Grand Tour of Peru: Machu Picchu to Lake Titicaca

13 days
Travel from the Amazon rainforest to plateaus high in the Andes. See Spain’s colonial influences in Lima and Cuzco, then walk in the footsteps of the ancient Incas in the Sacred Valley and at Machu Picchu. Get up close to indigenous cultures to discover the traces of pre-Columbian civilizations. You’ll see a country filled with boundless wonder on this sweeping tour of Peru.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Tour group size: 15 - 35 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 3 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including rocky ground and unpaved or slippery trails, at high altitudes.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 6 lunches, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Lima 2 nights Hotel info

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Board your flight to Peru and arrive in Lima later this evening.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Lima

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Set out on a guided tour highlighting the Peruvian capital’s modern and UNESCO-recognized colonial quarters.

• Visit the Miraflores district and the Parque del Amor

• Stop in the San Isidro District to visit Huaca Huallamarca temple and its museum

• View Plaza Mayor and the Municipal Palace in Lima’s historic center

• Enter the Cathedral of Lima and descend into the catacombs below the Church of San Francisco 

Later, gather with your fellow travelers for tonight’s welcome dinner.

Puerto Maldonado 2 nights Hotel info

Day 3: Transfer to Puerto Maldonado

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel to Lima airport for your morning flight to Puerto Maldonado. After landing, hop aboard a boat and cruise down the Madre de Dios River to the rainforest lodge.

• Head out on a guided twilight river expedition to catch sight of wildlife in the Amazon and hear about their nocturnal behaviors

• Learn about constellations in the southern skies, like Carina and the Southern Cross, and spot the stars on a clear night

Day 4: Lake Sandoval & Amazon rainforest excursion

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Discover the beauty of the Amazon rainforest on several guided excursions. 

• Begin with a short boat ride to the Lake Sandoval region, then follow jungle paths on a walk through the rainforest 

• Board a canoe to explore the marshlands around Lake Sandoval and admire the region’s unique flora and fauna from the water  

• Traverse the treetops on a canopy walk, crossing seven bridges suspended high above the rainforest floor, catching sight of native birds along the way

• Explore the Amazon by night and keep a lookout for nocturnal wildlife

Cuzco 1 night Hotel info

Day 5: Transfer to Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast

Board a boat back to the town Puerto Maldonado, then transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuzco. When you arrive, spend free time acclimating to the city’s altitude.

Sacred Valley 2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Cuzco & Ollantaytambo

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Join a local guide on today’s tour of Cuzco, the UNESCO-recognized ancient capital of the Inca Empire. 

• Stroll through ruins at Kenko, the “red fortress” of Puca Pucara and Sacsayhuaman, which was once completely covered in gold 

• Admire La Merced Church, Plaza de Armas and the Convent of Santo Domingo, built by  the Spaniards where the Inca temple of Quirikancha stood 

Travel to the ancient Ollantaytambo ruins, site of the former royal estate of Inca Emperor Pachacuti, to explore homes, terraces and temples within the fortress walls.

Day 7: Free day in the Sacred Valley

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a full free day in the Sacred Valley or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Chinchero Market & Misminay Community $85pp* Details

Begin in the town of Chinchero, nicknamed the “birthplace of the rainbow” by the Incas, to visit one of the most ancient and traditional markets in the Sacred Valley. Take time to explore the colorful stalls and shop for traditional wares before continuing on to Misminay Village. There, you’ll meet with locals to learn about their daily life and traditional Quechua culture and enjoy lunch in the village.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $95)

Machu Picchu Region 1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Machu Picchu via Aguas Calientes

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel by train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. You’ll uncover the lost city of the Incas, one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the entire South American continent and a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

• Tour the ruins of the ceremonial center, cultivation terraces and guard house

• Visit Funeral Rock, the Main Temple, Temple of the Three Windows, Chamber of Ornaments, the Sacred Plaza and Intihuatana stone 

• Choose to hike to the Temple of the Sun or continue exploring the ruins on your own

Cuzco 1 night Hotel info

Day 9: Transfer to Cuzco

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Spend a free morning in Aguas Calientes or add an excursion. 

Later, enjoy a scenic train ride back to Cuzco through the Sacred Valley.

Optional Excursion - Machu Picchu: Return Visit $89pp* Details

After experiencing Machu Picchu for the first time with your tour group, take the opportunity to continue exploring the Lost City of the Incas on your own the next morning. The Peruvian government only allows select visitors into Machu Picchu each day, but purchasing your return ticket in advance from Go Ahead will guarantee you reentrance to the site any time after 6 am on the day of your excursion. Please note: It’s possible to purchase return tickets to Machu Picchu directly from the Peruvian government while on tour, but tickets are limited in availability, and you may experience long wait times. The only way to guarantee reentrance to Machu Picchu is by purchasing your tickets in advance. Due to limited quantities, we require at least 45 days advance notice to obtain tickets on your behalf.

Must be booked 45 days before departure

Lake Titicaca 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Lake Titicaca via Raqchi ruins

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Journey to Puno, a town along the shores of Lake Titicaca, stopping to explore the ruins at Raqchi en route. 

• Visit San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, nicknamed “the Sistine Chapel of the Andes,” to admire the church’s ornate frescoes and whitewashed exterior 

• Follow a local guide through the Incan ruins at Raqchi and marvel at still-standing walls of the Temple of Wiracocha 

• Take in stunning views at La Raya Pass, high up in the Andes mountains

Day 11: Uros & Taquile Island

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cruise on Lake Titicaca, and marvel at the unique “floating islands” created by indigenous communities. 

• Stop at the Uros islands, built from dried totora reeds floating on the water, to see how the Uru people have lived on the lake for centuries  

• Continue to Taquile Island on the Bolivian side of Lake Titicaca, where you’ll enjoy a walk followed by lunch overlooking the Andes

Day 12: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast

This morning, discover the tower-like tombs at Sillustani, a pre-Incan burial ground along Lake Umayo. Transfer to Juliaca Airport for your flight to Lima, where you’ll board your overnight flight home. Or, extend your tour and continue on to Bolivia.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 13: Travel day

Arrive home today.

Add Bolivia Starting from $1,299 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Named after Latin American liberation hero Simón Bolívar, Bolivia is a country of superlatives. La Paz, the “city that touches the clouds,” is the highest-altitude capital in the world. Surreal natural wonders, from the mirrored salt flats to the Moon Valley, are like no other place on earth. Once-great empires laid roots here, leaving traces of civilizations sophisticated beyond their time.

Copacabana 2 nights Hotel info

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Copacabana

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Travel along Lake Titicaca, crossing the Bolivian border to Copacabana. When you arrive, get to know the city on a guided sightseeing tour. 

• Take in views of Lake Titicaca and Isla del Sol, one of the lake’s many islands

• Pass the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana, a 16th-century shrine that’s home to an image of the Virgen de Copacabana, Bolivia’s patron saint 

• Wander the stall-lined corridors of the central market, admiring the colorful wares sold by vendors

Day 13: Isla del Sol

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Cruise on Lake Titicaca to Isla del Sol, where you’ll explore the pre-Incan ruins of Pilko Kaina and Chincana.

La Paz 1 night Hotel info

Day 14: Transfer to La Paz

  Included meals: Breakfast

Drive across the Altiplano, the second-largest plateau in the world, on your way to La Paz, the de facto capital of Bolivia. Take the evening to get acclimated to the high altitude and discover “the city that touches the clouds” at your own pace.

Uyuni 1 night Hotel info

Day 15: Salar de Uyuni

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a short flight to Uyuni set out for a guided tour of the Salar de Uyuni, or salt flats, a surreal landscape created by the evaporation of prehistoric lakes. 

• Visit the Cementerio de Trenes, where a collection of discarded steam trains were left in the desert

• Stop in the town of Colchani to learn about salt processing and extraction 

• Enjoy a picnic lunch before visiting Isla Incahuasi and Isla del Pescado, two rocky outcroppings in the salt flats where cacti grow

La Paz 1 night Hotel info

Day 16: Sightseeing tour of La Paz

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

After your morning flight to La Paz, take a guided tour of the city with your Tour Director leading the way. 

• Stroll through La Paz’s colonial center, passing Plaza Murillo and the Basilica of San Francisco, a Baroque Mestizo-style church dating back to the 1500s 

• See a replica of the Tiwanaku Temple, a pre-Columbian ruin in central Bolivia 

• Admire the colorful goods and traditional crafts sold from street market stalls 

• Visit Moon Valley, an otherworldly landscape of tall spires created by erosion

Day 17: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Lima, Peru
  • Puerto Maldonado, Peru
  • Cusco, Peru
  • Sacred Valley, Peru
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

• In order to enter Peru (and Bolivia on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. 

• We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.

• Upon arrival in Peru, you will receive an Andean Immigration card which you will need to present when visiting Machu Picchu.

• There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens to enter Peru. 

• A visa is required for U.S. and Canadian citizens to enter Bolivia on the tour extension. You may choose to obtain your individual visa by applying directly to the Bolivian consulate or by using a visa provider, such as our partner company, VisaCentral. 

• If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements. 

Tour pace

• You will walk for about 3 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including rocky ground and unpaved or slippery trails, at high altitudes.

• Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.

• You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times, as well as getting in and out of trains and boats.

• If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team at 1.800.597.0350.

Transportation & arrival information

• Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead arrive and depart from Lima, Peru (or La Paz, Bolivia for the tour extension). A Go Ahead representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. 

• Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead for an additional cost.

• PeruRail transit and flights from Lima to Puerto Maldonado, Puerto Maldonado to Cuzco and Juliaca to Lima are included in the price of your tour. (The tour extension also includes one round-trip flight between Uyuni and La Paz in Bolivia.) 

• All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. 

Baggage allowance

• Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. 

• Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights. 

• One carry-on bag  of 45 total inches (length + width + height) is also permitted.

• Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

• We recommend bringing a small overnight bag, such as a backpack or duffel bag, for your one-night stay at Machu Picchu. 

Clothing & packing tips

 • Peru’s diverse geography means temperature and climate vary widely across the country. A sun hat, sunglasses and rain gear can help you stay comfortable in all types of weather. 

• We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.

• A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.

• Binoculars will let you get a closer look at local wildlife and scenery. 

• Insect repellent is recommended for outdoor activities. 

• You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.  

• It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

• There are no major health risks associated with traveling to any of the countries on this tour. 

• At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.

• Please be aware that you will be traveling altitudes as high as 12,000 feet above sea level. These high altitudes can sometimes cause breathing difficulties for travelers who have heart problems or respiratory ailments. If you suffer from any of these conditions, please speak to your doctor regarding any potential health risks.

• Even healthy travelers may sometimes experience altitude sickness, a temporary condition featuring symptoms of headache, fatigue, nausea and light-headedness. Until your body acclimates to the higher altitudes, we suggest that you drink plenty of fluids and limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol.

• Be sure to take proper care for sun exposure, as the  sun can be more intense at higher altitudes.

• We recommend drinking bottled water and refraining from drinking tap water, even while brushing teeth.

• Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled. 

• If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.

• If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to goaheadtours.com and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team at 1.800.597.0350.

Cuisine

• Peruvian cuisine reflects both the country’s indigenous cultures as well as European colonial and Pacific Rim influences. Staples include grains, like quinoa, maize and rice, as well beans, potatoes and meat. Ceviche, traditionally raw sea bass marinated with lime and chilies, is a national dish. Adventurous eaters may want to try cuy, or roasted guinea pig, that’s cooked over an open fire. You can also raise a toast with Peru’s famous pisco, the delicious (and sour) white-grape brandy. 

• (Tour extension) Lunch like a local in Bolivia with the almuerzo, a leisurely afternoon meal featuring courses of soup, rice and potatoes, a main dish and dessert. Bolivians also enjoy a late-afternoon tea with pastries, much like the British. You’ll find many Bolivian dishes traditionally feature staples of corn, potatoes and beans, reflecting the influence of indigenous cultures, as well as Spanish and Eastern European styles. 

Electricity & air conditioning

• Peru (and Bolivia on the tour extension) operates on 220 volts and uses Types A or C plugs with two flat pins or two round pins, respectively. 

• We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.  

• The strength of the air conditioning in Peruvian hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. 

• Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However these amenities cannot be guaranteed. 

Connectivity

• Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. 

• There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. 

• Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.

Time zones

• Peru (and Bolivia on the tour extension) falls on the same time as Eastern Standard Time (EST) but does not observe daylight saving time, so is five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) year-round. 

• During daylight saving time, when it’s noon in New York, it’s 11am on tour. 

Currency

• You will use the Peruvian sol in Peru (and the Bolivian bolivano on the tour extension). 

• Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. 

• We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. 

• You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. 

• Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

• International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.

Tipping

• At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.

• We recommend tipping the equivalent of $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver.

• If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. 

• Tips can only be paid in cash. 

Purchasing excursions on tour

• Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.

• Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for excursions. 

• Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. 

• Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information.

International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates and prices.

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