Lima - Optional pre main trip extension

Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed by a Rahhalah representative who will drive you to the hotel in Miraflores, the most beautiful and safest area of Lima.
Lima, the capital city of Peru, overviews the Pacific Ocean, boasts a beautiful seafront promenade (the Miraflores Boardwalk) and an old city full of colonial architecture and history, while it is famous around the world as a culinary destination.
Enjoy your first day in Peru, exploring the neighborhoods at your own pace.

Accommodation: Casa Andina Premium Miraflores Hotel – Superior Room (or similar), in Lima.

After breakfast, you will embark on a full-day exploration of the Peruvian capital, visiting main highlights and local markets, while enjoying the Bohemian neighborhood of Barranco, beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, and walks in the historic center.

Surquillo Market
You will begin your day with a short walk through the Miraflores streets towards the local Market of Surquillo, where your guide will explain the ancient “secrets” of Peruvian gastronomy, will highlight the numerous types of potatoes found in Peru and the spices and seasonings used in the local cuisine, and will help you taste some of the exotic seasonal fruits as well.

The artsy neighborhood of Barranco
Next stop: Barranco, the most artsy and bohemian neighborhood of Lima facing the Pacific Ocean and home to some Colonial-style houses, beautiful street art and art galleries.
From there, you will head to the picturesque bridge “el Puente de los Suspiros” (the “Bridge of Sighs”) and a cliff from where you can enjoy unique views of the Pacific Ocean.

The Historic Center of Lima
After lunch, you will be driven to the Historic Center of Lima, where you will learn about the colonial past of Peru and how it is still reflected in modern times.
The Historic Center of Lima, known as “the City of the Kings”, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 to honor the value of the numerous historic monuments concentrated in the area and the role that Lima played in the history of the New World from the 16th to the 18th century.

You will walk through the main old streets of Lima Antigua exploring its beautiful monuments and the colonial houses adorned with Moorish-style balconies (Lima has more than 1500 balconies), where the first Spanish families lived during the colonial period.
Walking along the Plaza de Armas, you will see the baroque Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Archbishop's Palace with its big carved wooden balconies, and you will visit the convent of San Francisco which houses the largest collection of religious art in the Americas and an extensive network of catacombs that served as cemetery during the colonial period.

Accommodation: Casa Andina Premium Miraflores Hotel – Superior Room (or similar), in Lima.

After an early breakfast, you will head to the airport to board your flight to Cusco city: the old capital of the Incas, located at an altitude of 3,400m. There, your main adventure begins – the hike on the Inca Trail – starting from Day 1 as described in Part B below.

Recommended domestic flight: Departing Lima from 7 am to 10 am.
(Not included – can be arranged at an extra cost that usually amounts to 300 - 400 USD).

Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Upon your arrival at Cusco, a Rahhalah representative will welcome you and drive you straight into the Sacred Valley (altitude 2,870m).

On the way, you will visit the Awana Kancha Center: a hillside farm of alpaca, llama and vicuna, where you can feed the animals and take photos with them while learning how the Quechua weavers use their wool to make top-quality textiles.

Then, you will stop at Pisac village which offers a unique combination of ancient Inca ruins and a modern-day indigenous (Peruvian Indian) market. There, you will have the opportunity to immerse into the local culture, interacting with the Quechua families, admiring their colorful attires, and maybe even tasting delicious Empanadas baked in a wood-burning oven.

Afterwards, you will reach your hotel and you will spend the afternoon relaxing and acclimatizing to the altitude.

In the evening, you will regroup to enjoy a welcoming dinner on the Andes.

Accommodation: Casa Andina Premium Valley Hotel – Superior Room (or similar), in the Sacred Valley.

After breakfast, you will drive to Pachar, the starting point of your ziplining adventure.
With its 7 lines, ranging from 150 to 700 m (a total of 2800 m), the Sacred Valley zipline allows all visitors to explore this magnificent area from above in a safe and fun way.

To reach the starting point of the zipline, you will hike for 30-40 mins, and then you will go on a small (4 meters) Via Ferrata climb. Each line is different from the other so you will start with an easy and short one, and the circuit will allow you to upgrade on the way. You will enjoy a three-hour ziplining adventure, before driving back to your hotel in Ollantaytambo to relax.

Accommodation: Casa Andina Premium Valley Hotel – Superior Room (or similar), in the Sacred Valley.

After breakfast, you will go on a smooth, 30-min drive through the Inca Sacred Valley towards the trailhead at Km 82, where your Inca-trail adventure officially begins. There, you will meet your Quechua porters and cook who will ensure that the next few days will be a memorable, comfortable and safe experience for you.

On the first day, you will hike on a well-marked path, enjoying eucalyptus groves, outstanding views of the Urubamba River, the Vilcanota Mountain Range, the snow-capped peak of Veronica (5,822m/19,102 ft), and the agricultural terraces in the Inca complex of Llaqtapata.

Hiking details:
Estimated hiking distance: 12 km (7.5 miles).
Estimated hiking time: 6 hours.

Overnight in a campsite in three-season tents.

The second day on the Inca trail is possibly the most challenging one as you will have to climb on a steep path for almost 1,220 meters (4,000 feet), to reach the Dead Woman’s Pass (at 4,200m/13,780 ft altitude). However, you will have the chance to enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the path, frequently shared with llamas and deer, and, at the top, you will experience a fulfilling sense of accomplishment.

After crossing the Dead Woman’s Pass, you will descend following a rock-stepped path towards Pacaymayo valley (3,600 m/11,810 ft), where you will rest for the night.

Hiking details:
Estimated hiking distance: 11 km (7 miles).
Estimated hiking time: 8 hours.

Overnight in a campsite in three-season tents.

After a hearty breakfast, surrounded by a breathtaking landscape, you will begin your third day on the Inca trail: maybe the most picturesque part of the path.

You will start with a one-hour climb to the circular ruins of Runkurakay, which are believed to be a resting place for Incan couriers during the Inca times. Then, you will head towards the Runkurakay Pass (3,950 m/12,960 ft), where you will enjoy stunning views of the snowcapped mountains of Vilcabamba range.

Next stop is the “inaccessible town” of Sayacmarca, a well-preserved mysterious Inca complex (3,588 m/11,772 ft) whose raison-d-etre remains elusive but its beauty is spectacular.

As the day unfolds, the trail becomes more and more delightful. You will cross an impressive Inca tunnel dug through solid rock, and the third pass, Phuyupatamarka (3,700 m/12,140 ft), with stunning views of Salkantay and Veronica Snowcapped Mountains, before reaching the “Cloud-Level Town” of Phuyupatamarka, one of the most impressive archaeological Inca centers.

Finally, you will camp near Wiñaywayna (2,691 m/8,829 ft), the most spectacular archaeological complex of the entire Inca Trail.

Hiking details:
Estimated hiking distance: 16 km (10 miles).
Estimated hiking time: 8 hours.

Overnight in a campsite in three-season tents.

Today is the grand finale of this life-changing adventure on the footsteps of the pilgrims towards Machu Picchu. You will start your descent at the early morning hours, and when you reach the “Sun Gate”, you will see for the first time, from above, the “lost city” of Machu Picchu.

After one more hour of hiking, you will arrive at Machu Picchu (2,400m altitude): one of the most extraordinary archaeological sites on earth. There, you will enjoy a 2.5-hour private tour around the ruins of Machu Picchu. This impressive Inca city is full of mysteries and monuments. With the help of an experienced guide, you will learn about its history, who lived there, how it was discovered in the 20th century, and why the Spaniards never found it. You will gain insights into the various features of the sacred city and will immerse in its meditative ambience.

After visiting Machu Picchu, you will board the bus to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo, at 2000m altitude) where you can have lunch and enjoy some well-deserved relaxing time in the village.

Accommodation: Casa Andina Standard Hotel – Superior Room (or similar), in Aguas Calientes.

In the morning, you will board the train back to the Sacred Valley. Upon arrival at Ollantaytambo train station, you will be welcomed by the driver who will take you to Cusco.

Enjoy the rest of the day exploring the ancient capital of the Incas at your own pace.

Accommodation: Casa Andina Premium Cusco – Superior Room (or similar), in Cusco.

Enjoy a relaxing morning, strolling through the streets of Cusco: one of the most beautiful towns in Latin America. In the afternoon, you will go on a guided tour around the town (which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), visiting its most remarkable landmarks like the main square known as Plaza de Armas and the 16th-century Cathedral that boasts an impressive collection of more than 400 paintings from the Cusco art school dating to the 16th and 17th century. The tour includes a visit to one the most impressive Inca temples: Koricancha, known as the Temple of the Sun. During the Inca times, the walls of this temple were lined with sheets of solid gold, and its courtyard was decorated with golden statues and ornaments. You will finish with a visit to the Santo Domingo Church built by the Spanish colonists before moving outside the city for an exploration of other famous Inca monuments.

First, you will head to Sacsayhuaman, an amazing Inca fortress whose main walls, built with massive stones, are perfectly fitted. You will learn more about the Incas’ construction and engineering secrets, before continuing to Qenko, Puca Pucara (an Inca lodging site), and Tambo Machay (known as the Baths of the Inca).

Accommodation: Casa Andina Premium Cusco – Superior Room (or similar), in Cusco.

In the morning, you will head to Cusco airport for your departure flight. Alternatively, you may extend your trip to include a Rainbow Mountain trek (Part C below) and/or an exploration of the Amazon rainforest (Part D below).

Rainbow mountain trek - Optional post main trip extension

After an early breakfast, you will head to Phulawasipata (a 3-hour drive), from where you will embark on a hiking adventure on the Ausangate mountain, towards the highest point of the Rainbow Mountain (5,200 m altitude). On the way, you will enjoy amazing landscapes and the different types of the South American camelids.

You will then return to Phulawasipata and, from there, drive to Cusipata for a picnic lunch, before returning to Cusco for the night.

Hiking details:
Estimated hiking distance: 7 km (4 miles).
Estimated hiking time: 4 hours.

Accommodation: Casa Andina Premium Cusco – Superior Room (or similar), in Cusco.

In the morning, you will head to Cusco airport for your departure flight or you can further extend your trip with an exploration of the Amazon rainforest.

Explore the Amazon - Optional post main trip extension

After an early breakfast, you will head to the airport, to board your flight to Puerto Maldonado.
Upon your arrival at Puerto Maldonado, you will be welcomed by the local Rahhalah guide who will take you to the Refugio Amazonas Lodge office where you will register, leave the excess luggage in a safe deposit and then depart for the Tambopata River Port (in Infierno), to take the boat to the Refugio Amazonas Lodge (inside the Tambopata Reserve). During your boat trip, you will enjoy a box lunch.

Estimated boat-ride time: 2.5 hrs.

When at Refugio Amazonas, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you on important navigation and security tips.

After dinner, you will enjoy a caiman search, walking by the river’s edge, scanning the banks with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection on the caiman eyes.

Accommodation: Refugio Amazonas Lodge - Superior Room (or similar).

After breakfast, you will paddle around the Oxbow Lake on a canoe or catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman, and horned screamers, hoping to see otters and macaws as well.
Afterwards, you will go on a 30-min walk towards the 25-meter scaffolding canopy tower. The tower has been built on high ground, allowing stunning 360-views of the rainforest up to the Tambopata National Reserve. From there, you will see toucans, macaws and raptors.
After lunch, you will visit a farm owned and managed by Don Manuel from the community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and exotic Amazon crops and will introduce you to the mysteries of the local flora.

Late in the afternoon, you will enjoy an ethnobotanical tour packed with interesting information about the variety of plants and trees (like Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, to name but a few) that are used by the local population for medicinal purposes.

After dinner, there will be a presentation about the ecotourism projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.

Accommodation: Refugio Amazonas Lodge - Superior Room (or similar).

After breakfast, you will head to the airport of Puerto Maldonado to fly to Lima (after retrieving your luggage from the Refugio Amazonas Lodge), and, from there, catch your flight back home.

Note: it is recommended that your international departure flights is after 6 pm.