Expert-Led Group Tour

Peru Group Tour - Traditions and Communities of the Sacred Valley

Visit the Sacred Valley, Lima, Cusco, Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu

9 days

from £3,295pp
  • Hands-on weaving and dyeing experience with Andean communities
  • Learn about Peruvian folklore and traditions through textiles
  • Explore various Inca ruins including Machu Picchu
  • Discover Peruvian history through two well curated museums

Discover more about the Peruvian culture through the eyes of textile tradition. This group trip visits the highlights of southern Peru including Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley, but at the same time allows for a deep immersion in the traditions, folklore and way of life of the Andean communities.

Meet with Accha Alta, Chinchero and Pitumarca communities, each with their own weaving designs, techniques and stories. Also participate in hands on workshops of dyeing and weaving. These experiences complement each other, so will allow the group to have a full picture of Andean traditional textiles and the Andean world.

Contrary to the countries in the "Old World" which were influenced by the Chinese and Indian civilizations amongst others, and have had constant commerce among them since the old times, the "New World" was completely isolated from the rest of the world, thus the fact that Peru had such a developed textile industry is a marvel even to this day.

The trip also includes special touches such as meals in charming private venues and stylish catered picnic lunches in the outdoors, combined with simple traditional lunches such as the ones in Pitumarca and Chinchero.  

WHY TRAVEL TO PERU WITH STEPPES?

Our travel consultants, Paul and James have between them visited every corner of Peru by plane, train, car, bike, donkey or on foot. They have sampled most of the food, stayed in hotels which range from the gorgeous to the very simple, and have visited all the important places and most of the less important. Great people to help you with your holiday to Peru.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO PERU?

There is a direct flight with British Airways to Lima with a flying time of 12.5 hours, this is not daily at present. There are daily flights via Amsterdam or Madrid to Lima which takes approximately 16.5 hours, with the longest sector of the journey being Europe to Lima at just over 12 hours. This is longer via the US as you need to allow sufficient time to clear immigration.

WILL I NEED A VISA TO TRAVEL TO PERU?

Visas are not required for British Nationals to Peru for a stay up to six months.

Other nationals please check with the respective embassies or representatives.

WHAT IS THE ACCOMODATION LIKE IN PERU?

During this journey, expect a combination of comfortable and charming superior category hotels at each destination. You may be surprised at the character and history behind a couple of them.

IS THIS GROUP TOUR SUITABLE FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT TRAVELLING IN PERU?

Travelling involves moving around quite frequently with a number of early starts and long days, but you will be rewarded with fantastic food, culture and incredible scenery.

WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE IN OCTOBER IN PERU?

October is part of the Peruvian spring, where you can expect mild temperatures throughout. Once you gain altitude in the Sacred Valley, Cusco and especially Lake Titicaca, you will notice that although temperatures should be warm during the day, the pass of a cloud will make it colder. In the Andes, temperatures will drop down dramatically during the evenings and dawn.

WHAT IS THE TYPICAL FOOD AND DRINK IN PERU?

The love for good food is a distinctive characteristic of an average Peruvian. Combine this with the huge variety of local ingredients, pre-Columbian and Spanish culinary traditions mixed with influences from all over the world and the creativity of local chefs, and the result is fantastic local cuisine. During your tour, be prepared to enjoy a wide variety of delicious dishes, way beyond the "Lomo Saltado".

HOW FIT SHOULD I BE TO JOIN THIS TOUR?

All you need to join this tour is be in good health with the ability to walk short to medium distances and on uneven terrain. The distance you cover in a day shouldn´t be longer than one or two miles. The geography of the Andes mean walks are often up or downhill. 

WHAT ABOUT ALTITUDE IN PERU?

We purposefully begin the Andes part of the trip in the Sacred Valley which has an elevation of 2,700 metres, lower than Cusco at 3,400 metres and Lake Titicaca at 3,800 metres, and time has been factored into the itinerary to acclimatise. Symptoms of altitude sickness usually occur within the first 24 hours at altitude, including shortness of breath, headache, nausea, lethargy and loss of appetite and with rest usually pass quickly. Some people suffer, whilst others feel no symptoms at all and we advise visiting or contacting your GP before travel if you have any concerns. All guides and hoteliers are very aware of the signs and bottled oxygen is found in most hotels.

CAN I EXTEND MY STAY IN PERU?

We have created a perfect extension to this tour, visiting the Mallkini Alpaca Ranch, the largest private Alpaca ranch in the Andes. Moises, the ranch manager, will share his vast knowledge about Alpaca breeding in their natural environment. For this, or other options, speak to Paul or James.



Departing on:
  • 11th October 2019

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
11th Oct 2019 19th Oct 2019 £ 3,295 £ 750 £ 375 Local Expert Available
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Accommodation as described in the itinerary
  • Accompanied by a English speaking guide in Peru
  • All transfers, tours and excursions as per the itinerary
  • Domestic flights
  • Entrance fees for all the sites mentioned
  • First Class Inca Rail from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo
  • Gratuities for the local guide, driver and porters
  • Meals as described in the itinerary
  • Private local tour guides in Cusco and Lake Titicaca
  • Vistadome (Peru Rail) from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Workshops and materials as described

what is excluded

  • All drinks
  • International flights
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

TO ALLOW FLEXIBILITY, OUR GROUP TOURS DO NOT INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AS STANDARD. WE CAN ARRANGE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS ON YOUR BEHALF AND THE ABOVE IS AN INDICATION OF COST, BASED ON RETURN FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM LONDON. ALL INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Arrive Lima
On arrival into Lima you will be transferred to your hotel.

Lima, the 'City of Kings', is a vibrant and bustling metropolis worthy of exploration. Nestled on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, Lima is known as the 'Gateway to Peru' and combines colonial splendour, prestigious museums and beautiful parks with lively nightlife and ample opportunities for sampling its world-famous cuisine.


You will be staying at Casa Andina Miraflores Select, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Lima Larco Musuem
In the morning, visit the Larco Herrera Museum, or Museo Arqueológico Rafael Larco Herrera in Spanish, with a specialist guide for a full introduction to Peruvian millenary history. The Larco Museum is a privately owned museum of pre-Columbian art and is housed in an 18th century vice-royal building built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid. It showcases chronological galleries that provide a thorough overview of 4,000 years of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. It is well known for its gallery of pre-Columbian erotic pottery. You will have lunch at The Café del Museo, a café in the gardens of the museum before returning to your hotel.

The afternoon is free for your own exploration.


Breakfast and lunch included


You will be staying at Casa Andina Miraflores Select, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Lima Colonial Tour
In the morning, visit the colonial centre of Lima including the main Plaza, cathedral, government palace and Casa de Aliaga, an exceptional colonial house that has been inhabited by the same family.

After the city visit transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco.

Fly Lima to Cusco


Arrival into the Sacred Valley
On arrival into Cusco, transfer to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, a journey of around two hours, where you will be based for the next few days. You will have a free afternoon to acclimatise and take a wander around the pretty town with its narrow streets and walls built by the Inca. Ollantaytambo is at an altitude of 2,800 metres so a lower place than Cusco (3,400 metres) to get used to the elevation.

The Sacred Valley of the Incas is nurtured by Rio Urubamba, which carves a fertile chasm from Pisac in the east to Ollantaytambo in the west. To the Incas, Rio Urubamba symbolised the flow of life, and is guarded by the watchful gaze of numerous ancient citadels perched on the lofty mountain ridge above. As a result, fascinating insights await the intrepid traveller.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Tierra Viva Valle Sagrado, bed and breakfast

Day 4

The Sacred Valley and Remote Andean Communities
Drive one and a half hours this morning to visit the Accha Alta community. Located close to the town of Calca, nestled on a steep mountain slope at 3,500 metres, an Andean community of shepherds. Very proud of their traditions, weaving has always been an important part of the community with most people knowing how to weave. Many of the members of this remote mountain community only speak Quechua, the local indigenous language.

During the morning visit, learn about their weaving techniques and designs. Accha Alta textiles are characterised by thin sections of plain weave and wide supplementary warp designs. Traditional textiles from this community are mostly white and red. After this visit have a picnic lunch.

In the afternoon, visit Pisac archaeological site. The ruins at Pisac are some of the finest and largest in the entire valley. Despite the excellent condition of many of the structures, little is known about the site's actual purpose - it appears to have been part city, part ceremonial centre and part military complex.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Tierra Viva Valle Sagrado, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Workshop at the Centre for Traditional Textiles of Cusco
Drive an hour to Chinchero and spend the morning participating in a hands-on workshop at the Centre for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. This centre was started in 1996 and works with 10 different weaving communities, working to preserve and study the Peruvian textiles, as well as helping the women of the communities to become financially independent. It was 20 years ago when 50 children started to learn the art of weaving and producing textiles, this has become an excellent initiative to preserve the unique textile traditions.

During the visit meet and share time with a group of master weavers who have spent over 35 years working together in reviving their traditional weaving techniques. Today, their main objective is to weave high quality textiles. You will be shown how the ladies use plants as dyes and will have the opportunity to join in and boil up yarn of various colours. This is a special experience to learn from some of the master weavers in the Andean communities, it also offers a fun interaction with the ladies who belong to the centre.

Lunch will be at a simple private home in Chinchero close to the workshop.

In the afternoon if time allows, enjoy time sightseeing at the Moras salt terraces. A beautiful valley with hundreds of evaporation salt ponds. The salt in this area has been harvested since pre-Inca times and is managed similar to an allotment, with families from the community having an area to harvest.

Travel back to your hotel for dinner.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Tierra Viva Valle Sagrado, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Ollantaytambo
Morning visit to one of the last remaining Incan towns, Ollantaytambo, which was once fiercely guarded by a huge fortress. Discover the large archeological complex, climb to the top of the ruins for a great view and admire the intricate stone work and Inca canchas (blocks) where no mortar is used.


Machu Picchu
Take the mid-morning Vistadome train from Ollantaytambo station to Machu Picchu, a journey of one hour 40 minutes. The vistadome has large picture windows to admire the dramatic scenery and enjoy views of the valley as it narrows alongside the Urubamba River.

On arrival take the bus up the hill to the entrance. Enter the sanctuary and prepare to be awed by the imposing and skillful architecture of the watchtower, the Temple of the Sun, and the royal Inca residences among many others. Machu Picchu is magnificent and one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world. The guided visit will last a maximum of four hours.

Transfer by bus back to the train station and take the evening train back to Ollantaytambo.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Tierra Viva Valle Sagrado, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Sacred Valley to Awanakancha
Morning drive to Cusco through Awanakancha, a small camelid farm dedicated to the animals and intricate textiles produced from their wool. On arrival at the farm, the group will have the opportunity to meet the resident animals; alpaca, llama and Vicuña.

On the way into Cusco stop at the impressive Inca site of Sacsayhuaman, commonly called a fortress because of the huge stone blocks that make up its walls. The truth is that this site was not really designed for the purpose of being a fortress, but an important worship area.

The journey time is approximately two hours plus the stops at Awanakancha and Sacsayhuaman.


Cusco
After lunch at a restaurant in Cusco visit the most representative sites of the city. This relaxed walk gives you the chance to appreciate, in a more specific way, the complexity of the Peruvian history. Visit the San Pedro Market and the 16th century cathedral filled by rich colonial treasures; also visit the Santo Domingo Convent, once the sacred temple of the Sun, also known as the Qoricancha which inner walls were, according to the Spanish chronicles, once completely covered in gold, housing natural-size gold statues.

Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas, was founded around 1100 AD. It is a beautiful city of Spanish and Inca influences with endless colonial sights to see including churches, monasteries and convents interspersed with Inca foundations, walls, doorways, and arches. Cusco is a major town, and is one of the cultural centres of Peru.


Breakfast, lunch and dinner included


You will be staying at Casa San Blas Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Day at leisure to explore Cusco independently.


Breakfast included. Lunch and dinner are not included today.


You will be staying at Casa San Blas Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Breakfast included

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Casa San Blas Hotel

Casa San Blas Hotel

Casa San Blas Hotel is situated on a narrow cobbled side street in the historic artisan quarter of Cusco....

View Accommodation

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Peru

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

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Paul Bird, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour Lecturer

Local Expert

You will be accompanied throughout by knowledgeable local guides, who have lived all their lives in Peru and can explain the cultures and traditions of life in the Andes. This will include time with Nilda Callanaupa, a remarkable woman, whose passion for weaving and textiles has helped keep the traditional techniques alive and create opportunities for women to earn an income in local communities.
Enquire about this Expert Led tour:

Group Size:

Min 4 / Max 10

Tour Expert:

Local Expert

Departure Date (S):

  • 11th October 2019

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