Day by Day Itinerary
Type Service: Group Tour
Destinations: Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu
Activities: Trekking and Walking,Cultural and History,Bicycle Touring
Day 1 - International Arrival in Lima
Assistance at your arrival to Lima International airport and transfer to your hotel, there you will receive a briefing on your tour and vouchers covering all the services included in your tour and additional information on the organization of your Peru trip.
Meals Included: None
Day 2 – Lima Sightseeing Tour
Morning free to relax; we recommend you to take a long rest and be prepared to begin with this unforgettable journey through our wonderful country. Lunch on your own
Pick up from the Hotel at 1:30pm, guided sightseeing tour to the most attractive and important sites in Lima, the "City of Kings". This excursion offers the best combination of the different attractions in Lima and its three historical periods: pre-Hispanic, colonial and contemporary. In Lima, there were several different pre-Columbian cultures which are dated thousands of years back. Lima was part of the Inca Empire until was founded by the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro on the 18th of January, 1535. Overnight at Lima Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 3 - Flight to Cusco / Cusco Sightseeing Tour
Breakfast at the hotel; transfer to Lima airport for your flight to Cusco, upon arrival reception, assistance and transfer to the hotel, free morning to get acclimatized
At 1:30pm pick up from the Hotel; guided sightseeing tour in Cusco like Koricancha temple of Sun the most important shrines during the Incas time. Visit the Cathedral the most imposing church at the main square. The tour keeps going to Sacsayhuaman, this site is a megalithic work made by the Incas; it stands on a hill looming over the city to the north-yet even these enormous stones are filled with that extraordinary Inca perfection. The next sightseeing is named Qenqo, it shows a singular limestone outcrop, which was used to religious cult. The tour finishes visiting Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. Overnight at Cusco Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 4 – Urubamba River Rafting
Breakfast at the hotel; pick up from the Hotel at 8:30am, after one and a half hours drive we arrive to the put -in at the shores of the Upper Urubamba River, at "CASA CUSI" our private campground. Our professional Rafting Guides will give you a safety talk and provide you with all the proper equipment for Rafting. We would be floating for approximately two and a half hours, running class II and III rapids, introductory type rapids. Afterwards, we arrive to the take out where our private bus will be waiting for us to take us back to CASA CUSI, where a hot Sauna will be waiting and a full course lunch will be provided. Our return to Cusco should be around 5:00pm in the afternoon. Overnight at Cusco Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 - Mountain Biking Moray & Maras Salt Mines
Breakfast at the hotel; pick up from the Hotel at 8:00am then take one hour and 20 minutes takes the bus ride to the village called chequerec (Chinchero) where we start our ride. Passing the lagoon of Huaypo; you will see a spectacular panorama of patches of fields that melt into the snow-capped peaks of the Cordilleras Urubamba and Vilcabamba. On bicycle (an easy flat ride first, then slowly ascending, and finally becoming a moderate descent), ride to the archeological site of Moray; we arrive to the Archeological Site of Moray. Continuing our trip we arrive to Maras where a tasty picnic is waiting for us. Afterwards a 1 hour downhill ride let us feel the peace of the Andean countryside. So enjoy your freedom. After this great lunch you have new energies to go on riding to the terraces of salt in Maras and then to start again a downhill of 40 minutes approx. To the Sacred Valley (Pichingoto), where the end point of our magnificent bike tour, we return to Cusco at approx. 4:30pm. Overnight at Cusco Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 - Cusco / Soraypampa to Huayracmachay
Pick up from the Hotel at 4:00am in a private transport and start a scenic morning to our trek starting point at Soraypampa. The road goes up a beaten track along the right shore of the Apurimac River and crosses the town of Mollepata (2800m/9184ft) and Cruzpata to finally reach Soraypampa (3800m/12464ft), the starting point of the trek. We start our hike towards the base of Mt. Salcantay, crossing Salcantaypampa, and then starting a 2 hrs steep ascent to Soyroccocha, just next to the impressive glacier of Salcantay. Continuing uphill, we reach the highest point of the trek Abra Huayracmachay (4525m/14846ft). From this point, we start descending towards into the so-called cloud forest. Along the route, we can see the remains of an ancient Inca path, which is approximately 6 meters wide. We arrive to our camping place Huayracmachay (3,850m/12628ft)
Meals Included: Box-lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Huayracmachay to Lucmabamba
Breakfast; continue our hike with an easy downhill walk along the Salcantay River, enjoying the increasingly lush vegetation, passing waterfalls, passion fruit and coffee plantations. The arid highland landscape begins to transform into a cloud forest filled with trees and bromeliads. After 3 hours we arrive at the settlement of Chaullay, and after another hour and a half, we pass the town of Colpapampa. From Colpapampa, the Salkantay River becomes the Santa Teresa River. After a rest, we continue our descent to the banks of the Totora River where we can enjoy a delicious dip in the thermo-medicinal waters. Following the Santa Teresa River, we pass the waterfalls at Coripacchi, the settlement at Wiñaypoko and finally arrive to Lucmabamba (2,100m/6888ft) campsite.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Lucmabamba / Llactapata / Aguas Calientes
After breakfast, walk up to Llactapata on the way we can see plantations of banana, coffee, and avocado, as well as exuberant local flora. We enter spectacled-bear territory and we will probably be accompanied by flocks of parrots as we descend. We cross the river and start climbing for 2-3 hours up to Abra Q’elloqasa (2860m/9381ft) from where we have an exceptional view of Machu Picchu. We enjoy amazing view from Llaqtapata (2650m/8692ft) from where we can view both Machu Picchu and the Salkantay, enjoying the added value of the Llactapata archeological site, which have recently been restored. A 2-hour descent towards the Aobamba River crossing lush bamboo forests and more orchards and coffee plantations brings us to the Hydroelectric from where we board a train that takes us to Aguas Calientes (40 minutes train ride).
Overnight at Aguas Calientes Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - Visit Machu Picchu full day / Back to Cusco
Breakfast at the hotel; full day Excursion to Machu Picchu, early transfer to the Bus Stop for the short ride (25 minutes) up to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, you will participate in a guided tour of the Citadel, visiting the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial (the most important preserved Intihuatana), the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, houses, warehouses, a large central square; and all connected by narrow roads and steps that are surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side. After the tour you'll have time to stroll around the Archaeological Site at your leisure.
Opportunity to walk (approx 1 hour) up to the Sun Gate (Inti Punku) or climb to the top of Wayna Picchu, with a magnificent view of the whole Sanctuary, return in the afternoon by train to Poroy train station and transfer to your Cusco hotel. Overnight at Cusco Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast
Day 10 - Depart Cusco / Lima International departure
Breakfast at the hotel; transfer to the airport for departure flight to Lima and then take your connecting flight at home
Meals Included: Breakfast
Peru Travel Facts
All of this combined makes Peru one of the most interesting places to volunteer in Latin America.
Here are some of the most interesting facts about Peru.
General facts about Peru
1) There are three official languages
Spanish, Quechua and Aymara are all official languages in Peru.
Spanish is the most widely spoken of the three, with over 80% of Peruvians speaking this language.
But these languages are only the tip of the linguistic iceberg in this South American country.
Once you travel towards the Amazon Jungle, the people local to this region speak an additional 13 languages. Impressive, right?
2) The capital city of Peru is Lima
Prior to the invasion of Peru by the Spanish, Peru was known as Tahuantinsuyo (or the Inca Empire as it is known today), and the most important city in that empire was Qosqo (or Cusco), which means navel of the world. Tahuantinsuyo was the largest empire in the Americas at that time, hence why the city was given its name.
In 1535, Francisco Pizarro – a sixteenth-century Spanish coloniser – established the city of Lima to serve as the seat of power for the Spanish colonists. Lima is still the capital of Peru today.
Today, Lima is home to a third of Peru’s population.
Most visitors to Peru will skip Lima in their excitement to get to Cusco and Machu Picchu. But, Lima has so much to offer to travellers, including the different architectural styles visible in the city centre.
3) The population of Peru is over 33 million
There are more than 33 million people currently living in Peru.
This population is made up of groups from different cultures and backgrounds – including the Uros people, many of who live on islands built of reeds in Lake Titicaca, and the Mashco-Piro tribe, which lives in the Amazon rainforest.
These communities have inhabited the land for over five centuries.
Machu Picchu facts
Erected in the fourteenth century, Machu Picchu – a fortress built by the Incas – lies more than 2,400 metres above sea level in the Sacred Valley.
The Inca city was “lost” for over 400 years when Peru was invaded by the Spanish empire. It was rediscovered in 1911 by explorer, professor and archaeologist Hiram Bingham.
Today, Machu Picchu is a designated United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.
1) Machu Picchu is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World
Intrepid travellers flock to Peru every year to tackle the Inca Trail – a well-known four-day hiking trail on the Andes mountain range that leads to Machu Picchu.
And why is Machu Picchu so popular? It’s one of the places where you can see a number of great examples of Inca architecture and learn about Peruvian history.
In 2007, the site – often referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” – was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
2) Machu Picchu was an astronomical observatory
Archaeologists have learned that the fourteenth century Incas had an excellent understanding of the alignment of the stars.
The civilisation built each sun temple and the sacred Intihuatana stone to line up with the sun for each solstice.
3) No wheels were used to build Machu Picchu
Despite the fact that Machu Picchu is made up of many stones weighing over 23 kilograms, no wheels were used to transport these rocks up the mountain. It is believed that hundreds of men pushed rocks up the steep mountainside to build this wonder of the world.
Peru natural wonders facts
1) Peru has one of the highest sand dunes in the world
The Cerro Blanco sand dune is the second-highest in the world, towering over the Sechura Desert at 1,176 metres.
The sand dune is located 14 kilometres east of the city of Nazca, so excursions to see the dune are usually organised from there.
When you arrive at the dunes, you can hire a dune buggy or sandboard, and spend hours sliding down one of the largest natural wonders in the world.
2) Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable lake
Located between Bolivia and Peru, Lake Titicaca has an elevation of 3,810 metres above sea level.
But that’s not the only thing that makes this natural wonder stand out.
In the 1970s Jacques Cousteau, a French conservationist, found ruins of a city beneath the surface of Lake Titicaca.
Today, the descendants of the Quechua people who called this lost city home, live on 120 self-made floating islands on the lake.
3) One of the deepest canyons in the world is in Peru
The Cotahuasi Canyon has a depth of more than 3,500 metres.
To put this into perspective, this canyon is twice the depth of the United States’ Grand Canyon.
4) Peru is home to the Nazca Lines
The Nazca Lines are a display of more than 70 giant human and animal geoglyphs – works of art made by rearranging objects within a landscape.
These images are scrawled across the Peruvian terrain near the city of Lima.
They were first brought to the public’s attention by a Peruvian archeologist in 1927.
Today, these lines in the desert plateau between Nazca and Palpa are considered one of the world’s greatest archaeological mysteries.
Some people believe that the Nazca Lines are an ancient alien landing strip, while others think it forms part of a sophisticated astronomical calendar.
Interesting facts about Peru’s food
Did you know that Peru is considered one of the top foodie destinations in the world?
Michelin-star chefs from many different countries fly to Lima and Cusco to learn how to master their trade.
Need more proof about Peru’s gastronomic clout?
Every year since 2012, the country has been named the World’s Leading Culinary Destination by the World Travel Awards.
1) You can eat over 3,500 varieties of potatoes in Peru
The potato is a superfood, containing almost every kind of vitamin you need. It’s birthplace? Peru.
With more than 3,000 types of potato grown in the country, why not sample as many as possible in between conducting English classes, conservation work or community development volunteer work in Peru?
2) Peru is home to one of the best superfoods in the world
Ever heard of the camu camu fruit?
It grows in the Amazon rainforest and has a higher concentration of vitamin C than any other food in the world.
So, if you’re feeling a little jet-lagged after arriving in Peru, stop by the local supermarket, purchase a camu camu and take a bite to give your immune system a much-needed boost!
3) Guinea pigs aren’t pets
If you’re volunteering in Peru during an important cultural festival, keep a lookout for cuy. Cuy is a traditional dish that’s made from roasted guinea pig.
For the adventurous eaters that try this delicacy, it’s worth knowing that guinea pig meat is an even healthier choice than llama meat – and it contains even more protein.
4) Pisco sour is Peru’s national drink
Pisco sour is a Peruvian brandy that is mixed with lemons, sugar, water, egg whites, ice and bitters.
It was invented in the early 1920s by an American bartender. You can also try a version of the drink called chilcano, which is made without the egg whites.
Peru wildlife and flora facts
1) Peru is home to one of the world’s largest flying birds
The Andean condor is native to the Andes mountain range in Peru. It has a wingspan of 3.2 metres, stands at 1.2 metres tall and can weigh up to 15 kilograms. Because of their large size, these birds like to live in windy areas like Peru’s Colca Canyon, where they can use the air current to glide for hours with minimal effort.
The bird features on four national shields: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and Ecuador.
The Andean condor is listed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. They are under threat due to poisoning, habitat loss, illegal hunting and the wildlife trade, as well as increased competition for food by feral dog populations.
2) Peru is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world
One of the most interesting facts about Peru is that it has 90 different microclimates – climates that are restricted to a small area, and different from surrounding climates.
So it’s no wonder that the country is home to a wide variety of wildlife and plant species.
One of the best places to go to grasp the sheer range of its diversity is the Manu National Park. This park holds a biodiversity record after recording more than 1,000 species of birds, 1,200 species of butterflies, and 287 species of amphibians and reptiles in 2014.
Another great place to experience this is in the Yanachaga-Chemillen National Park, home to the Amazon cloud forest. With GVI, you can live and work in the park, which will give you the opportunity to experience the incredible biodiverisity found in this special place. You’ll assist in monitoring the return of certain mammals to the area, including armadillos, agoutis and ocelots. Most recently, we have even captured images of pumas and a spectacled bear in the area – a good indication that more animals are returning to the forest.
3) The tallest flowering plant grows in Peru
The Puya raimondii can grow to a height of five metres.
This plant takes between 80 and 150 years to flower. And, once it does, it can produce over 30,000 white blooms.
It’s only found in the high Andes, growing at an elevation of 3,000–4,800 metres above sea level.
4) The Amazon rainforest covers almost two thirds of Peru
Part of the Amazon rainforest, the Peruvian Amazon covers 60% of the country and is home to around 20% of all bird species in the world. You’ll also find 700 types of ferns and 7,322 different species of flowering plants, as well as roughly 180 species of reptiles, 262 amphibians, 293 mammals, 697 fish, 806 birds and 2,500 butterflies.
5) Three-quarters of the world’s alpacas live in Peru
Over 3.5 million alpacas call Peru their home. So don’t be surprised if a curious alpaca or two find their way into your picture when you visit this beautiful country.