Absolute Peru (Inca Trail)
21 days with G Adventures Rating:
Day 1 Lima
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Lima/Paracas
Enjoy a free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas.
Take the morning to explore more of Lima before journeying down the coast to Paracas. Walk the town’s lively peatonal (pedestrian avenue) and find a café to sample some Peruvian food, such as ceviche or papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a chili cheese sauce). Try your first Pisco sour while staying in Pisco's neighbour of Paracas. (B)
Day 3 Paracas/Nazca
Optional visit to Ballestas Islands before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the Oasis of Huacachina.
There is time in the morning for an optional excursion to the popular Ballestas Islands, an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of birdlife. Pre-book by adding the Ballestas Islands Wildlife Tour on the checkout page or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance. Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica. Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year-round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located around the nearby oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect subjects for photography and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.
Day 4 Nazca/Arequipa
Take a guided tour of the Nazca desert cemetery and potter's studio. Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines before the overnight bus to Arequipa.
Travel south to one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The lines consist of patterns and pictures etched in the ground, crisscrossing a wide area of flat desert. From the ground, we can make out very little, and the best view is from a light aircraft, which can easily be arranged. Opt to pre-book your Flight over Nazca Lines on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance. Remains of the Nazca culture are still visible during our included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla, with 2000-year-old mummies, bones, and pottery on the desert floor. The tour also includes a visit to an artisan’s workshop, where modern masters create Nazca style pottery. Later, board a night bus to Arequipa.
Day 5 Arequipa
Enjoy a free day in Arequipa. Opt for a city tour or visit to the Santa Catalina Monastery.
Explore Arequipa, the 'white city'. Interested in history and architecture? Opt to visit to the Santa Catalina Monastery, offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life. Pre-book by adding the Arequipa City Tour & Santa Catalina Monastery on the checkout page or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance. For those spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa holds a variety of regional food— alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces waiting for you to dig in.
Day 6 Arequipa/Colca Canyon
Travel to Chivay, a village near Colca Canyon, for an optional dip in the thermal baths. Continue on to nearby Colca Canyon for the day, take a guided tour to spot condors.
Travel a rough, rutted road through the Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve. Along the way there are chances to see vicunas, alpacas and llamas. Stop at Mirador de Patapampa lookout, the highest point on the tour at 4,910m with views of nearby volcanoes. (B)
Day 7 Colca Canyon/Puno
Travel by bus to Puno. Arrive with a little time to wander the markets and explore the city.
Climb over the mountains today, descending at Puno, which is on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is also the largest lake in the world above 2000m, and the views from its Islands are stunning.
Day 8 Puno/Lake Titicaca
Enjoy a guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a small village.
Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on the Taquile Islands and stop at a local restaurant to enjoy lunch with spectacular views. After, cruise to another village for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake. This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. (B, D)
Day 9 Lake Titicaca/Puno
Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit to Sillustani burial site.
Leave the homestay families late morning and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is to visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away. Opt to get out on the water today and pre-book the Lake Titicaca Kayaking on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance. (B, L)
Day 10 Puno/Cusco
Hop on the bus for a full day's drive to Cusco.
The trip from Puno to Cusco takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region. Check out a bit of Cusco, find a spot for dinner, or get prepared to head into the Sacred Valley. (B)
Day 11 Cusco
Opt to go mountain biking, whitewater rafting, or relax in a café. Choose to pre-book a Cusco Cooking Class.
Opt to visit and hike the famed Rainbow Mountain, pre-book on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance. (B)
Day 12 Cusco/Ollantaytambo
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op before visiting a local pottery making community. Break for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. After lunch, opt to head out on a hike to the Ollantaytambo storehouses and look out over the ruins. Or, wander around the cobblestone streets and visit a local Chicheria (corn beer bar).
Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs and textiles directly from the women who made them. Have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the G Adventures for Good project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch. Proceeds of this meal go directly back to the remote community. (B, L)
Day 13 Inca Trail
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Ease into the adventure with a straightforward day of hiking the meandering streams, stunning Andean scenery, and ancient Incan ruins.
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata. (B, L, D)
Day 14 Inca Trail
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax. (B, L, D)
Day 15 Inca Trail
Cross two more passes and ruins on today's trek. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through the cloud forest on a gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley. At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft). (B, L, D)
Day 16 Machu Picchu/Cusco
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down for a guided tour of the site and enjoy free time to explore until noon as permitted by the tourist ticket. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows. Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon. (B)
Day 17 Cusco
Enjoy a free day to explore Cusco or relax. Opt to go whitewater rafting, mountain biking or get a massage. (B)
Day 18 Cusco/Tambopata
Fly to Puerto Maldonado and continue by motorized boat to the comfortable and intimate G Lodge Amazon.
Fly to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the lowlands of the Amazon Jungle. After a brief stop in town to store large luggage, drive to the pier and travel by covered motorized boat to the jungle lodge. En route, see birds typical of the river or forest edge. The Tambopata Rainforest Area holds the world record for the most bird sightings in one area. Local community members make up the majority of the lodge staff, including multilingual naturalist guides. Here you have the opportunity to learn from them not only about the area’s rich flora and fauna, but also about their extensive practical uses for medicinal plants and other forest plant resources, through traditional techniques for building, fishing, and hunting. (B, L, D)
Day 19 Tambopata
Enjoy guided excursions by expert naturalists to spot wildlife at nearby oxbow lakes and along jungle trails. Spend some time relaxing in a hammock, enjoying the local swimming hole or visiting a nearby plantation. Go for a caiman-spotting cruise after dinner.
Head out early to catch the jungle at its wildest (and coolest). Walk slowly through the forest searching for wildlife before heading out on an oxbow lake by canoe. Search for anaconda, the elusive giant river otter or black caiman. Even if you don't spot these shy creatures, there are plenty of other birds, interesting plants and other animals to discover. (B, L, D)
Day 20 Tambopata/Lima
Fly back to Lima for an optional final dinner and night out.
Have a final delicious Amazonian breakfast before heading back towards the airport by motorized boat and van. Fly to Lima and opt for a final night out for dinner or Pisco Sours. (B)
Day 21 Lima
Depart at any time. (B)
All This Included
Scan the canopy for wildlife from the comfort of our intimate and exclusive G Lodge Amazon, contemplate mountain vistas or take an optional flight over the Nazca Lines — this epic journey explores the geography, culture, and history of Peru, offering you the perfect blend of guided excursions and free time. Hike the Inca Trail, which rewards those willing to break a sweat with stunning views of ruins, mountainscapes, and cloud forest. And because we run our own treks, we can ensure the fair treatment of our porters and the quality of food, service, and equipment.
Hotels/guesthouses (13 nts)
Arequipa, Peru: Hostal El Solar (or similar)
Chivay, Peru: Casa de Lucila (or similar)
Nazca, Peru: Casa Andina Standard Nazca (or similar)
Paracas, Peru: Hotel Refugio del Pirata (or similar)
Lima, Peru: Hotel Santa Cruz (or similar)
Cusco, Peru: Cusco Plaza II (or similar)
Puno, Peru: Hotel Pukara (or similar)
Ollantaytambo, Peru: Ollantaytambo Lodge (or similar)
G Lodge Amazon (2 nts)
Puerto Maldonado, Peru: Tambopata G Lodge (or similar)
Overnight bus (1 nt)
Homestay (1 nt)
Amantani, Peru: Amantani Homestay (or similar)
Camping (3 nts)
Terms and Conditions
For G Adventures terms and conditions, please click here.
* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.