Lima – Paracas – Nasca – Arequipa – Colca – Cusco (10 days / 9 nights)
Day 1: Lima
Assistance and transfer to the selected hotel.
Day 2: Lima – City
In the morning, guided sightseeing tour to the most attractive and important sites in Lima. The tour starts with a panoramic visit to 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.
A visit to the Banco Central de Reserva Museum (*) is included. It has a fine selection of objects made in gold, ceramic and textiles of different pre-columbine cultures. Then we visit the 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.
The tour finishes in Larcomar, an entertainment center and a privileged spot to have a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.
(*) Banco Central de Reserva Museum closed to the public on Saturdays and Sundays afternoon and Mondays all day.
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 Nazca Lines style. In the afternoon transfer to the station for your bus trip (regular service) to Nasca. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.
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.
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.
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 – Arequipa
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. In the afternoon, we return to Arequipa. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Day 8: Arequipa – Cusco – City
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel. 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.
Day 9: Cusco – Machu Picchu
Early 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 10: Cusco – Lima
At agreed time, transfer to the airport for your fight to Lima.