Peru Classic – 15 Days – 14 Nights
Classic Tour 2017: from USD$ 1,850 November- March
Peru Classic Tour will help you discover Peru – the natural beauty of the Andes, geoglyphs in the desert, a sky-high lake, as well as the culture and soul of Peru. Our tour travels to world-famous Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Lake Titicaca, and the enigmatic Nazca Lines, as well as the Peruvian desert in Ica with its beauty, the surprising Ballestas Islands (teeming with marine life), breathtaking Colca Canyon, and the sophisticated southern city of Arequipa. You can also explore the modern side of Peru in metropolitan Lima, with its colonial style and the exclusive Museo Larco. The Amantani, Taquile, and Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca are a step back in time: ancient traditions blending with 21st century life!
Standard Option – (3 star)
Price of the Tour ( per person ) USD$ 1,850 November- March
Comfort Option – (3 star superior)
Price of the Tour ( per person ) USD$ 2,099
Superior Option – (equivalent 4 star)
Price of the Tour ( per person ) USD$ 2,350
- Available ALL YEAR LONG
DAY 1. Welcome to Peru
This tour of Peru begins at Lima international airport. Our staff members will meet you and you will be transferred to your hotel. On the first day you can relax and prepare for the tour. You can also enjoy a supplementary tour of Lima (not included in the price) by asking us in advance.
DAY 2. Lima Tour, “The City of the Kings”
The trip will start after breakfast with a visit of colonial Lima: a panoramic view of Plaza San Martin and the main square to admire the Cathedral. Then continue with the Convent and Church of San Francisco – a fine and grandiose example of colonial art. Our guide will explain the history of surrounding buildings: the Government Palace and City Hall followed by a visit to Huaca Pucllana, an archaeological site in the heart of Lima, built in the 4th century AD and a holy site for the Incas.
Our tour of Lima will finish with the Museo Larco. Built on top a 7th century pre-Columbian archaeological site, the museum’s new galleries house the finest and most comprehensive pre-Columbian gold and silver artefacts in the world – as well as a renowned erotic pottery collection.
Early afternoon, a bus trip to Paracas (a three-hour ride) and lunch will be served on board. On the way, enjoy stunning views of the legendary Carretera Panamericana. This Pan-American Highway is an eye-catching road that stretches between the lunar landscapes of the desert pampas and high sand dunes, interspersed with fertile valleys, with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop. Stunning!
Overnight stay at the Posada Inn.
DAY 3. Ballestas Islands tour and Paracas National Reserve excursion
After breakfast, the boat excursion to the Ballestas Islands will provide astonishing scenery with vivid colours, peppered with sea lions, boobies, penguins, pelicans, and other sea birds. En route you will also catch a glimpse of a geoglyph called Candelabro, imprinted in the coastal hillside.
The trip will also take you to the Reserva Nacional de Paracas, just beyond the village with the same name, to admire La ‘Catedral’, la Playa Roja, and various fossils. La Catedral is a concave rock formation, eroded by the sea and the wind, reminiscent of cathedral domes. La Playa Roja is laden with reddish rocks hence the name Red Beach. The fossil site is a small area adjacent to the entrance to the reserve with small mollusc fossils millions of years old but in excellent conditions.
In the late-afternoon, travel by bus to Nazca to spend the night.
DAY 4. The mysterious Nazca Lines
A visit an archaeological museum, Museo Antonini (with an original pre-Columbian aqueduct running through the back garden, as well as reproductions of burials and a scale model of the Nazca Lines) will be followed by observing some of the Nazca Lines from a viewpoint: the lizard, a tree and hands that can be viewed, as an option, flying in a small-airplane (approximately 30 minutes). Advance booking is required.
A visit to the popular Cementerio de Chauchilla, which displays bones, skulls, and mummies, will follow. The remainder of the day is free to relax. In the evening, on board a luxury bus, overnight trip to Arequipa. (If you skip the visit to the cemetery, you can catch an afternoon bus and spend the night in a hotel in Arequipa).
DAY 5. La Ciudad Blanca (The White City)
Arequipa is a colonial-style and refined city where you can acclimatise to the altitude sipping mate de coca before heading up into the Andes. In the afternoon, a local guide will show you a very important religious monument: the Santa Catalina Monastery. Founded in 1580, is a large and fascinating site that, in colonial times, housed nuns from wealthy families in Spain. Our local guide will illustrate intriguing stories about the nuns’ lifestyle. Later enjoy the beautiful lights and sights of Plaza de Armas and the local bars and fine restaurants in the downtown district.
DAY 6. Arequipa
Arequipa is known as the White City as it is built using a pearl-coloured volcanic stone called sillar and you will be able to see a demonstration of how this stone is cut. A visit to the Alpaca Museum will show you how the alpaca yarn was woven traditionally. The alpaca is a South American cameloid from which an extremely fine fibre, very similar to cashmere, is produced. Later a cooking demonstration featuring some typical Arequipeño dishes will test your cooking skills! In the afternoon you can wander around the city centre, a good opportunity to buy alpaca garments. Arequipa is the centre of the alpaca yarn production in Peru and in the world (80% of the alpaca yarn is produced here).
DAY 7. Tour of the Andes and Colca Canyon
The Colca Canyon (3,191 meters, or 10,460 feet) is the second deepest canyon in the world (twice the depth of the Grand Canyon in the U.S.). On the way, we drive across Pampa Cañahuas in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve inhabited by vicuña and alpaca and will admire lakes, altiplano birds, and herds of alpaca. The view will take your breath away – metaphorically and in reality, owing to the altitude. One of the highest points on this tour is at 4,830 meters above sea level (approximately 15,800 feet): the Mirador de los Volcanes (Viewpoint of the Volcanoes) from where one can see the Arequipa volcano chain – Hualcahualca, Sabancaya, and Ampato – all over 6,000 meters (about 20,000 feet).
Once in the capital Chivay, you will enjoy Andean cuisine, courtesy of Perú InsideOut: quinoa, alpaca, and mazamorra.
In the afternoon, you can relax in the local hot springs and in the evening sample the delicious Andean cuisine whilst listening to a traditional music performance.
DAY 8. Cruz del Condor – Puno and the Altiplano
From the “Cruz del Condor” (Condor´s Cross) you will watch majestic condors soar above the rim of the canyon.
Then, on the way to Lake Titicaca, you can visit several Andean communities: Yanque, Achoma, and Maca. After a buffet lunch in Chivay the journey continues … to Puno.
The route to Puno offers astounding natural scenery: stained-green steppes, intriguing rock formations (caused by erosion), and the snow-capped Chachani volcano, as well as different wild species and a beautiful lagoon. Overnight in Puno in a very comfortable hotel.
DAY 9. Lake Titicaca Tour – Uros Islands, Amantani Island
The boat excursion will start from the port of Puno. Covering 8,400 sq. km and sitting at 3,810 metres, Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world with deep, sparkling, crystalline waters, a bright blue sky and glorious sunshine.
There are approximately 50 floating islands, built using layers of reeds (totora) that grow in the lake. The descendants of the Uros tribes have mixed with the Aymara, and now speak their language and only a few hundred still live here.
On the island of Amantani you will meet your host family for your meal and overnight stay. Amantani is a journey back in time with no electricity and the host family prepares a simple but delicious meals. You will visit the Tiwanaku ruins and hike to the top of the island for a ritual called Pachamama (mother earth). Islanders perform a traditional dance ceremony in the evening, and visitors are offered traditional clothes and invited to participate. As a thank you for the hospitality you will be asked to buy a few staples as a gift for the host family: cooking oil, rice, sugar or school supplies for the children.
DAY 10. Titicaca Lake Tour – Taquile Island
The next day you will travel to Taquile (about thirty minutes from Amantani). Here, Quechua-speaking islanders live almost untouched by modern-day life. The guide will tell very entertaining stories on the use of different huts and their social significance. Taquileños are famous for their hand-woven textiles and clothing. The knitting is performed exclusively by males, from age eight whilst women make yarns and weave. In 2005, UNESCO proclaimed “Taquile and its Textile Art” a “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.
DAY 11. Puno to Cusco: The Manco Capac’s Route
Your tour will take you from Puno to Cusco with a series of small trips aboard a very comfy bus.
First stop Pukara, at 3,876 metres above sea level (12,716 feet), a town of potters and the cradle of one of the first civilizations in southern Peru (200 BC – 200 AD). This Aymara-speaking culture flourished in the Collao Plateau region of Lake Titicaca. Pyramid-shaped buildings are typical in this pre-Hispanic city.
Then the La Raya mountain pass, 4,310 metres above sea level (14,172 feet), the highest point from where you can take photos of grazing llama and alpaca, and gaze out across the altiplano.
Raqchi, also known as the “Temple of Wiracocha” is an archaeological site with an enormous rectangular two-story roofed structure that measures 92 by 25.5 meters (300 by 84 feet).
Finally, Andahuaylillas, considered the “Sistine Chapel of Peru”. This 16th-17th century church was built by the Jesuits, is adorned with frescoes, and on the ceiling is a painting of the “Virgin of the Assumption” (Cusco School).
DAY 12. Cusco City Tour and Inca sites
Private tour of Cusco with a local guide to visit “Hatun Cancha Rumi” to sadmire the famous “Stone of twelve angles”, an huge block of granite with 12 perfectly cut corners, set in the famous stone wall. Later follows a visit to the main square, the majestic cathedral and the “Temple of the Sun”. A place of worship for the Incas that later became the Spanish Convent of Santo Domingo. The rest of the visit will take you to other Inca sites: Kenko, a ceremonial centre; Tambomachay – El Baño del Inca – where you can admire aqueducts, canals, and waterfalls; Puca Pucara – a military ruin part of the defence of Cusco, known as the Red Fortress; Sacsayhuaman – a huge fortress, strategically overlooking Cusco.
This day programme is different in occasion of the Inti Raymi – June Tour
DAY 13. Sacred Valley of the Incas.
The excursion begins through the Urubamba valley, “The Sacred Valley of the Incas”. The first stop is the Inca Ruins of Pisaq, on top of a hill at the entrance of the valley, along a ridge, and divided into four sections: Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa, and Kinchiracay. In the picturesque Pisaq market you will see talented craftsmen at work and practice your bartering skills. Lunch will be served in the city of Urubamba followed by a scenic route to Ollantaytambo – the best example of Inca city planning. The terraces which lead up the hills offer a superb view of the valley below.
Overnight stay in Aguas Calientes.
DAY 14. Tour to Machu Picchu.
The highlight of this trip is Machu Picchu. At the entrance gate at 6:00 am you will admire a spectacular sunrise, known as Inti Punku. The sun rises under surreal clouds and reveals the Lost City of the Incas. Accompanied by our guide, you will learn about the secrets of the Lost City of the Incas and will live an unforgettable experience.
The trip later continues by bus shuttle to Aguas Calientes and then by train to Ollantaytambo. Here our driver will pick you up to go back to Cusco. Overnight stay in Cusco.
DAY 15. End of the Tour
Transfer to Cusco Airport for your flight Cusco-Lima.
The Tour Includes
- Flight Cusco-Lima with Star Peru
- Private transfers in and out of airports and bus terminals
- Public VIP bus between cities: from Lima to Arequipa
- Tourist transportation during the excursions
- All entrance tickets mentioned in the programme (optional excluded):
- Private services:
- Lima: Lima City Tour, Larco Museum, Convent of San Francisco
- Nazca: Antonini Museum, Mirador of the Nazca Lines, Chauchilla Cementery
- Arequipa: Santa Catalina Monastery, Alpaca Museum, cuisine demonstration, sillar excursion
- Cusco: Kenko, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Sacsayhuaman
- Machu Picchu
- Group services:
- Paracas: Ballestas Islands, Paracas Natural Reserve
- Colca Canyon: entry ticket to the Canyon
- Lake Titicaca: Uros, Amantani, Taquile Islands
- Puno-Cusco: Lytic Museum in Pukara , Wiracocha Temple, Andahuaylillas church
- Sacred Valley: Pisac, Ollantaytambo
- Shared boat to Lake Titicaca
- Accommodation in 3 star hotels, 4 star in Puno, Posada in Paracas, homestay in Amantani
- All tours with professional English-speaking guides
- Lunch: Lima (on the bus), Arequipa, twice at the Colca Canyon, Amantani, Taquile, Sicuani, Urubamba
- Dinner: Amantani
- International airfares to and from Peru
- International departure taxes at airports
- Flight over the Nazca Lines USD$ 125
- Nazca airport tax USD$ 10
- Huayna Picchu USD$ 12
- Other meals
- Personal expenses such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc.
- Insurance against theft and loss
- Other non-specified extras
In the morning transfer to the Koricancha Temple. The ceremony begins with the procession of The Sapa Inca and his wife carried in litters, while his court and nobles follow them to the famous Huacaypata (Cuzco’s Plaza de Armas). Ethnic music is performed during the procession. From the Avenida del Sol to the Plaza de Armas, the Inca meet Cuzco’s Mayor. This is the “Meeting of Two Worlds”. This part of the ceremony lasts about one hour.
From the Plaza de Armas, transfer to the Sacsayhuaman archaeological complex, where the Sun celebration begins. The Inti Raymi lasts approximately one and a half hour (tickets must be bought in advance). At this point, The Sapa Inca will give a speech in Quechua, the ancestral Inca language, followed by traditional rituals. Every year this festivity is followed by over 4000 spectators.
During the celebration at the Sacsayhuaman complex a lunch box will be provided. At the end of the ceremony you will return to your Hotel in Cusco.