What are Self-Guided Adventures?
Welcome to our Peru Self-Guided Adventures - a chance to explore Peru on your own or with a small group of like-minded individuals without a structured itinerary. You will still enjoy the comforts of having everything planned for you from the moment you arrive, but without a Tour Leader with you throughout the trip. We will arrange your domestic transportation, accommodations, meals (if necessary), guided excursions, and activities.
We support small local businesses and our trusted, responsible local guides to ensure you have an incredible adventure and have an authentic Peruvian experience. This experience can be tailored for individuals, couples and small groups with a maximum of 12 people.
"I went with a group of 7 people on a custom trip to Peru planned by Amanda from Travel Roots. I cannot say enough good things about the quality of the trip, and the quality of service we received from Amanda. She went above and beyond, meeting with us before the trip to answer any questions we had. She was available on "WhatsApp" to assist us while we were away. The activities that she planned for us, and the guides that she arranged were all top notch. I have traveled before on a pre-arranged tour to Peru, which was cool, but Travel Roots completely blew it away. Travel Roots is perfect for people who like to travel off the beaten path, but not have to worry about where to stay, what to eat, where to go, etc. I highly recommend Travel Roots, I believe it is the best way to travel. The only downside is trying to adjust to real life after returning to Canada." - David Weber, Winnipeg.
Day 1: Arrive in Lima & spend one night there. Free time or group activities can be planned.
Day 2: Fly to Cusco and spend 3 nights there to acclimatize and adjust to the altitude. The altitude in Cuzco is 3400 m or 11,152 feet. There are a variety of day trips and activities that can be organized from Cuzco or you’re free to just chill and relax before the trek.
Day 3: Sacred Valley Tour - Your guide will pick you up from your hotel lobby at 8 a.m. You will be taken on a road that winds around the mountains north of Cusco. On the way, we will stop at a famous point known as El Mirador (Lookout Point). From there, we will be able to see the Sacred Valley and gain some insight into the Inca history. The Sacred Valley was one of the main areas the Incas settled. There is an unusual abundance of fertile plains in this high area of the Andes. You will also witness vast contour terracing and irrigation channels left behind by the Incas.
Later on, we will drive towards the ruins of CHINCHERO. Here, you will witness and learn about Inca culture. You will see amazing works of stone art and impressive agricultural terraces.
Then we will go to the archeological complex of moray where we will visit the experimental laboratory of the Inca time where they acclimatized various varieties of products.
After our visit we will go down to the town of Urubamba to make a stop and have lunch.
After lunch, we will drive along the Urubamba River towards the town of Ollantaytambo. Once we reach Ollantaytambo, we will visit the ruins, an important area of Incan construction, built during the Inca’s heydays. This is an extraordinary Inca site because you can find rock formations representing the Inca god, Wiracocha. Afterwards, we will return to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel.
Day 4: Free day to explore Cusco.
The evening of Day 4 you will get an orientation/briefing for your Trek. The local operator will provide you with duffle bags for your overnight bags during the trek.
Day 5: Cusco - Lares Trek – Thermal Bath Waterfall Campsite
We will pick up you from your hotel at 5:00 am to begin the famous Lares trek. It will be 3 hours’ drive along the beautiful landscape of the sacred valley and through the Andes. We will travel until we arrive at the Lares hot springs, where you will have the first breakfast surrounded by amazing views of the Andes mountains. After lunch you will enjoy the hot springs which are medicinal in nature and considered to be good for bones, stress, muscles and headaches after that we will board your vehicle and drive 20 minutes to meet up with the horses and horseman and you will give your duffle bags to the horses to be transported to the campsite.
You will then start hiking 2 hours gradually uphill until we reach our lunch spot called Kiswarani. This place is considered to be the potato valley sector, where people farm many varieties of organic potatoes. We will then arrive to the lunch spot where you will enjoy our first delicious meal prepared by our trekking chef. After a siesta, you can visit the school where the kids still speak Quechua their native language. You are welcome to bring toys, or note books for the kids, and you can teach a few English words, then we will walk another 2 hours gradual uphill until we arrive at the campsite where you will be welcomed by our trekking staff with your tents already set up. We will enjoy some hot drinks upon arrival. On a clear night, we can see the deep blue sky and tinkling stars showing up, we can see the southern cross ( crus del sur ) cosmic constellation and many others.
Trekking distance: 10 km /6miles/
Camp elevation: 3850 meters/12631 ft.
Day 6: – Quiswarany – Condor Pass – Cancha Cancha Village
This day you will be awakened by your porters with our service of hot drinks in your tents around 5:00 am. You will have amazing views of the beautiful lake and the local people will take theirs llamas and alpacas out to graze. Breakfast will be served as soon as you finish packing up your gear. Then you will fill up your water bottles and take your snacks and begin the most memorable day of your expedition to Machupicchu. It will be 3 - 4 hours climb to get to the summit of the mountains. This pass is called Pachacute or condor pass, it can be a little difficult (quite steep). We will see stunning lakes, waterfalls, llamas, and alpacas. We will have an emergency horse to ride in case you are tired.
Once you arrive at the condor pass you will feel like you are in the heaven. You will see the majestic mountain, Pitusiray which is at 5700 m/18700 ft. And the Condor pass is at 4680 m/15354 ft. We will start our decent and say goodbye to the toughest part of the hike. Here you will have a hot drink and sandwich, after that we have 3 hours downhill with fantastic views of many lakes, llamas and alpacas until the campsite.
You will end up in the Cancha Cancha village, which is the only village that does not have the construction of modern technology. 85% of the houses are original ancient dwellings, made of stone with grass thatched roofs, this is the only village like this in the Lares valley. We will enjoy a delicious lunch, after that perhaps meet with the local children!
Walking distance: 14 km /8 miles
Elevation gain: 830 meters /2723 ft.
Camp elevation: 3700 meters /12303 ft .
Day 7: – Cancha Cancha Huaran – Maras Salt Mine – Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes
Today our porter will wake you up with a hot drink, you will have some time to pack your backpacks and duffle bags, and enjoy breakfast, after the breakfast you will have time to visit the local elementary school, and once you are ready, you will begin the last leg of your Lares trek. It will be 4 hours downhill along this lovely path seeing more llamas and alpacas, we will pass by a farm where they cultivate potatoes, fava beans, and many other traditional foods in the traditional Inca style. This will be a great opportunity to learn about Peruvian agriculture where people still farm by hand using traditional Inca farming tools.
Now we will start to descend to a warmer region, the sacred valley, and you can begin feel the microclimate changes and start seeing other kinds of crops that people farm. Around the sacred valley, people farm corn, quinua, kiwicha, peaches, avocados and other types of fruits. The tour guide will explain to you about the Incas and their history and you will end the tour at the little village of Huaran in the sacred valley at 2700 m/8858 ft.
This is where you will say goodbye to the horses, horsemen, chef and porters because they will go back to Cusco.
From Huaran, we will catch a van and make the short drive into the valley to visit the salineras salt mines at the town of Maras. Here at 11,000 feet above sea level, a salt water spring gushes forth and spills down the side of the mountain. Over 3000 small evaporation chambers have been created and look as if they are tumbling down the mountainside. Here you can take spectacular panoramic photos. The tour guide will explain all about the history and the procedure that local people use to take the salt. There is a small shop on site if you care to take some salt home salt with you.
After visiting salineras, you will board the van again for 45 minutes along the sacred valley to Ollantaytambo. Here in Ollantaytambo we can witness the beautiful streets and water channels as well as some free time to explore the town until the dinner time which will be at the local restaurant. We will catch the 7pm train for Aguas Calientes. Upon your arrival to Aguas Calientes you will check into your hotel, and enjoy a hot shower.
Walking distance 9km/ 6.2 miles
Aguas Calientes elevation: 2000 m /6562 ft
Weather, cold in the morning ,warm by the afternoon .
Day 8: – Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo - Cusco
This day is the most important and magical day. Machupicchu!!!!! You will wake up really early to take the first bus around 5:30 for the 30 minutes ride up to Machupicchu to see the sun rise. Your guide will take you for a very informative 2 hour tour and then afterwards you will have plenty time to explore on tour own and take more photos or hike Huayna picchu (extra fee for this). In the afternoon you will catch a 2 hour train back to Ollantaytambo and then the bus to Cusco where we will transfer you to your hotel.
Weather : warm and humid.
Day 9 – Cusco – Puno by the Sun´s route – Puno - Amantani
At 06:45hrs, we will pick you up from your hotel and start boarding a first class bus with service on board. On your way there, you will have few stops to visit different sites such as the Andahuaylillas Andean village, host of the Sistine chapel of South America. This chapel is not only plentifully gilded in its interior, but also displays fascinating paintings from XVI-XVII- XVIII century. Later as we continue we will stop at Raqchi, here there is an amazing Inca architecture built in order to worship their Viracocha God. (The master of the world). Then we will move onto Sicuani Andean town, here we will have our Andean buffet lunch.
Next, we will ascend to the highest point of our journey (4,335m) from where you will have the opportunity to observe an endless high plateau. One more stop is done at Pucara town, where we will visit the Pucara museum that stores a perfect set of artefacts from Pre-Inca time. Then we will arrive into Puno, soon after we will head straight to the port of Puno, from here we will board our boat to travel for 03 hours to Amantani Island, where we are going to be welcomed by the local family and spend the overnight at a basic descent accommodation with low facilities (shared outdoor bathroom). You will partake in an evening fiesta that evening.
The service includes:
- Private transport Cusco / Puno
- Entrance fees to the sights
- English guide
- Lunch at Sicuani
- Private boat from Puno / Amantani
- Entrance fee for the island
- Accommodation at Amantani
- Dinner at family house
Day 10: Amantani – Taquile – Puno – Cusco
At 07:00hrs, we will have our delicious and organic breakfast, afterwards the local families will take us to the main port, from where we will board our boat to travel for 55 minutes to Taquile Island, upon our arrival we will start hiking up for 50 minutes to the main village of Amantani.
Our guide will enrich with reliable information about this great place, then a free time for everybody will be given in order to explore yourself. Later we will re-joined and head to a restaurant where this allow us a perfect breath-taking vista, enjoying a delicious lunch. Next we will head back to the port by 700 hundred pre Inca steps. (Please walk slowly and steady).
Board your boat and travel for 03 hours back to Puno, here our bus will be waiting to pick us up and travel for 07 hours to Cusco, our services end at your hotel.
The service includes:
- Breakfast at family house
- Private boat
- English guide
- Lunch at Taquile
- Entrance fees to the island
- Private transport Puno / Cusco
Day 11: Cusco – Puerto Maldonado - Amazon
Your guide will pick you up from the airport or from the bus station. You’ll then go to our office based in Puerto Maldonado to register (passport number and flight number). Then, you’ll take the boat down Madre de Dios River to get to our Lodge. After a one-hour boat ride, you’ll arrive at the Lodge where you’ll be given a fresh exotic fruit juice. You’ll get the key to your room.
After resting for a bit, you’ll go for a two-hour walk in the jungle. Your guide will tell you about the lush vegetation (some trees are 500 years old). You’ll also have the chance to see birds (parrots, macaws), monkeys, snakes, butterflies… You’ll discover our wonderful jungle.
In the evening, you and your guide will go for a boat ride on Madre de Dios River to look for caimans. You’ll spot the shiny red eyes of the caimans with a flashlight. You might also observe capibaras, the biggest rodents in the world. They can weight up to 60 kilos.
Back at the Lodge you will be served dinner.
Day 12 – Amazon
You’ll wake up early (5.30am) to get to a canopy, that is 40 metres high. From up there you’ll see different species of birds, such as macaws or Eagles.
After breakfast, you’ll go to the Monkey Island, which is just across from our Lodge. There, you’ll see different kinds of monkeys. Then, you’ll take the boat again to get to the Tambopata National Reserve. After a 5 kilometre walk, you’ll discover the amazing Sandoval Lake. You’ll see a great variety of animals, such as birds, monkeys, and sloths. After a typical lunch, you’ll go for a boat ride on the lake to see the animals from a closer perspective. If it’s a lucky day, you might see giant otters or very big black caimans (the biggest one registered is five metre long). You’ll be on your way back to the Lodge at sunset.
Dinner. Free time.
Day 13 - Amazon
After breakfast, you’ll go for a short walk into the jungle to get to a small river where you’ll fish for piranhas. You’ll be back at the Lodge for lunch time. After a nap, you’ll be taken back into the jungle for an adventure. You’ll be experiencing zip-lining, tree-climbing, etc. Of course, a specialist will be with you to tell you everything you need to know about security to experience a safe but exciting adventure! Feel the adrenaline! You’ll love it!
Day 14 – Amazon – Puerto Maldonado - Lima
We wake up early to do a birdwatching activities and then have breakfast. You’ll head back to the city to visit the local market and discover some tropical fruits. Your guide will take you to the airport. And you will take a domestic flight back to Lima.
Day 15 – Full Day in Lima
Day 16 – Depart for Home