Mountains to the Lakes, Peru
This comprehensive 3 week tour is designed to reveal some of the secrets lying in South America. The tour begins in Lima; you then head south for an incredible Ballestas Islands boat trip where you will see exotic birds and sea mammals. You then travel inland to the desert and the palm trees and sand dunes of the Oasis of Huacachina where we make camp under the stars. You will then visit the mysterious Nazca lines whose true meaning is still up for debate. The tour then starts it's ascent into the Andes to the town of Arequipa and the Colca Canyon, the deepest in the world. The tour then takes us to Cuzco where we prepare for the unforgettable Inca Trail, after reaching Machu Picchu we head back to Cuzco for some relaxing time in this beautiful Andean city. We continue our journey to Lake Titicaca where we spend time learning of the traditions of the local Uros Indians, with free time to laze the day away on the shores of this deep blue lake. The tour makes it's final stop in La Paz, giving you free time to explore the Bolivian capital.
- Day 1 Arrive into Lima
- Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Lima for the start of your trip.
- Day 2 Lima. Drive to Paracas National Reserve. Ballestas Island boat trip.
- Departing Lima, our tour begins with a trip south to the Ballestas Islands nestled in the Paracas National Reserve. We enjoy a boat ride here to view the incredible concentration of rare and exotic birds and sea mammals which make this one of the most important marine reserves in the world.
OvernightIca hotel MealsBreakfast
- Day 3 Drive through the Ica Desert to the Oasis of Huacachina
- This morning we make the short drive through the Ica Desert to the heart of Peru’s wine region. Visiting the Tacama winery we have the chance to sample the local wine as well as the country’s national drink, Pisco. We then head to the nearby Oasis of Huacachina – a palm fringed lake surrounded by sand dunes where we can relax on the beach and enjoy a swim before we take things up a notch with a thrill inducing dune buggy ride over the massive sand dunes. This evening enjoy the desert sunset as we make camp and sleep under the stars.
- Day 4 Visit the Nazca Lines & Chauchilla Cemetery. Drive to Arequipa
- Today we travel to one of South America’s most mysterious sites as we visit the intriguing Nazca Lines. Believed to have been present for over 2,000 years these huge figures carved into the desert floor were only discovered 80 years ago from the air and as such there are many contrasting theories as to what they actually signify – feel free to ask the locals! We then head to the Chauchilla Cemetery famous for its well-preserved mummies before saying goodbye to the Atacama Desert to begin our climb into the Andes towards Arequipa.
- Days 5-8 Arequipa and the Colca Canyon
- The next four days are spent in and around Colca Canyon and the surrounding areas. We include an overnight visit to the Colca Canyon, which at 900m is not only one of the deepest in the world but also the home of the majestic Condors. Here you can view the condors circling lazily in the thermals rising from the canyon floor. Some of the other activities available to arrange in this beautiful part of Peru include white water rafting, cycling, horse riding and trekking.
- Day 9 Arrive in Cuzco. Sacred Valley of the Incas tour
- An overnight coach journey carries us through the Andes to Cuzco – the adventure capital of Peru and starting point of the Inca trail. We will be based here for the next 7 days as we seek to explore the dramatic landscape and learn about the unique cultures that have existed here for thousands of years. Arriving early morning we have chance to tour the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, home to temples, terrace fields and bustling local markets before returning to Cuzco for a good night’s sleep in preparation of our trek the next day.
OvernightCuzco Hotel MealsBreakfast
- Days 10-13 Begin Inca Trail. Trek to Machu Pichu
- We head out early from Cuzco to the Urubamba Valley from where we begin our 4 day trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. A stunning combination of panoramic views, Inca ruins and magnificent mountains make this one of the most exotic adventures in the world. Reaching over 4200m in places the trail winds up through lush valleys and tiny, hospitable villages where we spend the nights. All guides and porters are included on the trek. Once we have completed the trek we return to Cuzco by train.
OvernightBasic Accommodation MealsBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Days 14-15 Cuzco. Free time
- To help recover from our trek we have 2 free days in Cuzco. Feel free to explore more of the city and its museums and churches or look for local crafts from Alpaca woollen jumpers to Andean musical instruments and local jewellery. If you still have the energy you can arrange an adventurous white water rafting trip on either the Urubamba or Apurimac River.
OvernightCuzco Hotel MealsBreakfast
- Days 16-18 Cuzco. Drive to Lake Titicaca
- Lying at 3800m on the border between Peru and Bolivia, this morning we get our first glimpse of the deep blue waters that make up the extraordinary Lake Titicaca. Home to the Uros Indians who reside on unique floating reed islands we are fortunate enough to be able to visit these islands and spend the night with one of the Indian families on the lesser known islands of Isla Amantani or Taquile. The following day is free to relax in Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
OvernightHomestay MealsBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Days 19-20 Lake Titicaca. Travel to Bolivia
- Bidding farewell to Peru, we cross the border into Bolivia and arrive at the picturesque lakeside village of Copacabana where we stop for the night. From here we continue onto the impressive capital city of La Paz, where the rest of the day and the whole of the following day are yours to explore the markets, museums and bustling streets at leisure.
OvernightBasic Accommodation MealsBreakfast
- Day 21 La Paz. Transfer to airport for departure
- Transfer to airport for departure
- Airport transfer on arrival in Lima
- Ballestas Islands boat tour
- Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu (4 day trek including all meals and guide)
- Entrance to Machu Picchu
- Return train from Machu Picchu
- All accommodation (small & simple hotels & guesthouses & 3 nights camping on Inca Trail)
- Meals as per itinerary
- Services of tour leader and trekking crew
- All local transport
- Airport transfers from internal flights
- Optional Excursions as listed in the pre-departure information
- International flights
- Meals not specified
- Travel Insurance (compulsory)
- Entrance fees to sites visited
- Airport Taxes