This expedition is perfect for those that are passionate about wildlife, archaeological and cultural treasures, and also about an intriguing combination of beauty and contrasts in scenery. As you get stroll through ancient civilization buildings and remains be rewarded with a stunning combination of snowcapped mountains, deep valleys, cloud forests and jungles, and picturesque villages that will be the perfect opportunity to get immerse in the local culture of its villagers that still practice many of their ancestral traditions in farming, weaving textiles, ranching domestic animals and others.

Day by Day

  • Day 1: Arrive in Lima
  • Day 2: Ica & sand boarding (Meals: B)
  • Day 3: Ballestas islands – Pisco wineries & distilleries (Meals: B)
  • Day 4: Nazca Lines & Bus tide to Arequipa (Meals: B)
  • Day 5: Exploring Arequipa the White City (Meals: B)
  • Day 6: Arequipa to Colca Canyon (Yanque) (Meals: B)
  • Day 7: Colca Canyon tour to Puno (Meals: B)
  • Day 8: Uros floating islands & Taquile islands (Meals: B, L)
  • Day 9: Puno to Cusco (Meals: B, L)
  • Day 10: Chinchero town, Maras-Moray & Salt mine (Meals: B, L)
  • Day 11: Ollantaytambo & Aguas Calientes Town (Meals: B)
  • Day 12: Enigmatic Machu Picchu (Meals: B)
  • Day 13: The other Sacred Valley of the Inkas (Meals: B)
  • Day 14: Cusco Imperial (Meals: B)
  • Day 15: Cusco to Puerto Maldonado (Meals: B, L, D)
  • Day 16: Parrot Clay Lick & Sandoval Lake (Meals: B,L,D)
  • Day 17: Puerto Maldonado to Lima (Meals: B)

Highlights

  • Nazca Lines & sand boarding.
  • Ballestas islands and Pisco wineries & distilleries.
  • Exploring Arequipa, the White City.
  • Colca Canyon (Yanque).
  • Uros floating islands & Taquile islands.
  • Puno to Cusco.
  • Chinchero town, Maras-Moray & Salt mine.
  • Enigmatic Machu Picchu.
  • The Other Sacred Valley of the Inkas.
  • Cusco Imperial & Amazon Rain Forest.
  • Parrot Clay Lick & Sandoval Lake.
  • Amazon Flora and Fauna.

Your escorted package Includes:

  • Domestic flights and airport taxes.
  • All transfers.
  • 15 Night accommodation based on double occupancy.
  • 1 Night Lima.
  • 2 Nights Ica.
  • 1 Night Arequipa.
  • 1 Night Colca canyon.
  • 2 Nights Puno.
  • 3 Nights Cusco.
  • 2 Nights Ollantaytambo.
  • 1 Night Aguas Calientes Town.
  • 2 Nights Corto Maltes Amazonia Lodge.
  • 23 Meals: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner.
  • 16 Breakfast.
  • 5 Lunch.
  • 2 Dinner.
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern private air-conditioned motor coach and tourist comfort coach.
  • Services of English-speaking tour leader.
  • All site and attraction entrance fees per itinerary.

Your escorted package does NOT Include:

  • International Flights and airport taxes.
  • Meals that are not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Tips.

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Arrive in Lima at any time. On arrival you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel. The day is free to spend at leisure or take any of our optional tours.

Optional: Lima City tour, Larco Museum, Diner & Show at La Dama Juana Restaurant.

Overnight: Lima – Hotel (Altitude: Sea Level)

Day 2: Ica & sand boarding (Meals: B)

Today, after five hours travel in a comfortable top-class coach to the town of Ica, a pleasant colonial town that is well known for its huge sand dunes around the Huacachina oasis and for its wines and pisco (grape brandy) that are produced in its  several wineries and distilleries. Once you arrive our representative will transfer you to your hotel. By the afternoon you will be pick up from your  hotel to go to the sand dunes for sand boardingctivity.

Overnight: Ica – Hotel (Altitude: Sea Level)

Day 3: Ballestas islands – Pisco wineries & distilleries (Meals: B)

In the morning, you will be pick up from your hotel and start a tour in Paracas, a small fishing village that serves as the starting point for all tours to the Ballestas Islands. Ballestas are three small islands located off the shores of Paracas in the Pacific Ocean. Ballestas islands are the home of hundreds of sea lions, many species of marine birds, including the Humboldt penguin; you are guaranteed to see some incredible wildlife. On the way you will be able to see the “Candelabro”, which is a giant geoglyph in the shape of a candle holder at the coast of Paracas.  After lunch your tour starts with the visit to a winery, where you can witness the process of obtaining wine. Then we continue to visit a Pisco distilleries, the famous Peruvian drink “Pisco”.

Overnight: Ica – Hotel (Altitude: Sea Level)

Day 4: Nazca Lines & Bus tide to Arequipa (Meals: B)

This morning, the expedition continue south by land to Nazca lines, one of the world’s greatest archaeological mysteries. The lines consist of patterns and pictures etched in the ground, crisscrossing a wide area of flat desert with up to 10 km (32 miles) in length, and yet remain perfectly straight. The depictions of birds, insects and animals are only recognizable from the air. Who drew the lines, and why, is something modern archaeologists can only theorize about, but current beliefs suggest that they may be part of complex agricultural calendar. After lunch, we visit the Nazca culture remains with its ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site, with 1500 year-old mummies, bones and pottery on the desert floor. The tour also includes a visit to an artisan’s workshop, where modern masters recreate Nazca style pottery. Late in the afternoon, we take you to the bus station to take a seven hours comfortable top-class coach journey to Arequipa. Upon arrival, you will have a private transfer waiting to take you to your hotel.

Overnight: On bus (Altitude: Sea level to 2,325 m. – 7,673 ft.)

Day 5: Exploring Arequipa, the White City (Meals: B)

Today the morning is free, after lunch, in the afternoon, you´ll have a city tour in the second most important city after Lima, where your tour leader will show you the most fascinating sites in Arequipa, from the mummy of a young girl (Juanita) who was found frozen at the top of a volcano 500 years after her death to key art and architecture from the colonial era like the Convent of Santa Catalina.  Arequipa was built from a very light colored volcanic rock called sillar, so older buildings dazzle in the sun, giving the city its nickname, “the White City.” The main plaza with its cafés and nearby cathedral is a top draw for visitors. The tour concludes at the main square of Yanahuara where you will enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the city and the Misti volcano (5,822 m. – 19,213 ft.).

Overnight: Arequipa – Hotel (Altitude: 2,325 m. – 7,673 ft.)

Day 6: Arequipa to Colca Canyon (Yanque) (Meals: B)

In the morning, after breakfast the expedition heads to Yanque village for about four hours. Along the way, you will stop at some beautiful viewpoints such as Pampa Cañahuas Reserve, which is home to vicuñas, alpacas, llamas, flamingos, ibis, and much more. You will witness stunning landscapes: lakes, glaciers and some magnificent volcanoes, such as Ampato, Sabancaya, Huallca and of course, the Misti. Our highest point on the journey to Yanque will be 4,800 m. (15,840 ft.). Upon arrival, in the afternoon, you have a number of options, such as enjoying the hot thermal springs of Yanque, taking a short trek or just relaxing in your hotel while taking in the spectacular view of the beginning of the canyon and its terraces.

Overnight: Yanque – Hotel (Altitude: 3,610 m. – 11,913 ft.)

Day 7: Colca Canyon to Puno (Meals: B)

This day, early in the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel to be taken for your shared Colca Canyon tour. There is very scenic route along the way to the Cruz del Condor Mirador, which is the most popular viewing point for looking into the depths of Colca Canyon (1,200 m. – 3,960 ft. deep). From here you can appreciate the majestic flight of the Andean Condor in its natural habitat with the breath taking scenery in the background. Afterwards you will head to Chivay to catch the tourist coach to Puno, located on the shore of the highest navigable lake – Lake Titicaca. All along the route is very scenic with lakes, lagoons, Andean flamingos, snow capped mountains, and reach the soaring altitude of 4,850 m. (16,005 ft.), which will give you a spectacular view into the highlands landscape. Upon arrival into Puno, our representative will transfer you to your hotel.

Overnight: Puno – Hotel (Altitude: 3,800 m. 12,540 ft.)

Day 8: Uros floating islands & Taquile islands (Meals: B, L)

Your day starts at the Lake Titicaca’s harbor, where escorted by your tour leader you will board a private boat for visiting the floating Islands of Uros, home to the ancient inhabitants of Lake Titicaca. This community has endured for hundreds of years thanks to their continual renovation of the island floor with totora reeds (a plant that grows in the water and swamp). Here you will be amazed at how locals use totora reeds to build canoes, houses, beds and many other things. As part of your visit to this islands, experience a smooth and pleasant ride around on a totora reed canoe. Afterwards, you head to visit the Island of Taquile, whose residents are known for their friendliness and for their weavings. Here you enjoy a typical lunch prepared by the local families and bask in their incredible hospitality. Then, you return to Puno by boat and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight: Puno – Hotel (Altitude: 3,800 m. 12,540 ft.)

Day 9: Puno to Cusco (Meals: B, L)

This day, early in the morning, you will be pick up from your hotel and transfer to the bus station in time for your nine hour coach journey to Cusco. This trip takes the better part of the day, with stark beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region. Along the way, you will stop at some fascinating attractions such as Pukará, which is famous for its ceramic production and its most famous figurines (the two bulls), which can be found on most of the roofs of the Andean houses. The next inevitable stop is La Raya (4,300 m. – 14,289 ft.), which is the highest elevation artisan´s market and the halfway point between Cusco and Puno. After a majestic view continue through sicuani valley and stop for a great lunch. The next stop will be at a small town called Raqchi, where you can admire the Incan temple of Wiracocha and learn about its fascinating construction. Then the journey will continue to the Andahuaylillas Church (known as the Andean Sistine Chapel), where you can appreciate some intriguing 16th, 17th and 18th century mural paintings and fully decorated gold altars. You will then arrive in Cusco at approximately 5pm, and have a private driver waiting to take you to your hotel.

Overnight: Cusco – Hotel (Altitude: 3,350 m. – 11,055 ft.)

Day 10: Chinchero town, Maras-Moray & Salt mine (Meals: B, L)

The expedition continues and the first place to visit is the picturesque town of Chinchero, a small village nestled among Andean peaks at the edge of Lake Piuray. The women of this village practice some of the oldest traditional weaving techniques in the Americas with more than 50 unique design patterns produced here. This visit is far off the beaten path and gives you the opportunity to experience the hospitality of Peru´s Andean people. After this spectacular experience you will continue to see the incredible Moray, a series of circular terraces that were used as an Inkan agricultural laboratory to adapt, acclimatize and hybridize different crops. Our lunch will be in Maras village, in a local family house. Afterwards you will head to the salt mine of Maras (Salineras) to see and learn about this truly unique place that have been in continuous use since pre-Inkan times.

Overnight: Ollantaytambo – Hotel (Altitude: 2,800 m. – 9,240 ft.)

Day 11: Ollantaytambo & Aguas Calientes Town (Meals: B)

This day, your tour stars with an exploration of the Ollantaytambo town, which is known as the best surviving example of Inka urban planning and engineering. It is admired for its huge steep terraces guarding the Inka Fortress, its vertical and horizontal narrow alley streets, and for being one of the few places where the Spanish lost a major battle during the conquest. After marvel at the architecture of this fascinating place you will be taken to the train station for the journey to Aguas Calientes town. The journey is very scenic with several Inka sites and changing of vegetation along the valley. Upon arrival you will be transfer to your hotel.

Overnight: Aguas Calientes town – Hotel (Altitude: 2,000 m. – 6,600 ft.)

Day 12: Enigmatic Machu Picchu (Meals: B)

Early this morning escorted by your tour leader, you will take the train to Aguas Calientes town. Upon arrival you will take a 30 minutes bus ride on a zigzag road to the magnificent Machu Picchu “The lost city of the Inkas” and guided by your private tour leader get astonished about this incredible and enigmatic remains, enjoying the complicated history of the site, the surprising degree of technology achieved by its builders, the provision of water channels that reveal a deep understanding of hydraulics, and its exceptionally fine stonework. All this magnificent building allows you to go back in time and revive the existence of those builders truly admirable taking in the awe-inspiring scenery. After a complete overview of the site you will have the remainder of the day to further explore the site either alone or with your tour leader. In the Afternoon get back to Ollantaytambo.

Optional: Climb to Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu mountains upon request.

Overnight: Ollantaytambo – Hotel (Altitude: 2,800 m. – 9,240 ft.)

Day 13: The Other Sacred Valley of the Inkas (Meals: B)

Today, escorted by your tour leader you will head to visit Pisaq Inkan site, where you can stroll through the ruins, taking in the tremendous views of the agricultural terracing that wraps around the mountain and the valley below. Afterwards, the journey continues to the pre-Inkan site of Pikillaqta, the largest provincial outpost ever built by the Wari Empire (the second largest pre-Columbian Andean empire). Its 47-hectare, adobe-walled compound might go unnoticed; however, it affords to visitors a great opportunity to check out a pre-Inka architecture. The next to visit is Tipón, where you can admire the incredible system of aqueducts for irrigation which reveals a deep understanding of hydraulic engineering by the Inkas. Back to Cusco.

Overnight: Cusco – Hotel (Altitude: 3,350 m. – 11,055 ft.)

Day 14: Cusco Imperial (Meals: B)

The morning is free. In the Afternoon, after lunch, your tour starts with the impressive Colonial Cathedral, which contains over 400 paintings from the Cusquenian Art School in addition to an impressive collection of colonial art, including a depiction of The Last Supper displaying Cuy, or Guinea Pig, as the main course. Continue on to visit the Temple of the Sun, whose walls and floors were allegedly once covered by sheets of solid gold. Afterwards, you will visit the impressive Saqsayhuaman, located on the northern slope of Cusco. This stunning site consists of individual stones weighing well over 100 tons, took over seven decades to complete. Conclude the day at the Q´enq´o site, a mysterious limestone formation decorated by intricately carved depictions of mythical deities.

Optional half day tour: Visit to Chocolate Museum, Cooking Lessons, Inka Museum, Cusco Town walking tour.

Overnight: Cusco – Hotel (Altitude: 3,350 m. – 11,055 ft.)

Day 15: Cusco to Puerto Maldonado (Meals: B, L, D)

In the morning, you will be taken to Cusco Airport in time for your domestic flight to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival, you will be met by your tour leader and taken to the Capitania Port, where you will board a typical Amazonian motorized boat and travel along the Madre de Dios River for forty minutes until arrive the Corto Maltes Amazonia Lodge. After lunch, you will experience a jungle trek for seeing a large variety of tropical trees, medicinal plants, insects, butterflies, birds and other animals. Also visit a lookout point for having the opportunity to spot toucans, macaws and other species of birds while the sunsets. Back at the lodge, you may wish to take a refreshing dip in the pool or enjoy a tasty cocktail in the terrace bar before a short boat safari trip in search of caimans. Then return for an appetizing dinner back at the lodge.

Overnight: Corto Maltes Amazonia Lodge (Altitude: 400 m. – 1,320 ft.)

Day 16: Parrot Clay Lick & Sandoval Lake (Meals: B, L, D)

Very early in the morning, we will go to the parrot clay lick. Here you will see a truly marvelous spectacle of at least five difference species of multicolored parrots feeding on a special kind of clay. Afterwards, we return for a breakfast and some free time to explore the Corto Maltes gardens. Then have a short boat ride to get into the territory of the Tambopata Candamo National Reserve, where you will trek, for about one hour, through the dense vegetation of the tropical rainforest. Upon arrival at Sandoval Lake, we will enjoy the spectacle of giant otters, numerous species of birds and monkeys, black caimans and piranhas. Traveling by canoe along the lake will give us a stunning and unforgettable sunset before returning to the river and back to the lodge for dinner and to relax.

Overnight: Corto Maltes Amazonia Lodge (Altitude: 400 m. – 1,320 ft.)

Day 17: Puerto Maldonado to Lima (Meals: B)

This day, after a delicious breakfast, your guide will take you back to the city. Before reaching the airport, you will stop at a local market, where agricultural products in particular Amazonian fruits are sold. You will arrive in time for your domestic flight to Lima.

Know Before You Go

Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.

Passport and Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It’s your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.

Trip Preparation

A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas) are in order and that you have enough prescription medications to last through the tip. We suggest you make photocopies of passports, visas, and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. Pack also a list of medications including dosage and generic names. If you lose the originals while traveling, you will have copies for easier reporting and replacement. We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock.

What to Take

Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential for the daily activities.

Checklist:

  • Passport (with photocopies).
  • Travel insurance (with photocopies).
  • Airline tickets (with photocopies).
  • USD cash and credit or debit cards (see personal spending money).
  • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required.
  • Camera, batteries and cards are available for sell in case you may need extra ones.
  • Reading/writing material.
  • Binoculars.
  • Cover for backpacks.
  • Fleece top.
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket/Worm jacket.
  • Small towel and swim wear.
  • 4 shirts/t-shirts/1 pair of shorts/2 pairs of long trousers/1 pair of hiking pants/track pants.
  • Sun hat/Sun block /Mosquito repellent/Sunglasses/Flashlight/Water canteen.
  • Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals/Knee-length socks (to be used with rubber boots, if provided at the jungle lodge).
  • Toiletries (biodegradable)/Watch or alarm clock.
  • First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another.

  • When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country’s Exit Code + destination Country Code + Phone Number.
  • For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If the international number you wish to call starts with a 0 (zero), you must drop this starting digit when dialing the number.

Health Information

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers/antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements.

Perú. While no inoculations are required, vaccination against yellow fever and malaria is recommended, especially if traveling to the Amazon or onward to Bolivia. Please consult your physician before traveling to Peru. You may encounter mosquitoes in both urban and rural areas, especially during wet seasons. Travelers are encouraged to bring insect repellant and consider wearing clothing that adequately covers arms and legs.

High altitude destinations in Peru including Cusco (3350m – 11055ft) and Puno (3800m – 12,540 feet) affect some travelers, with no apparent regard to age, gender or physical condition. While it is generally a mild condition that passes within a few hours, it is our suggestion to discuss the matter with your health care provider, who may recommend prophylaxis with acetazolamide prior to departing for Peru. Those affected should avoid over-exertion, drink extra water, and eat lightly. Oxygen is available at the front desk of hotels and you can have it in your rooms previously requested in the front desk. If desired, small disposable portable oxygen pumps can be purchased locally.

Climate & Clothing

Peru – Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Remember that during your trip you will be traveling between regions and will need to be prepared for all weather conditions. Please check what season and region(s) you will be traveling in and pack appropriately.

Peru’s climate varies by season and region. The coastal region (Lima) has two clear seasons, summer (December – March) and winter (May – October). Summer temperatures in this region can reach 80°F. Winter is generally damp and chilly, with temperatures dropping to 53°F. This region sees little rain, but can see mist and drizzle during the winter. The coastal area of Ica (Paracas, Nazca) enjoys warm dry weather throughout the year, with average temperatures around 75 – 80°F.

The highlands region of Peru (Cusco, Puno, Urubamba, and Machu Picchu) has a dry temperate climate that also experiences two distinct seasons. The dry season (May – October) consists of sunny days and cold nights with very little rain. The rainy season in the highlands runs from December to March.

Temperatures can change drastically during the day in this region, sometimes varying as widely as highs around 65°F and lows of 35°F during the same day.

The jungle region (Amazon River) is tropical and humid. Throughout the year temperatures range from mid to upper 80s during the day and drop into the 70s during the night. The summer months (April – October) are considered the dry season, though despite this name it should be remembered that it rains two-thirds of the year in the rainforest. The rainy season, (November – March), sees frequent showers and high river levels.