Cultural Peru Itinerary with Lake Titicaca

14 Days 13 Nights

Itinerary Overview

This exciting 13 – night itinerary includes the bustling capital city of Lima; the southern region of Arequipa that is prime for condor – spotting and has spectacular Andean peaks and canyons; Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site with beautiful Spanish colonial buildings; the Sacred Valley home to Machu Picchu built by in the 15th century for the Inca Emperor, Pachacuti; and Lake Titicaca region which is half in Peru and the other half in Bolivia. You will visit markets, enjoy delicious food and meet local people.

Day 1 Lima

Upon arrival after clearing immigration, you will have a private transfer from the airport to your hotel.

Hotel: B Arts Boutique Hotel
Day 2 Lima

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Experience the capital of Peru through a private tour including the old center of Lima with beautiful decorated squares surrounded by architecture from the colonial age.

Construction for the cathedral began in 1535, the same year the city of Lima was founded.

Throughout the years it withstood various earthquakes and underwent a lot of renovations. It is also where the conqueror Francisco Pizarro is buried. You will also visit its religious museum. Today it stands towering over Lima’s main square and is one the main attraction of the colonial city center.

Larco Museum is located in an 18th century vice-royal mansion, built on a pre-Columbian pyramid of the 17th century. Its new galleries display the best and most complete collection of gold and silver of Peru. This museum showcases remarkable chronological galleries providing an excellent overview on 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. It features the finest gold and silver collection from ancient Peru and the famous erotic archaeological collection, one of the most visited Peruvian tourist attractions.

The construction of the San Francisco Convent began in the mid-sixteenth century. Today, it remains one of the most exceptional legacies of the Vice Royal Period. The monastery has a library that features twenty-five thousand ancient texts, an Islamic inspired dome, carved in wood and, the most chilling aspect, a series of catacombs that have on display the bones of more than twenty-five thousand people.

After being forgotten for a long time, the catacombs were rediscovered in 1943 and some believe they are connected to the city’s cathedral and other churches through a network of underground tunnels. At the time of their construction, the crypts were the burial grounds for members of guilds and brotherhoods. Now visitors can observe them through the floors of the church of San Francisco, held together by nets. The bones are laid out in geometric shapes, especially in mandala patterns, suggesting that whoever placed them favored a metaphysical purpose before a useful one.

Hotel: B Arts Boutique Hotel
Day 3 Lima – Arequipa

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Private transfer from your hotel to the airport in Lima and upon arrival in Arequipa, private transfer to your hotel.

In the afternoon, take a private tour of Arequipa and Santa Catalina Convent. Arequipa is a charming city in the Peruvian Andes. Thanks to its white colonial buildings, Arequipa is also called the ‘White City’. It is the second city in Peru and even has been the country’s capital from 1835 until 1883.

This city tour lasts approximately three hours and begins when your guide picks you up at your hotel in town. Visit the viewpoints of Yanahuara and Carmen Alto, after which you start wandering through the colonial streets. Your guide takes you to San Francisco, Santo Domingo, and the beautiful Monastery of Santa Catalina (entrance of the Santa Catalina Convent is included). The monastery was built in the 16th century and opened to visitors in 1970. Nowadays, it is one of the most important attractions of the city.

Hotel: Cirqa Hotel
Day 4 Arequipa – Colca Valley

After breakfast, set off to the spectacular Colca Valley to travel up the foothills of Chachani Volcano and admire the Misti and Picchu Picchu Volcanoes. Subsequently, cross the vicuña reserve of Pampa Cañahuas, where you can see the smaller version of the llama roaming freely in the Andean highlands.

The next stop is at a restaurant called Chinitos, located at an altitude of 4000 meters. Here, you can drink the traditional ‘Mate de Coca’, helping you to get used to the altitude. Continuing the trip, you make a stop at Toccra Pampa, where you can see llamas, alpacas, and different species of birds near the crater of the Chucura Volcano, to subsequently reach the scenic viewpoint Los Andes in Patapampa (4910 meters). From here, you have a breathtaking view of various volcanoes surrounding Arequipa.

Have lunch in the legendary town of Chivay. Afterwards check into the hotel.

Hotel: Aranwa Pueblito Encantado del Colca
Day 5 Colca Valley – Puno – Titicaca

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Early in the morning, visit the famous viewpoint Cruz del Condor. In the stunning landscape of the canyon, you will have the opportunity to see condors, the impressive Andean birds that are on the brink of extinction and are the symbol of the Andes. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see these majestic birds floating in the air with the Colca Canyon in the background. Before you return to Chivay, you head to the small town of Yanque, to visit its well-kept colonial church. Once back in Chivay, visit Maca, Antahuilque, and Peña Blanca, to enjoy more of this beautiful rural area.

After lunch, travel to Puno located at the banks of Lake Titicaca. This is a four to five hour drive taking you through amazing landscapes. You will take short breaks to stretch your legs and to visit Chinito to admire its lagoon and birds. Around 6pm, you arrive in Puno.

Hotel: Titilaka Hotel
Day 6 Puno

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Below are activities you can pick from to enjoy your stay.

The Aymara Route: The Aymara Route Excursion, spanning a whole day, entails growing acquainted with the geography, neighboring communities, nature, and privileged views of the Chucuito Peninsula and Acora. Delve into pre-Incan times in the legends and stories your guide will offer and learn about Lake Titicaca’s importance in the local worldview and means of subsistence.

Islands of Lake Titicaca: One of the world’s most interesting oddities, the Uros Floating Islands are handmade islands constructed of the totoro reeds that grow abundantly along the lake’s shores. Explore the Uros floating islands and the Island of Taquile on this full-day trip, one of our most popular excursions. Originally constructed as a refuge for the Uros people from warring tribes, the island dwellers never left. They have since developed their own subculture of the Aymara people, in one of the most intriguing environments on earth.

Colonial Temples: The churches display impressive architecture, including gold leaf altars, a technique unique to the time, as well as notable paintings of the Vice Regal Period and large bells which can still be heard to this day. Recently restored, these offer a journey into the past, one you’ll be able to enjoy peacefully, seeing as travelers rarely make it here. On your way back, you’ll see the mysterious Aramu Muru, or Wilka Uta portal, a human-sized rectangular frame carved into a massive red rock, similar to sandstone. The mystical Aramu Muru was previously used as a holy site for rituals to the sun god or Inti during the time of the Incas.

Colla Route: You’ll be able to enjoy views of the area and Bolivia’s impressive Cordillera Real, or Royal Mountain Range. Continue onto the Hilarata Summit, where you will be rewarded with amazing views of Lake Titicaca and the Altiplano below where the Santa Rosa and Thunuhuaya communities are located. Allow Lagoon Chatuma, where locals hold rituals and ceremonies to this day, to surprise you with its beauty.

Birdwatching: Accompanied by a specialized guide, you’ll be led in detecting, identifying, and even mimicking bird songs as you attempt to establish an exchange with native species. As part of your experience, you’ll visit different ecosystems where you’ll be able to find a wide range of local birds. Explore the excellent birdwatching in the conserved protected wetland near the lodge.

Market visit (only Saturdays and Sundays): The people of the Peruvian Altiplano are faithful to many historic traditions, among them, bartering or trading as a main form of payment and commerce. Sunday is host to the trading of agricultural products, with a colorful display of a variety of potatoes, quinoa, chuño, among other local goods not seen elsewhere.

Boat House – Nautical Sports: The first nautical sports facility on Lake Titicaca, the hotel’s boat house offers you the exclusive opportunity to sail at more than 12,000 feet above sea level. Choose among kayaks, Canadian canoes, paddle boards, and sunfish sailboats, or try them all as you explore this wonderful body of water. Experienced Titicaca instructors are at hand to look over your safety and explain navigation procedures before you begin your nautical journey.

Cycling Plateria: Undoubtedly one of the most memorable journeys, cycling through the fields of Platería offers unforgettable scenery as you explore the outdoors under Puno’s blue sky. Crossing varying terrain, you’ll follow rural paths along the lakeshore where you will see locals participating in their daily activities.

Strolling Across the Altiplano: Consider the magnificent views, hues, and impressive Andean geography while you walk along rural paths near Titicaca. Visit a local community and learn more about the traditions and practices of Andean life in the Peruvian Altiplano. Observe local agricultural and fishing practices, an essential part of the daily routine.

Sundowner – Aymara, Constellation Observation: Puno’s clear skies and the Altiplano’s serenity collaborate to make the lake’s environment a perfect place for astrological observation. Layer up before stepping outside to the lodge gardens where your guide will explain the movement of stars and locate constellations such as the Wawawara Hawira, or the Milky Way.

Rafting Through the Reeds: Allow the guides to gently lead you on a raft through masses of Totora reed near the lodge as you learn more about this local hydrophilic plant species. Explore the lake’s ecosystem and learn about the close relationship existing between the peoples inhabiting the lake and its natural resources. Used in a number of ways, Totora reed is part of the local diet as well as a construction material for housing.

EN ROUTE EXCURSIONS: (To and from Juliaca airport)
Sillustani: Perhaps the region’s largest and most important pre-Hispanic funeral ground, the archeological complex of Sillustani provides evidence to the area’s rich past while offering visitors privileged views of Lake Umayo. Host to a number of chullpas, or ancient funerary tower-like structures, built exclusively to house the remains of nobles and distinguished individuals, Sillustani is among the best kept archaeological sites in the area.

Lampa: On the way to or from the airport, stop and see Lampa, a colonial-period architectural gem and previous Spanish colonial stronghold in the area. Known as the ‘Pink City’ for the lively coloration of its town walls, Lampa invites travelers to visit its church, old mansions, and squares. Renown in the region for its architecture, the Lampa Church is the only local temple built exclusively for the use of Spanish landowners. Explore its mysterious catacombs and impressive replica of Michelangelo’s “La Pietá.”

Hotel: Titilaka Hotel
Day 7 Puno - Cusco


Crossing the Andes on the Puno – Cusco is an unforgettable experience all on its own. But doing it aboard the Perurail Titicaca Train will make this a truly once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The Perurail Titicaca Train was created to provide passengers with all the luxuries they could want in a trip, while offering a chance to forge a mystical connection with nature.

The Perurail Titicaca Train features an open-air observatory car, allowing you to take in the majestic views while enjoying the typical music and dances of the Peruvian highlands. During your trip, you will have the chance to take panoramic pictures of some of the quintessential Andean landscapes.

The route covered by the Perurail Titicaca Train is considered by many travel magazines to be one of the most beautiful in the world, with a trip that lasts ten and a half hours. At the start of the journey, passengers are welcomed at the Puno Station, where local musicians will provide background music as you board the train. Once aboard, you can enjoy the two dining cars decorated in the style of the Pullman cars of the 1920s. Also, during the trip, you will enjoy delicious gourmet food. Departures are on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Private transfer from Wanchaq Train Station to your hotel in Cusco.

Hotel: Inkaterra La Casona Hotel
Day 8 Cusco

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Time to explore magical Cusco! This beautiful city has an interesting history, both from Inca and Colonial times. Start this half-day tour at Cusco’s main square, which was called Huacaypata (Warriors Square) by the Incas.

While the guide tells you more about the history of this special place, you can admire the city’s cathedral that was built between 1560 and 1664 with the red granite stones from the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman. The cathedral is without doubt one of the most impressive buildings in Cusco, and not only from the outside: the historical buildings hosts one of the most significant collections of gold and silver work of the colonial period.

Next, continue to Koricancha and the Convent of Santo Domingo. The convent was built on top of the most important Inca temple dedicated to the worship of the sun, with walls covered with gold leaf. Wandering through the streets of what once was the capital of the Inca Empire, you feel like you are traveling through time.

After exploring Cusco, head to the nearby ruins, such as the Sacsayhuaman Fortress with its immense temple walls made out of huge stones constructed in a zigzag pattern; the red fort Puca Pucara; the Qenko Amphitheater, and Tambomachay, the Inca baths. Full of new knowledge about the history of the Incas, return to your hotel in Cusco.

Hotel: Inkaterra La Casona Hotel
Day 9 Cusco – Sacred Valley

Breakfast is at the hotel.

The Sacred Valley, located between Cusco and Machu Picchu, was unquestionably an important area for the Incas. Its agreeable climate and fertile plains create the perfect conditions for growing crops. For the Incas, this region was also on the route to the jungle and had therefore a key role in trading fruits and plants of the tropical lowlands. Today, the Sacred Valley remains a lush agricultural region supplying the city of Cusco with many agricultural products.

With this full-day tour, start the day with visiting the Pisac Andean Market, where thousands of people from the region come to sell and/or buy agricultural products and handicrafts. It is an interesting experience offering you new insights into the cultural of this region.

In the afternoon, visit Ollantaytambo Ruins. These famous ruins are named after Ollanta, a warrior who fell in love with an Inca princess but was not allowed to marry her. One of the best – preserved sites of this area is known as Hanan Huacaypata and is north of the main square. These ruins exist out of elegantly crafted stone walks.

The tour is concluded with a stop at Chinchero, a village specializing in textile products that also has an interesting Inca history. Afterwards, you are brought back to your hotel.

Hotel: Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba Hotel
Day 10 Sacred Valley

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Pick up from your hotel and drive towards Moray. This community is famous for its embedded amphitheater, formed by four circular terraces which seem to disappear into the interior of the Puna like an artificial crater. Evidence seems to suggest that Moray was an important center of Inca agricultural research on crops.

Visit Maras. Its main attraction, apart from its church, that dates from the colonial period, are the salt mines located near the town which captivate sightseers and in particular, photographers.

Hotel: Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba Hotel
Day 11 Urubamba – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Private transfer from Urubamba to the Ollantaytambo Station.

Walk to the train station to board the 360° Machu Picchu Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes.

Experience a unique way to travel to Machu Picchu, exploring the Andean landscape like never before with wider and taller panoramic windows and an observation outdoor carriage including a bar. The only train in Peru with an entertainment app on board which will allow you to learn more about the train journey and the Inca civilization.

Enjoy the appetizing selection of cold and warm drinks, prepared using fruit juices and Andean herbs, and their delicious gourmet and organic delights made with products from the Sacred Valley.

Train time: 7:22am – 8:48am
Train time: 12:36pm – 2 pm

* Luggage allowed: A day backpack with 8 kilos per person. Rest of luggage must be left at your hotel.
* Train schedule subject to availability.
* During the rainy season from January until April 31st the train will leave from Ollantaytambo instead of Poroy. The first part of the trip will be by bus.

Hotel: Sumaq Hotel
Day 12 Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambbo – Cusco

Breakfast is at the hotel.

You will meet your guide in Aguas Calientes, who will then take you to Machu Picchu and give you a guided tour through the archeological site.

Walk to the bus station to take your bus up to Machu Picchu. You will have a shared transfer from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu and from Machu Picchu back to Aguas Calientes.

Machu Pichu was only re-discovered in 1911 by the explorer Hiram Bingham. This citadel is considered to be one of the most extraordinary landscape architectures in the world. Located in an enclave on the saddle of a mountain overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba River in an area of lush tropical forest, it served as a place of worship, a site for star-gazing and a private hacienda of the family of the Inca Pachacutec. It consists of two main areas: one agricultural, formed mainly by mountains and food stores, and the other urban, which is noted for its sacred zone with its temples, squares and royal tombs. The stairways and canals carved out of stone are recurrent throughout this remarkable archaeological site.

Machu Picchu was declared a Peruvian Historical Sanctuary in 1981 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. In 2007, it was chosen as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.

Walk to the train station to board the 360° Machu Picchu train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo

Train time: 4:12pm – 5:40pm.

Train schedule subject to availability.

Private transfer from Ollantaytambo station to Cusco city with your guide.

Hotel: Inkaterra La Casona Hotel
Day 13 Cusco

Breakfast is at the hotel.

You will learn that this ritual is a way to show gratitude for Mother Nature’s abundant gifts and allows you to harmonize with the natural energy that connects all things living on Earth. The ceremony invites the Apus (sacred mountain deities) to help cleanse, balance, and guide us. It involves blowing three coca leaves, or kintus, and making small offerings of Andean food, sweets, herbs, and wool.

Rest of the day is at leisure.

Hotel: Inkaterra La Casona Hotel
Day 14 Cusco – Lima – Departure

Breakfast is at the hotel.

You will have a private transfer from your hotel to the airport in Cusco for your flight to Lima for departure for home or your next destination.