Peru – Explore with Purpose – 12 days
Explore Peru with a purpose
This specially designed journey executed by Setours – Handcrafted Journeys allows you to immerse yourself in the rich culture of Peru while also supporting locals that are making a positive impact on their community and the environment in various different ways. So get ready for an unforgettable trip filled with authentic cultural experiences and leave your positive impact in Peru!
support a micro brewery that supports local farmers;
visit a local llama farm & contribute to the restoration of the natural soil
try roasting some environmentally friendly coffee;
help reforestation (a tree is planted in the Sacred Valley on your behalf);
stay in hotels that do their part for the environment;
support the Sol y Luna school (a donation to the school will be made on your behalf).
Read more in the description of the experience or go directly to the website of Setours – Handcrafted Journeys. Travel ‘richer’, travel with purpose in Peru!
You will be redirected to the website of Setours – Handcrafted Journeys and will book the experience directly with them; PIT is not a party in these booking and travel arrangements. Booking the Peru Experience means you declare to have understood this and agree to it.
Travel meaningfully through Peru
This specially designed journey executed by Setours – Handcrafted Journeys allows you to immerse yourself in the rich culture of Peru while also supporting locals that are making a positive impact on their community and the environment.
Setours has specifically selected the places and people to visit during this experience with sustainability and regenerative tourism in mind. They know where to deviate from the beaten track and what works for the local communities and nature. So get ready for an unforgettable trip filled with authentic cultural experiences and leave your positive impact in Peru!
✨Visit El Chinito, a third-generation sandwich shop in Lima, where you can sample the famous Pan con Chicharron;
✨Taste some delicious craft beers at NowhereAQP, a micro brewery that supports local farmers;
✨For a unique and slow-paced travel experience, you’ll hop aboard the Titicaca train, a one-of-a-kind journey from Puno to Cosco;
✨Trek with llamas while directly contributing to the local communities;
✨Learn about Peru’s coffee at the environmentally conscious Café Mayu and try your hand at roasting some coffee;
✨As a special gift from Setours, you will take home a bottle of Caña Alta, knowing that for every bottle sold, one tree is planted in the Sacred Valley to promote reforestation;
✨Stay in hotels that do their part for the environment;
✨ Support the Sol y Luna school, an inspiring initiative that helps children from different social and cultural backgrounds (for every booking, a donation to the school will be made on your behalf*).
You will have a great time discovering Peru, establishing genuine connections with the local people and leaving a direct positive impact behind. Travel ‘richer’, travel the change in Peru!
Read the itinerary below or click on the link to go straight to the website of Setours – Handcrafted Journeys to book this positive impact experience!
Clicking on the link to go to the website of Setours – Handcrafted Journeys means that you will be redirected to the website of Setours – Handcrafted Journeys and will leave the website of Positive Impact Tourism.
You will book directly with Setours – Handcrafted Journeys who is the single formal and material partner for the entirety of your booking and travel procedures; PIT is not a party in your arrangements. Booking the Peru Experience means you declare to have understood this and agree to it.
We would love to hear your feedback, so please feel free to give us your input on the experience, our partner Setours – Handcrafted Journeys and how we can work with them to improve the positive impact of the experience.
*Although we would really love to show you the school itself, the school also has a residential part where children live. In accordance with the Sustainability Compass of the Association of Small Travel Agencies (VvKR) that we are a member of, our partners do not take visitors to children’s residential facilities. Please read our FAQs to learn more about the this. With a donation to the school, we can still support the school in their wonderful work.
Itinerary Peru with Purpose (summary)
Day 1 – Lima
Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival in Lima, you will be transferred to your hotel. You will receive a reusable aluminum water bottle to help limit your use of plastic bottles during your trip.
Day 2 – Lima
Explore Lima from a different perspective – by public transportation! Your guide will meet you the ‘metropolitano’ station near your hotel and together you will discover all the must see sights in the city, including Plaza San Martin, wandering along Jr. de la Union, San Pedro Church, built by the Jesuits in 1638 and Hotel Maury, where it is said the legendary Pisco Sour cocktail was invented.
Say the word “Pan con chicharron” and those who know what it is will get hungry! ‘El Chinito’ (the Chinese) sandwich shop in Lima is THE place to go for an authentic “Pan con chicharron” – a mouthwatering Peruvian sandwich made with slow-braised pork and sweet potato topped with red onion relish. The afternoon is at your leisure.
Day 3 – Lima – Arequipa
After an inland flight to Arequipa, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Enjoy a half-day walking city tour of Arequipa. Because some of the old buildings are made of white volcanic material (sillar) Arequipa is also known as the ‘white city’.
If craft beer and supporting local businesses make you happy – then this afternoon experience can’t be missed! NowehereAQP is an innovative micro-brewery run by Lizzie and Devon – a Peruvian/Canadian couple. They produce their delicious beers and ales in an environmentally conscious way, using recyclable bottles and hops that are grown in the area, thereby also supporting local farmers. Enjoy the unique flavors while learning all about their production process. Some beers include quinoa, purple corn, as well as local fruits – a definite must-try for all beer lovers! (transfers included)
Day 4 – Arequipa – Colca
In the early morning, you will leave Arequipa and head towards Colca Valley. On your way, you will pass Pampa de Arrieros, Pampa Cañahuas (where we find the Vicuna National Reserve of Aguada Blanca), Vizcachani, and Tojra, a good place for spotting Andean birds. The majestic volcanoes and glaciers provide picturesque panoramic views as you enter the Colca Valley.
Day 5 – Colca – Puno
Early morning drive to the observation point ‘Mirador Cruz del Condor’, located between Maca and Cabanaconde, one of the deepest parts of the canyon. It’s here that the legendary condor, the bird with the largest wingspan in the world, can be seen rising and circling on the morning thermals, silhouetted against the magnificent backdrop of the mountain scenery. Afterward, you will make some stops in some of the picturesque towns en route to visit their colonial churches.
You then say goodbye to Colca in order to continue your trip across Altiplano landscapes to Puno, the city on the shores of Lake Titicaca (transfer is without a guide, only with Spanish speaking driver. A guide is available for a supplement).
Day 6 – Puno
Early in the morning (approx. at 05:30 am), you will start the day with an exciting experience, kayaking at sunrise on the majestic lake Titicaca. You will head first to the lakeside community of Ojerani and then you start kayaking towards one of the native Uros communities, the floating islands of Chimu (approx. 45-60 minutes). The Uros people live totally interwoven with the ‘totora’ reed which grows abundantly in the shallows of the lake. You have the opportunity to get to know the locals better and learn about their way of life. Afterwards, you continue your excursion with a visit to the unspoiled community of Luquina.
You continue your excursion with a visit to one of the forty floating Uros islands. A simple but fresh Andean lunch is served then in Luquina community’s restaurant on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
Day 7 – Puno – Cusco – Sacred Valley
In the morning you will be transferred to the train station to make your way to Cusco by train, a low-carbon emission alternative. This spectacular rail journey begins in Puno and travels north to the historic city of Cusco. This train journey cuts across the formidable Peruvian Altiplano. The journey is dominated by the magnificent Andean mountains rolling Andean Plains, where vicuñas and alpacas can be seen. Upon arrival in Cusco, you will be transferred to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Please note: the Titicaca train runs 3 times a week on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. In the month of February, the train does not run.
Day 8 – Sacred Valley
This morning you will journey off-the-beaten-path and alongside graceful llamas in your half-day llama-trek. The ever-growing use of horses and mules in the highlands of Cusco is what triggered the foundation of the Llama Pack Project. Their mission is to preserve the ancient tradition of using carrier llamas, that, unlike horses and mules, do not cause soil erosion. Pure-bred llamas have almost disappeared in the Urubamba Mountain Range. Instead, families own small llamas mixed with alpacas that have poor fiber quality and are not able to carry a lot. The project works closely with local llama farmers and strives to gain visibility by high-Andean communities not visited by conventional tourism. They aim to empower these communities by providing networking opportunities and skill-building workshops. Despite the pandemic, they managed to launch a new product, a bio llama fertilizer.
The initiative also offers travelers from all over the world the chance to go trekking with llamas in their original habitat while learning about the challenges faced by llama herding families. This inspiring project, therefore, gives locals access to an alternative source of income, all while striving to keep our fluffy llama friends happy and healthy.
If you’ve always wanted an adorable selfie with a llama, this is your chance! During this 4-5 hour experience, you will get to trek alongside some graceful llamas. After local llama breeders introduce you to the inspirational Llama Pack Project and its goals and visions, you will assist with the herding and packing of these native, eco-friendly animals. Once ready, you will begin your leisurely walk with the llamas, following a dirt track through grazing fields, past small farming communities featuring adobe houses and courtyards filled with local crops while making your way to the rest stop. Here, you will enjoy a traditional Peruvian snack, while you learn about how your participation in this activity has contributed to the maintenance of the ancient tradition of llama breeding while creating a business opportunity for the local families. You will taste 3 different varieties of native potatoes prepared in a Peruvian ‘earth oven’ known as a huatia, along with broad beans, sweet potatoes oca, and corn. You then make your way back to the base camp with your new llama friends leading the way.
Upon reaching the base camp your guide and driver will be waiting to transfer you to a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch head to the community of Misminay where you will participate in a salsa workshop. Peruvian dishes are not complete without herbs and usually, spicy salsa is served with every meal. Today you will learn how to prepare Uchucuta salsa. To do so you need to roll up your sleeves, as the first step is to crush chili and herbs with a huge stone. The women of the community will show you how to mix up all the ingredients to get the delicious but spicy salsa that is an absolute must-try.
Glamping in the magical community of Misminay just minutes-drive from Moray terraces and the salt pans of Maras offers a blend of remote adventuring and comfortable, conscious travel. Your hosts, María and Mario Mayhua, a traditional Andean family who are keen to share their way of living with you will welcome you to their community with a cheerful and friendly smile. They will show you the surroundings of this wonderful place and surprise you with a delicious, traditional dinner. Your day comes to a close with an evening spent stargazing by the campfire before retiring to your tent for the night. Each tent is equipped with all of the comforts of a hotel, a real mattress, down duvets, carpets, an electric heater, and local Andean decorations.
Day 9 – Sacred Valley
Wake up early and experience a surreal sunrise from the comfort of your tent, watch as it rises between the snowcapped peaks in the distance and the cloud-filled valley on your doorstep. After breakfast, you will start off with a hike towards a viewpoint of the terraces of Moray. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes with the mountains in the background. After saying goodbye to your hosts you will head to Moray, with its circular terraces hidden among the hills, similar to that of a Greek amphitheater. Surrounded by an impressive backdrop of snow-covered mountains, Moray was used as an open-air agricultural lab for adapting crops to different environmental conditions. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before heading to the Salt Mines of Maras. Its intense white shine appears to glisten on a sunny day – an impressive sight for any visitor. Salt was extracted from these mines during Inca times and the same method is still being to this day. Afterwards, you will be brought back to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Day 10 Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu – Cusco
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel in the Sacred Valley and transferred to Ollantaytambo train station (with Spanish speaking driver only). Before getting on the train to Machu Picchu you will enjoy a coffee roaster experience at Mayu café.
What seems like a simple café on the train tracks of Ollantaytambo is really a Peruvian hidden gem. During this activity, you will get to visit Mayu’s very own roasting facility located on El Albergue’s organic farm. Over 40 years ago North American couple Randall-Weeks fell in love with the beauty of the Sacred Valley and decided to open the cozy ‘El Albergue’ hotel in Ollantaytambo train station. Today, their two children, Joaquin and Ishmael, run the inn while being passionately committed to making the valley a sustainable destination. The Randall brothers support the reforestation of the Sacred Valley with hands-on initiatives in cooperation with Valle Sagrado Verde. Local dishes are reinterpreted at their restaurant El Chuncho using seasonal fruits and veggies cultivated with ancestral techniques from their own organic farm. The impressive array of herbs grown there are also used in their very own distillery ‘Destilería Andina’. Years ago, owner Wendy Weeks wowed her guests with her exceptional spirits distilled at the El Albergue. Her sons, inspired by her passion, decided to open a distillery focusing on Andean flavors and traditions. Their hard work has paid off by winning the silver medal at the Craft Spirits Award Ceremony in Berlin in 2020. Coffee lovers can taste delicious and freshly roasted Arabica coffee at Café Mayu. The conveniently located café uses premium and fair-trade coffee purchased directly from the micro-producers in Cusco’s rainforest. The Randall-Weeks family also proudly supports the Kuska school in Ollantaytambo which aims to help children of diverse cultural backgrounds develop their potential while teaching the next generation about social and environmental responsibility.
After a mouthwatering cup of joe, Café Mayu’s master roasters will teach you all there is to know about the origin of the beans, the coffee production, and the roasting process. You will learn various techniques of how to make delicious coffee at home before trying your own hand at roasting coffee beans. To help you remember this unique experience (and of course show off your newly acquired roasting skills), you will get a bag of your own roasted coffee to enjoy back home! You will also be given the perfect souvenir – a bottle of ‘Caña Alta‘. This delicious bottle of sugar cane liquor is thoughtfully produced at the Destilería Andina. In cooperation with ‘Valle Sagrado Verde’, one tree is planted for every product sold at Destilería Andina! So, enjoy your bottle of ‘Andean Elixir’ with a clear conscience!
Afterward, hop on the train to Machu Picchu.
The train ride takes you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas up to Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, a small coach takes you up the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel. For centuries Machu Picchu remained undiscovered by the Spaniards and has only been found in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. During a guided tour you will experience the uniqueness of the location and the genius that went into its construction, making this Inca site one of the seven new wonders of the world.
Return by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollanta. Upon arrival in Ollanta, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel in Cusco (with Spanish speaking driver only).
Day 11 – Cusco
This morning you walk through the major sites of interest in Cusco. You visit the famous cathedral with its magnificently carved woodwork, ornate altar, and many hundreds of canvases from the 17th-century Cusco Painting School. You continue exploring the cultural wealth of Cusco at the Temple of the Sun where we witness the incredible masonry of the Incas, an engineering feat that remains an enigma. Afterwards, you walk along Hatunrumiyoc Street named after the 12-angled stone clearly visible in the remaining walls of what used to be Inca Roca’s Palace. You make a last stop in San Blas artisan quarter. Its steeped cobblestone alleys not only offer spectacular views of the city but are lined with workshops and galleries, a great way to soak in Cusco’s artistic atmosphere. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 12 – Cusco – going back home
You will be transferred to the airport for your international flight back home.
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