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 42

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Day 1: Lima

Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival into Lima International Airport, you will be met by our representative and escorted to your hotel. Our representative will assist you with check-in procedures and provide you with a detailed itinerary, vouchers covering all the services included in your tour and additional information on the organization of your Peru trip.

Day 2: Lima

For centuries Lima was considered the most beautiful city in Spanish America and today discover why with a morning sightseeing tour. Many of the city’s most imposing and important buildings were built around the Plaza Mayor in the heart of the old town. Here you’ll find the opulent facade of the Palacio de Gobierno, or Presidential Palace, where each day the ceremonial changing of the guard takes place. Nearby is the austere Catedral and various small palaces and balconied edifices that helped Lima claim UNESCO World Heritage status. Discover contemporary Lima in the form of the plush suburb of San Isidro and lively Miraflores before continuing to the quiet district of Pueblo Libre to see the stylish hacienda museum, which exhibits hundreds of excellently preserved ceramics.

Day 3: Lima - Cuzco

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Cuzco, known to the Incas as the ‘navel of the world’. At an elevation of 3400m above sea level, it’s important to acclimatise to the altitude so spend some time resting in your hotel before exploring this colourful and historic city later in the afternoon. Considered the archaeological capital of South America, Cuzco is home to some of the finest examples of Inca history and architecture, which you will discover touring the sights of the Plaza de Armas, the Catedral 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 - Sacred Valley

Tracing a particularly scenic course from Cuzco all the way to Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley was greatly appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities and as such contains numerous archaeological remains and villages. On the way to the ancient village of Urubamba stop to visit Awanacancha, an Andean textile centre 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. Enjoy a spot of shopping and practise your bartering skills at the local market before stopping for lunch. The day of touring concludes with a visit to the impressive fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo.

Day 5: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes

Today explore the Sacred Valley further with visits to Andean villages south of the Río Urubamba. See the lovely paintings from the Cuzco School on display in the attractive colonial church of Chinchero. Continue to Maras where the original Indian aristocratic coats of arms hang on the outside of the church and houses. Continue to the spectacular agricultural terraces of Moray, a circular system believed to have been used for agricultural experimentation during the Inca period. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before transferring to the train station for a stunning train journey to the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Arrive in Aguas Calientes and check in to hotel. Make the most of the area’s hot springs with a dip in the local thermal baths.

Day 6: Aguas Calientes - Cuzco

No place in Peru quite captures the imagination like the legendary ‘Lost City’ of Machu Pichu. Nestled in a saddle between two forested mountains and surrounded on three sides by the Urubamba River, its location couldn't be more awe-inspiring. The city itself is brilliantly preserved, a classical Inca-style complex of polished dry-stone walls and temples. This morning explore the citadel and the wonderful Temple of the Sun and magical Temple of the Moon on a three hour guided excursion. Other highlights include the fascinating Sacred Plaza and the elaborately carved Intihuatana rock. Lunch is provided at a local hotel before you return by train to Cusco.

Day 7: Cuzco - Puno

Transfer to the railway station for the train from Cusco to Puno. The Andean Explorer train is decorated in the style of the great Pullman trains of the 1920s. It includes dining cars and a bar with outdoor observatory. The Andean Explorer is one the most of luxurious and interesting ways of travelling between Cusco and Lake Titicaca. You will be met on arrival in Puno and transfer to your hotel.

Day 8: Puno

After breakfast, we will head to the port of Puno where a yacht will be waiting for us and will take us to the floating islands of Uros. They create and enlarge the islands by using totora from the lake directly. These residents are considered the oldest of the altiplano, they decided to withdraw to the islands to escape the imposition of the invading cultures and preserve their own. We continue our journey through Taquile Island. The peasant community of this island has kept intact the customs and traditions of their ancestors. Just after lunch, we will have a walk around and visit some archaeological remains and the beautiful beaches from which we will have the chance to appreciate the immensity of the highest navigable lake in the world.

Day 9: Puno - Lima

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport to board the flight back to Lima. Upon arrival into Lima International Airport, you will be met by our representative and escorted to your hotel.

Day 10: Lima

Today you bid farewell to Peru. We will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.