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Peru Photo Adventure (EA 104)

Two amazing weeks traveling the best destinations of Peru. Picture spectacular landscapes and nature. Great option for photographers and nature lovers.

 

Itinerary

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 central park surrounded by old colonial buildings with beautiful balconies, then visit the San Francisco Monastery and its famous catacombs. In the afternoon a touristic bus will travel south through the coastal Peruvian desert for 3.5 hrs until the beautiful Paracas Peninsula. 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 to the Paracas National Reserve passing close to the Ballestas Island and El Candelabro. These locations are also known as guano islands, that is a refugia for large concentrations of sea birds and sea lions in their natural environment. There is lots of visible marine wildlife easy to photograph protected in this 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 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. Night trip back to Lima. (B)
DAY 4: AREQUIPA
Flight to Arequipa and transfer to the hotel. This is the largest city in South Peru also known as the Ciudad Blanca (or White City) due to the sillar or whitish blocks directly sliced from lava rock traditionally used to build houses and other large buildings in Arequipa. Having three high Andean volcanoes in the background and a warmer weather, the city invites to be explored and also to be photographed. The afternoon city tour will be 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. (B)
DAY 5: AREQUIPA-CHIVAY- COLCA CANYON
This day begins at 8:00 am, heading up the Yura Valle and cross the Peruvian Altiplano visiting Pampa Cañahuas grasslands inside the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, where wild vicuñas can be observed. The trip continues taking an alternative route to the Pagodas, where interesting geological formations shows nature forces still shaping the landscape. We stop for lunch in a small restaurant, and the drive will continue through open Altiplano grasslands and few bogs that host different bird species such as ducks and migratory species. We will arrive to a viewpoint from where the large extent of the Cordillera del Chila and several volcanoes can be seen as we will approach the spectacular Colca Canyon. The descent to Chivay allows great views of the Colca Valley and a charming rural landscape fully transformed with pre-Incan terraces still in use. We will pass small picturesque villages as resemblance of what was the rural life during colonial and republican times. Arrival to Chivay. 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 nice viewpoint to observe and easily photograph Andean condors which gather daily to majestically soar warm air currents coming from the deep canyon. Later we visit the villages of Pinchollo, Achoma and Yanque, all still preserving festivities and colorful traditions There are several stops at convenient locations as the drive contours one side of the Colca Canyon. Ancient colcas or storing houses and also tombs nicely perched along cliffs showing the remains of the past inhabitants. This place is a good introduction about history of earlier and present occupation of this canyon. We will travel back to Chivay for lunch. Our return to Arequipa begins right after lunch, arriving around 6:00 or 7:00 pm. Transfer to the hotel. (B)
DAY 7: AREQUIPA - CUSCO
After breakfast we will be driving to the International Airport of Arequipa to fly to Cusco (Flight tickets not included). Transfer to the hotel and welcome with a hot cup of coca tea. 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. Cusco offers different views along the day becoming an interesting city to photograph, with well preserved Incan sites that still show its magic past. We will be back at the hotel by sunset (B).
DAY 8: SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
After breakfast we start our transfer to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, famous for its rural landscape, beautiful weather and clean views of the Andes, snow peaks such as Chicón, Salcantay and La Verónica. The trip shows extensive colorful croplands showing cultivars of the season. The drive will descend until Pisac (2,800 m), a small town aside the Vilcanota River having intricate stone Inca terracing still in use today. A visit to the Pisac Archaeological Park will show a beautiful architecture that blends with the mountains. Later visit to the typical local market where 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 distant small villages. Thereafter we will have a delicious buffet for lunch. The afternoon will continue traveling several towns including Calca and Urubamba, before arriving in Ollantaytambo, a former agricultural, military, and religious center, where Inca architecture is also one of the finest. This center was built to protect the valley against possible invaders, and is presently considered the best preserved and the only living Inca town today. A walk along its narrow streets will show how Inca towns looked like. Later we will be transferred to the Ollantaytambo train station and travel to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu located in the cloud forest. Night in Aguas Calientes. (B)
DAY 9: MACHU PICCHU
After a solid breakfast, we will take a 20 minute bus ride up to the Machu Picchu citadel, perched 400 mts above the Urubamba River. The bus will ascend a truly spectacular landscape of the cloud forest and we will be able to see Machu Picchu in the early morning and take pictures before we continue with a guided tour throughout the Inca citadel. This landscape shows very steep forests hills frequently shrouded in misty clouds and downhill views of the roaring Urubamba River. We will learn more about the history and myths of this archeological wonder built aside a cloaked granite peak, the Huayna Picchu that towers the site. We will walk several other parts of this incredible site and photograph its unique beauty, magical and mysterious views created by ancient architects. 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 hrs. 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 touristic bus offers a comfortable and interesting guided trip with several stops and visits to 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 hrs 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 hrs to be transferred for a boat ride in Lake Titicaca, first to the floating Uros Islands for about 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 and traditions. Islands in Lake Titicaca offer very colorful nature and colorful rural landscape. After our lunch in a small local restaurant and in the afternoon we will visit some archaeological remains, sacred ceremonial temples and the Pachatata (one of the highest points of the island). After dinner, we will get to our local house which has basic accommodations and services and spend the night there. (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 community. Once again, this islands offers impressive views of locals dressing traditional dressing. The island still maintains a well-preserved cultural wealth including an ancestral organization and customs, a communal economy and values. We will be able to participate on the locals’ daily activities and hear some traditional music live. Lunch will be served typical meals produced locally in small restaurant. By mid-afternoon we will return to the city/hotel of Puno approximately at 5:00 pm, crossing Lake Titicaca enjoying more views of Lake Titicaca by sunset. (B)
DAY 13: PUNO-JULIACA-LIMA (OR BOLIVIA)
Transfer to the Juliaca Airport to fly to Lima or will be transferred to the bus station if you continue to Bolivia. (D)

Included

  • Transfers in and out
  • Train to Machu Picchu on Expedition
  • Professional guide
  • Meals as described in itinerary as B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
  • Accommodation on 3-stars hotel/hostel (11), local house (1)
  • Entrance fees

Not Included

  • Flight Lima-Arequipa, Arequipa-Cusco, Juliaca-Lima
  • Local airport taxes
  • Tip
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance

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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