Day 1: Arrival in Lima. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Relax and unwind after your long flight from the United Kingdom. Overnight - 2 nights in Lima at a hotel of your choice
Day 2: Private half-day city tour of Lima. This morning you will be collected from your hotel for a tour of the `City of the Kings`. Visit the historic Plaza Mayor, where you will see the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace. Visit the Casa Aliaga, America’s best preserved colonial mansion, occupied by the same since 1535. Proceed to the San Francisco Monastery, a beautiful work of Colonial architecture. And finish the tour with a drive through the residential districts of Miraflores and San Isidro, where you will enjoy a magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean. Then, we proceed to the Huaca Pucllana archaeological centre that operated between the 5th and the 8th centuries C.E.
Day 3: Lima to Arequipa. This morning you will be picked up by a driver for your private transfer to the airport from your flight to Arequipa. Upon arrival in Arequipa, you will be met at the airport by a driver for your private transfer to your hotel. After lunch embark on a private half day city tour of Arequipa. Overnight for 2 nights in Arequipa at a hotel of your choice.
Day 4: City and Santa Catalina Tour. The Monastery of Santa Catalina in Arequipa, Peru is not a single building but many within a complex of 20,000 square meters that was home for Dominican nuns for centuries. Opened to the public in 1970, this religious community is one of the finest examples of colonial architecture, art and life in a city within a city.
Day 5: Arequipa to the Colca Canyon. After breakfast this morning you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the Colca Valley. On the way, brief stop in Yura`s cement factory and hot springs. Continue through Pampa Anahuac at the Agued Blanca National Reserve, protected habitat for vicunas (llama relatives with finer wool), and Pâté Was Andean community. Lunch in Chivay and continue to Coporaque. If you have special interests, you will be able to organize with the hotel at extra expense. The hotel has its own observatory which you may star gaze in the evening. Overnight - 1 night Colca Canyon at a hotel of your choice.
Day 6: Colca Canyon and afternoon journey to Lake Titicaca. Explore the valley and its picturesque villages, sharing its people old traditions. Stop at the Condor’s Cross observation point, from where the great Andean bird may be spotted. Enjoy an impressive panorama of the Colca Canyon, the deepest in the world. Return back to the hotel. After your lunch a pre-arranged scheduled transfer will be provided to Puno which takes approximately 5 hours. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. Your first afternoon is recommended rest time to adjust to the high altitude. Overnight 3 nights in Puno at a hotel of your choice.
Day 7: Uros and Taquile Islands. After breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel for a full-day motor-boat excursion on Lake Titicaca to visit the unique floating islands of the Uros. For hundreds of years, this Water Tribe has relied on totora reed to build their floating villages, modest homes and boats. Continue to Taquile Island, inhabited by Aymara natives who have developed the best hand-weaving technique in the world.
Day 8: Private Tour of Sillustani Tombs and scenery. This morning your private guide will collect you after breakfast for your private half day tour today of the Sillustani Tombs and scenic area. Return in time for lunch and the rest of today at your own leisure.
Day 9: Inka Touristic Coach Express. Puno to Cuzco. On the journey, the coach makes a gentle climb to higher and cooler, altitudes. The first half of the journey is dominated by the magnificent Andean mountains which towers over the deep valleys of the meandering Huatanay River. It then reaches the gentler, rolling Andean Plains, where vicuna and alpaca can be seen. There are ideal opportunities to view and take pictures of the beautiful scenery. The journey is broken by a scenic stop at La Raya, which is also the highest point on the route. Upon arrival into Cuzco you will dropped at your hotel of choice. Overnight for 3 nights in Cuzco at a hotel of your choice.
Day 10: Private half day tour - Awanacancha and nearby ruins. Wake up in the amazing world of Cuzco. You will begin your tour visiting Awanacancha, where South American camelidae are bred. Learn about the superb fibres of llamas, alpacas and vicunas as well as the ancient weaving techniques which are still used. Proceed to Sacsayhuaman, strategically placed on a hill, this Inca construction was believed to have been a fortress. Here you will be able to appreciate the amazing and enormous stones that fit together with amazing precision. Return to Cusco city were you will visit the 16th century Cathedral and the Colonial art that is housed here. Your last stop will be Santo Domingo`s Convent, which was also the Koricancha temple, the most important Incan temple devoted to worship of the sun. According to the chronicles, it was covered in gold sheet and filled with golden representations of nature.
Day 11: Day of leisure. A well deserved rest today so you can relax and make use of you time how you wish in Cuzco.
Day 12: Private sacred valley including Pisac and Ollantaytambo Ruins. Pick up from your hotel today for an unforgettable full day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Today’s highlights include visits to the Indian market of Pisac and a tour of the fortress and village at Ollantaytambo. If taken as a private service, this excursion can include the spectacular ruins and terraces above Pisac. The engineering and preservation of the terraces are unrivaled anywhere else in South America, and the whole hillside rises skywards like a light of giant, green steps. Near the top is a large complex of temples, observatories and grain stores linked by cliff-hanging paths. Overnight 2 nights in Sacred Valley at a hotel of your choice.
Day 13: Day of Leisure in the Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley of the Incas was undoubtedly a key area of settlement to the Incas. Its agreeable climate and fertile plains make a rare and fruitful combination for the high Andes. It was also the route to the jungle and therefore an area with access to the fruits and plants of the tropical lowlands. The Sacred Valley served as a buffer zone, protecting Cusco from incursions of the Antis, the fierce jungle tribes who from time to time raided the highlands. Today the Sacred Valley remains a lush agricultural region supplying the city of Cusco with much of its produce such as maize, fruit and vegetables.
Day 14: Depart Sacred Valley for Aguas Calientes for Machu Picchu. This morning after a very early breakfast you will be transferred from your hotel to Ollantaytambo Station in the Sacred Valley Train station to board Peru Rail for a 2-hour journey to Aguas Calientes for Machu Picchu. Before reaching Machu Picchu, the train travels along the Urubamba River, with awe-inspiring views of the dramatic canyon. The spectacular scenic views and photographic opportunities can be enjoyed on this journey.
Upon arrival your allocated private guide will greet you at the train station and escort you to the citadel for a tour of the site. They will be with you up until lunch where you will have time at your own leisure time to enjoy the citadel also. The citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world as well as being the archetypal symbol of Peru and its most important historical site. It covers an area of 5 sq km, at an altitude of 2,430 meters, in the Urubamba River Valley.
You will return to Aguas Calientes Station in time for your return train to Cuzco in the late afternoon. Machu Picchu is a mystical place with a strong feeling of spirituality. It is a monument dedicated to the relationship man and the supernatural, magic and the commonplace - an approach by man, the creature of the gods, to pure divinity. It is a place where strange forces in nature enable individuals to achieve a unique state of "cosmic awareness", a state that can only be achieved in Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is a complex word deriving from machu: "old" or "ancient", and picchu: "crest" or "mountain", therefore, Machu Picchu or Machupicchu may be translated as "The Old Mountain". The famous mountain you can see in front of the citadel, appearing in most of the usual vistas of this place, is called Wayna Picchu or Waynapicchu ("The Young Mountain"). Unfortunately, the original names of these sites are unknown. Machu Picchu, Wayna Picchu, and some other names used today are contemporary, probably having been given by the farmers who settled in the area before Bingham reached it in 1911. Overnight 1 nights in Cuzco at a hotel of your choice.
Day 15: Departure from Cuzco. Today is your departure from Cuzco.
Note: We recommend you to submit the request at least 2 months in advance to the approximate time of travel. This is to avoid disappointment as spaces are strictly limited per departure.
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South America Peru History Whiz Archeology/History