Peru Tour – The Explorer

Travel to the Edge of the World

Peru Tour – The Explorer

from

$3,595.00

Journey with us on this Peru Tour to a land shrouded in mystery and birthplace of the New World’s most advanced society, the Incan Empire. The jewel of South America, Peru will send your camera into overdrive with its jaw-dropping terrain, colourful markets, white-washed cities, forgotten temples entangled in jungle vines, and massive archaeological complexes. The ancient citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world…come find out why! Home to a unique and proud population which continues to maintain its rich culture and identity, you will be welcomed with open arms. Channel your inner Indiana Jones and spirit of adventure as we discover the land of the Inca during this 12 day Peru Explorer Tour!

AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST FROM MAR-OCT

Description

Highlights Include:

  • Sampling the culinary delights of Peruvian cuisine
  • Discovering the colonial splendours of Lima & Arequipa
  • Delving into the “Archaeological Capital of the Americas,” Cusco
  • Soaking-in the astonishing views of Machu Picchu
  • Exploring the highest navigable lake in the world , Lake Titicaca
  • Spotting vicuña on the magical realm of the altiplano

Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa

Day 1: Arrival Day Lima
Welcome to Lima – the City of Kings and the bustling gateway to Peru! Lima is an ethnic melting pot, featuring pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern elements. Lima was inhabited by pre-Columbian groups centuries before it was founded by Spanish Conqueror Francisco Pizarro in 1535 on the day of the Three Kings (Epiphany). Limeños (Lima’s residents) are friendly, and the city is filled with excellent restaurants; seafood lovers in particular should be sure to try a ceviche, for which Lima is well known.
As today is arrival day, there are no prearranged activities.
Meals: None
Overnight: Miraflores Hotel
Day 2: Lima: Colonial Splendour

Today we will have a half day guided sightseeing tour of the highlights of colonial Lima and the incredible Larco Herrera Museum. We will begin our tour with a visit the heart of colonial Lima, the colourful Plaza de Armas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the plaza, we can admire the Government Palace and the Cathedral. After time for photos of the beautiful colonial architecture, we will continue on to the Larco Museum which is located in a vice-royal mansion of the 18th century built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid in Pueblo Libre. The Larco Museum features the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru, the famous erotic archaeological collection, worldwide icons of Pre-Columbian art, after being exhibited in the world’s leading museums.

Some suggestions for afternoon activities include:
• Huaca Pucllana – a restored adobe ceremonial centre from the Lima culture that dates back to AD 400
• LarcoMar & Sea Wall – Stroll for miles along the cliffs of the beautifully landscaped sea wall
• Paraglide – Soar above the cliffs of Miraflores while you tandem paraglide
• Enjoy some of Lima’s exceptional eateries, from humble to high-brow, all part of a gastronomic revolution moreMeals: Breakfast & Dinner
Overnight: Miraflores

Day 3: Lima to Cusco and the Sacred Valley

Early morning we fly from Lima to Cusco – the heart of the Incan Empire. Cusco is a colonial as well as an archaeological gem and at an elevation of 3400m, Cusco will literally take your breath away. It is for this reason that after arriving in Cusco we continue to a more comfortable elevation of 2800m of the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Urubamba Valley). Chinchero, known as the birthplace of the rainbow, is famous for its traditionally dressed villagers, Incan terraces, and colourful Sunday indigenous market. We have time to explore and perhaps see women weaving their intricate textile designs in a cooperative.On our way to the Sacred Valley, we will visit the archaeological complex of Moray which is an unusual Incan site consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is about 30 m deep. The purpose of these depressions is uncertain, but their depth and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15 °C between the top and bottom. It is possible that Moray was an Inca agricultural experiment station where they studied climatic conditions on a wide variety of crops.

Weather permitting, we will also visit the spectacular site of Maras salt pans where the locals have been mining salt since pre-Incan times! We continue to our charming accommodation in the Sacred Valley.

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Overnight: Yucay Hacienda-style Hotel

Day 4: Ollantaytambo & Pachamanca Lunch
Today we further explore the spectacular Sacred Valley of the Incas.We continue along the Urubamba river to the “Living City of the Incas” and archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo is an impressive fortress which enjoys the rare honour of being the setting for one of the only defeats inflicted on the Spanish conquistadors by the Incas, when Hernando Pizarro was forced to flee back to Cusco after failing to breach the citadel in 1536. From the village below, one gains a true appreciation of Inca urban planning dating back 500 years.
Today we will enjoy a Pachamanca lunch! A Pachamanca is a traditional way of preparing food in the Andes. In the absence of a stove an oven is built out of stones, the stones are heated with a wood fire and once brought to a very high temperature, the stones are placed carefully with the vegetables meat and seasoning. The food is then covered with grass and banana leaves before being covered by a mound of earth. After 45 minutes the meal is ready and we have the pleasure of digging our delicious potatoes, yams, corn, fava beans, lamb, alpaca and guinea pig straight from the earth.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Overnight: Yucay Hacienda-style Hotel

Day 5: Machu Picchu

Today we travel by Train (Expedition) to Machu Picchu Village (Aguas Calientes) located at the base of magnificent Machu Picchu. From here we take a bus up the snaking road to the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. The archaeological site of Machu Picchu dates to the 15th century and first received international attention in 1911 when it was visited by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Ever since, Machu Picchu has received visitors from around the world being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and more recently voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.We have a two hour guided tour of the most important structures at Machu Picchu before having free time for independent exploration of the site when the crowds have dispersed.

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Aguas Calientes

Day 6: Machu Picchu to Cusco

This morning is free for you to explore as you wish. You may wish return to Machu Picchu to further explore the Incan gem and perhaps climb Wayna Picchu, soak in the natural hot springs, shop, or visit the Machu Picchu Museum and botanical gardens.In the afternoon we travel by train then by bus to Cusco, the heart of the Incan Empire. Tonight we dine, Cusco-style!

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Overnight: Cusco

Day 7: Cusco and Surroundings

Cusco was the foremost city of the Inca Empire and is now the undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas, as well as the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city and the most visited tourist attraction in Peru. Cusco (Qosqo in Quechua) was the capital of the mighty Inca Empire from the 13th century until 1532 when the Spanish conquistadors arrived. The Inca had incredible foresight in regards to city planning and Cusco beautifully exemplifies this. Cusco was planned as an effigy in the shape of a puma, the Inca god of lightning.This morning we explore some of Cusco’s colonial highlights with a guided tour of the magnificent Cathedral with its beautiful cedar wood carvings such as the choir and the Pulpit, as well as the paintings of Cuzco School. We continue our tour to Koricancha Temple (Temple of the Sun) in Santo Domingo Church where Spanish and Inca stonework exist in the same complex. In the afternoon, the guide takes us to Sacsayhuaman Fortress, a massive stone construction with great cosmic energy. Experts believe it was an astronomic observatory and an Incan oracle.

Here are a few suggestions for your free time:
• Explore the artistic neighbourhood of San Blas and shop for antiques
• Visit the gorgeous Pre-Colombian Museum, Museo Irq’i Yachay and/or the Popular Art Museum
• Learn how to make Peru’s signature cocktail – the Pisco Sour
• Cusco Planetarium is a nifty way to learn more about the Inca worldview
• Take a weaving or salsa class
• Pamper yourself at a spa

Tonight is free for you to enjoy the vibrant Cusco nightlife!

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: Cusco Hotel

Day 8: Andean Explorer Train to Puno
Early this morning we board the Andean Explorer train from Cusco to Puno crossing the altiplano of Peru reaching a breathtaking altitude of 4321m (14 175 ft) at La Raya. This train ride has consistently been voted as one of the best journeys by train in the world. The ten hour train journey snakes between mountains, highlands, and clouds, ending at the majestic Lake Titicaca. Travelling across the sunburned altiplano by rail, gives one a true appreciation of the vastness of the landscape as well as how isolated the communities of subsistence farmers and shepherds are that dwell here. Herds of llamas and alpacas as well as the more elusive vicuna are often seen along the way. We arrive in the early evening to the city of Puno which is at the heart of Peruvian folkloric tradition located at a breath-taking 3830m (12 562 ft).Overnight: Puno Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9: Lake Titicaca – Uros & Taquile Islands

Today we have a full-day excursion of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, 3810m (12 500ft) and one of the largest lakes in South America. It often seems more like an ocean than a lake as its intense blue waters, as deep as 270m (886 ft), stretch endlessly in all directions. It is no coincidence that the Inca decided first to conquer this lake, nor that they formed a creation myth around it. The Inca contend that the sun sent his son, Manco Cápac, and the moon sent her daughter, Mamo Ocllo, to emerge from the waters of Lake Titicaca and found the Inca empire.Our boat excursion begins with a visit to the nearby Uros (floating) Islands. The totora reeds that grow in shallows of the lake are used for making everything from the islands themselves to the schools to the trinkets they sell visitors and the boats. The Uros people began their floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate themselves from their rivals, the Collas and the Incas.

We continue our Lake Titicaca adventure to the tranquil island of Taquile. Taquileños run their society based on community collectivism and on the Inca moral codeama sua, ama llulla, ama qhilla, (Quechua for “do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy”). The people of Taquile Island’s unique culture, style of dress and lifestyle make for a memorable visit. The men of the community do all the incredible knitting, as this is strictly a male domain, while the women do the spinning.

We return to Puno late this afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: Puno Hotel

Day 10: Puno to Arequipa

Early this morning we begin our day with a visit to Sillustani, situated on a stark wind-swept peninsula on tiny Lake Umaya. The burial towers of the nobles of the Colla civilisation are up to 12 metre high and is not known exactly when they were built. Known as chullpas, it is thought that whole families were buried in the towers.Travelling across the altiplano with spectacular views of the Andes, we keep our eyes peeled for vicuñas (wild camelid) and pink flamingos around Lake Langunillas. Dubbed the ‘White City’ for its pearly white volcanic rock, Arequipa boasts over 80 volcanoes and possesses fine colonial-era Spanish architecture. The most famous of which is El Misti Volcano standing at 5822m.

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 11: Arequipa

Constructed entirely of white sillar tone, the city gleams in the sun and is home of the most stunning Plaza de Armas in all of Peru. Today we have a guided sightseeing tour of the highlights of beautiful Arequipa and the 400 year old Monasterio de Santa Catalina, a citadel that could have been lifted right out of southern Spain.This afternoon you will have free time to enjoy the cafes and plaza or visit Juanita, the mummy of a 13 year old girl that captured worldwide attention in 1995, located in Museo Santuarios Andinos.

Tonight we dine together for our final supper.

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 12: Arequipa to Lima

Today we catch our internal flights from Arequipa back to Lima where we will connect to our international flights.Meals: Breakfast

*Please note that most flights depart from Lima late in the evening. Please confirm your flight departs in the evening when booking this trip

Lima: La Hacienda
Cusco: Unaytambo
Sacred Valley: La Casona de Yucay
Machu Picchu: El Mapi

Puno: La Sonesta

Arequipa: La Sonesta

Tour Inclusions:

  • 11 nights hotel accommodation based on double occupancy (single supplement available)
  • Meals as specified (11 breakfast, 3 lunches, 6 dinners)
  • Canadian tour leader
  • Services of a Peruvian guide for all sites
  • Entrance fees to all the sites mentioned in the program
  • All transportation as per itinerary including Expedition train from Machu Picchu & the Andean Explorer
  • Internal flights
  • All applicable taxes

Tour Exclusions:

  • International flights
  • Services not specified, meals not specified
  • Mandatory travel insurance
  • Optional trip cancellation insurance
  • All tips for local guides, restaurant staff at included meals, drivers
  • Meals not mentioned
  • Personal items
  • Departure taxes (domestic and international if applicable)
  • Airport transfers for international flights

Date: AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

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