trip can be easily customised to include the Galapagos Islands, Iguazu Falls, or Patagonia. Get in touch now for a custom itinerary.

Where would you like to stay?

Choose your preferred class of hotel

Casa San Blas, Cusco

Classic

Peru's Classic (three-star equivalent) hotels provide the optimal combination of quality and value. The best Classic properties are sensitively constructed in local styles, offer great dining options and offer comfortable, spacious and well-appointed rooms; particularly well suited to family groups.

Isla Suasi, Lake Titicaca

Superior

Peru's superior (four-star equivalent) hotels offer fine rooms, exclusive service and excellent dining. Many occupy unique locations and buildings, such as a private island on Lake Titicaca or grand colonial-era mansions.

Pueblo Hotel, Machu Picchu

Deluxe

Peru's five-star hotels are world class, offering impeccable service and unbeatable facilities. The best are sensitively constructed from local materials to match traditional architectural styles and their restaurants take pride in showcasing the very best of Peruvian cuisine.

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Price guide

Pricing varies by accommodation class and group size. Get in touch for more details.

Class Price per person
Classic $3,990
Superior $4,590
Deluxe $5,390

Tour inclusions

Get in touch now for more details

Included Accommodation

Carefully-selected, quality assured hotels including unique, independently-owned boutiques. All hotels can be upgraded or changed on request.

Included Guided excursions

All trips and excursions accompanied by expert, bi-lingual guides to help you get an inside view on Peru.

Included Ground transfers

All airport collections and hotel transfers in private cars and comfortable minivans.

Included Hotel breakfasts

All breakfasts and some lunches included. Your guides will happily advise on local restaurants for evening meals.

Included Camping equipment

All camping gear and equipment supplied (on trekking tours where required).

Included Internal flights

Domestic airfare / internal flights are included in the price.

Testimonials

What people are saying about SA Expeditions

E
Eric and Katie
15/07/2019

We would highly recommend SA Expeditions if you want to travel with less stress and some extra comfort. We were beyond pleased with our adventure! We greatly appreciate you for helping us through the Lima airport, it would have taken us a long time to figure out. Our Machu Picchu, Sacred valley, Textile, Salt flats, and Ollantaytambo were really neat. The Wayna Picchu hike was worth it and we felt was the highlight of Machu Picchu. We were very pleased with our room and travel accommodations. We will definitely be in touch if we decide to go back!

B
Becky
11/07/2019

I could not be more pleased with the trip arranged by SA Expeditions. I found SA on line and they had very positive reviews. The entire trip to Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu was arranged in two days and I left on my originally scheduled departure date. When my flight from the US were delayed SA tracked the changes and still arranged for pick up and escort at the airport even at 4:30 a.m. arriving 6 hours late. When I arrived in Cusco I was met by my guide Martin and spent the next five days with him and our driver. It was a totally private tour through the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco. The hotels were high 4-5 star and beautiful. Martin was knowledgeable, considerate and a lot of fun. As a woman traveling alone it could have not been better. Returning to Lima I was picked up by Ruth my guide and driver. They were equally as knowledgeable and paid attention to every detail. Thanks to SA I had a wonderful experience. Jeanie my travel coordination did a fantastic job of putting together a high end trip with little time and stayed in touch throughout the trip to make sure it was running smoothly. I would recommend anyone looking for a South American adventure book work with SA. I certainly plan to use them again.

S
Sarah
21/06/2019

We had an amazing trip! Every aspect is something we would recommend to others. The SA Expeditions planning experience with, the flexibility when we had to make changes to our itinerary, personal 1-1 connection to an expert made the process very smooth and enjoyable. The hotels were exactly what we had hoped for – authentic yet comfortable. Casa Cartegna service was impeccable and the location very convenient. We loved the court yard, the breakfast was delicious, well beyond what we anticipated and the tea service was a nice touch. Machu Picchu was by far our favorite day. Our driver, airport escort and guides were all top notch, friendly, helpful. In all cases I felt like we were in good hands, we enjoyed ourselves and we learned a lot about Peru. Dimas was a great guide and an incredible story teller, had helpful recommendations, stopped and took many photos for us – he always knew the best spots. He answered all our questions and was flexible when we wanted to stay longer or switch the order of something. He made a very positive impact on our experience for sure. The idea to get a room at the hotel for the long layover was great – we were very happy we did that. This is a trip we will never forget. Something we have dreamed about and the experience exceeded our expectations.

Days

12

From only

$3,990 pp

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