Experience the many splendours of Peru’s ancient past on this 16-day tour that takes you to famed sites and hidden gems. In northern Peru, discover traces of pre-Inca cultures, including the mountaintop fortified city of Kuelap, home to the Chachapoyas “Cloud Warriors;” and the eroded adobe ruins of Chan Chan. Round out your exploration of Peru’s fascinating past with an early morning guided visit to magnificent Machu Picchu.
Day 1 Lima
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Day 2 Lima/Chachapoyas (1B)
Board an early flight to Jaen, then travel overland to Chachapoyas, gateway to the archaeological sites of northern Peru. "Chacha,"as it’s known locally, will be our base for exploring the natural, cultural, and archaeological highlights of the region.
Day 3 Kuelap Fortress (1B, 1L)
This morning, get immersed in the culture and history of the Chachapoyan people at Kuelap, a fortified city made up of more than 400 circular buildings and complexes. Ride a cable car up to the site, thought to have been an important cultural center for these pre-Inca "Cloud Warriors." Enjoy lunch at a coffee farm and attend an exclusive lecture by a Chachapoyas expert. Later, try to spot some of the 130 bird species that live in the surrounding ecological reserve, including the spatula-tailed hummingbird.
Day 4 Gocta Falls (1B)
Hike through the cloud forest to Gocta waterfall, one of the world’s tallest cascades, 771 meters (2,156 feet) high. Ancient legends that discouraged local community members from talking about the falls, which did not begin receiving visitors until 2005 and are still relatively unknown. Take in Gocta’s mesmerizing spray; then opt for a longer hike to its base, or enjoy a free afternoon.
Day 5 Chachapoyas/Chiclayo (1B, 1L)
Today, drive to Chiclayo. This coastal town, founded in the 16th century, was once an important trade route between the coast and the jungle and is rich with archaeological sites and cultural history. Spend the rest of the day exploring the city on your own.
Day 6 Chiclayo (1B, 1L)
Enjoy a visit to one of the most archaeologically rich museums in Peru: the Royal Tombs of SipÁn Museum. In the afternoon, explore the tombs of Huaca Rajada and Lord SipÁn, a series of burial chambers used by the pre-Inca Moche culture.
Day 7 Chiclayo/Trujillo (1B)
Drive down the coast to colonial Trujillo, stoping along the way at the tomb of the Dama de Cao. Tour the site and hear about the mummy discovered here in 2006, thought to be the remains of the Lady of Cao, a high-ranking Moche ruler.
Day 8 Chan Chan/Lima (1B)
Enjoy a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Chan Chan, the world’s largest adobe city. The former capital of the Chimu civilization, Chan Chan was once home to 50,000 people. Visit the Temple of the Sun and the Moon before flying back to Lima this evening.
Day 9 Lima (1B)
Enjoy a free day to explore Lima’s capital city.
Day 10 Lima/Urubamba (1B, 1L)
Board an early flight to Cusco, then continue to the Sacred Valley to visit the Ccaccaccollo community and Planeterra-sponsored Women’s Weaving Co-op. Explore the Pisac ruins and visit the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo.
Day 11 Urubamba (1B, 1D)
Explore the pre-Inca salt pans of Las Salineras and tour the Ollantaytambo and Moray ruins. Visit a small community that specializes in the making of ceramics and adobe. Meet local artists and see demonstrations of these traditional arts. Enjoy a traditional pachamanca-style meal of local specialties.
Day 12 Urubamba/Aguas Calientes (1B)
Catch an early transfer to Ollantaytambo station and board the scenic train to Aguas Calientes with the option to visit the market.
Day 13 Aguas Calientes/Cusco (1B)
Enjoy a guided tour of the Machu Picchu ruins. Get free time to explore on your own or take an optional visit to the Inca Bridge before returning to Cusco by train.
Day 14 Cusco (1B)
Explore historic Cusco with options to visit museums or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding, or mountain biking. This evening, take in a different view of the night sky at the Cusco Planetarium. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Inca relationship with the cosmos. Check out the on-site museum and use their telescopes to admire the stars.
Day 15 Cusco/Lima (1B)
Fly back to Lima and spend an afternoon in Peru’s bustling capital.
Day 16 Lima (1B)
Depart at any time.
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