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Northern Peru-the region less travelled.

Visit A Mountainous Wilderness

Visualise ice-capped mountain peaks, sheer gorges, glistening turquoise lakes and ancient archaeological sites. Welcome to North Peru, a perfect location for an off the beaten track holiday. 

  • Towering snow-capped peaks.  A paradise for hikers.

  • Ancient Peruvian (Pre-Inca) Archaeological sites.

  • Off the beaten track

The Cordillera Blanca (White Range) contains some of the highest mountains on Earth (over 6000m), with Peru’s highest mountain, Huasaran standing at 6768m.  Under the shadow of these mountains discover a fertile valley containing villages famed for their woodcarvings and artisans. 

Huaraz is the starting point for most treks and climbs into the mountains.  Fancy a challenge? Try the Santa Cruz 4-5 day trek for dazzling vistas of emerald lakes and mountain scenery.  You may even see condors soaring the thermals or vicunas grazing nearby. This region is a haven for wildlife, you may even glimpse a spectacled bear, think Paddington! The safest time to hike this area is between June and the end of August (the dry season).

Place an enquiry to begin your holiday to Peru.


Explore the 3000 year old World Heritage Site of Chavin de Huantar, a ceremonial site of the ancient Chavin culture.  (The Chavin culture was 2000 years before the time of the Incas and is classed as the oldest major culture in Peru.) Wander through the underground passageways and admire carvings of their cat-like deities in the rocks.

Looking for an excursion closer to Lima? Visit Caral, the oldest archaeological site in the Americas.  A fascinating place to walk around, with many areas still unearthed.  Study the tiered pyramids and circular plazas.

An Archaeologist’s dream

Drive further north to the northern desert, an area where pre-Columbian civilisations flourished, such as the Moche (200BC-700AD).  The main town here is Trujillo, a well preserved city with colourful colonial architecture, mansions and museums. The town enjoys a lovely mild climate hence it is known as the city of eternal spring.  This is a perfect place to stay for a few nights while visiting nearby ancient sites.  Make sure you enjoy a local fish dish and sample a glass of local rum!

Just up the road, make a stop off at the Huaca del Sol y de la Luna (temple of the sun & of the moon).  This complex contains two pyramids, one of which is 45m tall.  Then drive the opposite way to the huge UNESCO archaeological site of Chan Chan.  This was built between 1100 and 1300AD as the capital of the Chimu Empire, a Pre-Columbian city with over 100,000 people. Follow the route past temples, sunken plazas and corridors, admiring the friezes of sea animals. Take a break from the temples, enjoy the surf at Huanchaco while watching the local fishermen in their boats made from totora reeds.

High in the Northern Highlands is the mountain fortress of Kuelap, located on a dramatic limestone ridge, surrounded by forest, high above the Rio Utcubamba. Feel like Indiana Jones exploring this incredible ancient citadel.

Fancy a trekking holiday? Or a week exploring different ancient archaelogical sites. We can build your perfect itinerary to Northern Peru.

Best of North & South Peru
15 days
£6000pp (Includes international flight)
Various 2023
London Heathrow (Various regional indirect flights avail)

Fantastic option for those who want to get off the beaten track...

Enjoy several private guided tours and the services of a driver.  Stay in boutique Peruvian hotels.  Fancy hiking just a section of the Inca Trail? Perfect-a day hike is included. This leaves plenty of time to explore the surrounding area!

All flights, transfers, activities & excursions are included.

Day 1: Lima

Met by private driver. Transfer to airport hotel as you have a domestic flight in the morning. Enjoy a meal and a rest after your flight!

Day 2: Flight to Jaen (Northern Peru)

Privat transfer to a stunning lodge in the mountains.

Day 3: Cocachimba

Private guided trek to stunning Gocta Waterfall.

Day 4: Chachapoyas

Private transfer to a boutoque hotel.  On the way see unusual sarcophagi built into the cliffs.

Day 5: Be amazed by the vistas from the ancient ruins of Kuelap.  Head to your hotel in the heart of the cloud forest.

Day 6: Explore nearby ruins and countryside (Private driver.)

Day 7: A spectactular mountain drive today, crossing a wide range of landscapes.  Stay at Cajamarca.

Day 8: Private guided tour of Cajamarca area.  Visit the fascinating archaeological site of Cumbe Mayo.

Day 9: Domestic flight Lima to Cusco.  Check in to your boutique central hotel & relax...get used to the high altitude.

Day 10: Private guided tour of Cusco.

Day 11: Explore the incredible Sacred Valley with a private driver.  Explore Pisac, Moray & Maras.  Spend the next two nights in a delightful lodge in the heart of the valley, the heart of the Incas!

Day 12: Explore the Sacred Valley-there's so much to see!

Day 13: A private guide will take you on a day hike on the Inca Trail. Spend the night at El Mapi in the village of Aguas Calientes. (I loved this hotel!)

Day 14: Guided tour of Machu Picchu.  Climb Huaya Picchu (tickets included.)  This was my favourite part. Board a train back to Cusco.  overnight in Cusco.

Day 15:

Domestic flight to Lima.  Fly back to UK...or enjoy an extra night in Lima. 

The Santa Cruz Trek
10 days
Various 2023 dates
Various UK airports (flights additional)

A private guided trek: Perfect for a group of friends or a couple looking for an off the beaten track adventure!

What’s Included?

  • Local tour rep and guides
  • All land transport
  • Guided excursion to Lake Parón
  • 4 day Santa Cruz trek with porters and guide
  • Accommodation: comfortable, budget hotels.
  • Camping equipment for the Santa Cruz trek – tents and cooking equipment, toilet tent (enclosing a hole in the ground), mess tent and foam mattresses are provided. You can hire a sleeping bag or bring your own.
  • Daily breakfast
  • Full board when on the trek


Day 1: Arrive into Lima

Transfer to your hotel in the lovely suburb of Miraflores.

Day 2: Journey to Caraz in the Andes

Transfer to the bus station where you will board a public coach to Caraz.  This is a long 7-9 hour journey up the Pan-American Highway.  Sit back, relax and enjoy the views.

Day 3:

Enjoy a day trip to Lake Parón to get your body used to the altitude.  This is the largest lake in the  Huascarán National Park with amazing views of the snow topped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca.  Hike through the trails along the shore or relax by the lake.

Day 4: Day at leisure to acclimatise

Day 5: Santa Cruz Trek

A four day private guided trek along the Santa Cruz valley, across 40km of diverse terrain.  Every day you will walk between 5-12km (5-7 hours of walking).  There’s lots of uphill and downhill!  This is a full board trek; breakfast, packed lunch and a cooked dinner. You haven’t got to worry about carry all your luggage-this will be delivered to the next camp for you. Overnight you will stay in a large tent, which has been put up for you.

Leave Caraz in the morning, drive an hour to reach Cashapampa, the start of the trail.  You’ll meet up with the porters and start the ascent.  Hike up the Santa Cruz gorge before the path opens out into a meadow with views of the snow capped peaks.  From here there’s another uphill trek to reach the Paccharuri waterfall then the campsite at 3850m.

Day 6: Santa Cruz Trek

A full day of hiking and amazing views heading up to Mount Taulliraju.  Ascend steadily past glaciated peaks and emerald lakes.  Camp at Tauillipampa (4200m).

Day 7: Santa Cruz Trek

The path goes up towards Punta Union pass.  At 4750m this is the highest point of the trek.  Start the descend and tuck into a tasty lunch.  You will camp in the heart if the national park at 3750m.

Day 8: Santa Cruz Trek

Descend to Colcabamba before the uphill to the small village of Vaqueira at 3700m.   Ascend towards Portachuelo Pass 4,767m, which offers beautiful mountain views.  You have finished the trek.  You will be picked up and driven back to Caraz.

Day 9: Journey back to Lima

Board the public coach for your trip back to Lima (486km, 7-9 hours).

Day 10: Flight back to the UK

All of our itineraries are tailor-made and can be adapted to suit you!

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When To Go

You can visit at any time of the year, but inland roads can get muddy in the wet season (January to March).

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