Citadels, seals and scenery!
An all encompassing itinerary to the South of Peru
Another way to get through a fun packed trip to Peru is to see some sea lions, Humboldt penguins, blue-footed boobies amongst other seabirds and mammals in the Ballestas Islands, on the South coast of Peru not far from the capital. And whilst you are there, why not fly over the enigmatic Nazca Lines thought to have appeared from around 200-600 BC in the desert area which spans 15 miles wide and runs for 37 miles parallel to the Andes and the Pacific Ocean. A trip to Peru is not complete with all the other sights on this itinerary which allows you just enough time to explore the sights and delve into Inca history. This trip can be done on either a private basis or as a shared tour for those wanting to make their money go that bit further.
Make your way to Lima
Fly to Lima International Airport. Met on arrival by your guide and transferred to the buzzy district of Miraflores to stay at Hotel Autor for 2 nights on a B&B basis. With its wide shady streets, little cafés and excellent restaurants, you’re right in the heart of Lima and a short taxi ride from the Plaza de Armas and the bohemian district of Barranco.
Includes a half day city tour on day 2 to visit the Plaza de Armas, Cathedral and the beautiful Casa Aliaga; a colonial mansion granted by Francisco Pizarro to one of his captains in 1535. The tour also includes a visit to the Larco Museum of Pre-Colombian art and the Parque del Amor, overlooking the Pacific.
Met from your hotel and transferred to the bus station for the morning departure to the seaside resort town of Paracas, which you reach approximately 3 hours later travelling along the Panamerican Sur highway. Met on arrival and transferred to the Hotel Hacienda Bahia Paracas to stay for the night on a B&B basis. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure!
Paracas has been declared a regional reserve for migratory birds, and on the peninsula it is possible to observe different ecosystems, the archaeological remains of the Paracas culture and the great diversity of marine life that exists in the area.
Met from your hotel and transferred to Chaco to board the boat to visit the Islas Ballestas; Peru’s own mini-Galapagos and a natural reserve inhabited by pelicans, sea lions, Humboldt penguins, cormorants and Inca terns. The boat will also make a stop in front of the peninsula to view the unexplained figures of the Candelabro Lines.
You will then be transferred back to the bus station to board the bus to Nasca (3 hours away) on the right bank of Aja River, a tributary of the Rio Grande to stay overnight on a B&B basis.
Nasca & Arequipa
In the morning you will be transferred to the airport of Pisco for a flight over the Nasca lines which consist of more than twelve geoglyphs in the Nasca desert including the mysterious outlines of a monkey, a spider, a humming bird, all of vast size. The trip ends by flying over the mountains, where you will find marine fossils dating more than 150 million years. After the flight you will then be taken to the bus station to board the bus to Arequipa.
Stay at the Casa Andina Select Arequipa Hotel for 2 nights on a B&B basis. Positioned right on the main square in the centre of the city, overlooking the Cathedral, you couldn’t be in a better position to explore and soak up the atmosphere of this historic University town.
Includes an afternoon tour of the city on a shared basis on day 6, starting in the main square at the Plaza de Armas; one of the most beautiful squares in Peru with its columned arches and magnificent eighteenth century Cathedral. From there you will visit the historic Santa Catalina Monastery and the phenomenal Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús with its ornate murals and chapel. You will finish the tour by driving out of the city for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and the famous Misti Volcano.
After breakfast at your hotel you will be met for the morning drive to the Colca Valley. As you cross the pampas with its herds of alpacas and wild vicuñas you’ll be in constant view of the chain of volcanoes which dot the stark landscape. Arriving into the town of Chivay just in time for lunch you’ll eat at a local restaurant and then transfer to the Colca Lodge to stay for 2 nights on a B&B basis. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the hotel’s thermal baths and take in the sleepy atmosphere in this peaceful valley.
Includes a morning excursion into the Colca Canyon to the Condor Cross lookout on the morning of day 8 to witness the dramatic spectacle of enormous condors soaring overhead on the morning’s thermal airwaves.
Puno and Lake Titicaca
After a free morning at your hotel you will be met for the transfer to the city of Puno on the banks of Lake Titicaca. The route takes you across the arid plains of the altiplano past high altitude lagoons and flocks of flamingoes. Reaching altitudes of over 4500m where temperatures at night fall well below freezing, this area is home to some of the hardiest communities in the Andes. Use the functional Hotel José Antonio Puno at the edge of Lake Titicaca as a base to explore for 2 nights on a B&B basis.
Includes an excursion to visit the floating reed islands of the Uros people and the traditional textile weaving community on the island of Taquile on day 10.
After breakfast at your hotel you will be transferred to the bus station to board the full day bus to Cusco. Stopping en route at the archaeological site of Pukara, which dates from 200BC to 300AD, as well as in Raqchi to admire the ruins of an Inca temple built to worship the Inca god Wiracocha you’ll have a chance to see sites that you would otherwise miss by flying or taking the train to Cusco. You will also stop at Andahuaylillas, a picturesque town famed for its beautiful 16th century church, otherwise known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the Americas’. Stay at Quinta San Blas for 2 nights on a B&B basis.
Includes a half-day tour of Cusco and nearby ruins on day 12. Visit Coricancha; the “Temple of the Sun” and the main Plaza de Armas before heading up into the hills overlooking Cusco to visit the fortress at Sacsayhuaman and the archaeological complexes of Quenqo and Tambomachay.
Met at your hotel and transferred to the Sacred Valley to visit the famous market at Pisac and the archaeological site set into the hills above the town. With the largest complex of terraces in the area visiting the archaeological site at Pisac gives you a real insight into how Inca communities functioned.
After lunch you will visit the ancient town of Ollantaytambo; one of the best examples of Inca city planning with its narrow streets and irrigation channels. Stay at the Posada del Inca Yucay Hotel for the night on a B&B basis.
Met at your hotel and transferred to Ollanta train station for the journey to Aguas Calientes; the humid gateway town to Machu Picchu set on the banks of the Urubamba River. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Pichu never fails to impress. The origins of this site, which means “Old Mountain”, are traced back to the Inca Empire around the mid 15th Century.
Walk up to the Sun Gate to gain some perspective on the site from afar or take up the challenge of climbing Wayna Picchu Mountain, the smaller, “younger mountain” at the side of the citadel with its “Temple of the Moon” and complex of underground constructions.
Return to the train station for lunch at Café Inkaterra, and then board the afternoon train back to Cusco. Stay at Quinta San Blas for the night on a B&B basis.
Met and transferred back to Cusco airport for your onward flight. You may choose to head on to another area of Peru for a couple of days to relax at a luxury lodge in the Amazon or at the beach at Mancora. Alternatively fly back to Lima to connect onto your international flight home.
Please note that the above is on a B&B basis unless otherwise shown and the cost does not include international flights. Please consult us for prices on a private basis and for different hotel combinations.