Peru & Bolivia
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|What is this?|
This itinerary takes you to the Andean part of both Peru and Bolivia, visiting the most striking sites of each country in just 3 weeks! There are so many genuine highlights of this trip that it is difficult to know where to start, but let’s try...
The first part of the trip concentrates on the southern part of Peru visiting the Paracas national Park for excellent bird-watching and the adorable sea-lions at the Ballestas Islands, the famous Nazca desert lines, Arequipa “the white city” renowned for its fine colonial architecture and the incredible terraces and condors of Colca Canyon, and Lake Titicaca including the fascinating floating reed Uros islands.
Heading further south into Bolivia you start out at the capital city La Paz from where you fly down to visit the incredible landscapes of the salt dessert at Uyuni. Saving the bets to last we take you back into Peru where the itinerary ends with a fantastic visit to the inca ruins at Machu Picchu and Cusco.
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|1||Lima - Welcome to Lima, the 'City of Kings'. You will be met at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel.||-|
|2||Lima - In the morning (or afternoon) your sightseeing tour explores Miraflores and San Isidro, the modern districts of Lima and its historic center, 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||B|
Lima – Paracas - (260 km – approx. 4 hours)
Paracas – Ica – Nasca - (229 km – approx. 3.5 hours)
Onwards journey in a small group from Paracas to Nasca. Your first stop will be at the incredible 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’.
Nasca – Arequipa - (587 km – approx. 12 hrs)
OPTIONAL: FLIGHT OVER THE NASCA LINES (NOT INCLUDED – SEE THE SUPPLEMENT BELOW)
REGULAR TOUR: “WALKING” CITY TOUR & SANTA CATALINA MONASTERY
COMFORT TOUR: CITY TOUR & SANTA CATALINA MONASTERY
Arequipa - 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.
Colca - 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 also 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
|9||Puno: Uros & Taquile Island - Our excursion by speed boat starts with a visit to one of the floating reed islands of the Uros before heading to the 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|
|10||Puno - La Paz - After breakfast pick up from your hotel for your drive by private vehicle across the Altiplano to the city of Copacabana on the Bolivian shores of Lake Titicaca. After lunch you will board a boat to the mythic Sun Island. According to the legend, the Inca couple Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo appeared here to found the Empire of the Sun. Explore the Inca steps and Yumani, a small community that has kept its traditions and boasts breathtaking views of Lake Titicaca. Once back in Copacabana you stroll around this town. Beautifully nestled between hills overlooking the bay Copacabana also hosts an important ancient Bolivian shrine which attracts thousands of pilgrims who visit the city to be blessed by the Dark Virgin of Copacabana. Afterwards you leave by private vehicle to La Paz.||B|
La Paz – Tahua – Upon arrival you will be welcomed at the airport and will have some time for breakfast (not included). The first stop is at the train graveyard in the outskirts of Uyuni. It has been reported that among them was the first locomotive to enter Bolivia and another allegedly robbed by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Afterwards you enter the vast white Salar de Uyuni, a fantastic place for photography to visit ‘Incahuasi Island’ in the middle of the salt lake. The island seems to rise up out of nowhere and is covered with gigantic cacti, some 11m (36 ft) tall. You will spend time walking around admiring the unusual yet breathtaking landscapes. After a picnic lunch on the island the trip continues towards the tiny village of Coquesa on the shoreline of Uyuni Salt Lakes. After a short hike you reach its cave containing ancient mummies.
IMPORTANT: From December through March the likelihood of the salt lake being flooded increases and Incahuasi becomes often inaccessible. Consequently, the itinerary will be adapted. Still, during this time there are countless photo opportunities. The water covering the salt flats creates a mirror image of the sky and the clouds above.
|12||Tahua - Siloli - Leaving the salt flat behind you will be driven along the volcanoes range with their eternal snow to Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve. During the course of the next couple hours, there are lagoons on the way where colonies of flamingos and many smaller wild birds gather and strut around: Canapa (blue), Hedionda (red) and Honda (brown). Afterwards you head south to enter the Siloli desert. The scenery on the drive is fantastic and takes you high up into the Andes through desert-type landscapes. There are stones sculpted by the wind - one of the most bizarre formations is the Stone Tree. You spend the night at a simple but tremendously atmospheric place - set in one of the most remote and starkly beautiful places on earth, on the edge of the Siloli desert.||BLD|
|13||Siloli - Uyuni - Today you need to get up very early and take in some of the continent’s most astounding sights such as the Red Lagoon with its James flamingos. Dotted with white islands of massive borax deposits, the lake is tainted blood red due to a variety of algae which thrive in the salt water. The next stop is at the geothermal field Sol de Maņana to see multiple mud pots and fumaroles. Later, there is a chance to take a dip in the hot springs before continuing the trip. Afterwards you visit the Green Lagoon, at the foot of Licancabur volcano. On the road back to Uyuni you stop at the ‘Rocks Valley’ featuring giant volcanic rocks between 8 to 15 meters high. Accommodation in Uyuni.||BL|
|14||Uyuni - La Paz - Transfer to the airport in Uyuni. Arrival to La Paz and transfer to your hotel. Today you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of La Paz. Tour highlights in the old town include the Plaza Murillo and the Jaen Street featuring Spanish colonial architecture. To change scenery, the tour continues to the residential areas of Obrajes, Calacoto and La Florida and ends with the visit to the bizarre Moon Valley, offering a very unique landscape.||B|
|15||La Paz – Cusco- Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Upon arrival, proceed to the hotel to have a welcome coca tea. The remaining of the morning is free to relax & explore.||B|
|16||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 amphitheater 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|
Cusco - 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.
We make a stop in ’Awana Kancha (weaver's palace in Quechua)’, a breeding center 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.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.
Sacred Valley - 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.
Aguas Calientes - Cusco - Morning at leisure.
|20||Cusco - In the morning transfer to the airport in Cusco||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
“It is so unusual to find a trip where literally every destination is so amazing and at the same time so different, it does make it very hard to pick out any one favourite place! We felt fantastically well looked after throughout with very personal service, and the hotel selection was spot-on. Great bang for your buck too with so many days and activities included along the way.“ (Eva Montero, USA)
AVAILABILITY: This tour is available throughout the year.
START DATES: flexible to start on any day of the week that you prefer to travel.
Prices 2017 Based on double occupancy
|# OF PASSENGERS||REGULAR||COMFORT|
|2||$4,380||$5,195||Request this Tour|
|3||$3,850||$4,665||Request this Tour|
|4||$3,660||$4,485||Request this Tour|
|Single supplement||$985||$1,695||Request this Tour|
- Nazca Lines flight over the lines aprox $115 per person
- Second Visit To Machu Picchu, Wayna Picchu & RT Shuttle Bus aprox $120 per person
- 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
- Transportation PUNO / LA PAZ with visit to Copacabana and Sun Island according to the description
- Services in Uyuni on days 11, 12 and 13.
- Visit of the Sacred Valley on day 17
- the excursion in Machu Picchu on day 18 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)
- 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.
- International air fares
- Domestic flights La Paz-Uyuni-La Paz (aprox $395), La Paz-Cusco (aprox $215) & Cusco-Lima (aprox $185)
- Optional Nazca flight (aprox $115)
- Optional second visit to Machu Picchu (aprx $120)
- Early check-in/Late check-out
- Optional extra activities as listed in the pricing section
- Airport tax for the Nasca flight – approx. 10 USD per person (to pay directly at the airport)
- Single Supplement ($985 Regular / $1695 Comfortable)
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
- Passport number
- Date of birth
- 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)
- 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 lasts 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 LINESWe 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.