12 Day Andean Highlights & Machu Picchu Tour
This 12-Day Andean Highlights and Machu Picchu tour gives you the opportunity to take in the best that the Peruvian highlands have to offer. You’ll explore Arequipa, the city built from volcanic ash, then travel through the Colca Canyon to see the majestic condor soar against breath-taking Andean landscapes. You’ll experience island hopping Peruvian style on Lake Titicaca before topping it all off with luxury tours of the Incan heartland, visiting Machu Picchu, Cuzco and the Sacred Valley.
This fully customizable, private tour can be crafted by a Destination Expert to match the vacation of your dreams. From the moment you contact us, until the day you return home, we cater to your every whim.
See our preferred hotels for this itinerary by destination:
- Free time to explore Arequipa, Peru, the city built from volcanic ash, filled with interesting cultural experiences, cafes and restaurants.
- Discover Arequipa, with visits to the Santa Catalina Monastery and the Plaza de Armas, and free time to visit Juanita the Ice Maiden, one of the world’s best-preserved mummies.
- Explore the Colca Canyon, with a breath-taking backdrop of volcanoes, to see the preserved Andean culture and look for enormous Andean condors.
- Visit the floating island of Uros on Lake Titicaca, where everything from houses to boats is made from reeds.
- An overnight stay in an eco-lodge on the private island of Isla Suasi where you can soak up the serenity and isolation of island life.
- Discover the wonders of Cuzco on a private half-day tour, stopping at Sacsayhuaman, an immense Incan complex with impressive stonework, Koricancha, one of the most important Incan temples, and Cuzco's Cathedral where you'll learn about the Cuzco school of art.
- Take in the scenic Sacred Valley, with stops at the ancient circular agricultural terraces of Moray, the salt mines at Maras, and the ruins and village of Ollantaytambo.
- Uncover the secrets of awe-inspiring Machu Picchu during a guided tour of this Incan citadel. After the tour, you'll have time to further explore the ruins or hike to the top of Huayna Picchu for a bird's eye view of the citadel.
- Depending on the time of your flight out, take a private tour of Lima's key sites including the Larco Archaeological Museum, the San Francisco Monastery and its catacombs, Lima’s historic colonial squares, and the picturesque waterfront district Miraflores.
Trip At A Glance
- Day 1 – Arrival in Lima, with an overnight stay in a comfortable hotel near the hotel to minimise transfer times.
- Day 2 – Arrive in Arequipa, the city built from volcanic ash, and enjoy free time to explore the buzzing restaurants and cafes.
- Day 3 – A half-day Arequipa tour, stopping at the Santa Catalina Monastery and Plaza de Armas. Then visit the well preserved-mummy, Juanita the Ice Maiden.
- Day 4 – Depart for Colca Canyon, where condors soar and majestic volcanoes form the backdrop to the breath-taking landscape.
- Day 5 – Visit Cruz del Condor, an outlook point for spotting condors, then journey to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
- Day 6 – Visit the floating islands of Uros, where everything is made of reeds, and stay at an eco-lodge on Isla Suasi.
- Day 7 – Wake up to the soothing isolation of island life, and spend your day exploring this pristine and remote gem.
- Day 8 – Journey from Lake Titicaca to Cuzco, either by bus (better scenery) or Andean Explorer train (luxury option).
- Day 9 – A private guided tour of fascinating Incan Cuzco, with stops at Sacsayhuaman, Koricancha and Cuzco’s Cathedral.
- Day 10 – Take in the Sacred Valley, with visits to the terraces of Moray, the salt mines at Maras, and the ruins at Ollantaytambo.
- Day 11 – Uncover the secrets of awe-inspiring Machu Picchu during a guided tour of this Incan citadel, with free time to explore.
- Day 12 – A tour of Lima’s key sites, including the Larco Archaeological Museum, the San Fransciso Monastery, and the waterfront district of Miraflores.
Day 1 - Arrival in Lima, Peru
Welcome to Lima. At the airport, you will be greeted and driven to your selected hotel. If you are staying at the Lima airport Costa del Sol Ramada, you will only need to walk out the airport exit and across the street to your evening’s accommodation.
Day 2 - Lima to Arequipa
Arequipa, the city built from volcanic ash, has some fantastic cafes, and the year-round sunshine makes it very tempting to linger. In the evening, we suggest you take a relaxing stroll around the Plaza de Armas and savor some tasty Arequipeña cuisine at one of our recommended restaurants.
Day 3 - Arequipa City Tour
Enjoy a half-day Arequipa tour, allowing you to fully appreciate why many consider this to be the most beautiful city in all of Peru. Key sights include the Santa Catalina Monastery where nuns lived in seclusion for 400 years and the Plaza de Armas. Then head back to your hotel or continue across the plaza independently to visit the museum that houses the world's best-preserved mummies, including the Juanita the Ice Maiden.
Day 4 - Depart for Colca Canyon
Early in the morning, you will depart for the Colca Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world, where Andean culture has preserved its way of life for hundreds of years. Majestic volcanoes form the backdrop of the alpine landscape as you venture into this breath-taking valley.
Day 5 - Colca Canyon to Lake Titicaca
As the sun is rising over the canyon you will take off for the Cruz del Condor, a fantastic outlook point where you stand the best chance of viewing the Andean condor. To see groups of these enormous birds with 10-foot wingspans glide by at such close range is unforgettable. Continuing the journey to Puno, you will arrive at your hotel on the banks of Lake Titicaca by evening.
Day 6 - The Islands of Lake Titicaca
Today you will experience the azure waters of Lake Titicaca. The first stop will be the floating islands of Uros where local families build not just their houses but also boats and whole islands out of reeds. Then you'll briefly visit the island of Taquile en route to the private island of Isla Suasi, where you will spend the night in an eco-lodge.
Day 7 - Isla Suasi
Wake up to the soothing isolation of island life. You'll spend a relaxing day exploring this windswept landscape, meandering along paths, and perhaps wandering along the shore in a canoe. This inclusive resort includes all your meals, so you'll enjoy a hearty Andean lunch before traveling by boat back to the mainland.
Day 8 - Lake Titicaca to Cuzco
We recommend traveling overland from Lake Titicaca to Cuzco to take in the scenery and historical sites along the way. However, if you desire a bit more luxury, the Andean Explorer train conveys you to Cuzco in the utmost of comfort and classic style.
Day 9 - Private Half Day Cuzco City Tour
During your tour of Cuzco, the capital of the Incan Empire, you'll visit Sacsayhuaman, an immense Incan complex with impressive stonework, Koricancha, one of the most important Incan temples (the walls were once actually coated in gold!), and Cuzco's Cathedral where you'll learn about the Cuzco school of art.
Day 10 - Private Sacred Valley Tour
Your Sacred Valley tour will include visits to the ancient circular agricultural terraces of Moray, the salt mines at Maras, and the ruins and village of Ollantaytambo. You’ll depart from Ollantaytambo, on a scenic train ride through the Sacred Valley to the town of Machu Picchu where you will stay in your hotel at Aguas Calientes.
Day 11 - Private Machu Picchu Tour
Uncover the secrets of awe-inspiring Machu Picchu during a guided tour of this Incan citadel. You'll visit the most important parts of the ruins to learn how and why they were constructed. After the tour, you'll have time to further explore the ruins or sit back and enjoy the magic of Machu Picchu. You can also hike to the top of Huayna Picchu for a bird's eye view of the ruins. The steep path takes about an hour and a half to ascend. Departing from Machu Picchu town, enjoy a train ride to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival at the train station you will be met and transferred to your Cuzco hotel.
Day 12 - International Departure
You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Cuzco airport for your flight to Lima. (Optional recommended excursion) - Depending on the time of your international flight out a private tour of Lima's key sites can be arranged. You will visit the Larco Archaeological Museum, the San Francisco Monastery and its catacombs, Lima's historic colonial squares, and the picturesque waterfront district Miraflores.
Pricing includes everything from your international arrival to your departure, with the exception of flights and a few lunches and dinners. Our specialty is private, customizable travel experiences.
12 Day Tour from $3,490 per person
- 11 nights in our preferred properties hand selected for comfort, convenience and quality
- Privately guided tours with your own personal guide and driver
- All private airport transfers with English speaking assistance
- Roundtrip Vistadome train to Machu Picchu Pueblo and the bus to ruins with the company of your private guide to ensure a seamless journey
- All required entrance fees
- All breakfasts
- 24hr support
- All taxes
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