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Essential Peru

Duration
13 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,056

Find panoramic mountain ranges, vast deserts, beautiful beaches and tropical jungles, not to mention a rich history, archaeology, wildlife and culture. Spend time uncovering amazing Peru.


Few trips fire the imagination like a Peru vacation. Incredible scenery, bustling colonial cities and the majestic ruins of ancient empires all combine to create South America’s most iconic destination. Spend 13 days visiting the highlights including Lake Titicaca, the Sacred Valley, beautiful Arequipa and of course, Machu Picchu!

The UNESCO listed ‘white city’ of Arequipa is your first stop, so named after its distinctive white sillar stone architecture. From Plaza de Armas, the main square, visit Museum Santuarios Andinos, home to the ‘Juanita’ mummy. The city’s highlight however is Convento de Santa Catalina, Peru’s most important religious building. This ‘city within a city’ is its own unique bubble of history, preserved in enchanting streets and beautiful colours.

Get a feel for the majesty of the Andes at Colca Canyon. More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, this is an area where locals retain their ancestral traditions – unique within Peru – watched over by Andean Condors. Visit Puno, on the edge of the world’s highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca. A morning excursion takes you to meet the Uro people of the Reed Islands, followed by Taquile Island, where residents are renowned for their fine handwoven textiles and handicrafts – and for their clear division between men (who knit) and women (who make yarn and weave).

A World Heritage Site and gateway to the Sacred Valley, Cuzco was once capital of the Inca Empire. The surrounding area is filled with amazing ruins, including Ollantaytambo, a major religious centre for the Incas, and Pisac, noted for its varied markets. Stay overnight before heading up to explore Machu Picchu!

Perched 8,000 feet above sea level, Peru’s star attraction is a spectacular 15th century ruin, known to outsiders for just over a century. In fact, much of its purpose within Inca civilization remains a mystery. There are many sites to explore, each with its own story – told with varying degrees of accuracy and imagination! If you’re feeling energetic and time allows, hike to the peak of Wayna Picchu for a truly stunning view.


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Duration
13 Days
Prices From:
US$ 5,056

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Arrive Lima

For flights arriving early morning the afternoon will be spent on a city tour of Lima (not included in the trip price). For flights arriving into Lima late at night, on your arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel of choice.

Lima was one of the fist cities established in South America by the conquistadors and holds many amazing colonial jewels to be discovered. This half-day tour visits both the colonial and modern sections of Lima. Colonial sites include the lovely Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, San Francisco Church and the exquisite Torre Tagle Palace modern day seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In modern Lima, drive along the exclusive residential areas of Miraflores and San Isidro.

Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Sonesta El Olivar

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    Sonesta El Olivar



    The Sonesta El Olivar is your own natural oasis in the heart of the city. For here you can stroll to ancient pyramids and glorious cathedrals or shop till you drop and dance the night away. Located in the attractive San Isidro district of Lima, ...

    The Sonesta El Olivar is your own natural oasis in the heart of the city. For here you can stroll to ancient pyramids and glorious cathedrals or shop till you drop and dance the night away. Located in the attractive San Isidro district of Lima, the Sonesta El Olivar Lima offers easy access to all the charms of the city. The exclusive 134-room Sonesta El Olivar has the tranquillity of San Isidro's majestic 10-acre Olive Grove Wood, together with the comfort and services that only a five-star hotel can offer.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Buggies
    • Business Centre
    • Concierge
    • Conference Facilities
    • Currency Exchange
    • Gift Shop
    • Gym/Fitness Centre
    • Hair/Beauty Salon
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Massage Treatments
    • Medical Services
    • Multi-lingual Staff
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service
    • Secretarial Service
    • Wheelchair Accessible Rooms

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 2

Lima to Arequipa

An early morning spectacular flight (not included in the trip price) along the Peruvian coast brings you to the "White City" of Arequipa, the ideal place to start acclimatizing to the rarefied air of the Andes and a beautiful city to explore.

Arequipa boasts a magnificent marble Plaza de Armas, quaint old town streets, the picturesque Santa Catalina Monastery and Juanita the Ice maiden museum. Alpaca wool is Arequipa's finest export and there are plenty of opportunities for treating yourself to some stunning textiles here.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Casa Andina Premium Collection Arequipa

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    Casa Andina Premium Collection Arequipa



    On a quiet street in the heart of Arequipa's historic district, the hotel is just steps from the entrance of the famed Santa Catalina Convent and only 3 blocks from the Plaza de Armas. In the midst of Arequipa's top restaurants, sights and shopping, the ...

    On a quiet street in the heart of Arequipa's historic district, the hotel is just steps from the entrance of the famed Santa Catalina Convent and only 3 blocks from the Plaza de Armas. In the midst of Arequipa's top restaurants, sights and shopping, the hotel is only 15 minutes by taxi from Arequipa's Rodriguez Ballon airport and 10 minutes from the bus station.

    Restored to its original grandeur, this storied sillar (white volcanic stone) colonial mansion is one of the finest hotels in Arequipa's historic center - and is as much a living museum as it is hotel. The hotel features high vaulted ceilings, two ample colonial courtyards, and an elegant gourmet restaurant.

    Facilities

    • Conference Facilities
    • Gift Shop
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry facilities
    • Medical Services
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 3

Arequipa to Colca Canyon

Driving out of Arequipa you enjoy spectacular views of the mountains surrounding the city before climbing high into the Andes and descending into the amazing Colca Canyon.

The Colca Canyon is one of the World's deepest canyons and is home to Condors and a fascinating local culture, totally different from any other place you will visit on this trip. You over night in the charming Colca Lodge. Soaking in the World class hot-springs is the prime activity here, closely followed by exploring the lodge's restaurant, bar or games room.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Colca Lodge

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    Colca Lodge



    Built completely of stone, mud bricks and thatch roofs, Colca Lodge is located in the heart of the Valley, next to the Colca River in the midst of ancestral farming terraces. With a particular architectural style inspired by ancient Inca buildings, Colca Lodge has been ...

    Built completely of stone, mud bricks and thatch roofs, Colca Lodge is located in the heart of the Valley, next to the Colca River in the midst of ancestral farming terraces. With a particular architectural style inspired by ancient Inca buildings, Colca Lodge has been able to combine its attractive rustic style with total comfort without damaging the surrounding environment.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Fireplace
    • Games Room
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Spa

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 4

Colca

The private guide and minibus are at your disposal for the day. An early morning drive to Cruz del Condor is recommended in search of one of the world's largest birds, the condor, who nests in the cliffs of one of the world's deepest canyons (approx. 3, 400 m deep). Hiking to near-by ruins and a tour of the unique native culture and weavings in the area are also available activities. On return to the lodge plenty of time is left for just relaxing in the hot springs.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Colca Canyon to Puno

A spectacular drive through the high Andes, passing beautiful lakes and huge vistas as you travel on a newly asphalted road to Juliaca and on to your destination of Puno.

En route you can take a visit to Silustani ruins, whose fascinating circular burial chambers pre-date the Incas. The amazing stone work of this early civilization was obviously a strong influence on the famous Inca stone masons. In Puno you check into your hotel and can explore this interesting town and barter for locally hand-knitted woolen goods.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Casa Andina Premium Collection Puno

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    Casa Andina Premium Collection Puno



    Perched at the water's edge and taking full advantage of its privileged location on the Puno area of Lake Titicaca, most of the hotel's 46 rooms boast unparalleled lake views 3,800m (12,500 ft) above sea level. Its gourmet restaurant is enclosed by a glass wall ...

    Perched at the water's edge and taking full advantage of its privileged location on the Puno area of Lake Titicaca, most of the hotel's 46 rooms boast unparalleled lake views 3,800m (12,500 ft) above sea level. Its gourmet restaurant is enclosed by a glass wall framing the lake and gardens, and a large, sunny terrace invites guests to contemplate Lake Titicaca's seemingly endless expanse. Unique among Puno hotels, oxygen is available in all rooms (a bonus for guests having difficulty adapting to the high altitude).

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Lounge(s)
    • Parking
    • Restaurant(s)

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 6

Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca is a photographer's dream, its clear sapphire water and the astounding blue skies are mesmerizing. A full day's boat trip with your own private guide and boat ensure you see all the sights in safety and style.

The famous floating reed islands of Uros and the ancient traditions and weavings of Taquile Island are explained and viewed at your leisure. You return to your Puno hotel for the night.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 7

Puno to Cusco

Today you board the full day train or bus (based on your day 1 departure date) from Puno to Cusco. This journey cuts across the formidable Peruvian Altiplano, whose high plains are rich with llama herds, green Ibises and mountain villages where life is harsh but the resilient locals keep their communities with pride and good humour.

On arrival at Cusco train or bus station, you are transferred to your hotel. This evening you stretch your legs around the spectacular Plaza de Armas and dine in one of the many excellent restaurants as you begin to explore the fascinating city of Cusco. Please note: the train only operates five times a week, there is a bus alternative on the other days.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Casa Andina Premium Collection Cusco

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    Casa Andina Premium Collection Cusco



    Casa Andina Premium Collection Cusco is a beautifully renovated 18th-century manor house, just 3 blocks from Cusco's Plaza de Armas, replete with authentic colonial character. It offers the intimacy of a boutique hotel but the comforts and services of a much larger property. Several rooms ...

    Casa Andina Premium Collection Cusco is a beautifully renovated 18th-century manor house, just 3 blocks from Cusco's Plaza de Armas, replete with authentic colonial character. It offers the intimacy of a boutique hotel but the comforts and services of a much larger property. Several rooms in the original structure of the hotel feature surviving colonial frescoes unearthed during renovation.

    Facilities

    • Massage Treatments
    • Restaurant

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Day 8

Cusco

A free day to explore Cusco. From the Plaza de Armas, a visit to the sun temple is suggested, Qoricancha, a walk up to the San Blas district and for the energetic a visit to Sacsayhuaman fort overlooking the city. For those looking to relax there are countless excellent bars and cafes overlooking the Plaza de Armas and plenty of bargain hunting to do in the artisan markets. You meet in the evening for a briefing on the Inca Trail.

Day 9

Cusco to Sacred Valley

Begin early in the morning, driving out of Cusco, passing en route, the fascinating archaeological ruins of Sacsayhuaman where a decisive battle between Inca rebels and Spanish rebels was fought.

Visit the colonial village of Pisac where an Indian Market takes place on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Then visit Pisac Ruins which lie atop a hill at the entrance to the valley. It features an irrigation system, an astronomical observatory, and a solar clock and calendar (Intiwatana).

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Casa Andina Premium Collection Sacred Valley

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    Casa Andina Premium Collection Sacred Valley



    Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley is a mountain chalet-styled retreat with panoramic Andes views from every room and every angle; it breathes an air of tranquillity and relaxation. Unique among Sacred Valley hotels, it contains a full-service spa, a domed planetarium and observatory, and ...

    Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley is a mountain chalet-styled retreat with panoramic Andes views from every room and every angle; it breathes an air of tranquillity and relaxation. Unique among Sacred Valley hotels, it contains a full-service spa, a domed planetarium and observatory, and gourmet restaurant and bar. The 85 inviting, spacious rooms overlook the property and extensive gardens, and feature either private balconies or sunny sitting areas. Located between Urubamba and Ollantaytambo, the hotel is perfectly positioned for easy access to the valley's abundant attractions and Machu Picchu.

    Facilities

    • Bar(s)
    • Gift Shop
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Lounge(s)
    • Medical Services
    • Reception (24 hrs)
    • Restaurant(s)
    • Room Service

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    Preferred Hotel
Day 10

Chincheros with Weaving Demonstration and Ollantaytambo Fortress

With an early start, you drive through the fertile countryside of the Urubamba Valley to the colonial village of Chincheros. This traditional Andean town is known as 'the birthplace of the rainbow', and it has the full complement of photogenic attractions: Inca ruins, Andean village houses, an elaborate colonial church built on Inca foundations, and of course the lively weekly market. Please note: The main market day is Sunday. Other days the market is open but much smaller in scale.

Continuing down the valley and ever so slightly lower in altitude you head to the impressive archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo. Ollantaytambo is a massive citadel located 50 kilometers from Machu Picchu. The citadel served as both a temple and a fortress and the only battle at which the Incas held off the Spanish. You will then be transferred to your hotel.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 11

Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu

You continue your journey down the Urubamba valley by early morning train to the fabled "Lost City of the Incas- Machu Picchu". A short bus ride takes you direct to the ruins. Once there your guide gives you an extensive walking tour of the ruin and explains the fascinating history of the Incas. If time permits you may wish to explore further to the Inca Bridge, walk back up the Inca Trail to the sun gate or try the strenuous climb to the top of Huayna Picchu for an awe-inspiring Condor's eye view of Machu Picchu. Some may prefer to just relax and take in the awesome location.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Dinner
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Casa del Sol Boutique Hotel

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    Casa del Sol Boutique Hotel



    Casa del Sol Boutique Hotel is located in the village of Aguas Calientes, very close to the imposing buildings of Machu Picchu, where the fascinating Inca citadel was erected. The hotel is just a 5 minute walk from the train station and across the street ...

    Casa del Sol Boutique Hotel is located in the village of Aguas Calientes, very close to the imposing buildings of Machu Picchu, where the fascinating Inca citadel was erected. The hotel is just a 5 minute walk from the train station and across the street from the bus station that takes passengers to the ruins of Machu Picchu. The 30 unique guestrooms each combine materials and art crafted by artisans from different Peruvian communities.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service
    • Restaurant
    • Spa

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Day 12

Machu Picchu to Cusco

First thing in the morning you return to Machu Picchu where you will meet up with those who chose to trek the Inca Trail and have the ruins virtually to yourself for a full guided tour, with time afterwards to climb Huayna Picchu, walk out to the Inca Bridge or else just wander through the ruins soaking up the amazing atmosphere. You have a late lunch in Aguas Calientes before boarding the afternoon train back to Poroy. Here your waiting bus speeds you back to your Cusco Hotel. If you have the energy you can then explore Cusco's excellent nightlife.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Duration1 Night
Accommodation

Casa Andina Standard Cusco Plaza

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    Casa Andina Standard Cusco Plaza



    Conveniently located under the colonial arcades of the stately Plaza Regocijo and around the corner from Cusco's beautiful Plaza de Armas, this hotel is also close to many restaurants, bars, and shops. The hotel features a fireplace lounge and a top-floor breakfast room with unparalleled ...

    Conveniently located under the colonial arcades of the stately Plaza Regocijo and around the corner from Cusco's beautiful Plaza de Armas, this hotel is also close to many restaurants, bars, and shops. The hotel features a fireplace lounge and a top-floor breakfast room with unparalleled views of the Cathedral and the Plaza de Armas. Its elevator and central location are ideal for independent travellers, especially those struggling with Cusco's elevation and hilly streets.

    Facilities

    • Internet Access
    • Laundry/Dry Cleaning Service

    More Details

    Preferred Hotel
Day 13

Cusco to Lima to Onward Travels

Today you are transferred to Cusco Airport for your onward travels.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

Daily

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • All airport transfers
  • All transport in private vehicle
  • Private local guides
  • All Accommodation
  • Guided tour in Machu Picchu
  • Entrance to the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, Ollantaytambo ruins
  • Bus transfers to and from the ruins
  • Colca entrance
  • Bus or train from Puno to Cusco
  • All meals as listed

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Sleeping bag (available for rent at $10 a night) if Inca Trail option taken
  • Visa fees (if required)
  • Passport and Visa Costs
  • Vaccination Costs
  • Personal Spending Money
  • Meals where not listed
  • Drinks
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Border taxes or fees

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB CONDORTLIM0220SG: EP FC4S 2
9 Nov 2020
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