12 DAYS | from $1999
DAY 1: LIMA ARRIVAL
A GOTOPERU representative will be waiting to greet you as soon as you arrive in Lima. We’re ready to offer world-class treatment for what is bound to be a vacation of a lifetime. Get introduced to the city and then enjoy accommodations on our private shuttle, en route to your hotel.
DAY 2: BALLESTAS ISLANDS AND PARACAS RESERVE TOUR
On this particular tour, you will be picked up from your hotel in Lima and given a tour of the Ballestas Islands.
You will be transferred via a very short ride from your hotel to the harbor, where you will board a boat. The boat is relatively large and comfortable, full of safety jackets and other gear you may need while sailing around the bay.
One of the most amazing things you may notice about these islands is that they share the same type of climate as the Nazca Desert, which means wind and rain rarely touch these pristine pieces of land. This seems quite amazing once you lay eyes on El Candelabro – a very large geoglyph that’s carved into the sand, similar to the Nazca Lines, that has served as a beacon for mariners for hundreds of years. Shaped like a candelabra, this mysterious glyph was carved into the sand at around 200BC, and still it remains in immaculate shape, untarnished by the elements.
While the islands themselves aren’t getting much wind, understand that the open water does. You may want to put on a wind jacket to cut down on the sting. Though, the odds are good that you won’t even notice the wind blowing as you view the many different amazing structures of the Ballestas Islands.
There are more photo opportunities out here than even the best digital device can hold, so choose wisely. After the trip is over, you will return to the harbor and ultimately to your Lima hotel.
DAY 3: NAZCA LINES OVERFLIGHT
After your overnight stay in Nazca, you are going straight up to take an aerial tour of the famous Nazca Lines.
The highlight of this trip, an aerial tour of the Nazca Lines, is right around the corner. What exactly do you know about the Nazca Lines? If you’re a fan of the History Channel or National Geographic, you may have seen these lines before. Maybe you like these sorts of ancient mysteries. Maybe you think you actually have it solved! Well, you wouldn’t be the first. Scientists from all around the globe have been trying to solve the Nazca Lines for hundreds of years. These ancient geoglyphs are carved into the Nazca desert, and they stretch out for over 50 miles (or 80 kilometers).
Some of the unique and incredibly large images include: A huge spider, a hummingbird, a monkey, a concord, a strange man-like figure with large eyes and a weirdly shaped head, dogs, and these incredibly straight, flat lines that stretch out for miles and appear to be landing strips of some sort. While modern scientists believe they have a relatively solid theory as to how the lines could have been made, no one knows for sure why they were made, or who could have been looking at them from that altitude some thousands of years ago. In other words, your guess is as good as theirs!
The lines were drawn in the desert between 400BC and 500AD, so, even the most conservative estimates have them at over 1,500 years old, with the first lines actually being drawn over 2,000 years ago. Was it just a hobby for ancient peoples, or is there something more to it? You can be the judge as you fly overhead and view these amazing geoglyphs from your plane.
Your flight gives you plenty of time to actually view the entirety of the structure, including adjacent structures like the Nazca holes.
After you land, it’s back to the bus station and back to your Lima hotel, where you can stay busy browsing through the hundreds of different photos you took of the amazing Lines and other scenery.
DAY 4: AREQUIPA ARRIVAL AND CITY TOUR
Your vacation in Arequipa officially begins almost immediately after arriving to your hotel. Take a few moments to get settled in and before you know it would be time for the first part of journey: A city tour of Arequipa.
Arequipa is the largest and most populated city in the Arequipa Region, which means it’s also one of the most heavily visited. Though you won’t have to worry about tons of tourists impeding your progress. Over the years, modern Arequipa has thrived on tourism, and this means that the city is set up for the curious traveler like you. After being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the local government began putting emphasis on protecting the old and constructing the new. The end result is a very accommodating city. The best part about the city, of course, is that you get to tour it!
There are many great things to see and explore during your tour, and here are just a few highlights:
Although this is a guided tour, it’s a rather abbreviated look at the historic city. This particular GOTOPERU package is about letting you, the vacationer, experience much of the city on your own. After you’re finished with the guided portion of the tour, the rest of the day is yours to explore. Check out sites in more detail, like Santa Catalina. Go view some of the awe-inspiring volcanoes, the breathtaking valley scenery, or just enjoy some world-class cuisine.
Whatever you do for the rest of the evening and night, just make sure you rest well. When you’ve had your fill of delicious food and are through soaking up the rich culture, head back to your hotel, browse through those awesome photos, and get ready for the next leg of your journey.
DAY 5: COLCA CANYON TOUR (DAY 1)
The first of your two-day tour begins with breakfast in your Arequipa hotel. Pack the necessary gear for your journey, including a camera, and get ready for your tour guide to pick you up. You will start the scenic drive to Colca Canyon.
This drive is rather lengthy, but it is a huge part of your overall trip. Colca Canyon is to Peru what the Grand Canyon is to the United States, so expect to see a huge river canyon that was carved deeply into the landscape over many thousands of years. Only instead of barren desert, Colca is actually teeming with rich, green life all over the place. You’ll be driving through towns like Chivay, through the Salinas National Reserve, and through the uniquely beautiful plains of Pampas Aguada.
Keep in mind, too, that you’re not in the valley; you’re actually driving atop the canyon at relatively high altitudes. This gives you the perfect view of the valleys and river below, not to even mention the 360-degree views of the entire landscape. You will view gorgeous marble structures, a wide range of indigenous, unique animals, medicinal plants, exotic fruits, and much more.
Upon arriving at your Colca Canyon hotel, it’s time to relax. Your trip wasn’t arduous by any stretch of the imagination, but your eyes and jaw undoubtedly hurt at this point. So, enjoy a hot meal and take a dip in the relaxing natural hot springs, one of the region’s most famous features.
The night ends with an overnight in your hotel.
DAY 6: COLCA CANYON TOUR (DAY 2) AND PUNO ARRIVAL
The second day of your trip begins bright and early with an energizing breakfast. After you’re through eating, your guide will pick you up and whisk you off to the breathtaking vista Cruz del Condor. The entire Colca Canyon region is peppered with these types of vista, but if you want truly majestic views that appear too bright and vivid to be real, Cruz del Condor is the go-to location. As an added bonus, you will take the most scenic route imaginable to get there, allowing you to view the region in all its natural beauty as you arrive.
You will witness pre-Inca ruins, marvelous volcanoes like Hualca and Ampata, and quaint villages where the residents still live life like they’ve been doing for centuries. Once you arrive atop the vista, you will be almost a full mile above the river’s bottom, giving you a bird’s eye view at the majesty of this ancient kingdom. Take your time, soak up the scenery, and wear those camera batteries out. Once you leave, all you’ll have are your photos and memories; do not take these priceless views for granted.
The trip to Cruz del Condor actually takes you past over half a dozen separate locations, so this is certainly a full day’s trip. After leaving the vista, it’s time to transfer to Puno.
DAY 7: TOUR OF LAKE TITICACA
Trip highlights include:
• Tour of the Uros Islands to experience the simple life of the local people.
• Visit to Taquile Island to get a rare glimpse into Peruvian indigenous culture.
• Lunch in the town of Luquina.
A boat will take you back to Puno in the afternoon where you can use the rest of the day to shop, tour or rest.
DAY 8: SUN ROAD TOUR PUNO TO CUSCO
Your GOTOPERU representative will come to your hotel and offer you a private transfer to embark on your journey to Cusco.
Trip highlights include:
• Visit to San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, Sistine Chapel of America.
• A tour of Raqchi, an archaeological site with public baths, a large aqua duct system and stone terraces.
• A buffet style lunch break in Sicuani Village.
• A chance to explore La Raya, the border town between Cusco and Puno.
• Tour the Pukara Archaeological Site featuring a large pyramid and museum.
You will end your day at a hotel in Cusco.
DAY 9: SACRED VALLEY EXPERIENCE
Get ready to witness the majestic Sacred Valley! After breakfast in your hotel, a GOTOPERU representative will greet you and pick you up for a scenic bus ride through the Andean landscape to the Sacred Valley (El Valle Sagrado).
Trip highlights include:
• Tour through Pisac, a small town rich with Incan architecture and culture. Be sure to stop by the artisan market to view and purchase unique souvenirs.
• Visit to Ollantaytambo, a town and Incan archaeological site that once was the estate of Emperor Pachacutec. During the Spanish Conquest, it served as a fortress for Manco Inca Yupanqui.
A: Train and Overnight to Machu Picchu ( Included in the Price ) After your tour to Ollantaytambo fortress you will have a couple of hours extra to enjoy this small inca town before taking a 1.5hrs train to MachuPicchu Town where a representative will welcome you and transfer you to your confirmed hotel.
B: Overnight at Sacred Valley : you will be transfer to your comfortable hotel surrounded by spectacular landscapes in the Sacred Valley.
C: Return to Cusco : After Ollantaytambo you will enjoy a tour through Chinchero, an Andean village with Incan ruins and a colonial church that produces extraordinary textiles, woven with ancestral tools. After a visit to the Textile Market you will be transfer to your hotel in Cusco later in the afternoon.
DAY 10: INCA TRAIL (DAY 1)
The first day of this trip starts early in the morning, directly after a GOTOPERU rep picks you up from your Cusco hotel. You will be taken to the Ollantaytambo station and subsequently take the train to KM 104, where the real journey begins.
The first thing you’ll notice upon arriving at your destination is an old-fashioned suspension bride. This is the start of the trail. We will begin trekking over the Urubamba River en route to some very old, small and intriguing Inca ruins on the Chachabama historic site. Make sure you get plenty of pictures and plenty of water, because then begins a four-hour hike to the Wiñaywayna enclosure, which is well over a mile above sea level (8,858 feet to be exact). The air up here is crisp and clean, however light, but the journey upward is actually rather gentle.
This location is an important spiritual site of the Incan people. With large stone structures carved into the mountain, Wiñaywayna looks like an outdoor stadium for giants and is one of the most well preserved (naturally so) Incan sites in the region.
Make sure to keep your head on a swivel as you cross this monument and onto the main Inca Trail. The river valleys and peaks of the lush, green expanse will leave you speechless for the entire journey. The goal is to cut through the ridge above Machu Picchu and to descend on this historic location.
After a short hike, you will reach Intipunku (modern day Puerta del Sol), where you will head down the 40-minute trail to the town of Aguas Calientes. Here, you will get a great meal and have access to the hotel. Sleep tight, because day two is right around the corner.
DAY 11: INCA TRAIL (DAY 2)
You won’t have to walk nearly as much on day two; this is all about soaking up the historic site of Machu Picchu. You will receive a guided tour of what experts refer to as the world’s most ancient—and perhaps most sophisticated—city. Machu Picchu is an entire city, built by the Inca Pachacuteq, and it features many houses, storage areas, temples, a large central gathering area, and even roadways and hundreds of steps – all carved out of stone by the ancient Incans.
After getting a personal tour of the city from an expert historian tour guide, you will get to enjoy the rest of your day before returning back to your Cusco hotel.
DAY 12: CHECKOUT TIME
When your vacation is all said and done, regardless of the package you have chosen, you will still be seen off like royalty. After you eat a hearty regional breakfast, we will deliver you in style to the airport, where your flight awaits.
We’ll offer assistance with whatever you need: Check-ins, tickets, luggage, etc.
Just remember to come back and vacation with us again. You can never see too much of Perú.
ennifer Powers & Family New York - USAView all testimonials
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