Days: 15 days / 14 nights
Location: Lima, Paracas, Nazca, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Puno, Titicaca Lake, Cusco (Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu)
Season: All year
Extensions recommended: Amazonia Puerto Maldonado
Day 1: Arrive in Lima
A Terra Explorer Perú representative is going to be waiting for you at Lima´s airport.
Transfer to your hotel in Mirafores.
Meals: Not included
Day 2: Lima
Today we are going to visit the Cathedral of Lima, an immense baroque cathedral originally built in 1564. In addition to its ne baroque art, it is best known for being designed by Francisco
Pizarro, who conquered the Incas and founded Lima.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Larco Museum, located in a unique vice-royal mansion of the 18th century. This museum provide an excellent overview on 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history and the nest gold and silver
collection from Ancient Peru.
Day 3: Nazca Lines
Today we are going to pick you up from your hotel in Mirafores to Pisco ( 4 hours), and from here, we take an smaller plane to y over the Nazca lines.
The Nazca lines are geoglyphs and geometric lines clearings in the Peruvian desert and they were made by the Nazca people. The
desert itself runs for over 1,400 miles along the Pacifc Ocean and the area of the Nazca art is called the “Pampa Colorada” (Red Plain). Dark red surface stones and soil have been cleared away, exposing the lighter-colored subsoil, creating the “lines”.
From the air, the “lines” include not only lines and geometric shapes, but also depictions of animals and plants in stylized forms.
Some of the forms, including images of humans.
Then, we y back to Pisco and from here we drive 20 minutes to the hotel in Paracas.
Day 4: Paracas & ballestas island
We begin the day with a boat tour around the Ballestas Islands, sometimes described as Peru’s answer to the Galapagos. Erosion has carved myriad caves and arches into the islands, creating an impressive natural backdrop for the prolific marine life found there. Colonies of seabirds, sea lions, dolphins, and penguins can be viewed and photographed as we make our way by boat amongst the islands.
In the afternoon, we will drive back to Lima City.
Day 5: Arequipa
Today we will fly to the beautiful colonial city of Arequipa, the second largest city in Peru. Nestled at the foot of the snow-capped El Misti volcano, Arequipa is called the “white city” because of the pearly volcanic rock used to construct many of its historic.In the afternoon we will visit the highlights of Arequipa which include the tranquil Convento de Santa Catalina and the Cathedral.
Day 6: Colca Canyon
Today we make our way to the Colca Canyon, the world’s deepest canyon and home of the Andean condor. En route, we pass beautiful lagoons formed by centuries of rock erosion and marvel at the spectacular pre-Columbian agricultural terracing lining the canyon walls, a technique that sustained the farmers living here in ancient times. In the afternoon, we will visit the Colca Valley’s colonial-era towns, richly decorated churches and other historic structures, along with the traditional dress and customs of its peoples, make this region a culturally fascinating one.
Hotel: Colca Valle
Day 7: Colca – Sillustani – Llachón
This morming we stop at Cruz del Cóndor, a lookout point 3,938 feet above the river where one can appreciate the depth and scenic beauty of the Colca Canyon and observe at close range the impressive flight of the Andean condor.
Then we depart the Colca Valley on our way to Llachon, a community situated on a peninsula in Lake Titicaca. En route we will visit Sillustani, a pre-Incan burial ground noted for its chullpas, or funerary towers, the earliest of which date back to the Colla civilisation around 600 A.D. There are over 60 towers at Sillustani, the styles varying according to the person buried there. We will take advantage of the beautiful scenery of the area to stop for lunch.
Tonight we will have the unique experience of sleeping in a rural hotel in the community of Llachon. The owners, a family native to Llachon, will greet us personally and prepare a wonderful dinner for us to enjoy.
Hotel: Rural house in Llachón
Day 8: Taquile
After breakfast, a small boat will be waiting on the beach in front of our basic hostel to transport us to Taquile Island. The residents of this island have preserved their ancestral customs, dress, language and a unique political and social organization. The islanders are also skilled weavers: in 2005, their textile art, which utilizes traditional techniques and pre-Hispanic designs, was proclaimed by UNESCO as one of 43 Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity.
We will disembarking at the western edge of the island, at Kullate, a white-sand beach with a view of the Real Boliviana mountains. Our local guide, Hector Huatta, will be waiting on this lovely beach to lead us to his house, where his family will have prepared a delicious lunch.
In the afternoon, Hector will guide us on a walking tour of Taquile Island via a network of pre-Incan trails, pausing to point out pre-Incan ruins, to identify the native plants of the region and their uses, and to explain the islanders’ unique customs and culture.
We are going to overnight at Hector´s house.
Hotel: Rural House
Day 9: Taquile – Uros – Puno
After a hearty breakfast, we continuing on another hour by boat to Uros, the fascinating floating islands of Lake Titicaca. Here, the inhabitants’ homes, as well as rafts used to navigate the lake, are made of Totora reeds. These same reeds were used to create the islands themselves. At day’s end, we disembark at the private harbor fronting our hotel in Puno, scenically situated on the shore of Lake Titicaca.
Day 10: Train to Puno
Today we depart towards to the ancient capital of the Incan Empire, the magical city of Cusco, by an spectacular train ride called “Andean Experience”.
Throughout the 8 hours of the journey, we will have the opportunity to admire the beautiful landscape around us, the magnificent Andes Mountains, rivers and herds of vicuñas and alpacas grazing.
Meals: B + L
Day 11: Cusco City
In the morning we wander along Cusco’s narrow streets, pausing to admire the Incan walls now melded into its colonial structures, then tour the Cusco Cathedral, Koricancha Temple and the Pre-Colombian Art Museum.
We will stay a second night at our hotel in Cusco.
A few words about Cusco…
The Incas built a vast empire that stretched from modern Ecuador and Colombia to southern Chile. The empire, much larger in size
than any previous new-?world empire, was called Tawantinsuyo (the “Four Quarters of the Earth”). Cusco was the heart of the empire, and its exact center was considered to be the main square of the city. Today, Cusco is still laid out much as it was in Inca times.
Cusco was more than just a capital city to the Incas and the millions of subjects in their realm. Cusco was a holy city, a place of pilgrimage that was as important to the Quechuas.
Day 12: Sacsayhuaman, Awanacancha & Pisac
On our way to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, we visit the impressive ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Inca fortress and ceremonial centre built by Inca Pachacutec, with impressive stone blocks, fitted side by side with an unimaginable precision. Then we continue our route towards Awanacancha, Andean textile center, where with the help of the local skilled weavers, will learn old techniques of weaving and dyeing. Afterwards we meet and have the opportunity to feed different types of camel and learn all about them.
Then we continue to the town of Pisac for lunch and visit the colorful and famous market, which has the largest number of local artisans.
Finally we arrive to our hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Hotel: Sacred Valley
Day 13: Ollantaytmabo and train to Machu Picchu
In the morning we drive to the town of Ollantaytambo, located opposite to the majestic ruins of the same name. Ollantaytambo is known as the only Inca town still alive, as the local people still maintain their costumes, live at the old stone houses of their ancestors and their water channels keep running, just as they did at the time of the Incas.
We walk through these ancient streets and visit one of these local families, to watch closely and learn more about how ancient Peruvian lived on the Andes.
After lunch we head to the station to board the train that will take us to the village of Machu Picchu, where we spend the night and rest to be ready for the next day exploration of the Inca Citadel.
Hotel: Machu Picchu Town
Meals Included: B
Day 14: Machu Picchu – Cusco
Today we visit very carefully Machu Picchu citadel. Upon our arrival we have a complete guided tour of the site and then free time to explore by ourselves. Optionally, you can climb to the top of Huayna Picchu, from where we can appreciate the citadel in a unique way, from a different angle, with a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountain peaks and the great canyon of Urubamba.
In the afternoon, we take a bus to the town of Aguas Calientes to board the train that will take us back to Cusco.
The time to say good-bye has come.
Today we depart Cusco for Lima.