This photo tour to Peru will take you from Lima to Arequipa, through Cusco and the fantastic and unique landscape and villages of the Sacred Valley. Finally, we will also explore and marvel at one of the most ancient wonders of the world, Machu Picchu.
When: June 30th to July 13th, 2021.
Who: Open to all skill levels, non-photographer spouses are welcome.
Group Size: Minimum 4 People, Maximum 12 People.
Where: This photo tour starts in Lima (LIM) and ends in Cusco (CUZ)
Fitness Level: Moderate. Most of the locations we visit in Peru during this photo tour are within short walking distance, up to two miles from where we leave or vehicle. Because the altitude in the Cusco area is around 11,000 feet, some may feel more fatigued than usual for the first one or two days as we get acclimated to the altitude.
Day 1 | Arrive in Lima. Airport Code (LIM) | (D)
Upon arrival in Lima, you will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel. After checking in, you will be free to relax and settle. We will formally meet as a group for the first time in the early afternoon for a welcome meeting and orientation. In the evening, we will have our first photo shoot at sunset time, followed by dinner at an exceptional restaurant on the ocean.
Day 2 | Lima to Arequipa | (B, L, D)
After enjoying breakfast together at the hotel, we will travel to the airport to take a flight to Arequipa. Framed by three volcanos, Arequipa is the second-largest city in Peru and was the colonial-era capital of the Arequipa Region. This charming town is known for its chalky white baroque-mestizo buildings constructed from volcanic stone. You will have some time to settle into our hotel before we head out for lunch in the oldest part of Arequipa. After lunch, you will have free time to wander the square or rest. In the late afternoon, we will drive to Yanahuara for a sunset shoot from a stunning viewpoint overlooking the city. We will back to the old town for dinner.
Day 3 | Arequipa | (B, L, D)
We will start our day with a morning shoot at Complejo de la Compañía de Jesús where local dancers will pose in typical costumes. Once finished with our model shoot, we will relocate to photograph the Monastery of San Francisco. After lunch, we will spend the afternoon photographing the Monastery of Santa Catalina. The massive Saint Catherine Monastery, a citadel within the city. Its contrasting colors and many cloisters are incredible to explore and photograph. In the evening, we will shoot the sunset and blue hour from the terrace overlooking the magnificent cathedral and central plaza.
Day 4 | Arequipa | (B, L, D)
Today we start the morning traveling to the outskirts of the city to see and photograph “La Ruta del Sillar.” Arequipa is famous for the white buildings of the colonial area of the city that give its name, “The White City of Arequipa.”
The Sillar Route will take us to the quarry from where these massive blocks are extracted; we will see the workers and a replica of the facade of the Church of the Company of Jesus artistically carved by them into the wall of the ravine. We will also cover the Quebrada de Culebrillas, a windy otherworldly path in between curvaceous volcanic rock caused by eruptions, water, and wind.
Day 5 | Arequipa to Cusco| (B, L, D)
Our fifth day begins with an early flight to Cusco, the undisputed archeological capital of the Americas. Cusco is the oldest continuously inhabited city of the continent, full of cobblestone passages, grandiose baroque churches, and cathedrals juxtaposing with remnants of Inca temples.
In the afternoon, once settled in, we will take a leisurely walk together along the cobblestone streets of the old capital of the Inca empire to begin acclimating to the altitude.
Day 6 | Cusco | (B, L, D)
We will be spending the day together, exploring the city of Cusco.
In the morning, we’ll visit and photograph in Coricancha, “The Golden Temple,” this was the most important temple of the Inca Empire.
Then, we’ll sample a little taste of local life by visiting the San Pedro Market. Always bustling, covered with all kinds of stalls, local ladies dressing in traditional outfits. From here we’ll then go for lunch and have some rest time.
In the afternoon we will head to the San Blas District, this area is full of picturesque steep cobbled streets, and we’ll end the day, in the San Blas temple to photograph a beautiful sunset and into the blue hour, with one of the best panoramic views of Cusco.
Day 7 | Cusco | (B, D)
Today we will have some free time in the morning to wander the city on your own.
We’ll regroup in the early afternoon to visit and photograph in Sacsayhuaman. Located in the northern outskirts of Cuzco on a steep hillside with commanding views of the city, the fortified Inca citadel is extensive. It includes temples, including one to the sun god Inti, and was also a major Inca storage depot for arms, food, and valuables.
Day 8 | Cusco to Sacred Valley | (B, L, D)
Day eight of this Photo Tour to Peru will take us to explore the incredible “Sacred Valley of the Incas.” The beautiful Urubamba River surrounded by the Andes, colonial towns, weaving villages, salt mines, and Inca sites, these are just some of the sights and experiences that we’ll photograph during the next few days.
We’ll drive through the valley, making frequent stops along the way. We’ll photograph in Chinchero and its market. Then we’ll visit the small village of Maras.
Day 9 | Sacred Valley | (B, L, D)
Along with a local NGO, today, we will visit and photograph an artisan cooperative run by Andean women.
Our trip will begin with a drive to Ollantaytambo, where we’ll transfer vehicles to ascend around 1,000 meters to one of the local, outlying communities. Bordered by Inca terraces, waterfalls, and traditional farm plots, the road is exciting and photogenic.
We will spend most of the day in this small village learning their way of life and photographing the locals. Today we’ll also learn and enjoy the traditional Pachamanca, an earth-oven lunch cooked underground by hot stones.
Day 10 | Sacred Valley | (B, L, D)
Two of the highlights of the tour are in the schedule for this day. We will visit the famous Inca terraces of Moray, and after spending some time there, we will head to the salt mines (salineras).
Moray is an Inca archeological site consisting of several depressed and unique circular terraces.
The salt mines are a series of over fourteen hundred terraced ponds where salt is obtained by evaporating water from a local subterranean stream. The colors and the textures that you can photography in this place are never-ending, all surrounded by the beautiful Andes mountains.
Day 11 | Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu Pueblo | (B, L, D)
Today, we’ll explore some Inca ruins and then travel in the world-famous Inca Rail Vista-Dome train to Machu Picchu Pueblo.
After breakfast, we’ll head over to Ollantaytambo for an exploration of the Inca ruins.
After lunch in town, we’ll begin our journey to what will be the highlight of this Peru photo tour, Machu Picchu. We will take the train from Ollantaytambo to Machu Picchu Pueblo (previously known as Aguas Calientes).
On arrival, we will check into our hotel for the night, enjoy dinner, and then it’s time for an early night as we will have an early start in the morning to make it to Machu Picchu for sunrise.
Day 12 | Machu Picchu | (B, L, D)
Today is a very special day!
We will spend the morning exploring the lost city of the Incas – Machu Picchu. We will arrive early and have plenty of free time to capture one of the seven wonders of the world in all its glory.
The afternoon will be free to rest or enjoy a photo walk on your own around town.
Day 13 | Machu Picchu Pueblo to Cusco | (B, L, D)
Today, our Vistadome train will take us back to Ollantaytambo, where we’ll have lunch.
In the afternoon, we will drive back to Cusco, stopping in the Pisac market for one more opportunity to photograph the locals. We will also stop at several overview points to capture more of the landscape of the Sacred Valley.
Once we arrive back in Cusco, we’ll check-in in our hotel and will have our farewell dinner in a unique restaurant.
Day 14 | Cusco | (B)
After we share our last breakfast at the hotel, your journey home begins. Transfer to the Cusco Airport is included today.
Alternatively, you can choose to extend your trip, at your own expense, and stay on a few more days in Cusco or you can also join our extension to the Paucartambo for the Virgen del Carmen Festival.