Day 1: Arrival in Arequipa and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, we take a tour of the ‘White City’, as Arequipa is known. Central to the city is the iconic, bustling Plaza de Armas dominated by the stunning neo-Renaissance Cathedral, and with Colonial buildings on the other three sides – a great place to people-watch, while sipping a coffee. We will visit Santa Catalina Convent, a beautiful walled citadel, which for four centuries served as the only physical world for generations of cloistered nuns. We will also take in the Colonial district of Yanahuara, 2 km from the city center, consisting of narrow cobblestone streets and old, white, volcanic stone houses. From here, there are magnificent views of the three volcanoes which overlook the city: Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu. Return to hotel and overnight.
Day 2: In the morning, we depart on our expedition to one of the deepest canyons in the World – Colca – along a winding road heading out of Arequipa and continuing ever higher into the Andes, past the villages of Torja, Chucura, Patapampa, with their Colonial churches and Inca terracing. This is the land of the celebrated Condor … as well as the Vicuña, a cameloid prized for its fine wool. In the afternoon, we visit the sleepy village of Chivay and enjoy La Calera thermo-medicinal baths. Tonight, we stay in Chivay or you may choose to upgrade to the wonderfully peaceful, distinctive Colca Lodge located on the banks of the Colca River.
Day 3: Breakfast and departure to the ‘Cruz del Condor’, the best viewpoint to watch Condors ascending from the valley on early-morning thermals to begin a day circling the land looking for carrion. After this amazing spectacle, we will continue to enjoy the beautiful scenery and fascinating pre-Inca, Inca and Colonial history of the area in villages such as Pinchollo, Maca and Yanque. In the afternoon, we continue through stunning Andean scenery to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, arriving in the evening, where we will overnight.
Day 4: Tour ends after breakfast.
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