Plaza de Armas, Cuzco, Peru

Essential Peru

15 days
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£1,739
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4.6 / 5 from 110 reviews >
Trip code: 
APD
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–18

Discover the highlights of southern Peru, from Nazca to Arequipa

A spectacular journey through Peru's varied landscape encompassing coastal desert, snow-capped Andean peaks, the high altiplano and lush cloud forest. The most famous sites are all visited including the mysterious Nazca Lines, awe-inspiring Machu Picchu in its incredible mountaintop setting, Lake Titicaca, where the night is spent in an island homestay, and the remarkable 3000m deep Colca Canyon. On the way we encounter traditional culture, condors, llamas, and a warm welcome from the Peruvian people.

The 18 June departures in 2018 and 2019 coincide with Inti Raymi Festival in Cuzco. Translated as 'Festival of the Sun' it is the most important of all Andean festivals; during this time Cuzco is filled with colourful processions and festivities. For full details on this itinerary, search for trip code APDA.

Highlights

  • Discover the iconic Machu Picchu by train with guided tour
  • Homestay on traditional Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca
  • See Colca Canyon and its soaring condors
  • Wander through the colonial city of Arequipa and the Santa Catalina Convent
  • Drive deep into the Andean highlands and the Apurimac Valley

Key information

  • 13 nights en suite hotels and 1 night homestay 
  • Group normally 4 to 18, plus leader. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Time spent at altitude
  • Travel by internal flight, train, boat and private bus
  • Several long drives and early starts

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

On this trip we use the services of a local operator, employing a local leader and local staff throughout the trip. We stay in locally-owned hotels wherever possible. The homestay on Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca is a positive exchange actively encouraging group members to talk to locals and learn about traditional customs - the income from our stay is divided amongst the island community. There is also an optional excursion to the Sacred Valley which includes eating a traditional meal in a rural village.

We include drinking water, provided in large containers to refill a reusable bottle from, to reduce the amount of single use plastic. Where meals are not supplied, your leader will be able to recommend local cafes, restaurants and markets to get a bite. There are plenty of opportunities to purchase local products, handicrafts and street food on this holiday, such as Mercado San Pedro in Cuzco and at the market stalls on La Raya Pass.

The entrance fees for the sites we visit, including Machu Picchu, help support their maintenance, restoration and upkeep. We visit many museums, churches and cathedrals in Lima, Arequipa, and Cuzco.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Lima
to
Lima
  • Day 1

    Start Lima.

    Those travelling on the group flights and those who have booked a transfer through Exodus will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in the Miraflores district of Lima. There will be a notice board in the hotel reception with details of where and when the group welcome briefing will be held.

    Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Drive south along the coast and sail to the Ballestas Islands, home to the highest concentration of marine birds in the world; overnight in Ica.

    We set off very early this morning (around 5.30am) and drive south from Lima until we reach the port of Paracas (4-5 hours' drive). The Ballestas Islands lie a short distance off the coast here and are home to one of the highest concentrations of seabirds in the world – we visit them by boat.

    On the outward journey we pass the curious pre-Inca Candelabra geoglyph, a huge (over 150m high) three-pronged trident shape etched into the sandy hillside, the origin and purpose of which remains unknown (although there are many theories). Upon reaching the islands we explore the caves and rock archways by boat and observe the Sea lion and Fur seal colonies as well as Humboldt penguins and an array of birds such as cormorants, pelicans, tendrils, and Peruvian Blue-footed booby birds.

    The boats are open-top motorised boats and are shared with other non-Exodus clients (occasionally the sea is too rough and the boats can't operate). Take heed of seabirds above – it is advisable to wear a hat! The boat trip lasts around two hours.

    Once back on dry land we drive for an hour or so to Ica, the heart of Peru's wine-growing region. At the Huacachina oasis just outside of Ica there are high sand dunes where we may have time to try 'sand-surfing' and ride in dune buggies (optional). 

    Hotel Vila Jazmin (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    On to Nazca; see the Nazca lines; optional scenic flight.

    We drive towards Nazca, stopping to visit the viewing platforms overlooking the Nazca Lines. These are one of the world's great archaeological mysteries, consisting of enormous drawings and patterns etched in the desert sand.

    In the afternoon, for those who wish there is usually time to take a scenic flight over the Nazca Lines (additional cost), weather permitting. Due to the small planes used, this is not suitable for those with a fear of flying or who suffer from travel sickness. Alternatively your leader can help arrange optional visits to the nearby burial grounds, Antonini Museum, or the Planetarium.

    Casa Andina Hotel / Alegria (or similar) 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Turn inland from coastal desert, climbing high into the Andes.

    We turn inland from the coastal desert today, climbing high into the Andes on today's long (9-10 hrs) but spectacular drive. Vicuñas (a smaller wild relative of the llama) can be seen along this road, as this area is Peru's largest vicuña reserve. This region has only recently become easily accessible to tourists due to an upgrade of the Abancay/Chalhuanca road. The altitude here can make physical exertion difficult (the highest point we reach today is Negro Mayu, a high pass at approx. 4600m). It is recommended to rest in the evening. Tonight, we stay a couple of hours near to Abancay on the road to Cuzco.

    Tampumayu Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Drive to Cuzco (3400m) visiting Inca sites on the way.

    We set off towards Cuzco this morning, stopping to visit the unique Inca Saywiti stone and Tarawasi ruins. The glaciated summits of the Vilcabamba Mountain range and the descent into the Apurimac River valley demonstrate the dramatic contrasts of the Andes Mountains, and we should expect stunning scenery throughout today's 7-8 hour drive.

    It is recommended to take it easy upon arrival into Cuzco and to drink plenty of water to allow your body time to acclimatise to the altitude (3,400m).

    Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Free day to explore Cuzco.

    Today has been left free for exploring Cuzco, one of South America's most beautiful cities. The Plaza de Armas is a fantastic spot for people watching, and the Koricancha Sun Temple located in the Santo Domingo Church and monastery is worth a visit. The Mercado San Pedro is the place to try some local produce and there are many handicraft markets to shop for souvenirs such as alpaca jumpers and scarves.

    Outside the town are more Inca ruins, notably the fortress of Sacsayhuaman where the Inca armies made their last stand against the Conquistadores. A combined entrance fee (Tourist Ticket) for these sites and many others is recommended – please see the Optional Excursions section below for prices. Sightseeing excursions to places outside Cuzco, including the Sacred Valley of the Incas, are also available. Please ask your tour leader.

    Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Train to Aguas Calientes; tour of Machu Picchu.

    For most people, the highlight of the trip is the visit by train to the greatest ruin in the world, the lost city of Machu Picchu. This is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world, in a mountain setting of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it; the Incas left no records of it, so Machu Picchu remains a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.

    We transfer to Ollantaytambo train station to catch a train to Aguas Calientes (the town below Machu Picchu). The railway line follows a beautiful route through the Urubamba River Valley. In the afternoon we take a short bus ride up the winding road to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the ruins. 

    Having been trialled in 2017, new regulations for visiting Machu Picchu will be fully enforced for 2018; you will be limited to a maximum of four hours within the site and must be accompanied by a guide. There will also be three set routes to follow around Machu Picchu; Exodus selects the most comprehensive route. Please note that exploring the ruins involves a reasonable amount of walking, including up and down steep and uneven stone steps. 

    Visiting in the afternoon tends to be quieter than the mornings and the mist which shrouds the ruins at dawn has usually dispersed. 

    Inti Punku El Tambo (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Free morning or optional second visit to Machu Picchu; afternoon return to Cuzco by train and by road.

    Today we have a free morning to enjoy the buzz of this little town in the jungle below the ruins. There are some hot springs nearby, however they tend to suffer from overcrowding and therefore poor water quality, so are not recommended.

    Should you wish to visit Machu Picchu again this morning, your leader will help you to purchase a second entrance ticket (subject to availability) which will allow you a further four hours to explore the 'Lost City' – for the second visit it is not mandatory to have a guide. At the time of writing a morning ticket costs PEN152 (approx. £35/US$47).

    In the afternoon we board the train back to Ollantaytambo and then continue by minibus to Cuzco, arriving in the late evening.

    Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Free day for optional excursions.

    We have a final chance to enjoy the sights and shopping of this beautiful city. If you fancy something more active then there is an array of optional activities available from Cuzco that your leader can organise. These include paddle-boarding on a lake, mountain biking, or a combination of via ferrata and zip-lining in the Sacred Valley.

    Hotel Casa Andina Koricancha (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Drive to Lake Titicaca (3800m), with stops en route; boat to Amantani Island for homestay.

    Today we travel for 8-10 hours along the Vilcanota River and onto the altiplano, the high plains separating the Andes from the jungle. Although it is quite a long drive, the views are often spectacular. There are scheduled stops at interesting sites to help break up the day and we will get to appreciate the immensity of the Andean landscapes. This afternoon we arrive at the shores of Lake Titicaca (3800m) and board a boat for our trip to Amantani Island. Hiking around the island offers great views across the lake, whilst the night spent with a local family is a fantastic cultural insight into lives very different to our own. (A packed lunch is included today).

    Amantani Island homestay (Basic)

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Explore the island; afternoon boat to Puno visiting the floating reed islands.

    We explore the island in the morning before boarding our boat for the three-hour journey to Puno on the lakeshore. On the way, we visit the Titinos Indians, who live on islands of floating reeds and, save for a few modest concessions to the modern world, still live as their ancestors would have done centuries ago. Most tours visit the Uros islands closer to the shore but we go to the more isolated Titinos Islands for a more authentic experience.

    Casona Plaza Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Drive across the altiplano to Colca Canyon.

    Today we head off across the altiplano again. This time we cross to the south west, heading back towards the coast to the high Colca Canyon (5-6 hours' drive). En route we have opportunities to see vicuñas and possibly flamingos before descending into what is considered to be the second deepest canyon in the Americas (the deepest, the Cotahuasi Canyon, is also in Peru). There is time in the evening for a visit to the hot springs near the main town of Chivay (3635m) – a warming pleasure after the chill of Lake Titicaca.

    Hotel Pozo del Cielo (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Morning condor viewing; afternoon drive past huge volcanoes to the 'White City' of Arequipa (2350m).

    An early start to view condors soaring on the morning drafts rising out of the canyon. Extensive terraces, stunning colonial churches, and burial tombs are viewed before we ascend out of the canyon and cross Patapampa Pass (4910m) on our way to Arequipa, known as the 'White City' due to the pale volcanic stone used to construct many of its colonial buildings. The picturesque city enjoys a year-round pleasant climate and is surrounded by 6000m volcanoes, including the near-perfect cone of El Misti.

    Ensueño Hotel (or similar) 

  • Day 14

    Morning visit Santa Catalina Convent; afternoon fly to Lima.

    In the morning we visit the huge and serene convent of Santa Catalina. Built in 1580 and only opened to the outside world in the 1970s, it offers a rare insight into the lives led by the nuns and has changed little through the centuries. There are still around 20 nuns living in the northern corner of the complex. In the afternoon or evening we fly to Lima where will transfer to our hotel in Miraflores.

    Hotel El Tambo 1 (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    End Lima.

    There is time today for optional tours of Lima including visits to the Gold Museum and tours of the historic downtown before we are transferred to the airport in the afternoon for the overnight flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Amazon Rainforest extension (from Lima)

Code: XPL

Easily accessible via a short flight to Puerto Maldonado from Lima, the Amazon is the world's largest rainforest and home to an astonishing array of wildlife, as well as countless plant species. Spending three nights at a lodge in the incredibly rich Tambopata Reserve, we use motorised canoes to explore its lakes and rivers, and follow jungle trails to discover its dense forests. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

Essential Info

Visas

Peru

Visas are not required by UK citizens, Western European nationals, Americans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and most other nationalities. If you are in any doubt please contact the nearest Peruvian Embassy.

Vaccinations

Peru

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

If you are travelling to the Tambopata reserve in the Amazon rainforest, the risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. We also strongly recommend that you obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination. Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in the Amazon region. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites: always apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers while in the rainforest to avoid being bitten.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐date information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner (at the homestay) are included.

The tap water in Peru is not safe to drink. Drinking water will be provided in large containers free of charge; please bring a refillable bottle with you.

Hotel breakfasts are normally simple buffet-style affairs, usually including bread/toast and jam, cereal, sometimes eggs or a cooked dish, sometimes fruit, tea/coffee and fruit juice. Regrettably, we cannot guarantee that wheat/gluten free products will be available for breakfast in all locations – if you have an intolerance you may wish to bring your own breakfast food from home.

Where lunch and dinner is not included we'll visit a variety of local cafes and restaurants.

Peruvian cuisine has developed a reputation for its flavours and originality and it’s well worth trying out a few of the local delicacies. Amongst these are ceviche (a spicy dish of seafood or fish marinated in lime juice), lomo saltado (a Peruvian take on a beef stir-fry) and various hearty soups such as the delicious quinoa soup. Other dishes include roasted cuy (guinea pig), Alpaca steak, and to drink, the national beverage: Pisco Sour.

Weather

Peru's diverse geography results in a very varied climate between different regions.

Lima and Paracas fall within the coastal desert region of Peru, with a mild climate and very little rain all year. From April to November the sky is almost always grey and cloudy and the air humid. Average day time temperatures in Lima remain between about 18 and 24 degrees Celsius during this period, with July and August typically being the coolest. Nights are also mild – typically 15-18 degrees Celsius. From December to March the skies in Lima are clear and temperatures at their warmest but elsewhere in the country this is the rainy season.

Cuzco and the Andes have a temperate climate. December to March is the rainy season in Cuzco/the Andes and April to November is the dry season; characterised by clear skies and strong sunshine in the mornings, sometimes clouding over as the day progresses. Daytime temperatures are usually pleasant (approx. 20 degrees C on average) but night times only 5-10 degrees C, except for May, June, July and August when days are cooler and nights are often close to, or a few degrees below, freezing. In the Andes, however, anything is possible at any time of year, including cloud, rain or even snow, and rapid and unexpected changes! 

Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon are high, and at 3,800m and 3,600m above sea level respectively, the sun is strong but the air can be cold, and nights can be close to freezing. You will need to bring some warm layers and a waterproof or wind-stopper. 

Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu are in the cloud forest and as such attract large amounts of precipitation all year as clouds move up from the Amazon Basin. Rain here can be heavy, but is seldom prolonged. Cold fronts sometimes occur from July-August.

Peru is affected by the El Niño weather phenomenon whereby warming of Pacific Ocean surface water off South America drives a shift in the atmospheric circulation resulting in abnormally high levels of rainfall over parts of South America. These events occur at irregular intervals of two to seven years, and last nine months to two years. A strong El Niño event occurred in 2014-16. In El Niño years, temperatures in Lima can be much warmer than described above but it still rarely rains in Lima.

Cuzco

Lima

Is this trip for you?

This is a busy itinerary encompassing the main highlights of southern Peru. You should be aware that the size of Peru means that this holiday involves some long drives and early morning starts. The longest drive is between Nazca and Abancay and takes in the region of 9-10 hours. The private buses used are comfortable and the scenery is outstanding. There will be several stops along the way to help break up the long journeys. The road between Nazca and Cuzco becomes increasingly winding as we climb higher into the mountains, and this, combined with the increase in altitude, may affect you if you are prone to travel sickness. 

Although graded Leisurely/Moderate (level 2), the altitude can make physical activity feel more tiring than at sea level. As this trip spends considerable time at altitude we ask you to refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for more information and advice on how to limit the effects of altitude sickness. The tour allows for gradual acclimatisation, visiting Abancay (2,400m) before moving on to Cuzco (3,400m), then Lake Titicaca (3,800m) and Colca Canyon (3,635m). Although we do not linger there, the maximum altitude visited on this trip is 4,910m (Patapampa Pass) which we drive over near Chivay, Colca Canyon – please ensure your travel insurance covers you up to this altitude. 

It can be cold at these altitudes, particularly from May until August (although these months benefit from lower rainfall), and you will need to bring appropriate clothing.

Cuzco, Arequipa, and many of the Inca sites (including Machu Picchu) are built on hillsides, and sightseeing often involves walking up and down steep streets or on uneven steps or terraces. As such, you should have a good level of mobility and a reasonable level of fitness.

Strikes are not uncommon in Peru and whilst these are generally peaceful protests, they can result in roadblocks and disruption to travel. In this event, your leader will amend your itinerary if necessary to minimise the impact.

Call for general departures:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels, Titicaca homestay

13 nights hotels, all en suite, 1 night homestay with basic shared facilities.

The hotels normally used are indicated within the itinerary however accommodation may differ from those stated depending on your departure date. Throughout this tour we stay in carefully selected 3-star hotels with en suite bathroom facilities throughout, with the exception of one night on Amantani Island. Most hotels have a safety deposit box in the room but if not, there will be one at reception.

In Lima we stay at Hotel El Tambo 1, located in the upmarket Miraflores District - Larco Mar shopping mall is within walking distance as is the trendy Barranco District, where you'll find a wide variety of restaurants and nightlife. We usually stay in Villa Jazmin in Ica, which offers large rooms and an outdoor swimming pool. Near to Abancay we stay at Tampumayu, which is a hacienda style property - a little rustic but full of character and there's a pretty little church within its grounds. In Cuzco we stay at one of the well-known Casa Andina properties, Casa Andina Koricancha, which is ideally located within walking distance of the main square and the Koricancha 'Sun Temple'. For our Machu Picchu visit we spend a night at Inti Punku El Tambo in Aguas Calientes; a simple yet contemporary hotel. The most basic accommodation is in Chivay and Arequipa but it serves its purpose for a night. Casona Plaza Hotel in Puno has a local 4-star local rating, is centrally located, and has a lovely restaurant area. 

Please note that central heating is very rare in Peru, even in good standard hotels. Most hotels provide plug in heaters and spare blankets. Additionally whilst all of the hotels have a hot water supply, it can be temperamental when there is high demand.

A railway line runs straight through the centre of Aguas Calientes and whilst we try to allocate rooms away from it whenever possible, the trains might be heard from some rooms.

On Amantani Island on Lake Titicaca, the group will split up overnight to stay with local families. There will generally be a few of us in each house and we may have to share rooms en masse - single supplements do not apply for this night. The rooms are basic but clean and your beds will have sheets and plenty of blankets. There are outside toilets and washbasins. The lack of electricity or road noise (there are no roads!) and the starlit sky on clear nights makes for a truly peaceful and serene experience.

Single rooms can be booked for single supplement, subject to availability, at the time of booking. This supplement covers single rooms throughout the trip, with the exception of the homestay on Amantani Island. We recommend the early booking of single supplements and of pre/post tour accommodation.

Call for general departures:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
052-4811569
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed June 2018
    Rachael Hardbattle

    A fantastic trip full of variety with amazing places to visit

    A trip well worth taking. The amazing places we visited took our breath away at times. Even on the long travel days the views were spectacular making time fly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lake Titicaca and the reed islands

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sebastian was very good - a warm man with a good sense of humour. He was tested during our trip due to travellers becoming unwell. He still made sure everyone else was ok which was very professional. He is now trying to help me with some lost shopping in Cusco which I am very thankful for.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    What to wear is tricky due to the forever changing climatic conditions. So be sure to pack layers!!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Catherine Lander

    Amazing trip

    An unforgettable trip. Saw so many amazing things. The scenery is spectacular and I just sat looking out of the window throughout the long journeys- not a moment was wasted. The natural landscape is so majestic and yet there will be a track winding up the hillside and terracing right to the top. The power of nature and the ingenuity of people is humbling and intriguing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I walked on my own along the path to the Inca Bridge and, although I thoroughly enjoyed the walk, felt very small and a bit vulnerable knowing one trip or slip and I could fall a very long way- people would have walked this type of path, with their children, carrying everything in the past. I think the geography and landscape was what took my breath away.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Daniel Ramos was brilliant. He had so much knowledge and passion for the history, cultures and geography of the country, which he shared with us. He looked after us all so well. Thank you.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it. When Peruvians say it is cold, to those of us from England it was a summer day we would be very happy with! We needed less warm clothes and more hot weather clothes :-)
  • Reviewed June 2018
    graham roscoe

    Essential Peru- What a trip, I would recommend to all

    This was a fantastic holiday.with a good balance of experiances, tastes and transport. There were long bus journeys but the scenery was so amazing you will see the local wild life, Alpaca's, Condor's plus many others it was never boring, even an erupting volcano on our trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many, the trip to Machu Picchu, the homestay with mamma Flora,the floating island experience, Colca Canyon and Arequipa plaza's. Cusco and Arequipa city plaza areas are well worth spending time strolling about looking at the colonial buildings both day and night. Visiting on route the churches, cathedrals and convents was really inspiring and interesting either with or without a guide ( most have English translations) We were very fortunate to be there at the Corpus Christie festival in Arequipa what an experience it was.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sebastion was our tour leader, he did an excellent job looking after us, taking us out at night to eat in a variety of restaurants. He gathered us all together at convenient times to inform us of the following days detailed plan including how long on the coach and times between stops. His plan and timing were very accurate, with good stopping places and the viewpoints had good facilities. A very knowledgeable capable tour leader well travelled both in Peru and the rest of the world. I would be very happy to have Sebastion as my tour leader on every trip I undertake. He is an great asset to the company, well done.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Early morning starts were part of the tour ( we had additional early starts due to local strikes) these were cold to start with but by 0800 on most days the sun was up warming us up. The coaches we used had onboard toilet facilities but we had organised stop also at regular intervals. The Exodus office team did an excellent job rearranging hotels and flights due to the local strikes taking place. The local guides helped us get detailed information and a big thanks to Elious ( home stay guide) and Jenny (Colca Canyon guide). The recommended spending money for meals was accurate, ATMs and banks were found when somebody wanted them so no issues, retaurants took cards. Listen to the advice from the guide and tour leaders they are locals and know the expected conditions and potential outcomes. Look into altitude sickness before you go it can affect anyone -you will be at 4900 meters

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The tour was great Ive ticked it off the bucket list. It was great to be with a group of people who were so like minded
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Helen Seymour

    Essential Peru

    This was a fantastic holiday. We had long bus journeys but the scenery was so amazing that they were never boring. We felt that we saw the real countryside.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going to Machu Picchu was awe inspiring. It was even better than I imagined. Though very crowded when we arrived lots of people had been there early in the morning and left mid afternoon so we were able to enjoy the peace and quiet. Another highlight was seeing condors flying overhead in Colca Canyon.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sebastian was amazing. He is a brilliant tour leader. He was a great help when several people had problems with altitude sickness. We had warm blankets on the bus when we had early morning very cold starts. He made sure that we had a box of water wherever we went. We used these to fill out water bottles...what a brilliant idea.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do be prepared for the weather to be very cold first thing in the morning. We took thermals and needed them. Useful gifts for your homestay "mother" can be bought at the local markets. Take fruit, cheese, tea towels, wind up torch. We took the flight over the Nasca Lines. It was another highlight. Some people felt sick as the plane banks steeply so that everyone has a good view. Tale sea sickness tablets before you fly. Altitude sickness can be a problem. Listen to the advice or your tour leader. Don't overdo things.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We fell in love with Peru.
  • Reviewed May 2018
    Graham Johnson

    Essential Peru and Amazon extension

    This trip does everything it says it will do, BUT, do be aware that where the trip notes mention long days that is exactly what happens. The scenery is spectacular for most of the trip so settle back and enjoy it. Machu Picchu lives up to all expectations, so if it seems a bit of a faff getting there just let it work its magic on you when you get there. Cusco is sublime. You have some free time there but you'll love it, just grab a Pisco Sour and watch the world go by.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Machu Picchu doesn't disappoint, watching all the condors in the Colca Canyon was wonderful........BUT 5 jaguars on the Amazon. Blown away.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Right, first off Peruvian plugs are TWO FLAT PIN PLUGS!!!!!! If you buy the standard Boots/travel plugs that say Peru but have two flat pins and one round earth pin THEY WILL NOT WORK except in Lima. I had to beg borrow and scrounge plugs to charge my camera. Boots refunded me but be aware, their plugs don't work.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    angela hill

    Peru

    Good starter trip for Peru as saw most of the main attractions. Hard going sometimes with long days and huge gaps between meals but overall worth it. Good guide in Leo. Amazon extension a bit hit and miss. Jungle walks saw very little except getting bitten to death, but early morning session to see parrots was worth the early start with bonus of seeing 5 Jaguar on rerturn boat trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Colca Canyon and the Condors. I know Machu Pichu should be, but the condors and then the jaguars were it for me.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Leo was well informed and did well juggling all of us and dealing with the sick couple left behind.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Carry snacks/food at all times in case. There were several days when we would have had 8-10 hours between food breaks.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Brigitte Hease

    A childhood's dream come true.

    When I was a child, I read Tintin and the Temple of the Sun. Several decades later here I was, in Peru, a wonderfully diverse country in terms of its geography and culture. Our like minded group of travelers quickly became a team. The itinerary was excellent, taking into account increasing altitude levels, so by the time we started the Inca Trail, our bodies were acclimatized. The great variety and magnificence of the landscapes surprised us. We saw astonishing wildlife on offshore islands, mountain high volcanoes dominating historical cities, flying condors over deep canyons and beautiful valleys. There was the colourful culture of Lake Titicaca and Puno ; the iconic Inca Trail with amazing porters ; the beautiful cloud forest worthy of an RHS gold medal ; many splendid and mysterious archaeological sites ; tempting craft markets and cuddly looking alpacas and llamas ; excellent food and pisco sours... all eased and facilitated by our very experienced, organised, calm and knowledgeable guide Holger.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many ... but seeing Macchu Picchu bathed in golden sunlight from the Sun Gate brought a tear to my eyes... as did a cloud of pretty yellow and orange butterflies dispersing over the water as our canoe gently approached...one of nature's magic spectacle in the Amazon region of Peru.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Holger was very experienced, caring, knowledgeable, organised, calm and enthusiastic. We appreciated his great experience of the Inca Trail. He was excellent at flagging areas of difficulty such as steeper sections, pointing out flora (orchids) and fauna along the way. Highlighting good vantage points to take photos, explaining the history and archaeological heritage of the sites, whilst making sure we were all fine along the way. One of the best guides we have had on a mountain trek with Exodus.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This itinerary included some long bus journeys necessary to cover the vast distances between cities, but there were many stops. Our bus was very comfortable and we could enjoy the fantastic landscapes passing by as well as discreetly taking photos of colourful local costumes.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Brigitte Hease

    A childhood's dream come true.

    When I was a child, I read Tintin and the Temple of the Sun. Several decades later here I was, in Peru, a wonderfully diverse country in terms of its geography and culture. Our like minded group of travelers quickly became a team. The itinerary was excellent, taking into account increasing altitude levels, so by the time we started the Inca Trail, our bodies were acclimatized. The great variety and magnificence of the landscapes surprised us. We saw astonishing wildlife on offshore islands, mountain high volcanoes dominating historical cities, flying condors over deep canyons and beautiful valleys. There was the colourful culture of Lake Titicaca and Puno ; the iconic Inca Trail with amazing porters ; the beautiful cloud forest worthy of an RHS gold medal ; many splendid and mysterious archaeological sites ; tempting craft markets and cuddly looking alpacas and llamas ; excellent food and pisco sours... all eased and facilitated by our very experienced, organised, calm and knowledgeable guide Holger.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many ... but seeing Macchu Picchu bathed in golden sunlight from the Sun Gate brought a tear to my eyes... as did a cloud of pretty yellow and orange butterflies dispersing over the water as our canoe gently approached...one of nature's magic spectacle in the Amazon region of Peru.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Holger was very experienced, caring, knowledgeable, organised, calm and enthusiastic. We appreciated his great experience of the Inca Trail. He was excellent at flagging areas of difficulty such as steeper sections, pointing out flora (orchids) and fauna along the way. Highlighting good vantage points to take photos, explaining the history and archaeological heritage of the sites, whilst making sure we were all fine along the way. One of the best guides we have had on a mountain trek with Exodus.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This itinerary included some long bus journeys necessary to cover the vast distances between cities, but there were many stops. Our bus was very comfortable and we could enjoy the fantastic landscapes passing by as well as discreetly taking photos of colourful local costumes.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Cathy Cant

    A ‘bucket list’ trip!

    This was a great trip, planned and organised to Exodus’ usual high standards, which enabled my partner and I to tick of a number of ‘bucket list’ experiences that we’d wanted to do since our ‘teens. The only downside was the number of hours spent sitting on the comfortable coach - but Peru is such a long country, and out itinerary so diverse, that there really wasn’t any alternative. And, as usual, we were able to stop and see places too small for a final destination which we would not otherwise have seen. Altogether, a good, thorough exploration of Central and southern Peru.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Oooh ... the Nazca Lines ... Machu Pichu of course ... floating islands on Lake Titicaca ... the food ...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Daniel Torres was an excellent tour leader - possibly our best Exodus leader yet. Coming from Lima, he thoroughly understood our problems with altitude, yet his own altitude problems never once impacted on his care and attention to detail. A lovely man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not underestimate the variable effects of altitude! I was short of breath (especially at night) and experienced disrupted sleep and a complete loss of appetite. At very high altitudes (during brief coach stops) I felt as though I was standing on the deck of a ship - move too fast and I was swaying. My partner also suffered disrupted sleep, but wasn’t nearly as breathless and his appetite was undiminished. We saw the Nazca lines from a small aircraft (an optional extra which the guide arranged) - expensive, but worth it. But we were all very glad to get off the plane - cramped, of course, but did the pilot really need to bank so enthusiastically?

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dany, our tour leader, was a real foodie, and took us to some marvellous restaurants. When we went off on our own we also found some great places - good food seems to be easy to find all over Peru. Warning: Peruvians apparently eat their main meal at lunchtime - and portions are gargantuan! We prefer to eat in the evening - when portions are still massive. But pretty reasonable prices - expect to pay around £10 for a main course. Wine is expensive, but Cusquena dorado beer is usually reasonable.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Barry Hunter

    Wonderful

    So much to see and enjoy. The landscape is awesome and the itinerary excellent. All of the places we visited were memorable, from Macchu Pichu to Lake Titicaca (great homestay, so friendly) to Cusco to the condor viewing.....plus many more wonderful places. Always wanted to see the Nasca lines and this was one of the few tours we could find that included it. The weather was largely kind to us so I would say it is a good month to go. We also enjoyed some really great eating experiences - thanks to our Tour Leader 'foodie' , Danny. We really could not fault anything. The hotels were good and well located, the (sometimes long) journeys were broken up by regular stops along the way and there was some dramatic scenery to enjoy. We largely coped with the altitude but be aware that it does affect a number of people in some way. Finally, our Tour Leader was excellent, probably the best we've ever had. All in all a fabulous tour, one not to be missed !!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Has to be Macchu Pichu !!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fantastic.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

 

Trip Extension: If you would like to visit the Amazon Rainforest it is possible to extend your trip. For more details please refer to the Trip Notes or call our Sales team, who will be happy to assist you.

 

Private Adventures 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

 

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Call us on 052-4811569