Tailored from £9,700 per person excl. flights
18 days Lima, Arequipa, Colca, Puno, Cusco, Iquitos
18 days Lima, Arequipa, Colca, Puno, Cusco, Iquitos
Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries on our planet. From volcanic horizons to the depths of cloud forests, terraced platforms and crystalline waters to cities in the desert. This trip traverses them all. This adventure across the Andean plains, the world's highest navigable lake and Peru's Amazon river basin features a range of different luxury transportation methods with our most intimate experiences and special stays.
Your journey will begin in Lima, where you will experience the city through colour, taste and scent on a superfood tour of the world's gastronomic capital. After a couple of nights, you will then jet off to the 'white city' of Arequipa to see the beautifully sillar sculpted walls and acclimatise to altitude before heading upwards to the spectacular vistas of Colca Canyon. After heading back down, stay overnight in a restored 16th century parador, before setting off on an evening luxury train for three nights across the Andes. Experience the ancient traditions of the Uros Floating Islands from Puno en-route to the Inca Trail. After trekking to the glorious Machu Picchu, you will finish up meandering through the backwaters of the Amazon.
Throughout your journey you'll be staying in world-class lodges unique to Peru. From three nights in your own plush carriage of a train whirling through the Andes, to floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. With every request and preference catered for, we can insure you that this tailor-made Peru journey will immerse you in the beauty and rich culture of this country in comfort and style.
Today your international flight will arrive in Lima to begin your luxury Peru holiday. Upon arrival you will be met by our Wayfairer representative who will escort you to your stay in this colourful coastal city. Lima is known as the City of the Kings, and when arriving in Hotel B in Barranco this will come as no surprise.
Your first accommodation is located in Barranco just a short walk from the trendy cafes, bars and boutiques that adorn the streets of Lima's famous coastal bohemian district. Hotel B is a beautifully columned white guesthouse. Open balconies are embellished with marble and exotic wood. Enjoy complementary champagne upon your arrival and settle into a relaxing evening in the Belle Époque Mansion.
After a well-deserved rest, enjoy a leisurely morning on the rooftop terrace before setting off to Surquillo Market. Let your senses lead you through a world of colours and tastes. This lively market offers fresh products from all three regions of Peru: the coast, the highlands and the rainforest. This incredible bio-sphere is the source and inspiration of Peru's most accomplished chefs, alongside those at modest picanterías. The great variety of native products is reflected in the broad selection of fruit, vegetables, herbs, fish and many other products offered. Your Wayfairer specialist, and also cooking teacher for today, will explain many interesting details about the Peruvian cuisine before teaching you how to cook some of the country's delicacies.
Following this, you'll embark on a tour of Lima's centro historico, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. As you wander the main plaza and Plaza San Martin it is hard not to wonder about this area's diverse architecture. Your guide will introduce you to the city’s architectural and of course, important cultural heritage. Proceeding onwards to Santo Domingo Monastery, the gentility of these buildings is represented right down to the fine carved choir stalls - the oldest in Lima. It was here that San Marcos University, the first in South America, was founded in 1551. Your tour will finish up in the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, and your guide will escort you onwards back to Barranco for an afternoon of relaxation in the plentiful boutique bars and cafés in this colourful, hip part of town near your hotel.
This morning you will be escorted to the airport for your internal flight to Arequipa taking just over an hour.
Upon arrival in Arequipa, you'll be greeted by dramatic volcanic landscapes and a pleasant sunny climate - this has been dubbed the 'city of eternal spring'. At the airport you will be met by our Wayfairer representative and driven to your unique luxury accommodation, CIRQA. This brand-new boutique lodge is a beautifully renovated 16th century monastery and parador, a historical building boasting high floor-to-ceiling arches and stunning minimalistic décor that complements this property perfectly. Your bedroom will look out onto a sunny courtyard centred in the property, and just one block from the Plaza de Armas, this is the perfect base for exploring the city.
Enjoy an afternoon walking city tour of Arequipa. Arequipa gained its name, the 'white city' due to the volcanic rock used sculpt what are now the city's most historic buildings. Visit the extraordinary Santa Catalina Convent. This cloister, built in the 16th century, is a huge construction which once served as a town within itself housing 450 nuns. Traditionally, the oldest daughters of Arequipa’s aristocratic families entered the convent in their early teens and spent their lives there, cloistered away. The convent complex has been beautifully refurbished, bringing the past vividly alive once more.
Enjoy an evening of relaxation at CIRQA, and a complementary 3 course dinner in the new all-organic rooftop kitchen-garden.
Journey towards the volcanic horizon, pass through the Vicuna National Reserve of Aguada Blanca, towards the three majestic volcanoes of Mismi, Misti and Chanichani soaring up to 6,075 meters high. The glaciers near here are rumoured to be the source of the Amazon River. Use this opportunity for plenty of pit stops for photographic footage of picturesque panoramic views as you approach the valley.
After four hours on the road you will arrive in Chivay, the most important town in the Colca Valley, where you are free to make a short stop to explore the local market. Afterwards you will continue the journey to your hotel: the unique Colca Lodge. This awe-inspiring property inspired by pre-Incan constructions features a magical surrounding where rooms are lost in its wide gardens and adjacent crop fields. Installations consider full-on contact with nature through their Alpaca ranch, Condor interpretation centre, limited wifi and 24/hr access to the hotel’s very own hot spring pools. So make the most of this truly special spot and bathe in your exclusive hot-water plunge pool as you watch the valley turn from pink to dusk.
This morning, rise with the birds and your Wayfairer specialist will drive you to the observation point ‘Mirador Cruz del Condor’, located between Maca and Cabanaconde, one of the deepest parts of the canyon. Here, you find the perfect spot to look down 1,200 m (3,937 ft) into the canyon. It’s here that the legendary condor, the bird with the largest wingspan in the world, can be seen rising and circling on the morning thermals, silhouetted against the magnificent backdrop of the mountain scenery. Afterwards you will be escorted back down to Arequipa, making some stops in some of the picturesque towns en route, to visit beautiful baroque churches and important pre-Inca ruins.
This evening you'll return to CIRQA where your dinner and pisco sours on the terrace will be waiting for you.
Today you are free to spend the day at ease before departing Arequipa, or our local guide can take you on a sillar tour 30km outside the city centre.
The city's sillar is quarried from Añashuayco and Quebrada de Culebrillas, and just outside of Arequipa you can begin to understand the grand scale of the quarry operation and see some of the skilled workers carving the stone blocks. The drive itself is an attraction, the desert landscape surrounding the gorge and stone sculptures are absolutely stunning.
Return to CIRQA in the afternoon for check-out. You will be escorted to the train station for the departing Belmond Andean Explorer towards Lake Titicaca and The Sacred Valley. You'll spend two nights on board. The train travels first to Puno - the city on the shores of Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Offering tasteful, en-suite cabins designed by Inge Moore of The Gallery HBA you'll be more than comfortable on the Andean Explorer. For excellent views, head over to the observation car’s open-air deck. When night falls, the Lounge Car is the place to get some refreshing drinks as you sit back and contemplate the day. Grab a bite in the train’s two dining cars. Local, fresh, colourful and seasonal ingredients will feature heavily in a menu created by world-class chefs.
Wake up this morning in your cozy train carriage, as you pass through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
Arriving before the crowds, you will be escorted from the train to the Uros Floating Islands. These islands, only a 20-minute boat ride from Puno, are made from layers of totora reeds which provide home, sustenance and transportation for their residents. After a short ride in one of the traditional reed boats head to Taquile, the weavers' island. Across the centuries, ‘Taquilenos’ have preserved traditions, such as a communitarian life where everything is shared. Men always seem to be walking around the island knitting the woolen caps they wear. Unlike the traditional circuit you are treated to a lunch in a secluded spot in Collata - a private beach in Taquile. After a performance of a typical dance and a weaving demonstration you get back to Puno to board the train and continue your trip to Marangani, where the train stays at the station overnight.
After a hearty breakfast the train leaves Marangani station at 07:30 am. On the way to Cusco you'll stop off at the unique archaeological site of Raqchi. Here you can see the remains of Viracocha Temple featuring large clay walls resting on stone Inca foundations in confluence with stone buildings and ancient aqueducts.
Upon arrival at Wanchaq station in Cusco, you will be picked up and privately escorted by our Wayfairer Representative to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba is a contemporary hacienda-style hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, it spans approximately 100 acres surrounded by imposing green mountains. All rooms in the Hacienda and stand-alone luxury casitas feature breathtaking views of the valley, immersing guests in open space, serenity and relaxing solitude.
Rise to expansive views of the valley surrounding your luxury casita. Following breakfast your driver will pick you up from the lodge and escort you to Chincero.
Today you'll have a unique food experience that forefronts the incredible diversity of produce in the Sacred Valley. Our Peru suppliers have a great relationship with a famous agricultural engineer and conservation activist, Manuel Choqqe. He is known locally as 'the potato whisperer' and today you'll be invited into his world of colourful Andean potatoes and rare tubers. Manuel experiments with native potatoes and naturally produces the wildest coloured varieties - cultivating them to improve their nutritional quality. In 2018 his work was recognised when he was dubbed the Producer of the Year by 'Summum' Peru. You will be welcomed into his home to hear about his work and sample some of over 370 varieties he has in his repository and taste these with a traditional hot pepper uchucuta sauce. Additionally, Manuel is innovating with Andean tuber wines and native potato vodkas which are all wonderfully delicious. Try some of his fascinating drinks before bidding farewell and returning to your lodge.
Relax for the afternoon before setting off for a sunset paddle at Piuray Lagoon. Appreciate having the Andes as your backdrop and keep an eye out for birds endemic to this region. Before sunset enjoy drinks and light snacks under a canopy before heading back to the hotel for a cozy evening by the fireside.
Today you'll explore the Sacred Valley on a full day tour. You start with the salt ponds of Maras where salt was extracted since Inca times. Renowned Peruvian chefs have put Maras on the map a few years ago when they started to use its salt for their dishes. Head to Moray terraces, a world-known Inca archaeological site famous for its concentric depressions in the ground providing a greenhouse for various different cultivations to grow. As you trek around this beautiful spot in the valley, continue onwards for a panoramic view of Chinchero's Church, built by the Spanish in 1607. Past this, discover ruins from years before where an important Inca centre dwelled with terraces and aqueducts.
Today, you'll enjoy a fantastic lunch. In the picturesque town of Maras, a cusqueño couple Jeremy and Tatiana welcome our visitors into their home. This intimate experience is exclusive, and our partners in Peru have provided us with wonderful connections to the local communities in Peru. Tatiana formerly worked for Gastón Acurio in Astrid y Gaston and Jeremy is a professional ornithologist. They have agricultural land and a beautiful orchid, and the food they serve is prepared using the ingredients that their own land provides. It is all organic, and there is no set menu. Taste daily creativity here within their gorgeous home and experience the value of having intimate hosts. Listen to the local stories, and learn from cooking demonstrations. This is an experience you won't find anywhere else.
Your 2-day Inca Trail adventure starts with pick up in the early morning from your hotel as you are transported to the railway station in Ollantaytambo to board the train heading to Aguas Calientes. Escorted by your guide you descend at kilometre 104 – the starting point of today’s hike towards Machu Picchu. En route stop by the Inca ruins of Chachabamba, which is noted for its complex irrigation channels and expert stone masonry. Your route will soon lead along misty cloud-forest paths, moss-covered stairs and numerous mountain lookout points, before arriving at the well preserved, imposing ancient compound at Wiñay Wayna. After a lunch break, you head to Inti Punku or ‘the Sun Gate’, where you will get your first ideally elevated glimpse of Machu Picchu. Before dark, a secondary trail will take you down to the village of Aguas Calientes where you will spend the night at your hotel: Machu Picchu Pueblo.
A very early start this morning is essential for your guide to escort you to Machu Picchu, uninterrupted views of the early-morning sun rise above the main complex without the crowds. Your private guide will be on hand for a personal, informed, two-hour walking tour. At around noon, you will return to Aguas Calientes by shuttle bus and take the train back to Ollantaytambo, from where you will be transferred to your hotel, the absolutely gorgeous Palacio Nazarenas. A secluded haven of peace and quiet set around countless cloisters in a historical 17th century building a stone's throw from the Plaza de Armas. In case you have left any luggage in the hotel in the Sacred Valley, it will be picked up en route to Cusco.
This morning you will wake in plush luxury at Palacio Nazarenas. Enjoy a delicious breakfast before heading off on a fascinating tour of Sacsayhuaman. Explore the relationship between ancestral Andean civilizations and the skies and how this influenced the architecture in Cusco. Guided by our archeo-astronomer Andrés Adasme, become immersed in Andean cosmology and unravel its influence on one of the most iconic archeological sites in Cusco: the fortress of Sacsayhuaman.
Later, amble back down to your lodge via the artistic district of San Blas, enabling you to explore this gorgeous city at ease.
This evening, enjoy a Peruvian cocktail tour that will take you to Cusco's top dining spots. Taste the traditional Pisco sour in its local variation, and other exotic and experimental drinks to get the tastebuds tingling. Relax with a Peruvian drink in hand whilst enjoying delicious appetisers and the picturesque view of Cusco's beautifully lit main square. A professional bartender will guide you on a journey through the nuances of Pisco - a white Peruvian Brandy made from Muscat grapes produced in the country's winemaking region. Enjoy yet another unforgettable taste experience in Peru, an unmissable thing to tick off the list.
This morning you'll set off on a new adventure. Our driver will escort you to Cusco airport for an internal flight to Iquitos in the north Amazon. Iquitos is the world's largest city only accessible by boat or air. From here you will experience the intrepid rainforest from a luxury houseboat.
You will be met at the airport and in a comfortable private vehicle you'll journey to Nauta Port. On the banks of the Marañon River the vessel awaits to welcome you on board. The exquisite suites on the Delfin III are equipped with orthopaedic beds, pure cotton sheets, cozy bathrobes, and a spacious private terrace overlooking the river. Enjoy spectacular views from the top deck whilst the naturalist guide gives an overview of the journey's schedule, route and highlights as well as briefing you on wildlife and birding viewing opportunities. Spend some time on safari out on the Ucayali River searching for colourful birds and playful monkeys. Watch your first sunset over the Amazon Rainforest as the colours change from blue and green to a pink hue.
The early morning hours on the Amazon is the best time to observe birds, watch the theatrical mating displays and wind into areas that feel entirely undiscovered. Jump onto a skiff and head towards the shores of the Ucayali River - an area green with huge trees home to hundreds of bird species. Spot large flocks of red-bellied macaws, different types of raptors, woodpeckers and swallows. Hear the loud and distinctive sounds of blue and yellow macaws.
This afternoon set off on an expedition on the Dorado River. Search for the famous hoatzins nesting just a few feet above the water, and greet eyes with sloths dangling dozily from the trees. The Dorado River is also home to troops of brown capuchin monkeys and squirrel monkeys, and as the sun sets hear the screeches and purrs reverberating from within the depths of the forest... on the security of the boat. As the sun sets, the specialist will look for black and white caiman and point out fishing bats and night monkeys. This is a whole new world of adventure.
This morning venture into the Pacaya River at the heart of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. This the world's largest protected wetland area with a huge amount of rainfall annually filling the landscape with lakes, palm swamps and streams. In the rainy season, the flooded forest is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Explore the pristine Amazon lagoons entirely unique to this region.
In the afternoon, the skiff will speed along the main river to reach narrower channels and delve into the rainforests adjacent to the water. Keep your eyes peeled for the iconic birds of the tropics such as the lettered aracari toucan, the straight-billed woodpecker and the white-eared jacamar. Travel onwards to the Flor de Castaña for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim among pink river dolphins. Although frightening in the obscured waters, remain relaxed in the waters knowing that the piranhas are much shyer than we're told.
Today you will journey along the Yarapa River and explore the tributary intimately. Whilst travelling down a wide creek hear the sounds from within the mysterious jungle that you'll later explore. Discover a hidden lagoon and absorb the unadulterated beauty of the landscape. Each day on your luxury river expedition you've discovered many of the Amazon's inhabitants up close. Today is the chance for a cultural exchange with the rivereños. People are such an important part of the bio-network of the Amazon, so take this chance to interact with local communities and learn about how they live and the ways in which your visit helps benefit their culture. Look out for new types of monkeys such as the monk saki dressed in thick fur and a bushy tail perhaps better equipped for the Arctic than the Amazon.
The jungle trail on foot in the afternoon will take you deep into the non-flooded forests - the terra firma. Find new creatures with every step, and listen to your guide's expert information about these crazy species. See anaconda, rainbow boas, poison frogs and porquepines up close on your walking trail. We also have insider knowledge of one of the only places on the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve where you can spot the elusive 2-toed sloth.
With heavy hearts, the staff on board will wish you farewell as you disembark at the port of Nauta. Here you will be swiftly escorted back to the city of Iquitos, a 2 hour drive.
On the way back, our driver will take you to the Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre of River Mammals where you can meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderfully docile creatures and the efforts being taken to save them from the endangered species list here in Peru. Get first hand knowledge on the conservation projects taking place in the Amazon, and see animals before they're reintroduced into the wild.
When you return to the airport our Wayfairer Travel representatives will be on hand to help with luggage and check in for your flight departure from Francisco Secada Vigneta International Airport in Iquitos.