ECOAMERICAPERU

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Peru Extraordinary (EA 101)

This tour includes extraordinary destinations such as: Lima, Nazca Lines, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Cusco, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca -- Great option for travelers continuing to Bolivia.

  • Ask us for optional tours to Copacabana, Uyuni Salt lake, Madidi National Park or Sucre Potosi.

Schedule

Day 1: Lima
Once we arrive to the capital of Peru, Lima a car will wait to transfer us to the hotel. This is a perfect time to sample Lima’s famous gourmet foods, so we will go for dinner to one of the best restaurants in Lima. (D)
Day 2: Lima – Paracas
After breakfast the tour will unravel fascinating history around the city's major sights, the ancient and the now modern Lima. First we will be heading to the ancient colonial area designated by UNESCO as Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1991; then we continue to the Plaza Mayor, the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop`s Palace, the City Hall and the Desamparados Train Station; and also we go by Plaza San Martin, a large park surrounded by old colonial buildings with beautiful balconies, San Francisco monastery and its famous catacombs. In the afternoon a touristic bus will take us to Paracas, this trip takes about 3.5 hrs, and travels along the southern Peruvian Coast. We will spend the night in Paracas. (B, L)
Day 3: Ballestas Island Excursion – Nazca Lines- Arequipa
After breakfast the early morning transfer goes to the port to take a boat that will pass by the Ballestas Island and El Candelabro. These islands, also known as the Guano islands, have large concentrations of sea birds and sea lions in their natural environment. There is lots of visible marine wildlife protected in this Paracas National Reserve including birds, whales, dolphins, and many types of fish. In the afternoon a private transport takes us to Nazca to flight over the enigmatic Nazca lines; this flight takes 30-minutes and we fly over mysterious drawings created by ancient pre-Incas. Great opportunity to take pictures! From the air we will observe shapes of birds, spider, fishes, mammals, and other unidentifiable creatures and drawings. In the night, we will take the bus from Nazca to Arequipa, this trip last about 9 to 10 hrs. (B)
Day 4: Arequipa
Welcome to Arequipa and transfer to the hotel. This city is also known as the Ciudad Blanca (or White City) due to the popular use of sillar (or whitish) blocks directly sliced from lava rock on most of its colonial buildings. The morning will be free to rest or visit the downtown area by ourselves. (B)Optional: Afternoon city tour. Good opportunity to learn about the Arequipa, another world heritage site of Peru, and very unique colonial and republican history. A visit to the Monasterio de Santa Catalina, the Cathedral, and important museums, viewpoints, colorful streets and markets will be part of this tour.
Day 5: Arequipa-Chivay- Colca Canyon
This day begins at 8:00 am, heading up the Yura Valle, visiting Pampa Cañahuas inside the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, a region that belongs to the Peruvian Altiplano and protects wild vicuñas. The trip continues taking an alternative route to the Pagodas, where interesting geological formations can be observed. We stop for lunch in a small restaurant, and then the drive continues through open Altiplano grasslands and few bogs that host different bird species such as ducks and migratory species. We will arrive to the Volcano viewpoint from where the large extent of the Cordillera del Chila and several volcanoes can be seen. Before descending to Chivay we stop one more time to enjoy views of the upper parts of the Colca Valley. A visit to the Calera hot springs will be an option for the late afternoon. (B, L)
Day 6: Chivay – Cruz del Condor - Colca Canyon
Right after breakfast, a nice drive heading west will take us to Cruz del Condor, a great viewpoint that during clear days shows condors that can easily be photographed and observed, as they soar from warm air currents coming from the deep canyon. Later we visit the villages of Pinchollo, Achoma and Yanque. There are several stops at convenient locations as the drive contouring at the right side of the Colca Canyon. Ancient colcas or storing houses and tombs nicely perched along cliffs and other pre-Columbian remains will be shown and explained by our guide, so we can learn about history of earlier and present occupation of this canyon, as we will travel back to Chivay for lunch. Our trip back to Arequipa begins right after lunch, arriving around 6:00 or 7:00 pm. Once arrival to Arequipa we will be transferred to the hotel. (B)
Day 7: Arequipa - Cusco
After breakfast we will be transferred to the International Airport of Arequipa to fly to Cusco (Flight not included). Welcome to Cusco, the Historical Capital of Peru, from there a car will be waiting to transfer us to the hotel. In the afternoon we will be picked up to start the city tour, visiting colonial and Inca monuments such as the Main Square, Cathedral, Qoricancha (the Temple of the Sun), and later the colossal Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park, including the Tambomachay, Q´enq´o and Puca Pucara sites. We will be back at the hotel by sunset (B).
Day 8: Sacred Valley
In the morning we start the excursion to the Valle Sagrado (Sacred Valley of the Incas), famous for its rural landscape and lovely weather. The drive will descend until Pisaq (2,800 m), a small town aside the Vilcanota River, to visit a typical Indian market. There we can observe men, women, and indigenous authorities displaying beautiful and elegant traditional dressing. The market still shows ancient trading traditions among people who come from other small distant villages. Thereafter lunch will be served, and in the afternoon the tour goes by several towns including Calca and Urubamba, before we arrive in Ollantaytambo, a former agricultural, military, and religious center, where Inca architecture is one of the finest. This center was built to control and protect the valley against possible invaders, and is presently considered the best preserved and the only living Inca town today. Later, the bus will take us to Chinchero, another small town with a colonial church built on top of Inca foundations. The Chinchero surroundings show an amazing endless mosaic of farming plots and distant views of snow-capped mountain peaks such as the Chicón and Pitusiray that crown the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Later we arrive to Cusco and transfer to our hotel (B, L)(Consult for option of spending the night in Ollantaytambo or Sacred Valley)
Day 9: Machu Picchu
After a solid breakfast, we pick up at round 05.30 am for the transfer to the train station. The railway journey to Machu Picchu will take 3 hrs, passing through picturesque Andean scenery, traditional villages, small rivers, and the great Vilcanota River in the Valle Sagrado de los Incas (Sacred Valley of the Incas). The train will continue descending through a cloud forest valley showing one of the most impressive vistas in Peru, the Canyon and rapids of the Urubamba River and several small Inca sites. The train stops in Aguas Calientes located below 2,000 m, from where we will take a 20 minute bus ride up to the Machu Picchu citadel, perched 400 mts above the Urubamba River. Our guide will explain the history and myths of this archeological wonder built aside a cloaked granite peak, the Huayna Picchu that towers the site. We will learn why Machu Picchu is one of the most magical and mysterious places on Earth. This landscape shows very steep forests hills frequently shrouded in misty clouds and downhill views of the roaring Urubamba River. Later we go by bus to Aguas Calientes for lunch, and at mid-afternoon we will take the train/bus back to Cusco. Transfer to hotel (B)
Day 10: Cusco- Puno
This morning begins with a transfer to the bus station; our bus departs at 7:00 am. Today our adventure takes us to Puno and we will be driving through the Ruta del Sol (Sun’s route), which takes around 10 hrs. The bus will stop and we will get guided visits in some small historical villages and pre-Incan and Incan archaeological sites, such as Andahuaylillas, Raqchi, Sicuani, La Raya and Pucara. We will arrive in Puno at 20:00 and transfer to the hotel. (B, L)
Day 11: Puno-Uros-Amantaní
Early in the morning we will be picked up from our hotel between 7:45 to 8:00 am to be transferred for a boat ride to the floating islands of Uros. This visit lasts 30 min, and then we continue to the Amantaní Island where we will enjoy not only beautiful landscapes of Lake Titicaca but also we will learn about local customs. Afterwards we will have lunch in a small local restaurant and in the afternoon we will visit some archaeological remains, sacred ceremonial temples and the Pachatata Mountain (one of the highest mountain of the island). After dinner, we will get to our local house which has basic accommodations and services. (B, L, D)
Day 12: Amantaní-Taquile-Puno
After breakfast we continue navigating towards the Taquile Island, and we will arrive to one of the ports of the island, from here we hike for approximately one hour. At the end of the hike, we will be welcomed by the members of the local community. We will learn about this island’s great cultural wealth that preserved its ancestral customs, and carried an ideal organization, based on the communal economy. In addition we will be able to participate on the locals’ daily activities. Lunch will be served in a typical restaurant with a menu typical for the island that will include local products. By mid-afternoon we will return to the city/hotel of Puno approximately at 5:00 pm. (B)
Day 13: Puno-Juliaca-Lima (or Bolivia)
Transfer to airport (maybe we will fly to Lima) or bus station (to go to Bolivia)*(D)

Included

  • Transfers in and out
  • Train to Machu Picchu on Expedition
  • Excursions described in itinerary
  • Professional guide
  • Meals described as B=breakfast, L=Lunch, D=diner
  • Accommodation on 3 - 4star hotel/hostel
  • Entrance fees

Not Included

  • Flights Lima-Arequipa, Arequipa-Cusco, Juliaca-Lima
  • Local airport taxes
  • Personal insurance
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses

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Testimonials

  • A month ago we visited Tambopata, thanks to the recommendation of David, because his experience working for many years in this area, convinced us to know the jungle of Puerto Maldonado and we do not regret it. It was a unique and wonderful experience. The whole organization was perfect for us, we felt very safe with our specialized guide and traveling by boat. Thank you for the incredible moment visiting Tambopata!

    Gunter & Kornelia Billstein (2019) Germany
  • Our trip to the Tambopata Rainforest was a great experience!

    A wonderful place to get away from the outside world and have a moment with the environment and with ourselves. Thanks to David’s experience who recommended us to visit this beautiful place.

    Esther & Marta Pinedo, Martin Bengoa & Imanol Ruiz (2019) Spain
  • Our trip was over the top!! We have had and amazing time in the north of Peru and Cusco, visiting the Lord of Sipan, Chan Chan Archeological Center, Huanchaco beach, Machu Picchu and doing vivencial tourism in the Sacred Valley with the Yachaqs Community. Very impressed with every place we visited.

    Thank you very much for organizing an excellent time in Peru.

    Terry Hesselden, Arlene Westoby & Beverly Barker (2019) Canada
  • Very impressed by the effort, professionalism and responsibility of each one (guides, drivers, etc). We are very satisfied with our trip in Peru. Knowing the Amazon and Machu Picchu were part of my best experiences.

    Debbie Yip and Grace Goh (2019) Singapore
  • We have been travelling very often but honestly speaking the tour in Peru and the services around has been the best so far! … (the) staff very friendly and the guides experienced: Mauricio and David very passionate about their job, excellent knowledge … of Peru like history, geography, politics, religion, etc, and with our drivers felt safe in all our trip… excellent!! Always supportive and very flexible. Keep it up!! Many thanks

    Claudia Signorelli & Norman Memminger (2018) Switzerland and Germany