Epic Peru and the land of the Incas
We teamed up with a specialist in Peru to offer a truly unique experience (way more personal than off the shelf trips) yet with the "Outside the Square" camaraderie we all love so much.
Our trip in 2022 was "full on" and we have taken the very best of that trip including Arequipa (the white city) and slowed it down a little for 2025 (2 nights in most places to create what we think will be the best trip ever. With our local guide we will get right off the beaten track in our own transport and at a much more relaxed pace, than many tours.
Peru is famous for its great food, and most meals are included in this trip. Be assured we have sourced some amazing local restaurants and eating experiences for you. No bland hotel buffets here!
Day 1: Arequipa
Arequipa, known as the “White City” due to its construction from stunning local white stone.
You can arrive any time today and we will greet you at the airport and transfer you to our hotel right in the historic centre of town.
If you arrive early the day is free to explore with a map and tips from Richard.
Accommodation: Hotel in heart of the city (2 nights)
Meals: Breakfast and welcome dinner, hosted by Richard
Day 2: Arequipa
Morning is "free time" to explore the delights of Arequipa or have a lie in after your long flight.
In the afternoon and early evening we will visit the wondrous walled city that is the Santa Catalina Convent, before heading to dinner at a typical Picanteria restaurant.
Accommodation: Hotel in heart of the city
Day 3: To Lake Titicaca (5-6hr road trip)
After breakfast we will meet our driver and private minivan (who will be with us for the rest of the trip) and head through some amazing high plateau volcanic scenery towards Puno, a bustling high-altitude port town on the shores of Lake Titicaca. We will arrive around 5pm and there's time for wandering, before dinner at one of Puno’s many awesome novo-andino (New Andean fusion) restaurants.
Accommodation: Well located hotel in Puno (2 nights)
Meals: Breakfast and dinner.
Day 4: Taquile Island on Lake Titicaca
This morning we take to the waters of Lake Titicaca. We’ll stop briefly at the Uros – the famous floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca – but our main destination is Taquile, one of the most fascinating islands in the world. It was isolated until the 1950s and still follows a very different way of life. Decisions are communal, economic activity is co-operative, and society is based on the fundamental Inca principles: "Ama sua, ama llulla, ama quella" (don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t be lazy). There are no cars, few dogs, and little electricity, because the Taquileños want it that way. Taquile is also the most famous textile centre in the Andes. Colourful, storytelling textiles, designed and woven by Taquile’s women from thread spun by its men, draw aficionados and investigators from all over the world to this amazing island. On top of all this, the scenery is stunning and the peace and tranquillity is like nowhere else on Earth. Taquile is just magic.
Accommodation: Hotel in the heart of Puno
Meals: Breakfast and lunch (Lunch on the island)
Day 5: Historic hacienda (Road trip 5-6hr)
Today we'll drive across the world's highest inhabited plain to the village of Raqchi, home to a group of gracious, funny people who will open their homes and lives to you, giving you a unique insight into traditional Andean life.
We stop for lunch mid way at a historic hacienda. Established as a convent in the 18th century, it’s now home to the highest working dairy farm in the world, where we’ll have the opportunity to sample delicious high-altitude cheese and yoghurt.
We arrive at our homestay late afternoon with time to chill before dinner. In the evening we’ll have the privilege of attending a ch’alla (payment to the Earth) – a ceremony of propitiation of Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) held regularly by an ostensibly Catholic community, and a very good example of the paradox at the heart of Andean culture and belief.
Accommodation: Raqchi homestay (1 night)
Meals: All meals included
Day 6: Sacred Valley of the Incas and Pisac (2 nights)
This morning we are introduced to out first major introduction to the Inca empire exploring Raqchi before boarding our minivan and on to the Sacred valley.
On the way we'll visit the church of Andahuaylillas, whose interior is so ornate that it’s known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas. It has to be seen to be believed!
We'll stop for lunch on the way and there will be time after we arrive in Pisac to explore the massive handicraft market, and the small but beautiful botanic garden adjacent to our historic hacienda hotel.
Today is also a great day to sample many local food delicacies as we pass through several towns famed for their regional specialty foods. All this plus still-working Inca terracing, irrigation canals, and awesome mountain vistas.... this is a stunning day that brings us to the Inca heartland.
Accommodation: Historic Hacienda.(2 nights)
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Day 7: Exploring the Inca terraces of Pisac with an (optional hike) back down into the valley.
Pisac is a lovely town to chillout in, great coffee, food, a hippy vibe, today is a catch-up day, there is great shopping, hiking and our accomodation is quite lovely.
Accommodation: Historic Hacienda.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 8: The sacred valley
This morning we’ll explore village life in the tiny hamlet of Lamay. The panadera (baker), the chicha (traditional corn beer) lady, the cuy (guinea pig) man, and the church are the social hubs, and we’ll get to know each of these in between wandering around a typically sleepy Peruvian farming village.
Tonight is our top secrete hotel choice, its cool, its funky, and the food is well, wait and see.
It will be our base for the next 2 nights right in the heart of the sacred valley as we explore this fascinating region.
Accommodation: A surprise (2 nights)
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 9: Urubamba market and valley
From our hotel base in the sacred valley, this morning we will explore Urubamba market, and in the afternoon a scenic valley walk which we make optional so those who want free time can hang out in Urubamba.
Accommodation: A surprise
Meals: Breakfast, and dinner.
Day 10: On towards Machu Picchu
This morning we travel on to the town of Ollantaytambo perhaps the most perfectly preserved of all Inca towns, a maze of cobbled alleyways and sun-drenched plazas presided over by a spectacular, llama-shaped ruin where we head for a guided tour.
There is time to wander around the town, and have some lunch before we catch the afternoon train for a 3hr spectacular ride up to Aguas Calientes, the jumping-off point to visit Machu Picchu. This isolated little town has one of the most beautiful settings you’ll see in Peru, in a jungle gorge by a rushing river.
Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes
Meals: Breakfast and dinner
Day 11: Machu Picchu
We’ll get an early start, so there’s time for our guide to show us around Machu Picchu’s main citadel, as well as a few hidden nooks and crannies, before the crowds arrive. Then there’s time for your own exploration of the massive, still-mysterious site. In the afternoon we get to have a leisurely late lunch and further explore Aquas Callientes or take an afternoon nap, which maybe needed after so much footwork exploring.
Accommodation: Comfortable hotel Aguas Calientes (2 Nights)
Day 12: Onwards to Cusco
After breakfast we take the morning train ride to back to Ollantaytambo, where we re-join our minivan and get to explore some quite wonderful Inca sites including Moray – (a mysterious complex of massive amphitheaters of incredible engineering precision and stern, magnificent beauty) on the way to the old Inca capital Cusco, arriving late afternoon.
Accommodation: Charming Cusco hotel (2 nights)
Meals: Breakfast and lunch somewhere special
Day 13: Cusco
Welcome to Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire.
Today is all about Cusco, our local guide will walk us around the most important historic sites and then there is free time to explore the museums, markets and art galleries, the hardest decision will be which one to pick.
Accommodation: Charming Cusco hotel
Meals: Breakfast and goodbye dinner.
Day 14: Main trip Departure day.
For some this is departure day, and you can pick any departure time and we will transfer you to the airport for your homeward flight. Or extend your stay a few days in this remarkable city.
Most flights will leave in the afternoon for onward connections in Lima.
For those staying on to experience the Amazon, this is a free day to explore, relax, visit museums and churches, get some washing done, or shop. Tomorrow after breakfast we will pack up, and transfer to the airport, for our 1 hr direct flight into the Amazon basin.
Accommodation: Extra night at our Charming Cusco hotel
Day 15: On to the Amazon
Amazon Jungle extension.
The very best of the Tambopata National Reserve – a real jungle expedition that combines unsurpassed wildlife spotting with comfortable accommodations. Three oxbow lakes and the world’s most spectacular parrot clay lick are just the beginning of this unforgettable Amazon adventure
Min 2 guests. Full board. Ask me for further details and itinerary if your interested.
This year’s main trip we start in Arequipa finishing in Cusco. This has been designed especially to help you adjust to altitude. Most tours start in Cusco which at a heady 3399m (11,152 feet) and can cause people discomfort which takes a few days to adjust to when you fly directly in.
This way we adjust more slowly and insure that by the time you reach the sacred valley, you are ready to fully enjoy Cusco and Machu Picchu.
14 Days exploring the sacred valley of the Incas
07 September - 20th September 2025.
Starting in Arequipa (AQP) and departing from Cusco (CUZ)
If extending to see the Amazon, then the trip will finish in Puerto Maldonado (PEM) on the 24th September.
Min 6 Max 14
1 place left for a solo traveller to join.
What’s not included:
Costs estimate for our 2025 trip.
Twin share = USD $3975
Private room = USD $4490
Deposit for the Peru trip is U$1000pp
Solo travellers we will try and match you up with a buddy but if its not possible you will have to pay the single room rate for this trip.
Ask about the Amazon add-on to extend your adventure.
This will add 4 nights onto your trip, one spent in Cusco and 3 nights at our wonderful jungle lodge, from where we explore the rivers and lakes of the Amazon basin.
Cost for the Amazon will be finalised closer to the time but budget around $1000 as a guideline.
Accommodations on our Peru trips are our favourites in each town. In Cusco, Arequipa and Puno we stay in clean, comfortable three-star hotels. In Aguas Calientes, and the sacred valley we stay in quirky, interesting, clean and comfortable lodgings. In Raqchi we stay in humble family homes. Here, conditions are basic and hygiene may not be what you are used to at home, but any slight discomfort you experience will be well compensated for by this incredible insight into a very different way of life.
Due to the nature of Adventure travel and the prices of the resources on which it depends, the published price of any trip is subject to change at any time, before or after booking confirmation, up to 60 days before the departure.
Options and methods of payment.