Day 01: Arrive Lima
We are welcomed at the airport and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel, Lima (2 nights)
Day 02: Lima
We explore the Historic Centre of Lima*. Although severely damaged by earthquakes, this 'City of the Kings' was, until the middle of the 18th century, the capital and most important city of the Spanish dominions in South America. Many of its buildings, such as the Convent of San Francisco (the largest of its type in this part of the world), are the result of collaboration between local craftspeople and others from the Old World. We will be visiting the centrally located Plaza Mayor (main square) designed and built by the famed Francisco Pizarro. Here we explore the Cathedral, Palacio de los Virreyes, Palacio Arzobispal and Palacio Municipal. We also visit the San Francisco Convent, arguably the most beautiful architectural complex in the city. (B)
Day 03: Lima / Huaraz
We will be transferred from our hotel to the bus station, to board the bus to Huaraz. It is approximately a 9 hour drive, and on our arrival we will be assisted at the bus station, and taken to our hotel to acclimatize to the altitude. Rest of the evening is at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Andino Club, Huaraz (2 nights) (B)
Day 04: Huaraz / Chavin De Huantar / Huaraz
We take a full day excursion to visit the Archaeological Site of Chavin*. The archaeological site of Chavin gave its name to the culture that developed between 1500 and 300 B.C. in this high valley of the Peruvian Andes. This former place of worship is one of the earliest and best-known pre-Columbian sites. Its appearance is striking, with the complex of terraces and squares, surrounded by structures of dressed stone, and the mainly zoomorphic ornamentation. We will see the Lanzón de Chavín, the Stone of Choquechinchay, an impressive network of internal labyrinths and a great concentric ceremonial plaza, before our return to Huaraz. (B, L)
Day 05: Huaraz / Huascarán National Park / Trujillo
We visit the Callejon de Huaylas, including Carhuaz, Caraz, Yungay, and Lake Llanganuco, situated in the Huascarán National Park*. Situated in the Cordillera Blanca, the world's highest tropical mountain range, Mount Huascarán rises to 6,768 m above sea-level. The deep ravines watered by numerous torrents, the glacial lakes and the variety of the vegetation make it a site of spectacular beauty. It is the home of such species as the spectacled bear and the Andean condor. In the evening we will be taken to the bus station to board our bus from Huaraz to Trujillo. The bus departs around 9:00 PM and arrives Trujillo the next day around 6:30 AM.
Overnight: On the bus (B, L)
Day 06: Arrive Trujillo
We arrive in the morning. Early check in is subject to room availability. We will have all day to ourselves to rest at the hotel or walk around the city.
Overnight: Hotel Libertador, Trujillo (3 nights) (B)
Day 07: Trujillo / Chan Chan / Huanchaco / Trujillo
We visit the Arco Iris Temple (Dragon Temple) from the Chimu Culture and the Chan Chan Archaeological Zone*. The Chimu Kingdom, with Chan Chan as its capital, reached its apogee in the 15th century, not long before falling to the Incas. The planning of this huge city, the largest in pre-Columbian America, reflects a strict political and social strategy, marked by the city's division into nine 'citadels' or 'palaces' forming autonomous units. This place was home to 100,000 habitants who stubbornly resisted the expansion of the Inca Empire. We then continue to Huanchaco, a traditional seaside town to watch local fishermen on their traditional “Caballitos de Totora” reed boats before returning to our hotel in Trujillo. (B)
Day 08: Trujillo
We will visit the Sun and the Moon amazing pyramids, the center of power of the Moche Civilization. Here we get to see stunning sets of mud-brick friezes on the walls of the Temple of the Moon recently excavated by archaeologists. We will also be able to appreciate several artefacts and tombs of the Moche Civilization at the Site Museum of Huacas de Moche. (B)
Day 09: Trujillo / Sipan / Tucume / Chiclayo
Today we drive to Chiclayo. Along the way, we will visit Sipan or Huaca Rajada, the place where the most important archaeological discovery of Peru was made in recent times. Here we will see a replica of the Tomb of the Lord of Sipan and other nearby tombs. We then visit the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipan, to admire the magnificent collection on display in the most modern museum of Peru. Finally, we will visit of the Ceremonial Center of Tucume, an archaeological complex consisting of 26 pyramids. This site was the second Capital of the Lambayeque or Sican culture.
Overnight: Hotel Costa del Sol, Chiclayo (B)
Day 10: Chiclayo / Lima
We are transferred to Chiclayo’s Airport so for our flight to Lima. On arrival in Lima, our local representative will be meeting & transfer us to our hotel. The afternoon is free. In the evening we will visit Colonial Lima by night. From the historical center, we will be taken to the bohemian district of Barranco, to enjoy a buffet dinner with a folkloric dance show.
Overnight: Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel, Lima (3 nights) (B, D)
Day 11: Lima / Caral / Lima
We take a full day excursion from Lima to visit the Sacred City of Caral-Supe*, a 5000-year old archaeological site. The 5000-year-old 626-hectare archaeological site of The Sacred City of Caral-Supe is situated on a dry desert terrace overlooking the green valley of the Supe river. It dates back to the Late Archaic Period of the Central Andes and is the oldest centre of civilization in the Americas. Exceptionally well-preserved, the site is impressive in terms of its design and the complexity of its architectural, especially its monumental stone and earthen platform mounts and sunken circular courts. One of 18 urban settlements situated in the same area, Caral features complex and monumental architecture, including six large pyramidal structures. A quipu (the knot system used in Andean civilizations to record information) found on the site testifies to the development and complexity of Caral society. The city’s plan and some of its components, including pyramidal structures and residence of the elite, show clear evidence of ceremonial functions, signifying a powerful religious ideology. We will enjoy a box lunch along the way. (B, L)
Day 12: Lima / Nazca Lines / Lima
We take a bus to Paracas and drive to Pisco to board a light aircraft and enjoy a flight over Pisco, Ocucaje, Palpa and the Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana*. Located in the arid Peruvian coastal plain, some 400 km south of Lima, the geoglyphs of Nasca and the pampas of Jumana cover about 450 km2 . These lines, which were scratched on the surface of the ground between 500 B.C. and A.D. 500, are among archaeology's greatest enigmas because of their quantity, nature, size and continuity. The geoglyphs depict living creatures, stylized plants and imaginary beings, as well as geometric figures several kilometres long. They are believed to have had ritual astronomical functions. Return to Lima. (B)
Day 13: Lima / Arequipa
We are transferred to airport for our flight to Arequipa to visit the Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa*. The historic centre of Arequipa, built in volcanic sillar rock, represents an integration of European and native building techniques and characteristics, expressed in the admirable work of colonial masters and Criollo and Indian masons. This combination of influences is illustrated by the city's robust walls, archways and vaults, courtyards and open spaces, and the intricate Baroque decoration of its facades. We explore the Main Square and its colonial buildings, the Church of the Society of Jesus, beautiful exponent from the mixed barroque art and Spanish churrigueresque barroque from the XVII century, along with colourful fresco paintings at the San Ignacio Dome, known as America’s Sistine Chapel. We then head to the Monasterio de Santa Catalina, a spectacular religious citadel, integrating architectural styles from the 16th to 19th centuries covering an area of 20,000 square meters. We will also will visit the typical districts of Cayma and Yanahuara, the latter with its famous viewpoint of El Misti Volcano and church.
Overnight: El Cabildo Hotel, Arequipa (1 night) (B)
Day 14: Arequipa / Cuzco
We take a short flight to the City of Cuzco*. Situated in the Peruvian Andes, Cuzco developed, under the Inca ruler Pachacutec, into a complex urban centre with distinct religious and administrative functions. It was surrounded by clearly delineated areas for agricultural, artisan and industrial production. When the Spaniards conquered it in the 16th century, they preserved the basic structure but built Baroque churches and palaces over the ruins of the Inca city. Here we visit the Temple of the Sun, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral. We then drive to explore the Inca fortress of Sacsahuaman, the temple of Kenko and the Inca baths in Tambomachay.
Overnight: El Dorado San Augustin, Cuzco (1 night) (B)
Day 15: Cuzco / Sacred Valley
Today we head to the Sacred Valley of the Incas to visit the Fortress of Ollantaytambo and Pisac, a town famous for its handicraft market (Sun, Tue & Thu), full of color and tradition.
Overnight: Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel, Sacred Valley (1 night) (B)
Day 16: Sacred Valley / Machu Picchu / Cuzco
We drive to the train station in Ollanta to board the Vistadome Train to Aguas Calientes for our visit of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu*, which stands at 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna. Lost in history, it was not discovered until 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. After our guided tour, we return to Cuzco in the late afternoon.
Overnight: El Dorado San Augustin, Cuzco (1 night) (B, L)
Day 17: Cuzco / Puno
Today we take a trip on a special bus to Puno that will allow us to appreciate the nearby valleys wonderful landscapes. The journey includes a stop at La Raya pass (4,300 meters above sea level), natural boundary between Cusco and Puno, from where we can take photos of the snow-capped Andes Mountains. We will also a stop at the ruins in Raqchi, known as Temple of the God Wiracocha, and Andahuaylillas village, to visit a beautiful church from the 17th century with an impressive organ decorated with angels and cherubs.
Overnight: Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel, Puno (2 nights) (B)
Day 18: Puno / Lake Titicaca / Taquile / Puno
Today we explore Lake Titicaca by boat. First we will visit the man-made islands of the Uros people, also known as People of the Lake. Each island is built out of layers of reed and is unique. We then head to Taquile Island, where the local community maintains their traditions, customs and colorful clothing. The islanders are skilled craftspeople and express in each piece astonishing techniques developed by their ancestors for centuries. (B)
Day 19: Puno / Sillustani / Lima
We visit the archaeological site of Sillustani, located 34 km North of Puno, which includes the well-known chullpas: funeral plant circular towers, built out of stone that get up to a height of 12 meters and that were used by the collas as well as by the Incas. Very close, it’s the Umayo Lake, enhancing factor of the landscape beauty of this mystic and lovely place. We then head to Juliaca to take our flight to Lima and onward connection. (B)