Andes Overland

Adventure La Paz – Cusco

Optional Excursions

It isn’t necessary to book any of the single day excursions in advance. However, the Inca Trail and Lares Trek do require booking as early as possible, to avoid disappointment.

 

City Tour – La Paz

The capital city with the highest altitude in the world is set inside a giant bowl that always impresses visitors descending into it for the first time. At 4,000 meters above sea level, there are only the slightest traces of vegetation. Oxygen is scarce here, so take it easy! Though the land is almost all brown, the colors of La Paz are evident in its people and culture.

Indigenous women with bowler-hats (which they wear on one side when single, and on top when married) and voluminous skirts, the white-shirted businessmen and politicians, the armed soldiers and the beggars, all give La Paz a unique character. During the tour we visit all the urban highlights, with our guide explaining both the architecture and culture of La Paz.

 

Tiwanaku Ruins

Tiwanaku is located near the southern shore of Lake Titicaca, at an altitude of 3,850 meters. Most of the ancient city, which was built largely of adobe, has been engulfed by the modern city. However, the monumental stone buildings survive as protected archaeological sites.

From our hotel in La Paz, we first stop at the museum which exhibits a collection of lithic and ceramic pieces unearthed at the site. Then we continue to Tiwanaku itself. The ruins are obviously in a state of disrepair, but nevertheless boast many carved images and designs along its walls and doorways, as well as giant stone monoliths.

After observing the whole complex, we have lunch at a local family-owned restaurant, before returning to La Paz.

 

Mountainbike Death Road

We depart from La Paz at 08:00 and two hours later reach an altitude of 4,670 meters. The guide explains the tour and we double-check our bikes before starting the ride.

At first we descend an asphalted highway for a couple of hours, twisting sharply around wind-swept plains and snow-covered peaks, passing alongside grazing llamas and alpacas.

The end of this road is the entrance to the subtropical rainforest, or the Yunga jungle. We take a car up to Chúspipata, where the famed “Death Road” begins, cut into the side of a mountain and descending some 2,000 meters past waterfalls and dramatic overhangs. Though we ride through some mist and dust, we all follow the leader, and nobody gets close to any cliff edges!

Eventually we arrive at the beautiful village of Yolosa at 1,200 meters. Time for a cool drink and lunch at a local restaurant. From here we return to La Paz.

 

Uros Floating Islands

Uros Floating Islands: Today we travel with a guide to the Titikaka Lake, where a group of 42 islands were made in pre-Incan times by the Uros people, from the long reeds which grow in the lake. They are still inhabited today, with the Uros living for the most part exactly as their ancestors did!

Llachon Peninsula: The community of Llachon lives around a particularly scenic part of the lake, on a peninsula beside the shallow Bay of Puno. The calm beaches, rustic houses and kindness of the locals make it a very enjoyable place.

From the heights of the Inka Carus ceremonial grounds we can observe a small archipelago, including Ticonata island. We have lunch at the community restaurant, which offers some delicious typical dishes. Then we get the opportunity to take a stroll and meet the islanders.

Taquile Island: If time permits, we visit this long and narrow island, famous for the textiles produced in the community. There are also Inca and pre-Inca ruins to explore, and locals who can show us their customs and culture. Finally, we return to Puno.

 

Inca Trail 4 days

This classic four-day trek along the Inca trail towards Machu Picchu is designed for anyone able to hike up to 7 hours per day, with regular breaks. For most, a week of preparatory conditioning should be sufficient.

The beauty and history of the trail make this a unique experience! We rise early on the final day to explore the magnificent Machu Picchu ruins, before returning to Cusco by train.
See the full itinerary!

 

Inca Trail 2 days

A more relaxed itinerary, making use of the local train and including the most impressive segment of the Inca Trail. The longest hike will be 4 hours with breaks.

You’ll be refreshed and ready for the final day, when we explore the astounding Machu Picchu ruins, before returning to Cusco by train.
See the full itinerary!

 

Lares Trek 4 days

This alternative route to Machu Picchu takes us through traditional communities that live among the stunning mountains, lakes and valleys. Hiking durations will be 3-4 hours on the first day, and up to 7 hours on the second and third days.

The final day takes us to the incredible Machu Picchu ruins, which we explore for several hours, before returning to Cusco by train.
See the full itinerary!