From the flavors of Lima’s food scene, to the colors of the Sacred Valley’s handwoven textiles, to the sounds of the Amazon’s many residents, this expedition will take you through the many facets of Peru. You'll work with partners selected specifically for their social responsibility and minimal environmental impact as you explore.

Highlights

  • Take a walking tour through Lima
  • Explore the Sacred Valley
  • Hike part of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Look for animals in the Amazon

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival to Lima Lima
Day 2 MEDLIFE Community Development Tour Lima
Day 3 Lima City Tour Lima
Day 4 Lima to Cusco & the Sacred Valley Sacred Valley
Day 5 Weaving & Village Visit Sacred Valley
Day 6 Ollantaytambo & Incan Lunch Sacred Valley
Day 7 Inca Trail Day Hike Aguas Calientes
Day 8 Machu Picchu & Travel to Cusco Cusco
Day 9 Adventure Sports or Cusco City Tour Cusco
Day 10 Cusco to the Amazon Tambopata
Day 11 Explore the Amazon Jungle Tambopata
Day 12 Animals of the Amazon Tambopata
Day 13 Return to Lima & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lima

Lima, Peru
Lima landscape

Welcome to Peru! You'll fly into Lima, the country's colorful capital. After a morning arrival, you can either explore the city at your leisure or opt for a culinary tour.

If you choose the tour, you'll start your experience touring a local market where you can see the fresh produce used in food preparation. Afterward, spend some time in a restaurant learning about the ingredients used to make a Peruvian dish. You'll experience the different styles of dining that Lima has to offer and learn from expert chefs how to cook a variety of Peruvian specialties, like ceviche and pisco sours.

Day 2: MEDLIFE Community Development Tour

A Day with Dr. Ellis
Town in the Rimac neighborhood

Get a glimpse into the nonprofit world as you meet up with representatives of MEDLIFE (which stands for Medicine, Education, and Development for Low-Income Families Everywhere), an organization that works with low-income communities on community development projects and access to healthcare.

Day 3: Lima City Tour

Lima City Tour
Plaza de Armas

Take a tour through the city today that showcases the contrast between old and new. Visit the colonial architecture and impressive squares of the historic downtown, alongside manicured gardens and statues of Peru's heroes. Explore sites such as the cathedral, Plaza de Armas main square, and San Francisco convent. You'll also visit the upscale coastal Miraflores district, strolling along the cliffs in Malecon Park and an ancient olive grove in nearby San Isidro.

If you prefer a different type of activity, try out a cooking class or art tour instead.

Day 4: Lima to Cusco & the Sacred Valley

Sacred Valley
Sacred Valley

Transfer from your hotel in Lima to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Once you land, take a scenic private drive to the Sacred Valley. Stop along the way to visit llamas and alpacas at Awanacancha, and to explore the Pisac ruins and an artisanal market.

Day 5: Weaving & Village Visit

Weaving & Village Visit
Weaving in action

Spend today in the Andean highlands as you meet a traditional weaving community of the Sacred Valley. This experience is led by the non-profit organization of Awamaki, a group that works to preserve rural textile traditions and empower women and girls with education and financial independence.

During the experience, you will visit a community where the women will share their artisanal skills, teaching you the entire textile creation process from spinning yarn to natural dyeing to weaving your own small bracelet. Enjoy a typical lunch in the home of one of your new friends before heading back to your hotel.

Day 6: Ollantaytambo & Incan Lunch

Ollantaytambo & Incan Lunch
Valley train

Begin your adventures today at the ancient fortress of Ollantaytambo. Take a short but steep hike to visit the terraced ruins, learn about the genius of Incan architecture, and take photos of the valley below.

Following the exploration, head to a nearby organic farm for a pachamanca lunch. In the indigenous language of Quechua, pacha means earth and manca means pot. The phrase refers to a cooking technique used by ancient cultures like the Incas to cook their food with hot stones beneath the ground. First, you will witness the burying of your food as your hosts begin the pachamanca, then enjoy a tour of the organic farm before sitting down to eat. Afterward, visit the onsite cañazo (sugar cane liquor) distillery and coffee roasting facility for demonstrations and tastings.

Day 7: Inca Trail Day Hike

Inca Trail 1-Day Hike
Wiñay Wayna

One of the most iconic trekking routes in all of South America, the Inca Trail follows the footsteps of the Inca, traversing sub-tropical forests and high mountains.

Get an early start to catch a train to Kilometer 104 point, where you will begin your trek. You'll trek upwards, following the original stone Inca Trail to the beautiful Inca ruins of Wiñay Wayna, where you'll break for lunch.  Continue the trek to Inti Punku, the sun gate where you’ll get your first glimpse of Machu Picchu, then walk down into the citadel to explore this ancient wonder.

Once you've finished your expedition, take the bus down to Aguas Calientes, where you’ll spend the night.

Day 8: Machu Picchu & Travel to Cusco

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

Revisit Machu Picchu today on a guided half-day tour. This time you'll make your way to the site by bus and follow your expert through the UNESCO World Heritage Site that has been astonishing travelers for years. Learn about the Incas who built the site as you visit their temples and terraces before you board a train to Cusco.

Day 9: Adventure Sports or Cusco City Tour

Eco-Friendly Adventure Sports OR Cusco City Tour
Within Cusco

You have two choices as to how you spend your day today.

Option one is an eco-friendly adventure sports outing. Journey to a high-altitude lake in the Cusco region where you can kayak or standup paddleboard in remote tranquility. Paddle along the reed-covered shores while you look out for birds and smile at locals passing by. During your time at the lake, you can choose to stick to just one sport or try them both, depending on your interests.

If you'd prefer to stay urban, take a tour through the cobblestone streets of one of the most beautiful cities in South America. On this half-day Cusco tour, you'll visit the historical landmarks of the city center including the Plaza de Armas, the Spanish colonial Santo Domingo Cathedral, and the Incan temple of Qoricancha. See the archaeological sites surrounding the city including the hilltop Sacsayhuaman with polished stones and panoramic views, the former military site of Puca Pucara, Quenqo temple, and the mysterious Tambomachay.

Day 10: Cusco to the Amazon

Arrival to the Amazon
Macaws

Transfer from your hotel in Cusco to the airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado. Once you arrive, you'll meet another transfer to journey into the Amazon. You'll be staying in a sustainable lodge first established as a research station for scientists. Protection and conservation of the Amazon are central to their mission, along with working with the local community to ensure they benefit from tourism. 

Take a motorized canoe to Refugio Amazonas, where you will be able to choose from a range of afternoon activities to explore the forest.

Day 11: Explore the Amazon Jungle

Exploring the Amazon Jungle
Macaw clay lick

Enjoy a walk to the canopy tower where you can see the spanning forest above the treeline; head to a nearby macaw clay lick to spot the colorful parrots of the region; or visit a lake to find monkeys, sloths, and river otters. After your morning adventure, head even deeper into the forest to the most remote Amazon lodge in Peru—Tambopata Research Center.

Day 12: Animals of the Amazon

Animals of the Amazon
Jaguar

Another day in the Amazon means more time to explore this biodiverse region. Quietly walk through the forest on the lookout for peccaries or the elusive jaguar. In the evening, head out in the dark for a night walk in search of some of the jungle's smaller residents.

Day 13: Return to Lima & Depart

Departure or Onward Travel
Amazon sunrise

Head back to Lima to catch your flight home or continue to your next adventure.