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 ...

Puno Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTH AMERICA 12

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Day 1: Santiago

Welcome to South America! On arrival in Santiago you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Overnight- Hotel Torremayor

Day 2: Santiago

Today is free day to enjoy Santiago at your own leisure. Overnight- Hotel Torremayor

Day 3: Santiago - Quito

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your onwards flight to Quito. On arrival at the Quito International Airport, please go to the Aeroservicios counter where a representative guides you to the bus which will transport you to the Aeroservicios terminal, located in northern Quito. *shared services* There, a representative of On Th Go and Metropolitan Touring greets you and takes you to your selected hotel, giving you a short briefing on Quito and the country in general. Overnight- Hotel La Casona La Ronda

Day 4: Quito

Today we take a shared tour, to visit downtown Quito. Quito's colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stroll starts at the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop's Palace. Visit the temple of La Compañía de Jesús and its awesome gilded interior. Continue on to the Monastery of San Francisco, one the of great religious buildings of the New World. We then continue to the Equatorial Monument, which marks the exact Middle of the World, latitude 0º, where you can stand with a foot on each hemisphere. Overnight- Hotel La Casona La Ronda

Day 5: Quito - Galapagos Islands

Today you will be transferred from your hotel to the airport to catch your included flight to the Galapagos Islands. On arrival you will be transferred to the Itabaca Channel to take a ferry across to Santa Cruz Island. After lunch we continue to Puerto Ayora. (wear comfortable shoes, small backpack with any medicine, sunblock, insect repellent etc.) After driving down from the highlands, we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the giant tortoise pens. Late afternoon we embark on the Yacht Isabela II and enjoy a Captain’s welcome cocktail and dinner. Overnight- Isabela Cruise

Day 6: Galapagos Islands

Today we explore Floreana Island. We take a trip to Post Office Bay to visit the historic barrel that has been serving as a post office in the archipelago for over two centuries. We continue to Baroness Cove with its breathtaking views of Floreana. In the afternoon we take in the olivine- crystal beach for a relaxing walk along the lagoon where bird species, such as flamingos, are commonly seen. Crossing the island we come to the a white- sandy beach where sea turtles come to nest at night and we can enjoy a snorkel on the beach or at the famous “ Devil’s Crown”. Other optional activities such as glass bottom boating will also be available. Weather permitting. Overnight- Isabela Cruise

Day 7: Galapagos Islands

Today we sail onto Española Island. Our morning outing at Punta Suarez provides an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatrosses (April - December), boobies, swallow-tail gulls, and the famous “blowhole”. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas. We enjoy lunch on board before visiting Gardener Bay. We set down at this beautiful, white coral beach for a short walk to observe the sea lions, mockingbirds, finches or enjoy the beach. There is great optional snorkeling in this area, or else there’s time to kayak or ride the glass-bottom boat. Overnight- Isabela Cruise

Day 8: Galapagos Islands

In the morning, we land on the eastern tip of San Cristóbal Island. The trail that ascends from the beach provides spectacular views of the shoreline and is the only site in the Galápagos where the three species of boobies can be found together, as well as the two frigate species, plus a colony of bachelor sea lions. After the walk, if conditions are favourable, there is a chance for optional water activities. Overnight- Isabela Cruise

Day 9: Galapagos Islands - Quito

After Breakfast this morning we head for port where you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to the main land. At the Quito Local Airport, please go to the Aeroservicios counter where a representative guides you to the bus which will transport you to the Aeroservicios terminal, located in northern Quito. There, a representative of On The Go Tours and Metropolitan Touring will greet you and take you to your hotel for check in. Overnight- La Casona La Ronda

Day 10: Quito - Lima

Today we begin our adventure to Peru! You will be transferred back to the airport for your included international flight. On arrival you will be met by an On The Go Representative and transferred to your hotel for check in. Your guide will provide you with a detailed itinerary and vouchers as well as all hotel details and contact details for your Peru tour. Overnight- San Agustin Exclusive

Day 11: Lima

Enjoy a half day guided sightseeing tour to the most attractive sites in Lima. The tour includes Lima's Historical Center, passing by Plaza San Martin, Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral and the residential Districts of San Isidro and Miraflores. We continue with a stop at Larco Herrera Museum. You will have the chance to tour through this old Hacienda House in the Pueblo Libre district, which was built upon a pre-Incan sacred site (huaca), housing the private collection of a great Peruvian scholar: Don Rafael Larco Hoyle. The Larco Herrera Museum is one of the few museums in the world that allows such intimate access to its deposits, in this case around 45,000 pieces. Overnight- San Agustin Exclusive

Day 12: Lima

Today is free day to enjoy Lima. Overnight- San Agustin Exclusive

Day 13: Lima

Today we will be transferred to our departure station for a bus trip to Paracas. (Approx 3 hours) On arrial in Paracas you will be met at the bus station and transferred to you hotel. In the afternoon we vist Lagunillas and the "Mirador de Lobos" in the Paracas National Reserve. Overnight- La Hacienda Bahia Paracas

Day 14: - Nasca

PARACAS- Today an early morning transfer to Libertador Paracas Hotel docks for an early morning shared motorboat excursion to the Ballestas Islands.Arriving at the islands, you will be able to watch sea lions, seabirds ranging from the guanay cormorant to Peruvian pelicans and if we're lucky you might even see one of the famous Humboldt penguins. We'll visit the Down Town of Ica, the Regional Museum and then we will visit a traditional l Winery where we learn how pisco and wine are made. Finally, we visit The Huacachina Lagoon, it is also called " El Oasis de Amèrica ", where you will admire a truly beautiful lanscape. We then make our way to Nazca for check in. Overnight- Nacsa Lines Hotel

Day 15: Nasca - Arequipa

Early morning take-off from the Nazca airstrip to overfly the enigmatic Nazca Lines.(shared) From the plane you will be able to see these giant figures, which were created with an impressive precision about 1500 years ago. Many theories exist about the origin of these lines some even hold UFO’s accountable for their creation. The only fact that we are sure about is that you can only see the famous figures of the ape, the astronaut or the whale, and others , from the air. Around noon, travel by private car to the City of Arequipa, making stops along the way to rest and enjoy the sights. On arrival in Arequipa we check into our hotel for the evening. Overnight- La Maison D'Elise

Day 16: Arequipa

The White City of Arequipa receives its name due to its white rock buildings made from the white rock that flows out of the Misti Volcano. Today is free from your own exploration. Overnight- La Maison D'Elise

Day 17: Arequipa

We take a city tour of Arequipa including the Main Square, one of the most beautiful squares in Peru and the Cathedral, a prime example of XIXth Century Peruvian architecture housing beautiful treasures in gold and silver. We also visit the La Compañia Church, an ancient Jesuit temple, maybe the most important one in Arequipa due to its history and tradition. Then, we will visit the Santa Catalina Convent a "Small Town" built in the XVIIth Century and opened to the public in 1970, after 400 years as a cloister. Perfectly preserved for four centuries, go back in time and see the numerous, spacious patios and gardens, the kitchen and slave quarters and stone washtubs. Overnight- La Maison D'Elise

Day 18: Arequipa - Colca Canyon

After breakfast we will head towards the Colca Valley, crossing the towns of Yura, Pampa Arrieros and the Aguada Blanca & Salinas National Reserve. This is the ideal place to observe many species of birds and South American camelids, and where we will see the faces of Arequipa’s volcanoes Misti and Chachani. We continue our journey through Torja and its natural lagoons, Patahuasy, where we will make a brief stop for an invigorating coca tea. At the highest point of the route, Patapampa, we will see the volcanoes of the Chira Mountain Ranges like the Sabancaya and the Ampato– where the Mummy Juanita was found. We will finally reach the town of Chivay where we will have dinner and stay overnight in Colca Overnight-Aranwa Colca Resort and Spa

Day 19: Colca Canyon

Today we will cross the village of Yanque and enjoy the typical dances of the region. We will then continue towards the Cruz del Condor. This is the ideal place to observe – weather permitting - the majestic flight of the Condor, the largest bird in the world. On the way back, we will stop at different lookout points along the route to admire the beauty of the Canyon and the fertile valley below. We will also make brief stops in the ruins of Uyo Uyo, before returning to Chivay for lunch and enjoy the rest of the afternoon free to relax. Overnight- Aranwa Colca Resort and Spa

Day 20: Colca Canyon - Puno

Today we travel to Puno, and on the way we will stop for lunch in Lagunillas, where we will can observe various birds of the region, such as the flamingo. Upon arrival at Puno you will be transferred to our hotel for check in and the evening at leisure. Overnight- Jose Antonia Puno Hotel

Day 21: Puno

An early motorboat excursion on the waters of Lake Titicaca to the unique "Floating Islands" of the Uros. These ancient inhabitants of the Lake, known as the Water Tribe, have built their own "Islands" by periodically adding new layers of a type of reed unique to the area called "Totora". We continue our motorboat trip to Taquile Island, inhabited by Quechua-speaking natives who have developed efficient and unique social systems, as well as fine hand weaving techniques, passed down through the generations. After Lunch in Taquile we will take a walking tour of various archaeological sites of the island before returning to Puno for the evening. Overnight- Jose Antonio Puno Hotel

Day 22: Puno - Cuzco

Today you will be transferred to the train station to board the Andean Explorer train to Cusco. Enjoy the mysticism offered by the beautiful Peruvian Andean landscape aboard on our luxury train. Riding the Andean Explorer is a unique experience, a journey between mountains and clouds, and between mountains and highlands. The Andean Explorer involves you in an exquisitely area decorated with subtle, delicate style of the great Pullman trains of the twenties.(shared service) On arrival in Cuzco you will be met at the train station and transferred to your hotel. Overnight- San Agustin El Dorado

Day 23: Cuzco - Sacred Valley

This morning we are taken by private Transfer toward Sacred Valley. Escorted by an english speaking guide the after check in the rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure exploring the Valley. Overnight- Sonesta Posada Del Inca Yucay

Day 24: Sacred Valley - Cuzco

Today we will take a tour of the Pisac archeological complex, formed by a collection of remains of Incan dwellings, temples, and terracing.Then we take a walk around the colorful Pisac Market. After lunch, we will end the day with a visit to the Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo. This Fortress was built to protect the entrance of this part the Valley and prevent the possible invasions of tribes from the jungle lowlands. Ollantaytambo was later the scene of Incan resistance in 1537, when Manco Inca’s forces faced Hernando Pizarro’s troops. In the afternoon we return to Cusco. Overnight- San Agustin El Dorado

Day 25: Cuzco

Today you will go on a guided visit of the Imperial City of Cusco. We visit the Main Plaza, which has been the scene of great historical events in Cusco; and the Cathedral. We will then continue on to the Santo Domingo church, built upon the foundations of the Inca temple Koricancha, which was dedicated to Sun worship. Later, we will head to the City’s nearby ruins: the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a magnificent example of Incan military power; Qenqo, a ritualistic site with subterranean galleries that form an underground maze; Puca Pucara, the red fortress; and finally Tambomachay, also known as the Incan Baths. After a half day of touring you return to the hotel for the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight- San Agustin El Dorado

Day 26: Cuzco

Today you will go separate directions. David: Today is a free day for you to relax and enjoy Cuzco at your own pace. Overnight- San Agustin El Dorado Julia: In The early hours of the morning you will be picked up from the hotel and driven to Piskacuchu- the starting point of the Inca Trail. We continue trekking until we reach the community of Wayllabamba, where we make our first camp. Along the way enjoy spectacular views of Vilcanota ridge, Veronica Peak and a wide range of flora and fauna. Estimated walking time 5-6 hours. (Shared Services B/L/D)

Day 27: Cuzco - Aguas Calientes

David: This morning youw ill be tranferred to the tain station to catch the Vistadome Train towards Machu Picchu. On Arrival in Aguas Calientes you will be transferred to your hotel from the train station reception. Overnight- El Mapi Hotel Julia: we wake up in Wayllabamba and begin the most difficult part of our trek after breakfast. Today we hike on a steep ascent that stretched for 9km. It is advised that your day pack is full of candies, chocolates and coco leaves to help combat the altitude sickness. We descend into the Pacaymayo Valley where we camp after approx 7 hours of hiking. (B/L/D)

Day 28: Aguas Calientes

David: Today is a day at leisure at Aguas Calientes. (no guided services) Overnight- El Mapi Hotel Julia: Today we have completed the hardest trek but we have to face the longest and most interesting trek. Scattered with archaeological sites we trek for approx 8 hours before we reach our campsite. Tonight you will share a farewell dinner at the camp. (B/L/D)

Day 29: Aguas Calientes - Cuzco

Julia: We wake a 4.00am and begin our last day of trekking. We climb to the Intipunku, the Sun Gate, to see the sun rise over the sacred citadel of Machupicchu. We then continue on to the Machupicchu control point. David: United with Julia on arrival in Machupicchu. Begin a complex guided tour of the Inca citadel before having free time to walk around and climb Huaynapicchu Mountain. This afternoon we meet in the town of Aguas Calientes where you can relax in its hot springs. Here we take the Hiram Bingham train back to Cusco where we arrive after nightfall. You will be met at the train station reception and transferred to the hotel. Overnight- San Agustin El Dorado

Day 30: Cuzco - Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

This morning we have an early transfer to Cusco Airport to board your flight to Puerto Maldonado. Checking-in at the Inkaterra Lounge (Butterfly House).(shared services) Immerse yourself in the rain forest navigating on an outboard dugout canoe along the Madre de Dios River to Hacienda Concepción. After lunch, take a walk at concepcion trails, our inside property nature trails. At dusk navigate on canoe in the Twilight River excursion. Sailing on the Madre de Dios River, you will learn about its ecosystems, Amazon creeks, nocturnal animals’ behavior, and the southern constellations. In the evening enjoy a nice dinner at our main house Overnight- Hacienda Concepcion

Day 31: Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

Today we take a trek through terra firma in the Tambopata National Reserve to lake Sandoval. Travel across this mirror-like oxbow lake that is home to the endangered giant river otter, blue and yellow macaw, red howler monkey and many more. After Lunch we take a take a 20-minute outboard-dugout canoe ride to the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway Interpretation Center which ascends one of the two 98-foot towers (30 mts.) and cross the 7 hanging bridges that connect the treetops at 91 feet high (28 mts.). Enjoy the breathtaking vistas and get the chance to watch white-throated toucans, squirrel monkeys and the three-toed sloths. (shared services) Overnight- Hacienda Concepcion

Day 32: Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon

Enjoy a canoe ride on the Hacienda Concepción cocha. Try native fishing applying the “catch and release” techniques, as you enjoy the scenery. Disembark at the remains of Fitzcarrald steam boat, and learn about its history. After lunch prepare yourself for your next excursion at the RIVER ISLAND, known as “Rolin”. Take a boat ride and walk through the island. Later on explore our inland collpa. This evening return to the lodge for a relaxing evening. Overnight- Hacienda Concepcion

Day 33: Puerto Maldonado and the Amazon - Santiago

After breakfast we take an outboard dugout canoe ride back to Puerto Maldonado. On arrival at the Inkaterra Lounge you have time to relax until your transfer to that airport for you flight back to Lima. From Lima we fly to Santiago where we are transferred to our hotel for the evening. Overnight- Hotel Torremayor

Day 34: Santiago

Today is out last day in South America- perhaps have a last minute wander around Santiago before our arragements end with a transfer to the airport for your departure flight.