Cultural Expedition to Peru

Chachapoyas to Cusco

Trip Details

Hiking Peru

What’s Included? Everything you need, plus everything you want.

  • Machu Picchu: Explore Cusco and important Sacred Valley sites, and visit Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu.
  • The “other” Machu Picchu: An eye-popping aerial cable car ride takes you to the mountaintop fortress of Kuélap, largest complex of stone ruins in the Americas.
  • Cultural connection: Meet an elderly potter who creates traditional Chachapoyan pottery.
  • Gocta Falls: Hike to towering falls, named after the sound made by howler monkeys and only revealed to the world in 2006.

Cultural Expedition to Peru

Trip Type: Custom-Made Travel

Territory: South America

Region: Peru

Trip Price: $7,890

Duration: 15 days/14 nights

Trip Begins/Ends: Lima, Peru / Lima, Peru

National Parklands:

Select Terms & Conditions

All custom travel is tailored to the desires and interests of our traveling clients (see How Custom Travel Works tab). Trip pricing detailed is an estimate of the per person pricing for the sample itinerary detailed and includes all of the lodging, activities, and guided experiences described. Actual pricing for the trip designed expressly for you and others traveling with you will depend on the features and elements developed during the trip planning process. Travel with Off the Beaten Path requires agreement to our standard Terms & Conditions.

Energy Index

Energy Index Spectrum

No Sweat - 1-2 miles of walking or hiking per day, plus easy activities

Nice & Active – 3-6 miles of hiking or walking per day, plus physically active exploration

High Five! – 5-12 miles of hiking per day, plus possible peak bagging or other action-oriented fun

Cultural Expedition to Peru

Cultural Expedition to Peru - Energy Index

The Energy Index detailed above relates to the level of exertion associated with the sample trip detailed. This would be modified to fit the style and ability of your group as a part of the custom trip planning process

How custom-made travel works at Off the Beaten Path

We’ve been tailoring custom journeys for clients since our very inception in the mid-1980s! The process is all about connecting the interests of the travelers with the best that a given destination has to offer. To achieve this, we rely upon good ol’ fashioned conversation! Our geographically focused travel designer love to meet new people and learn about their interests for travel. Understanding your goals informs the process immensely and serves as the foundation for the development of a bespoke travel experience for you and yours.

The trip detailed on this web page is a sample of something we’ve done for other clients over the years. In order to start the process of designing your own custom travel experience, just call us at (800) 445-2995 and ask to speak with one of our Travel Advisors. After a bit of time on the phone, you will then have the opportunity to connect with one of our travel designers.

The entire planning process is very personalized and works in an iterative fashion until a final, perfect trip has been created. We then secure all of the lodging, activities, and guided experiences associated with your trip and send along abundant trip materials capturing these details – and much more about your travels!


Day 1: Lima, Peru

You are met at the airport and escorted across the street to your hotel for check in. 

Day 2: Jaén, Chachapoyas

An escort gets you to the right domestic airport terminal for your flight to Jaén, where you are met by a driver. You’ll stop for a traditional lunch along the way to Chachapoyas, and enjoy dinner tonight at your lodging.

Day 3: Revash, Leymebamba

Discover the treasures of the Mausoleums of Revash, and the Museum at Leymebamba. The outdoor mausoleums look like little houses. They are built into high limestone cliffs, constructed of rock and adobe and painted pink and cream. The Museum at Leymebamba contains an impressive array of daily and funerary objects, including more than 200 mummies. 

Day 4: Karajia Sarcophagi and Quiocta Caverns

A cool hike takes you uphill to the mysterious Karajia Sarcophagi. The 8-foot-tall figures look a little like the moai of Easter Island, with bodies. A detour into Quiocta Caverns reveals pottery shards and stalagtites. In the afternoon, meet a potter who still uses ancient tools and historical methods. 

Day 5: Kuélap Fortress

Your whole day is devoted to exploring the carefully restored Kuélap Fortress, which some people call “the Other Machu Picchu.” This mountaintop fortress is actually larger, and is considered the largest stone ruins in the New World. An eye-popping 20-minute cable car ride to the site saves you hiking an immense valley. 

Day 6: Gocta Falls

A drive of about an hour gets you to the trailhead for Gocta Falls. A guide leads you on the approximately two-hour hike through tropical forest to the falls, which are the third highest in the world. Enjoy great birding on the way! The waterfall was a local secret for a long time and has only recently made it onto the tourist map. 

Day 7: Lima

Transfer back to Jaén for a flight to Lima.

Day 8: Lima

Enjoy a guided city tour. You might enjoy a special “foodie” experience—Lima has been named the World's Leading Culinary Destination many years in a row. 

Day 9: Cusco, Sacred Valley, Moray Terraces, Maras

Fly to Cusco and descend in elevation to the Sacred Valley to help you acclimate. The day includes explorations at Moray Terraces (which may have been a 15th century “agricultural research station”) and Maras salt pans, which are still used exactly as they were in the time of the Incas. 

Day 10: Rafting, Pumamarca Ruins

Switch gears a bit with some whitewater rafting this morning, then get back into the Incan groove with a leisurely afternoon hike to Pumamarca Ruins, a hillside fortress with commanding views. 

Day 11: Chinchero, Huchuy Qosqo, Lamay

This is a big hiking day (all downhill), with a trek from Chinchero to Huchuy Qosqo ruins—a spectacular route to an important archaeological site. End the day walking down to the town of Lamay.

Day 12: Machu Picchu, Huayna Picchu

Catch the train to bucket list Machu Picchu! Explore Machu Picchu, then get a fabulous perspective by hiking a trail around the top of the mountain, past ancient altars, staircases, and tunnels, for a spectacular view overlooking Machu Picchu.

Day 13: Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Cusco

Catch the train down to Ollantaytambo to explore those famous ruins, then head back to Cusco.

Day 14: Cusco

There is much to discover (and many layers) in the ancient city, once the capital of the Inca Empire. Like the Koricancha Temple, once the center of Cusco. When the Spaniards arrived, they destroyed most of the temple and built a church on the site. And the Sacsayhuaman ruins, a fascinating walled complex on the outskirts of the city.

Day 15: Tranquil Tipón ruin, departures home

Wind down at the tranquil, water-based Tipón ruin, one of the lesser visited sites in the Sacred Valley—even though they are among the most impressive, with terraces, fountains, and water channels. This afternoon, transfer to the airport for connections home through Lima. 

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