Think of Peru travel the ancient Incan site of Machu Picchu springs to mind. Like all grand destinations, there is more than one sight to see in Peru. Treks and private custom cultural tours are recommended ways to explore this richly diverse country. Treks bring visitors close to Peru’s storied ruins, cultural landmarks, and varied environments, including the Amazonian rainforest, cloud forests, and high alpine terrain.
A journey to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, in the south-central Cuzco region of Peru is the highlight of any Peruvian adventure. The Sacred Valley includes the vibrant city of Cusco, fascinating salt terraces at Maras, Incan ruins of P’isaq, and the ancient fortress town of Ollyantaytambo. Northwest of Ollyantaytambo is the lauded UNESCO site, Machu Picchu. Other enriching regions include Lake Titicaca, Arequipa and the stunning Colca Canyon. A short flight from either Cusco or Lima brings visitors to Puerto Maldonado, the unofficial Amazonian capital. From Puerto Maldonado, travelers can witness the tributaries of the mighty Amazon by riverboat and enjoy stays at unique eco-lodges within the protected reserve. From Iquitos, visitors embark on specially designed riverboats that explore the river system of the Pacaya Samiria Reserve.
Travel in Peru is year-round. The preferred season is the cooler dry season from April through October. Some rain can be expected from November through March and, most particularly, from late January through March. The Peruvian climate varies between the dryer coast and the Andean foothills and the warm, humid lowlands of the Amazon. Higher mountain areas experience freezing winter temperatures. The majority of the areas visited by travelers are more temperate.
At Exploring Circle, we create itineraries that allow travelers ample time to acclimate to the high-altitude of the Andes as well as take in all the Sacred Valley and Amazon have to offer. Our tours are customizable, with your preferences in lodging and activities taken into consideration. Private tours are partially escorted at major landmarks by experienced English-speaking guides. Major camping equipment is managed by friendly trek guides and porters. Whatever tour you opt for, you can be sure to see an unforgettable side of Peru.
Customized Private Tours Machu Picchu & The Sacred Valley
Customized tours allow you to explore as much of this breathtaking region as possible, with beautiful hand-picked 4-star plus lodging, expert English-speaking guides and comfortable transportation by car, rail and plane. These tours explore the Sacred Valley and the legendary ruins of Machu Picchu and then return to the charming city of Cusco. Along the Sacred Valley, or Urubamba River Valley, special sites include the Incan ruins of P’isaq, ruins at Ollyantaytambo, the weaving village of Chinchero, and fascinating salt terraces at Maras. Optional activities include culinary lessons, horseback riding, ropes courses and zip lining, river rafting and bike riding.
Trekking the Inca Trail & the Sacred Valley of the Incas: 2, 4 & 5 Days
Treks along the Inca Trail allow you to explore this famous trail, once the highway connecting the population centers and fortresses that dotted the Kingdom of the Incas. All treks include a licensed English-speaking guide, experienced porters, chef and staff, an Inca Trail permit, tents and camp pad, maps, facilities, most meals and bus transportation to the ruins at Machu Picchu and entry tickets and one night’s accommodation at Machu Picchu. Walking poles and sleeping bags can be rented for a small fee.
Choose our Discovery 5 day Trek / 10 day Tour for the more leisurely Inca Trail trek with ample time to take in the sites, views and ruins along the way. Expect to camp the first 3 nights and arrive on the 4th afternoon in Machu Picchu with an included overnight stay there at the foot of the ruins. The pace of this tour allows for altitude adjustment pre-trek, and ample time to explore Lima, Cusco and the Sacred Valley in the company of expert guides. Extra services includes some special meals, wine on your trek and even a well-deserved massage!
Our Classic 4 Day Trek / 8 day is for travelers in condition to hike comfortably up to 10 hours daily with breaks along the Inca Trail. This trek includes 2 nights camping and one night’s accommodation at Machu Picchu. The tour services and itinerary included give you time to acclimate to the altitude, explore more of Lima and the Sacred Valley but in a timeframe for busy and active adventurers.
The Short 2 Day Trek is a great add-on to a customized land tour and gives a quick taste of the Inca trail without days of hiking and camping. The hike begins at Kilometer 104 from the Sacred Valley rail line and follows a branch of the Inca Trail for 6 hours until in sight of Machu Picchu from Inti Punku, the Sun Gate. After descending into the Lost City of the Incas, an overnight is spent at Machu Picchu and a dawn visit to the world famous ruins completes an epic journey.
The Peruvian Amazon
Travelers in Peru often include the Amazon in a comprehensive itinerary. The Amazon’s rich environment and mode of exploration stand in sharp contrast to travel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, or the high desert towns of the Andean Altiplano. Puerto Maldonado, the unofficial Amazonian capital, is a quick flight from Lima or Cusco. From here, travelers venture down the tributaries of the Amazon River where eco-lodges flourish in reserves stewarded by conservation organizations working in cooperation with the indigenous tribes of the Amazon.
Eco-lodge visits can be add-ons, as a 3, 4 or 5 day (or longer) programs, to other tours or treks in Peru (as well as an Amazon river or Galapagos Islands Cruise). Exploring Circle works with four of the best lodges and research centers along the Tambopata River, located deep within a long protected area of the Amazonian rainforest. Accommodation ranges from rustic to luxurious. Daily activities include guided rainforest walks, observations at wildlife blinds, small craft river and lake expeditions, canopy towers and walkways, butterfly house tours, cultural visits, and even rope and belay adventures. Wildlife sightings might include lake otters, anacondas, river caymans, tapirs, several species of monkey and a multitude of bird species including parrots, parakeets and even toucans. The elusive jaguar might cross the path of a lucky visitor.