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Ultimate Peru

16 Days

Summary of Trip

  • Experience wild Andean Condors and spectacular scenery of Colca Canyon
  • Spend a night on a private island on the mystical Lake Titicaca
  • Cross the altiplano from Puno to Cusco, one of the top train journeys in the world
  • Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • See the sunset and sunrise at Machu Picchu

In Machu Picchu, Peru has perhaps the most breath-taking archaeological site in the world. Yet it also offers an amazing wealth of other magnificent sights: ancient, colonial and scenic – the best of which are included in this trip. Your 16 day journey will take you from Lima, the ‘City of Kings’ onto Arequipa with its stunning whitewashed colonial architecture and the Santa Catalina Monastery. Then to the Colca Canyon with its dramatic scenery, fascinating culture and wild Andean Condors. From here you travel across the altiplano to Puno and Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world and a lake of myths and legends for the Inca and Aymara cultures. Here you spend the night on the only private island on the lake before taking one of the most famous train journeys in the world across the altiplano to Cusco, the cradle of the Inca Civilization. Next you travel along the sacred Urubamba Valley visiting beautiful villages and spectacular ruins until you finally arrive at the glorious mountain stronghold of Machu Picchu.

Details

  • From £1,817 per person, based on two people sharing a double room, including internal flights, excluding international flights.
  • Trip begins and ends in Lima
  • All transport, hotels, entrance fees, guide services and excursions can be organised by Think Peru

Outline Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrive Lima
Day 2 –Lima
Day 3 – Lima – Arequipa
Day 4-6 – Colca Canyon
Day 7-8 – Lake Titicaca
Day 9 – Puno – Cusco
Day 10 – Cusco
Day 11-12 – Sacred Valley of the Incas
Day 13-14 – Machu Picchu
Day 15 – Cusco
Day 16 – Cusco-Lima – Home

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Lima Your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and recover from your journey.

Day 2 - Lima This morning together with your local guide you will visit the colonial part of Lima – founded by Francisco Pizarro in 1535 and known as “the City of Kings” – Lima has a rich colonial history. A light lunch together then in the afternoon you will visit the Gold Museum – which gives a fascinating introduction to Peru’s Incan and pre-Incan cultures.

Day 3 - Lima – Arequipa This morning you take your flight to the ‘White City’ of Arequipa a UNESCO World Heritage Site which rests in the shadow of ice-capped volcanoes whose pale rocks were used by the Spanish to construct the city below. After checking into your hotel, you will take a tour of the beautiful Santa Catalina Convent, a walled colonial town within a city. Opened to the public in 1970 after 400 years of secrecy – the size of the site is amazing, with its brilliant cobalt blue and rich salmon walls makes for some fantastic photography. Overnight.

Day 4 - Colca Canyon Today you set off across to the Colca Canyon, with its rugged and dramatic landscape dominated by volcanoes and home to wild llama and vicuna – it is an area of superlative works of nature – one of the world’s deepest canyons (twice that of the Grand Canyon!) and also the Condor. It also has the world’s highest active volcano mountain chain and is home to some of the oldest Peruvian ethnic groups – the Collaguas and Cabanas. The landscape has been completely fashioned by the hands of the pre-Incan farmers, and to this day the land is farmed as it was 1500 years ago to grow indigenous crops including potatoes, maize, quinoa and beans. Your home for the next two nights will be one of the handpicked hotels we work with in the area.

Day 5 - Condor Pass – Colca Canyon An early start this morning as you head to the Condor Pass – one of the few places in the world where you are virtually guaranteed to see wild Andean Condors at fairly close range as they float on the rising thermals and scan for carrion far below them. The afternoon is free to relax, or some light hiking in the areas around the lodge.

Day 6 - Colca – Silustani – Puno Today after breakfast you set off across the altiplano – the high Andean grasslands – towards Puno and Lake Titicaca. You will stop on the way for a picnic lunch and visit the ruins at Silustani – a pre-Incan burial ground on the shores of Lake Umayo near Puno in Peru. The tombs, which are built above the ground in tower-like structures are the vestiges of the Colla people, part of the Aymara indigenous group who were conquered by the Inca in the 15th century – a really spectacular archaeological site, set in dramatic scenery. From here you travel onto your hotel for the night.

Day 7 - Lake Titicaca – Uros and Taquile The mighty Lake Titicaca straddles the border of Bolivia and Peru and is the world’s highest navigable lake, at 3,830m above sea level. The snow-capped Andes, often cloaked in an ethereal mist, are a spectacular backdrop against the electric blue waters. The Andean people refer to the lake as "The Sacred Lake" and legend has it that the first Inca rose from its depths before he founded the Inca Empire.

Lake Titicaca is dotted with dozens of islands waiting to be explored. The best known include the man-made floating reed islands of the Uro Indians and Taquile, home to spectacular pre-Inca ruins where traditional beliefs and ways of life still predominate – today you will visit both before heading onto your hotel for the night. Your hotel is a unique solar-powered ecolodge – on Lake Titicaca’s only private island with panoramic lake views from every room. – the magnificence of Lake Titicaca can be captured from every corner of the island. Here the chance to relax in a place of great tranquillity and explore with activities from hikes, to canoeing and boating available (it also has a sauna and massage room).

Day 8 - Lake Titicaca Spend the morning at Suasi exploring the area around the lodge and enjoying the activities here, after lunch you take a boat trip back across Lake Titicaca to Puno where you arrive in the afternoon.

Day 9 - Puno – Altiplano – Cusco Today you take one of the great train journeys from Puno to Cusco across the altiplano, with its spectacular scenery – a journey between mountains and clouds. Mentioned among ‘The Best Journey’s by Train of the World and one of the best two in South America (Society of International Railway Travellers). Your journey will take all day – arriving in Cusco in the early evening where you will be met and taken to your hotel.

Day 10 - Cusco This morning you will be taken on a tour of the city of Cusco the ceremonial heart of the Inca Empire. Cusco was inhabited by ‘proto-Incas’ as early as the 12th Century AD and was completely rebuilt in the early 15th Century by Pachacuteq, the Inca warrior-King and stood as the heart of the Incan kingdom. Inca walls remain the foundations of many of the city’s colonial buildings.

You will also visit Saqsayhuaman, the monolithic Inca fortress overlooking Cusco, and the temple and amphitheatre at Kenko. Saqsayhuaman has some of the most impressive Inca walls in existence, built of hundreds of perfectly fitted stone blocks that weigh up to 130 tonnes each. The site is often called a fortress but more likely it was a sanctuary and temple to the sun. In the afternoon some time to relax and explore Cusco on foot – a really beautiful city that is perfect for walking around.

Day 11 - Sacred Valley of the Incas – Pisac & Ollantaytambo After breakfast you will begin your journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Urubamba. The Urubamba Valley was sacred to the Incas for many reasons; one being that it had an agreeable climate and fertile planes, a rare combination in the high Andes. In the morning you will visit Pisac, a village above which lies a majestic Inca fortress overlooking the valley, filled with wonderful examples of Inca stonework and engineering. After lunch we visit the magnificent Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo, a major fortress and the last stronghold of the Incas as they fought off the Spanish invaders. Below the fortress is an exquisite traditional community and a living Inca village that retains the stonework, narrow streets and family courtyards of its original Inca plan.

Day 12 - Sacred Valley Valley of the Incas – Macas and Moray Today a chance to explore more in depth the Sacred Valley with a visit to some salt mines which have been used for salt extraction since Inca times. After lunch you will visit the experimental agricultural terraces at Moray. Different levels of terraces are carved into a huge bowl. The terraces supposedly have varied microclimates, depending on how deep they are and are thought to have been used by the Incas to discover the optimal conditions for their crops. Return to your hotel late afternoon.

Day 13 - Machu Picchu This morning you will take the train to Aguas Calientes and then onto Machu Picchu. So well hidden in the jungle of the Cordillera Villcabamba that the Spaniards never knew of it, Machu Picchu affords a glimpse into the Inca world and is one of the most stunning archaeological sites on earth. You will have a top guide with you today to ensure you get the most of your visit to this spectacular site. You will have lunch together at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, then in the afternoon some time to explore and soak up the ruins once the day crowds have dispersed, before going to your hotel for the night.

Day 14 - Machu Picchu – Cusco This morning for those who wish to, we can organise for you to have an entrance to climb up to Huayna Picchu in time for the sunrise and chance to explore more the ruins at our own pace and soak up the amazing setting. In the afternoon you return to Aguas Calientes to take your train back to Cusco where you will be met and taken back to your hotel.

Day 15 - Cusco Today is a free day to explore Cusco on foot.

Day 16 - Cusco Lima This morning you take your flight back to Lima, from here you take your connecting flight back to the UK.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

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Accommodation

A selection of the hotels we recommend for this holiday...

Lima Hotels

Miraflores Park HotelMiraflores Park Hotel

Set in one of Lima’s most fashionable areas, the Miraflores Park Hotel takes you straight to the heart of all that's best about Lima...

Casa Andina Private Collection LimaCasa Andina Private Collection Lima

With its stylish contemporary design, cutting-edge technology and ideal location just two blocks from Miraflores Central Park, in the heart of the Miraflores district...

Casa Andina Classic Lima Casa Andina Classic Lima

A modern & ideally located hotel in the heart of Miraflores, with 58 contemporary, well-equipped rooms on 6 floors. Perfect for value-seeking travellers...

Arequipa and Colca Hotels

Casa Andina Arequipa Casa Andina Arequipa

Set in a tranquil plaza behind Cusco’s main square, this former palace and convent was opened in 2012 after years of restoration...

Colca LodgeColca Lodge

This award winning hotel is a relaxing eco-spa located next to the River Colca with views over the lush by pre Incan agricultural terraces...

Casitas del ColcaCasitas del Colca

An exclusive collection of twenty luxurious cottages spread out across 24 hectares of beautifully kept grounds of the hotel. The beauty of these cottages...

Killawasi Lodge Killawasi Lodge

Killawasi Lodge is a charming hotel situated on the outskirts of the small village of Yanque, where Alpacas and Llamas freely roam the terraced countryside...

Lake Titicaca Hotels

Titilaka HotelTitilaka Hotel

A beautiful hotel located on a private peninsula on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The styling fuses modern ambiance with the colourful heritage of the region...

Isla SuasiIsla Suasi

The only private island in Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable body of water. Featuring panoramic lake views from every room, surrounded by terraced gardens...

LibertadorLibertador

The Libertador Lake Titicaca, offers fantastic views across the lake from throughout the hotel. A larger hotel than we would usually use, with 123 rooms...

Tierra Viva Puno PlazaTierra Viva Puno Plaza

Tierra Viva Puno Plaza is located in Grau Street, at the heart of the city of Puno, just a block away from Puno´s Cathedral and Main Square...

Cusco Hotels

Palacio NazarenasPalacio Nazarenas

Set in a tranquil plaza behind Cusco’s main square, this former palace and convent was opened in 2012 after years of restoration...

MonestarioMonestario

Set in the heart of Cusco this former monastery built around Incan foundations and adorned with sumptuous colonial style combines historical charm with luxury...

Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco

The Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco is located in a beautiful eighteenth century house, recently remodelled, with stately colonial courtyards....

Cusco Saphi HotelCusco Saphi Hotel

Located in the central part of town, the Cusco Saphi Hotel is part of the excellent local Tierra Viva Hotel group, and is a great mix between Cusco’s rich history...

Casa Andina Classic Cusco Cathedral Casa Andina Classic Cusco Cathedral

A great value option, which really sets itself apart from other similar hotels thanks to its superb location, as close as it can be to the Cathedral of Cusco on the main square....

Sacred Valley Hotels

Tambo del Inca Tambo del Inca

Nestled in the Sacred Valley, just 50 minutes from Cusco, Tambo del Inka is the best hotel in the Sacred Valley and arguably one of the best in Peru...

Casa Andina Private Collection Valle SagradoCasa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado

Set over more than 8 landscaped acres (3 hectares), it breathes an air of tranquility and relaxation. Part of the Casa Andina group...

Pakaritampu, OllantaytamboPakaritampu, Ollantaytambo

A charming little hotel, with 20 rooms, set in beautifully landscaped gardens with wonderful views to the mountains beyond...

Machu Picchu Hotels

Sanctury LodgeSanctury Lodge

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is arguably one of the best situated hotels in the world. The only hotel located inside Machu Picchu it offers amazing views...

Inkaterra Pueblo HotelInkaterra Pueblo Hotel

Pueblo roofs of terra cotta tile, crafted by local artisans, peek from lush gardens, artfully landscaped for serenity and solitude in this charming hotel set in the heart...

Sumaq HotelSumaq Hotel

Set at the foot of the mountains surrounding Machu Picchu on the banks of the Urubamba (known in this stretch as the Vilcanota River) river....

El Mapi HotelEl Mapi Hotel

A contemporary hotel, with very good service also run by the excellent Peruvian hotel Chain Inkaterra. Set in the village of Aguas Calientes....

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

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Think Galapagos

Rachel DexCall Rachel, Ecuador and Galapagos Specialist
on 01964 552292
Contcat us online

Ultimate Peru

Ultimate Peru

Ultimate Peru

Ultimate Peru

Ultimate Peru

Ultimate Peru

Ultimate Peru

Ultimate Peru

SantiagoCall Santiago, Galapagos specialist and trip leader
on 01964 552292
Contcat us online

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