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Peru: An Intense Discovery - 12 DAYS/11-NIGHTS

The history of Peru is vast and ancient, making it one of the most amazing destinations in the whole continent with a history of over ten thousand years that has made Peru a country rich in cultural heritage, traditions and mysticism.

The Inca Empire was so large that it reached the current countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, and had Cuzco (meaning “navel of the world” in Quechua) as its capital city. The Empire came to an end with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in 1532, who established the vice royalty of Peru, lasting for almost 300 years until 1821 when Peru got its independence, giving birth to the Republican era.

Nowadays, Peru shares with the world its magic, from the lost city of Machu Picchu – one of the Seven New Wonders of the World – to the floating islands of Uros in Lake Titicaca to the thick green jungles of the Amazon. Peru is a land of mystery and constant discovery, with countless archaeological sites, its enigmatic Nazca Lines which can only be seen from the sky, and the most varied and unforgettable landscapes. Peru is one of the 12 mega-diverse countries in the world; its changing geography, from the desert coast to the jungle, crossing the incredible Andes, shows amazing sceneries that host a large variety of wildlife.

Lovers of the outdoors will find much to love about Peru: white capped mountains, dense rainforests, the deepest canyons and a number of pristine, well-kept national parks. Lovers of culture will likewise find themselves right at home because of the well known hospitality of the people and unique museums, historical sites, ancient ruins and fine restaurants that can be found all over Peru.

Peru is a country full of color and mixture of cultures in which history and modernity coexist in total harmony in its architecture, cuisine, arts but most importantly, in its people who keep traditions alive.

Meet the people, experience the adventure, live the traditions, delight your palate, encounter the past, embrace nature, feel the mystery… Discover the intensity of Peru.

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Departures

Daily departures with a minimum of 2 clients, subject to availability


Itinerary

Day 01 - Arrival Lima

Transfer Airport / Hotel (shared)
Upon arrival into Lima International Airport, you will be met by our representative and private driver and will be transferred to the selected hotel. Our representative will assist you with check-in procedures and provide you with a detailed itinerary, vouchers covering all the services included in your tour and additional information on the organization of your Peru trip. You will also receive a contact information sheet with all the hotel details as well as our offices contact information for each city and a 24-hour emergency number. Overnight in Lima

Day 02 - Lima

AM: Half day Colonial & Modern Lima (shared)
Enjoy a half day guided sightseeing tour to the most attractive and important sites in Lima, the "City of Kings". The tour includes Lima's Historical Center, passing by Plaza San Martin, Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral and its Religious Art Museum. Finally visit the residential Districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, passing by the Huaca Pucllana, a Ceremonial and Administrative Centre of the Lima Culture built in the II Century A.C. that the Incas considered as "Ñaupallaqta" or Sacred Town.

Also pass by El Olivar Park with olive trees brought from Spain in the XVth Century, the Central Park of Miraflores and Larcomar, a symbol of modern Lima and a tourist and entertainment centre as well as a privileged site to enjoy an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. After the tour, return to your hotel. Overnight in Lima
Included Meals: B

Day 03 – Lima / Arequipa

Transfer Hotel / Airport (shared)
At the appropriate time, transfer to the Lima airport to board your flight to the city of Arequipa.

Transfer Airport / Hotel (shared)
Upon your arrival to Arequipa's airport you will be met by our representative who will assist you with your luggage and drive you to the hotel for proper check-in. The rest of the morning is at leisure to relax and avoid altitude sickness.

PM: City tour Arequipa plus Santa Catalina Convent (shared)
Today a tour of the City, including the Main Square, one of the most beautiful squares in Peru, and the Cathedral, a prime example of XIXth Century Peruvian Architecture. You will also visit La Compañia Church, an ancient Jesuit temple, maybe the most important one in Arequipa due to its history and tradition.

Then, visit the Santa Catalina Convent a "Small Town" built in the XVIIth Century and opened to the public in 1970, after 400 years as a cloister.

It is a fascinating colonial religious complex, perfectly preserved for four centuries, where you will go back in time as you enter the cloister and see the numerous, spacious patios and gardens, the kitchen and slave quarters and stone washtubs. About 20 nuns, of what were once 500, still live in a section of this Convent. Return to you hotel. Overnight in Arequipa.
Included Meals: B

Day 04 – Arequipa / Colca Canyon

2 day /1 night program Arequipa / Colca / Puno incl. lunch & en route stops (shared)

Shared van & guide Arequipa/Colca including stops on route with Lunch (Shared)
Early in the morning, depart on a wonderful four-hour journey to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world (3,400 meters above sea level). On the trip, we drive across Pampa Cañahuas in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, inhabited by herds of Vicuñas and Alpacas (South American camels), and from where you will see the other faces of Arequipa’s volcanoes Misti and Chachani. Drive across various lakes, beautiful landscapes, related to this ecosystem. A gratifying stop will make you taste a “Coca Tea” in a rustic restaurant on the road. As we continue, reach the highest point of the journey, to observe many volcanoes which are the source of the Amazon River. On your arrival to Chivay town, lunch is included. If energy is still good, you might take a short walk around the town before being transferred to your hotel.
Overnight in the Colca Valley.
Included Meals: B

Day 05 – Colca Canyon / Puno

AM: Visit the Condor Cross including en route stops (Shared)
Very early in the morning, you will be driven to the observation point “Cruz del Condor”. While this is not the deepest point of the Colca Canyon, from “Cruz del Condor” you can appreciate the grandeur of the canyon and with a bit of luck, you might spot Andean condors, the largest flying bird in the world, soaring across the high plain.

On the way back, visit traditional villages with ancient terraces constructed by the Collaguas, a pre-Inka culture. As you continue the route, stroll around the towns of Maca at the base of the volcano Sabancaya and then Yanque. The church of Yanque, with its baroque façade, is a testimony to the cultural symbiosis in the colonial era.

Transfer back to Chivay town for lunch. On the journey back to Arequipa, pass through lookouts and villages, driving across Pampa Cañahuas in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, inhabited by herds of Vicuñas and Alpacas (South American camelids). Lunch in Chivay is included.

PM: transfer Colca / Puno with guide
After lunch, continue the journey from the Colca Valley heading southeast towards Lake Titicaca, approximately travelling a total of 8 hours (332 kms / 221.33 miles); most of the route is paved. Beautiful landscapes along the way, corresponding to high altitude ecosystems, approximately one hour before reaching Puno. Puno sits on the banks of Lake Titicaca – the highest navigable lake in the world. This region is the birthplace of Inca Mythology; according to the legend, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo emerged from the sacred Lake Titicaca to found the Inca Empire and give birth to Inca civilization. Upon arrival in Puno, transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Puno – Lake Titicaca.
Included Meals: BL

Day 06 – Puno

Full day Uros & Taquile Islands including lunch (shared)
Early in the morning, you will have an unforgettable motorboat excursion on the waters of Lake Titicaca to the unique "Floating Islands" of the Uros.

These ancient inhabitants of the lake known as the Water Tribe have built their own islands by periodically adding new layers of a vegetable fiber of the Papyrus family called "Totora" (scientific Scirpus totora), which is unique to the area.

We continue our motorboat trip to Taquile Island, inhabited by Quechua-speaking natives who have developed efficient and unique social systems, as well as fine hand weaving techniques, passed down through the generations.

Upon arrival at the Town of Taquile you will have lunch at one of the local homes served by the owners, designated by the local authorities as they are a very well organized town so all their inhabitants may have equal opportunities with their visitors.

After lunch, take a walk through the various hills and archaeological sites of this 6 km long Island. Return to your hotel in Puno after the visit. Overnight in Puno – Lake Titicaca.
Included Meals: BL

Day 07 - Puno / Cusco

Bus Puno / Cusco including en route stops and lunch (shared)
Early departure to the City of Cusco at 3400 m.a.s.l. accompanied by our representative and private driver. Travel along the High Plateau of the Collao, stopping at the Town of Ayaviri, an important livestock and textile centre, to visit the impressive Temple of Kalasasaya, remnants of the ancient Pucara Culture.

Continue passing through Abra La Raya where you will be able to see herds of vicuñas and llamas. Buffet lunch will be served in Sicuani at a quiet countryside restaurant, where you will enjoy the delightful culinary art of the region.

After lunch on the way to Cusco, stop in Raqchi, where you will be able to see a spectacular Inca Sanctuary built by the Inca Pachacutec and dedicated to the great Inca God of Wiracocha; it has a great central wall with a stone base of fine Inca architecture, other walls made of giant adobe bricks and the structure also has two circular lateral columns; around the Temple are several buildings once used for housing and storage.

Then continue to the beautiful Town of Andahuaylillas, and visit the Church of San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, better known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas, due to its decorated polychrome ceiling. En route to Andahuaylillas you will pass by the lovely Wacarpay Lake, offering spectacular views of the mountains reflected in its calm waters.

Continue the journey to Cusco, arriving in the afternoon; upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Cusco
Included Meals: BL

Day 08 - Cusco

AM: At leisure
Morning at leisure to explore the city on your own, for personal activities or for shopping. Overnight in Cusco


PM: Half day City tour Cusco & surrounding ruins (shared)
Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of the city of Cusco, the Imperial City and Archaeological capital of South America, where you will be able to admire the finest examples of Inca history and architecture. Visit the city's most important historical monuments that reveal the influence of different cultures: the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral dating from Spanish viceroyalty times, built with great slabs of red granite renaissance style in contrast with the baroque style silverwork of its interior and, the Santo Domingo church built upon the foundations of the Inca temple Koricancha, dedicated to worship the Sun God.

Continue to Cusco City’s main surrounding ruins: the Sacsayhuaman Fortress - a ceremonial compound and magnificent example of Inca military power that boasts a panoramic view of the city, the Qenqo Amphitheater - a ritualistic site with subterranean galleries that form an underground maze, Puca Pucara or red fortress and, the Inca Baths of Tambomachay. After the tour you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Cusco
Included Meals: B

Day 09 - Cusco / Sacred Valley

Full day excursion to Pisac Market & Ollantaytambo Fortress (shared)
Today you will head to the town of Pisac, famous for its ruins but even more so for its market. Originally held only on Sundays, the Pisac Market was the place of reunion for all artisans of the region to get together and exchange or buy and sell their products.

During the XXth century, due to the increase of tourism in the area it became increasingly popular to the point that now it is held daily. It is a favorite destination for visitors from all over the world who don’t want to miss the opportunity of enjoying the colorful ambience in this marketplace. This is an excellent chance to share the peasants’ customs closely with plenty of time to explore and even barter all the goods and crafts typical of the areas around Cusco. Leisurely roam through the textiles and souvenir sections of the market.

Lunch will be served at a local countryside restaurant (meal is not included).

Continue through the Sacred Valley for a visit to the Inca fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo. This site was built just as the Spaniards arrived and evidence of how it was constructed is still visible. This fortress was believed to be constructed in order to guard the entrance to this part of the valley and protect it from possible invasions of tribes from the jungle lowlands. Later it served as a temporary capital for Manco Inca, leader of the Inca resistance in 1537 during the Spanish conquest of Perú, who fortified the town to stop the advance, as Cusco had fallen under Spanish domination.

Ollantaytambo also features the vestiges of the town built by orders of Inca Pachacutec and thought to be not only a strategic military place to control the Sacred Valley of the Incas, but also for agricultural and religious purposes. Additionally, this place is a ceremonial center dedicated to the purification and worship of water with 150 steps built with perfectly carved stones, very similar to those of Tipon.

The archaeological site includes a series of superimposed terraces and stunning finely carved stone blocks located on the upper terrace or Temple of the Sun. The main settlement has an orthogonal layout with four streets crossed by other seven parallel streets and at the center the Incas built a large plaza about the size of four blocks.

The town of Ollantaytambo is referred to as a "Live Inca Town" because inhabitants still live according to customs and traditions inherited from their ancestors. Take a journey in time through its straight streets with perfectly laid stones that feature a canal for water to run through the town. After the tour you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in the Sacred Valley.
Included Meals: B

Day 10 – Sacred Valley / Machu Picchu / Cusco

Full day excursion to Machu Picchu via roundtrip Expedition train (shared)
Morning transfer to the train station for an amazing train journey to the famous Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, the great mountain-top city abandoned by the Inca Empire, reclaimed by the jungle and lost to humanity until its rediscovery in 1911. The legendary 'Lost City' is without a doubt one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites. Built by the Incas on the summit of "Machu Picchu" (old peak), overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba river in a semi-tropical area of 120 Kms (75 miles) from the city of Cusco at 3,400 m.a.s.l (11,155 f.a.s.l).

It sits on a mountain site of extraordinary beauty, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest; Machu Picchu was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height, with its giant walls, terraces and ramps, which appear as though they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments.

Machu Picchu is also one of the Inca's best kept secrets, as they did not leave written records and Spanish chronicles make no mention of the citadel, it remains a mystery.

Along the way you will enjoy the changing landscape as you travel from Andean highlands to the beginnings of the jungle (“eyebrow of the jungle”), before finally arriving at the town of Aguas Calientes.

From here, board the bus that will take you on a 20 minute ride up to the citadel of Machu Picchu.

A guided tour of the Citadel includes the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and various burial grounds.

Lunch will be on your own.

In the afternoon, return to Cusco by bus and train combination, and upon arrival at the train station you will be met by our representative for your transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Cusco.
Included Meals: B

Day 11 – Cusco

Day at leisure
A day at leisure to explore the city on your own and enjoy the many excellent cafés, bars and innovative restaurants in Cusco. Overnight in Cusco.
Included Meals: B

Day 12 – Depart Cusco

Transfer Hotel / Airport (shared)
At the appropriate time, transfer to Cusco Airport to board your onward flight.
Included Meals: B


Dates & Pricing

Travel Dates Per Person Sharing Twin
(from)
Single Room Supplement
(from)
Local Fee

Price varies by season. Contact us with your specific travel date. Please inquire for details.


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Departures

Daily departures with a minimum of 2 clients, subject to availability


Accommodations


Allpa Hotel

Casa Andina Classic Arequipa

Casa Andina Classic Colca

Casa Andina Classic Tikarani

San Agustin International

Inkallpa

Included

• Shared services with local English / Spanish speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary unless specified otherwise
• All entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
• Meals: As indicated in the itinerary
• 01 Roundtrip train ticket to Machu Picchu via Expedition coach or similar per person
• 01 Entrance ticket to Machu Picchu per person
• 01 Roundtrip bus ticket to Machu Picchu per person
• 11 nights’ hotel accommodation
• All tips (except hotel staff & guides); additional tips are optional and voluntary. However, the following amounts may be uses as guidelines:
• Guide/transferman: USD 5.00 per guest per day
• Driver: USD 2.00 per guest per day
• Restaurant Tips: 10% of the total check
• Permanent assistance during the trip

Not Included

• International and domestic airfares
• Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
• Early check-in, late check-out, services and non-mentioned meals in the itinerary
• Personal expenses
• Tips for hotel staff & guides
• Local taxes (18% V.A.T. tax s applicable only to Peruvian and foreign residents of Peru; in order to be exempted you will need to show your passport)
• Health and travel insurances



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