A unique opportunity to experience both humanitarian and environmental NGO projects as well as cultural highlights and spectacular landscapes.
In cooperation with Yachay Wasi NGO
From Lima via Machu Picchu to Cuzco. A Humanitarian Photo travel to one of the most colorful countries, documenting and supporting humanitarian projects.
Humanitarian Photo Travel
Lima - Machu Picchu - Titicaca Lake - Rainbow Mountain - Amazon Rainforest
Peru offers breathtaking landscapes, historic monuments, cultural highlights at every corner and amazing humanitarian and environmental experiences. From the Andes to the coast, from the amazon rainforest to Inca hotspots, Peru has it all.
On this travel, you will experience the immense biodiversity of Peru. The third biggest country of South America and the oldest civilization of the Americas with well preserved monuments from this ancient Empire.
No travel to Peru is complete without a visit of Machu Picchu. But this travel offers so much more. You will take a boat ride on the rivers of the Amazon Rainforest where you will see the reality of illegal logging and how many NGOs are working hard to stop this.
You will see historic cities of Lima and Cuzco and at the same time get to know humanitarian NGO Projects in the suburbs of these cities, trying to help the poorest people and children.
It is probably hard to get enough of this country. But there is an option to extend your travel with a journey to see the Nazca Lines or the Rainbow Mountains.
The ambition of our travels is to experience the authentic side of Peru and more importantly, to live “authentic life experiences” in direct contact with people from rural areas.
All our tours have been carefully planned, through locations and places we know, to arrive at the right time in the right place to capture images of landscapes, monuments, faces, scenes of everyday life and events.
The tours are led by a team of Professional Photographers and Tour guides who have a deep knowledge of the destinations included within our tours. Our Photographers and Tour Leaders have established friendships and relationships with local people in many of the towns and villages on travel routes.
Thanks to the small size of our groups, you will have the opportunity to experience the places we visit at a level that is not possible with a larger group or with a classic Peru tour. Off the beaten track: visit remote villages, stroll through hidden alleyways, attend religious ceremonies, enter the houses, small markets and places of worship.
Immerse yourself totally in a culture different from ours. The size of our groups is limited to a maximum of 12 people in order to give the maximum of technical support and the best cultural experience.
- Day 1
International flights to Lima. Transfer to the house of our NGO contact Yachay Wasi in Tablada del Lurin (periphery south of Lima)
- Day 2
We get to know the work that Yachay Wasi is doing in the slums of Corona Santa Rosa with the people who face daily the challenges of the urban marginalization.
We will also visit the district of Villa El Salvador and get know the reasons why this district is famous. This is a historical Municipality of Lima, founded with the occupation of land through migrants. But from this municipality came many of the big players and famous personalities, social leaders, as Maria Elena Moyano, a tireless promoter of a spirit of constructive solidarity and authenticity. She devoted herself to the organization of women (She is the founder of of the Women Federation) and to the education of children and became a symbol of courage and strength, of non-violence and social justice. Another character of the relief in social and political life all over Peru was the first Mayor of the district of Villa, Michel Azcueta, candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 and promoter of peace and development of Villa El Salvador.
After Lunch, we will visit the historical center of the city of Lima with its characteristic colonial constructions, in addition to the Churches of the Baroque style, the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral, the Palace of the government and the Palazzo Municipale. We will also visit the district of Miraflores and we walk around in Barranco, the artistic quarter of Lima.
- Day 3
In the morning, we go by plane to Arequipa. In Arequipa, the white city, we will meet members of the NGO OPANL (Observatorio de Prisiones Arequipa Niños Libres) who accompany us to a visit of the city. We also get to see the Convent of Santa Catalina. In the afternoon, we get to know the work of OPANL in the outskirts of the city.
- Day 4
Transfer from Arequipa to Puno at 07.30h. Here you will be guided through a reserve, where you can admire Alpacas, Vicuñas and other typical Peruvian animals. After arrival in Puno (3800m altitude) we transfer to the hotel where we can rest. Afternoon is free. You can walk to the center of the city to discover the cathedral, La Casa del Regidor (with shops linked to fair trade) and the touristic „Calle Lima”(Lima street). Optionally, you might be able to observe the Titicaca lake from one of the scenic spots of the city.
- Day 5
In the morning, we visit the responsible people in the committees of the Minka of Unocolla, (40 km from Puno), in the province of Juliaca. They will accompany us to their community, nestled in the middle of the Andes, far from the normal tourist routes. You will get to know the organization linked to fair trade within the network of MINKA. You will discover how they transform the wool of alpacas into sweaters and other typical products. We will return to Puno in the afternoon. In the early evening, we will meet at the hotel a responsible of the island of Taquile and we will agree on the program for the next day. Free evening.
- Day 6
Boat ride to Taquile on Lake Titicaca in the morning around 07.30h. We will pass by the floating Islands (Uros), built only with totora, a reed that grows in the same lake. On Taquile Island we will stay with a community that maintains the old traditions of Andean Quechua People and there will be the opportunity to learn about it. This community is also linked to MINKA. After lunch, we will visit the island situated in Lake Titicaca and its marvelous landscapes as well as the ruins of an ancient culture present in the island. In the evening, you can admire the poetic sunset.
- Day 7
We will spend all morning with this community that maintains all traditions of Andean quechua culture, from the art of agriculture to the typical organization of Quechua. In the afternoon, we return to Puno. Departure to Cusco in the evening by bus (sleeping bus).
- Day 8
At 09:30h we start our journey to discover the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It begins with Pisaq, whose ruins are located at the top of a hill with terraces at the steep slopes. For its size, it is likely that this was a very important site in ancient times. The entire complex is divided into districts, each with a different function, connected through a dirt path. The best-preserved district is the one dedicated to the Inca and the high imperial court: it is built in the classic Incan style, with perfectly cut stones and embedded, inclined walls with trapezoid windows.
In the modern town of Pisaq we can visit the artisanal market that is unique in the world, where colors and smells blend in with the colonial architecture. The stalls are always full of colorful objects and very inviting, offering the possibility to buy locally produced objects (especially fabrics made of alpaca wool and musical instruments).
We will continue the journey descending towards the gardens of Tipon. This ancient Inca site probably was a park for the noble class or an agricultural center. Water is the main element, and hundreds of meters of canals were dug to irrigate the fertile terraces. Still today, a large part of these canals is in working order. Around the main area, the remains of Inca palaces and fortresses have been excavated, but much more still remains to be discovered by archeologists. At the end of the visit, we will return to Cusco.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Cathedral and the Coricancha (from quechua word Quri Kancha, “Courtyard of gold”), identified with the Temple of the Sun of Qosqo (the most important and sacred area of the Inca Empire). Then we will visit the Inca ruins near the city. First, we will visit Tambomachay, the “baths of the Inca” and then we continue to the fortress of Puka Pukara. We will also visit the temple of the moon (observatory), the Huaca of Qenqo (temple of the snake, condor and puma) and then end our tour with the visit of the incredible fortress of Sacsayhuaman and its imposing wall
- Day 9
Road trip to Chincheros in the morning where we visit the Rainbow Temple and the typical markets.
Interesting is the stop at a handicraft laboratory where they produce fabrics using ancestral techniques which are then dyed with natural colors. Continuing our journey, we will visit Moray (ancient Inca site in which huge terraces exposed to the sun hosted probably an agricultural laboratory and experiments on the different types of culture) and the town of Maras, with the impressive salt mines situated in a landscape that takes your breath away. We will then continue to Urubamba and to Ollantaytambo, the inca wonder, with its fortress and village perfectly preserved. Here we will take the train to Aguas Calientes, the station of departure to visit Machu Picchu.
After we check in at the hotel, it will be possible to bathe in the thermal waters of the “Baths of Inca” (open till late) or to enjoy a stroll in the typical vegetation of the area that is the high forest.
- Day 10
Early in the morning (at dawn) we ascend to the citadel of Machu Picchu. After the 2h tour in the citadel you will remain there for the rest of the morning enjoying what is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
Option to ascend to the Montaña, the part opposite to the Huayna Picchu. In the afternoon, we will return to Cuzco to stay with “Caith”.
- Day 11
This day will be dedicated to the visit of a social project of CAITH at Huancarani, in the province of Paucartambo (2 hours from Cuzco). We will get to know the reality of the rural area and the social work of CAITH.
- Day 12
Departure to Puerto Maldonado. Arrival and transfer to the homes of the Passiflora Camp.
We will get a presentation of all projects for the conservation of the nature reserve of Tambopata and then we will discover the park of fruit, with tastings of amazonian fruits.
After lunch, we will visit CHAKRAMAMA, a forest garden project for the “restoration of degraded areas of the Amazon forest”, managed by ARBIO Peru. We will also visit the “Amazon Shelter”, a center where they bought back the original Fauna. Overnight in PASSIFLORA CAMP.
- Day 13
After breakfast, transfer on the streets of the Interoceanica up to the village of Alegria (1 hour) where we can observe chestnut trees and the process of deforestation due to monoculture and pasture economy (main threat to the Amazonian ecosystem).
We continue on the road up to PUERTO LUCERNAA, with the river LAS PIEDRAS (1 hour). Here we take a boat for 30 minutes, traveling along the River Las Piedras until we arrive at the station of ARBIO PERU. Lunch at the station.
We will then visit the model of the countryside integrated in the forest and with reforestation. You will be able to observe various species of Amazonian medicinal and exotic plants. We continue with an excursion to the trail “OJÉ SHIHUAHUACO” to see and learn about the “Big Trees” of the Amazon that are in danger because of illegal logging. Dinner and overnight stay.
- Day 14
After breakfast, we will transfer by the boat from ARBIO up to the native community Yine “Victoria” (20 minutes). We will visit some families whom ARBIO Peru is working with in a program of mutual help. We will plant fruit trees and medicinal plants with the oldest of the city and learn about the exchange of species and collection of seeds.
Lunch with the families, where you can try the typical drink of “Masato”, prepared with Yuca (manioc).
In the afternoon, we will return to the Station of Arbio Peru and have an excursion to see the sunset at the beautiful loop trail. After dinner, we will go to make a camp fire at the riverside in order to admire a wonderful spectacle of the constellations in the night sky.
- Day 15
After breakfast, the boat will bring us towards Sabaluyoc (2h on the River Las Piedras). Here we will be able to observe the “Taricayas” (turtles), alligators and a great variety of birds. We might also observe the illegal logging from Sabaluyoc up to the town of Puerto Maldonado (40 minutes). We will arrive in Puerto Maldonado approximately at noon.
We will then take the plane back to Lima where you might be able to catch your international flights in the evening. Otherwise, overnight in Lima.
- Day 16
International flights home.
- 2 day Extension to see the Nazca Lines and the Bellestas Islands
- 1 day extension to visit the Rainbow Mountains
- Option 1 - Day 16
Early in the morning the family Pacheco accompanies us to the boat to the Ballestas Islands. Here you can admire the beautiful islands, where we can discover seals, walruses, penguins, etc., in contrast with the desert environment that makes the fascinating climate. On the way back we will visit the ͞Reserva de Paracas. In the afternoon we will travel by bus to the city of Nazca. Free evening.
- Option 1 - Day 17
In Nazca we will be accompanied by Hilda, who is very familiar with the history and culture of the area and will show us the famous Museum of Maria Reiche, German expert who studied the Nazca lines almost all her life. Then we will see the 2 lines by a tower which is a spectacular panoramic point*. The Nazca Lines were drawn on the sand of the desert around 2000 years ago; these geometric, zoomorphic patterns are still unknown in their meaning. The visit continues to the interesting Acueductos, the ancient impressive aqueduct of the Nazca culture which still carries water to the inhabitants of the area in the middle of the desert. At last we will visit the interesting Antonini museum. We will then travel to Arequipa at 22.00 and from there we will travel the whole night in bus, arriving at its destination the next morning.
- Option 2 - Day 9
It is possible to add at day 9 an extension to see the famous Rainbow Mountains.
The journey begins at 4.00 in the morning to go to the “Comunidad Campesina de Hanchipata” (3 hours approximately), where we will have a good breakfast. During the trip we will pass beautiful valleys, small canyons and impressive pre-inca terraces, until we arrive at the “Comunidad Campesina de Quesiuno”.
The adventure begins with a majestic view of the Apu Ausangate. After receiving an introduction by a guide, we will begin our hike. The ascent will be gradual and takes approximately 3 hours.
During the hike you can observe a variety of South American camelids as alpacas or llamas and even birds, in addition to a landscape of valleys, small rivers and glaciers.
After walking for about 9 km, we arrive at the Rainbow Mountains. This is a unique place and magic for the particular beauty it possesses.
After having exploited a spectacular panorama from the highest point, and a quiet moment in contact with nature, we will return to the community of Huanchipata, this time using much less time. Here you dine.
We will be back in Cusco at 7 p.m. approx.
The participation fees include:
All transfers in private vehicles (car, minivan or minibus, concerning the number of participants) with air condition and driver.
Accommodation in double/twin rooms with or near the local NGO partner
- Meals - Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Meals as indicated in the itinerary, with our NGO partner or in local restaurants.
- Professional Photographers
Professional NGO Photographers, experienced in the humanitarian field, will accompany the group for the whole travel.
- International/Domestic Flights
Return flights from any Worldwide main airports, economy class. We can offer best fares from our partner Raptim if you tell us your departure airport in the enquiry form.
- International Medical & Travel Insurance Coverage
All Participants in a Cause Photo Travels tours are required to have sufficient Medical Travel Insurance. Cause Photo Travels refuses participation of travel if the correct valid Medical Insurance is not provided. Travel insurance can be purchased with Cause Photo Travels and RAPTIM. Please visit the Medical and Travel insurance page.
Each participant hereby confirms that they understand and agree to purchase the required insurance listed below, that is valid internationally, and that they will be required to provide proof prior to departure for the Trip and in order to participate.
- Accident & Sickness Medical Expense Coverage (minimum $100,000 USD)
- Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation of Remains (minimum $200,000 USD)
- Accidental Death / Dismemberment
- Trip Cancellation Coverage
Suggested Additional Coverage:
- Hospital Room and Board
- Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage
- Trip Delay / Interruption
- Visitor to Bedside
We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out travel insurance that covers the full value of the Trip and personal effects in the case of Trip cancellation, loss or theft of baggage, and emergency evacuation. The Tour Operators their owners, agents and subsidiaries will not be held responsible for these expenses. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short the Trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum of the amount paid (see the section “Deposits, Payments, Cancellations and Refunds” in the terms and conditions above).
Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut the Trip short for medical or any other reasons.
There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, we recommend that you read carefully the fine print of your insurance policy.
- Snacks & Drinks outside of normal meals
Please consider a little amount for some personal snacks or drinks along the way.
- Tips for guides, drivers, bellhops etc.
Tips are not covered by the participation fee. Please read the “What to bring” section to check for tipping guidelines.
- Personal transfers to your departure airport
Personal transfers / train tickets to and from your departure airport are not covered by the participation fee.
- The country
Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is an extremely biodiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.
- Documents required
Citizens of all countries within the European Union and Switzerland as well as the USA (and other countries) do NOT have to apply for a visa at an embassy or consulate before entering Peru. A passport valid at least six months with at least 2 free pages in the visa section is enough to get a Tourist Visa directly at the border or the airport.
Since 1991 the Nuevo Sol is Peru’s currency. The International code for the Peruvian currency Nuevo Sol (S/.) is PEN
- Credit cards
Visa, Master Card and Diners Club, are welcome in Peru. However not every establishment accepts all of them.
You can redeem travelers checks at most banks, but you will get lower exchange rates and be charged a comission. Do not use travelers checks in Peru, as many places do not accept them. Only the owner of the traveller check can cash it at a bank, no endorsements are allowed.
The official language in Peru is Spanish, but Quecha and Aymara are also official. And there is a large number of indigenous Amazonian languages widely spoken.
Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.
No health certificates or vaccinations are officially required. If you travel to the amazon area or jungle of Peru, it is advisable to get vaccinated against the yellow fever.
- Time Zone
The time zone is Peru is -5 GMT during all year in the entire country
- Plugs, sockets and electricity
In Peru the power sockets are of type A and C (Europlug). The standard voltage is 220 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.
- Phone, Smartphone and local carriers
Movistar and Claro are the largest operators, followed by Entel and Bitel.
Peru is a naturally religious country: a diversity of beliefs and freedom of worship can be seen from the wide range of festivals and rituals that feature both Catholic fervor and the mysticism of age-old pre-Hispanic cultures. An 89, 03% of the population are Catholics, 6,73% Evangelical, a 2,56% profess other religions and 1,65% are atheists.
Travelers may experience periodic protests, thefts and bus drivers who act as if every bend in the road should be assaulted at Autobahn speeds. Certainly, the country is not for the faint of heart. As with every other place on earth, a little common sense goes a very long way.
The climate of Peru is very diverse, with a large variety of climates and microclimates, including 30 of the 32 world climates. Such a diversity is chiefly conditioned by the presence of the Andes mountains and the cold Humboldt Current
The climate on the coast is arid and semi-arid with high temperatures and very little rainfall. The Andes mountains observe a cool-to-cold climate with rainy summers and very dry winter. The eastern lowlands present an Equatorial climate with hot weather and rain distributed all year long.
Low Season (Dec–Feb)
Rainy season in the highlands The Inca Trail closes during February for clean up High season for the coast and beach activities Very rainy in the Amazon, lasting through May
Shoulder (Sep–Nov & Mar–May)
Spring and fall weather in the highlands Ideal for less-crowded visits September to November for good rainforest trekking
High Season (Jun–Aug)
Dry season in Andean highlands and eastern rainforest Best time for festivals and highland sports, including treks Busiest time due to North American and European holidays
As visa requirements vary considerably from country to country and nationality to nationality, please contact the various embassies or a visa service agent in your home country to re-check your visa requirements at least 4 weeks prior to travelling. Please note that visas are the responsibility of the traveller and that Cause Photo Travels will not be held responsible for guests being denied entry should they not be in the possession of the relevant visas. All travellers must be in possession of a valid onward/return air ticket or proof of other means of transport enabling the traveller to leave the country in which our tour passes or terminates. You should also have proof of sufficient funds (e.g. credit card) to see you through your time in the country. In some cases visas are available on entry into a country and may be cheaper to do so, however for peace of mind and to speed up the border crossing process, Cause Photo Travels will always advise you to get your visas prior to your trip if possible.
What to bring
You can bring whatever camera you wish, but we recommend a DSLR or mirrorless digital cameras. Make sure you are familiar with your camera, as with some scenarios you will encounter, you will have to work fast in order to not miss a picture.
- Memory Cards
Memory cards for your cameras may not be available at every stop of the travel, so make sure you bring enough memory cards with you.
Without Batteries, you will not be able to get any pictures. So make sure you bring spare batteries for your camera and a charger. Charging will be possible at the hotels.
Backups are essential. Cameras, harddrives and memory cards may break or get stolen. Make sure you bring enough Backup for the travel.
If you want to bring accessories, please consider the weight of your luggage. We usually use available light, but it could be useful to bring GND filters or a light travel tripod. Make sure, all accessories work with your camera.
It’s best to dress in layers that can be shed as the day really heats up. Light wool is a good choice to wear against your skin as it naturally helps to regulate your body temperature. It keeps you warm in the cold, wicks away moisture when it’s hot, and doesn’t retain odours – even after prolonged wear. At the high altitudes of Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca, the temperature can plummet at night so a fleece is key.
- Wind & waterproof
It is recommended to bring light wind- and waterproof jacket.
Laundry service may be available in bigger villages or hotels, but if you need washing, please bring ecofriendly detergent to hand wash your clothes.
Mosquito repellent is highly recommended.
- Drinking Water
Tap water is not drinking water. You can bring your own bottle and filter system and buy big water gallons along the way to refill your bottle.
All purchases are subject to the payment of taxes and it is rate is 18%. The services of restaurants and hotels have in addition a service tax with a 10% rate. Taxis are not commonly tipped in Peru. You will negotiate the price with your driver, which will be the total. At Hotels, tipping can be between 1-10 Soles while Tour Guides usually take between 10-35 Soles/day.
Bring a light daypack, suitable to carry your cameras for shorter trips in order to avoid bringing your complete camera backpack every time.
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