If you are looking to escape the modern world, then there are so many fantastic journeys that take you off the beaten track, like travelling overland throughout the Andes of Peru or soaking up the spirit of the Lake Titicaca.
Day 1 Lima – The City of Kings
Arrival in the city of Lima
You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel.
Day 2 Lima – The City of Kings
Visit the monastery of San Francisco and the Gold Museum
Visit the City of Kings, including the historic center of Lima with its fine buildings from the colonial period. Visit the church of San Francisco, exploring its cloisters, catacombs and the religious museum. We will then head to Peru’s Gold Museum, which also has a collection of weapons from all over the world. The gold artifacts come from Peru’s many pre-Hispanic cultures, while the collection of ancient and modern weapons is considered one of the best in the world. Afternoon free
Day 3 Lima – Paracas – Ballestas Island – Ica
Leave to Paracas Bay by tourist bus. It is a three hour drive to the pier at Paracas, where our boat excursion to the Ballestas Islands will begin. During the trip we will see the mysterious figure known as the Candelabro, a design carved into the side of a hill facing the ocean. We will then continue our boat ride as far as the islands. This wonderful place is a haven for seabirds and colonies of seals. Among the species of birds that inhabit the islands we will be able to see pelicans, gulls and Humboldt penguins. Seals can be seen throughout the islands, lying on the shores of the islets or playing in the water. When we arrive at the jetty again we will take a break and give you enough time to enjoy a coffee or look for souvenirs in the small handcraft market. We will then board our private vehicle for a land-based tour of the Paracas National Reserve. During this tour we will cross the Paracas peninsula and visit the interpretation center, which features interesting explanations and descriptions of the fauna of this part of the Peruvian coast. We will also drive through the peninsula to visit its beautiful beaches. We will then leave the Reserve and head south by road to the city of Ica. Arrival and transfer to the hotel.
Day 4 Ica and Huacachina – Nazca
We will visit the city of Ica, with its traditional Pisco and wine making establishments and the famous oasis lagoon known as Huacachina. We will have time to stop and have lunch on the shores of this tranquil oasis, and even to participate in the local sport known as sand boarding. In the afternoon we will head south again, this time as far as the city of Nazca, which is famous for the gigantic designs traced into the desert surface more than two thousand years ago. These designs can only be properly seen from the air. In Nazca you will be transferred to your hotel.
Day 5 Flight over the Nazca Lines, Cachuachi ruins, sand board, aqueducts and cemetery – Arequipa
After breakfast our guide will pick you up from the hotel for the flight over the Nazca Lines. At the airport before the flight you will be shown a video explaining the figures in the desert. The flight lasts for approximately 35 minutes and during this time you will have the chance to observe enormous and perfect representations of animals, including a condor, hummingbird, pelican and parrot, to name just a few. In terms of other species, there are designs which represent an enormous monkey, a spider, a whale, a lizard and the famous figure known as the astronaut. As well as these designs, from the air you will be able to see hundreds of lines which cross the desert, and many huge geometric designs which look like great airstrips or runways. By the afternoon we will board our Tubular private vehicle for the adventurous drive to visit the ruins of Cahuachi, the pre-Inca cemetery, located in the middle of the desert and visitors can see the mummified human remains of a culture which developed here over a thousand years ago, the aqueducts and to practice the sandboard in the biggest dune of the world “Cero Blanco”. After this tour we will return to the hotel and transfer to the Bus station. Leave to Arequipa by tourist bus.
Day 6 Arequipa
Arrival and transfer to the hotel.
After being transferred from the Bus station to the hotel you will have the morning free to become accustomed to the altitude (2,380 metres) and rest. After lunch the city tour of Arequipa includes the historic centre, with the Jesuit church and San Francisco, the main square , the Cathedral as well as the unique “city-within-a-city” which is the 16th century Santa Catalina convent, once home to a closed order of nuns who remained isolated from the outside world until 1970.
Day 7 Colca Canyon
Today you will have an early start for the journey to the Colca Canyon, about five hours from Arequipa. During the journey we leave the valley and climb to the road’s highest point at 4,450 metres, where volcanoes can be seen on the horizon. In the afternoon you will be free to explore the village of Chivay on foot and visit the thermal baths at Calera, just outside the town.
Day 8 Flight of the Condor – Puno
At around 6:00 am we will leave Chivay to travel to Cruz del Condor to observe these giant Andean birds as they rise from the valley floor on the morning thermals. Later in the day, on our way back to Chivay, we will have a chance to visit the typical villages of Tapay, Pinchillo, Maca and Yanque, arriving at our hotel in Arequipa by the lunch time. In the afternoon we will have the Bus drive to Puno and the transfer to the hotel
Day 9, 10 Puno – Lake Titikaka – Puno
Today you will spend the entire day on Lake Titicaca, the site of the Inca creation myth and a place of extraordinary beauty, where 8000 square kilometres of blue waters merge with the Andean sky. During the boat trip you will visit the floating islands of the Uros people, who built their artificial reed islands some five centuries ago to escape the influence of the dominant Colla ethnic group. Beyond the Chucuito peninsula you will visit the islands of Amantani, where you will spend the night in a villager´s house and will have the chance of being participant of a “Peña”. The next day we will go to Taquile to learn about their customs and to observe their remarkable textile tradition. That evening you will arrive in Puno around sunset, for a free evening in the city.
Meals: B. L.
Day 11 Puno – Cusco
Today we will leave Puno early and head through the high Andean plains to Cusco, crossing the high pass La Raya. Along the way we will visit the small village of Pukara, famous today by its ceramics and also was once the centre of the pre-Inca culture of the same name. Raqchi is the site of an Inca temple dedicated to the Inca creator god Wiracocha; Andahuaylillas is an idyllic village with a tree-lined main square and a fine colonial church decorated throughout with murals; Arriving in Cusco at around 5:30 pm you will be transferred to your hotel. The evening is free for a relaxing meal.
Day 12 Cusco & City Tour and Saqsayhuaman ruins
After a morning free to wonder the city, shop for souvenirs or simply relax in a balcony café overlooking the main square, you will be picked-up after lunch for a tour of the city. The tour begins with a visit to the city’s cathedral, which was erected on the site of one of the most important temples of the Inca period, dedicated to the creator god Wiracocha. Construction began in 1559 and was completed in 1654. The interior houses a collection of paintings from the Cusco School of religious art. From the cathedral we will head to the Qoricancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun, to see its fine stonework and learn about its history as the most important shrine in the Inca Empire. From here we will leave the city and venture into the surrounding hills. Saqsayhuaman was the ancient House of the Sun, and today we can observe beautiful stone constructions erected by the Incas on a massive scale. Our tour will continue with guided visits to the temple of Qenqo, the red fortress of Pukapukara and the Inca baths at Tambomachay. In the evening you will have the opportunity to enjoy Cusco’s fine Novo Andino cuisine – based on traditional local ingredients and international gourmet techniques – and a show featuring Andean music or dance.
Day 13 Sacred Valley of the Incas
Today will be spent in the Urubamba Valley – also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We will visit the market of Pisaq, where a colorful handcrafts market of Andean jewelry, textiles, pottery and other items shares space on the main square with a traditional produce market. This market is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. We will then continue our trip by visiting the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo, which conserves intact the urban plan as it was laid out by the Incas. This site was once inhabited by members of the Inca nobility, and we will visit its agricultural terraces, temples and residential areas.
We will spend the night in a valley hotel where typical colonial architecture and the quiet village atmosphere provide the perfect backdrop for all the comforts of the modern world.
Day 14 Machu Picchu
From the village of Ollantaytambo we take the train to Machu Picchu on what is widely considered one of the world’s most spectacular train rides, following the Urubamba River through the gorge it cuts down into the tropical forest. Visit to the majestic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, which was discovered for science by Hiram Bingham in 1911. For centuries thick forest had hidden one of the greatest treasures of the Americas. The guided tour includes visits to the most important temple sites; dwellings, plazas and storage areas, as well as leaving you time to explore the ruins independently. Few manmade structures can boast such harmony with nature, as you will appreciate as you wander around the site independently before returning to Cusco on the afternoon train, arriving early evening to be transferred to the hotel in time for a free evening in the city.
Day 15 Free day in Cusco or optional white water river rafting
You will have the free day to relax or explore the historic centre on foot wandering the narrow streets of the historic centre, where colonial Spanish buildings stand on Inca foundations. The evening can be spent enjoying the fine local Novo Andino cuisine and an evening folkloric show. For those eager to brave the rough waters we recommend to run the Chuquicahuana section of the sacred river of the Incas so that is more intense with adrenaline pumping rapids class III & IV.
Day 16 Transfer out
After breakfast in the hotel, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to Lima, for your home fligh.
We recommend that you take:
Before you travel we recommend that you check that you have adequate health insurance, travel insurance and personal insurance to cover the needs of your family in case of loss of baggage, accident, theft or death.
(these discounts are not cumulative)
Plus Additional discounts
(that may be added to the above-mentioned)
Social & Environmental responsibility
Andean Skyline is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. With your participation we can help conserve the area we visit and bring positive benefits to our host communities.
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