Gay Group Travel: 8 Days in Peru
Of all the wonders in the world, few have the incredible mystery and allure as the sky-high, gravity-defying, mountaintop estate of Machu Picchu, and for good reason! From the bustling capital city of Lima, to the traditional stone streets of Ollantaytambo, and from the ancient fortress of Cusco, to the jaw-dropping ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru is a country of incredible contrasts. The country with the “WOW” factor, and a destination on everyone’s must-visit bucket list.
Our 8-day trip through Peru mixes our laid-back travel concept with Peru’s most unique and memorable sites to form an adventure that you’ll be talking about forever. If you've ever dreamed of soaking up the incredible mountaintop Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, taking a scenic train journey through the Peruvian Andes, or walking in the footsteps of an ancient civilization, join us for an incredible 8 days you'll never forget.
Most travelers will arrive into Peru's largest airport in Lima on day 1 and meet at our starting and ending point in the community of Miraflores at 4pm to start our adventure. Our time here in Lima is spent exploring the highlights of the city including the rich history, the famous culinary scene, and the naturally beautiful coastline. Lima may not be on the list of the world's most wild gay communities, but there is plenty of nightlife and a very welcoming community in Miraflores.
On our second day we jet off into the Andes Mountains on a 90-minute flight to Cusco, then down the road into the Sacred Valley to spend two nights in the beautiful town of Yucay. The altitude here is over 2000 feet lower than Cusco so staying in the valley will assist with the feelings of the higher altitude compared to Cusco. Surrounded by history and natural beauty, our two nights here are an opportunity to immerse ourselves in the ancient times of the Incas who ruled over this area hundreds of years ago. The beauty of the area and the surrounding Inca ruins ensure this is an unforgettable stop in Peru. Included during your time here is a full day of exploring the ancient salt flats of Maras, the unique ancient agricultural site of Moray, and the historically significant mountain town of Ollantaytambo, complete with cliff-side ruins!
Our fourth day is a day that’s surely been in your mind for many years. We depart Ollantaytambo in the morning on a 2 hour train journey through the Andes, winding along the Urubamba River. Before long we arrive in the mountain town of Aguas Calientes, names after the hot spring flowing nearby. From Aguas Calientes it’s only another 20 minutes by bus to the unforgettable mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu. Our first two hours here is spent exploring the ruins with our favorite local Peruvian guide, who was born and raised in the area and an expert on everything Machu Picchu. The rest of our day is spent soaking up the incredible site which was lost to the outside world for many centuries. Instead of rushing off the mountain to catch the train back out of town, we stay the night at the base of the mountain in Aguas Calientes, giving us what seems like Machu Picchu all to ourselves.
On day 5 we leave time for catching the sunrise at Machu Picchu or braving the hike up Wayna Picchu before jumping on the scenic afternoon train and heading back to Cusco. Our three-night stay in Cusco gives us time to visit many of the area’s ancient sites, taste the unique local food, take part in a hike, and even experience some gay nightlife way up in the Andes.
It’s true, the city of Cusco is perched high up in the Andean mountain range at an altitude of approximately 11,000ft (3,000m) above sea level. The air up here is clean and surprisingly warm (during the daytime) and the city is a contrast of ancient stone streets and cathedrals scattered among a modern commercial center. Cusco is a destination in itself as well as a jumping off point to the Sacred Valley to the west, the Amazon to the north, and the higher peaks of the Andes and Lake Titicaca to the east. Although we fly into Cusco from Lima, our three nights here come after our visit to the lower altitudes of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu in order to avoid the effects of Cusco’s altitude, so there’s absolutely no need to worry about the altitude here!
The 8th and final day of the trip is our goodbye and "hasta luego" day. Travelers are free to depart from Cusco at any time of this day, or continue on with our 12-day travelers or towards any other incredible sites Peru has to offer!
We don't like staying in smelly shacks on our vacations and we're pretty sure you don't either! You work hard to go on vacation and we believe you deserve an enjoyable, comfortable place to wind down at the end of each day. We put a LOT of time into finding the perfect accommodation for your trip. After rigorous wifi signal testing, fluffing pillows, and taking a shower or two, we've narrowed down our favorite properties. Check out our approved accommodation to see where we've stayed in the past and where we'll likely be staying on your trip.
LIMA: Innside Lima by Melia Miraflores
Located in the heart of Miraflores, Innside Lima's rooms offer city views, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minibars, as well as tea and coffeemaking equipment. There's a vibrant restaurant, a rooftop pool and bar, gym facilities and bike rentals.
CUSCO: El Retablo Hotel
This colorful boutique hotel is located in a restored stone building and is only 3 blocks from Plaza de Armas, the heart of Peru's capital. Featuring airy rooms with hardwood floors and brightly painted murals! The property has free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, safes. El Retablo celebrates vibrant Peruvian traditions and the rich cultural heritage of Cusco in a vibrant setting.
YUCAY: La Casona de Yucay
A grand, circa-1810 estate next to the Urubamba River, this charming hotel in the Sacred Valley is 2 minutes' walk from the Yucay Museo de Cultura Viva. La Casona de Yucay's restaurant uses locally-sourced, farm-grown ingredients for its meals. Features include hardwood floors, a relaxing sauna, beatifully maintained gardens and rooms with lots of character.
MACHU PICCHU: Tierra Viva (Aguas Calientes)
Tierra Viva's strategic location is key. Facilities are located in the quietest area of Aguas Calientes (away from the train tracks), facing the Urubamba River and surrounded by the Forest of Clouds in the Andes Mountains. The hotel features beautiful local Peruvian design from its architecture to the murals located around the property.
*Please note that due to availability, these exact hotels may not all be available during all DETOURS trips. However, we will always replace these with similar hotels, and will never downgrade.
On this 8-day trip we'll be spending the majority of our time high up in the Andes mountain range. While the daytime is completely warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, the evenings cool down to sweater-weather. Temperatures don't change much in Peru where instead of a 4-season climate, they only experience a dry season (April to November) and a wet season (December to March). It's a good idea to bring a couple items of warm clothing for those brisk mountain evenings, although the majority of your time will be nice and warm! Rain is not common in the season we operate in, but light rain gear is a good idea as a precaution.
Peruvians are very proud, friendly people and embody the passion for so many things that Latin people are famous for. Although English is very widely spoken, consider learning a few words of Spanish while you're here, we recommend starting off with “Hola” (hello), “Gracias” (thank you), and of course “Donde esta Machu Picchu?” (where’s Machu Picchu?)
Enjoy Peruvian food? It's even better in Peru! The cuisine here has recently been receiving worldwide attention for its incredible flavor and diversity. Beef, chicken, beans, chicharron, and flavorful mixed rice dishes can be found on almost every menu. Detours doesn't believe in limiting your choices by including all of your meals at pre-decided restaurants as part of the trip package. Instead, we include all of your breakfasts to start your day off, then encourage you to explore all of the different restaurant options available to you for lunch and dinner. This way you can eat when you want, where you want, with whomever you want, and spend what you want! Your trip leader definitely has their favorite spots so if you'd like some advice on the best in each location, just check with them.
Our advice is simple. Pack your bag, then take half of those things out and leave them back home. It’s common to hear people wishing they’d packed less stuff, but we’ve never heard anyone complain that they didn’t bring enough. Even if you realize you forget to pack some crucial item you can always pick up a replacement once you arrive in Lima. We'll include some trip-specific packing advice based on expected weather as part of our update email to you, sent 60 days prior to your trip.
We REALLY suggest just bringing your regular bank card from home and using the local ATMs to get cash; in our experience it’s much cheaper than any currency exchange service in Peru or even at home. Peru uses Nuevo Soles as their local currency, although US Dollars and credit cards are also commonly accepted at most restaurants.
Tipping isn’t a native Peruvian custom, however, it is always appreciated by local service staff. We suggest tipping for any services that go above and beyond expectations. That extra dollar or two on a dinner bill is very appreciated by the service staff. Our local guides during the trip are the exception to this, as their position has come to expect tips for a job well done.
We have pretty high standards when it comes to choosing our accommodations, and trust us, we’ve done plenty of room-sniffing, pillow-patting, and bathroom inspections to make sure we stay at quality spots. To be approved as a Detours accommodations provider, a guesthouse must: be locally owned (to support the local community), be in an amazing location (close to the hot spots), AND be gay-owned or gay-friendly. We won't be staying in 5-star Ritz-Carltons but we also won't subject you to anything we wouldn't want to stay in ourselves. Clean, comfortable, well-located spots that'll put a smile on your face, you can count on that!
All of our trip leaders are gay, and all certified leaders must undergo a rigorous training routine that includes deep-fried cricket eating, and impromptu dancing tests. Apart from these vital skills, we require our leaders to know their stuff really, really well. Underneath their fun and quirky facades, our trip leaders are experts and passionate about what they do. Don’t hesitate to ask them to teach you some Spanish or question them about a random statue you might see along the way. Their job is to help ensure that this is your trip of a lifetime by taking the hassle out of your trip and enabling you to experience everything you came to Peru for.
We do absolutely everything possible to avoid needing such a mundane awakening. A world without alarm clocks is one we want to be part of, and your “rise and shine” while in Peru should come from the sound of crashing waves or church bells in the distance. However, sometimes we are required to make early departures, but we do everything we can to minimize this.
For many people, 8 days in Peru just isn’t enough time. If you’re lucky enough to be able to stay longer, or if you decide to quit your job and become a beach bum in the South America for the rest of your life, we’d be happy to help you extend (or cancel!) your return flight. We’ve been all over the area, so don’t think twice about asking where to go or what to do after your Detours trip is complete. Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, more of Peru... many interesting destinations are close-by.
Our Detours groups are run with a maximum of 15 travelers. Ages of group members vary but around 90% of our travelers are in their 30's, 40's, and 50's. Whatever the age of the guys on our trips everyone's already got something in common, an exciting new experience in a new country! Each group is led by a Detours trip leader who is there to ensure everything goes off without a hitch, allowing you to focus on having the time of your life!
The areas of Peru that we'll be visiting are quite open-minded and most people will be welcoming of homosexuality. That said, Peruvian culture is largely influenced by the Catholic church, and public displays of affection are generally frowned upon. In respect for their local culture we usually suggest keeping your excitement and affection for your partner to more private locations.
No problem! Don’t worry, lots of our travelers come solo and our trip will provide plenty of chances to meet great people both inside and outside of our group, including other solos. As far as your accommodations go, you’ve got two choices. We can either pair you up with another solo group member in a two-bed room for no extra charge, or you can have your own room for a reasonable surcharge.
Peru uses a "type A" and "type B" plug, the same as North America and several other places in the world. The voltage is 220V with 60 Hz frequency. These days, the majority of items that are plugged into an outlet are built to handle varying voltage and frequency levels, but just to be sure, we suggest checking your item for its accetable range
What's included? • All taxes • All road and rail transportation within Peru • Domestic flight from Lima to Cusco • Accommodations for your 8-day Detours experience • All full breakfasts • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu • 2 hour guided Machu Picchu tour • Welcome dinner / drinks in Lima • Full day Sacred Valley tour including Maras and Ollantaytambo • Group travel within Peru • Knowledgeable and fun Detours leader •
What isn't included? • Meals and drinks outside of those listed above • Activities outside of the those listed above • International Airfare • Optional gratuities •
Additional spending budget? Your big-ticket items are included through the trip, but you'll want to budget for additional spending such as additional meals, drinks, shopping, activities, etc. These costs can vary dramatically with differing personal habits but we suggest expecting to spend an additional $600 USD at the lower end for the more budget-conscious and $1000 USD at the higher end for the splurgers. We suggest arriving to Peru with approximately 1000 local Peruvian Soles.
Our travelers love us, and you will too.
Preston P. - Canada
November 3, 2019
I had a great time with Detours in Peru in October 2019. Returned with many wonderful memories and photos of Peru, and the group of people I met on the trip were fantastic. Our trip leader was well organized, knowledgeable, and the trip allowed for a good mix of tour time and down time, where I never felt rushed from one place to another. I certainly recommend travelling with Detours and look forward to taking in more Detours trips in the future. 😃
Jake A. - USA
June 21, 2019
Just returned from Peru, my second Detours trip. Once again I am amazed by the organization and professionalism displayed by the Detours team. My BF and I feel that the cost was very fair as it included the cost of domestic Peru flights, trains and ground travel. Additionally, the lodging was AWESOME... very nice properties with friendly staff and amenities. The trip leader, James was also superb. If you are reluctant about "Gay Group Travel".... don't be, you will have an awesome time!
Ken H. - USA
May 30, 2019
My first group tour. My first trip to Peru. As a solo traveller I wondered about the possible restrictions and drama. Wrong! The arrangements were superb. The company (both Detours and travelling companions) was amazing. The tour guide, James Langill, could not have been more facilitative, engaged, engaging, supportive, and positive at all times. Not only would I recommend Detours, I have already booked South Africa for 2020. Bravo!
Chris G. - USA
November 11, 2018
First time with Detours, and it was a blast. I was hesitant to go by myself--show up solo--but the tour was full of fun group activities. There were a few unexpected changes to the itinerary (cancelled flight, delays), and Detours quickly attended to it. It was a time to relax and meet new people.
I'm still stoked about my recent trip to Peru. I already ordered airline tickets for South Africa/Zimbabwe for next year. I hope some of Peru buddies will join me...
Ron V. - USA
October 30, 2018
It’s an adventure of a lifetime that you can’t get enough of... the moment I came back from Peru, I was planning my next adventure with Detours. Left with fond memories with newly found friends under the very able guidance of an amazing and engaging trip leader.
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