Lima/ Paracas/ Ica/ Nazca/ Arequipa/ Puno/ Titicaca/ Cusco
Prices available upon request
Day 1: Arrival Lima
Reception and transfer from the airport to the hotel.
Day 2: Lima City Tour: Ancient, Colonial and Modern
Breakfast. Colonial City Center: visit the Main Square, The Cathedral, San Francisco Monastery and the Catacombs museum, Santo Domingo Convent. Then tours of the Huaca Pucllana ruins, Parque del Amor (Park of Love), the Miraflores district. Lunch.
Excursion to the Larco Museum for a guided tour of its magnificent collection of artifacts from Peru’s pre-Columbian cultures, from the earliest known civilizations, which were contemporaneous with Egypt and Mesopotamia, to the later Mochica and Inca empires and through the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century. Return to the hotel overnight. (B/L)
Day 3: Lima – Paracas – Ica
Breakfast. Early morning transfer from the hotel overland via the Panamerican Highway to the Paracas Reserve (approximately 4 hours). Board a waiting boat for tour around the Ballestas Islands, home to sea lions, Humboldt Penguins, dolphins and a wide variety of resident and migratory birds. Enjoy fresh seafood lunch. Explore the Paracas Reserve, where the Paracas culture flourished 2000 years ago. Transfer to Ica (approximately 1 hour, 45 minutes). Overnight in hotel. (B/L)
Day 4: Ica – Nazca
After breakfast, Ica city tour. Visit the Regional Archaeology Museum, where you will learn about the evolution of the five most representative cultures that dominated Peru’s Pacific coast: Paracas, Nazca, Huari, Ica and the Inca. Then a stop at a traditional artisan or industrial winery, where pisco, Peru’s renowned grape brandy, is produced. You proceed to the Huacachina Lagoon, known as the Oasis of America. Lunch. Transfer to Nazca (approximately 2 hours). (B/L)
Day 5: Nazca Lines Flight and Cantalloc Archaeology Tour
After breakfast, you will fly over the enigmatic Nazca Lines, etched into the Pampas of San Jose e Ingenio. These huge images represent animals and geometric figures. Continue on with archaeological tour of the Aqueducts of Cantallo, the Paredones (Inca administrative center) and the Antonini Archaeological Museum. The Nazca culture developed ingenuous irrigation techniques, not only with river water but also using underground water through subterranean canals or aqueducts. Lunch. Overnight overland transport via Panamerican Highway to Arequipa. (B/L)
Day 6: Arequipa City Tour
Reception and transfer from bus station to the hotel in Arequipa. Afternoon city tour, which includes a visit to the Santa Catalina convent. Afternoon free. (B)
Day 7: Arequipa – Colca Canyon
Breakfast. Two days excursion to Colca Canyon – one of the world’s deepest – an area with abundant pre-lnca and Inca terraces, and small villages with people wearing traditional dress. Overnight in Chivay. (B/L)
Day 8: Colca Canyon – Arequipa
Breakfast in the hotel. Direct to Cross of the Condor (to see condors in flight). Pass through scenic Andean villages of Tapay, Pinchollo, Maca, and Yanque. Panoramic view of the active Sabancaya volcano. Lunch in Chivay. Return overland to Arequipa, passing the 16,000-foot (4,850m) Chucura peak and offering exquisite views of flora and fauna, including vicunas, alpacas and Huanacos. Lodging in hotel. (B/L)
Day 9: Arequipa – Puno
Reception and transfer from the airport to the hotel. Afternoon tour to Chulpas of Sillustani. (B)
Day 10: Amantani Taquile
Breakfast. Transfer from hotel to the dock on Lake Titicaca for motorboat ride to Uros Islands. In the afternoon, depart for Amantani Island for dinner and overnight home stay with local family. (B/L/D)
Day 11: Amantani – Puno
Breakfast. Depart to Taquile Island to visit the main village and tour ruins. Depart island at about 2 pm to return to Puno, arriving at approximately 4:50 pm. (B)
Day 12: Puno – Cusco
Breakfast. Transfer from the hotel to the bus station to take the bus to Cusco. (10-hour journey). Late-night arrival, transfer from the bus station to the hotel. (B/L)
Day 13: City Tour & Archaeological Ruins
Breakfast. Afternoon tour of the city, a blend of Spanish and Inca Cultures; visit the main squares, the Cathedral, the Koricancha (or Temple of the Sun) ruins. Continue to Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Kenko and Sacsayhuaman Fortress. (B)
Day 14: Sacred Valley
Breakfast. Excursion to The Sacred Valley of the Inca. The first stop, Pisac, is famous for its Sunday Mass and daily outdoor market. The excursion is best when taken on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday, when the market is expanded and attracts traders from surrounding communities. The Sunday mass is held very early in the morning in the native language, Quechua, and is attended by the community elders from neighboring villages, wearing traditional dress. (Note: Special arrangements can be made in private service to witness this weekly religious event, as well as to hike to the impressive Inca ruins of Pisac, which towers above the village.) After lunch, visit the Inca Citadel at Ollantaytambo, a sprawling complex of ruins characterized by fine masonry, terraces, canals, fortress walls, and the Temple of the Sun. (B/L)
Day 15: Machu Picchu Excursion
Breakfast at the hotel, then pickup and transfer to the train station to board the Orient Express Expedition Train for the 4-hour journey to Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of Inca.” Experience this mysterious ruins, with its ingeniously engineered underground water canalization and its sacred citadel of temples, mausoleums, squares and royal houses. Widely believed to have been built in the mid-15th century by Inca Pachacutec, Machu Picchu was the secret city of the Inca, never discovered by the Spanish. Its rediscovery for the world was made in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham, and it remains South America´s most spectacular archaeological site. Lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge beside the ruins. Afternoon, return to Cusco on the train. (B/L)
Day 16: Farewell
Breakfast. Transfer from the hotel to the airport. (B)
(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner
Upgrade to Orient Express Vistadome add $153
Vistadome service includes snacks and hot and cold refreshments during the journey. Also the carriages have panoramic windows offering enhanced scenic views and photo opportunities.
Upgrade to Orient Express Hiram Bingham Class add $417
Hiram Bingham service offers luxury transportation with porter & waiter service, and gourmet brunch, dinner and coctails.
Suggestion: Altitude is a consideration for anyone planning to travel to Peru’s highlands. For trips to Cusco, it can make a huge difference to spend your first day in the Sacred Valley (2,400 mts./9,000 ft) to acclimatize and avoid problems with altitude sickness, before ascending to the Inca capital city of Cusco (3,360 mts./11,152 ft.). We are happy to adjust your itinerary to help ensure that “soroche” isn’t a factor during your vacation.
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