Explore Peru's southern coast, its Inca highlands and the ancient Moche and Chimor antiquities in the north. From the soaring heights of the Sacred Valley to the historic cities of Lima, Cuzco and Arequipa, this epic journey is truly an all-encompassing tour of Peru. Highlights include spotting condors at Colca Canyon, conquering the Inca Trail on the way to Machu Picchu, experiencing traditional life on Lake Titicaca and exploring the pre-Columbian Adobe city of Chan Chan and the Sun and Moon temples near Trujillo.
London to Lima
Depart London Heathrow for your flight to Lima.
On arrival you will be met and taken by private transfer to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Classic Miraflores Centro
Our guided visit to Lima allows you to see the Historical Centre: Plaza Mayor ("Main Square"), the Government Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, the City Hall and old streets with colonial mansions and Moorish balconies. You will also visit Santo Domingo Convent, an icon of colonial architecture, which was completed in the late stages of the sixteenth century and has been restored recently. The tour continues to the modern suburb of San Isidro where a visit to the pre-Inca pyramid of Huaca Huallamarca is included. Continue downtown to Miraflores and enjoy a splendid view of the Pacific Ocean from the Park of Love.
Today you will fly to Trujillo and transfer to El Gran Marquez for a two night stay. El Gran Marquez is peacefully situated in the residential area of Trujillo but still within close walking distance of the main square.
Accommodation: El Gran Marquez
Huaca del Sol, Huaca de la Luna & Chan Chan
Today you will visit the Huaca del Sol or Sun Temple built by the Moche civilisation in the desert by the coast near Trujillo. Close by to the Huaca del Sol is the Huaca de la Luna or ‘Moon Temple’ which forms part of the Huacas de Moche, the ruins of the ancient Moche capital city, Cerro Blanco. Huaca de la Luna is smaller and better preserved than Huaca del Sol. You will also visit Chan Chan - a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986 and the largest Pre-Columbian city in South America. Situated in La Libertad, it is 20 kilometres squared in size and was built by the Chimor people. Breakfast and lunch are included.
You will be transferred to Chiclayo via El Brujo. At Chiclayo you will stay at Costa del Sol Chiclayo. Costa del Sol Chiclayo can be found in the heart of Chiclayo’s financial and commercial district.
Accommodation: Costa del Sol Chiclayo
Sipan is situated nearby to the coast only 35 kilometres from Chiclayo. At this site four tombs were built by the Moche people. Some archaeologists have considered this to be one of the most important discoveries in the last 30 years since the main tomb was found untouched by grave robbers. Breakfast is included.
Royal Tombs and Tucume: Half day tour
Located in Lambayeque, The Royal Tombs Museum is home to a collection of important artefacts found by Dr Walter Alva in 1987. Opened in 2002, the museum has been built to resemble the ancient Moche tombs. The highlight of the museum is the Lord of Sipan and his entourage tomb. Afterwards you will visit Tucume which is an archaeological complex consisting of 26 pyramids said to have been built in 700 AD. Set within lush vegetation, these pyramids are a site of real beauty.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Arequipa via Lima. Restored to its original grandeur, this colonial mansion is one of the finest hotels in Arequipa’s historical centre, and is as much a living museum as it is a hotel. Casa Andina Private Collection inhabits the 1794 former Mint House, a national historic monument. This has been meticulously restored and remodelled in 2008 after a century of neglect. The hotel features vaulted ceilings, colonial courtyards and an elegant restaurant.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Private Collection Arequipa
Private tour of Arequipa which is an attractive city located in the shadow of the beautiful Misti volcano. At its main square, visit the Cathedral with its altar of Carrara marble, huge Belgian organ and magnificent pulpit. Also see the Jesuit church of La Compañia with its beautifully painted chapel and carved volcanic stone cloisters. The highlight of the tour is a visit to Santa Catalina convent. This convent, closed to the public for almost 400 years until 1970, is still home to a few nuns, and you will gain an insight into the isolated lives of the nuns in this attractive city with quaint narrow streets and courtyards.
You will be picked up from your hotel to start the trip through the town of Yura and the National Reserve of Salinas/Aguada Blanca and Pampa Cañahuas, where you can see South American camels and many species of birds in their natural habitats. We will make a stop in Patahuasi to freshen up and enjoy a coca infusion, before continuing to the town of Chivay. Depending on the schedule, you may have lunch in town or have a picnic enjoying the beautiful scenery from one of the natural viewing spots of the zone. In the afternoon, we highly recommend you to visit La Calera and enjoy an invigorating bath in the hot spring waters or just to spend a delightful afternoon in the hotel.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Classic Colca
Colca Canyon - Puno
Very early, we will start the trip to Cruz del Cóndor (Condor Cross), which will allow us to enjoy a spectacular view of one of the deepest canyons in the world, and with luck, have a chance to take pictures of the biggest and most impressive flying bird in the Andes, the majestic Condor. Depending on the schedule, the tour may make a stop in the town of Pinchollo, the only pre-Inca town still inhabited, and the Maca town, with its beautiful craft market and colonial church. Enjoy lunch in Chivay before heading to Puno.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Private Collection Puno
Uros & Taquile Islands
Today we embark on a full day tour of Lake Titicaca. Spend three hours on a boat trip on this lake whish is the highest navigable lake in the world, will take you to the Island of Taquile. To reach the hub of the island one must make a walk of stone steps but the effort is well rewarded by the views of the Lake and its surrounding mountains. The people of Taquile are famous for their colourful, fine weavings and their hospitality. On the return trip to Puno you will make a stop on Uros Island, built on layers of the totora reeds, hence the name "floating island". Here the Uros Indians live as they have done for generations, seeking out a living by fishing and selling handicrafts. You will be given a box lunch on this tour.
Andean Explorer Train from Puno to Cuzco
A spectacular rail journey begins in the historic city of Puno at approximately 8.00am, and runs north to Cuzco. On this journey, you will notice that the train will descend into warmer climes. The gentle descent is breathtaking and a scenic stop will be made in La Roya, which is the highest point on the route. Continue through the gentler, rolling Andean Plains, where vicuna and alpaca are often seen. Excellent dining is served in the observation car. To reduce the danger of altitude sickness, oxygenation systems have been installed on this train. The last half of the journey is dominated by magnificent Andean Mountains, towering over the deep valleys of the meandering Huatanay. On arrival you will be met and taken by private transfer to your hotel.
Accommodation: Sonesta Cuzco
Spend a half day sightseeing in the fascinating colonial city of Cuzco which is built on the foundations of the Inca palaces. Visit Koricancha or the Temple of the Sun, where you can view the incredible masonry of the Incas, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral with its carved woodworks, altars and paintings. Next, head high above the city to the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman and the nearby sites of Kenko and Tambomachay.
Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu
Take a shared transfer to Sacred Valley train station to go to Aguas Calientes. The Vistadome trains have beautiful panoramic windows offering unsurpassed scenic views and photographic opportunities. With glass surrounding them on all sides, passengers feel as if they are part of Peru's remarkable landscape. Snacks and hot and cold refreshments are included on the journey. With your local tour guide, take the bus up to the ruins of Machu Picchu for a guided tour, including a buffet lunch. You will have plenty of time to explore this extensive site. Return by bus to the town of Aguas Calientes, a lively market town that has grown around the railway and transfer to the El MaPi hotel.
Accommodation: El MaPi Hotel by Inkaterra
Machu Picchu - Cuzco
You will have free time in the morning to re-visit the ruins of Machu Picchu, perhaps at sunrise when the site is quieter. Buses run to the site from approximately 6.00am. In the mid-afternoon, you will return to the train station to get the Vistadome train to Ollanta with transfer to Cuzco and the Sonesta as before.
Accommodation: Sonesta Cuzco
Take a private transfer to the airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado. Start your journey arriving to Puerto Maldonado and checking-in at the Inkaterra Lounge (Butterfly House). Immerse yourself in the rainforest navigating on an outboard dugout canoe along the Madre de Dios River to Hacienda Concepción (approximately 25-minute navigation). Taste a buffet lunch with organic ingredients and native flavours. After lunch, take a walk at Concepcion trails, our inside property nature trails, where you will discover and learn about primary and secondary rainforest, its components, uses, transformations by the human being, and its relevance for the world. At dusk navigate on canoe in the twilight river excursion. Sailing on the Madre de Dios River, you will learn about its ecosystems, Amazon creeks, nocturnal animals’ behaviour, and the southern constellations. In the evening enjoy a dinner at our main house.
Accommodation: Hacienda Concepcion by Inkaterra
Tambopata National Reserve
New experiences are ahead and after taking a nutritious buffet breakfast, get ready for a long trek through terra firma in the Tambopata National Reserve to Lake Sandoval. Here you will understand why Madre de Dios is called the biodiversity capital of the world, while learning about the reserve’s conservation efforts and the lake’s formation. Travel across this mirror-like oxbow lake that is home to the endangered giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), blue and yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus), black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), and one of the world’s biggest fresh water fishes, the paiche (Arapaima gigas).
Back to the lodge for lunch because later on the Inkaterra Canopy walkway & Anaconda walk await for you. Take a 20-minute outboard-dugout canoe ride to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway Interpretation Center where you will learn about its construction and the conservation projects of ITA-Inkaterra Asociación (NGO). Ascend one of the two 98-foot towers (30 mts.) and cross the 7 hanging bridges that connect the treetops at 91 feet high (28 mts.). Enjoy the breathtaking vistas and get the chance to watch white-throated toucans (Ramphastos tucanus), woodpeckers, trogons, squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis) and the three-toed sloth (Choleopus hoffmani). After descending keep on feeling the incredible primary rainforest vibe going for about 30 minutes along the 200-meter wooden bridge over the aguajales swamps. You will learn about the fauna and flora of these flooded ecosystems. Return to the lodge and enjoy dinner.
The sun rises once again and after breakfast, get ready for the cocha excursion. Enjoy a canoe ride on the Hacienda Concepción cocha. Try native fishing applying the “catch and release” techniques, as you enjoy the scenery observing hoatzins (Opisthocomus hoazin), a diversity of fly catchers, and gray-necked woodrails (Aramides cajanea). Disembark at the remains of Fitzcarrald steam boat, and learn about its history. Getting back to Hacienda Concepción you will have lunch.
In the afternoon prepare yourself for your next excursion at the River Island, known as “Rolin”. Take a boat ride and walk through the island. Learn about this flooded ecosystem and vegetation succession while enjoying bird watching. Later on explore our Inland Collpa. Walk 15 to 20 minutes toward one out of four clay licks that we have in Hacienda Concepción. Learn about this mammal inland collpa activity and the difference between collpas according to their location, while looking for footprints and traces of animal activity on the clay lick walls, such as the agoutis’, monkeys’, and peccaries’ among others. Back to the lodge relax and have a delicious dinner.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to London.
Pricing Information & Dates
21 day tour, from £4070 per person
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