Welcome to Peru!
Arrival to Lima´s airport, reception and transfer to the hotel in Miraflores district,
Day 2: Reality tour Lima (B - L )
Here you can experience real life in Lima with a visit to 'both sides' of the city. In the morning we discover the impressive slum where you can meet the locals and children and interact with them. Afterward, we have lunch in a typical local restaurant. After lunch, your local guide will take you to the large historic center to enjoy a walking tour and visit the many famous highlights: palaces, castles, beautiful wooden balconies and mysterious underground catacombs.
Day 3: Arequipa City Tour (B)
Transfer Lima - Arequipa
After lunch, we visit the historic center. We start at the central square Plaza de Armas, a popular meeting place of the Arequipeños and then move on to the cathedral and the Jesuit church La Compañía where an excessive baroque style was subtly combined with the animism of local Indian religions. You will visit the Santa Catalina Monastery, one of the most beautiful colonial religious buildings in South America.
Day 4: Arequipa - Campiña (B)
We leave the hotel to go to the traditional district of Paucarpata. Here we visit Inca and Pre-Inca terraces and a beautiful colonial church. Then we go to Sabandia Mill where grain is ground into flour by the force of water. After this, we go to Via Paisajista, which is known for its beautiful landscape and nature. We arrive at La Mansión del Fundador and Palacio de Hausacache, a country house built in the 16th century. We also visit el Balneario de Tingo. This is a place with an artificial recreational lake. Afterward, we visit Mirador de Sachaca from where we can enjoy a spectacular view over the city, the landscape and three volcanoes (Chachani, Misti and Pichu Pichu). After this, we go to Puente de Fierro ("the iron bridge"), Carmen Alto's viewpoint from where we have a view over the Chilina terraces and then we visit the Yanahuara district where we can enjoy the beautiful view and have lunch in a local restaurant.
Day 5 : Colca Canyon (B)
In the early morning, you will be picked up at the hotel for a 2-day excursion to the Colca Canyon. A 2-hour drive through a landscape of bare rock desert and a string of volcanoes to the Peruvian highlands to Pampas Cañahuas where groups of vicuñas and alpacas are often spotted in the Aguada Blanca Salinas national reserve. This is followed by a stop at the 'Mirador de Los Andes' (4900m) and a beautiful descent to the village of Chivay in the green Colca valley. Arrival at the hotel around noon.
Day 6: Colca Canyon (B)
Today we leave with the group to the viewpoint 'Cruz del Condor', where the gorge reaches a depth of about 1200 meters. Especially in the morning, the mighty Andean condor (which is one of the largest flying birds on earth) lets itself float on the rising thermals of the valley floor. On the way back to Chivay we visit some typical villages (Yanque, Maca, Huayrapunko and Quehuisha). In the afternoon we foresee a relaxing walk in the valley to the ruins of the Oqolle amphitheater, the Uyu Uyu ruins and Yanque's hot springs on the edge of the Colcar River. On request, this trip can be done on horseback.
Day 7: Chivay - Puno (B)
After breakfast, we drive in the direction of Puno and leave the Colca Canyon behind us and drive uphill until we reach the highest point of our journey, the viewpoint of the Andes (4800 m). At the very top, we get off the bus for a few minutes and enjoy the beautiful landscape with the big volcanoes like Mismi, Misti, Chachani, Sabancaya (active) and Ampato. Along the paved road we pass small Andes villages and the beautiful lagoon Lagunillas, where we will see many Andean birds and flamingos. Via a steep road, we then reach Viscachani. Here we take a short break and stretch our legs and drink a typical coca tea or coffee in the local restaurant. Later we drive through the national reserve of the Peruvian Altiplano to finally reach the city of Puno, near Lake Titicaca.
Day 8: Sillustani - Umayo (B - L - D)
After breakfast, we visit Sillustani. The site is strategically located on top of a peninsula surrounded by a beautiful lake called Lago Umayo. Sillustani is a cemetery built in the twelfth century by a civilization that inhabited the area before the Inca era. The most impressive burial towers were built for important chiefs and priests. Walking around the peninsula, you can admire the beautiful lake and the surrounding mountainous landscape. After a guided tour of the site, we return to Puno. After lunch, you will be picked up and taken by boat to the lodge. Here you can take part in various activities: kayaking with a traditional boat, visiting different floating islands, ...
Day 9 : Uros- Taquile (B - L- D )
After breakfast, we take the fully equipped "Titicaca Express" to a remote part of Taquile Island. We walk along a pre-Inca route with spectacular landscapes of the island. Afterward, we visit a family of weavers to learn more about their textile art with symbolism, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After lunch, we sail to a remote area of the Titicaca National Reserve and explore the last authentic floating islands. The Uros are descendants of one of the oldest cultures in South America, after which we return to our Lodge.
Day 10: Puno - Cusco (B)
Around 7h transfer to the bus station for a ride by comfortable tourist bus (incl. English speaking guide) to Cusco. On the way, we will stop for lunch and visit the pre-Inca ruins of Pukara, the 4335-meter high pass La Raya, the temple Raqchi and the baroque chapel of Andahuaylillas. Arrival in Cuzco around 17h and transfer to the hotel.
Day 13: Montaña de Colores (O-L)
We will pick you up from your hotel around 6:00 am, and from there we will drive about 3 hours to the south of Cusco. We will follow the highway before following a mountain road that passes through traditional villages and fertile valleys. Once we arrive we will start hiking at 4,350 meters (14,271 feet) and it will take about 2 hours to reach the top of Rainbow Mountain. First, we will go through a valley, gradually ascending and will be able to see alpacas and llamas. Along the way, we will pass Andean rock piles that are set up as offerings. We will reach the first pass which is at 4,710 meters (15,454 feet) and can stop to have a break and eat some snacks. Here, we will be able to see our destination and then will finish the hike to the top of Rainbow Mountain which is at 4,980 meters (16,338 feet). This incredible mountain features beautiful colors of red, orange, yellow, green, and purple as a result of the minerals it is formed from. You will have the option to hike up another 50 meters (164 feet) to take incredible photos of this beautiful natural formation, and when you are ready we will start our descent. Hiking downhill, we will reach our vehicle in about 1 hour, and on the way, we will choose a place to stop and eat our boxed lunches. We will then drive back to Cusco, dropping you off at your hotel at approximately 5:00 pm.
Day 11 : Cusco (B)
After breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel. Then we go to the San Pedro market, where sellers sell everything, including different kinds of meat, bread, fruit, medicinal plants, herbs, and Peruvian delicacies. Then we go to the Plaza San Francisco, which is another important square in Cusco. On Sundays, there is a local market in this square where Cusqueños buys and sells clothes, shoes and other different necessities. From there we will walk to the Plaza de Armas to learn about the history of Cusco and the Incas. Afterward, we will go to a local restaurant that serves typical Peruvian food, such as fried pork, guinea pig, pork chunks, stuffed spicy peppers, and many other options. Here you can try different kinds of Chicha, made of fermented corn with a low percentage of alcohol. If you like, you can also have lunch or try a typical meal here. In the afternoon we start at the central square in Cusco with a visit to the Cathedral. Then we visit Qoricancha: the sun temple of the Incas. The temple was, just like Machu Picchu, an Inca masterpiece because the walls were once literally completely covered with gold (nothing remains of that now. In the second part of the tour we will visit the Inca ruins in the hills above Cusco: Kenko, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara and the impressive ceremonial Inca complex Sacsayhuaman, which is strategically built on a hill overlooking Cusco.
Day 12 : Pisac - Ollantaytambo (B - L)
After breakfast, we drive to Awanacancha, where we can see and feed various animals from the Andes such as llamas, vicuñas and alpacas. The locals show us traditional weaving and coloring techniques and how they make those beautiful sweaters, hats, scarves and the like. Then we go to one of the most important archaeological sites in the region, called Pisac. We will walk around the ruins and terraces for about an hour, and after our tour, we will continue to the city of Pisac. Then we will walk through the stone streets to the square to see locals selling products and souvenirs in their stands. In Pisac, you have some free time to walk around. After our visit to Pisac, we drive to the city Urubamba for lunch. After lunch, we go to Ollantaytambo. This site was an important religious and astronomical center and was also used as a military fortress in one of the biggest battles of the Incas against the Spaniards. The Spaniards took the city and built colonial buildings on the Inca houses. Later the abandoned city was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century. After this, we take our train to Aguas Calientes
Day 13 : Machu Picchu - Cusco (B)
After breakfast, we take the bus around 05:30 and arrive at the site at 06:00 when the gates open. Before the crowds arrive you get the early morning tour of Machupicchu. This will take about 3 hours and will lead you through the most important archaeological sites under the guidance of very capable guides. Then you have enough free time to explore the site further, take pictures or for an optional walk.
(Climb Huayna Picchu mountain (2.700 m, 50 min, steep slope)
The Temple of the Moon (3-4 Hr)
"Intipunku" the solar gate, where the classic Inca Trail ends (1.5 hours)
The Inca Bridge located south of Machupicchu (1 hour)
All these walks are signposted and easy to find without a guide. In the afternoon we take the bus back to Aguas Calientes, the city where we take our train back to Ollantaytambo after which you will be brought back to your hotel by private transport.
Day 14 : Maras - Moray Quad/bike ride - Aguas calientes (B)
After breakfast, we leave for Chinchero, a picturesque town. Here we visit the beautiful colonial temple built on the foundations of an Inca building. The city is also famous for its textile souvenir market where you can find Andean textiles made of alpaca wool. At the end of the tour, we get a demonstration of how the textiles in this area are handmade and colored. Afterward, we will continue to the nearby Inca site of Moray, where we will visit the circular terraces which are considered to be an Inca prototype of an experimental biological station. From there we descend further towards Maras (small village), where we stop for lunch. After lunch, we will visit the old salt mines "Salineras" one of nature's greatest mysteries. Deep in the mountains rises a source of extreme saltwater. Since the time of the Incas, the salt mines consist of about 3000 small fields with an average size of 4 m² and a depth of 10 centimeters. These springs were used until the present era to produce salt by evaporation. After the fields are filled with saltwater, the sun evaporates the water naturally, leaving pure natural salt. This place is spectacular to photograph.
Day 15 Cusco - Lima - Brussels (B)
Free morning to stroll around in the cozy streets of Cusco. After lunch you will be transferred to the airport for your international departure.