South America is full of culture, natural beauty, and excitement. No countries exemplify these characteristics quite like Peru and Bolivia. For this reason, our Peru and Bolivia Grand Tour features famous highlights of each country, along with off-the-beaten-path gems.
Begin in Peru, with charming Cusco, and the beautiful Sacred Valley. Next, continue to the country’s great Wonder of the Modern World, Machu Picchu. Your time in Peru concludes with serene Lake Titicaca and visits to its fascinating islands. Finally, cross the Bolivian border to explore the incredible Uyuni Salt Flats. Along the way, Ayni Peru brings unique local touches to famous spots. We prioritize people and culture, and work with local communities to create innovative activities. On this unique and memorable tour, Ayni Peru will take you on a true South American adventure!
We begin in historic Cusco, former center of the vast and powerful Inca Empire. Everywhere you go, the remnants of Inca and pre-Inca culture abound. This includes fine stone constructions and fascinating archaeological sites, along with locals chatting in Quechua, the Inca language still spoken by many Peruvians today. While in Cusco, you´ll wander narrow, cobblestone streets, tour nearby ruins, explore local markets, and learn about the region´s incredible history.
Next, depart with your guide for the breathtakingly beautiful Sacred Valley. Our activities here include visits to traditional towns, admiring the stunning Maras salt mines, and exploring the incredible Inca fortress above Ollantaytambo. In keeping with Ayni´s commitment to genuine interaction with locals, we´ll break to share a delicious traditional lunch with a Sacred Valley family. We encourage you to take a break, chat with your hosts, and experience daily life in the Peruvian Andes.
Our final stop in the Cusco area will be the long-awaited trip to Machu Picchu. After an incredibly scenic train ride and overnight below the ruins, begin the day early at Machu Picchu. As you ascend the stone steps, you will catch your first glimpse of “The City in the Sky” as the early morning fog lifts and the clouds part.
Your private guide will lead you around the Temple of the Three Windows, the Main Temple, the Intihuatana stone, and more, learning about their significance all along the way. For an extra adventure, you can climb either Huayna Picchu Mountain or Machu Picchu Mountain for incredible views of the ruins, surrounding mountains, and the Urubamba River rushing below from high above the clouds (additional entry required; based on availability).
The following morning, depart for serene Lake Titicaca. Here, you’ll experience the local indigenous culture on secluded areas of the lake’s famous islands. Specifically, we’ll depart the well-trod tourist path to visit a remote area of the Uros islands, the Taquile Island (an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Capachica peninsula. For those interested in spending more time on the lake, we offer overnight homestays, kayaking and trekking.
On the Bolivian side of the lake, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Isla del Sol (Sun Island). First, we begin with a walk to the Origin Stone, or Taypicala, and Chinkana. Because Chinkana is a labyrinth-type structure, it is thought to have been used to train Inca priests. Next, visit Yumani, where 206 steps lead to a sacred fountain said to be a fountain of youth. Throughout the tour, take in gorgeous views of the snowcapped peaks that frame the skyline.
After relaxing at the lake, continue to La Paz. Here, experience the city’s rich artistic culture, visiting the many murals and urban art pieces spread throughout the city. You will see a meeting of the old and new worlds, as you observe the deep-rooted culture and tradition. End your tour with a ride on the city’s extensive cable car system.
The following morning, depart for the Uyuni Salt Flats. Covering 12,000 square kilometers (4,633 square miles) of the Bolivian altiplano, the salt flats are an inspiring natural phenomenon. You will spend three days exploring the surreal landscape, visiting colorful lagoons, salt water springs, a series of bizarre stone formations sculpted by the wind, and the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve, home to vicunas, flamingoes, and more.
From here, your Peru and Bolivia adventure will come to an end. Say goodbye to Bolivia and catch your international flight home, or continue to your next destination!