Fascinating South
Lima-Paracas-Nasca-Arequipa-Colca-Puno-Cusco-Sacred Valley
(13 days / 12 nights)

Day 1: Lima

Assistance and transfer to the selected hotel.

Meals: None

Day 2: Lima – City

In the morning, guided sightseeing tour to the most attractive and important sites in Lima. The tour starts passing through the modern suburbs of San Isidro and Miraflores where we see the Financial Center, the Golf Course, the Olive Grove Park and the Huaca Pucllana, archaeological precinct built in the IV century A.D.  It was a ceremonial and administrative centre which was considered by the Incas as a sacred site.  The tour continues passing through the Historical Centre, with its colonial mansions and its Moorish style balconies, San Martin Square and the Main Square with their different buildings: Government Palace, Archbishop’s Palace, Cathedral Basilica and the Town hall.  Then we visit San Francisco Convent, which displays the largest collection of religious colonial art in America, and where we can appreciate the great Patio decorated with Seville tiles from the XVI century, Moorish arches and underground catacombs.

At the end of the tour you have a choice to stop at the Indian Market, at Larcomar, an entertainment center with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, or return to your hotel.

In the afternoon, guided visit to the Larco Museum, housed in a colonial mansion built in the XVII century over a pre-Columbian pyramid of the VIII century. It is considered the largest private collection of pre-Columbian Peruvian art in the world.

The tour continues with a visit to the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History (*), also housed in a colonial mansion. It is considered the grandest museum in Peru. A vast and varied cultural heritage is exhibited in its showrooms, such as two important carved stone pieces dating back to the Formative period 1000 years B.C. (the ‘Estela Raimondi’ and the ‘Tello Obelisk’), the largest textile collection and a major collection of ancient Peruvian metals.

(*)National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History, closed on Mondays.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 3: Lima – Paracas –Ballestas Islands – Nasca

Very early in the morning, transfer to the station for the bus trip (regular service) to Paracas.  Upon arrival, transfer to the pier for the excursion to the Ballestas Islands, the most important Wildlife Sanctuary of the Peruvian coast.  There we can watch Sea lions, Boobies, Pelicans, Penguins and other marine birds.  During the trip we can also observe the ‘Candelabro’, a gigantic drawing on the hill side of unknown origin in the Nasca Lines style.  In the afternoon transfer to the station for your bus trip (regular service) to Nasca.  Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4: Nasca – Flight over Nasca Lines – Arequipa

Transfer to Maria Reiche aerodrome to fly over the mysterious Nasca Lines (aprox 30 mins); enormous line drawings of animals, birds and geometric figures, drawn on the desert, and can only be seen to full extent from the air.  Then we visit the city, Cantalloc Aqueducts, the natural viewpoint of Cantalloc to watch the ‘Telar’ (loom) figure, Paredones (Inca administrative center), Antonini Museum and a pottery workshop.  At agreed time, transfer to the station for the bus trip (regular service) to Arequipa.  Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: Arequipa – City

In the afternoon city tour, passing by the Main Square and the Cathedral, the Church and Cloisters of the Compania de Jesus; Santa Catalina Monastery with its religious cloisters, built on the 16th century and after 400 years of monastic life was open to the public; San Francisco Church and Square and Yanahuara district, with its famous viewpoint, from where you can look at the city and its volcanoes.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 6: Arequipa – Chivay

At 07:30 we depart towards Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world. We pass by Aguada Blanca or Pampa Canahuas National Reserve, one of the best habitats for the vicuna protection. We continue through the ‘Mirador de los Andes’, a viewpoint where we can watch the mountain range and the volcanoes, to the town of Chivay. Transfer to the hotel. Lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit to the hot springs (bring a bathing suit – entrance fee not included).

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Colca Canyon – Puno

We leave very early in the morning to the ‘Condor’s Cross’, from where we will have an impressive panoramic view of the Colca Canyon. We can also watch the majestic condor flying through the Andean sky. On the way back to Chivay we pass by typical towns. At 13:30 transfer to Puno on a tourist bus. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 8: Puno – Uros Island and Taquile

In the morning, motor boat excursion on the Lake Titicaca to the floating Uros Islands.  The ancient inhabitants have built their islands by periodically adding new layers of dry Totora (a kind of reed).  They also use this material to build their houses and boats.

Our excursion continues to Taquile Island, inhabited by native Quechuas who have developed an efficient and original social system, and a magnificent textile technique.  Upon arrival, we will have lunch, and then we will walk throughout its hills and archaeological sites.  In the afternoon, return to Puno and transfer to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 9: Puno – Cusco

Transfer to the station for the tourist bus trip to Cusco (aprox 9 hrs). During the trip we will visit the Kalasaya Temple, remnants of the ancient Pucara Culture. We pass by La Raya ranch (the highest point on the route – 14,222 ft), where we can see herds of vicunas and llamas. From there, we continue to Sicuani, where we will have lunch at a local restaurant. Then we stop at Racchi, where we will see an Inca Sanctuary dedicated to the great Inca god Wiracocha. Continuing our trip we arrive at Andahuaylillas, where we will visit its church, known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the Americas’, due to its decorated polychrome ceiling. Upon arrival in Cusco, transfer to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 10: Cusco – City

Morning at leisure. In the afternoon city tour, passing by the Main Square and the Cathedral, with its valuable paintings of the Colonial Cusco School, the famous Temple of the Sun or Koricancha, an ancient Inca temple over which the Santo Domingo Convent was built. Then we pass by the impressive ruins of Sacsayhuaman Fortress, Qenko, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 11: Cusco – Sacred Valley

Pick up from your hotel for the full day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where the best corn in the world is produced because of the richness of its land. We visit the town of Pisac, where we can enjoy the large variety of handicrafts (textiles and pottery) at the Indian Market held at the Main Square.

We continue through the towns of Ccoya, Lamay, Calca and Urubamba. After lunch, we visit the Inca Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo, a large agricultural, administrative, social, religious and military complex in the times of Tahuantinsuyo.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 12: Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu – Cusco

In the morning, transfer to the train station for the trip to Machu Picchu Pueblo. The train journey passes by the Andes, parallel to the Urubamba River with the magnificent view of the High Jungle. From there we will ascend to the archaeological complex of the ‘Lost City of the Incas’, Machu Picchu, located on a high mountain covered by exuberant Amazon vegetation, with its rich fauna and flora. In the Historic Machu Picchu Sanctuary we can appreciate the mix of the impressive precision of its stone structures, which reveal the deep knowledge and the technological advance of the Inca Culture, with the mystical aspect of one of the most important archaeological sites of the world. After lunch, return to Cusco and transfer to the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast and lunch

Day 13: Cusco – Lima

At agreed time, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima.

Meals: Breakfast