- Guided tour of colonial Lima - a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Colonial Arequipa "The White City"
- Colca Canyon - amazing scenery and condors
- Uros and Taquile Islands on Lake Titicaca
- Inka Express bus across the altiplano via points of interest
- Cusco city tour and surrounding sites, including Sacsayhuaman, Qenko and Tambo Machay
- Full day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas
- Pisaq Market and Ollantaytambo
- Guided tour of the Inca citadel Machu Picchu.
- Starts and ends: Lima
- Departures: year round.
Day 1: Arrive Lima. On arrival in Lima you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the up-market neighborhood of Miraflores. The rest of the day is free to relax, or explore the neighborhood of Miraflores with its parks, cinemas bars and cafes as well as many shopping opportunities.
Day 2: Lima city tour. Lima is the social and economic heart of Peru with the colonial centre being a UNESCO world heritage site. Among other sites and points of interest you will visit the beautiful colonial Cathedral, construction of which began in 1635 by Francisco Pizarro himself. After the Cathedral you will visit the Convent and Church of San Francisco. The building is noted for its 17th century architecture, a fine example of Spanish Neoclassicism. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Fly to Arequipa in the highlands. Free afternoon to explore this beautiful city. Arequipa lies in an oasis 1000 km south east of Lima, 2400m above sea level and surrounded by the stunning peaks of the Western Andes. The city is dominated by views of the 5822 m El Misti volcano, with its perfectly conical, snow-capped summit, and its sister peak of Chachani. “The White City” is a showcase of fine colonial architecture, with the Santa Catalina convent and the elegant Plaza de Armas foremost among its attractions. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Start Colca Canyon Tour. An early morning transfer to the Colca Canyon, said to be the deepest Canyon in the World. At 10,729 feet, it is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA. Today your journey takes you past the volcanoes that overlook Arequipa, to the Altiplano and through a natural Vicuña reserve. After checking into your hotel you can enjoy a comforting bath in the La Calera thermal springs. Includes: (B).
Day 5: Cruz del Condor and Colca Canyon Tour. An early morning start to visit the Cruz Del Condor, the best place to see these magnificent birds, with wingspans up to 15 feet they are the largest land-based birds the world. Along the Colca Canyon you will unique towns such as Cabanaconde, Pinchollo, Maca, Achoma, Coporaque and Yanque with picturesque colonial churches and the charming dressing of countrywomen. Spectacular scenery, traditional towns and villages, ancient Inca terracing and tombs are all part of what makes your visit to Colca Canyon unforgettable. Includes: (B).
Day 6: Drive on to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Today you will drive on through mountain scenery to the altiplano or “high plain” where Puno is located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Full day tour on Lake Titicaca. Today we have a full day visit to the incredible floating reed Uros Islands of Lake Titicaca and Taquile Island, one of the main islands on the lake. The Uros islands have a unique civilization of people living on them – there are no trees, and all of their houses and boats, etc. are made of knitted reeds. You will have lunch on Taquile, one of the three main islands on the lake. Around 1500 Quechua-speaking Indians continue to live in this remote community. The island, seven kilometres long, is devoid of roads and vehicles, and its terraced hills are scattered with pre-Inca ruins. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 8: Inka Express Bus across the Altiplano to Cusco. Today you will take the first-class Inka Express Bus from Puno to Cusco. Lunch is included and the bus stops at various points of geographical and cultural interest along the way. Pukara - This is the most important and oldest ceremonial site this side of Tiahuanaco. Raqchi - (or the temple of the God Wiracocha) this Inca temple is monumental. La Raya - The highest pass on the route between Cusco and Puno, La Raya is 4335 meters above sea level. Andahuaylillas - Referred to as the Andean Sistine Chapel because of its magnificent frescoes. A three course lunch is taken at a private restaurant in the town of Sicuani. There is an English-speaking guide, complimentary soft drinks and toilet on board. You will finish your fantastic journey that same evening in Cusco, where we will meet you at the bus station and take you to your hotel. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 9: Cusco city tour and outlying sites. This afternoon we will collect you from your hotel for an extended tour of Cuzco and the Inca Sights nearby. You will be accompanied by a private qualified English speaking guide and driver. We start the tour at the Inca ruins of Tambomachay. We then proceed to Puca Pucara (Quechua for red fortress) and then Qenko, a sanctuary dedicated to the adoration of animals.
You will then visit one of the most important Inca sites in South America, the enormous fortress of Sacsayhuamán. Cuzco was designed in the shape of a lying puma with Sacsayhuamán as its head. You will next visit Cuzco Cathedral which is one of the finest Colonial Cathedrals in the Americas. Finally we proceed to visit Coricancha, originally named Inti Qancha ('Temple of the Sun'). This was the most important temple in the Inca Empire. This ends the extended Cuzco city tour whereupon we will return to your hotel.
Day 10: Full day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The tour visits the market town of Pisac. Pisac is a great place to buy local artifacts. There is a big artisans market here every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and many of the local craftsmen come in from the surrounding hills to sell their goods. We then proceed on to Ollantaytambo which is an attractive little town located at the western end of the Sacred Valley. The town has been built on top of original Inca foundations and is the best surviving example of Inca town planning. The town is located at the foot of some spectacular Inca ruins which protected the strategic entrance to the lower Urubamba Valley. The tour then returns to Cusco and your hotel. A buffet lunch is included. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 11: Today you take the train to Machu Picchu. On arrival in Aguas Calientes there is a spectacular 20 min bus journey from the railway station in Aguas Calientes up to the ruins. You will enjoy a tour of Machu Picchu led by a qualified English speaking guide before having some free time to explore the site by yourselves. After your tour and some free time return to the town of Aguas Calientes and your hotel for the night.
Day 12: Free morning or re-visit Machu Picchu (optional). Return train to Cusco. Following your stay, morning at leisure in Aguas Calientes or revisit the ruins. In Aguas Calientes you can visit the hot springs or choose to climb Puticusi Mountain for a different perspective on the site of Machu Picchu. A climb not for the faint-hearted!
For those who wish to revisit Machu buses start at 05.30. Today you can enjoy the site at your leisure and see some of the sites that are not included in the standard one-day only tour, such as the Sun Gate and the Hanging Inca Bridge, or choose to climb Huayna Picchu, the that overlooks Machu Picchu. The entrance fee and bus to the ruins and back for a second visit are payable locally. Afternoon departure of your train back to Cusco. You will be met at the train station and returned to your hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 13: A free day in Cusco to see more of this fascinating city. Cusco – a UNESCO World Heritage site - is an architectural and cultural jewel of a city set in the South-eastern Andes. It is a fascinating mix of colonial churches, monasteries and convents, and extensive, pre-Columbian ruins. Almost every central street has remnants of Inca walls and much of this ancient stonework now serves as foundations for more modern dwellings. There is a great deal to see and do in Cusco and a free day to wander about some of the back streets, visit galleries, shops, churches and markets is often welcome. There are also a number of sites and museums on your ´Cusco Tourist Ticket´(included) that are not visited during tours which you may like to visit. Includes: (B).
Day 14: Fly to Lima to connect with your international flight. Includes: (B).
- Itineraries can be tailored to your requirements
- Depending on your international flights you can connect directly and fly home or if you would like to stay an extra day in Lima please let us know so we can arrange the extra transfers and hotel for you.
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South America Peru Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History
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