TYPE: SPECIAL PROGRAM
VISITED PLACES:LIMA, PUERTO MALDONADO, CUSCO, SACRED VALLEY, MACHU PICCHU, PUNO AND COLCA CANYON (AREQUIPA)
DURATION: 19 DAYS AND 18 NIGHTS
DEPARTURES: EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR
Get contact with the culture of Peru; visit the jungle of Puerto Maldonado, the mystic city of Cusco and legends on the shores of Lake Titicaca (Puno), the heritage cultural of the world, the magic citadel of Machu Picchu and let you seduce by the charm of the Inca’s Sacred Valley and the beautiful Colca Canyon in Arequipa.
You will have an opportunity to enjoy your vacations the best tour.
This tour is a Perfect for those looking to experience the region’s archeological and cultural treasures in a long amount of time, include the Cusco City tour, Sacred Valley of the Incas, journey to the lost city of the Incas Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca (Puno) and Colca Canyon (Chivay) in Arequipa.
Cusco, which means ‘’navel of the world’’ in the Inca language – Quechua, has a mostly indigenous population of around 500,000 and is centered around the Plaza de Armas, which is dominated by the Cathedral and La Compañia of Jesus Church. Its cloistered arcades house many fine restaurants, bars and shops. Make the most of your free days in Cusco to explore its amazing churches, colonial buildings and picturesque streets, many of which have Inca walls, arches and doorways. On a hill overlooking the city stands the archaeological park of Sacsayhuaman, where some of the most spectacular Inca walls can be found, including a massive 128 ton stone. There are also many optional excursions and activities available such as white water rafting, horse riding, and mountain biking and canoeing on offer.
When arriving in Cusco from the coast you will immediately notice the thin clear mountain air, a result of the City’s high altitude. The first day in particular should be spent quietly relaxing and taking things easy as you gently acclimatize. This is an ideal opportunity to see the highlights Cusco has to offer such as a tour of the City, the nearby Inca Ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay and, of course, a day trip out to the Sacred Valley of the Incas including a visit to the traditional Indian market at Pisac, the beautiful village of Ollantaytambo and the small village of Chinchero located high up in the mountains.
Puno is located on the Andean plain dominated by the presence of Lake Titicaca, a sacred place for the Incas, with both natural and artificial islands, as well as pre-Hispanic archaeological sites with circular constructions known as chullpas. The region’s people are proud of their Quechua and Aymara past and a folkloric tradition that overflows each year during the Candelaria festival.
Puno is a legend, with multi colour festivals and natural and artificial islands.
The city of Arequipa is in southern Peru, elevation 2350 meters, and the Colca Canyon is not far from the city, but at a higher elevation (close to 3000 meters).
The Colca Valley is one of the most beautiful areas in Peru; where you will find andean terraces built by the Collaguas and Cabanas, the two distinct ethnic groups in the Colca Valley. This zone presents 16 villages, these are: Sibayo, Callalli, Tuti, Canocota, Chivay, Coporaque, Yanque, Ichupampa, Achoma, Lari, Maca, Madrigal, Cabanaconde, Pinchollo, Tapay and Huambo towns; in all this areas you will find colonial churches and gently people. In Chivay you will find “La Calera” hot springs, with recognized medicinal properties of importance.
Early in the morning flight to Puerto Maldonado, a small jungle town, then by river (3hours) to the jungle lodge in the Tambopata Reserve.
On the way we may see caimans, river turtles and waterfowl.
There is normally time to do a short walk in the afternoon.
Please note that, depending on flight times, it is possible that you may arrive after dark.
Hike to Lake Condenado. After an early breakfast you and your nature guide will board the motorized canoe once again for the short journey to the trail head to begin a morning’s exploration by foot and paddle canoe of the lake system of Condenado, rich in bird and aquatic life. A family of Giant Otters lives in the vicinity of the lake and are often observed. Birds abound especially Rufescent Tiger-herons, Great Egrets, Wattled Jacanas, Hoatzin, the noisy Donacobius and many others (Remember to bring your hat and sun block for there is no shade out on the water).
You will return to the lodge in time for lunch. The afternoon is for exploring the forest close to the lodge (with or without your guide), relaxing and bathing in the Gallucunca, a cool clear stream beside the lodge or visit our tree platforms, going up with ropes and harnesses for a bird’s eye view of the forest and for close-ups of arboreal orchids and the many other species of plants and animals that are never seen near the ground (extra cost). After dark you will go searching for caiman (alligators) and other nocturnal animals by motorized canoe along the Tambopata River.
Hike to Lake Sachavacayoc (Tapir Lake). After an early breakfast you will take a short boat ride down river to the trail head. Here you embark on a longer trail which leads to a spectacular hidden lake, requiring the crossing of streams and swampy ground, past the giant Lupuna trees (kings of the jungle) which abound in this part of the forest. On the walk you are introduced to more aspects of the forest and its animals. At the lake itself it is possible to spot the elusive Black Caiman and Giant Otters.
We will return for lunch. The afternoon is free for relaxation and bathing.
We return by river to Puerto Maldonado and take a flight to Cusco; the former capital of the Inca Empire now fills the head of a manicured valley at 3350 meters / 10,991 feet above sea level. We will transfer you to the selected hotel, and brief you on the events of the following days.
You have the remainder of the morning free. We suggest you take it very easy for a few hours, to help your body adjust to the altitude. You will have ample time later to explore Cusco’s colourful streets and plazas.
In the afternoon, free time to explore the centre of Cusco or just rest.
Accommodation in Cusco.
In the morning we visit the Inca and colonial monuments in the city, including the Cathedral, the Inca Temple of the Sun, and the impressive Plaza de Armas.
We also visit the exquisite Inca shrines of Tambomachay and Qenqo in the hills above the city, and Saqsayhuaman, the enormous fortified temple with its massive ramparts of hewn stone, for a condor’s-eye view over the red tiled rooftops of Cusco.
Free afternoon to explore for your own the city of Cusco.
Accommodation in Cusco.
Drive to Pisac town and visit the colourful market at Pisac, at the entrance to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and afterwards the huge Inca ruins above the village and after lunch explore the magnificent Ollantaytambo, where many buildings display original Inca stone foundations.
The adjacent Sun Temple offers some of the finest stone construction, after that catch the train from Ollantaytambo station to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu) town one hour a half trip and spend the night in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu).
In the morning, before the tourists arrive, we climb by bus to Machu Picchu to have a tour and spend the morning at the ruins, for most people the highlight of the trip is the visit the greatest ruin in the world, the lost city of Machu Picchu. This is one of the architectural and engineering marvels of the ancient world, in a mountain setting of staggering immensity. The Spaniards never found it, the Incas left no records about it, so Machu Picchu remains a great enigma, a city lost for centuries in the jungle, then board the train in the afternoon for the ride along the Urubamba River to Sacred valley hotel, where we will spend the night.
Explore this day the Maras salt mine where the peasants from the countryside of Maras work making polls of salt and selling their products in the market around the sacred valley and even in Cusco city, after that visit Moray the circular terraces where the Inca culture or the Andean culture domesticate more than 1500 plants.
Later on, visit Chinchero town where is located the archaeological place and the colonial church, continue to Cusco city to spend the night in a comfortable Hotel.
In the morning at 07:00am we take a bus ride across the altiplano, the high plains separating the Andes from the jungles. Although it is quite a long drive, it is interesting and often spectacular. There are scheduled stops along the route to visit some of the most interesting sites to help break up the day and we get a feeling for the immensity of the Andean landscapes. These include Pucara, a pre-Inca town, and La Raya Pass, the watershed and geographical shift from altiplano to Cusco Valley where the Raqchi Inca temple is located.
We will arrive in Puno in the evening.
Upon arrival to Puno, transfer to the selected hotel to spend the night.
The highest navigable lake in the world at 3,856 m/12,650 ft., Lake Titicaca is intensively settled around its whole margin. We will transfer you to the port and board a motor launch for the 2 hours cruise and visit the astonishing Uros flouting Island, after visit this magnificent island continue to Amantani island where a gentle and industrious population of Quechua peasants who welcome us, the Quechua-speaking islanders regained ownership in the mid-twentieth century, and have been receiving tourists into their homes since the early 1980’s. Half a century ago, a trip to the island was an adventure, often an overnight trip in precarious sailboats. Now cooperatives of island families operate comfortable motor launches to make the trip a delightful immersion into another world.
We spend a delightful afternoon hiking on the island.
We will spend the night in a local home.
Board a Motor launch for the 1½-hour cruise to Taquile Island.
Taquile’s rocky, terraced slopes rise precipitously from the waters in the center of the lake; we spend a delightful morning hiking on the island and after that in the afternoon return to the City of Puno.
We will spend the night in Puno Hotel.
We will drive to Colca Canyon (Arequipa)
Private guide and driver for the trip to Colca, with a stop in Aguada Blancas vicuña reserve.
We will spend one night in a comfortable country inn in Chivay town. We include lunch today, in the afternoon we will visit an open-air hot spring.
We will visit the Cruz Del Condor, a lookout near the deepest part of the Colca Canyon, where condors spiral up on the morning thermal air currents. In the left bank villages and countryside we explore an extraordinary concentration of geoglyphs, terracing complexes, colonial churches, and a vibrant folk culture with distinctive costumes and housing styles.
We will return in the afternoon at Chivay town.
We will return in the morning to Arequipa, in our private car, this is going to take us 5 hours’ drive until this beautiful city located in the beginning of the desert coast area of southern of Peru…
Spend the night in a comfortable hotel in Arequipa.
In the morning, we have a city walking in the most important street of Arequipa city, and also visit the most famous mummy “La momia Juanita” the mum sacrificed in the Ampato snowcap mountain over 6000 meters above sea level, so later on, visit the Santa Catalina monastery; free afternoon in the city.
Spend the night in a comfortable hotel in Arequipa.
At schedule time, pick you up from the hotel to transfer to the airport, we will take our fly from Arequipa to Cusco; upon arrival to Cusco our representative transfer you to the selected hotel.
We will spend a night in a Cusco hotel.
Free day and wait for your flight to Lima and flight at home.
RECOMMENDED THINGS TO TAKE.
You will need a change of clothes rain gear or poncho (plastic poncho can be purchase in Cusco), mineral water one liter, warm jacket or fleece and wind coot, t-shirts, shorts and long pants, sun hat and wool hat, flashlight and extra batteries, sun block and insect repellent, toilet paper and garbage bag, small towel, camera, extra film and extra batteries for your camera, snacks, chocolates, energy bars, personal things.