11 Days Diverse Peru

 
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Condor flying through canyon

Condor flying through Colca Canyon

An adventure that includes one of South America’s best luxury train rides. Explore the unique sites in Arequipa and the Colca Canyon as well as fascinating Inca ruins in region of Cusco including Machu Picchu, Cusco and the Sacred Valley before traveling south to Lake Titicaca where time has stood still for hundreds of years. Featuring all the finest hotels and services. This comprehensive tour leaves nothing behind!

This special tour starts in the “White City” of Arequipa.  A UNESCOWorld Heritage Site, its historic heritage, natural scenery and cultural sites make the city a major tourist destination. Its religious, colonial, and republican architectural styles blend European and native characteristics into a unique style called “Escuela Arequipeña” – almost making you feel like you are in Europe!

One of the deepest canyons in the world, the Colca Canyon, which is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, is our next stop. The Colca Valley is a colorful Andean valley with pre-Inca roots, and towns founded in Spanish colonial times, still inhabited by people of the Collagua and the Cabana cultures. Here, the local people maintain their ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces. For us, it will be a great place to see the famed Condors of Peru.

In Andean belief, Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun.This largest lake in South America and the highest navigable body of water in the world is our next stop. Banner blue skies contrast with bitterly cold nights. Enthralling and in many ways singular, the shimmering deep blue Lake Titicaca is the longtime home of highland cultures steeped in the old ways.

Pre-Inca Pukara, Tiwanaku and Collas all left a mark on the landscape. Today the region is a mix of crumbling cathedrals, desolate altiplano and checkerboard fields backed by rolling hills and high Andean peaks. In this world, crops are still planted and harvested by hand. Campesinos (peasants) wear sandals recycled from truck tires, women work in petticoats and bowler hats, and llamas are tame as pets. We will take a fantastic boat ride to see the floating islands of Uros. These 80+ islands are made from reeds by the people who live on them! We will see a demonstration of how they are made and take a ride in a boat made from roads. Then it’s off to Takile Island for a locally caught trout meal, then back to our hotel in Puno.

Our journey takes us through several sacred sites on the way back to Cusco – the navel of the Incan empire.

Later on, we will have a chance to visit a very special ruin site in Ollantaytambo, and see the many temples of pink granite stone and the famous Princess’ Bath. After this, take some time to explore the spaces of Ollantaytambo on your own – the last living Incan city!

At Machu Picchu, Our amazing tour guides will lead you throughout the ancient city, wonder by wonder – special for your own private group! You will learn about ceremonies, how people lived, and how they connected with the Pacha Mama – or “Mother Earth”. Our local guide will give you inside information passed down so that you will get the real story of what happened here. After that you will have plenty of time on your own to explore and enjoy Machu Picchu, and discover the wonders of the ancient city yourself!

An added stop is in the colorful town of Chinchero – where the first Roman Catholic church was built by the Spanish before they conquered Cusco. Inhabited by local artisans, Chinchero is famous for the intricate, traditional textiles made by local women in the ancient way. We will see a demonstration of how alpaca yarn is spun, dyed, and finally – woven by the women into unique that are also for sale in their shops.

 

We will also have the opportunity to take part in a fully personalized city tour of Cuzco – the capital of the region. We will visit the famous local market of San Pedro. There is a huge diversity of products available. We will see the 12 square stones at Inca Roca Palace in Cusco. We will also visit the Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun. We will even have the change to enter Sacsayhuaman Temple, Tambomachay and Qenqo – famous sites around Cusco. Within Saqsayhuaman, our guide may even have a special surprise for waiting for us….

 
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Short Itinerary

  • DAY 1: ARRIVE IN LIMA – AREQUIPA
  • DAY 2: AREQUIPA TO COLCA CANYON
  • DAY 3: COLCA CANYON TO THE CONDOR’S CROSS – PUNO CITY
  • DAY 4: FLOATING ISLAND LAKE TITICACA
  • DAY 5: LAKE TITICACA – CUSCO THE INCA CAPITAL CITY.
  • DAY 6: FAMOUS PISAQ MARKET AND MORAY- SALT MAINS – OLLANTAYTAMBO
  • DAY 7: OLLANTAYTAMBO ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE
  • DAY 8: OLLANTAYTAMBO – AGUAS CALIENTES – MANDOR WATERFALLS
  • DAY 9: MACHU PICCHU RUINS FULL DAY
  • DAY 10: MACHUPICCHU TO CHINCHEROS – CUSCO
  • DAY 11: CUSCO CITY TOUR – FLY BACK TO LIMA – HOME

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DAY 1 ARRIVE IN LIMA – Arequipa

Pick up from airport and transfer to hotel in Lima or fly straight to Arequipa to the Hotel. We recommend that you fly direct to Arequipa if possible so as to save time.

DAY 2 AREQUIPA TO COLCA CANYON

  • Pick up from hotel after breakfast at 12:00 p.m.
  • Exchange currency and learn about the day’s activities
  • Delicious lunch provided.
  • Visit the White City of Arequipa
  • Afternoon private bus to Colca Canyon to the town of Chivay and your hotel
  • Welcoming ceremony in the afternoon at the hotel with Guide.
  • Dinner on your own. Note: Arequipa is lower than Cusco at 2360 meters which is why we begin here to ease your acclimation to the altitude. For your convenience, we provide water and energy bars for daily consumption.

DAY 3 COLCA CANYON TO THE CONDOR’S CROSS – PUNO CITY

  • Breakfast at your hotel starting at 5:30 a.m.
  • Pick up from hotel after breakfast at 6:15 a.m.
  • Wake up earlier to go to the best point of the canyon, well-known as The Condor’s cross, and enjoy the 2nd deepest canyon in the world after one in Nepal. On the way back, visit the traditional towns of Pinchillo, Maca, and Yanque.
  • Lunch buffet in Chivay
  • Private transportation to your hotel in Puno (Approximately 5 hours).
  • Dinner on your own.

DAY 4 FLOATING ISLAND LAKE TITICACA

  • Breakfast at the hotel starting at 6:00 a.m.
  • Pick-up at 8:00 a.m. at the hotel for a boat ride to the floating islands and after ride in the type of reed boat the ancient people used, we will go to Takile Island to hike and see the beauty of the place. We will see many birds and native people in their colorful costumes on the way to the island.
  • Lunch of local trout on the island of Takile, which is famous for its food and weavings.
  • Back to Puno to the hotel
  • Dinner on your own

DAY 5 LAKE TITICACA – CUSCO THE INCA CAPITAL CITY.

  • Breakfast at the hotel starting at 6:00 a.m.
  • Pick-up at the hotel in Puno at approximately 8:00 a.m. And bus to Cusco (Approximately 8 hours) with interesting views and stops on various attractions on the way to the city of Cusco.
  • Visit the site of Racchi also known as the Temple of Wiracocha, the spiritual God of the Incas.
  • Buffet lunch provided
  • Stay in a nice hotel near the main square.
  • Dinner on your own.

DAY 6 FAMOUS PISAQ MARKET AND MORAY- SALT MAINS – OLLANTAYTAMBO

  • Breakfast starting at 6:00 a.m. with pick-up at 8:00 a.m.
  • Visit for 2 hours the very famous and wonderful Pisaq Market where native people sell their wares. It is very inexpensive and there are many different products available.
  • Local weavers sell their weavings including beautiful Alpaca garments.
  • Lunch with pleasant live music, after exploring the market
  • Continue back along the river to Moray and Salt mines at Maras, which are unique in the entire world ending back at our hotel in Ollantaytambo.
  • Dinner on your own

DAY 7 OLLANTAYTAMBO ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE.

  • Breakfast starting at 6:00 a.m.
  • Pickup at your hotel at 9:00.a.m. and walk to the archeological site in Ollantaytambo. Here we will visit the site for approximately 3 hrs. See the many temples of pink granite stone and the famous Princess’ Bath.
  • Lunch together at a restaurant in Ollantaytambo.
  • Spend the afternoon visiting the local market and take a walk through the town, which has been inhabited since Inca times. See how guinea pigs (cuy) are raised for food, special celebrations, and medicinal uses.
  • Dinner on your own at the hotel

DAY 8 OLLANTAYTAMBO – TO MACHU PICCHU TOWN & MANDOR WATERFALLS

  • After breakfast transfer to the train station and ride the train for 1 1/2 hours to Machu Picchu Town (Aguas Caliente)
  • Check into your hotel
  • Take a fascinating walk to the incredible Mandor Waterfalls
  • Return to Aguas Calientes to explore on your own and enjoy the thermal hot springs if you wish.
  • Dinner on your own.

DAY 9 MACHU PICCHU RUINS FULL DAY

  • Breakfast starting at 5:30 a.m.
  • Early bus to Machu Picchu leaving around 6:30 a.m. to avoid the crowds and see the sun illuminating the walls of this sacred and magical place.
  • Explore the ruins for about 4 hours or for those who choose, climb Huayna Picchu
  • We can do some meditation with music at this magical place of Machu Picchu if you wish.
  • Buffet lunch with a view of the Sacred Mountains.
  • After lunch you are free to experience by yourself or admire the beauty of this New Wonder of the World
  • Dinner on your own. Optional visit to the local hot springs after dinner

DAY 10 MACHUPICCHU TO CHINCHEROS – CUSCO

  • Breakfast at the hotel starting at 6:00 a.m.
  • Train back to Ollantaytambo
  • Our private transportation will start our journey back through the Sacred Valley, where we will stop for lunch.
  • Stop at Chincheros to witness  weaving demonstrations by the local women who specialize in the creation of alpaca textiles
  • Return to Cusco and enjoy a farewell dinner to remember your great experience.

Day 11 Cusco city tour – fly back to Lima – Home

  • Breakfast at the hotel starting at 6:00 a.m.
  • We will see the 12 square stones at Inca Roca Palace in Cusco. We will also visit the Temple of the Sun.
  • Visit Sacsayhuaman Temple, Tambomachay and Qenqo, famous sites around Cusco. We will have a special surprise in Saqsayhuaman for you
  • Lunch on the main square at a specialty restaurant
  • Return to hotel to pick up your luggage to fly to Lima and then back home

Includes:

  • Internal airfares and airport taxes. ( Lima – Arequipa ) ( Cusco – Lima)
  • Private ground transportation.
  • 3 star Hotels.
  • All breakfasts and lunches.
  • Farewell dinner.
  • Professional indigenous English/Spanish speaking Guide.
  • Entrance fees to Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley sites, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon.
  • Private Boat on Lake Titicaca
  • Train fares.
  • Bus fare to and from Machu Picchu
  • Water and energy bars daily.
  • Bread and Hot Chocolate to share with the children.

Does Not Include:

  • International airfares.
  • Dinners, except as noted.
  • Extra beverages.
  • Gratuitities (bellmen, waiters, guide, and drivers)

What to BRING:

  • Comfortable walking shoes and good sandals
  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Windbreaker
  • Bathing suit (optional for hot springs)
  • Good Camera and extra battery and memory card
  • Good flash light
  • 220/ 110V ( plug) adaptor
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun block, sunglasses, hat
  • Bottle for water
  • School supplies to share with the children while visiting communities

$3,495 USD per person – LAND ONLY  – 2 person minimum (for entire group)

 
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