Day 1: Lima arrival
The first day starts with your arrival in Lima followed by an airport reception and transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, the guide will give you a short briefing about the next few days’ activities.
Day 2: Lima half day City tour
Our shared tour begins in the morning through the colonial town visiting (panoramic view) the Huaca Pucllana pre-Inca ruins, and then we go to the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, San Francisco Church and its impressive ''Catacombs''. Later on we go towards the modern parts of Lima, to visit the districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, followed by a visit to the modern shopping center known as Larco Mar from where we get a splendid view of the Pacific Ocean. Free afternoon to explore the city on your own. Breakfast included.
Day 3: Lima - Arequipa
Transfer to the airport in Lima and flight towards the city of Arequipa. This is one of the most charming cities in Peru located in a beautiful area surrounded by high volcanoes which gives the city a wonderful appearance. The town has many colonial-era Spanish buildings built of Sillar, a pearly white volcanic rock, from which it gets the nickname La Ciudad Blanca (''The White City''). The historic center of Arequipa was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in recognition of its architectural and historic integrity. Upon arrival, we transfer to the hotel and in the afternoon at 2 p.m. we will enjoy a 3-hours walking guided tour of the city’s main attractions including Plaza de Armas, Santa Catalina Convent and the Loyola Chapel. Free time after the guided tour. Hotel in Arequipa. Breakfast included.
Day 4: Arequipa – Chivay (Colca Canyon Tour)
A morning drive will take us towards the Salinas and Aguada National Reserve, located north of Arequipa city, at an altitude between 3,600 and 6,000 meters. The National Reserve is the habitat to wild camelids, such as the cute vicuñas and guanacos, and the home to a wide range of migratory and seasonal birds that breed around various mountain lakes, dams and rivers. Created in 1979 to preserve the endangered flora and fauna of the area, it occupies some 370,000 hectares in the southern departments of Arequipa and Moquegua. The volcanoes Misty, Chachani, and Pichu Pichu are found here, as well as the beautiful Salinas lagoons, a birdwatchers favorite place due to the consistent number of flamingos, and the Indio lagoon, an important refuge for aquatic birds. The Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve is the habitat to various animal species (23 mammals and 138 birds). Some of the most representative are the viscachas, the Andean huemul, the culpeo fox, the vicuña (which currently is undergoing a repopulation program), the flamingo and the guanaco. In Pampa Cañahuas and Tocra we find a significant population of vicuñas, an attractive stop on the way to Chivay. We arrive in Chivay at about 1:30 p.m. to be taken into our hotel accommodations and free time in the afternoon. Breakfast.
Day 5: Chivay - Colca Canyon - Puno
Colca Canyon was formed by the Colca River. Located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Arequipa it is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States, although it’s walls are not as verticals as those in the US. In the surrounding areas, the Colca Valley is a colorful Andean valley with towns founded in Spanish Colonial times and formerly inhabited by the Collaguas and the Cabanas Indian communities. The local people still maintain ancestral traditions and continue to cultivate the pre-Inca stepped terraces. The canyon is home to the Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus), a species that has seen world-wide effort to preserve it. The condors can be seen at fairly close range as they fly through the canyon walls giving visitors great views of this majestic bird. 'Cruz Del Condor' is a popular tourist stop to view the condors, the pass where condors soar gracefully on the rising thermal currents occurring as the air warms. The condors are best seen in the early morning and the late afternoon when they are hunting. Our tour will start at 6:30 a.m. with a drive towards Cruz del Condor where we will spend the morning until 10 a.m. when we will transport you back to Chivay. Free time for lunch (on your own) and at 1:30 p.m. we will board the comfortable bus transport to the city of Puno, located on the shores of the Titicaca Lake at 3800 m. On the way on we will stop at two places to observe several species of Andean birds and enjoy the beautiful landscape. Hotel accommodations in Puno. Breakfast.
Day 6: Puno – Titicaca Lake (Uros & Taquile Islands)
From your hotel, we transfer you to the shores of Titicaca Lake where we will visit the incredible Uros: unique floating islands bound together to form a small floating community in the middle of Titicaca Lake. In this group of 40 big island-like packs of floating Totora (reeds), Uros natives continue living like their ancestors, preserving their costumes and own system of communal life. Later on we continue to visit Taquile Island, where descendants from the Incas are still living and where we can find the finest woven goods in Peru handmade by locals. Return to Puno and transfer to your hotel. Breakfast, Lunch included.
Day 7: Puno - Cusco
In the morning, you will be transferred to the bus station from where you will travel in a comfortable tourist bus to the city of Cusco. During the 8-hours’ drive we visit the communities of Pukara and their interesting museum. Later, we make a stop at La Raya where we can enjoy nice views of the high snow covered Andean peaks and observe herds of Vicuñas roaming freely on the mountain sides. Next we stop at Sicuani town for a delicious lunch. Afterwards we continue towards Raqchi to visit the interesting Temple of Viracocha God and before arriving in Cusco, our last stop will be at Andahuaylillas town to visit the beautiful Temple (XVI century). Arrival in Cusco and transfer to the Hotel. Breakfast, Lunch included.
Day 8: ½ Cusco City Tour
Free morning to walk around this nice town, and in the afternoon we enjoy a city tour in Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Empire. We will stroll on the beautiful cobbled narrow streets visiting the Plaza de Armas (Main Square) with its beautiful colonial buildings, then we go for a visit at the impressive Korikancha Temple (Temple of the Sun). Later, we go to visit the nearby Inca ruins of Cusco: Sacsayhuaman, Qenko, and Tambo Machay, a first impression of the high-quality stonework of the Incas. Return to the hotel in Cusco. Breakfast included.
Day 9: Cusco - Incas Sacred Valley of Urubamba - Ollantaytambo
At 8:30 a.m. we depart from Plazoleta Regocijos driving north-east towards the Incas Sacred Valley of Urubamba. Our first stop is at the place known as Mirador de Corao from where we can see the Pisac Inca Ruins. Then we drive down to the town of Pisac, where we find the very colorful Indian market. After lunch (on your own), we continue to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo to visit the impressive Ollantaytambo Inca Fortress and walk on the cobbled streets of the small town. Hotel accommodations in Ollantaytambo and free time. Breakfast included.
Day 10: Ollantaytambo – Machu Picchu - Cusco
Morning transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station, followed by a beautiful train ride along the Urubamba Incas Sacred Valley down to Aguas Calientes village where our guide will be waiting, ready to take the group for a memorable trip to the famous city of the Incas. From here public tourist bus transportation takes us to the main entrance of the world famous Machu Picchu Inca citadel. During our 3 hours guided tour, we enjoy one of the most impressive archeological sites in South America. In the afternoon bus transport to Aguas Calientes and return to Cusco (Poroy station) by train. Transfer to your hotel. Breakfast included.
Day 11: Cusco Free Day
Enjoy a free day in Cusco. You will have plenty of time to visit some of the many Indian markets or just relax having a coffee in one of the local bars located in front of the beautiful Plaza de Armas. Cusco is a really enchanting city to buy interesting handicrafts, souvenirs, and gifts to take back home. Hotel accommodations. Breakfast included.
Day 12: Cusco – Transfer Out
In the morning transfer to the airport for your flight back home. End of our services (or program extension to the Amazon Rainforest of Peru or perhaps to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or a trip to the famous Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia). Breakfast included.
All shared transfers, shared boat transportation, shared Spanish / English speaking guide, entrance fees, noted meals, Expedition Class Train Cusco – Machu Picchu.
Departures with minimum 2 participants