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Arrive in Lima anytime today and private transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good artesan markets and restaurants, and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon. The city tour lets you explore the wonders of the colonial capital, you visit the famous Plaza de Armas, as well as the impressive Cathedral in the Plaza and the beautiful San Francisco church. You also get a chance to take in some beautiful views of the coast at Parque de Amor.
Lima City Tour – Option 2: Larco Museum & Huaca Pucllana (upon request). Let us know if you would prefer this tour over the Cathedral Tour (or both for an extra fee). We could also plan a tour of the Huaca Pucllana at night if you have time in Lima. The site is lit up until midnight and looks amazing!
The Larco Museum is housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Larco Museum is a stimulating and inspiring space in which visitors can enjoy and learn more about the fascinating history of ancient Peru. The cultures gallery provides a clear and captivating narrative account of more than 5000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Visiting the Larco Museum with their more than 45,000 meticulously catalogued archaeological objects, is a unique experience.
The Archaeological Complex “Huaca Pucllana” was an Administrative and Ceremonial Center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. Located in today’s district of Miraflores the “Huaca Pucllana” was built around 500 AD. “Pucllana” is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima. Based on the “Huaca Pucllanas” architecture and found objects, it is believed that the complex was the heart of development of the “Lima Culture” and served as a ceremonial and administrative center.
If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight, and you’ll have your city tour of Lima upon your return.
After a short flight, we arrive in the city of Puerto Maldonado and transfer to a motorized dugout canoe for the trip upriver to our jungle lodge. Our cabins at the lodge have modern bathrooms and comfortable beds with mosquito nets, and the food here is great. Take an afternoon walk through the rainforest with an experienced naturalist guide, come back for dinner, then set off again for a nocturnal jungle canoe ride to spot caiman! The next day’s activities will include a visit to an oxbow lake to look for giant river otters, monkeys, macaws and other wildlife as well as jungle walks led by an experienced, English speaking guide. You’ll witness an array of medicinal and otherwise interesting flora and fauna, as well as gain some insight into native Amazonian peoples and traditions.
Today you’ll have an optional early morning excursion before a transfer to the airport. A short flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. You will have time to acclimatize and relax in the Incan and historical capital of Peru.
Today we set out to explore Cusco, the incredible capital of the Inca Empire. We head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the cathedral to see the colonial influence in the city, and we can admire the stunning architecture of the church and also the native influences subtly woven in into the artwork. Onwards to Qoricancha church, where the colonial and Incan architectures are on display side-by-side directly contrasted with each other. Afterwards we make our way above the city to the imposing fortress of Sacsaywaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cusco in the late afternoon.
This morning we take a short and scenic ride in our private transport to Pisac and Ollantaytambo, two important Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley. After visiting the site of Pisac, we’ll head down to the colonial town below and visit its famous crafts market. We then continue on to Ollantaytambo. Besides the huge and fascinating ruins above the town, Ollantaytambo is the only Inca village still inhabited today. Walk its narrow streets and peer through huge Inca doorways into courtyards where life has changed little in over 500 years. Early to bed, as our trek along the Inca Trail begins tomorrow!
A morning bus trip brings us to kilometer 82, start of the world-famous Inca Trail. Our first day is an easy one to get acclimated, as we gently climb through Andean valleys to the village of Huallabamba, making our first camp just above it. Along the entire trek we are well taken care of by our team of porters and cooks, freeing us up to fully enjoy the vistas and Inca sites unfolding before us.
Up up up to Dead Woman’s Pass, near the top of the world at 4200 meters (14,000 ft.). The air is thin, but the view is not to be believed. We then continue on to Runku Rakay, tonight’s campsite and the first Inca ruins along the trail.
Today we continue trekking on original Inca road past three of the most beautiful Inca sites anywhere in Peru: Sayacmarka, Phuyupatamarka, and Winyaywaina. We camp at the Inca terraces of Intipata or at the nearby youth hostal.
A pre-dawn departure brings us to the Gate of the Sun to watch the first rays of sunlight strike the sacred city of Machu Picchu. Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, this historic sanctuary is considered one of the seven manmade wonders of the world. After a guided Machu Picchu tour, take your time and enjoy this magnificent place. During peak visiting hours (10-2), try a hike on one of the surrounding Inca trails on Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. In the late afternoon we’ll catch a train back to a hot shower and the other comforts of Cusco.
This morning we head down to Puno on a guided bus tour. The trip there is beautiful, as we pass by Andean villages, herds of llama and alpaca, and high snowcaps. We stop at the Inca site of Raqchi, the old colonial church at Andahuaylillas and the Pukara Culture Archaeological Museum. We arrive on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake at 12,500 feet above sea level, and get to relax before the tour of the lake the following day.
Boats are the transport theme today as we head out across the waters of Lake Titicaca. Our first stop is the islands of Uros, completely constructed out of totora reeds and floating on the surface of the lake. We’ll take a walk across the spongy surface of these unique islands and go for a ride in a reed boat before continuing on to the island of Amantani, where we’ll spend the night with a local native family. Please note: our Lake Titicaca family stay is a truly authentic experience which includes being cooked for by and dining with the local family and staying in a room at their house. There is often just candlelight, no electricity, and the bathroom is an outhouse. This is a great experience which is the highlight of many people’s trip, but which can certainly be described as “basic” or “roughing it”. If you do not wish to spend the night on the islands, Taquile and the floating Islands can be visited on a day trip.
The native culture of Taquile Island, which we’ll visit today, is the most intact in probably all of the Andes, with its inhabitants maintaining the same customs and dress as they have for over 1000 years. Taquile Island is famous for its textile art that has been declared a UNESCO masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity. You will truly feel as though you have gone back in time as you walk the ancient stone paths of the island and observe it’s people. Boat ride back to Puno.
All good things must come to an end, and today we fly back to Lima and the end of our journey. Departure day and free late afternoon in Lima to visit any of the sites missed the first time around. Today your international flight may depart anytime after 5pm. We reccommend you add an extra day to your itinerary if you have time to spend another night in Lima to rest before your flight.
Ruins and Rainforest is a 14-day cultural tour that includes a four-day moderate trek, no trekking experience is required, but one should be in average physical shape and not suffer from any heart or respiratory conditions. The trip also includes a visit to a rain forest lodge, high-altitude walks of up to 45 minutes and a basic family stay on Lake Titicaca. The rooms with the family are twin-share and very clean, but also very basic, often with no electricity and always with the bathroom outside the house. It is possible to visit the Titicaca Islands on a day trip if you would prefer. The trip also includes some public transport, walking around ruins and during city tours. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and occasional delays of developing-world travel.
On all Southern Crossings tours, you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard), who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being ripped off by airport taxis!
International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs or tips. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings though we do require that you have a policy, cancellation insurance is advisable. Any medical insurance is acceptable.
We will gladly arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip:
In Lima/Cusco/Machu Picchu: $150 double/$130 single.
Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, zip lining, paragliding, surfing and free days to your custom itinerary. Ask about these options and we’d be happy to add them to your quote. If you have any special requests or interests like birding, cooking or crafting that you would like to explore please let us know!
This tour includes 3 star hotels. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to four or five star. If you would like to select a specific hotel let us know your preference. We can then work it into your custom itinerary.
We also organise Amazon lodge stays in treehouses and luxury cruises down the Ucayali river (for an additional cost) with the option of 3, 4 or 7 nights on the cruise starting in the colonial city of Iquitos in northern Peru and journeying deep into the Amazon rainforest. If interested please ask us for more details about this cruise or treehouse excursion.
Please add this to your total payment if you will be travelling alone.
All travelers to Peru are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency, or a bank statement, from the bank or printed off the internet, are sufficient for proof of funds.
Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. The rainforest area of Peru (approx. 3500 ft. and below, east of the Andes) is a malarial and yellow fever zone. The yellow fever vaccination is reccomended and travelers may wish to take malarial prophylaxis. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.
One should come prepared for outdoor activity at temperatures ranging from 35° to 85° Fahrenheit / 2° to 30° Celsius, and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain. A recommended list of things to bring:Please note: We provide a sleeping bag, foam mat, and of course tent. While hiking the Inca Trail, porters will accompany us to carry most of our things, including all the camping gear. Each passenger is allowed 15 pounds of personal items which will also be carried by the porters. Such items would include warm clothing for camping, toiletries, a book, music, or other entertainment, etc. During the day we’ll be using a daypack and will just need to carry water, snacks, rain gear, and a layer or two for changing weather conditions. Most people also carry a camera.
It is best to bring from home such items as prescription medications, eyewear and care, unusual film and camera batteries. Please bring all used batteries back home with you to recycle!
For your international flights, please check with your airline. Within Peru, you are allowed 20 kilos (44 lbs) of checked baggage, as well as one carry-on and another small, purse-like item. The carry-on size regulations are the same as international carry-on size regulations.
Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest, and one should always be prepared. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows:
Cusco and the Sacred Valley: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are chilly in Cusco.
Lake Titicaca: similar to Cusco but colder.
Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain. Often overcast.
Amazon basin: hot and humid year-round. We recommend light clothing (in weight and in color) that fully cover arms and legs to avoid mosquito bites.
The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol. Automatic cash points are available in Lima and Cuzco. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks (American Express is best but you may be charged 5-8% to cash) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring Money Grams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Lima and Cuzco. For currency, U.S. dollars are recommended and most easily exchanged. Please note that cash must be untorn. It can be older-looking, but even the slightest tear on an edge will make it un-changeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country.
Expect to spend about US$3-10 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru.
Shopping prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters, for example, run between $5 and $30. Currency Converter