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Discovering the Enigmatic South Route

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Pilar Baltazar

LimaTours

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Discovering the Enigmatic South Route

As cradle of one of the most enigmatic civilizations in history and home to 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites listed, Peru is quite a special destination as you will discover over six fascinating days exploring the country. Visit beautiful colonial cities, impressive archaeological sites and discover some of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet en route to the magnificent Machu Picchu citadel and mountain.

DAY 1

International Arrival

A transportation service will wait for your arrival at the Lima Airport and transfer you to your hotel.

Lima
DAY 2

Trip to Arequipa & City Tour

After breakfast, a transportation service will pick you up from your hotel at the established time and will transfer you to the airport of Lima. Transportation will be waiting at the Arequipa airport to take you to the hotel. Along the way, a guide will inform you about the attractions and services the city offers, finally, he will assist you with your check in at the selected hotel. Your journey will start at the Plaza de Armas, one of the most beautiful in Peru, next to the magnificent Arequipa´s Cathedral built during the XVII century and rebuilt many times after several earthquakes. From there you will be transferred to the Santa Catalina Monastery, an authentic cloister built in 1579 who´s little religious citadel is still in use today. After that, visit the ´Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús´ (1590), considered a classical example of the baroque local architecture that holds inside an exceptional collection of paintings and murals. To end the day, visit the districts of Yanahuara and Carmen Alto, to have a panoramic view of Arequipa´s countryside. Read more

Arequipa
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DAY 3

Colca Canyon Valley Tour

Breakfast at the hotel. Depart Arequipa after breakfast at the hotel, driving through the Yura district in route to the Colca Valley. Yura is characterized by a number of dramatic geographical features such as gullies, mountain ranges and canyons. Continue through the Pampa Cañahuas Reserve, an extensive plain populated by vicuñas, one of the four indigenous Andean camelids found all over Peru. Cross through the pampas of Viscachani and Toccra, skirting the crater of the Chucura Volcano to reach the Los Andes scenic lookout in Patapampa, which is 4,800 meters above sea level. From here, you can see the various volcanoes that surround Arequipa. Lunch is in the picturesque town of Chivay with transfer in the afternoon to your selected hotel in the Colca Valley. Rest of the day free at leisure or you may visit the local hot springs. Read more

Colca
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DAY 4

Colca Canyon Valley Tour

Breakfast at the hotel. Prepare for a day of high drama with a trip to the breathtaking Condor Cross lookout. Take a deep breath and appreciate the sheer vastness of the Colca Valley, which is one of the world's deepest canyons with a maximum depth of more than 4,160 meters – twice that of the Grand Canyon. The thrill of the experience is enhanced by the natural spectacle of huge condors flying over the canyon. Watch in awe as these graceful birds of prey glide over the canyon, patrolling it with military discipline. Descend to the valley floor to discover some of the rustic towns on the banks of the River Colca such as Chivay, Pinchollo, Maca, Achoma and Yanque, where quaint colonial churches are as much as part of the scenery as the peaks of the Andes. There are also stops at the scenic lookouts of Antahuilque and Choquetico, where you can admire majestic views of the valley. Continue to the Ocolle lookout to admire what’s known as ‘the Amphitheater’ and then hike to the Uyo Uyo archeological site. Return to your hotel. Read more

Colca
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DAY 5

Colca to Puno

After breakfast at the hotel, morning free at leisure. In the afternoon, take the road for Puno on the western shore of Lake Titicaca. The route cuts through the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve and takes in the stunning ‘stone forests’ of Patahuasi. The landscapes and scenery could not be more forbidding but enchanting, with a combination of high plains, unusual rock formations and lagoons populated by cranes drying their wings in the icy wind above the water. On arrival in Puno, transfer to your selected hotel. Read more

Puno
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DAY 6

Uros & Taquile Islands Tour

Breakfast at the hotel. You will be transferred to the lake port of Puno, where a boat will take you to the floating islands of Uros. The Uros are an ancient society that populates a series of artificial islands built on the basis of cattail plant, which grows in the lake itself. The islands are built weaving reeds in places where it grows thicker and forming a natural layer. Over them they build their houses, also made of reed, and cook outdoors in order to prevent possible fires. After an hour and a half tour, you will continue your trip to the island of Taquile. This is Island is Quechua, unlike the other islands in the lake being Aymara speakers. The Island was part of the Inca Empire and vestiges of that culture can still be seen in its buildings. Once there you will be given a brief explanation of the island and witness a cultural activity. Then eat lunch and return to the city of Puno. Read more

Puno
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DAY 7

Puno to Cusco

After breakfast at the hotel you will be transferred to the bus station. Travel through the jaw-dropping landscapes of the highland plateau, which are dotted by Andean hamlets and herds of grazing llamas and vicuñas. Stop en route at the archaeological site of Pukara, which dates from 200BC to 300AD, as well as in Raqchi to admire the ruins of an Inca temple built to worship Wiracocha, one of the most important Inca gods. There is one more stop before Cusco at Andahuaylillas, a picturesque town famed for the beautiful 16th century Church of St Peter the Apostle. It boasts a gilded baroque interior and frescoes so delicate that it is known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of America’. Upon arrival in Cusco, a transportation service will take you from the bus station to the hotel in the city. Read more

Cusco
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DAY 8

Cusco City and Nearby Ruins

Breakfast at the hotel. You will start your tour visiting the Coricancha, also known as "The Temple of the Sun" (QuriKancha 'Golden Temple'), which was built by the Inca Pachacutec and at the arrival of the Spaniards became the basis for the construction of the Santo Domingo Convent. Here, during the Inca Empire reverence was surrendered to the sun ("Inti"), and there was a time when it was covered with gold. Then visit the Cathedral, the most imposing monument in the Plaza de Armas. Its construction began in 1560 and ended only in 1654. For this purpose hundreds of stones were extracted and transported from Sacsayhuaman fortress under the command of the Ecclesiastical Council. You will continue your tour to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, one of the most emblematic buildings of the Incas (located just minutes from town center) built by the Inca Pachacutec in the fifteenth century. This is a huge fortress built with large stones whose transportation remains still a mystery. Each June 24th, during the winter solstice, the feast of Inti Raymi is recreated here, where the sun is worshipped. Continue to Quenqo, located 4 kilometers from the city of Cusco. Quenqo is an archaeological complex of mainly religious use where it is believed agricultural rituals were performed. Finally get to know PukaPucara, located 7 kilometers from the city of Cusco. PukaPucara, which means "Red Fortress", was an architectural complex of alleged military use with multiple spaces, plazas, baths, aqueducts, walls and towers, and it is believed the entourage of the Inca used it while he rested in Tambomachay. Return to the hotel. Read more

Cusco
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DAY 9

Sacred Valley Tour

Breakfast at the hotel. You will start your tour at the Pisac market, which has stands that exhibit and sell products manufactured by the residents of the area. Beautiful alpaca textiles, musical instruments, paintings, carvings, necklaces and replicas of old Inca pieces stand out. You will continue to the Pisac archaeological site, which has the largest complex of terraces in the area and is a masterpiece of the agriculture of the Inca Empire. Next, you will have lunch at the previously agreed restaurant and then you will visit Ollantaytambo, making a series of tops at points of interest. The Ollantaytambo town, a typical example of the urban planning of the Incas, whose residents still live in accordance with their old traditions. Pachacútec conquered the town, destroyed it and built a new one, absorbing it as part of his empire. It exhibits one of the most remarkable complexes of the Inca Empire. You will return to your hotel in Sacred Valley. Read more

Sacred Valley
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DAY 10

Machu Picchu Tour

Start the day with breakfast at the hotel and a transfer to Ollanta train station. Your tour to Machu Picchu begins with a train ride to Aguas Calientes in approximately two hours’ time. This town is also known as "Machu Picchu pueblo" and is the last stop before entering the remains of the most important archaeological site in Peru. In Aguas Calientes there is a craft market, restaurants and hotels of different categories for those who prefer to spend the night at the foot of the mountain and climb it early. Finally, after a short transfer by bus you will reach Machu Picchu, a masterpiece of engineering and architecture that served as a sanctuary and retreat for the Inca Pachacutec. Machu Picchu, which means "Old Mountain", and is considered a World Heritage by the UNESCO and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Once in the citadel you may optionally also visit the Intipunku (Sun Gate), the Wayna Picchu (subject to space availability) and the Inca Bridge. Return to Aguas Calientes for lunch at Café Inkaterra. Read more

Aguas Calientes
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DAY 11

Back to Cusco

Today you can return optionally to Machu Picchu and visit any of the attractions of the citadel. Visit the Intipunku, which in Castilian means "Sun Gate" and is the last stop before entering Machu Picchu if you follow the Inca trail from Ollantaytambo. The sun rises every day through this door if viewed from the most important buildings of the citadel. You may climb the Wayna Picchu (subject to space availability), which means "Young Mountain" as opposed to Machu Picchu. This ascent takes about an hour and its main attraction is the "Temple of the Moon", a complex of underground constructions likely to have been used by the elite. Finally you will be able to know the Inca Bridge, an incredible stone building that served as entrance or exit of the citadel and halfway has a gap of several meters which is joined by two large wooden tables. Thus the Incas could isolate the city by simply withdrawing them and thus remain protected. In the afternoon you will head to the train station of Aguas Calientes to take the train back to Ollantaytambo and start the return to Cusco from there. Read more

Cusco
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DAY 12

Back Home

After breakfast, a transportation service and guide will pick you up from your hotel at the established time and transfer you to the airport.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Lima
Day 2
Location Arequipa
Day 3
Location Colca
Day 5
Location Puno
Day 7
Location Cusco
Day 9
Location Sacred Valley
Day 10
Location Aguas Calientes
Day 11
Location Cusco
Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Lima
Day 2
Location Arequipa
Day 3
Location Colca
Day 5
Location Puno
Day 7
Location Cusco
Day 9
Location Sacred Valley
Day 10
Location Aguas Calientes
Day 11
Location Cusco
Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Lima
Day 2
Location Arequipa
Day 3
Location Colca
Day 5
Location Puno
Day 9
Location Sacred Valley
Day 10
Location Aguas Calientes

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Transfer from/to the airport in private vehicle (All necessary arrival and departure transfers by either auto, minivan, depending on number of guests)
  • Transport during the tour
  • Accommodation (One night on a bed-and-breakfast basis in Lima, one night on a bed-and-breakfast basis in Arequipa, two nights on a bed-and-breakfast basis in Colca, two nights on a bed-and-breakfast basis in Puno, three nights on a bed-and-breakfast basis in Cusco, one night on a bed-and-breakfast basis in Sacred Valley and one night on a bed-and-breakfast basis in Aguas Calientes.)
  • Local guides (English/Spanish)
  • Admission to all major monuments and sightseeing attractions mentioned in above itinerary (Machu Picchu visit 1st Day)

Package excludes

  • Airfare
  • International and domestic airport departure taxes
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa, consular fees or any other formalities.
  • Tips
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages during meals. Meals not stated in the program.
  • Additional journeys and transfers

More information

  • All rates are per person and apply only to foreign passengers.
  • Please note these packages are not available during Holly Week, June 24th, July 28 & 29th, Christmas and New Year (Dec 31st & Jan 1st).
  • Prices may change without warning and can only be guaranteed once the reservation has been made.
  • The rates do not apply to residents staying for more than 60 days or to corporate passengers (staying 4 or more nights in Lima.
  • Bookings shall include the passenger’s full name, nationality, passport number, age, birthdate and flight schedule.
  • The accommodation options mentioned in the itinerary above are available at the creation of this quotation; the final accommodation options depend on the availability at the moment of payment of the deposit. If an accommodation option is unavailable, we will reserve accommodation of equivalent quality.

REVIEWS

5 Reviews

Suzanne Kochevar, United States

As on each trip, there are situations that stand out as very special. LimaTours found us a guide who made our time in Cusco and the Sacred Valley unbelievably special. He wanted us to have the very best experience we could have…and he put himself ‘out there’ so that would happen. Thanks again for creating a wonderful, amazing trip for us!! Read more

James Fraser, United States

My wife and I recently visited Peru having arrangemed the itinerary, through our travel agent, with Travcoa. It was our good fortune that Travcoa uses your agency in Peru. Your staff was terrific - knowledgeable, friendly, courteous, efficient - the arrangements flawless, the chosen hotels were superb. And when LAN had a problem with a connection making us anxious about getting to Iquitos in time for our boat trip, a few of your staff at Lima airport willingly provided me with aid and reassurance. Thank you very much. Read more

Matias Andres, United States

Thank you Lima Tours for a truly memorable and professional Peru experience! We loved every part of our vacation including the guides, private arrangements, highly recommended properties, and transportation services. Everyone at Lima Tours is a true professional and ensure that their guest feel comfortable and at ease throughout their visit. Machu Picchu and Lima are spectacular sites, and having the services of Lima Tours behind them makes it that much better. Shout out to Patricial Roncal, Diego, Alejandro, Javier, and Magda for the phenomenal experience. Read more

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