We depart from New Zealand and arrive in the same day after stopping in Santiago, Chile. Reception and transfer to your hotel. We will need a stretch of our legs after so much flying, so we can have a wander around the central plaza and enjoy a light meal.
DAY 2: LIMA ...Welcome to the city of the Kings!!
B, L, D
After breakfast we will visit PACHACAMAC, a special site on the outskirts of Lima. This amazing place will help us understand the importance of all the pre-Inca groups that were located along the coast of Peru. Lunch will be at a popular restaurant with Andean flavours and colours. Back in Central Lima you can enjoy a walk around the Colonial heart, flavour a Pisco Sour or two and later we can have a light dinner in China Town!
DAY 3: TRUJILLO...Caballitos del Mar!
B, L, D
We will have an early transfer to the airport and fly to the pretty colonial city of Trujillo. After settling in to our Hotel we will take a stroll through central Trujillo, visit the local market and later enjoy a nice lunch. Trujillo is known for the nation's traditional dance, Marinera. The colonial center is home to the grande Trujillo cathedral, with its bright yellow facade, and the blue Casa Urquiaga.
In the afternoon, we will visit the amazing Chan Chan, a very old Pre-Inca City made of mud bricks. During its heyday, about 600 years ago, Chan Chan, was the largest city in the Americas and the largest adobe city on earth. It was home to the Chimu culture.
To end out busy day, we go to Huanchaco for some delicious fresh sea side food, next to the sea!
Huanchaco's original population were indigenous fishermen, who worshiped the moon. It is known for its wonderful surf, the caballitos de totora (reed fishing boats) and its ceviche (marinated fish)
DAY 4: CHICLAYO and LORD OF SIPAN TOMB
After breakfast, we will take our transport to Chiclayo (approx. 3 hours) and from here we visit Huaca Rajada, the place where Lord of Sipán was found. The city of Sipan is dated from 50-700AD, the same time as the Moche Culture. We will spend time at the amazing museum of the Tumbas Reales de Sipán (Royal Tombs of Sipan)
After this busy morning, we can relax over a beautiful typical lunch in a country restaurant, before we return to Trujillo.
DAY 5: FLIGHT TO TARAPOTO - Hot steamy jungle!!
We take an early flight to Tarapoto, a lovely place in the cloud forest with incredible landscapes and full of life. We will go to our Hotel, then get ready for a little adventure. Our private transport takes us towards the waterfalls of Pishurayacu, located in the forest. We will walk in the forest (about 45 there and back), we cross a small river on a raft and will find some fabulous hot springs to enjoy! After a bathe, a little walk will take us to the falls!
We will arrive back to Tarapoto in the late afternoon, in time to relax a little and enjoy a lovely diner.
DAY 6: TINGANA ...Jungle with life!!
Early in the morning, we take our transport to Moyobamba (about 2 hours) and get ready for another adventure! We will go to the river port and take a boat to Tingana Lodge where we will enjoy a welcome drink and snack. After this, we will walk in the forest and embark on small canoes for a visit to a small creek where we might spot different kinds of wildlife. We get back to Tingana for lunch and to relax a while. Later in the evening we can have a short walk in the forest near the lodge to feel the jungle by night.
DAY 7: HUANCAYO - LIMA ...Pisco Sours all round!
Leaving Huancayo early, we experience a pleasant journey by bus going back over the Andes. Now more acclimatized to the altitude the journey is easier and shorter. Arriving in Lima, we have a short rest then after dinner we will show you the best Pisco Sour in Lima city.
DAY 8: LIMA - PUERTO MALDONADO ... ¡Vamos a la selva!
B, L, D
Our early flight from Lima takes us to Puerto Maldonado, the nature capital of Peru. The 54-minute flight takes you from the sea level over the snow capped Andes Mountains to the low jungle capturing an impressive view of rivers winding their ways through the dense green Amazon Forest, amazing! This pristine rainforest hosts an ecosystem more beautiful and complex than any in the world. Arriving in Puerto Maldonado, we can leave our big luggage in a safe deposit and take just a change of clothes and necessities like mosquito repellent and sunscreen in a smaller overnight bag. We will board a boat, eat some snacks, and travel down the Madre de Diós River. We will have a walk in the jungle to hopefully see some jungle creatures. Our lodge is on the shores of the river and we can take a short night walk to listen to the fascinating night world
DAY 9: LAKE SANDOVAL ...A jungle symphony!
B, L, D
We will have an early start today, a boat will take us across the river and we will enjoy a beautiful walk of about an hour to a lake where we can canoe and see the diversity of plants, birds and other exotic creatures. This is time when the jungle is waking up so we can expect some lovely surprises. Our jungle lodge is on the shores of this lake, so we will go across the lake by canoe to the lodge. The canoes are big enough for the whole group so you can sit back and relax and let our guides show us the sights. It is possible to see a wide variety of jungle birds, parrots, macaws, bats, caiman, monkeys, sloth and with luck the giant otters. There are piranhas in these waters, so we may be able to catch a look at these too!! After breakfast we will take a jungle nature walk. There is a wide assortment of wildlife from trees the size of small houses that are draped with vines, fruits and fauna, to miniature hummingbirds, insects, monkeys, squirrels, wild pigs and other mammals. We have to be quiet and alert on our walk so that we don’t startle the many creatures that inhabit these forests. There are also snakes and tarantulas, but no worries, they are more afraid of us than we are of them. After dinner, we go for an evening canoe. Canoeing by night under a bright moon surrounded by the noises and shadows of the jungle is a magical feeling!!
DAY 10: PUERTO MALDONADO - CUSCO ... The Inca Capital at last!!
Early in the morning we will return to Puerto Maldonado where our luggage is collected before we go to the airport for our flight to Cusco. After lunch we will take a slow walking tour of the Cusco City area, to surround ourselves with this amazing city while acclimatizing once more to the altitude. The Cathedral, Inca Palaces and other important historical areas will be part of this special walk.
DAY 11: CUSCO ...There is too much to see for a day off!!
FREE DAY IN CUSCO
You can have a full day to enjoy Cusco. Catch up on laundry and Internet, visit museums or some of the many places to get nice crafts. We are available to take you around or you may choose to spend time by yourselves or in small groups. We can organise a Tour to Sacsayhuaman or the Salinas de Maras.
DAY 12: SACRED VALLEY & PISAC ...El Valle Sagrado de los Incas
After Breakfast we take a bus past the cyclopean stones of Sacsayhuaman - some of them weigh over 30 tonnes. We continue up over the pass and enjoy the views of the Sacred Willca Mayu known also as Urubamba River that flows through the Sacred Valley. We will pass though little villages until we reach Pisac with its colourful market and impressive archaeological remains from Inca times. After this visit we will stop at a nice restaurant for lunch. Then we continue to the town of Ollantaytambo which is the best surviving example of Inca planning with its narrow cobblestones streets inhabited since the 13th century. From here we take our train to Aguas Calientes where we will go to our hotel. Overnight in Aguas Calientes.
DAY 13: MACHU PICCHU ...Old mountain!
We get up very early (5:30am) to have breakfast at 6:00 am before heading to Machu Picchu. We will be among the first to arrive and a local guide will show us around and explain in detail this special place. After the official explanation we can go for a little climb up to Huayna Picchu or venture to the Inca Bridge. At about 1pm we return to Aguas Calientes, where we have lunch before departing by train back to Cusco. This will be a pleasant and scenic journey through the Urubamba valley. Overnight in Cusco.
DAY 14: FREE DAY IN CUSCO ...You snooze, you lose!!
Experience has shown that one free day in Cusco is not enough!! You can go to more museums, sit around the main square, have a coffee at one the many restaurants or you can enjoy the beautiful streets of Cusco. Once again we are available to take you around if you wish.
DAY 15: BUS TO PUNO ...Hidden treasures!
After Breakfast we will take our bus to Puno. This is a long journey but with stops to visit the Andahuaylillas church in a little village in the midst of nowhere with incredible murals and a floor to ceiling altar covered in gold leaf, then on to Raqchi to visit the even more impressive Wiracocha temple. We travel through the spectacular altiplano and reach La Raya at 4313 meters above sea level, where it is very high and cold. Finally we arrive in Puno and enjoy the busy atmosphere of one of the highest cities in the world!
DAY 16: TITICACA LAKE, LOS UROS & ISLA TAQUILE ...The home of the potato!
B, L, D
Lodging: Homestays on Taquile
After an early breakfast we leave at 7am with a special ride to the port. The boat trip will take us to visit the Uros on their floating islands and then to the Island of Taquile where we will spend the night. This is a very interesting experience as their unique way of life, crafts and weaving is fascinating. We will leave our luggage at the Hotel in Puno and take an overnight bag as we will have to carry it a little way during our walk to the homes where we will stay. You will need warm clothing, sunscreen and sunhats.
DAY 17: RETURN TO PUNO ...Just cruisin’!
After breakfast we will have a short weaving demonstration at our home stay, after which we will go to the main area of Taquile for lunch, then down to the port. The boat leaves at 1pm from the port and takes some 3 hours to get to Puno. Our transport will take us to our hotel. Overnight in Puno
DAY 18: BUS TO CHIVAY ...The city of lovers!
B, L, D
We will leave Puno early on a private bus and enjoy a long but fascinating journey to Chivay. We will stop to visit the ruins of Sillustani and visit local people in their stone houses. We will pass herds of llamas, alpacas and vicuñas, and maybe even spot some pink flamingos. If we arrive early enough we can enjoy a walk to a nearby village and you can bathe in La Calera Hot Springs. Overnight in Chivay.
DAY 19: CRUZ DEL CONOR - AREQUIPA ...¡La ciudad blanca!
After an early breakfast we leave by bus leaving for Cruz del Condor. This special spot is well known because the giant condors like to glide over the deep canyons so let’s cross our fingers. Around this area we can also see the Andean rodents called vizcachas, and of course enjoy the beautiful terraced fields of the Colca Canyon. Then we continue our trip through beautiful villages with their Colonial churches arriving in Arequipa at the end of the day.
DAY 20: AREQUIPA - LIMA ...¡¡Vamos a comer rocoto relleno..yay!!
EXPLORE AREQUIPA & RETURN TO LIMA
Today you will visit the famous and fascinating Santa Catalina Convent. We can then explore the central city of Arequipa with its beautiful colonial buildings and see why people love this ‘White City’. Our farewell lunch will be the succulent cuisine of Arequipa!!