Regal mountains loom over a fertile valley that follows an ancient river, a river which whispers colorful stories of Inca glory and downfall when you get close enough to really listen. Farther west lie enigmatic lines that have withstood the test of over 2,000 years, holding the shape of familiar animals and the ever-posing question: How? How was this feat possible with such limited technology? Action and adventure naturally formed part of daily life of past cultures like the Incas and Nazca who navigated stark landscapes with limited gadgets and plenty of ingenuity. With the following sample Peru adventure tour, which offers an uncommon blend of adventure and luxury, you too will be able to experience Peru from a multitude of vantage points and receive a steady dose of adrenaline as you go! Uncover your hidden Indiana Jones on this action-packed, customized adventure tour of Peru.
- Fly over the southern coastal desert to personally witness a coveted national treasure and international unsolved mystery from above: The Nazca Lines.
- Whiz through rolling sand dunes near Ica’s Huacachina oasis on a motorized buggy, and try your hand at navigating the dunes on your own sandboard.
- Come up close and personal with Peru’s famous camelid family of alpacas, llamas, guanacos, and the ever-elusive vicuña.
- Meet some new four-legged friends as you horseback your way to experience Cusco from a slightly higher vantage point.
- Arrive at the impressive terraced salt flats of Maras by bike, where local residents will welcome you in for a hearty meal and well-deserved re-fueling.
- Travel by ATV through mountainous terrain and local farming communities. Follow a path that will eventually lead you to the famed ruins of Inca Huayna Capac’s palace and a refreshing glass of the traditional maize beer called chicha de jora.
- Scale 400 meters up the jagged rock face on what is known as the Via Ferrata, to arrive to your not-so-typical accommodation at the Sky Lodge capsules clinging to the cliff; sleep as the condors do, becoming one with the stars and the sky.
- Zip line down from the Sky Lodge to engage with a local weaving community and paddle board into the sunset on Piuray Lake.
- Spend a day on the coveted Inca Trail which will take you through the mysterious cloud forest, home to regal orchids, leading you straight to the Incan masterpiece of Machu Picchu whose beauty, elegance, purpose, and engineering has confounded historians for decades.
- Experience the mighty force of the Vilcanota River as class II-IV rapids carry your raft through the breathtaking scenery of Cusco’s southern valley.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Arrival in Lima – Welcome to Peru!
Day 2: Lima to Paracas – Nazca Lines / Afternoon in Paracas
Day 3: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Paracas – Ballestas Islands / Paracas National Reserve
Day 4: Lima to the Sacred Valley – Sacred Valley / Awanakancha Living Museum
Day 5: Engaging with the Sacred Valley – Bicycle Tour to Moray and Maras
Day 6: Spend a Night in the Sky – ATV (Half Day) / Via Ferrata / Sky Lodge
Day 7: Chinchero in the Sacred Valley – Ziplining in The Sacred Valley / Weaving tutorial in Piuray Lake
Day 8: The Lost City of the Incas: Machu Picchu – One-day Inca Trail Trek / Machu Picchu
Day 9: Machu Picchu on Your Own Terms – Private Tour of Machu Picchu / Climb to Huayna Picchu
Day 10: Touring Cusco – Private Tour of Cusco and the Surrounding Inca Ruins / Andean Horseback Riding Around Cusco
Day 11: Peru’s White Water – River Rafting in the Southern Valley
Day 12: Cusco to Lima to Home – Return Home
DAY 1: Arrival in Lima
Welcome to Peru!
You will find us waiting for you when your international flight arrives in Lima. Look for the Kuoda sign with your name and the smile. We will escort your hotel and check you in. You’ll then be able to rinse away the feeling of a long flight and enjoy a good night’s rest before you begin the first day of your Peru adventure tour!
DAY 2: Lima to Paracas
Nazca Lines / Afternoon in Paracas
It will be an early start today as your guide and private driver will meet you at your hotel and whisk you through the arid countryside by car. Take in the barren beauty of this region of Peru as you head towards Pisco – not to be confused with the popular Peruvian libation!
You’ll arrive at the Pisco aerodrome to board a small plane and as the land swiftly drops away, you’ll begin to see a network of lines in the sand. Soon, they’ll resolve themselves into the forms of familiar plants and animals. Watch out for a monkey, a hummingbird, a condor, and an especially strange creature appropriately known as “the Spaceman”!
After taking in one of the world’s greatest archeological mysteries, you’ll touch back down to earth and have time to digest all of the theories that attempt to explain its existence. Your guide will recommend a good restaurant for your lunch and the afternoon is yours to spend as you please, relaxing in your hotel or on the beach.
DAY 3: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Paracas
Ballestas Islands / Paracas National Reserve
You have a date with Peru’s coastal wildlife this morning: At the Paracas Peninsula harbor you will board a speedboat and enjoy a scenic ride to the famous Ballestas islands.
Here, the cold plankton-rich Humboldt Current meets warmer tropical waters, creating ideal feeding grounds for a host of wildlife. As you speed toward the islands, you’ll see the mysterious ancient earthwork – the Candelabro. Shortly, the Ballestas Islands will appear, hollowed out by years of surf and wind. You won’t be able to leave the boats, lest you disturb the wildlife in this special place, but you will see sea lions basking on the shore, and a variety of sea birds, including Humboldt penguins.
After lunch, your guide and driver will pick you up for a drive into Ica, the Pisco and wine-making capital of the region! Visit the city center and some of the vineyards to see how Peru’s signature drink is made.
The afternoon spells adventure as you strap into dune buggies. Watch the sand fly as you zoom around these beautiful, giant sand dunes. You’ll have the opportunity to give sand-boarding a go too! This evening you’ll return to Lima via the Pan-American Highway, witnessing the coastal desert morph into the cosmopolitan high-rises of Miraflores.
DAY 4: Lima to the Sacred Valley
Sacred Valley / Awanakancha Living Museum
You will wake up refreshed and enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast in the hotel before we escort you to the airport for your morning flight to the capital of the former Incan Empire – Cusco! Watch from the windows as the desert coast rises into the snow-capped peaks of the Andes!
We will be waiting for you when touch down at our small Andean airport. Then, before you can even feel the altitude, we’ll take you into the Sacred Valley straight away.
Just 45 minutes outside of Cusco, true Peruvian countryside will stretch away on either side of you, cows and sheep grazing tranquilly road-side. Impossibly steep peaks rise in the distance. Your journey will take you to the Living Museum of Awanakancha, where you will see traditional weavers at work and come face-to-face with llamas, alpacas and other Andean camelids such as the ever elusive wild vicuña!
DAY 5: Engaging with the Sacred Valley
Bicycle Tour to Moray and Maras
After picking you up from your hotel this morning we will transfer you to Cruzpata on Maras’s plateau, where you will start your mountain bike adventure on quiet routes off the beaten tourist track. You will enjoy breathtaking views of impressive Andean peaks and a multitude of diverse cactus plants. You will also have a chance to interact with Andean villagers on their daily activities, and to choose an optional visit to the Inca experimental agricultural terraces of Moray.
After a picnic lunch, you will proceed on a dirt road to Maras, where you will stop and visit the Salt mines created by an ancient ocean. Here, you can purchase some of the world’s most pure pink salt which grows in caverns amongst rose quartz crystal.
DAY 6: Spend a Night in the Sky
ATV (Half Day) / Via Ferrata / Sky Lodge
Get ready for the “Fast and Furious” this morning, Peru-style. Atop a four-wheeled chariot you will pass the Pumahuanca gorge and cross the farming communities of Rumichaca, Palcaraqui, and Pumahuanca. Accompanied by scenic vistas, passing through native flora, you will continue along to Chicón gorge from which you can see mountains and glaciers. The route eventually takes you on to the archaeological ruins of the palace of Huayna Capac and the traditional community of Chichubamba, known for its chicherías where they brew maize beer called chicha de jora.
After lunch, you will continue the adventure and enjoy an unparalleled mountain climbing experience – appropriate even for those with little to no experience. You will climb a vertical distance of 400 meters on a sheer rock face using what is called a Via Ferrata. Via a system of metal rungs, harnesses, and carabineers you’ll arrive to your final destination: the curious cliff-side capsules of the Skylodge Adventure Suite!
DAY 7: Chinchero in the Sacred Valley
Ziplining in The Sacred Valley / Weaving tutorial in Piuray Lake
Take your breakfast from a spectacular height at the Sky lodge Suite or Platform, then swiftly descend the mountain, slicing the air as you go, using six different Zipwires.
After lunch at a lovely restaurant near Pachar in the Sacred Valley, we will take you to visit our friends in a small Sacred Valley village. Surrounded by towering mountains and hugging the shore of the striking blue Lake Piuray, agriculture dominates life in this close-knit place. The women of the village are weaving masters, who use Incan techniques, materials and patterns. They will happily explain their craft to you, before making the journey back to your hotel.
DAY 8: The Lost City of the Incas: Machu Picchu
One-day Inca Trail Trek / Machu Picchu
After a hearty breakfast, we’ll take the train from Ollantaytambo to kilometer 104 of the Inca Trail. From here, you and your knowledgeable guide will walk the lovely uphill path to the ruins of Wiñaywayna. As you walk, your guide will point out orchids and other jungle plants, the Urubamba River will rush below you and you’ll marvel at the Inca’s strength and ingenuity. When you reach the ruins, you’ll rest, explore and enjoy a delicious al fresco lunch.
Then you’ll hit the trail once again. A walk of approximately two hours brings you to the famous Sun Gate. You’ll approach this stone construction, catch your breath and then lose it again as you see Machu Picchu, nestled and hidden between steep peaks below your gaze.
You’ll tread in the footsteps of the Incas as you descend over ancient paving stones to the city. You’ll take in the perfection of the stone construction and the audacious buildings in this stunning location before heading to your hotel.
DAY 9: Machu Picchu on Your Own Terms
Private Tour of Machu Picchu / Climb to Huayna Picchu
You’ll enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel before meeting your guide for your visit to Machu Picchu. Your expert guide will give you a private tour of the ancient city and also will accompany you on a climb to Huayna Picchu, where you will be privy to an extraordinary viewpoint of the world wonder. After lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, you can re-enter with your guide or explore Machu Picchu on your own.
At the end of the day, you will travel by train back to Cusco. Enjoy the scenery of Peru’s Sacred Valley and the relaxation of train travel; not to mention a complementary fashion show! We will meet you at the station upon arrival and escort you to your hotel.
DAY 10: Touring Cusco
Private Tour of Cusco and the Surrounding Inca Ruins / Andean Horseback Riding Around Cusco
From the Santo Domingo monastery, built on top of the ancient Inca temple of the sun, to the fascinating Pre-Columbian Art Museum, you will learn about the astonishing mix that is Cusco. You will visit beautiful Bohemian San Blas, see where the locals shop at the open-air San Pedro market and pass the famous 12-angled Inca stone that has become the brand symbol for Cusqueña beer.
In the afternoon, you will meet some new four-legged friends to see Cusco from a slightly higher vantage point. The horseback ride lasts two and a half hours, and will take you through fields, Andean-style villages and views of Inca sites and vestiges. You will enjoy a wonderful view of Cusco City on your way to the Temple of the Moon, where you will leave your horses and drive back to Cusco and to your hotel.
DAY 11: Peru’s White Water
River Rafting in the Southern Valley
Wake up with a gleam in your eye for this last day of adventure that lies before you! After breakfast, you will be whisked away to the countryside of the Southern Valley. You’ll pass fields with grazing cows and sheep, tended by women in traditional full skirts and braids, adobe houses and colonial churches.
After ninety minutes, you’ll arrive in the small town of Chuquicahuana, where the guides will pump up the raft and give you gear and a safety briefing. And then it’s to the water! You’ll spend 2-3 hours negotiating the Vilcanota River and taking in the stunning scenery – dry mountains, green fields, small farmsteads, and incredibly big blue sky. You’ll even take on class II to class IV rapids!
DAY 12: Cusco to Lima to Home
This morning we will collect you from you hotel and take you to the airport for your return flight to Lima. Our host will be waiting for you and will escort you to the Miraflores district, where you will have some free time for the afternoon. Overlooking the Pacific, this modern district of Lima is incredibly hip. Catch some wind on a paragliding tour of the seaside cliffs of the green coast! You can enjoy the same seaside parks and boutiques that you saw from up above and enjoy delicious criolla food like fresh, citrusy ceviche or causa, an incredible combination of spicy mashed potatoes and creamy seafood filing!
As the adventure and action come to a final close, we will bring you back to the Lima airport for your journey home. We will help you to check in and wish you “buen viaje!”
Has this sample itinerary got you itching to take off? Contact a Kuoda travel designer to start planning your customized adventure tour of Peru.
Like the sound of this Peru Adventure tour? Get in touch with Kuoda and we’ll start devising your very own customized Peru private travel experience.
- Navigate an eclectic Cusquenian market for the freshest ingredients before heading the kitchen to learn first-hand some of the adventurous techniques of Peruvian chefs
- Take to the waves and surf some ideal spots in Lima, such as Punta Hermosa known for its sick swell and waves that have made the career of some champion surfers such as Sofia Mulanovich.
- Get in touch with your spiritual side and engage in a coca reading with an experienced Peruvian shaman, who will teach you about the powerful energy and workings of Pachamama, or Mother Earth.
- Participate in the making of a traditional Peruvian barbecue called Pachamanca, where the food is prepared and cooked using hot stones in an earthen oven.
- Trek to the stunning archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo (Little Cusco) north of Cusco and above the town of Lamay. Huchuy Qosqo is believed to have been an important agricultural center for the Sacred Valley in the time of the Incas, and may have been a hideout for one of the first Incan emperors escaping persecution. End your trek in Lamay and experience the intense flavor of chewy “cuy” – guinea pig – if you dare!
- Personalized itinerary planning: Work with a Kuoda Travel Designer to create the trip of your dreams.
- Kuoda hosts take the hassle out of traveling. They’ll be there to assist you – whether with luggage, check in, transport or translating – at every destination during your private tour of Peru.
- Got a question or query? Kuoda operate a 24-hour, seven day a week customer service operation and can provide updates and assistance whenever you need it.
- With Kuoda, you’ll never be bundled in with big groups; each visit, activity, tour and experience will be completely private and conducted by your very own expert, English-speaking guide.
- Our private tours of Peru are fully flexible, which means we can modify them to suit your travel mood. So if you want to cut an activity or add on a new one, just say the word!
- All necessary adventure and trekking equipment will be provided so all you need bring is yourself.
- Receive a customized Kuoda Travel kit upon arrival.
Our staff handpicks the best hotels in the country to ensure you get comfort and character.
Take a look to our recommendations and let us know if you’d like to incorporate one or a few in to your next trip
This sample itinerary is an exemplary way for any adventure seeking traveler to experience the best of the Andes! This Peru Adventure Itinerary will serve as the perfect inspiration for you!
Please know we will work with you to change or modify these tours however you deem necessary – all Kuoda itineraries are crafted just for you, built to suit your individual interests and schedules. Interested in customizing this particular itinerary?
The price will be based on final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.
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