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 ...

Islas Taquile and Amantani Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTH AMERICA 57

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Day 1: Lima

Bienviendos a Peru! Welcome to Peru and the start of your journey through the land of the Incas. Upon arrival into Lima International Airport you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel. After check in spend some time with our rep discussing your up-coming trip. The remainder of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure

Day 2: Lima

This morning discover why Lima has historically been such an important city with a sightseeing private tour that covers Lima’s most impressive colonial buildings as well as a number of fascinating museums. The afternoon is free for you to explore Lima further.

Day 3: Lima - Cuzco

This morning you fly to Cuzco.Arrival transfer to your hotel. Afternoon discover touring the sights of the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral and the Koricancha complex – a supreme example of Inca stonework. Head out further afield to tour the Kenko Amphitheatre, the fortified hunting lodge of Puca Pucara, the stunning imperial baths of Tambo Machay and the megalithic fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

Day 4: Cuzco

Today you explore the region starting with the textile centre of Awanacancha where the art of Incan textile is kept alive. Continue 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. Return to Cuzco this evening and you will have your Inca Trail Briefing.

Day 5: Cuzco - Inca Trail

4-5 Am you are collected and you travel by bus, through the picturesque villages of Chinchero, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo, for the 3½ hour scenic trip to kilometer 82 (the start of the trail). From here we commence hiking past small villages and the highlights today being the Inca hillfort of Huillca Raccay. Arriving at your campsite in the early evening at Wayllabamba.

Day 6: Inca Trail

This morning a steep 5 hours walk brings you to the 4,200m (Abra de Huarmihuañusca or 'Dead Woman's Pass) The descent from the pass is steep although not difficult, following the trail on the left side of the valley to the valley floor and to the 2nd night's campsite at Pacamayo (3,600m).

Day 7: Inca Trail

After an hour's hike visit the ruins of Runkuracay. After than an hour takes you to Abra de Runkuracay pass (4,000m) After, descend to visit Sayacmarca by way of a superbly designed stone stairs. The trail then climbs up to the 3rd pass (3,700m). After around 3 hours more hiking you arrive at your last campsite Winay Wayna (This evening you have a ceremony to thank the porters and cooks and proceed to give customary tips)

Day 8: Inca Trail - Cuzco

This morning it is a 2 hours scramble from about 05:30 to get to the Sun Gate in time to see the sun dispel the mists over Machu Picchu. After a time to enjoy the sunrise, you walk through the ruins to a cafe at the entrance have a tea/coffee then enjoy your guided tour of the site. Free time after to wander around and take it all in. You will have your bus ticket to go down the mountain to Aguas Calientes or you could walk? Make sure you arrive in time to collect your gear, bite to eat then catch the train with your group back to Cuzco - Arriving in the evening you will be driven to your hotel.

Day 9: Cuzco - Puno

This morning at 6:30 am a transfer to the Inka Express bus stop for your group coach journey to Puno. This coach is unique as you have some incredible stops to be made along the way. You will visit Andahuaylillas with its incredible church, Wiracocha temple, lunch in Sicuani which is a relatively large highland town, go over the Raya Pass (4335 M) and see the snow peaks and finally a visit to Pukara. Arriving into Puno at 17:00 our local rep will transfer you to your hotel.

Day 10: 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.

Day 11: 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.

Days 12-20: Puno

REFER TO YOUR APPENDIX ITINERARY 1 WORD DOCUMENT

Day 21: San Pedro de Atacama

It’s an early morning departure today as you travel to the Geysers del Tatio for a picnic-style breakfast and a stroll around the geothermal fields to see the geysers and pools of boiling water and mud. Sunrise is the ideal time to visit when the colours give the landscape a surreal appearance and thermal activity is at its peak. Enjoy a rejuvenating soak in the hot springs before heading back to San Pedro de Atacama. En route stop at the small village of Machuca where home-made empanadas, sopaipillas, coffee and coca tea can all be sampled. Later in the afternoon head to the dramatic wind-eroded landscape of Valle de la Luna to see the sunset.

Day 22: San Pedro de Atacama - Santiago

Today you transfer to Calama Airport for your flight to Santiago. Arriving here our rep will transfer you to your hotel.

Day 23: Santiago

Enjoy a free day to explore the city.

Day 24: Santiago

This fascinating group tour day out of the city will take you to some of the world famous wineries that Chile is famous for, wine history in Chile begins in 16th century this you will learn all about today, with visits to vineyards such as the 120 yr old Undurraga Vineyard, Concha y Toro Vineyard which is recognized worldwide as is the Cousiño Macul Vineyard which was created in 1856.

Day 25: Santiago - Pucon

This morning you will fly to Chilean Lake Disrict to the town of Temuco. Arriving here a transfer to your hotel awaits in Pucon.

Days 26-28: Pucon

The outdoor activities on offer here are staggering – raft the Río Trancura rapids, hike in the secluded wooded corners of Parque Nacional Huerquehue, fish in the pristine rivers or rest your bones in the local thermal spas. No trip to the region would be complete without visiting Parque Nacional Villarrica and its centrepiece, the smouldering Volcán Villarrica. Lined by lush forest and sharply ascending into a black waste of lava, the volcano is a dominating sight and it’s possible to hike to the gaseous crater with a local tour guide. The national park is also home to two other volcanoes, spectacular waterfalls and remote hiking trails.

Day 29: Pucon - Buenos Aires

Today marks the end of your Chilean adventure. After breakfast and hotel check out, drive to airport in Temuco to return your hire car and connect with your onward departure flight to Buenos Aires (Via Santiago) Flights usually leave at 11:45 AM - connect and arrive - BUE at 21:00 - Arriving in Buenos Aires our local rep will drive you to your hotel.

Day 30: Buenos Aires

This morning enjoy a guided city tour taking in the Neoclassical Metropolitan Cathedral, the unusual dusty pink Government House and the history-packed Plaza de Mayo. Head to the neighbourhood of San Telmo where street performers gather to display the sensuous dance of tango, and continue to La Boca, a colourful suburb popular with local artists. Wander the attractive streets of Palermo until you reach Recoleta and the famous cemetery of the same name.

Day 31: Buenos Aires

Enjoy a day to explore the city.

Day 32: Buenos Aires - El Calafate

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to El Calafate, the starting point for excursions to one of Argentina’s most famous natural wonders – the Pertio Moreno glacier. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Remainder of day free.

Day 33: El Calafate

Today enjoy a full day excursion beginning at Brazo Rico where you will be able to spot floating icebergs and continuing with a nautical safari on Rico Lake for spectacular views of the ice walls.

Day 34: El Calafate

Free day for you to go hiking or simply relax at your hotel.

Day 35: El Calafate

Free day for you to go hiking or simply relax at your hotel.

Day 36: El Calafate - Iguazu Falls (Argentina)

After breakfast this morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Puerto Iguazu, your base for exploring the magnificent Iguazu Falls. Straddling the border between Argentina and Brazil, the Iguazu Falls are composed of over 250 separate cascades. Today tour the Brazilian side of the falls, walking along catwalks that allow you to see the torrents of water at their most impressive.

Day 37: Iguazu Falls (Argentina)

Enjoy a full day excursion to the Argentinean side of the falls. A number of walking trails are available bringing you in front of or above the rapids. You’ll also see the dramatic Garganta del Diablo or Devil’s Throat, an awe-inspiring display of natural power.

Day 38: Iguazu Falls (Argentina)

REFER TO YOUR APPENDIX ITINERARY 2 WORD DOCUMENT FOR BRAZIL