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Bienviendos a Peru! Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Lima. Discuss the details of your incredible holiday with our representative following hotel check in with the rest of the day at leisure.
Lima is a delight to explore and today visit the city’s most impressive buildings. The Plaza Mayor is where you’ll find the Government Palace and the daily changing of the guard whilst nearby, adorning the streets is the beautiful Catedral and various small palaces and colonial balconies. Roam the districts of San Isidro and Miraflores to see Lima’s contemporary side before perusing the fascinating artefacts on display at the Larco Herrera Museum. The afternoon offers free time to explore the city further. Perhaps hunt for a bargain at the busy Polvos Azules Mercados or head to one of the pulsating salsa clubs for a night on the tiles.
Venture outside of the city confines today to visit the sacred Incan citadel of Pachacamac. Dominating a stretch of Peru’s coastline, this colossal ancient site was once a significant centre of pilgrimage dating back to the 3rd century. People would journey far and wide to consult the revered oracle at Pachacamac and you will get the chance to explore the ruins of the Sun and Moon temples as well as the House of the Virgins of the Sun.
The exploration of Lima’s surrounding archaeological wonders continues with a full day excursion to the ruins of Caral. Covering an area the size of four football pitches in the northern Supe Valley, this settlement is as old as the famed pyramids of Giza and the oldest city in the Americas. During your guided walking tour you will see the amphitheatre, the Greater Pyramid, the mysterious monolith and the temple of the Sacred Fire where the remains of bones were found.
After breakfast depart Lima and board a flight to the oasis town of Trujillo. Later in the afternoon discover why the citizens of Trujillo are so proud of their history with a city tour. The well-preserved colonial mansions and pretty balconies lend the city character and a sense of timelessness whilst the Archaeology Museum displays the long process of development of Peru’s northern coastline.
The little-visited northern reaches of Peru are home to unique cultural and archaeological treasures. Your full day excursion today begins with the Huaca del Sol - the largest adobe structure in the Americas, and its twin, the Huaca de la Luna. Next visit the Rainbow Temple that dates back to the beginning of the Chimu culture and features spacious patios adorned with beautiful reliefs. Stopping for lunch at the traditional fishing village of Huanchaco you’ll see local fishermen in curiously shaped boats. Later in the afternoon visit the ruined city of Chan Chan. Comprised of ten citadels and numerous internal structures, this massive complex has much to see and explore.
This morning head further north along the coast to Chiclayo. Along the way stop at the El Brujo archaeological complex that features a 30m-high pyramid covered in relief figures and motif paintings of divine characters. In Chiclayo tour the city’s main attractions, including the attractive Iglesia de Santa Veronica and grand colonial houses on the ‘Muses Route’. You then visit the Modelo Market and the Witch Doctor’s Market where elixirs, herbs and shamanic implements are all on sale.
Southwest of Chiclayo the Temple of Sipan has proved to be one of the richest tombs in the Americas. As the burial site of Mochica nobles and VIPs, the excavation of the tombs revealed a multitude of precious-metal grave objects, now housed in the Royal Tombs Museum alongside ceramics found in the valley. Your day tour continues with Túcume, an impressive collection of pyramids belonging to the Sican culture. Clustered around a hill, the 26 adobe pyramids are believed to have been the focus of annual pilgrimage.
Wielding their power between 800 and 1100 AD, the Sican culture dominated Peru’s northern regions and left behind a wealth of archaeological heritage. The Museo Nacional de Sican in Ferreñafe boasts an excellent collection of Sican treasures, including the famous ceremonial headdresses and masks. The museum also contains superb recreations of scenes from daily life during the Sican culture. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to enjoy at leisure in Chiclayo. Indulge in some excellent seafood or discover Chiclayo’s nightlife and the rhythmic sounds of Criolla music.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the bus station for your shared public bus to the northern city of Tumbes. On arrival you will be met and privately transferred to Mancora, Peru’s most popular surfer hang out.
With gorgeous beaches and a thriving nightlife, Mancora is the perfect place to unwind or party after a busy touring schedule. Over the next four days you are free to do as little or as much as you like. Lounge like a sun-lizard on the pristine sandy beaches or check out the water-based activities on offer, including kite-surfing and sea kayaking. Fill up on superb seafood caught straight from the sea or make your way to the local mud baths for a spot of indulgence.
Today marks the end of your unique Peruvian adventure. After breakfast and hotel check out we transfer you to the airport for your domestic flight back to Lima to connect with your onward international journey. Buen viaje!