Our Peru adventure tour categories explained

Which of our Peru adventures suits you?

Which of our Peru adventures suits you?

There is so much to see and experience in Peru that the hardest part is knowing where to start! Some tour companies choose to dumb it down and stick to the tourist-overrun obvious. We choose to give you all the options, and our trip categories are here to help you narrow them down and define the best tour for you.

If you want to mix and match, that's fine! We love to tailor Peru adventures to individuals, so if you don't find exactly what you're looking for among our itineraries, just get in touch - whatever you're looking for, we'll make it happen!

Most of our guests want to see Machu Picchu, so most of our Peru trips include it!

Don’t ask us to rush it, though – that goes against everything we believe in. The typical Machu Picchu package tour day goes something like this: get up in the middle of the night in order to be on the train at 5am, take 4+ hours to get to Machu Picchu, arrive just as the heat and the rest of the tourists do, take a guided tour following a number on a stick, then return to Cusco, arriving shattered, late in the evening. Aspiring Adventures will never be a party to this travesty of a day!

The area between Cusco and Machu Picchu is rich in history and stunningly beautiful, and we take at least a day showing it to you on the way to Machu Picchu. From wandering from ruin to ruin, to sampling organic produce in a market garden, to biking, ATVing, rock climbing and white water rafting – the Sacred Valley really does have it all, and it’s surprisingly easy to escape the tourist crowds here and get a sense of a rural life that’s barely changed since pre-Inca times.

We then spend a night in Aguas Calientes and hit Machu Picchu, relaxed and refreshed, in time for sunrise - before the tourist hordes arrive. We include entrance to Huayna Picchu (subject to availability at time of booking) as a matter of course, to give you the opportunity to experience every aspect of Machu Picchu. Our guides are all passionate experts on Inca history and Machu Picchu’s story – and because they’re not jaded like the site guides who give the same tour every day, they’re just as excited as you are to be there. We impose no time limits or set parameters on your personal exploration of Machu Picchu, and it’s not just another day at the office for your guide.

All of our tours of Peru connect you with real, everyday life in Peru. Our Peru cultural tours take you to the next level – out of the everyday and into some of Peru’s most special days, at some of its remarkable festivals.

Andean festivals might be our very favourite thing about Peru. Nowhere else in the world have we found such an odd and captivating combination of history, religion, dance, costume, and wonderfully long firework displays. And nowhere else will you gain such insight into what makes Peruvian people tick – a unique combination of religious reverence with an irrepressible desire for everyone to have a good time.

Each festival is an annual event, ostensibly a Catholic celebration, but rooted much deeper, in pre-conquest beliefs and traditions. They’re the living embodiment of the syncretic (combined) religion and folklore that makes Andean culture so fascinating to so many. If you’re looking for real insight into what is unique about Peru’s culture, and if you don’t mind roughing it a little, then one of our Peru festival trips is ideal for you!

Learn more about the different festivals we attend on our tours of Peru here.

Now let’s talk about food!

Food and culture are synonymous in Peru.

The interest the average Peruvian takes in food can hardly be overstated. The only saying ever coined by Katy to enter into general usage is “If you’re discussing food with the taxi driver, you know you’re in Peru."

Peru is blessed with extremely varied topography and a huge range of altitude and ecosystems – this means a wide range of produce is available. The range of things to eat is even wider: each region has its own specialities, and Peru has more official national dishes than there are days in the year.

It’s hard to know how to even begin to talk about all the things to eat in Peru, which is why we’ve come up with a 14-day Peru cuisine tour! As well as a lot of good eating all over Peru, and an unparalleled general insight into modern Peruvian culture via its food, like all our cultural trips, the Cuisine tour includes a festival – Mistura, the biggest and greatest food fair in the Americas. This trip offers the very best of Peru’s culture and food, in one delicious package!

If you’re bringing your children to Peru, you’ve definitely come to the right place! Peru is one of the most child-friendly countries in the world, and creating adventure tours for families is one of the things we do best.

All of us at Aspiring are parents who live some or all of the year in Peru, with our kids. We’ve all travelled extensively with our children, who at the time of writing this range in age from under one year old to young adults. We know what travelling with kids is about – both the highs and the lows! – and creating unforgettable family trips to Peru is one of our greatest sources of satisfaction.

Our Peru family tours incorporate eased acclimatisation, plus plenty of stuff of interest to children and teenagers, into any adult’s dream trip to Peru. Flexible itineraries, short transport times, and well-planned breaks and downtime take all the stress out of travelling to Peru with kids. The places we stay and eat are fun and safe for kids to run around. The sites we visit are interesting for children and adults alike. Our family specialist guides are so much fun to be around that kids gravitate to them, allowing parents time and space to relax and enjoy their own Peru experience.

Any family trip to Peru will certainly create bonds and shared memories that will last forever. Our mission is to make it the best time you’ve ever had together as a family.

Check out our most popular Family Trip here, or get in touch with Steve to start planning your own custom family adventure!

This category highlights all our trips that include significant time in the outdoors, and activities like hiking, biking, ziplining, kayaking, animal spotting, birdwatching, ATVing, stand up paddleboarding, and swimming.

If you’re looking for more hiking or biking in particular, you should check out those categories too. If you don’t find the combination of activities you’re looking for, just let us know – we’d love to put together a custom trip for you!

These trips combine all the features of our other Peru small group tours – authentic experiences, well-planned, flexible, intimate itineraries, and the best guides in the business – with a big dollop of luxury. Four and five star accommodations, massages, spas, and world-class fine dining are standard features, and of course we’re delighted to add any more luxury touches you can think of.

One of the things that drew Katy to live in Cusco was its incredible mountain biking, and Aspiring Adventures started, in 2009, as bike tour specialists. Our interests and experience have widened since then, but we're still deeply into Peru's incredible mountain biking, and we'd love to share it with you!

We haven’t heard of anywhere that can rival Peru’s mountain bike terrain for quality and variety, ease of access, and range of difficulty. It is not overstating the case to say that Cusco and neighbouring valleys offer some of the best mountain biking in the world. There are dozens of routes to be discovered, over anything from a couple of hours to 12 days straight.

On all our Peru bike tours we guarantee you a recent model, top brand, double suspension bike. We own a fleet of Specialized Cambers and Scott Sparks, and source other bikes when they will work better for individuals. Our guests ride the best mountain bikes in Peru, guided by Peru's best MTB guides.

Our bike category includes a few classic mountain bike tours – the very tip of the iceberg of routes in the area. We have many more secrets up our sleeve and love to customise rides to guests. If you have time to spend, talk to us: we’ll happily put together as much biking in Peru as you’ve got time for!

For many, Peru is a hiking destination. The Inca Trail guided tour is one of the most famous hikes on the planet and one of Peru’s main touristic drawcards.

I (Katy) am notoriously downbeat about mainstream, mass-market tour attractions in Peru – it’s my mission in life to keen to share less well-known Peru experiences - but the Inca Trail is the exception. It’s incredible. The scenery is insane and there are cute little ruins all along the way. I will never tire of the Inca Trail. (I still haven’t after hiking it 13 times, and our lead trekking guide, Aldo, is still going strong after more than 200 times!)

But the Inca Trail isn’t the only trek worth doing in Peru, by a long way. You can enjoy even better mountain scenery on the Salkantay trek – incredibly steep mountains, lush green at the bottom and snowcapped at the top, as far as the eye can see - without the company of the 500 (yes, 500) people who start the Inca Trail every day.

You can enjoy scenery and ruins on the Choquequirao trek. You can meet locals and share their lives on the Lares trek.

You can sleep in tents, local homes and luxury lodges.

You can stroll for half a day, or trek for ten.

Like everything else in Peru, there’s so much on offer it’s hard to know where to start. Our hiking category is a good place, but it doesn’t list even half the hikes we operate - we're too busy running trips to keep our list of trips entirely up to date! So if you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for there, just let us know – we’ll make it happen!

Peru is home to the headwaters of the Amazon River and some of its most pristine jungle.

All our Amazon trips include wildlife-spotting lodge accommodation and a specialist, dedicated Amazon guide at your disposal.

There is no place on Earth as accessible for incredible animal spotting as the lodges we work with outside Puerto Maldonado, a half hour flight from Cusco followed by a dugout canoe ride into virgin jungle. Some are specially geared to families and include kid-friendly activities – these are some of our most popular family programs.

If you're an intrepid traveller looking for a real adventure that takes you off the edge of the map and into the untouched Amazon jungle, than our Manu trips are right for you.

Lake Titicaca: the world’s highest navigable lake, gateway to the Altiplano, and the cradle of Inca history and mythology. It sounds pretty special, and it is!

Lake Titicaca is one of our favorite places in the world. Less for the lake itself (though it’s stunning), than the lives being lived around and on it: the people in the area still live a very traditional way of life that is fascinating to observe and participate in.

Our Classic trip includes three days of exploration on and around Lake Titicaca.

If you feel like getting really off-the-beaten-track, talk to us about a custom trip. The Lake Titicaca area offers a huge range of experiences, from sea kayaking tours to homestays in remote and beautiful locations – we’d love to help you plan your adventure.