Contrasts of Peru
13 NIGHTS GUIDE PRICE £5,200
During this journey around Peru, you will experience so many different elements in addition to the ancient Citadel of Machu Picchu – from Colonial cities to the Sacred Valley whilst also visiting the rural communities of Lake Titicaca and marvelling at the Colca Canyon, it will be quite an adventure!
Guide Price & Inclusions
2 nights Lima, 2 Arequipa, 3 Colca / Lake Titicaca, 3 Sacred Valley, 1 Machu Picchu, 2 Cusco £5,200 per adult and teen sharing. Prices for children under 12 on request.
Rates subject to travel dates and accommodation selection.
If you are seeking a wildlife experience to combine in your stay, why not head to the Peruvian Amazon? Or if you don’t have time to make it to Ecuador, why not visit the Ballestas Islands, known as the mini-Galapagos due the nature that can be found here. South of Lima leads you to Nazca famous for the ‘lines’ seen from the air.
Best Time to Travel
The best time to visit Peru is during the dry season, between May and October, when you should be able to expect blue skies but possibly chilly nights in the Andes. Do book early as it’s very popular as a result.
Tips for Families
A minimum age of 12 is generally considered old enough to trek the Inca Trail – choose the mini Inca, the final 9 miles walk from the Urubamba River to Machu Picchu.
- Experience the beauty of the fertile Sacred Valley
- Trek or train up to the famous citadel of Machu Picchu
- Learn about the traditions of local people near Lake Titicaca
- Spot flamingos and condors near the Colca Canyon, twice as deep as the Grand Canyon!
- Visit the famous Santa Catalina Convent in Arequipa
- Considering extending to include the Peruvian Amazon, a haven for birdlife and other animal
Day 1 | Flight to Lima
Today take your overnight flight to Lima via the USA or Europe (day time flights are available should you prefer)
Day 2 | Arrival
On arrival in to Lima, take a transfer to your hotel and relax!
Day 3 | EXPLORE LIMA
On your tour today explore some of the most historically important streets of Lima, a UNESCO cultural heritage site, including the Plaza de Armas and Casa de Aliaga.
Day 4 | TRAVEL TO AREQUIPA
Take your transfer back to the airport and connect on to your flight to Arequipa. On arrival head out on a half day tour, visiting to the districts of Carmen Alto and Yanahuara, where you’ll be rewarded by panoramic views of the Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu volcanoes, as well as the city. Then make your way to the Historic Center pausing at the Plaza de Armasnand visit the Cloisters of La Compañía de Jesús with its impressive construction and the polychrome Chapel of San Ignacio. Finally, explore the Monastery of Santa Catalina, founded in 1580, a cluster of cloisters, picturesque streets, and squares.
Day 5 | EXPLORE AREQUIPA
Today discover why Arequipa is famously nicknamed “The White City”, firstly visiting the lively Main Square, stunning Cathedral and Tristan del Pozo house. You’ll then head towards the outskirts of the city to visit the quarries which provide the material used for the construction of Arequipa’s iconic buildings. During the visit you’ll be able to see how a stonemason crafts blocks of ashlar from the impressive volcanic tuff and you can even have a try with a typical mallet and chisel. You’ll also get the chance to see the stunning mega carving of the facade of the Jesuit Church of the Company.
Day 6 | JOURNEY TO COLCA
This morning the Valley beckons, a journey time of approximately 5 hours with stops along the way included. On the route you can see the area of Pampa Cañahuas, where you can photograph the South American camelids, llamas, alpacas and vicuñas in the Salinas and Aguada Blanca Reserve. Pass by a small restaurant to have an infusion of coca and appreciate the rock formations, before continuing to Chivay (the capital of the province of Caylloma) and finding your lunch spot. In the afternoon enjoy a relaxing bath in the thermal waters of La Calera (optional) or relax at the hotel.
Day 7 | CONDOR AND FLAMINGO SPOTTING AND TRAVEL ON TO PUNO
After breakfast, visit the Mirador de la Cruz del Cóndor, where (weather permitting) you’ll walk along the edge of the canyon for about 40 minutes to enjoy panoramic views and the opportunity to see the largest bird on the planet in flight. Pass through the neighboring town of Maca to appreciate its church and local crafts and Patapampa for stunning views of the Chila and Ampato volcano ranges (the highest point is 4,910 meters above sea level). Finally you’ll have the chance to stop in Lagunillas for lunch whilst marvelling at the flamingos before continuing to the hotel arriving early evening.
Day 8 | EXPLORE THE ISLANDS OF UROS ON LAKE TITICACA
This morning set off for the floating islands of the Uros, about 30 minutes from Puno by motorboat. Ethnic groups first came here 3,700 years ago according to National Geographic and survived thanks to their ability to live among the cattails – today approximately 2,000 inhabitants live on about 100 islands. During the tour we visit two islands, where you will be shown how the islands were built and gain insights into daily life including visiting a local house and the chance to see their craftsmanship characterized by embroidery and basketry based on totora and even experience a ride on a traditional raft with the snowy peaks of the Illimani mountain range as a backdrop. Lunch is shared with the villagers accompanied by dances and native music before returning to Puno.
Day 9 | Travel to Cusco
Today journey to Cusco – along the way, you’ll be able to appreciate the eye-catching landscapes of the area. On arrival at the village of Quea, about four hours from Puno, you will begin a 2.5km trek on the Great Inca Trail. Members of the Inka Roots Experiential Tourism Association will be our local guides, and they will share some of their traditions and local legends with us as you walk along this ancient road. In Raqchi, you’ll be able to explore the imposing temple of Wiracocha, dedicated to the supreme Inca deity of the same name, and enjoy a tasty lunch prepared by experienced local cooks. After lunch, you’ll walk for another 20 minutes along the Qhapac Ñan until we reach Chaskiwasi, where your private transport will be waiting to take you to the city of Cusco.
Day 10 | Sacred Valley
Today head to the Raqchi viewpoint, from where you will have an impressive view of the Sacred Valley. Then, you will visit the Misminay community, where the residents will give you a warm welcome with music and traditional dances. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious lunch prepared with local produce before taking part in another activity with the people of Misminay and then returning to the hotel.
Day 11 | SHORT INCA TRAIL
You will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Ollantaytambo train station, where you’ll take the train to Km 104. There you’ll begin the first part of your trek, enjoying the outstanding landscapes of the Sacred Valley on your way to the ruins of Wiñay Wayna. When you arrive, you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty of this archaeological complex, with its impressive agricultural terraces. You will have time to rest and enjoy a re-energizing lunch, before returning to the trail, hiking through highland jungle scenery towards the Inti Punku or Sun Gate, which announces arrival at Machu Picchu. And from here you’ll be able to see the famous Inca sanctuary from a truly unique angle: a fitting reward at the end of the hike.
You will then walk down to the complex itself and board the bus that will take you to the town of Aguas Calientes (the town at the foot of Machu Picchu), where you can make yourself comfortable in your selected hotel, and rest for the afternoon.
Day 12 | MACHU PICCHU
Machu Picchu needs no explanation; it’s one of the world’s most famous historical sites, located in one of the most amazing locations of the equally amazing Andean mountains. Even if you’ve seen a million pictures, they won’t compare to the experience of actually standing in this remarkable Inca sanctuary. After an energizing breakfast, board a bus for the short journey up to Machu Picchu and the start of your guided tour. This is one the Seven Wonders of the World, a truly unforgettable sight, and once inside your guide will tell you about the history, organization and mysteries of this unique Inca complex. We’ll explore the area with its amazing ruins and terraces – an incredible example of Inca engineering skills – together with its photogenic alpacas, all of this against at the stunning backdrop of Huayna Picchu Mountain.
In the afternoon, you will take the Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo station. Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Day 13 | CUSCO TOUR
This fascinating Tour of Cusco, the ‘Imperial City of the Incas’, will give you insights into its’ history, the daily life of its people and its importance for the Andean region. Begin at the city’s iconic local market where you’ll have the chance to explore the colors, flavors and traditions of a modern and at the same time traditional Cusco. Then continue to the Koricancha, also known as the golden temple – the most important temple in the Inca Empire and center of worship of Inti, the Sun God. Although the Spanish Dominican order built a church on top, the foundations and stonework are still visible. Leaving this Inca temple, continue to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman. Built with massive blocks of stone, this imposing example of Inca military architecture is located on the outskirts of the city. From here continue on foot along picturesque cobble-stoned streets, passing through the famous artisan neighborhood of San Blas on your way down to the Plaza de Armas (main square), where you’ll find the impressive Cathedral.
Day 14 | DEPART
Today it’s time to bid farewell to Peru – take your flight to Lima connecting onwards to your home destination
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