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Pan-American Highway, Peru

Hidden Wonders of Peru



13 Days

Prices Start from

£5,520pp (ex. flights)

Journey to the fascinating yet little-visited archaeological sites of central and northern Peru that include Kuelap – known as “the Machu Picchu of the North” – in the Chachapoyas region, for a truly off the beaten track adventure.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Three Lagoons at Huayhuash Trek, Peru 1

Lake Trekking

Trek in the spectacular Cordillera Blanca and Negra mountains in central Peru.

Kuelap Fortress Chachapoyya civilization, Peru 2

Kuelap Citadel

Wander the Kuelap Citadel, the largest ancient stone structure in South America.

Yumbilla Waterfall, Peru 3

Yumbilla Waterfall

Go on a hike to experience the majestic Yumbilla Waterfall in virtual solitude.

Tucume, Lambayeque, Peru 4

Chiclayo Ruins

Explore the fascinating pre-Inca ruins around Chiclayo in Northern Peru.

Why we like it

A world away from the bustling sites of the south, this adventure crosses the Continental Divide, traverses a major tributary of the Amazon, views spectacular colourful cliff tombs and visits high-altitude pre-Inca citadels. Since you will be travelling in the company of an expert guide, this trip is all at once historically informative and culturally fascinating, and allows for plenty of adventures amongst the snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Peru on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Day 1

    Lima - Chiclayo

  • Day 2

    Chiclayo - Salas

  • Day 3

    Salas - Chachapoyas

  • Days 4-6


  • Day 7

    Chachapoyas - Jaen - Lima

  • Day 8

    Lima - Huaraz

  • Days 9-12


  • Day 13

    Huaraz - Lima

Day 1

Lima - Chiclayo

Tucume, Chiclayo, Northern Peru

Explore the pre-Inca ruins around Chiclayo in Northern Peru.

Day 2

Chiclayo - Salas

Day 3

Salas - Chachapoyas

Days 4-6


Chachapoyas Sarcophages, Peru

Wander through the largest ancient stone structure in South America.

Day 7

Chachapoyas - Jaen - Lima

Day 8

Lima - Huaraz

Days 9-12


Three Lagoons at Huayhuash Trek, Peru

Visit the turquoise waters of Llanganuco Lakes and hike to the ethereal glacial lake of Laguna 69.

Day 13

Huaraz - Lima

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Mountain Range, Cajamarca, Northern Andes, Peru
Mountain Range, Cajamarca, Northern Andes, Peru

4x4 Road Trip

Drive along the old Pan-American Highway to Olmos, head east in to the Andes, cross the Continental Divide, navigate down twisting roads through dry valleys and traverse the Marañon River, a major tributary of the Amazon, in a 4×4 in the company of an expert guide. Travel to the ancient religious site of Ventarron, one of the oldest ruins in the Americas, believed to date back to 2000 BC. Its mural depicting a deer caught in a net is believed to be the oldest mural discovered in the Americas. Explore Tucume, an eerie and ancient city of adobe pyramids that was built by the Lambayeque and Sican people before being added to by the Incas.

Tucume Pyramids, Peru
Tucume Pyramids, Peru

Tucume & Chiclayo

Fly to the northern town of Chiclayo, founded in 1560 as a small settlement of Indian villages, and visit the Royal Tombs Museum to view its impressive collection of art and artefacts. A short distance from Chiclayo lie two of the most famous sites for pre-Columbian art, Sipan of the Moche culture (circa 100-750 AD) and Tucume with its pyramids, walled citadels and ancient cemeteries.

Chachapoyas Sarcophages, Peru
Chachapoyas Sarcophages, Peru

Discover Chachapoyas

Spend time in the valley town of Chachapoyas, visiting the Yumbilla Waterfall set within lush forest and looking out for the local flora and fauna, including orchids, bromeliads, Andean parrots, hummingbirds and Peru’s national bird the cock-of-the-rock with its bright red plumage. Also visit the largest ancient stone structure in South America, the citadel of Kuelap that is perched high on a ridge in the tropical cloud forests of northern Peru in a remarkable testament to pre-Inca architecture.

Huayhuash, Huarez, Peru
Huayhuash, Huarez, Peru

Adventures in Huaraz

Huaraz is the capital of Ancash, overlooking the spectacular Cordilleras Blanca and Negra, and the gateway for those seeking adventure. Home to the highest mountain in Peru, more than 600 glaciers and almost 300 lakes, it is a paradise for trekkers and climbers. The snow-capped peaks of Cordillera Blanca offer some of the most spectacular scenery in Peru, and visitors can go hiking, visit the turquoise waters of Llanganuco Lakes, hike to the ethereal glacial lake of Laguna 69 and traverse old roads with magnificent views of the snow-capped peaks of Mount Ranrapalca.

Llama, Machu Picchu, Peru
Llama, Machu Picchu, Peru

Suggestion: Machu Picchu Extension

While this trip uncovers the lesser-known, hidden gems of the land of the Incas and is designed to suit the most adventurous travellers, you might still wish to explore the traditional highlights of the country. Whether you want to take the train to Machu Picchu, sail on remote Lake Titicaca, sip Pisco sours in Cusco or sail on a tributary of the Peruvian Amazon, there are a plethora of unmissable highlights that combine beautifully with an adventure in central and northern Peru.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Kentitambo Lodge £££££

  • Peru
  • B&B, Motel and Guesthouse

Kentitambo is a family-run boutique hotel nestled on a hillside in Leymebamba. The hotel has two huge rooms with wide balconies to relax and take in the views. This is a step above most of the other hotels in the area in terms of comfort. The gardens are delightful, with fish ponds, orchids and rare hummingbirds everywhere. Further up the hill behind the rooms is the main house where meals are served. Guests are welcome to walk into the kitchen and watch as the food is prepared or sit by the open fire and relax.

View Property

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Once again, I would like to thank James for organising our trip. Our visit to Peru was perfect. Each of the expert guides in Peru made the whole thing run like clockwork, and I cannot thank all of you enough.

Destination: Peru
Travel Expert: James

Paul put together a spectacular trip through the highlights of Peru, and no detail was missed. His recommendations for acclimatising were particularly helpful, and something no one else I spoke to had mentioned.

Destination: Peru
Travel Expert: Paul

Our trip to Colombia and Peru, organised by James, exceeded all of our expectations! We travelled initially to see our eldest son who lives in California and then decided that (while close by) we would "nip" to Peru with the aim of visiting Machu Picchu, and onward to Colombia. A spectacular and memorable trip of a lifetime.

Destinations: Colombia & Peru
Travel Expert: James

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £5,520 Per person

When to travel

Peru in January

January begins the rainy season in the Andes and the Amazon as they reach the summer months. Along the coast, this can be one of the best times to visit, although it is a hotspot for locals.

Peru in February

As the rains continue, February can be a good time to avoid crowds. While Machu Picchu remains open, trekking in this area is a challenge as the Inca Trail closes for the month. Heavy rains in the Amazon increase water levels on the river, making wildlife viewing slightly more challenging however it does allow you to adventure into areas otherwise not reachable by boat in other months of the year.

Peru in March

March can be a good time to visit Peru. As the rainy season draws to the end, the coast will still be experiencing summer weather while inland you can expect rains. This can be one of the least crowded months for Machu Picchu and the local tourism on the beaches has subsided as children go back to school.

Peru in April

April is considered one of the best times to travel to Peru with pleasant temperatures and avoiding the busiest period. As there is still some rain, the landscape is vibrant.

Peru in May

As the dry season begins and winter sets in, temperatures are comfortable and the countryside is green with life from the rainy season.

Peru in June

June marks the start of the peak season in Peru. Skies are clear, making for picturesque sightseeing. As this is officially the start of winter, cooler temperatures are expected especially in the evenings.

Peru in July

July begins the peak travel season as international holidays open. With warm, sunny days and cooler evenings, this is also the peak time for trekking the mountainous landscapes of the Andes.

Peru in August

August continues the peak season throughout the country. With cooler evening temperatures, brings a morning fog in the Sacred Valley, which clears to blue skies by the afternoon. Expect dry, sunny weather in the Amazon during this time.

Peru in September

As spring draws in during the month of September, expect cloudy mornings which clear to blue skies in the afternoon. Showers become more likely as this is considered the shoulder season before the green season begins.

Peru in October

Temperatures begin to increase in October as summer approaches. As the dry season comes to an end, the chance of precipitation increases along with clouds.

Peru in November

Temperatures rise in November with rain increasing from the middle of the month. As a shoulder season, this can be a good time to travel to avoid crowding in Machu Picchu.

Peru in December

Weather in December sees increased temperatures as summer begins, along with the start to the rainy season. Rising water levels in the Amazon makes wildlife viewing slightly more challenging along the shores.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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