From the floor of the Sacred Valley to the heights of the Andes, Boundless Journeys’ custom tours in Peru combine exciting archaeological sites and magnificent hikes with tropical rainforests and bucket-list dreams.
Discover Peru’s rich blend of Inca and Spanish Colonial architecture, remarkable ruins, and testaments to the sophistication of Inca society, along with colorful markets and friendly people. Hike the ancient Inca Trail, through Intipunku, the Gate of the Sun, and directly into the heart of Machu Picchu. (Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to return at sunrise the next morning—before the crowds—to fully explore Machu Picchu at your own pace.)
Experience another side of Peru on Boundless Journeys’ exploration of the lush forests of the Amazon River Basin. Thatched-roof bungalow accommodations and unusual wildlife—think toucans, tapirs, giant otters, monkeys, and more—complete the jungle experience. Go on a private journey to Tambopata National Reserve in the Amazon River Basin, where a range of land and river excursions can introduce you to the magic of the Southern Amazon rainforest.
Create your own style of trip in a range of intensity levels, and let Boundless Journeys’ expert local guides lead the way as, step by magical step, you experience the very best of Peru.
Based on our years of designing custom tours to Peru, we believe that the combinations below deliver the best experiences in each region. Our Boundless Journeys trip specialists can further customize these options to match the interests of your group, and can mix and match the experiences below. Don't worry: If you don't see what you are looking for, there are many more options to explore! Give us a call at 1-800-941-8010 to start the conversation.
Please note: Inca Trail hiking permits are limited and issued "first come, first served," so you are encouraged to reserve early.
When it comes to describing the Amazon River Basin, it’s probably best to talk numbers. This world of natural and biological wonders covers an area of over 2,600,000 square miles (or approximately 40% of South American), is 4,195 miles long, and has 15,000 tributaries and sub-tributaries, four of which are longer than 1,000 miles.
It’s also home to a staggering variety of flora and fauna, including over 80,000 plant species, 16,000 species of trees, 2,200 species of fish, 1,500 species of birds, 1,400 species of mammals, and 1,000 species of amphibians. There are even 1,300 species of butterflies alone! Truly, this is a nature lover’s paradise.
Experience another side of Peru on this exploration of the lush forests of the Amazon River Basin. Thatched-roof bungalow accommodations and unusual wildlife - think toucans, tapirs, giant otters, monkeys, and more - complete the jungle experience.
Amazon River Basin |
Day 1: Into the Amazon River Basin via a boat ride along the Madre de Dios River, guided trail walk, and twilight river excursionDay 2: Trail walk to Sandoval Lake then board a platform-style boat and ply Oxbow Lake's peaceful waters on the lookout for the rare giant otters, caimans, and other wildlife; canopy walk across towers and suspension bridges to discover the rich forest from another angleDay 3: Riverboat ride to Gamitana Creek; visit to rainforest farm; afternoon at your leisureDay 4: Return by boat to Puerto Maldonado; visit a local butterfly farm; departure in the afternoon
Stunningly situated high in the Andes Mountains and overlooking the Urubamba River valley, Machu Picchu is one of the must-sees on any world traveler’s bucket list. This Incan citadel built in the 15th century and then later abandoned is world-famous for its dry-stone walls made out of cut stone that "fit together without mortar so tightly that its cracks still can’t be penetrated by a knife blade."
The purpose behind its complex of plazas, palaces, temples, and homes that play on astronomical alignments still remains a mystery to scholars, but one thing is known for sure: The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu is truly one of the greatest archaeological wonders on Earth.
Stretching along the Urubamba River, from the Inca citadels of Pisac to Ollantaytambo, is Peru’s spectacular Sacred Valley. Known as "Vilcamayo" to the Incas, the Sacred Valley is home to pre-Colombian ruins, picturesque villages, amazing archaeological sites, huge saltpans, and incredible terraced mountainsides. If that weren’t enough to attract you, its combination of slightly higher temperatures and lower altitudes also makes the Sacred Valley the perfect place to acclimatize to the altitude of the Andes.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was a 15th-century, multi-day pilgrimage and ceremonial route that was re-discovered by Hiram Bingham in the early 1900s. The trail passes a number of Inca archaeological sites on the way, and travelers typically spend a day hiking the final section, which offers dramatic and changing views as you approach the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.
In the heart of the land of the Incas is the city of Cusco (11,150′), whose name is taken from the Quechua word for "naval" or "center". Here, dramatic Spanish colonial architecture blends with solid Inca masonry in a harmony belying the area’s tumultuous history. Beautiful cathedrals abound, often built directly on top of ancient Inca temples. The juxtaposition of pagan and Christian art and architecture is fascinating, and the stonework of the Incas is unsurpassed by that of any other culture.
From Cusco to the gates of Machu Picchu, this private Peru walking and hiking adventure will immerse you in the best of Peru.
Cusco | Sacred Valley | Inca Trail | Machu Picchu
Day 1: Arrival in Cusco; afternoon city tour and exploration of the Sacsayhuaman siteDay 2: Cultural excursion in the village of Chinchero, side trips to Maras to Moray, and arrival in the Sacred ValleyDay 3: Walk to Kiswar Lake for spectacular views of the Sacred Valley; visiting the well-preserved Inca ruins of PisacDay 4: Hike to a nearby mountain village; touring Ollantaytambo, a charming town of cobblestone streets, ingenious aqueducts, and colorful market stalls at the base of an impressive ruin Day 5: The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu; hiking is moderate to challenging (approximately 6 to 7 hours/2,600' elevation gain and loss of 890')Day 6: Sunrise and then full day at Machu Picchu to learn more about the complexities of this mountaintop city, or you may choose to challenge yourself to a final hike up Wayna PicchuDay 7: Morning at leisure in the town of Machu Picchu; Vistadome train to return to Cusco, and departure
Trekking a hidden Inca trail with a small group, past stunning Andean peaks, turquoise glacial lakes, and remote Quechuan settlements; this is Peru at its most authentic.
Day 1: Arrival in Cusco; afternoon city tour Day 2: Tambomachay to Sacsayhuaman; hiking is easy to moderate (approximately 3 to 4 hours/elevation loss of 1,000')Day 3: Walk to Kiswar Lake for spectacular views of the Sacred Valley, then visiting the well-preserved Inca ruins of Pisac; hiking is easy to moderate (approximately 2 to 3 hours)Cultural excursion in the village of Chinchero, side trips to Maras to Moray, and arrival in the Sacred ValleyDay 4: Hike to a nearby mountain village; touring Ollantaytambo, a charming town of cobblestone streets, ingenious aqueducts, and colorful market stalls at the base of an impressive ruin Day 5: (Start of Trek) - Parpishu to Chilipahua; hiking is moderate to challenging (approximately 4 to 5 hours; beginning elevation is 10,000', highest elevation is 12,800')Day 6: Chilipahua to Ancascocha; hiking is challenging (approximately 5 to 6 hours; beginning elevation is 11,500', highest elevation is 14,750')Day 7: Ancascocha to Camicancha; hiking is moderate to challenging (approximately 5 to 6 hours; beginning/highest elevation is 12,700')Day 8: Piscaycucho to Machu Picchu; transfer from Camicancha to hike. Hiking is moderate to challenging (approximately 6 to 7 hours; beginning elevation is 6,259', highest elevation is 8,860')Day 9: Sunrise and then exploration of ruins at Machu Picchu to learn more about the complexities of this mountaintop city, or you may choose to challenge yourself to a final hike up Wayna Picchu; Vistadome return train to CuscoDay 10: Departure from Cusco
When it comes to describing the Amazon River Basin, it's probably best to talk numbers. This world of natural and biological wonders covers an area of over 2,600,000 square miles (or approximately 40% of South American), is 4,195 miles long, and has 15,000 tributaries and sub-tributaries, four of which are longer than 1,000 miles.
It's also home to a staggering variety of flora and fauna, including over 80,000 plant species, 16,000 species of trees, 2,200 species of fish, 1,500 species of birds, 1,400 species of mammals, and 1,000 species of amphibians. There are even 1,300 species of butterflies alone! Truly, this is a nature lover's paradise.
Tambopata National Reserve, Peru
Perched on the banks of the mighty Madre de Dios River in Peru?s Amazon River Basin, Reserva Amazonica Lodge offers individual cabaña style accommodations surrounded by the rainforest and miles of trails. Naturalist guided outings include rainforest walks, boating, and bird watching. Superior river view cabañas offer comfortable beds with canopy mosquito nets, lantern lighting, and screened siesta porch with relaxing hammocks. Luxury suites offer spacious bedrooms and bathrooms. Enjoy extensive spa services, daily tea time, balconies for bird watching and star gazing, and a beautiful central lodge with bar and restaurant featuring authentic, local cuisine.
In the heart of the land of the Incas is the city of Cusco (11,150'), whose name is taken from the Quechua word for "naval" or "center". Here, dramatic Spanish colonial architecture blends with solid Inca masonry in a harmony belying the area's tumultuous history. Beautiful cathedrals abound, often built directly on top of ancient Inca temples. The juxtaposition of pagan and Christian art and architecture is fascinating, and the stonework of the Incas is unsurpassed by that of any other culture.
Belmond Hotel Monasterio, a former monastery and national monument dating from 1592, is a delightful retreat located next to the lively Cusco central square. The property combines centuries-old charm with luxury service, inspired restaurants and boutique rooms and suites all clustered around a tranquil central courtyard. Featuring warm and inviting Spanish colonial décor, rich wood furnishings, antique artwork and architectural quirks, each room is unique, reflecting the monastery’s charm and elegance. Superior and Deluxe Rooms feature king-sized or twin beds, luxurious marble bathrooms, and views across a cloistered courtyard or the cobbled streets of Cusco.
Built to incorporate an early 16th century house, this well-located hotel in the heart of historic Cusco showcases the exceptional style of colonial architecture, and is the perfect base for exploring this historic city and the surrounding area. Featuring colonial architecture, a central courtyard and spacious rooms. Sip a complimentary coca tea in the patio and savor the international fine cuisine of the hotel’s restaurant amidst the fine hospitality of the staff.
Inkaterra La Casona is a an exquisite 16th century colonial manor house meticulously restored into a luxurious and authentic Peruvian hotel, where Spanish design meets local flavors. Centrally located on an Incan settlement near Cuscos main square, its 11 suites surround a sumptuous courtyard, where time is tastefully preserved. Suites feature colonial furnishings and lavish contemporary comforts, with a stone fireplace, large marble bathroom, heated floors among many other amenities, including a spa.
Stunningly situated high in the Andes Mountains and overlooking the Urubamba River valley, Machu Picchu is one of the must-sees on any world traveler's bucket list. This Incan citadel built in the 15th century and then later abandoned is world-famous for its dry-stone walls made out of cut stone that "fit together without mortar so tightly that its cracks still can't be penetrated by a knife blade."
Machu Picchu, Peru
Belmond Sanctuary Lodge is the only hotel located steps away from the ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, offering guests exceptional access from early morning to late afternoon, when most of the day visitors and buses are gone. Savour Peruvian cuisine made with produce grown in the Lodges garden. Each ecologically-friendly offers bright, inviting interiors featuring bold patterns and dark wood, echoing the natural beauty of the lost city. Rooms feature marble bathrooms, some with courtyard patio, and spectacular views across Machu Picchu or panoramic mountain views.
Machu Picchu Pueblo, Peru
This highest rated hotel in the Machu Picchu region (Travel + Leisure, "World’s Best Hotels") offers Andean-style individual bungalows in a quiet riverside spot in the town of Machu Picchu Pueblo. This acclaimed hotel is renowned for its progressive sustainability programs, featuring an impressive tropical garden showcasing a wide variety of native plant species, stone paths, and canals flowing with spring water, creating a special atmosphere. Enjoy the spa services, including a eucalyptus sauna, and excellent restaurant overlooking the rushing Vilcanota River.
Stretching along the Urubamba River, from the Inca citadels of Pisac to Ollantaytambo, is Peru's spectacular Sacred Valley. Known as "Vilcamayo" to the Incas, the Sacred Valley is home to pre-Colombian ruins, picturesque villages, amazing archaeological sites, huge saltpans, and incredible terraced mountainsides. If that weren't enough to attract you, its combination of slightly higher temperatures and lower altitudes also makes the Sacred Valley the perfect place to acclimatize to the altitude of the Andes.
Built in 1810, La Casona de Yucay is located in the heart of the Sacred Valley. The hotel is surrounded by mountains and offers spectacular views, an onsite bar and restaurant, and rooms overlooking the hotel gardens.
This Spanish hacienda-style lodge is located on the site of a restored, 350-year-old monastery in the heart of the Sacred Valley in the foothills of the Andes. The property is an oasis of lush gardens, fruit trees, an inviting courtyard, and quaint chapel. Enjoy local musicians over a cocktail in the lounge before savouring the restaurant’s authentic Peruvian and novoandean cuisine created with native ingredients from the hotel’s gardens and fertile Sacred Valley.
Located in the heart of the Sacred Valley, Sol y Luna is a charming property with a historic feel in a tranquil setting. Its unique collection of villas, or casitas are each uniquely decorated and lively painted by a local artist. The beautifully-landscaped gardens, renowned restaurant, heated pool, and fabulous spa facilities make it the perfect retreat for private groups.
From providing accommodation options based on your budget, to recommendations on pre- or post-tour travels, to assisting you with booking regional air, to meeting you at the airport when you arrive: Boundless Journeys can help you with each step in planning your custom tour. We will seamlessly guide you, so that you can simply relax and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime in Peru.
Peru's geography is as diverse as its culture, with altitudes from sea level to over 22,000 feet. Most of our custom trips begin and end in Cusco, which is situated at 11,150 feet, in the foothills of the Andes, while our walks and hikes will take place at elevations of 8,000 feet to approximately 12,000 feet. There is time to move at a comfortable pace, allowing ourselves to adjust to the mountain air.
The mountainous areas of Peru have pronounced rainy and dry seasons, which are more responsible for the prevailing weather than seasonal temperature fluctuations. While the dry season lasts only from May through September, the most significant rains fall from January through March. Temperatures do not fluctuate as much, although nights do tend to be colder from May through September. Any time of year, dressing in layers is a good strategy, so that you can shed or add layers as the day heats and cools.
You may obtain more detailed weather information at www.weatherbase.com.
Peru is generally delightful for hiking from April through December. We avoid scheduling trips January through March, as this is the height of the rainy season. That being said, the hillsides and valleys tend to be greener in April, May and June. Later in the dry season, the fields turn golden and the campesinos harvest their crops.
In the Amazon River basin, daytime temperatures are fairly consistent year-round, although nighttime temperatures are a bit cooler from May to September. During those same months, the weather is driest, although this is a typical rainforest climate and it is not unusual for it to rain for a part of each day. It is fine to plan a trip at any time of year, although we do suggest avoiding the rainiest months of December through March.
If you are planning to hike along the Inca Trail, It is important to reserve your trip early, as the Peruvian government has a permit system in place which strictly limits the number of hikers on the Inca Trail at any given time. Permits are issued on a first-come, first-served basis, and they can only be confirmed upon receipt of your deposit, as well as informing the government of your passport information to reserve a permit for you.
Now is the time to reserve, if you dream of hiking into Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail. Please contact our office with any questions regarding this.
Reserva Amazonica All excursions from the lodge are guided in small groups by one of Reserva Amazonica's trained professional Explorer Guides in English (other languages available upon request, and may be subject to additional charge). Their knowledge, interpretive skills, and local connections combine to provide understanding, insight, and an enhanced experience of the surrounding environment.
Dinners in Peru feature generous portions of beef, lamb, chicken, or fish, potatoes or rice, and fresh vegetables, such as locally grown avocados, summer squash, and olives. Delicacies such as roast cuy (guinea pig), alpaca, and ceviche (chilled marinated fish) are available on some menus. Breakfast generally features common continental offerings, cereals made from quinoa, as well as scrambled eggs and sausage. Delicious hearty soups are also a staple of Peruvian meals, and are often available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice, though choices tend to be more limited.
Harry was born in a village in the center of the Incas' Sacred Valley and began hiking the Inca Trail and exploring the Vilcabamba region as a young boy. The son of a traveling teacher, Harry had the opportunity to travel extensively through the mountains and villages surrounding Cusco and near Machu Picchu.
Harry started his career as an assistant guide at the age of 13 and went on to earn his degree. In addition to guiding, Harry has worked with NGOs in support of impoverished Andean families, and he has participated in anthropological projects studying the native communities of Central America to assess similarities with his native culture.
Harry's true passion for the cultures of the Andes and his extensive experience make him an ideal companion for exploring the mountains and villages of Peru.
With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.
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