Parting Shots: Peru + Chile Combination Trip – Hiking, Mountain Biking + More

South America Family Trip

Last September Irit and Josh embarked on what they claim was, “the BEST holiday ever.” Their trip started in Peru, where they crisscrossed the country exploring Cusco, the Sacred Valley, the Pisac ruins, Kenko, Machu Picchu and more. Highlights included mountain biking through the Andes, meeting people from the Amaru community, and experiencing the famed Machu Picchu ruins. After some down time in Cusco they hopped on a flight and began their journey to southern Patagonia. Here they stayed at Tierra Patagonia, a one of a kind lodge in the Torres del Paine National Park area.

Combining Peru and Chile is always particularly special, not only can the landscapes and experiences vastly differ, but also this combination requires additional travel time. After their adventure Irit noted that she felt Knowmad, “organized a seamless experience for Josh and [her] that [they] will remember forever.”

Thank you for the kind sentiments Irit, we had a wonderful time creating this incredible trip with you both. Read on for a detailed look at their Peru and Chile combination trip.

Peruvian Salt Pans Patagonia Chile     Perito Moreno Glacier


Peru & Chile Combination Trip

DAY 1 USA – Lima
You will arrive from the U.S. in the evening to Lima airport where you will be met and assisted in checking in at the adjacent hotel.

DAY 2 Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley

After your short morning flight to the former Incan capital of Cusco where Andean cultures come alive (don’t be surprised when the language doesn’t sound like Spanish – it is most likely the native Andean tongue Quechua), you’ll be met at the airport and taken for lunch. Departing for the Incan sights outside Cusco, you’ll visit the fortress Sacsayhuaman and its megalithic stone terraces; Kenko, with its carved stone surfaces and subterranean altars; the Puka Pukara fortress that protected the royal capital from attacks; and the water temple, Tambo Machay.

Continuing through the mountains with inspired views to the snow-capped Andean peaks descend into the Sacred Valley of the Incas and check in to your accommodations. Take the afternoon to unwind, explore Urubamba and acclimatize.

DAY 3 Sacred Valley Villages and the Weavers of Amaru
After breakfast you’ll head by van along the Sacred Valley past the communities of Calca, Coya, Lamay and Pisac. From here the van goes completely off the map winding up a small dirt road, which takes you through remote Andean villages and arrives to the community of the Amaru people. This isolated community holds strongly to their ancient customs, and practices a largely subsistence lifestyle on the slopes of the Andes. The Amaru will proudly open their village to you where you will learn of their lifestyle and traditions. Among other things, take part in gathering plants used as natural dyes, learn of their medicinal and culinary properties, and see how their world-renowned textiles are brought woven and brought to life.

Stay for lunch with the Amaru before heading to the Pisac ruins that sprawl down the mountainside towards town. Afterwards we’ll hike along the high-mountain terraces and through the ruins before descending to Pisac – one of Peru’s largest and most vibrant markets – where you can bargain with Andean campesinos for hand-crafted wares. Return to your hotel for a relaxing evening.

  • B, L – Casa Andina Private Collection Valle

DAY 4 Mountain Biking the Andes to Colonial Villages and Salt Mines

Mountain Biking In Peru
Departing in the morning, drive up the mountains towards Cruzpata where your adventure begins. Non-technical and mostly downhill, this world-class mountain biking adventure is great for those with and without experience alike. Traversing the altiplano landscape with sweeping vistas to snowcapped peaks over 16,000 feet high, you arrive to Moray – a little-known site thought to be an ancient Incan agricultural laboratory.From here you begin descending and pass through a traditional colonial village. After enjoying a gourmet picnic lunch in the shadows of the Andes, continue on the downhill section to Maras where villagers still harvest the pre-Colombian terraced saltpans in the traditional way. From here you can choose to continue the descent down to the Urubamba Valley floor, hike an alternative trail, or return to the valley by van. Relax at your hotel in the evening with dinner at your leisure.

  • B, L – Casa Andina Private Collection Valle

DAY 5 Inca Trail Express to Machu Picchu
Heading out early you’ll take the train along the Urubamba Valley to kilometer 104 where you’ll begin hiking the Inca Trail. Crossing a foot bridge you pass Winay Wayna ruins with its extensive terracing and water fountains. Another gourmet picnic along the trail will have you refueled. Hiking a total of approximately 5 hours you finally edge along a ridge to catch your first dramatic views of the Lost City of Machu Picchu from the Sun Gate Inti Punku during the late afternoon. From here you’ll descend towards the citadel taking in the amazing site and reunite with your van that takes you down to Machu Picchu Pueblo for a relaxing evening.

DAY 6 Machu Picchu – Cusco

Machu Picchu
Early risers can watch the sunrise from the Machu Picchu citadel or make the early morning climb of Huayna Picchu mountain. This incredibly vast archeological site – lost to the world until well into the twentieth century – is perched amongst Andean peaks and lush cloud forest making it one of the most breathtaking sights in the world. You’ll have the opportunity to get a complete guided tour of the site as you begin to unlock the mystery of the Inca, and will also have plenty of time to explore the ruins on your own. Lunch at the adjacent Sanctuary Lodge means you’ll be able to enjoy the whole day without leaving awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. You will then take an evening train back to the Sacred Valley and onward by vehicle to Cusco.

DAY 7 Cusco
Enjoy the day at your leisure to independently explore the amazing city of Cusco.

  • B – Quinua Villa Boutique, Pukara Wasi room

DAY 8 Cusco – Lima – Santiago
You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport in conjunction with your onward flight to Lima where you’ll remain in the airport and fly onward to Santiago. In Santiago you will be responsible for walking unassisted across the street to the airport hotel.

DAY 9 Santiago – Torres del Paine, Patagonia


Torres del Paine     Patagonia Vista Chile
You will be responsible for walking back across the street to the airport and checking in for your morning flight to Punta Arenas, where you will begin your next adventure. After arrival you will be met by a Tierra representative and taken on the scenic drive through Puerto Natales and onward into the national park. While at Tierra Patagonia you will be able to choose from a wide range of adventurous excursions, as well as enjoying gourmet food and a range of wines and alcohol as part of their adventure inclusive package. For more information on excursions please see the supplementary information from the lodge.

DAY 10 Patagonia
Continue enjoying your adventures throughout the region and your stay at Tierra.

  • B, L, D – Tierra Patagonia

DAY 11 Patagonia
Continue enjoying your adventures throughout the region and your stay at Tierra.

  • B, L, D – Tierra Patagonia

DAY 12 Patagonia
Continue enjoying your adventures throughout the region and your stay at Tierra.

  • B, L, D – Tierra Patagonia

DAY 13 Punta Arenas – Santiago
After enjoying your morning at Tierra you will be taken to the airport in accordance with your onward flight to Santiago where you will be met by a Knowmad representative and taken to your accommodations in the city.

DAY 14 Santiago – Onward Home
Enjoy a leisurely morning in the city. You will be picked up at your hotel in the afternoon for a half- day guided exploration of Santiago, after which you’ll be dropped at the airport for your onward flight home.

  • B

DAY 15 Arrive Home


Hasta Pronto, Knowmad Adventures 

Knowmad Adventures

Knowmad Adventures works closely with independent-minded travelers creating innovative trips to South America. Our specialists in Patagonia, ChileMachu Picchu, Peru, Argentina, the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Antarctica are eager to collaborate and create a trip as unique and authentic as you are, and our experienced South American operations team guarantees you get an insider’s perspective, superior values, and a flawlessly operated trip.