Exploring Northern Peru’s Spectacular Wonders

Meet the "other" Peru
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Build a Custom Tour



Looking for something a little different? At Impactful Travel, we specialize in crafting custom itineraries tailored to your unique travel desires and ethical values.

Build Your Trip

  • 25 Days, 20 Nights(Flexible: this is an example itinerary)
  • Group Size: 1 - 8(Larger groups possible)
  • Price range: $ 2700-6200 (for standard itinerary)
  • All year

Embark on our extraordinary expedition, “Exploring Northern Peru’s Spectacular Wonders,” and uncover a side of Peru rarely seen. This remarkable journey promises to tantalize the senses of any adventurous soul, offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience through captivating landscapes and rich cultural encounters.

Embrace the essence of slow travel and off-the-beaten-path tourism, as we delve into the untold tales of Peru’s diverse people and unspoiled regions. Immerse yourself in the heartwarming embrace of community-based experiences, a hallmark of our distinctive approach to travel.

Join us on this unparalleled odyssey, where every step unravels the hidden treasures of “the other Peru.”

Alternatively, if you have plans to embark on the Southern route including all the “usual” attractions, don’t miss out on our Impactful Travel’s Highlights Trip through Peru tour.

But if you like to stick to this proposal, you can read the detailed Day-to-Day inspirational description further below.

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Day by Day

Note:

If you enquire about this tour, we will ask you to allow us to connect with you through a video call. This enables us to gain a deeper understanding of your unique travel preferences, allowing us to tailor our services to your exact needs.

Once you book we will promptly send you a comprehensive PDF itinerary. This detailed document will provide you with helpful tips for upgrades and downgrades, valuable recommendations, as well as options and prices for domestic flights. 

Day 1Arrival Lima

Welcome to Peru!

Although commonly referred to as the “Lima Airport,” it is actually located in a neighboring province known as ‘Callao.’ Depending on various factors such as the time of day, day of the week, and the specific location of your accommodation, you may need to travel for a variable amount of time to reach your hotel, given that Lima is a sprawling city. So, take a moment to relax and observe the reality of your host country from your window, or simply close your eyes and settle comfortably into your seat.

Soon you may find yourself yearning for a quick dinner and a well-deserved rest after a long flight. That’s precisely why we recommend our carefully curated accommodations as a delightful option for your evening meal.

Tomorrow promises an exciting and immersive experience as you delve into the daily life of Lima. It’s advisable to get some rest, as the upcoming day will be filled with adventure. But don’t worry too much about tiredness or jetlag affecting your experience, as you will also have a free afternoon to relax and unwind.

Day 2Lima - Walking Tour - free afternoon

Good morning! We hope you had a restful night’s sleep.

Today our charismatic guide will whisk you away on a delightful tour through the city. Experience the vibrant pulse of Lima by immersing yourself in the daily lives of the locals, hopping on Lima’s public transportation.

Our first stop is the Surquillo market, a treasure trove of unique Peruvian fruits and countless other delights. Feast your eyes on the incredible diversity of chirimoya (custard apple), aguaymanto (golden berry), lúcuma, and pacay. While some things may have translations, some not and that is part of the discovery experience! You’ll have the chance to sample these delectable treats for just a few soles.

Next, we’ll hop on the ‘Metropolitano’ bus to the historic center of Lima, a jewel among Latin America’s colonial city centers. Prepare to be enchanted as we stroll through San Martin square and the picturesque pedestrian street known as ‘Jirón de la Unión’. Treat yourself to handmade ice cream and soak in the stunning architectural splendor.

Once we reach the main square, or ‘Plaza de Armas’, marvel at the magnificent colonial buildings that grace the landscape. Behold the regal Government Palace, the stately Municipal Palace, and the awe-inspiring Cathedral. And no visit would be complete without exploring the legendary San Francisco church and its mysterious catacombs.

At the end of the tour you can choose where to have lunch and the rest of the afternoon and evening are free to enjoy at your leisure.

 

Day 3Lima - Cajamarca (2.750m) - City Tour

Today you’ll be transferred back to Callao for the flight to the captivating city of Cajamarca. Upon arrival, you’ll be warmly greeted and transferred to your hotel in this enchanting city, the result of a blend of Andean and colonial architecture.

Once settled, embark on a fascinating city tour accompanied by your knowledgeable private guide. Explore the magnificent churches, also the iconic “Ransom Room” – an esteemed historic site where Inca Atahualpa presented a priceless offering in exchange for his liberty. Marvel at the panoramic views from Santa Apolonia Hill, serving as a splendid lookout point. Immerse yourself in the rich religious heritage of the St. Francis Church at the awe-inspiring Religious Art Museum.

This tour will unveil the pivotal role Cajamarca played in the final days of the Inca Empire, providing invaluable insights into its historical significance.

After the tour, the remainder of the day is yours to relish at your leisure!

 

Day 4Cajamarca - Leymebamba (1.800m)

Today you will travel by car to the village of Leymebamba: as we set off from the highlands of Cajamarca, we head east towards the charming town of Celendin. The road winds through picturesque landscapes, with rolling hills and valleys creating a breathtaking backdrop. The route will lead you southward through awe-inspiring Andean scenery, navigating narrow mountain passes and offering panoramic views of cliffs. After a journey of approximately 6-8 hours (depending on road conditions and stops), we’ll arrive in Leymebamba. Nestled in the Utcubamba River valley, Leymebamba awaits with its magnificent views and proximity to archaeological wonders.

Upon arrival, we will take you to your hotel for a free afternoon and evening.

Day 5Free day Leymebamba

Take a day to freely explore the charming village of Leymebamba. Discover the exquisite stone church, visit the water spring, and stroll along the “Old Path” from downtown to San Miguel, the original site of former Leymebamba. Here you will find the KentiKafé at the Kentitambo Hotel, where even as a non-guest, you can delight in a coffee and a slice of cake while admiring the mesmerizing hummingbirds in the beautiful gardens.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the exceptional Museo Leymebamba, where the renowned Chachapoyan mummies reside. If you prefer an organized itinerary, check out our blog post “6 Ways to Spend a Free Day in Leymebamba” for details and pricing on exciting activities available in this captivating destination.

The spectacular museum of Leymebamba, Northern Peru, seen from above. Discover Northern Peru with RESPONSible Travel Peru!
 

Day 6Leymebamba - Kuelap (3.000m) - Chachapoyas (2.335m)

After your final evening in Leymebamba, you’ll depart the town in private transportation bound for Kuelap. The journey itself is a visual feast, with breathtaking landscapes and intriguing rock formations. As you travel, you’ll be reminded that the region is dotted with other fascinating Chachapoya archaeological remains and protected areas that safeguard the natural splendor of the surroundings.

The trip to Nuevo Tingo, the small town where the cable car system starts its operations, will seem like a breeze. Atop is Kuelap, not only the largest and best-preserved site of the Chachapoya culture but also the most accessible. A brief hike will bring you face-to-face with the awe-inspiring facade of the archaeological complex. Once inside, a comprehensive tour will provide an insightful interpretation of the various buildings within the complex.

[After lunch you go into the valley and walk from the cable car station in 15 minutes to the main square of Tingo Nuevo. Along the way, you will learn about the history of the village and why people moved from Tingo to Tingo Nuevo.

You will leave the main square on foot to reach the Macro site (about an hour’s walk). You will follow the river, first on one side then on the other. Along the way, you’ll learn more about agriculture and you will meet the family in charge of protecting the beautiful circular structures of Macro, a site with a similar architecture to that of Kuelap. The view from Macro is beautiful, you can see the whole valley. This site has been very well preserved and has never been restored.]

After the visit, we will take you to the city of Chachapoyas. Nestled on a mountain range opposite Kuelap, Chachapoyas is the capital of the Amazonas region, known for its rich history, nice and proud people, and wonderful climate.

 

Atop view of a section of Kuelap ruins and the landscape
 

Day 7Walk to Karajía - afternoon to Gocta (Cocachimba, 1.800m)

Today, we will venture across the Utcubamba River a few more times in search of captivating archaeological treasures and the awe-inspiring natural beauty of this region.

Our first destination will be the village of Cruzpata, where we’ll embark on a hike to the renowned Karajía sarcophagi! As we make our way through the quaint settlement, we’ll not only traverse lush crop fields and learn about the bountiful products of the land but also make stops along the route to delve into the history of the place.

Before you know it, you’ll find yourself standing in awe beneath the remarkable “coffins.” While the six prominent sarcophagi are undoubtedly a sight to behold, keep a keen eye out for lesser-known sarcophagi nestled within the cliff walls.

After this captivating excursion, we’ll indulge in a delectable feast of local cuisine before continuing our journey to Cocachimba: the village that overlooks the famous Gocta waterfall, boasting two majestic cascades that span a total of 771 meters! Tomorrow, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in its splendor.

Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 8Gocta hike - Chachapoyas - night bus to Chiclayo (27m)

Start your morning with breakfast and a breathtaking view. Then, accompanied by a charismatic guide from the Cocachimba community, embark on a scenic hike to the stunning waterfall. As you descend from the village, immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, surrounded by birds and with a little luck, catch a glimpse of the famous Andean cock-of-the-rock!

During the hike, the local guide will share captivating stories about the “discovery” of the waterfall and fascinating insights about the surrounding nature. If you’re interested, the guide will happily enlighten you with tales of the area, mostly in the form of legends and myths.

The return journey to Cocachimba may be challenging due to warm temperatures and a steep path. However, rest assured that the trail is well-maintained, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. Although bidding farewell to this wonder may be bittersweet, the memories will linger in your heart.

Afterward, you’ll be transported back to Chachapoyas, where you’ll head to the bus station for an overnight journey to Chiclayo, located on the coast. The bus ride will take the whole night, allowing you to rest before reaching your next destination.

The Gocta Waterfall in the Chachapoyas area of Peru - RESPONSible Travel Peru
 

Day 9Chiclayo - Chaparrí Reserve (450m)

Upon arriving in Chiclayo, we will transport you to the Chaparrí Private Conservation Area, far removed from the bustling city. Here, a well-deserved haven awaits you – a rustic but comfortable lodge – a respite after the long hours of your journey.

This natural sanctuary was established to preserve and provide refuge for spectacled bears (also known as Andean bear). Surprisingly, amidst the desert landscape, the forest emerges in all its verdant glory, captivating all who venture here.

Today, take a leisurely pace as you embark on your first hike through the area. Accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, who will regale you with tales of ancient cultures, the Chaparrí project, and the significance of conservation. Although you may not catch a glimpse of wild spectacled bears just yet, you are sure to encounter these magnificent creatures at the shelter, along with a plethora of local flora and fauna.

Afterward, the rest of your day is yours to enjoy at leisure.

Day 10Full day Chaparrí - spotting spectacled bears

Today you will get up early and take a nice, long hike to spot wild spectacled bears!

To enhance your outdoor experience, a packed lunch will be provided and the local guide will help you spot wildlife as you may also encounter, deer, fox, peccary, among many other animals, but especially birds.

Observe the exceptional nature of this ecological reserve, nestled in the heart of a stunning dry forest. Chaparrí is more than just a paradise; it stands as a global exemplar for both ecotourism and conservation. Its unique beauty and commitment to preserving the environment make it truly remarkable.

In the afternoon, enjoy the tranquility of the lodge, the beautiful views and a well-deserved dinner made from local produce. Buenas noches!

Day 11Chaparrí - Chiclayo - Túcume - Pomac III - Lambayeque - Túcume (43m)

Today, on your third day exploring the Northern Peruvian coast, our journey takes a cultural turn as we venture to Túcume. Specifically, we’ll visit the rural community of Pomac III, where a fascinating tradition of cultivating colored cotton still thrives. Once highly sought after, this vibrant textile lost its popularity when Asian countries began producing white cotton at lower costs, causing the Peruvian cotton industry to collapse. Despite this, with the support of non-profit organizations, Pomac III has managed to preserve the traditional methods of cotton processing. If you’re curious, don’t hesitate to inquire about trying your hand at spinning, dyeing, and weaving on their “waist looms”!

Later in the afternoon, we’ll make our way to the renowned Tumbas Reales de Sipán museum in the city of Lambayeque. Can you imagine the awe of witnessing the tomb of one of ancient Peru’s most influential figures? This award-winning modern museum offers a captivating glimpse into the funerary arrangements of the Lord of Sipán (278 A.D.), a distinguished ruler of the Moche civilization that once governed the Northern Coast of Peru.

After this enriching tour, we’ll ensure you’re safely transported back to your hotel, concluding another remarkable day of exploration.

Day 12Túcume - Chiclayo - Trujillo (34m) - Huanchaco

Take a longer sleep and enjoy this free and slow morning as only at noon we will be taking you to the bus station for a ride to sunny Trujillo.

Once there you will find that your hotel is located away from the city, in Huanchaco, a charming seaside town that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Known for its captivating surf breaks, traditional ‘caballitos de totora’ (reed boats), and mouthwatering ceviche, the town has become a haven for surfers and travelers seeking a laid-back coastal escape.

Once a fishing village, Huanchaco has transformed into a beloved destination that attracts locals and tourists alike because of the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the local community. So enjoy strolling along the Malecón, the scenic boardwalk that lines the beach, or indulge in fresh seafood and cocktails at one of the many beachfront restaurants.

Day 13Highlights around Trujillo - night bus to Caraz (2.256m)

Beyond the sandy shores of Huanchaco a rich cultural heritage await. Today, we will embark on a morning exploration of the fascinating archaeological site of Chan Chan, claimed to be “the largest adobe city in the world.” We’ll also marvel at the impressive temples of the Sun and Moon, which offer a glimpse into the captivating pre-Columbian history of the region.

In the afternoon, you have the freedom to choose which attractions you’d like to visit. Whether it’s exploring the colonial city of Trujillo or delving deeper into the abundant archaeology of the area (we recommend Huaca Dragón), the choice is yours.

As the day comes to a close, you’ll board another night bus heading south, this time towards Caraz. Get ready for more exciting adventures ahead!

Day 14Free day Caraz

Upon your arrival in Caraz, we will be glad to pick you up and escort you to your hotel, where you can freshen up and unwind.

The rooms are cozy and the gardens stunning, surrounded by breathtaking views. The lodge also takes pride in growing most of its food, ensuring a delightful Garden-to-Table dining experience at the restaurant.

With Caraz’s pleasant climate, you can relish the great outdoors. If you’re up for some leg-stretching and nature exploration, embarking on an excursion to Lake Paron would be an excellent choice for today.

Day 15Caraz - Llanganuco lake & Lake 69 (4.604m) - Caraz

After enjoying an early breakfast, you’ll be picked up and driven to the starting point of the hike to the mesmerizing Lake 69 (Laguna 69). During the approximately one and a half hour drive, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the majestic Cordillera Blanca and the awe-inspiring azure Llanganuco lake. While en route, feel free to inquire about the fascinating legend surrounding these enchanting lakes.

Once you’ve had your fill of these initial impressions, the journey continues a little further to Cebollapampa, situated at an altitude of 3,900m. Brace yourself, for this is where the real ascent begins. On average, it takes about 3 to 4 hours to reach the summit.

Upon reaching the pinnacle at Lake 69 (4,604m), take a moment to relish the extraordinary surroundings while enjoying your packed lunch. And for the adventurous souls, why not dip your toes into the invigorating cold water? It works wonders for tired feet, but remember not to linger too long, as the descent back takes a couple of hours.

Back at the hotel and as the day winds down, you’ll have a free evening to unwind and make the most of your time.

Day 16Caraz - Vicos (3.000m)

When you’re ready, we’ll transport you from Caraz to the captivating village of Vicos. It was in Vicos where Guido’s love affair with this community began back in 2002. As an intern in sustainable, community-based tourism, he was deeply moved by the work he was able to do there. And over the years, Vicos has managed to preserve its enchantment, remaining a proud and authentic community. The local guides, brimming with indigenous knowledge of the area, will happily share their wisdom with you in their humble Spanish.

Today, you’ll get a glimpse into the daily life of the people of Vicos. Upon arrival, you’ll experience the delightful process of bread baking, a wonderful opportunity to bond with the family. After a satisfying lunch, it’s time to explore the breathtaking mountains that surround the village. Your knowledgeable local guide will provide insights into medicinal plants, delectable fruits, traditional farming methods using native potatoes, and their unique religion. It promises to be a fascinating afternoon.

As evening falls, the warmth of the kitchen, whether by the oven or the crackling open fire, becomes the backdrop for storytelling and cultural exchange. You’ll have the chance to share snippets of your own world and life, as well as learn from the experiences of others. Later in the night, fatigue from the day’s adventures will lull you into a peaceful slumber. Even for well-traveled individuals, Vicos never fails to captivate and astound.

Day 17Vicos

Take advantage of this extra day in Vicos to embark on an exhilarating hiking adventure in the majestic mountains! If you’re up for the challenge, trek up to the glacier adorned with a glacial lake. Be prepared for exhaustion, but the reward will be breathtaking landscapes, panoramic views, and an immersive experience in nature. Your knowledgeable local guide will regale you with captivating tales of the region.

However, if reaching the glacier seems daunting, fret not! Vicos boasts an abundance of other natural wonders to explore. Delight in enchanting dwarf forests, discover caves adorned with prehistoric drawings, marvel at cascading waterfalls, and indulge in stunning viewpoints that offer sweeping vistas of the magnificent Cordillera Blanca, adorned with countless peaks soaring above six thousand meters!

And of course don’t forget to immerse yourself in the vibrant community of Vicos.

Together with your guide, chart your path and decide how to make the most of this remarkable day!

Day 18Vicos Pachamanca - Huaraz - Lazy Dog Inn (3.650m)

Experience the morning at Vicos, filled with bustling activity and captivating beauty. As the sun rises, the children prepare for school, while people tend to the fields. Wisps of smoke gracefully dance from every house, a sign that breakfast is being prepared.

After the first meal of the day, you’ll have some leisure time before joining the host family in the traditional Pachamanca ritual. Together, you’ll wrap the meat, construct a brick oven, ignite a fire, and patiently wait for the bricks to reach the perfect temperature. Once ready, the ground oven is carefully covered with a tantalizing blend of herbs, plants, and soil that will infuse the feast with enticing aromas. In few hours as you sit on the grass, surrounded by the warm embrace of the Vicosinos and the awe-inspiring mountain landscape, you’ll savor mouthwatering potatoes, tender meat, and flavorful beans. It’s a moment of pure bliss, a unique experience.

After the Pachamanca, it will be time to bid farewell to Vicos and get back to Huaraz, upon arriving our driver will whisk you away to the Lazy Dog Inn.

Day 19Lazy Dog Inn - free day

At this point in the trip, the Lazy Dog Inn is all you want: a comfortable place, surrounded by beautiful nature, silence and peace to process your experiences, delicious and healthy food and the choice to be as active as you want. But this place is also a remarkable haven of sustainability, a true exemplar of world-class sustainability practices.

Let us tell you what you can do here: go horseback riding with the Peruvian Caballos de Paso, hike in one of the valleys, take a look at the Lazy Dog Inn’s community projects, or even try your hand at something, rent a mountain bike or just relax as the property’s lazy dogs themselves. The common living room is especially good for that in the evenings: hanging on the couch around the fireplace. Very enjoyable.

Day 20Llamatrek day 1: Huaraz - Tsacracancha (4.040m)

Over the next three days, you’ll embark on an extraordinary trek through the awe-inspiring Cordillera Blanca. Accompanied by llamas serving as pack animals, we’ll drive for approximately an hour to reach Olleros, situated above 3400 m.a.s.l. (11155 ft), where the Llama Breeding Center awaits. From there, our hike commences with your guide Jorge and the llama driver. But first, you’ll have the pleasure of experiencing a delicious breakfast with a local family in the village.

During the hike, signs of human life will become scarce as we immerse ourselves in the vast tundra, surrounded by majestic snow-capped mountains. As we near the end of today’s trek, we’ll arrive at ‘Azulwanka,’ a rock obelisk. Here, an Andean ritual to honor ‘Pachamama’ (mother earth) will take place. Your two local companions will perform this sacred ritual, offering the ‘Kintu’ – a traditional arrangement of three coca leaves – in front of this significant rock symbol. It represents the spirits of the mountains, known as ‘Hirkas,’ and their sacredness. You’ll have the opportunity to participate, sharing your wishes through the “Sacred [coca] Leaf” and connecting with the ‘Hirkas.’

Our next destination is Tsacracancha, where the camp awaits at an elevation of 4,040 m (13255 ft). Here, you’ll enjoy an authentic Andean camping dinner infused with local stories, making it a truly memorable first night of the trip.

Walking distance: 12 Km / 7,5 miles

Day 21Llamatrek day 2: Tsacracancha - Shongopampa (4.028m)

Today, our hike continues along a historic route that predates the Inca Empire’s expansion. As we venture further, the stone path of this ancient road becomes increasingly visible, revealing the remarkable constructions initiated by the early Chavín culture around 1200 BC.

By midday, we will ascend to the majestic Yanashallash Pass, standing tall at an elevation of 4681 m (15358 ft) and marking the highest point of our circuit. At this breathtaking altitude, we will have the privilege of witnessing a traditional offering to Mother Earth, conducted by the llama herders. Perhaps, if we’re lucky, even amidst a gentle snowfall. Here, you will be surrounded by the ‘chokus’, meticulously arranged rock piles that express gratitude to the mountain spirits for granting us safe passage.

From this awe-inspiring vantage point, our journey leads us downhill, descending to the serene Shongopampa (4028 m/15420 ft). This lower valley will serve as our welcoming abode, where we shall establish our second camp and rest.

Walking distance: 13 Km / 8 miles

Day 22Llamatrek day 3: Shongopampa - Chavín de Huántar - Huaraz (3.100m)

As our journey nears its end, we commence our descent back to civilization. However, before bidding farewell to this majestic landscape, we pause at a lookout point to bask in the awe-inspiring vista of the Huantsan snow peak, standing tall at an impressive altitude of 6366 meters (20886 feet). Continuing our path, we stroll past the charming village of Chichucancha, adorned with fields encircled by ancient stone fences. The inhabitants of this Andean community proudly uphold their ancestral Inca traditions within the walls of their homes.

The Huacheksa Gorge marks our route towards the magnificent destination of Chavín de Huántar. Upon arrival (the final descent facilitated by private transportation), we delve into the heart of this archaeological site; a temple complex that embodies the power and prosperity of the Chavín culture. Here, the Chavín people communed with the revered Pachamama, the divine mother earth. As we wander through the labyrinthine corridors, we are transported to an era that dates back nearly three thousand years. Immerse yourself in the enigmatic rituals and ancient Andean cosmology that unfolded within these hallowed walls. For enthusiasts of archaeology and ancient cultures, this is an absolute must-see!

With these final extraordinary experiences etched in our memories, we conclude our adventure by returning to Huaraz, where your new accommodation awaits to provide solace for your weary body and uplift your jubilant spirit.

Walking distance: 12 Km / 7,5 miles

Day 23Free day Huaraz

Take advantage of this delightful day to recharge from previous days and reflect on all the experiences. Delve into the city, indulge in the local crafted beers, or simply relish the serenity while immersing yourself in the captivating pages of Joe Simpson’s masterpiece, “Touching the Void” (1988).

Day 24Huaraz - Lima

Today, you have the option to make your way back to Lima. You can choose to embark on a daytime journey, where you can relish the splendid views along the way. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can simply catch the night bus, granting yourself an additional day in the mountains to recuperate from the invigorating trekking experience. Another possibility is to partake in an optional shared excursion. The choice is yours to make.

Day 25Lima - home

Today, you’ll have your final transfer to the airport for your flight back home. If you’re looking to make the most of your free time, there are plenty of options available. Are you interested in museums? The highly recommended Museo Larco and Museo de Oro, as well as the museum of the Huaca Pucllana, an adobe pyramid in the heart of the Miraflores district, are worth visiting. Our guide, Rosario (by this point, you should be familiar with her from the Lima walking tour on the second day of your trip), can also arrange a visit to Casa Aliaga, an incredible house brimming with history. If you venture outside the city, Pachacamac is truly awe-inspiring. Please note that some museums require advance reservations, including the Larco, Pachacamac, and the Huaca Pucllana. Be sure to arrange this with your hotel’s front desk in advance.

Alternatively, how about indulging in another top-notch lunch or embarking on a gourmet tour to savor the finest Peruvian cuisine? You could also enjoy a leisurely bike tour through Miraflores and Barranco, take a stroll along the cliffs (perhaps visiting the Parque del Amor and the lighthouse “El Farol”), and explore the beautiful souvenirs at the store Dédalo.

Please note that this proposal serves as a source of inspiration, and we are fully aware that adjustments will be made to tailor it to your preferences and possibilities.

The displayed prices reflect our standard accommodation options. If you desire a more luxurious lodging experience, kindly reach out to us for information on our superior alternatives. Allow us to provide you with a brief description of each option to assist you in making an informed decision.:

    • Standard hotels, equivalent to 2 to 3 stars, offer private ensuite bathrooms, comfortable beds, and breakfast included. We prioritize cozy, locally-owned hotels as part of our sustainable accommodations policy.
    • Superior hotels, generally boutique establishments with a 3 to 4-star equivalent service, exude the essence of the destination. They boast spacious rooms with luxury bedding and are sometimes housed in beautifully renovated historic buildings. In certain locations, we also feature larger hotels offering modern, world-standard comforts.

Feel free to gather more specific information from our travel specialists before making your decision, because, believe it or not, this choice can have a significant impact not only on your budget, but the kind of experience you’ll have during your trip, and your impact on the destination of course.

Small version of transparent round logo of RESPONSible Travel Peru

Why is this Exploring Northern Peru's Spectacular Wonders impactful?

Our trip prioritizes sustainable accommodations by choosing small-scale, locally-owned hotels. Out of the total nights you’ll be traveling with us, you’ll stay at sustainable lodgings on 17 occasions. This includes one homestay and 10 responsible hotels, carefully handpicked by us.

As part of our signature, this trip supports community-based tourism, contributing to the preservation of local culture. We’ll engage in community-based experiences, fostering a deeper understanding of the destination. By promoting meaningful connections with local people, we empower them and contribute to the local economy.

Our off-the-beaten-path approach ensures a positive economic impact on local communities that are often overlooked by tourism. We distribute benefits, empowering community members and creating economic opportunities.

We also embrace the concept of “slow travel,” offering a more immersive experience. This mindful and sustainable approach allows travelers to engage at a profound level, connecting with local traditions and ways of life. By adopting this concept, we reduce our carbon footprint and ensure a fair distribution of resources and benefits.

During the trip, we’ll embark on a multi-day trek (3-day) to reduce our carbon footprint by walking instead of using motorized transportation. We also utilize shared and public transportation when necessary to minimize the negative impact of motorized vehicles.

Additionally, we’ll visit two conservation areas and one national park, supporting their conservation goals through the purchase of entrance tickets. Similarly, your visit to archaeological sites contributes to their preservation.

Like in any of our trips, there are many more details that make this an itinerary with impact. We’d be happy to provide you with the full Sustainability Report of this itinerary, just contact us.

Details

Kindly be advised that the prices mentioned above pertain to the specified itinerary and include standard accommodation.

However, it is important to note that customizing this trip, as is typically expected, may result in a higher per-person price.

Price Includes

  • Full details on what's included are given in the PDF itinerary. In summary, the price includes:
  • All overnight staysIn towns and cities, you usually stay in nice, small-scale accommodations with a 2 to 3 star standard. Breakfast is usually included. In rural areas, you'll stay (full board) in family homestays, generally with ensuite bathrooms. During camping nights all meals are of course included.
  • Mentioned excursionsGuided city tours in Lima and Cajamarca. All excursions mentioned in the itineray (not the optionals neither the suggested ones) like Gocta Waterfalls hike, Karajia sarcophagy hike, Chaparri wildlife observation, lakes hike around Caraz, and Llama trek. Activities like Pomac III cotton experience, Pachamanca in Vicos. Guided visits to Kuelap, Tumbas Reales Museum, Chan-Chan, Sun and Moon Temples (incl. entrance fee).
  • Mentioned transfersLocal transfers in Lima, Cajamarca, Chachapoyas, Chiclayo, Huanchaco, Caraz and Huaraz. Car and bus rides between Cajamarca, Leymebamba, Chachapoyas, Chiclayo, Trujillo, Caraz and Huaraz. Cablecar to Kuelap.
  • GuidesLocal guides in the visited communities (only Spanish). English-speaking guides during most mentioned excursions.
  • Impactful service!24/7 support from our team through Whatsapp group.

Price Excludes

  • There are many minor items that are not included in the price, either because they are optional or easier for you to pay on site. Some general exclusions on this trip, are:
  • Food and snacksWe'll include most meals in homestays and during excursions, but when there are many options of restaurants, we prefer you to choose for yourself.
  • Domestic flightWe'll include the domestic flight in the package, but it is not part of the package price since the price tends to change a lot. We'll give you its separate price once you book or enquire, of course. By the way: international flights are obviously not included, either.
  • Optional items or direct paymentOptional excursions, additional services and entrance fees can be paid on site in cash (or booked in advance with us).
  • Other items not specifically indicated as includedLike early check-ins or late check-outs, souvenirs, laundry, tips, insurance and other personal expenses.
  • 18% sales taxesThis will be exonerated (if applicable) by sending us a passport copy of every tour participant. You can learn more about this by clicking on this text.
  • Read our Terms and Conditions (click here).

What to Bring

Frequently Asked Questions

About Exploring Northern Peru's Spectacular Wonders

Booking or enquiring?

Making a booking will expedite the process, but it will still require some final touches.

By initiating an enquiry, you’ll have the opportunity to schedule a video call with one of our travel designers. This ensures that all your needs, doubts, and concerns are carefully considered before making a payment.

I'm traveling with children but I can't include them in the booking, now what do I do?

We’re thrilled that you’re planning a trip to Peru with your kids! We understand that traveling with children can be challenging, so we’re here to help make it as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

It’s important to note that due to the nature of Peru as a travel destination, we don’t recommend it for children under 8 years old. With the changes in altitude and long distances involved, it can be quite intense – but don’t worry, this particular trip has shorter distances.

Our child discounts are a bit complex, so to make sure you get the best deal possible, we’ll need to calculate them specifically for your family. You can book the trip and include your children as adults, and before you pay, we’ll send you the updated price that takes your children’s ages into account.

If you’re looking for budget-friendly options, we also offer family rooms that can save you quite a bit. We’re here to help you plan the perfect family trip to Peru, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

I would like to add a trip extension or make some changes to the proposed tour. Is that possible?

Absolutely! At our core, we specialize in custom itineraries, and have been doing so for over a decade! So, making changes to your trip or extending it is definitely possible.

Contact our travel designers and let us know what changes you’d like to make. You have two options to get in touch with us:

  1. Simply send us an email and mention the trip you’re interested in from our platform. You’ll find our contact details here.

  2. If you have more elaborate ideas about your trip and would like to start from scratch, you can fill in this form and we’ll get to work on your customized itinerary right away.

We’re here to help you create the trip of your dreams!

What should I pack for this tour?

Please refer to our article What to Pack for your Trip to Peru for all your questions about packing for your Peru trip. Whether you’re going to the coast, the jungle or the mountains, you’ll find the answers you need. You can also download a full Packing List for free. 

How can I see the prices for this tour for my amount of travellers?

If you want to see the price for your situation, please select the number of travelers on the right side of the website (or the bottom on the mobile version). You will then see the total price for your party right above it, as the price will change according to the amount of people. 

It is advised to book this tour through our Custom Itineraries department, instead of direct booking here on the website, so that we can adapt the itinerary to your liking before you book. You can enquire by filling out this form

What's the accommodation like at the host families?

All the visited host families have comfortable and nicely decorated homestay accommodations for you. The rooms are usually separate from the main house. You’ll have your meals in the family’s kitchen. 

There are rooms with twin beds, double beds and multiple beds. Usually, there is enough space for double occupation. 

Almost every room has its own private bathroom ensuite; sometimes the bathroom is outside and shared. Almost all have hot water. Thick bedding and a hot water bottle (or mosquito nets) are provided where necessary.

Do the local families speak English?

No, they don’t. So far, however, most of our travelers do not opt for an optional translator, since apart from the additional cost it might change the experience. Our host families are very used to having guests that don’t speak Spanish and their Spanish is easy to understand for those who speak other Latin languages. 

Of course, learning Spanish beforehand is always a good idea! Use an app like Duolingo to learn the basics before leaving and enhance your experience whilst traveling.

Is this tour physically demanding?

The 3-day llama trek will undoubtedly be the most demanding activity, even if you only carry your day essentials, given the chilly nights. Additionally, the lakes hike around Caraz will take you to the highest point of the entire trip. Following that, the Gocta waterfall hike can get warm and humid, while the wildlife observation excursion in Chaparri will certainly be hot.

Considering the high altitudes, it is advisable to be in good physical condition with a robust cardiovascular system. Stay well-hydrated at all times, especially during hot days and in dry air environments. If you have any uncertainties, feel free to read our article on How to Stay Healthy in Peru or reach out to us for further assistance.

 

 

What's the highest point during this route?

During the initial 13 days of the journey, the elevations will consistently remain below the safe threshold of 3,000 meters (9,842 feet), eliminating concerns about altitude sickness. On day 15, you will reach Lake 69 at an elevation of 4,604 meters (15,098 feet), but by then, your body should have acclimatized. However, if you feel the need for additional time to adjust to the altitude, please inform us or your guide, and we will take the necessary measures. As you make your way back to Lima on day 24, the elevations will range between 4,000 and 3,000 meters (13,123 and 9,842 feet), but at this stage of your journey, everything should be fine. Rest assured, we will keep a close eye on your well-being.

What kind of weather should we expect during this route?

Anything really! as you’re visiting both the coast and the Andes (and part of the high jungle around Chachapoyas), you will experience heat and humidity, as well as cold and dry air. So, as we mention in our article What to Pack for your trip to Peru, be flexible and prepared for anything. 

Find more info about climates in Peru in our blog Best Time to Travel to Peru

Is this a private tour or will I share with other travelers?

This is not a group trip: most transfers and excursions are fully private. On some excursions and of course on bus rides, you will meet other travelers! You can find more details in the separate PDF we will send you once you book or enquire.

In the near future, we will present this itinerary as a group trip with fixed prices and departures.

General questions

For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!

Reviews
Your Travel Designer

Indie van Herzeele

Travel Specialist

I’m absolutely thrilled to invite you on an incredible adventure through Peru, a journey that I’ve crafted with inspiration from my years of experience in the industry.

Throughout our 20-day expedition, I’ll be your “omnipresent” storyteller, bringing history, traditions, and the importance of cultural preservation to life. I’ve carefully selected each destination, ensuring that we visit both well-known landmarks like Machu Picchu and hidden gems off the beaten path.

As conscious travelers, we have a duty to positively impact the places we visit. That’s why I’ve designed this journey with sustainability in mind. From supporting local economies to preserving cultural heritage, we’ll make a genuine difference along the way.

But it’s not just about the places we go – it’s about the personal growth you’ll experience throughout this transformative journey. I’ve seen firsthand how travel can change lives, and I’m passionate about creating opportunities for you to grow, learn, and make a lasting impact.

So, join this extraordinary 20-day trip through Peru. Let’s explore ancient ruins, connect with local communities, and create memories that will stay with us forever. Together, we’ll discover the transformative power of Impactful Travel.

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