Days 6-8: Into the Jungle
Take an early morning, half-hour flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to the southern Peruvian Amazon jungle of Tambopata National Reserve. Board a boat for a 2-day, 1-night trip to one of the jungle lodges along the Río Madre de Dios. A 3-day, 2-night adventure, either within 1 hour of Puerto Maldonado or 4 to 5 hours away along the Río Tambopata, is even better, if you have the time. On the third day, head back to Puerto and then catch a flight to Cusco. Spend the night in Cusco.
Day 9: South to Lake Titicaca
From Cusco, take the extraordinarily scenic train to Puno and Lake Titicaca (or if you want to visit some of the Inca ruins en route, take one of the premium tour bus services that make a day of the journey). Spend the night in Puno and rest up (and get accustomed to the even higher altitude) for the next day's boat trip out on the lake.
Day 10: Lake Titicaca and Isla Taquile
While an overnight trip that allows you to spend a night with a family either on Isla Taquile or Amantaní is the best way to experience the people and customs of Titicaca, you can also do a 1-day trip that lets you visit the Uros floating islands and the fascinating culture of Isla Taquile. If you have an extra couple days, an unforgettable Titicaca experience is the Suasi Island ecolodge.
Day 11: Arequipa
Catch an early-morning flight from Juliaca (the nearest airport, an hour from Puno) to Arequipa, the elegant southern city known as La Ciudad Blanca for its beautiful colonial buildings made of sillar, or white volcanic stone. Stay close to the gorgeous Plaza de Armas and spend the afternoon at the wondrous Monasterio de Santa Catalina, one of the finest examples of colonial religious architecture in the Americas.
Days 12-13: Colca Valley
From Arequipa, set off on a 2-day, 1-night exploration of Colca Canyon, the best spot in South America to observe giant Andean condors, which soar overhead at Cruz del Cóndor. Explore some of the villages of the valley, as well as the thermal baths, on the first day and spend the night at a rustic hotel in Colca before marveling at the condors the next morning. For those with less time, it's possible, though brutal, to do Colca on a 1-day adventure, leaving very early in the morning (practically the middle of the night) to get there in time for the condors' lift-off at 9am.
Day 14: Morning in Arequipa, Then Back to Lima
Spend the morning shopping for alpaca goods before flying to Lima, where you'll catch your flight back home.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.