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Grand Tour of Peru & the Amazon

16days from
£4,199*per person


16 Days - Classic Escorted Tours

Explore the extraordinary civilization of the Incas, the colonial heritage of the Spanish Conquistadors and the colourful culture of present-day Peru & Experience the Peruvian Amazon basin with a two-night stay at an eco-lodge in the jungle. Peru is without doubt the most intriguing and fascinating of all South American countries. The incredible remains of the Inca civilization are a huge draw and combined with its colonial architecture, the stunning vistas of the jagged peaks of the Andes, the Amazonian jungle, its superb cuisine and the warmth of the Peruvians themselves, this is one of the most captivating destinations in the world! Firstly, its scenery is world-class: the Andes, the second highest mountain range in the world rising to a jaw-dropping 20,000 feet, run like a backbone down the entire country. Snow-clad volcanoes pierce the sky, whilst torrential rivers surge through rocky valleys from the numerous glaciers. At lower altitudes is the altiplano, a timeless plateau covered with tufts of wiry grass and studded with occasional but distinctive low thatched houses of the indigenous Indians. Completing the scene are small herds of instantly recognisable llama, whilst above, giant condors soar on the rising thermals. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. At 13,000 feet the luminescent light and clear air cause the lake to emit a stunning sapphire-blue colour and its infinite vastness stretches into the horizon. With the ever-present Andes as the backdrop, the dark greens of the altiplano plunge into the deep waters whilst an eerily haunting silence pervades; it exudes an almost other-worldly natural beauty. The lake itself is home to the Uros, an Indian people who live much as they have always done, on extensive floating islands constructed from reeds. Peru, in all our minds though, is indivisible from the fabled Incas, that remarkable people who, by the early 16th century had created the greatest empire in the then world. Stretching from Colombia to Chile, amazingly without the benefit of writing, ferrous metals, horses, currency or wheels. The Incas were the last of dozens of pre-Colombian civilisations, but how did a tiny group of 160 Spaniards manage to conquer this highly organised and sophisticated society of 32 million people? We visit the sites of battles, palaces and the most sacred temples of the Incas answering this question and many others. We stay a few days in Cusco, the oldest inhabited city in the Americas. As Peru’s undisputed archaeological capital, surrounded by exceptionally beautiful Andean countryside, it is one of South America’s most charming cities. It is a curious blend of old and new with immense, virtually earthquake-proof Inca walls lining cobbled streets and forming the foundations of some gorgeous colonial buildings, reminiscent of medieval Spain. We see its 16th century cathedral, fabulous art and opulent treasure collections, the main square where the conquistadors were almost overwhelmed and the last Inca emperor was executed in a public display of Spanish supremacy. The most striking image of Peru, and probably the entire continent, is of course the awesome Machu Picchu. One of the greatest archaeological discoveries of modern times, it is set in a breathtaking landscape of rich rainforest, deep perilous gorges and lofty snow-covered peaks. Nothing can prepare you for the sheer exhilaration felt as you approach the site and it gloriously comes into view. You ascend a slope and suddenly there it is, its magic hits you right between the eyes: the classic view from countless travel posters, it will truly take your breath away! Peru is also the culinary centre of South America with many specialities. You should try ceviche, a meaty sea-fish similar to sea-bass, marinated in lime juice. Alpaca steaks are popular too, but you may wish to draw the line at the Inca speciality of guinea pig, still considered a delicacy. There are over thirty different types of potatoes, one of which is bright yellow and delicious baked in salt, and the most mouth-watering corn on the cob, totally different from the selectively bred varieties we are used to. Peru is fascinating: a striking mixture of old-world Spanish influence combined with many Inca customs and beliefs persisting to this day. Peruvians are justly proud of their unique and complex cultural heritage and no visitor can fail to be enchanted by their genuine kindness, intrigued by their long and colourful history and captivated by their spectacular and beautiful country.


  • Arrive at the airport for your overnight flight to Lima, via Bogota.
  • After checking in, this afternoon we enjoy a city tour, visiting Lima’s most important colonial sites. You will see the Presidential Palace, the Plaza del Armas, Lima’s central square, surrounded by colonial-era buildings in the central UNESCO listed area of the city. We will also visit the Casa Aliaga one of Lima’s bestknown colonial mansions built by Pizarro for one of his lieutenants in the 16th century. 
  • Transfer straight on to a domestic flight to the beautiful colonial city of Arequipa. The rest of the day is yours to relax.
  • Situated at an altitude of 7,660ft, Arequipa is Peru’s second-largest city and a good place to start acclimatising to the higher altitude. Its skyline is dominated by a trio of spectacular volcanoes – in fact many buildings are constructed from volcanic sillar rock, the hue of which gives Arequipa its ‘White City’ moniker. After breakfast we set out on a tour that begins at the Carmen Alto viewpoint, which offers spectacular views of the city. We head through the Yanahuara quarter with its cobbled streets and beautiful mestizo baroque church dating from 1750. We then head downtown to Arequipa’s UNESCO-listed historic centre and pretty Plaza des Armas, which features the 17th century baroque Jesuit church of La Compáñia. We then head across the plaza to the cathedral, a grand piece of colonial architecture. With 12 giant marble columns, a high vaulted ceiling, the cathedral is impressive on its own, but is given further dramatic emphasis when viewed against the backdrop of the three mighty snow-capped volcanoes. We move on to the Monastery of Santa Catalina, founded by the Spanish in 1580 for the nuns of the Order of Saint Catherine of Siena. The afternoon is at leisure, giving you the opportunity to browse the local craft marketor further explore the pretty streets of dazzling colonial buildings. Try locally caught trout cooked on a hot stone, the sweetest corn on the cob you’ll ever taste or even an alpaca steak, all washed down with a pisco sour, of course.
  • After breakfast we head north to Colca, site of one of the world’s deepest canyons. As we pass through the Pampa Cañahuas Reserve we see desert landscapes, exotic rock formations and grasslands populated by vicuñas, llamas and Andean deer. We climb even further to over 12,000ft and the Pampa de Toccra, a plain featuring a lake where pink flamingos reside in season. The trip features several jaw-dropping viewpoints, including the Mirador de los Andes at Patapampa – at over 16,000ft above sea level the air here is thin but the view of the volcanoes around Arequipa is simply jaw dropping. In the afternoon we reach Chivay (alt.11,900ft), a small town near Colca Canyon.
  • Today we head to Condor Cross for some magnificent views of the Colca Canyon. Prepare to be amazed, the canyon is more than twice the depth of the Grand Canyon and is one of Peru’s most popular sights. This is also where you can get some amazing close-up views of one of the world’s most spectacular birds in flight – the Andean Condor. The Colca Canyon region is one of the last remaining habitats of this endangered giant vulture, which has a wingspan of up to 10ft. At around midday we continue eastwards to Puno on Lake Titicaca, where we stay two nights overlooking the lake. A packed lunch is included today.   
  • The panorama of Lake Titicaca must be seen to be believed. Reflecting the blue sky above, is a fabulous deep blue expanse of water stretching as far as the eye can see. After breakfast we board our private motor launch and visit the famous floating Uros Islands where the indigenous communities, living much as they always have, construct these islands using many layers of totora reeds. We then visit the island of Taquile, further into the lake and famed for the highest quality knitwear in Peru. It’s very much a typical village, with no roads or electricity, where the Uros people proudly still adhere to their traditional culture and dress. Lunch is included in Taquile. Signature Experience: End the day on the shores of Lake Titicaca. As the sun drops below the horizon the pink, orange and crimson of the changing sky shrouds the lake in a warm glow. Sit back and relax around the campfire and indulge yourself with a rich hot chocolate and a tempting petit four – as you watch the spectacular sunset the Lake Titicaca is sure to cast its spell on you.
  • This morning we say goodbye to Lake Titicaca and head northwards to Cusco. We firstly drive through the altiplano, the high-altitude Andean plateau observing small herds of llama, alpaca and the low mud-brick, thatch-roofed houses of the local farmers. As the scenery slips by, we start climbing gradually towards La Raya, at 14,170ft, the highest point on this stunning journey. After our included lunch, we also visit the fascinating church of the Andahuayillas, known as the Sistine Chapel of the America’s due to the high quality of its artwork, arriving in Cusco in the late afternoon. 
  • After breakfast we have a tour of Cusco, one of the most beautiful cities in South America, a heady mixture of traditional colonial architecture interspersed with fascinating Inca remains. Today it is the site of three churches, including the 16th century cathedral, so huge it took 100 years to complete. We then visit the Qorichancha, the Incas’ principle temple to the sun. This was the ‘navel’ of the Inca world, originally covered in sheets of pure gold and contained the Incas’ most sacred object, the golden disc of the sun. Our final Inca site is the extraordinary Sachsayhuaman with three vast megalithic walls, a staggering thousand feet long and with the largest blocks of stone ever found in Inca structures, all moved with no wheels. This was also the site of the final epic four-day last stand of the Inca rebellion. Had the conquistadors lost, the history of South America could have been quite different.  
  • The Sacred Valley was the empire’s breadbasket, spiritual centre and home to some of its most iconic symbols. Its wide fertile plain, with ancient terraces hugging the valley sides and the imposing peaks of the Andes beyond is truly an awesome sight. Firstly we visit Pisac, famous for its dominating fortress and colourful indigenous market. Every kind of local handicraft is available – from vibrant hand-made rugs and ponchos in bright reds and yellows, to local ceramics and high quality llama and alpaca knitwear. After an included lunch we visit the massive fortress and temple of Ollantaytambo. Built along a dominant rocky bluff, and was the site of a rare Conquistador defeat. You can examine the astonishingly intricate Inca stonework – its beauty and precision unique in the world and all hand-crafted using stone tools. We return by train to the Urumbamba Valley, known as the ‘Sacred Valley of the Incas. Signature Experience: Delve a little deeper into the rich cultural heritage of the Sacred Valley in Chinchero, a typical Andean village where skilled artisans still use ancient techniques of weaving, spinning and dyeing to produce richly coloured textiles from the wool of the llama and alpaca that graze nearby. End the day at an authentic chicheria, a traditional Peruvian tavern, and sample the distinctive flavours of chicha, a local drink made with fermented corn. Why not join the competitive locals for a game of ‘sapo’ – you might be feeling lucky after a drink or two.
  • Today we board the specially constructed Explorer train from Ollaytambo station, taking us on one of the world’s most spectacular rail journeys through the narrow Urubamba river gorge to the legendary Machu Picchu. As we descend, the scenery changes from semi-arid brush and cactus to dense, lush rainforest. Below us, the river rushes headlong into numerous rapids whilst above, the precipitous sides of the gorge rise to dizzying heights. The ‘Lost City of the Incas’ suddenly and magically appears before you, its wonder and mystique astounds - the only Inca settlement never discovered or destroyed by the Spanish. Set on a ridge overlooking the gorge of the Urubamba River, it was rediscovered in 1910 by Hiram Bingham, an American explorer. No one knows why it was built in such an inaccessible spot or why it was mysteriously abandoned. As you walk through its gates, temples and houses, our guide will explain the significance of the location in relation to the equinoxes and how central mountain-worship was to the Incas.  Signature Experience: Travel to Machu Picchu in comfort on the stylish Vistadome. Sit back in your spacious seat where the panoramic windows beside and above you will ensure you are immersed in the magnificent landscape. A soft drink and typical Andean snacks are served to you at your seat and you’ll be entertained with traditional Andean music and dance on the return journey to the Sacred Valley.
  • This morning you begin your journey into the vast Amazon rainforest with a short flight from Cusco to Puerto Madonaldo. We make our way to the Madre de Dios River where our adventure starts with a 25-minute ride by motorised canoe to the lodge. After lunch, we take a guided walk through the local nature trails, where you’ll discover the differences between primary and secondary rainforest, its complex ecosystem and the many fascinating uses of its plant life. At dusk, we’ll navigate the river by motorised canoe, to spot nocturnal animals’ behaviour and the southern constellations above us.   
  • Today you will understand why the Madre de Dios is called the biodiversity capital of Peru! We will use the motorised canoes to cross mirror-like oxbow lakes and visit the Tambopata National Reserve, home to the endangered giant river otter, black caiman, and one of the world’s biggest fresh water scaled fish, the paiche, as well as blue and yellow macaw and red howler monkeys. After a buffet lunch back at the lodge, we’ll enjoy a unique view of the rainforest from a canopy walkway. Ascend one of the two 98-foot towers and cross the 7 hanging bridges that connect the treetops, with the chance to watch white-throated toucans, woodpeckers, squirrel monkeys and three-toed sloths. 
  • After breakfast, we take the motorised canoe back to Puerto Maldonado from where we fly to Cusco for one final night.
  • You have the chance to enjoy a late breakfast before your transfer to the airport for your return flight home – via Lima and Bogota.
  • We arrive back home after a truly unforgettable tour.

What's Included

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore the extraordinary civilization of the Incas, the colonial heritage of the Spanish Conquistadors and the colourful culture of present-day Peru
  • Guided visit to Machu Picchu, the fabled ‘Lost city of the Incas’
  • Tour of Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Guided sightseeing of Cusco, once capital of the Inca empire, now one of South America’s most enchanting cities
  • Visit to the famous floating islands of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world
  • See the great South American condor in flight, at the stunning Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest
  • Guided tour of Arequipa, one of South America’s most charming Spanish colonial cities
  • Experience the Peruvian Amazon basin with a two-night stay at an eco-lodge in the jungle
  • Stay in hand-picked three and four-star hotels with daily breakfast and nine meals
  • The Signature Tour option includes all of the above as well as:
  • Relax around the campfire with a rich hot chocolate and a tempting sweet treat and watch from the lakeshore as a glorious sunset is reflected in the deep expanse of Lake Titicaca
  • Discover the skilled artisans of the Sacred Valley who still use ancient textile techniques and then experience the authentic atmosphere of a traditional Peruvian tavern where you’ll also sample a typical local drink
  • Travel to Machu Picchu aboard the stylish Vistadome train and enjoy the superb views from the panoramic windows which surround the comfortable seats
  • Enjoy the more exclusive atmosphere of travelling in a small group with an average of 22 guests

Our Price Includes

  • The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms available at the relevant supplement. The price includes:
  • Return scheduled flights
  • Eleven nights in four and three-star hotels
  • Daily breakfast and nine additional meals
  • All tours as mentioned
  • All transfers
  • One item of luggage per person
  • The services of a Riviera tour manager
  • Included excursions are guided visits to the Colca Canyon, Sacred Valley, Pisac Market, guided tour of Arequipa, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Taquile and Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca
  • Important notes regarding your Amazon stay (please see Amazon Jungle Lodge for more details)
  • Due to limited space available on the boat transfers to the lodge, guests’ luggage is restricted to 22lbs (9.5kg) per person, but the lodge has secure storage available for extra baggage near the airport.
  • Weather is hot and humid year-round. May to Oct is the ‘dry’ period when exploration by foot is easier; Nov to Apr is the wet season, making it the ideal time to explore by canoe. The lodge also provides ‘wellies’ for all clients, although we recommend some good boots and a lightweight hooded rain jacket or poncho.
  • Electricity is normally limited to 4 hours per day and wifi is very limited in the main lodge. There are no TVs or air-conditioning in keeping with the natural environment.
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Dates and Prices

September 2024
  • Available
  • Limited Availability
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Departure Airport:
London Heathrow (LHR)

Number of Passengers:

Price from:£4,199
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Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion Lodge – Puerto Maldonado -

Reached by a 25-minute boat ride on the Rio Madre de Dios from Puerto Maldonado, the Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion is a beautiful eco-lodge set on the banks of the river in a 400-acre former cocoa and rubber plantation which has now been turned into a nature reserve. The lodge’s spacious lounge, bar and dining areas are all open to, but screened-in, from the surrounding forest, allowing you to enjoy socialising whilst still feeling immersed in the jungle. All meals at the lodge are included and the locally-sourced ingredients make for a genuinely fascinating culinary experience! With just 25 rooms and ‘cabanas’ spread out within the grounds (Riviera guests will stay in the Cabanas), the ambience is always intimate and it means that group numbers are kept small for all the various nature walks and canoe trips which are included in the cost of your stay. These incorporate expert-led both day and night-time trips where you are likely to come across giant otters, black caimans, howler monkeys, various species of macaws and numerous other insect and animal species.  Important notes regarding your Amazon stay Due to limited space available on the boat transfers to the lodge, guests’ luggage is restricted to 22lbs (9.5kg) per person, but the lodge has secure storage available for extra baggage near the airport. Weather is hot and humid year-round. May to Oct is the ‘dry’ period when exploration by foot is easier; Nov to Apr is the wet season, making it the ideal time to explore by canoe. The lodge also provides ‘wellies’ for all clients, although we recommend some good boots and a lightweight hooded rain jacket or poncho. Electricity is normally limited to 4 hours per day and wifi is very limited in the main lodge. There are no TVs or air-conditioning, in keeping with the natural environment.

3* superior Casa Andina Select – Arequipa -

The three-star superior Casa Andina is newly converted from an old mansion and with an absolutely prime location overlooking Arequipa’s imposing cathedral and central square, the Plaza de Armas – everything is within walking distance! The hotel has an ATM, gym, a small rooftop pool and the Plaza restaurant serving excellent breakfast and evening dinner. The 58 rooms are all air-conditioned, with shower, hairdryer, mini-fridge, iron/board, safe, TV, coffee-maker and wifi at extra charge (free in lobby).

Sonesta Hotel - Cusco -


Location Located just a 10 minutes’ walk from the centre of Cusco, the property is close to attractions, like the Inca Qorikancha Ruins and the Convent of Santo Domingo. Hotel With a grab-and-go coffee shop, a bar and restaurant serving wood-fired pizzas cooked in a traditional Cusco oven, you’ll never go hungry or thirsty at the Sonesta Hotel. The contemporary rooms are fully equipped with a safe, a TV, a mini fridge, a desk and chair, a hairdryer and room service is also available. 

4* GHL Lago Titicaca Hotel – Puno -


The four-star GHL Lago Titicaca Hotel located in the bay of Puno on the private island of Esteves features panoramic views over Lake Titicaca with a private pier for boats.  Using regional ingredients and products the restaurant offers traditional Peruvian cuisine as well as international dishes.  The 123 rooms with lake views are comfortably furnished having an en-suite bathroom with shower, TV, minibar (extra charge) and air-conditioning.  There is a fitness centre with a hot tub and sauna (extra charge).

3* Casa Andina Standard Colca - Colca -


The Casa Andina Standard Colca is in a great location with mountains on all sides offering breath taking views. There is a planetarium offering daily classes to learn more about the stars and constellations.  The hotel itself has a rustic feel with its 52 thatched cottages all furnished to a good standard in-keeping to the location and are equipped with shower and safe.  The restaurant is buffet style and offers Peruvian and International cuisine, there is also a pizza oven.

4* Casa Andina Select – Miraflores, Lima -


The four-star Casa Andina is well located in the upmarket Miraflores district of central Lima, with plenty of restaurants nearby. The hotel has an ATM, gym, hair salon and the Plaza & Grill restaurant serving excellent breakfast and evening dinner. The 155 bright and modern rooms are all air-conditioned, with bath/shower, hairdryer, mini-fridge, iron/board, safe, TV, coffee-maker and wifi at extra charge (free in lobby).

4* Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel -


The four-star Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel is set in a secluded rural location on a hillside with beautiful views across the Urubamba valley. There’s a lobby bar with fireplace, a main restaurant and gym. The extensive well-kept gardens have hammocks to relax in, as well as a small observatory for star gazing. The 92 comfortable rooms are in several two-storey blocks and offer bath/shower, hairdryer, safe, TV and coffee-maker.

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Holiday provided by Riviera Travel

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: change your booking for free, Covid-19 cancellation protection included as standard and 100% protection with ABTA & ATOL. This holiday is sold and operated by Riviera Travel (ABTA V4744, ATOL 3430). These ABTA and ATOL bonds mean that, when you book a Riviera Travel holiday, you can be 100% sure that your money is safe.

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