Day 1: Australia – – Lima
Today, depart Australia for South America! On arrival in Lima you will be meet by a Webjet representative and transferred to your hotel. Lima, the capital of Peru, sits on the country’s arid Pacific coast. Though its colonial center is well preserved, today Lima is a bustling metropolis that’s one of South America’s largest cities. It’s known for its vibrant food scene, encompassing specialties from ceviche and traditional coastal cooking to refined global fare.
Day 2: Lima (B)
Today we head out to explore Lima and it’s treasures in the Historical Centre including Plaza Mayor (“Main Square”), the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, the City Hall and old streets with colonial mansions and Moorish balconies. You will also get the chance to visit one of the cities historic convent, an icon of colonial architecture. Today’s tour goes all the way to modern districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, where you’ll appreciate huacas or sacred Inca structures. Later, feel the sea breeze as we observe the Pacific Ocean coast from Lima’s vast seafront.
Day 3: Lima – Ica (B)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the bus station to board your air-conditioned coach from Lima to Ica. The trip takes roughly 5 hours and is a great way to watch the world go by as you make your way down the coast. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon we get to know about the famous Peruvian Pisco world and its wine regions. We will start our visit at El Catador winery, operating since 1865 and Great Golden Medal awarded on the Pure Aromatic Pisco category on 2004. The facilities displayed, especially its “falca”, a cement-covered copper pot used in Peru since ancestral times to distil the liquor that nowadays has been replaced in most wineries by the modern still. The route will continue visiting the winery Vista Alegre, which was founded by brothers Picasso, from Italy in 1857 before heading back to our hotel.
Day 4: Ica – Lima – Arequipa (B)
This morning there is free time before our journey to Arequipa.
You will be transferred to the bus station to board your air-conditioned coach from Ica to Arequipa. It is a long day today (approx. 10 -11 hours), but the reward is worth it by reaching stunning Arequipa. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. Arequipa is the colonial-era capital of Peru’s Arequipa Region. Framed by 3 volcanoes, it’s filled with baroque buildings constructed from sillar, a white volcanic stone. Its historic center is anchored by the Plaza de Armas, a stately main square flanked on its north by the 17th-century neoclassical Basilica Cathedral.
Day 5: Arequipa (B)
Today we explore colonial Arequipa. We start with a walking tour through the Plaza de Armas, Arequipa’s famed city streets, the facades of the igleisa of St. Francis and the Third Order. Then we head to the Monastery of Santa Catalina, founded in 1580, at the time of Viceroy Toledo where you can see the cloisters and picturesque streets and squares which have remained intact over the centuries, as well as knowing the lifestyle of a select group of nuns who inhabited it. After, it is on to the beautiful Barrio del Solar and visit the Church of the Company of Jesus, the temple that is the oldest and most important witness of religious architecture made with ashlar. The rest of the afternoon is then free to relax or explore this incredible city at your own pace.
Day 6: Arequipa – Colca Region (B,L)
After breakfast we leave the hotel early to start the journey to Yura Village, Aguada Blanca National Reserve and Pampa Cañahuas. On they way we make a stop at Patapampa. Patapampa is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 4910 m (16,109 feet) above the sea level, located in the Caylloma province in the Arequipa region, in southwestern Peru. After we make our way down to Chivay for lunch before continuing to our hotel. Chivay is a small town in the Colca Valley which lies upstream from the Colca Canyon, a river canyon in southern Peru famed as one of the world’s deepest and is a well-known trekking destination. Most importantly, It’s a habitat for the giant Andean Condor!
Day 7: Colca Region – Puno (B)
This morning we head out early to the Cross of the Condor, one of the best locations to admire the Colca Canyon and the majestic condor. The drive is spectacular, the canyon landscape comprises a green valley and remote traditional villages with terraced agriculture that predates the Incas. At the Cross of the Condor, you’ll have the chance to see condors in their natural state. The Andean condor is the largest flying bird in the world by combined measurement of weight and wingspan. It has a maximum wingspan of 3.3m. After we head back to Chivay to board your air-conditioned coach to Puno (approximately 4 hours). On arrival in Puno you will be transferred to your hotel where the rest of the evening is at leisure.
Day 8: Puno – Lake Titicaca – Puno (B,L)
Today after breakfast we head out of the city of Puno towards Taquile Island, about 35 kilometers away and 3950 meters above sea level. The culture on the island is old, dating back to pre-Incan times. The islanders still live according to the traditions and beliefs of their ancestors and are world renowned for their lovely outfits and incredible textiles. In fact, UNESCO has declared the textile art of Taquile Island as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Next, while still on the island, you will visit the community of Huayllano, whose members will show you their normal artistic, handicraft, and farming activities. After this time of sharing, you will enjoy a box lunch and then sail over to the famous Uros Islands, a set of manufactured floating islands in the middle of the Lake Titicaca National Reserve. Here, you will meet the islanders, hunters and gatherers and descendants of the first altiplano inhabitants, who still live on totora reed platforms.
Day 9: Puno – Cusco (B,L)
Today, take a tourist bus from the station to start your trip to Cusco. Today gives you a great opportunity to enjoy the wonderful scenery of the South Valley of Cusco. We continue with a visit to La Raya, the highest point on the road between Cusco and Puno from where we will get excellent photo opportunity of the valleys below. Then visit Racchi ruins, known as “The Temple of God Wiracocha”. Wiracocha, was a deity, believed to be the giver of all life, according the Incas. He was the creator god. According to mythology this God created sun and moon. The temple was thought to be built to to appease him and furthermore honour him. The last stop will be at Andahuaylillas, a town where a precious church from the 17th century boasts an amazing organ decorated with angels and cherubs. After, continue on to Cusco. On arrival the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 10: Cusco (B)
Today, explore the city of Cusco, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and home to a somewhat particular essence. The tour will start at the Koricancha temple, an ancient Inca palace and main worship centre of the Sun God, where the order of the Dominicans built an incredible church that can still be seen there. Then, you will tour the Plaza de Armas, where the Cathedral and the beautiful Church of the Society of Jesus, among other colonial buildings, are located. You will then continue the journey to the colonial church of San Cristóbal to enjoy a spectacular view of the city. Afterwards you will go on to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, an Inca building known for its massive walls of hewn stone, located in a strategic location, on a hill, with a broad view of the city of Cuzco. Later, you will visit the important archaeological complexes of Qenko and Puca Pucara.
Day 11: Cusco – – Macchu Picchu – – Cusco (B)
Awaiting you today is by far and away one of the high points in world tourism: Machu Picchu, a national sanctuary and World Cultural Heritage site. Today, depart Cusco onboard an Expedition train. Once there, you will disembark and then board a bus to the Machu Picchu archaeological site, where you will definitely have an experience you will never forget. There is plenty of time to explore the ruins at your own pace before descending to Aguas Calientes, a virtual island, it’s cut off from all roads and enclosed by stone cliffs, towering cloud forest, and two rushing rivers. Later on, board the train for your return trip to Cusco.
Day 12: Cusco – – Australia (B)
This morning after breakfast you will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight back to Australia.
Day 13: Australia
Arrive home today.
Please note – some flights might arrive home 1 day later.