RR42970
Travel to Peru & discover the secret land of the Incas as you journey along the coastal shores of Lima, travel beneath the Amazon Jungle's lush canopy, past the llama-filled plains of the Sacred Valley & beyond to tiny colonial towns. Embark on an adventure of a lifetime along the Inca Trail, trekking to Machu Picchu. Head to the dizzy altitude of Lake Titicaca before journeying to Bolivia & immersing yourself in the history of La Paz. This insightful adventure through Peru is sure to leave you astounded by the magic & mystery of the sacred land of the Incas.
DETAILS
Starting fromR42 970
Package ValiditySelected departure dates: FEB 2017 - DEC 2017
Duration15 days
DestinationPeru & Bolivia
Starts inLima
Ends inLa Paz

{tab Description}

- 3 nights camping accommodation with basic facilities
- 1 night homestay accommodation
- 8 nights hotel accommodation
- 2 nights jungle lodge accommodation
- Breakfast daily with selected lunches & dinners
- A walking tour in Lima
- Orientation walk & chocolaye museum visit & hot chocolate in Cuzco
- Local community visit & lunch in Sacred Valley
- Entrance & guided tour of Machu Picchu
- Boat tour & homestay in Lake Titicaca
- Tiwanaku Archeological site in La Paz
- Touring & transport by boat, bus, canoe, plane, private minibus & private vehicle

{tab Day 1}

Lima

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. Enjoy a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre. Flanked by streets of ornate colonial mansions, palaces & churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima.
If you arrive early, we recommend you take a walk around Miraflores. Go from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to LarcoMar via Larco Avenue. Alternatively go to Parque del Amor (Love's Park) for a nice view of Lima's beaches. Other great things to see & do include a tour to Pachacamac (around 30 km from downtown Lima), the Museo de la Nacion & the Gold Museum. Limenos (Lima's residents) are friendly & there are plenty of great restaurants & cafes to sample ceviche, a local seafood speciality.

{tab Day 2 - Day 3}

Amazon Jungle

Take a flight to Puerto Maldonado in the Amazon Jungle, where you'll be staying for two nights. Upon your arrival, the lodge staff will take you to their office in town. Here you can leave most of your luggage in safe storage & continue travelling with a small pack with just the necessary items for your next two nights in the jungle. You’ll then take a motorised canoe upriver to your jungle lodge in the Madre de Dios area. There will be time to unpack & unwind once you get there. The next two days are packed with activities. Your full day in the jungle includes a trek which lasts approximately half a day. At times the paths can get quite muddy & some people can find the trek a little exhausting. Along the way there will be regular stops, & you'll encounter magnificent fauna & flora in their natural habitat. You might spot everything from macaws & monkeys to peccaries, jabirus, otters & thousands of butterflies. The guides can also teach you about the medicinal properties & practical uses of the plants. For lunch you will return to the lodge. For your night-time excursion, venture out on a night jungle walk!

{tab Day 4}

Cuzco

Fly from Puerto Maldonado to Cuzco, the true heart & soul of Peru (approximately 35 minutes). Spend a little time acclimatising to the high altitude (3,450 m) & then head out on an orientation walk with your tour leader. You’ll visit the facade of Qoricancha temple, the local San Pedro market, the main square, past the 12 Angled Stone, Regocijo Square & San Blas Square. Finally you’ll visit the Chocolate museum where there will be an opportunity to sample a hot chocolate made from local cacao beans. This might be a good opportunity to purchase some gifts or souvenirs. There’s a small store where you’ll find various handicrafts & a variety of artisanal chocolate products. Tonight is free, perhaps head out for dinner your fellow travellers. Your leader will be able to recommend some good places to eat!

{tab Day 5}

Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo

Head to Ollantaytambo, visiting a local community en route. When you arrive in Ollantaytambo you'll see it's a magnificent example of Incan urban planning. It's one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. Ollantaytambo's archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas. The upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below. Visit Hearts Cafe for a bite to eat – it's part of a project supported by the Intrepid Foundation & the coffee there is excellent.

{tab Day 6}

Inca Trail, Quarry trail or Train option

During the next four days, you'll do one of the following, depending on what you've arranged:

Route 1: Hike the Classic Inca Trail;
Route 2: Hike the Inca Quarry Trail;
Route 3: Take the train to Aguas Calientes, after staying in Cuzco for two extra days.

While away from Cuzco, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. If you’re hiking the Inca Trail or the Inca Quarry Trail, the evening before you leave Cuzco you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in for the next four days (5 kg maximum). Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group. If you’re travelling to Aguas Calientes by train, you'll be able to leave most of your luggage at the hotel in Cuzco & only travel with the necessary items during the excursion by train.

Route 1: Classic Inca Trail

Travel by minivan to the 82 km marker & meet your crew of local porters, cook & guide. The first day includes uphill trekking to the campsite (located 3,100 m above sea level). On the way you’ll see the Inca sites of Ollantaytambo, Huillca Raccay & Llactapata, & catch incredible views of the snow-capped Veronica Peak. In the evening, unwind at the campsite with a nourishing meal.

Route 2: Quarry Trail

Make an early start today & drive to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas worshipped the moon. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Rafq'a, & meet the horsemen who join us on the hike. After an hour’s walk, reach the small community of Socma. Carry on to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout, an opportunity to stop for photos & a food break. Continue to the campsite (3,700 m above sea level). You should reach the campsite around lunchtime. After lunch, set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which once served as a checkpoint to the Incas.

Route 3: Train

After spending the night in Ollantaytambo, leave around 9.30 am & take a short drive to the town of Pisac, which is well known for its market. Here you’ll have the opportunity to shop for souvenirs & perhaps try some local Empanadas. Arrive back in Cuzco in the afternoon, where your leader will take you to the San Pedro Market in order to buy some things for a picnic tomorrow. In the late afternoon, you’ll have an option to visit the Choco Museum & try some exquisite artisanal chocolate that's prepared in-house from cacao beans. Be sure to sample some of the delicious hot chocolate.

Notes: The included lunch & dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.

{tab Day 7}

Inca Trail / Quarry trail / Train

Route 1: Classic Inca Trail

This is the most challenging day of the trek as you ascend a long steep path (approximately 5 hours) to reach the highest point of the trail. Colloquially known as 'Dead Woman's Pass', Warmiwanusca sits at a height of 4,200 metres above sea level, giving amazing views of the valley below. The group will then descend to the campsite in the Pacaymayo Valley at 3,650 metres.

Route 2: Quarry Trail

This is the most challenging & rewarding day of the hike. A three-hour walk takes you to the top of the first pass of Puccaqasa (approximately 4,370m high). After enjoying picturesque views of the valley, it’s a short walk before stopping for lunch. Afterwards, make the two-hour hike to Kuychicassa, the highest pass of the trek at 4,450 meters. From here, descend to the sacred site the Incas called Intipunku (Sun Gate), with views of the Nevado Veronica mountain. Head to the campsite, only a stone’s throw away at Choquetacarpo.

Route 3: Train

Today, take a taxi to Tambomachay, an archaeological site just outside of Cuzco. From here you’ll take a short downhill walk (1–3 hours) back to Cuzco. On the way, stop to admire some of the archaeological sites including Puka Pukara, Qinqu Quenqo & Saksaywaman. Arrive back in Cuzco in the afternoon & enjoy some free time to go shopping, or perhaps visit Merida, Mendivil & Olave art galleries & workshops. Your tour leader will be able to give you some suggestions.

Notes: The included lunch & dinner on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.

{tab Day 8}

Inca Trail / Quarry trail / Train

Route 1: Classic Inca Trail

Start the day with a climb through the Pacaymayo Valley to Runkuracay pass (3,980 m). Enjoy beautiful views of the snow-capped mountain of Cordillera Vilcabamba before descending to the ruins of Sayacmarca (approximately 2–3 hours). Continue over the trail’s third pass to the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3,850 m), also known as the 'Town Above the Clouds'. Start the descent down the Inca steps to the final night's campsite by the Winay Wayna archaeological site (approximately 2 hours).

Route 2: Quarry Trail

Today’s hike is all downhill. The first stop is the incomplete Kachiqata quarry, where the Incas were intercepted by the Spanish. Around midday, your trek comes to an end. Explore the cobbled streets of Ollantaytambo before taking the short train journey to Aguas Calientes. This is where you’ll meet up with the travellers in your group who didn't hike. Visiting the natural hot springs in town is a recommended way to spend the late afternoon. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel before tomorrow’s visit to Machu Picchu.

Route 3: Train

After a drive to Ollantaytambo (approximately 1.5 hours), catch a train through the winding Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes (also approximately 1.5 hours). The city is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu. For those who want a sneak peak, there is time to visit Machu Picchu independently before a guided tour the following day (dependent on ticket availability).

Notes: The included lunch on this day is for people trekking the Inca or Quarry Trail only.

{tab Day 9}

Inca Trail / Quarry Trail / Train (Machu Picchu)

Route 1: Classic Inca Trail

This is the final & most spectacular leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. The day starts before dawn, with breakfast at 4.30 am. Say farewell to the porters as they descend to the train station & begin hiking by 5.30 am. Walk to Intipunku, aka the Sun Gate (approximately 2.5 hours). Weather permitting, enjoy unforgettable views over Machu Picchu, ‘Lost City of the Incas’, as the sun rises (& before it’s crawling with visitors).

Route 2: Quarry Trail

Depending on weather conditions, take a bus at 5.30 am along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approximately 30 minutes). At Machu Picchu, join up with the travellers in your group who hiked the Classic Inca Trail. If the skies are clear, enjoy a spectacular sunrise over the ancient city from the Sun Gate before going on a guided walk around the ruins.

Route 3: Train

Take an early bus up to Machu Picchu at 5.30 am. The city was built around 1440 AD as a country retreat for Incan nobility, but there’s evidence that the land had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Take a guided tour around the ruins of temples, palaces & living quarters, & enjoy free time afterwards to wander around on your own before the group returns to Cuzco.

For all routes: After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cuzco for a well-deserved shower & a Pisco sour. Your evening is then free for the last night of your adventure.

{tab Day 10}

Cuzco
Enjoy free time to relax, shop & explore more of Cuzco's sights. Perhaps rest you weary legs at a cafe on Plaza de Armas or head to the San Pedro Market where you will find vegetables, meats, local cheeses (which you should certainly try), local chocolates, herbal medicines & many local handicrafts. It’s a great place to purchase some souvenirs. The market is also a place where many locals go to eat ‘mystery soups’. Some may be just chicken; however, the most popular amongst the locals are usually the more unusual ones like frog soups or soups that contains nose to tail of various animals. For those who can't get enough active adventure, why not try mountain biking in the hills that surround Cuzco?

{tab Day 11}

Puno

Travel by local bus through the dramatic scenery of the high altiplano to Puno, located on the shores of Lake Titicaca (approximately 6 hours). You'll be at an altitude of 3,820 metres. There will be a couple of stops along the way to pick up & drop off passengers. Take in glorious views of the seemingly endless water stretching into the horizon. This place is a melting pot of Aymara & Quechuan Indian culture & traditional Andean customs, & it wears its traditions on its sleeve. If you're lucky your trip will coincide with one of the many cultural festivals here.

{tab Day 12}

Lake Titicaca Homestay

Embark on a tour of the lake by slow motor boat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros originally built their islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes. The islands are built from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. To get a closer look at daily life in the Lake Titicaca region, you'll be welcomed into local homes for an overnight stay with the community. Make the most of your visit by helping your host family with their daily activities or trying to chat in the local language, Quechua. A game of soccer is also a great way to make local friends.

Notes: Your homestay tonight is a mud brick house. Rooms have beds & many blankets, & there are shared drop-toilets but no showers.

{tab Day 13}

Puno

This morning after breakfast you'll board the boat again & head to Taquile Island (approximately 1 hour). Here, the tradition of knitting is strictly a male domain, & women do the spinning. It's a great place to pick up some high quality, locally knitted goods. An uphill trek (approximately 1 hour) brings you to the main area of the island. After the visit, you will descend about 500 steps back to our boat. Then travel back to Puno by boat (approximately 3 hours).

Puno is the hometown of Kusimayo, a terrific local organisation that works towards improving the living condition of children & adults affected by poverty & malnutrition in this part of the world you have now come to know so well.

{tab Day 14}

Travel by comfortable local bus to Desaguadero & cross the border into Bolivia. After border formalities at the Peruvian migration office, you'll walk across a bridge to the Bolivian side, submit your passport at the Bolivian migration office, then board the bus again. Head for La Paz, & after 30 minutes or so there's another stop where your documents will be checked by authorities. The journey to La Paz takes about 5 hours (don't forget that Bolivia's timezone is 1–2 hours ahead of Peru!). When you arrive, you might feel like you're on top of the world at around 3,600 metres above sea level. Discover the colonial architecture & browse the markets – you'll see this town is a interesting mixture of the indigenous & modern.

{tab Day 15}

La Paz

Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. 

{/tabs}

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