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Activities & Transport
- City Tour
- Meet the Locals
- Car with driver
Main travel focus
Rediscover the Adventure of Peru
- Explore the waterfalls of the Nor Yauyos Cochas Scenic Reserve
- Reach the volcanic cones of the Pampachiri Stone forest
- Experience the Apurimac Canyon and the Condors viewpoint of Chonta
- Discover Cusco and Machu Picchu Off-the-beaten-path
Set off on a journey of rediscovering Peru’s southern highlights by driving through hundreds of kilometers of less traveled routes. Connecting Machu Picchu with the best of our country’s hidden jewels: lakes, waterfalls, stone forests, canyons and sacred mountains. Feel the warmth of our most authentic communities, disconnect from modern life and soak in thousands of years of Andean culture! Rediscover Peru in a very new way that you may not have expected.
This route is for anyone who appreciates authenticity. You may not be hiking for hours but you understand that driving is part of the adventure itself. It’s not about reaching a destination but about all you see while driving through a vast and beautiful country. Finally, this is tailored for travelers who are willing to reach the areas of Peru other visitors didn't even know existed.
- Brief presentation prior to departure
- All excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
- Private transport throughout the trip
- All entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary
- English-speaking driver/guide (most probably me!)
- All meals as mentioned in the itinerary
- All accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary
- Services not specified in the program, extras and tips
- Insurance coverage of personal loss, injury, illness or damages incurred during the trip
- Domestic flights
- This is an extremely flexible route in which we can continuously improve our route as we travel because you will always be with me or Diego, my business partner, on route.
Example Trip to customize
Welcome to Lima!
Upon arrival at Lima’s Airport, you will receive a warm welcome by a local guide who will be accompanying you throughout your journey in Peru. You will be escorted to your hotel in the seaside district of Miraflores. Your first day in Peru will be flexible to allow you to relax after your flight and explore Lima at your own pace. Depending on the time of arrival, we have plenty of suggestions for you so you can make the most of your first day in Lima. If you have any further questions regarding the organization of the trip, we remain at your disposal throughout the day.
Picturesque Drive to Nor Yauyos Cochas
On Day 2 you will hit the amazing 300km route that connects Lima and the Nor Yauyos Cochas Reserve, the most authentic and scenic area of the country. A bit down the road is Pachacamac, an old Andean oracle that precedes the Incas’ by over 1000 years. A little further south, a next stop is at Cerro Azul, a picturesque fishing village and beach town. A great place to relax, have a swim or try some surfing. When you reach Lunahuana, food lovers can enjoy delicious river shrimp.
Going onwards, you'll observe how the arid coastal surroundings slowly change into more colourful breathtaking landscapes. Once you’ve entered the reserve, you’ll reach your comfortable hotel in the riverside. If there are still a few good hours of light to spare, you can actually also drive to the first breathtaking lagoon, Pikicocha.
Close to nature at Nor Yauyos Cochas Reserve
If you're looking forward to some hiking, today you'll set off to explore Carhuayno falls, Hualhua lagoon and Vilca, three of the most picturesque spots you’ll see in the country. There is a little known path across emerald lagoons and waterfalls. Having arrived at the Hualhua lagoon, you can enjoy the lovely sceneries and go for a boat row until reaching the next waterfall. Once you have recharged the batteries, we'll set off to Vilca and then to the spectacular Papacocha waterfall, known to the locals as “Love Forest Cascades”. The guide will explain the importance of forest conservation and the harmonious relationship between man and nature in this karkak queñual forest. After enjoying sometime in the area you'll return to your hotel in the late afternoon to have a good rest and prepare for an even more adventurous day.
Impressive Crafts at Mantaro Valley
Setting off on another 200km as we go through pristine high Andean landscapes crossing the highest areas of the Nor Yauyos Cochas Reserve and then slowly descending into the Mantaro Valley. This valley is recognized for its unique artisans. Have you ever observed how your favorite jewels are produced? Each small village in the valley specializes on its own particular type of handcrafts such as silverware, textile, hats and of course “mates burilados” (small carved pumpkins). Having explored the inspiring local crafts, you can continue our trip to reach Pampas. At Pampas you’ll be staying at the Casa Hacienda San Juan, a recently refurbished 19th century country manor which includes a colonial church, extensive lands and plenty of farm animals too. You can enjoy the tranquility of the area for a peaceful end of this exciting day.
Enjoy the silence at Pampas
Early morning is the best time to experience the calmness of San Juan. You can visit the stable and observe the local dairy production or have a walk through the eucalyptus forests or visit the trout farm.
After enjoying an early lunch, you’ll start our next journey to Ayacucho. The drive is approximately 220km of scenic Andean landscape. Upon arriving to Ayacucho you’ll check into our hotel in the city’s Main Square overlooking its colonial church. We'll spend some laid-back time strolling around Ayacucho in the evening.
A glimps of history: Sondor
Prepare for the longest ride throughout the trip, which is definitely worth it. You will need to rise and shine early in the morning to drive 260km to Sondor and Pachuca Lake in Andahuaylas. Sondor is quite a peculiar archaeological site that initially belonged to the Chankas who were the Inca’s most fierce rivals. Here you’ll discover a strategically located pyramid and settlement with outstanding views. You’ll spend some time at Sondor and maybe find a restaurant near Pachuca lake to taste some trout and enjoy the lovely atmosphere. You will need to then continue the drive until reaching the small village of Pampachiri in the Pampas Valley in the late afternoon.
Unique Landscape at Pampachiri
This morning you'll discover Stone Forest of Pampachiri, one of the most bizarre and, at the same time, impressive landscapes you’ll ever see in Peru. Head south along the Pampas Valley, a small but rather steep valley which will be slowly crossed. The country side all around is rural, wild and beautiful. Entering the stone forest area you will be amazed by the bizarre cone-like rocks formed through volcanic activity. The combination of these grey and red cones with the blue skies and the deep green vegetation that grows in the area, make this visit remarkably unique. The journey is well worth the effort once you are here! We’ll have plenty of time to explore this vast area, with the chance of spotting llamas, alpacas and even vicuña herds in the proximity.
Various Adventures en route to Abancay
Today you continue our off-the-beaten path journey, following the Pachachaca river all the way to Abancay. You can stop to have a look at the remains of the Yaca Hacienda, an old colonial country manor that used to produce sugar cane. After crossing Abancay you’ll pass by Sayhuite, an interesting Inca carving that resembles a map, the Apurimac Canyon and the Cconoc water springs. There you’ll be amazed by the crystal-clear pools of spring water. Finally you’ll cross the Apurimac river, the official border between the province of Apurimac and Cusco. You'll continue the journey until you arrive at the country side hotel in Limatambo. In the afternoon, you can drive to the Chonta viewpoint where you can see up to twenty condors. Still, even the general landscape and the snowcapped mountains in the distance are well worth the visit.
Observe Local's Passions at Chinchero
Feeling exhausted already? Don't be. There is still a lot to see in Peru. During your last stride into the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the city of Cusco, we can show you two more spectacular sights. Killarumiyoq (Stone that has a moon in the Quechua language) is a small, less visited Inca Site and has some peculiar carvings including a moon carved in the rock. Chinchero is our next stop: a very friendly town where you will have the chance to visit a textile workshop. Chinchero women are extremely passionate about the textiles and will happily put on an amazing presentation of how they prepare their master pieces using only camelid, sheep wool and natural dyes such as the Urquillos inca trail cochineal, as well as various plants. You will spend the night at a charming Inca village, Ollantaytambo, which you will also be amazed with!
The Sacred Valley at Leisure
It's time for the part of the trip that probably all of you have been impatiently looking forward! You are finally in the Sacred Valley, perhaps the area with most Inca settlements in Peru. Today you have private transport and guide at our disposal. You could personalize your experience by doing whatever you feel like. A good suggestion is to have a look at the Maras Salt flats and the Moray terraces. You could also head to Pisac. Those that prefer a soft adventure could do the Huchuyqosqo trail or the Urquillos hike and experience the unique atmosphere. Let's keep it laid-back today and also simply relax in the nice countryside of Ollantaytambo.
Finally Discovering Machu Picchu
What is a trip to Peru without visiting the most interesting Incan sites yet discovered? Rise early in the morning to beat the crowds to have a look around the Ollantaytambo archaeological site; an impressive Incan complex that protected this area from incursions from the Amazon Basin. Ollantaytambo is one of the best examples of Inca architecture we can see nowadays. Then you need to take the train to Aguas Calientes. The train journey is spectacular itself as you'll be able to appreciate the unique view of the changing landscape from green fields and eucalyptus forests to the lush jungle next to the meandering Urubamba River.
Upon arriving to Aguas Calientes, you’ll take a 20-minutes bus up the steep zigzagging road to Machu Picchu Citadel, located on an impressive mountain setting. Your 2 to 3-hour guided tour helps you explore just about every corner of the famous citadel.
Reaching the Incan Capital
After being astounded by Machu Picchu, prepare to take it further while making your way to Cusco, the old Inca Capital: the final destination of our trip. As you know, Cusco is one of the most interesting cities in Peru and South America. You'll have most of the day to explore the streets, plazas and markets of this UNESCO World Heritage City at your own pace.
Freely Discover the Secrets of Cusco
Today is all about relaxing and enjoying this marvelous city! There are many things to see and do in Cusco. Upon request we have plenty of recommendations and additional activities for you to enjoy such as the Apu Wanakaure horse ride or a day trip to Mauqallaqta.
Time to Say Goodbye
We hope that you have enjoyed your experience throughout Peru, but unfortunately it has come to an end. On your last day you will have enough free time to prepare for your flight and have a last stroll around the inspiring city of Cusco. At the coordinated time, we'll head to Cusco's airport to board your flight to Lima and international connecting flights to your next destination. You will have collected spectacular memories of Peru, f which will definitely make you want to come back. Farewell and adios!