- Learn about Cusco on a personalized walking tour
- Enjoy a stunning one-day hike to Huchuy Qosqo
- Float down the river on a 3-day rafting trip
- Go fly fishing at Pampallacta
- Enter Machu Picchu through the famous Sun gate
- Bike through the fields and single-track of Maras & Moray
- Trek through Lares and enjoy the hot springs
A 15-day action-packed tour designed for groups (large or small) and families alike. Created to be moderately challenging, this tour encompasses many favorite outdoor activities. Incorporating traditional sightseeing & guided tours, trekking (1-3 days), fly fishing & mountain biking, these activities all feature. This itinerary is meant to be flexible and can be adapted based on the group requirements.
Day 1: Arrival in Lima
¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to Lima, Peru's largest city and central metropolitan hub, and home to one-third of the country's population. Located at the site of a pre-Columbian indigenous Ychsma settlement, which was conquered by the Inca empire in the 15th century and later by the Spanish conquistadores, Lima has a fascinating history and a diverse mix of cultures. Amerindian, European, Afro-Peruvian, and Asian—especially Chinese and Japanese—influences make Lima a dynamic and exciting city to explore.
Lima's breezy location on the Pacific Ocean and mild desert climate make it the perfect city for exploring on foot. Head downtown to mingle with locals, stretch your legs, and grab a bite to eat in one of the many award-winning restaurants.
Suggested activities include:
Explore the historic center of Lima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with fascinating Spanish architecture. Start with a scenic tour of the colonial downtown, which emanates from the main square. Stroll over to the 16th-century Cathedral, which took 80 years to construct and was built in the grandiose style of the Spanish Empire.
Visit the Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion granted by chief conquistador Francisco Pizarro to Jerónimo de Aliaga, one of his captains, in 1535. This is the only house from that era that still belongs to the same family.
Stroll around the Pueblo Libre district to the privately owned Larco Museum of pre-Columbian art, housed in a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid. The museum boasts a vast pre-Colonial collection of gold and silver artifacts, as well as pieces of erotic art.
In the evening, head to the eclectic "Love Park" in the upscale coastal district of Miraflores, where you can admire a huge kissing statue and beautiful mosaic walls. The park is built on the cliffs of Chorrillos and is a perfect place to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Pacific.
- Enjoy a nightcap at an open-air cafe or restaurant in the diverse Miraflores neighborhood.
Day 2: Cusco - Ancient City of the Incas
Flight from Lima to Cusco
Enjoy a spectacular flight across the Andes to Cusco (11,200 ft.) where a driver will be waiting to pick you up and drop you off at your hotel.
At noon, one of our guides will pick you up from your hotel and take you out to lunch in a tasty local restaurant. After a great meal, we will have a pleasant walk around this amazing ancient city, first going up to Sacsayhuamán fortress, overlooking the main Plaza and Cuzco City.
Sacsayhuamán, with its huge impressive walls, was the place where the Incas made their final stand against the Spanish conquistadores in 1536. Then, we take a walk down, back to Cusco through the colorful street markets. We can visit the San Pedro market and experience the exotic fruits (which can be blended into a huge variety of juices) local Andean vegetables, exploring the many alleys of this bustling market.
Day 3: Huchuy Qosqo Day Hike
Today we are going to have an early departure from Cusco, driving up for about 1.5 hours along the outskirts of Cusco.
The hike begins in the small village of Siwas at 3800 m (12,600 ft). First, we will go up to the highest point of the day. To reach it we walk slowly and steady for 1 hour and 30 minutes, along this not too difficult an ascent to 4060 m (13 480 ft). If the weather permits in the Southeast we can see far in the distance the massive mountain of Ausangate, one of the three most sacred mountains around Cusco.
After we take some pictures and enjoy the views from the top, we begin the two hours walk down to Huchuy Qosqo. A few minutes into the hike we join the principal Inca Trail, passing through the picturesque village of Puka Marka. This place is just the entrance to an impressive section of a ravine. The way crosses this section along a well paved Inca Trail and nice small bridges crisscrossing the creek that flows down to the Sacred Valley.
After the section of the bridges, we continue walking and enjoying awesome views of agricultural terraces, some examples of the local fauna like dears or endemic species of birds. There is a good point nearby Huchuy Qosqo from where we can take a break to see below us the Sacred Valley and also the village of Lamay, right next to the Wilcamayu river, the most sacred and important river for the Inca. A few more minutes walking from this lookout and finally we reach our principal destination of the day: Huchuy Qosqo!
We are going to have plenty of time to have our packed lunch and then wander around the Inca Site, getting a great lesson to learn more about these amazing people who were able to build such unique and complex places around the Andes of Perú. Huchuy Qosqo shows us a cultural example of agricultural engineering with irrigation channels and terraces. With the arrival of the Spaniards the site was changed and now it shows a big water reservoir built with the stones previously used by the locals to have this place for their Inca Ruler Wiracocha in the early 15th century.
In the afternoon we leave Huchuy Qosqo and descend for about two hours towards the village of Lamay, which is the place where we meet our transportation that is going to bring us back to our hotel in Cusco.
Hiking time: around 8 Hrs
Altitude range: 4,060-2,800m
Degree of difficulty: Hard - Moderate
Meals Included: Box Lunch
Day 4: River Rafting (Day 1/3) - Black Canyon / Rocoto Bridge-Apurimac River
Collecting you at your hotel from 8:45 am, a spectacular ride follows, through grassy open sierra down into the Apurimac river canyon at 2,200 m. (7300 ft).
We stop in at a sandy beach at "Rocoto". Our English speaking professional river guides will provide you with all the proper equipment and give you a safety briefing.
Once in the water, we will enjoy class lll rapids. Along the way, we will encounter the bases of ancient Inca bridges and admire the beauty of the waterfalls.
Day 5: River Rafting (Day 2/3) - Encountering Santo Tomás River
Beginning with an early morning wake-up call, you’ll have a fresh fruit salad breakfast with oats, yogurt, coffee, tea, granola. We’ll then walk near the camp to admire the flora.
After packing our gear, we start the float and will run more class lll plus rapids and have time to explore a creek, passing these magnificent rock formations called “The Black Canyon".
Afterward, a tributary river, the Santo Tomas, brings more water into the river and we will encounter several class IV rapids. A very good healthy lunch will be served and later on the float, we will see some hanging bridges, also there are some good chances of close encounters with the local fauna, such as the torrent duck, foxes, Andean gull and the magnificent condor. We camp on a Sandy beach underneath the stars of the southern hemisphere, seen the milky way and the southern cross.
Day 6: River Rafting (Day 3/3) - Huallpachaca Bridge-Cusco
Another delicious breakfast and into the water. Today we have the most intense class IV rapids, such as "Trinchera", "El encuenro", and "The other right".
We'll also have some time to explore the waterfalls and the creeks. Finally, we arrive at Puente Walpachaca around noon for a four hours drive back to Cusco.
Day 7: Fly Fishing Inticocha-Pampallacta
Inti Cocha is one of the 13 lakes that form part of the indigenous Pampallacta community. It is located in the highlands of the Sacred Valley, 2 hours from the imperial city of Cusco and one hour from the town of Urubamba.
The local community is very welcoming and this distinctly Andean landscape is truly the most impressive, with all lakes located over 4000 m (13,500 ft.). In this particular lake, fishing is very exciting and fun because of the abundance of rainbow trout. The size of trout ranges from 25 to 50 cm (10 to 12 inches) and there is great potential to catch larger trout.
You’ll be picked up from your accommodation at 7 am and depart Cusco, heading to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We will pass through the beautiful, historic town of Pisac, an important archeological site in the Sacred Valley, and continue driving 40 minutes more to our departure point. Upon arrival, we will start a short, easy walk of 20 minutes walk through the mountains to get to the best spot for fishing.
We tailor our fishing programs to our clients’ requirements, and for this trip we will be fishing from the shore around the lake looking for trout. You will have the opportunity to fish all morning in this stunning environment.
At 12 pm we will take a break, have lunch and in the afternoon, we will continue to fish around the shore of the lake until 2:30 pm. At around 3 pm we will return after another journey through the wonderful Sacred Valley of the Incas, arriving around 6 pm to El Albergue de Ollantaytambo Hotel to overnight.
Day 8: Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Early in the morning, we will take the train to Km 104 where the short Inca Trail starts. By train, we see how the valley turns into a canyon and the scenery begins to alter as the cloud forests appear on our approach to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. We will disembark the train at Km 104 and start the hike along a challenging uphill path. This trek is short but hard, manageable but no ‘walk in the park’.
This ancient Inca Trail takes us uphill all the way to the magnificent archeological complex of Wiñay Wayna (2732 m / 8964 ft) where there are many steep steps to climb to reach the upper part of the site. With a fabulous sense of peace far from the crowds, this will be the perfect spot to enjoy our delicious boxed lunch, with superb views of the massive green mountains and native orchids.
Then the trail becomes gentler from here and continues all the way to the Sun Gate where we arrive at Machu Picchu through its real entrance. It is from here that we will have our first glimpse of this ancient citadel.
We then cross the site to take the bus down to Aguas Calientes town, where will check into our hotel to rest and relax in anticipation of a full day visit tomorrow.
Day 9: Machu Picchu Guided Tour
Today as it gets light, we will catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu to enjoy the ruins at a quieter time of day when there are fewer people. It is a 25-minute bus ride to the sanctuary of Machu Picchu (2400 m). Our guide will lead us in our exploration and discovery of the many curious corners within the enigmatic Citadel of Machu Picchu. The guided tour will have an average duration of 2 hours.
Afterward, you will still have some time to visit other places that you did not see with your guide. For example, heading west from the center of Machu Picchu, the Inca bridge is a 30 minute / 2 Km or so walk along a narrow path. If you feel like an uphill challenge, you have the option to climb the infamous mountain of Huayna Picchu. It is important to know that to climb this mountain, you need to buy a separate ticket in advance.
At the end of our visit, we will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes for lunch and then board the train to Ollantaytambo. On arrival, we will be met by our private transport to go to our charming hotel in Calca (Aida’s House).
Day 10: Mountain Biking (Full Day)
In the morning, we leave from our hotel at the Aida’s House in Calca Village to drive up to the high plateau of Anta. This full day experience begins at Cruz Pata, a community located nearby the lagoon of Piuray that belongs to the town of Chinchero. We will start pedaling along an old dirt road (trail) that will help us to get used to the bikes.
Heading to the archaeological site of Moray where travelers can visit this area known for being a former agricultural laboratory used to experiment with varieties of native potatoes. They were planted in different ecological `oors`, each `oor` representing a separate climate.
The road linking Maras and Moray is a "single track" which is excellent for practicing "cross country" with ups and downs that make this experience exciting. From here we can see unique views of the Vilcanota Mountain Range like the Chicon, the Pumahuanca and the Wakay Willca mountains. The Maras village is an agricultural town whose inhabitants are mainly engaged in the extraction of salt.
After a rest and a picnic lunch in the nearby town of Maras, we will continue our cycling experience along the paths leading down to the salt mines. It is up to the passengers and their experience level to decide whether we descend to Pichingoto in the Sacred Valley. Then, we return back to Aida’s House for a good break.
Day 11: Fly Fishing Pacharcocha
Pachar Cocha is a lake that forms part of the indigenous Chumpe community. It is located in the highlands of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, 2 hours from the imperial city of Cusco, 1 hour from the town of Urubamba and at 4160 m. ( 13,800 ft). For better fishing in Pachar Cocha, we always use our fishing rafts. The size of trout ranges from 25 to 50 cm (10 to 12 inches) but trophy Andean rainbow trout of 2-3 kg. are very common.
You'll be picked up from your accommodation at 8 am and depart for Calca, heading to the charming Pacharcocha driving about 40 minutes. Upon arrival, will immediately assemble all the equipment required for the trip. We will have the opportunity to fish all morning in this stunning environment.
At 12 pm we will take a break, have lunch and in the afternoon continue fishing on the lake until 2:30 pm.
At around 3 pm we will go by car, driving about two hours to the Lares Hot Springs where we have our first campsite of the trek from where we begin the next day.
Day 12: Lares Trek (Day 1/3) - Hot Springs to Cuncani
Today we'll have the morning to enjoy the hot baths before we get ready for the hike. From here unfolds a small track, used by local children and community members. We pass through hand-tilled fields and crops of quinoa and potato, amongst quaint stone houses.
After a gradual climb for a few hours, we will stop for a delicious lunch before continuing on to the community of Cuncani, our camp for the evening. The night will be cold but charming.
Day 13: Lares Trek (Day 2/3) - Cuncani, Paso de Pumahuanca, Paccha
If the day is clear, we will wake up to the imposing view of Colque Cruz, a majestic mountain capped by a glacier, which provides water to the community.
We follow the path next to an icy stream that will take us towards the pass. The ascent is challenging. There will be some hours of demanding but rewarding uphill tracks, on rocky trails passing through incredible landscapes punctuated by high altitude lagoons. As we get closer to the pass, the trail becomes steeper and rockier.
On reaching the summit at 4600 m (15,200 ft) a stunning view of the Pampas of Anta awaits us, followed by a descent that will be most agreeable after such a long climb. The way down is steep but beautiful, crossing a small forest of ‘Polylepis’, the endemic and endangered trees of the high Andes.
Just after the forest and with an incredible view of the valley below we will stop for lunch. After which the drop continues until we reach our camp, a tranquil paradise, surrounded by trees and crossed by a small river.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 14: Lares Trek (Day 3/3) - Paccha, Piscigranja, Ollantaytambo
This morning will be our last on the trail. After breakfast, there will be a chance to take photos with our muleteers, cooks and field staff, all those who made this trip possible.
From here, the walk becomes easier down to Piscigranja (fish farm). We will feel the climate changing, becoming warmer and more alive, with more variety in vegetation as hummingbirds accompany us on our journey.
After a few short hours, we will meet our private transportation that will take us to Cusco.
Day 15: Flight Cusco to Lima, Departure
In the morning, after a wonder-filled 15 days, it’s time to say goodbye and until next time!
We will arrange your transfer from hotel to the airport for your flight: Cusco-Lima where you'll connect to your international flight home.