Machu Picchu & Much Much More
May 14th to 30th 2024
Classic Peru is a 2000 mile self drive adventure which starts in Lima and visits Nasca, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and many other superb locations. The changing scenery in South America is amazing and one day you will be driving along the Pan American highway through desert landscapes and the next you will be high up in the Andes, close to snow capped volcanoes. During the trip you may well see penguins, sea lions, condors and llamas.
Most of the driving is on good paved roads with a small amount of mild off road. In common with all our trips we do not drive in a convoy. Instead you are free to travel in your own time guided by an easy to follow route book. The expected number of vehicles on each trip is fifteen.
This year we have three vehicle choices. If you choose to have a 4×4 you need to decide between either a medium (Toyota Rav 4, Toyota Hi Lux double cab & Hyundai Santa Fe) or large (Toyota Prado & Kia Sorrento). The large 4×4 option is ideal if you fancy doing the trip with another couple. The final option is to travel in a car which will be similar to a Nissan Versa.
Classic Peru Itinerary
Day 1 – FLIGHT TO LIMA – Arrive at Lima Airport and transfer to the hotel.
Day 2 – LIMA – Half day city tour of Lima. Lima – known as The City of Kings, once the centre of the Spanish Empire in the New World. Now, Capital of Peru and one of the most important cities in South America. We’ll be taking a city tour of Lima visiting the impressively restored colonial city centre declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the afternoon you’re free to explore at leisure and in the evening we’ll have dinner at a restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.
Day 3 – LIMA to NASCA – After breakfast, we take a short transfer to collect the vehicles and drive south on the Panamericana towards Nasca. The Panamericana is the main highway running the whole way down South America. The drive is surprisingly scenic as we enter the desert and run along the coast. That evening we’re staying in the centre of Nasca – Dinner not incl.
Day 4 – NASCA to CHALHUANCA – Heading inland we start climbing into the Andes, crossing several passes before eventually arriving at Chalhuanca. On the way we pass through the Pampa Galeras National Park set up in 1965 to protect the population of vicunas which, due to hunting, were becoming endangered. The vicuna is a relative of the llama and is the national animal of Peru. Dinner incl.
Day 5 – CHALHUANCA to URUBAMBA – Continuing further inland we head towards Urumbamba stopping at the Salinas salt beds and the massive amphitheatre at Moray. Dinner incl.
Day 6 – MACHU PICCHU – Today we visit Machu Picchu. We’ll take a short trip to the train station for a scenic train ride along the river. The train stops at Aguas Calientes, a town 20 minutes away from Machu Picchu, then it’s on to the shuttle bus for the 20 minute ascent to Machu Picchu. Even though you’ve seen it in pictures it is nevertheless incredible to see it in reality. In the afternoon we will return by bus and train back to the hotel. Dinner incl.
Day 7 – SACRED VALLEY to CUSCO – Today is a short driving day but with lots to see. The Sacred Valley is packed with various places of interest and you can choose to spend as long as you want at each location. At lunchtime you’ll no doubt stop at Pisac Market, listed by the Rough Guide as a must see. When you reach Cusco you’ll be parking outside town and catching a minibus to the hotel. Our hotel is just off the main square which is packed with restaurants. For both nights in Cusco you’ll be free to eat in town.
Day 8 – CUSCO – An entire day at leisure to enjoy the city of Cusco. It’s a beautiful old Spanish town with a charming main square surrounded by numerous smaller squares. There are plenty of restaurants, museums, markets, shops and other places of interest.
Day 9 – CUSCO to PUNO – Once we collect the vehicles from the car park we’ll be leaving for the drive to Puno. Cusco is located at an altitude of 12,000 ft. During the day we’ll pass La Raya located at 14,000ft. It’s a beautiful drive which ends as we reach Puno, one of the main towns on Lake Titicaca. Dinner incl.
Day 10 – LAKE TITICACA – In the morning we will take a boat from Puno docks across Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Our first stop will be the Uros Islands, a collection of 40 small floating islands made of packed totora (reed). The whole island moves about under your feet rather like a huge water bed. The inhabitants of the Uros live just as their ancestors did, maintaining their customs and idiosyncrasies. It’s very touristy but nevertheless unlike anything you will have seen before. After visiting the Uros Islands we will head by boat to Taquile Island where we’ll have lunch and for those who fancy it, an afternoon stroll. We’ll leave mid afternoon and head back to Puno. Dinner incl.
Day 11 – PUNO to COLCA CANYON – Today is a beautiful drive as we head towards Colca Canyon, reputed to be the deepest canyon in the world. On the way, you will see snow capped volcanoes and we’ll reach an altitude of 16,000ft. Some parts of the route have the longest straightest roads I have ever seen. We are staying at Chivay and we should arrive in enough time for you to pay a visit (and have a dip if you want) in the hot Springs at La Calera. Dinner incl.
Day 12 – COLCA CANYON to AREQUIPA – First thing in the morning you can take a drive to the canyon and a location known as Condor Cross where you are very likely to see condors gliding on the early morning warm air currents. After visiting the condors we retrace our route and then head onto Arequipa. We are staying in a lovely hotel within walking distance of the main town square. Dinner not incl.
Day 13 – AREQUIPA – Another day of leisure giving you an opportunity to explore the UNESCO world heritage site of Arequipa. Known as the white city for its dazzling colonial stonework, it’s a beautiful place to spend a day. Dinner not incl.
Day 14 – AREQUIPA to NASCA – Probably the best thing to do on this day is have an early start as it’s a long drive. Once you reach the coast the Panamericana offers some incredible coastal views. we have plotted a route to a lovely lunch stop located on the beach. Late afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to make a small detour to the unusual desert cemetery at Chauchilla. Dinner not incl
Day 15 – NASCA to PARACAS – In the morning you’ll have the option to overfly the Nasca Lines. These are enormous images drawn in the desert sand and are best viewed from the air. Even today their purpose is unknown. The flights are undertaken in small aircraft and I have not included this in the cost of the tour. During the drive to Paracas you’ll pass a lookout where you can see a glimpse of the Nasca Lines. That evening we’re staying in a very nice hotel with its own private beach. Dinner incl.
Day 16 – PARACAS to LIMA – This morning you have a choice to have a lie-in or take a speed boat to the Ballestas Islands. As well as being home to numerous bird species you’ll also see Humboldt penguins, sea lions, seals and turkey vultures. After returning to the mainland and a coffee break we’ll drive back to Lima to return the vehicles. In the evening we’ll be heading to one of the finest restaurants in Lima for a farewell dinner.
Day 17 – DEPARTURE LIMA – Most UK flights depart from Lima in the evening so you’ll have another day at leisure prior to taking a late afternoon bus to the airport.
Booking Info & Cost
VEHICLE CHOICES & COSTS PER PERSON
Car (Kia Cerato or Toyota Corolla) £4195
Compact SUV (Renault Duster or Mitsubishi ASX) £4440
Medium SUV (Hyundai Tucson or Chery Tiggo 7 Pro or Toyota Rav4) £4645
Large SUV (Mitsubishi Outlander or Kia Sorento) £4850
Full size SUV Auto (Toyota Prado or Mitsubishi Montero) £4940
• All transfers
• All accommodation – based on two people sharing a room
• Breakfast and many dinners (see itinerary)
• Hire of a vehicle for the duration of the event
• Fully comprehensive insurance with no excess
• Entrance fees to Machu Picchu and related transport
• Cusco Tourist Tax/Ticket
• All route books and necessary maps
• The Great Road Journey’s team doing their utmost to ensure you have an unforgettable holiday
• Travel Insurance
• Flight – the current cost of the flight is approximately £700 per person
The optional costs of a flight over the Nazca Lines ($100) or the boat trip to Ballestas ($40)
What happens next? Send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details. Alternatively call me for a chat on 01458 224109 or 07831 477746 and I’ll be happy to discuss the trip in more detail.
A deposit of £1000 per person will be required upon booking. The balance will be due one month before departure. In the meantime you’ll receive regular updates from us guiding you through everything you need to know including information on booking flights.