Pisac market textiles

Landscapes and Cultures of Peru Itinerary

This stunning, 19-day Southern Peru tour takes you to key sites including Machu Picchu and the Sacred valley, Lake Titicaca, Colca Canyon and the Nazca Lines.

19 days from £5300pp plus international flights.

Full itinerary

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Chris-3
Talk to Christine - Travel Consultant

Call:  01473 890499

Start planning your tailor-made holiday now. Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.

Client Rating for Peru 5/5 from 58 reviews

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 1

Arrive In Peru

You'l be met on arrival at Lima Airport and transferred to your home for the next two nights, Casa Andina Miraflores Centro. A 45-60 minutes' drive from the airport, this comfy modern hotel is in a great location in the affluent Miraflores district.

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 2

In Lima

This morning your guide will collect you after breakfast and take you on a guided tour of Lima. You'll start with the Plaza de Armas, with its handsome, 18th century Cathedral, before heading to the sumptuously-furnished and beautifully preserved Casa Aliaga. This colonial mansion has been lived in by the same family since 1532. The final stop on today's tour is the Larco Museum, home to a famous collection of pre-Inca ceramics, gold and silver. The ceramics collection is most notable for the erotic and realistic Moche pottery. The museum's café/restaurant is highly recommended and set in a lovely garden. Then you're free to explore as you wish - perhaps visiting the handicraft markets or the impressive Huaca Pucllana ruins or the ocean-side boulevard, the Malecón.

Breakfast

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 3

Lima To Paracas

After breakfast you will be collected and driven the four hours along the Panamerican Highway to Paracas. The highway runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean, so you'll enjoy great views. Your first stop at will be at Pisco airport to board a small plane for your flight over the Nazca Lines. This really is the best way to view these mysterious, ancient markings in the desert, like the artworks of a giant. You arrive at the Paracas Luxury Collection hotel in time for lunch, after which you can explore the stunning, ocean-front location, take a dip in the pool, visit the spa, wander into town or spend time on the beach. This evening you'll dine in one of the hotel's three gourmet restaurants.

Full board

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 4

Paracas

You have a lovely experience ahead of you this morning, a boat trip to the Islas Ballestas. The rocks of these three uninhabited islands - eroded into caves and arches - are home to vast numbers of seabirds, including cormorants, pelicans, boobies and penguins. Marine life here includes fur seals, sea lions and the occasional dolphin. During the two-hour trip, watch out for The Candelabra, a 150-metre high geoglyph on the cliff of the Paracas Peninsula. Following the boat trip, you will be taken on a guided tour of the Paracas National Reserve, where the desert ends in cliffs above the Pacific Ocean. More than 2000 years ago this region was home to the Paracas Culture, who were among the originators of the Nazca Lines. You'll return to the hotel in time for lunch and you can then explore further in the afternoon or simply chill out.

Full board

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 5

Paracas To Lima

It's back to Lima after breakfast, as you make the return road journey along the Panamerican Highway and are taken to the Casa Andina Hotel in Miraflores. The rest of the day is yours, so you can explore any parts of Lima you missed out on earlier in the trip, or perhaps revisit some particular favourites.

Breakfast

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 6

Lima To Arequipa

This morning you'll be collected after breakfast and transferred to Lima airport for the 1½ hour flight to Arequipa. The lovely 'White City' sits at 2,380m above sea level - keep an eye out from the plane for the distinctive conical shape of El Misti volcano, which stands guard over the city. You will be met on arrival and transferred to the Hotel Costa del Sol Wyndham. This recently-remodelled pink colonial-style hotel dates from the 1940s and is in a tranquil location by the beautiful Selva Alegre Park. Relax for the rest of the day, enjoy the stunning volcano views, explore the extensive gardens and meet the resident alpacas and Juanita, the 120-year-old Galapagos tortoise.

Breakfast

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 7

Arequipa

After breakfast, your guide will take you on a tour of Arequipa. The volcanic stone used for so many of the splendid colonial buildings inspired the city's other name - the 'White City'. Your tour will include the 20,000sq m 16th century Santa Catalina Convent, which is like a miniature colonial town. Then you're free to explore Arequipa at your own pace, choosing lunch and dinner venues from the many fine restaurants and excellent cafes, shopping for high quality textiles in the Mercado de Artesania or heading to the Catholic University Museum to meet another Juanita - the 'Ice Maiden' mummy.

Breakfast

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 8

Colca Canyon

Enjoy amazing views of volcanoes and mountain passes on this morning's incredibly scenic drive from Arequipa to the Colca Canyon, arriving in time for lunch at El Balcón de Don Zacarías in Chivay, the gateway to the canyon. At over 3,000 metres in depth (twice as deep as America's Grand Canyon), and stunningly beautiful, the Colca Canyon is also renowned for its agricultural terraces, hot springs and pretty villages. You will spend the next two nights at the romantic Colca Lodge, which sits on the banks of the Colca River. This relaxing eco lodge boasts its own thermal pools as well as a spa, charming gardens and two restaurants. It even has its own alpaca ranch! It's the perfect location for hiking, horse riding and cycling.

Full board

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 9

Colca Canyon

Early this morning you head to the Cruz del Cóndor lookout point. On most days, here at the canyon's edge, condors setting out on their daily search for food rise majestically on the thermals. After this memorable encounter the afternoon is yours to enjoy the facilities and activities of the lodge.

Breakfast, dinner

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 10

Colca To Puno

Following breakfast and lunch at Colca Lodge you have a six-hour road journey across the glorious Andean landscape to Puno, on the shore of Lake Titicaca. You will spend two nights at the bright, contemporary Posada del Inca hotel, which lies 10 minutes outside Puno, at the edge of the highest navigable lake in the world.

Breakfast, lunch

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 11

Lake Titicaca

This morning you take a boat from the hotel's own pier to the Uros Islands. These man-made islands are about 30 minutes from Puno and have been created from floating bundles of reeds. At the living museum your guide will explain the way of life here, and the island construction process. Next you have a 1½ hour boat journey to Taquile Island, where you will have lunch. The way of life here is very different to that on the Uros Islands. Taquile is known for its woven and knitted textiles and you will see how these are produced and have the chance to buy some. You then return by boat to the Posada del Inca for the evening.

Breakfast, lunch

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 12

Train To Cusco

Another memorable experience lies ahead of you today. After breakfast you head to Puno's railway station to board PerúRail's deluxe Titicaca Train. In elegance reminiscent of 1920s Pullman carriages, you will spend the day crossing the high plateau; at times you'll be more than 4,000m above sea level. You'll enjoy a gourmet lunch in the handsome dining car, and wonderful views from the open-air observation car before you arrive in the capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco. You'll be met on arrival and transferred to the Ramada by Wyndham Costa del Sol. This 17th-century mansion with a modern wing is near to Cusco's main squares, so ideal for an evening stroll to find a restaurant for dinner.

Breakfast, lunch

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 13

Cusco

Today begins with a post-breakfast, half-day private guided tour of Cusco. The most likely first stop is Koricancha, the Inca 'Golden Enclosure', their Temple of the Sun. It was once covered in gold, with gold statues of animals and plants in the courtyards. The Spanish Conquistadors plundered the gold and destroyed most of the buildings, then constructed the Convent of Santo Domingo on top of the original Inca walls. Next you visit the Cathedral, a majestic colonial building with an extensive collection of Cusco School art. Then you will be taken north out of the city to the 15th-century Inca ceremonial complex of Sacsayhuaman, with its massive stones that continue to baffle - nobody knows how they were brought here. You may also see the Inca religious centre of Qenqo and the 'Red Fort' Puka Pukara. You'll then be returned to your hotel and the rest of the day is yours.'

Breakfast

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 14

To The Sacred Valley

Today you will be driven to the Sacred Valley of the Incas for a full-day guided tour. 30 minutes from Cusco you will visit Awanakancha, a farm which breeds llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. Here you will learn about the weaving and garment-making process of the indigenous culture, and have the chance to shop in the farm store. More shopping opportunities await at the bustling market at Pisac, where colonial buildings surround a square full of stalls selling alpaca textiles, jewellery, paintings and other crafts. You'll also be taken to the remarkable Inca ruins above the town. Next you head to Ollantaytambo, its old town still laid out as it was by the Incas. The Inca ruins on a promontory high above the town are breathtaking. On your journey through the Sacred Valley you will stop for lunch at Ayasca restaurant in Yanahuara village. This evening you will stay at the beautiful Sol y Luna hotel and spa near Urubamba - your home for the next two nights.

Breakfast, lunch

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 15

Maras, Moray And Urubamba

This morning you will travel to the white saltpans at Maras. Set into a hillside and forming a giant staircase of ponds, these have been worked since pre-Inca times. Next, you'll go to Moray, a fascinating series of concentric terraces on the plateau, which some believe was an Inca agricultural research centre. Return to the Sol y Luna and relax in the lovely 25-acre gardens, swim in the pool or jacuzzi, have a spa treatment or perhaps take up the option for a cookery class or yoga session.

Breakfast

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 16

Ollantaytambo And Machu Picchu

This morning you return to Ollantaytambo after breakfast for the 1½ hour scenic Andean train ride to Aguas Calientes. From here it's a short bus ride uphill to Machu Picchu. That first glimpse of this iconic site will be one to treasure. You'll have a guided tour, your expert guide bringing the Inca sanctuary to life for you. You'll enjoy lunch at the Belmond Sanctuary Lodge, just outside the entrance to Machu Picchu, then head back downhill to Aguas Calientes and to El MaPi, a modern hotel and spa. Keep your entrance ticket to Machu Picchu - you'll need it again tomorrow.

Breakfast, lunch

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 17

Machu Picchu To Cusco

This morning you have the option to return to Machu Picchu for an unguided visit before taking the train back to Ollantaytambo for the bus transfer to Cusco. You will spend the night at the Costa del Sol again.

Breakfast

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 18

Cusco

This is your last full day in Peru, and you can spend it as you wish. All of historic Cusco is on your doorstep, and it's easy to fill a day here by visiting museums churches and galleries, browsing in the many shops or seeking out cafés and restaurants.

Breakfast

Landscape and Culture of Peru

Day 19

Cusco To Lima And Home

This is your last full day in Peru, and you can spend it as you wish. All of historic Cusco is on your doorstep, and it's easy to fill a day here by visiting museums churches and galleries, browsing in the many shops or seeking out cafés and restaurants.

Breakfast

tracy
Talk to Tracy - Travel Consultant

Call:  01473 890499

Start planning your tailor-made holiday now. Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.

Client Rating for Peru 5/5 from 58 reviews