With the direct flight to Lima, this Peru holiday is ideal for those short of time. One of South America's most vibrant countries, Peru has a wealth of highlights which will literally take your breath away.
Start in the capital Lima where old and new collide for an eclectic mix. Architecture dating back over five centuries combines with upmarket neighbourhoods teeming with the finest of art galleries, restaurants and laid back lounges showcasing the country's world class cuisine.
High in the Andes, Cuzco is the capital of the Inca Empire. Cobbled streets and striking architecture reflects Peru's ancient past and rich history. Indigenous markets interwoven with ancient Inca ruins are found in the Sacred Valley. A gateway between the city of Cuzco and the famous Machu Picchu, this area is more than just a stop off with a host of exciting activities and interaction with locals dressed in vibrant, traditional clothes.
The highlight of the trip is travelling by train to Machu Picchu, the famous Inca Citadel discovered in 1911. Often shrouded in mist with a lush backdrop, take time to learn and explore about this magical area.
Journey through the Andes to shimmering Lake Titicaca, home to the Uros people who live on islands made from tortura reeds. Climb to the summit of Taquile Island for sweeping panoramas of the lake under a dazzling blue sky.
Day 1 Depart London on the non-stop direct service to Lima with British Airways. Arrive to the vibrant capital of Peru early evening and settle into your hotel, Courtyard by Marriott. Located in the upmarket area of Miraflores this is a neighbourhood packed with inviting dining experiences to savour and enjoy during your stay.
Day 2 Explore the highlights of Lima on a short guided tour. Historic downtown Lima, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with many of the key sights close to the Plaza de Armas (main square). Visit the Government Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the City Hall. Admire the contrast of the historic area to the modern. For incredible views over the Pacific Ocean stop at the “Parque del Amor” (Park of Love). Discover the ancient treasures of Peru at the Larco Museum with its extensive collection of over 45,000 artefacts.
Day 3 The Sacred Valley of the Incas is home to small indigenous villages like Chinchero with colourful markets and welcoming locals. Dressed in traditional costumes they invite you to experience their ancestral way of life. Venture along the scenic winding roads admiring the scenery before visiting Ollantaytambo fortress, a monumental architectural complex from Incan times and wander the cobbled streets of the nearby town.
Day 4 Surrounded by beautiful Andean countryside, explore this incredibly scenic area from your comfortable hotel. Barter with the locals at the colourful markets in Pisac, admire the ancient Incan ruins such as Moray, with a stop at the salt pans of Salinas. The Sacred Valley is an adventure hub with a host of activities such as white water rafting, mountain biking, trekking and horse riding.
Day 5 Ride the scenic train through the dramatic Sacred Valley to the town of Aguas Calientes. A visit to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca citadel is the highlight of your Peruvian holiday. Often shrouded by mist and surrounded by lush vegetation, the sprawling site is well worth the journey. Learn about the Inca history of this magical place and take time to explore the outer areas like Intihuatana, used in ancient time to predict solstices.
Day 6 Take the opportunity to return to Machu Picchu at sunrise and perhaps climb Huyana Picchu for a panoramic view of the citadel. From Aguas Calientes board the Vistadome train for the scenic journey through the Sacred Valley. Poroy station is the gateway to the city of Cuzco, heart of the Inca empire. Historic pre-Columbian architecture, ornate baroque churches combined with a modern restaurant scene and lively nightlife make for a memorable stay.
Day 7 Wander the cobbled streets and immerse yourself in the history of Cuzco. Visit the Plaza de Armas (main square) flanked by the Cathedral with its impressive colonial art, Koricancha Temple, an old Incan palace and main centre for the worship of the sun god, Inti. Continue to the Sacsayhuaman Fortress built of enormous stone blocks expertly shaped by the Incas overlooking the city with a spectacular view of the pretty terracotta roofs.
Day 8 Drive through the Andes to the town of Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. First you will visit Andahuaylillas, a town where a precious church from the 17th century boasts an amazing organ decorated with angels and cherubs. After this you will visit Racchi ruins, known as "The Temple of God Wiracocha". The highest point on the road is La Raya, the last stop before Puno and perfect for photos of the dramatic mountainous backdrop.
Day 9 Taquile Island is about 35 kilometres from the town of Puno with a culture dating back to Pre-Incan times. The islanders still live a traditional life and are renowned for their wonderful outfits and incredible colourful textiles. Visit the famous Uros Islands, man-made floating islands. Meet the islanders who are descendants of the first altiplano inhabitants and live on these unique islands.
Day 10 Travel from the town of Puno through the barren altiplano to the airport at Juliaca for your return flight, via Lima.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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