9 nights program
LIMA/ AREQUIPA/ COLCA / PUNO/ CUSCO
HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR TRIP TO PERU
Day 1 – Arrival to Lima
Arrival to the airport Jorge Chavez. Welcome, reception and accommodation at the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel JOSE ANTONIO LIMA**** or SIMILAR
Day 2 – Lima flight to Arequipa
Visit of La Compañia de Jesus church and its cloisters, considered as the most perfect expression of the 17th century religious architecture, it belongs to the Baroque mestizo movement.
Visit of the convent of Santa Catalina. Maria de Guzman had bought a neighbourhood in the downtown Arequipa, she surrounded it with high walls and founded here the Convent of the Domincans in devotion to Holy Catherine de Sienne. This convent was strictly a cloister, closed for more than 400 years. Its construction goes back to the 1580 with more than 20.000 square meters; it’s a real city inside the city, with its narrow streets named with castillian names, its fountains out of volcanic stone, its gardens and its imposing temple. The little houses on these narrow streets where built by the families of the first inhabitants of the cloister that tried to give their daughter all comfort that a girl of the high society deserves. The convent was opened to the public on 1970 after the Pope’s visit to Arequipa and it’s nowadays one of the most important tourist attractions of the white city of Arequipa.
Visit of the Santuarios Andinos Museum, where is exposed Juanita, a young Inca girl who was sacrificed in 1450s and buried in the snow caped volcano Ampato (6,380 m)
Overnight at the hotel CASA ANDINA SELECT AREQUIPA**** or SIMILAR.
Day 3 – Arequipa / Chivay
Departure to Chivay, in the Colca Valley crossing an astonishing landscape.
We take the way to Chivay the track goes up to the Pampa Cañahua where on the way, we see alpacas and lamas (a species of camels) with some luck we can see herds of vicuñas, we can also admire the volcanoes of Misti, Chachani among others.
In the ponds of the area the migratory birds rest, those birds return to the mountains to remain there during the dry season.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
Arrival to Chivay and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel EL REFUGIO**** or SIMILAR.
Day 4 – Chivay / Cruz del Condor / Puno
Morning departure along the Colca Canyon to reach the Cruz de Condor. At this place the mirador affords a superb view. Downwards curves the Colca River.
The abysm reaches a1200 meters depth. Otherwise the walls of the canyon exceed the 3000 meters. With a little luck we can spot condors flying overhead. These birds, which spread wings, can reach up to 5 meters, leave early to search food.
Depart to Puno.
Arrival and accommodation.
Overnight at the hotel ECO INN PUNO*** or SIMILAR.
Day 5 – Puno
You will visit the floating island of the Indians Uros, whose way of life; costumes and tradition are the matter of admiration for many.
They live in small straw houses, made of the same material of their boats, and they live from fishing and hunting.
Continuation to the Taquile Island, located at about 35 km away from Puno, 540 irregular steps separate the village from the landing stage, but for the visitants a path that surrounds the island has been arranged.
All around the way, you will be stunned by the incredible landscape, the Titicaca Lake looks like an ocean surrounded by mountains.
You will know and get together with inhabitants of the island.
They are excellent weavers.
Lunch at a restaurant of the community.
Return to Puno.
Free dinner and overnight
Day 6 – Puno / Cusco
Departure to Cusco. The beauty of the landscape justifies this journey. During the trip you will be amazed by the wonderful landscapes: the altiplano and Andean mountains. You will pass through some Andean villages such as Urcos, San Pedro, Tinta, Sicuani. The highest pass of the trip is La Raya (altitude: 4312 m), which is also the limit between the Altiplano and the Andean mountains.
Visit the Site of Pucara located at 106 km / 66 miles north of City Puno. Pucara is famous for its pottery, especially the well-known “Toritos de Pucara” (Little Bulls of Pucara).This site has pyramidal platforms and temples with semi-subterranean courtyards.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
Visit to the archaeological site of Racchi. This site of a remarkable extension is composed by many buildings made of adobe among which the highlight it is the Wiracocha Temple.
Visit of Andahuaylillas, whose main attraction is its baroque church known as “The Sixtine Chapel of America” because of the magnificent frescos that decorate its walls. Arrival and transfer to the hotel.
*From 10/up passengers, private bus including the visit of the Sillustani burial tombs instead of the archaeological site of Pukara
Visit to the Chullpas of Sillustani. This site is located 30 minutes away from Puno. These are some circular towers of more than 12 meters high, which were built by the Collas, the ancient inhabitants of this region. They were used as funeral tombs for nobles at 4 000 meters above the sea level. This archaeological site is dominated by the mountains that surround the Umayo Lake.
Overnight at the hotel ECO INN CUSCO**** or SIMILAR.
Day 7 – Cusco / Chinchero / Maras / Ollantaytambo / Aguas Calientes
Transfer to the Sacred Valley and visit of Chinchero’s Andean market. Every Sunday, local people exchange their products (barter). The traditions of the area are still preserved in the caps and clothing, which gives to this market a very colored aspect. Visit to the ancient Inca town and the beautiful colonial church built upon the original foundations of Tupac Yupanqui Palace. We will have the opportunity to visit a textile center and learn about the traditional techniques of spinning, dyeing and weaving.
Then, visit the salt works of Maras, to which some people call “salt mines” are constituted by about 3000 small pools with an average area of 5 m² (53.8 ft²), constructed in a slope of the “Qaqawiñay” mountain. People fill up or “irrigate” the pools during the dry season every 3 days, with salty water emanating from a natural spring located on the top of the complex, so that when water evaporates the salt contained in it will slowly solidify.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
Continue to Ollantaytambo; one of the last sites built by the Incas before the Conquerors arrival. One big part of the work remains unfinished; the abandoned stones were the dumb witnesses of the battle between Manco II against the invaders. Badgered by the conquerors the Inca sought refuge in the forest of Vilcabamba. Visit of the village of which layout of the streets, places and the foundation of the houses belongs to the Inca period.
Transfer to Ollantaytambo train station to take the train Expedition** to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu). Arrival and accommodation.
Dinner at the hotel.
Overnight at the hotel EL MAPI *** or SIMILAR
Day 8 – Machu Picchu / Poroy / Cusco
Ascension by mini bus from Aguas Calientes by a vertiginous climb that will lead you to the site.
Guided visit to the site Machu Picchu, “The lost city of the Incas” at 110 km of Cusco, discovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham.
After an important work of undergrowth clearing the surprising beauty of the site and its harmonious construction, in osmosis with the mountain were emphasized.
The citadel is, without doubt, one of the most important architectonic and archaeological monuments of the planet. Located at 2400 meters above sea level, Machu Picchu is made of stone constructions spreading itself on a low and narrow hill, delimited by a cliff of 400 meters, a canyon giving on the Urubamba River.
The function of this citadel is a mystery that the archaeologists could not clear up until now. They study the history and the function of this town of stone of almost a kilometer length, set up by Incas in this splendid geographical area where cohabit the Andean one with the Amazonian one.
Departure by train towards Poroy train station. Arrival and transfer to Cusco.
Overnight at the hotel ECO INN CUSCO**** or SIMILAR
Day 9 – Cusco
Visit of the city and its most important monuments: the Koricancha, a famous temple dedicated to the Sun God. The main square, where according to the legend, Manco Capac’s gold stick digs into the earth by itself, showing him where to set up the city; and the Cathedral, built on the XVI century over the Inca palace of Wiracocha.
Departure to visit the surrounding ruins of Cusco: Kenko, a religious center of complex form, with a semicircular amphitheatre, which has about twenty stone seats and an idol at the center; Puca Pucara: an Inca military construction, that consists of terraces and stairs; Tambomachay, also called ·The Inca’s Bath, owing to the canalization of water, and Sacsayhuaman: a cyclopean fortress built in order to defend Cusco against the enemies.
Dinner with folkloric show at a local restaurant.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 – Cusco / Flight Lima OUT
Transfer to the airport and flight to Lima (Suggested flight LA 2024 06h50/08h25 – Subject to modification) . Arrival and transfer to Lima’s downtown.
Known as the city of the kings, Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro.
Lima is one of the very few South American cities that preserve the colonial past and in 1991 its colonial center was declared a world heritage site by the UNESCO.
Visit of the Cathedral of Lima. Built in 1625, and rebuilt in 1940 after an earthquake hit the city. Behind a relatively bare facade, we will find beautiful chapels and splendid wood carvings, like the stage where the choir sings.
We continue our visit to the Convent of San Francisco, a nice colonial, architectural combination which presents cloisters, embellished with frescos representing the life of San Francisco and wonderful sevillian tiles. The fabulous library and her catacombs, used as a cemetery during the colonial time, are the mayor sights of the convent.
Lunch at Café del Museo restaurant.
Visit the Larco Herrera Museum that displays more than 45 000 pieces of the private collection of Rafael Larco Herrera (1901-1966), father of one of the most important archaeologist of Peru. It was his son who had classified, selected and built up this exposition that gives an excellent overview of pre-Hispanic cultures according to the evolutionary theory of Peru ancient cultures. The museum also owns an extraordinary collection of pottery from different pre-Inca cultures, funeral tissues of an extraordinary beauty, variety of objects and an exhibition hall of gold jewels. Next to the exhibition halls you will discover the museum depot: presenting a spectacular art collection. Before leaving the building, take a look at the erotic figures exhibition that belongs to Mochica culture, a civilization that has left us the traces of its history and way of living through its ceramic.
Transfer to the airport for your international flight departure.
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