Canyons, lakes, colonial cities and ancient Inca ruins—you'll explore all this and more over two weeks in Peru. Enjoy first-class amenities as you travel in style, beginning with fine dining, art, and culture in the dynamic capital of Lima. Then visit the nation's most awe-inspiring landmarks, like spotting condors at Colca Canyon, exploring Lake Titicaca, and horseback riding around the Spanish-colonial city of Cusco. You'll also hike at your own pace around that great citadel in the clouds, Machu Picchu.


  • Have dinner overlooking pre-Hispanic ruins and visit famous museums in Lima
  • Enjoy jaw-dropping nature hikes and spot condors in the vast Colca Canyon
  • Experience the cultural highlights of Lake Titicaca, like the Uros Floating Islands
  • Marvel at highland wonders like Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lima, Dinner at Huaca Pucllana Lima
Day 2 Full-Day Lima Museum & Food Tour Lima
Day 3 Fly to Arequipa, Optional Activities Arequipa
Day 4 Arequipa Walking Tour Arequipa
Day 5 Transfer to Colca Canyon via El Mirador de Los Andes Colca Canyon
Day 6 Explore the Colca Valley Colca Canyon
Day 7 Luxury Train to Puno, Transfer to Titilaka Lodge Puno
Days 8-9 Explore Lake Titicaca Puno
Day 10 Luxury Train to Cusco Cusco
Day 11 Highland Horseback Ride & Picnic Lunch Cusco
Day 12 Luxury Train to Machu Picchu, Guided Tour, Continue to the Sacred Valley Sacred Valley
Day 13 Day Trip to an Indigenous Community & the Pisac Archaeological Site Sacred Valley
Day 14 Transfer to Cusco, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lima, Dinner at Huaca Pucllana

Get a good night's rest in your charming luxury hotel upon arrival (photo courtesy of Atemporal)

Welcome to Peru! Packing immense culture, history, art, and mind-blowing cuisine in a relatively small area, this is one of the most popular countries in South America for adventurers. This itinerary will take you to the nation's highlights, beginning with your arrival in Lima, Peru's grand capital. Its historic center is filled with well-preserved Spanish-colonial landmarks, while the western edge is known for its trendy and bohemian coastal suburbs.

Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will pick you up for the 1.5-hour ride into the city proper and Atemporal. This 4-star hotel is located in the trendy Miraflores neighborhood, known for its elegant homes. The hotel is actually a former manor estate, retaining its 40s charm while updating its six guest rooms to offer the utmost in comfort and tranquility—a quiet oasis within a buzzing city. Enjoy a welcome drink on arrival, then if it's the appropriate hour, sit down for afternoon tea.

Later, you'll get a taste of Peru's famous pre-Hispanic culture (both literally and figuratively) when you visit nearby Huaca Pucllana. This adobe pyramid was a vital ceremonial center in the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 CE and 700 CE. Adjacent to the site is a restaurant where you'll enjoy your maiden dinner in Peru. The diverse menu showcases the country's rich culinary heritage, with classic dishes, like ceviche, prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy your meal amid epic views of the illuminated ruins, creating a timeless ambience that combines history and gastronomy.

Day 2: Full-Day Lima Museum & Food Tour

Today's city tour will take you to the historic center and the Plaza de Armas

Take a journey through the ages on a full-day guided tour of Lima's finest museums and cultural sites. Starting right in Miraflores, you'll witness marvels of history spanning the pre-Hispanic to the colonial eras. First, visit the famous urban pyramids, which date back well over 1,000 years and have since seen the city grow up around them. Such structures reveal the architectural and engineering prowess of the ancient Peruvians.

Next is the renowned Museo Larco, a privately owned museum with a fine collection of pre-Hispanic art. Located inside a mansion built on a pre-Columbian pyramid, it's the best place in the city to view ancient gold and silver artifacts. Then walk over to Lima's historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and its Plaza de Armas (main square). Here, you'll visit impressive colonial landmarks, including Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion gifted by conquistador Francisco Pizarro to one of his captains in 1535.

Next, enjoy the rich culture and bold flavors at Casa Tambo, a sanctuary of culinary and artistic excellence. The experience kicks off with a pisco tasting at the restaurant's bar. Pisco is the famous grape brandy regarded as the national spirit of Peru, and you'll sample some of the house's finest offerings. Then, tour the restaurant's adjacent museum, where art and history intertwine. The culinary crescendo is a five-course tasting menu offering a sensorial journey through Peru's gastronomic landscape. After the meal, head to a nearby coffee bar for a chocolate tasting—the perfect dessert!  

Day 3: Fly to Arequipa, Optional Activities

Check out views of Arequipa's famous skyline, backed by snowcapped volcanoes

Say goodbye to Lima this morning as you board a one-hour flight south to Arequipa. This southern metropolis is famously known as the "White City" due to the extensive use of white volcanic stone in its many historic buildings. Upon arrival at the airport, your driver will transfer you to your accommodation in the city.

Your hotel, CIRQA, also features Arequipa's iconic rock architecture. Dating to 1540, this former colonial monastery in the historic center has been reimagined as one of Arequipa's swankest hotels. It's a great place to unwind after a long day, as each spacious room features high ceilings, comfy king and queen beds, and mod-cons like air-conditioning, smart TVs, and complimentary drinks and snacks.

After settling in, you can head right back out for a self-guided city tour at your own pace. Your hotel's location in the center makes this an easy prospect, as in a few minutes time, you can arrive at 16th-century landmarks and the Plaza de Armas (main square). Here, you can visit the Neo-renaissance Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa, then explore the traditional district of Yanahuara, with its pretty plaza and views of the surrounding volcanoes Misti, Chachani, and Pichu Pichu

Day 4: Arequipa Walking Tour

Evening view of Arequipa's Plaza de Armas
Stroll around Arequipa's romantic Plaza de Armas after sundown

Hopefully, you got to see some famous sights yesterday. Today, however, you'll dive deep into Arequipa's culture and history on a half-day walking tour. Don't fill up on breakfast, because around 9:30 am you'll meet your expert local guide and head over to San Camilo, Arequipa's main market, founded in 1881. This is the place to come to feel the pulse of the city, as this market is where most Arequipeños shop for fresh produce, handicrafts, and other items amid the many vendor stalls.

After browsing the market (and perhaps sampling local street food), continue to the city's main square and La Compañia Church. This iconic 16th-century cathedral is one of the most awe-inspiring landmarks in the city, famous for its Baroque architecture and its colorful Cupola of Saint Ignacio. Next, continue on to view other architectural marvels in the city, like El Tambo La Cabezona, a historic residence dating to the 17th century.

Finally, you'll walk over to the 16th-century Santa Catalina Monastery. It was founded in 1579 by the Dominican Second Order as a cloistered convent for nuns, built to accommodate the daughters of wealthy Spanish families who chose a life of prayer and seclusion. The monastery's architecture reflects a mix of Spanish colonial and Andean influences. It features narrow cobblestone streets, secluded cloisters, and colorful buildings adorned with bright blue, red, and ochre hues.

Day 5: Transfer to Colca Canyon via El Mirador de Los Andes

Kick back in your luxury tented bungalow or take a hike (photo courtesy of Puqio)
Plan your trip to Peru
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

This morning, meet your driver and leave Arequipa on the three-hour drive north to Colca Canyon. On this scenic route, you can snap photos of Arequipa's surrounding volcanoes as you enter the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve. This protected area covers hundreds of thousands of acres and is renowned for its gorgeous landscapes and rich biodiversity. Here, it's common to see native camelids like llamas, alpacas, and wild vicuña grazing in local pastures.

After a stop to enjoy an ancient Inca tea made with local herbs, you'll continue driving to El Mirador de Los Andes, a famous high pass with astonishing views of the area's surrounding volcanoes. After taking more pictures, you'll begin the descent into the Colca Valley and its vast canyon. Colca reaches depths of 10,725 feet (3,720 m), making it one of the deepest canyons in the world, and offers plenty of incredible viewpoints and challenging treks.

You should arrive at your lodging just before lunchtime. Nestled deep in the Colca Valley, Puqio is a luxury rural lodge that celebrates the raw beauty of the surrounding landscapes. It allows travelers to reconnect with nature amid fuming volcanoes, sweeping grasslands, and hidden wilderness trails. Each of the tented bungalows offers the utmost comfort, from luxurious king beds to elegant French baths. After checking in, feel free to stretch your legs on a hike around one of the many nature trails in the area.

Day 6: Explore the Colca Valley

Look for Andean condors while enjoying the views

And you're off! Leave Puqio Lodge this morning on a full-day exploration of the Colca Valley. Choose from an array of experiences that include high-altitude trekking, photo safaris, mountain biking, identifying ancient plants with a natural herbalist, and soaking in the rejuvenating thermal baths of Uyo Uyo. You can also visit renowned textile weavers to witness the artistry of the Andes firsthand.

You'll definitely want to travel to some of Colca Canyon's awe-inspiring viewpoints. These are great spots to observe the majestic Andean condor in its natural habitat. These magnificent birds, with wingspans of up to 10 feet (3 m), can often be seen soaring on thermal currents rising from the canyon depths. On sunny days, you might spot up to 10 condors flying just above you. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 7: Luxury Train to Puno, Transfer to Titilaka Lodge

Relax at your hotel in Puno and start planning excursions (photo courtesy of Titlaka Lodge)

Rise and shine! This morning you'll meet your driver for the six-hour ride east from Colca Canyon to the legendary Lake Titicaca. Not only is this the largest body of water in South America, but Titicaca's elevation of 12,507 feet (3,812 m) makes it the highest accessible lake in the world.

Upon arrival in the lakeside city of Puno, you'll check into your hotel, Titilaka Lodge. This 5-star luxury ecolodge enjoys a prime location on the waterfront, offering jaw-dropping views of Titicaca and the surrounding landscapes. Each of the 18 rooms offers the utmost comfort and luxury, featuring modern amenities, plush bedding, heated floors, and panoramic windows with heated floors. There's a gourmet fusion restaurant on site celebrating seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, plus a spa and wellness center where you can relax with a personalized treatment after a long day of excursions.

In fact, over the next couple of days, your itinerary will be packed with adventures in and around the lake. The lodge will arrange each excursion and tailor it to your specific interests. For now, kick back, relax, and enjoy an al fresco gourmet dinner on the hotel patio overlooking Titicaca.

Days 8-9: Explore Lake Titicaca

Embark on trips around the lake, like to the Uros Floating islands

The next two days are yours to enjoy cultural trips and adventurous excursions around the lake. Titilaka Lodge offers a range of activities allowing you to explore the cradle of Andean civilization. Perhaps glide across Titicaca's azure waters in the seat of a kayak, or hop on a boat to visit the islands dotting the lake.

None are more famous than the Uros Floating Islands—human-made floating islets constructed out of the abundant reeds that grow around the lake. The Uros were one of the first ethnic groups to populate this Andean region thousands of years even before the Incas. They'll welcome you to the island to learn about their culture and traditions. The residents are happy to share, too, as they supplement their hunting/fishing economy by offering guided tours and selling traditional handicrafts. 

You can also enjoy a cultural excursion. This region is famously known as the Peruvian Capital of Folklore, and Lake Titicaca hosts some of the country's most renowned traditional festivals. Among the most celebrated and popular is the Virgin of la Candelaria, which showcases over 360 pre- and post-colonial dances. At the end of each day, return to the lodge where you can spend the rest of the evening relaxing.

Day 10: Luxury Train to Cusco

The luxury train to Cusco is as much about fun and culture as luxury

You're in for a treat, as this morning, you'll transfer to the train station and board PeruRail's famous Titicaca line from Puno to Cusco. This 10.5-hour scenic journey will take you from the lakeshore north through the soaring Peruvian Andes until you reach the imperial city of the Incas. Feel free to spend much of this time in the observation car, where you can watch southern Peru's natural splendor pass before your eyes. There are also plenty of services to keep you occupied, including a three-course gourmet lunch, a pisco cocktail demonstration, and live music with traditional dancing.

Eventually, you'll arrive in Cusco. Located in the highlands, this area has been settled for thousands of years. However, it wasn't until 1200 CE that Cusco was officially founded as a center for Inca rule. It was the capital of the Inca Kingdom until the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Today, the city features an incredible mix of Spanish-colonial architecture and ancient Inca archaeological sites.

A driver will meet you at the train station for the ride to Inkaterra La Casona, the first boutique hotel in Cusco. This 5-star hotel is set in a 16th-century colonial estate on Plaza de las Nazarenas, just a couple blocks from the Plaza de Armas (main square). Not only are you right in the historic center, surrounded by Cusco's famous cobblestoned streets, but the hotel exudes opulence and luxury. The well-appointed suites feature king beds, down duvets, stone fireplaces, and marble baths. Also on site is a world-class day spa and a vast dining hall where you can discover the secrets to Indigenous cuisine.

Day 11: Highland Horseback Ride & Picnic Lunch

Return to your charming hotel after a day in the countryside (photo courtesy of Inkaterra La Casona)

Today, you'll travel beyond the city limits and explore Cusco's dazzling highland countryside on horseback. After breakfast, transfer a few minutes outside Cusco to the Fundo Molleray farm. At the stables there, you'll meet your horse and saddle up. Then, with an expert local guide, set off on the trail, riding by agricultural fields, over small rivers, and through towering eucalyptus forests.

At the sacred mountain of Wilcarpay, you'll stop to meet local villagers and spend time with them as they tend to their fields and animals. From there, it's a short ride along an ancient Inca pathway to the Huillca Raccay archaeological site. This lesser-known site comprises the ruins of an ancient Inca hill fort, and it's a plot point on the famous Inca Trail hike from Cusco to Machu Picchu.

After admiring the views, you'll begin the return ride back to the stables. On the way, you'll stop at a prime viewpoint overlooking Cusco, where you'll enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch. After the ride, you'll transfer back to your hotel.

Day 12: Luxury Train to Machu Picchu, Guided Tour, Continue to the Sacred Valley

Few archaeological sites in the world rival Machu Picchu for sheer majesty

All aboard the exclusive Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu! This luxury Belmond train is decked out with Art Deco cars with gleaming wood-panel interiors and brass finishes, evoking the 1920s Orient Express. During the four-hour ride, you'll enjoy first-class service as you marvel at views of the Urubamba River and Andes peaks through the windows. Your final destination is Aguas Calientes. Upon arrival, you'll board a bus for the 25-minute ride up the mountain to Machu Picchu at 7,970 feet (2,430 m), which dates to around 1450 CE and is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

During a guided tour, you'll hike around the complex and visit its agricultural terraces and famous stone landmarks, including astronomical/ritual structures like the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon. Many, like the Sacred Plaza and Inca Bridge, showcase the Incas' architectural prowess. After the tour, you'll board a train for the 3.5-hour back toward Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Extending along the Urubamba River, the valley encompasses picturesque villages, archaeological sites, and gorgeous highland scenery.

At the station, you'll transfer to Hotel Río Sagrado. Located on the banks of the Urubamba River, this jewel in the crown of Belmond hotels offers beautifully appointed suites and villas featuring hardwood floors, traditional Andean stonework, and private terraces. Río Sagrado is a great place to relax after a long day exploring the Sacred Valley, as it also features a heated outdoor pool and a spa offering indulgent therapies inspired by traditional Andean healing practices. For a smart cocktail, make a beeline to the swank bar and lounge. 

Day 13: Day Trip to an Indigenous Community & the Pisac Archaeological Site

Visit textile workshops and archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley

Enjoy a full-day cultural excursion as you leave your hotel in the morning for the ride to the town of Calca. Here you'll be welcomed into one of many textile workshops run by local Indigenous families. During the visit, the friendly artisans will show you the intricate processes of handmaking beautiful garments and costumes utilizing weaving techniques passed down through generations. This includes the use of backstrap looms, camelid fibers, and natural dyes from Andean plants. Following the intro, you'll participate in a workshop and weave your very own textiles.

After the workshop, you'll transfer to a secluded spot in the valley where you'll lay out the blanket and sit down to a gourmet picnic lunch amid dazzling mountain views. Afterward, you'll visit the famous archaeological site in the village of Pisac. During a three-hour guided tour, you'll explore these hilltop ruins, which are comprised of Inca burial grounds, irrigation systems, and astronomy centers. Later, head into town and visit Pisac's famous textile market to browse hand-made garments. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 14: Transfer to Cusco, Depart

Until next time, Cusco!
It's been a whirlwind trip, but now comes the time to say goodbye. In the morning, you'll transfer back to Cusco and the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Luxury Southern Peru: Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca & Machu Picchu - 14 Days
Map of Luxury Southern Peru: Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca & Machu Picchu - 14 Days