Grand Tour of Peru

Flying over Nazca Lines

Seat in Coach Tour 16 Days
Valid Jan - December 2018

Prices from £2449 per person based on 2 People

Tour Overview

See the best of Peru during this 17-day southern journey in this fascinating corner of Peru, visiting the country’s main cities and cultural treasures. Starting in the capital city of Lima and ending in Cusco, this tour takes in the gastronomic capital of Arequipa, the Colca Valley, the indigenous world centered on Lake Titicaca, and the Inca and colonial heritage of Cusco as well as Machu Picchu, the legendary ‘Lost City of the Incas’.


Cusco: The ancient Inca capital is a mixture of pre-Columbian ruins and Spanish colonial architectures.
Coricancha: One of the most famous, revered and respected temples in the city of Cusco, the Convent of Santo Domingo was built on top of this Inca temple.

Colca Valley: Enjoy the stunning views of the 4,000metre-deep canyon from Condor Cross look out, see condors in flight and visit a number of historic villages and ancient ruins.

Lake Titicaca: A boat ride takes you to Taquile Island and the artificial floating Uros Islands.
Machu Picchu: The Lost City of the Incas is hidden on top of a mysterious Andean peak. It offers not only views of the mountain range, but also of the Incan’s enigmatic past.


DON'T MISS!

Sweet history: Savor chocolate truffles with pisco in one of the four Choco Museums of Peru

Chicha Morada: This typical Andean, healthy and refreshing drink is made from boiled purple corn with quince, cinnamon, and cloves.

Llama wool: Make the most of the visit to Pisac market to check out llama or alpaca wool garments


ITINERARY

Day 1: LONDON – LIMA

Depart from London Heathrow to LIMA

Day 2: ARRIVE LIMA

Upon Arrival, you will meet with our local English Speaking Guide at Lima airport and transfer to your hotel. Along the way, our guide will assist and inform you about the attractions of the city.
Overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: LIMA CITY TOUR (B)

After breakfast, explore Lima’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, pack with fascinating historic buildings. Start with a scenic tour in the colonial downtown area, which radiates from the Main Square, you can appreciate the grandiose architecture of the Spanish Empire. Be amazed by Lima’s Cathedral, built during the 16th century, which took over 80 years to complete.
Then visit Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion granted in 1535 by chief conquistador Francisco Pizarro to Jerónimo de Aliaga, one of his captains. This is the only house from the era that still belongs to the same family after all these centuries. Continue to the Larco Museum, located in the traditional Pueblo Libre district, which is housed in a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built on a pre-Columbian pyramid from the VII century. The museum boasts a complete pre-Hispanic collection of gold and silver objects as well as pieces of erotic art. Finally, head to the ‘Love Park’ in the scenic coastal district of Miraflores, where you can admire the cliffs and the spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. The rest of the day is free at leisure to get to know the city.
Overnight at the hotel in Lima.

DAY 4: LIMA – PARACAS (265km – 3.5 hrs) (B)

After Breakfast, our local guide will pick you up from the hotel to the bus station to proceed to Paracas. Our guide will assist you along the way. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and have the remaining day at leisure.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 5: PARACAS – BALLESTAS ISLANDS – NAZCA (214km – 3.5hrs) (B)

Begin the day with breakfast at the hotel. A transportation service will bring you to the Chaco wharf, the embarkation points for your boat ride to the Ballestas Islands - a natural reserve with beautiful geological formations, impressive animal wildlife, and remains of a pre-Inca culture that dominated the desert and installed a successful society in adverse conditions. The Ballestas Islands are inhabited by migratory birds, pelicans, sea lions, Humboldt penguins and other species found in the archipelago. On the way, you can spot the intriguing lines drawn in the sand forming a chandelier. After the tour, you will be transferred to the bus station of Paracas to take the bus to Nazca.
Transfer and check-in to your hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 6: NAZCA LINES – AREQUIPA (570km - 9hrs 30mins) (B)

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Nazca airport for an on a 30-minute flight over the desert to observe the mysterious Nazca Lines, which are best appreciated from the air. Nazca is a small town that could easily go unnoticed on a map if it were not for the mysterious lines etched on the desert that has given the area worldwide fame. Although they are centuries old, how and why they were made is still an enigma. You can see Monkey, Spider, Condor, all large figures, from the sky and uncover the mystery. If weather conditions and airspace permits, you will fly over recent findings in Palpa. After flying over the mountains, where 150-million-year-old fossils can be found, your flight comes to an end. Then, you will be taken to the bus station towards Arequipa. Transfer to your selected hotel once in Arequipa.
Overnight at the hotel in Arequipa.

DAY 7: AREQUIPA: CITY TOUR & SANTA CATALINA MONASTERY (B)

Breakfast at the hotel.
Your journey starts at the Plaza de Armas, one of the most beautiful in Peru, next to the magnificent Cathedral, built during the XVII century and rebuilt many times after several earthquakes. From there, transfer to the Santa Catalina Monastery, an authentic cloister, built in 1579, where small religious citadel is still in use today. After that, visit the Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús (1590), considered a classic example of the baroque local architecture that houses an exceptional collection of paintings and murals. In the evening, visit the districts of Yanahuara and Carmen Alto to enjoy fantastic panoramic views of Arequipa’s countryside.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 8: AREQUIPA – COLCA (165km – 4hrs 30mins) (B/L)

After breakfast, depart the city of Arequipa via Yura, a district known for its characteristic geographical formations such as ravines, mountain, and canyons. Enter the Pampa Cañahuas Reserve, a vast plain where vicuñas - native Andean camelids - can be seen. The trip continues through Vizcachani, Pampas de Toccra and border Chucura's volcanic crater to arrive at the Mirador de Los Andes look out in Patapampa (4,910 meters above sea level), where different volcanos around the city of Arequipa can be found. Lunch is served in the town of Chivay. Leisure afternoon at the hotel in Colca. Or you can visit the La Calera thermal baths.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 9: COLCA CANYON & VALLEY (B/L)

After breakfast, head towards the Cruz del Condor lookout point, where the Colca Valley can be observed in all its glory. Colca Valley is the second deepest valley in the world, which is more than four kilometers deep, twice of the Grand Canyon. The thrill of the experience is enhanced by the natural spectacle of huge condors flying over the canyon. These graceful bird prey glide over the canyon, patrolling it with military discipline. Descend to the valley floor to discover some of the rustic towns on the banks of the River Colca such as Chivay, Pinchollo, Maca, Achoma, and Yanque, where quaint colonial churches are part of the scenery as the peaks of the Andes. There are also stops at the scenic lookouts of Antahuilque and Choquetico, where you can admire majestic views of the valley. Continue to the Ocolle lookout to admire what is known as ‘the Amphitheatre’ and then hike to the Uyo Uyo archaeological site. Return to your hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 10: COLCA CANYON – PUNO (250 km – 6 hrs) (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning is at leisure. In the afternoon, head to Puno on the western shore of Lake Titicaca. The route cuts through the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve and passes the stunning ‘stone forests’ of Patahuasi. The landscapes and scenery are enchantingly forbidding with a combination of high plains, unusual rock formations, and lagoons, populated by cranes drying their wings in the icy wind above the water. On arrival in Puno, transfer to your selected hotel.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 11: PUNO – LAKE TITICACA: UROS & TAQUILE (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to the port of Puno, to take a boat trip towards the floating islands of Uros. The Uros are an ancient society who populate a series of artificial islands built on the basis of the cattail reeds, which grow in the lake itself. The islands are built by weaving the reeds in places where it grows thicker, forming a natural layer. On top, the inhabitants build their houses, also made of reeds, and cook outdoors in order to prevent possible fires. After an hour and a half tour, continue your trip to the island of Taquile. This island is Quechua speaking, unlike the other islands in the lake which are Aymara-speaking. The island was once part of the Inca Empire and vestiges of that culture can still be seen in its structures. Once there, receive a brief explanation of the island and witness a cultural activity. Lunch will be served on your way back to Puno.
Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 12: PUNO – CUSCO (390km – 10hrs) (B/L)

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the bus station. Travel through the jaw-dropping landscapes of the highland plateau, which are dotted by Andean hamlets and herds of grazing llamas and vicuñas. Stop en route at the archaeological site of Pukara, which dates from 200BC to 300AD, as well as in Raqchi to admire the ruins of an Inca temple built to worship Wiracocha, one of the most important Inca gods, the creator. There is one more stop before arriving in Cusco at Andahuaylillas, a picturesque town famed for the beautiful 16th-century Church of St Peter the Apostle. It boasts a gilded baroque interior and frescoes which are so delicate and known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of America’. Upon arrival in Cusco, transfer to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel in Cusco.
***Duration of trip includes the stops.

DAY 13: CUSCO CITY TOUR AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Start your tour today by visiting Coricancha, also known as the ‘Temple of the Sun’, which was built by the Inca ruler Pachacutec and, upon the arrival of the Spaniards, became the basis for the construction of the Santo Domingo Convent. Here, during the Inca Empire, reverence was surrendered to the sun, and there was a time when the structure was covered in gold. Next, visit the Cathedral, the most imposing monument in Plaza de Armas square. The construction of the cathedral took almost 100 years to complete, beginning in the mid-16th century. Hundreds of stones were extracted and transported from Sacsayhuaman fortress under the command of the Ecclesiastical Council to use for the construction of the church. Continue your tour to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, one of the most emblematic buildings of the Incas, located just minutes from town center, also built by Pachacutec in the 15th century. This huge fortress was built with gigantic stones, the transportation of the stones still remains a mystery. Each June 24th, during the winter solstice, the feast of Inti Raymi is recreated here, where the sun is worshiped. Continue to Quenqo, located only four kilometers from the city of Cusco. Quenqo is an archaeological complex of mainly religious use where it is believed agricultural rituals were performed. Finally, get to know Puka Pukara, located seven kilometers from the city of Cusco. Puka Pukara, which means ‘Red Fortress’, was an architectural complex of alleged military use with multiple spaces, plazas, baths, aqueducts, walls, and towers, and it is believed the entourage of the Inca ruler used the space while he rested in Tambomachay. Return to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel in Cusco.

Day 14: CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY – PISAC – OLLANTAYTAMBO (75km – 1.5hrs) (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel. Start your day at the Pisac market, where exhibit and sell products manufactured by residents of the area. Beautiful alpaca textiles, musical instruments, paintings, carvings, necklaces and replicas of old Inca pieces are sure to catch your eye. Continue to the Pisac archaeological site, which has the largest complex of terraces in the area and is an agricultural masterpiece of the Inca Empire. Next, have lunch at a local restaurant, then, visit Ollantaytambo, making a series of stops at points of interest. The town of Ollantaytambo is a typical example of Incan urban planning, residents are still living in accordance with their old traditions. Inca ruler Pachacutec conquered the town, destroyed it and built a new one, absorbing it as part of his empire. This town exhibits one of the most remarkable complexes of the Inca Empire. Return to your hotel in Sacred Valley.
Overnight at selected hotel in Sacred Valley.

Day 15: SACRED VALLEY – MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO (115km – 3hrs)(B/L)

After breakfast at the hotel, your tour to Machu Picchu begins with a train ride to Aguas Calientes, arriving in approximately two hours. This town is also known as ‘Machu Picchu Pueblo’ – the town of Machu Picchu – and is the last stop before entering the most important archaeological site in Peru. In Aguas Calientes, you can find a train station, a craft market, restaurants and hotels of different categories for those who prefer to spend the night at the foot of the mountain and climb it early. Finally, after a short transfer, reach Machu Picchu, a masterpiece of engineering and architecture that served as a sanctuary and retreat for the Inca ruler Pachacutec. Machu Picchu, which means ‘old mountain’, is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and one of the New7Wonders of the World. Once in the Citadel, you may optionally also visit the Intipunku (Sun Gate), the Wayna Picchu (subject to space availability) and the Inca Bridge. After the tour, enjoy lunch at Café Inkaterra in Aguas Calientes. Return to Cusco by train in the afternoon.
Overnight at selected hotel in Cusco.

Day 16: CUSCO - LONDON (B)

After breakfast, a transportation service and guide will pick you up from your hotel at the established time and transfer you to the airport to take the flight back to London

Day 17: ARRIVE LONDON

End of the service.

SERVICES INCLUDED:

- Return International flights.
- Local English Speaking guide
- Accommodation at the hotels shown below
- All transfers and transportations
- Round-trip train tickets to Machu Picchu
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
- Entrance fees and activities as in the itinerary

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED:

- Meals not mentioned in the program.
- Services not detailed in the program.
- Drinks and personal extras at hotels and restaurants.
- Tips to guide and bus driver.
- All items not mentioned in “Included”.

HOTELS

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