SOUTH PERU FIXED DEPARTURE TOUR
15 days/ 14 nights, departure every Saturday
Your Peru trip shall start with travelling along the south of Peru, including a visit to mystical Machu Picchu. If you're ready for the challenge, drive from Lima to Paracas, navigate to the Ballestas islands, fly over the Nazca lines and reach Arequipa, the white city. Explore the Colca canyon and see the condors flying away just meters from where you stay, make a boat excursion to the Uros, Amantani and Taquile islands in the Titicaca Lake and finally reach Cusco and Machu Picchu This route has diverse zones of natural beauty and also archaeological remains, some of which are of exceptional interest.
Day 1 (Sat):
Arrival in Lima, reception in the airport and transfer to hotel in Miraflores
Day 2 (Sun):
Morning free, afternoon City tour colonial and modern Lima Seat-in bus excursion.
We pick you up in the afternoon for your half day city tour of Lima. Visit the Plaza San Martin, the Plaza Mayor (Lima Main Square), Peru’s Government Palace, City Hall, the Cathedral and the San Francisco church. Continuing our tour, we will visit the residential neighbourhoods of San Isidro and Olivar, with olive trees brought from Spain in the XVI century. We will also visit the pre-Inca worship centers of Huallamarca and Pucllana, Miraflores Parque Central and the Parque del Amor (Park of Love), with a splendid ocean view. Finally we will have time to visit Larco Mar, an entertainment center that is a symbol of Lima’s modernity with gourmet restaurants and bars. Return to your hotel.
Day 3 (Mon):
Private transfer to bus station for regular bus ride to Paracas, along the Panamericana to the south of Lima. Transfer to hotel.
Day 4 (Tue):
Trf to pier for two hours Ballestas islands tour. These spectacular islands, eroded into many caves and arches, provide shelter for thousands of seabirds and hundreds of sea-lions. Although the islands fall just outside the Paracas National Reserve they are protected by separate legislation. The islands are home to over 150 species of marine bird including the Humboldt penguin, cormorants, boobies and pelicans. Even condors have been known to visit. On the shores can be seen large numbers of sea-lions and in the sea it is posSeat-in busle to encounter dolphins and even whales. Trf to bus station for regular bus ride to Nazca, transfer to hotel.
Day 5 (Wed):
Optional flight over Nazca lines (not included), evening transfer for night bus to Arequipa.
On an arid plain 22km north of modern day Nazca are the world famous 'Nasca Lines'. Straight lines, abstract designs and outlines of animals are etched on the dark desert surface revealing a lighter colored soil beneath. Images of birds predominate, some measuring up to 60m across, but there are also outlines of a whale, a dog, a monkey, a spider and a flower. The lines were not 'discovered' until spotted from above by aircraft in 1939. They are thought to have been drawn by the Nasca civilization (which reached its peak about 700 AD). There have been numerous theories about why the lines were drawn. Maria Reiche, a German mathematician who spent most of her life studying the phenomenon, believed they formed part of a giant astronomical calendar. The best way to see the lines is to take to the sky. Flights over the lines leave regularly throughout the day on small planes which take between 3 and 5 passengers. The flight should last from 30-40 minutes.
Day 6 (Tue)
Reception in Arequipa, transfer to hotel, breakfast and day use. Afternoon Seat-in bus city tour and Santa Catalina convent.
Arequipa, at 2,300m above sea level, is well-known as the "white city" because the sillar (white clay) is used for the construction of most of the colonial buildings and monuments. The city is splendidly located, in the shadow of three giant volcanoes. Chachani, at 6,075m is the highest, but it is the perfectly conical Misti that draws the attention. We pick you up in the morning or afternoon for your half day city tour of Arequipa. You will visit the Main Square, the Cathedral, the districts of Yanahuara and San Lázaro, the superb Santa Catalina Monastery (a surprising large and interesting citadel in the middle of Arequipa city), the San Francisco Church, Carmen Alto panoramic point and the residential zone of Selva Alegre.
Day 7 and 8 (Fri, Sat):
Seat-in bus 2 days tour to Colca Canyon, visiting also the Cruz del Condor panoramic point.
The Colca Canyon runs for over 100km, and the average distance from the peaks of the mountains to the river below is 3,400m. Until recently, it was thought that it was the deepest canyon in the world, although it is now generally accepted that the Cotahuasi Canyon, also in the department of Arequipa, is deeper. The depth of the canyon from the Cruz del Condor to the river is approximately 1,500m, an excellent place to spot the flight of giant condors The deepest point of the canyon is beyond Cabanaconde, close to the Valley of the Volcanoes. The canyon valley is covered with thousands of pre-Inca terraces, and the scattered villages boast impressive colonial churches.
Day 8 (Sat)
Seat-in bus departure drive from Chivay to Puno. Reception in Puno and transfer to hotel.
The city of Puno is located in the southeast corner of Peru, on the shores of the magnificent Lake Titicaca and only 126km from the Bolivian border. At 3,827m in altitude, Puno is a rather cold town surrounded by the desolate altiplano (or high plateau). It is not so much a destination in itself but a necessary stop on the way to visit the islands on Lake Titicaca, or when crossing the border to Bolivia.
Day 9 and 10 (Sun, Mon):
Transfer to pier, cultural seat-in boat excursion to the Uros and Amantani islands, overnight with full board in Amantani, basic lodging by locals. Next day departure to the Taquile island, cultural visit, lunch. Return to Puno, transfer to hotel.
For centuries the Uros people have built their homes and made their boats from the abundant source of reeds that grow in the shallows of Lake Titicaca. The islands are made from many springy layers of reeds that are continually added to replace the rotting layers below and it is not uncommon for the islands to drift after heavy rains. Fisherman can be seen navigating the water channels in beautifully crafted, sturdy 'canoes', some with reed figureheads forming a creative extension of the prow.
There are neither hotels in Taquile nor in Amantani but on arrival the group is split into smaller groups for overnight stays with local families. Most tours of the Uros, Taquile & Amantani Islands depart at 8.30am and include transport from your hotel to the port, transport by motor boat stopping at the Uros Islands for 30 minutes before departing to the island The two islands of Taquile and Amantani have a genuine traditional lifestyle without electricity or solid infrastructure that gives visitors a glimpse of pre-colonial Andean Peru. The inhabitants of the attractive island of Taquile still use age-old weaving techniques and wear colourful traditional clothes, and the steep-sided fertile shores are covered in pre-Inca agricultural terraces that are the basis for the island's self-sufficient economy.
Day 11 (Tue):
Trf to bus station for tourist bus drive to Cusco. On the way visits to the interesting Pucara museum (the Pucara was the mother culture of Tiahuanaco), then lunch in Sillustani, visit to the Raqchi Inca ruins (Inka temple dedicated to worship the spiritual Wiracocha God) and to the Andahuaylillas church, the Sixtina chapel in the Andes. Reception in Cusco, transfer to hotel.
Day 12 (Wed):
Morning free in Cusco, afternoon seat-in bus city tour and nearby ruins.
We pick you up in the afternoon for your half day city tour of Cusco. Visit the Koricancha Sun Temple ruins below the Santo Domingo monastery, the spectacular Cathedral in the main Plaza, and the Inka ruins out of the city. Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. Return to your hotel.
Day 13 (Thu):
All day seat-in bus Sacred Valley tour with lunch, visiting the Pisac market and the Ollantaytambo ruins. Return to Cusco.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas was undoubtedly a key area of settlement to the Incas. Its agreeable climate and fertile plains make a rare and fruitful combination for the high Andes. It was also the route to the jungle and therefore an area with access to the fruits and plants of the tropical lowlands. The Sacred Valley served as a buffer zone, protecting Cusco from incursions of the Antis, the fierce jungle tribes who from time to time raided the highlands. Today the Sacred Valley remains a lush agricultural region supplying the city of Cusco with much of its produce such as maize, fruit and vegetables.
The tour includes normally visits to the Pisac Market and to the Ollantaytambo temple and fortress.
Day 14 (Fri):
All day seat-in bus Machu Picchu tour in Backpacker train. Return to Cusco.
Located 120 km northwest of Cusco, the Inca city of Machu Picchu lay hidden from the world in dense jungle covered mountains until 1911. This 'Lost City' is one of the world's archaeological jewels and is one of South America's major travel destinations. The well preserved ruins of Machu Picchu seem to almost cling to the steep hillside, surrounded by towering green mountains overlooking the Urubamba River Valley.
When you read about its discovery and the unsolved mystery of its purpose and how it came to become a 'lost to the world' you will realize why so many people make the pilgrimage to visit this fascinating and spiritual site.
Day 15 (Sat):
Transfer to the airport for flight to Lima (flight not included). Flight connection back home.
- Lodging in double rooms in 3 star hotels or in basic lodges in remote places, according to availability.
- Transfers and tours described in program, using private o public buses, backpacker train to Machu Picchu and boat for Titicaca lake excursions.
Non included in program:
- Other meals as the ones described
- Personal expenses
- Local and international airport taxes
- Optional tours
> Prices in tourist hotels, double room with breakfast
base 2 passengers: USD 1699.00
Single supplement: USD 270.00
Lima: Leon de Oro www.leondeoroperu.com
Paracas: Mirador de Paracas www.elmiradorhotel.com
Nazca: Oro Viejo www.hoteloroviejo.com
Arequipa: Crismar www.hotel-crismar.com
Colca - Chivay: Casa Andina www.casa-andina.com
Puno: Tambo Real: www.tamborealtitikaka.com
Amantani: Local accommodation FB
Cusco: Garcilazo www.hotelesgarcilaso.com
> Prices in 3 Star Superior hotels, double room with breakfast
base 2 passengers: USD 1899.00
Single supplement: USD 482.00
Lima: Jose Antonio www.hotelesjoseantonio.com
Paracas: San Agustin Paracas www.hotelessanagustin.com.pe
Nazca: Casa Andina www.casa-andina.com
Arequipa: Casa Andina www.casa-andina.com
Colca - Chivay: Casa Andina www.casa-andina.com
Puno: Casa Andina Tikarani www.casa-andina.com
Amantani: Local accommodation FB
Cusco: Royal Inka: www.royalinkahotel.com