Wonders Peru in 12 days
Lima - Arequipa - Colca - Arequipa - Puno - Cuzco - Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Cuzco (12 days / 11 nts) From $1640.00
A tour of the marvels of Peru, covering the Sacred Valley, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Arequipa, the amazing Colca Valley, and the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca. Note that you select your preferred hotel category, and meet your group mainly during day trips so this is really a semi-private tour.
Day 1 Lima
Upon arrival in Lima, assistance at the airport and transfer to selected hotel.
Day 2 Lima - Arequipa
Transfer to Lima airport, assistance on departure flight. Upon arrival in Arequipa, transfer to your hotel. Tour the lovely "White City," built from the white sillar rock that spewed out from the Volcan Misti, including the Santa Catalina Convent, the most astonishing site in Arequipa, which was opened to the public in 1970 after 400 years as a cloister. Santa Catalina takes visitors back four centuries. Entering the cloister you see the numerous and spacious patios and gardens, the kitchen and slave quarters and stone wash-tubs of this convent where entrance requirements were among the strictest in Peru. Novices, daughters of aristocrats, had to prove Spanish origin and come up with a dowry of at least 1,000 gold pesos. About 20 nuns still live in a section of the tile-roofed convent, which once housed up to 500; Plaza de Armas, one of the most beautiful in Peru; La Compañia church, the frontispiece of this two-story Jesuit church is a compilation of columns, zigzags, spirals, laurel crowns, flowers, birds and grapevines, into which is embroidered in rock abbreviations of the Holy Friday Masses. A careful look reveals that the European influence had its limits: the angels have Indian faces; one face is even crowned with feathers. The interior La Compañia is equally impressive. The gilded main altar is typical of the height of the Peruvian Baroque, and the sacristy´s ceiling is covered with miniature paintings and carvings of crimson and gold. Tour the districts of Yanahuara and Chilina, with a magnificent view of the Misti volcano. Breakfast.
Day 3 Arequipa - Colca Valley
Drive to the Colca Valley, towards Yura climbing to the Puna, or high plateau, and desolte plains on Pampa Cañahuas at the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, protected habitat for vicuñas ( llamas relatives with finer wool ). The valley has beautiful pre-Columbian terraces still used by native Collagua to plant corn, potatoes, broad beans, alfalfa, quinua, barley and wheat. Overnight at selected hotel in the Colca Canyon. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 4 Colca Valley - Arequipa
An opportunity to explore Colca valley unique towns and to share old traditions with its people; each one has managed to maintain its original appearance despite the passing of the years. The traditional clothing, still worn by the majority of women, the legends recounted by its friendly inhabitants, and the festivals by which agricultural cycles are marked with song and dance, all reveal the history of the Colca Valley. The valley is noted for its textiles: beautifully designed rugs and brocade work (women´s vests, dresses and blouses), trimmed with embossed tin details. Don´t forget to taste the delicious prickly pears (tunas). Stop at the "Condor´s Cross" near the town of Cabanaconde, a natural observatory from which you can see the deepest part of the Colca Canyon and, quite frequently, the flight of the impressive Condor -the great Andean bird- in its native habitat. One of this bird´s most amazing characteristics is its ability to soar on currents of air for hours on end, without ever flapping its wings. From here the valley narrows considerably, with an impressive geological formation carved out by the river as it has descended between the mountains (made of largely volcanic materials) over millions of years, giving origin to the fame of the Colca Canyon as one of the deepest in the world. The deepest part of the canyon has been calculated at 3,680m/12,074ft, almost twice as deep as Colorado´s Grand Canyon. Enjoy the panorama. After lunch return to Arequipa and selected hotel. Breakfast, lunch.
Day 5 Arequipa / Puno
Transfer to Arequipa´s airport, assistance on departure flight. Upon arrival to Puno transfer to selected hotel. Breakfast.
Day 6 Lake Titicaca
Motor-boat ride on Lake Titicaca (with a surface area of 8,300 km2) to visit the unique floating islands of the Uros. For hundreds of years the livelihood of this "Water Tribe" is based on the benefits of a unique plant: the totora reed (Scyrpus totora). They use it to build their homes, boats and even the floating islands they live on, periodically adding new layers of reeds. They also use it in their highly developed weaving. Continue to the natural island of Taquile on Lake Titicaca inhabited by quechua-speaking natives who have developed, through generations, both an efficient and original social system and a fine hand weaving technique. Breakfast, box lunch.
Day 7 Puno - Cusco
Assistance at the hotel for departure. Prepare to enjoy views of Andean landscapes spotted with little villages and herds of llamas and alpacas as you drive to Cusco area. On the way, visit the pre-Columbian complex of Pucara (200 bc), consisting of six, stepped, stone pyramids. The temple of Raqchi, which contains the ruins of a temple built by the Inca Pachacutec for the god Wiracocha. Raqchi had a great reputation as an important destination for pilgrims, a fact that explains the warehouses and other buildings around the temple that served as dwellings for priests, servants and farmers. Also visit to the largest and most beautiful temple built to commemorate Wiracocha Pachayachachi (maker of the wall), built on the splendor time of the Inca Empire, under the ruling of Inca Pachacutec who unified the indians territory with a well organized administration and also established the use of the Quechua language on the people conquered by him. In Cusco, assistance at arrival to selected hotel. Breakfast & lunch.
Day 8 Cusco
Explore the magical capital of the Incas on a tour including a visit to Plaza Regocijo, Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Santo Domingo Convent Monastery. The Santo Domingo monastery was built over the Koricancha temple, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun. According to the chronicles, it was covered in gold sheet and filled with golden representations of nature. Then walk around the old town with its very narrow streets. After seeing the most interesting sites of the city, you will drive to the countryside outside Cusco to visit some of the remarkable inca ruins in the area: the cult centre of Sacsayhuaman, the temple and amphitheatre of Kenko and the Red Fortress of Puca Pucara. Breakfast.
Day 9 Cusco - Sacred Valley of the Incas
Drive to the "Sacred Valley of the Incas", a sucession of picturesque towns, agricultural terraces, and many archaeological sites, as well as the world´s most famous corn, combine with an exceptional climate to visit Ollantaytambo, the Inca fortress, which guarded the entry of this part of the valley and protected it from possible invasion from the lower jungles. The fortress consists of a series of superimposed terraces of carved stones accessed by long staircases. An opportunity to walk through the quaint streets of the nearby town, the design and foundations of the majority of its buildings date from the Inca era, when it was a strategic military, religious, and agricultural center. Lunch at a nearby inn. Visit Pisac, a lively and colorful Indian market where locals sell or exchange their products, as the ancestors did hundreds years ago. Overnight at selected hotel in the Sacred Valley. Breakfast & lunch.
Day 10 Sacred Valley of the Incas - Macchu Picchu
Transfer to Ollanta train station to board the Orient Express rail coach for a one and a half hour train ride to Machu Picchu, discovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. Then make the 25-minute motor coach ascent to "The Lost City of the Incas." This citadel is considered one of the most extraordinary examples of landscape architecture in the world. It straddles a mountain ridge surrounded by lush tropical forest. The guided tour of this fascinating place is an awe-inspiring experience. Visit the Main Square, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Towers, the Sacred Sun Dial and Burial Grounds. Overnight at selected hotel in Aguas Calientes town. Breakfast, lunch.
Day 11 Machu Picchu - Cusco
Morning at leisure. (No guide is included this day). Early rise is recommended to admire Machu Picchu at sunrise, a truly mystical experience. For the hiking enthusiasts, going up the Huayna Picchu peak overlooking the site is suggested. Afternoon Vistadome rail coach service to Cusco. Upon arrival, transfer to the selected hotel. Breakfast.
Day 12 Cusco - Lima
Transfer to Cusco airport, assistance on departure flight. Breakfast
AVAILABILITY: All Year
DURATION: 4 Days 3 Night
Transfers in/out airports, piers, train or bus stations and hotels. Porterage at airport, pier, station and hotel on transfers. Entrance fees on sightseeing tours, Cusco Tourist Tax. Official Spanish/ English speaking guide on all tours. Twin or double room in the hotel you select (assumes 2 people) although if unavailable specific properties may be replaced by others of same quality. Meals as per itinerary. Hotel taxes.
Domestic air fares. Lima-->Arequipa--->Juliaca / Cusco--->Lima. International (US$30.25) and domestic ($6.05) airport departure taxes. Meals not mentioned in the itinerary . Personal expenses (laundry, beverages, communications, etc).
WHAT TO BRING
- Sleeping bag 4 season suitable for temperatures down to -5C (can be hired from our office for US$12 for the 3 day trek)
- Sleeping mattress (we will provide you with this)
- Rain jacket or poncho (plastic ponchos can be purchased in Cusco for a few dollars)
- Strong, comfortable footwear
- Sweater and jacket (something warm)
- Water bottle, ideally non disposable canteen
- Torch / Flashlight and batteries
- Hat or cap to protect you from the sun
- Sun block (sun protection cream)
- Insect repellent
- Toiletries, towel and toilet paper
- Selection of small snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, biscuits, energy bars etc,
- Camera, plenty of film and spare batteries, cash in soles and US$
- Swimsuit (if you plan on visiting the hot springs at Aguas Calientes after the trek)
- Optional: walking Poles /sticks (rubber covers necessary)
- You also need to bring your original passport on the trail.
MACHU PICCHU BY TRAIN
Machu Picchu full day
Machu Picchu 2 days
Wonderful Cusco 7 days
Salkantay 5 days
Salkantay 4 days
Inca Jungle 4 days
Lares Trek 4 days
Choquequirao 4 days
Ausangate Trek 5 days
Huchuy Qosqo 3 days
CLASSIC INCA TRAILS
Inca Trail 4 days
Inca Trail 2 days
Inca Trail 5 days
Paracas National reserve full day
Huacachica - Sandboarding full day
Paracas - Ica and Nazca 2 days
Ecomagic 3 days
Ecoadventure 4 days
Ecoparadise 5 days
MANU NATIONAL PARK
Manu Cultural Zone 4 days
Calle San Juan 264-near to Main Square,Cusco- Peru
OFFICE PHONE -