Inca Heartland & Up Close With Condors

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Run by: Veloso Tours

Reference number: chivay

From: £3708.00

Highlights

  • Discover historic Lima, its fascinating museums and excellent fusion cuisine.
  • Colonial splendour of Arequipa and ancient terraces of the Colca Canyon.
  • Explore the legacy of ancient Inca and Aymara civilisations on Lake Titicaca.
  • Inca heartland of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
  • Train journey to visit the magnificent ruins Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas.
  • Marvel at stunning Andean Landscapes on a comprehensive tour through the Peruvian Andes.

Lima - Days 1-2

Day 1 - Arrival in Lima

Direct flight to Lima on a Wednesday, arriving the same day in the evening, and staying for 2 nights.

Learn more about Lima

Day 2 - Tour of Lima

Afternoon tour of the city including the historic centre. Visit the Presidential Palace, Plaza San Martín and the Larco Herrera Museum, with a fabulous collection of ancient artifacts from all over Peru.

Arequipa - Day 3

Day 3 - City Tour & Santa Catalina Convent

Leaving in the morning, fly to Arequipa, Peru's second largest city, set in a rich green valley at the foot of the mighty El Misti Volcano. The buildings in the centre have been built almost exclusively of the volcanic material 'sillar', a white, porous rock, giving Arequipa its nickname of 'The White City'.

Your guide and transport will meet you at your hotel for a delightful city tour which visits the church of La Compania and other colonial buildings, including the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral. The Santa Catalina Convent once held some two hundred nuns and is a maze of colourful alleyways and rooms, providing a fascinating insight into the way the nuns once lived.

Learn more about Arequipa

Colca Canyon - Days 4 - 5

Day 4 - Journey to the Colca Canyon

We start our journey by travelling along the Yura highway which runs along the snow-capped mountains of Chachani towards Pampa Canahuas. On the route there are several short stops to visit the Villages of Callalli (Callalli's Castles) and Sibayo, before arriving in Chivay, staying at a local lodge for 2 nights.

Learn more about the Colca Canyon

Day 5 - Tour of Colca Canyon

One full day tour into the world's deepest Canyon to walk along the ancient farming terraces, the local villages and communities where people still dress in their traditional clothing, and visit the Cruz del Condor lookout point, with a chance of seeing the magnificent Andean Condors soaring above.

Lake Titicaca - Days 6 - 7

Day 6 - Journey to Lake Titicaca

Continue the journey across the altiplano desert landscape to Puno on the shore of Lake Titicaca, staying for 2 nights.

Learn more about Lake Titicaca

Day 7 - Visit Uros & Taquile Islands

Full day excursion by boat onto the lake, beginning with the floating reed islands of Uros. Although the Uros Indians of these islands have intermarried with Aymaras and no pure-blooded Uros exist, many of the inhabitants of the islands still practice the old traditions of fishing, trapping birds and living on the lake plants. The totora reeds which grow abundantly in the shallows of the lake are used to build and maintain their floating islands, their boats, and also their houses.  

Continue by boat to the beautiful island of Taquile, 3 hours from the mainland. The island is rocky and requires a steep climb to the town. It is famous for its fine weavings, the traditional dress of the inhabitants, and its spectacular views over the lake.

Sacred Valley of the Incas - Day 8 - 10

Day 8 - Journey to Cusco

Journey by bus (Tourist) or private vehicle (First) to Cusco. This is an unforgettable journey across the Andean altiplano, offering dramatic landscapes throughout. On arrival in Cusco, you will be met by our representative and taken to your hotel in the Sacred Valley, staying for 3 nights.

Learn more about the Sacred Valley

Day 9 - Tour of Sacred Valley

Enjoy our extensive, special Full Day tour of the Sacred Valley. Begin by visiting the market at Chinchero, where locals come to barter and sell local produce and handicrafts. Also visit a local weaving collective, to learn the traditions of weaving by hand on a back-strap loom. Next you will proceed to Moray, thought to have been an open-air crop laboratory of the Incas, followed by the pre-Inca salt pans of Maras. After lunch, visit the stunning fortress town and ruins of Ollantaytambo. This large archaeological complex is believed to have been a significant agricultural, administrative, social, religious and military centre. The town itself is geometrically perfect; with straight streets, trapezoidal doors, and Inca drainage systems. Finally we travel to the colonial town of Pisac, built on the ruins of an Inca citadel and located at the entrance to the immensely fertile Urubamba "Sacred" Valley. Here you can see the bustling market, and watch the sunset over the mountains from the ruins.

 

Day 10 - At Leisure in the Sacred Valley

Today you have the flexibility to pursue your own interests or relax.   

Machu Picchu - Days 11 - 12

Day 11 - Train Journey to Machu Picchu & Guided Tour 

Board the Vistadome train at Ollantaytambo for the journey to Machu Picchu. This is a spectacular journey through a dramatic and changing landscape with some fantastic views. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will be met by your guide and travel via a winding road up the mountain before finally glimpsing Machu Picchu. After lunch at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge you will have a private guided tour of the extensive archaeological site to learn about the history and culture of the Incas.

Learn more about Machu Picchu

Day 12 - Return to Cusco

The morning is free to explore. You may wish to climb Huayna Picchu, a steep climb but well worth it for the fantastic views of the valley and a different perspective of Machu Picchu. Alternatively, there is a gentle climb, back along the Inca Trail, to Intipunku: the Gate of the Sun, and the first sight one has of the complex if walking the Inca Trail. In the afternoon, take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes and the train back to Ollantaytambo Station and on to Cusco.

Cusco - Days 13 - 15

Day 13 - Tour of Cusco

Beginning in the main square of Cusco we visit the cathedral, built by the Spanish on Inca foundations and with an unusual local variation of the painting of the Last Supper.  We also visit Qoricancha, the Temple of the Sun, part of which survived having a Colonial church built on top of it. From the city centre we travel into the mountains above Cusco to visit the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuaman, Puca Pucara and Kenko. The mighty fortress and complex of Sacsayhuaman was built with massive stones, some weighing over 100 tons, and which all fit together like a jigsaw, without mortar.

Learn more about Cusco 

Day 14 - At Leisure in Cusco

A full day at leisure in Cusco to explore the city, relax, take an optional extra excursion, or simply enjoy the surroundings and atmosphere of this magnificent city.

Return via Lima - Day 15

Day 15 - Departure

Flight to Lima, connecting with return flight home in the early evening and arriving the following day.

What's Included

  • 16 Days / 13 Nights
  • International flights (1 overnight)
  • Internal flights
  • Accommodation as shown on the itinerary
  • Breakfast everyday and meals as described on ...

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

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