Best of Peru (Suggested Holiday)
Day 1 - 2 Arrive Lima & Sightseeing Tour of the city
Day 3 -4 Journey to Iquitos, arrive at Ceiba Tops Lodge and Sightseeing Tour into the Amazon
Day 5 Return to Lima
Day 6 Journey to Paracas
Day 7 Sightseeing the aquatic nature reserve of Ballestas Islands
Day 8 Journey to the mysterious Nazca Lines and wonder how the etchings go there!
Day 9 Arrive in Arequipa and enjoy a city tour
Day 10 Journey to the Andean town of Chivay and view the Colca Canyon
Day 11 Visit Cruz del Condor and the Andean Condors, then journey to Puno
Day 12 Discover the man made reed islands on Lake Titicaca
Day 13 - 14 Journey to Cusco and sightseeing tour
Day 15 Arrive in Sacred Valley and sightseeing tour
Day 16 Enter the lost city of Machu Picchu!
Day 17 - 18 Return to Cusco and depart for your onward journey!
Days 1-2 :
Day 1: Arrive Lima
Airport transfer to hotel. The hotel we recommend is located in the Miraflores district. This district is the new cultural and social hub of Lima. Miraflores boasts many culinary restaurants, local shops, cafes and theatres, making the district popular with travellers and brings a cosmopolitan atmosphere to your Peruvian adventure. The Miraflores district is also easily accessible to the historical city centre. The distance from Miraflores to the airport is approximately between 30 to 4 5minutes. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 2: Sightseeing Lima
After breakfast there is a full day tour to explore Lima’s ancient history through its historical sites and museums. Morning highlights include visiting the Plaza de Armas (also known as Plaza Mayor), the Palacio de Gobierno (Government Palace), City Hall, the Basilica Cathedral of Lima, and the House of El Oidor.
After lunch visit the grandeur of the Torre Tagle Palace and Osambela House. Followed by two of the most visited tourist Museums in Lima, the Larco Museum and the Gold of Peru Museum both containing staggering displays of gold, silver, ceramics and artefacts from ancient Peru. For the evening there is time at leisure to relax or enjoy one of the many fabulous restaurants in the Miraflores district.
Days 3-4 :
Day 3: Lima to Iquitos
This morning you will be met by your guide in the lobby of your hotel for your private transfer to Lima airport for your flight Lima-Iquitos. (Lima-Iquitos flight is not included in the package price and is quoted separately). Upon your arrival into Iquitos you will be met by a representative of Ceiba tops and given a brief orientation of the city and then transferred to the Explorama dock for your transfer on a 25mile journey down the Amazon to Ceiba Tops Lodge. Located on the banks of the Amazon River, experience the exotic magic of the Amazon with the comforts of home! Ceiba Tops lodge is one of the most luxurious properties in the Iquitos area and your 2 night stay will allow you to enjoy the Amazon in comfort as all rooms come with air conditioning and private bathrooms. With gardens, hammocks, the rainforest reserve, the rest of the day is yours to explore this unique lodge and surroundings.
This afternoon once you are all settled into your room your guide will take you on a hike in the beautiful primary rainforest reserve surrounding the lodge, which includes many huge trees festooned with epiphytes. After dinner there may be local flute or guitar music at the El Toucan Bar or the guides are always ready to relate some of the many legends of the Amazon forest.
Lunch, Dinner. Overnight Ceiba Tops
Day 4: Sightseeing Ceiba tops
Today’s exploration into the Amazon starts with a morning boat ride spotting dolphins and visiting a small village of Yagua Indians. With approximately 3000 – 4000 surviving Yagua Indians scattered throughout the Amazon basin, it is a unique experience. Your guide can explain the local Yagua Indian culture and how they were affected by the arrival of Europeans and the passing of time. You will have the opportunity to see some of the local crafts and if permitted a demonstration of the hunting blowgun still used by some of the Yagua elders. Listen for the Yagua language, as a result of geographic dispersion of the Yagua Indians combined with outside influences, use of the Yagua language while still used is in decline. To hear it will be your experience to be heard nowhere else in the world. The afternoon is a little more relaxing with a walking excursion to the neighbouring local town of Indiana. This town was originally a Canadian Franciscan Mission. Indiana has now grown into a large river community with its own market, school and hospital.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight Ceiba Tops.
Day 5: Depart Ceiba tops/Iquitos
This morning you will have the choice of a morning walking or boating excursion to further enjoy the rainforest and Amazon River. In the afternoon there is a transfer waiting for you for your journey back to to Iquitos and to the airport for your flight Iquitos to Lima (flight Iquitos-Lima is not included in package prices, this is quoted separately). Due to connecting times you will need to have one night back in Lima at the airport hotel before continuing on with your Peruvian adventure the following day.
*Due to the ever-changing nature of the rainforest, day-by-day activities are subject to change due to weather, trail or river conditions.
Day 6: Journey Lima to Paracas (Ica Region)
This morning your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel for your coach transfer from Lima to Paracas, travelling along the Pan-American Highway from Lima to Paracas. When you arrive into Paracas you have the rest of the day at leisure. We have selected a hotel with a great atmosphere and eateries nearby. We recommend having an early night as the next day is an early start.
Days 7-8 :
Ballestas Islands, Nazca lines
Day 7: Paracas – Sightseeing Ballestas Islands – Journey to Nazca
Today begins early with a sightseeing journey to the aquatic nature reserve of Ballestas Islands. After exploring the Ballestas Island your journey continues with a short transfer down to the town of Nazca. On arrival to Nazca, you will be taken to your hotel and then you are free to explore Nazca.
Day 8: Nazca to Arequipa with Nazca sightseeing
This is your opportunity to see the remarkable Nazca lines. Look for the giant figures of the hummingbird, spider, monkey, fish, shark, orca, Llama, and lizard. We have two options available at an additional cost. The first option (at an additional cost) to have a scenic flight over the Nazca lines, an ariel view of this ancient drawings will give you a fantastic view of just how big the etchings are and you will still wonder after this flight just how the Incas formed these lines so many centuries ago.
Don’t worry if flying is not for you, there are several sightseeing coaches (at an additional cost) that operate in the morning and will take you to a few of the drawings so you can get a great prospective of these unique drawings, again you will be amazed just how big these sites are and will leave you puzzled on how the Incas created these masterpieces.
After viewing the famous Nazca lines your journey continues further down south to Arequipa for a two night stay.
Days 9-10 :
Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Chivay
Day 9: Arequipa + half day City Tour
Today is a morning tour of Arequipa, whose historic centre was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, in recognition of its architecture and historic integrity. This morning tour includes the Santa Catalina Monastery built in 1580 and currently home to a small number of nuns. You will then have the remainder of the day to explore Arequipa on your own or have a relaxing afternoon and take in some of the historical sights you have seen the past few days.
Day 10 – Arequipa to Colca Canyon/Chivay
After a relaxing morning your journey continues to the Colca Canyon, this coach trip is stunning as you travel past the spectacular Misti and Chachani volcanoes and hot springs. Once you arrive in Chivay your driver will take you to view the Colca Canyon and then you are able to have a relaxing afternoon in the thermal springs of Chivay, a perfect way to relax and soak up the atmosphere and culture of Peru. Overnight is in Chivay town, there is an upgrade available but this is outside the town.
Colca Canyon, Puno, Lake Titicaca
Day 11: Sightseeing Colca Canyon & onto Puno
This morning is an early departure from your hotel in Chivay to Cruz del Condor where Andean Condors can often be seen catching thermal uplifts and soaring with graceful ease. The Colca Canyon is the world’s deepest canyon and twice as big as the Grand Canyon. The magnificent sight presents amazing photographic landscape opportunities for photographers and even better if you can catch a condor gliding in the skyline. After seeing the Colca Canyon for one last time you will then have a coach transfer from Colca Canyon to Puno which is home to one of Peru’s most fascinating attractions.
When you arrive into Puno you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel where you have the remainder of the day at leisure. This city is located on the shore of Lake Titicaca and has been named as the ‘Capital Forklorica del Peru’ (Folklore capital of Peru) from its wealth of artistic and cultural expressions particularly dancing. The hotel we have selected offers some views of Lake Titicaca.
Day 12: Sightseeing Lake Titicaca
Today is another Peruvian breathtaking day with a full day discovering the spectacular Lake Titicaca, its floating reed islands and their inhabitants. This tour will take you to two islands called Uros and Taquile where you will be able to meet the locals occupying these islands, it’s a great day out exploring the highest lake in the world and seeing the diverse ways these island locals live. After todays tour you will have time at leisure and stay in your hotel in Puno.
Day 13: Depart Puno for Cusco
After breakfast your guide will then transfer you to the bus terminal for your coach to Cusco. When you arrive into Cusco after lunch, you will be transferred to your Cusco hotel. Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire and has an elevation of 3400m above sea level. We recommend you spend the rest of first day in Cusco at leisure to allow your body to adjust to the altitude. Drink lots of water and cups of coca tea which should be available in the hotel as this will ease the affect altitude can have on some people.
Cusco is also the archaeological capital of America and for good reason. It is one of the most important destinations in Peru and the gateway to one of the world’s most sacred ruins of an amazing ancient culture. With a mix of Spanish and Ancient Incan cultures, there are cobble-stoned streets, interwoven stone walls, Incan buildings, Andean Baroque structures from the Colonial Period like the Cathedral. You can stroll through the picturesque neighbourhood of San Blas or dine in one of the many modern cafes, bars and restaurants.
Day 14: Sightseeing Cusco
It’s an early start to the day with a full day sightseeing tour of Cusco. The tour today takes you to visit the Korikancha (Temple of the Sun), the Cathedral, and then continuing onto the nearby archaeological sites of of Tambomachay (Inca Fountains), Puca-Pukara (the red fortress), Qenko (Scared site) and finally the famous gigantic Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman. Spend the night in your hotel Cusco.
Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu
Day 15: Journey Cusco to Sacred Valley
Today you will have a full day sightseeing to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Sacred Valley is home to some breathtaking towns and sites including Maras, Moray, the fortress of Ollantaytambo and Pisac. Seeing these ruins and visiting the towns will enlighten your knowledge of just how sophisticated the Incas were and an insight into their ancient way of life. Tonight you will stay in the Sacred Valley so you can enjoy more of the sights at your leisure and perhaps visit the colourful market of Pisac.
Day 16: Journey from Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is one of the main attractions when visiting Peru. You have seen postcards, read about it in magazines, seen documentaries and have had it on your list as a “must do” in your life. Today is the day you will not only see Machu Picchu but you will breathe the magic and the beauty of Machu Picchu!
Your full day Machu Picchu tour starts off with a transfer and train to Aquas Calientes for your bus ride up to Machu Picchu, this is an excellent option for those who do not have time to hike the Inca Trail or wish not to. On arrival in Machu Picchu your sightseeing tour of the ruins and entrance fee have been included. Soak up the significance of your visit, enjoy the beautiful location and marvel in the intellect and architectural ability of the ancient Incan culture. It is amazing and spectacular just how appropriately located Machu Picchu is in its complimenting surroundings. The Inca Trail Walk can also be arranged for those wishing to experience the beautiful hike to Machu Picchu.
Due to Machu Picchu’s popularity with all travellers, we suggest that you go back for a second visit early the following morning before the trains arrive with the day tours. Spending time in the lost city of the Incas, soaking up the atmosphere without the crowds is a real spiritual experience. Hotels are located in Aguas Calientes and there is the also an option to stay at the Orient Express Hotel at the entrance gate into Machu Picchu. Please advise if you would like us to quote for this.
Also to consider is the climb up Huayna Picchu Mountain, tickets are limited and pre-booking is required. Your guide will be able to assist with this. After a full day at Machu Picchu, you will be taken to your hotel in the Machu Picchu region to spend the evening at your leisure.
Days 17-18 :
Machu Picchu, Cusco
Day 17: Journey Machu Picchu to Cusco
After a relaxing morning in Machu Picchu or Aguas Calientes, we will take you back by train back to your Cusco hotel. On arrival into Cusco you have the remainder of the day to relax, dine, wander through the colourful markets or get last minute souvenirs to remember your time here.
Day 18: Depart Cusco
After breakfast your ‘Best of Peru’ adventure concludes with a departure transfer to Cusco Airport or Train Station.