Lima Santa Cruz trek – Arequipa – Puno – Machu Picchu – Rainbow Mountain – Lima

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Lima is the capital: of Peru located on the arid Pacific coast of the country. Although its colonial center is preserved, it is an overflowing metropolis and one of the largest cities in South America. The Larco Museum houses a collection of pre-Columbian art and the Museum of the Nation traces the history of the ancient civilizations of Peru. The Plaza de Armas and the 16th century cathedral are the core of the old center of Lima.

About the Santa Cruz Trek: The Santa Cruz trek is a popular 3 or 4 day trip with a backpack on the shoulder through the heart of the impressive Cordillera Blanca of Peru and most travelers use Huaraz, Peru as a place to establish their base.

The Colca Canyon: is located in the valley of a river in southern Peru and is famous for being one of the deepest in the world. It is a famous destination for hiking. It is a habitat of the giant Andean condor, which can be seen from viewpoints such as the Cruz del Cóndor. The canyon landscape encompasses a green valley and traditional remote villages with terraced agriculture that preceded the Incas. The Colca River is popular for rafting.

Uros floating islands occupy a small corner of the world’s highest altitude navigable lake. It’s fair to say that there is no other place like it on earth. The people of Uros are believed to be descended from the earliest inhabitants of Lake Titicaca.

The island of Taquile, on Lake Titicaca, belongs to the district of Amantaní, Puno, Peru and is located 45 km from the regional capital. It has an approximate population of 2,200 inhabitants. The main villa is at 3,950 meters above sea level and the highest point on the island reaches 4,050 meters above sea level.

Cusco is a city in the Peruvian: Andes that was the capital of the Inca Empire and is known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. The Plaza de Armas is the center of the ancient city, with galleries, carved wooden balconies and ruins of Inca walls. The convent of Santo Domingo, in baroque style, was built on the Temple of the Inca Sun (Qoricancha) and has archaeological remains of Inca stonework.

Machu Picchu: is an Inca citadel located in the heights of the Andes mountains in Peru, above the Urubamba river valley. It was built in the fifteenth century and then abandoned, and is famous for its sophisticated dry stone walls that combine huge blocks without the use of a mortar, fascinating buildings that relate to astronomical alignments and panoramic views. The exact use he had remains a mystery.

A journey could not be more varied. A journey into the natural wonder of Peru.
Join an unforgettable trip with us “Peru Expeditions Tours”

Travel Program

Flight from Europe or the country of origin (USA or Canada), etc. Arrival in Lima – Transfer Hotel the large city in South America; population approximately 11 million. Rest or explore the city on your own.

Overnight Hotel (-/-/-)

This ride follows the Pan American highway north across the impressive Pacific coastal desert. Continuing toward higher terrain, we pass through the Cordillera Negra (Black Range) at Conococha Pass (4020 m) into the Santa Valley and Huaraz (3100m). Once across the pass, you’ll see a charming view of the mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, without a doubt some of the most impressive scenery in the world. You can also fly via LCPERU – flight duration 50 minutes.

Overnight Hotel (B/-/-)

We travel from Playa to the hydroelectric at the Urubamba River. We will ascend one newly opened Inca trail. This trail originally was used to transport agricultural products to the population on Machu Picchu. The trail takes us through an area with coffee plantations and subtropical fruits and crops. As we ascend the trails, vegetation changes between dry and grassy with flowers and moist cloud forest. In the pass we are suddenly in a cool dense wood full of trees covered with thick moss. Shortly hereafter we see for the first time the impressive Machu Picchu on a mountain saddle further into the valley. Within 10 minutes we arrive to our lunch spot called Llactapata. Here we eat lunch while enjoying the views of Machu Picchu and the beautiful mountains. Then we walk the last part downhill and along the river to the Hydroelectric. Here we can visit Intihuatana while waiting for the train or continue walking to Aguas Calientes where we arrive in the afternoon. We spend the night in a nice hotel.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

Today we head for the departure point for our trek. We set off via private transport to the valley of the Santa River, as far down as Caraz and then along a narrow route toward the Santa Cruz Valley. The farmers cultivate the green fields, but agriculture is very difficult here. We arrive at the village of Cashapampa (2900 m) where our trek begins and our local team is waiting: burro drivers whose pack animals will carry our baggage from now on. Starting in the lush vegetation of the valley, we continue deeper into this unique mountain landscape. After approximately 4½ hours of trekking, we arrive at our campsite in Llamacorral.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/D)

We climb via Santa Cruz Gorge and pass alongside the lakes of Ichiccocha y Jatuncocha. At the edge of the trees, the lupines enchant us with all colors of blue. This is a paradise for the local ducks! Next we go to Lake Arhueycocha (4450m), which is also the departure point for climbing Alpamayo. We enjoy a fantastic view of the peaks of Alpamayo, Quitaraju, Artesonraju (the logo for Paramount Pictures!) Many people believe that the white pyramid of Alpamayo is the most beautiful mountain in the world! Camp at Taullipampa.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/D)

At first it‘s an easy climb through meadows, but the trail soon becomes dry, rocky and steep. This trail was used from pre-Inca times to get to Punta Unión, an imposing mountain; it will take about 2 hours. The majestic mountains of the Cordillera Blanca you can see today include Taulliraju and Huandoy, Huascarán, the Pucajircas, Artesonraju and many others. The descent is also steep and passes through the beautiful high mountain landscape of the lakes of Morococha. We finally get to the valley of Huaripampa where we camp for the night.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/D)

After descending through the forests and whitewater rivers of the Huaripampa Valley, we pass through a typical village of the high Andes, Vaquería. The farmers here raise small animals and some crops. At this elevation there are still flowers, and their colors brighten the landscape. From the village we climb to Portachuelo de Llanganuco Pass, 4650 meters, where you will have fantastic views of several mountains covered in snow. And with a bit of luck, we‘ll be able to see vicuñas! These timid relatives of llamas graze at elevations of 5500 m; it’s not surprising that these animals produce the finest wool in the animal kingdom, tired and happy, we arrive at the hotel.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

Transfer to the bus station in the morning and in the afternoon arrival to Lima capital of Peru, transfer to hotel.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

In the morning we fly to Arequipa. The city is also known as the “White City” because of its many white volcanic stone buildings. In the afternoon we explore the city and the famous monastery of Santa Catalina. Built in the 16th century, the monastery is a huge complex of buildings that used to be like a city of its own, housing over 450 nuns. Overnight at hotel.

Overnight hotel (B/L/-)

Pick up at the hotel between 2:30 a.m and 3:00 a.m in Arequipa to head to the town of Chivay, where we will stop for a breakfast amidst amazing Andean landscapes. We will continue our journey to the “Cruz del Cóndor” where we can appreciate the formation of the Colca Canyon and the flight of the condors. In the area, we will be approximately 1 hour. Later we will go to visit the natural viewpoints of Wayrapunko, Antahuilque, and Choquetico, where we can appreciate the work of our pre-Inca ancestors: hanging tombs and litho-scale models. We continue with stops in the towns of Maca and Yanque and finish in Chivay where we will go to the Thermal Baths of “La Calera” to enjoy the thermal medicinal waters for about 1 hour. Then, we will return to the town of Chivay for a lunch buffet (included). At 5:00 p.m. we’ll return to your hotel in Arequipa.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

In the morning bus drive to Arequipa. We are going to take a comfortable first class ride to Puno (approximately 6 hours journey). In the afternoon arrival to our hotel.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

The floating islands of UROS are located inside the bay of Lake Titicaca only 14 Km. (about 9 miles) away from the city (20 to 30 minutes of navigation time). The Uro people were simple fishermen and bird hunters and preferred to remain isolated from the more advanced civilizations. Their search for isolation may be one reason why they decided to live in mobile houses on the lake. When the Spanish chroniclers encountered the UROS by the end of the XVI century, the UROS people were still living on the lake in small reed-boats that they used as floating houses. Only in the early 60s, the Uros started to build small artificial islands with reeds for their homes. Nowadays, The Uro islanders are survivors and they strive for a better future for their children. The young “Uro” are beginning to receive a better education and it is likely that they will not return to live on the “floating island”. The days of this old community will most likely end with the next generation. The island of Taquile, on Lake Titicaca, belongs to the district of Amantaní, Puno, Peru and is located 45 km from the regional capital. It has an approximate population of 2,200 inhabitants. The main villa is at 3,950 meters above sea level and the highest point on the island reaches 4,050 meters above sea level. Overnight at hotel.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

After breakfast we leave early. Today, the legendary train or private transport ride from Puno to Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, is on the program. This full-day train journey traverses the impressive landscape of the Peruvian highlands. Vast peaks of the Andes and green grassy plains provide an impressive backdrop for the grazing vicuñas and alpacas. The observation car with bar offers an optimal view of the impressive landscape that passes us at 30 kilometers per hour. Upon arrival in Cusco transfer from the train station to the hotel.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

To start our Short Inca Trail Trip,we will pick up from the hotel at 05:30 am, transfering you to Ollantaytambo train Station. You will enjoy a beauty and comfort trip until km 104 of the railway line Cusco – Machu Picchu, this is our start point of our trek, where we will be arriving at 10.00am approx. What will I Enjoy on this day? We will visit the archaeological complex of Chachabamba (2150 masl), located just next to the control post (please don’t forget your documents there are so important to entry in the inca road) and will initiate a long walk of the ascent of 8 km during 4h, towards the archaeological complex of Wiñay Wayna (2700 masl), that is an impressive archaeological set composed of an agricultural sector with numerous platforms, a religious sector, and an urban sector. Also in the way, we will have the opportunity to enjoy magnificent views of the valley of the Urubamba River and the archaeological complex of Choquesuysuy, located in the left margin of the river, and the best? A beautiful waterfall located to few minutes of Wiñay Wayna. Then, we will continue towards the Inti Punku or Sun Gate, after approximately 1 hour of a long walk on the brink of madness precipices in a landscape of forest eyebrow we will see for the first time the wonder of world, sacred city of Machu Picchu!!. But wait you will enjoy everything of this majestic wonder on the next day. After the incredible entry through the Sun Gate, and see for first time Machu Picchu, we will descend in approximately 40 minutes, arriving by the superior part to the “House of the Guardians.” Then we will get the bus down to Aguas Calientes (25 minutes), where we will stay over.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

On this second day, we will leave our hotel towards Machu Picchu after an exquisite breakfast at about 5:30 am. by bus. We will start ecry early because at this time the setting is less crowded and you will enjoy more the Machu Picchu Tour, so we will take an advantage of the tranquility of this sacred site; Then you will have a guided Tour of Machupicchu exploring it for about 3 hrs, know their mysteries and archaeological information that will be explained by your TOUR guide; you have approx. 6 hrs. extra free time but please it depends on train time availability. The train departs from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo in the afternoon, then 2-hour you will be transport in a tourist bus to Cusco arriving between 8- 9:00 pm. approx.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

Early at morning, approximately 3 – 4 a.m we will pick you up from your Hotel to start the adventure!! We will start going to the town of Checacupe,to then take the road to Pitumarca. After a repairing breakfast we will continue on our way to Pampachiri located at 3800 m.a.s.l, where we will start the trek from approximately 3 to 4 hours. The road is full of beautiful landscapes and variety of Andean camelids that delight the view forgetting a little the slope of the route. Once in the mountain Vinicunca or also called Rainbow Mountain, we will have a brief conversation with the guide who will explain the reason for the coloration and also have a privileged view of the Snow Mountain Ausangate. After the respective photos we proceed to the descent, then have lunch and go back to the city of Cusco.

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

Today it is time to say goodbye to the Peruvian Inca Culture. After breakfast we board our transfer to the airport – fligh about (Approx. 1 hour journey) and continue via Lima to USA, Canada, Europa, etc.

Overnight Flight (-/-/-)

Go back home – end tour in Peru / South America.

Overnight fligh (-/-/-)

Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner

What's Included

Services included in the prices:

  • Flight Lima – Arequipa
  • Flight Cusco – Lima
  • All transfers as shedule program
  • Full board on the whole trip except in Lima, Arequipa and Cusco only breakfast
  • Boat tours on Lake Titicaca
  • Bus or private transport ride from Puno to Cusco
  • Bus tickets from Lima-Huaraz-Lima
  • Hikes and excursions with local guides english speakers
  • Mountain Lodge: Full service Salkantay trek
  • Enter fees, train, tickets bus, etc
  • Hotels *** Lima, Huaraz, Arequipa, Puno, Cusco
  • Courtesy transfer from the airport to your hotel in Cusco (Please provide us your flight information)
  • Transport according to the Schedule
  • Bilingual and professional tour guide
  • Pre-departure Inca Trail briefing, presented by your tour guides at our downtown Cusco office
  • Expedition train tickets from Ollantaytambo to the Km. 104
  • Entrance ticket to the Inca Trail
  • Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu
  • Two-hour guided tour upon your arrival in Machu Picchu
  • Bus ticket from Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes.
  • Expedition train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Transfer from the train station to your hotel in Cusco
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (1B, 1L, 1D).
  • Vegetarian food available upon request for no extra charge
  • Accommodations in Aguas Calientes the first night
  • Emergency oxygen bottle
  • First aid equipment
  • Airfare and hotel advice upon request as well as booking

Not included:

  • Restaurants: Lunch and dinner in Lima, Arequipa and Cusco
  • Entrances to the thermal baths in Aguas Calientes
  • Hotel in Lima capital city
  • Breakfast on the first morning
  • Sleeping bag that can be rented at our office
  • Tips for the guide and field staff recommended 200 USD
  • Travel and medical insurance & emergency evacuation insurance
  • Personal equipment and clothing
  • Personal Equipment
  • International flight from USA, Europe, Canada, etc.
  • Pick-ups from Lima airport to the Hotel and viceversa
  • Horse (in case of emergency, for Santa Cruz trek)
  • Travel luggage and Travel cancellation insurance
  • Not mentioned food and beverages
  • Personal Spending

Prices & Dates


Season: April – September
Difficulty: Moderate

Dates & Prices:

More information about dates and prices upon request.


Juventino Albino Caldua

Expert guide certified by IVBV - UIAGM - IFMGA
Co-Founder, Peru Expeditions
Telephone: (+51) 943780600
E-Mail: [email protected]