South America Spotlight

Colca Canyon

Created by a vast geological fault, the Colca Canyon is thought to be the deepest canyon in the world measuring ...

Arequipa Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTH AMERICA 158

If you like the itinerary below please quote REF SOUTH AMERICA 158 when enquiring for further details.

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Day 1: Lima

Today marks the beginning of your incredible adventure through Peru. Arrival airport transfer is included and our representative will assist with hotel check in and spend time with you discussing your upcoming holiday.

Day 2: Lima

This morning with a group of fellow travellers discover why Lima has historically been such an important city with a scheduled sightseeing tour that covers Lima’s most impressive colonial buildings as well as a number of fascinating museums.

Day 3: Lima - Arequipa

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to the attractive city of Arequipa. Later in the day embark on a scheduled tour of Arequipa and marvel at the spectacular scenery. From the Carmen Alto lookout enjoy the views of the three volcanoes surrounding the city before heading to the countryside to visit Inca terraces, famous temples and colonial houses. The day concludes with a visit to the Santa Catalina Convent. Practically an entire city within Arequipa, the convent comprises numerous streets and plazas, as well as cloisters that have remained intact despite the passing of centuries.

Day 4: Arequipa - Colca Canyon

Today head towards the Colca Valley, passing a number of traditional towns, natural lagoons, volcanic peaks and a national reserve along the way, for a three day scheduled excursion. This is a great place to see many species of birds and South American camelids in their natural habitat. Stop for an invigorating coca tea at Patahuasy and ascend to a pass 4800m above sea level before reaching your final destination, the town of Chivay.

Day 5: Colca Canyon - Arequipa

Early morning we venture to Cruz del Condor. Here you can observe the majestic flight of the Condor – the largest bird in the world - as it soars over the Colca Canyon. To best admire the canyon you will make a number of stops at various lookout points. The Colca Canyon is one of the world’s deepest and photo opportunities abound before our drive back to Arequipa.

Day 6: Arequipa - Cuzco

Returning to the airport we catch a flight to the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco. After a friendly meet and greet transfer explore the ‘navel of the world’ and discover why it’s considered the archaeological capital of South America. Your scheduled city tour takes in the Incan streets of Loreto and Ahuajpinta where you’ll find the remains of impressive Incan palaces, as well as old colonial buildings such as the Catedral. Later in the day, head to the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman and the ruins of Kenko, Tambomachay and the Tambo de Puca Pukara

Day 7: Cuzco

Known as the Sacred Valley, the area between Cuzco and Machu Picchu is littered with traditional Andean villages and fascinating Inca ruins. Today you explore the region on a scheduled excursion, starting with the textile centre of Awanacancha where the art of Incan textile is kept alive. ontinue to the archaeological complex of Pisac, formed of a collection of remains of Incan dwellings, temples and terracing. Practise your bartering skills at the local market before stopping for lunch then continue to the impressive fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo before returning to your hotel back in town.

Day 8: Cuzco - Aguas Calientes

This morning a scenic train journey followed by a bus ride brings you to the legendary ‘Lost City’ of Machu Picchu on a scheduled excursion. Set on a mountainous peak overlooking a deep canyon on the Urubamba River, the ancient Inca city is indeed one of South America’s most impressive sights. Be amazed by the incredibly well-preserved plazas, towers and temples as you enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu. You then head to the nearby town of Aguas Calientes where you spend the night.

Day 9: Aguas Calientes - Cuzco

No place in Peru quite captures the imagination like the legendary ‘Lost City’ of Machu Picchu, so why not head back up to the site this morning to catch the sunrise before you return later in the day back to Cuzco.

Day 10: Cuzco

Cuzco is a fantastic city full of fascinating things to do and see. Why not have a wander through the markets and see the locals going about there daily lives or catch a collectivo out of town to see Piquillacta a very overlooked historic site with looks resembling the great wall of China!

Day 11: Cuzco - Puno

Today sit back and enjoy a spectacular 10 hour rail journey to historic Puno. Passing the gentle, rolling Andean Plains where vicuña and alpacas roam freely, the train climbs to 4335m above sea level at La Raya, offering incredible views of the towering, snow-capped Andean mountains. During the journey you will be served a three course lunch in the dining car followed by coffee served in the observation-bar car. Arriving into Puno you will be transferred to your hotel.

Day 12: Puno - Islas Taquile and Amantani

After breakfast board a yacht from Puno port for a shared cruise and tour around the floating islands of Uros. Inhabited by fishermen and hunters, these beautiful islands are made from totora reeds and were built in order to escape the imposition of invading cultures. Your cruise continues to the genuine island of Amantani, renowned for the fine crafts made by inhabitants. Enjoy lunch in the community before visiting the hilltop sanctuaries of Pachatata and Pachamama. You then settle in to your home stay, meeting the family who will be your host for the night and enjoying home-cooked meals. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn about these peoples’ lifestyle and culture.

Day 13: Islas Taquile and Amantani - Puno

After breakfast the next morning bid fond farewell to your home stay family and continue to the neighbouring island of Taquile. The peasant community of this island has kept intact the customs and traditions of their ancestors and a visit here is like taking a step back in time. After lunch visit archaeological ruins and soak up the immensity of Lake Titicaca – the world’s highest navigable lake – from the beautiful beaches that line Taquile’s shore. Later return to Puno and enjoy a bit of free time to go out and wander around.

Day 14: Puno - La Paz

This morning you will be driven to Copacabana Sanctuary, where you board the Catamaran Cruise Ship destined to Sun Island, the legendary birthplace of the Inca Empire. Here, visit the Inca Garden, steps and fountain followed by the Inti Wata Cultural Complex including the Ekako Underground Museum, the traditional medicine and the Titikaka Reed Shipbuilders display centers, the Pachamama agricultural Inca terraces, a handicraft center, the Intica lounge and at the Manco Kapac look out the largest variety of Andean camelids. After the tour you reach land once more and make the passing through customs and driving onto La Paz.

Day 15: La Paz

Heading out of the city this morning we discover the wonders of Tiwanaku, the capital of an ancient civilization which during its greatest times, the capital of Tiwanku was the largest in the world and considered to be the Cradle of all American Civilizations. Later on marvel at the geological formations of the Valley of the moon, 10km outside of town.

Day 16: La Paz

Sadly your journey has come to an end with a transfer to La Paz Airport in time for your flight home.