The Inca Trail & Lake Titicaca
Get an introduction to Peru’s incredible cuisine in Lima and then head into the Andes to Cusco, the gateway to the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Set off on a 4-day trek along the Inca Trail, ending with a grand descent into Machu Picchu from the Gate of the Sun. Travel south to explore another of Peru’s natural marvels, Lake Titicaca, which is surrounded by towering peaks and feels like an inland sea. This itinerary is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want to earn each breathtaking view!
Best time to visit: April-October
Ideal for: Active Couples and Families
Day 1 – Arrive in Lima
Arrive and settle into Lima, Peru’s vibrant capital. Spend the day exploring the parks and plazas of the trendy Miraflores and Barranco neighborhoods, soaking up views over the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy a delicious meal of ceviche—fresh seafood marinated in lime juice—and try Peru’s signature cocktail, a pisco sour.
Day 2 – Lima City Tour
Expand your appreciation of Lima’s colonial history and modern evolution with a private, half-day tour of the city. Explore the city’s historic center around the Plaza de Armas, visit a ceremonial site that pre-dates the Spanish, stop into the Santo Domingo Convent, and check out the collection at the Museum of Religious Art and Larco Museum. If you are looking for a thrill, pair your historical tour with a paragliding excursion along Lima’s coastal cliffs.
Day 3 – Fly to Cusco, Travel to the Sacred Valley
Fly to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire and the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent, sitting high in the Andes at over 11,000 feet. Drive into the Urubamba Valley, also called the Sacred Valley, and take a tour of the Inca ruins of Moray or the Maras Salt Mines before settling in for the night in this peaceful valley.
Day 4 – Explore the Sacred Valley
Your guided, full-day excursion begins with a trip to the village of Pisac, where there is a colorful artisan market in addition to an array of religious, agricultural, and defensive ruins of the ancient Inca. Next, travel to the fortress ruins of Ollantaytambo, which guarded the northern end of the valley.
Day 5 – Inca Trail Trek
Set off on the famed Inca Trail with guides who have studied the history, geology, ecology, and cultures of the region to give you an experience beyond just a magnificent hike. Today’s hike takes you from Chilca along the banks of the Urubamba River and up to the archaeological remains of Llactapata. Set up camp and enjoy your first night under the stars.
Day 6 – On the Inca Trail to Llulluchapampa
Pack up camp and hike to the village of Huayllabamba, where you then start climbing along a winding trail through dense vegetation, eventually arriving at a picturesque meadow. Tonight’s camp sits below the first mountain pass on the trek at Llulluchapampa, with beautiful views of Mount Huayanay.
Day 7 – Hike to Phuyupatamarca
After breakfast, hike up to Warmiwañuska pass, the highest point along the Inca Trail at 13,276 feet. From there, descend to the Pacaymayo River to the ruins of Runkurakay and Sayacmarca. Carry on and set up camp near the Phuyupatamarca ruins.
Day 8 – The Gate of the Sun & Machu Picchu
Descend along a dramatic series of stone steps to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna, an Inca site surrounded by tranquil forest. From there, the trail leads to Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, which overlooks the ruins of Machu Picchu. Spend the afternoon exploring and then drive down to spend the night in the town of Aguas Calientes.
Day 9 – Travel to Cusco
Spend a second day exploring terraces and temples of Machu Picchu, and for an additional treat, hike up to the ruins of Huayna Picchu which offers great views over Machu Picchu below. After a full day at the ruins, take the train to back to Cusco—if you got your fill of the ruins yesterday, you can take an earlier train back and explore Cusco’s cobbled streets.
Day 10 – Explore Cusco, Travel to Lake Titicaca
Visit Cusco’s most important sites on a half-day tour of the city, whose colonial legacy largely stands on the ancient stone foundations of the Inca. Visit colonial churches, the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, and the ruins of Puka-Pukara, among others. Though it has grown to accommodate tourism, Cusco remains a cultural treasure. In the afternoon, fly to Juliaca and drive to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
Day 11 – Puno & Lake Titicaca
Sitting high in the Andes at 12,500 feet, surrounded by towering peaks stretching into the distance along the lake, Puno is the gateway to a natural wonderland. Spend the day exploring the colonial town center, or take a tour over to the Sillustani funerary ruins ranged along an outcropping above the lake.
Day 12 – Uros & Taquile Island Tour
Get out on the waters of Lake Titicaca on a full day excursion to Taquile Island. Along the way, visit the floating islands of the Uros, the ancient inhabitants of the lake, which are uniquely woven from buoyant totora reeds. On Taquile Island, learn about traditional textiles and weaving, hike up to an overlook for a delicious lunch and incredible views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Spend the night back in Puno.
Day 13 – Departure
Fly from Juliaca to Lima, connecting to your international flight. It’s time to head home, but the end of this adventure is just the beginning of the next!
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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