Great Treasures of Peru tour runs along Peru’s southern route for explore the main tourist attractions of the country. Starting on the Peruvian coast, travelers will visit some of the main pre-Inca cultures; such as Paracas and Nazca, until Cusco, the capital of the great Inca empire.
On our way we will also discover the deep Colca Canyon, the “White City” of Arequipa, Puno and Lake Titicaca, from where legend says it that the first Incan rulers emerged.
The tour ends in the citadel of Machu Picchu, declared Historical and Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO in 1981 and one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World.
Upon your arrival in Lima we will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. After a short rest we will get to know some of the most characteristic streets, squares and avenues of the city.
We will start this tour in the romatic Parque del Amor (Park of Love) of Miraflores, which boasts works by Peruvian artist Víctor Delfín. From here we will have beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean. Later we will visit the Huaca Pucllana, a place belonging to the Lima culture (400 A. D.).
From there we will take our transfer to downtown Lima to visit the Plaza de Armas, where the Government Palace (residence of the president of Peru) and the Municipality are located. In the same square we will visit the Cathedral (which keeps the remains of the conqueror Francisco Pizarro) and from there we will travel to the famous catacombs of the convent of San Francisco.
After getting to know Lima it is time to get up early and transfer to the bus station to go to Paracas, where our staff will be waiting for you to make a boat tour of the Ballestas Islands.
This sunny and desert enclave is populated by Humboldt penguins, sea lions, pelicans and other guano bird species.
On the way we will stop to observe and photograph the famous geoglyph “El Candelabro“, located on the hillside and related to the Nazca Lines.
After the visit we will get into the neighboring Paracas National Reserve and get to know the Interpretation Center of the Reserve, which works for the conservation of the marine species in the area and the good state of conservation of its archaeological sites.
We will also see the rock formation called “The Cathedral” and walk through Lagunilla and Tumaque, until the Obelisk of Independence. Already in the afternoon we will go to the bus station from where we will depart to Nazca.
There our staff will be waiting to take you to our hotel and rest the rest of the night.
Once in Nazca, we will get up early to head to the nearby airfield and fly over the enigmatic Nazca Lines. These geoglyphs can only be seen from the sky and represent animal figures such as the Monkey, Hummingbird, Spider or the frigate Bird.
You will discover these mysterious drawings from the air, we will have the rest of the day free to know the facilities of our hotel or rest visiting the surroundings.
We will depart in the afternoon by bus towards Arequipa. We will arrive in the evening, where our staff will be waiting for you to give us assistance and transfer us to our hotel.
Arequipa is located at 2,328 masl, so we will give the morning free to rest and acclimatize to the altitude.
In the afternoon we will visit some of the most characteristic streets of Arequipa, known as “La Ciudad Blanca” (The White City), for being built in large part in a class of white volcanic stone called sillar.
We will start in the colonial neighborhood of San Lázaro, until the viewpoint of Carmen Alto, from where we will see the three volcanoes that surround the city: Misti, Chachani and Picchu-Picchu.
We will continue walking to the district of Yanahura, with a beautiful Andalusian style church, visiting the most important religious buildings of the city such as the Monastery of Santa Catalina, the Cathedral of the Plaza de Armas and the Church of the Company of Jesus.
In the evening we will rest at our hotel in Arequipa before getting to know the deepest canyon in the world.
The Colca Canyon is considered the world’s deepest canyon at 3,562 meters. Upon arrival we will climb up the slopes of Chachani Volcano from where we will have beautiful images of Misti and Picchu-Picchu.
We will cross several villages with charming people through the vicuña reserve of Pampa Cañahuas, making a stop for lunch on the road that will take us back to our hotel.
Already in the afternoon we will have the option to visit the thermal baths of the area. Overnight in the Colca Valley.
We will start our early tour to depart to the well-known viewpoint Cruz del Cóndor, where several Andean condors, national symbols of Peru, cross in their majestic flight.
This viewpoint has one of the best views of the Colca Canyon and we can take incredible photos. From there we will depart to the towns of Maca and Yanque, both with beautiful colonial churches and people with ancestral customs.
After a good restorative lunch we will take a special transport that will take us to the city of Puno in a journey of about six and a half hours. Puno is the highest point of our tour (3,830 masl), so our staff will be waiting to offer you a coca tea (traditional remedy for altitude sickness) and lodge you in our hotel.
We begin the seventh day of our adventure by heading to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at 3,812 meters above sea level and cradle of the Inca Empire.
We will cross its waters until we reach the floating island of Uros, built in a material similar to the reed called “totora”, where we will be able to know its inhabitants and customs, which focus on tourism and fishing.
After meeting its friendly residents, we will take our boat back to Taquile Island, well known in Peru and abroad for the quality of its textiles. There we can see a demonstration and buy some local crafts.
After a good lunch based on local products, we will return to Puno to rest and take a walk around the city.
It is time to get up and head to the “Sacred City” of Cusco, ancient capital of the Inca Empire and starting point to know the main attractions surrounding the Sacred Valley.
On leaving Puno we will make a series of stops. The first one will take us to the Museum of Pucará, where we will find the famous “Toritos de Pucará”, a craft very used in the Andean zones and that consists of placing two of these toritos on the roofs of the houses to attract the fortune. At the Site Museum we may purchase these gifts if we wish.
Our next stop will be in Racchi, Temple of the God Wiracocha, located in the province of Canchis, where high stone walls are built. Our last stop will take us to Andahuaylas Chapel.
In the afternoon we will arrive in Cusco, where our staff will be waiting for us to receive us and transfer us to our hotel.
We will take advantage of this day to know the beautiful surroundings of Cusco. We will start with the nearby fortress of Sacsayhuaman (that sounds in english like Sexywoman), built with huge stones of several tons.
From there we will leave to nearby Inca centers like Qenqo, with its ceremonial cave where we will find a stone dedicated to the sacrifices for the gods; Puca Pucará, known as the “Red Fort” by the color of its stones and the baths of Tambomachay.
After recharging our batteries with a good lunch we will return to Cusco for an exclusive tour that starts at Plaza de San Cristóbal, continues to the colorful Mercado de San Pedro, with products and crafts of the area, and continues through the Temple of Qoricancha, the Church of Santo Domingo and the artisans neighborhood, called San Blas.
We will still have time to visit the Palace of Inca Roca, today converted into an Archbishop’s Palace and whose walls house the famous Twelve Angle Stone, ending in the Plaza de Armas and its Cathedral, with a good collection of art pieces dating from the colonial period.
This morning we will head for one of the most beautiful places in Peru, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, which is home to a large part of the Inca empire’s buildings.
Our first stop will take us to Awanacancha, a beautiful town where live a large number of llamas and alpacas with whose wools its inhabitants make fabrics and export garments.
After the demonstration of this ancestral knowledge we will go to the market of Pisac, the largest and most diverse market in the region from where handicrafts and objects from various surrounding areas are sold.
We will have a delicious lunch in Pisac before taking our way to the beautiful village of Ollantaytambo, which still preserves much of the Inca architecture and traditions of the time. We will spend the night in Ollantaytambo to rest before knowing the great wonder of the Inca Empire: Machu Picchu.
Our adventure is coming to an end as we approach one of the 7 Wonders of the World. We will get up early to go to the train station in Ollantaytambo and take our train to Aguas Calientes station (also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo).
Already in Aguas Calientes our staff will be waiting for you to take a 30 minute ride to Machu Picchu. In this climb we will have the first image of the Inca citadel. When we arrive we will be able to know all the secrets of this incredible place full of energy and named Cultural Patrimony of the Humanity by the UNESCO.
After the guided tour with our staff, we will stop for lunch at a restaurant in the area. After recharging our batteries we will return to Aguas Calientes to take a train back to the city of Cusco and stay at our hotel before the end of our adventure.
We close our tour after remembering the best moments of our 12-day journey through southern Peru with a good breakfast. We will transfer to Cusco airport to take a flight back to Lima.
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