Day 1 - Travel to Lima
Depart Friday for Lima. Arriving the same day, we transfer to our hotel for 1 night.
Day 2 - Paracas
The next day we journey south through the desert, following the coast, to Paracas, and spend 1 night at our hotel looking out over the Pacific. We visit the Paracas Peninsula, stopping at the Mirador de Lobos Marinos, a cliff-top vantage point, perfect for observing the sea lion colonies in secluded bays.
Day 3 - Ballestas islands and Inca Museum
In the morning we take a boat to the Ballestas Island, home to thousands of marine birds, including boobies, gannets and pelicans. All the while, sea lions frolic merrily in our wake. Continue to the Huacachina Oasis, a beautiful green lake, surrounded by palm trees and towering sand dunes. Later we visit the Inca Museum, a rare insight into the pre-Inca cultures and enjoy a small but impressive collection of perfectly preserved by the desert. Drive to Nasca and stay overnight.
Day 4 - Nazca Lines
Our day begins with an early morning flight over the legendary Nazca Lines, an unexplained, intricate collection of immense landscape figures, which can only be identified from above. We journey on to Arequipa, through desert and lush green fields, and tiny villages which survive water brought by rivers originating in the Andes. We stay for 2 nights in Arequipa.
Day 5 - Arequipa
A morning relaxing in the stunning colonial square, built entirely of white volcanic stone, watched over by the snow-capped Misti volcano. Time to admire the intricate facades of Arequipa's wealth of churches. An afternoon excursion to the Santa Catalina convent, a city within a city, little alleyways painted in glorious burnt oranges and reds, decorated with bright flowering geranium.
Day 6 - La Paz & Moon Valley
The next day is spent visiting the colonial quarter of La Paz, the fascinating witches' market, where weird and wonderful potions are sold, and the Moon Valley, an area of sandstone, sculpted by wind and rain to create a surreal lunar-like landscape.
Day 7-8 - Lake Titicaca & Copacabana
An early morning departure bound for Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake, framed by snowcapped mountains rising behind and catching glimpses of locals working the ancient terraces. Visit the pretty village of Copacabana, with a Cathedral home of the Virgin of Candelaria, patron saint of Bolivia.
Day 9 - Sun Island, Lake Titicaca
We take a boat to Sun Island and hike to our hotel with a stunning view of the lake. We stay for 2 nights with a day free to explore.
Day 10 - Travel to Puno
Return to Copacabana, cross the border into Peru and continue to Puno. Afternoon boat trip on the lake takes us to visit the floating Uros Islands, where huts and rafts are built of reeds.
Day 11 - Train to Cusco
Early departure on a unique Orient Express train journey part of the group, passing Andean landscapes, hot springs, towering mountains and tiny railway stations. We have seats at a table by the window where lunch is served as we pass small, isolated villages and farms. On arrival in Cusco we stay for 2 nights.
Day 12 - Tour of Cusco
Today we have a tour of Cusco and the ruins in the surrounding area. Beautiful colonial buildings rest upon Inca foundations unchanged for centuries Outside the city lies the mighty fortress and religious site of Sacsayhuamán, an astounding megalithic structure, whose massive stones weigh over 100 tons, fitted together with typical Inca perfection.
Day 13 - Train to Machu Picchu
A spectacular train journey, following the course of the Urubamba River, and culminating in the impressive Machu Picchu. Once at the ruins, we have a guided tour and the afternoon to explore the site. Overnight in the valley.
Day 14 - Machu Picchu at leisure
Morning free to explore the archaeological site and walk the Inca Trail to Sun Gate or climb up Huayna Picchu for a breathtaking view of the Urubamba River below. In the afternoon take the train and bus to return to Cusco.
Day 15 - Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley of the Incas, follows the Urubamba river and valley, offering stunning views of the Inca terracing and the fertile plains. We visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, with some of the finest examples of Inca masonry, and stop at Chinchero and Pisac's Sunday market where villagers come from miles around to barter and sell their wares.
Day 16-18 - Journey up the Tambopata River
Fly from Cusco into the Amazon basin. From Puerto Maldonado we transfer to a motorised, dug-out canoe for the journey up the Tambopata River to our lodge for 3 nights and two days of jungle excursions accompanied by local guides. We walk through the fabulous rainforest and dense tree canopy, visit a local village and go caiman-spotting on the river at night.
Days 19-20 - Return to the airport and fly to Lima
Spend the afternoon on a tour of the capital, visiting the grand colonial squares, buildings decorated with intricate wooden balconies, and take in the Larco Herrera Museum, housing fascinating artefacts from pre-Inca and Inca times. Depart the following day, arriving home on Day 21 Thursday.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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