• Magic of Peru Tour
  • Machu Picchu Inca ruins
  • Magic of Peru Tour, Titicaca Lake
  • Magic of Peru Tour, Machu Picchu
  • Magic of Peru Tour, Machu Picchu
  • Magic of Peru Tour, Andean kids
  • Magic of Peru Tour, Highlands
  • Machu Picchu farmer
  • Magic of Peru Tour, Uros people

Magic of Peru
THE SOUTHERN HIGHLIGHTS OF PERU

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This popular tour showcases the very best tourist sites of Southern Peru – Colonial Lima, White city of Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Lakes Titicaca, Incan city of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Nasca and Paracas.

Prepare to learn first hand the history of the Incas and day to day lives of the modern day indigenous groups, to visit the most impressive of the many ruins in the country, to see the most stunning Andean scenery, to witness Peruvian wildlife at close quarters, and above all to experience the warm hospitality of the Peruvian people.

As well as the main sites this tour also includes some nice off of the beaten path encounters with locals to guarantee a truly unique experience.

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ITINERARY
Magic of Peru
Day Activities Meals
1 Welcome to Lima, the 'City of Kings'. You will be met at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel. -
2 Lima to Paracas - In the morning, your sightseeing tour explores Miraflores and San Isidro, the modern districts of Lima and its historic centre, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The tour includes a visit of San Francisco, the city's most visited church (1674). Its underground tunnels lead to catacombs that served as cemetery until 1808 and still contain bones and skulls. Our next stop is at the Larco Herrera Museum. The collection allows the understanding of 3,000 years of the Peruvian pre-Columbian history in an intuitive way. Its masterpieces are considered worldwide icons of pre-Inca art and have been displayed in the world's most renowned museums.

A snack is included at Café del Museo Larco Herrera. (After the comprehensive introduction to the Peruvian culture you will be immersed into the Peruvian gastronomy. Your visit to the Museum is crowned with a delicious snack in Café del Museo.)  This small and stylish restaurant is set in the quiet garden of the Larco Herrera Museum.

Transfer to the bus station to board the tourist bus to Paracas (unescorted, approx 3.5 hours); where you will be picked up on arrival and transferred to the hotel.
B
3 Paracas / Ica / Nasca – Morning transfer to the pier to start your visit to the Ballestas Islands. Aboard a comfortable speedboat, you head out toward the ocean and the Ballestas Islands. Here you enjoy close-up observations of dozens of sea lions as they swim near the boat or sun themselves on shore and watch hundreds of various marine bird species including the Guanay Cormorant,  Peruvian pelicans and with some luck even one of the famous Humboldt penguins (please note that there is no chance to disembark during this tour).

Journey in a small group from Paracas to Nasca (approx 4 hours). Your first stop will be at the oasis of Huacachina (5 km from Ica) which is surrounded by giant sand dunes and palms trees. Afterwards you will continue your journey to Nasca and stop at the museum of Maria Reiche. This small museum is housed in the former and modest home of Dr. Maria Reiche (1903-1998). Without her intervention the drawings in Nasca would have remained undiscovered until today, possibly even destroyed. The German mathematician and archaeologist dedicated more than 50 years of her life to study, protect and measure the Nasca Lines. Maria's greatest legacy is the awareness she fostered to preserve the heritage of the Nasca culture - in her words ‘excellent observers of the earth and the firmament’.

B
4 Nasca to Arequipa- Morning at leisure OR optional flight over the Nasca Lines (at extra cost). Transfer to the bus station to board the tourist bus to Arequipa (unescorted, approx 12 hours); where you will be picked up on arrival and transferred to the hotel B
5 Arequipa -Half day walking city tour of Arequipa. Some of the old buildings were made out of white volcanic material (sillar) which has given Arequipa the name of the 'white city'. The tour continues with the visit to the extraordinary Santa Catalina Convent. This cloister, built in the 16th century, is a huge complex of buildings that once served as a town within itself housing 450 nuns. Traditionally the oldest daughters of Arequipa’s aristocratic families entered the convent in their early teens and spent their lives there, cloistered away. The convent complex has been beautifully refurbished, bringing the past vividly alive once more. B
6 Arequipa to Colca –In the early morning you will leave Arequipa and head towards the valley. On your way you will pass Pampa de Arrieros, Pampa Cañahuas (where we find the Vicuna National Reserve of Aguada Blanca), Vizcachani and Tojra, a good place for spotting Andean birds. The majestic volcanoes Mismi (5,597 m/18,360 ft), Misti (5,825 m/19,110 ft), Chachani (6,075 m/19,930 ft) and the glaciers Ampato (6,288 m/20,630 ft), Sabancaya (5,976 m/19,606 ft) and Hualca Hualca (6,288 m/20,630 ft) provide picturesque panoramic views as you enter the Colca Valley. After four hours on the road you will arrive in Chivay, the most important town in the Colca Valley, where you will make a short stop to explore the local market. Lunch at a local restaurant in Chivay. Afterwards you will continue the journey to your hotel. BL
7 Colca to Puno - Early morning drive to the observation point ‘Mirador Cruz del Condor’, located between Maca and Cabanaconde, one of the deepest parts of the canyon. Here, you find the perfect spot to look down 1,200 m (3,937 ft) into the canyon. It’s here that the legendary condor, the bird with the largest wingspan in the world, can be seen rising and circling on the morning thermals, silhouetted against the magnificent backdrop of the mountain scenery. Afterwards you will make some stops in some of the picturesque towns en route to visit their colonial churches. You then say goodbye to Colca in order to continue your trip across Altiplano landscapes to Puno (only transportation). The average altitude en route reaches the 4,500 m (14,700 ft). After a 6-hour ride you reach the city on the shores of Lake Titicaca: Puno. B
8 Titicaca : Uros & Taquile Islands - Our excursion by speed boat starts with a visit to one of the floating reed islands of the Uros before heading to island of weavers, Taquile. Unlike in the classic tour, this option offers a reduced time en route (e.g. 75 min from Taquile to Puno versus 2 hrs 30 min aboard the traditional boat) making your experience in the lake more pleasant. Your boat tour includes a meal prepared with local fish and fresh produce from the Andes. BL
9 Puno to Cusco – A ten-hour bus trip (optional train trip at extra cost) takes you through picturesque Andean landscapes dotted by small villages and herds of llamas and vicunas. Your final destination is Puno, however you make three important stops along your way: the first one is Andahuaylillas known by its baroque church dating from the 17th century. Your bus will climb to La Raya Pass (4,335 m/ 14,172 ft) to enjoy a panoramic view of the snow-capped Andes. Then your tour continues to Raqchi to visit the Viracocha Temple. This was the only Inca temple featuring cylindrical columns covered by fine clay layers. Lunch will be served in a typical restaurant in Sicuani. Upon arrival to Puno, transfer to your hotel BL
10 Cusco - Morning at leisure. In the afternoon, your comprehensive city tour includes the beautiful Koricancha or Sun Temple, the Cathedral as well as the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a most remarkable Inca building, the amphitheatre of Kenko. This is followed by a visit to Puca Pucara, a strategically located 'red fortress' that dominates the entire area before visiting Tambomachay, with its two distinctive aqueducts that to this day continue to provide clean water to the area. B
11 Cusco to Sacred Valley - This morning you will be picked up from your hotel for your tour to the Pisaq market in the Sacred Valley. Originally a place where people from remote communities used to barter their products, Pisaq has evolved to one of South America's most famous souvenir markets. Make sure to sample some 'empanadas' baked in traditional clay ovens. Afternoon visit to the fortress of Ollantaytambo where the Temple of the Sun (formed of six gigantic monoliths, whose total weight exceeds 50 tons) and the Terrace of the Ten Niches stand out. We make a stop in ’Awana Kancha (weaver's palace in Quechua)’, a breeding centre of South American camels (guanacos, llamas, alpacas and vicunas). Artisans will demonstrate weaving and dyeing ancient Andean techniques from 12 communities still in use today. Lunch with a local family in Urubamba. This lunch is something special because you are invited to join a local family for lunch. Sample an Andean soup and the popular 'Lomo Saltado' prepared with fresh produce and served in their own homes. For the most adventurous ones in the group there is a chance to taste a crispy guinea pig. This experience offers a great opportunity to interact with locals in a not-touristy environment as to directly contribute to the community. BL
12 Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes - transfer from your hotel in the Sacred Valley to Ollanta train station (only transportation). The train ride takes you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas up to Machu Picchu (unescorted). Upon arrival a small coach takes you up the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel. For centuries Machu Picchu remained undiscovered by the Spaniards and has only been found in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. During a guided tour you will experience the uniqueness of the location and the genius that went into its construction, making this Inca site one of the seven new wonders of the world. Accommodation in Aguas Calientes with dinner included. BD
13 Aguas calientes to Cusco - Morning at leisure OR optional second visit to Machu Picchu citadel (at extra cost, must be booked in advance). In the afternoon, return by train from Aguas Calientes to the station of Poroy (or Ollanta) (unescorted). Arrival and transfer to your hotel (only transportation) B
14 Tour end Cusco – In the morning transfer to the airport in Cusco, or you may wish to stay extra time in Cusco to explore the city more. B

This program can be adapted to your personal needs - just let our sales team know of any changes you would like to make, and they will be happy to help!

Past Clients Feedback

“Peru is an incredible country and this trip through Happy Gringo gave us a great introduction of the best sites to visit. The service throughout was just perfect and we found the trip to be very good overall value.” (Claire Evans, Wales)

Dates

AVAILABILITY: This tour is available throughout the year.

START DATES: flexible to start on any day of the week that you prefer to travel.

2017 PRICES

# OF PASSENGERS PRICE (PER PERSON)  
2 $2,455 Regular / $3,025 Comfort Request this Tour
3 $2,235 Regular / $2,805 Comfort Request this Tour
4 $2,095 Regular / $2,665 Comfort Request this Tour

Inclusions:

  • Transfers from/to hotel mostly escorted (unescorted only if mentioned in the program)
    • Accommodation based on SINGLE, DOUBLE or TRIPLE in the selected hotel category
    • Meals as noted (B: breakfast, BoxL: box lunch, L: lunch, D: dinner)
    • Excursions as noted in the itinerary
    • Entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
    • Services in SIC basis (seat in coach - shared with other travellers, with local English/Spanish speaking guide) with the exception of:
      • City tour in Lima
      • Visit of the Sacred Valley on day 11 in the program
      • Excursion in Machu Picchu on day 12 in private basis with guide from Aguas Calientes
    • Boat excursion to Ballestas Islands (unescorted)
    • Tourist bus Lima-Paracas & Nasca-Arequipa (unescorted)
    • Tourist bus Colca-Puno (unescorted)
    • Tourist bus Puno-Cusco with English speaking guide
    • Train ticket Ollanta - Machu Picchu – Ollanta (or Poroy) in Expedition class for the category 3* - Tourist
    • Train ticket Ollanta - Machu Picchu – Ollanta (or Poroy) in Vistadome class for the category 3* Superior and 4* Comfort.
    • Trains journey without guide and train routing and schedule is subject to availability at the time of reservation.

Exclusions:

  • Single Supplement ($495 Regular, $965 Comfort)
  • Meals and activities not listed in itinerary
  • International flights
  • Domestic flights in Peru (Cusco-Lima, approx $190)
  • Optional flight over the Nasca Lines (approx $115 per person)
  • Optional 2nd entrance fee to Machu Picchu (approx $120 per person)
  • Airport taxes
  • Personal Expenses
  • Tips

Other Information:

PERURAIL BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE RESTRICTIONS
PeruRail hast introduced new baggage allowance restrictions for passengers taking the train to Machu Picchu. Only 1 piece hand baggage up to a maximum of 5 kg (11 pounds) and a total linear dimension of 157 cm (62 inches) per passenger is accepted. This measure has been introduced as the emergencies exits in the trains were usually blocked with passengers’ luggage. Please inform your clients in advance that they need to bring a hand baggage if they have an overnight in Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu or the Sacred Valley.

TAX ON SALES (VAT) IN CASE OF 'NO SHOW' IN PERU
Hotel rates for foreign travelers, nonresident in Peru, are exempted from the 18% VAT – as long as their stay in Peru is less than 60 days. In the event that a traveler does not use the reserved service(s) at the hotel (‘no show’) the amount invoiced by the hotel is subject to the additional payment of 18% tax on sales according to the Peruvian tax regulation. That means the tax exemption for foreign travelers is no longer valid in case of ‘no show’.

TRAINS & ENTRANCE FEES FOR MACHU PICCHU
For the route Cusco/Ollanta – Aguas Calientes strict reservation & payment policies have been issued by the railway operators. In addition, the restriction of the daily visitor number to Machu Picchu makes it important to purchase tickets well in advance. We recommend our clients to order the train and entrance tickets to Machu Picchu at least 40 days prior to the arrival to Peru. The reimbursement of the train ticket or entrance fee to Machu Picchu is not possible under any circumstance once issued. The following personal data is required for the purchase:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Passport number
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship

MACHU PICCHU

  • The number of visitors to Machu Picchu is restricted to max. 2,500 people per day
  • Machu Picchu is open from 06:00 am to 17:00 hrs daily
  • The first bus to Machu Picchu leaves from Aguas Calientes at about 05:30 am at 10 minute intervals throughout the day
  • The last bus departs from Machu Picchu at 17:30 hrs
  • Each bus has a maximum capacity for approx. 32 passengers
  • Large bags and food are not allowed. You can take small bags into the citadel but anything larger must be left at the luggage store near the entrance (at additional cost)
  • Walking poles are only allowed for handicapped or elderly people
  • Before entering, all visitors must show their printed e-ticket and passport at the entrance to Machu Picchu. You may get a special Machu Picchu stamp in your passport.
  • Our tip for the second visit to Machu Picchu: Hike to the sun gate ‘Inti Punku’ on your own (included in the entrance fee to Machu Picchu, duration approx. 2 hours roundtrip)

 WAYNA PICCHU

  • Only 400 visitors are allowed to hike to Wayna Picchu per day
  • The entrance fee can't be purchased directly at Machu Picchu, but only in the offices of the National Institute for Cultural Affairs in Cusco or in Aguas Calientes
  • The entrance fee is S/.150 Peruvian Soles and entitles to enter Machu Picchu as well as Wayna Picchu at no additional cost as long as the visit takes place the same day.
  • If a visit to Wayna Picchu is requested after the entrance ticket to Machu Picchu has already been issued we charge a supplement of USD 30,- (which covers the price difference and the penalty for modification).
  • The first group (200 visitors) is allowed to enter Wayna Picchu at 07:00 am, the second group (200 visitors) at 10:00 am
  • The hike is steep and has a duration of approx. 3 hours (round-trip). Those with a fear of heights shouldn't take this excursion
  • The narrow trail can be quite dangerous at times after wet weather
  • Unfortunately if you are arriving by the Inca Trail or by train the same day then it is almost impossible to climb Wayna Picchu the same day. You may need to overnight at Aguas Calientes.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FLIGHTS OVER THE NASCA LINES
We strongly advise travelers with heart disease to consult with their personal physician before booking the flight over the Nasca Lines. The flight is operated in small aircrafts with a capacity up to 12 passengers. Due to the size of the machine and the pilots maneuvers to enable a better view of the lines, we recommend to eat light or not at all before the flight.