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Peru the Local Way: our signature trip

A slow, local experience
FromUSD$2,850
A slow, local experience
FromUSD$2,850
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1732
  • 23 Days, 22 Nights(Flexible in case you customize it)
  • Group Size: 2 - 8Can also be booked as group tour!
  • April through December(Can be adapted to the rainy season)

All our itineraries are RESPONSible; but this one ticks all the boxes. It’s a long trip, slowly visiting pretty much all the destinations of Southern Peru in our style: original, authentic, educative and fun. It boasts a lot of community-based tourism (farmer visits in desert, mountain and jungle, homestays and hikes), archaeology, living culture and of course nature. If you’re looking for a trip that makes it worth flying all the way to Peru, look no further. This itinerary is for travellers that have seen a lot of the world, enjoy real, authentic encounters with local population and prefer not to rush through a destination. 

Share this trip with like-minded travelers

For the first time, RESPONS will open a few of its itineraries to small groups! We’ll have two dates per year that this itinerary can be booked at a fixed price. Use the booking form on the right to find the dates and take advantage of this unique opportunity!

Dates for group departures in 2022:

  1. May 14, 2022 – June 6, 2022.   (0 participants booked)
  2. September 10, 2022 – October 3, 2022. (0 participants booked)

 

Summary of the route

After arriving to Lima you’ll visit the capital with our guide; the best introduction to our country. After that, you’ll travel to Nazca to discover its gems. If you take this trip as a custom itinerary, you could replace Nazca with, or add, the area around Paracas on the way. Get inspired with our excursions around Paracas and Nazca here

We always say there’s so much more to the Nazca area than just the famous Nazca lines. These cilivizations have left so much more: impressive temples, mysterious burial sites and the famous underground water channels, for example. In a day and a half, we’ll take you to Nazca’s hidden gems on foot, by bike and with a sand buggy. 

In Arequipa, we’ll give you two free days to acclimatize (very important) or to add any of our RESPONSible tours in Arequipa. A walking tour of the city with our local guide is already included!

11Young man shepherds sheep and goats in Nazca | RESPONSible Travel Peru

After Arequipa, you’ll visit the Colca Canyon‘s highlights and stay two nights with our dear host families of Coporaque. For many travelers, the thermal baths of Coporaque and the horse ride with “Chocolate” were highlights of their visit; apart from the warmth and hospitality of the locals, of course. 

After Coporaque you’ll travel towards Lake Titicaca. You’ll visit the unknown Titino reed islands, go fishing with a local fisherman around an uninhabited island and stay with a hostfamily at the border of the lake on the Capachica Peninsula.

11Visit a local coffee plantation behind Machu Picchu with RESPONSible Travel Peru

With a bus you travel from Titicaca to Cusco; a city worthy to visit with our own Walking Tour before continuing into the Sacred Valley of the Inca’s. Both private tours are slightly different from standard tours to show you that little extra and make better use of transportation and your time. 

From the Sacred Valley, you’ll travel onwards towards our popular organic coffee farmers. You’ll learn everything about their products and lifestyle before making your way, partially by hiking ancient Inca paths, to the citadel of Machu Picchu

Back in Cusco you’ll have another day to rest and take part in a fun cooking class by a local chef. 

Finally, to complete this Peru voyage through the desert and the Andes, you’ll get a chance to know the jungle. Based from a family homestay close to Puerto Maldonado, you’ll undertake several day trips to learn about local life, conservation efforts and of course visit a natural highlight; Lake Sandoval. 

11The Billinghurst bridge is the main way over the Madre de Dios river in Puerto Maldonado | Responsible Travel Peru

That was “The Local Way” in short. You can read the detailed Day-to-Day description further below or contact us directly for the full itinerary in PDF with much more information.

 

Booking or modifying this itinerary

As every long itinerary (6 days+), you can book this tour as it is, or adapt it with one of our travel designers until it is completely to your wishes. If that is what you want, please read through this itinerary carefully and then get in touch with our team telling us what you’d like to change to this example itinerary.

For the group departures, we initially won’t change the itinerary, aside from some minor changes. Feel free to chat with us about the (im)possibilities! 

Gallery

Slide through some images to get an idea of what you might see on this trip!

Day by Day

Note:

Once you enquire this tour, we will send you a full PDF itinerary with much more information: more complete descriptions, upgrade and downgrade tips, recommendations, options, and prices for the domestic flights. 

Day 1Arrival Lima

Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival at Lima airport, our driver will pick you up and bring you to the hotel.

We will also give you a SIM card that you can use during the trip to have access to mobile internet and contact us. Free evening.

Day 2Lima - Walking Tour - free afternoon

In the morning you will be picked up by your guide for a walking tour through the city. You will use Lima’s public transportation to get an idea of a local’s daily life.

First you will go to the Surquillo market, where you will see the enormous diversity of unique Peruvian fruits such as the chirimoya, lúcuma, aguaymanto and pacay.

Then, you will take the “Metropolitano” bus to the historic center of Lima, visit the street Jirón de la Unión, the Plaza Mayor or Plaza de Armas and the famous San Francisco church with its catacombs. Of course, the guide can adapt the tour according to circumstances or your preferences: please coordinate with the guide which places you would like to visit.

Free afternoon.

Day 3Lima - Nazca - archaeological Bike Tour

Today you take an early morning bus from Lima to Nazca. 

After your arrival and lunch (not included), it’s time for an original bike ride! To experience the area better but also to make a statement (that it can also be done differently and more sustainably). You’ll explore some archaeological highlights in the Nazca area by bicycle. If it is sunny, please pack plenty of water, cover your head and apply your sun screen well.

You start at the Inca site Paredones: an interesting construction with local materials but Inca architecture. Sort of a preview for your later visit to Cusco 😉   

Then you will visit two geoglyphs: the drawings that the Nazcas made in the desert.

Next up are the Cantayoc Aqueducts: actually spiral holes in the ground that lead to their underground channels. The artery of the healthy society of the Nascas. The spiral entrances have been used for 2000 years to bring up water for consumption and irrigation. And they look beautiful!

You end with a visit to a center where the cerámica (ceramics) of Nazca are still being recreated and you learn about traditional techniques and designs. A nice end to this varied cycling tour!

Overnight stay at a hotel in Nazca. 

Day 4Nazca (walk to Chauchilla cemetery - buggy tour) - Arequipa (altitud: 2.335m)

In the morning you will make an original hike starting from a small village in a fertile valley with fruit trees, agriculture and birds. Then you will pass sand dunes full of Nazca ceramics and cross a desert plain to reach the Chauchilla cemetery, where several mummies from the Nazca era can be observed in their grave. A unique experience, to get a completely different view of the old and modern coastal cultures.

In the afternoon you will participate in a unique sand buggy tour to the impressive pyramids of Cahuachi and the ancient irrigation canals of Ocongalla. Sandboarding on the dunes in the Usaca desert is also included. This adventure will last about 4 hours!

After dinner you will be driven to the bus station to take a comfortable night bus to Arequipa. The journey takes almost ten hours, the seats are wide and incline 160 degrees.

Day 5Arequipa (altitude: 2.335m) - Walking tour

Enjoy two days in this beautiful city, also called the “White City”. Do not miss the colorful Santa Catalina monastery and/or the interesting museum with the ice mummy Juanita.

To get a good first impression of the city, you will enjoy a walking tour in the afternoon. This city walk along the highlights of Arequipa will be held by our lovely local guide Caroline. The tour includes a visit to churches, the Plaza de Armas and the cathedral. She will leave you at the Santa Catalina monastery at the end of the tour, as she is not allowed to guide there (they have their own guides for a cost of around 20 soles). Duration: approx. 2,5-3 hours.

If you desire to add an optional excursion in Arequipa, get inspired here!

Day 6Arequipa - free day

This second day in Arequipa is important for your acclimatization, before going to the Colca Canyon passing over an altitude of almost 5,000 meters! Fortunately, the city has enough to offer.

Day 7Arequipa - Colca Canyon (Coporaque, 3.580m)

From Arequipa you will travel to the Colca Canyon with a shared van (max. 15 passengers). The English-speaking guide on board will give you a lot of interesting facts along the way and there are some planned stops at beautiful spots. You will go through a reserve where many vicuñas live in freedom. The snow-covered volcanoes on the background complete this impressive landscape.

In Chivay, the capital of the Colca Canyon, you will be picked up by members of the Coporaque community for a lunch with your host family. With a local guide (Spanish speaking), you will explore the village and visit the viewpoint, where you can see the route for the next day at your feet!

Dinner and overnight stay at a local family in private rooms.

Day 8Colca Canyon (Cruz del Condor) - Coporaque

At dawn you will join the shared excursion again, to the famous Cruz del Condor. During the ride from Chivay you will make a few stops at interesting spots, but the highlight of the day will most definitely be the flight of the condor! If you are lucky you will see multiple condors flying close to the viewpoint where you will be situated, making use of the thermal winds rising up from the Canyon.

Back in Coporaque you will have a free afternoon. You could make a hike to the thermal baths of Coporaque (approx. 10 sol entrance fee) or go horse riding! (120 soles pp) In Coporaque they have comfortable (and obedient) Peruvian Paso horses. 

Day 9Colca Canyon (Coporaque) - Puno (3.850m)

Today another morning with free time in Coporaque, but then it is time to say goodbye to your hostfamily (and probably new friends) and take another shared bus, to Puno. Along the way, some photo stops are made to enjoy the wide landscape, characterized by volcanoes and vicuñas.

Upon arrival in Puno, you will be transferred to your hotel. Free evening.

Day 10Puno - Uros Titino - Llachon - Chifrón (3.850m)

In the morning, you’ll travel to the San Pedro port of Llachon, to take the boat to the floating Uros Titino islands (approximately 30 minutes).

You will be welcomed by a family that lives on the island to get an explanation of their daily life and how they make their island. It is also possible to take a ride on a traditional reed boat. Walking on the island feels a bit like a waterbed, but it’s safe, of course!

Then you will return to shore to enjoy a typical local lunch after which you will be driven to a family guesthouse in Chifrón (about 20 minutes); beautifully located with views over Chifrón’s sandy beach and Lake Titicaca. In the background you can even see the Cordillera Real of Bolivia.

The rooms are simple, but equipped with the necessary amenities and clean (there is even hot water). You will meet your hosts, and also will have time to walk around the house. Dinner with the host family and overnight.

Day 11Chifrón - Tikonata island - Chifrón

After breakfast, your guide and a fisherman will take you on a sailboat to the small island of Tikonata. Along the way, you will learn how local people fish on Lake Titicaca. On Tikonata you will meet the people who take care of it (it is basically uninhabited) and you will visit the small museum with mummies that were found on this small island.

After walking to a beautiful viewpoint, you will return to your host family for lunch and have free time in the afternoon. You can walk to the beach, relax in the sun or read a book.

Day 12Chifrón - Juliaca - Cusco (3.400m)

In the morning you will be driven to Juliaca to take the bus to Cusco. Along the way, several attractions will be visited, like the Pucará museum, the La Raya pass (4.335 meters) and the temple of Wiracocha, in the village of Raqchi. An impressive structure, where the Day of the Sun is celebrated annually on June 16th. The current population still uses the aqueducts and irrigation channels that the Incas left there.

In the village Andahuaylillas, the last stop, it seems as though time has stopped. Its church was built in 1580 and is also called the Sistine Chapel of South America due to its wall paintings.

In Cusco (arrival around 5pm), we will take you to your hotel for a free evening. The Niños Hotel (2 stars) is our favorite: a very attractive hotel that supports projects with (street) children.

Day 13Cusco - Walking Tour

In the morning, you will join our own Walking Tour! A beautiful introduction of the city and a nice relaxed walk (downhill only). You’ll be driven up to Qenqo, from where you will walk to Sacsayhuamán: impressive ruins with a great view of the city. From here you continue down into the San Blas neighbourhood, where we will visit the lovely Xapiri art museum & café (coffee and snack inclusive). At the end you will visit the famous Sun Temple. 

After lunch (not included) you can visit the Cathedral of Cusco (entrance fee: 25 soles p.p.), a museum (Museo Inka is fun!) or do some shopping to get a nice souvenir or a beautiful alpaca sweater. We also have many other day tours and workshops at offer in Cusco to learn more about local art and/or the work of NGO’s. Contact us if you don’t find what you like (yet); we know much more than what’s on the platform now. 

Day 14Cusco - Sacred Valley of the Inca's - Ollantaytambo (2.850m)

This morning you will visit a farm with all the camelids of the Andes: all kinds of alpacas and llamas that you can feed and take pictures with. The wild vicuñas and guanacos are a bit further away (they have more space and do not like people around them). 

Then you will continue and visit the highlights of the Sacred Valley. First the Pisac market, where you can get all kind of souvenirs like pottery, hats, alpaca textiles, musical instruments, paintings, antiques and jewelry. Or you can choose to ascend to the archaeological site of Pisac, where you will observe terraces, aqueducts, water channels and enjoy beautiful views. (We’ll take you up by transportation, you walk down with your guide and join those that stayed in the market to continue.)

Somewhere along the way, you will find a place to have lunch (with help from your guide).

And then you will visit the beautiful Inca village of Ollantaytambo and its ruins, where you’ll also stay overnight. 

We have chosen Apu Lodge for you here: a nice hotel with a view in three directions! The big ruins on one side, the small ruins on the other side and the roofs of Ollantaytambo in front of you. The accommodation is surrounded by a beautiful garden, it is very quiet, at the end of the historic center. You have to walk a few minutes on cobblestone streets to reach the hotel, since cars can’t come here! Fortunately, there is a small restaurant where you can go in the evening if you don’t want to leave the hotel.

Day 15Coffee route day 1: to Julia's house in Huayopata (1.500m)

Today you will travel from Ollantaytambo, over the Abra Malaga Pass at 4.300 m altitude, to Julia’s house, located at 1.500m. Along the way you will experience the different ecosystems and climates: from the high plains and glaciers to the lush upper jungle and banana trees! 

Upon arrival to Julia’s house you will have some time to freshen up: all the rooms have their own bathroom with hot shower. Time for a fresh lunch: possibly a trout recipe that makes Julia almost famous!

In the afternoon you will go with Julia or one of her family members on a walk through her plantations, to learn about all kinds of coffee, fruit and cocoa they grow here. You will also be able to taste different fruits and make a superfresh juice! Making your own chocolate is also possible: ask Julia if she has some cocoa (depends on the season).

Dinner and overnight stay at Julia’s guestrooms with mosquito nets on every bed. 

Day 16Coffee route day 2: from Julia to Alejandro in Huacayupana (1.650m)

After a delicious breakfast it is time to say goodbye to this nice family. Together with your guide you’ll drive to the trailhead which leads to Alejandro’s house. You can choose the most beautiful hike (2 to 2,5 hours with some steep parts) or a shorter hike of about 1 hour and 15 minutes (if you’re afraid of heights) to Alejandro’s house. Upon arrival, a delicious lunch will be served!

In the afternoon you will go through the whole coffee making process from one of Peru’s best specialists: from harvesting the beans to your own cup of coffee.

Overnight stay at Alejandro’s nice accommodation. Some rooms share a bathroom with hot shower; most rooms have this ensuite.

Day 17Coffee route day 3: Huacayupana - Aguas Calientes (2.100m)

After breakfast it is time to start the hike of today; around four hours in total. Mostly downhill and flat. If the river level allows it, you will walk on the beautiful and adventurous path by the river side. On the way, you will also have to cross the river in a kind of cable-car cart: not for people with vertigo.

Upon arrival to the hot springs of Cocalmayo (10 minutes before Santa Teresa), you can enjoy the three swimming pools or, if you’re lucky, relax in the sun.

Lunch is in Santa Teresa or at the train station (not included).

Finally, you will take public transportation to the train station called “Hidroeléctrica”. From there you will continue to Aguas Calientes (on foot approx. 2,5 to 3 hours; train is optional and can be decided on site).

Day 18Machu Picchu (2.430m) - Ollantaytambo - Cusco

Early in the morning you’ll take the bus to Machu Picchu, often referred as “The Lost City of the Incas”. It must be one of the most famous and spectacular sets of ruins in the world. It is located at 2,430 meters  altitude, high above the Urubamba river. The Incas started building it around 1430 AD as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti, strategically located between deep canyons and impressive mountains called Apus (gods for the Incas), so it was a well hidden and well protected fortress.

Our tip for active people is to climb the Machu Picchu mountain before the tour: not the over-visited Huayna Picchu. The Machu Picchu mountain is a little higher (climbing one and a half hours) but offers a nice panoramic view of Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu mountain and the underlying Urubamba river. In addition, the path and the nature on the way are beautiful, and because of its limited number of visitors, it feels like an escape from the hustle and bustle of Machu Picchu.

Afterwards you will have a private tour in Machu Picchu of approx. 1-1,5 hours. Then: take the bus back to Aguas Calientes and the train back to the Sacred Valley where a private driver will bring you back to your hotel in Cusco.

Day 19Cooking class in Cusco - free afternoon - night bus to Puerto Maldonado

In the morning you will be picked up by our great friend and excellent cook Seledonia (she doesn’t speak English!) to go to the local (not tourist) market, where she always does her shopping. You will walk through the market with Selia, learning about the variety of ingredients and how to recognize the quality, until all ingredients are bought. Then you will go to her restaurant to cook: typical Peruvian dishes but also her own “signature dishes”. And you will of course enjoy lunch at the restaurant. ¡Delicioso!

You will have a free afternoon to relax, or stay a little longer with Selia and her family (she has three children).

You can also take a walk through the city, visit a museum or do some souvenirs shopping. Also interesting: at 4:30pm the Niños Hotel does a free short tour to present its projects.

In the evening, you will be driven to the bus station to take a comfortable night bus to Puerto Maldonado. It is a long but spectacular bus ride, which first goes through a high pass of almost 4.800m and then makes a long descent into the jungle. The journey takes about 11 hours and the seats can incline up to 160 degrees.

Day 20Puerto Maldonado (183m) - K'erenda Homet

Upon arrival in Puerto Maldonado, you will be picked up by a driver and taken to K’erenda Homet (this local family speaks little English). Throw the windows of the car open and let the hot air in: it will immediately give you that first jungle experience! What a difference with the first weeks of your trip!

You will stay right next to the special botanical garden of señor Zambrano, or Don Víctor. He planted plants and trees around his own house more than 20 years ago, at a time when no one in Peru was talking about reforestation. He has single-handedly created about 25 hectares of jungle, in which countless plants and animals grow and come. The jaguar has even been spotted there! Don Victor has received several awards for this, which you can see hanging in the communal areas of K’erenda Homet.

Victor’s daughter K’erenda runs two holiday bungalows here (casas de campo). These two-story cabañas are fully equipped, even have a kitchen, and a view of the Tambopata River. Depending on the season, you can enjoy a private river beach. An ideal place to spend a few days away from the city and in peace. K’erenda provides the meals.

Sometime today, a fun activity of about 1.5 hours is planned during which you will be told more about Don Victor’s park, the family’s experience of reforestation and finish planting a tree of your own. In this way you are part of the project and with your stay you ensure the preservation of this special piece of nature.

After dinner, enjoying the sounds of the jungle is fun and thrilling at the same time. Buenas noches!

Day 21Afternoon Excursion to Lake Sandoval

After a free morning you will go to town and join an excursion to Lake Sandoval. From the port of Puerto Maldonado you will cruise the majestic Madre de Dios River for about 40 minutes to get to the start of the walk. Along the way, you’ll see a lot happening on the riverbanks, and every now and then fully loaded boats pass by, bringing products from the jungle to the city.

The walk from the river to the lake is only 3km but can be quite muddy (6km round trip; we recommend that you are in good physical condition). You get boots (or bring good hiking boots that can get dirty) and start the walk. There is a chance to see monkeys, parrots and sometimes large mammals like anteaters!

Arriving at the shore of the lake, take a seat in the boat and enjoy a leisurely row on the lake, searching for kingfishers, falcons and eagles, hoatzins (prehistoric birds!), and monkeys in the trees, as well as caimans and the family of giant otters that live in this lake.

There is a picnic that we will eat on the bank. Afterwards there is some time to relax, until a loud noise in the afternoon announces the parrots returning to their nests in the palm trees to rest. This is the time that we also have to go back to Puerto Maldonado. Be prepared to see a beautiful sunset over the Madre de Dios River!

Arriving in Puerto Maldonado you will be taken back to K’erenda where your dinner will be served.

Day 22Tambopata Ecotourism Corredor

You start the day with a visit to the Amazon Shelter: a good initiative by an ex-stewardess, who takes care of wild animals that have been rescued by the police or customs from smugglers, traders or accidents. You may be asked to roll up your sleeves: for example to help feed – this would be much appreciated. Among other things, your arrival contributes to financing the (often expensive) medication that the animals need. Every little bit helps Magali run this well-intentioned shelter.

After this interesting visit, you will go to a fruit plantation where (depending on the season) all kinds of fruits can be tasted: straight from the tree! You will also hear special stories from this friendly family. Afterwards you will visit a fish farm and fish your own lunch there (if you prefer not to fish, this activity will be skipped; the lunch will be adjusted if you are vegan/vegetarian).

After lunch you will visit the nicest swimming pool in the area: La Habana. Here you can also climb a lookout tower for a view of the area. A place to recover from the heat.

In the evening dinner and overnight in K’erenda Homet.

Day 23K'erenda Homet - Puerto Maldonado - Lima - home

You will wake up again with the sounds of the jungle, and after breakfast it is unfortunately time to say goodbye to the Zambrano family and to return to Puerto Maldonado to take the afternoon flight back to Lima. There, if you have an evening flight, you can check in for the flight back home.

(Otherwise, we can arrange for an extra overnight stay in Lima, of course.)

Day 24Arrival home

Today you will arrive home after a varied and wonderful trip through Peru. Thank you for traveling RESPONSibly!

Tips:Possible extensions for this trip

Since this trip takes you through pretty much every beautiful part of Southern Peru already, if there would be any time left (the longer a trip the better, right?) we’d definitely recommend to add one or more destinations from northern Peru after this trip. 

If you love hiking and spectacular high mountain landscapes, definitely consider adding at least five days to visit the area around Huaraz: authentic mountain communities and trekkings of all sorts are awaiting you!

Northern Peru holds more treasures though, like the archaeologic sites around Trujillo and Chiclayo and the absolutely stunning Chachapoyas region that just seems to have it all. We have several itineraries of one to three weeks that visit the best places in the north, and can customize these for trekking lovers, nature lovers, archaeology lovers or any other kind of lovers 😉 

Of course other destinations are also possible, let us know what you like. The Galapagos Islands or Bolivia? Central Peru? A yoga retreat? A beach destination? We’d love to help you finish your Peru trip in the best fitting way whilst always keeping sustainability in mind. 

11Small version of transparent round logo of RESPONSible Travel Peru

Why is this experience RESPONSible?

Extended and slow travel is already a great start to sort of spread the negative impact from your long-haul flight to Peru over as many travel days as possible. Moreover, this itinerary only includes one domestic flight: all the other long distances are covered with comfortable and less polluting buses. Shared tourist transportation covers the medium distances and only shorter distances are done with private transportation. 

On the positive side of impacts, this itinerary is packed with original, authentic experiences offered by local communities and small local operators, that ensure your dollars make it straight to the people of the visited destinations. 

Like in any of our trips, there are many more details that make this itinerary so RESPONSible. We’d be happy to provide you with the full Sustainability Report of this itinerary, just contact us. 

Details

Price Includes

  • Full details on what's included (on a day-to-day basis) are given in the PDF itinerary. In summary, the price includes:
  • All overnight staysIn towns and cities, you usually stay in nice, small-scale accommodations with a 2 to 3 star standard. Breakfast is usually included. In rural areas, you'll stay (full board) in family homestays, generally with ensuite bathrooms. Prices based on double occupancy. If you prefer a single room, there's a single surcharge of $510 (2022). Single rooms can't be guaranteed in every accommodation.
  • Mentioned excursionsGuided walking tours in Lima, Arequipa and Cusco, three tours in Nazca, homestay activities and mentioned excursions in Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, the coffee zone and Puerto Maldonado, guided tour in Machu Picchu (incl. entrance fee), cooking class in Cusco.
  • Mentioned transfersLocal transfers in Lima, Nazca, Arequipa, Puno, Cusco and Puerto Maldonado. Bus rides between Lima, Nazca, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Puno, Cusco and Puerto Maldonado. Bus to and train from Machu Picchu. Boat rides on Lake Titicaca and in the jungle.
  • GuidesLocal guides in the visited communities (only Spanish). English-speaking guides during most mentioned excursions.
  • RESPONS service!24/7 support from our team through Whatsapp group. Pre-departure briefing. RESPONS luggage tag for every traveler. Full trip customization service (not for group departures).

Price Excludes

  • There are many minor items that are not included in the price, either because they are optional or easier for you to pay on site. Remember to ask us for the PDF itinerary for all the details. Some general exclusions on this trip, are:
  • Food and snacksWe'll include most meals in homestays and during excursions, but when there are many options of restaurants, we prefer you to choose for yourself.
  • Domestic flightsWe'll include the domestic flight in the package, but it isn't part of the package price since the price tends to change a lot. We'll give you the separate price once you enquire, of course. By the way: international flights are obviously not included, either.
  • Optional items or direct paymentOptional excursions, additional services and entrance fees can be paid on site in cash (or booked in advance with us).
  • Other items not specifically indicated as includedLike early check-ins or late check-outs, souvenirs, additional tours, laundry, tips, insurance and other personal expenses.
  • 18% sales taxesThis will be exonerated (if applicable) by sending us a passport copy of every tour participant. You can learn more about this by clicking on this text.
  • Read our Terms and Conditions (click here).

What to Bring

Frequently Asked Questions

About the trip itself

Can I make changes to this itinerary or add excursions?

Since on this page we focus on the group departure of this itinerary, you can’t make too big changes. Of course where there’s free time excursions can be added and on some destinations you can also skip an excursions with the group and undertake something on your own. Please coordinate with us well before. 

On any other date, you can take this trip as a start and make a whole different itinerary for you and your fellow travelers only. That’s what this is all about: inspire you and support you to get the most out of your visit to Peru! You can count on our team of specialists to develop the perfect itinerary to Peru for you. 

Is it appropiate to take pictures of the local people I meet during this trip?

Everyone directly involved in your visit, like the hostfamily, the local guides or families you visit during excursions, are usually fine with pictures. If you make a really nice (family) portrait and you promise to send it to them, make sure to fulfill that promise!

As to anyone not directly involved, like other community members you meet on a hike, it would be kind to ask them first if it’s OK to take a picture. If the picture is great and/or they’re a little uncomfortable, it’s OK to give a little tip if they are doing you the favour of posing or allowing you to take your photo. Something between 1 to 5 soles is fine. Don’t exaggerate. 

Showing the resultant picture is always nice if you have the time! 

How can I see the prices for this tour for my amount of travellers?

If you want to see the price for your situation, please select an amount of travelers (number of adults, children, etc) on the right side of the website (or the bottom on the mobile version). You will then see that total price for your party right above it. The mentioned price is only valid on group departure dates.

If you’re not sharing this trip in one of our group departures, it is advised to book this tour through our Custom Itineraries department, instead of direct booking here on the website, so that we can adapt the itinerary to your liking before you book. You can enquire by filling out this form. If you’re 1 to 4 people, the price will likely be higher than the one mentioned here. 

What should I pack for this tour?

Please refer to our article What to Pack for your Trip to Peru for all your questions about packing for your Peru trip. Whether you’re going to the jungle or the mountains, you’ll find the answers you need. You can also download a full Packing List for free. 

Is this tour physically demanding?

This trip includes a few hikes and bike tours that require medium fitness and some experience with activities in different climates. Due to the altitudes, it’s advised to come in good shape and have a strong heart and lungs. In case of doubts, read our article on How to Stay Healthy in Peru or contact us. 

What is the highest point during this route?

Once you leave Arequipa, you’ll immediately go up and reach almost five thousand meters (16,400 ft) above sea level; you will definitely feel it! The following nights (Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca) will be over 3.500 meters (11,500 ft) altitude, which is why we always recommend to acclimatize well in Arequipa. For example by staying there for two full days, like in this itinerary. 

The rest of the route will lead you over passes above four thousand meters a few more times, but accommodations will be lower the second half of the itinerary. 

What's the accommodation like at the local hostfamilies?

All the visited host families have comfortable and nicely decorated homestay accommodations for you. The rooms are usually separate from the main house. You’ll have your meals in the family’s kitchen. 

There are rooms with twin beds, double beds and multiple beds. Usually, there is enough space for double occupation. 

Almost every room has its own private bathroom ensuite; sometimes the bathroom is outside and shared. Almost all have hot water. Thick bedding and a hot water bottle (or mosquito nets) are provided where necessary.

Do the local families speak English?

No, they don’t. So far however, most of our travelers do not opt for an optional translator, since apart from the additional cost it might change the experience. Our host families are very used to having guests that don’t speak Spanish and their Spanish is easy to understand for those who speak other Latin languages. 

Of course, learning Spanish beforehand is always a good idea! Use an app like Duolingo to learn the basics before leaving and enhance your experience whilst traveling.

What kind of weather should we expect during this route?

Anything really! May and September (the months we’d have the group departures) are transition months, so it’s neither the coldest nor the wettest months. But since you’re visiting all three subregions of Peru (Costa-Sierra-Selva as we say) you will experience heat, cold, drought and moisture in all its forms. So, like we mention in our article What to Pack for your trip to Peru, be flexible and prepared for anything. 

Find more info about climates in Peru in our blog Best Time to Travel to Peru

Is this a private trip or will I share the experience with other travelers?

This trip can be booked as a group trip (that’s the first time this year!) or, of course, you can customize it to your own liking. 

In the first case, you and your group will be together most of the time (and if you’re a single traveler not paying the single surcharge fee, you will even share a room with one other single traveler). There will also be enough opportunities to do something on your own, but mostly you’ll be together as a group. On some occasions, even other travelers will share the bus or excursions with you. 

In the latter case, we can of course tailor the itinerary to your needs. But as the trip is now, you’ll be sharing with other travelers every once a while, and have several private experiences, too. 

If you ask us for the PDF version of this itinerary, it will be better described when an excursion or transfer is private, and when it’s shared. 

General questions

For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!

Reviews
Your Travel Designer
11

Agnes Moes

Travel Designer

Since 2011, Agnes has created hundreds (if not thousands) of itineraries for our clients. And the one element that she loves to include most are the homestays with our beloved host families in the communities. She has been to every family in this trip and cannot recommend their experiences enough.

The Local Way represents the Peru trip that Agnes loves selling most. Ask for her in any of these homestays and you will get smiles in return (and probably be asked how Agnes is doing, since she and Guido live in Europe now). 

Fall in love with our hostfamilies just like Agnes did so many years ago. “I will never forget the joyful reception at Titicaca, the hot water bottles – cholitas – in Coporaque, the amazing spicy sauce of Julia and in general the genuine interest of everyone in my own culture and home country. I feel so honoured to be able to recommend these experiences to all of you and bring more joy to all these families!”

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