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Andean people talk and smiling with chullos and native clothing

Customize your own 2021 Peru tour at no extra charge and depart any day! We are family and small group tour specialists.

Contact us for a custom tour and quote!

Other Inca Trail trips:

Classic Inca Trail – 8 days
Active Inca Trail – 8 days
Ruins and Rainforest – 15 days

Andean man standing on a reed boat on lake titicaca with snow covered moutains in the background

Peru Explorer

21 days
Domestic flights included
Discount for groups

    Looking for something less expensive? Try our Econoclass tour 

Explore Peru on a 21-day tour. Peru has it all, from deserts to high mountains to pristine Amazon rainforest, along with the remains of some of the most fascinating and mysterious cultures anywhere in the world. And our 21-day adventure covers it all. From Lima we fly to Puerto Maldonado and take a dugout canoe to a jungle lodge deep in the tropical rainforest. Then we explore the imperial city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley, trek the Inca trail to Machu Picchu (or spend three more marvelous days in and around the city of Cuzco), cruise across the world’s highest navigable lake, Titicaca and view condors in the Colca Canyon. Then after flying back to Lima we head down the coast to fly over the mysterious Nazca lines.

Day 1: Arrive Lima. City tour today or upon your return.

Day 2-3: Flight to Amazon Lodge. Excursions by boat and on foot to view flora and fauna.

Day 4-5: Flight to Cusco. City and ruins tour, then free day or optional activity.

Day 6: Sacred Valley tour – Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

Day 7-10: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Day 11: Return to Cusco and free time.

Day 12: Journey to Lake Titicaca, visiting Raqchi ruins, Andahuaylillas and the Pukara Museum in route.

Day 13-14: Lake Titicaca islands tour – Amantani, Taquile and the floating islands of Uros.

Day 15: Travel to Colca.

Day 16-17: Colca Canyon tour, Arequipa city tour.

Day 18: Flight to Lima. Free day or city tour.

Day 19-20: Nazca overflight and south coast tour.

Day 21: Departure day.

What’s included in the trip

  • Private airport pick-up at the beginning of trip and drop off at end of the trip
  • Southern Crossings bilingual guide
  • Domestic flights – Lima-Puerto Maldonado, Puerto Maldonado-Cusco, Arequipa-Lima
  • Fourteen nights of 3-star hotel accommodation, three nights of camping (on the Inca Trail), two nights 3-star jungle lodge accommodation, one night simple lodging on Taquile Island (Lake Titicaca)
  • Three-day Amazon rainforest excursion
  • Private two-day guided excursion to the Colca Canyon
  • Four-day Inca Trail excursion- including bilingual guide, cooks, porters, tent, sleeping bag and mat
  • Guided tour between Cusco and Puno, including buffet lunch
  • Private two-day Lake Titicaca excursion
  • All meals while on Inca Trail and at rainforest lodge
  • Nazca Lines tour – including all transport, over flight of the Nazca Lines, and city tour of Ica with bilingual guide
  • The Cuzco Visitor’s Ticket – which includes entrance to the ruins in and around Cuzco and the Sacred Valley, and many churches and museums in Cusco
  • Private Machu Picchu excursion – including bilingual guide, round trip train fare, transportation to/from ruins/Aguas Calientes, and one-day entrance to the Machu Picchu sanctuary including Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain
  • Private Cusco city tour including entrance fees, private vehicle, driver and professional guide
  • Private Lima city tour including entrance fees, private vehicle, driver and professional guide
  • Private Arequipa city tour including entrance fees, private vehicle, driver and professional guide
  • 24-hour customer support line while on tour

What’s not included

International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings and cancellation insurance is advisable.

Detailed trip itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Lima anytime today and private transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good artisan markets and restaurants, and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon. The city tour lets you explore the wonders of the colonial capital, you visit the famous Plaza de Armas, as well as the impressive Cathedral in the Plaza and the beautiful San Francisco church. You also get a chance to take in some beautiful views of the coast at Parque de Amor.

Lima City Tour – Option 2: Larco Museum & Huaca Pucllana (upon request). Let us know if you would prefer this tour over the Cathedral Tour (or both for an extra fee). We could also plan a tour of the Huaca Pucllana at night if you have time in Lima. The site is lit up until midnight and looks amazing! 

The Larco Museum is housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Larco Museum is a stimulating and inspiring space in which visitors can enjoy and learn more about the fascinating history of ancient Peru. The cultures gallery provides a clear and captivating narrative account of more than 5000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Visiting the Larco Museum with their more than 45,000 meticulously catalogued archaeological objects, is a unique experience.

The Archaeological Complex “Huaca Pucllana” was an Administrative and Ceremonial Center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. Located in today’s district of Miraflores the “Huaca Pucllana” was built around 500 AD. “Pucllana” is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima. Based on the “Huaca Pucllanas” architecture and found objects, it is believed that the complex was the heart of development of the “Lima Culture” and served as a ceremonial and administrative center.

If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight, and you’ll have your city tour of Lima upon your return.

Day 2-3

You’re off to the Amazon basin this morning! After a short flight, you arrive in the city of Puerto Maldonado and transfer to a motorized dugout canoe for the trip upriver to the jungle lodge. The cabins at the lodge have modern bathrooms and comfortable beds with mosquito nets, and the food here is great. Take an afternoon walk through the rainforest with an experienced naturalist guide, come back for dinner, then set off again for a nocturnal jungle canoe ride to spot caiman! The next day’s activities will include a visit to an oxbow lake to look for giant river otters, monkeys, macaws and other wildlife as well as jungle walks led by an experienced, English speaking guide. You’ll witness an array of medicinal and otherwise interesting flora and fauna, as well as gain some insight into native Amazonian peoples and traditions.

Day 4

Early rise to catch a canoe back to Puerto Maldonado then a short flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. After checking into your hotel, you´ll set out to explore the incredible capital of the Inca Empire. We head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the cathedral to see the colonial influence in the city, and we can admire the stunning architecture of the church and also the native influences subtly woven in into the artwork. Onwards to Coricancha church, where the colonial and Incan architectures are on display side-by-side directly contrasted with each other. Afterwards we make our way above the city to the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cuzco in the late afternoon.

Day 5

Free day in Cusco there is plenty to do in the Incan capital. There is the opportunity to visit Cusco’s excellent Inca Museum, retrace the steps of the conquistador Pizarro and the Inca rebellion that almost retook Cusco, take walks to little known Inca sites above town, and generally take in the splendor and beauty of this fascinating region. You will spend the night in Cusco.

Day 6

Today we head to the Sacred Valley to visit the ruins and market of Pisac and then Ollantaytambo. Besides the huge and fascinating ruins above the town, Ollantaytambo is the only Inca village still inhabited today. Walk its narrow streets and peer through huge Inca doorways into courtyards where life has changed little in over 500 years. Early to bed, as our trek along the Inca Trail begins tomorrow! (If you’re not into the Inca Trail, there is plenty to do around Cuzco, walking the ancient streets, sampling the many cafes and restaurants, shopping for Andean goods, or trying some other activities such as horseback riding, biking or rafting. Our Cusco representative will be available during your stay and help you plan these activities).

Day 7

Early this morning we start walking the Inca Trail towards Machu Picchu! A morning drive brings us to kilometer 82, start of the world-famous Inca Trail trek. Our first day is an easy one to get acclimated, as we gently climb through Andean valleys to the village of Huayllabamba, making our first camp just above it. Along the entire trek we are well taken care of by our team of porters and cooks, freeing us up to fully enjoy the Inca sites and vistas unfolding before us. Parakeets, bromeliads and the major Inca site of Llactapata are some of today’s highlights. Tonight we camp at Wayllabamba.

Distance to hike 10 km/6m
Estimated hike time 5-7 hrs.
Min altitude 2,680m/8,790ft
Max altitude 3,000m/10,824ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 8

Up up up to Dead Woman’s Pass (Warmiwañusqa) as we pass through several ecological zones and microclimates to the highest point on the Inca Trail. Near the top of the world at 4200 meters (14,000 ft.) the air is thin, but the view is not to be believed. We then continue on to Pacaymayo, tonight’s campsite. On the way we will see more archaeological sites along the trail.

Distance to hike 10 km/6m
Estimated hike time 6-8 hrs.
Min altitude 3,000m/9,840ft
Max altitude 4,200m/13,880ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 9

Today we continue trekking past three of the most beautiful Inca sites anywhere in Peru: Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarca, and Wiñaywayna. We camp at Wiñaywayna or nearby.

Distance to hike 15km/9m.
Estimated hike time 6-8 hrs.
Min altitude 2,700m/8,856ft
Max altitude 3,750m/12,300ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.
Tonight we camp under the Andean sky.

Day 10

A pre-dawn departure brings us to the Gate of the Sun to watch the first rays of sunlight strike the sacred city of Machu Picchu. Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, this historic sanctuary is considered one of the seven man made wonders of the world. After a guided Machu Picchu tour, take your time and enjoy this magnificent place. During peak visiting hours (10-2), try a hike on one of the surrounding Inca trails on Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In the late afternoon we’ll catch a train back to a hot shower and the other comforts of Cusco. Add an extra night and day at Machu Picchu to your itinerary if you wish.

Distance to hike 8 km/5m
plus the distance you hike at Machu Picchu.
Estimated hike time 5-7 hrs.
Min altitude 2,400m/7,872ft
Max altitude 2,700km/8,856ft
Everyone may hike at their own pace.


Day 11

Today we catch the train back to Cusco. We have the remainder of the day in Cusco to visit artisan markets, visit more museums, churches and Inca sites, participate in an optional activity such as horseback riding or mountain biking or just relax with a coffee on a plaza balcony. Overnight in Cusco.

Day 12

This morning we head South to Puno on a guided bus tour. The trip there is beautiful, as we pass by Andean villages, herds of llama and alpaca, and high snowcaps. We stop at the Inca site of Raqchi, the old colonial church at Andahuaylillas and the Pukara Culture Archaeological Museum. We arrive on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake at 12,500 feet above sea level and get to relax before the tour of the lake the following day.

Day 13

Boats are the transport theme today as we head out across the waters of Lake Titicaca. Our first stop is the islands of Uros, completely constructed out of totora reeds and floating on the surface of the lake. We’ll take a walk across the spongy surface of these unique islands and go for a ride in a reed boat before continuing on to the island of Amantani, where we’ll spend the night with a local native family. A soccer game with the locals, an amazing sunset, and a music and dance fiesta in native garb are all on the agenda on the island today. Please note: our Lake Titicaca family stay is a truly authentic experience which includes being cooked for by and dining with the local family and staying in a room at their house. There is often just candlelight, no electricity, and the bathroom is an outhouse. This is a great experience which is the highlight of many people’s trip, but which can certainly be described as “basic” or “roughing it”. If you do not wish to spend the night on the islands, Taquile and the floating Islands can be visited on a day trip instead.

Day 14

The native culture of Taquile is the most intact in probably all of the Andes, with its inhabitants maintaining the same customs and dress as they have for over 1000 years. Taquile Island is famous for its textile art that has been declared a UNESCO masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity. You will truly feel as though you have gone back in time as you walk the ancient stone paths of the island and observe its people. Afternoon boat back to Puno.

Day 15

A morning journey by private transport to Colca Canyon gives us a great opportunity for sightseeing and visiting some nice places on the way. Then we head to our hotel to spend the night and relax.

Day 16

Early morning departure for the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest. Keep a lookout for condors as we skirt the side of the canyon. This area also has some of the most extensive Inca and pre-Inca terracing in all of Peru. In the afternoon there is a chance to soak in the town’s thermal baths before heading to your hotel in the village of Chivay.

Day 17

A morning journey by private transport to Arequipa. Arequipa is a charming colonial city at the foot of El Misti volcano, with the Colca Canyon just a few hours away. On our included city tour, we’ll visit the huge and beautiful Santa Catalina Monastery as well as the Museum of Juanita, the Inca Ice Mummy.

Day 18

This morning we fly back to Lima and have the day there for sightseeing, walking along the ocean, taste tasting Peruvian cuisine or museum-hopping, or an included city tour if you haven’t already had one.

Day 19

Morning departure for Nazca. On the way we’ll visit a wine and pisco vineyard and distillery and go sandboarding and dune-buggying at the Sahara-like oasis of Huacachina!

Day 20

Morning flight over the mysterious Nazca lines. Buckle up and get ready to be amazed as the splendor and magnificent art of the Nazca Lines unfold beneath you. Hundreds of animals, trapezoids and ruler-straight lines lie across the rocky Nazca plateau, clearly seen only from the air. Some say it is an ancient calendar. Others suggest a beacon and runways for alien spacecraft. Still others believe it was just an ancient culture’s way of saying hello to their gods. Perhaps, while soaring over them, you’ll develop a theory of your own. After your flight, we’ll visit an ancient pre-Inca aqueduct as well as workshops for the making of pottery and the processing of gold. You’ll be transferred to the bus station in Nazca for the return journey to Lima and back to the hotel.

Day 21

Departure day. Your international flight may depart anytime today. Private transfer to the international airport included.

Extra Accommodation/Extra Activities

We will gladly arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip. Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, zip lining, surfing and free days to your custom itinerary. If you have any special requests or interests like birding, cooking or crafting that you would like to explore please let us know. Ask about these options and we’d be happy to add them to your quote and itinerary.

Accommodation Upgrades

This tour includes 3-star hotels. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to four- or five-star. If you would like to select a specific hotel let us know your preference. We can then work it into your custom itinerary.

Joining the tour

On all Southern Crossings tours you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard) who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being swindled by airport taxis.

Single Person Supplement

A single person supplement will be added to your quote if you plan to travel alone.

Is this trip for me?

Peru Explorer: is a 21-day tour which includes a four-day moderate trek (optional), no trekking experience is required, but one should be in average physical shape and not suffer from any heart or respiratory conditions. The trip also includes visit to a rain forest lodge, a small plane flight over the Nazca Lines, high-altitude walks of up to 45 minutes and a basic family stay on Lake Titicaca. The rooms with the family are twin-share and very clean, but also very basic, often with no electricity and always with the bathroom outside the house. It is possible to visit the Titicaca Islands on a day trip if you would prefer. The trip also includes some public transport, walking around ruins and during city tours. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and occasional delays of developing-world travel as you explore Peru.

Pre-trip planner

Required documents

Please note: We provide a sleeping bag, foam mat and of course a tent. While hiking the Inca Trail, porters will accompany us to carry most of our things, including all the camping gear. Each passenger is allowed 15 pounds of personal items which will also be carried by the porters. Such items would include warm clothing for camping, toiletries, a book, music or other entertainment, etc. During the day we’ll be using a daypack and will just need to carry water, snacks, rain gear and a layer or two for changing weather conditions. Most people also carry a camera.

All travelers to Peru are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency or a bank statement from the bank or printed off the internet are sufficient for proof of funds.

Required immunizations

Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. The rainforest area of Peru (approx. 3500 ft. and below, east of the Andes) is a malaria and yellow fever zone. The yellow fever vaccination is recommended and travelers may wish to take malaria prophylaxis. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.


Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest and one should always be prepared. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows: Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Arequipa: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are cold in Cusco. Machu Picchu: similar to Cusco, but warmer and with more chance of rain. Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain. Nazca: dry and warm desert climate which can be cold at night. Lake Titicaca: similar to Cusco with stronger sun and colder nights. Amazon basin: hot and humid year-round. We recommend light clothing (in weight and in color) that fully covers arms and legs to avoid mosquito bites.

Money guide

The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol. Automatic cash points are available in Lima and Cuzco. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks are difficult to cash (American Express is best, but you may be charged 5-8% to cash) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring Money Grams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Lima and Cuzco. For currency, U.S. dollars are recommended and most easily exchanged. Please note that cash must be untorn. It can be older looking, but even the slightest tear on an edge will make it unchangeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country. Expect to spend about US$5-12 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru. Artisan market prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters for example can cost between $5 and $30. Currency Converter