Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Arriving at Machu Picchu
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Highlights

  • Hike the Sacred Valley and trek the ‘Royal Inca Trail’ to Machu Picchu
  • Stay in stylish, award winning luxury 5* hotels and lodges
  • Journey across the High Andes and take a cruise across Lake Titicaca
  • Sip Pisco sour cocktails in Cusco’s artistic quarter of San Blas
  • Soak in the hot springs of Colca Canyon and spot soaring Condors high above

Discover Peru’s ancient Incan Empire, spending each night in the comfort of historical, stylish 5 * hotels and luxury lodges.

Deep in southern Peru, your adventure begins in the colourful plazas and cobbled streets of Cusco. Trek into the hills above Cusco and explore the mighty 15th century Incan fortress of Sacsayhuaman. Venture into the Sacred Valley and hike the one day ‘Royal Inca Trail’, climbing ancient Incan stone stairways and along agricultural terraces to reach Inti Punkti (the sun gate) where the majestic hidden citadel of Machu Picchu reveals itself.

Journey through the high snow-capped Andes to the shores of Lake Titicaca and take a cruise to the meet the island communities of Uros and Taquile. Travelling west, head into the depths of Colca Canyon, where you can spot mighty condors soar in the thermals high above and relax in the natural hot springs of your stylish wilderness lodge. Perfect for rounding off the tour with a Pisco sour cocktail or two.

Day 1 Arrive Cusco

The Incan city of Cusco is an hour’s flight from Lima. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your historic hotel. Cusco sits at 3400m above sea level and therefore we suggest to take the day to relax and allow your body to gently acclimatise to the altitude. After lunch, enjoy afternoon tea in the gardens of your historic hotel or take a gentle stroll to the nearby Plaza de Armas. Later in the day, your guide will return to brief you on the days of adventure ahead!


Meals included: Lunch


Overnight: Cusco


Day 2 Hill of Cusco & Sacsayhuaman

After breakfast, transfer to the hills above Cusco and explore the giant Incan fortress of Sacsayhuaman (3700m). Once the site of fierce battles between Incan leaders and the Conquistadors hike through the giant amphitheatre and discover the water temple of Tambo Machay. Follow a trail to the Temple of the Moon, and descend into the artistic quarter of Cusco, San Blas. A final downhill finishes at the Plaza de Armas, where you can return to your luxury hotel or further explore the colonial architecture of Cusco.


Walk: 6km


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Cusco


Day 3 Cusco to the Sacred Valley

Leaving Cusco, transfer to the fascinating agricultural circular terraces of Moray (approx 1-hour drive). Here, begin a 2-day walk to Machu Picchu. From Moray, the trail heads downhill and depending on the time of year, you may have the opportunity to chat with local farmers. Breaking for lunch, enjoy panoramic views of the snow-capped Viilcanota mountains before continuing onwards to the salt pans of Maras. The trail then descends into the Sacred Valley where llamas once carried out salt to be sent across the Incan empire.


Walk: 15km


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Ollantaytambo


Day 4 Royal Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Begin with an early morning train journey along the Urubamba River, jumping off at KM104 to join the famous ‘Inca Trail’. Your guide will set a steady pace as the trail ascends over 1300m, through tropical cloud forest to the ruins of Chachabamba and impressive Incan bathhouses at Winay Wayna. After a picnic lunch, the afternoon walk heads through lush vegetation accompanied by the sounds of tropical birdsong. A final Incan stone staircase ascends to the spectacular Inti Punkti, the gateway to Machu Picchu and the ‘famous first glimpse’ of this well-preserved citadel. From here, you continue to descend to the comfort of your hotel to rest, as tomorrow a full day of exploration is dedicated to Machu Picchu.


Walk: 12km


Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Overnight: Machu Picchu Pueblo


Day 5 Guided explorations of Machu Picchu

Perched high on a hilltop, cloaked in dense vegetation and flanked by steep escarpments, Machu Picchu is an incredible feat of Incan engineering. A short 20-minute bus journey transports you from your hotel to the entrance. Your guide will reveal the temples, gardens and exquisitely preserved stone architecture of this 15th-century citadel. With time for your own exploration, soak up the scale of this ancient site and wander between the giant terraces. In the afternoon, return to Machu Picchu Pueblo and board a train for a picturesque journey along the Urubamba River to Cusco.


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Cusco


Day 6 Discover Cusco

Enjoy a free day in the explorer’s city of Cusco. Begin with a relaxed breakfast in the courtyard of your luxury hotel. Afterwards, wander the cobbled streets and visit colourful artisan markets. Sip a café con leche and people watch from a café balcony in the Plaza de Armas. Later in the afternoon take advantage of the hotel spa or head out in the late evening to sample traditional Pisco Sour cocktails and a spot of latino dancing!


Meals Included: Breakfast


Overnight: Cusco


Day 7 Transfer to Puno, Lake Titicaca

This morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to Cusco bus station. Here you will board a guided tourist coach service to Puno and spend the day driving through the high Andes stopping to explore the archaeological sites of Raqchi, Litich Andahuaylillas. On arrival at Puno, you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your lakeside hotel.


Meals Included: Breakfast


Overnight: Puno


Day 8 Lake Titicaca Cruise

From the private pier of the hotel, board a day cruise to explore Lake Titicaca. At 3827m above sea level, the lake is the highest navigable lake in the world, straddling the Peruvian and Bolivian border. The cruise visits the floating reed islands of Uros and Isla Taquile where you can take on a short but challenging walk to the top of the island and soak up mountain vistas across to Bolivia. Cruising back Puno, enjoy an evening of sundowners in the hotel's lake view bar.


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Puno


Day 9 Private Transfer to Colca Canyon

Today, take a journey across the high Andes by way of private transfer to your stylish lodge in the depths of Colca Canyon. Accompanied by your guide, en-route visit the Sulstani ruins, a civilisation which pre-dates the Incans. From here we can appreciate far-reaching mountain panoramas as the route heads west in the Arequipa region and descends into the rugged Colca Canyon. On arrival, head to the hot springs for a soak.


Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch


Overnight: Colca Canyon


Day 10 Discover Colca Canyon & Cruz del  Condor

Today, your guide and vehicle are at your disposal. One of the highlights of Colca Canyon is an early morning drive to ‘Cruz del Condor’ to view one of the world’s largest birds, the condor, soaring high above in the thermals created by the deep gorge below. From here spend the rest of day exploring the canyon, visiting local towns, exploring pre-Incan ruins or visiting the Yanque Museum that has an interactive textile workshop. Of course, you can always take advantage of the lodge spa facilities. A hot rock massage followed by an afternoon at the hot springs.


Meals Included: Breakfast


Overnight: Colca Canyon


Day 11 Transfer to Arequipa

After breakfast, depart with your guide and driver to the cosmopolitan city of Arequipa (approx 4-hour drive). Peru’s second largest city has the most resplendent of settings, surrounded by 3 snow-capped volcanoes. The historic centre, Plaza de Armas, is awash with Baroque architecture, including the imposing 16th century cathedral that runs the entire length of the Plaza. With the afternoon free, we would suggest visiting the Santa Catalina monastery and later explore Arequipa’s gastronomic restaurants, that have made Arequipa the foodie capital of Peru.


Meals Included: Breakfast


Overnight: Arequipa


Day 12 Onward Travel

If your onward travel plans are not until the afternoon, your guide can arrange a morning tour of Arequipa’s historic sights, including ‘Juanita’, the well-preserved body of an Incan girl, sacrificed in the 15th century on Mt Ampato (6309m). Having been preserved in ice, she was discovered in excellent condition on the mountain in 1995. Her discovery has been marked as one of the top ten archaeological finds of the 20th century.


Included today is an airport transfer at a time of your choice.


Meals Included: Breakfast

Accommodation

During this trip you will spend 10 nights in stylish 5* hotels and lodges and 1 night in a 4* hotel, some of which are regarded as South America's finest hotel and lodge experiences. Examples of the types of accommodation booked on this tour are listed below. On occasion, we may have to use alternate accommodation and will let you know at the time of booking should alternatives have to be

Meals

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 1 dinner is included. Typically, breakfasts consist of fruits, juices, breads, eggs, muesli, yogurts and a plentiful supply of tea and coffee.


Included lunches will be in a traditional restaurant or when walking, will be a picnic style lunch. Picnic lunches are made up of sandwiches (made of different breads), fruits, sweet treats and local specialities. Your guide will arrange the picnic lunch for you.


Dinners are not included (with the exception of night 4). You can choose to dine at your hotel restaurant or in one of the many restaurants nearby.  Many of the hotel restaurants offer a gastronomic, contemporary twist on traditional Peruvian cuisine and rank as some of the best restaurants in southern Peru. There is also an excellent choice of cafes, bars and restaurants in Cusco and Arequipa, so we do recommend exploring the streets to sample the local fayre available.


Alcoholic drinks are not included and the consumption of alcohol should be limited when at altitude, especially during the first few days of your tour.


Should you have any special dietary requirements please let us know. We try to accommodate all requirements where possible but as some of the accommodations are in remote locations, dietary alternatives may not be possible without prior notice. It is essential you let us know at least a month in advance of any dietary needs. Should you have a specific diet, it is always worth bringing a small supply of your own snacks.


Extra Nights

You may like to add extra nights at any point on this tour. There is always plenty to see in Cusco or you may prefer an extra night to explore the city of Arequipa. If you are travelling via Lima, we can also easily arrange extra nights in the capital city if required. Extra nights can easily be added to your booking at anytime.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you’re exploring with friends or family and prefer to have your own room, single rooms are available subject to a supplementary payment. This tour is not available to solo adventurers.



 

 

 



Hotel Monasterio - Cusco

In the heart of ancient Cusco, this former monastery is now a luxury 5* hotel. All rooms are located around a central courtyard and gardens, where you can enjoy a spot of afternoon tea in gardens. The Monasterio has a therapy spa and for the art lovers amongst you, the hotel boasts Cusco’s finest collection of 18th century art which can be viewed around the hotel (a guided viewing can also be arranged).



 

 

 



Hotel Rio Sagrado – Sacred Valley

This tranquil 5* Andean hideaway is set amongst peaceful gardens. Built in natural materials and inspired by an Aldean village, guests can treat themselves to a dip in the pool and massages at the hotel spa. The El Huerto restaurant serves gastronomic dishes made from organic ingredients and the riverside gardens are superb for enjoying a pre-dinner sundowner.



 

 

 



Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel – Machu Picchu

Nestled in 12 acres of cloud forest, where 214 bird and 372 orchid species can be found, this 5* hotel provides guests with a spa, bar and gourmet restaurant from where you can appreciate views of the Vilcanota River. Spacious rooms are a small sanctuary for travellers, furnished with locally produced blankets and artisan crafts.



 

 

 



Hotel Libertador - Puno

Located in the Bay of Puno, Hotel Libertador has a private pier from where your lake cruise departs. The hotel bar and restaurant has far reaching lake views, so guests can enjoy the sunset with an ice cool cerveza. Spacious, contemporary rooms are simple, comfortable and guests can always take advantage of the wellness and relaxation area after a day on the water.



 

 

 



Hotel Colca Lodge – Colca Canyon

Built on the banks of the River Colca, this stylish 5* lodge was inspired by Incan traditions of incorporating earth, stone and straw within the building. Surrounded by pre-Incan agricultural terraces, the hotel also boasts hot springs. The four pools have different temperatures and are set in natural landscape for you to absorb the wonder of the Colca Canyon.



 

 

 



Hotel Casa Andina - Arequipa

Constructed from volcanic stone, this colonial mansion (and former Mint), has been renovated to a 4* hotel. Rooms are chic, comfortable, blending ancient Incan themes with a contemporary twist. Only a few minutes’ walk from the famous Santa Catalinia monastery, the hotel provides a spa and massage rooms for those that would prefer a little pampering.

Availability


This tour departs on any day of the week from mid-March through to early December. If you are planning on travelling from June through to August we suggest contacting us as soon as your travel plans are finalised as theese can be very busy months on the trails.


Can I tailor the itinerary?

Of course! If you have limited
holidays you can easily remove the days spent in Colca Canyon or Lake
Titicaca. Please do let us know at the time of booking so we can adjust
the itinerary and costs for you.


Grade &Terrain

This adventure tour is graded moderate. The tour begins in Cusco which is at an altitude of 3400m. Spending the first 2 nights at this altitude  helps your body acclimatise. For further information on altitude and acclimatisation we would happy to discuss this with you.


There are 4 guided hiking days (days 2-5) on this trip. Distances are
between 6-11km with a maximum altitude of 3700m with day 4 being a
challenging day of walking (with up to a 1300m of ascent). Your experienced hiking
guide will help pace the day for you so you can take the day at a steady tempo. During each walking day, all you
have to do is carry a small day pack (with your daily essentials) and enjoy the beauty of Peru. Although the paths are well maintained you will encounter some sections
that have uneven ground underfoot, so should be happy to walk along
uneven terrain. You will also encounter stretches of typical Incan stone
stairs cases on several of the walks, so be prepared to tackle longer
stretches of steps!


Travelling to Lake Titicaca and onwards to Colca Canyon uses a
sensible combination of private vehicle and a guided tourist coach
service, which includes visits to archaeological sites, towns and
villages. If you have any further questions about the travel included,
please contact us.


Local Guides & Support


This trip is a private ‘day guided’ tour. This means each day (with the exception of day 6), a local expert guide (together with a private vehicle where required) will arrive at your accommodation each morning and lead you through the trails, towns and natural wonders of Peru.


Days are paced around your needs which means you experience the ultimate in hassle-free travel. In the evening you are free to spend the time as you wish. You will have also 24/7 telephone local partner support should you need to contact your guide or Macs Adventure at anytime during the tour.


Equipment

While hiking you will only have to carry a day bag with water, snacks, and extra layers and your camera. On days when you will be travelling to a new destination, your main baggage will be transported for you. Please limit your main baggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person. It is possible to store excess luggage at your hotel in Cusco if you are returning there at the end of your journey.


General Information:

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants, sun hat, sunscreen). Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this trip that you have adequate
travel insurance in place, including for emergency medical evacuation
and/or curtailment of your trip. Please ensure that you check your
policy as it should include cover for trekking at altitude.

Getting to Cusco / from Arequipa

For general travel planning, we recommend the helpful site www.rome2rio.com  


To Cusco


Most travellers arrive into Cusco Airport via a 60 minute flight from Lima Airport which has excellent connections to North America and Europe. We would suggest checking Sky Scanner for the extensive flight options available.


You may prefer to have an overnight in stop in Lima before travelling onto Cusco. Please let us know if you would like extra hotel nights in Lima.


From Arequipa


Depending on your onward travel plans, you can fly from Arequipa to Lima (approx 90mins), Cusco (approx 60 mins).


If you would like domestic flights in Peru arranged for you, we can include this as part of your package. Please let your adventure specialist know at the time of booking. 

Included

  • 10 nights in 5* hotels & lodges, 1 nights in a 4* hotel
  • All transfers as described in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, 7 lunches & 1 dinner
  • National Park Fees & trekking permits
  • Lake Titicaca Cruise
  • Train ticket from Aguas Caliente to Cusco
  • 4 guided day walks
  • Private vehicle and guide in Colca Canyon
  • Optional guided tour of Arequipa
  • 24/7 local telephone support

Excluded

  • Travel to Cusco / from Arequipa
  • Entrance fees for attractions
  • Lunches & dinners other than those described
  • Personal equipment and expenditure
  • Travel insurance (details of your travel insurance must be provided before travel)
  • Tips for your drivers, guides and local staff

Extras

  • Additional nights
  • Single room sypplement
  • Domestic flights within Peru

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded moderate. There 4 walking days with day 4 being a challenging day of walking (with up to 1000m of ascent). You will be a regular walker and enjoy an active lifestyle. Although the paths are well maintained you will encounter some sections that have uneven ground underfoot, so should be happy to walk along uneven terrain. You will also encounter stretches of typical Incan stone stairs cases on several of the walks, so be prepared to tackle longer stretches of steps. It’s always a good idea to get out and trek back to back days in the lead up to your tour, together with any other activities or fitness classes you usually do.

It’s always a good idea to get out and walk back to back days in the lead up to your tour, together with any other activities or fitness classes you usually do.

When is the best time of year?

Peru has very distinct seasons. The main trekking season in southern Peru is March through to December. Daytime temperatures are usually between 20 to 25 degrees from March through to December, which make for pleasant trekking conditions. Being at altitude means the evenings are cooler and the month (with June to September temperatures dropping to 0-5 degrees). 

The months of March, November and December may have some showery days but usually the rain doesn’t last for long and typically is an afternoon downpour.

What equipment do I need?

You will not need to any specific equipment for this tour, besides your standard walking gear, including sturdy footwear. We supply you with a comprehensive kit list but if you would like to discuss this tour, please contact the office and we'd happy to share our own experiences.

Highlights of Peru In Style

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