This colorful adventure around Bolivia and Peru introduces you to the best of both countries. You'll start in Cusco, touring the high-altitude Inca city and exploring the Sacred Valley before moving on to the majestic ruins of Machu Picchu. Then fly to La Paz to discover Bolivia's most beautiful landscapes, including the Salar de Uyuni salt flats and the floating islands of Lake Titicaca. Accompanied by llamas, you'll hike around a lagoon on the last full day of the trip.

Highlights

  • Discover ancient Inca ruins in the imperial city of Cusco
  • Explore the beautiful landscapes of the Sacred Valley
  • Marvel at the ruins of Machu Picchu
  • Take unique photos at the Uyuni Salt Flats
  • Cruise around Lake Titicaca on a catamaran

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Cusco & Get Oriented Cusco
Day 2 Tour Pisac & Ollantaytambo Aguas Calientes
Day 3 Visit the Ruins of Machu Picchu Cusco
Day 4 Sightsee in La Paz  La Paz
Day 5 See the Uyuni Salt Flats  La Paz
Day 6 Walk Around the Ancient City of Tiwanaku  La Paz
Day 7 Boat Cruise on Lake Titicaca Puno
Day 8 Visit the Lake's Floating Islands Puno
Day 9 Trek with Llamas Through Andean Landscapes Lima
Day 10 Depart Peru  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Cusco & Get Oriented

A colorful plaza in Cusco, Peru

Welcome to Peru! Arrive in Cusco, the birthplace of the Incas. In the afternoon, you'll have time for a relaxed walking tour of Cusco’s historic center. You will visit the Cathedral and Koricancha (Temple of the Sun) and the nearby ruins. These include Qenqo (where sacrifices were made), Puca Pucara, Tambomachay (also called “The Bath of the Inca”), and Sacsayhuaman Fortress, where Inca festivals like Inti Raymi and Warachicuy take place. As you adjust to Cusco's high altitude today, it’s important to drink plenty of water and take it relatively easy.

Day 2: Tour Pisac & Ollantaytambo

The old Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo

Drive through the sunny and scenic Sacred Valley this morning, passing incredible terraces, ancient irrigation canals, and massive hilltop forts on the way to Pisac. Pisac’s bustling town square is home to the region’s largest and most famous craft market, and the surrounding streets are a maze of charming gardens, carved stone buildings, and hidden courtyards. Break for lunch in a beautiful setting overlooking the Urubamba River. In the afternoon, you'll wander through charming Ollantaytambo, perhaps the most perfectly preserved of all Inca towns. Its atmospheric cobblestoned alleyways and sun-drenched plazas are presided over by a spectacular llama-shaped ruin. You'll then take the train to Aguas Calientes to spend the night. 

Day 3: Visit the Ruins of Machu Picchu

The ruins of Machu Picchu

Your day begins with an early morning bus ride up to the ruins of Machu Picchu. A spectacular stone city surrounded by incredibly steep green mountains, Machu Picchu needs no introduction: it's one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Your tour guide will lead you on an unforgettable walk through the old city's stone-lined paths, along the terrace edges to the base of structures that testify to the extraordinary skill of its builders. For 400 years, the so-called “lost city of the Incas” remained hidden atop a mountain ridge until it was revealed to the world on the pages of National Geographic in 1911. Later in the day, you'll head back to Ollantaytambo and transfer to Cusco to spend the night.

Day 4: Sightsee in La Paz

La Paz framed by the Andes

Catch an early flight out of Cusco. Welcome to Bolivia! Today you'll have your breath taken away (literally!) at 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) above sea level in La Paz. This one-of-a-kind city is a colorful jumble of tradition and modernity where cholitas (Bolivian women in typical dress) travel in the world’s most modern urban gondola system.

Today you'll have time to explore the popular Witches' Market, where you can purchase medicinal herbs, and visit the San Francisco Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedrals in the city. You’ll see the main square, Plaza Murillo, and enjoy a cable car ride replete with panoramic views of La Paz. Venture out to a restaurant in the evening for your first taste of traditional Bolivian cuisine.

Day 5: See the Uyuni Salt Flats

Exploring the Salt Flats of Uyuni

First thing in the morning, you'll fly to Uyuni for an unforgettable excursion through the Salar de Uyuni salt flats. Start by visiting Uyuni's small salt museum (which was constructed with salt). Then you'll continue to tour the immense white expanse of the salar, or salt flat, stopping for one-of-a-kind photo ops as you go. Then you'll walk around the otherworldly Incahuasi Island. Covered in enormous cacti, it boasts amazing views of the flats. Continue onward to the salt-harvesting village of Colchani to see how the locals produce salt. Finally, you'll visit the famed "train cemetery" that's filled with rusting train cars once used to transport minerals and people to and from Uyuni. You'll fly back to La Paz in the evening.

Day 6: Walk Around the Ancient City of Tiwanaku 

Stone constructions in the ancient city of Tiwanaku

After breakfast, travel to Tiwanaku, known as "the Cradle of American Man." This archaeological site is among the oldest in Andean history. Located near Lake Titicaca and partly surrounded by mountains and hills, the ancient city was built almost 13,000 feet (4000 meters) above sea level, making it one of the highest urban centers ever constructed. Tiwanaku reached its peak between roughly 500 and 1000 CE, when the population reached at least 10,000 people.

Only a small portion of the city, organized in a grid plan, has been excavated. You’ll visit the Pyramid of Akapana, the Temple of Kalasasaya, and the Door of the Sun. You will also observe examples of ancient craftsmanship, including pottery from ceremonial vessels to incense burners before returning to La Paz in the evening.

Day 7: Boat Cruise on Lake Titicaca

Boats on Lake Titicaca

Get an early start this morning, leaving La Paz to head toward sacred Lake Titicaca. On the way, you will pass through El Alto, the second-largest city in Bolivia. Then you will travel through the altiplano, or high plain, and eventually reach Lake Titicaca, where you'll enjoy incredible scenery along with small farms and fishing villages. Stop for a picnic lunch on your way to Copacabana, a small lakeside village with indigenous origins and important Inca ruins.

Go for a stroll around town before you walk down to the beach to catch a ferry out to the island of Isla del Sol. The itinerary continues with a visit to the island's Inti Wata Cultural Complex to learn about traditional shipbuilding, indigenous customs, and Andean handicrafts. Then you'll sail back to Copacabana and transfer by land to the city of Puno, where you'll have dinner and spend the night.

Day 8: Visit the Lake's Floating Islands

Floating boats and houses on Lake Titicaca

Your first stop today will be at one of the floating islands of Uros. The local people live on floating manmade islands constructed out of the reeds growing in abundance around the lake. During your visit to the islands, you'll learn about their everyday life and traditions. Have lunch at a local restaurant on Taquile Island, sampling quinoa soup and fresh fish caught in the lake, before exploring the island. There are no cars here, and very little electricity. Taquile is famous for the exquisite weavings created by local artisans and the stunning views of Lake Titicaca from its shores. Later, you'll head back to Puno on a boat.

Day 9: Trek with Llamas Through Andean Landscapes

A Bolivian woman with llamas

Start the day early, setting off on a scenic drive to Atuncolla. From there, accompanied by llamas, you'll hike through the Andean landscape until you arrive at the shimmering blue lagoon of Uyumayo. Board a traditional boat to cross the lagoon on your way to Necropolis Sillustani. The pre-Inca "dead city" is a complex of volcanic stone tombs. In the evening, you'll travel to Lima and enjoy a night out on the town before the trip comes to an end.

Day 10: Depart Peru

Peruvian children in traditional clothing

Make your way to the airport to catch your flight out. Safe travels!

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