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Inca Heartland
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Experience the archaeological highlights and the cultural treasures of the Andean highlands, then uncover the secrets of the mysterious Nazca Lines and Peru's desert coast on this incredible 3-week adventure. Embrace Incan culture past and present in Cusco and get a taste of Bolivian culture in La Paz. Travel by boat on Lake Titicaca and trek to the stunning ruins of Machu Picchu. As the Inca Trails largest operator, we run our own treks, which ensures quality food, service, and equipment. Join us for an immersive experience that few travellers get to know.

Latin America

Duration: 21 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Demanding
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 126722
Starts: Lima, Peru Finishes: La Paz, Bolivia
You will Visit
  • Lima
  • La Paz

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Lima

Arrive at any time.

Additional Notes:
Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Latin America (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

02

Day 2: Lima/Paracas (1B)

Take the morning to explore more of Lima before journeying down the coast to Paracas. Walk the town's lively peatonal (pedestrian avenue) and find a café to sample some Peruvian food such as ceviche or papa a la huancaina (potatoes with a chili cheese sauce).

Try your first Pisco Sour cocktail while staying in Paracas, the neighbouring town of Pisco.

Transport:
Local bus (4.00 hour(s), 250km)

03

Day 3: Paracas/Nazca

Catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica.

Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located near the oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect subjects for photographs and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines, and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.

Included Activities:
Huacachina Oasis visit
Huacachina Winery Visit

Transport:
Local bus (1.00 hour(s), 60km)
Local bus (3.00 hour(s), 140km)

04

Day 4: Nazca/Arequipa (1B)

Travel south to one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The lines consist of patterns and pictures etched in the ground, crisscrossing a wide area of flat desert. It's difficult to make out the lines from the ground. The best view is from a light aircraft, which can easily be arranged.

Remains of the Nazca culture are still visible during the included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla, with 1500-year-old mummies, bones, and pottery on the desert floor. The tour also includes a visit to an artisan's workshop, where modern masters create Nazca style pottery.

Later, board a night bus to Arequipa.

Included Activities:
Nazca Desert Cemetery and Potter's Studio Guided Tour

Transport:
This comfortable double decker bus has toilet facilities on board.
Overnight bus (9.00 hour(s), 560km)

05

Day 5: Arequipa

Interested in history and architecture? Opt to visit the Santa Catalina Monastery, offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life.

For spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa holds a variety of regional food — alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces, waiting for you to dig in.

06

Day 6: Arequipa/Colca Canyon (1B)

Travel a rough, rutted road through high plains flanked by extensive Inca and pre-Inca terracing that goes on for kilometres, en route to the Colca Canyon — the deepest canyon in the world. Stop at villages and miradors (scenic lookouts), searching for the famous symbol of Peru, the condor.

Included Activities:
Colca Canyon Guided Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.50-5.00 hours, 165km)

07

Day 7: Colca Canyon/Arequipa (1B)

Start early to catch the condors in flight. Travel from Chivay to the condor viewpoint to admire these magnificent birds. On the way back, stop by some local villages and viewpoints to see ancient terraces and different sections of Colca Canyon. Return to Arequipa in the afternoon for one final night in the 'white city'.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.50-5.00 hours, 165km)

08

Day 8: Arequipa/Cusco (1B)

Take the short flight to Cusco for an afternoon wandering this fascinating city.

Transport:
Plane (0.50-1.50 hours, 324km)

09

Day 9: Cusco/Ollantaytambo (1B, 1L)

Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs and textiles directly from the women who made them.

Take a guided tour of the impressive Pisac ruins, the colourful artisan market (on market days only), and the small indigenous village of Huchuy Qosco. Have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa community restaurant. Learn about the G Adventures for Good project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch. Proceeds of this meal go directly back to the remote community.

Continue on to the town of Ollantaytambo. Take a guided tour of the large ruin site adjacent to the town. Ollayntaytambo is the first taste of what lies ahead in Machu Picchu.

Included Activities:
Ccaccaccollo Community and Women's Weaving Co-op visit
Pisac Ruins Guided Tour
Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley
Ollantaytambo Ruins Guided Tour

Transport:
Make stops along the way as you pass through this gorgeous valley – the elevation descends the whole way.
Private Vehicle (95km)

10

Day 10: Inca Trail (1B, 1L, 1D)

Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.

Additional Notes:
A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you'll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.

Included Activities:
Inca Trail Hike

Transport:
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))

11

Day 11: Inca Trail (1B, 1L, 1D)

Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman's Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.

Included Activities:
Inca Trail Hike

12

Day 12: Inca Trail (1B, 1L, 1D)

Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.

At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).

Included Activities:
Inca Trail Hike

13

Day 13: Machu Picchu/Cusco (1B)

The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.

Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.

Included Activities:
Inca Trail Hike
Machu Picchu Guided Tour

Transport:
Train (1.50 hour(s), 118km)
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))

14

Day 14: Cusco

Free days to relax, explore, and shop in Cusco, or discover its surroundings on any of the many optional excursions.

Additional Notes:
Optional Amazon Jungle Excursion: Experience 3 days and 2 nights at our G Lodge Amazon. All meals and excursions with a local naturalist guide are included during your stay. If you are interested in this opportunity, please inquire at time of booking or add it to your experience online. If you pre-book this activity, you will travel to the Amazon Jungle on Day 14 and return to Cusco on Day 16.

15

Day 17: Cusco/Puno (1B)

Today, travel through the high Altiplano region from Cusco to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is the largest lake in the world above 3800m, and the views from its Islands are stunning. The trip takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route.

Transport:
Local bus (7.50 hour(s), 389km)

16

Day 18: Puno/Lago Titicaca (1B, 1D)

Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on the Taquile Islands and stop at a local restaurant to enjoy a lunch with spectacular views.

After, cruise to another village for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake (the homestay location can vary based on community availability). This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, learn some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.

Included Activities:
Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 1
Lake Titicaca Homestay

17

Day 19: Lago Titicaca/Puno (1B, 1L)

Leave the homestay families late morning, and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.

Included Activities:
Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 2
Uros Floating Islands Visit

18

Day 20: Puno/La Paz (1B)

Enjoy a full-day drive around the lake and through the Altiplano to La Paz. Bolivia is filled with spectacular views of the countryside. La Paz sits nearly 4000m (13,120ft) above sea level, so be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.

Included Activities:
Border Crossing (Peru - Bolivia)

Transport:
Local bus (2.50 hour(s), 297km)
Local bus (3.00 hour(s))

19

Day 21: La Paz (1B)

Depart at any time.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Nazca desert cemetery and potter's studio guided tour
    • Arequipa stay
    • Colca Canyon guided tour
    • Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins guided tour with visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving project (full-day)
    • Lunch at the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco, an indigenous village
    • Inca Trail guided hike with cooks and porters (4 days)
    • G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products for use on the Inca Trail
    • Machu Picchu guided tour
    • Floating islands of Uros visit
    • Lake Titicaca guided tour and homestay
    • La Paz stay
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (15 nts), overnight bus (1 nt), camping (3 nts), homestay (1 nt)
    • 18 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
    Transport
    • Public bus, plane, train, boat, hiking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, specialist Inca Trail CEO on hike
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Tour Highlights:
  • Spot condors at Colca Canyon
  • Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Experience local life at a homestay on Lake Titicaca
  • Explore the world's highest capital city


Reviews (9)
Amanda & James Posted on: 

Just wanted to say a BIG Thank you to our Tour Guide for the Inca Heartland tour. She was excellent, very knowledgable and friendly. You are very lucky to have such a great local tour guide who definitely knows her stuff and is very well organised. Everything run to plan with no problems and everyone had a great time. Please pass on our thanks.

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Doug Posted on: 

The trip was awesome. We had a fun and knowledgeable tour leader and the other members of the group were all really cool people. Peru was an amazing country and the tour enabled us to see the best parts.

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Herlinde Posted on: 

Inca Heartland tour was just great! The tour really shows the highlights of Peru in all its diversity. It's really amazing what treasures this country contains.

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Kathleen Posted on: 

Loved the trip! Had an awesome time despite a bit of belly agony which I expected at some point. Highlights definitely were the Inca Trail, Cusco and the company! Recommend it!

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Jillian M Posted on: 

This was a journey of a lifetime. The entire trip was organised well with an A1 guide. I saw and learnt more of Peru on this tour than I could have ever done on my own. Absolutely fantastic stuff!!! Loved it!!!!

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Pooja B. Posted on: 

I thought the Tour was great and really enjoyed the varied activities and places that we saw! It is a well organised tour that allows you to explore Peru thoroughly!

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Niki Z. Posted on: 

The highlights included finishing the Inca trail at Maccu Picchu which is amazingly beautiful. Colca Canyon is a very worthwhile trip. Tha Amazon was very relaxing and nice and warm.

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Justin A. Posted on: 

Had a great time on this tour. The places we visited were fantastic and Simon was a great tour leader - going out of his way to ensure we had a brilliant time.

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Jennifer R. Posted on: 

I enjoyed Peru and /bolivia very much. I was surprised by the number of tourists in these countries. /The high point would have been walking the Inca /trail with our guide /freddy.

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