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Trip Inspiration

14 Days “Off the Beaten Track” in Peru

Beyond the Traditional Peruvian Journey

Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu are on most travelers' "must do" lists when heading to Peru, but the country has so much more to explore! Let us offer you a new perspective on the country’s traditional sites and also introduce you to some of its newest hot spots and popular activities to immerse you in Peruvian life. Be inspired to go beyond the ordinary to discover the rich culture and exceptional beauty of Peru.

Trip Highlights


  • 2 nights in Lima at Country Club Lima Hotel
  • 3 nights at Belmond Monasterio in Cusco
  • 2 nights aboard the Belmond Andean Explorer luxury train, including time at Lake Titicaca
  • 2 nights in the Colca Canyon at Colca Lodge
  • 2 night at Cirqa in Arequipa
  • 2 nights in Paracas at Hotel Paracas


  • Wander Incan ruins and learn about ancient cultures
  • Watch a Peruvian Paso horse show
  • Explore Lake Titicaca
  • Tour the “White City” of Arequipa
  • Sand board in the the Paracas Desert
  • Fly over the mysterious Nazca lines
  • Yacht to the Ballestas Islands
What does “Trip Inspiration” mean?

At Travel Beyond, we believe your trip should be designed just for you, not for the masses. Our travel consultants create a custom itinerary for each client, offering recommendations for places and experiences that best fit your style. The itinerary below was planned for a past client, but we’re sharing it for travel inspiration and as an example of what a trip to Peru might look like. Let us know when we can design a trip just for you!

Day 1

Arrive Lima, Peru

Welcome to beautiful Peru! Upon arrival in Lima, you will make your way to the Country Club Lima Hotel, where you will stay for two nights. Enjoy the remainder of your evening at leisure.

Country Club Lima Hotel Meals: N/A

Day 2


This morning you will set off to explore Pachacamac, the most significant pre-Inca sanctuary on the Peruvian coast. This archaeological site is located around 25 miles to the south of Lima and was a sacred site that appears to have been a pilgrimage center for several ancient pre-Inca cultures. It is named for the creator god, Pachacamac, the “Earth-maker.”

You can’t help but feel the history as you explore the oldest section of the site, consisting of religious temples, pyramids, and a large cemetery, all of which dates back to around 200 A.D. The second section is much more recent in age, built around around 1300 A.D. It includes several pyramids with mud-brick steps, ramps, and plazas. The complex appears to have been inhabited and visited by several different cultures up through the Spanish invasion in the 16th century. There is a special cemetery that was set aside for the remains of the sacrificed Virgins of the Sun.

After learning some of the fascinating information about these cultures, and walking through the most important structures of the complex, you will attend a Peruvian Paso Horse Show at La Hacienda Los Ficus. The Peruvian Paso is a highly specialized breed of light saddle horse, known for its smooth ride. They have a natural, four-beat lateral gait known as the paso llano. Horse-lovers will enjoy touring the stables and getting a glimpse of the breeding stallions. A delectable lunch will be included with the horse show. Afterwards, you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Country Club Lima Hotel Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 3

Lima to Cusco

This morning, you will be transferred to the Lima Airport for your commercial flights to Cusco. Upon arrival, you be transferred to Belmond Monasterio, your home for the next three nights.

After check-in, you will be met by your local private guide and set off for a half day of hiking to some of the lesser-frequented ruins around the city. Driving to the Huayllarcocha wetlands, situated above Cusco, you have the chance to observe the area’s  abundant birdlife. From here, you will walk down towards Cusco, stopping at various sites along the way. After about an hour, you’ll reach the Cara del Inca (Inca´s face), a rock formation that uncannily resembles a man’s face in profile. You’ll take some time to relax at this tranquil spot, and then continue to the Temple of the Moon, an ancient Huaca, or ceremonial site, consisting of two caves in the side of a hill. Inside the cave are altars and mysterious carvings of animals and unidentified objects. The openings to the caves allow moonlight to touch the altar on certain nights.

Hiking down a grassy path, you’ll hike a short way to Cusilluchayoc, the Temple of the Monkeys, a site with ancient stone carvings in the shape of monkeys and other animals. You’ll then continue descending until arriving at the main plaza of the artist’s district of San Blas, where a vehicle will be waiting for to bring you to a local restaurant for lunch or back to your hotel.

Belmond Monasterio Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 4


This morning, head to the Sacred Valley for a culinary experience like no other. Brainchild of famed chef Virgilio Martinez, the Mil Immersion experience is inspired by and aligned with the environment and its connection to the customs and traditions of local people. Proximity to the Moray ruins allows for a panoramic view of the Incan circular terraces as you learn about the different hypotheses concerning their origin and function.

You’ll then have an introduction to the Mullak’as-Misminay and Kacllaraccay communities. Out in the fields, you can observe hundreds of cultivars, each of whom make Andean agriculture a magical and cultural activity. Converse with locals about their work and daily life in high altitude, listening to stories entwined in tradition and culture. As you traverse the hillsides surrounding Mil, you’ll become familiar with the variety of native plants that, since ancient times, have been used by locals for their nutritional and medicinal purposes, among others. Collect dye-yielding and aromatic plants as well as wildflowers and roots in the company of a local expert who will explain their benefits and uses.

From there, you will visit an inspiring space where the work of artists, collectors, producers and artisans are exhibited. Feast your eyes on the weavings of women-led collectives and their botanical dyeing workshop; touch the ceramics made from local clay; taste chocolate crafted with Chuncho, the native Cusqueñan cacao, and behold the vast collection of seeds of high-altitude cultivars.

End your excursion enjoying a universe of drinks with a sense of place, prepared with ingredients that tell the story of their origins and customs. As a culmination of this rich and enlightening journey, you will arrive at your final destination: the gastronomic experience. The tasting menu consists of 8 plates/ecosystems made with products found in the environment surrounding Mil.

Following the tour, you will return to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.

Belmond Monasterio Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 5


Early this morning you will make your way approximately one hour southeast of Cusco to the charming village of Urcos. This is a truly picturesque town that boasts a small lake, about which many romantic and macabre legends have been told. There is an enchanting church, beautiful in its simplicity, called La Capilla Virgen Purificada de Canincunca, a flowing river, and many palm trees. The main attraction is the vibrant and colorful Andean market, where, on specific days of the week, folks from surrounding communities come to sell their wares. Friendly banter can be heard as vendors trade and barter their colorful goods, including produce, herbs, potatoes, and artisanal products.

Making your way back towards Cusco, you will visit the spectacular 16th-century colonial church in Andahuaylillas known as the Sistine Chapel of Peru. On the outside, the church seems plain enough, with its simple whitewashed exterior. But once you pass through its doors you will be met with exquisitely colorful murals, a beautifully coffered ceiling, and an elegantly decorated gold-leaf altar.

After marveling at the splendors of this church, you continue on to Pikillaqta, a Pre-Inca site (Wari), some 12.42 miles east of Cusco. Here, you will spend the rest of the morning exploring this rich archaeological center. The Wari people used this site for ceremonies between approximately 550 to 1100 AD, after which it was mysteriously abandoned.

Following a break for lunch, you will visit the ruins of Tipón, an agricultural site with many terraces and ancient irrigation channels running alongside them, many of which are still fed by a natural spring. Tipón’s various micro-climates have led archaeologists to speculate that its creators experimented with growing conditions for a variety of crops.

You will then return to your hotel.

Belmond Monasterio Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 6

Cusco to Puno

~ Embark Andean Explorer Luxury Train ~

Today you be transferred to Wanchaq Station where you will board the Belmond Andean Explorer luxury train for your two-night/three-day journey to Colca Canyon.

Settle down and unwind in your luxurious cabin as the train begins its journey southeast toward Puno. Savor your first lunch on board in one of the elegant dining cars. Refined Andean specialties are served with contemporary flair.

Your first stop will be to visit Raqch’i. Once an important control point for the Incas, it is today a fascinating archeological site brimming with history. Return to the train just in time for tea. Soak up the sensational sunset over La Raya Mountain range before preparing yourself for an elegant dinner on board. Afterward, perhaps head to the bar car and chat with your fellow travelers as the train continues to Lake Titicaca, where it will stop for the evening.

Aboard the Andean Explorer Meals: Breakfast / Dinner

Day 7

Lake Titicaca

Awake early to catch the breathtaking sunrise across Lake Titicaca before enjoying a delicious breakfast.

Today’s tours explore the eclectic beauty and right diversity of life on Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the entire world. First, you will take a traditional boat ride to the Uros Islands, stunning man-made lands carefully created from woven reeds that are constantly being replenished.  Continue to Taquile Island, a beautiful island with a way life barely touched by time.

Enjoy a private lunch on Collata Beach, with demonstrations from traditional dancers and artisanal workers.

Return to the train for tea as the journey continues. Tonight you can anticipate a delicious dinner before retiring to your cabin.

Aboard the Andean Explorer Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 8

Lake Titicaca to Colca Canyon

~ Disembark Andean Explorer ~

Enjoy breakfast onboard before setting off on an early-morning excursion to the spellbinding, rugged scenery of Lake Lagunillas, Afterward, visit Sumbay Caves, home to fascinating cave paintings that are estimated to be almost 8,000 years old!

You will disembark at km 93, where you will be met for a private transfer to Colca Lodge. Accommodations have been reserved for two nights, including breakfast daily. Spend the remainder of your day at leisure, perhaps enjoying a dip in the on-site hot springs. Lunch will be served at the lodge today.

Colca Lodge Meals: Breakfast / Lunch


Day 9

Colca Canyon

This morning after breakfast, you will be met by your private guide for a tour of the Colca region. Visit the Colca Canyon and Valley, where you can find Pre-Inca terraces still cultivated today. See the magnificent flight of the Andean Cóndor at Cruz del Cóndor view point, where you can also appreciate the immense depth of the canyon. Along the way, pass by traditional villages and colonial churches typical of the area.

Colca Lodge Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 10

Colca Canyon to Arequipa

This morning you will be met for a private transfer to the Arequipa. Along the way, stop at the Lookout of the Volcanoes: Misti, Chachani, Ampato, and Mismi, which is the source of the Amazon River. See wild vicuñas in the National Reserve of Aguada Blan. Your transfer will conclude at Cirqa, where accommodations have been reserved for one night, including breakfast.

Found more than 450 years ago, Arequipa is a UNESCO Human Heritage Site. Use your evening to explore the city. Your hotel is just a short stroll from the city’s main square, Plaza de Armas, which is fringed with buildings made of white, volcanic stone called sillar. It is due to this color that Arequipa is often called “the White City.”

Cirqa Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 11


This morning, you will embark on a fascinating tour of Arequipa. Beginning with the district of Carmen Alto, you’ll visit a viewpoint offering a panoramic of Arequipa’s surrounding volcanoes, including Misti, Mount Chachani and Pichu Pichu Peak. Also on display are stretches of rural farmland and Andean terracing: the same type of terracing that’s been in use since pre-Columbian times.

Continuing to the neighborhood of Yanahuara, you will stroll through the streets to observe the Spanish-influenced buildings and the many structures made of pearly white sillar rock. This short walk takes you to another lookout, where you’ll have an amazing view of the entire city. From here, you can see the colonial architecture of the San Juan Bautista Church.

Next, you will make your way to the historic center, where you will visit the La Compañía Jesuit church and school, which has a beautifully painted chapel. The paintings on display here are from the renowned Cusco school, which thrived in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, and focused on portrayals of religious figures and events. After a short visit to the cathedral, you’ll continue to the Tambo del Matadero, historically a place where travelers were sheltered, fed, and offered respite during their journeys. You will visit the San Camilo Market, where you will encounter a plethora of colorful offerings including potatoes, produce, meat, consumer goods, and other items for sale by local vendors.

Last but not least, you will stop at the Santa Catalina Convent. Built in 1579, it was a cloister for Dominican Nuns, and still houses folks dedicated to the monastic life to this day. Covering an area of over 210,000 square feet, the cloister is comprised of a gallery, a chapel, the devotees’ living quarters, and a central plaza, all beautifully maintained by a group associated with the convent. After your tour you will be returned to your hotel. Enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Cirqa Meals: Breakfast / Lunch

Day 12

Arequipa to Paracas

This morning after breakfast, you will be met for a private transfer to the Arequipa Airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival, transfer south down the coast to the Hotel Paracas, where you will spend two nights.

Late this afternoon, you will head out into the Paracas Desert, home to some of the tallest sand dunes in the world. Their surreal beauty is an attraction in itself and many have visited only for the sight of these seemingly alien natural structures. But in recent years, the area has become an adventure destination as well, and you will spend time riding up and down these “roller coaster” dunes in a comfortable 4×4 jeep. You’ll also have the opportunity to try your hand at sandboarding, an activity similar to snowboarding, but instead of snow, you will be swooping down the finely grained desert hills, and you don’t have to get cold! You will stop to watch the sun set and then continue through the desert to your dinner spot– a beautiful picnic below a state-of-the-art awning underneath the stars.

After your tour you will be returned to your hotel.

Hotel Paracas Meals: Breakfast


Day 13


This morning after breakfast, you will head to the local airport where you’ll have the opportunity to fly over the enigmatic Nazca Lines (hieroglyphs and geometric lines drawn in the desert). Since their discovery, they have inspired some pretty fantastic explanations for their origin and purpose. These explanations range from ancient gods created them to they were once landing strips for returning aliens, a celestial calendar created by ancient civilizations, and a map for underground water supplies.

Flying over the area, you can marvel at the perfect shape and well-defined lines of the animals, flowers, plants, objects, and anthropomorphic figures of colossal proportions.

Following your tour, you will be transferred back to the hotel. Enjoy the reminder of your day at leisure.

Hotel Paracas Meals: Breakfast


Depart Peru

This morning, you will explore the Ballestas Islands aboard a private yacht. Like a miniature Galapagos, the archipelago is a vibrant and colorful wildlife sanctuary filled with wild birds and mammals, including sea lions, fur seals, and endangered Humboldt penguins. Experience these animals in their natural habitation, making this a spectacular opportunity for animal lovers and birdwatchers. A wide range of seabirds also call the rocky islands their home. See and hear pelicans, boobies, red-footed Guanay cormorants, and many other types of birds.

Following the excursion, you will be transferred to the Lima Airport to check in for your international flights home.

N/A Meals: Breakfast