Peru - The Land Of Incas, Canyons & Condors

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Run by: Rainbow Tours

Reference number: ITN-PER013

From: £5480.00

This once in a lifetime journey is the perfect choice for those who love to pack in some serious sight-seeing but also want time to relax in some gorgeous hotels. On this holiday you combine luxurious boutique style accommodation, privately guided sightseeing and top-notch experiences like the Belmond Hiram Bingham train journey to Machu Picchu. The charming colonial town of Arequipa and the spectacular Colca Canyon with its iconic condors are not to be missed, and the city of Cuzco is a cultural delight with markets, museums and Inca ruins. Peru is a wonderful holiday destination and we can tailor-make itineraries to suit everyones specific tastes.

Itinerary

Day 1 Daytime flight to Lima, the capital city of Peru and transfer to Hotel B. Located in the artists district of Barranco and dating back to 1914 the hotel has been lovingly restored to a 17 room stylish, boutique hotel. A Relais & Chateux property this an wonderfully intimate place to start your Peruvian experience.

Day 2 Explore the diverse city of Lima. Step back in history with fine examples of colonial architecture which adorn the convent. You will also visit the Government Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the City Hall before moving onto the more modern areas of San Isidro and Miraflores located by the ocean. Visit the Larco Museum which houses the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art, owned by the Peruvian archeologist Rafael Larco Herrera.

Day 3 Transfer to the airport for the short flight to Arequipa in the south, close to the Chilean border. Steeped in colonial history and surrounded by mountains, volcanoes and canyons, Arequipa is a gem of a town and easy to explore. The elegant city centre, around the Plaza de Armas (main square), is one of the most attractive in the country and flanked by the Neoclassical cathedral. The majority of the buildings are built from sillar, a porous white volcanic stone, and this has led to Arequipa's nickname of 'La Ciudad Blanca' (the White City).

Day 4 With your private guide explore this beautiful city including the Santa Catalina Convent, an oasis of tranquility and calm. Still a functioning convent, albeit with just a few nuns, it is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Brightly coloured walls of terracotta orange, cobalt blue and brick red make up a wonderful labyrinthine with pretty fountains and secret alcoves.

Day 5 Travel through the Aguada Blanca National Reserve where herds of grazing llamas and alpacas punctuate the plains before reaching where the Colca Canyon with its green valleys and Andean terraces begins. Pass through a little town named Callalli and see its amazing rock formations that look like medieval castles. A stop is made en route for a picnic lunch where you'll have some awe-inspiring views of the valley. Spend the next two nights at the luxurious Las Casitas del Colca. Spacious rooms feature huge king size beds, a private terrace and heated pool.

Day 6 After an early breakfast you leave for 'Condor Cross', which is the best place for breathtaking views of the Colca Canyon and if there’s a clear sky, you're likely to see the majestic flight of a Condor, the largest bird in the world. Afterwards, you’ll visit the Hanging Tombs at Choquetico before continuing onto the towns of Maca, Achola and Yanque and its lovely white church. In the afternoon, 'a la carte' activities in the Colca Canyon can be enjoyed. Las Casitas del Colca is a haven of peace and tranquility, and this luxurious spa hotel lies in one of world´s most amazing environments.

Day 7 After breakfast, depart to the lovely typical town of Coporaque, stopping in Chivay for lunch and then make your way back to Arequipa via Patapampa and its 'Volcanoes Lookout'. Overnight at the Casa Andina Private Collection which was once the Arequipa 'Mint House'. The food scene is second only to Lima and in particular the restaurants in the old quarter or north of the Plaza de Armas are worth trying. One of our favourites is Zig Zag where the fish and meat are cooked over volcanic stone, so please let us know and we can make a reservation.

Day 8 Early morning start for your flight to Cuzco and transfer to the lower altitude and milder climate of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Rio Sagrado by Belmond (ex Orient-Express) is a wonderful hotel in a lovely setting beside the Urubamba river with snowcapped peaks twinkling in the distance. Resembling an Andean village this magical retreat creates a sense of harmony in this spectacular setting.

Day 9 Full day tour of the Sacred Valley with your private guide. Visit Ollantaytambo, an Inca vestige of a military, religious and agricultural centre. This fortress is located in the highest part of the mountain, with a spectacular view of the town. After lunch at a local restaurant visit the beautiful town of Pisac, famous for its typical and colorful handicraft market.

Day 10 From the nearby train station at Ollantaytambo, take the scenic Vistadome train ride to Aguas Calientes. Enjoy the spectacular views from the panoramic windows. On arrival to Aguas Calientes, take the bus via the winding road to the citadel of Machu Picchu for a privately guided tour, bringing alive the history of the Incas. Overnight at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo, set in 12 acres of lush tropical gardens with vibrant orchids. Cafe Inkaterra serves locally inspired dishes and the Unu spa offers Andean style treatments.

Day 11 Today you will have the morning to enjoy a second visit of the archaeological sites at your own pace including a climb up Huyana Picchu, for a spectacular vista of the ancient citadel. Late afternoon board the famous Hiram Bingham train with carriages decorated in a 1920's Pulman style. Relax in the sumptuous armchairs and dine in style as you travel in comfort back to Cuzco. Inkaterra La Casona, with just 11 traditional suites, is an exclusive, intimate retreat located by the charming Plaza Nazarenas.

Day 12 Explore this amazing colonial city built on the foundations of the Inca palaces. Your private tour starts with a visit the Koricancha or Temple of the Sun with Inca’s amazing masonry, the Arm’s Square and the Cathedral with its elaborate and delicate carved woodworks, altars and paintings. High above the city is the Incan fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the centre of Inti Raymi festivities in June. Rest of day is at leisure - visit the colourful markets for special souvenirs of your indulgent honeymoon and mingle with the locals.

Day 13 Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK via Lima. Whilst in transit at Lima, relax in the VIP lounge and look back on your special trip and enjoy the many happy memories and photos that you can share for years to come.

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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