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Machu Picchu and the Andes

You are viewing the 2025 itinerary. Select your departure year
15 days From £4,195 per person
4.8 stars(14 reviews)

Discover the incredible ‘lost city of the Incas’ and the jewels of Peru on an unforgettable South American adventure through jaw-dropping scenery

Mobility Rating 4

2025 Tour code: PUJ25

About the tour

Mysterious Machu Picchu and the gleaming treasures of the Andes are unveiled on this unique South American adventure.

Uncover Lima, Peru's colourful and historic capital, and the shimmering 'White City' of Arequipa before heading high into the Andes to admire the breathtaking Colca Canyon, where majestic condors soar.

Sail to the reed islands of Lake Titicaca, home to welcoming indigenous peoples, and unwind on a scenic rail journey to Cusco on board the Titicaca Train. Marvel at the lost cities and spectacular temples of the Inca's Sacred Valley.

Unforgettable experiences

Step back in time at the world-famous Machu Picchu
Step back in time at the world-famous Machu Picchu
Walk amongst the iconic lost city and its many Incan treasures including the Temple of Three Windows and the sacred sundial, and marvel at the view of this breathtaking hilltop settlement.
Viewing condors in the spectacular Colca Canyon
Viewing condors in the spectacular Colca Canyon
Admire magnificent Andean condors as they soar majestically above the stunning Colca Canyon – the world’s second deepest canyon. Bask in astonishing vistas of the jaw-dropping ravine and learn about the culture of indigenous people.
Touring Peru’s picturesque towns and cities
Touring Peru’s picturesque towns and cities
On sightseeing tours led by knowledgeable local guides, learn about Lima’s colonial history, Arequipa’s beautiful Santa Catalina Monastery, the ancient Incan capital of Cusco, and the spiritual Andean town of Pisac.
Cruising to the unique islands of Lake Titicaca
Cruising to the unique islands of Lake Titicaca
Visit the floating Uros Islands constructed of reeds that are also used to build boats and houses. From here, sail on to UNESCO-listed Taquile to view colourful crafts and enjoy a traditional lunch.
Exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas
From Machu Picchu in the north to Pisac in the south, the Urubamba River shelters many cherished Incan temples and cities. Uncover the most remarkable on visits to characterful Ollantaytambo and charming Chinchero.

What’s included


Day 1 - Arrival in the Peruvian capital, Lima

We gather this morning at London Heathrow, where we join our fellow travellers and Tour Manager for our incredible Peruvian adventure. After a short hop to Paris, we fly across the Atlantic Ocean to South America, arriving in Lima in the early evening (local time).

On arrival, we transfer to our modern, 4-Star hotel in the Miraflores district of the Peruvian capital. Once known as the 'City of Kings', Lima is one of South America's most populus cities and has redefined itself as Latin America's trendiest food destination.

Set between the bustling John F Kennedy Park, renowned for its street vendors and resident cats, and the beaches along the Pacific Ocean, there is plenty to see and do near our hotel, even while lounging by the rooftop pool. We convene this evening in the hotel restaurant for our first meal together as a group.

Day 2 - Discover Lima, the city of conquistadors

Lima was founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro and his band of Spanish conquistadors in an area originally home to the Ichma people. After breakfast, we set out to discover Lima for ourselves.

At the city's historic heart is a remarkably well-preserved UNESCO-listed centre of colourful colonial buildings and the astounding yellow façade of the magnificent Basilica and Convent of San Francisco - the best example of Lima Baroque architecture. We explore the courtyards, catacombs and Mudéjar ceilings of the cloisters, made from Nicaraguan cedar. We walk to the nearby Casa de Aliaga, built in 1535 for one of Pizarro's fellow conquistadors. Richly painted, this is the oldest private house in the Americas and descendants of Aliaga still reside here.

Delving into Liman history before the arrival of the Spanish, we visit Huaca Pucllana, the remains of a pre-Incan pyramid that played a significant ceremonial role for the Lima Culture, and the astonishing Huaca Huallamarca pyramid. After lunch in a local restaurant, there is free time to continue exploring enthralling Lima - or relax by the Pacific shores near our hotel.

Day 3 - To the ‘White City’ of Arequipa

This morning we take a short internal flight to the southern city of Arequipa. On the banks of the River Chili, Peru's second city is known as the 'White City' due to the striking volcanic stone - called sillar - that was used to construct many of its buildings.

After a lunch at a local restaurant, we get a panoramic overview of this attractive city and its volcanic surroundings from the Carmen Alto viewpoint where we begin a sightseeing tour. In the charming neighbourhood of Yanahuara, we admire the gorgeous 18th-century Church of St John the Baptist with a beautifully ornate mestizo Baroque façade. Arequipa's main square - Plaza de Armas - is one of the most beautiful in South America. Lined on three sides by white-stone buildings with split-level arcades, the focus is drawn to the huge 17th-century cathedral. The stunning Compañia de Jesús Church, built in 1590, displays an incredibly intricately carved façade.

The rest of the day is at leisure, and you can relax at our attractive and central 4-Star hotel or stroll to a local restaurant for dinner.

Day 4 - Santa Catalina Monastery and Arequipa at leisure

We enter an oasis of calm today on a guided tour of the remarkable Santa Catalina Monastery. This enormous Dominican complex was founded in 1579 and has since been gracefully refurbished with period features. There is time to explore the narrow streets, floral gardens and tranquil cloisters resembling a miniature walled colonial town in the centre of Arequipa. Once populated by up to 500 nuns who each had their own servants, Santa Catalina is now home to about 20 nuns who live a much more pious existence.

After exploring the monastery's beautiful alleys and colourful courtyards, there is a free day to uncover Arequipa at leisure. Enjoy the graceful plazas of Peru's most beautiful city before indulging in popular local cuisine. From delicious fresh salads such as soltero de queso, the pork-based adobo stew and herbal ocopa sauce to well-regarded beers and the emblematic Pisco sour cocktail, Peruvian cuisine is making waves around the world - and Arequipa is a popular food destination even with Peruvians.

Day 5 - Crossing the pampas to the Colca Canyon

An otherworldly coach journey into the mighty Andes awaits today, passing breathtaking rugged hills and rocky ravines as we climb ever higher. In the vast open wilderness of the pampas, we stop at the National Reserve of Pampa Cañahuas, where alpacas and llamas roam the volcanic grasslands inhabited by indigenous peoples.

The lunar-like landscape continues as we pass by the Nevado Churura crater and, from the Mirador de los Andes and Mirador de Patapampa viewpoints, we can marvel at the string of volcanoes that surround Arequipa. We pause in the quaint village of Chivay which embraces its past with delightfully traditional stone buildings. There is the option to grab a bite to eat here, but we would recommend purchasing supplies before departing Arequipa.

In nearby Yanque, we enter a small museum to learn about the history and costumes of the Colca Valley that will be our home for the next two nights. Our 5-Star hotel is surrounded by stunning mountains and there is time to unwind in the hot springs and thermal spas before a three-course dinner tonight.

Day 6 - Admiring the condors of Colca Canyon

Waking up in jaw-dropping surroundings, it's clear that nature is writ large in the outstanding Colca Canyon - the world's second-deepest canyon.

We get to experience the canyon's natural beauty today as we travel by coach through a landscape of pristine mountains encircling a verdant valley of pre-Incan steeped terraces above the elemental Rio Colca. Our destination is the tantalisingly named Mirador Cruz del Cóndor (Condor Cross Viewpoint). Here, we can look for majestic Andean condors soaring above the astonishing scenery of mountains plunging into the deep ravine far below. These iconic creatures are the largest flying birds in the world and can have a wingspan of up to nine feet.

There is free time to explore before we return on the southern edge of the canyon, in the foothills of volcanoes, to a restaurant in Yanque where we enjoy traditional cuisine.

On returning to our hotel, the rest of the day is free to fully enjoy our hotel's spectacular location and fantastic facilities.

Day 7 - Into the high plains to Lake Titicaca

Our Andean adventure continues today as we travel into the 'altiplano' or high plains. Reaching heights of up to 14,700ft above sea level, the air is much thinner than at lower altitudes, but this elevation provides fantastic views across the Andes.

Sweeping vistas of wide-open plateau dotted with grazing alpacas and rolling hills accompany us on our journey through this mysterious landscape. A picnic lunch is provided to enjoy at our leisure and we also have time to admire the views at scenic stops. Volcanoes and undulating hills encroach as we cross the sky-blue Lake Lagunillas before we arrive at our destination of Puno.

Considered to be Peru's 'folklore capital', Puno sits on the shores of Lake Titicaca. After checking in to our hotel overlooking the waters of South America's largest lake, there is a free evening to explore this enchanting town. Near our hotel, you can find numerous restaurants serving local cuisine including seafood.

Day 8 - Sailing to the floating islands of Titicaca

A highlight of our exploration of Peru awaits today as we set sail on Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake. Our first port of call is the Uros Islands. Home to the enterprising Uros people, these manmade floating isles were made by stacking layers of totora roots and reeds together. This pliable plant is also used to make houses as well as ornate boats.

Next, we sail on to Taquile, where the residents speak Quechua - an indigenous language that was used by the Incans. The locals have established an almost economically autonomous society based around sustainable tourism and long-held craft traditions. The island has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its handwoven textiles and clothing, and it is the male Taquileños who specialise in knitting while the women spin and dye the wool. We learn more about this fascinating island and enjoy lunch in a restaurant, before returning across Lake Titicaca to Puno for a free evening.

Day 9 - An Andean adventure on the Titicaca train

We embark on one of the world's most spectacular rail journeys today on the PeruRail Lake Titicaca train as we travel from Puno to the Incan capital of Cusco. A full-day experience sees us pass through a procession of amazing Andean scenes as we cross the Peruvian Highlands.

Equipped with numerous dining cars, a bar car and an observatory car with open-air viewing platform, the Titicaca train allows us to absorb the awe-inspiring Altiplano landscapes from the relaxing comfort of elegant 1920s Pullman-style carriages. Enroute, we enjoy a gourmet three-course lunch prepared with local ingredients and are further entertained with a traditional music and dance show.

The train pauses at the highest point on route, the La Raya Pass, which sits more than 14,000 feet above sea level. Here we can view the small chapel or admire the jaw-dropping vistas of untouched, sublime nature.

Arriving in Cusco in the evening, we transfer to our charming 4-Star hotel. Just a short walk from the main square, the hotel is set within an attractive 17th-century colonial mansion.

Day 10 - Exploring the ancient Incan capital of Cusco

As one of the most important Incan cities, Cusco is regarded as the 'Archaeological Capital of the Americas'. Beautifully blending indigenous and colonial Spanish architecture, we enjoy a guided tour of this fascinating city.

The Incan Temple of the Sun (Qorikancha) was constructed in the 15th century and became the empire's most important temple. Meaning 'golden courtyard' in Quechua, it was originally covered in 700 sheets of solid gold each weighing more than 4lbs and contained more shimmering treasures inside. However, its gems were looted by Spanish conquistadors and much of the stone was used to construct the adjoining Santo Domingo convent. We also visit the astonishing Sacsayhuamán fortress - the largest structure built by the Incas - and the well-built walls of gargantuan, finely cut rocks so precisely hewn that there was no need for mortar. Like Stonehenge, there is plenty of mystery surrounding how these colossal rocks were put in place.

After viewing the grand colonial cathedral that took more than a century to build, we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before the rest of the day is free.

Day 11 - Lost city of Machu Picchu by rail

One of the most enchanting locations in the world and founded around 1450, Machu Picchu was abandoned in 1572 and 'lost' until explorer Hiram Bingham became the first non-Peruvian to rediscover it in 1911.

Our journey to this breathtaking citadel begins as we leave Cusco early this morning by train for Aguas Calientes. This scenic route winds through the remote Urubamba River valley - also known as the Sacred Valley. From Aguas Calientes we board a coach to magnificent Machu Picchu spectacularly nestled on a saddle between two dramatic mountains. We explore the mind-blowing 'lost city of the Incas' with a local guide who explains the origins of the approximately 200 buildings in this mountainous sanctuary. Along the way, we view the citadel, main square, royal quarters and Temple of Three Windows as well as the sacred sundial.

This evening we return by train to Ollantaytambo and on to our refined hotel, set in a former colonial monastery in Yucay, where we have a three-course dinner tonight.

Day 12 - Ollantaytambo and the Sacred Valley

Our day begins with a coach excursion to Chinchero, an authentic Andean town with great views of the Sacred Valley - one of Peru's most important locations. Renowned for the preservation of traditional crafts as well as archaeological remains, we explore its market, observe a demonstration of Andean weaving and visit the first Catholic church in Peru on a guided tour of the town.

After lunch in a local restaurant, we return to Ollantaytambo for a guided tour of this town at the centre of the royal Incan estate. This archetypal Andean town exudes character as well as a long history. The ancient fortress, although in ruins, is a sight to behold with important features such as the Sun Temple and Princess Baths fountain. In the Old Town, we discover an Inca-era grid of cobblestoned streets and adobe buildings sheltered by the surrounding mountains rich with ancient ruins and sweeping views.

We return to Yucay for an evening at leisure.

Day 13 - Journey into the Andes to Pisac

Today we follow the course of the Urubamba River through the Sacred Valley to mysterious and spiritual Pisac. Reputedly built to protect the valley's southern entrance, the dramatic Inti Watana complex nestles on the saddle of a hill above the town and appears like a smaller version of Machu Picchu. We explore this ancient Incan town with a guide, seeking out the ritualistic 'intihuatana' stone. Literally translated, 'intihuatana' means 'hitching post of the Sun' and the Incas used this stone as an astrological clock.

Pisac is also famed for its impressive terraces cut into the side of mountains. Believed to represent the wings of a partridge (from where it is suspected that Pisac gets its name) these are masterpieces of agriculture, allowing the Incans to cultivate crops in such a challenging landscape. In the colonial town, we visit the fabulous market and craft stalls selling textiles. There is time to have lunch independently before we transfer to Cusco and check in to our 4-Star hotel. After a free afternoon, we gather at a local restaurant for our final dinner together.

Day 14 - Flight to Lima and onwards to Paris

After a morning at leisure to continue exploring this spectacular city or purchase some last-minute souvenirs of your Andean adventure, we transfer to Cusco airport for our internal flight back to the capital.

On arrival in Lima, we board our overnight flight to Paris. Saying farewell to South America, we can relax and begin to look back on this spectacular holiday to wonderful Peru - a land of spellbinding beauty and mystical lost cities that glistened during the golden age of the Incas.

Day 15 - Homeward bound

Landing at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in the early afternoon (local time), we catch a short connecting flight back to London Heathrow, where our incredible adventure comes to an end.

Peru and the Andes have provided many unforgettable experiences that will live long in the memory. From the jaw-dropping majesty of Machu Picchu and the mysterious Sacred Valley to stunning Cusco, the welcoming capital of the evocative Incas. We have also explored the splendour of condors flying above the dramatic Colca Canyon, sailed to the reed islands of Lake Titicaca and discovered the thriving and historical cities of Lima and Arequipa.

At Heathrow, we say farewell to our Tour Manager and the fellow travellers with whom we have shared these remarkable highlights on our astounding journey of Andean discovery.

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.


Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs, Colca Valley

Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs, Colca Valley

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Costa del Sol Wyndham Hotel, Cusco

Costa del Sol Wyndham Hotel, Cusco

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Hilton Garden Inn Miraflores, Lima

Hilton Garden Inn Miraflores, Lima

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Casa Andina Private Collection hotels, Peru

Casa Andina Private Collection hotels, Peru

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Sonesta Posadas del Inca

Sonesta Posadas del Inca, Puno

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Sonesta Posadas del Inca

Sonesta Posadas del Inca, Yucay

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Casa Andina Select Arequipa Plaza, Arequipa

Casa Andina Select Arequipa Plaza, Arequipa

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4.8 stars4.8 / 5 · 14 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Jacqueline Archer

4 stars

Submitted 4/Jul

Great tour, just not enough time allowed for the Machu Picchu visit.

Collected by Trustpilot

Shantilal Singadia

5 stars

Submitted 2/Jul

Great itinerary and a fabulous Tour Manager, Jane Kotz. The itinerary covered all the key places to visit in Peru brilliantly coordinated by Jane Kotz. We would thoroughly recommend this Tour.

Collected by Trustpilot

Paul Jephcott

5 stars

Submitted 1/Jul

Excellent holiday. Good itinerary , nice sized group ( 20), brilliant great rail journey guide ( Jane) and local guides. Nice balance between “ on the go” and own time. Good choice of hotels and restaurants. Only constructive comment was pre departure information which was both lacking in relevant information and was received too late to be of much use. I’ve spoken separately to customer services on this and understand that they are aware. The holiday itself could not be faulted.

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Kevin Winter

5 stars

Submitted 29/May

The holiday gave us a great overview of the culture and history of Peru and the Incas. From the capital Lima to the reed islands of Lake Titicaca and the Incan sites at Cusco, Machu Picchu, Pisac, Chinchero and Ollantaytambo we saw amazing sites and the continuity of culture. On the high plateau we saw Llamas, Alpacas, Vicuna and a variety of birds, including the majestic Condor. A wonderful experience with a group of like minded travellers.

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Mrs K Baker

5 stars

Submitted 28 Sep 2023

Holiday if a life time . Amazing !!!

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr Carter

5 stars

Submitted 27 Sep 2023

An amazing experience from beginning to end. A well planned itinerary ensured we were all ready for the most important parts of the trip, Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu.

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