machu picchu; peru hiking; lake titicaca; cusco; cuzco

Legacies of the Incas

Our Peru Explorer journey is a delightfully comprehensive adventure that takes us from the "white city" of Arequipa and stunning Colca Canyon to the glorious splendor of Machu Picchu.

Photo by Bill Abbott

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Peru Explorer

Colonial Arequipa, Ethereal Lake Titicaca, and the Mysteries of Machu Picchu

Peru Explorer route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $6495  
Length: 12 days
Arrive: Arequipa, Peru
Depart: Cusco, Peru
Lodging: 11 nights hotels and inns
Meals: All meals included except 2 lunches and 2 dinners
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking, Archaeology
Trip Level: Cultural exploration and walking tours at altitudes up to 12,500 feet


  • Stunning Inca ruins, traditional and contemporary Quechua cultures
  • The colonial heritage of Arequipa, the condors of Colca Canyon, and sacred Lake Titicaca
  • The stronghold of Machu Picchu, Cusco, the Inca capital
  • Superb hotels, including Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, Cusco’s 5-star Hotel Monasterio, and Suasi Island, the only hotel on a private island in Lake Titicaca

We had a wonderful experience and look forward to our next WT trip!Susy H.—San Francisco, CA

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Peru has always fired the traveler’s imagination, and we’ve crafted a magnificent journey exploring its exquisite landscapes, the treasures of the Inca Empire, and the fascinating cultures of the Andes. You’ll discover the colonial splendor of Arequipa and volcano-lined Colca Canyon, with its traditional Indian villages, and at breathtaking Lake Titicaca (12,500'), the mystical lake of Inca legend, our stay on a private island brings you into the world of the intriguing lake-dwelling Uru villagers. You’ll follow the route of the Incas through the Sacred Valley to sublime Machu Picchu, where our stay at the Sanctuary Lodge, in a spectacular setting right at the ruins, offers unmatched access to one of the most legendary sites in the world. Our journey ends in Cusco, the cradle of Inca civilization.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Arequipa / Colca Canyon

We begin our journey in Arequipa, a World Heritage Site with a beautifully preserved colonial center of white stone architecture. In astonishing Colca Canyon, one of the deepest in the world, you’ll visit traditional Indian villages and watch Andean condors circling up from the canyon depths.

Days 4-6
Puno / Lake Titicaca

Vast Lake Titicaca has an otherworldly, top-of-the-world feel, and we’ll explore it on hikes and boat rides, and meet the lake-dwelling Uru, who travel in totora reed crafts. Our elegant island hotel offers stupendous lake views from every room.

Days 7-8
Sacred Valley of the Incas

In the Urubamba Valley, visit the villages of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, each with a majestic Inca fortress perched above it filled with wonderful examples of stonework and engineering.

Days 9-12
Machu Picchu / Cusco

Heading by train to Machu Picchu, you’ll discover this awe-inspiring site with an expert guide and overnight at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, right next to the ruins. Cusco’s cobbled streets are inviting, and you’ll explore imposing Inca monuments including Saqsayhuaman. Depart on Day 12 via Lima.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 2, Easy to Moderate. It features sightseeing with day walks, and we enjoy hotel and lodge accommodations throughout the trip. Much of the trip takes place at considerable altitudes, ranging from 7,500 feet at Machu Picchu to over 11,000 feet at Cusco and 12,500 feet at Lake Titicaca. Appropriate time for rest and acclimatization is included in the itinerary, but for your own enjoyment of the trip, we recommend that you make a special effort to be in good physical condition.

All of our non-trekking trips in Peru take place in high altitude locations like Cusco and Lake Titicaca, where even just a walk up a flight of Inca stone step can make you feel a bit breathless. Remember that the better physical condition you are in, the more you will enjoy your experience at these altitudes. Make an effort to get in good physical condition with some exercise beyond your normal routine. A brisk 30-45 minute walk every other day over moderately steep terrain can do wonders for your conditioning. Also be sure to drink plenty of water when you’re at altitude, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Explanation of Trip Levels



Mar 29-Apr 9, 2016
May 7-18, 2016
Jun 15-26, 2016
Aug 11-22, 2016
Sep 5-16, 2016
Nov 2-13, 2016

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$6495 (13-15 members)
$6795 (10-12 members)
$7195 (6-9 members)
Single supplement: $1820
Forced single supplement: $1620
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica
   from: $825
Sipan and Chan Chan Extension
   from: $980
Lima Extension
   from: $575

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations in hotels and lodges, including the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge at Machu Picchu and the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco
  • All meals included except 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Land transportation, airport transfers, and guided explorations as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, internal flights (see separate cost above), transfers for independent arrival or departure, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, expenses such as medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, or passports and visas, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, and so on).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2015 Departures

Meeting Place:
Lima, Peru
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Lima, Peru (airport code LIM)
Suggested arrival time: anytime
Date: Day 14

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Lima, Peru (airport code LIM)
Suggested departure time: anytime

2016 Departures

Meeting Place:
Arequipa, Peru
Date: Day 1

Suggested Arrival Airport:

Arequipa, Peru (airport code AQP)
Suggested arrival time: morning to mid-day

Date: Day 12

Suggested Airport for Departure:

Cusco, Peru (airport code CUZ)
Suggested departure time: anytime

Hotel Libertador Arequipa

Hotel Libertador Arequipa

Day 1 (1 night), Arequipa, Peru

Built in 1940 in Spanish colonial style, the Libertador is located in Selva Alegre, the city’s largest park, and offers sweeping views of the ...
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Colca Lodge

Colca Lodge

Days 2 to 3 (2 nights), Colca Canyon, Peru

Colca Lodge, set at 10,000 feet on the edge of the roaring Colca River, has rustic charm and wonderful mountain views. The lodge has welcoming ...
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Puno Hotel Libertador Lake Titicaca

Puno Hotel Libertador Lake Titicaca

Day 4 (1 night), Puno, Peru

This modern hotel’s location—on its own private island right on the edge of Lake Titicaca—is one of its striking features. ...
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Casa Andina Private Collection Suasi Island

Casa Andina Private Collection Suasi Island

Days 5 to 6 (2 nights), Lake Titicaca, Peru

This unique solar-powered lodge, built of stone, adobe, and thatch, is an elegant haven of tranquility on a beautiful and remote private island in ...
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Tambo del Inka

Tambo del Inka

Days 7 to 8 (2 nights), Urubamba Valley, Peru

With its riverside location, lush park-like grounds, and wonderfully appointed rooms, this hotel is a little bit of luxury in the heart of the ...
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Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Day 9 (1 night), Machu Picchu Ruins, Peru

You can’t get closer to the Machu Picchu ruins than this! With only 31 rooms, this property is famously set right at the gate of Machu Picchu. ...
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Hotel Monasterio

Hotel Monasterio

Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Cusco, Peru

A 16th century monastery that is now an elegant hotel, the Monasterio has a stunning historic ambiance, with several inner courtyards, a chapel, ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Kika Caballero

Kika Caballero was born in Lima, Peru, and learned to become a guide at Peru's national school for guides, where students make in-depth studies of Peru's archaeology, flora and fauna, and history. As a veteran WT Trip Leader, Kika has been guiding our groups to Peru for more than 15 years. "In ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Diana Hidalgo

Diana Hidalgo is a Lima native who grew up traveling throughout Peru with her parents. In her adventures through the North Coast region of ancient pre-Incan civilizations, she developed a passion for the fascinating layers of culture that make Peru so extraordinary. She also got an early start as ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Amazon Rainforest Extension: Reserva Amazonica

Exploring Waterways and Nature Trails

Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 1

Lima Extension

Cultural Adventures, Walking
3 days  -  Level 1

Frieze at the Temple of the Moon, near Trujillo

Sipan and Chan Chan Extension

Ancient Wonders of Northern Peru

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
4 days  -  Level 1

Client Comments

We had a wonderful experience and look forward to our next WT trip! Susy H., San Francisco, CA A great trip, made even better by Kika and the other guides. The hotels, especially Monasterio and the Sanctuary Lodge, had great service and made us feel pampered. Paul B., Albany, CA I loved Peru. Finding the condors (about 20 of them) and seeing them fly was an unexpected treat. David R., Portland, OR This was our 5th trip to Peru with Wilderness Travel. Each succeeding trip visited new places and some old places. Peru is mesmerizing. Rick S., Chandler, AZ A very comprehensive and well designed trip. I was able to learn a lot and see much of Peru in a short amount of time. Patricia B., Laredo, TX Trip of a lifetime, what memories we now have. Lynn C., San Mateo, CA I am telling everyone I know about my 'trip of a lifetime' with WT. I wanted to go to Machu Picchu for 45 years but never imagined it could be so incredible. Wanden T., Greenbrae, CA Having traveled throughout Latin America over the years, I can unequivocally state that this was the best tour trip ever! The diverse ways of traveling, the specific sites we visited, the literature available, and the many hours of talking together about these matters and others resulted in forming friendships, obtaining a solid understanding of Inca history, seeing some of the very best exhibits in the country, and certainly some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Faye D., San Rafael, CA
I learned so much about the history and culture of Peru, it was truly fascinating. The places we visited were spectacular! Pattti H., Lake Placid, NY This was a fabulous trip. We saw and experienced so much, far exceeding my expectations. Marcella S., Los Altos, CA This was a wonderful introduction to Peru. It was very educational, led by very knowledgeable guides. I also loved the small group—wonderful people all. Sherrill O., Los Angeles, CA WT has done it again. This trip ranks right up there with our favorite WT journeys (Turquoise Coast, Indochine, and Tuscany). I was impressed with how well WT handled the complex logistics with absolute aplomb. Everything meshed like clockwork. Suasi Island was beautiful; the Hotel Monasterio in Cusco was memorable; and, of course, Machu Picchu was spectacular. Thanks, WT. Jim L., Tucson, AZ You have got to be the best tour operator on the planet. Impeccably organized, tremendously interesting, can’t wait for the next trip! Christine W., Pittsburgh, PA It makes a difference to me to know that Wilderness Travel attracts intelligent, curious, and thoughtful travelers. It will certainly influence my decision to travel with Wilderness again. Catherine F., Brooklyn, NY