Lima – La Paz – Cusco
Our Lima – La Paz – Cusco tour brings the beauty of two of the most attractive capital cities in South America and the Imperial city of Cusco to life. From the modern cosmopolitan city of Lima, the laid back Andean city of La Paz and the historic Inca capital of Cusco, this tour encompasses the cultural diversity of these three must-see destinations. You will also have the opportunity to veer off the beaten path and explore the Colca Canyon and the Andean village of Coporaque, an area which very few tourists have the good fortune to visit. Arequipa is also a highlight of this three city tour, aptly named ‘the white city’ and given the honor of being named a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Add to this a tour to Machu Picchu, easily one of the most famous landmarks in the world and a trip to Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and you have a 12 day tour which highlights the best the area has to offer.
Price of the tour (per person) USD$: 2,495
Departure All Year Long
DAY 1. Welcome to Lima
Upon arrival at the airport in Lima, our trained staff will meet you and escort you to your hotel. You have the opportunity to explore the area or rest in preparation for the busy day ahead. Enjoy an overnight stay in Lima.
DAY 2. An exploration of Lima
After breakfast, you will commence a private tour around the city of Lima. The city has much to offer its visitors and you will have time to admire the historic center of Lima, part of the UNESCO World Heritage List including the central post office building and the colonial government palace and cathedral. The Saint Francis Monastery and Convent with a world renowned library and catacombs make an intriguing stop on this Lima tour. Larco Museum is definitely a highlight of the day presenting a collection of Pre-Colombian art housed in a vice-royal building built atop a Pre-Colombian pyramid. Tonight you will enjoy your second night’s stay in this fascinating city.
DAY 3. Colonial Arequipa
After breakfast, you will transfer to the airport in Lima to board your short flight to Arequipa. The colonial city of Arequipa is expanding at a rapid pace as you will observe in your private city tour. The historic center is a sight to behold including Casa del Moral, a large and well-preserved ancestral home and the busy local market of San Camillo. Your outing will allow you to see llamas and alpacas up close and learn about the tradition of local crafts and their Andean heritages at Mundo Alpaca. Santa Catalina Monastery, easily one of the pearls of the city, gives you a chance to see inside the interior of a once private establishment. You have a chance to enjoy the fine cuisine the second largest city in Peru has to offer before returning to your hotel for an overnight stay.
DAY 4. From Arequipa to the Colca Canyon
Away from the hustle and bustle of the modern cities, today you will admire a majestic sight – the world’s second deepest canyon in the world (second to Cotahuasi Canyon also located in this region), the Colca Canyon. Delight in a traditional Andean lunch in Corporaque, a small and not often frequented community in the heart of the valley. This original town was built during the Pre-Inca period and offers a laid back glimpse into local life. Stroll around the town and see the small church, central to the city’s existence. Today there is an offer of an optional tour; you can choose to relish in the hot springs or enjoy a unique ethnic experience with a local family. Dinner included. Overnight stay in Colca.
DAY 5. Andean Views and Villages to Puno
Rise and shine early in anticipation of your excursion to Cruz del Condor, a scenic spot to watch the condors soar overhead. You will travel through the small villages of Maca, Pinchollo and Yanque enjoying the natural scenery en route. Lunch buffet in Chivay and en route through the Andes until Puno for your overnight stay.
DAY 6. The islands of Lake Titicaca
Today you explore the region by boat, heading out to Lake Titicaca to tour the floating islands of Uros and Taquile. Built using totora reeds which grow in the lake, you will definitely appreciate the comforts of solid ground once you return to dry land. Famed for its textile art and listed as a UNESCO highlight as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the local handwoven clothing and handicrafts are considered the best in Peru. Lunch will be on the island of Taquile followed by an afternoon hike. By late afternoon, you should have just enough energy to return to Puno for your second overnight stay.
DAY 7. Greetings Bolivia: Tiwanaku ruins
On the second half of the trip, you make your way to La Paz following Lake Titicaca which provides spectacular natural views. You stop by Tiwanaku, one of the most important Pre-Columbian ancient cities which marked a significant ritual and administrative capital for 500 years, a substantial precursor to the Inca period. Once you get to La Paz, you will check-in at your hotel for your overnight stay in La Paz, the world’s highest administrative capital.
DAY 8. Historic La Paz
Today you will have the chance to explore La Paz and see what makes it a popular destination. The tour is not all buildings and inner city views, however, as Valle de Luna takes you to a series of tall spires created by erosion of a clay mountain. You will stop by Plaza Murillo, the central plaza of the city and an important site in terms of political battles fought. You will also learn about the coca plant tradition courtesy of the Coca Museum and have a chance to tour the Basilica of San Francisco located in the historic city center before retiring for the evening in your hotel in La Paz.
DAY 9. Cusco: the ancient Inca capital
After breakfast, you will be taken to the airport to board your flight to Cusco. After the transfer to your hotel, your guide will take you on a circuit of Cusco’s most important cultural sites. Starting at the impressive temple of La Merced near the picturesque Plaza de Armas, you will then proceed to the sacred site of Koricancha. Known as the Temple of the Sun, it was dedicated to the Inti God and was the most revered temples during the Inca period. Leaving the city center, you will continue to Kenko, a local ceremonial center; Tambomachay, a site known as El Bano del Inca because of the aqueducts and canals which run through the area; and Puca Pucara, a military ruin. The tour will also travel to Sacsayhuaman, the most visited of all the ruins and the site chosen for celebrating Inti Raymi each year in June. This impressive structure overlooks Cusco and is well known for the large carved stones used to create the fortress. After the tour and a trip to San Pedro Market, your excursion ends allowing you to rest and enjoy your stay in the trendy city of Cusco.
DAY 10. A spiritual journey to the Sacred Valley of the Incas
Today you continue our tour of the spiritual and mystical side of Peru with our journey to the Sacred Valley. The Inca ruins in the bohemian town of Pisac are your first port of call, providing an impressive view of Pisac down below. Take your time to browse the well-known Pisac market and give yourself the advantage to hone those bargaining skills. Lunch for today will be provided in the town of Urubamba, which, for those not in the know means flat land of spiders. Next you make your way to Ollantaytambo, an esteemed town housing one of the last ruins constructed prior to the Spanish arrival. Here you board the train to Aguas Calientes for your overnight stay.
DAY 11. Magical Machu Picchu
Considered by many of our travelers to be the highlight of the 12 day Lima, La Paz, Cusco tour, Machu Picchu definitely lives up the hype and expectations provided by the media and those who have visited. Arriving by bus shuttle, your private tour of Machu Picchu will take you through the history of this influential sacred site, easily the most recognized icon of Inca civilization. An optional expedition to Huayna Pichu, an important element of Machu Picchu itself, or alternatively Machu Picchu mountain, either of which will definitely enhance your journey. Following your adventure to one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, you also have the opportunity to luxuriate in La Calera hot springs, an experience in itself. You return by train to Ollantaytambo, transferring to Cusco for your overnight stay.
DAY 12. We say goodbye
After a leisurely breakfast, it is time for us to say goodbye. You will transfer to the airport in Cusco for your return flight to Lima ending your amazing three city adventure of the South America.
The Tour Includes
- La Paz-Cusco
- Private transfers in and out of airports and bus terminals
- Tourist transportation during the excursions
- All entrance tickets to sites listed in the programme (optional tours excluded)
- Private services (private English speaking guide and private transportation):
- Lima: Lima City Tour, Larco Museum, Saint Francis Monastery
- Arequipa: Arequipa´s downtown, Casa del Moral, Santa Catalina Monastery, Mundo Alpaca
- Puno-La Paz drive: Visit to the Tiwanaku ruins
- La Paz: Valle de la Luna, Plaza Murillo, Coca Museum, Basilica of San Francisco
- Sacred Valley: Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo
- Cusco: Koricancha, La Merced, Kenko, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Sacsayhuaman
- Machu Picchu
- Group (English speaking guide and shared transportation on mini-van Mercedez between Arequipa and Puno):
- Colca Canyon: entry ticket to the Canyon
- Lake Titicaca: Uros, Taquile Islands
- Shared boat to Lake Titicaca
- Accommodation in 3 and 4 star hotels
- All tours conducted with professional English-speaking guides
- Lunch: Colca Canyon (2), Urubamba
- Dinner: Colca Canyon
Single supplement: USD$ 390
- International airfares to and from Peru
- Huayna Picchu USD$ 25
- Other meals not listed
- Personal expenses including telephone bills, drinks, snacks, laundry expenses, etc.
- Insurance against such incidences as theft and loss
- Other non-specified extras