Essential Peru + The Inti Raymi Festival | Exodus Travels

Discover southern Peru and attend the Festival of the Sun

A spectacular journey through Peru’s varied landscape encompassing coastal desert, snow-capped Andean peaks, the high Altiplano and lush cloud forest. The most famous sites are all visited: the mysterious Nazca Lines, awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, where the night is spent in an island homestay, and the 3,000-meter deep Colca Canyon. On the way we encounter traditional culture, condors, llamas, and a warm welcome from the Peruvian people.

Cusco’s central plaza. (Outpost)

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours (Exodus Travels) is a ‘total approach’ to responsible tourism. On this trip, we spend the nights in locally owned hotels as well as a night with local families in Amantani Island. This ensures that our visit directly benefits the local community. All of the hotel managers also signed a sustainability contract which ensures that they employ locals and endeavour to reduce waste.

We adhere to all Machu Picchu regulations. We work with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all waste back to a proper disposal place.

The free day in Cusco is a good chance to visit Cafe Daria, the first vocational training site for young adults with disabilities in Cusco, creating employment opportunities for youth in their own community. In 2018, Exodus funded £5,000 where during the first three months of operation has directly benefited 15 youths as well as 52 other community members indirectly. Having a meal there is a great way to interact with the locals, while also supporting a cause that gives those who would normally be isolated from society the opportunity to meet people from all over the world.

Here’s some details on this tour. (Note that this trip is the same as Exodus’s “Essential Peru” with one extra day for The Inti Raymi Festival included. Below prices note the slight variation of this tour offer.)

Itinerary Overview

DAY 1  Arrive Lima.
DAY 2  Drive south along the coast and sail to the Ballestas Islands, home to the highest concentration of marine birds in the world. Overnight in Ica.
DAY 3  On to Nazca; see the Nazca lines; optional scenic flight.
DAY 4  Turn inland from coastal desert, climbing high into the Andes.
DAY 5  Drive to Cusco (3,400 meters) visiting Inca sites on the way.
DAY 6  Free day to explore Cusco.
DAY 7  Attend Inti Raymi Festival in Cusco.
DAY 8  Train to Aguas Calientes; tour of Machu Picchu.
DAY 9  Free morning or optional second visit to Machu Picchu; afternoon return to Cusco by train and by road.
DAY 10  Free day for optional excursions.
DAY 11  Drive to Lake Titicaca (3,800 meters), with stops en route; boat to Amantani Island for homestay.
DAY 12  Explore the island; afternoon boat to Puno visiting the floating reed islands.
DAY 13  Drive across the Altiplano to Colca Canyon.
DAY 14  Morning condor viewing; afternoon drive past huge volcanoes of Arequipa (2,350 meters).
DAY 15  Morning visit Santa Catalina Convent; afternoon fly to Lima.
DAY 16  End Lima.


  • Attend “The Festival of the Sun” (the Inti Raymi Festival), when Cuzco is awash with dancing and processions (annually in June).
  • Iconic Machu Picchu by train with guided tour.
  • Homestay on traditional Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca.
  • Colca Canyon and its soaring condors.
  • Beautiful colonial city of Arequipa and the Santa Catalina Convent.
  • Drive deep into the Andean highlands and the Apurimac Valley.

Key information

  • 15 nights hotels, all ensuite, 1 night homestay with basic shared facilities
  • Travel by train, boat, private minibus/coach and one internal flight
  • Time spent at altitude
  • Several long drives and early starts


  • Phone: 800.267.3347
  • Length: 16 days
  • Departs: multiple departs yearly for “Essential Peru,” with the Inti Raymi Festival held every June; check with operator for exact dates.
  • Accommodation: hotels, homestays
  • Price: from CDN $3,349 (for “Essential Peru” only) OR $4,379 (for “Essential Peru + Festival”); must check with operator for exact pricing

Description/details from operator. To see more or book this trip click here.

More fantastic trips to PERU here!

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