Overview
  • Day 1: Arrival in Lima
  • Day 2: Transfer to Cusco
  • Day 3: Cusco City Tour
  • Day 4: Sacred Valley Tour
  • Day 5: Machu Picchu Tour
  • Day 6: Cusco to Puno
  • Day 7: Lake Titicaca Tour
  • Day 8: Puno to La Paz
  • Day 9: La Paz & Moon Valley Tour
  • Day 10: Arrival in Uyuni
  • Day 11: Uyuni Salt Flat Tours
  • Day 12: Departure from Uyuni
Map Special #1

When Peruvians talk of turquoise Lake Titicaca, they proudly note that the lake is so large it has waves. The most sacred body of water in the Andean world both separates and connects Peru and Bolivia, the two countries you’ll visit on this custom tour package.

You’ll begin in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, the heartland of the Inca Empire, which at its height, dominated the entire length of the Andes. You’ll visit Machu Picchu, built in the mid-1400s as the royal estate of the powerful Inca king Pachacutec and later abandoned in the aftermath of the Spanish Conquest.

Lake Titicaca marks the mid-point of this tour. You’ll sail across the vast blue lake, stopping at Uros and Taquile to witness the ancient traditions of the Andes’ oldest living cultures.

For the last segment, you’ll travel overland to the bustling Bolivian capital city of La Paz, and then catch a flight to Uyuni for three days of fantastic sights, from the never-ending white of the world’s largest salt flat to pink flamingos feeding in multicolored lagoons.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Arrival at Lima airport. Meet our representative for a transfer to your Lima airport hotel.

Day 2: Transfer to Cusco

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flights from Arequipa to Lima to Cusco. Upon arrival, meet our representative for a transfer to your Cusco hotel.

Be sure to take it easy on this first day at higher altitude. Visit a museum, people-watch on the Plaza de Armas, or find a cafe where you can relax. In the evening, choose among Cusco’s many options for casual or fine dining.

Day 3: Cusco City Tour

This morning you’ll have time to explore Cusco on your own. Visit the Pre-Columbian Art Museum (MAP) or Casa Concha (Machu Picchu Museum). You can also explore the vendor stalls at San Pedro Market or browse artisan workshops and art galleries in the San Blas neighborhood.

After lunch, meet your guide for an afternoon tour of Cusco’s must see sights. You’ll start on the Plaza de Armas, where your guide will begin to tell you about the history of South America’s oldest continuously inhabited city. You’ll enter into the Cusco Cathedral, formerly the site of a temple to the Inca creator deity Viracocha and today a treasure trove for religious art produced by native artisans in the years after the Spanish Conquest. You’ll continue to Santo Domingo Monastery, which was also constructed on the site of an Inca temple, Qoricancha or the Temple of the Sun. The building of the church atop the ruins ironically preserved parts of the Inca structures, which were revealed intact after a devastating earthquake in 1950 crumbled the Spanish construction. Next, you’ll visit the Inca ruins outside of Cusco, beginning at the fortress of Sacsayhuaman (site of an important battle between Inca and Spanish troops), and wrapping up the day with stops at Q’enko, Puka Pukara, and Tambomachay.

At the end of the tour, you’ll be returned to your hotel in Cusco. Hit the town to see Cusco by night or enjoy a quiet evening in.

Day 4: Sacred Valley Tour

After breakfast, meet your guide for a tour of the Sacred Valley, which in Inca times was littered with royal palaces and temples and today is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes. Your first stop is Pisac town, with its famous market and impressive hilltop ruins. At the market, your guide will point out local products like potatoes, giant corn, and natural dyes, and you’ll have a chance to browse the souvenir stalls for one-of-a-kind gifts. Next, you’ll drive up the hill to the Pisac ruins, which sprawl across a narrow mountain ridge and most likely protected the southern entrance to the Sacred Valley. You’ll continue down the road to Urubamba and stop for lunch (not included) at a buffet restaurant serving Peruvian specialties. The final stop is in Ollantaytambo, where you’ll climb to the top of the fortress ruins for panoramic views across the former Inca heartland.

At the end of the tour, you’ll be dropped of at your hotel in Sacred Valley.

Day 5: Machu Picchu Tour

Take an early train to Machu Picchu, traveling for 2 hours along a path that follows the banks of the Urubamba River and descends dramatically from the Andean highlands to the cloud forest. On clear days, you can glimpse the glacier-capped peaks that rise over the valley. Upon arrival at the train station, meet our representative for a transfer to the bus stop and the 25-min shuttle ride to the ruins.

Meet your guide at the ruins entrance for a 2-hour tour of Machu Picchu. You’ll visit the primary temples and palaces of the Inca citadel and then you’ll have time to explore the ruins on your own. Take an optional hike to the Sun Gate (entrance from the Inca Trail) or to the Inca Bridge.

In the late afternoon, return to the train station for the trip back to Cusco.

Day 6: Cusco to Puno

After breakfast, transfer to the bus station for the trip to Puno. (As an alternative, inquire about flight and train options.) The comfortable tourist-class bus includes a stop for lunch and guided visits to archaeological sites along the way. Notable landmarks include the baroque style Andahuaylillas Church, nicknamed the Sistine Chapel of America for its interior frescos; the monumental remains of the Temple of Viracocha at Raqchi, and La Raya Pass at 14,220 feet (4,335 meters).

Upon arrival in Puno, meet our representative for a transfer to your hotel in the historic center and spend the rest of the evening at your leisure.

Day 7: Lake Titicaca Tour

Enjoy breakfast and then embark on a full-day tour of the world’s highest navigable lake. First, you’ll visit the floating islands of Uros, handwoven islands made from Totora reeds that perfectly complement the dream-like quality of Lake Titicaca. You’ll meet Uros islanders and learn about their culture and way of life. Next, you’ll sail 30 km across the vast blue waters to Taquile Island. Be forewarned: Taquile is infamous for its rugged topography and the 500 steps that lead from the boat dock into town. Once you’ve tackled the stair challenge, you’ll learn about Taquile’s history as an Inca settlement, a Spanish colonial prison, and a modern example of community-based tourism. Then you'll hike across the island for incredible views over the lake. Enjoy lunch (not included) and then begin the trip back to Puno.

Upon arrival in Puno, spend a quiet evening at your hotel or head into town to partake of the nightlife on the Plaza de Armas.

Day 8: Puno to La Paz

This morning, transfer to the bus station for the scenic ride from Puno to La Paz (6 to 7 hours). You’ll cross the border from Peru to Bolivia and then travel across spectacular altiplano landscapes. The main road passes through the suburb of El Alto and down a zigzag road into the bowl-shaped canyon that cradles the capital city.

Upon arrival at the bus station, meet our representative for a transfer to your La Paz hotel. Spend the evening at your leisure.

Day 9: La Paz & Moon Valley Tour

After breakfast, meet your guide for a tour of La Paz. You’ll visit the oldest sections of the city, starting with Plaza Murillo, location of key institutions of political and religious power including the Presidential Palace, the National Congress, and the La Paz Cathedral. The tour also stops at the Gold Museum and at the Basilica of San Francisco, the city’s oldest church. From the church, you’ll walk to the infamous Mercado de las Brujas (Witches’s Market) where you can buy all manner of souvenirs, trinkets, amulets, and even love potions. For the last past of the tour, you’ll drive 10 km south of La Paz to the Moon Valley. This mountainous area made of clay and sandstone has been eroded by wind and time into an unusual landscape that looks like a forest of stalagmites; truly a sight to behold.

The tour will end at your hotel in La Paz. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

Day 10: Arrival in Uyuni

After breakfast, you’ll drive into the vast Uyuni Salt Flat and stop at Incahuasi Island, a coral island covered in giant cacti growing up to 9 meters all. Continuing your exploration, you’ll visit the Ojos de Agua, round holes where you can see water welling up through the thick salt crust. The final stop on the tour is at a salt processing plant where you can see how the salt is prepared for consumption.

Lunch will be served on the Salt Flat. Then, you’ll drive back to Uyuni town and the airport for the start of your journey home.

*Tour itineraries for Uyuni may vary based on weather conditions and other considerations. Your tour guide will provide updated information about your activities for each day.

**Please note that accommodations in Uyuni are rustic. Standard hotel star level classifications are applied rather loosely. Your Travel Advisor can provide additional information about lodging options in Uyuni to determine what type of accommodation will be best for your trip.

Day 11: Uyuni Salt Flat Tours

After breakfast, embark on an imagination-defying drive that will rival any road trip you’ve ever taken. Highlights include: Dali’s Valley, named for its resemblance to the surrealist artist’s paintings; the Chalviri hot springs overlooking a blue-green lagoon bordered by snow-capped mountains; Laguna Colorada, which is peppered with pink James’s Flamingos a species native to the high altitude plateaus of Bolivia, Chile, Peru, and Argentina; and Laguna Verde which sits at the foot of the Licancabur Volcano. At the end of the tour, you’ll return to the lodge for dinner and some well-earned rest.

*Tour itineraries for Uyuni may vary based on weather conditions and other considerations. Your tour guide will provide updated information about your activities for each day.

Day 12: Departure from Uyuni

After breakfast, you’ll drive into the vast Uyuni Salt Flat and stop at Incahuasi Island, a coral island covered in giant cacti growing up to 9 meters all. Continuing your exploration, you’ll visit the Ojos de Agua, round holes where you can see water welling up through the thick salt crust. The final stop on the tour is at a salt processing plant where you can see how the salt is prepared for consumption.

Lunch will be served on the Salt Flat. Then, you’ll drive back to Uyuni town and the airport for the start of your journey home.

Prices
Double/Triple
3 Star 4 Star 5 Star
$ 3539 $ 3889 $ 4319
Included
Included:
  • 1 hotel night in Lima, 3 nights in Cusco, 1 night in the Sacred Valley, 2 nights in Puno, 2 nights in La Paz in hotels based on US standards and 2 nights in Uyuni in basic accommodation
  • Breakfast at all hotels
  • All tours stated in the itinerary with English-speaking guides
  • Ground transportation and entrance fees
  • Bus from Cusco to Puno
  • Bus from Puno to La Paz
  • All meals during Uyuni package
  • Trains: Ollantaytambo - Machu Picchu - Cusco (Vistadome Train for 5-star and 4-star packages / Expedition Train for 3-star packages)
Not Included:
  • Airfare
  • Lunches or dinners (unless otherwise specified)
  • Airport taxes
  • Tips