Spectacular Peru: From Rainbow Mountain to Machu Picchu
Ascend Rainbow Mountain with an overnight camp at altitude, boat through Amazonia by twilight and cycle the Sacred Valley Inca ruins
Spectacular Peru: From Rainbow Mountain to Machu Picchu
Into thin air
Climb over 5,000 metres to the summit of Rainbow Mountain, with an overnight camp under the stars
Twilight in Amazonia
Sail through the Amazon at dusk, with your senses heightened by the darkness
Mountain-bike the Sacred Valley, passing Inca ruins along the way
Explore the city’s neighbourhoods before learning how to cook Peruvian dishes
About your trip
Machu Picchu, the Amazon Rainforest and Inca cities make Peru enduringly popular. But our hike up Rainbow Mountain is what makes this adventure unique.
Over 12 days, you’ll climb over 5,200 metres to the summit of Rainbow Mountain, sail through the Amazon Rainforest at twilight, scale the Sacred Valley by mountain bike and uncover the Lost City of Machu Picchu in its full splendour.
And as for Pisco Sours – we wouldn’t let you leave Peru without being a veritable connoisseur.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Local transport
- Most meals included
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Private airport transfers
Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 Pisco Sours all round
Welcome to Lima. Upon arrival, you’ll be taken to your hotel by a private transfer – then it’s time for the fun to begin. After meeting your group, you’ll explore the district of Miraflores together on an introductory walking tour. Then, to kick things off in style, you’ll learn how to craft the perfect Pisco Sour, the nation’s favourite cocktail, under the guidance of a local Pisco master. Salud.
Day 02 Ceviche flavours & bohemian sights
Begin the day in the Plaza de Armas, Lima’s main square. Take a stroll through the elegant streets with your fellow travellers, admiring the city’s colonial cathedrals and Incan landmarks. In the afternoon, head to one of Lima’s most innovative restaurants, as the chefs prepare a ream of Peruvian dishes before your eyes. Then, roll your sleeves up and learn how to make your own ceviche, a true Peruvian classic. Later in the afternoon, join your guide on a scenic walk through the bohemian district of Barranco, stomping ground of the city’s artists and musicians. The rest of the evening is yours, with Barranco offering an array of restaurants at your fingertips.
Day 03 The call of the Amazon
Today you’ll all catch a 90-minute flight from Lima to Puerto Maldonado, then step aboard a traditional Amazonian boat to cruise your way to your jungle lodge. With just enough time to freshen up, prepare to sweat all over again with an immersive rainforest trek. Hike through the steamy foliage, following huge butterflies through this lush habitat. In the evening, explore the rainforest under the cover of darkness with an atmospheric night-time boat ride down the river.
Day 04 Swing amid the treetops
This morning will see you trek through the Tambopata Reserve to Lake Sandoval. Boasting a rich abundance of flora, fauna and wildlife, this route proves why this is regarded as the biodiverse capital of Peru. In the afternoon, take a canoe to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway – a labyrinth of hanging bridges and observation decks towering 98 feet over the jungle canopy. Traverse the treetops from up high, with toucans, sloths and curious monkeys to accompany you on your strolls. As night falls, be ready to channel your inner Attenborough, observing how the jungle changes as nocturnal animals emerge from hidden corners.
Day 05 The gateway to the Andes
Today’s adventure will take you from the wild Amazon to the Andean city of Cusco. Once the capital of the Inca Empire, this beguiling city is the gateway to ancient citadels and ruins, scattered across a vast mountainscape. After checking into your new hotel, explore the picturesque stone streets lined with Inca architecture and baroque cathedrals, seeking out the perfect place to dine tonight. Easy in a foodie haven such as this.
Day 06 Uncover Cusco’s Inca heritage
Start your morning the local way: in San Pedro Market, perusing stalls lined with fresh produce and traditional textiles. Then, you’ll dive straight into Cusco’s rich heritage. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this imperial city was the historic capital of the Inca Empire until the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century. Begin at Koricancha Temple, built in honour of the Sun God, before weaving through the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman and the Qenqo Temple. After lunch, you’ll have the option to visit Cristo Blanco, where a formidable white statue of Christ rises over the Andes. Alternatively, you can spend the afternoon in Cusco however you please.
Day 07 Mountain bike the Sacred Valley
Prepare for an unforgettable day of mountain biking in the Sacred Valley. Between shimmering salt terraces and Inca ruins, soak up magnificent views of the Andes expanding into the horizon. Your biking adventure will take you past the agricultural terraces of Moray, before gliding downhill to the salt mines of Maras. The rest of the day is best spent relaxing and preparing for the hike that awaits you all on Rainbow Mountain…
Day 08 Hike to Rainbow Mountain base camp
You’ll spend this morning making the journey towards Rainbow Mountain base camp, located at a staggering 4,000 metres. On arrival in Quesiuno, you’ll be greeted by a herd of mountain mules and muleteers, and from here it’s about six kilometres of high-altitude trekking to base camp, with glaciers and snow-capped peaks rising in every direction. It’s not an easy hike by any standards, and you’ll require a good level of fitness to tackle this ascent, especially given the high-altitude air. The support of your group will be invaluable, too, as you each cheer one another on. Arrive at camp in time for dinner as the night sky comes to life with stars – a stark reminder of why this challenge is so worth it. Then, make the most of a short sleep in mountain tents, with thermal sleeping bags for added warmth.
Day 09 Chase the colours of Rainbow Mountain
You’re off to an early start this morning as together you begin your ascent. Admire the spectacular beauty of the mountains as you go, with streaks of turquoise, maroon and gold painting the landscape in rainbow hues. From Vinicunca Pass, located at 5,020 metres, it’s a short hike to the summit. At the top, savour a quiet moment of triumph with your group, surrounded by breathtaking views of the sierra. Then, begin the long descent to Pucapause, where a private bus will be waiting to take you back to the Sacred Valley in time for some well-earned drinks.
Day 10 Explore Aguas Calientes
Enjoy a relaxed morning as you recover from yesterday’s achievements. With a few hours to spare, we recommend exploring the picturesque Sacred Valley or paying a visit to the terracotta villages in the region. Come afternoon, catch a train to Aguas Calientes – your new home for the night.
Day 11 Hike to the Lost City of Machu Picchu
Today is yours to experience Machu Picchu in its full splendour. Located at 2,430 metres above sea level, the lost Inca citadel looks out over the ridges of the Andes Mountains. Led by an expert guide, uncover the legacy of the Incas as the condors soar overhead. After your hike, hop on a bus back to Aguas Calientes, before catching a train back to Cusco.
Day 12 Hasta la vista, Peru
After conquering Rainbow Mountain and Machu Picchu, your Peruvian adventure has come to an end. Depending on what time your flight is, you can explore Cusco a little more, before making your own way to your next destination. Or perhaps extend your adventure to neighbouring Bolivia. We’ll leave the decision with you.
Our Favourite Hotels
Browse a selection of our favourite hotels, for a flavour of where you may stay on this trip.
El Mapi, Aguas Calientes
Stylish hotel with epic views of the surrounding landscape
Decked out with soft furnishings and minimalist decor, this trendy hotel is located at the foothills of the Andes.
Why we stay here
With comfortable rooms and a revitalising spa, El Mapi is the perfect place to unwind after a day spent exploring the mountains.
Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion, Amazon Rainforest
Stunning historical lodgings nestled in the heart of the rainforest
Surrounded by vibrant flora and fauna, with epic walking routes and eco-friendly adventures at your doorstep.
Why we stay here
This beautiful colonial-style hotel is located on the grounds of a rubber plantation, with unparallelled access to the rainforest. Stay in thatched cabanas for a unique rustic experience.
Arawi Lima Miraflores Hotel, Lima
Boutique hotel in the upmarket neighbourhood of Miraflores
Comfortable, contemporary rooms with thoughtful touches such as artisan toiletries in the bathrooms and soft furnishings made by female weavers in Cusco.
Why we stay here
One of the best locations to base yourself for exploring Lima. The colourful breakfast buffet will pep you up in the morning and the surprisingly good cocktail bar provides a welcome nightcap.
Hacienda Urubamba, Sacred Valley
Stunning mountain hotel nestled in the Sacred Valley
A grand colonial-style house backed by a cluster of casitas all set in 100 acres of gorgeous Urubamba countryside. Décor is impressive – think beamed ceilings, chandeliers and terracotta floors.
Why we stay here
The location and views are unbeatable, the food and service impeccable and you can even potter through the organic veg garden and select the ingredients for your evening meal.
Courtyard hotel in the heart of Cusco
This colonial-era building hides an unexpected collection of stylish Scandinavian-inspired ensuite rooms, each stocked with eco-friendly toiletries, plus wifi and flat screen TVs.
Why we stay here
You’ll be just a short walk from Cusco’s historic sites and come evening, its best bars and restaurants. The courtyard seating area makes a nice spot for an aperitif.
What Flashpackers say
"Our group was admittedly awesome and everyone meshed. I understand that FP puts a lot of effort into making this happen – and with us it certainly did! I made friends for life!"
"Our Flash Pack guide Julio was awesome! He taught us so much about Peruvian culture and history. The itinerary was perfect and I loved how Flash Pack incorporates activities. I really enjoyed the mountain biking and cooking class. "
"Hector, our leader, was brilliant. Lots of great views and exciting things to do. Always very busy on this tour with a packed itinerary. Most of your meals are included and the hotels are nice! "
"Our experienced local guides made a huge difference, as they were fun, knowledgeable, and also experienced with difficulties related to altitude etc. And all this shared with a wonderful group of people, new friends who I can't wait to meet again."
As captured on Instagram
The latest from Flashpackers in Peru on #picsworthsharing
Fly into Jorge Chávez International Airport, Lima (LIM) and out of Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport, Cusco (CUZ).
Please try to arrive by 3pm on day 1 (although we will pick you up no matter what time you arrive) and feel free to depart anytime on day 12. As it is such an active adventure, we do recommend spending an extra night in Cusco at the end if you have time.
Trekking Rainbow Mountain is a difficult and challenging feat due to the high altitude. Anyone who books this adventure must be confident that they have an adequate level of fitness. If you are unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
At certain times of the year Rainbow Mountain is too cold to climb, so during these months we run a slightly different itinerary. This alternative adventure sees us trek 15 kilometres up to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu, and the whole trip is also a day shorter. If you have any questions about this, or would like the Flash Pack team to send you some more details of the itinerary, please do get in touch.
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting.
We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures – read more here..
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We know the world’s best bits. Think sleeping on a secret island in the Philippines and lunch with a sumo in Japan. You’ll always enjoy a comfortable stay in handpicked hotels, too.
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