COQUEST OF ANDES (17D/16N)
Come experience the tropical lows of the jungle and the Andean highs of Machu Picchu! This tour will take you from the middle of the “Madre de Dios” jungle to the rarified air of Cusco, its surroundings, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The trip culminates in an early morning exploration of the mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu. Come explore Peru from bottom to top with us over 9 exciting days.
DAY 1 LIMA
You’ll arrive at the international airport in Lima (the majority of flights arrive at night between 8pm and 2am). Our team will be waiting with a private vehicle to take you to the hotel of your choice. Depending on your flight schedule, you will have the opportunity to visit some of the most important sites and museums in Lima. (Optional).
DAY 2 LIMA – ICA
Early in the morning, we depart for Ica, an approximately 4 hour trip. You’ll have the rest of the day to relax and explore this enchanting paradise located between sand dunes and the water of the Pacific Ocean.
DAY 3 ICA – NAZCA – PARACAS
The Nazca Lines can only be truly appreciated from the air. We will observe these awe-inspiring zoomorphic and anthropomorphic figures drawn in the dark, red earth from a private airplane. Afterwards, we’ll have lunch in one of the best restaurants in the area, where you can sample the best traditional Peruvian food. Later, we’ll take you to your hotel in Paracas where you’ll spend the night.
DAY 4 PARACAS – LIMA
Today we’ll visit the Paracas National Reserve, a slice of land and ocean protected by the Peruvian state and home to many plants and animals. We’ll travel by boat to the Ballestas Islands, home to many animals such as the Humboldt Penguin, sea lions, and many amazing birds and species of fish. After your visit, we’ll return you to Lima to take your flight back home.
DAY 5 LIMA – PUERTO MALDONADO – JUNGLE LODGE SANDOVAL POSADAS
Early in the morning, we’ll take you to the Lima airport to catch your flight to the city of Puerto Maldonado. There, your guide will join you and accompany you to the city’s reception center before heading to the port. From there, we’ll travel 1.5 hours on the Tambopata river to reach the lodge.
You’ll be greeted by the lodge staff, who will show you around and explain the program for your two-day stay. After some relaxation time, we’ll begin the first excursion to the canopy tower and walkway system to explore the forest 30m above ground. This is an excellent place to observe the wildlife next to the Tambopata river.
After this short trip, we’ll return to the lodge to enjoy a delicious dinner and all the services there.
DAY 6 JUNGLE LODGE
After breakfast, we’ll walk down to the pier and take a 20 minute boat ride to the zone known as “Tres Chimbadas.” We’ll continue observing jungle wildlife here and perhaps even go fishing. After lunch, we’ll visit a botanical garden where an indigenous shaman will reveal the secrets of the local plants to us and explain their traditional uses.
In the afternoon, we’ll return to the lodge to eat dinner and take a night time jungle tour. This is the best time to observe the local wildlife.
DAY 7 PUERTO MALDONADO – CUSCO
After breakfasting in the lodge, we’ll take the river back to Puerto Maldonado and take our return flight to Cusco. You’ll have the afternoon free to rest and adapt to the altitude.
DAY 8 CUSCO AND ITS SURROUNDINGS
Today, we’ll visit the most important tourist sites in the city and its surroundings. This is an opportunity to try new things and to learn about the history of Cusco and the daily life of its people. Our destinations today include churches, museums and archeological sites. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the fortress of Saqsaywaman and the complexes of Qenqo, Pucapucara and Tambomachay. All of these were highly important sites in the Inca religion and are located close to Cusco. After our explorations, we’ll return you to your hotel to spend the night.
DAY 9 CUSCO – SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS
We’ll continue our excursion by heading out to the Sacred Valley, which awaits us with its warmer climate. The town of Pisac is our first stop. All along the road out to the ruins there, you can see remains of Inca agricultural activity. You’ll take in the sweeping panoramic views of the Andean mountains and visit the towns of Calca and Urubamba. After lunch, our journey continues towards Ollantaytambo, whose layout still shows signs of Inca planning, with its cobbled streets and Inca fort. We will spend the night in a hotel here.
DAY 10 OLLANTAYTAMBO – MACHU PICCHU
We’ll depart for Machu Picchu from Ollantaytambo by train, a journey which follows the course of the Urubamba river for around 1.5 hours. Our destination is the thickly vegetated land with high peaks that shelters the town of Aguas Calientes. After checking in to our hotel and having lunch, a bus will carry us to the ruins of Machu Picchu, recognized as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Your guide will go into depth about the history and archeology of the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary. We’ll also have time to appreciate the cloud forest which surrounds the site before returning by bus to Aguas Calientes to visit the hot springs there and then return to your hotel.
DAY 11 MACHU PICCHU – CUSCO
Early on the following day, we’ll return to Machu Picchu in bus to enjoy the early morning light and thinner crowds. We’ll then climb the steep path up to Huayna Picchu. This is a fascinating archeological site in its own right, but it also offers a commanding view of Machu Picchu in its entirety. In the afternoon, we’ll return to Aguas Calientes to take the return train to Ollantaytambo, where our bus will be waiting for us. On the way back, we’ll be able to visit to town of Chinchero before returning to your hotel in Cusco.
DAY 12 CUSCO – PUNO (TRAVEL DAY)
A private bus will pick you up from your hotel. The itinerary and travel times for your journey to Puno depend on which option you select: bus, train or plane.
- By bus: the best way to enjoy the splendid views and tourist attractions along the way. You’ll see the fertile valleys of the Vilcanota River and La Raya (the high pass between the departments of Cusco and Puno), plus the high Andean plains common to this part of Peru. You’ll have time to visit the colonial church in Andahuaylillas with its famous works of art, the temple of the creator god Viracocha at Racchi, and the artisan town of Pucara.
- By train: the Andean Explorer train will whisk you from Cusco to the city of Puno. You’ll see many of the same sights as you would on the bus, including the high Andean plain of the Vilcanota Plateau, but without the various stops.
- By plane: you’ll arrive at the Juliaca airport and be taken by bus to your hotel in Puno, a mere 45 minutes across the plains of Juliaca.
DAY 13 LAKE TITICACA
In the morning, your boat departs from the shore of Lake Titicaca. A 25 minute boat ride will bring you to the floating Uros Islands. These are stable, man-made islands constructed from a local reed known as “totora” which has been used for centuries by the people here to make houses and boats. After spending 2.5 hours visiting different islands, we’ll arrive at Taquile Island for a visit to the native community there. We’ll have time to learn about the local customs and to admire the excellent textiles produced by their master weavers. In the afternoon, we’ll return to Puno and your hotel.
DAY 14 PUNO – SILLUSTANI – JULIACA – AREQUIPA
We’ll leave Puno to visit the Sillustani ruins. This archeological site is composed of 90 conical towers called “chullpas,” made of large stone blocks carved from volcanic rock. They were built to house the remains of the nobility and elites, including priests and rulers, whose bodies were worshipped afterwards in a “cult of the dead.” Our visit to the Puno area ends here, and we’ll drive you to the Juliaca, After crossing a 4,000m high pass we’ll stop in the village of Chivay, where we’ll learn about the daily life of the locals who work the land on the hundreds of terraces surrounding the town. We’ll spend a peaceful evening underneath the starry sky in hot pools or in one of the beautiful lodges in Colca.
DAY 15 COLCA CANYON – CRUZ DEL CONDOR – AREQUIPA
We’ll hit the road early and head for the deepest part of the canyon, known as “Cruz del Condor” due to the warm air currents there which condors use to fly over the rim of the canyon. After enjoying our tour around the area and taking in the views, we’ll travel by private bus to Arequipa. In route, we’ll pass close to Misti volcano, the Chachani glacier, and the Pampa Cañahuas National Reserve, a refuge for wild vicuñas (a llama relative) in danger of extinction. our bus will take us back to Arequipa, where we will spend the night in a hotel.
DAY 16 AREQUIPA
You will be picked up at your hotel and driven to in this beautiful city at 2,350m, with the imposing Misti volcano looming in the background, private transport will be waiting to take you to your hotel. After a brief rest, we will visit the colonial heart of the city, with its elegant white architecture (you’ll see why its nickname is “The White City”), the main plaza, museums, churches and the famous Santa Catalina Convent, a noteworthy example of religious art. The agreeable climate and local food make Arequipa a friendly and inviting city.
DAY 17 AREQUIPA – LIMA
Our visit to the Arequipa area ends here, and we’ll drive you to the airport to fly to Lima and onwards back home.
*In case you want to visit any additional sites, you can add extensions on to your original package. If you choose an extension, we’ll organize the connection to your next destination. Someone from the Land of the Inkas team will accompany you to ensure that you make your connection and that everything goes smoothly.
- A bilingual guide for all the tours described in the itinerary .
- All flights within Peru.
- All ground transportation during the trip.
- The entrance costs for all the tours/sites mentioned.
- All hotels (Double beds, with continental breakfast)
- All the meals mentioned. (The guide will carry a first aid kit)
- An additional room can be obtained at the client’s request.
- Transportation (e.g. international flights) to and from Peru.
- Lunch and dinner in cities (aside from those specifically mentioned)
- Hiking boots and personal equipment.
- Personal costs (tips and gratuities, alcoholic beverages, travel/medical insurance, medical costs, laundromat charges, airport taxes, etc.)
- Av. La Cultura N° 1318 Wanchaq, Cusco.
- +51 84 233451 (Cusco)
- +51 1 2241816 (Lima)
Our hours are in Peruvian time (GTM -5)