Experience the best of southern Peru on a luxury trip that combines world-famous landscapes with city culture in Lima and Arequipa. After a street-art tour in the nation's capital, you'll travel to the Sacred Valley to walk in the footsteps of Incas at Ollantaytambo and ride the rails to the sky-high ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. The luxury train adventure continues to Lake Titicaca and the vast Colca Canyon for more hiking, followed by relaxation in the charming colonial city of Arequipa.


  • Discover the best of Lima, from colorful street art to delicious Peruvian cuisine
  • Enjoy luxury train rides to Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, Peru's largest lake
  • Hike the most famous sites in Peru, like Ollantaytambo and Sacsayhuamán
  • Marvel at vast Colca Canyon views and visit the colonial landmarks in Arequipa

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Lima, Optional Activities Lima
Day 2 Lima Street-Art Tour, Evening Culinary Experience Lima
Day 3 Fly to Cusco, Explore the Pisac Market & Visit a Llama Farm Sacred Valley
Day 4 Day Hike to Huchuy Qosqo & Sacred Valley Picnic Sacred Valley
Day 5 Hike to Ollantaytambo, Visit the Maras Salt Ponds & Moray Terraces Sacred Valley
Day 6 Luxury Train to Aguas Calientes, Explore Machu Picchu Aguas Calientes
Day 7 Explore Machu Picchu (Day 2), Luxury Train to Cusco Cusco
Day 8 Day Trip to Sacsayhuamán & City Tour, Dinner at MAP Café Cusco
Day 9 Andean Explorer Luxury Train to Puno Andean Explorer
Day 10 Visit the Uros Floating Islands, Luxury Train to Saracocha Andean Explorer
Day 11 Luxury Train to Colca Canyon, Transfer to Hotel Colca Canyon
Day 12 Day Trip to the Condor's Cross Viewpoint Colca Canyon
Day 13 Transfer to Arequipa, Self-Guided Tour Arequipa
Day 14 Depart Arequipa  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Lima, Optional Activities

Shake off jet lag with a dip in the rooftop pool (photo courtesy of Belmond Miraflores Park)

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru! This country is a veritable treasure trove of wonders, both natural and human-made. You'll see some of the major highlights, plus immerse yourself in the local culture, starting with your arrival in Lima. Peru's capital is a handsome metropolis, known for its soaring coastal bluffs and well-preserved Spanish-colonial center. Your driver will be waiting at the airport for the 1.5-hour ride into the city and Belmond Miraflores Park.

Located in the upscale coastal suburb of Miraflores, this 5-star hotel is set amid verdant gardens and is known for its exceptional service and dazzling sea views. Many of the Belmond's well-appointed rooms and suites feature private balconies overlooking the Pacific. Other welcome features include a spa/wellness center and a rooftop pool where you can relax after a long flight in a sun lounger. There are many dining options at the hotel, including the acclaimed Tragaluz restaurant, serving innovative Peruvian/international cuisine.

Later, perhaps head out on a self-guided city tour. Start in the historic center, which is filled with Spanish-colonial landmarks, like the Lima Cathedral, which dates to 1535. For culture and history, head to Museo Larco, which is housed in a restored viceregal mansion and offers a vast collection of pre-Columbian art and artifacts. Later, return to Miraflores and Parque del Amor (Love Park), which sits on coastal bluffs and is the perfect spot to enjoy a memorable sunset over the Pacific. 

Day 2: Lima Street-Art Tour, Evening Culinary Experience

Check out cool neighborhoods and the finest street art in Lima on a guided tour

Rise and shine! This morning you're off on a walking tour to discover Lima's colorful urban culture. This half-day excursion is led by a talented member of a local urban art collective. He or she will take you around to artist's workshops and to see some of the most impressive street art in Lima.

First, you'll walk over to Callao Monumental, a historic waterfront district. These days, it's a haven for artists, many of whom have painted over various walls and streets with colorful art. After visiting the workshop of one such renowned artist, you'll continue to another historic coastal enclave, Barranco, to view some fine pieces in a gallery. Then, return to adjacent Miraflores to see more street art and famous murals before capping the tour with a visit to a small museum/gallery. Feel free to spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying the amenities at your hotel.

Then, in the late afternoon, you're off to discover the best of Peru's world-famous cuisine on a half-day foodie tour. Meet your guide on the waterfront and kick things off with some seaside snacks paired with a pisco sour (Peru's national cocktail) as you enjoy the fine coastal views. Then, head over to the Huaca Pucllana pyramid, which dates to around 500 CE, to sample a variety of foods, including Peru's famous ceviche. The tour ends back in Barranco in a trendy restaurant, where you'll dine al fresco at a garden table as you enjoy a curated selection of the chef's signature dishes. 

Day 3: Fly to Cusco, Explore the Pisac Market & Visit a Llama Farm

Browse handmade clothing and other items at a traditional Andean market

This morning, board the hour-long flight from Lima to Cusco. Upon arrival, you'll transfer about 9 miles (15 km) north of the city to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Extending along the Urubamba River, the valley encompasses picturesque villages, archaeological sites, and gorgeous highland scenery. It's also the location of your hotel, Tambo del Inka. This 5-star resort features elegant rooms with regional fabrics and balconies overlooking the river. There's an infinity pool, spa, and gardens on site, plus Hawa Restaurant, which serves gourmet New Andean cuisine prepared with local, organic products.

You won't waste any time exploring this hotbed of ancient Inca history. After checking in, meet your guide for the ride to the hilltop ruins overlooking the town of Pisac. You'll take a walking tour of this archaeological site, which includes Inca burial grounds, irrigation systems, and astronomy centers. Later, head into town and visit Pisac's famous textile market to browse hand-made garments.

On the way, you'll stop at a farm dedicated to the rescue of Peru's famous camelids, like llamas and alpacas. After meeting these furry animals and shopping in Pisac, you'll head over to a historic country manor whose owners have, for many generations, been farming some of the best corn in Cusco. Your host will lead you on a tour of the hacienda grounds, after which everyone will sit down for a traditional lunch. At the end of the afternoon, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 4: Day Hike to Huchuy Qosqo & Sacred Valley Picnic

View across Huchuy Qosqo to the Sacred Valley
Hike to the agricultural terraces and palace ruins in the Sacred Valley

Go off the beaten path today on a hike to Huchuy Qosqo. This ancient archaeological site was once an administrative and religious center during the Inca Empire. It served as a royal estate and retreat for the Inca nobility, with impressive stone structures, terraces, and ceremonial buildings.

A driver will pick you up early from your hotel and take you to the trailhead in Tauca village in the Chinchero district. Then, set off on a full-day, 6.6-mile (9 km) hike that begins with a short uphill segment leading to incredible viewpoints overlooking the glassy waters of Piuray Lagoon. You'll probably even spot a llama or two on the shore! 

Eventually, you'll reach a mountain pass at 14,763 feet (4,500 m). From there, follow an original Inca path downhill to Huchuy Qosqo. Strolling the ruins of this former palace and its ancient agricultural terraces is quite the experience, as it's located high on mountain slopes with commanding views of the Sacred Valley. After a picnic lunch amid memorable Andean views, you'll make the return hike to Tauca and transfer by vehicle back to your hotel.

Day 5: Hike to Ollantaytambo, Visit the Maras Salt Ponds & Moray Terraces

Learn why Moray is one of the most evocative (and mysterious) archaeological sites in Peru

Leave this morning on a trek to the ancient city of Ollantaytambo. This highland town and archaeological site is one of the few remaining places in the Sacred Valley that has retained its original Inca urban planning. It begins with a transfer to the town of Pachar. At the trailhead, set off on an easy, hour-long hike to Ollantaytambo, passing local farms and traditional mud-brick houses. Once in Ollantaytambo, you'll visit well-preserved ruins, including ancient canals and Inca-era homes. Then, hike up the hillside agricultural terraces to enjoy sweeping views of the valley and surrounding towns.

Afterward, dive even deeper into traditional Andean culture in a cooking workshop. This 1.5-hour experience focuses on the regional culinary practice of Pachamanca, which means Earth Pot. It's an ancient cooking technique that involves preparing food underground using leaves and preheated stones. After a welcome cocktail, learn about the history of Pachamanca as your local instructor prepares a few traditional dishes. At the end of the demonstration, everyone will sit down to a meal featuring Andean staples like potatoes, aromatic herbs, and lamb.

End the day with a visit to two more legendary sites in the Sacred Valley. The first is the Maras Salt Pans, a photogenic patchwork of salt pans perched on a hillside. These saline pools are fed by natural springs at the top of the valley and have been used for salt production since Inca times. Afterward, you'll visit Moray, an incredible complex of stone amphitheaters developed by the Inca. While the exact reason for the construction of this site remains unknown, historians believe the Inca constructed it in order to experiment with crop production in different micro-climates.

Day 6: Luxury Train to Aguas Calientes, Explore Machu Picchu

Travel in style on a luxury Hiram Bingham railway trip to Aguas Calientes

All aboard the exclusive Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu! This luxury Belmond train departs from the station right by your hotel in the Sacred Valley and is decked out with Art Deco cars with gleaming wood-panel interiors and brass finishes, evoking the 1920s Orient Express. During the 3.5-hour relaxing ride, you'll enjoy first-class service as you marvel at views of the Urubamba River and Andes peaks through the windows. You can spend the journey in the train's observatory bar car, sipping a smart cocktail like a pisco sour before sitting down to a gourmet three-course lunch.

Your destination is the town of Aguas Calientes. This is the main hub for excursions up the mountain to the UNESCO-listed Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Upon arrival, you'll transfer over to the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel located right at the entrance to Machu Picchu. Overnighting at this stylish retreat lets you beat the citadel's mass crowds. This 5-star hotel also offers a range of welcome amenities for the weary traveler, such as Inca spa rituals to nourish your spirit and soothe your weary muscles after a day hiking around the citadel.

It will come in handy because, after check-in, 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. During a tour led by an expert guide, you'll hike around the complex and visit its famous landmarks, including astronomical/ritual stone structures like the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon. Many landmarks, like the Sacred Plaza and Inca Bridge, showcase the Incas' architectural prowess. The agricultural terraces are also impressive, demonstrating the Incas' skill at cultivating crops on steep hillsides.

Day 7: Explore Machu Picchu (Day 2), Luxury Train to Cusco

Look for resident llamas while hiking around Machu Picchu
Plan your trip to Peru
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

One day at Machu Picchu simply isn't enough, which is why this morning, you'll return to the citadel a second time. It's a great opportunity to walk amid more well-preserved ruins plus embark on one of the additional hikes in the area. The most famous are the routes up the tallest peaks rising above the citadel: Huayna Picchu at 8,920 feet (2,720 m) and Montaña Machu Picchu at 10,111 feet (3,082 m). Both involve rigorous uphill (at times almost vertical) hikes, and both reward your effort with great views over the citadel and the Andes below.

You'll no doubt be sore after all that hiking, which is fine because, after this half-day excursion, you'll board the luxurious Hiram Bingham train once again for the relaxing three-hour ride to 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.

Your luxury hotel is a part of Cusco's rich history too. The Belmond Palacio Nazarenas is a 5-star hotel right in the historic center a short walk from landmarks like the Plaza de Armas, Cusco's main square. It's located in a 16th-century former palace that has been meticulously restored with spacious and elegantly appointed rooms and suites, featuring colonial-era architecture, modern amenities, and luxurious furnishings. The hotel also features a heated pool to combat that highland chill, plus a spa and wellness center, various gourmet restaurants celebrating Peruvian cuisine, and 24-hour personal butler service.

Day 8: Day Trip to Sacsayhuamán & City Tour, Dinner at MAP Café

Check out Sacsayhuamán's high walls, once a formidable defensive structure during Inca times

Machu Picchu is just one of many famous archaeological sites throughout Peru. This morning, you'll meet a local guide and transfer 2.5 miles (4 km) outside the city to Sacsayhuamán. This former Inca religious center and military complex is a marvel of ancient architecture—a monolithic fortress built from giant limestone blocks. Even to this day, the exact century of its construction remains a mystery. After exploring Sacsayhuamán's vast terraces and high walls, you'll hike down an ancient Inca road back to Cusco, passing through small villages with excellent countryside views.

The route will lead you to Cusco's bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, with its cobbled streets and artisan workshops. Nearby is the historic city center, where you'll visit iconic landmarks like the Plaza de Armas and Qoricancha (Temple of the Sun). During Inca reign in the 15th century, this was Cusco's religious and political center. From here, walk down Hatunrumiyoc Street and admire the ancient Inca walls, particularly the 12-Angle Stone, so named because its dozen angles fit perfectly in the surrounding stones. It's a shining example of the ancient Incas' stonemasonry prowess.

In the evening, you'll sit down for a very special dinner at MAP Café. One of the most dazzling culinary experiences in the city, this restaurant is inside the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, surrounded by an impressive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts and artwork. Over a couple of hours, you'll enjoy a seven-course tasting menu highlighting the best of Peru and paired with fine wines sourced both locally and internationally. Famous dishes here include ceviche, quinoa risotto, and MAP Café's take on the classic Peruvian stir-fry dish, lomo saltado.

Day 9: Andean Explorer Luxury Train to Puno

Andean Explorer
Get settled on the Andean Explorer, which offers the utmost comfort and scenic Andean views

It's time to say goodbye to Cusco. This morning, you'll return to the train station and hop aboard the Andean Explorer. This luxury rail line offers various routes around the Andes, including today's journey from Cusco to Puno. A large and colorful city in southeastern Peru, Puno sits on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America by volume.

The ride to Puno takes around 10-12 hours, and during the trip, you'll enjoy onboard entertainment, live music, and gourmet dining. Throughout the journey, you'll be treated to views of the passing Andean landscapes, including snowcapped peaks, terraced hillsides, and picturesque villages.

For the remainder of your time in Peru, you'll sleep on board the train in luxurious, well-appointed cabins. The Andean Explorer's sleeper cars feature single or double beds, private bathrooms, and all the amenities needed for a comfortable journey. Of course, each gourmet meal you take on the train will be prepared by onboard chefs using locally sourced ingredients. 

Day 10: Visit the Uros Floating Islands, Luxury Train to Saracocha

Uros floating island on Lake Titicaca
Explore the floating islands and meet locals on Lake Titicaca

Welcome to Puno! You'll likely pull into the station in time to catch the sunrise over Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at 12,507 feet (3,812 m). Enjoy a full Peruvian breakfast on board the train before meeting your guide for a memorable day trip. The two of you will transfer from the city of Puno to the lake and the famous Uros 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. 

At the end of the day, you'll return to the Andean Explorer and continue your journey east from Puno to Lake Saracocha. This remote lake is famous for its crystalline waters and the surrounding rugged peaks. It's a tranquil, off-the-beaten-path destination great for immersing yourself in the natural beauty and cultural richness of the Peruvian Andes. Dinner will be served on board the train.

Day 11: Luxury Train to Colca Canyon, Transfer to Hotel

Take a dip in the pool following your epic train journey (photo courtesy of Belmond Las Casitas)

This is the last full day of train travel on the itinerary. After breakfast, the Andean Explorer will continue from Lake Saracocha east to Colca Canyon, a vast gorge famous for its condor sightings. During the trip, you'll stop at Sumbay Caves, an archaeological site in the Arequipa region. These caverns are known for prehistoric rock art consisting of intricate paintings and drawings created by ancient Indigenous cultures long pre-dating the Incas. The caves also enjoy a scenic locale amid rugged mountains, rocky cliffs, and vast desert terrain, so don't forget your camera.

After exploring Sumbay Caves, you'll return to the train and continue east to a stop at Km 95. Here, you'll disembark the train and meet your driver for the ride to nearby Colca Canyon. As one of the deepest canyons in the world, Colca reaches depths of 10,725 feet (3,720 m) and offers plenty of incredible viewpoints and challenging treks.

Your accommodation in the area, however, is the model of comfort. Belmond Las Casitas is a luxurious retreat located right at the canyon and surrounded by towering Andean peaks, lush valleys, and terraced farmland. Enjoy panoramic views from the comfort of your private casita (bungalow) followed by a dip in your private plunge pool. There's also a spa on-site offering a range of rejuvenating treatments and massages, also set against the backdrop of gorgeous canyon views.

Day 12: Day Trip to the Condor's Cross Viewpoint

Mirador Cruz del Condor
Stake out your spot at Condor's Cross and admire the views

Travelers flock to Colca Canyon to enjoy hikes, outdoor excursions, and wildlife spotting amid Peru's most phenomenal Andes views. You'll do the same on a trip to one of the best places in Colca for such adventures: Condor's Cross. Sitting at around 10,784 feet (3,287 m) this famous viewpoint delivers some of the best vistas in the entire region.

It's renowned for being one of the world's best 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 a short distance above you. At the end of this half-day excursion, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 13: Transfer to Arequipa, Self-Guided Tour

Relax with a drink in your hotel's charming courtyard upon arrival (photo courtesy of CIRQA)

Meet your driver in the morning for the three-hour trip south from Colca Canyon to the city of Arequipa. The scenery on the route is gorgeous, and you'll likely see llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas. You'll also pass the region's famous snowcapped volcanoes.

Eventually, you'll arrive in Arequipa, famously known as the "White City" due to the extensive use of white volcanic stone in its historic buildings. Your accommodation for the night, CIRQA, also features this traditional volcanic 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-vaulted 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 like Monastery Santa Catalina and the Compañia Church, famous for its Baroque style. You can also visit Arequipa's Plaza de Armas (main square), visit the Neo-renaissance Cathedral, then explore the traditional district of Yanahuara, with its pretty plaza and views of the volcanoes Misti, Chachani, and Pichu Pichu

Day 14: Depart Arequipa

If time allows, take a sunrise walk around the Basilica Cathedral of Arequipa before departure
Goodbyes are never easy. Just take solace in the fact that there's plenty more of Peru to discover, and it will be here waiting for you should you decide to return. For now, a driver will transfer you to Arequipa's airport today in time to catch your flight home. Adiós!

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Map of Luxury Train Journey to Machu Picchu & Southern Peru - 14 Days
Map of Luxury Train Journey to Machu Picchu & Southern Peru - 14 Days