About this holiday
Day 1 - Lima. Arrive in Lima and check in to your hotel. Get to know your travelling companions while enjoying a welcome drink and dinner in the hotel bar.
Overnight Lima (D).
Day 2 - Lima - Sacred Valley. Today we fly to Cusco and then travel overland to our hotel in the Sacred Valley. On our journey we will visit Awanakancha a farm of camelids. In Peru there are four groups of these animals Vicuna, Guanaco, Alpaca and Llama. They are farmed for their wool which Peruvians use to make the colourful textiles for which their country is famous. We stop in Pisac where its famous craft market fills the streets that stretch between its colonial buildings.
Overnight in Sacred Valley (B, L)
Day 3 – Urubamba or Sacred Valley. The Incas are not only renowned for their amazing structures but also for their urban planning. Religious, administrative and agricultural functions were separated and the local inhabitants were absorbed into their culture. Indeed, many of their traditions are still observed today. We will visit Moray and Maras, two towns that were once part of the Inca Empire and after lunch we will learn about the Inca way of life as we take a visit to Ollantaytambo.
Overnight Sacred Valley (B, L)
Day 4 – Sacred Valley to Cusco. Many mysteries surround the most famous of the Inca ruins, Machu Picchu. Today we journey there by train and bus to learn about some of these theories and explore the remains of this extraordinary settlement. Machu Picchu, which means "Old Mountain", is considered a World Heritage by UNESCO and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Overnight Cusco (B, L)
Day 5 – Cusco. Cusco was once the Inca capital but now it is a busy town that features one of the most splendid Spanish colonial churches in America, Santo Domingo Convento. This church was built on the foundations of the Coricancha (Temple of the Sun) once the centre of
the Inca religion. The diverse history of this town has resulted in its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Overlooking the town is the Inca fortress Sacsayhuamán. It still conceals the secret of how it was built – will we find out today? Finally we will explore the vestiges of Puka Pukara, an architectural complex presumably used for military purposes; it has many rooms, squares, bathrooms, aqueducts, walls and towers.
Overnight Cusco (B)
Day 6 - Cusco. Today you will have time to explore Cusco at your leisure. This colourful, cosmopolitan town is the start of many multi-day treks to Machu Picchu. Its main square, Plaza de Armas, is a good place to start your day. Arcades with shops line two sides and restaurants, bars and coffee shops with beautifully carved wooden balconies overlook it.
Here you can try guinea pig, a local delicacy, in one of the traditional restaurants.
Overnight Cusco (B)
Day 7 – Cusco to Puno.During our bus journey to Puno we stop to visit the beautiful baroque churches of Andahuaylillas and Huaro. Next stop Checaupe and then on to Racqhi for lunch. Continuing on our way we will pause at La Raya, the highest point on our journey. Calling in at Pukara we will visit the Lithic Museum famous for its collection of lithic sculptures and ceramics from pre-Inca culture.
Overnight Puno (B, L)
Day 8 - Puno. The Uros tribe inhabit Lake Titicaca and live on floating islands which they make themselves from totora, a type of rush that grows in the lake. This tribe pre-dates the Incas who did not consider them to be very important and yet they have outlasted them. Today we will explore their environment in a motor boat and learn about their way of life.
Overnight Puno (B, L)
Day 9 - Puno to Lima. We return to Lima and enjoy a day at leisure giving you time to soak in the wonderful atmosphere in this fascinating city.
Overnight Lima (B)
Day 10 – Lima. Our guided tour of Lima, the capital of Peru, will start in its Main Square where the city was founded and include the cathedral, Saint Francis Church and the Larco Museum located in the traditional Pueblo Libre district, which is housed in a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built on a seventh-century a pre-Columbian pyramid. The museum boasts the most complete pre-Hispanic collection of gold and silver artefacts, as well as pieces of erotic art. Finally, head to the "Love Park" in the upscale coastal district of Miraflores, where you can admire the cliffs and a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. before we enjoy a farewell dinner on our final evening in South America.
Overnight Lima (B, D)
Day 11 – Lima. Free time to do some final souvenir shopping before we head to the airport for our evening flight back to the UK.
We stay in comfortable hotels as
detailed below (or similar).
Allpa Hotel *** (Lima)
Hotel San Agustin *** (Sacred Valley)
Hotel Eco Inn *** (Cusco)
Hotel Eco Inn *** (Puno)