Discover Peru Beyond Machu Picchu

There’s a lot more to Peru than Machu Picchu and the Incas. Let us show you…

Peru is hugely popular with visitors from all over the world, and with good reason. The incredible heritage sites surrounding the Sacred Valley of the Incas are world-class tourism destinations. While travellers to the country are well aware of Machu Picchu and the sites around Cuzco and the huacas in Lima, most are in the dark about the other superb ancient places to see in Peru. If we look outside the main tourist haunts, we can find some exceptional sites that, while under the radar for the majority of visitors, are fascinating and spiritually potent. There are scores of wonderful places to see all over Peru, but a handful of these more obscure sites rival any of the major ones favoured by mass tourism.

This is a guided group tour

Highlights include:

  • Huaraz
  • Chavin de Huantar
  • Trujillo
  • Huacas del Sol y de la Luna
  • Chan Chan
  • Chachapoyas
  • Kuelap
  • Tarapoto


If you’d like to be the first to find out when registration is open then please sign-up below.

While the major sites in Peru are spectacular, the lesser known are supremely rewarding for the more intrepid traveller. The Incas get most of the limelight, but by through these other great places, a visitor can see some of the diverse history of Peru’s civilisations. The ancient cultures of Peru are some of the most fascinating, yet enigmatic in the Americas. Rather than simply following the crowds, take the less-well-trodden path and see the spectacular ancient centres that are devoid of the tour groups. Connect with the sites that maintain their aura of primeval power, imprinted on them by centuries of ceremonial use.

The Places We Visit


Your adventure starts here!

Peru’s northern Callejón de Huaylas valley is the home of Huaraz. This small city is the capital of the Ancash Region and sits at an altitude of 3,000 metres. The pristine snow-capped peaks of the Cordillera Blanca range form its dramatic eastern skyline. The Huarascán National Park encompasses much of this land, where you can find Andean condors and jaguars as well as Peru’s tallest mountain. The Cordillera Negra mountain range is also within striking distance.

Chavín de Huántar

The ancient site of Chavín de Huántar is one of the oldest in the Americas, possibly occupied from 3000 BC. It was used ceremonially from at least 1200 BC until around 400 BC. When the Chavín people occupied it in around 1000 BC, it became their spiritual centre. Impressive monumental architecture can be found at Chavín de Huántar, testifying to the power that was once contained there.

The Chavín people travelled from all over their territory to come and participate in ritual and cult activities at the site which fell into decline in around 500 BC. The ritual activity originally centred around the sunken circular plaza, as it is bound on three sides by the Old Temple. Pilgrims, under the influence of the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus, were led through the dark labyrinthine passageways of the Old Temple to see the main deity of the Chavín, the Lanzón. The 4.5-metre-high stone sculpture, named after its lance-like shape, is a fanged deity that represents fertility, dualism, and man’s interaction with nature. Also known as the Smiling God, the experience of seeing El Lanzón, an anthropomorphic human-feline, in the narrow tunnels would have been awe-inspiring for the Chavín.

Over time, the site was expanded and a large plaza added along with the New Temple, which was extended from the side of the Old Temple. The New Temple has a relief carving of the Lanzón holding a Strombus and Spondylus shell in each hand, representing the duality of the sexes.  Chavín de Huántar does not attract the crowds that other places in Peru do, but it is one of the most spectacular and powerful sites in the country.


Close to the adobe complex of Chan Chan, the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas and Unesco site lies Trujillo, a vibrant city filled with colourful Colonial buildings and churches. Enjoy and explore the bright yellow Trujillo Cathedral, the blue Casa Urquiaga and the host of marble statues at the neoclassical Iturregui Palace. Trujillo, is situated in the North West of Peru and is also known for the traditional dance, the Marinera.

Huacas del Sol y de la Luna

Built by the Moche civilisation in several phases between 100 and 450 AD, the Huaca del Sol and the Huaca de la Luna are two huge adobe temples in the arid Moche Valley near Trujillo. The Huaca del Sol, or Temple of the Sun, originally had four layers and was 50 metres tall. The massive edifice was a ceremonial centre that dominated the skyline of Cerro Blanco, capital city of the Moche people.

The Moche people were a coastal Peruvian civilisation that thrived from 100 to 800 AD in northern Peru. The sun worshippers are famed for their advanced ceramics that show vividly realistic portraiture skills. Moche rituals centred on the elite who performed spectacles including human sacrifice and consumption of blood at the huaca sites. They may have consumed some of the flesh of the victims and a key patron deity called Ai Apaec was known as the Decapitator. His name means ‘doer’ and he was a creation god who required offerings of human heads.

Rituals like these would have taken place at the huacas. The Huaca de la Luna is smaller, yet more intact than the its neighbour, and is ornately decorated and has detailed murals covering large parts of the remains. Ai Apaec features in a number of places on the Temple of the Moon. His fanged head suggests grim sacrificial activities occurred on the huaca several centuries ago.

Chan Chan

Another stunning ancient city site that does not get the attention it deserves, is the superb coastal city of Chan Chan, near Trujillo. It was once the great capital of the Chimú people, who rose from the remnants of the Moche in around 850 AD, occupying their old territory. They expanded their Chimor Empire by conquering the lands of the Sicán people of the Lima area before finally being subjugated by the Inca in about 1470.

Chan Chan, which means “sun sun”, was at one point the largest city in the Americas with an area of 20 square kilometres and a population of up to 60,000 people. Within the city are the remains of ten palatial enclosures, known as cuidadelas, alongside humbler residential structures. There are also four ceremonial huacas. Huaca Obispo, Huaca Toledo and Huaca Las Conchas occupy the north and east of the site, while Huaca Olvido is in the centre of the city surrounded by the ten cuidadelas.

The cuidadelas were residential complexes of the Chimú elite. Their relationship to the huacas in the heart of Chan Chan and their highly ornate nature betray an ideal of the elite being spiritually and economically potent. The complexes also contain audiencias, walled courts that contain ancestral burials. These are located near to storage facilities. The ancestral lineage of the elite class held influence over harvests and supplies for each cuidadela and, by extension, the Chimú as a whole, as the elites had control over distribution.


Located in the Lambayeque Valley, the Moche site of Sipán has a number of burials that are a window into the life of the elite. In 1987, a group of looters found gold in the Huaca Rajada at Sipán, but were subsequently raided by the police. This led to archaeologists excavating the huaca and finding a total of 14 tombs. The first was the main tomb, discovered by the tomb robbers, containing a mummy called El Señor de Sipán. The Lord of Sipán’s tomb was filled with gold and silver artefacts. The Lord was wearing a half gold and half silver peanut necklace representing the male sun god and female moon goddess, as well as the earth in the form of the peanuts. He was buried with an entourage of people and animals too, including warriors with their feet amputated to stop them leaving the tomb.

Other tombs on the site include the Lord’s ancestor, known as the Old Lord and also that of a Moche priest. The priest was buried wearing a copper crown with the image of an owl, wings spread, showing him to have been a priest of the moon. The platforms of the huaca date from 300 AD, but in 700 AD pyramid structures were built above them. This reuse of a potent site is common and is echoed in the huaca in other parts of Peru, particularly those in Lima.


Named after the ‘people of the clouds’, this town was founded during the Spanish conquest, is surrounded by cloud forest and is an ideal gateway for visiting the lost city of Kuelap with its hundreds of buildings from the ancient Chachapoyas civilisation. North of the town you’l find the massive Gocta Waterfall where monkeys and toucans shelter in this jungle setting.
A lost city, discovered just a few years ago in the cloud forest of Northern Peru could hold secrets of a legendary tribe. The Chachapoyas were known as the ‘people of the clouds’ and although little is know about them, they were a white skinned and fair haired race wiped out by disease and war in the 16th century. Their ancient walled stronghold with its  hundreds of circular buildings sits on the edge of a chasm in one of the most remote parts of the Amazon. They held sway for many hundreds of years until defeated by the Inca. How did this race come to be there, when they’re not from Andean ancestry? What extraordinary information could be revealed from this ancient site and illustrated in their rock paintings?


Located on a ridge in the Utcubamba Valley in North Peru, Kuelap, a superb Chachapoya settlement is a much under-visited ancient site. Founded in the 6th century AD, the site was occupied by the Chachapoya people until the mid-16th century. The Chachapoya are also known for the purunmachus (sarcophagi) at Carajía. There, seven human-form coffins look out from the cliffside.

Kuelap is a huge site, one of the biggest in the Americas. Inside the defensive wall, built to protect the Chachapoya people from the Wari tribes, are the remains of more than 400 structures. Eventually subjugated by Tupac Inca Yupanqui in about 1475 AD, the walls couldn’t hold back the powerful Inca forever.

Among the buildings at Kuelap, El Tintero, an inverted conical platform is a stand out.  While its exact function is unknown, the unique structure seems to have been a place to make offerings and was ceremonially significant. Another awe-inspiring feature of the site is the main portal. The tall entrance tapers in an unusual manner and at its narrowest point, only one person can pass. It possibly represents the vulva and symbolic rebirth.


We’ll finish the tour chilling in the jungles close to Tarapoto. This is a beautiful area where the Amazon rainforest meets the Andes mountains. We’ll spend the last 2 nights at a jungle lodge where we can relax and take part in a few activities exploring the forest.

Your Guides

Sacred Places Tour Guide – Amaru

Our Peruvian guide Amaru is a mystic explorer who is dedicated to guiding groups seeking and aspiring to become Light Warriors. To achieve this, Amaru guides them touring and reconnecting the Geo-cosmic Power Centres (chakras) of South America and throughout the Andean world, integrating the Ancient Shamanic Ways, his knowledge on Cosmo-biology, Chinese Martial Arts (therapeutic arts of war and the ancient evolutionary system of Tao) as well as the diverse initiations he has been through with the various ancient spiritual paths of the Andes and the East. Amaru is a Master Initiator of the ancestral therapeutic system of the gateway to the Cosmic Light of Andean-Lemurian origin – called Ylla – HANTATY; in addition he is a Master of the millenary Reiki System and Chinese Martial Arts Instructor specially dedicated to “The Healing Tao System “and above all things to the Holistic Shamanic Path in the Andes. Amaru has been engaged into the mystical exploration since a very early age, something that has enabled him to discover a lot of historical remnants of ancient cultures of the Magic Andean World; that is how he has managed to unveil and recognize some of the paths of ancient Andean wisdom, which are still alive and available to those who seek with open hearts and minds without dogma or preconceptions. He has also been able to keep contact with some masters of various paths of the ancestral wisdom of our entire humanity.(Present even today all over the planet.) Amaru is a mystical writer, his works are based on their experiences and research and accomplishments. His first book is now published under Huaynaputina name (Young Waterboy).

Andy Metcalfe

Born in 1975, Andy’s originally from the city of Leeds in England and he started walking a spiritual path from the age of 19 when he first started reading books such as The Celestine Prophecy and books by Carlos Castaneda. He has since studied under William Bloom one of the UK’s most well known and loved spiritual authors and teachers. Other influences include Stuart Wilde, Don Miguel Ruiz, Terrence McKenna, and countless others. In early 2009 an inner voice instructed him to move to Peru and he duly 0bliged and has been living here ever since. In 2011 he co-founded the highly successful ayahuasca retreat company Ayahuasca Satsangha but has since moved on to focus on his own projects including Outer Travels Inner Journeys and Ayahuasca Odyssey. Andy is also the founder of Holistic Local an online community for people passionate about holistic and natural living. Andy is most passionate about helping people heal and awaken to who they really are.

Who Should Register?

This is a unique journey across Peru for people who are sincerely interested in exploring spirituality and personal growth with like-minded people. However, it is also not a journey that takes itself too seriously.

During the 15 days, we’ll all be spending a great deal of time together, so it’s important to maintain a certain amount of harmony within the group and attract the right people.

To date, all the people who have resonated and participated in tours organised by Outer Travels Inner Journeys have been truly amazing people and there has rarely been issues of disharmony in the group, and we hope for that to continue.

To ensure this remains a harmonious experience for everyone involved, please only consider this journey if:

  • You are sincere and open-minded.
  • You are seeking to deepen your spiritual understanding and expand your consciousness.
  • You have a sense of humour and don’t take yourself far too seriously
  • You are easy-going and easily get along with other people
  • You still feel young at heart, no matter what your physical age may be

Also, check out our About Page and our Values page to make sure you resonate with what we’re about.

Trip Details


We are hoping to announce dates for 2017 very soon.

If you’d like to know when we open registration for this tour then please enter your email below

Included in the cost of this trip is:

  • 14 Nights in 6 different hotels
  • All Transport
  • All Entrance Fees
  • Breakfast Everyday

What’s not included:

  • Your international flights to Peru
  • Lunches and evening meals
  • Any fees needed for obtaining a Peruvian Visa (most people won’t need a visa)
  • Accommodations if you wish to arrive earlier or stay later than the dates indicated.
  • Any shopping or excursions outside the planned itinerary.

Got a question about this trip?