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Classic Peru

Experience the ancient land of the Incas from ancient ruins to soaring peaks 

A unique glimpse into the heart and soul of South Americas’ premier destination, Peru. An vibrant ancient land brimming with biodiversity, traditional folklore, rich cultural heritage and majestic natural wonders. Begin your journey in the gastrological capital of Lima before exploring the depths of the Andes at Colca Canyon and its soaring Condors.

Explore the traditional villages of Puno along Lake Titicaca & the islands of Uros before immersing yourself into the sights and sounds of the Inca capital of Cusco. No trip to Peru is complete without stepping into the site of its legendary ruins, Machu Picchu, most deservedly one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Peru cow

Peru edited 3

Peru edited 1

Trip Duration: 12 days
Grade Adventure touring, Activities Adventure Touring
Summary:
 11 nights in tourist class lodges and hotels 

 Arrive at Lima and transfer to your hotel. Guide assistance is included. Meals: Dinner
Spend some time touring Lima, the Colonial ‘City of Kings’. Visit a number of well -known sites including the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Plaza de Armas, and the Catacombs located beneath the San Francisco Convent. This is a chance to appreciate Lima’s magnificent Colonial architecture as well as vignettes of its pre-Colombian past. 
Transfer to the airport for your outward flight from Lima.

Arrival into Arequipa and transfer to hotel.

From your hotel in Arequipa, you will be driven past the three volcanoes, Misti, Chachani and Pichu Pichu and through the National Reserve of Aguada Blanca where you can see vicuñas, llamas and alpacas. Arrive in the town of Cabanaconde to begin the five hour trek into the Canyon. The overnight camp will be in Llahuar where the River Colca meets the River Huaruro. There will be opportunity to enjoy the thermal baths, fish for trout and see the natural geysers.

This morning leave Arequipa and cross the snow-capped Misti, Chachani and the Ampato Volcanoes to arrive at the Colca Canyon. The canyon, thought to be twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, is home to a large population of Andean Condors which float majestically on the rising thermals as they scan the canyon below. Continuing your journey into the Andes, pass the villages of Torja, Chucura, Patapampa, with their Colonial churches and Inca terracing. In the afternoon, visit the sleepy village of Chivay where you may choose to enjoy La Calera thermo-medicinal baths.
 Following breakfast travel to the ‘Cruz del Condor’, a spot considered to be the best viewpoint to watch the majestic Condors ascending from the valley. After this amazing spectacle, continue your journey passing through a number of villages and taking in the beautiful Andean scenery and fascinating pre-Inca, Inca and Colonial history of the area. In the evening reach Puno, situated on the shores of the famous Lake Titicaca.
 Travelling by semi-speed vessel, begin by visiting the floating islands of Uros, where the friendly locals continue to practice their traditional way of life, living by fishing. Situated four kilometres from Puno, the original inhabitants of these floating islands are said to descend from one of the most ancient peoples of the Americas. On your way back to Puno, stop at Taquile Island, a place where time appears to have stood still. Around 350 Quechua-speaking families live here, operating a collective agricultural system dating from the 14th Century and renowned for their textiles – beautifully woven chumpis (belts), chullos (caps), and ojotas (sandals). Meals: Includes Lunch
 Transfer to bus or train station for outward journey from Puno.

After breakfast you will be driven across the Altiplano to Cusco. This drive will take you through sleepy Andean villages, past spectacular snow-capped mountains, sheer cliffs and rampaging rivers. Stops along the way include the atmospheric towns of Pucara and Andahuaylillas, and the pre-Inca ruin of Raqchi. Arrive in the famous city of Cusco in the early evening. Includes lunch. Available alternative: Luxury Andean Explorer Train can be booked for an extra charge. Monday-Wednesday-Saturday (November to March) or Monday-Wednesday-Friday-Saturday (April to October). For more information,  please ask our sales consultant.
Arrive at Cusco and transfer to hotel.

Take a sightseeing tour through Cusco, the heart of the Inca Empire. Visit the fascinating Qorikancha Temple of the Sun, the 12-Angled Rock, and the Cathedral, built on the ruins of an Inca Palace. From here head to the archaeological remains located around the city, including the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo the giant rock, the ancient site of Puca Pucara and finally the Water Temple of Tambomachay. 
Day at leisure to spend wandering the cobble-stoned streets of the ancient Inca capital. With treasures around every corner, Cusco is a wonderful city to explore on foot. Vibrant markets and stores give the traveller a plethora of shopping opportunities set amongst fine Inca and Spanish colonial architecture. The UNESCO World Heritage city is lined with history and ancient monuments, a truly enthralling city to spend time in.
This afternoon travel by train from Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes.
Today, explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This fertile river valley was home to many important sites for the Incas, both strategic and religious. The first stop is the village of Pisac, with its famous market. There is free time to wander the colourful market stalls before a typical Andean lunch at a local restaurant. Continue your journey along the River Urubamba, to Ollantaytambo. The town, which is dominated by a giant Inca fortress, is perhaps the best surviving example of Inca town planning and was the scene of a rare Inca victory over the invading Spanish. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to your hotel in the Sacred Valley or the Ollantaytambo train station to take the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo formally known as Aguas Calientes.
You will be astonished upon your first view of Machu Picchu, a stunning display of ancient architecture with incredible surroundings. Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins and monuments, such as the Main Square, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Solar Clock, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Cemeteries. Tour includes guided group tour, and return bus from Aguas Calientes village. Please be aware that your tour of Machu Picchu does not include an entry permit to Huayna Picchu (the iconic hill behind the Machu Picchu ruins). If you want to climb Huayna Picchu then you need to pre-book your permit. Please contact your sales consultant if you would like to do this.

This afternoon travel by train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo.

Transfer from the Ollantaytambo train station in Sacred Valley to Cusco.

Transfer to the airport for your outward flight from Cusco.

 

Featured Accommodation or highlight

Marriott

JW MARRIOTT HOTEL

Calle San Augstin, Cusco

Lightroom version 18-6201

MACHU PICCHU

Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machu Picchu District

The Next Step…

If you would like to discuss this itinerary or something similar in more detail, please contact the Thor Travel Team.

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