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Peru Explorer

Duration

15 Days

Drive Grade

4

Drive / Rest day

12 / 3

Sealed / Dirt

65% / 35%

Distance

2,500 km / 1,560 mi


Peru: From the Andes to the Amazon drive the heartland of the vast Incan empire as you explore by 4WD

A journey into a land of ancient empires, of wondrous antiquities and epic Andean and Amazonian scenery. We explore renown Incan sites, as well as delving into the mighty Amazon, all the while exploring the roads less traveled as they wind their way in amongst the towering snow-capped peaks of the Andes. Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpses of the incomparable Machu Picchu or the thrill of driving through the Incan heartland of the Sacred Valley and onto the legendary Cusco. This 4WD experience offers the perfect blend of renown antiquities, stunning scenery and remote Andean passes and jungle roads.

Dates and Pricing

4th Aug 2025 to 19th Aug 2025
Tour code: PX/040825
from US$6,500.00
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Tour Highlights


Itinerary


 

Day 1: Your Lima airport transfer will take you directly to our joining hotel, ready for the start tomorrow. Today you will meet your crew for your tour briefing and welcome dinner.
Day 2: We take delivery of our 4x4s. Leaving the bright lights of the city behind as we head south with the Pacific Ocean on our right and towering sand dunes on our left, this region offers some of the best coastal desert scenery in the world. Heading inland into mighty canyon-lands around Reserva Paisajistica Nor Yauyos-Cochas staying at a wonderful lodge overnight.
Day 3: Today as we visit the amazing Shutjo Canyon dissected by a beautiful glacial river before heading east. The day’s drive is again a thrilling one through tiny Andean villages before we reach the wonderful Spanish Villa of Hacienda San Juan de Pillo, reached only by 4WD via the scenic Mantaro Gorge, near the village of Pampas.
Day 4: An unbelievable drive today via numerous switchbacks that cling to the side of the Andes with staggering views across distant valleys and mountains. We may cross several creeks today, depending on recent rains and drive through canyons barely wide enough for the track we are on, it’s exhilarating stuff. We overnight in a classic Andean village of Ayacucho
Day 5: Some pavement today as we continue winding our way amongst the high Andean mountain ranges. We reach Andahuaylas by mid-afternoon allowing us time to visit the excellent Plaza de Armas, or the town square, synonymous with so many South American villages and cities.
Day 6: The route from Andahuaylas to Abancay is again spectacular. We will overnight at Abancay and for those brave enough we can drive the incredible Tuneles de Karcatera, a narrow dirt road with a sheer 1500mt / 4950 ft drop with NO guardrails, this route depends on weather and if it's currently open
Day 7: We are entering the Incan heartland now and, if possible, the views get even better as we drive the endless twisties of Ruta 3S before turning north, under the shadow of the towering Salcantay. We reach Santa Teresa where we can visit the soothing Cocolmayo Hot Springs spectacular located by the Urubamba River. Santa Teresa is only 14ks / 9mi from Machu Picchu, but it will be another two days before we are there.
Day 8: We drive through Abra Málaga Private Reserve, an impossible jumble of mountains and valleys that proved too much for the invading Conquistadors who never discover Machu Picchu. Our overnight say is in the wonderful Ollantaytambo, a Quechan village at the foot of the towering Ollantaytambo Incan Ruins and amazingly intact terraces. We spend the afternoon here exploring the first of the Incan ruins we shall visits and wandering the narrow-cobbled stone streets of the village.
Day 9: We park the 4WDs and board a glass topped train, allowing views of the mountains that tower above us, as we make our way to Agua Calientes, or hot water, named after the hot springs in the area. It’s a 20-minute bus ride up to the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are perhaps few sights left in the world that still have the capacity to take your breath away when you first clasp eyes on them, however Machu Picchu is certainly one of them, it truly is a jaw dropping site. We return to Agua Calientes and visit the hot springs in the afternoon for a very refreshing and invigorating dip.
Day 10: We take the train back to Ollantaytambo and a drive along the Sacred Valley dissected by the silt laden Urubamba River and dotted with more Incan ruins. We arrive in the ancient Incan capital of Cusco with its striking Spanish architecture built on top of Incan ruins, much of which is still visible and enjoy wandering the wonderful Plaza de Armas, Cusco’s heartbeat.
Day 11: We take a flight today to Puerto Maldonado located in the mighty Amazon Basin on the confluence of the Madre De Dios and Tambopata Rivers and close to the borders of Brazil and Bolivia. We will be met by our river guide and take a longboat for some hours before reaching our wonderful river ecolodge deep within the breathtaking wilderness of the Amazon where we shall spend the next two nights.
Day 12: Today we venture into the Amazon, the world’s mightiest rainforest and biodiversity hotspot with a plethora of wildlife indigenous to this region. We are guided by locals and spend a fascinating day with them learning about life in the Amazon, the forest, and its abundant wildlife.
Day 13: We take a return flight to Cusco today and spend the afternoon exploring more of what makes this city known as the “navel of the universe” to the Incas, so alluring.
Day 14: We explore the Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman before descending into the Sacred Valley on onto wonderful Quechan village of Pisac famous for its markets and handicrafts. Following the Urubamba River, we reach the village of Urubamba before ascending the Sacred Valley and returning to Cusco via the amazing Morada De los Dioses (Abode of the Gods) incredible rock sculptures.
Day 15: Our final day will see us take an included flight from Cusco back to where this incredible adventure began, Lima, where we shall enjoy our final group dinner and reminisce over the last 2 incredible weeks.
Departure Day: Spend a couple more days in Lima or depart to your next destination, the choice is yours.

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Included


  • Airport Transfers
  • Cusco to Lima flight
  • 4WD rental (if self-drive option has been requested)
  • Fuel & tolls (if self-drive option has been requested)
  • 15 nights’ accommodation in 3, 4 & 5- star hotels, lodges, haciendas & ecolodges
  • 15 breakfasts
  • 11 lunches
  • 13 Dinners
  • Services of Compass Expeditions leader and support staff
  • Access to Compass Expeditions App / Chock full of tour info, route maps & what to expect
  • Pre-departure material
  • Access to satellite phone, pay per minute
  • Compass Expeditions tour shirt
  • Entrances to all attractions & excursions mentioned in the itinerary

Not Included


  • International Flights
  • Visas (if required)
  • Personal Health/Travel Insurance
  • Tips and gratuities
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Upgrades


All accommodation is twin, double or family share, if you would like a single room there will be a single supplement: US$ 1,775

Our 4x4s are insured and have a damage excess of US$ ???, you can reduce the excess by taking advantage of our Excess Reduction Policy: US$ 25 per day

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Drive Details


Drive Profile

65% of this tour is on sealed roads. Large sections of pavement will be rough, potholed, and narrow with tall and damaged shoulders. Pavement can end with no warning. A lot of roads in the Andes are winding and twisting, with big drops on one side and through numerous small villages.

35%
of this tour is on unsealed roads. These dirt tracks range from rough wheel tracks through creek and river crossings to muddy in the Amazon or in the Andes, if unseasonal rain has been experienced. Some dirt tracks in the mountains are quite loose with huge precipitous drops on narrow mountain roads. As with all dirt tracks, conditions change and the above is a guide only.


Tour Start/End

Tour Start: Lima, Peru
Tour End: Lima, Peru


Climate

We travel in the drier months with daytime temperatures ranging from the low 20°C / low 70°F in the Andes and around Machu Picchu to low 30°C / high 80°F in the Amazon. In the Andes it can be cold in the evening, as low as 15°C / 60°F.

Very little rain should be expected, although some rain could be experienced in Lima, in addition to this a coastal mist can be present in Lima and along the coastal desert of Peru. In the Amazon it remains hot and humid throughout the year, however little rain should be expected in July.


Important Information

  • All drivers must have a valid driver’s license and at least two years driving experience.
  • It is a requirement that all clients have appropriate insurance for this type of expedition.
 
 
Drive Grade
4
 

Drive Distance
2,500 km / 1,560 mi

 

Sealed / Dirt
65% / 35%

Accommodation


  • 15 nights accommodation.
  • Our accommodation ranges from small family run guest lodges, through to 3 & 4-star hotels.
  • A flexible attitude is needed as standards are not always what we are accustomed to.
  • All accommodation is on a twin, double or family share basis. If you are traveling alone we will pair you up with another solo traveler. However, if you prefer single accommodation a single supplement is available: US$ 1,775.00
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Dining


  • On every day of the tour, we include breakfast: 15 Breakfasts
  • On mentioned travel days we provide a picnic lunch that we prepare ourselves from our mobile kitchen or from local restaurants: 11 Lunches
  • We include mentioned dinners in reliable restaurants we have used many times before: 13 Dinners
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4 Wheel Drives


 

Toyota Hilux

Seating Capacity on our tour: 4 (1 driver & 3 passengers)

The "unbreakable" Hilux is a legendary 4x4 dual cab, unmatched in its popularity around the world. This vehicle is ideally suited to the rugged landscape of Peru, with a little comfort thrown in.


 

Insurance


Accidents happen, luggage is lost and tour or flight cancellations can occur, so it is our policy that all participants of Compass Expeditions tours have an appropriate level of travel insurance to cover the unforeseen. This is not only compulsory when joining our tours, but it makes sense.

If choosing your own insurance – for motorcycle tours it is crucial the insurance policy you choose will offer a policy for riding a motorcycle OVER 250cc (including our bikes). This is a critical point to ensure when purchasing a policy.

Our experienced In-house travel team are happy to help with getting you the right insurance for your tour and for any other travel you might be doing before or after. Contact our in-house travel team.

So you’ve read all the info and think you’re ready?...