Small group tours are a great way to explore the most beautiful corners of the world while staying safe, having your own space and limiting your environmental impact. They’re also brilliant for travellers who love to socialise and meet new people; when sharing travel experiences with a tight-nit community, you develop close bonds and make lasting friendships. In this article, we pick out the best small group tours in Peru to help you explore the land of the Incas in a safe and fun environment.

If you intend to travel more widely, our guide to small group tours in South America compiles the best itineraries in the region, including multi-country routes that incorporate Peru.

This article contains links to tours we recommend, which we may make commission from at no extra cost to you.

Why we recommend G Adventures for small group tours in Peru

We have taken small group tours with many companies during our travels, and indeed there are several to choose from in Peru. Our best experiences have been with G Adventures, but that is not the only reason they have become our go-to choice.

They have taken quick and effective action to put new health and safety measures in place for all of their tours in response to Covid-19. The G Adventures Travel with Confidence policy includes a whole range of measures including enhanced hygiene, frequent sanitisation, assigned seating for distancing, special training for tour guides and staff, and limited use of public transportation.

The experience is a key factor too, of course. G Adventures have amassed decades of experience organising small group tours all over the world, and have an established network of the most knowledgable and trusted local guides in the destinations they cover. They cap group sizes at a maximum of 16. The group sizes are often smaller than this too, typically averaging 10–12 – which we find to be ideal for creating a team dynamic and intimate social vibe – and most tours are now capped at 12 as part of the Travel with Confidence policy.

In our review of our Inca Trail with G Adventures, we wrote about how the company’s high ethical standards was a pivotal factor in us choosing them. Local staff were treated equitably and paid fairly, and the tour included visits to support community initiatives. We also appreciated the supportive and understanding approach of the guides. Tackling a trek like the Inca Trail can be daunting for first-timers, but they did everything to make us feel at ease and bolster our confidence.

Travel with your bubble

Several G Adventures small group tour packages in Peru are part of a new ‘Book Your Bubble’ collection, which enable you to book with a private group of people and make savings. When booking for a group of eight, the eighth place has a 50% discount, or for a group of twelve, the twelfth place is free. Find out the full details and benefits of the collection here.

Small group tour discounts for 2021

The G tours we feature below all feature a 15% discount when booking for selected departures during 2021. Check the G Adventures site for availability and quote the promo code G21GAA015ADV01Cyber at checkout.

View all G Adventures tours in Peru

Small group tours in Peru: Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail

1.  The classic Inca Trail

Inca Trail sign small group tours in Peru

At a glance:

  • Length: 7 days
  • Starts and ends: Cusco
  • Highlights: Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, ruin exploration at Ollantaytambo, visits to local community projects
  • Physical difficulty level: demanding
  • Prices: view and book

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that tops many a dreamer’s bucket list. G Adventures combines the classic four-day hike with some initial exploration of the Sacred Valley, including trips to ruins at Pisac and Ollantaytambo, and visits to community pottery-making and weaving projects. Find out more and see the full itinerary.

2.  Lares Trek with one-day Inca Trail

G Adventures team at Machu Picchu

At a glance:

  • Length: 8 days
  • Starts and ends: Cusco
  • Highlights: an alternative trek through the Sacred Valley culminating with Machu Picchu at sunrise
  • Physical difficulty level: demanding
  • Prices: view and book

The Lares Trek in the Sacred Valley is an offbeat alternative to the Inca Trail. It reaches a higher altitude, topping out at 4,500 metres, taking in lagoons and snowy mountain views on the way. The package includes the same visits to the Sacred Valley as the classic Inca Trail, and ends with the final morning hike to Machu Picchu. Find out more and see the full itinerary.

3.  Inca jungle and Rainbow Mountain trek

At a glance:

  • Length: 7 days
  • Starts and ends: Cusco
  • Highlights: jungle mountain biking, zip-lining, Machu Picchu and a hike to the iconic Rainbow Mountain
  • Physical difficulty level: demanding
  • Prices: view and book

Vinicunca Mountain is one of Peru’s most photographed features, dubbed ‘Rainbow Mountain’ since 2015. The melting of glacial ice revealed layers of brightly coloured sediment and minerals at its peak. This tour package includes a hike to the summit, as well as jungle mountain-biking, zip-lining and Machu Picchu at dawn. Find out more and see the full itinerary.

4.  Wellness Peru: Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley

Small group tour on Inca Trail

At a glance:

  • Length: 7 days
  • Starts and ends: Cusco
  • Highlights: Sacred Valley discovery intermitted with yoga, hot springs and paddle-boarding
  • Physical difficulty level: average
  • Prices: view and book

This alternative experience in the land of the Incas puts the focus on mindfulness and wellbeing. While seeing the highlights of the Sacred Valley, Urubamba and Machu Picchu, this package also includes a yoga class, lagoon paddleboarding, breakfast from an organic garden, spa treatments and hot springs. Find out more and see the full itinerary.

Small group tours in Peru: Amazon and the north

5.  Amazon Riverboat Adventure

At a glance:

  • Length: 7 days
  • Starts and ends: Lima
  • Highlights: guided Amazon river cruise from Iquitos with a visit to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve
  • Physical difficulty level: light
  • Prices: view and book

Pivoting from the isolated city of Iquitos, this absorbing skiff cruise down the Peruvian Amazon ventures into the heart of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Expect to see jungle wildlife in its natural habitat, including sloths and pink dolphins, while enjoying regional cuisine on-board. Check the full itinerary and also see the extended version of this tour.

6.  Explore Northern Peru

Gocta Falls Northern Peru

At a glance:

  • Length: 9 days
  • Starts and ends: Lima
  • Highlights: exploring off the beaten path including Chachapoyas, Gocta Falls, Kuelap and Chiclayo
  • Physical difficulty level: average
  • Prices: view and book

The north of Peru gets less attention than the Inca heartlands in the south. Yet, it is home to richness of history, fascinating archaeology, local culture and stunning nature. This package explores the region’s highlights including the world’s third-highest waterfall and the fortified mountaintop ruins of Kuelap. Find out more and see the full itinerary.

Small group tours in Peru: multi-stop routes

7.  Absolute Peru

At a glance:

  • Length: 21 days
  • Starts and ends: Lima
  • Highlights: Lima, Paracas, Nazca, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, Cusco, the Inca Trail and the Amazon
  • Physical difficulty level: demanding
  • Prices: view and book

The ultimate wide-ranging Peruvian adventure, this active tour combines many of the country’s top attractions into a three-week extravaganza. Incorporating the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and an Amazon exploration, the itinerary also includes time in Lima, Paracas, Nazca, Arequipa, the Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca. Find out more and see the full itinerary.

8.  Iconic Peru

At a glance:

  • Length: 14 days
  • Starts and ends: Lima
  • Highlights: Lima, the Amazon, Urubamba Valley, the Inca Trail, Cusco and Lake Titicaca
  • Physical difficulty level: demanding
  • Prices: view and book

A shorter alternative to Absolute Peru, this package fills a diverse itinerary into two weeks. Beginning with Amazonian discovery from Puerto Maldonado and culminating on the shores of Lake Titicaca, this small group tour also includes a week in the Inca heartlands exploring the Urubamba Valley and the Inca Trail. Find out more and see the full itinerary.

9.  Peru Multisport

Small group active trekking Peru

At a glance:

  • Length: 15 days
  • Starts and ends: Lima
  • Highlights: hiking and cycling in the Sacred Valley, the Inca Trail, kayaking on Lake Titicaca
  • Physical difficulty level: demanding
  • Prices: view and book

Designed for the most active travellers, this small group tour explores Peru by foot, bicycle and kayak. The classic Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is sandwiched between a biking adventure in the Sacred Valley and a two-day kayak excursion on the waters of Lake Titicaca from Puno, plus extra options for horse-riding. Find out more and see the full itinerary.

10.  Amazon to the Andes

Amazon Lodge bridge Peru

At a glance:

  • Length: 12 days
  • Starts and ends: Lima
  • Highlights: Sacred Valley, Inca Trail, Cusco and a lodge excursion in the Amazon
  • Physical difficulty level: demanding
  • Prices: view and book

Our final pick is one of the best combined small group tours in Peru, bringing together the Inca Trail with an Amazon excursion from Puerto Maldonado. After the classic trek to Machu Picchu, we can attest that you will be ready to wind down – and a stay at the exclusive G Lodge in the Amazon is the perfect way to do it. Find out more and see the full itinerary.

To plot your independent pathway through Peru, see our recommended itineraries for 1–4 weeks. For hiking ideas, our Peru trekking guide picks out 35 of the best trails in the country with essential preparation tips.

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We take a look at the best small group tours in Peru for 2020 and 2021, including Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, the Amazon, Northern Peru and more. #smallgrouptours #perutours #toursinperu #incatrail #smallgrouptoursperu

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