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It’s the best of Peru on a ten-day classic Peru vacation. From the Amazon basin to the top of the world at Lake Titicaca, with Cuzco and Machu Picchu in between, it’s a great survey of this incredible country!
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, as 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 cataloged 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 on 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.
Our incredible Peru vacation really begins today as we’re off to the Amazon basin this morning! 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 rain forest 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.
Early morning jungle lodge activity then a short flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco, an essential part of any classic Peru vacation. 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 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 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. Afternoon train to Aguas Calientes, below Machu Picchu where we’ll spend the night.
Sunrise at majestic Machu Picchu! Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, this historic sanctuary is considered one of the seven man made wonders of the world and is definitely the highlight of any Peru vacation. 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. Return by train and car to Cuzco in the evening.
This morning we head to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake at 12,500 feet above sea level. The trip there is beautiful, as we pass by Andean villages, herds of llama and alpaca, and high snow caps. And our journey today is also a guided tour, stopping at the Inca site of Raqchi, the old colonial church at Andahuaylillas and the Pukara Culture Archaeological Museum. A buffet lunch is also included. Late afternoon arrival in Puno.
Boats are the transport theme on our Peru vacation 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. A soccer game with the locals, an amazing hilltop sunset, and a music and dance fiesta in native garb are all on the agenda on Amantani today. 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 to some could 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.
This morning we head to the island of Taquile. The native culture of Taquile 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. You will truly feel as though you have gone back in time as you walk the ancient stone paths of the island and observe its people. Afternoon boat ride back to Puno.
All good things must come to an end, and today you’ll fly back to Lima and the end your journey in Lima. Day free in Lima to visit any of the sites missed the first time around depending on your international departure time. If time permits we would be happy to make dinner reservations for you at one of Lima culinary gems. International flight may depart any time after 2pm.
Peru Panorama is a ten-day Peru vacation which 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 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/Puno: $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.
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 recommended 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:
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 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.
Machu Picchu: similar to Cusco, but warmer and with more chance of rain.
Lake Titicaca: is similar to Cusco but much colder at night.
Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings and almost never any rain.
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 are difficult to cash (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$5-12 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 cost between $5 and $30.