Day 1 Lima
Make your own way to Lima, the ‘City of Kings’, where on arrival we’ll transfer you to your hotel. Founded in 1535 by the Spanish Conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, much of Spain's colonial influence can still be seen in Lima. Beautiful squares, fine churches and mansions have changed little since the 17th century. Must-see sights include the cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the Presidential Palace, which all feature on our included tour. The pre-Inca and Inca artefacts in the city's many museums are also fascinating and you'll have a chance to see them too. Get to know your travelling companions over a drink this evening. Meals included: D
Day 2 Cuzco
It's important to allow your body time to acclimatise to the high altitude in Peru, so we've left today free for you to do just that.Meals included: B
Day 3 Sacred Valley
The Valley of the Incas is awash with intriguing sites and fascinating tales. The colourful Chinchero´s Market is full of shops selling all manner of handicraft items - it's a lovely town with a real local feel and you may choose to spend some time here today.
The impressive Inca ruins of the Ollantaytambo fortress and temple offer an insight into the distinctive Inca building style and also deserve your attention. The site was being built at the time when the Spanish invaded, therefore much of the building was abandoned and remained unfinished.Meals included: B
Day 4 Machu Picchu
The famous ruined city of Machu Picchu was rediscovered by the American, Hiram Bingham, in 1911. Perched above a steep valley, swathed in dense jungle and often referred to as the 'Lost City', this is a truly incredible site. We travel to Machu Picchu by narrow gauge railway and take the bus up to mist-shrouded mountain tops and the captivating ruins. A Local Guide will accompany us and be on hand to answer questions. Wandering around the site and exploring the ruins for yourself is one of the greatest ways to experience Machu Picchu.Meals included: B,L
Day 5 Cuzco
Cuzco, the former Inca capital, features a fascinating combination of Inca and colonial architecture in its mansions, churches and cobbled streets. Discover the city and the surrounding Inca sites, including the mighty ruins of the stone Sacsayhuaman Fortress, on a tour today.
This afternoon we're going to visit a community centre in Ccaccaccollo to learn how the Planeterra weaving co-operative has impacted the village. Very few communities benefit from tourism and this centre helps maintain a traditional way of life, helping bring back weaving traditions whilst supporting small local communities. Today, more than 55 women are part of the association, constantly learning new methods, whilst also maintaining traditional ones. Women involved the project report that all of their children are now able to study at university, and they are the first generation to be completely literate in Spanish. Learn all about weaving and dyeing techniques used to create traditional garments, and afterwards have the opportunity to purchase them.
Day 6 Puno
Today we're going to travel to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. We'll travel through magnificent scenery and make several stops en route. First we'll visit Andahuayluillas, where a beautiful 17th century church contains an organ decorated with angels and cherubs. Next we'll call at the ruins of Racchi, and after an included lunch we'll see the archaeological site of Puca-Pucara, before arriving in Puno.Meals included: B,L
Day 7 Lake Titicaca
We've an early start today, as we make our way to the Uros Islands. Floating on Lake Titicaca, they have been constructed from the totora reed that grows around the edge of the lake. They are home to descendants of the region's native population, and we'll spend some time learning about their day-to-day life before setting sail for Amantani Island.
This permanent island is located 4,150 metres above sea level and its history can be traced back to pre-Incan times. For a truly unforgettable and authentic Peruvian experience, we're going to stay overnight in the homes of local families here. Your host family will welcome you on arrival and after showing you around their home, you'll sit down to lunch with them.
Later, we'll journey to one of island's highest points, an ancient ruin known as the Pachatata ceremonial center, where we'll watch the sun as it sets. We'll then head back to our hosts' homes, where dinner will be served accompanied by traditional music.
Day 8 Lima
After enjoying breakfast with our host families, our explorations of Lake Titicaca's islands continues as we set sail for Taquile Island. Home to a tight-knit community, life here hasn't really changed for more than 1,000 years, and the Taquileños create everything they need themselves, including unique textiles and handicrafts. In fact, UNESCO has even inscribed its textile art on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
We'll spend time with the locals, learning how both the men and women produce woven and knitted items. There's also time to take in exceptional scenery of terraced fields tumbling down to the bright blue waters of the lake and stone paths dating from pre-Hispanic times.
Later we'll return to Puno, where we'll head to a restaurant for dinner. We'll then transfer to the airport for our flight back to Lima.
Day 9 Departure
At the end of your tour, you can join your fellow travellers on a transfer to the airport or make your own arrangements.Meals included: B
Please note: During this tour you will experience altitudes of over 12,000ft and altitude sickness can occur. This should not be a problem, although everyone has to take it easy. If you suffer from high blood pressure or respiratory conditions, or have any other concerns, please consult a doctor before you decide to travel on this holiday.
When you book this tour you are helping us to support a small school in the Chocco rural community, which you will visit during your trip.