Affordable Peru

13 Day Tour

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Departure dates on request

OVERVIEW

Peru is a country that will take your breath away. It has a very rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes from high mountains to dense jungle to coastal deserts and has deep rooted colonial and indigenous traditions, including some fascinating Festivals such as Inti Raymi in late June.

Discover how nature, history and living cultures merge in a single country, whose peoples are a mixture of ethnic groups seeking to integrate their customs, costumes, handicrafts and food, etc., unifying a country that looks ever mor beautiful.

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL TO LIMA

Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Check in and overnight. (Depending on your time of arrival an afternoon tour of Lima can be offered).

DAY 2 - LIMA TO AREQUIPA

Transfer to Lima airport. Fly to Arequipa, known as the white city because of its buildings made from sillar, a white volcanic stone. You will visit the Main Square, the Convent of Santa Catalina, founded in 1580 and one of the most beautiful convents in Peru. This convent is like a small colonial town, with houses for the nuns and their servants, cloisters, narrow streets, kitchens and a laundry, etc. Finally, you will visit the residential districts of Yanahuara and Chilina from which the magnificent Arequipa countryside and the volcano Misti can be appreciated.

DAY 3 - AREQUIPA

Skirting the volcanoes that surround the city of Arequipa, you will enter the Pampa Cañahuas Reserve, a wide plain where you should see vicuñas, a native camelid, which is considered a national symbol. Then to Vizcachani, Pampas de Toccra, up to the crater of the volcano Chucura and on to Mirador de los Andes at Patapampa (4800 m.a.s.l.) where the volcanoes surrounding Arequipa can be seen. Lunch will be served in the village of Chivay and in the afternoon you can rest in the hotel, or visit the thermal springs at La Calera.

DAY 4 - COLCA VALLEY

Visit to Cruz del Cóndor to see the Colca Valley (the second deepest canyon in the world, more than 4 kilometres at its deepest part) followed by an astonishing sight: the great and majestic condor flying only a few metres away.

DAY 5 - PUNO

Leaving the city through Yura, a district characterised by its impressive geography of ravines, mountains and canyons, you will enter the Pampa Cañahuas Reserve, an extensive plain where you may see vicuñas, the native camelids that are considered a national symbol. Then you will take the turn-off at Patahuasi towards Puno for a magical trip through the Andean plateau, petrified forests, bright blue lakes populated by white garzas who dry their wings in the icy wind at more than 4 metres above sea level.

DAY 6 - LAKE TITICACA EXCURSION

An unforgettable full day excursion by boat on lake Titicaca. Visit to the floating islands of Uros. The Uros are an ancient people living on a series of artificial islands made from totora reed that grows in the lake itself. They are made by weaving the totora to form a natural mat, where the reeds grow the thickest. They build their homes on top and cook in the open air to prevent fires. After an hour you will continue to the island of Taquile. In contrast to the other islands in the lake, where the people speak Aimara, here they speak Quechua. It was part of the Inca Empire and vestiges of that culture can still be seen in their buildings. However the Spanish also came here, forbade their own costumes and obliged them to wear traditional peasant dress. When you arrive you will be given a short description of the island and a tour round it before lunch. Then a walk to the main landing place for the trip back to Puno.

DAY 7 - PUNO TO CUSCO

You will be picked up from your hotel at the appointed time and taken to the Pukara Rock Carvings Museum. It is located 61 kilometres from the city of Juliaca in the village of Pukará (3910 m.a.s.l.) and contains a collection of zoomorphic rock carvings and monoliths showing sophisticated detail. Pukará was the first true urban settlement on the Andean plateau near the lake and flourished between 100 and 300 A.D. Thereafter there will be a short stop at La Raya, the highest point on the road from Puno to Cusco, at over 4313 m.a.s.l. After lunch in the village of Sicuani, you will visit the temple dedicated to the deity Wiracocha in the ruins at Racchi. The next stop will be at forty kilometres from Cusco in the town of Andahuaylas. The principal attraction of this town is the church of Andahuaylillas. Also known as the "Sistine Chapel of America" because of the quality of works of art it contains; it was built in the 16th Century on the remains of a buildings that may date back to the Wari culture. It has an original pipe organ that has recently been restored. You will be reach Cusco in approximately 7 and a half hours.

DAY 8 - CUSCO

Morning free. Your afternoon starts at Coricancha, also known as the "Temple of the Sun" (QuriKancha golden temple), built on the orders of Inca Pachacútec (1438 - 1572), and on which the Spanish built the Convent of Santo Domingo. During the Inca Empire the temple was dedicated to worship of the sun ("Inti") and was at times filled with gold. Then to the cathedral, the most imposing monument on the Main Square. Construction started in 1560 and it was completed in 1654. After that you will be taken to Sacsayhuaman, one of the emblematic buildings of the Inca Empire (just a few minutes from the centre of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site) built by the Inca Pachacutec in the 15th Century. It is a vast fortress built from huge stones; how they were transported and worked is still a mystery. It has been calculated that what we see today is only twenty percent of the original structure, because when the Spanish arrived they used its stones for new buildings such as the cathedral.

DAY 9 - SACRED VALLEY

After a brief tour of the Andean landscape you will reach Urubamba, the "Sacred Valley of the Incas". The tour starts in the village of Ollantaytambo, a typical example of Inca urban planning that is still lived in today. Pachacútec (1438 - 1572) conquered the village, destroyed it and built a new one, which became part of his empire. It was at that time that he fortress of Ollantaytambo was built, a great complex of buildings that was actually a "tambo", a place of rest and lodgings for officials who had travelled long distances. It is undoubtedly one of the master works of the Inca Empire. After lunching in a selected restaurant, you will visit the village of Pisac. Pisac was built in the shape of a partridge and is famous for two things: its handicrafts market and because it harbours one of the most important archaeological sites in the Sacred Valley. The market has dozens of stalls displaying products made by the inhabitants of the zone. There are textiles, carvings, and replicas of ancient Inca pieces.

DAY 10 - VISIT MACHU PICCHU

Starts with transport to Machu Picchu. You will be taken to the railway station at Ollantaytambo and from there to Aguas Calientes. From there you will climb up a hillside to Machu Picchu, a masterpiece of engineering and construction that is believed to have been used as a sanctuary and resting place for Inca Pachacutec (1438 - 1572). Machu Picchu, which means "Old Mountain", is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the seven new wonders of the world.

DAY 11 - MACHU PICCHU

Enjoy optional activities - but make a reservation first. Today you may return to Machu Picchu and visit any of the tourist attractions there. You could visit Intipunku, which means "Doorway of the Sun" and is the last stop before entering Machu Picchu if you take the Inca Trail from Ollantaytambo. It was a sort of gatehouse and the sun emerges through this gate every day if it is viewed from the city´s most important buildings. You could climb Wayna Picchu, which means "Young Mountain", in contrast to Machu Picchu. The ascent takes approximately one hour and its principal attraction is the "Temple of the Moon", a complex of underground buildings, probably destined for use by the elite. Finally, you could go to Inca Bridge, an incredible stone structure that served as the entrance or exit to the city and that has a gap in the middle several metres long, over which two large wooden planks were placed. Thus the Incas could cut off the city for their own protection, by just removing the planks. In the afternoon you will be taken to Aguas Calientes station to take the train back to Ollantaytambo and your hotel in Cusco.

DAY 12 - CUSCO

Day free for exploring the former capital of the Inca Empire and legendary navel of the world. Churches and colonial mansions erected on the finely crafted walls of Inca buildings, and beautiful squares. Handicraft stores in the district of San Blas, where you can see local handicrafts made with precious metals, wool, wood and stone - or you can simply go shopping!

DAY 13 - CUSCO TO LIMA FOR DEPARTURE

Transport to the airport. On arrival in Lima, assistance with your connecting flight or transport to a hotel if you prefer.

Rates vary frequently, depending on your hotels choice, number of people in your party and period of your trip.

We work with the highest quality hotels of different styles in each area – which, in some cases, may mean the 'authentic' rather than the obviously luxurious – and we do not always opt for the obvious. So it’s a matter of working out what’s right for you, based upon your tastes and the experience you want.

All the holidays have been carefully crafted by our experts. However, we understand that every travel experience should be as unique and individual as each traveller.

Our specialists are looking forward to hearing from you so that we can tailor a tour to your individual specifications.

AFFORDABLE PERU - 12 DAYS
PERU IS A COUNTRY THAT WILL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY. (CODE: LMT)