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Peru

Peru Legendary Trains Tour: Cusco to Arequipa

11 days | 10 nights
Private tour
From 4359USD per person
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An indulging way to discover Peru, its history, its rich culture and its fascinating geography is to travel on the most scenic railways in the world across the accidented landscape of the Andes. On your arrival in Lima, Peru's largest city and capital, you will learn about the continent's colonial history with some time to relax. After discovering the charms of the city of Cusco, you will start your journey to Machu Picchu on board of the Belmond Hiram Bingham train, one of the most luxurious train services in the world. After your visit of the majestic Inca citadel you will explore the Sacred Valley, an area rich in archaeological remains that testify of the great Inca civilization. Your next great adventure will be aboard the Andean Explorer train for a 3 day discovery of the Peruvian Highlands from the comfort of your luxury suite. Climbing up the fertile valley of the sacred Vilcanota river, your journey will take you to the mystic waters and islands of Lake Titicaca. A visit of the Sumbay caves will be your last incredible experience on your train journey before reaching the relaxing atmosphere of Arequipa , better known as 'the white city'. You will revel in the beauty of its architecture that contrasts with the magnitude of the nearby volcanoes. This is a highly exclusive tour for the discerning traveler that knows how to travel in style.

Destinations

Peru

Trip at a glance

Visits

Lima modern and colonial, Larco Museum, Sacred Valley: Pisac market and archaeological site, Ollantaytambo fortress, Maras salt ponds, Moray terraces, Chinchero, Cusco city and ruins, Hiram Bingham Train, Machu Picchu, Belmond Andean Explorer Train, Puno, Lake Titicaca: Uros and Taquile Islands, Raqchi, Sumbay Caves, Arequipa

Accomodation

8 nights in 4* premium hotels and 2 nights in luxurious suite on board the Andean Explorer train

Transportation

Luxury train journey on the Peru Rail Belmond Andean Explorer: Cusco-Puno-Arequipa days. Luxury train journey to Macchu Picchu. Hiram Bingham: Poroy-Aguas Calientes and Sacred Valley Train: Aguas Calientes-Urubamba

Shared motor boat for your Lake Titicaca cruise on day 8

Shuttle round trip Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes on day 5

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL IN LIMA

Arrival at Jorge Chávez, Lima international airport.

Welcome by our local English-speaking staff.

Transfer to your hotel located in the residential and shopping district of Miraflores, overlooking the Pacific ocean (1 hour).

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Lima.

Day 2 LIMA CITY TOUR AND LARCO MUSEUM

Morning

Morning pick up from your hotel in Miraflores with your driver and guide for a full day city tour including a visit of the Larco Hererra Museum. The city founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, still features many invaluable colonial buildings along the main square (the Plaza Mayor) and the nearby streets. You tour will take you to the historic center, starting with the Plaza San Martín to discover the hotel Bolívar. Visit one of the most beautiful examples of colonial baroque architecture of the continent, the Cathedral of Lima and the convent of San Francisco, another jewel of colonial architecture.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, drive to the district of Pueblo Libre to visit the Larco Herrera Museum that hosts the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art in the world (2 hours). Housed in an 18th century colonial mansion, the museum displays the finest collection of Pre-Columbian gold and silver artefacts from ancient Peru, along with a famous collection of erotic Mochicas ceramics. Take the unusual opportunity to visit the museum's storage area that counts more than 45,000 carefully-classified archaeological objects.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Lima.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 3 FLIGHT TO CUSCO, ACCLIMATIZE

Morning

In the morning, transfer to Lima airport (30 min) for your direct flight to Cusco (1 hour 15 min).

Afternoon

Arrival in Cusco (11,152 ft - 3,399m) and transfer to your hotel in town.

Rest of the afternoon at leisure to acclimatize with the altitude. Many options to discover the historic center of the majestic capital of the Inca Empire.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 4 SACRED VALLEY AND CUSCO: PISAQ MARKET AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE, CUSCO CITY AND RUINS TOUR

Morning

In the morning, your driver and guide will meet with you to drive to the village of Pisaq famous for its Sunday market where many indigenous Quechua communities meet to sell and trade their goods. The rest of the week, the whole place is bustling with a large handicraft and souvenir market. You will have time to search for jewellery, ponchos, hats, traditional music instruments, ceramics, alpaca products and many other typical Andean crafts (1 hour 30 min).

Visit Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa, and Kinchiracay. (1 hour 30 min). All 4 places are part of an Inca site on the nearby hill at an altitude of 10,980 feet (3345 m). The hill was shaped during Inca times by carving ingenious terraces that are still used for agriculture to this day. With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the site was an important and busy place for the Inca empire.

Transfer back to your hotel or to the city centre for lunch.

Afternoon

This afternoon discover the Spanish colonial city of Cusco known to the Inca as the 'belly button of the world'. Your guide will take you on a city tour with stops at the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral and the Korikancha, the original Temple of the Sun. Then drive to the hills of Cusco to explore the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuamán, Q’enqo, PukaPukara and Tambomachay.

Evening

Free evening to discover Cusco's vibrant nightlife.

We recommend the lively pisco bar La Republica del Pisco.

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 5 MACHU PICCHU TOUR, HIRAM BINGHAM TRAIN

Your passport is required to enter the Machu Picchu site. You have the option to get a 'Machu Picchu' stamp in your passport if you wish.

Morning

Today might be THE day you have been expecting from the moment you landed on Peruvian soil as you will finally enter the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.

Early transfer to the Poroy train station to board the exclusive and luxurious Belmond Hiram Bingham train to Aguas Calientes, the closest town to Machu Pipcchu. Enjoy your journey by making the most of the elegant lounge car, the dining car, and the observatory car where you can take in the unmatched scenery in the open air while sipping on a traditional Peruvian cocktail and listening to live local music. 

Gourmet lunch included.

Afternoon

In Aguas Calientes your guide will take you to the VIP bus station for your private shuttle service to the entrance of the citadel. Enjoy the impressive 20-minute drive up the hill, climbing to the entrance of the site at 7,972 feet (2430 m).

Your guide will take a group of maximum 14 passengers from the Hiram Bingham for a half-day visit of the abandoned stronghold that was rediscovered in 1911 by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham. Machu Picchu is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Learn about every secret this ancient Inca citadel holds and grab every opportunity to take amazing photographs (3 to 4 hours).

At the end of the tour enjoy an afternoon tea at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge Hotel right outside the site before boarding the bus back to Aguas Calientes.

At the train station board the exclusive Sacred Valley train to Urubamba. The experience begins from the arrival at the station where you will be welcomed with an Andean infusion. From the Observatory Car, enjoy your drink while the landscapes of the Sacred Valley roll before your eyes.

Evening

A gastronomic feast will be served for dinner on board the train. 

In Urubamba, private transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley (10 min). 

Overnight at your hotel in the Sacred Valley.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch on board the Hiram Bingham train
  • Dinner on board the Sacred Valley train

Day 6 SACRED VALLEY TOUR: OLLANTAYTAMBO FORTRESS, MARAS SALT PONDS, MORAY, ARCHAEOLOGICAL VILLAGE OF CHINCHERO

Morning

In the morning, transfer to Ollantaytambo, a fortified city built during the reign of Pachacutec, the most powerful Inca emperor. Explore this quaint settlement with an interesting orthogonal layout (30 min). Climb the Temple Hill known as the fortress to learn about the purpose of those inca constructions (1 hour 30 min).

Visit the incredible site of Maras and tread carefully between the hundreds of salt ponds used to dry the salt according to a method inherited from pre-inca times. The many colors of the polygonal ponds can vary from light reddish to brownish to white according to the season. This contrasts with the surrounding landscape and give the site a most-unusual aspect. Free time to shop pink salt collected by the local community workers.

Afternoon

Transfer to Moray archeological site and discover those impressive circular terraces that were used to conduct scientific and agricultural experiments during Inca times (30 min).

Finish your tour with a visit of the small town of Chinchero, where the original upper village is an open-air museum. The small cobbled alleyways are lined with craft shops that seem to have been frozen in time. Follow the path that leads to an esplanade where a beautiful white church stands out against the background of the tall Andean mountains.

Evening

Return to your hotel in the Sacred Valley and enjoy your free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in the Sacred Valley.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 7 BELMOND ANDEAN EXPLORER (3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS): CUSCO-RAQCHI-PUNO

Morning

In the morning, transfer to Cusco's Wanchaq station to board the Belmond Andean Explorer where you will be allocated your cabin.

Departing every Thursday at 11 am, Belmond's Andean Explorer train provides a luxurious Peruvian experience on a fantastic journey from Cusco to Arequipa with a charming visit of Puno and the majestic Lake Titicaca.

As you leave Cusco, a delicious lunch will be served on board as the train climbs up the Urubamba/Vilcanota valley on the way to Raqchi.

Afternoon

Your train will stop for a visit of the former Inca stronghold that served administrative, economic and military purposes and hosted the unique Temple of Wiracocha.

Enjoy a warm tea as the climbs gets steeper towards La Raya, the highest pass on your journey at 14,222 feet (4335 m) where you will marvel at the sunset over the Andes.

Evening

After dusk relax with a cocktail before your exquisite dinner that will be served on board as you make your way to Puno on the shores of lake Titicaca.

Overnight in your cabin.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch on board the train
  • Dinner on board the train

Day 8 BELMOND ANDEAN EXPLORER (3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS): PUNO-LAKE TITICACA-UROS-TAQUILE

Morning

Early breakfast on board the train with sunrise over the mystical lake Titicaca.

Depart to the lake's pier to board your boat. With its 214 cubic miles (893 km³) of water and an altitude of 12,507 feet (3812 m), Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world. According to Inca mythology, Lake Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun, moon, stars, and first human beings. Many myths and legends still inhabit those majestic dark-blue waters.

A 20-minute boat ride will take you to one of the many floating islands called Uros. The Uros floating islands are built from the totora reed that grows particularly well in the shallows of the lake.

Sail on to Taquile Island where you will have lunch close to Collata Beach.

Afternoon

In Taquile, learn about the numerous customs, crafts and dances of the local Taquilenos who still live off the island's ressources, living and working in their traditional clothes on the century-old man-made terraces. Take time to browse the beautiful textile art of Taquile, listed as a 'Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity' by the UNESCO.

Sail back to Puno to board your train and enjoy an afternoon tea before setting out on the road to Arequipa.

MEALS
  • Breakfast on board the train
  • Lunch during the tour
  • Dinner on board the train

Day 9 BELMOND ANDEAN EXPLORER (3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS): SUMBAY CAVES-AREQUIPA

Morning

Early breakfast on board the Andean Explorer before setting out to discover the Sumbay Caves. At 13,540 feet (4127m), the caves feature close to 500 paintings and engravings of local wildlife, including herds of guanaco, a relative of the llama that still lives in Peru’s high sierra.

Resume your journey around the volcanic region of Arequipa and enjoy a sumptuous lunch with spectacular views of the Misti, Arequipa's tallest volcano.

Afternoon

Your train will reach its final destination at 3.30pm as you enter the beautiful colonial city of Arequipa.

Transfer to your hotel in town. Rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Arequipa.

MEALS
  • Breakfast on board the train
  • Lunch on board the train

Day 10 AREQUIPA HALF-DAY TOUR, FREE AFTERNOON IN THE WHITE CITY

Morning

Your tour will unlock the secrets of the beautiful colonial city of Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru. The remarkable architectural use of volcanic sillar rock in the contruction of the white buildings of the city center has contributed to Arequipa's fame. The city center is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Visit the Yanahuara neighboroud offering unbeatable views of the three volcanoes surrounding Arequipa. Drive back to the city center (10 min).

Visit the peaceful Santa Catalina Monastery (2 hours). This blue and coral town within a town, founded in the 16th century is still home to some 20 nuns. Walk around this colorful and quiet maze that survived many devastating earthquakes over the centuries.

Afternoon

Rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in Arequipa.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 11 FLIGHT TO LIMA, DEPARTURE

Morning

In the morning, transfer to Arequipa airport for your flight to Lima (1 hour 30 min).

Afternoon

Assistance with check-in for your international flight (45 min).

Departure.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Video

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
8 nights in 4* premium hotels and 2 nights in luxurious suite on board the Andean Explorer train

Meals

Bed & Breakfast plan
10 breakfasts + 4 lunches + 3 dinners
Full board plan
10 breakfasts + 9 lunches + 10 dinners

Transportation

Train
Luxury train journey on the Peru Rail Belmond Andean Explorer: Cusco-Puno-Arequipa days. Luxury train journey to Macchu Picchu. Hiram Bingham: Poroy-Aguas Calientes and Sacred Valley Train: Aguas Calientes-Urubamba
Boat
Shared motor boat for your Lake Titicaca cruise on day 8
Shuttle
Shuttle round trip Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes on day 5

Orientation

Guide
Private car and driver every day except for services on the Andean Explorer route and Machu Picchu (shared guide)

Entrance Fees

All entrance fees to mentioned sites

What's not included

  • Domestic Flights: 390 USD/Person
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Important notes

Belmond Andean Explorer Itinerary

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