Peru, Land of the Incas Itinerary

Peru5

Day 1
LIMA
Arrive in Lima. Reception at the airport and transfer to your hotel Check in. On the way, you will be accompanied by a guide who will inform you about the attractions the city has to offer and assist you along the way.

Overnight in Lima at Hotel Estelar Miraflores or similar

Day 2
LIMA

Explore Lima old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with fascinating historic buildings. Start with a scenic tour in the colonial downtown, which radiates from the Main Square, where you can appreciate the grandiose architecture of the Spanish Empire. Stroll over to the Cathedral, which was begun in the 16th century and took 80 years to build. Then visit the 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 that time 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 seventh-century a pre-Columbian pyramid. The museum boasts the most complete pre-Hispanic collection of gold and silver artefacts, as well as pieces of erotic art. Finally, head to the “Love Park” in the upscale coastal district of Miraflores, where you can admire the cliffs and a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.

Overnight in Lima at Hotel Estelar Miraflores or similar
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3
LIMA / CUSCO / URUBAMBA
Transfer to the airport to board your flight to Cusco Reception and transfer to the Hotel.

On arrival to Cusco, you will start your tour in Awanakancha, an exhibition centre of textiles and South American camelids located at kilometer 23 of the road to Pisac. It is considered a living museum and here you can see Andean camelids, learn about the techniques to take their wool and finally acquire finely spun garments. You will then visit the Pisac market, consisting of dozens of stalls displaying and selling goods crafted by residents of the area. You can find textiles, carvings, and replicas of ancient Inca pieces. Located 33 kilometers from the city of Cusco, it is a town built as a partridge, also known for hosting one of the most important archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley on the slopes of the hills. It is perhaps the largest complex of platforms in the area. Lunch at local restaurant and transfer to hotel.

Overnight: Casona De Yucay Hotel-urubamba or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

URUBAMBA
The Sacred Valley of the Incas, northeast of Cusco, is formed by the Urubamba River and is one of the most interesting places in Peru.

You will start your journey to the town of Ollantaytambo, a typical example of urban planning of the Incas still inhabited as in the past. Pachacutec (1438-1471) conquered the town, destroyed it and built a new one absorbing it as part of his government, becoming one of the most remarkable archaeological complexes of the Inca Empire. Then you will be transferred to the new and impressive Inkariy museum, which presents a new vision of the pre-Hispanic cultures of ancient Peru through dioramas that recreate iconic scenes composed of hyper realistic characters, reflecting the native man with the clothing and ornamentation specific to each era.

Lunch at Casa Hacienda Orihuela, where the Orihuelas, a family of great collectors, will be your hosts. The house has a varied collection of popular and colonial art ceramics, paintings, weapons, photography, ceremonial vessels and the ceramic bulls of Pucara. The environs include a forest of eucalyptus trees and other native species and here the famous giant white corn is cultivated for export. After the long lunch you will return to your hotel to relax.

Overnight: Casona De Yucay Hotel-urubamba or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5
MACHU PICCHU
Transfer to the Ollantaytambo Station to take your train to Machu Picchu. On arrival at Aguas Calientes, The guide will assist you at the station. 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. You will be transported by bus to the top of the mountain top and citadel of Machu Picchu. One of the most renowned examples of Inca architecture, Machu-Picchu is believed to have been built in the mid 15th century by the Inca Pachacutec.

Surrounded by lush cloud forest, the citadel perches on a mist-shrouded mountaintop. Lost in history, it was not discovered until 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham.

An archeological guided tour of the Citadel will detail the history of the people who lived here. This is a fascinating insight into the culture of the Inca people.

Everything about Machu Picchu makes you marvel that it ever came to exist. The lost city of the Incas is built on a saddle-shaped ridge slung between two giant peaks. Near vertical slopes drop away on either side, down to a massive bend in the Urubamba River. Machu Picchu was hidden by jungle since the 16th century until it was rediscovered in 1911. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New7Wonders of the World.

Overnight: “el Mapi” Hotel Machu Picchu or similar
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6
MACHU PICCHU
Second Entrance to the Citadel.
After an early breakfast we will take the bus to the Citadel of Machu Picchu to watch the sunrise. This is a truly spectacular sight as the suns ray begin to encompass the mountain.

We recommend visiting the Intipunku (“Sun Gate”), which is the last stop before entering the Inca sanctuary, the views will take your breath away. Another interesting option is the Inca Bridge, which is part of the Inca Trail and is made of vegetable fibre or straw. The bridge is woven with ancient techniques and each year several area communities come together to renew and keep this wonderful tradition.

You will also have the option to climb the towering Huayna Picchu which is the pinnacle peak and look down upon the Citadel of Machu Picchu. The sense of achievement and the classic view into the lost citadel will be a unique experience. (This must be booked well in advance, so let us know if you wish to climb Huayna Picchu)

The morning will provide plenty of time to wander the ruins at your own pace and enjoy the peace and tranquility it offers.

Overnight: “el Mapi” Hotel Machu Picchu or similar
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7
AGUAS CALIENTES

Morning at leisure. Machupicchu entrance is not included for this day.

In the afternoon, head to the Aguas Calientes train station to take the train back to Ollantaytambo and start the return to Urubamba from there. The guide will assist you with your check-in.

Overnight: Casona De Yucay Hotel-urubamba or similar
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8
2D/1N HUILLOC INDIAN COMMUNITY
Departure from the hotel to Huilloc Community a typical Andean village. We start our journey through narrow paths traditionally used by the Indians many centuries ago. On the way we will pass through the magnificent green & brown coloured fields and beautiful scenery.

This experience is an opportunity to discover a different pace and be in contact with the natural atmosphere of the Andes and its people.  Families live together in tiny, one or two room adobe homes, raising guinea pigs, cows and sheep. Fathers work as porters for hikers during the dry season and tend crops of potatoes, corn, beans and quinoa during the wet months, while mothers watch the herds, take care of the household and raise their children. Women also weave, producing the family’s colorful ponchos, chullos, skirts, shawls and other items, on their backstrap looms.

The local interpreter, which is a resident of the community, will welcome you with traditional music and invite you to the house of a villager who will wait for you to show the Huilloc typical clothing weaving process. The homeowner will welcome you, presenting the members of his family and invite you a muña infusion. In addition, he will give you a demonstration of how different clothing is made so you can perform this process using traditional tools and techniques with the supervision of a community member. Then you will dress entirely in Huilloc clothes and take pictures and videos to remember this remarkable experience. Finally, you can purchase a beautiful Huilloc garment, contributing to the spiritual strengthening and identity of this Inca village. The interpreter will greet you on behalf of the community and farewell you accompanied by musicians. A guide will accompany you during your stay at the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Accommodation with the local community: Family Homestay – you will have a wonderful experience!!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9
HUILLOC – CUSCO

You will start your trip at the Chinchero town, which was one of the most important villages during the Inca Empire. Then you will have lunch and continue your trip until reaching the archaeological vestiges of Maras and Moray. Maras is a surreal view. It is near Moray and it is an impressive salt exploitation complex. Its huge salt deposits were used to trade them for other products with other parts of the empire. Moray’s archaeological vestiges are composed of mysterious concentric circular terraces which, according to some scholars, would be an agricultural research centre. The higher external terraces would be at a higher temperature than the inner ones and could simulate the conditions of the different ecological strata of the empire.

 

This afternoon we return to Cusco
Overnight: Hotel San Agustin Plaza or similar
Meals: Breakfast,  Lunch

Day 10
CUSCO

Start your tour today by visiting Coricancha, also known as the “Temple of the Sun”, which was built by the Inca ruler Pachacuti and, upon the arrival of the Spaniards, became the base for the construction of the Santo Domingo Convent. Here, during the Inca Empire, reverence was surrendered to the sun, and there was even 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-16 th century. Hundreds of stones were extracted and transported from the 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, a magnificent building conceived and built by Inca ruler Pachacuti in the 15th century. The Sacsayhuaman complex was built with megalithic blocks, the transportation and erection of which continue to be a fascinating mystery.

Continue on to Quenqo, located only four kilometres from the city of Cusco. Quenqo is an archaeological complex of mainly religious use where it is believed agricultural rituals were performed.

Finally, visit Puka Pukara, located seven kilometres from the city of Cusco. Puka Pukara, meaning “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 before transferring to a local restaurant for lunch.  You will then have some time to rest or explore Cusco on your own.

Dinner tonight will be at restaurant Tunupa, enjoy the best panoramic view of the marvellous main square of Cusco. Ancestral music and folk dances, together with novo-andine buffet and international cuisine.

Overnight: Hotel San Agustin Plaza or similar
Meals: Breakfast,  Lunch, Dinner

Day 11
CUSCO – PUERTO MALDONADO
Transfer from your hotel in order to take your flight to Puerto Maldonado.
After a short flight from Cusco we will arrive at Puerto Maldonado where we will be met at the airport and driven a short 10 minutes to the headquarters. Arrival and reception by our local guide. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in beautiful gardens you will be asked you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at the safe deposit. This helps to keep the boats and cargo light.

Puerto Maldonado to Tambopata River Port. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business. Boxed lunch provided.

Tambopata River Port to Posada Amazonica. The 2 hour boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Posada Amazonica Lodge will take us into the Community’s Primary Forest Private Reserve.
Orientation. Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. The next 3 days there will be a variety of programmes, examples of which follow. (please note that the programs offered may change)

Canopy tower. A twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas leads to the 30 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A banistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From atop you obtain spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest cut by the Tambopata River winding through the middle. Now and then toucans, parrots or macaws are seen flying against the horizon, or mixed species canopy flocks land in the treetop next to you.
Dinner.

Ecotourism Lecture.  A daily presentation on the Infierno ecotourism project is available every night from a staff member.

Overnight at Posada Amazonias
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12
PUERTO MALDONADO
Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake. Tres Chimbadas is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. Once there you will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters (seen by 60% of our lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers.
Lunch.

Ethnobotanical Tour. A twenty minute boat ride downriver leads you to a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape. The Centro Ñape is a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their little clinic. They have produced a trail which explains the different medicinal (and other) uses of selected plants.
Dinner.

Night walk. You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.

Overnight at Posada Amazonias
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13
PUERTO MALDONADO

Parrot clay lick. This clay lick is only a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas. From a blind located about twenty meters away you will see dozens of parrots and para- keets descend on most clear mornings to ingest the clay on a river bank. Species such as Mealy and Yellow- headed Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot and Dusky headed Parakeet descend at this clay lick. The clay lick is active at dawn, during the late mornings and mid-afternoons.

Ceiba Trail Hike. We leave from the lobby at Posada Amazonas and embark on a two hour hike crowned by the largest tree in the vicinity: a giant ceiba tree. During the hike we will focus on the natural history of the rain forest and its principal taxonomic groups.

Overnight at Posada Amazonias
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14
PUERTO MALDONADO TO LIMA
Transfer to the airport to take your flight to Lima. Arrival in Lima. Reception and transfer to your hotel. Time to relax and reflect on the past few days in the jungle.

Overnight in Lima at Hotel Estelar Miraflores or similar
Meals: Breakfast

Day 15
PARACAS – NAZCA LINES
Transfer by private bus to Paracas, approximately 3.5 hours. Ica is a beautiful area along the southern Peruvian coast, famous for its Paracas Reserve, Ballestas Islands as well as for its wines and colonial mansions. Important cultures developed in this area.
Overflight Nazca Lines
You can enjoy a fascinating flight over the Nazca Lines (optional at extra cost). Mysterious markings on the sand spread over an area of 350 square kilometres. These lines feature several animals such as the spider, monkey, the dog, lizard, the humming bird and the condor among others. The size of these markings range from 15 to 300 metres each with a depth of around 30 centimetres. According to Dr Maria Reiche, who has spent most of her life studying these lines, this is the largest astronomical calendar of the world. It is a true marvel to see.

(This flight is optional – Duration of the overflight from Ica is 1 hour 20 mins).
Overnight at La hacienda Bahia Paracas or similar
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16
PARACAS TO LIMA
BALLESTAS ISLANDS
These rock formations are home to an important maritime fauna, in particular, large Guano birds like the Guanay, Booby and Tendril, as well as some types of endangered Humboldt penguins. Other mammals include large numbers of sea lions. These islands can be reached in 2 hours from the dock in Paracas. On the way to the islands you will also see the mysteriously drawn “candlestick” etched on the desert face.
Transfer back to Lima.

Overnight in Lima at Hotel Estelar Miraflores or similar
Meals: Breakfast

Day 17
LIMA – DEPARTURE DAY
Transport to Lima airport to take your international flight with memories of your wonderful experience in Peru.
Meals: Breakfast

INCLUSIONS

INCLUDED WITH THIS TRIP

  • Access to country specific pre-departure information
  • Operation of the above itinerary
  • Local, experienced tour guides to accompany the group.

ACCOMMODATION
Twin share – Hotels / Logdes (15 nights), community village (1 night)

The tour price is based on twin share accommodation. If you are willing to share with another  female traveller on this tour and there is availability in a twin share room then no single supplement is charged.

If you would like to have your own room for the duration of the trip, there is an additional charge of $990.

MEALS
Most meals are included, as detailed in the itinerary. While travelling with us you will experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Not all meals are included in the trip price. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though.

TRANSPORT
Minibus, train, walking, boat.

ACTIVITIES
Sightseeing, activities and entry fees as outlined on the itinerary

NOT INCLUDED WITH THIS TRIP

  • International and Domestic Airfares are not included
  • Visa fees – each member of the group must carry a valid passport (valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of your trip) and have obtained the appropriate visas
  • Huayna Picchu climb in Machu Picchu (This must be booked well in advance, cost to be asdvised)
  • Overflight of the Nazca Lines from Ica (approx cost $290)
  • Tips, personal telephone charges…
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory) – You will need to give the policy number prior to departure
  • Items of a personal nature; postage, drinks and souvenirs
  • Entrance fees during free time
  • Other meals not mentioned on the itinerary
  • Additional optional activities
  • Medical Advice – Please refer to your GP or local travel clinic for up to date travel
  • health advice for the area(s) you are visiting.

* * Please Note: Internal flights Lima/Cusco, Cusco/Puerto Maldonaldo, Puerto Maldonaldo/Lima are not included as the airfare changes. However we will book this for you with our partners within Peru, the cost is approx $280 per flight (3 flights). We prefer to book these flights to ensure the group stays together in case of flight delays, in which case we have control over the itinerary if changes are required.