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Machu Picchu and the Andes

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4.7 stars(6 reviews)
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Discover the incredible 'lost city of the Incas' by rail

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
15 days From £3,495 per person

2022 Tour code: PUJ22

About the tour

The lost city of Machu Picchu and the treasures of Peru are unveiled in this unique adventure. Unforgettable experiences await you in this South American paradise, as we enjoy a blend of scenic rail journeys, excellent hotels, and enthralling historic sights.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Lima

From London Heathrow, we fly via Amsterdam to Lima, the vibrant capital city of Peru.

Day 2 - Lima

We're introduced to the city on Day 2 with a guided tour, discovering the city's more modern districts as well as its fascinating historic centre. One of the highlights of our explorations is Casa de Aliaga, the best-preserved colonial mansion in the Americas. Dating back to 1535 the house is still lived in today and boasts beautiful, grand architecture and furnishings.

Day 3 - To Arequipa

Heading to the airport this morning, we board our flight to the 'White City' of Arequipa, nicknamed due to the striking white volcanic stone known as sillar that was used to construct much of the city.

We take a guided tour of the city this afternoon, beginning at the Carmen Alto viewpoint where we take in impressive views across the city, the volcanic mountains, and the surrounding rural countryside. We continue to the traditional neighbourhood of Yanahuara, a tranquil district known for its pearly white buildings and Spanish-colonial churches.

In the heart of Arequipa, we visit the cathedral as well as the enormous complex of monastic buildings that make up the Santa Catalina Convent. Founded in 1580, the complex has a fascinating history. Behind closed doors, the nuns - daughters of aristocrats - paid little heed to the vows of poverty and silence. Each had her own servant and porcelain plates, fine tablecloths, and silver cutlery. Today, the convent has been beautifully refurbished with period furniture and paintings, and is home to about 20 nuns who live much more piously than their predecessors.

Day 4 - Arequipa

On Day 4, you're free to explore Arequipa at your own pace. There are plenty of historical sights and colourful monasteries here to seek out, or you could take it slowly and relax in one of the city's many hip cafés or restaurants.

Day 5 - Colca Canyon

We travel to Colca Valley this morning, stopping en-route at the National Reserve of Pampa Canahuas and the quaint village of Chivay, which continues to embrace its delightfully traditional stone buildings, and even has an 'Inca' bridge nearby. We also pay a visit to the town of Yanque, visiting a museum dedicated to this unique region and its people.

Day 6 - Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon itself plays host to the legendary condor, and on Day 6 we visit 'Mirador Cruz del Condor', the perfect viewpoint from which to spot these magnificent creatures soaring on thermal air currents.

Day 7 - Puno

We take a coach this morning for Puno, enjoying scenic stops along the way. During the journey, we reach heights of up to 14,700 feet above sea level, allowing us to enjoy fabulous views across the Andes. We check into our hotel in Puno on arrival.

Day 8 - Lake Titicaca

On Day 8 we enjoy an excursion by speedboat to Lake Titicaca. We cruise to the Uros floating islands where incredible flotillas made entirely out of totora reeds are used by the enterprising Uros people. From here we continue to Taquile, a beautiful island home to the Aymara, a Spanish-speaking people who live in an almost economically-autonomous community. We enjoy lunch here before returning to the hotel for a relaxed afternoon.

Day 9 - Cusco

We board the PeruRail Titicaca Train to Cusco, taking in the beautiful Andean landscapes as we journey in restored 1920s carriages through the Peruvian Highlands.

Cusco is a city of true beauty, and is regarded as the 'Archaeological Capital of the Americas' with its delightful blend of indigenous and colonial Spanish architecture. One of the most impressive attractions here are the incredible Inca walls, created from enormous granite blocks that were carved to fit together without the aid of mortar beds. It's a lasting tribute to the ingenuity of the Incas that their design has survived the test of time.

Day 10 - Cusco

Day 10 includes a sightseeing tour of this ancient capital. We take in the Plaza de Armas, in the historic centre, and San Pedro market before visiting the Temple of Koricancha, or 'Temple of the Sun'. This temple was one of the most important in the Inca Empire, and is truly a unique place to visit. Originally built around 12000 AD, it was brought to ruin during a war with Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. Today, a Spanish cathedral sits on top of the original stone foundations, and there's an underground archaeological museum displaying relics from the site.

Day 11 - Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo

Our journey today takes us to the highlight of our holiday as we travel on the scenic rail route to Aguas Calientes to visit the 'Lost City of the Incas': Machu Picchu. A winding bus ride takes us all the way up to the city itself, where we are greeted by one of the most incredible sights in the world. Our local guide explains the fascinating history of this awe-inspiring site that was forgotten for 400 years and remained undiscovered until 1911. Machu Picchu is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as being one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

After time to soak up the ancient atmosphere, we join the train to Ollantaytambo, transferring by coach to our hotel.

Day 12 - Ollantaytambo

On Day 12, we admire the city's impressive fortress, which, even in ruins, is an incredible sight to behold. Next, we make our way to Chinchero by coach to experience the impressive Sunday market as well as visit its church and see some traditional weaving techniques.

Day 13 - Pisac

Driving to Pisac today, we enjoy a walk around the Inty Huatana fortress. If we look hard enough, it's possible to find the ancient Intihuatana ritual stone which was used as an astrological clock by the Incas. Literally translated, 'Intihuatana' means 'the Hitching Post of the Sun'.

We return to Cusco this afternoon, stopping off at the Awanachancha Textile Centre en route. Here, we meet the llamas, vicunas, guanacos, and alpacas who donate their coats to be transformed into a myriad of colourful cloths.

Day 14 - Lima and London

Following an internal flight to Lima this afternoon, we fly via Amsterdam to London Heathrow.

Day 15 - London

We arrive back in London today.

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs, Colca Valley

Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs, Colca Valley

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Costa del Sol Ramada Hotel, Cusco

Costa del Sol Ramada Hotel, Cusco

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Casa Andina Private Collection hotels, Peru

Casa Andina Private Collection hotels, Peru

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Sonesta hotels, Puno and Yucay

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Train

PeruRail Titicaca Train

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Upgrades

London Hotels
UK rail connections

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Galapagos

Reviews

4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 6 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (4)
  2. 4 stars
    (2)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
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  5. 1 star
    (0)

IVAN

4 stars

Submitted 20/Jun

The tour itself was excellent but the reason for only four stars is that the pre tour information was very slow in being made available.

Collected by Trustpilot

C Foxwell

5 stars

Submitted 18/Jun

Wonderful experience travelling with a like minded group. One of the best experiences we have had when travelling with GRJ. Bill our tour manger was excellent and local tour guides provided more than excellent information and local knowledge of history and how current day living interacted with its past and where it was heading into the future. Despite Covid requirements the tour was outstanding and we felt safe in all locations.

Collected by Trustpilot

A Attard

5 stars

Submitted 16/Jun

A once in a lifetime fantastic experience. Very well managed.

Collected by Trustpilot

Edward Wallis

5 stars

Submitted 15/Jun

Star of the show was the country of Peru. Excellent local tour guides with vast knowledge added to the overall comprehensive coverage on this wonderful tour. There could have been slightly better communication about some of the Civic rules before leaving England but that aside, great trip!

Collected by Trustpilot

customer

5 stars

Submitted 15/Jun

Best trip ever!

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr M Brown

4 stars

Submitted 05 Jun 2017

Saw some wonderful sites and amazing views. All highlights were real highlights.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

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Machu Picchu and the Andes

Discover the incredible 'lost city of the Incas' by rail

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