Latin America Vacations
Peru | Beyond Machu Picchu
Go beyond the mountainous Machu Picchu to discover the hidden gems of Peru
6 days / 5 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Explore Peru far beyond the typical allure of Machu Picchu and mountainous terrain. From Lima to the Huacachina, this 6-day excursion will offer insight into rich Peruvian culture through ancient ruins, natural reserves, and striking coastlines. Whether hunting for geoglyphs, indulging in delicious indigenous cuisine, or learning about local folklore, adventurers are sure to depart Peru with a new perception of this historic southern gem. Adventure in the playground of the south; white sand beaches, beautiful mountainous hikes, and sprawling historic cities await discovery for those willing to seek them. The Ballestas Islands offer an unprecedented island side allure not often attributed to Peru. From geoglyphs abounding to a sprawling nature reserve, the behind-the-scenes wonder offered by these islands is unparalleled.
- Tour the cryptic ruins of Pachacamac with an expert guide
- Take a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands and marvel at El Candelabro, a large geoglyph
- Search for geoglyphs from hundreds of feet in the air on a private helicopter tour
- Explore the Huacachina Oasis
- Peruse the oldest distillery in the Americas and the multitude of vineyards surrounding it
- Surf the famed Peruvian sand dunes, or explore via dune buggy
- Relax on one of the many gorgeous beaches Peru has to offer
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
The ruins: Machu Picchu are not the only ruins in Peru; explore Pachacamac, Huacachina, and more.
The Ballestas Islands: tour extensive nature reserves, sunbathe on the beach, and enjoy seaside Peru.
The Peruvian sand dunes: play in the desert via dune buggy or surfboard.
Lima, Peru LIM
Lima, Peru LIM
Lima / Paracas
Arrive in Lima, the “City of Kings,” and the cultural hub of Peru • You’ll be met at the airport and transferred (four hours) to Hotel Paracas.
About Hotel Paracas
Hotel Paracas positioned directly in front of Paracas National Reserve, is the foremost standard for five-star accommodation in Peru. Boasting a private dock, two swimming pools, a bar and lounge area, a luxury spa, and a children’s area, guests are sure to find everything they may find themselves needing in this upscale and comfortable resort. Spa treatments available to guests include many native specialty ingredients such as Andean cocoa, grapes, and even seaweed. The resort offers a full buffet-style breakfast in the mornings, including but not limited to tropical fruits, jams, and Peruvian specialty foods.
The Ballestas Islands / Paracas National Reserve
Morning tour of Peru’s oldest marine reserve, the Paracas National Reserve. Guests will take a two-hour boat tour to the Ballestas Islands, enjoying views of El Candelabro, a large geoglyph along the route. After docking at the islands, adventurers will enjoy a land tour of the reserve, visiting many local attractions along the way. Highlights include the Paracas interpretation center and multiple beaches, including Yamaque, Lagunilla, and La Mina. Guests will return to Hotel Paracas after arriving on the mainland.
Paracas / Ica | Nazca Lines
After checking out of Hotel Paracas, guests will board a privately chartered helicopter with Nazca Lines for a breathtaking air tour. An extended sightseeing flight will take place, allowing adventurers to search for over twenty geoglyphs. Highlights will include the spider, monkey, hummingbird, astronaut, and condor geoglyphs. After landing, the day will be free-flowing, allowing guests to explore Ica at their own pace. There are many beaches nearby, and street markets are in full swing later in the afternoon. We will check into our second hotel, Viñas Queirolo, this evening.
About Viñas Queirolo
Hotel Viñas Queirolo offers guests the opportunity to relax while surrounded by Peruvian nature. Positioned in the middle of acres upon acres of vineyards, Viñas Queirolo is truly an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life that many of our guests are all too accustomed to. Guests will be housed in one of 89 spacious, stylishly decorated rooms complete with private bathrooms, republic-era décor, and anything your heart may desire.
Guests will be free to spend the morning as they wish, with many leisure activities being offered by Viñas Queirolo. In the afternoon, adventurers will depart on a guided trip of the Huacachina Oasis, just outside the city of Ica. We will also tour the Regional Museum of Ica, known for its collection of Peruvian mummies, textiles, and ceramics. Later in the afternoon, the group will depart for the famed Peruvian sand dunes. Options will be available to dune surf or tour the desert via dune buggy. After leaving the sand dunes, guests will return to the hotel for the evening.
Today the group will tour multiple local vineyards, such as Tares Generations and Hacienda La Caravedo. The home of the oldest vines in South America, Tacama Vineyards, is close by. Guests will learn about winemaking and indulge in a free wine tasting including sparkling wine and the vineyards famed pisco. Lunch will be eaten at the winery restaurant and will include an expertly paired wine with each dish. The day will end with a sommelier-guided stroll through the vineyards. Guests will enjoy their final night in Peru before departure tomorrow morning.
Arrival & Departure
An Austin Adventures representative will meet you upon arrival at the Lima airport. Upon clearing customs, transportation to Hotel Paracas in front of Paracas National Reserve (4-hour transfer) will be provided. On Day 6 you will be transferred from the Hotel Viñas Queirolo to the Lima airport according to your morning or afternoon flight schedule. Please confirm with your airline provider if the Peruvian airport departure and tourist tax are included in your ticket. If not, this departure tax must be paid in U.S. dollars or Peruvian Nuevos Soles, as credit cards are not accepted.
Hiking: There will be mild hiking on most days of this Peruvian adventure, ranging from easy to intermediate. Guests should not expect steep inclines or extended periods of hiking but should be in good physical health to accommodate the hiking and physical activity included in this adventure.
Walking: Much of this tour involves exploration by walking. Whether it be on the beaches of Paracas National Reserve or through the streets of Ica, guests should expect to be on their feet for multiple hours at a time. Guests should be in good physical health to accommodate the many hours of walking, standing, and extended activity involved in this adventure.
Peru is commonly a popular adventure travel destination; however, many guided adventures cover the likes of Peru’s mountainous regions, Machu Picchu, and other typical attractions. On Austin Adventures’ Beyond Machu Picchu adventure, guests will be treated to an atypical Peruvian experience generally reserved for the locals. While the mountainous sectors of Peru are stunning, the coastline is just as much if not more so. Explore Peru’s soft sand beaches, fruitful nature reserves, and coastal islands on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Guests will be afforded opportunities to interact with locals, learn about Peruvian culture, explore mysterious ruins, and truly absorb the essence of Peru.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments, and receptions – except one dinner on your own – are included as indicated by the itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
After receiving your reservation and deposit, we’ll send you a pre-trip planner with general information about the area you’ll be visiting, a packing list, exercise guidelines, a guest information questionnaire, and a liability release agreement for you to sign and return within 10 days.
Included in Trip Price
- Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
- All meals from breakfast on day 2 until breakfast on day 9.
- Fully trained, bilingual, professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
- Bikes, helmets, and other necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
- Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt & luggage tags.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
- Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, & local partner and expert gratuities.
- Entrance fees to attractions.
Not Included in Trip Price
- Flights to and from Lima.
- Guide gratuities.
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Any meals not indicated in this itinerary.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- All types of insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.1 Easy (1)
Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.2 Moderately Easy (2)
Want to know how to fully experience the depth of beauty and culture in a place? Ask Carol Austin. A Montana native who treasures the land and people in her own backyard—be it Yellowstone, the Beartooths, or the family around her dinner table—Carol knows how to embrace any destination she explores, a feat at 40+ countries and counting. And with more than 20 years in the travel industry, she’s really good at helping guests plan—and fully enjoy—their adventure vacation, too. She co-founded Austin Adventures with her husband, Dan Austin.