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Peru - The ancient Inca Kingdom

  • Colonial Lima
  • The Amazon jungle along the Madre de Dois
  • The Sacred Valley
  • Pisac Market and the Salt Pans of Maras
  • Machu Picchu
  • Cusco City Tour
  • Puno and Lake Titicaca

Overview

Nearly half of Peru is covered by the world’s largest rainforest – the Amazon – and this is where we start our tour. Thousands of fascinating plant and animal species inhabit this mysterious humid verdure.

Peru’s earliest inhabitants date back to more than 13,000 years ago. One of the most important Peruvian cultures was the Inca, who lived in Peru around 600 years ago. Their capital, Cusco, is still a major city today and is a highlight on our itinerary along with the famed Machu Picchu, a famous ancient city in the Andes.

Other must-see attractions included in the tour is the Sacred Valley, Colonial Lima, Pisac Market and the Salt Pans of Maras.

Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable body of water in the world. It is also, according to Andean belief the birthplace of the sun. We end our tour in this place where time seemingly stood still.

From 08 May 2020 to 22 May 2020 Live the Journey will travel to Peru. Join us on this journey of discovery through wild landscapes and ancient culture.

Itinerary

DAY 0: DEPART JOHANNESBURG TO LIMA

Depart from Johannesburg for Sao Paulo.
Arrive in Sao Paulo
Fly from Sao Paulo to Lima

DAY 1: ARRIVE LIMA

Arrive in Lima, meet and transfer to your hotel.
Day at leisure to acclimatise and relax after the marathon flight.
O/N Allpa Hotel or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner) (Wi-Fi)

DAY 2: LIMA

Today is at leisure or we offer an optional excursion to do the Nasca Lines flight.
What is the Nasca Lines? The Nazca Lines in southern Peru are a group of pre-Columbian geoglyphs etched into desert sands. Covering an area of nearly 1,000 sq. kilometers, there are about 300 different figures, including animals and plants. Composed of over 10,000 lines, some of which measure 30 meters wide and stretch more than 9 kilometers, the figures are most visible from the air.

The programme for those opting to do the Nasca Lines excursion will be as follows:

Depart with breakfast box.
06:00 Transfer with private car and guide to the Pisco airport (4 hours approx from Lima)
Over flight to the Nazca Lines in a small aircraft for 1 hour and 30 minutes (remember your Passport)
Lunch at a local restaurant.
14.30 Approximate return journey to Lima commences (4 hours approx)

20:00 Group members get together for dinner
O/N Allpa Hotel or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 3: LIMA TO PUERTO MALDONADO

Breakfast, check-out and transfer to the airport.
Fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado
Arrive at Puerto Maldonado Airport
The bulk of your luggage will stay behind in Puerto Maldonado. Pack the essentials for the next
couple of days in your backpack as there is no space on the boats going to the lodges for bulky suitcases.
Meet and greet upon arrival in Puerto Maldonado, Peru´s Capital City of Biodiversity. Enjoy a short city tour. We will then proceed to Puerto Capitanía, to board a motorized riverboat, and we´ll navigate on the Madre de Dios River. During the journey, we will submerge into a fascinating natural environment of the Amazon.
Arriving at the Ecoamazonia Lodge, you will enjoy a welcome drink and get settled into your bungalows.
Proceed on a conducted tour by our specialized tour guide through an interpretive trail conveniently signposted to the Caimán Cocha, a small lake with an abundant presence of specimens of Black Caiman (Melanosuchus Niger) and Caiman (Caiman Crocodilus).
Enjoy your first spectacular sunset in the Amazon, an experience full of intensities and overwhelming color ranges.
Return to the lodge, a delicious dinner will await you
O/N Ecoamazonia Lodge or similar (breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner) (no Wi-Fi)

DAY 4: PUERTO MALDONADO

The morning begins with the sound of beautiful birdsong from the Amazon Paradise. A hearty breakfast
will provide the energy for a morning full of new experiences.
After breakfast, we´ll start to hike towards the depths of the forest, on trails especially prepared, with bridges to cross gorges and rivers. During the journey we will observe the flooded forest and a variety of flora and wildlife, and continue until we´ll get to the majestic Lake Apu Victor with its crystal clear waters, surrounded by marshes and giant trees.
Afterwards, we´ll go up to the Observation Deck, from where we´ll enjoy a panoramic view of the lake.
After several hours, we will head back to the Lodge to enjoy lunch.

In the afternoon, accompanied by our specialized guide, we will visit Monkey Island, a unique place in the heart of Madre de Dios River, five minutes away from the Lodge. During the hike, we will observe
extraordinary landscapes, with exuberant flora, sheltering a variety of monkey species, in their natural habitat, such as Maquisapas, Capuchins, Small Lion Monkeys, Frailes, Cotos and other animal species like the Coati and Sloths and a great variety of birds.
Finally, we´ll complete our visit of the island, enjoying the sunset, with the most impressive dusk in the jungle. Back to the lodge we conclude the day with a pleasant dinner.

O/N Ecoamazonia Lodge or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 5: PUERTO MALDONADO

After breakfast, we will start an adventure in the virgin rainforest, accompanied by a local guide, we´ll go on a hike in the deep jungle, to get to the Lost Cocha which constitutes a refuge and feeding ecosystem for a huge variety of animals. There, we´ll have the chance to observe different animals. This area is unique to the Ecoamazonia´s Ecological Reserve. It has huge swamps and diverse “aguajales”.
From the Observation Deck, you will be able to appreciate the immense and magical rainforest. Afterwards, we´ll have a pleasant canoe ride around the lake and will return to the lodge for lunch.

O/N Ecoamazonia Lodge or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 6: PUERTO MALDONADO - CUSCO- SACRED VALLEY

After breakfast take a ride back to Puerto Maldonado by outboard motorized canoe. Arrive at the Butterfly House where you will wait for your onward flight. Visit the beautiful Butterfly House and learn about the fascinating transformation of these colourful insects.
Fly from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco
Depart from Puerto Maldonado to Cuzco
Arrive Cuzco
Arrival, meet and transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
En route visit the Pisac Market:
We will continue the trip toward the Sacred Valley and soon reach Pisac, a beautiful place where Incan and Colonial influences have reached a perfect balance and created the unique way of life of the local inhabitants. We will get a chance to explore this quaint town, famous for its artisan markets where we find extraordinarily fine jewellery, ceramic and textile craft-work.

O/N La Casona de Yucay Hotel or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner) (Wi-Fi)

DAY 7: SACRED VALLEY

Breakfast.
Visit to Chinchero, Maras, Moray & lunch at Tunupa restaurant:
This morning, we will continue the trip toward Chinchero village, with altitude 12,375 feet above sea level (3,772 meters), famous for the extraordinary beauty and quality of its textiles.
Then we will head towards the Salt Pans of Maras. The sight of this still-operating salt mine, in use since Incan times, will amaze you. The stark white of the steeply descending salt pans juxtaposed against the green of the surrounding mountain slopes.
The journey will continue until we reach the archaeological site of Moray. Used as an agricultural testing ground, the site's system of circular terraces descends 490 feet (150 m) from where we will stand,
serving as a perfect testament to the level of advancement achieved by the Incas, who excelled at building masterful constructions in harmony with nature.

O/N La Casona de Yucay Hotel or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 8: SACRED VALLEY - MACHU PICCHU - CUSCO

Breakfast.
Today, we will visit the Santuario Histórico de Machu Picchu (Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu).
Your luggage will stay behind and will be taken to the hotel. Ensure that you have all your essentials for the day in your backpack.
Aboard a comfortable train (Vistadome service), to Aguas Calientes train station, enjoying spectacular views along the way. Upon arrival, we will board a bus that will take us to the entrance gate of the Machu Picchu citadel.
Rediscovered by Hiram Bingham more than a century ago, Machu Picchu is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Its architectural beauty, spectacular natural landscapes and the energy held in its enigmatic structures will take your breath away.
We will follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas as we explore this magical citadel.
At the scheduled time, you will be taken to the Aguas Calientes train station to board the return train (Vistadome service). Upon arrival at the station, you will be met for the transfer to your hotel.
Check-in.

O/N Hotel Los Portales or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner) (Wi-Fi)

DAY 9: CUSCO

Breakfast.
Half day Cusco Adventure City Tour - Sacsayhuaman, San Pedro Market, Cathedral; San Blas Neighbourhood, Church and artists:
We will begin the tour with a visit to the nearby Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a colossal structure built with huge carved rocks jointed with absolute accuracy, this astounding sample of the Incan military architecture is, undoubtedly, the greatest architectural work of the Tahuantinsuyo. It proves the undeniable strength of the great administrative capacity of the empire and its powerful logistic system, capable of mobilizing and organizing such a work.
We will continue the exploration of the Imperial City with a visit to the San Pedro Market, which being the city’s main street market, will give you an opportunity to get to know the products of Cusco, overwhelming you with the sights, aromas, tastes, and colours of the region.
Next, we will head towards the Main Square, where we will visit the Cathedral and admire its exquisite vestibules and priceless paintings from the Cusco School of the 17th and 18th centuries.
We complete the day with an exploration of the artistic and bohemian neighbourhood of San Blas, home to many renowned artists. Through narrow, cobblestone streets, we arrive at the main plaza
of San Blas, which is surrounded by many well-known artisan workshops, such as Mendívil, Olave, and Mérida, among others. We will take our time to visit some workshops and contemplate the artist’s works. Next, we will continue to the San Blas Church, built in 1563 on top of an Inca Sanctuary. The church is a simple structure, famous for its beautiful pulpit that is carved from one
single cedar tree – representing one of the most exquisite works of wood carving in the Spanish churrigueresque style done by indigenous hands.

O/N Hotel Los Portales or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 10: CUSCO

Today is at leisure or we offer an optional excursion to the Rainbow Mountains.

What are the Rainbow Mountains? Located in the Peruvian Andes it is 3-hours drive away from Cusco. The mountain is famed for its natural, multi-coloured beauty at a staggering 5,200 m above sea level. This rainbow-like appearance is created by the sediment of minerals throughout the area giving the mountain the turquoise, lavendar, gold and other colours. It was only recently discovered due to the snow melting revealing the hidden gem that’s still considered holy by many until this day.

For those opting to do this excursion the programme will be as follows:

Depart with breakfast boxes
06:00 Departure from Cusco to the Rainbow Mountains – approx. 3-hour drive.
Upon arrival depart on a 3 – 4 hour hike to admire the beautiful mountains with their colourful line landscape.
Start the return journey back to Cusco.

20:00 Group dinner in Cusco.

O/N Hotel Los Portales or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

DAY 11: CUSCO - PUNO

Breakfast and check-out.
Transfer to Puno via Andahuaylillas, Pucara and Raqchi. We will stop in La Raya for lunch.

Arrive in Puno and transfer to hotel.

O/N Jose Antonio Puno Hotel or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner) (Wi-Fi)

DAY 12: PUNO

Breakfast.
Full day Boat excursion to Uros & Taquile Islands:
Enjoy an extraordinary journey across the world's highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca. Travel to legendary places where time seems to have stood still. The first stop will be Uros floating islands. These are a peculiar grouping of around 40 small islands made totally of totora, a natural reed that grows around the lake. The cheerful inhabitants will invite you to get to know their traditional lifestyle and customs.

We will continue our voyage across the placid waters of the lake until arriving at the picturesque Taquile Island, a peaceful place where old Quechua traditions live in perfect balance with modernity. Discover a landscape distinct from the other islands thanks to the Incan terraces filled with local flowers and crops. The rich colours of the clothing worn by the local inhabitants will amaze you; admire their beautiful hand-made fabrics. Most importantly, enjoy the unbelievable hospitality of the islanders, known as Taquileños, who will make your visit to the island a memorable one.
Before making your way back to Puno, you will have lunch at a local home.
**Type of vessel: Standard boat

O/N Jose Antonio Puno Hotel or similar (breakfast, lunch, dinner) (Wi-Fi)

DAY 13: PUNO - LIMA

Breakfast and check-out. Transfer to the Juliaca Airport.
Fly from Juliaca to Lima.
Arrive at Lima Airport.

Depart on a City tour: Main Square, Cathedral of Lima, Casa Aliaga, San Francisco Convent:
The tour will focus on colonial Lima. First, we will stop at the Main Square to get a chance to explore the square on foot and admire the exteriors of the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, and the City Hall, all examples of Lima's still-present colonial architectural opulence.
We will visit the Cathedral of Lima. Walking through the Cathedral’s numerous chapels, we'll travel through the past and discover various architectural styles (from Renaissance to Neo-Classical) and learn about the religious history of Peru.
Then, we will visit Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion that currently holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited private residence in the Southern Hemisphere.
Our tour continues with a visit to San Francisco Convent built in the 17th century and its “Catacombs” – the ancient underground cemetery of Lima.

O/N Hotel Allpa (breakfast and dinner)

DAY 14: DEPARTURE

Transfer to Lima Airport.
Fly from Lima to Sao Paulo.
Arrive in Sao Paulo.
Fly from Sao Paulo to Johannesburg.

Dates

08 May 2020 - 22 May 2020

Rates

Land Package
Per person sharing: USD 3,650.00
Single Supplement: USD 685.00

Included

  • Transfers and excursions on private basis, the excursions at the lodge in the Amazon are done on group basis
  • English-speaking local guides 
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Entrance fees to sites
  • Train Vistadome ticket - to / from Machu Picchu 
  • Round trip bus ticket to the Machu Picchu ruins
  • South African tour leader accompanying the group
  • Tips for luggage porters at airports and hotels

Excluded

  • International and domestic flights and airport taxes (usually included in the tickets) 
  • Visa fees, if applicable
  • Personal travel and baggage insurance
  • Gratuities for guides, drivers and dining room tips
  • Drinks 
  • Telephone bill, laundry and any items of a personal nature
  • Optional excursions to see the Nasca Lines and Rainbow Mountain