DAY 1: INTERNATIONAL ARRIVAL IN LIMA
Assistance at your arrival to Lima International Airport and transfer to your hotel. There you will receive a briefing on your tour; receive vouchers covering all the services included in your tour and additional information on the organization of your Peru trip.
Guided sightseeing tour to the most attractive and important sites in Lima, the "City of Kings". The tour includes Lima's Historical Centre, passing by Plaza San Martin, Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral and its Religious Art Museum, the Church of Santo Domingo and Lima's Colonial Balconies.
We will visit the Convent and Church of San Francisco, the greatest monumental complex of Colonial Art in America and Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The tour includes a visit to the Basilica of 21 altars, Convent of Cloisters, Capitulary and Clementine Rooms, Chorus and Library of the monks, a Museum showing 11 paintings of the Rubens School, the Sacristy with paintings of Surbaran and Ribera. Its great patio decorated with Seville tiles of the XVI Century, Moorish arches and underground Catacombs.
And finally we will go to the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, passing by the Huaca Pucllana, a deremonial and administrative centre of the Lima Culture built in the II century A.C. that the Incas considered as "Ñaupallaqta" or Sacred Town. We will also visit El Olivar Park with olive trees brought from Spain in the XV 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.
Transfer to the airport to take the flight with destiny to Arequipa City.
Upon arrival, reception, assistance and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, we start a three hour sightseeing tour including Santa Catalina Convent, the Plaza de Armas, the Jesuit Church of La Compañía and its beautifully painted Chapel, the Church of San Francisco, the San Lazaro District, Selva Alegre and the typical districts of Cayma and Yanahuara for a magnificent view of the Misti Volcano.
Early in the morning, after breakfast, departure by land on your excursion towards the Colca Valley driving across Pampa Cañahuas at the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, habitat of herds of Vicuñas and stopping at the Mirador de los Andes, the Crater of Chucura, the Mirador de Chivay, where beautiful pre-Columbian terraces still being cultivated by native Collaguas can be observed. The highest point of the road is at 4350 m.a.s.l. Arrival to the Town of Chivay at 13:00hrs. approx. Transfer to your selected Lodge. Box lunch.
In the afternoon free time to visit Hot Spring Thermal and Medicinal Baths.
Early in the morning departure to the "Condor's Cross" from where the great Andean bird, the Condor, may be spotted flying in circles above still farmed green pre-Hispanic terraces. Enjoy the impressive panorama of the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest in the World (3,180 mts.).
On the way back to Chivay, visit to the Mirador of Chinina, where we will find the famous Hanging Tombs and the Hanging Bridge of Sifón that joins the Town of Yanque with Coporaque. At the Town of Yanque, visit its beautiful church and its characteristic cobbled stone streets among other attractions. To have spectacular views of the Colca Valley, we will drive to the observation points of Choquetipo and Artahuilque and also to the Town of Maca.
After lunch at a local restaurant, return to the City of Arequipa, arriving at 18:00hrs. approx. Overnight at selected hotel.
DAY 6: AREQUIPA / FLIGHT TO CUSCO
Morning or afternoon transfer to the airport to take the flight with destiny to Cusco City. Assistance at your arrival and transfer to your hotel. Rest and adapt to altitude.
We leave Cusco very early in the morning for a bus excursion to the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Visit to the picturesque Indian Pisac Market held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, the shopping paradise of the Andes where barter is still practiced. Enjoy the unique atmosphere during a typical lunch.
In the afternoon, passing through the Towns of Calca and Urubamba, we visit the Inca Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo, built to guard the entrance to this part of the Valley, and protect it from possible invasion from the tribes in the Lower jungle. You can walk through the quaint streets of the nearby Town, and get a good idea of what this Strategic Military, Religious, and Agricultural Centre was like during the era of the Inca Empire.
On our way back to Cusco we stop of at the picturesque Andean village of Chinchero to visit the ruins of the Royal Hacienda of Tupac Inca Yupanqui. We will admire a well-preserved Inca Wall in the Main Square, and visit the beautiful Colonial temple built on Inca foundations, with interesting frescoes in the portico. Late afternoon return to your selected hotel in Cusco for overnight. (Optional overnight in the Sacred Valley)
Evening free. We suggest strolling around the Main Square and enjoy the night atmosphere trying a delicious Pisco Sour in some of the many pubs around the Square.
Note: The visit to the village of Chinchero depends on the time available.
The day starts with an early morning rise to transfer to Cusco train station for a 4-hour train journey to the famous Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, also known as "The Lost City of the Incas". Arrive at Aguas Calientes station followed by a 30-minute bus drive, climbing 6km of winding road, to the incredible Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, we'll participate in a guided tour of the Citadel, visiting the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and various burial grounds. After the tour you will have time to stroll around the archeological site at your leisure. Lunch at a local restaurant in Aguas Calientes, also known as “Machu Picchu Town”. Overnight at Hotel in Aguas Calientes.
Excellent opportunity to wake up early and enjoy with a beautiful sunrise as well as stroll by the Town of Aguas Calientes and visit its Hot Springs Thermal waters. Then, you will have time to perform some of the following activities, not included in the overall tour price : visit to the Citadel of Machu Picchu for the second time or go up the Huayna Picchu.
For the most adventurous people, we suggest to go up the Huayna Picchu (if it is not raining) from where you can appreciate the immensity of Machu Picchu, even more amazing being high and distant. Arriving at the top takes about two hours and a half and it must be before 13:00 hours. It is necessary to register in a office at the beginning of the trail. An exciting adventure for the travellers who want to see, from the top, the nature and the carved stone emerging from the ground as a geological miracle .
Return train leaves Aguas Calientes in the afternoon, arrival in Cusco at 8:00PM.
Open morning. In the afternoon, we will visit the City of Cusco on a guided sightseeing tour visiting the Main Square, the Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun or Korikancha. Then, we drive out of the City to visit the Inca sites of Kenko, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara and the impressive Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, strategically built on a hill overlooking Cusco, famous for its enormous carved stones, some of them standing over 9 m / 30 ft high and weighing over 350 tons.
>>> THIS TRIP CAN BE REPLACED WITH A 45-MINUTE FLIGHT TO PUNO IF NEEDED.
DAY 12: TITICACA LAKE, FLOATING ISLANDS OF THE UROS AND TAQUILE ISLAND
Early in the morning, we 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 type of reed called "totora" (Scirpus totora), vegetable fibre of the Papyrus family. Their homes and boats are also made from this material.
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, kept alive down through generations.
It is necessary to go up a stairway of more than 567 steps stone that wind their way among green platforms - to arrive at the Town of Taquile where we will have a break to eat. After lunch in a local Taquile Inn, we have a walk through the various hills and archaeological sites of this 6 km long Island. In the afternoon, return to Puno. Evening free. Overnight at selected Hotel in Puno.
DAY 13: PUNO AND RETURN FLIGHT TO LIMA
Open morning in Puno. Transfer to Juliaca airport to take your afternoon flight back to Lima. Transfer to your hotel.
DAY 14: RETURN FLIGHT BACK HOME
Transfer to the airport and return flight back home.