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Treasures of southern Peru

  • The trip
  • Itinerary
  • Price
  • Organization

The trip

In Summary

From the coast to Machu Picchu, this trip combines the main sites of Peru. You will start on the coast with the Ballestas Islands and the Huacachina oasis as well as Nasca and its mysterious lines. You will then continue your journey visiting the beautiful city of Arequipa and the Colca Canyon before heading for Lake Titicaca. Your trip will end with the must-see Cusco region and its Inca sites including the most famous place, the majestic citadel Machu Picchu.

 

The strong points of the trip  « Treasures of southern Peru »

  • The best of the southern Peru in only 15 days
  • Local expert guides in each place you will visit
  • Accommodation in homestay at the Titicaca lake, where you will experience real contact with local people

Map


Afficher Les trésors du Sud Pérou sur une carte plus grande

Itinerary

This itinerary is an example of a trip; you can change as you desire the steps and activities. If you wish to do so, please refer to the tab “Personalized trip”.

 

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LIMA

Upon your arrival in the airport of Lima, you will be welcomed and brought to your hotel. You will have the evening free in the dynamic neighborhoods of the Peruvian capital.

Personnel: English speaking assistance

Transport: Private vehicle

Night in hotel

 

DAY 2: LIMA - PARACAS - HUACACHINA (406 M)

Early morning departure to go to Paracas, located on the famous Pan-American road that runs by the Pacific side. You will arrive at the pier from where you go by boat to the Ballestas islands and discover the local marine fauna: sea elephants, pelicans, penguins and other sea birds take advantage of the cold currents of Humboldt, extremely rich in planktons and in fish. After this excursion, you will go to Ica to have lunch. In the afternoon, you will visit the orchards and vineyards of El Catador where Pisco (Peru’s national alcohol) and wine are produced. It is the occasion for you to meet locals for the first time. In the end of the afternoon, you will go to the Huacachina oasis where you will have the option to make sandboard and buggy on the dunes at sunset. Night on the oasis.

Personnel: English speaking guide for the Ballestas islands

Transport: Bus to Paracas, group boat for the excursion, private vehicle to Huacachina

Night in hotel

Breakfast included

 

DAY 3: HUACACHINA - NAZCA (588M) – AREQUIPA (2400M)

After breakfast, you will go to the city of Nazca. On the way, you will cross the pampa. These look like an immense open-air book studded with lines and figures drawn directly on the ground. Upon your arrival in Nazca, you will have the option to fly over these geometrical patterns known as “Nazca lines”. They were discovered in 1939 by the American scientist Paul Kosok as he was flying over the region looking for irrigation canals. This vast network of lines, grouping thousands of figures measuring 15 to 300m long over nearly 500km2, is only visible from the sky. If you do not wish to fly over, you can visit the Antonini museum and the artisanal market of Nazca. At the beginning of the afternoon, you will take the road to Arequipa. Arrival in the evening.

Personnel: Private local English speaking guide

Transport: private vehicle for transfers, bus Ica – Nasca and Nasca – Arequipa

Night in hotel

Breakfast included

 

DAY 4: AREQUIPA (2400M)

Discovery of the white city and its colonial center: the Plaza de Armas, the church and the Santa Catalina convent, real city in the city with its alleys lined with colored houses. You will then go to the Yanahuara and Cayma miradors, which offer panoramic views on the spectacular volcanoes. Return to the hotel.

Personnel: Private local English speaking guide

Transport: Visit of the city by foot, transport to the miradors

Night in hotel

Breakfast included

 

DAY 5: AREQUIPA (2400M) – CHIVAY (3200M)

You will leave early for the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons of the world. You will drive at the foot of Chachani and cross the national reserve of Salinas and Aguada Blanca, populated with wild vicunas. The road climbs gradually to reach its culminating point: the mirador of the volcanoes at an altitude of 4900m. From there, the view of Ampato (6400m), Sabancaya (5976m) and Huallca Huallca (6025m) are unobstructed. You will go down to Chivay where you will have lunch. In the afternoon, you will climb up to Canacota to then descend to the hot springs of Calera where you will have the chance to take a dip in the thermal baths. End of the day free.

Personnel: Private local English speaking guide

Transport: private vehicle until Chivay (5-6h)

Night in hotel

Breakfast and lunch included

 

DAY 6: CHIVAY (3600 M) - CRUZ DEL CONDOR – PUNO (3825 M)

After breakfast, departure to Cruz del Condor, a mirador offering a spectacular view on the Colca canyon as soon as the first rays of sunrise. Here, you can observe the flight of the largest bird of the world: the condor. You will then walk towards “Salto del Cura” (Jump of the Priest). This path offers magnificent views of the canyon. On the road returning to Chivay, you will discover the villages of Yanque, Coporaque, Achoma and Maca where the lifestyle of the locals has remained nearly unchanged since the Inca period. Lunch in Chivay and departure in tourist bus to Puno where you will arrive in the evening.

Personnel: English speaking guide

Transport: private vehicle until Chivay, tourist bus Chivay - Puno

Night in hotel

Breakfast and lunch included

 

DAY 7: PUNO (3825 M) - UROS (3812 M) - AMANTANI (3850 M)

In the morning, departure by boat towards the Uros floating islands, built in reeds and moored to pickets to avoid the drift.  They live of fishing, crafts and hunting. You will continue sailing on the Titicaca Lake (which signifies “stone puma”) until the Amantani island, where you will roam the paths by foot to fully enjoy the spectacular view of the royal Bolivian mountain range. You will ascend Pachatata (4200m) and enjoy, if the weather allows it, a magnificent sunset by the lake.

Personnel: English speaking guide

Transport: Group boat to Amantani

Night in homestay accommodation

Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

 

DAY 8: AMANTANI (3850 M) – TAQUILE (3900 M) – PUNO (3825 M)

Early in the morning, you will leave your local hosts of Amantani to sail to Taquile, an island exploited thanks to the system of terrace cultivations. The lifestyle of the inhabitants has conserved the community organization inherited from the Inca period. Although the property is private, the labor is collective; the 300 habitants of the island work one day for them, and one day for the community. Taquile lives in relative self-sufficiency with the Inca principles: “do not steal, do not lie, do not weaken”, habits unchanged for centuries. From the heights of the village, your efforts will be rewarded by a superb view on the lake, the Puno bay and Bolivia (the Royal mountain chain) in the Altiplano mists. At the end of the day, you will take the boat and return to Puno. Check in to hotel. Evening free.

Personnel: English speaking guide

Transport: Group boat to Puno

Night in hotel

Breakfast and lunch included

 

DAY 9: PUNO (3825 M) - CUSCO (3350 M)

Early morning departure for Cusco by bus. On the way, you will stop in the Pukara village. It is one of the last places testifying of the pre-Inca culture of the same name. You will pass then the La Raya pass (4360m), symbolizing the end of the Altiplano. Then, you will visit the spectacular inca sanctuary of Raqchi, before continuing to Andahuaylilas village and its San Pedro church, known as “Sistine chapel” of South America notably due to its lavishly painted ceiling. Arrival in Cusco and check in to hotel.

Personnel: group Spanish / English speaking guide for the Puno – Cusco trip

Transport: touristic bus Puno - Cusco, then private transfers to your hotel

Night in hotel

Breakfast and lunch included

 

DAY 10: CUSCO (3350 M)

In the morning you will leave for Tambomachay, the farthest of the four archeological sites in the periphery of Cusco. From there, you will walk down to Puca Pucara, Kenko and finally Saqsayhuaman, a stunning fortress built on a hill dominating the city of Cusco. This site is characterized by its gigantic blocks of stone, accurately interlocked, with some standing over 9 meters tall and weighing more than 550 tons. After the visit of the four sites, you will continue walking down to the Plaza de Armas. Here begins the visit of the Inca capital, starting with the the Cathedral, impressive building that holds many paintings of the Cusquenian School. You will continue your discovery with the Santo Domingo monastery, ancient temple of the Sun, also known as Koricancha. End of the day free.

 Personnel: Private local English speaking guide

Transport: Private transfer to Tambomachay

Night in hotel

Breakfast included

 

DAY 11: CUSCO (3350M) - PISAQ (3400M) - OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750M) - AGUAS CALIENTES (2050M)

You will leave for the sacred valley and start your discovery of famous sites with the visit of the Pisaq archeological complex; composed of terraces, fountains, observatories and even a necropolis, the largest of the region (about 10000 persons are buried here). It is from here that the Incas controlled and dominated the Sacred Valley. On your way back down, you will stop at the traditional artisanal market of Pisaq before continuing your itinerary towards Ollantaytambo, driving by the sacred Urubamba river. After a stroll through the small paved streets of this singular village of the XVth century almost unchanged since its creation, you will then take the train to Aguas Calientes. Arrival and check in to hotel.

Personnel: Private local English speaking guide until Ollantaytambo

Transport: private vehicle until Ollantaytambo, then train to  Aguas Calientes (not escorted)

Night in hotel

Breakfast and lunch included

 

DAY 12: AGUAS CALIENTES (2050M) - MACHU PICCHU (2450 M) – OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 M)

Very early in the morning, you will take the bus to go up to the most famous Inca site of the country: Machu Picchu, “old summit” in Quechua. You will there discover the architectural complex, still enveloped in the morning mist, built on top of a ridge and surrounded by precipices: a stunning view that evolves with the progression of the sun. You will roam through the streets of the citadel, its areas, squares, royal houses, agricultural zones, paths and observatories. After a 3h guided tour, you will dispose of free time to discover by yourselves, if you wish, the Huayna Picchu (entry at 10AM*), the Sun Gate (“Intu Punku”) situated at 2700m, or even the Inca bridge. For the less sporty, you can wander peacefully in the city. Return to Aguas Calientes in the afternoon to take the train back to Ollantaytambo. Check in to hotel and free evening.

*We have chosen the 10 o’clock trip in order to give you time to visit Machu Picchu with your guide and enjoy a clearer view of the citadel. However, the number of entries to Huayna Picchu being limited, we cannot guarantee the access to this part of the site.

Personnel: Private local English speaking guide for the visit of Machu Picchu

Transport: shuttle bus (go/back) to Machu Picchu, train to Ollantaytambo (not escorted)

Night in hotel

Breakfast included

 

DAY 13: OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 M) - MARAS (3300 M) - MORAY - CHINCHERO (3780 M) – CUSCO (3350 M)

After breakfast, visit of the archeological site of Ollantaytambo under the first rays of sunlight.  You will then take the road to the Maras saline. These saline date of the pre-Inca period and continue to be used like old times by the inhabitants of the village. The water coming from a salted source is canalized to a series of ponds where it evaporates gradually. A fine layer of salt is deposited and can be collected.  After this visit, you will continue to Moray, real agricultural laboratory which was used more than 500 years ago to test the resistance of certain botanical species at the altitude. To finish, you will go to Chinchero, the “rainbow city”. Visit of the ruins and return to Cusco at the end of the day.

Personnel: Private local English speaking guide

Transport: Private vehicle to Cusco

Night in hotel

Breakfast and lunch included

 

DAY 14: CUSCO (3350 M) - LIMA – INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

Transfer to the airport of Cusco, where you will take a flight to Lima, the Peruvian capital. Connection with your international flight.

Personnel: English speaking assistance in Cusco

Transport: Private vehicle in Cusco, flight Cusco – Lima (not escorted)

Breakfast included

 

END OF OUR SERVICES

Price

THE PRICE INCLUDES:

- Accommodation in 3*** hotels (according to local standards) and in homestay as mentioned in the program (To be upgrated, please contact us)

- The meals mentioned as “included”

- Private and group ground transports

- Assistance at airports

- Local English speaking guide at every stage

- Excursions scheduled in the program

- The domestic flight Cusco – Lima

- The entrances to the national parks, historical sites, museums, churches scheduled in the program

 

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

- International flights

- Fly over the Nazca lines (140 USD)

- Entrances to the sites marked as optional and to the hot springs of Chivay (4 USD)

- Insurance

- Lunches and dinners not mentioned in the program (expect 5 to 10 USD per meal)

- Drinks

- Tips (2 USD/day/person for the guide and 1 USD/day/person for the carriers, mule-drivers, chefs)

- The single supplement (please ask us)

Organization

PERSONNEL

You will be accompanied by a local private English speaking guide at every leg of the journey. This means you will have a different guide for each region you will visit, depending on their specialization. The level of English of the guides varies from one region to another.

A few exceptions:

- For the Puno – Cusco trip, you will travel in a group touristic bus with an English / Spanish guide

- The trips in public transports (buses, shuttles, trains and internal flights) are not escorted.

 

ACCOMMODATION

In Peru, the hotel standards are different to what you may be accustomed to. Here are a few useful details on every type of accommodation:

- Camp: thanks to the perfect organization of our cook(s) and muleteer(s), you could really rest after a good day of walking. We have a tent for the kitchen, another one for to take the meals, another one for the bathrooms. For two persons, you will have a 3 places tent for more comfort. We also supply you a comfortable mattress and a basin of hot water at the beginning and at the end of the day for your toilet; and of course we prepare you warm and complete meals.

- Homestay accommodation: Basic comfort, communal toilets, no hot water and sometimes no running water, simple but clean rooms, sometimes no electricity  and the doors do not lock (however, there are no security problems).

- 2** and 3*** hotels (local standards): comfortable rooms, simple and clean, private bathroom with hot water; some hotels offer rooms equipped with a safe, heating system, mini bar, …

As far as our possibilities, we choose hotels whose geographical location will allow you to fully enjoy the town and its attractions.

 

MEALS

In order to allow you more freedom during your trip, only a few meals are included in our programs: these are the meals during the treks (cold at noon and hot in the evening) and during certain excursions when the conditions make it necessary (on the Puno-Cusco road, in the Sacred Valley, etc).

For the non-included meals, expect 5 to 10 USD per person. This allows you to choose the time, place and menu according to your desires!

 

TRANSPORTS

Most of the time of your trip, your travels will take place in private vehicles: you will have at your service a private vehicle with a Spanish speaking driver who will adapt to your rhythm (photo stop, shopping, etc. …).

Exceptions:

- For the Puno – Cusco / Chivay – Puno and Arequipa – Puno trips, you will travel in a group touristic bus that will make several stops and visits on the way.