The main goal of this trip will be to learn how Peru today is the result of centuries of cultural mixture. Pre-Inkas, Inkas, Spaniards, Africans and Asians have contributed to what we call today Peruvian. We arrive into Lima in the morning, and connect with a one-and-a-half hour flight to Rodriguez Ballon airport, in the city of Arequipa (AQP). A driver will be waiting for us at the airport in order to take us directly to Libertador Arequipa Hotel.
Also known as the White City, Arequipa is the second largest town in the country. Although not as high as Cusco, Arequipa is almost 7,000 feet above sea level, so we recommend a light meal on arrival and as little physical activity as possible for the rest of the day, so we can correctly acclimatize. Overnight at Libertador Arequipa Hotel.
** Flight tickets are not included in any package.
We'll dedicate this morning to a city tour in this town with a privileged weather. We'll see its Colonial architecture, the Cathedral right on the main square and several buildings made with Sillar, a volcanic rock white in color.
We'll finish the tour visiting the Santa Catalina Convent, after which we'll head directly to the airport in order to take a midday flight to Juliaca, closest airport to Puno and Lake Titicaca.
We'll be given a one-hour transfer to Libertador Lake Titicaca Hotel.
Lake Titicaca is slightly shy of 12,000 feet above sea level, so even when we've been acclimatizing to altitude since Arequipa the day before, it's also a good idea not to program anything challenging for when we arrive. Overnight at Libertador Lake Titicaca Hotel.
After an early breakfast we depart for two of the most representative islands on Titicaca Lake. First Uros, within the Titicaca National Reserve and 6.3 miles from Puno. It names the island complex itself and the people who inhabit them. These man-made floating islands are made of reef and their dwellers keep ancient culture and crafts alive around this product. We then continue towards Taquile, an actual solid ground island which offers a great landscape and cultural experience. Travelers can see aspects of these islanders everyday life: housing, food and traditions. Taquile is also famous for its original and colorful weavings, translated into garments known all over the world. Overnight at Libertador Lake Titicaca Hotel.
We'll stop on our way to the airport in order to visit Sillustani, archeological site located 55 miles from Puno, considered one of the largest and most important necropolis in the Americas. Chullpas are large-sized funerary monuments built by the Collas and the Inkas next to Lake Umayo, each more than 36 feet tall. Their architectonic singularity allows this construction to be wider on the top than on the bottom.
we then fly to Cusco, where a driver will be waiting for us at the airport, taking us directly to Tambo del inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa at Urubamba, Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley is halfway between Cusco and Machu Picchu, making this location strategic for travelers. Overnight at Tambo del Inka, Luxury Collection Resort & Spa.
If Cusco was the heart of the Empire, the Sacred Valley bore the arteries that fed its people. Travel through time as you journey through two important Incan archeological complexes: Pisac and Ollantaytambo.
Pisac is 33 kilometers northeast from the city of Cusco, east of the Vilcabamba Mountains. The city’s architecture features a blend of Inca and Spanish, granting it an ancient and modern feel. The main square is a palette of color since local artisans set up their booths there to sell their crafts. You can also walk through the town market and find traditional hand-woven clothing and accessories.
Ollantaytambo is one of the most spectacular sites left by the Incas, mainly because of the massive size of the stones used in its walls and its architectural layout. Archeologists claim it was a military, religious, administrative, and agricultural center. Overnight at Tambo del Inka, Luxury Collection Resort & Spa.
We'll dedicate this day to Machu Picchu. During your visit to this incredible archeological site, recently chosen as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, you will admire the magnificent landscape, temples, prayer houses, andean terraces and the amazing architecture.
The guided tour typically takes around two hours, after which you will have the opportunity to explore the citadel by yourself. We then return to Aguas Calientes, where we will arrange your train back to the hotel.
* The schedules may have some variations, according to availability.
Overnight at Tambo del Inka, Luxury Collection Resort & Spa.
Meeting at the Tambo del Inka Lobby and short walk to the train station.
Departure from Tambo del Inka to Aguas Calientes.
Arrival at Aguas Calientes train station and meet with your guide.
Bus Transfer to Machu Picchu.
Lunch at Tinkuy Restaurant at Machupicchu Sanctuary Lodge.
Transfer to Aguas Calientes.
Departure from Aguas Calientes to Tambo del Inka.
Arrival at Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Colection Resort & Spa.
This day we'll do the Andean Baroque circuit, starting with the Inka temple of Tipón, specially built to honor water. Its channels transport this element in a fluid and efficient way, up until this day, carving intricate patterns on the rock. We then visit Pikillacta, on the way to the South side of the Valley, and we finish at Andahuaylillas, picturesque town whose little church is called the sistine chapel of the Andes, due to its intricate carvings wooden altar and hand-painted ceilings, all recently restored.
We then go to Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, where we spend the night.
We'll dedicate this day to learning about the city of Cusco and how it continues being the blend of two cultures for the last 500 years.
Our experience starts at the San Pedro Market, where our guide will show us dozens of elements of an Andean origin and many others with a European source, and how the two combine in order to produce nowadays food, weavings, medicine and so on. We will then walk back to Palacio del Inka, passing by several buildings with Inka foundations and Colonial construction on top, learning about the history of these family houses, alleys and palaces. The tour ends with a private visit to Cuatro Bustos Mansion, with more than 100 certified art pieces which reflect this blend of cultures.
We hop on a bus again in order to visit the Cathedral, Santo Domingo convent and Qoricancha, as well as archeological sites like Sacsayhuaman and Kenko. Overnight at Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel.
This day we'll have the morning at leisure to visit any of the many attractions not in the traditional circuit, or just to walk the magical Cusco streets on our own. By the end of the morning we'll fly back to Lima, where we'll be greeted by a driver who will take us on a 4-hour journey south to Paracas. Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort is located adjacent to the Paracas National Reserve, important protected area that boasts fascinating coastal species and unique marine habitats.
We start this day at 8AM, with a visit to Ballestas Islands, where you will be able to spot diverse and abundant coastal fauna. The 2-hour tour in specially designed boats will put you closer to the sounds of sea lions and help you spot Humboldt Penguins, Boobies, Cormorants, Terns and a few other species of birds. On the way to the islands we'll be able to see the Candelabrum, a gigantic and mysterious geoglyph printed on the sand, right along the coast.
The rest of the day will be open for any of the many activities available in the Ica desert, nautical sports at the bay or archeological explorations like a flight over the Nasca lines. Or maybe you'll just want to rest from this very busy itinerary under the ever present Paracas sunshine. Overnight at Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort .
On this day we return to Lima. After lunch we complete a city tour that covers Colonial Lima, with its impressive Cathedral and the San Francisco Monastery catacombs; Republican and Modern Lima, ending at the touristic district of Miraflores. Overnight at The Westin Lima, Hotel & Convention Center.
Depending on our international flight schedule, we can have the morning at leisure before heading back to the Lima airport for our flight back to the country of origin.