Border information: if you are joining in Cuzco, you will most likely enter Peru at Cuzco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (IATA code: CUZ).There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. There will be a further meeting this evening for our Wild Andes and Classic Inca Trails, where we will have a full detailed briefing from our local trekking guides about the next few days!The rest of today will be free to explore the wonderful city of Cuzco, discover its many historical gems, or to take part in number of optional activities near the city.A note on altitude: if you are joining in Cuzco, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise.
These four days will be spent either trekking in the Andes, on our pioneering Wild Andes Trek, on the Classic Inca Trek or for those not wishing to hike, free time to explore and a guided tour of the Sacred Valley on our Train package.Option 1 - Wild Andes TrekLeaving Cuzco early in the morning, we visit the ruined temples of Sacsayhuaman for a fascinating tour of the site. We then head on to Chinchero, a small Quechua-speaking village in the Sacred Valley. Here we will see a traditional weaving demonstration that has been unchanged for a thousand years, and explore their beautiful archaeological ruins. We will drive to a stunning viewpoint for a picnic lunch, and then visit the Quillarumiyoc temple (the Temple of the Moon).We will start our trek from here in the afternoon, heading by foot to Zurite where we have a picturesque stay in a colonial house. Tonight we will enjoy a traditional dinner and get a taste of the local village lifestyle.Approximate walking distance: 8km, Estimated time: 4hrs, Meals provided: Lunch and Dinner Option 2 - Classic Inca TrekThis morning we go for a guided tour of the Sacred Valley, followed by a visit to the market town of Pisac, where we will have a lunch. We then head to Ollantaytambo, where we have free time to explore the impressive archeological site. Tonight we stay in a comfortable hotel. Please note that we have the evening to ourselves in Ollantaytambo, our Guide will meet us in the morning.No Meals are included in Ollantaytambo.There is no trekking today.Option 3 - Train PackageYou will leave Cuzco with your fellow passengers who will be trekking the Wild Andes Trek. You will visit the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, followed by a beautiful scenic drive over mountains and through valleys, via the ancient city of Pisac and on to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. After lunch you will head back to Cuzco where you will stay at our nice, centrally located hotel for a further 3 nights.Meals included: Lunch
Option 1 - Wild Andes TrekZurite to AmaruwatanaAfter a hearty breakfast we leave Zurite and head towards Amaruwatana camp. The walk will take us through Qenteqentiyoc (the Hummingbird Temple), where we will visit and admire this Inca archaeological site. We will then follow the ancient path all the way to the top of our first pass at 4,400m, where we will have a dramatic view of both the Vilcabamba and Vilcanota mountain ranges. From here we start walking down on the way to our first camp in the Sambor Valley where we will spend the night camping.Approximate walking time: 8hrs, Distance: 13kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerOption 2 - Classic Inca TrekOllantaytambo to WayllabambaAfter breakfast, we catch a bus to Piscaycuscho and the start of the Classic Inca Trek - the railroad KM82 marker (at 2,700m altitude). Here we are joined by our crew of local porters and cooks. We will cross the bridge over the River Urubamba and following a trail along the left-hand shore of the river, enjoying stunning views of the snow-capped Mount Veronica (5,830m) and the Incan archaeological remains at Llactapata. Continuing through lush farmland and woodland, we gradually climb for approximately 5 hours to our first campsite at Wayllabamba (3,000m).Approximate trekking time: 5-6hrs, Distance: 12kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, SnacksOption 3 - Train PackageToday is a free day to enjoy Cuzco, with its museums, churches, incredible colonial architecture, beautiful restaurants and a vast array of shops, selling textiles and handicrafts.
Option 1 - Wild Andes TrekAmaruwatana to AncascochaWe have an early start this morning, trekking for approximately 2 hours to reach the top of our second pass at 4,700m. From here we have fantastic views of the rock formations below us, and if we're lucky we may spot Andean ibises, caracaras, eagles or foxes up here!After descending for approximatley 2 hours, we arrive at a stunning highland valley with a glacial river named Kenqo Mayu (meaning "Zig-zag River") flowing down it - which makes an idyllic stop for lunch!After lunch we will continue trekking downhill following the ancient trail, which leads us to our campsite in the Ancascocha area.Approximate trekking time: 6-7hrs, Distance: 10kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerOption 2 - Classic TrekWayllabamba to PacaymayoThis is the most challenging day of the trek as we ascend a long steep path (approximately 4 hours) through Andean cloud forest and highland puna to reach the highest point of our trek, Warmiwañusca (meaning "Dead Woman's Pass") at a height of 4,200m. During our ascent, we can appreciate the wide variety of plant, flower and bird species supported by this unique eco-climate. On reaching the pass, our challenge is rewarded by an astonishing panoramic view of the Vilcanota and Vilcabamba mountain ranges. From here we descend for 2 hours into the Pacaymayo Valley (3,650m altitude) and to our second campsite.Approximate trekking time: 6-7hrs, Distance: 11kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, SnacksOption 3 - Train PackageToday is a free day for you to enjoy Cuzco, with its museums, churches, incredible colonial architecture, beautiful restaurants and a vast array of shops selling textiles and handicrafts.
Option 1 - Wild Andes TrekAncascocha to OllantaytamboToday we will descend the narrow Silque Canyon, allowing us to observe its tall granite walls which are populated by a large variety of orchids and bromeliads, filling the environment with magnificent colours when they bloom. After crossing many little bridges we will reach the Camicancha area, where we stop at a magnificent volcanic viewpoint looking towards the snow-capped Mt. Veronica.From here it is only a short trek to Chilca, where our trail ends. We'll be picked up by our vehicle and head to Ollantaytambo, taking a well-earned shower and rest at our hotel.In the afternoon we will have an included guided tour around the incredible archaeological site of Ollantaytambo and its world-famous Temple of the Sun. Please note that we have the evening to ourselves in Ollantaytambo, our Guide will meet us in the morning. No Meals are included in Ollantaytambo.Option 2 - Classic Inca TrekPacaymayo to Wiñay WaynaToday we follow ancient stone paths and steps to ascend the well-preserved Inca remains of Runkurakay, Sayacmarca, and Phuyupatamarca (the "Town above the Clouds") where we can appreciate the Incas’ complex architectural style and reverence of natural geography and beauty. Heading down the Andean slope, we reach our final night's camp by the Wiñay Wayna (meaning "Forever Young") ruins, with panoramic views of the valley below.Approximate walking time: 8hrs, Distance: 16kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, SnacksOption 3 - Train PackageAfter being picked up from your hotel in the morning you will be driven to the fortress city of Ollantaytambo and our hotel for the night, the Tunupa Lodge. Here you will rejoin the Wild Andes Trekkers and your tour leader who will be arriving from their trek this afternoon.
Option 1 - Wild Andes TrekOllantaytambo – Machu Picchu – CuzcoToday we will have an early start to catch the train to the small town of Aguas Calientes. From there, we will take a bus up the winding mountainside to the legendary ruined city of Machu Picchu - one of the world's most iconic sights! We have a guided tour with our expert local guide and there will be plenty of free time to explore this magical place. In the afternoon we will head back to Ollantaytambo and then on to Cuzco, where we return to our joining hotel at the end of a long but phenomenal day!Meals provided: BreakfastOption 2 - Classic TrekWinay Wayna to MachupicchuLeaving Winay Wayna, we descend gradually further through the highland jungle to our destination - Intupunku (the "Sun Gate") leading into Machu Picchu. Arriving at daybreak, we catch our first breathtaking view of this historical wonder. As with the Wild Andes Trek, our local guide will show us the most important constructions as well as explain the history and the mythology of this magnificent place. There is also some free time to explore the ruins further at your own pace or just chill out and watch the hummingbirds or vizcachua. In the afternoon we head back down to Aguas Calientes and take the train back to Ollantaytambo and return to Cuzco for a well-deserved rest.Approximate walking time: 2hrs, Distance: 4kms, Meals provided: Breakfast, SnacksOption 3 - Train PackageAfter an early breakfast and walk to the train station, your stunning 2 hour train ride to Aguas Calientes begins. The journey takes you through several different micro-climates, past Inca terraces, lookout posts, ancient river bank reinforcements and small towns. You will get a glimpse of different temples and the beautiful Mount Veronica (5,750m). Passing through 8 tunnels, the train journey finally comes to an end in the busy pueblo, Aguas Calientes. From here you take a local bus that winds up the mountainside for about 30 minutes until you arrive at the entrance to Machu Picchu (2,400m), the awe inspiring 'Lost City of the Incas'. The guide will take you around the immense, mystical ruins for about 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes, explaining the rich history of the ancient site. Afterwards, you will have time to explore on your own before returning down the mountain to Aguas Calientes.In the afternoon you will catch a train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo and a private transfer will take you back to your hotel in Cuzco.Meals provided: Breakfast
Today is a free day to relax after the treks, further explore the historical city of Cuzco, and take part in some optional activities around the city.
Today we will drive south to the small village of Raqchi. Here we will stay at a homestay as guests of the local villagers in their traditional family homes. The houses are very clean and have basic facilities.This afternoon we will visit the Inca ruins of the Temple of Wiracocha at Raqchi, and then see a pottery demonstration at a local artisan centre. This evening the villagers will invite us to take part in a traditional Quechua religious ceremony, and we'll have some lively music from some of the village's musicians.
Today we will drive through the stunning landscapes of the Peruvian highlands to the small town of Chivay, where we can have an optional trip to the nearby hot springs in the evening.
This morning we will head out on a short drive to some of the best viewpoints along the spectacular Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world! The canyon is famous for its resident condors, and we will spend a good amount of time at the viewpoints to give ourselves the best chance of spotting them. We will also visit a couple of local communities on the way back to Chivay.After lunch in Chivay, we will drive to the beautiful 'White City' of Arequipa.
For the next two days we will enjoy free time to independently explore the colonial city of Arequipa, or to take part in some optional activities in and around the city.
Second free day to explore Arequipa.
Today we will continue our drive and head all the way downhill to the Pacific coastal resort of Puerto Inca.
This morning we head north to the world-famous village of Nazca, the location of the mysterious Nazca Lines. We will have an included visit to the nearby ancient sites of the Chauchilla Cemetery and the Cahuachi Pyramid, thought to have once been the religious centre of the Nazca civilisation.In the afternoon, we will have the opportunity to take an optional 30-minute flight over the Nazca Lines in a small aircraft - this is by far the best way of seeing the figures, and we use a local operator with an excellent safety record. The Nazca Lines are a series of figures, lines, and geometric shapes that were etched into the ground of the desert plateau over a thousand years ago by the ancient Nazca culture, and their purpose is still unknown to this day.
Today we continue north, stopping at a viewing platform to get a glimpse of some of the Nazca Lines. We will arrive at the stunning desert oasis town of Huacachina, where we have the option to head out for an evening of sand boarding and dune buggying.
Today we will drive the short distance to Paracas and board one of the local boats for an included trip to the Ballestas Islands to view its incredible array of resident wildlife and birds.After lunch, we will continue north to arrive at the chaotic Peruvian capital of Lima.
Border information: if joining in Lima, you will most likely enter Peru at Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport (IATA code: LIM).There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Lima before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Lima.
Today we will have a spectacular drive up the winding roads of the 'Paramonga Route' into the Cordillera Blanca section of the high Andes, reaching the mountain town of Huaraz.
We have two days in the spectacular area of the Cordillera Blanca for exploration and optional activities such as visiting the incredible pre-Inca ruins of Chavín de Huántar or trekking and climbing to the nearby lakes and glaciers.
Second free day for optional activities and exploration in Huaraz.
Today we will have a full day's drive down the stunning 'Casma Route' to the Pacific coast and on to Huanchaco, near the city of Trujillo.
Today we will have an included guided trip to explore the enormous adobe ruins of Chan Chan and the world-famous Moche archaeological site of Huaca de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon).
Today we will have a full day's drive along the coast of northern Peru. We will stay at a friendly local campsite just outside of Punta Sal, on a beautiful and serene beach on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.
Today we have a full day to relax on the beach and enjoy some activities in and around the stunning coastal area of Punta Sal.
Border information: Exit Peru at Tumbes, enter Ecuador at Huaquillas.Today we will have a long drive day north, crossing the border into southern Ecuador and arriving at the beautiful colonial town of Cuenca.
Today we will have a free day to explore the colonial city of Cuenca. The town is the birthplace of the famous Panama Hat, and we will have the opportunity today to visit one of the factories to learn about the manufacturing process.
Today we will drive to the remote village of Chugchilan, via the stunning landscape of the Cajas National Park en route and the spectacular highland scenery along the road of the 'Quilotoa Loop'.
Today is a free day to enjoy optional activities such as mountain biking and horseback riding.
Today we will drive along the remainder of the Quilotoa Loop and head north to the village of Rio Verde near the famous Tungurahua volcano.
We will have two full days of free time for a range of activities in Rio Verde, such as white-water rafting, trekking, canyoning, cycling, and other options. We will also have the opportuinty to visit the nearby town of Baños and its popular volcanic thermal springs.
Second free day for optional activities.
Today our journey begins with a drive to a village on the edge of the Amazon basin, near the town of Tena, where we head to our lodge for an incredible 3-night stay.Our lodge is a great example of eco-tourism, built and run by the local community and volunteers, who work to re-forest the reserve land at the lodge with native trees and medicinal plants. The lodge is set in secondary and primary rainsforest, an area at risk of deforestation.
Over the next two days we will head into the Amazon jungle, enjoying rainforest treks exploring the nearby waterfalls and caves, and trips down the Napo River in motorised dugout canoes, hopefully spotting plenty of wildlife on the way. We will also see some ancient fossils and petroglyphs, and visit a local Quichua community.
Second full day in the rainforest.
Today we will drive back up into the highlands and arrive at the Ecuadorian capital, Quito.
Border Information: if finishing in Quito, you will most likely exit Ecuador at Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA code: UIO).Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Quito. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact your sales agent if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.