Impactful Travel’s Highlights Trip through Peru

not just a bucket-list trip
FromUSD$1,800
not just a bucket-list trip
FromUSD$1,800
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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

  • 20 Days, 19 Nights(Flexible: this is an example itinerary)
  • Group Size: 1 - 8(Larger groups possible)
  • April through December (1st trimester is the rainy season)
  • Price range (for standard itinerary)USD$ 1800-3100

Group departures for Highlights Trip through Peru in 2024

This trip will soon be available online for booking group departures. If you are currently interested in joining a group, please submit an enquiry using the form on the right (or top, for mobile users), and we will promptly provide you with trip dates and additional details. Thank you!

Our Highlights Trip through Peru goes beyond simply checking off popular destinations. It offers a captivating blend of breathtaking sights, cultural immersion, and meaningful interactions with local communities.

Covering the “well-trodden path” of Southern Peru, this meticulously designed route guarantees an exceptionally unique and enriching 20-day journey. However, 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.

Alternatively, if you have plans to embark on a completely different route, don’t miss out on our dreamy 25-day “Northern Peru’s Spectacular Wonders” tour.

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

Gallery

Slide through some images of this Highlights Trip through Peru

Day by Day

Note:

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. 

On the other hand, 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.

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 - Paracas - Buggy Tour

This morning, you’ll embark on a bus ride along the Panamerican Highway to the charming coastal town of Paracas, allowing you to catch glimpses of the magnificent Peruvian desert from the bus’ upper deck.

Paracas, a small yet vibrant port town, offers an abundance of enriching experiences. Its beating heart lies within its few streets that form the town center, which is nestled alongside the picturesque beachfront promenade. You’ll find a myriad of dining options scattered throughout, making it a delightful challenge to choose where to have lunch. 

In the afternoon, brace yourself for an exhilarating sand buggy tour! This adventurous trip will take you through the mesmerizing dunes, with stops along the way for capturing the breathtaking desert views and experiencing the thrill of sandboarding. 

There is also an option to experience more of the magic of the desert with an extended private buggy tour later on the day, a thrilling ride to the summit of a towering dune, where you’ll discover a picturesque setup adorned with plush pillows, a food table, and a small bar. Indulge in refreshing drinks and snacks as you marvel at the captivating desert sunset. And don’t forget, sandboards will be at your disposal for even more excitement!

Day 4Paracas (Ballestas Islands - National Reserve optional) - Arequipa

In the morning, we will take you to the port for your group tour to the Ballestas Islands on a speedboat. There, you will have the opportunity to observe a variety of wild animals in their natural habitat. Thanks to the cold Humboldt flow, the waters are abundant in fish, making it a favorite spot for sea lions, Humboldt penguins, pelicans, and numerous seabirds. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of dolphins! On the return journey, you will pass by the renowned Candelabro geoglyph of the Paracas National Reserve.

In the afternoon, you can choose to embark on a land tour to the extraordinary Paracas National Reserve. This protected area is a haven for a diverse range of land and marine creatures, including the enchanting flamingos. Preserving a representative expanse of the world’s driest deserts, it offers a breathtaking spectacle of contrasting colors as the sand merges with the vast blue sky. Prepare to be captivated by this awe-inspiring experience!

During this tour, whether by bike or car, you can enjoy a delicious lunch in Lagunillas, a quaint fishing village located within the reserve. It is recommended to book this tour directly at the hotel reception or through us. This way, you can decide on-site whether you want to proceed with the tour based on the weather and your personal preferences.

At night, private transportation will take you to the bus station in Ica, where you will embark on a comfortable overnight bus journey to Arequipa. The approximate travel time is 13 hours, but fear not as the seats are capable of reclining 180 degrees.

Group of pelicans resting at a beach in the Paracas National Reserve | RESPONSible Travel Peru
 

Day 5Arequipa (altitude: 2.335m) - free day

Now it is time to wake up and put back your seat in a vertical position for your arrival and warm welcome to Arequipa, the captivating city nestled in the Chili River valley. Known as the “White City” due to its striking architecture built from white volcanic stone called ‘sillar’.

Arequipa’s location offers breathtaking views of its surrounding volcanoes and a unique high-altitude experience without the risk of feeling the effects of it. This second most populous city in Peru enjoys about 300 sunny days a year and a pleasantly dry climate, making it a year-round destination for travelers. Simply put, the best place to acclimatize for your upcoming Andean journey.

Its historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a living museum. But Arequipa is not just about history and architecture. It’s a vibrant city teeming with life, culture, and gastronomy. From bustling markets offering local produce to restaurants serving traditional Peruvian cuisine, Arequipa is a culinary delight waiting to be explored.

Do not miss the colorful Santa Catalina monastery and/or the interesting museum with the ice mummy Juanita, and as an insightful alternative, opt for a city walk along the highlights of Arequipa with our lovely local guide Caroline. The walking tour includes a visit to a local market, churches, the main square or ‘Plaza de Armas’ and the cathedral.

The church and square of Characato, an traditional area located south of Arequipa

Day 6Arequipa - free day

This second day in Arequipa is important for your acclimatization, before going to the Colca Canyon passing over an altitude of almost 5,000 meters! Fortunately, the city has enough to offer.

For example, the Casa Museo Mario Vargas Llosa is a must-visit attraction. Located in the childhood home of the 2010 Nobel Laureate, it celebrates the life and works of one of Peru’s most celebrated authors. This state-of-the-art museum takes you on a captivating journey through Llosa’s life, from his humble beginnings in Arequipa to his global recognition as a literary figure. Each room in the museum is filled with interactive videos, exhibits, and artifacts that provide a fascinating insight into Llosa’s creative process and showcase his most renowned works.

The Casa Museo Mario Vargas Llosa isn’t just a destination for literature enthusiasts. It’s a place where every visitor can appreciate the power of storytelling and the impact it can have on society and the role it plays in shaping our understanding of the world around us.

Day 7Arequipa - Colca Canyon (Coporaque, 3.580m)

Bid farewell to the enchanting city of Arequipa and embark on a journey to the majestic Colca Canyon.

Traveling in shared transportation with a maximum of 15 fellow passengers, your English-speaking guide will regale you with fascinating anecdotes and insights throughout the trip, while carefully planned stops at scenic locations will leave you in awe.

As we skirt the ‘Salinas y Aguada Blanca’ National Reserve, keep an eye out for the graceful vicuñas or even secretive guanacos, roaming freely in their natural habitat. As the backdrop, more snow-capped volcanoes paint a breathtaking masterpiece against the horizon, completing this awe-inspiring landscape.

At the end of the morning tour when reaching Chivay, the capital of the Colca Canyon, a lunch break is scheduled. However, while the rest of the group remains there, you will be personally escorted by a member of the Coporaque community to their village. Here, you will indulge in an authentic homemade lunch with your future host family.

During the afternoon, accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, who exclusively communicates in Spanish, you will spend the rest of the day exploring the village and visiting the viewpoint. From this vantage point, you will have a captivating view of tomorrow’s route, when you will rejoin the shared van from today.

For dinner and accommodation, you will have the privilege of staying with one of the four welcoming local families that take part in the pioneering tourism association in Coporaque, each one them very unique and authentic.

Day 8Colca Canyon (Cruz del Condor) - Coporaque

After enjoying a homey breakfast, you’ll return to Chivay to reunite with fellow travelers from the previous day. Together, you’ll embark on an exciting excursion to the renowned Cruz del Condor. Along the way, expect to make some stops at captivating locations. However, the true highlight of the day will undoubtedly be witnessing the majestic flight of the condor!

Imagine standing on the edge of a cliff, surrounded by the majestic Andean mountains. The wind whistles past your ears, carrying with it a sense of awe and anticipation. Suddenly, a magnificent creature soars into view, its wings outstretched and catching the sunlight. This is the Andean condor, a symbol of power and health in Andean mythology, and one of the most sought-after sights in Peru.

The Andean condor is not just any bird – it’s one of the largest flying birds in the world, with a wingspan that can reach up to 3.3 meters. Its size is a spectacle in itself, but what truly sets this bird apart is its ability to ride the thermal air currents with grace and stamina, often flying for hours without flapping its wings.

Nowhere is this more evident than at Cruz del Condor in the Colca Canyon. Here, the early morning sun heats the canyon, creating strong thermal currents that the condors use to ascend from their overnight roosts. Watching these majestic creatures glide effortlessly against the backdrop of one of the world’s deepest canyons is a sight that leaves an indelible mark on your memory.

After a few hours, you’ll return to Coporaque for lunch, followed by a leisurely afternoon at your disposal.

You can take advantage of this free time by embarking on a hiking adventure followed by a rejuvenating soak at the Coporaque thermal baths. Alternatively, you can opt for independently booking a horse ride, traversing a picturesque route on the back of obedient and comfortable Peruvian Paso horses. Many travelers have found this activity to be a true highlight of their journey, as it offers both serenity and a unique off-the-beaten-path experience.

Crows looking at soaring Condors in the Colca Canyon's Cruz del Condor | RESPONSible Travel Peru

Day 9Colca Canyon (Coporaque) - Puno (3.850m)

Today, as you wake up for the second morning in Coporaque, you’ll have extra time to spare before bidding farewell to your host family.

From Chivay, you’ll board a shared bus bound for Puno, a city nestled on the shores of Lake Titicaca and renowned as the cultural hub of Peru.

Along the way, you’ll make stops for photos across the breathtaking Altiplano, a vast plateau where the sky meets the earth in perfect harmony. As you traverse this captivating region, make sure to catch glimpses of the charming Andean villages scattered amidst the picturesque landscape.

Once you arrive in Puno, we will escort you to your hotel, where you can unwind and enjoy a leisurely evening.

Day 10Puno - Lake Titicaca: Uros - Taquile

Embark on a delightful lake excursion!

Hop aboard a motorboat shared with fellow passengers and set the compass to the Uros floating islands. These unique islands may feel like walking on a waterbed (rest assured, it’s perfectly safe!). You will meet the residents, see their homes and gain insights into their way of life.

During the tour, you’ll visit two out of the approximately 60 floating islands. And if you’re up for it, you can even take a ride on a traditional reed boat (at your own expense).

It’s worth noting that these Uros islands attract a fair share of tourists, which has unfortunately compromised their original authenticity. Curious about the islands’ history, inhabitants, and their not-so-stellar reputation? We shed light on it all in our blog post, The Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca.

But fret not, for your adventure continues! You’ll soon be whisked away to an enchanting real island, where you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the authentic local culture alongside your very own host family.

After a scenic three-hour boat ride, you’ll arrive at the port of Taquile island. Your hospitable host, Don Celso, a proud and engaged member of the Taquile community, eagerly awaits you. Together, you’ll ascend to his residence situated atop the island’s elevated terrain. The climb may require a bit of patience and stamina, but trust us, the effort is well worth it. Don’t worry about your luggage; assistance will be provided.

Once you’re settled in, treat your taste buds to a traditional lunch prepared by your host family. In the afternoon, one of the family members (Spanish-speaking) will accompany you to marvel at breathtaking vistas, explore ancient ruins, and visit the temple of Pachamama, where you can witness a splendid sunset.

Later, your host family will graciously serve dinner, and you’ll spend the night in beautifully adorned rooms, ensuring a truly memorable experience.

Taquile island's lanscape of rockwalled paths, cropfields and the lake Titicaca | RESPONSible Travel Peru

Day 11Taquile - Puno

When you wake up in the morning and step outside, breathing in the incredibly fresh air, you’ll understand why the people here worshipped the sun. As soon as that celestial body rises above the horizon, all you’ll crave is its warm rays, which will instantly warm you up. And everything changes: in no time, you’ll shed all your layers from the cold night, as if it were spring!

Textile processing holds immense importance on Taquile Island, deeply intertwined with its culture. Every man knows how to weave using weaving sticks, and every woman knows how to weave using a waist loom. When a young Taquileña (Taquile woman) seeks a husband, the quality of his craftsmanship matters greatly. If he can weave his clothes well, he’ll also create beautiful skirts for her. This elevates her status on the island. 

Your day begins with men and women gathering at the house to knit and weave, proudly showcasing their most exquisite creations. Don’t hesitate to ask about the significance of the intricate patterns and vibrant colors.

After this delightful activity, it’s time to head to the beach! Not for a swim, as it’s too cold. The “playa grande” (large beach) is situated near Celso’s family home, where you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch and soak in the breathtaking view of the lake.

Finally, bidding farewell to this exceptional island, you’ll make your way back to Puno.

Day 12Puno - Cusco (3.400m)

Embark on a bus equipped with numerous amenities, departing from Puno in the early morning and arriving in Cusco by late afternoon. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to explore several captivating attractions.

The first stop is the charming town of Pucará, renowned for its ceramic bull figurines that adorn the rooftops of many Andean houses throughout Southern Peru. Here, you can get a glimpse of the rich culture by visiting a small museum dedicated to fascinating artifacts.

As the route continues, you’ll gradually keep ascending until reaching the breathtaking La Raya pass, situated at a staggering altitude of 4,335 meters, marking the highest point between Cusco and Puno.

After lunch, the journey takes us to the village of Raqchi, where we’ll visit the temple of Wiracocha. This structure serves as a testament to the Inca civilization, and it hosts an annual celebration known as the Day of the Sun on June 16th. It’s also fascinating to witness how the present-day community still utilizes the aqueducts and irrigation channels left by the Incas at site.

Our final stop is Andahuaylillas, a place where time seems to stand still. As you stroll through the picturesque streets adorned with lush trees, you’ll be captivated by the tranquility of this enchanting town. However, the true gem of Andahuaylillas lies in its church, built in 1580 and often referred to as the Sistine Chapel of South America. Inside, you’ll be surrounded by the exquisite wall paintings that adorn its walls.

Upon reaching Cusco, we’ll transfer to your hotel. We highly recommend the Niños Hotel, a unique establishment supporting projects for underprivileged children. Designed by the talented Dutch owner, Jolanda, this hotel offers not only a charming stay but also an opportunity to contribute to a worthy cause. For further information, feel free to explore our blog.

Ceramic little bulls on a roof are traditional of Southern Peruvian Andes - RESPONSible Travel Peru

 

Day 13Cusco - Walking Tour

Join us during the morning on our own Walking Tour to explore the city’s charm at a leisurely pace (downhill only). Our driver (the only drive of the tour) will conveniently pick you up from the hotel, and we’ll begin our adventure at the captivating archaeological site of Qenqo. From there, we’ll proceed to the magnificent ruins of Sacsayhuamán, offering an impressive city view and fascinating stories shared by our knowledgeable guide. 

Next, we’ll meander through the enchanting narrow streets of San Blas, where you’ll find an abundance of delightful stores. Take a breather and enjoy a refreshing juice or a cup of coffee at one of our recommended cafes (cost on you) during our planned break. Our final stop will be at the renowned Qoricancha, also known as the Sun Temple. At the end of the tour, our guide will provide you with valuable lunch recommendations.

Afterwards, the afternoon is yours to explore. We highly recommend visiting the stunning Cathedral of Cusco and/or the captivating Museo de Arte Precolombino for a truly enriching experience. Alternatively, indulge in some shopping to find the perfect souvenir or unleash your creativity by crafting your very own Torito de Pucará.

Agnes standing at a beautiful Inca wall in Cusco, Peru | RESPONSible Travel Peru
 

Day 14Cusco - Sacred Valley of the Inca's - Ollantaytambo (2.850m)

Embark on our shared tour that kicks off bright and early. Immerse yourself in the wonders of the Sacred Valley, exploring its vibrant market and the breathtaking ruins of Pisac. Prepare to be captivated by the charming village of Ollantaytambo and its remarkable archaeological site.

After a day filled with exploration, you’ll settle in Ollantaytambo for the night, followed by a leisurely day to soak in the town’s fascinating history.

Ollantaytambo, with its ancient Inca heritage, will transport you to a bygone era as you wander along its cobblestone streets. Majestic Inca ruins proudly stand as silent witnesses, recounting tales of a glorious past. 

Pisac archaeological site with the Sacred Valley on the background - RESPONSible Travel Peru

Day 15Ollantaytambo - free day

The extended stay in Ollantaytambo is a brilliant decision!

The climate is delightful, and the area boasts numerous attractions. Hike or ride a mountain bike to explore the captivating Pumamarka ruins. Or dare to try the exhilarating Via Ferrata + Zipline, treating yourself to awe-inspiring views of the Sacred Valley.

Additionally, we offer a fantastic excursion to the weaving community of Patacancha.

If you decide to stay in town and enjoy gastronomy, you can immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Pachamanca and organic farming at El Albergue, or maybe just try the fantastic dishes of selected restaurants, offering a taste of authentic Peruvian cuisine.

Also, our street-photography tour gives you a very insightful view of the inheritance and living culture of Ollantaytambo. And you don’t need to be a pro or even have a camera, just a smartphone.

As you see, the possibilities are endless – the choice is yours!

Day 16Coffee route day 1: Ollantaytambo - Huacayupana (1.650m)

We’ll start the Coffee Route taking a taxi to warm Santa María, passing the cold but stunning Málaga pass at 4300 m.a.s.l. From there, you’ll continue your adventure by switching to another car that will lead you to a trailhead. This trail will guide you to Alejandro’s house, in Huacayupana, through a scenic route that takes about 2 to 2.5 hours, presenting some steep sections. However, if you’re not a fan of heights or prefer a shorter hike, there’s a path that will get you to the house in just 1 hour and 15 minutes. Upon your arrival, get ready to be treated to a delightful lunch by the host family!

Later in the afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to learn all about the fascinating process of coffee making from one of Cusco’s top specialists. This immersive experience will cover everything from harvesting the beans to brewing your own cup of coffee.

The night is yours to enjoy. Whether you choose to spend quality time with Alejandro and his family or simply relax with a good book, the choice is yours.

Please note that our coffee route offers a variety of options, ensuring there’s something for everyone. For those seeking a more in-depth experience, we recommend extending your stay with an additional night in the same family’s accommodation for better interaction. Alternatively, you can explore another coffee farming family along the route. 

Hiking an Inca Road to Machu Picchu - Coffee Route - RESPONSible Travel Peru
 

Day 17Coffee route day 2: Huacayupana - Aguas Calientes (2.100m)

After breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to Alejandro’s family. We will start the hike from Huacayupana and head towards Santa Teresa, a scenic route adorned with lush vegetation. If the river level permits, we’ll have the opportunity to traverse an enchanting path alongside the river. During this journey, we’ll also come across a unique cable-car-like artefact used to cross the river.

Just before reaching Santa Teresa, you’ll be delighted to discover the rejuvenating hot springs of Cocalmayo. Here, you can indulge in the pleasure of three mineral-rich pools, each offering different temperatures to soothe your body.

If you’re up for more adventure, there’s also a nearby zipline experience available. Please note that this activity is not included in the itinerary, so make sure to coordinate with us or your guide beforehand.

After a well-deserved lunch, we will continue to the “Hidroeléctrica” train station using public transportation. From there, you have the option to either walk (approximately 2.5 to 3.5 hours) or take the train to Aguas Calientes, depending on your preference and prior arrangements.

Once we arrive in Aguas Calientes, take some time to explore the town and enjoy a delightful dinner at one of its many restaurants. Rest well in preparation for an early start the next day, as you’ll want to be one of the first to enter the magnificent Machu Picchu. The gates open at 6:00 am sharp!

The thermal baths of Cocalmayo are visited on almost every Coffee Route to Machu Picchu - RESPONSible Travel Peru
 

Day 18Machu Picchu (2.430m) - Ollantaytambo - Cusco

Rise and shine! Bright and early in the morning (you’ll decide the time in advance with your guide), hop on the bus to Machu Picchu. Known as “The Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu is a world-renowned and breathtaking collection of ruins. Perched at 2,430 meters altitude, high above the Urubamba river, it was strategically positioned between deep canyons and majestic mountains called Apus (deities for the Incas). This made it both well-hidden and well-protected.

For those seeking adventure, we recommend climbing the Machu Picchu mountain before the tour, instead of the more crowded Huayna Picchu. Although slightly higher (requiring about an hour and a half ascent), Machu Picchu mountain offers a splendid panoramic view of Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu mountain, and the meandering Urubamba river below. The path itself is adorned with natural beauty, and due to limited visitors, it provides a serene escape from the bustling atmosphere of Machu Picchu.

Afterward, indulge in a private two-hour tour of Machu Picchu. Once you’ve explored the site, board the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, followed by a scenic train ride back to the Sacred Valley. From there, your private driver will safely transport you back to your hotel in Cusco.

Here’s a great tip: Consider spending the night in Ollantaytambo to cap off your Machu Picchu experience. The following day, as you make your way to Cusco, you can visit the remarkable sites of Maras and Moray. This way, you’ll have a leisurely afternoon in Cusco, and your Machu Picchu adventure will be even more relaxed and fulfilling.

Machu Picchu on a cloudy day and Urubamba river | RESPONSible Travel Peru
 

Day 19Cusco - free day

Enjoy a free day in Cusco! Join Selia for a delightful cooking lesson or simply unwind with a delicious lunch at her family restaurant. Take a leisurely stroll through the city or explore the suggested activities from day 13 that you may have missed. We are here to assist you in organizing any activity you desire.

View of the main square in Cusco from a café

Day 20Cusco - Lima - home

After enjoying a free morning, you will be conveniently transported to the airport to catch your flight back to Lima. There you’ll have ample time to check in for your journey home.

Small version of transparent round logo of Impactful Travel Peru

Why is this Highlights Trip through Peru impactful?

The trip not only includes but highlights interactions to local people and host families, promoting cultural immersion and meaningful connections. This not only allows travelers to gain a deeper understanding of the local culture but also provides economic opportunities for the community members.

Extended and slow travel is already a great start to sort of spread the negative impact from your long-haul flight to Peru over as many travel days as possible. Moreover, this itinerary only includes one domestic flight,  all the other long distances are covered with comfortable and less polluting buses. Shared tourist transportation covers the medium distances and only shorter distances are done with private transportation. 

The accommodations prioritize cozy, locally-owned hotels and homestays, supporting sustainable policies. In summary you will be staying at at least 5 small-scale hotels and at least 3 homestays.

The trip also offers opportunities for travelers to learn about Peruvian culture, history, and traditions through visits to archaeological sites, and more “mundane” local markets. By engaging with these cultural experiences, travelers contribute to the preservation of cultural heritage and support the local day-to-day people.

Community-based tourism is an essential part of the trip as this form of tourism ensures that the benefits are distributed among the local communities, empowering them economically and helping to maintain their traditional way of life.

Moreover, by visiting and purchasing admission tickets to a minimum of 5 distinct natural and archaeological parks, you actively contribute to the preservation of these remarkable places. 

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.
  • Mentioned excursionsGuided walking tours in Lima and Cusco, buggy tour and Ballestas boat ride in Paracas, tours and activities in Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca and the coffee zone, guided visit to Machu Picchu (incl. entrance fee).
  • Mentioned transfersLocal transfers in Lima, Paracas, Arequipa, Puno and Cusco. Bus rides between Lima, Paracas and Arequipa and between Puno and Cusco. Bus to Machu Picchu.
  • 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 Highlights Trip through Peru

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?

This trip includes at least one sporty hike (at the Coffee Route) that requires medium fitness. Due to the altitudes, it’s advised to come in good shape and have a strong heart and lungs. In case of doubts, read our article on How to Stay Healthy in Peru or contact us. 

What's the highest point during this route?

Once you leave Arequipa, you’ll immediately go up and reach almost five thousand meters (16,400 ft) above sea level; you will definitely feel it! The following nights (Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca) will be over 3.500 meters (11,500 ft) altitude, which is why we always recommend to acclimatize well in Arequipa. For example by staying there for two full days, like in this itinerary.

The rest of the route will lead you over passes above four thousand meters a few more times, but accommodations will be locatad at lower elevations, so do not worry.

What kind of weather should we expect during this route?

Anything really! May and September are transition months, so it’s neither the coldest nor the wettest months. But since you’re visiting both the coast and the Andes, you will experience heat and humidity, as well as the cold and dry air. So, like 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, you will meet other travelers, of course! You can find more details in the separate PDF we can send you once you 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

Maria Diener

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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