Peru: Great Inca Expedition
Duration: 15 days / 14 nights
Destinations: Lima, Paracas, Arequipa, Colca, Puno, Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
Intense and exciting. This trip is absolutely an unforgettable experience. From the Nasca Lines and the beauty of the Ballestas Islands, the Condor overflying in the Colca Canyon, sailing through the Lake Titicaca and the Floating Islands of the Uros, until you feel the moving silence of Machu Picchu. This program offers all we need to intensely feel and live the Inca Culture.
Highlights: Santo Domingo Convent, Larco Museum, Nasca Lines, Ballestas islands, Santa Catalina Monastery, Colca canyon, Titicaca lake, Uros reed floating islands and Taquile island, Andean Plateau Route, Qorikancha temple, Chinchero Inca town, Moray terraces, Ollantaytambo, last inca living town, Machu Picchu, lost citadel.
1st Day: Welcome to Lima
Arrival to the city of Lima, assistance, and transfer to the hotel.
2nd Day: City of Kings and the Larco Museum of Cultures
An exclusive and intense tour of the Historical Center of Lima will take us to know and admire the architectonic relics that are part of the old Lima, which has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The Convent of Santo Domingo is the beginning of this magnificent experience. It was built during the foundation of Lima. The Universidad Mayor de San Marcos (University of San Marcos) was founded on this site, the oldest in America. Inside, the choir with the oldest stalls in the country; and the library, with 25,000 books, some printed in the XV century, has an invaluable historical value. The mortal remains of San Martín de Porres, San Juan Masías and Santa Rosa de Lima lie inside. Crossing the Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace and the Municipality, going into the Cathedral, a jewel in the history of Lima, with artworks that will make us feel closer to colonial Lima. Leaving downtown Lima and heading to the Larco Museum, where we will get a clear vision of the cultures that inhabited ancient Peru. We shall admire the gold pieces, textiles and erotic ceramics that are part of the collection which will introduce us to the cosmovision of the ancient Peru. The warehouse of this museum will be open during our visit to appreciate the expressions of art that were reflected in their ceramics. Free afternoon.
3nd Day: Pampas de Nasca Enigmas
Departure by bus going to the Paracas bay. Arrival and transfer to the Pisco airport to fly over the enigmatic Nasca lines, huge drawings that can only be appreciated from the air and represent a variety of insects and animals, such as the monkey, the hummingbird, the condor or the spider, it is believed to be an astronomy calendar designed by the ancient local people of the desert. Return to Ica. Transfer to the hotel. Free rest of the day to enjoy the hotel facilities and surrounding areas.
4th Day: Paracas National Reserve
Early in the morning we will make a marine excursion in motorboat to the Ballestas Islands. Along the way we will appreciate the “Candelabro”, a drawing carved on a sand hill facing the Pampa de Nasca. In the islands, we will watch Humboldt penguins and seals, besides migratory birds that live there. In the afternoon, departure by bus to Lima. Arrival and transfer to the hotel.
5th Day: Arequipa, the White City
Transfer to the airport. Departure to Arequipa. Arrival, assistance and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, the “White City” opens its doors to us in a tour that starts in the beautiful colonial neighborhood of San Lázaro, the place where Arequipa was founded; from here we will walk thru its colorful streets adorned with geraniums and later we will go to the observation point of Carmen Alto, to enjoy a beautiful view of agricultural terraces and from there we will be able to observe the three volcanos towering over the city: Misti, Chachani and Picchu -Picchu. We continue towards the colonial district of Yanahuara, famous for its church built in the Andalusian style and its observation point, erected with a beautiful architecture and surrounded with arches made of ashlar. Later, we visit the Santa Catalina Monastery, impressive religious monument that was closed for nearly 400 years; with narrow streets, squares and gardens that remind us of the old neighborhoods of Sevilla or Granada. Next, we head towards the Plaza de Armas, from there we will be able to watch the Cathedral and the arches surrounding the plaza, and finally visit the Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús; established by the Jesuits in the XVII century, note its cloisters and the famous Dome of San Ignacio.
6th Day: The volcanos route, Pampa Cañahuas and Chivay
Outing in an adventure by land towards the spectacular Colca Valley. We take the route of the volcanos, going up by the side of the Chachani volcano, and having a formidable view of the Misti and the Picchu volcanos. Our path will go across the vicuna reserve of Pampa Cañahuas, high Andean habitat where the vicunas live and are protected. The highest point of our trajectory will reach 4,900 m.a.s.l. in the pass of Patapampa, from there we can appreciate the active volcano
Sabancaya. Descent to the Colca Valley. Arrival and lodging. Lunch at the hotel. Free time to rest or to enjoy a bath in the thermal waters in the area.
7th Day: Colca Canyon, Observation point of the Cruz del Cóndor and Route to Puno
At dawn, we head towards the observation point of the Cruz del Cóndor. We will be observing the imposing flight of the condors, huge Andean birds that are the symbol of the Andean countries. The view lets us appreciate the great dimension of the canyon, considered one of the world’s deepest canyons. We will visit the towns of Maca and Yanque that still preserve its colonial churches. Lunch in a restaurant in the area. In the afternoon, departure by bus in a 6 hour and a half trip to the city of Puno. Arrival, assistance, and transfer to the hotel.
8th Day: The Titicaca Sacred Lake and its islands
In the morning, board a motorboat to visit the Uros, a town of people that sought refuge inside Lake Titicaca, fleeing the different cultures that arrived to dominate them. This community continues building their islands following the ancient techniques, and welcome us to pass on their knowledge. Its people make a living from its visitors. Continue sailing towards the Island of Taquile. The community of this island has maintained alive its traditions, clothes and way of life. It is one of the few Quechua communities in a region that is essentially Aymara, and they have kept unreachable to modernity and its possible effect on their lives. They will welcome us with their music and dances. Lunch at a community restaurant, a simple meal but very rich in nutrients. Afterwards, take a walk around the surrounding areas to appreciate the beautiful view of the Lake Titicaca. Return to the port of Puno. Transfer to the hotel.
9th Day: Day 9: Route of the Altiplano
We depart in a tour bus to the city of Cusco. Our first stop will be the Museo de Lítico de Pucará (Pucara lithic museum), place that preserves the remains of the Pucará culture with pieces that will surprise us such as monoliths, stelas and sculptures with animal shapes. This town is also famous for the toritos de Pucará (Pucara little bulls), beautiful multicolored handicrafts that symbolize protection, happiness and fertility. Our next stop will be in the highest point at 4,335 m.a.s.l. in La
Raya, geographic division of the basin of the water from the Titicaca lake and from the Vilcanota river that will go to the Amazonas river basin. Lunch. We continue towards the town of Racchi, location of the temple of the god Wiracocha, the stone base of the huge columns and walls stand out and give us an idea of how majestic this small palace was. As our last stop, we visit the beautiful church of San Pedro Apóstol de Andahuaylillas, known as the “Sixtina de América” (The Sistine
Chapel of America) for the paintings that adorn its ceilings and walls. Arrival to Cusco. Transfer to the hotel.
10th Day: Cusco, Capital of the Empire and the Archaeological Park of Sacsayhuaman
In the morning, we will leave behind the crowds in order to visit Sacsayhuaman, an impressive citadel full of colossal constructions surrounded by beautiful landscape in total communion with the environment. Afterwards, we continue to the Inca adoratory of Q’enqo, with its surprising altar for
sacrifices embedded in the internal part of its rocky formation. Finally, we arrive at the Puca Pucará lookout and Tambomachay, a monument of notable architectonic excellence which is considered one of the pillars of the Andean cosmovision. In the afternoon, exclusive stroll in the city that starts with a visit to the Plaza de San Cristóbal (San Cristobal Square) to enjoy a panoramic overview of the city. Afterwards, we will visit the San Pedro Market, where we will absorb the local flavors and learn more about the products of the area in this market that has it all and supplies the entire city. Later, the Qorikancha Temple will welcome us with all its splendor and magnificence, with walls that used to be covered in gold. From San Blas, the artisans’ neighborhood, we will walk down the street Hatun Rumiyoc finding in our way the palace Inca Roca, today´s Archbishops Palace, and we will have time to admire the world famous Twelve Angled Stone. We will continue to the Plaza de Armas to visit The Cathedral that houses colonial works of incredible value.
11th Day: Sacred Valley: Inca and Colonial Pisac, Inkariy Museum and Yucay Live Culture
The Sacred Valley of the Incas receives us in this day. Our first stop will be at the Inca village of Pisac, one of the most beautiful archaeological sites of the Sacred Valley. From the top of the mountain there is a great view of the colonial village of Pisac. Walk through the colonial village. Time
for shopping at the artisan workshops. Later, tour of the Inkariy Museum to visit the different halls with exhibits of representations of the pre-Hispanic cultures of ancient Peru. Lunch. Visit to the Yucay Live Culture Center, tourist complex were the local settlers will show us their techniques of weaving and dying of traditional textiles, making of the adobes, preparation of the traditional chicha, a drink made of corn, and a close encounter with the Andean camels: llamas and alpacas. Overnight stay in the area.
12th Day: Sacred Valley
Moray Terraces, Maras Salt Mines and Ollantaytambo Living Inca Village This day will take us to find marvelous places in this region of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Inca Terraces of Moray, a lab that was looking to re-create 20 different microclimates and secure the agricultural production of the empire. Continue towards the Village of Maras, tour of the famous and ancient salt mines, which still are exploited since immemorial times. The contrast between the white wells and the clayey land makes this landscape into a place not to be missed for taking pictures. Lunch. In the afternoon, tour of the streets, plazas and terraces of the last Inca living village of Ollantaytambo. Enter the archaeological site that dominates the village, where we will see the technique that the Incas used to work on the stones in the Sun temple that was left half built. At the proper time, embark from the village train station to arrive at the town of Machu Picchu, located at the foot of the mountain. Overnight stay in the area.
13th Day: Machu Picchu, the Lost City
The much-awaited day to visit one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Boarding at the Ollantaytambo station. Departure in the selected train. Arrival at the Machu Picchu station. Assistance, from our staff to board the bus that will ascend up a winding road, with a spectacular view of the Urubamba river
which forms a deep canyon. The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, will greet us with its incredible terraces, staircases, ceremonial sites and urban areas. Energy exudes from the whole place. Lunch. At the coordinated time, return by train and transfer to the hotel in Cusco. Lodging.
14th Day: Cusco at your Pace
Free day. Cusco offers many cultural, archaeological and adventure-oriented activities. Reserve the activities with anticipation. We recommend: Vinicunca, the Rainbow Mountain. Located at 5000 m.a.s.l. in the heights of the Valley of the Vilcanota River in the mountain range of the Ausangate snowcapped mountain, this beautiful mountain has become one of the main attractions and great wonders of Cusco.
Kayak in the Huaypo Lake. One day of contact with our inner being, paddling in a kayak on the Huaypo Lake with the snowcapped mountains as the backdrop. A moment to relax and let the silence invade and renew our energy. Lunch on the lake banks.
15th Day: Farewell day
Transfer to the airport. Departure to Lima to connect with your return flight home.
- Private transfers from airports to hotels and v.v..
- Shared transfer from/to train station.
- All entrance fees to attractions included in the description.
- Round trip railway ticket to Machu Picchu according to selected category.
- Shared tours with English-Spanish speaking guides.
- 6 lunches.
- 1 night of lodging in Lima in selected hotel.
- night of lodging in Arequipa in selected hotel.
- 1 night of lodging in Colca in selected hotel.
- 2 nights of lodging in Puno in selected hotel.
- 3 nights of lodging in Cusco in selected hotel.
- 1 night of lodging in the Sacred Valley in selected hotel.
- Daily breakfast.
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.