An Example Itinerary

Peru and Bolivia: Ancient Ruins, Lakes and Salt Flats

Bolivia, Peru

16 Day Itinerary

Best Time
May to September
Guide Price

£11,700pp

$14,000pp

Explore Lima’s bustling markets and Machu Picchu, then sail Lake Titicaca for Peruvian traditions before starlit stays at Uyuni’s Airstream Campers. Delve into La Paz’s mystical cultural heritage for an enchanting experience.

Highlights

  • Experience the bustling food markets with an expert culinary guide in Lima
  • Discover one of Latin America’s most incredible highlights: Machu Picchu
  • Sail on Lake Titicaca to experience the Peruvian traditions and culture firsthand
  • Sleep under the stars in the luxurious and ultra unique Airstream Campers in Uyuni Salt Flats
  • Explore La Paz – a mystical city full of fascinating cultural heritage

Day 1 - 2: Lima, Peru

Day 3 - 5: Sacred Valley

Day 6: Machu Picchu

Day 7 - 8: Cusco

Day 9 - 10: Lake Titicaca, Peruvian Side

Day 11: Sun Island

Day 12 - 13: La Paz, Bolivia

Day 14 - 15: Uyuni, Bolivia

Day 16: La Paz, Bolivia

Day 1 - 2: Lima, Peru

  • Experience true Peruvian gastronomy alongside a local culinary expert
  • Dine at the restaurant of famous chef Hector Solís before a private tour of Lima’s top sights

You’ll start your exploration of Peru’s capital city with a visit to some of the most iconic and picturesque markets in Lima where we can see, taste and purchase the most popular ingredients used in Peruvian cuisine. In the hands of our culinary expert, we will have the chance to try fruits from the coast, mountains and jungle – such as chirimoya, mango, passion fruit, aguaymanto and more.

We will then continue to a traditional restaurant; owned by famous chef Hector Solís. The restaurant reproduces the rustic, traditional atmosphere of a classic “picantería,” with menus varying according to what is best in the market that day, be it fish or meat.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy a half day tour in Lima, visiting the historical centre and the Plaza Mayor, where the Government Palace, City Hall, the Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace are located. Continue to visit the San Francisco Monastery and step inside Casa Aliaga, a house as old as Lima itself

Lima - Peru
The Sacred Valley - Peru

Day 3 - 5: Sacred Valley

  • Learn the ancient weaving techniques of Andean textiles from local artist and weaver, Nilda Callañaupa in their home
  • Hike among the salt mines of the Urubamba Mountain Range and observe a traditional ceremony of sound

Today you will fly to Cusco, and then take a transfer to the beautiful Sacred Valley, visiting the archaeological site of Sacsayhuaman along the way. Stop to learn the ancient weaving techniques used to create Andean clothing at the Textiles Museum, an interpretation centre of pre-Columbian textiles. Continue to enjoy lunch at a local Hacienda, where the Lambarri-Orihuela, a family of great collectors of colonial and folk art, will be your hosts for lunch.

The next morning, you’ll drive to Chinchero and visit the home of artist and master weaver Nilda Callañaupa, where you enjoy a highly educational weaving demonstration. From Nilda’s home, cross the Chinchero pampa towards the town of Maras and the archaeological site of Moray. You will begin your tour by visiting the “agricultural laboratory” of Moray, which consists of circular concentric geological depressions, reinforced by agricultural terracing that follows the shape of these geological lines.

Then, leave this fascinating archaeological site to continue the path to Maras Pampas. The Urubamba Mountain range and its snow-capped peaks provide a spectacular background for your hike. You will arrive at the salineras of Maras (Maras Saltpans), where the bright white glow can be seen from a distance. These salt mines have been exploited for centuries and continue to be worked. Afterwards, enjoy a picnic lunch and be part of a very special ceremony of sound and traditional offerings to Pachamama, or Mother Earth.

For your final day in the Sacred Valley, you’ll visit the Pisac ruins that are spread out over a large area and follow a long mountain top crest. Afterwards, immerse yourself into the heart of Andean culture with a visit to the charming Amaru community and discover its engaging and amazing people. Today you will learn about “cochineal” red and the secret properties of other medicinal plants in the area, as well as discover some of the other activities the community runs.

Day 6: Machu Picchu

  • Board a scenic train ride to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu along the banks of a river, foothills of the mountains and wilderness of the green fields
  • Explore Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, on foot alongside your local expert private guide

In the morning, you’ll visit Ollantaytambo and explore one of the finest remaining Incan archaeological sites. Then, you head to Ollantaytambo station to board the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes.

Enjoy a unique train ride towards the marvellous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Don’t miss the most outstanding views of the Urubamba River, which cuts its way through green fields beneath the towering Andean glaciers.

From Aguas Calientes, take a shuttle bus and climb up the hillside to Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the Incas”. Machu Picchu, which means “Old Mountain”, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the seven new wonders of the world. We will spend the rest of the afternoon visiting the Sacred Inca citadel, exploring its main temples and hidden corners. Buffet lunch is included today at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.

Peru - Machu Picchu
Cusco - Peru

Day 7 - 8: Cusco

  • Hike the Huayna Picchu Mountain with an expert private guide leading the way
  • Transport to a 19th century novel as you board the Hiram Bingham train, sipping on Pisco Sours to the tune of local musicians, from Machu Picchu to Cusco

This morning you will have the opportunity to visit the Huayna Picchu Mountain accompanied by your guide. From a distance the mountain looks impossible to climb but even though it is a strenuous climb which might require the use of both hands and feet, the climb is possible for averagely fit visitors.

For many people climbing Huayna Picchu is one of the highlights when visiting Machu Picchu. The views (on a clear day) of Machu Picchu seen from Huayna Picchu are breathtaking and do really give you an impression of the magnitude of the site.

In the afternoon board the gleaming blue and gold Hiram Bingham train, where you will feel like you are reliving a 19th century novel journey. Enjoy welcome aperitifs, dinner and an excellent selection of wine, whilst listening and dancing to local music and sipping Pisco Sours, as you head back to Cusco. Step out to the open-air observation car while the sun is setting over the mountain peaks and breathe in the sacred landscape.

The next day, you’ll be exploring Cusco. Walk to the vibrant San Pedro market, which is situated in a very busy area in town that can keep you entertained for hours. Here you will get a first-hand look at how locals live day-to-day, outside of Cusco’s tourist zones.

After the market, visit the legendary Koricancha, which is the most important temple with walls once plated with sheets of gold and devoted to worshipping the Sun deity. Continue to the Plaza de Armas or main square to visit the Cathedral, and end your tour in the bohemian quarter of San Blas.

Day 9 - 10: Lake Titicaca, Peruvian Side

  • Explore the hidden edges of Lake Titicaca by canoe, paddle board, sailboat
  • Weave through the Uros floating islands and meet the local residents to learn about their unique lifestyle

Today you will fly to Juliaca, for your visit to the magical Lake Titicaca.

Upon arrival at Titilaka Hotel, you’ll have time to check-in, rest, and enjoy the scenery. After lunch, we recommend an afternoon siesta and plenty of liquids to help you acclimatise to the altitude. Enjoy teatime, followed by activities near the lodge in the afternoon. Explore the lake and paddle through nearby totora reeds as you choose from a selection of nautical activities including kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and sailing, among others. Or, if you prefer, ride a bicycle through the fields of Platería, go on a walk in nearby rural paths, or observe local birds and the striking landscapes of Puno’s unique geography. Evening cocktails are served, followed by dinner, during which you are welcome to join other guests in sharing highlights of your experiences.

For your full day at Titicaca Lake, we recommend waking up early for a magnificent sunrise over the lake.

The hotel has a wide selection of activities on offer to its guests, but one activity that we recommend is to go by car and boat to visit the legendary Uros floating islands located near the protected Titicaca National Reserve. Here you will meet one of the traditional families that inhabit these unique islands.

Explore the Quechua imaginary in Taquile Island’s rich textile tradition. Recently declared a part of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, Taquile’s textiles are emblematic of the local living culture. As the island enjoys a privileged microclimate, you’ll likely see men weaving wonderful textile pieces outdoors. Treat your sensibilities to the grandeur of Puno’s deep blue skies contrasting with the land and merging with Lake Titicaca in Bolivia’s Cordillera Real, or Royal Mountain Range, make up the background to your specially prepared outdoor picnic.

Tour of Lake Titicaca - Bolivia
Sun Island - Lake Titicaca - Bolivia

Day 11: Sun Island

  • Trek alongside llama’s to Posada del Inca on the famous Sun Island
  • Visit the picturesque harbour village of Copacabana and sample delicacies at their local market

Today your day will start with an overland journey from Puno to the picturesque village and harbour of Copacabana, located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Once in Copacabana, you will visit the shrine and the Dark Indian Virgin, as well as the local market. You will then take the Hydrofoil cruise to the mythical Sun Island, a pastoral paradise, visiting the Pilcocaina Palace. Next you’ll embark on a llama-trek to Posada del Inca and on arrival a healthy coca tea will be served in the garden. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

The next morning is at leisure. Around noon you’ll visit the Inca ‘Grand Stairs’ and the Sacred Fountain, and taste the water believed to give eternal youth and happiness! After lunch at the Uma Kollu archaeological restaurant and a local market visit, you’ll take the hydrofoil cruise to Moon Island, visiting the Sun Virgins Temple ‘Iñak Uyu’. You’ll then move on to Cocotoni Bay with a short overland drive to Huatajata, located at the shores of Lake Titicaca. From Huatajata, you will be driven to your hotel in bustling La Paz. The road runs parallel to the most mesmerising snow-capped mountains of the Andes – a truly scenic route!

Day 12 - 13: La Paz, Bolivia

  • Trek alongside llama’s to Posada del Inca on the famous Sun Island
  • Visit the picturesque harbour village of Copacabana and sample delicacies at their local market

Today you’ll be exploring the magical city of La Paz. The city and its surroundings can transport you to a mysterious past where every street and corner is a kind of hidden place where adventure begins; a living history which treasures the pre-Hispanic times with all their traditions and magic rites on its streets. The indigenous, colonial and modern areas, Indian Market, Witch Doctor’s Market and breathtaking panoramas are all framed by the majestic Illimani mountain.

In the afternoon, you’ll visit the Moon Valley, a clay formation resembling the face of the Moon, and you’ll also take La Paz’s renowned 21st century cable car, offering you a unique bird’s eye view of the city, concluding this memorable experience.

La Paz - Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni - Bolivia

Day 14 - 15: Uyuni, Bolivia

  • Observe the expanse of the Uyuni Salt Flats surrounded by complete silence
  • Stay in the back of beyond in the middle of the salt flats for a truly mesmerising experience

The next stop is one of South America’s true marvels: the Great Uyuni Salt Flats. At the amazing Uyuni Salt Lake, the sound of silence makes the heart beat faster and the surreal pentagons of crystalline salt, the pure sky and the giant cacti certainly make you feel that there is no other place comparable on the planet. The landscape against the background of the salt pans extending into the horizon makes it an ideal place for photography-enthusiasts.

With a few stops en route, you’ll arrive at the wonderfully unique Deluxe Airstream Campers, especially designed to make your voyage an extraordinary experience in the middle of the salt flats, with all your creature comforts. The flavoursome chef’s specialty meals are cooked with fresh local ingredients and you’ll enjoy cocktails served at Andean sunset, as well as comforting hot beverages and an atmospheric bonfire. You will be given a menu of activities to choose from during your stay and they can also be tailored to your preferences.

Day 16: La Paz, Bolivia

Today you’ll take a short flight back to La Paz and enjoy a visit to one of Bolivia’s most magnificent ruins, Tiwanaku, which is also one of the oldest civilisations of the Americas. You’ll explore The Sun Gate, the Temple of Kalasasaya and the Pyramid of Akapana, and learn about the fascinating Tiwanaku culture, before heading back to your hotel.

Pyramid, Peru

What is typically included

  • All transfers with English speaking representative
  • All accommodation
  • Private culinary experience in Lima with lunch prepared by a local chef
  • Half day visit to Old Colonial Lima
  • Hydrofoil cruise to the mythical Sun Island
  • Hiram Bingham luxury train from Machu Picchu
  • All private guiding and tours mentioned in the itinerary

Peru and Bolivia: Ancient Ruins, Lakes and Salt Flats

16

Day Itinerary

Best Time
May to September
Guide Price

£11,700pp

$14,000pp

$14,000pp

7 Day Itinerary

Guide Price: £8,700pp

Guide Price: $10,500pp

21 Day Itinerary

Guide Price: £15,100pp

Guide Price: $19,500pp

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