April 20 - 30, 2023
DISCOVERING AN ANCIENT CIVILIZATION
Spanish conquistadors called Peru part of a “New World” but it turned out to be an incredibly ancient, well-developed civilization. The Incan Empire was the largest in pre-Colombian South America, centered in the Andean Mountain range, which average 13,000 feet above sea level.
Among the most impressive features of the once-vast Incan civilization were enormous temples, palaces, fortresses and public works, skillfully erected with a minimum of engineering equipment. Perhaps South America’s most spectacular location, the sacred site Machu Picchu’s remote location in nearly impassable terrain high above a river canyon cloud forest virtually guaranteed it would become the “Lost City of the Incas.”
Discover the vibrant culture and fascinating history of Peru and it's ancient Inca Empire. Explore Lima, the gastronomic capital and sample its iconic ceviche. Uncover the mysteries of the Sacred Valley and the Inca capital of Cuzco before exploring Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Then board the luxurious Belmond Andean Explorer train for the unforgettable journey to Lake Titicaca. This is the adventure of a lifetime!
COVID-19 VACCINATION POLICY:
All plans for this tour are made considering the COVID procedures in effect at the time of publication. Entry requirements and vaccination requirements are subject to change at any time without notice. Please be sure you comply with the latest Peru entry requirements at the time of departure. For the safety of our groups, we only accept tour participants who are fully vaccinated, and current with their covid vaccines (including any recommended boosters) as of 4 weeks prior to departure. Proof of vaccination will be required.
- Lima, the City of the Kings *
- The Sacred Valley
- Visit Inca descendants revealing ancient traditions and rituals
- Moray archaeological site
- Ollantaytambo archaeological site
- Machu Picchu Archaeological Complex *
- Opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu
- Cusco *
- Luxury Belmond Andean Explorer train journey
- Stunning Lake Titicaca
- Visit to Uros Islands
- Sumbay Caves tour
- Arequipa *
Arrive in Lima
Plan your arrival for any convenient time today. Your hotel room will be available from 3pm onwards. Many flights from the USA arrive in the late evening, so we have not included any welcome activities today. You will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel for a free evening. Please let us know on your reservation form if you would like to arrive a day before (on 19 April) to enjoy more free time in Lima. (Meals aloft)
Lima City Tour / Welcome Dinner
After breakfast, embark on a city tour beginning with a visit to the Plaza Mayor, the official center of the city and the original site upon which Lima was founded. Visit the historic Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece. From the Cathedral, walk past the Presidential Palace (where the soldiers guarding the palace offer an excellent photo opportunity) and on to the Church of Santo Domingo. Then, visit the Larco Herrera Museum, an extensive private collection of pre-Inca ceramics. See also the fascinating Archaeological Museum, showcasing the progression of Peru’s various early civilizations – from the Chavin in 1200 BC to the Incas. After a panoramic tour of other notable highlights, enjoy free time at the hotel before our welcome festivities. (Breakfast / Welcome Dinner)
Fly to Cusco / The Sacred Valley
This morning we take an hour-and-a-half flight from Lima to Cusco. We plan to take it easy when we arrive due to the sudden change in altitude. We’ll enjoy a leisurely lunch, and then transfer to a lower elevation at The Sacred Valley for two nights to acclimatize. Along the way we stop at Manos de la Comunidad, a center where South American Camelids (members of the camel family including Llamas, Alpacas, Guanacos and Vicunas) are all bred. Learn about the renowned fibers created from their coats, as well as the ancient weaving techniques which are still practiced to this day. (Breakfast / Lunch)
Touring the Sacred Valley
Meet Quechua-speaking farmers and weavers on an inspiring visit to an Andean highland community in the Sacred Valley near the well-known market town and former Inca royal palace of Chinchero. This personal encounter reveals the unique lifestyle and traditions of descendants from the mighty Inca Empire. Explore their village, see and taste the typical food of the area, understand their ancient medical remedies, watch weavers at work, wander into the fields to learn about local agricultural practices and join in a traditional Andean blessing (Pago a la Tierra). Drive through the valley to the salt pans of Maras (Salineras de Maras) to appreciate a method of salt extraction used since Inca times. From the village of Maras, continue to Moray, a fascinating archaeological site comprising a series of concentric agricultural terraces, some as deep as 150 meters ( 492 feet), while enjoying the magnificent views this part of the Sacred Valley offers. (Breakfast / Picnic Lunch)
Train to Machu Picchu
Transfer to Ollantaytambo and see the formidable stone structure which sits at the summit of a high peak and was the valley’s main defense. It was the site of the Incas’ greatest victory against the Spanish during the wars of conquest. Below the fortress lies a complete Incan town, also called Ollantaytambo, which is still inhabited to this day with its original architecture and layout preserved. Here we board the Vistadome train bound for Machu Picchu. We bring with us only an overnight bag (5kg allowed), and the rest of our luggage goes on to our hotel in Cusco where we are reunited with it tomorrow night. Our late morning arrival in Aguas Calientes allows plenty of time to visit and explore the breathtaking Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. We board a shared bus (per regulations) for the short drive up the mountain. Upon arrival we have a buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge just outside the citadel gates. Then, accompanied by our guide, we explore the city's ruins and feel its pulse as we imagine the lives of the priests, craftsmen, and servants who populated this seemingly uninhabitable citadel. (All Meals)
Morning at Machu Picchu / Transfer to Cusco
Return this morning for another visit to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Machu Pichu is widely-known for its great spirituality and the best time to experience the serenity of the citadel is in the early morning. Today you have another chance to visit the ruins and to capture some memorable images. You have the possibility, with advance arrangement, to climb up Huayna Picchu, where you can observe the Machu Picchu citadel and the stunning surrounding landscapes from above. (Please Note: Access to Huayna Picchu is limited and must be arranged well before arrival. Let us know on the reservation form if you would like to purchase a permit to do this challenging climb.) We return to Aguas Calientes for lunch, and then reboard the Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo, where we continue by private bus to our hotel in Cusco. (Breakfast / Lunch)
Today, discover Cusco on a city tour beginning at the architecturally-stunning Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas, considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in the Americas. Its construction was influenced by the great Spanish cathedrals of the era, reflecting gothic, renaissance and baroque styles. Another ornate church is Santo Domingo, a 16th-century Dominican church and convent built on the foundations of the Koricancha, the Incas' principal religious building, dedicated to the worship of the sun. Next, explore the well-preserved ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a testament to Incan architectural skills and compiled of enormous stones, which were cut and placed together with incredible precision and without any mortar to hold them in place. This ancient fortress overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco and the spectacular surrounding countryside and is where the greatest battle between the Spanish and Incas took place. Enjoy free time in the afternoon before dinner. (Breakfast / Dinner)
Luxury Train Journey to Lake Titicaca
Board the Andean Explorer in Cusco. Get comfortable and relax in your deluxe cabin as the train begins its journey southeast to Puno. Savor your first lunch on board in one of the elegant dining cars. Refined Andean specialties are served with contemporary flair. Take in the stunning La Raya mountain range at one of our stops before preparing for an elegant dinner on board. Afterwards, you can head to the bar car and chat with your fellow passengers as the train continues its journey to Lake Titicaca, where it will stop for the night. The timetable for today looks something like this:
10:00 Check in at Wanchaq Station – Cusco
11:00 Train departure from Cusco
13:00 Lunch on board
16:30 Arrival at la Raya
16:45 Tea time at the bar car
19:00 Cocktails and canapes at the Piano bar
19:30 Dinner on board
22:00 Arrival at the Titicaca Lake Station - Puno Dock
Overnight at Titicaca Lake Station – Puno (All Meals)
Puno to Saracocha
Arise early to catch the breathtaking sunrise across Lake Titicaca before enjoying a delicious breakfast on board. Today’s tour explores the eclectic beauty and rich biodiversity of Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America, which is also home to several islands. Take a traditional boat ride to the islands of the Uros, extraordinary artificial islands created from carefully woven reeds that are constantly renewed. After lunch we depart for the Saracocha lagoon. On the way you will also enjoy cocktails and canapes. Arrive in Saracocha where we will spend the night and enjoy a wonderful dinner. Our anticipated timetable for today:
06:00 Breakfast on board
09:00 Visit to the Uros Islands
12:30 Lunch at Puno Dock hangar
16:50 Departure to Saracocha
19:00 Cocktails and canapes on board
19:30 Dinner on board
21:30 Arrival at Saracocha
Observation of stars and constellations(subject to weather conditions) Overnight at Saracocha (All Meals)
Saracocha to Arequipa
Watch the sunrise surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of Lake Lagunillas and then enjoy a delicious breakfast. Later visit the Sumbay caves, home to fascinating cave paintings estimated to be over 8,000 years old. Return to the train for lunch as the train continues to Arequipa. Here we bid farewell as you disembark.
Today’s train schedule is generally like this:
06:00 Breakfast on board
09:50 Sumbay Caves Tour
12:30 Lunch on board
15:30 Arrival in Arequipa.
Upon arrival we transfer by private bus to our hotel. Tonight we celebrate the conclusion of our adventures in Peruvian Paradise with a gala Farewell Dinner. (All Meals)
Arequipa Tour / Departure
Most flights connecting with international departures from Lima leave Arequipa in the evening. So as not to squander this day waiting for our flights, we have extended our hotel check-out to 6pm today in order to see some of the highlights of Arequipa. Time permitting, we plan to see:
-- The Colonial District of Yanahuara, famous for its churches built in an Andalucian style
-- The Viewpoint of Carmen Alto with its beautiful landscape
-- The Neighborhood of San Lázaro where Arequipa was founded
-- The Church of San Francisco with its beautiful plaza that dates back to the XVIII century
-- The Main Square, including the façade of the Cathedral
-- The Church of La Compañía de Jesús, founded in the XVII century by the Jesuits, famous for its Cloisters
-- The Santa Catalina Monastery, which is the most important and impressive religious monument in Perú, founded in 1579
After lunch at a local restaurant, we return to the hotel to freshen up for the journey ahead and check out. Transfer to the Arequipa Airport for your flight to Lima. Try to book a flight departing Arequipa at around 7pm, with your international flight departing Lima at 11pm or later. (We recommend LATAM Airlines #2116 departing AQP at 7:20pm, arriving LIM at 8:45pm.) Once you arrive at the Lima International Airport you will be met and assisted with your connection to your international flight home. (Breakfast / Lunch)
MODERATE TO HIGH ENERGY WALKING
This Toto Tours Cultural and Scenic Expedition is accessible and suitable to all those with very good health who are able to acclimate to high altitudes and walk 2-3 hours without much carrying, but sometimes on uneven surfaces with a lot of ascents and descents (especially at Machu Picchu). We recommend you commence a daily walking and stair-climbing regimen well in advance of this tour to boost your endurance and enhance your ability to enjoy this adventure to the fullest extent.
Entry Requirements - For U.S. citizens, a valid passport with six more months of validity from the date of entry and one blank page required for entry stamp (free visa).
Immunizations & Health -Exit Requirements - Your airport departure tax will be included in the cost of your international airline ticket. Please check the requirements for entry to your final destination. December 2022 It is no longer necessary to present a vaccination card or a negative molecular test when entering or leaving the country.
Making Travel Arrangements to Peru
International airfare is not included in your tour price. You will need to purchase your international air to and from Peru. We encourage you to work with Steven Goldberg at Frosch Travel in Chicago, who can help you choose the best flights to meet the following requirements.
Plan your arrival into the Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru. The airport code is LIM. Hotel services are paid beginning at 3pm on April 20, 2023, so keep that in mind as you plan your arrival. If you land early in the morning on that day, you will probably want to book an additional night so that your room is ready for you when you reach the hotel. Schedule your departure from the Rodriguez Ballon International Airport (AQP) in Ariquipa for the evening of April 30, 2023. You have hotel services until 6pm that night. We recommend booking LATAM Airlines #2116 departing AQP at 7:20pm, arriving LIM at 8:45pm, and connecting later that evening to your international flight back to the States.
Steven Goldberg / Frosch Travel
Toll-Free in USA: 1-800-323-1276
International guests, please call +1-312-371-9686
When calling, please identify yourself as a Toto Tours participant. If you leave a message on Steven’s voice mail, he will return your call promptly. He will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate.
NOTE: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible, we often must turn away last-minute registrants because we relinquish hotel space and any internal air reservations 8 – 12 weeks prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.
WHAT TO BRING
Temperatures all across Peru are relatively mild. Daytime temperatures in Cusco hover around 66°F, while Lima stays in the mid-70s. April is the tail-end of the wet season, and only sees eight days of rain on average—a significant drop from the previous five months. Please pack light and limit yourself to no more than one suitcase and a carry-on bag. Pack medications in your carry-on just in case your suitcase doesn’t arrive when you do. We suggest leaving expensive jewelry at home!
Suggested Packing List:
- Proof of citizenship. Passport required.
- Proof of full Covid-19 vaccination.
- Lightweight slacks for city sightseeing and evening meals
- Shorts for hiking or excursions on warm days
- Socks and underwear for several days (laundry service readily available at all hotels)
- Sweater and/or windbreaker
- Scarf and light gloves
- Rain jacket / umbrella
- Waterproof hiking shoes or boots
- T-shirts / polo shirts / short-sleeved shirts
- Casual long-sleeved shirts
- Sunscreen / lip balm / sunglasses / sun hat
- Personal toiletries
- Camera, lots of digital memory, extra batteries
- Electrical Adapter. The electricity supply in Peru is 220 Volts/50 Hertz. Click here to see examples of the outlets you will encounter, and the plugs you will need.
- A good book for the long flights.
MONEY MATTERSThe official currency of is the Peruvian Nuevo Sol (PEN). Banknotes have denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 or 200 soles. Coins come in values of 1, 2 and 5 soles, as well as 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents. US dollars are accepted in many stores, restaurants, hotels and service stations. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks or exchange offices. There are also street “cambistas” who change money, but the transaction cannot be guaranteed. You can find ATMs in almost all cities in the country, and most are connected to the Plus (Visa), Cirrus (MasterCard/Maestro), American Express and other networks. You can take cash out in US dollars or soles, but the exchange rate is often higher. Click here to see the most up-to-date exchange rate.
Tipping Guidelines: Tipping is customary and expected of foreign tourists by service providers in Peru. Here is an excellent guide for how much to tip in various situations. We will give group tips at appropriate times throughout the tour, and guidelines concerning this will be sent to you prior to departure.
THE TOTO SPIRITToto Tours provides Adventure Travel Experiences as differentiated from tours in the traditional sense. Adventure Travel allows (even encourages) you to be an active participant. Adventurers can be identified by certain traits. They are:
- fun-loving optimists who have a sense of humor and accentuate the positive;
- good natured realists who are willing to accept situations as they exist;
- undaunted by the unexpected, like occasional delays or bad weather;
- willing to forego some of the amenities we normally take for granted;
- eager to try new things & test limits;
- not whiners!
Travel InsuranceWe recommend you purchase travel insurance with Travel Guard to cover for unforeseen events prior to and during your trip. Please click on the image or link below or call us for more information.
(tour prices per person)Price: $7,200 in double occupancy hotel accommodations
Single Supplement: $2,500 additional, for a total tour price of $9,700
(Due at time of registration for the tour. May be paid with a credit card.)
Remaining Balance : $6,200 double / $8,700 single
Remaining Balance Due: February 1, 2023 (80 days prior to departure)
(Full payment required with reservation form if enrolling after this date.)
Included: Round trip transfers from/to airports by private vehicle; full time tour leader; full time English-speaking guide; private sightseeing except during train excursions; private vehicle and driver for sightseeing except during train excursions; Vistadome Train Ollantaytambo/Machu Picchu/Ollantaytambo; shared bus transfer Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Ollantaytambo; domestic economy flight Lima/Cusco; 10 nights hotel and luxury train accommodations plus late checkout in Ariquipa; hotel breakfasts daily plus Welcome & Farewell Dinners and other meals as specified in the itinerary; bottled mineral water during sightseeing excursions and long drives; sightseeing activities and entrances as listed in the itinerary; fully guided and escorted tour.
Not Included: International round-trip airfare into Lima (LIM) and returning from Ariquipa (AQP); ground transportation for sightseeing on your own (taxis, local guides, etc.); meals and optional activities not specifically listed in the itinerary; visa fees; camera fees; alcoholic beverages; soft drinks; insurance; laundry, telephone calls, faxes, or any other expenses of a personal nature. Tips to drivers and guides and other conveyance attendants are not included; tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.
Click hotel name to read description
- Lima (2 nights) – JW Marriott (Deluxe Room)
- The Sacred Valley (2 nights) – Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba (Casita Urubamba)
- Aguas Calientes (1 night) – Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo (Superior Deluxe Room)
- Cusco (2 nights) – JW Marriott (Deluxe Room)
- Train (2 nights) – Belmond Andean Explorer (Double / Twin or Single Cabin)
- Arequipa (1 night + late checkout) – Casa Andina Premium (Superior Room)