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A Peruvian Coast, Highland & Tropical Rainforest Adventure

Glorious morning in Machu PicchuThis 15-day holiday adventure is designed to highlight Peru’s amazingly diverse and contrasting ecosystems and regional cultures. From the stylish Oceanside capital, Lima, to the breathtaking beauty of the Colca Canyon in the Andes. Visit ancient island villages on the world’s highest navigable lake, Titicaca, and explore the two-mile high city of Cusco. Tour the Sacred Valley of the Inca before venturing deep into the mist-filled cloud forest  to ascend the mountaintop Citadel of Machu Picchu. The package culminates in the mega-diverse, Amazonian tropical rainforest of Tambopata.

Prices available upon request

 

Day 1: Lima: International Arrival In Lima

We meet you on your arrival at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima and transfer you to your selected hotel.

Day 2: Lima – City Tour

Take the morning to relax, shop or do some exploring on your own. In the afternoon, around 2 pm, your guide and driver  will pick you up from your hotel to begin your tour of Lima, the “City of Kings.”

The excursion usually begins with a stop along the Malecón in Miraflores and the Antoni Gaudí-inspired Parque del Amor and the famous sculpture by Victor Delfín of the lover’s embrace. Next we’ll stop by the Huaca Pucllana, a masssive adobe brick pyramid built by the Lima Culture between 200 and 600 C.E. (Common Era), on our way to the historic city center, where we will embark on a walking tour of the area, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. We pass through old streets with colonial mansions, and Lima’s intricate wood-carved balconies.

We will tour the Convent and Church of San Francisco, which contains the oldest collection of colonial art in the Americas, with an exquisitely carved chorus, a library of ancient manuscripts, and the Sacristy with paintings by Zurbarán and Rivera. The grand courtyard of the main cloister is decorated floor-to-ceiling in blue and white Sevillian tiles, depicting scenes from the bible that dates back to the 16th Century. Moroccan arches lead us to the Catacombs, a subterranean crypt from the colonial period, where the bones of 25 thousand colonial-era Lima residents are entombed.  (B)

Day 3: Lima / Arequipa – City Tour

We transfer to the airport for the flight to Arequipa. After your transfer to your hotel, and have a chance to settle in, we take a guided tour of the city center, including the Plaza de Armas (the main square), one of the most beautiful in Peru and the Cathedral, a fine example of 19th Century Peruvian architecture, which houses precious artifacts of gold and silver. We visit the “city within a city,” the Convent of Santa Catalina, with its vibrantly colored walls and courtyards that remained cloistered for centuries and was only opened to the public in the 1960s. We also visit the Compañia Church, an old Jesuit complex, perhaps the most historically significant in Arequipa, with a beautiful church facade covered in columns that have been carved into spirals, laurel wreaths, flowers and birds.

In the afternoon we travel into the countryside around Arequipa, visiting the Mill of Sabandia, a flour mill built in 1621. It’s powered by the flow of a waterfall and is still working today. The Mansion of the Founder, dating from the 16th Century, belonged to the founder of the city, the Lord Lieutenant of the Governors and Governor Garci Manuel de Carbajal. It was later sold to the Jesuits, who used the building as a retreat. It then passed into the hands of the Goyeneche family. We also visit its beautifully restored chapel. Transfer back to your hotel.

We recommend you have dinner in or near the hotel, and make it an early night, as your guide will collect you very early the next morning to start your journey to the Colca Canyon. (B)

Day 4: Arequipa / Colca Canyon

Early in the morning we embark on an incredible 4-hour bus journey to the Colca Canyon. It’s one of the deepest canyons in the world (3,400 meters), passing through the Cañahuas plateau to the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, a habitat for vicuñas and alpacas (species of South American camelids related to the llama).

En route you’ll see pre-Columbian terraces that are still used today to grow native crops. Refreshments are served along the way. When we arrive at Valle de Colca, you’ll be transferred to your selected lodge. In the afternoon we recommend you rest to acclimatize to the altitude. If you find yourself in good physical shape, take a walk around the surrounding countryside or take a bath in the nearby thermal pools. You’ll then have dinner and stay overnight in your selected lodge. (B/D)

Day 5: Colca / Cruz Del Condor

Very early in the morning we depart for the Cruz del Condor lookout, where you’ll have a chance to see the largest flying bird in the world in full flight. On the return journey we visit the towns of Yanque, Coporaque, Achoma and Maca. It’s a great opportunity to see the daily life of the inhabitants, which hasn’t changed a great deal since Inca times. We stop for lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon we return you to your selected hotel in Arequipa. (B/L)

Day 6: Arequipa / Juliaca / Puno – Sillustani En Route

After breakfast we transfer to the airport to board your flight to the city of Juliaca. On arrival we transfer by tour bus to Puno, visiting the famous Chullpas (burial towers) of Sillustani, cylindrical mausoleums built by the Aymara people to entomb their high priests. Umayo Lake, in front of the Chullpas, only adds to the beauty of the site. Here, we also have the opportunity to spot distinctive native birds of the region. We continue to your selected hotel, with the rest of the afternoon free to explore the city. (B)

Day 7: Puno / Lake Titicaca / Floating Islands Of The Uros / Taquile

Early in the morning we start an unforgettable boat tour around Lake Titicaca. Our first stop is the Floating Islands of Los Uros, where people have lived since pre-Inca times. These Andean natives have built their own islands out of reeds, stacking new layers to form structures dozens of meters deep. The vegetable fiber used is Scirpus Totora, from the papyrus family. They also use this material to build their houses and boats. We continue to Taquile, inhabited by quechua speakers who, for generations, have developed an efficient and original social system and their own magnificent textile techniques. After lunch at a local tavern on Taquile we walk around its hillsides and archaeological sites. In the evening we return you to Puno, and your hotel. (B/L)

Day 8: Puno / Cusco

Today we have an early start, with transfers to the bus station for the journey to Cusco. On the way we stop at the Pukará archaeological complex, La Raya, midway between Puno and Cusco and the highest point on the route, Raqchi, the temple to the Sun God Wiracocha, and Andahuaylillas, a church that conserves original colonial artwork. Lunch is in a local restaurant en route. On arrival at Cusco, you’ll be met at the bus station and transferred to your selected hotel. (B/L)

Day 9: CUSCO – City Tour And Guide Visit To Nearby Ruins

In the afternoon we start to explore the city of Cusco, on a guided tour visiting the main plaza, the Cathedral, and the Temple of the Sun or Koricancha. We then visit the ruins on the outskirts of the city, stopping at the Inca ritual site of Quenqo, the water temple of Tambomachay, the customs house of Puca Pucara and the impressive Fortress of Saqsaywaman, built strategically on the hill standing over the city of Cusco. It’s famous for its enormous stone blocks, assembled with incredible precision to form the imposing external walls of the complex. Some of the stones stand 9 meters tall and weigh more than 350 tons. We then return you to your hotel. (B)

Day 10: Cusco / Sacred Valley Of The Incas

In the morning we start a guided tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, along the Urubamba River, to visit the famous Andean market town of Pisac. We have lunch at local restaurant. In the afternoon we pass through the towns of Calca and Urubamba on the way to the Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo, built to guard the entrance to the Valley and protect the Empire from possible invasions by the people of the jungle. We have the opportunity to walk through the stone alleyways of the city and get an idea of what life was like in a military, religious and cultural center at the height of the Inca Empire. On the way back to Cusco we can stop at the picturesque town of Chinchero, where we visit the ruins of a royal hacienda built for Tupac Inca Yapanqui. You’ll admire the well-preserved Inca wall in the main plaza, and visit the beautiful colonial church with intriguing frescos painted on its portico, all built on Inca foundations. We return you to your hotel in Cusco. (B/L)

Day 11: Cusco / Machu Picchu / Aguas Calientes

Early in the morning we take you to the train station for a three hour journey to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. We arrive at the station in Aguas Calientes, and take a bus for about 30 minutes, ascending up a series of switchbacks to reach the extraordinary marvel of ancient architecture, engineering and spiritual energy. An expert guide will share with you the known history and prevailing theories about this mysterious and enchanting city of stone. We also give you free time to explore on your own, relax or meditate. We have lunch in a restaurant in Aguas Calientes, and take you to your selected hotel. (B/L)

Day 12: Aguas Calientes / Cusco

Today is an excellent opportunity to start early and return to the ruins to take in a beautiful dawn before the bulk of tourists begin to arrive on the first trains. Another option is to ascend the steep trail to the top of Huayna Picchu for a spectacular overview of Machu Picchu and the surrounding mountains. In the afternoon we return by train to Cusco, and transfer to your selected hotel. (B)

Day 13: Cusco / Puerto Maldonado

We transfer to the airport for a flight to Puerto Maldonado, a port town on the Tambopata River. After 30 minutes we arrive at the Madre de Dios River, where we start walking to enter the Tambopata National Reserve. We walk for about an hour while the guide explains the natural history of the site, until we arrive at a little canal where we board a canoe for a 20 minutes across Lake Sandoval to our lodge. The short journey by canoe or catamaran gives a quick glimpse of the area’s natural beauty. We arrive at Sandoval Lake Lodge

After lunch and a short rest, we board a catamaran to visit the east side of Lake Sandoval. It’s possible to observe families of giant otters and other mammals, especially monkeys, just before sunset. Many brightly colored birds, including spectacular toucans, parrots, and macaws land in this area to spend the night and build their nests. We return to the lodge for dinner and to spend the night. (B/L/D)

Day 14: Puerto Maldonado

Very early in the morning, before breakfast, we visit the other side of Lake Sandoval, always on the lookout for spectacular jungle wildlife. You’ll see many birds, a few monkeys and get another opportunity to observe the giant otters that usually hunt for fish early in the day. We return to the lodge for a delicious breakfast.

After a short rest, our guides take you on an interpretive walk behind the Sandoval Lake Lodge, where you can see various species of Amazonian native trees, including chestnuts, the Peruvian hardwood shihuahuaco, and the lupuna, one of the largest trees in this part of the Amazon. Your guides explain the natural history of the forest and demonstrate the economic and medicinal value of many of its species. We return to the lodge for lunch and a rest.

In the afternoon we take another trip to explore Lake Sandoval, another opportunity to watch the abundant wildlife. We stop to watch a stunning sunset from the middle of the lake, and observe fauna along its shore. On the way back our guides try to find a black cayman, a dangerous predator that shares the same habitat as the giant otter. We return to the lodge for dinner and our final night in the Amazon. (B/L/D)

Day 15: Puerto Maldonado / Lima

After breakfast we leave early for a last cruise on the lake, observing along the way the behavior of the local fauna in the early part of the day. We walk back to the Madre de Dios River to board a boat to Puerto Maldonado, and from there we transfer to the airport for a domestic flight to Lima. (B)

(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner

 

Tour Package Includes:

  • Airport transfer in and out in each city
  • City Tour Lima in private service
  • City Tour Arequipa + Mill of Sabandia
  • 2 days Colca Canyon excursion
  • Tour Sillustani enroute
  • Full Day Uros Island + Taquile
  • Bus ticket Puno – Cusco
  • City Tour Cusco + Ruins
  • Sacred Valley excursion + lunch
  • PeruRail train service to Aguas Calientes / Machu Picchu
  • Machu Picchu excursion + lunch
  • Re-entry ticket to Machu Picchu on Day 12 w/ bus transfer to/from ruins
  • Jungle lodge and rain forest excursions
  • Accommodation in each destination of the itinerary + breakfast

 

Not Included:

  • National or International flights
  • Non-itinerary meals or drinks
  • Tips or services not described in the itinerary

 

Some date restrictions may apply.
Peruvians and legal residents of Peru subject to IGV.

Hiram Bingham Train service offers luxury transportation with porter & waiter service, gourmet brunch, dinner and cocktails and an exclusive guided tour of Machu Picchu.
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