Group Tour: Inca Citadels, Andean Scenery & Rich Culture

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Run by: Veloso Tours

Reference number: moneda

From: £Contact us

Highlights

  • Travel with like-minded travellers and expert guides on our Bolivia & Peru group tour
  • An in-depth exploration of their culture, traditions and rich colonial and Inca heritage
  • Discover the contrasting Bolivian cities of Santa Cruz, Sucre and La Paz
  • Understand Bolivia's turbulent past at Potosi's poignant Cerro Rico silver mine
  • Venture to the origins of the Inca Empire at majestic Lake Titicaca
  • Explore dramatic ancient hilltop ruins and see rural life in the Sacred Valley
  • Marvel at Machu Picchu, the lost citadel of the Incas, buried deep in lush cloud forest
  • Be guided around the historic centre of Cusco, the former Inca capital

Santa Cruz - Days 1 - 3

Day 1 - Fly to Bolivia

We depart from London on an overnight flight to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, staying for two nights in a hotel with gardens and a pool.

 

Day 2 - Join Group in Santa Cruz

Arriving early in the morning in Santa Cruz, you will be met by your Group Tour Leader and Guide, Nick Goodchild, as well as the other members of the group before being taken to our hotel. We conduct an introductory briefing and there is the opportunity to rest or accompany Nick on a morning walk. In the afternoon you have the flexibility of persuing your own interests or accompany your Tour Leader; there is no set itinerary but decided by the Tour Leader. Everyone usually meets for a relaxed welcome dinner to know each other. Each evening throughout the tour, before going out to dinner, your Tour Leader will give a short meeting at the hotel to prepare for the following day's activities and schedule.

 

Day 3 - City Tour of Santa Cruz

Today we enjoy a charming city tour of Santa Cruz, visiting many of the most attractive and affluent sites. These include the La Recoba handicraft marketplace, the Santa Cruz Boulevard and the Urubó bridge in to the city's residential neighborhood. In the afternoon you have the flexibility to pursue your own interests or accompany your Tour Leader on a walk to visit various places of interest around Santa Cruz; there is no set itinerary but decided by the Tour Leader. Private excursions available.

Sucre & Potosi - Days 4 - 6

Day 4 - City Tour of Sucre

This morning we fly to Sucre and transfer to the hotel for three nights. We conduct an introductory briefing and there is the opportunity to rest or accompany Nick on a morning walk. In the afternoon we have a city tour of the Sucre, the historical capital of Bolivia and Unesco Cultural Heritage Site of Humanity. Visit colonial churches and museums to see their collections of valuable paintings, furniture and religious sculptures. Amongst these we explore the House of Freedom Historical Museum, where the Act of Independence of Bolivia was signed in 1825, the church of La Recoleta with its vantage point over the city and the museum of Indian Textiles.

 

Day 5 - Excursion to Potosi & Cerro Rico

We explore the famous colonial mining town of Potosi. Where we visit the old Spanish Mint which offers a fascinating insight into life as it was 300-400 years ago and into the intriguing mix of traditional beliefs by the indigenous people with Catholicism, to create a Virgin Mother depicted as their own God, Mother Earth or 'Pachamama'. We continue to 'Cerro Rico' or 'the Rich Mountain' which dominates the town and has been mined for silver and precious metals since the Spanish Conquest. Although the seams of silver are essentially exhausted, coca chewing miners can still be found scuttling along the maze of tunnels that penetrate deep into the mountain and making offerings to their devil god called "Tio", to appease and appeal for protection from evil.

 

Day 6 - Visit to the Tarabuco Market

Today we visit the Tarabuco Market. Seemingly frozen in time, the local Quechua people still wear the traditional costume of multi-coloured ponchos, "chuspas" woven bags for carrying coca leaves, elaborate overskirts and helmet-like headgear for the married men and women.

La Paz - Days 7 - 9

Day 7 - Travel to La Paz

Enjoy the morning in Sucre at leisure, in the afternoon we fly to La Paz and transfer to the hotel. We conduct an introductory briefing and there is the opportunity to rest or accompany the tour Leader on a short walk. 

 

Day 8 - City Tour of La Paz

This morning we explore the city's main plazas and churches, we will also visit the witches market, where charismatic ladies sell a range of herbs, bottled potions and amulets to ward away evil and help you in all of life's troubles. In the afternoon we visit the Valle de la Luna, known as the Moon Valley due to the dramatic and bizarre rock formations. There are great views of the Muela del Diablo, the Devils Tooth, a huge tooth shaped rock, coloured in glorious reds and oranges.

 

Day 9 - Day at Leisure in La Paz

Today you have the flexibility to pursue your own interests, relax or accompany your Tour Leader to visit various places of interest around La Paz, there is no set itinerary but decided by the Tour Leader. Private excursions available.

Lake Titicaca - Days 10 -11

Day 10 - Travel to Lake Titicaca, Peru

We travel from La Paz by road to Lake Titicaca with fantastic views of snow covered peaks of the Cordillera Real mountain range. We visit the famous "Dark Virgin" in Copacabana, before taking a boat trip to the Sun Island. Cross the border to Peru, and on to Puno on the lake shore, passing the small towns of Chucuito, Juli and Pomata with their impressive churches. We stay in Puno for two nights.

 

Day 11 - Boat Tour of Lake Titicaca

We explore the lake by boat visiting the Uros & Taquile Islands. The Uros natives set-up their home 500 years ago on islands of floating totora reeds which grow abundantly in the shallow waters of the lake, traditional methods are still used to create their boats, houses and islands. Afterwards we visit the beautiful and timeless island of Taquile, renowned for its fine weavings and vibrantly coloured clothes.

Sacred Valley - Days 12 - 13

Day 12 - Train Journey to Cusco

Boarding the Andean Explorer Train we travel from Lake Titicaca along the mountains to Cusco. This is an unforgettable journey which takes you across the barren Andean altiplano, offering dramatic landscapes of agricultural fields, hot springs and stops to remote stations where locals come from far and wide to sell their weavings. Lunch and afternoon tea are served en-route whilst watching the unfolding landscapes. On arrival we are taken to the Urubamba Velley, known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with archaeological sites, villages, cereals and numerous varieties of potatoes.

 

Day 13 - Full day tour of the Sacred Valley

Starting early in the morning we visit the colourful Chinchero market which offers a fabulous insight into the local indigenous people and well-known for their woven handcrafts, and visit a workshop to meet local artisans. From here we drive to the Moray Ruins, an ancient Inca open-air crop laboratory before visiting the pre-Inca salt mines of Maras, located on a wide-open hill above the Urubamba Valley. We visit a beautiful Spanish hacienda and the fortress of Ollantaytamba, intricately designed with geometrically straight streets and Inca drainage system. From here we travel to the colonial town of Piscal, built on the ruins of an Inc citadel and located at the entrance of the Urubamba Valley, before taking a short drive up the mountain to a vantage point with spectacular...

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

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