12 Days Peru: Ancient Treasures and Water Adventures

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12 Days

Tour Detail

Set off on a thrilling 12-day exploration of Peru’s core, beginning in Ollantaytambo with a visit to its ancient Inca ruins and a browse through the local craft market. The adventure progresses with aquatic activities on Lake Huaypo and a fascinating exploration of the Moray ruins. Day three brings an E-bike excursion through the Sacred Valley, leading up to the iconic Inca Trail trek towards Machu Picchu. Delve into the marvels of Machu Picchu before heading back to Cusco to discover landmarks like Sacsayhuaman, the city’s rich history, and a culinary class. The ensuing three days promise adrenaline with white-water rafting on the Apurimac River within Granite Canyon, complemented by two nights of camping. After these pulse-racing days, you’ll make your way back to Cusco, then on to Puno to experience the splendors of Lake Titicaca. The journey concludes at the international airport in Juliaca, leaving you with unforgettable memories.


Day 1: Inca ruins and Artisanal Market

Upon arriving at Cusco airport, head to the baggage hall, and your guide will be waiting for you with a sign at the arrivals gate barrier. Before departing for the Sacred Valley of the Incas, take the opportunity to handle any last-minute essentials or currency exchange within the airport. En route, you’ll visit the Awana Kancha camelid farm to witness various members of the camelid family and learn about local weaving techniques. Continuing to Pisac, you can explore the Inca ruins and the vibrant artisanal market, but remember to take it easy during your initial days at high altitudes. After a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, your guide will assist you in checking in at your Sacred Valley hotel.

Awanacancha Alpacas

Day 2: Water Sports at Lake Huaypo and Moray ruins

You’ll visit our Lake Huaypo water sports center, offering Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Sit-On-Top Kayaking against a backdrop of stunning mountain views. Equipped with wetsuits and life jackets, expert guidance, and surrounded by scenic beauty, you’ll paddle across Lake Huaypo, potentially spotting local birdlife like the Andean Flamingo. Afterward, enjoy snacks, hot showers, and a locally sourced lunch. Following this, explore the circular Inca ruins of Moray and the historic salt pans at Salineras before returning to the hotel, making it a day full of adventure and culture.

Day 3: E-biking Adventure Through the Sacred Valley

The E-biking adventure begins just outside Urubamba, with instructions on E-biking and a fleet catering all ages, abilities, and sizes. You will journey through the enchanting Sacred Valley, passing small hamlets and fields of potatoes and giant corn, all while taking in breathtaking views. Crossing the Urubamba river on an old railway bridge, you will transition to a dirt road that was once an Inca trail. The destination is the Inca town of Ollantaytambo, where lunchtime is set at El Albergue farm, offering a traditional Pachamanca feast cooked with hot stones. While the meal is prepared, you can explore the organic farm and visit the Cañazo distillery, and then enjoy the family-style meal under a thatch roof with a picturesque backdrop. In the afternoon, you will explore the Inca town of Ollantaytambo, with an optional visit to its impressive Inca ruins. Finally, you will return to your hotel for the night and rest for your onward journey to Machu Picchu.

Day 4: Inca Trail Journey to Machu Picchu

Begin the day with an early transfer to catch the train to Machu Picchu, you will disembark at km 104 to start your Inca Trail adventure. After exploring the restored Chachabamba ruins, you will ascend through a tropical cloud forest toward Wiñay Wayna’s base, climb ancient Inca stairways and explore terraces and water features. A scenic lunch break provides panoramic views. The trail’s most enchanting section follows, with lush vegetation, wild orchid scents, and colorful tropical songbirds. Reaching Inti Punku, the “Gateway of the Sun,” you step through the ancient stone gateway to reveal the inspiring Machu Picchu. After capturing the moment, you continue and take a bus to Machu Picchu Pueblo for a well-deserved hotel stay and shower. Your overnight luggage will be at your Machu Picchu town hotel.
The total hiking distance covers 11 km.

Day 5: Machu Picchu Explorations

On this day the journey leads you to the magnificent Machu Picchu, a marvel of Inca engineering, rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. Situated atop an inaccessible hill and encircled by towering cliffs and the turbulent Urubamba river, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. A bus ride takes you up to the site, with a recommended 8 am entrance for a relaxed start to your exploration. Enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu’s residential, religious, and agricultural sectors, and consider visiting Wayna Picchu, Huayna Picchu, or Machu Picchu Mountain. In the afternoon, embark on a scenic train ride through the Sacred Valley before the bus transports you back to your hotel, offering moments of reflection and admiration of the stunning landscapes you’ve encountered.

Day 6: Sacsayhuaman, Cusco and Cooking Class

Begin your day with a visit to the impressive Sacsayhuaman ruins, featuring colossal stones and zigzag ramparts with various symbolic interpretations. Descend to San Cristobal church for panoramic views of Cusco and explore the city’s highlights, including the Cathedral and the Qoricancha, the Inca Sun temple. Depending on your preferences, there’s time for market visits, souvenir shopping, or wandering through the artisanal district of San Blas. Conclude your exploration and return to your hotel for a private cooking class featuring a market tour and a two-hour culinary experience.

Day 7: Apurimac Rafting at Granite Canyon, Camp 1

Embark on an exhilarating morning journey as you ascend to a breathtaking 4000-meter pass, offering panoramic views of the majestic Vilcanota mountain range. Your descent will lead to the Apurimac canyon and the charming Huallpachaca community, where skilled guides will prepare the rafts and load them with supplies. Following a safety briefing and white water rafting instruction, you will be set out on the mighty Apurimac, tackling grade II and III rapids as valuable training for the days ahead. As the sun sets behind the canyon walls, you will find yourself at a remote beach, where you’ll set up camp for the night, creating the perfect setting for sharing adventure stories around the campfire.

Day 8: Apurimac Rafting at Granite Canyon, Camp 2

Adventure kicks into high gear as you savor a delightful breakfast on the beach before packing up and loading your gear into the boats. Collaborating with your guide and fellow rafters, you will navigate a safe path through the imposing boulders that line the river, with rapids like Tres Marias and The Gates of Purgatory putting your teamwork to the test. The Apurimac, once sacred to the Incas, is still a river that demands the utmost respect. At the end of an exhilarating and exhausting day, you’ll find yourself on another pristine sandy beach, under a star-studded sky, with the chance to spot Andean foxes or river otters if luck is on your side.

Day 9: Apurimac Rafting at Granite Canyon & Return to Cusco

Your final day, by now you will be experts. With newfound expertise, rapids like Babalua and Last Laugh, which once appeared daunting, now offer pure, adrenaline-pumping exhilaration. As the canyon walls part ways, you will embark on a picturesque drive, offering stunning views of the Salkantay mountain range, leading you back to your hotel for the night.

Day 10: From Cusco to Puno

Your private vehicle will meet you at your hotel and transport you to Cusco bus station. The bus journey from Cusco to Puno includes an English-speaking staff on board the bus, which makes stops at Andahuaylillas, Raqchi, Pukara museum, Abra La Raya, Pukara museum smoother. The journey includes a buffet lunch at Restaurant Turistico La Pascana. You are also entitled to free hot drinks on board the bus. Upon arrival to Puno, a private vehicle will pick you up from the station and transfer you to your hotel for your stay on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Day 11: Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca, a photographer’s paradise, enchants with its crystal-clear waters and clear blue skies. A full-day boat journey on your private fast boat, ensures you explore the region’s wonders in safety and style. You’ll have the opportunity to discover the famous floating reed islands of Uros and delve into the ancient traditions and weavings of Taquille Island at your own pace. A delicious lunch at a local restaurant is included before your return to Puno. Upon reaching Puno’s dock, you’ll be transferred back to your hotel.

Day 12: End of the Adventure

Your guide and transportation will pick you up for your transfer to Juliaca airport. En route, you’ll explore the captivating pre-Inca burial site at Silustani, featuring above-ground tombs in tower-like structures known as ‘chullpas.’ Some of these tombs held entire extended Aymara families, with openings in the buildings facing East, symbolizing the sun’s rebirth by ‘Mother-Earth’ each morning. Set against the backdrop of Lake Umayo’s crystal blue waters, your guide will provide a historical overview and share recent discoveries. Finally, your guide will assist you in airport check-in for your onward flight.

General Information
What’s included?

Ground transportation
Wonder Staff
Some Meals
Digital travel buddy (your online concierge)

Private accommodation in 3 star hotel
Private tents in camping nights

Breakfasts: All
Lunches: 10
Dinners: 2

Private transportation, walking, boat transfers
Staff and Experts
Wonder Staff who will be joining the trip and making logistics smooth
Local guides and experts

Important Reminders
Sustainable Tourism: Help preserve Perú’s natural beauty by practicing responsible and sustainable tourism. Respect the environment, avoid leaving litter, and support local eco-friendly initiatives.

Respect for Local Customs: Embrace the local customs and traditions with an open mind. Show respect for the culture and always ask for permission before taking photographs of individuals or their homes.

Travel Safety: It’s essential to stay vigilant and follow your tour guide’s instructions.