Enter the Peruvian highlands. Discover the most emblematic destinations of southern Peru, from the coast of Lima, through the famous Lake Titicaca with its Floating Islands of the Uros, and the customs of the Peruvian highlands in Puno.
We can also have a unique tour through the Colca Canyon and see in its natural state the majestic condores, who inhabit this place and are the lords of the Peruvian Andes.
And we will continue the tour with the famous city of Cusco, and its excursions to the most important archaeological centers of the Sacred Valley, and its highlands, as the best tourist center in the world, Machu Picchu.
Welcome to Lima! Upon arrival to the airport, your guide will meet you to kick off your adventure. You’ll be transferred to your hotel in Miraflores and briefed on the details of the journey. Dinner is on your own tonight.
You’ll meet your guide in the morning and head to the airport for an hour-long flight to Arequipa, then head to your hotel to get settled in. Upon arrival to the hotel, you’ll relax over some coca tea while check-in and luggage are taken care of by your guide. This afternoon, you’ll meet in the lobby to explore the city of Arequipa, which includes visits to the Santa Catalina Monastery, the Plaza de Armas, La Compañía Jesuit church with its well-known cloisters and dome and the Tristán del Pozo House, a beautiful colonial house which represents one of the most impressive expressions of civil architecture in Peru. Towards the end of the tour, you’ll visit the typical neighborhoods of Carmen Alto and Yanahura, where you’ll have fantastic views of the city before heading back to the hotel for the night.
We’ll depart our hotel this morning and make our way to Colca Canyon (2325 m). Heading northwest with snow-covered Mt. Chachani towering over us along the way, we’ll have the opportunity to see wild vicuña, alpacas and llamas in the Pampa Cañahuas National Reserve. We’ll also see different species of birds like flamingoes, ibises, Andean geese, ducks and Andean eagles (“Kara Kara”). After a stop at a viewpoint to see the volcanoes and snow-covered mountains in Patapampa (4,800 m), we’ll arrive at the small town of Chivay (3600 m) for an afternoon check-in at our hotel. Take some time to relax at the nearby hot springs before dinner. (Admission to the hot springs is an additional cost of around $6 per person.)
After an early morning breakfast, we’ll head out for a full day of exploration, where we’ll see charming towns like Yanque & Maca, colonial churches, local people wearing typical woven clothing and hundreds of pre-Inca terraces still in use to grow Andean crops like corn, quinoa and kiwicha, among others. After a two-hour scenic drive, we’ll reach the most visited place in the region, “El Cruz del Condor”. Here, you’ll witness the endangered Andean condors in flight in one of the deepest canyons in the world. After lunch, we’ll head back to Arequipa, arriving at the hotel in the evening for dinner at your leisure.
After breakfast, we’ll make our way to Puno’s harbor on Lake Titicaca, where you’ll board a small cruise boat for a one-hour ride to the specatular floating islands of Uros. You’ll spend some time with the community and enjoy a traditional lunch before we board the boat and head on to Amantani Island, where we meet our host family for the evening. In the afternoon, we’ll hike up to top of the highest hill on the lake and enjoy the breathtaking sunset views. After dinner, we’ll head to the community center to socialize with the locals and enjoy the party dressed in festive, local attire before we head back to our family house for the night.
This morning, we’ll board our cruise boat and continue our adventure to Taquile Island, where we’ll have a chance to explore and have some lunch before we head back to Puno for the rest of the evening.
After breakfast, we’ll begin our journey to Cusco, formal capital of the Inca empire. We’ll begin with a stop at the Sillustani pre–Inka archeological site and continue across the border (“la Raya”) between the Cusco and Puno regions, where you’ll enjoy the mountain views along the way. We’ll continue to Restaurante Don Tomas for a buffet-style lunch before we head to Raqchi and the ancient Inca temple of Wiracocha for a guided tour. Afterwards, we’ll make our way to Andahuaylillas, a colorful, colonial town to visit the famous “Sistine Chapel of South America” which displays interesting art work dating from the 17th century. We’ll arrive to Cusco in the evening, after which you’ll have the night free to explore the city.
After breakfast, meet with your guide to explore the fascinating city of Cusco, visiting the most important Inca and colonial sites in the country. The first stop is Sacsayhuaman, one of the world’s most impressive archeological sites, located at the top of Cusco.
This site is a perfect example of the impressive architecture of the Inca period, built with the biggest and tallest stones in the empire. We’ll continue to Qenqo, a place of ancient spiritual connection to the underworld and related to the mummification of the kings. Later in the morning, we’ll head back to Cusco for a visit to Qoriqancha, temple of the sun, where you’ll have a chance to explore and learn about the site’s history before we move on to the Basilica cathedral, a colonial structure built over the top of the Inka temple displaying incredible examples of colonial art. You’ll have the rest of the evening to experience the sights in Cusco at your leisure.
This morning, we’ll leave the city behind and head to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The first stop is Pisac, a small and colorful town with a local market full of hand-made textiles, art work and jewelry. We’ll continue to lunch at Muña restaurant in the middle of the Valley, followed by a visit to the Ollantaytambo fortress, an unfinished archeological site. Enjoy learning about the history of this place with your guide before heading to the hotel for the evening.
This morning, we’ll board our coach and head to the highlands and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We’ll have fantastic views of the valley and its towns, surrounded by glaciers and snow-capped peaks. We’ll make a few stops and check out some the colorful, local town of Pisac and its famous street market before we head on to our buffet-style lunch in the heart of the valley. After lunch, we’ll head on to Ollantaytambo, one of the most impressive towns and Inca sites in the valley, a place with rich history and traditions preserved over the centuries. After a tour of the town, we’ll take a short, thirty-minute coach ride back to our hotel for the evening.
This morning, we’ll make our way to the small, valley town of Maras, known for its salt mines. You’ll continue to Moray to witness the circular terraces that served as an agricultural experimental site for the Incas, after which we’ll head to Chinchero to see and experience the textile traditions of the local families and community. After our exploration of Chinchero, we’ll have lunch at the home of a local family with a traditional delicacy of the Andes, Guinea pig (cuy), then continue back to the hotel in Cusco.
This morning, your guide will detail the highlights of the city that you shouldn’t miss, and you’ll have the day to explore on your own. Tonight, we’ll have a farewell dinner together, where you’ll have the chance to share your experiences and favorite memories, as well as say your goodbyes.
This morning, your guide will pick you up and take you to the airport for your flight back to Lima.
This adventure will give you a taste of Southern Peru’s most iconic and well-known destinations, immersing travelers in Peru’s ancestral heritage while experiencing local people and ancient traditions. From the coastal capital of Lima, head south to the beautiful, white cityscapes of Arequipa and the wild Colca Canyon. Cross the waters of Lake Titicaca and immerse yourself in the unique traditions of the island cultures. Travel to Cusco and see Inca history come to life in Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, one of the world’s new seven wonders.