Santa Catalina monastery, Arequipa
Day 01: Arrival to Arequipa – City Tour & Santa Catalina Monastery.
You arrive in the city of Arequipa and are transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will tour the famed "White City", stopping by the Santa Catalina Convent, a lovely 16th century city in miniature that mimics the styles of different Spanish cities of that time, the Main Square with its three different entrances, and the Church of the Society of Christ, a supreme example of 17th century Mixed Baroque and Spanish Baroque Churrigueresque art, as is the multicolored frescos of the San Ignacio cupola. Following this, you will visit the traditional districts of Cayma and Yanahuara that boasts a lookout and a lovely church.
Overnight at the Hotel in Arequipa.
On the way to Chivay, Arequipa
Day 02: Arequipa to Colca Valley with overnight.
7 -8 hours aprox.
After the 7:30AM hotel pickup you will make your way 160km across the Chivay town. Early into the tour you will feast your eyes on the magnificent views of the volcanoes Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu as you draw near National Reserve of “Pampa Cañahuas”. Upon reaching the reserve you can witness the wild Vicuñas in its natural habitat. From there we move on to Pata wasi (3800m) where you will take pleasure in the natural rock formations with the Misti and Chachani volcanoes on your rear. We will ascend further to a mountainous and splendid 4500m height, passing “Tocra” on the way. You can take in the beauty of beautiful lakes in the area, and take pictures of “Altiplano”, which is the world’s largest high plateau area, behind Tibetan plateau. The “highlight” of the tour will be “Pata Pampa” where you will stand at 4820m. Approaching the Chivay town (3651m), you will be amazed at Colca valley’s multicolored terraces. You can enjoy your lunch in or around your hotel in Chivay.
Optional hike at 3:30pm; after driving to Coporaque town we will visit the traditional main square and if you like, hike up to San Antonio ruins. In addition to seeing a cemetery here you can also enjoy the spectacular Canyon terrace views. You can then relax at your hotel in late afternoon. If you’re in the mood, you can also go to La Calera and see the thermal springs there. Overnight at the Hotel in Colca Valley
Condor at Colca canyon viewpoint
Day 03: Cruz del Condor - trip by bus to Puno.
The second day starts with an early breakfast. After that we will drive to Cross of the Condor where you can see these large (largest in western hemisphere) flying birds. Then we will move on to visit Colca Valley in Cruz del Cóndor. This is the second deepest canyon on earth (4km at deepest point).
After this valley you can see the astounding spectacle of the flying condors. The journey back to Chivay will then begin, seeing the town of Pinchollo along the way as well as the “Antahuilque viewpoint” to view a marvelous terrace built 1500 years ago by the Collaguas civilization and then the town of Maca to visit its charming handicraft market and Colonial church. The last part of the day is the drive to Puno.
Accommodations for the night in Puno.
Floating island of Uros, Lake Titicaca.
Day 04: Lake Titicaca and the floating Uros and Taquile islands
Today will be a full day excursion on Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake at 3808 m, and you will visit its main attraction: the floating Uros Islands, which lay just 6 km off the Puno Bay. 35 minutes from these is Taquile Island, where the community will, after giving you a traditional welcome, show you their customs, like their traditional and colorful outfits, and teach you what the knitted patterns mean. From this spot, the views become even better. The color of the lake turns a deeper blue, and the setting takes on an even more special mood.
Accommodations for the night in Puno.
La Raya pass, between Puno and Cusco.
Day 05: Puno to Cusco – with stops La Raya, Raqchi, and Andahuaylillas
You will be taken to the bus station, where you will begin your trip to the city of Cusco. A vacation in Peru would be incomplete without a few days in this historic place. There is a scheduled stop at the La Raya Pass, the natural border between the departments of Cusco and Puno, which is a prime location for taking impressive photos. Afterwards, you will tour the Incan archeological site of Raqchi, renowned for its massive temple to the god Viracocha. Next on the itinerary is a stop at the village of Andahuaylillas, where you will see an actual architectural masterpiece: its main church, built in the 17th century, whose finely painted interior walls will astound you.
Accommodation in Cusco.
Colonial centre of Cusco.
Day 06: Cusco city tour visit to Sacsayhuaman and nearby archeological sites.
You will tour the city today and enjoy the amazing Colonial center, an inheritance from its Andean and Hispanic past as well as an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Two of the city’s famous landmarks are on the schedule, as well: the Korikancha, or “Temple of the Sun, and the Cathedral, home to finely carved wooden art pieces and impressive altars. The tour continues to Sacsayhuaman, an Incan fort constructed from menhirs that guarded the Imperial city. There are three other important archeological sites, not far at all from the city, that you will visit: Qenko, Tambomachay, and Puca Pucara.
Accommodations in Cuzco.
Day 07: Free day. Explore the city on your own!.
Enjoy an afternoon off in Cuzco. Relax, look around, and admire what you see.
Accommodations in Cuzco.
Sacred valley tour, Cusco.
Day 08: Sacred valley full day tour - train to Aguas Calientes.
Discover the best of the Sacred Valley of the Incas through this route starting on the Inca's Balcony, in Chinchero, a beautiful place with an impressive view, where twelves families still preserve their traditional costums, showing you the ancestral way in which they process the wool, and obtain those vivid colors for their textiles.
Afterwards, we will get to Ollantaytambo, one of the most monumental architectural complexes of the ancient Inca Empire, one of the few places where the Spanish conquistadors lost a major battle. Very well known for its “andenes” (terraces dug into the slopes of mountains for agricultural purposes), Ollantaytambo was a highly effective fortress, that also served as a temple. Then, we will follow to the town of Ollantaytambo, “the unique living Inca town”: the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been continuously inhabited since the 13th century.
At afternoon train to Machupicchu town. Accommodations in Aguas Calientes.
Day 09: Machupicchu tour, Lost City of the Incas.
Spend the day at Machu Picchu – The lush forest straddles the mountains and surrounds the plateau. The stone walkway carries you from the entrance, through the winding staircase and walls and into the open highland of Machu Picchu. Once you are within the ruins, follow your guide on a fabulous tour of the lost Incan city. The plateau is clear of brush. The stones sparkle in the late morning sun. The musk of fresh rainfall and wet stone emanates from the city. The peak of Huayna Picchu casts a friendly shadow over the ruins. The Temple of the Three Windows sits at the top of a glowing slope with three windows overlooking the landscape beyond. The boulders have been cut and pushed together, remaining intact over centuries. Clouds drift barely overhead. You can almost touch the sun and return to Cusco, but for the moment you can see how the world spins below and the wonders of Peru never cease to amaze you.
Pure nature at Puerto Maldonado jungle.
Day 10: Cuzco – Puerto Maldonado – Amazon Jungle.
You will have a private transfer to airport for a flight to Puerto Maldonado. You will be required to show your passport at check-in, so please have it to hand.
The flight from Cuzco to the jungle community of Puerto Maldonado is very short. Upon arrival you may be requested to show your Yellow Fever certificate at the airport.
If time and weather allows we will enjoy a short exploration of Puerto Maldonado, a bustling town with many thousands of motorcycles, busy markets and shops. Arriving at the jetty you will meet your motorised canoe and begin a 30 kilometre journey along the Madre de Dios River to the Eco Amazonia jungle lodge (approx 2 hours by canoe). The large canoes are very safe and lifejackets are supplied. After signing in to the national park office you will disembark at the river’s edge and enjoy a welcome cocktail at the lodge.
After this you will be allocated a bungalow built from rustic and typical materials from the area. After a delicious lunch on the first day we have a guided visit with local guides to visit the unique Monkey Island in the middle Madre de Dios River, just five minutes away from the lodge. You will have plenty of time to enjoy marvellous jungle landscapes and the rich diversity of flora and fauna. You will see a great variety of monkeys such as the ‘maquisapa', the black and the white ‘Martins', ‘Leoncito de la Selva' (Little lions), ‘Frailes' (Friars), ‘Achuñis', ‘Ronsocos' etc, as well as an array of birdlife. We leave the island after dusk so you can enjoy the wonderful sunset, one of the most impressive sights of the forest (pooled service).
Wild fauna at the jungle of Puerto Maldonado.
Day 11: Puerto Maldonado – Amazon Jungle | day 2.
The next day you will begin with a very early breakfast and a trek into the jungle to the Cocha Perdida or lost lake hidden away in the jungle. The trek to the lake is about 8 km and along the way your guide will stop to point out the different types of birds and insects, as well as the huge variety of plants and trees. The scenery during the trek is extremely varied incorporating dense jungle as well as marsh areas which are crossed by wooden walkways. If you’re lucky you may spot monkeys overhead.
On arrival at Cocha Perdida you can take a tour of the lake in a small dugout canoe. The lake is home to a family of giant river otters and the infamous anaconda, although these animals are very elusive and you will have to be very lucky to see them. Close to the lake is an observation platform and a huge observation tower with steps taking you up to one of the tallest trees in the jungle for an incredible view from the canopy. This is definitely not for those who are afraid of heights! You will take a different path back to the river where you are met by a boat and returned to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you may have the opportunity to do some piranha fishing or else you can relax back at the lodge (pooled service).
Wild fauna at the jungle of Puerto Maldonado.
Day 12: Puerto Maldonado – Lima.
On the final day in the jungle we return upriver to Puerto Maldonado for our flight back to Lima where you will be transferred to your hotel and have the rest of the day free or to visit the historic centre of Lima to further explore this city.