Lima, Paracas, Puerto Maldonado, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Your 14-day Peru for seniors tour will combine famous cultural highlights and enchanting secluded wildlife. Your South America adventure will fill with the aromas of coca tea in the Andean Altiplano to the calls of the macaws in the Amazon Rainforest. Travel to secluded villages, enjoy the wild ambiance of untamed jungle, and embrace the captivating view architecture of Machu Picchu to capture the dream of the perfect Peru vacation.
Lima – Touchdown and Luxurious Seaside Dinner
As your plane glides to a halt at the Jorge Chávez International Airport, you will be met by private transport and escorted to your luxury hotel in the heart of Lima. Frenzied traffic will ebb and flow as eager taxi drivers sound their horns and effortlessly maneuver around stalled cars. Locals will stroll down beautiful landscapes of green public parks along Peru's sparkling Pacific coastlines, and other pedestrians may follow the tantalizing aromas of freshly grilled anticuchos skewers, which are marinated in vinegar and garlic spices.
You will bump along the cobbled streets of post-colonial downtown until the glimmering white skyscrapers of Lima's opulent Miraflores neighborhood begin to emerge. Soon, you will arrive at your luxury accommodation and be welcomed by the friendly hotel staff. Once you have had time to settle in, you will step out of your hotel for some self-guided, city exploration. You can meander down the alluring coastlines and dig your toes into the soft, sandy beaches at the water's edge. Then, you can choose from a number of fine dining options with sun-kissed patios that overlook the water. Finally, you can cheers to an unforgettable two weeks in Peru with the country's own pisco sour, which is a smooth, frothy liqueur.
At sunset, you can amble through Parque del Amor where light, coastal breezes may waft through the air as acoustic duets strum romantic melodies in the distance. This will be a perfect introductory experience to Peru.
Lima – Tour of City Highlights and Museo De Sitio Parque De La Muralla
You will rise to the cooing seagulls as they circle high above. The first sleepy clangs of food carts and handicraft vendors will be setting up for a busy day of sales. At the Parque del Amor, you will meet your expert guide for a tailored tour of the city's most impressive monuments and architecture that is riddled with cultural and historical backstories. You will begin your tour on the water's edge as you circle around La Marina Lighthouse, which was built in the 1970s as a replica of the original.
Later, you will take a break away from the quiet, steady pace of life in Miraflores for the eclectic, whimsical atmosphere of the Barranco District. Here, you can snap photos of the electric blue and yellow hues as you cross the Puente de los Suspiros and step inside Lima's contemporary art museum. You will then stop for a bite to eat at one of Barranco's quirky restaurants and bars, which are reimagined mansions that were once home to the city's elite. After lunch, you will wind your way past flamboyant street art that pops with vibrant geometric designs.
In the afternoon, you will transfer to the city's historic district to see the Plaza Mayor. Bright-yellow facades line the perimeter, and shady palm trees offer relief on hot summer days. You can carry on a few blocks to the Torre Tagle Palace, which is an ornate government building with an intricately carved, wooden balcony that is symbolic of Spanish architectural designs. You can pause at the Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima to admire the church's Baroque-style exterior, which is absolutely breathtaking. Finally, your tour will culminate at the Museo De Sitio Parque De La Muralla to gain a deeper understanding of Peru's captivating history that is comprised of ancient Andean civilizations and remnants of the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.
Paracas – Scenic Boat Cruise to Ballestas Islands National Reserve
Today, you can sneak away from the hurried pace of city life for an enticing adventure in the coastal city of Paracas. This picturesque peninsula offers a unique opportunity to catch a glimpse of Peru's diverse wildlife and terrain. You will start at the Paracas National Reserve where sparkling crystal waters crash into the white, sandy beaches and rocky cliffsides. You can peer across the boisterous waves for a glimpse of a bottlenose dolphin or southern right whale. Then, you can look overhead for views of unique, indigenous animals like the Chilean flamingo, black skimmer, and renowned Andean condor with its massive wingspan.
In the afternoon, you can enjoy a luxury cruise as you set off for the Ballestas Islands in search of even more unique animal life. Towering rock formations will serve as shady respites for the island's sea lion population, otherwise sunbathing on the floor of the pebbled alcove. Humboldt penguins may waddle back and forth while the blue-footed booby skips along the surface. If you are lucky, your guide will direct your attention to the energetic tail flip of the humpback whale as it migrates north from the cool waters of the Antarctic to give birth. While sighting whales is much more common than other places of the world, it is still not an absolute guarantee that you will see these gorgeous whales. Later this evening, you will enjoy a delectable dinner along the beachfront of Paracas.
Puerto Maldonado – Woodland Hike and Riverboat Cruise in the Amazon Jungle
The following day, you will catch an early morning flight from Lima to the port city of Puerto Maldonado. Over the next three days, you will experience an unforgettable journey to the deepest realms of the Amazon Jungle. Upon touchdown, you will be met by your private transport and your expert local guide. You all will weave through the heavily wooded foliage and listen to the rustle of leaves as clever animals move from tree branch to tree branch, going virtually unnoticed. Coos of vibrantly colored and exotic birds will catch your attention above, and finally, you will arrive at your luxury lodge accommodations in the heart of the Amazon. You can unpack your bags as you settle into your two-story lodge that will be complete with a private balcony and hammocks, which will be perfect for a relaxing, morning coffee or evening bubbly drink that overlooks the rainforest canopy.
In the afternoon, you will meet your guide at the river's edge for an exciting riverboat cruise along the Madre de Dios river. As a group, you will glide on the tepid waters until you reach Isla de los Monos, or Monkey Island. Even as you dock, you will be sure to hear the high-pitched squeals of the black caiman monkey that will soon be followed by their arching leaps across branches and tree trunks. At dusk, you will return to the site of your lodge accommodations and enjoy the lovely, regional dish of juane, which is chicken and rice that has been wrapped in traditional banana leaves.
Puerto Maldonado – Eye-Opening Visit to Tambopata Research Center
Your second day in the Amazon will offer you unparalleled insight about local efforts to preserve one of the most beautiful and diverse regions of the world. You will meet your guide early this morning in front of your private lodge. Then, you will step foot into your private riverboat that is destined for the Tambopata Research Center. Luscious foliage will sway in the breeze, and rushing river waters will splash against shorelines. You will disembark as you arrive at the Research Center and tread along the wooded paths that have been carefully outlined by the local staff. The warm sun may flitter through the dense foliage in patterned streams.
Once you arrive at the Center's outdoor classroom, you will be greeted with friendly faces who will explain more about the Center's mission. You will meet endangered wildlife who call the conservation center home while staff, students, and researchers work diligently to rehabilitate and release these animals. Then, you will learn about the Center's educational efforts to warn about the dangers of mining and deforestation while offering farming alternatives. Lastly, you will also hear about the center's commitment to collaboration with remote, indigenous groups of the rainforest.
As the sun begins to wane, you will return by boat to your accommodation. There, your guide will lead you on a nighttime hike through nearby and clearly marked trails. In doing so, you will have a special chance to see fascinating, nocturnal creatures who come out of hiding as the moonlight draws high in the sky.
Puerto Maldonado – Amazon Birdwatching and Thrilling Zipline
On your last day of adventures in the Amazon, you can take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see extraordinary bird species that are endemic to the region. You can wake with a warm cup of coffee as you sway in your private hammock. At sunrise, you will set sail with your guide for a thrilling morning of birdwatching. Scoot along the swift waters and wind around sharp river bends until you arrive at the Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick. Here, you will set up for the day with a telescope and binoculars. As you wait for eye-catching birds to jet into the forefront, you can listen for the clicks, squeals, and chirps of nearby chattering wildlife. Off in the distance, vivid blue, red, yellow, and green hues of the indigenous macaw bird may flicker. As they draw nearer, they will swoop down and pop against the jagged clay lick. In the afternoon, for those travelers in search of a real thrill, your expert guide will accompany you to a jaw-dropping zipline system where you can zip through the jungle's canopy and get a true bird's eye view of the magnificent flora and fauna below. For travelers who are opting for a calmer alternative, your expert guide will lead you to several additional birdwatching alcoves along the twisting Madre de Dios water channel.
Lake Titicaca – Uros "Floating Island" Tour and Reed-Weaving Culture Class
In the morning, you will board a regional flight from Puerto Maldonado to the southern city of Puno, which is located at the base of Lake Titicaca. As you deboard, you will be met by your private transport and be accompanied to your luxurious hotel accommodation at the base of the Lake's sparkling, blue waters.
A few hours later, you can take part in a boat cruise as you tour the Lake and its impressive scenery of rocky land formations at the perimeter in addition to dozens of buoyant island masses. As you sail across the highest navigable lake in the world, you will learn about its compelling wildlife of which there are more than 500 aquatic species alone. You can listen for the incessant croaks of the enormous Titicaca water frog and keep watch for the glint of rainbow trout that like to swim along the water's surface.
Lake Titicaca is not only home to plants and animals but also to a compelling group of people who are known as the Uros. Hundreds of years ago, as the Inca Empire took siege of most of central and southern Peru, the Uros people were ousted and forced to relocate in the Puno region. Rather than build their homes at the Lake's edge, the locals built floating islands that were made from extensive layers of woven reeds at the center of the Lake. You can step foot on the floating islands for a tour of these carefully engineered dwellings, and you can sit in on a reed-weaving demonstration and buy local handicrafts and souvenirs from the Uros people. In the evening, your guide will accompany you to a beautiful outdoor dinner that features the Lake's famous trout as the sun falls in the sky, and a red-orange hued horizon takes center stage.
Cusco – Tour of City Highlights and Lively Local Markets
You will depart the lowlands of Puno for the grandeur of the Andes Mountains and the heart of the ancient Inca Empire in Cusco. As you arrive at the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, you will meet your local guide who will bring you to your upscale hotel accommodation. You will zigzag along cobbled streets as you inhale the fresh mountain air. Excited travelers who are stopping on the way to Machu Picchu will ascend on the city's downtown with their brightly colored hiking packs. Meanwhile, indigenous Quechua women may walk through the streets, proudly adorned in traditional, vibrant dresses, stiff-brimmed hats, and long-flowing braids.
As you settle into your hotel in the quaint, post-colonial neighborhood of San Blas, the hospitable staff will welcome you with a cup of herbal mate de coca tea, which is said to offset symptoms of altitude sickness and is a staple of Andean custom. You will spend the remainder of your day exploring what was once the great centerpiece of the Inca Empire. Today it represents a unique blend of authentic, Andean tradition and post-Columbian, Spanish influence. You will descend the narrow, cobbled alleyways to the main Plaza de Armas where you can take an up-close look at the meticulously adorned Cusco Cathedral and step inside to admire the careful gold leaf detail.
Later, you can take a walk down the frenzied Avenida del Sol until arriving at the great Inca Sun Temple, which is known as Qorikancha. When the Spanish began to encroach on Cusco, they were immediately taken back by the opulent gold interior and expert engineering of Qorikancha. You will tour the temple grounds and decadent courtyard gardens for an inside look at this prized relic.
Cusco – Up-Close Look at the Tambomachay and Saqsaywaman Ruins
You will start your morning off right with a fresh cup of mate tea as you overlook the Plaza and listen to the muffled clanging and excited chatter as nearby vendors set up their sale items for the day. You can get to know the city and its inhabitants better as you travel to local markets and barter for great deals. You will begin at local produce markets where you will weave between dozens of technicolored fruit and produce booths where you can sample juicy regional fruits like the chirimoya and the prickly pear. Then, you will visit a handicraft market where women sell everything from handmade jewelry to Alpaca textiles and elaborate pottery.
After lunch at the market, you will venture on a short drive beyond the city limits to Tambomachay and Saqsaywaman, which are two critical relics of the Inca Empire. At Tambomachay, you will learn about the famed Inca waterway systems. This particular site, which most likely served as the nobility's luxurious bathing grounds, boasts impressive aqueducts, fountains, and other water channels and is a prime example of Incan innovation throughout the Sacred Valley. Next, you will visit Saqsaywaman to learn more about the military fortitude of this powerful Andean civilization. Hundreds of years ago, soldiers stood firm at the fortress of Saqsaywaman to ward off outside invasion. In anticipation, builders constructed the site with such careful engineering that not even a single sheet of paper can pass between its mortar-less stone walls. In the evening, you will return to Cusco for a lovely dinner and a spirited, live music show that features traditional flute and guitar melodies.
Sacred Valley – Trek to Maras, Moray, and Chinchero Culture Class
Over the next two days, you will meander through the gorgeous green Sacred Valley and weave between the Andes Mountains until you reach the most internationally-renowned Inca relic of Machu Picchu. You will begin with a scenic ride through the rolling hills to the welcoming village of Chinchero. The white stucco exterior of its facade hides away significant ancient ruins with a storied past. During the rule of the Inca Empire, nobles would escape the demands of city life for a weekend of relaxation in this resort town. Today, locals greet visitors from around the world as they make their Andean summit. Here, you will have the unique opportunity to attend a cultural class where you will observe traditional, natural dyeing techniques and then follow a guided demonstration to test out your own dyeing skills. You will meet Chinchero's furriest inhabitants: Vicuñas, which are closely related to the llama and alpaca. This friendly animal is beloved for its fine wool covering, which can be used as a part of local craft ware.
In the afternoon, you will continue onward to the historical phenomena at Moray and Maras. At Moray, you will observe the single most impressive example of ancient Incan agricultural terracing. These grassy, green steps are perfectly cut into the hillside and form dozens of concentric circles, which are ideal for farming and irrigation. Later, you will behold the salt mines of Maras. These massive salt basins are not only aesthetically pleasing because of their sheer size and excellent engineering, but they also served as an important salt dispensary, which the Incas harvested for hundreds of years.
Sacred Valley – Glimpse of Ollantaytambo and Scenic Train Ride
As the sun-kissed cradle of the Inca Empire illuminates at dawn, you will wake to the sleepy coos of birds as they fly overhead. You can ease into the day's activity with a mid-morning hike as you continue to acclimate to a height of nearly 10,000 feet. You can also meander across the rolling, green hills to a nearby village for a cup of tea or coffee.
Later, you will meet your expert guide and private transport as you continue deeper into the majestic Andean mountain range. After a short drive, you will arrive at the famed ruins of Ollantaytambo, which have been strategically hidden away in the foothills of the valley. This impressive Inca citadel was once a resort town for the Empire's elite, especially during the rule of Emperor Pachacuti. As the Spanish grip on the Inca Empire tightened, the Andean people fled Cusco and sought refuge at Ollantaytambo.
You will follow your seasoned guide along the elaborate waterway system that is made of aqueducts and freshwater fountains. As you climb higher up the mountainside to visit Temple Hill, ancient quarries, and the Pinkuylluna, you will be able to marvel at the ancient Inca storehouses that are nestled high into the mountain to prevent its contents' decay. Lastly, you will admire the intricate agricultural terracing that is symbolic of Inca design.
In the afternoon, you will embark on your final stretch of travel in pursuit of the internationally acclaimed Machu Picchu ruins. Step aboard a luxury train car that has been encased in glass windows for an idyllic, panoramic view of the valley. You can look out on the dense foliage and spirited Urubamba as you snake along its perimeter. In a matter of hours, you will arrive at Aguas Calientes, "Hot Waters," which is the picturesque village town that is located at the base of the ruins.
Aguas Calientes – Famed UNESCO Machu Picchu Ruins and Hot Springs
Today marks the pinnacle and primary objective for travelers who have made the international voyage to Peru: the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu. Your guide will greet you early in the morning in front of your luxury hotel. In no time, you will be winding up the steep, switchback roads. As your private transportation climbs higher and higher into the cloud forest, you will feel truly on top of the world. Views will be absolutely jaw-dropping as you look out not only towards the coveted ancient city but to the rows upon rows of undulating mountain peaks.
You will spend your day at Machu Picchu with your guide as you learn about the history of the site and the influential cultural reach of the Inca Empire. You will begin at the Houses of the Guards where steeply terraced platforms allowed the Empire to watch for and protect against impending invasions. Afterward, you can make your way to the outer stone wall of the city and enter through the Old City Gates to the city. You can even imagine the Inca soldiers who passed through the same portal as they made the treacherous journey from Cusco. Later, you will come upon the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Condor, and the Temple of Three Windows as you become immersed in ancient spiritual practices of the era.
In the evening, you will descend the same switchback roads and relax in the famed, medicinal hot springs of Aguas Calientes. These hot springs are coveted not only for their physical healing powers but for their spiritual healing capabilities as well.
Aguas Calientes – Famed UNESCO Machu Picchu Ruins and Huayna Picchu
This stunning location with such a rich past deserves two full days of exciting exploration. You will meet your guide in front of your hotel for a second full day of exploring Machu Picchu. On your second day, you will stroll through the outstretched Main Plaza and nearby Intihuatana, which is a massive stone altar and historians believe that the Inca people once used this for sacrifices and other spiritual rituals. You can venture beyond the central focal points of the ancient citadel to the equally impressive relic that is known as Sacred Rock. This intriguing formation, historians theorize, was once used to predict astrological phenomena. Others believe that the rock was cut in a way to reflect the geographical formations of the region.
In the afternoon, your guide will give you the option to partake on a challenging but breathtaking climb up Huayna Picchu, which is the striking mountain peak to the rear of the UNESCO ruins of Machu Picchu. Travelers who opt not to participate in the hike will have additional time at the base of the ruins to explore and gain deeper insight into cultural and historical nuances.
As your feet grow tired and your cameras grow full of captivating photos, you will return to Aguas Calientes for a chance to debrief and recuperate. You will indulge in a delicious dinner in the town's center while vivacious stream waters swish past you and local guitar and flute bands serenade you with soothing melodies.
Lima – Scenic Train Ride and Connecting Flights Home
As you board your scenic train back to Cusco, you will say your final goodbyes to the mysterious ruins and their coveted landscapes. As the train wails along the tracks, you can take in the vibrant green hues of the Andes one last time. You will chug across vibrant bridge crossings that connect one unassuming village town to the next, and you can crack the window for a cool alpine breeze.
Soon, you will lurch to a halt in the city of Poroy where you will meet your transport to the Cusco International Airport and carry on to Lima for your connecting flights home. As you board your flight and reminisce on two weeks of thrilling adventures, you will have stories to share with the whole family in the years to come.
- Summit to the peak of the UNESCO world heritage site of the famed Machu Picchu ruins and bathe in the hot springs of Aguas Calientes
- Zipline through the Amazon Rainforest's canopy layer and keep watch for rare indigenous bird species
- Behold the awe-inspiring ruins of the Inca Empire and journey through the expansive green pastures of the Sacred Valley
- Drop anchor at the Ballestas Islands and spot diverse wildlife like the humpback whale and the sea lion
- Indulge in a tour of the effervescent streets of Lima and learn about authentic Spanish and Inca architecture
- Barter at the vivacious open-aired markets of Cusco and visit ancient resort towns of the former Inca elite
- Meet the locals of the Chinchero village and practice traditional yarn dyeing techniques
Your plane will touch down just minutes from Lima's center, which is always bursting with boundless energy. You can take a look from your private balcony as shop owners sell vibrant jewelry and listen to the soothing melodies of local musicians while couples take relaxing strolls along the luminescent coastline. Follow your expert guide on a lively tour through whimsical neighborhoods, past opulent skyscrapers, and around coveted relics of history that date back thousands of years. You can dip your toes into white sandy beaches as waves crash against the rocky shores of Paracas, and then, step aboard a private cruise ship for a glimpse of stunning wildlife like the humpback whale as it migrates to warmer waters.
You must cross the sandy beaches of Peru's west coast and the rugged mountains of central Peru to arrive at the palatial terrains of the Amazon Jungle. You will zipline along verdant treetops and keep watch for some of the rarest bird species in the world. As you become one with nature, you will spend the night in a luxurious lodge hotel among the jungle's gorgeous, green foliage.
After a brief visit to the culturally rich region of Lake Titicaca, you will circle back inland to the regal Andes Mountains. As you arrive in the birthplace of the Inca Empire, you will encounter some of the most exquisite examples of Inca design in the city of Cusco and on its outskirts. You will travel through the scenic Sacred Valley as you experience the wonders of Andean traditions that have been upheld to this day. You will disembark at the base city of Aguas Calientes for two unforgettable days at Machu Picchu. Consider learning more about our travelers’ best Peru vacation activities by reading their Peru travel reviews.
$3,075 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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