Explore & Inka Trail

Peru

A jumble of adventure and community living, this 13-day trip to Peru will get your adrenaline pumping and give you a privileged peek into local life. You’ll trek the classic Inca trail to the mist-swirled Lost City of Machu Picchu, visit an inspiring project that supports street children in Cusco, stay at home with a welcoming family in a remote Andean village and delve into the mystical legend of the Inca Empire. It’s an eye-opening trip that will bring your students a behind-the-scenes glimpse into traditional Peruvian communities and thrill their socks off at the same time.

The tours, hotels, day trips and suggestions in this tour are just an example of what we can do for you. Contact us to customize a trip especially for your group

Trip highlights

  • Trek the classic 4-day Inca Trail to the Lost Kingdom of Machu Picchu, hidden high up in the clouds.
  • Wander through the atmospheric cobbled streets and colourful markets of Cusco, nestled between Andean peaks.
  • Visit an uplifting and inspiring community project that supports over 600 local street kids.
  • Stay at home with a welcoming family in a remote villages tucked between snow-tipped mountains.
  • Look out over vast salt-pans overhanging cliffs and surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery.

Peru 13 days / 12 nights

Adventure level: active
Max group size: 30
Included
  • 8 nights in comfortable 3-star accommodation on a full board basis, 1 night in an Andean family homestay and 3 nights camping along the world famous Inca Trail.
  • Full board
  • Private transport and private excursions with a bilingual certified guide. All entrance fees included.
  • 1 certified, experienced tour leader to accompany you every step of the way.
  • 1 teacher travels completely free of charge for every 10 students in the group.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Bienvenidos a Lima!

When you land in Lima, you’ll be welcomed at the airport and transferred to your comfortable hotel in the heart of the buzzing Miraflores district, famous for its café culture, leafy parks and boutique shops. After freshening up, you can set out to explore. Wrapped in rolling fog on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, Lima is a world-class city packed with eye-opening sites. Relax in shady plazas, try a delicious seafood ceviche and gaze up at beautifully preserved colonial buildings.

On the morning of Day 2, you’ll set off on a guided city tour including the eerie catacombs beneath the San Francisco Church and the fascinating archaeological museum, before travelling to the airport for your flight to Cusco.

Days 2 and 3: Local culture and Inca legend in Cusco

When you touch down in Cusco on the afternoon of Day 2, you’ll be transferred to your cosy hotel and welcomed with a steaming mug of local coca tea. The hotel is part of the inspiring Niños Foundation, a community project that feeds over 600 street kids from the city. Cusco is perched at 3450m above sea level, bursting with colour and carnival spirit.

On the morning of Day 3, you’ll set off on a walking tour of the city, stopping at Cusco’s highlights and soaking up the atmosphere. The afternoon is free for you to amble through the cobbled streets, wander past the Inca walls and explore markets piled high with bright alpaca knits. If you’re feeling brave, try the local delicacy of Cuy, otherwise known as roasted guinea pig!

 

Day 4: Into the Sacred Valley

The next day, you’ll travel to the fortress of Sacayhuaman, just outside the city centre. Built from gigantic slabs of stone weighing over 350 tonnes each, it’s a mind-boggling architectural achievement. This is a fascinating visit for geography students and your guide will be able to explain all about the construction, heritage and history of the site.

Afterwards, you’ll relax at the Hacienda de Huasao, tucked away between the mountains just 30 minutes from Cusco. Packed with local atmosphere and colourful, it’s a wonderful place to soak up the sunshine and gaze out over the peaceful scenery. Next, you’ll saddle up for a mountain bike tour of the surrounding villages and scenic viewpoints. With your own set of wheels, you’ll dash through the countryside, waving at the friendly locals as you pass.

 

Days 5 and 6: Secluded homestay and the Sacred Valley

Today, you’ll head towards the tiny village of Chincero, tucked away in the beautiful Urquillos Valley. Here, you’ll meet the villagers and learn about local life in the lush green hills. The people of Chincero are famous for their intricate weaving skills and you’ll find most of the villagers wearing full traditional dress. You’ll spend the night with a local family in a simple village house, giving you a wonderful behind-the-scenes glimpse into Andean culture.

On Day 6, you’ll continue deeper in the Sacred Valley towards the pre-Inca ruins of Moray. After wandering between the complex network of terraces, you’ll make your way to the ‘Salinas’ or Maras, endless salt pans overhanging the cliff edge and surrounded with dramatic views. You can watch the salt harvesting in action, gaze down to the Urubamba River and feel a million miles from home.

Days 7 – 9: Trekking the Inca Trail

Today, the action begins as you follow in the footsteps of the Incas along the world-famous Inca trail. Before you begin, you’ll stop by the ruins of Ollantay, where steep terraces cling to the mountainside. It’s the only Inca stronghold to persistently resist Spanish attacks and packed with local legend.

Next, it’s time to lace up your walking boots and hit the trail. For 3 nights, you’ll trek along riverbeds, walk through cloud forests and climb up steep mountain passes towards Machu Picchu, camping along the way. You’ll be accompanied by an experienced guide as well as a porter and cook, so you’ll have everything you need to make it to the Lost Kingdom. The highest point of the trek, known as Dead Woman’s Pass, sits at a heady 4200m above sea level with breathtaking views over the valleys below.

Day 10: Arriving at Machu Picchu

After 3 nights on the Inca Trail, all of your efforts (and blisters) will be rewarded a thousand times over. On Day 10, you’ll reach the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu at lunchtime, just as the morning mist lifts from its lush green peaks and terraces. It’s something that is sure to take your breath away. You’ll have plenty of time to wander around the site before taking the train to the village of Aguas Calientes, for a soak in the natural hot springs and a well-earned pillow under your head.

Days 11 – 13: Cusco and Machu Picchu at daybreak

After a dreamy sleep in a comfy bed, you’ll wake up well before dawn to catch sunrise over Machu Picchu. As the day begins to break and golden light floods between the hills, you’ll be completely wrapped up in the magic of the Lost Kingdom. It’s enough to give you goosebumps.

Later that morning, you’ll head back to Cusco, where you’ll be able to relax and recover for the remainder of your trip. Mingle with the locals in the colourful markets of San Pedro, dive into daily life amongst the ramshackle stalls of Wanchaq, pick up traditional Peruvian presents for family back home and get lost in the labyrinth of cobbled backstreets.

On Day 13, you’ll check out of your friendly hotel and head for the airport, where you’ll catch a flight back to Lima and begin your international journey home.

Practical Information

It’s tricky to pin down the climate of Peru because the altitude varies dramatically from region to region. While the high Andes might be knee-deep in snow, the beach can be drenched in blazing sunshine. Strictly speaking, the best weather spreads across almost the entire country from June to September, making it a popular time for trekking to Machu Picchu. From December to April, the mountains and jungles are hit by heavy rains, while Lima is often overcast and fog-wrapped but very rarely wet. Whenever you choose to travel, bring a warm jumper for chilly Andean nights and a waterproof jacket.

Day 1: Transfer from Lima airport to Miraflores hotel. Overnight.

Day 2: Half day city tour and visit to archaeological museum. All entrance fees included. Transfer from hotel to airport for flight to Cusco. Arrival transfer in Cusco from airport to hotel. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 3: Half day walking tour of Cusco. Entrance free to Cathedral included. Afternoon visit to the Niños community project. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 4: Morning visit to Sacsayhuaman Archaological site. Cusco visitor pass included. Afternoon transfer to Hacienda Huasao and mountain bike tour of the local area. Overnight at the hacienda (B,L,D).

Day 5: Half day visit to Pisaq market and Chinceros site in the Sacred Valley. All entrance fees included. Overnight at local family homestay (B,L,D).

Day 6: Half day visit to Moray. Overnight in the sacred valley, hotel (B,L,D).

Day 7: Half day visit to Ollantaytambo archaeological site. Beginning on 4 day/3night Inca Trail. Overnight camping along the trekking route. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Inca Trail trekking. Overnight camping. (B,L,D)

Day 9: Inca Trail trekking. Overnight camping. (B,L,D)

Day 10: Arrival at Machu Picchu, marking the end of the Inca Trail trek. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 11: Morning at leisure. Afternoon journey back to Cusco. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 12: Whole day at leisure in Cusco. Overnight (B,L,D).

Day 13: Transfer from hotel to airport to begin the journey home (B).

  • 8 nights in comfortable 3-star accommodation, 1 night in an Andean family homestay and 3 nights camping along the world famous Inca Trail.
  • Full board
  • Private transport and private excursions with a bilingual certified guide. All entrance fees included.
  • 1 certified, experienced tour leader to accompany you every step of the way.
  • 1 teacher travels free of charge for every 10 students in the group.

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