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This eight-day Nazca Lines Vacation takes us down the exciting south coast to the plains of Nazca, where you’ll take a scenic flight over the mysterious Nazca Lines. Also included are visits to Lima, Cusco, the Ballestas Islands and to the Sacred City of Machu Picchu.
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 artisan 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, where you’ll 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 Pucllana” 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.
Before the Nazca Lines vacation portion of your tour, we include an amazing excursion to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. In the morning, a short flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. After checking into your hotel, we set out to explore 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 Coricancha 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 Sacsayhuaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cuzco in the late afternoon.
This morning we’re off on a beautiful morning train journey down the Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes, below Machu Picchu, where we’ll spend the night. Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, Machu Picchu is considered one of the seven man-made wonders of the world. After a guided tour, take your time and enjoy this magnificent place. Overnight in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu.
We’ll return to Cuzco through the Sacred Valley this morning by train then fly to Lima on an afternoon flight. Overnight in Lima.
An early morning bus ride down Peru’s south coast starts our Nazca Lines vacation, bringing us first to Ica, center of Peruvian wine making. We’ll visit a local vineyard and pisco distillery, check out mummies at the Ica Museum, and go for a dune buggy ride in the desert with the option to try out sand boarding near the Huacachina Oasis. Overnight in Ica.
Travel to Nazca in the morning through the desert to visit the ancient geoglyphs at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Nazca. Buckle up and get ready to be amazed as the splendor and magnificent art of the Nazca Lines unfold beneath you. Hundreds of animals, trapezoids and ruler-straight lines lie across the rocky Nazca plateau, clearly seen only from the air. Some say it is an ancient calendar. Others suggest a beacon and runways for alien spacecraft. Still others believe it was just an ancient culture’s way of saying hello to their gods. Perhaps, while soaring over them, you’ll develop a theory of your own. After your flight, we’ll visit an ancient pre-Inca aqueduct as well as workshops for the making of pottery and the processing of gold. Return to Ica in the afternoon.
We’ll head to Paracas early this morning to go for a boat ride to the Ballestas Islands, Peru’s “mini-Galapagos”. Penguins and sea-lions are the highlight, as well as the massive and mysterious “candelaria” carved into an oceanfront hillside. Then we take a guided tour of the Paracas National Reserve. Arrival into Lima in the evening.
City tour of Lima today if not on day one. Departure day. A private transfer to the international airport is included in your tour.
Nazca Express is an eight-day Nazca Lines vacation, which includes a Nazca Lines tour and a small plane flight over the Nazca Lines, some 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 swindled by airport taxis.
International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings, cancellation insurance is advisable.
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, 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.
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.
No immunizations are required of travelers to these areas of Peru. Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. No areas visited on this trip are malaria or yellow fever zones. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.
One should come prepared for outdoor activity at temperatures ranging from 45° to 85° Fahrenheit or 7° to 30° Celsius, and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain.
It is best to bring from home such items as prescription meds, eyewear and care, unusual film and camera batteries. Please bring all used batteries home 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: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are cold in Cusco.
Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain. Nazca Lines vacation: dry and warm desert climate which can be cold at night. Machu Picchu: warmer and wetter than Cusco.
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 unchangeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country. Expect to spend about US$5-10 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru. Artisan market prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters, for example, run between $5 and $30. Currency Converter