The Best of Peru

A 12 day trip to Peru 
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All the best attractions that Peru has to offer, packed in one single journey! We offer you an unforgettable life experience that includes MACHU PICCHU, CUSCO, AREQUIPA, COLCA CANYON, and PUNO (Lake Titicaca). We can also include extensions to the luxuriant Amazon Jungle, the mysterious Nasca Lines or the impressive adobe pyramids from the Gold Kingdoms in northern Peruvian deserts.

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

LIMA - AREQUIPA - COLCA CANYON - PUNO (Lake Titicaca) - CUSCO - MACHU PICCHU – LIMA.

CULINARY TOUR : Experience Peru’s exquisite cuisine with the unique Gastronomic options for Half Board and Full Board.

This tour can also be customized with romantic touches for a honeymoon.

Departure Dates 

DEPARTURES : Daily

RECOMMENDED SEASON: All year.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1:

LIMA:
A representative will meet you at Jorge Chávez International Airport and will transfer you to your selected hotel in Lima. Overnight in Lima.

Day 2:

LIMA:
The city was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conqueror Pizarro, and its historic downtown features a series of buildings which boast an incalculable architectural and historical value that made UNESCO declare it a World Heritage Site in 1991.

In this morning you will have a city tour of Lima, visiting the historic downtown and the modern quarters.

In this city tour you will see:

- The Main Square, with its 17th century bronze fountain, it was the centre of the old Colonial city.

- The Cathedral, located in the Main Square, it has survived 4 mayor earthquakes and is still placed where the first main church of Lima was. The interior is austere, although it shelters real historic jewels like the finely carved wooden pews of the choir, different side altars and the remains of the conqueror Francisco Pizarro. The Church of San Francisco, a 17th century religious complex that includes a church, a convent, an square, cloisters, and today, a museum of colonial art. The church is built on top of a network of famous underground tunnels or “catacombs” which were used as a cemetery during colonial times, and today is open to the public.

Afterwards, you will have a panoramic view of the Government Palace, the City Hall, the “Desamparados” Train Station, and finally a drive through the old streets with their traditional Spanish mansions and Moorish style balconies.

Continue through the residential and commercial areas of modern Lima, passing by sites of ancient civilisations dating back to the beginning of the Christian era.
Finally, you will enjoy something every Lima inhabitant is proud of: a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.

Note: In Regular Service, the city tour is panoramic, except the Convent of San Francisco (Art Museum, Cloisters and Catacombs).

In the afternoon, you will visit the Gold Museum, where you will appreciate a unique collection of gold objects from many Pre-Hispanic Andean civilisations. This Museum host many pieces of worked gold and jewels of incalculable value which has been seen in extraordinary exhibitions in many major cities around the globe. You will also have the opportunity to see a valuable collection of pre-Inca textiles and an exhibition called “weapons of the world”, one of the largest and most interesting of its kind anywhere in the world.
Overnight in Lima.

Meals included: Breakfast

Please note:

Private Tour
Lima City Tour + Gold Museum: Half Day
Regular Tour

Day 3:

LIMA - AREQUIPA:
A representative will transfer you to the Jorge Chávez Airport in Lima to take your flight to the city of Arequipa. Upon arrival to the Alfredo Rodríguez Ballón Airport in Arequipa, another representative will meet you and transfer you to your selected hotel.

Arequipa a city lies at the feet of the 03 mighty volcanoes: The Chachani, The Misti, and the snow covered peak Pichu Pichu is best known as the “White City” for its beautiful white walls of “sillar”, a white volcanic stone used for building most of its Historic downtown which is also placed on the World Cultural Heritage list by UNESCO due to its Spanish Baroque churches and mansions from the Colonial Period.

In this morning you will have a city tour visiting:
- The Santa Catalina Monastery, the most important in Peru. It was built to shelter the daughters of the wealthiest families of the city. The monastery was inaugurated in 1580, under the name of “Santa Catalina of Siena” to be a totally cloistered religious centre, and it remained that way until 1970.It occupies an approximate area of 20.000 m2 (215.285 squared feet), and its placement is similar to the first quarters of Arequipa. The building exhibits rooms of very different architectural styles and hosts galleries that display canvasses from the famous 17th century Cusco, Quito, and Arequipa Painting Schools.

- The Church and Cloisters of the Company Jesus Christ. This complex is made up of buildings constructed by the Jesuits for religious and living purposes and it is a representative monument of the 17th century religious architecture. Inside you can find 66 canvases from the famous Cusco Painting School.

- The Main Square, bordered by Spanish-like arched walkways, the Main Square possesses a beautiful bronze fountain of three plates crowned by the figure of a 16th century soldier. He is locally called “Tuturutu”, the story says this character was in charge of warning the inhabitants of Arequipa of any new event. Around the main square, you will see 03 beautiful granite portals with brick and lime bases. The Complex of San Francisco, it contains the Saint Francis church, the convent and a smaller church known as La Tercera Orden (the Third Franciscan Order). What catches the attention inside the church is the bas-relief decorated Baroque pulpit and the silver front of the main altar. Besides these, a short passageway, named Manguillo de San Francisco, has been added to the complex to separate the church from what was the first girl school and later a women jail. Today, it has become a commercial art centre known as “Fundo El Fierro” (Iron Ranch).

- The Cathedral, built of sillar (white volcanic stone), is located in the main square. It was destroyed by fire and restored in 1868 in Neo-renaissance style with French influence. Its entrance is curiously placed on one of the flanking naves.

Finally, you will see the Spanish Colonial district of Yanahuara. Located at 2 km (1 mile) from the city’s centre, it consists of narrow cobblestone streets, old white volcanic stone houses and a beautiful viewpoint built in the 19th century consisting of sillar stone arches where the words of famous Arequipa citizens have been engraved. From this viewpoint there is a magnificent view of the city of Arequipa with its 03 mighty volcanoes: The Misti, the Chachani and the Pichu Pichu.

After your city tour, you will be transferred to your selected hotel. Overnight in Arequipa.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4:

AREQUIPA - COLCA CANYON:
Today you will start a journey to one of the deepest Canyons in the World "The Colca" reaching a depth of 3400 metres / 11.155 feet. The Tour begins with a winding road that leaves the White City of Arequipa, crossing the snow capped Misti, Chachani and Ampato Volcanoes, in order to arrive at the Colca Canyon. The landscape that will surround you today is packed with majestic Andean sceneries: typical flora and fauna from the region, Colonial Churches and Inca farming terraces.

In the afternoon, you will visit the village of Chivay or if you prefer, you will enjoy La Calera thermo-medicinal baths.

Overnight in Colca.
Meals included: Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner.

Day 5:

COLCA CANYON - PUNO:
After breakfast, you will depart to the Cruz del Cóndor viewpoint, the most strategic area to see the Colca Canyon and the majestic Andean Condors flying free. Later on, you will continue your way, observing pre-Inca tombs and having the chance to stop and see some typical Andean villages like Pinchollo, Maca, Yanque, Cabanaconde, Coporaque and the amphitheatre of Ocolle, Chichinea and Colcas.

In the afternoon, you will depart to Puno, passing by Lagunillas, where you will see the typical flora of the region, plus: wild birds, sheep, vicuñas and llamas, along side the ever impressive Andean Mountains Range.

Upon arrival to Puno, a representative will transfer you to your hotel. Overnight in Puno. Meals included: Breakfast-Lunch.

Day 6:

PUNO – LAKE TITICACA:
Today is a full day packed with adventures in the World’s highest sailable lake. You will visit the Floating Island of Uros located in the Lake Titicaca itself. These group of little island, located 4 km (3 miles) from Puno, have been artificially made entirely of totora reeds by the Uros who call themselves Kotsuña, “the lake people”. Their origins go back to eras before the Incas. These people hunt wild birds and maintain traditional fishing methods, especially those used for the carachi and the silverfish. The men are skilful handlers of the totora reed boats, and the women are expert knitters.

Afterwards, you will make your way to the unique and peaceful Island of Taquile, where time seems to have stopped. The town of the same name, Taquile, is characterised by its friendly and very organised inhabitants, who maintain their customs and traditional clothing. The textile industry is the main activity on the island. Its people distinguish themselves by their detailed, fine and colourful textiles such as their beautifully woven chumpis (belts) or chullos (caps) with symmetrical decorations and symbols that reflect their way of life, customs and Andean beliefs.

Taquile offers magnificent views of the lake and the impressive surrounding Andean peaks. The island has a beautiful Andean landscape, dominated by tiered platforms where potatoes, corn, quinua and broad beans are cultivated, and ceremonial sites host rituals for abundant harvests and fishing.

In the afternoon, return to your hotel. Overnight in Puno.
Meals included: Breakfast-Lunch.

Day 7:

PUNO - CUSCO:
In the morning you will be transferred to the bus station to board the regular bus to the city of Cusco. On route, you will pass by the villages of Andahuaylillas, Racchi and Pucará.

Pls note that if you prefer you could take the train to Cusco, instead of the bus. Departures available on: Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Arrival and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Cusco.
Meals included: Breakfast-Lunch.

Day 8:

CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY - CUSCO:
Today is a full day packed with experiences visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a pre-Hispanic agriculture centre.
Visit the old Inca Community of Pisac, (only on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday) located at the entrance to the Sacred Valley, 32 Km (19 miles) from Cusco. Its traditional colourful market, that now attracts many visitors, have over the centuries attracted local traders and remote communities, from all over the Sacred valley, dressed in their traditional and colourful costumes, to come and sell their wares.

Afterwards, you will visit Ollantaytambo, an Inca fort that include a temple, agricultural terraces, and an urban area located facing the town of the same name. Ollantaytambo is called a “Living Inca Town” since its inhabitants maintain very old practices and customs dating back to the Inca times. With its Inca Streets, traditional Squares and dwellings, Ollantaytambo town captures the visitor’s imagination with its authentic historical charm.
Typical lunch.
In the afternoon, you will return to your hotel in Cusco. Meals included: Breakfast-Lunch.

Day 9:

CUSCO – MACHU PICCHU - CUSCO:
Early in the morning, you will be transferred to the train station in order to take the train, tourist class (Backpacker) to visit the Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, (Optional train first class).
This spectacular train journey cross valleys, mountains and typical communities. The altitude along the way will descend from 3,500 metres (11480 feet above the sea level) to 1,500 (4920 feet above the sea level) crossing two different several eco-regions from the Andes to the rainforest. Snow peaks, eucalyptus forest, deep canyons and colourful orchids are part of the breathtaking sceneries to be seen on this train journey.

Machu Picchu, nowadays one of the new 7 world’s wonders, is a marvellous stone citadel, located 112 km (69 miles) from Cusco.

Upon arrival to the Sanctuary, you will have a Tour of Machu Picchu.

This Inca’s engineers masterpiece, that was discovered by the American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911, is considered to be one of the most extraordinary examples of scenic architecture in the world. The citadel was built on a very special spot between two mountains: the Machu Picchu (old mountain) and Huayna Picchu (young mountain), at the foot of which meanders the Urubamba or Vilcanota River.

The citadel of Machu Picchu itself was built at the top of a granite mountain. The Incas, using ingenious engineering techniques, were able to transport heavy stone blocks up the mountain side, and once there, they used their excellent masonry skills to produce amazingly polished stones that fit together perfectly.

In the afternoon, you will return to Cusco by train Tourist Class (Optional: Train First Class). Transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in Cusco.
Meals included: Breakfast.

Optional: Overnight in Machu Picchu.

Day 10:

CUSCO:
The ancient capital of the Inca Empire, was placed on the World Cultural Heritage List by UNESCO in 1983, and is without a doubt one of the most beautiful destinations in Peru. Morning free to enjoy the city.

In the afternoon, you will visit Cusco historical Inca and Spanish monuments such as:

- The Main Square, known in Inca times as Huacaypata or “meeting place”, it was an important ceremonial spot where the Inti Raymi or Festival of the Sun was celebrated every year. It is also the place where Francisco Pizarro proclaimed the conquest of Cusco and it has witness several key events in the history of the city. After the Spanish arrived, the plaza changed. They erected stone arches and built the structures that surround it today.

- The Cathedral, originally built on the site of the old temple of Suntur Wasi (House of God), and the remains of the palace of Inca Wiracocha, a particular interest are the choir cloisters, the pulpit, the engravings on the altar and furniture. A Renaissance building in its majority, the interior decoration is rich in cedar and woodcarvings. An important collection of paintings from the Cusco School and silver wrought pieces are also kept here.

- The Church and Convent of Santo Domingo, a Spanish construction belonging to the Dominican Order built upon the foundations of the Inca temple of Koricancha or Temple of the Sun. The Koricancha was one of the main religious building of the Incas. Magnificent blocks of finely carved stone were used in its construction and it was dedicated to the worship the Sun and other Inca’s deities. According to the Spanish chroniclers, its walls were plated with sheets of gold and silver. The Dominican convent possesses an art gallery of valuable 17th and 18th century canvasses.

Afterwards, you will visit the archaeological Inca sites that surround the city of Cusco, such as:

- Sacsayhuamán, this huge Inca fortress was built on three overlapping platforms, each of them over 360 m (1180 feet) long. It is described as massive for the size of some of its stones, which weigh between 90 and 120 tons. This is also the stage of the Inti Raymi or “Festival of the Sun” every 24th June.

- Tambomachay, apparently a site dedicated to the worship the water and the regeneration of the land.

- Kenko, it is said to have been also a worship site. There is a huge 5,9 m (19 feet) high stone block. This religious complex contains passages, canals and stairways with stone engravings representing animals.

- Puca Pucará, which was an administrative and military centre formed by terraces, stairways, passages, turrets and vaulted niches.

Return to your hotel. Overnight in Cusco.
Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 11:

CUSCO - LIMA:

Today, you will be transferred to the Velasco Astete airport in Cusco for taking your flight back to Lima.

Upon arrival to Lima, a representative will transfer you to your hotel in Lima.
Meals included: Breakfast.

Day 12:

LIMA:
Transfer out.
Meals included: Breakfast.

Price

Price 

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.