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. We’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 us into the world of the intriguing lake-dwelling Uru villagers. We’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.
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
Arequipa / Colca Canyon
We begin with an exploration of 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, we visit traditional Indian villages and watch Andean condors circling up from the canyon depths. Our lodge, perched at 10,000 feet on the edge of the roaring Colca River, has rustic charm and wonderful mountain views.
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 live on floating reed islands and travel in totora reed crafts. Our elegant hotel, set on a private island in the lake, offers stupendous lake views from every room.
Sacred Valley of the Incas
Crossing the altiplano, a high and wild expanse backed by snow-capped peaks, we reach the Urubamba Valley, sacred to the Incas. We visit the villages of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, each with a majestic Inca fortress perched above and filled with intriguing stonework and engineering.
Machu Picchu / Cusco
We head by train to Machu Picchu, the archaeological wonder of the Americas, where we discover this awe-inspiring site with an expert guide and enjoy an overnight at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, right next to the ruins (you can’t get any closer than this!). Cusco’s cobbled streets are inviting, and we’ll explore the Old Quarter, where ancient Inca walls were the foundation for colonial buildings, and hike amid imposing Inca monuments including Saqsayhuaman. Depart on Day 12.