Trip reference number: ITN-PER014
Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours
This stunning Peru holiday includes a flight over the Nazca lines, which are an awe inspiring collection of 300 figures that include a whale, condor, snake, llama, spider and flower, these can only be seen from the sky as they are etched into the desert. In direct contrast to this you can also experience the marine life of the Ballestas Islands, The Islas Ballestas (Ballestas Islands) are spectacular islands with many caves and arches, which provide shelter for thousands of seabirds and sea-lions. The islands are home to over 150 species of marine bird including the Humboldt penguin, cormorants, boobies and pelicans. The Lakes, Nazca Lines, Wilderness and Inca Tour includes a trip to Lake Titicaca which is one is one of the most fascinating lakes in the world. This tour also includes visits to South America's world famous archaeological site Machu Picchu.
Day 1 Depart the UK for your flight to Lima. On arrival you will be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel, El Pardo Doubletree. A modern hotel in the upmarket area of Miraflores this is a great option for a short stay in the Peruvian capital.
Day 2 With your guide explore colonial and modern Lima. In the old part of the city start at the Main Square flanked by the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace and continue to San Francisco Convent which dates back to the 16th century. San Isidro is the financial heart of Lima but is also where you find the pre-inca Huaca Huallamarca. End the tour at the Parque del Amor (Park of Love) where you can enjoy fantastic views over the Pacific ocean and Lima’s dramatic cliff coast.
Day 3 You will be taken by bus to the coastal town of Paracas and the luxury resort of Hotel Paracas. The southern coast is a strange mix of barren desert and teaming sea. Much of the coast is protected as wildlife reserves and enriched by the Humboldt ocean current. Afternoon flight over the mystical Nazca lines which, according to experts, are over 2000 years old. These enormous geoglyphs of more than 70 human figures and stylized animal and were first discovered in 1927. The most famous shapes are the hummingbird, the monkey and the spider.
Day 4 From Paracas bay, take a morning boat tour to the beautiful Ballestas Islands. As the largest natural sanctuary off the coast of Peru this is a huge draw for the diverse wildlife. Expect to see Humboldt penguins, boobies and pelicans along with sea lions basking in the sun. One of the most iconic images of these islands is the candelabra geoglyph, at 150 metres high, and etched into the desert hillside. If you have more time there are plenty of other places to visit and activities in this south coast region. Cementerio de Chauchilla showcases 12 restored graves displaying mummies from the Chinacha period whilst Ica is the heart of the Peruvian wine region and famous for pisco production. Sand boarding and buggy rides are also popular or just relax by the hotel pool in the glorious sunshine.
Day 5 Transfer to Lima airport for the short flight to Cuzco in the Andean Highlands. At 3400m altitude you are likely to feel the effects of the thin mountain air so the rest of the day is at leisure to relax. Perhaps have some local coca tea overlooking the main square (Plaza de Armas) and admire the hustle and bustle of the city and the vibrant local colours. Your base in Cuzco is the lovely El Mercado Tunqui hotel located a short distance from the main plaza.
Day 6 With your guide visit the most scenic areas in the Sacred Valley and appreciate the fantastic views of the Urubamba valley. Drive to colourful Pisac market, a hub of local activity, where you have free time to shop and interact with the locals. The town of Ollantaytambo is an attractive town of Inca origin with remarkable channels, characterful buildings and cobblestone streets. For the next two nights stay at the charming Sol y Luna in the lush Sacred Valley.
Day 7 Free day in the Sacred Valley to simply relax by the pool, read and feast on the local food specialities. There are also a host of activities you can arrange locally such as hiking, mountain biking and cultural tours.
Day 8 In the morning, board the Vistadome train for an incredibly scenic journey through the Sacred Valley en-route to Aguas Calientes. Embark the bus with your guide to the citadel of Machu Picchu, one of the major highlights on your trip and an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the history of this mysterious and charming site. Overnight in the town of Aguas Calientes at the luxurious Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel located in 12 acres of lush gardens.
Day 9 Morning at leisure for an optional tour which can be arranged through the hotel or make a second visit to Machu Picchu. If you are feeling energetic there is also the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu, the ‘young mountain’ which overlooks the citadel. From here you can enjoy a breathtaking view. Afternoon departure from Aguas Calientes for the Vistadome service to Poroy with transfer to Cuzco.
Day 10 Explore the city of Cuzco with your local guide. Visit the main square, Plaza de Armas, where you will find the Cathedral and the Church of La Compañía. Overlooking the city, Sacsayhuaman Fortress, is an imposing site and sample of Incan military architecture.
Day 11 The land journey from Cuzco to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca is a stunningly beautiful tour through the Andes. Venture through the snowcapped highlands to the highest point of the journey at La Raya. Stop here for the fantastic views and excellent photo opportunities. As you near Lake Titicaca the landscape becomes more barren although you have a good chance of spotting alpaca and vicuna. Arrival to Puno around 6pm and transfer to your hotel, Libertador Puno, overlooking the dazzling lake.
Day 12 Full day exploration of Lake Titicaca with your local guide. Visit the Uros islands where the indigenous people of the region still live a traditional lifestyle. Islands are constructed from tortora reed as are there hand-made boats used for transportation. Continue to Taquile Island where the community still dress in a traditional costumes and colours, and keep their ancient traditions alive.
Day 13 Transfer to Juliaca airport, around one hour from Puno, for your return flight to the UK via Lima.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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