Peru Encompassed - 20 Days
From 2022-07-31 to 2023-10-15
19 nights 3 star hotels and deluxe jungle lodge.
19 breakfasts and 2 lunches.
Airport transfer from Lima airport on day 1.
4 economy flights: Lima - Arequipa, La Paz - Cusco and Cusco - Puerto Maldonado, Puerto Maldonado - Lima.
Transportation by private transportation, boat and train.
Guided tour of Lima, Arequipa, La Paz, Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu.
Excursions to the Amazon Jungle, Colca Canyon and the Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca.
Escorted by an experienced English-speaking tour leader.
Services of local English-speaking specialist guides in Cusco, Machu Picchu and Amazon Jungle.
Entrance fees for included excursions.
Itinerary / more information
Day 1 - Lima Sunday. Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival at the Lima airport you’ll be transferred to our hotel in the city. The rest of the day is at leisure. To get a feel for colonial Lima, take a cab to the Plaza de Armas and watch the changing of the Palace Guard at noon. Walk the streets surrounding the Jiron de la Union for great examples of Spanish-colonial architecture and to get a taste for life in a large South American city.
Day 2 - Lima Today we explore the city on a walking tour. Declared a UNESCO world Heritage site thanks to its marvelously preserved architecture, our tour begins exploring the amazing Plaza de Armas is where you’ll find the Government Palace and the daily changing of the guard whilst nearby, adorning the streets is the beautiful Cathedral and various small palaces and colonial balconies. The afternoon offers free time to explore the city further. Perhaps hunt for a bargain at the busy Polvos Azules Mercados or head to one of the pulsating salsa clubs for a night on the tiles.
Day 3 - Arequipa Lima - Arequipa. We depart the capital this morning and take a short flight to Peru’s second largest city, Arequipa. Upon arrival the rest of the day is free to explore the ‘white city’. There are some fantastic restaurants in Arequipa and it is possible to enjoy many Peruvian delicacies, a lot of which originated here.
Day 4 - Arequipa We begin our day with a walking tour through the heart of the city, wandering through colonnaded plazas, and passing the famous baroque style architecture. We visit the Santa Catalina Convent, which is almost a city in itself with its maze of cobbled streets, cloisters and decorative buildings. In the afternoon there is an optional visit to the Museo Santuarios Andinos, a museum famous for housing the remains of several Inca mummies that have been preserved in freezing conditions, including the bodies of Incan child sacrifices to the gods.
Day 5 - Colca Canyon Arequipa – Colca Canyon. Today we drive through the Colca Valley, passing traditional towns, natural lagoons, volcanic peaks and the vicuna national reserve along the way. This is a great place to see many vicunas (a relative of the llama), alpacas, llamas and flamingos feeding from the scrub. Our bus begins to climb around the cavernous crater of an extinct volcano and over a high pass before emerging onto the rim of the valley that boasts spectacular views of the fields and villages below. We then descend into the Colca Canyon passing the hot springs where we have the chance to take a dip in its the warm, healing waters before reaching our hotel.
Day 6 - Colca Canyon Our day begins early as we wake up for a trip along the canyon’s edge, following fields of traditional Andean crops of potatoes and quinoa that line the road to the spectacular Cruz del Condor viewpoint. Along the way we’ll stop at small rural villages where the women continue to wear the traditional embroidered dresses, before we reach the top of the trail where we overlook the deepest part of the canyon and watch condors soaring effortlessly skyward from inaccessible crags and rocky ledges. From here you can choose to follow ancient footpaths linking adobe villages and follow the paths of ancient aqueducts, with spellbinding views down to the canyon floor.
Day 7 - Puno Colca Canyon - Puno. After breakfast, we take a scenic journey by road across the Andes to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, which at 3,855 metres above sea level, is the highest navigable lake in the world. On the way we’ll make stops along small highland lakes in the hopes of seeing some of the flamingos feeding in the mineral-rich waters.
Day 8 - Lake Titicaca Puno - Copacabana (Bolivia). Our day begins with a boat trip on Lake Titicaca to see the remarkable floating islands of Uros. These unique islands are made of a certain type of reed called totora, which enables them to float. In the afternoon, there is the option to take an excursion to the Chullpas at Sillustani, where towers of tomb stones are set on the treeless shores of a highland lake, which are said to be the burial site of the ancient Hatun Colla chiefs. Then we continue our journey along the lake towards the Bolivian border where we stop to admire the little church at Pomata before continuing to our final destination, Copacabana.
Day 9 - Lake Titicaca We have the day at leisure to explore Copacabana, which gave Rio’s famous beach its name. This picturesque little town, with its white washed buildings, is a religious sanctuary. Its Moorish-style basilica is frequented by pilgrims who bring flowers and other gifts to be blessed by the 16th century Dark Virgin of the Lake. If you have the energy in this rarefied air, climb the stations of the cross for views out over the lake and the snow-capped cordillera in the distance. From Copacabana there is an optional excursion to the Isla del Sol (Sun Island). Legend has it that this mystical spot is the birthplace of Inca civilisation: the children of the Sun God sprung from its depths to found the empire in Cuzco.
Day 10-12 - La Paz Copacabana - La Paz. We travel by road to La Paz on day 10. Built in a steep valley that protects the city from the harsh elements of the Altiplano, just about every building in La Paz is built on some sort of hill, making La Paz the highest capital city in the world. On arrival we become acquainted with this city on a walking tour along the Plaza Murillo, stopping to admire the indigenous women that still dress in the bowler hats and multi-coloured skirts decreed by the Spanish monarch centuries ago.
The next two days are free to explore La Paz and its bustling atmosphere. There is an optional excursion to the Tiwanaku ruins, considered some of the most important ruins of the continent, where you have the chance to explore the museum which provides an amazingly fascinating insight to the history of the ruins and houses over 100 of the civilisations artefacts.
Day 13-14 - Cusco La Paz - Cuzco (Peru). We continue our journey along the flat plains of the altiplano before we reach the airport and catch our flight to the vibrant city of Cuzco, which was once known as the capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival we check into our hotel and the rest of the day is free to relax or explore.
The next morning, we enjoy a guided tour of the city and surrounding ruins, taking in some of its most famous landmarks. Highlights include the Q'oricancha, once the principal Inca Sun Temple and the colossal zigzag walls of Sacsayhuaman, a magnificent Inca fortress which overlooks the city of Cuzco. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 15 - Sacred Valley Cuzco – Ollantaytambo. A full day is spent visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We visit the Pisac ruins, perched on a hilltop with incredible views of the surrounding mountains. We then go down to the famous traditional market of the same name, which is full of colour and atmosphere. It's a great place for souvenirs! After lunch, we continue along the valley to the temple/fortress of Ollantaytambo with its enormous Inca terracing constructed on the side of a steep mountain.
Day 16 - Machu Picchu Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu. Our day begins with an incredibly scenic 2-hour train journey from Ollantaytambo to the iconic lost city of Machu Picchu. Situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba River and surrounded by tropical forest, the Inca city enjoys a truly spectacular setting and it's one of the most fascinating ancient sites in the world. Believed to have been built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti, the site was abandoned at the time of the Spanish Conquest and lay buried beneath tropical cloud forest until 1911 when it was discovered by the American historian and explorer Hiram Bingham, who brought it to the world’s attention. Following a guided tour of the ruins we spend the night in the spa village of Aguas Calientes, a couple of kilometres upstream.
Fancy hiking some of the Inca Trail without interrupting your tour? We can organise for you to walk the mini Inca Trail on this day, but still, have a guided tour of the ruins and stay with the group in the evening. Please ask us for more details.
Day 17 - Cusco Machu Picchu - Cuzco. The morning is free to relax or there is the option to revisit Machu Picchu and continue to explore some of the main trails within the site. You can follow the steep path up Huayna Picchu for spectacular views of over the ruins, or hike to the Inca bridge carved into the cliff edge before we return to Cuzco on the train in the afternoon.
Please note those wanting to book the trails need to enquire with the office and pre-book as availability is limited.
Day 18-19 - Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon Cuzco - Amazon. Today we bid farewell to our tour leader before our transfer to the airport for a flight to the jungle community of Puerto Maldonado, gateway to the Amazon. Upon arrival we jump on board a boat and make our way to our eco-friendly lodge where once settled, we can begin to explore the jungle with the help of the local guides, enjoying the rich landscapes and the diverse flora and fauna. You may spot caiman alligator from the boat and you can observe the abundant bird life from our lakeside-viewing platform.
The next day, after an early breakfast, we hike deeper into the jungle, enjoying the surroundings and exploring the delights and hidden wonders of the Amazon Rainforest. There will be several excursions available to participate in including a walk to oxbow lake, an evening boat trip spotting alligator, exploration of a tributary in a small canoe or a night time jungle walk.
Day 20 - Lima Friday. Amazon - Lima. Our adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. Wake up to the sounds of the jungle before returning to Puerto Maldonado for a flight back to Lima to connect with your international flight.
Please note: International flights from Lima will need to depart from 18.00 onwards. Alternatively we can book post tour accommodation upon request.
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