DAY 1: Lima Arrival And City Tour
A GOTOPERU representative will be waiting to greet you as soon as you arrive in Lima. We’re ready to offer world-class treatment for what is bound to be a vacation of a lifetime.
You will get to view the Pre-Colombian era, Colonial Lima, and modern-day Lima. Get ready, because this two-pronged tour starts rather early.
- Leg one of the tour starts out a paronamic view over Huaca Pucllana, which is a famous and historic archeological site.
- Now it’s on to Lima’s Historic Center. This is the location where the city’s historic religious and political buildings can be found. Not only is this a legitimate World Heritage site, certified by UNESCO, but it’s also one of the most well preserved examples on earth of different cultures having significant influence in architecture. The unique architecture of buildings like the Art Museum, The Palace of Justice and The French Palace truly stand as awe inspiring. And the best part about the Historic Center is that there’s always more to see, including the Plaza of San Martin – a historic monument constructed to celebrate the anniversary of Peru’s independence.
- The previous locations are mostly shown to you via transport (like a city bus tour, only better). The next locations are actual hands-on visits. So, get off your transport and walk a little, straight to the Plaza Mayor. This is where you’re going to find those awesome historic political and religious buildings, like The Cathedral, City Hall, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Palace of Government. You will also get to visit the San Francisco Convent Museum and see the catacombs underneath. It’s a total vacation by itself.
- Now that the walking is over, hop back on your transport; it’s time to head back to your hotel. Though, on the way, take note of the beautiful panoramic views of Modern Lima. Snap photos and take in the entire skyline of the Financial District in San Isidro, as well as the gorgeous landscape of Miraflores. Feel free to explore further and take advantage of stops along the way, such as the Larcomar cliffs on Lima’s coastline. And don’t forget to get your fill of the delicious Peruvian dishes.
DAY 2: Cusco Arrival
As soon as you touch down in beautiful, sunny Cusco, you will be immediately greeted by a professional, polite representative and whisked away in style to any of the local hotel’s you have chosen to host your stay.
Not that you’re going to spend a lot of time unpacking, of course. Day one of your Cusco package is yours to spend howsoever you choose. Wander around the city, soak up the history and ambiance, and treat yourself to one-of-a-kind fine cuisine, the unbeatable skyline and views, or anything else you can manage to get into.
Just don’t have all your excitement at once; your journey is just getting started. Save something for next day.
DAY 3: Cusco City Tour
When you awake, your vacation starts anew. Now it’s our turn to show you exactly what Cusco, Peru is all about.
Start your day off with a yummy breakfast of local favorites in your hotel, and take a while to get yourself tour-ready. The evening guided tour will include many great stop-offs, but don’t forget to branch out on your own to see the sights and sounds, explore locations like San Pedro Market, and soak up as much culture as your heart desires.
Once the afternoon rolls around, your guided tour will begin. A GOTOPERU rep will pick you up at your hotel and thus your guided adventure starts.
Here are a few of the guided tour spots for day two of your journey:
- A guided tour of Cusco – Peru’s historic capital
- A close-up look at ancient Incan architecture and the region’s Spanish Colonial influences
- Visit the world-famous Q’enko – a large, historic amphitheater were ceremonial sacrifices once took place
- See the church build on top the Temple of the Sun, the Cathedral of Santo Domingo
- Witness great Incan monuments such as Tambomachay, the site where water worshipers once gathered; and Sacsayhuaman, a large Incan fortress with hand-carved stones (as seen on popular television series like Ancient Aliens)
- Finally, enjoy visiting Incan tambo, which is the travelers’ rest stop of Puka Pukara
After this guided tour is over, you will be taken back to your hotel, where you’re free to enjoy the rest of your night. We recommend taking in more of the local culture by visiting some nearby shops, or mingling with the locals. However, you may want to rest up well.
DAY 4: Sacred Valley Experience
Get ready to witness the majestic Sacred Valley! After breakfast in your hotel, a GOTOPERU representative will greet you and pick you up for a scenic bus ride through the Andean landscape to the Sacred Valley (El Valle Sagrado).
Trip highlights include:
• Tour through Pisac, a small town rich with Incan architecture and culture. Be sure to stop by the artisan market to view and purchase unique souvenirs.
• Visit to Ollantaytambo, a town and Incan archaeological site that once was the estate of Emperor Pachacutec. During the Spanish Conquest, it served as a fortress for Manco Inca Yupanqui.
A: Train and Overnight to Machu Picchu ( Included in the Price ) After your tour to Ollantaytambo fortress you will have a couple of hours extra to enjoy this small inca town before taking a 1.5hrs train to MachuPicchu Town where a representative will welcome you and transfer you to your confirmed hotel.
B: Overnight at Sacred Valley : you will be transfer to your comfortable hotel surrounded by spectacular landscapes in the Sacred Valley.
C: Return to Cusco : After Ollantaytambo you will enjoy a tour through Chinchero, an Andean village with Incan ruins and a colonial church that produces extraordinary textiles, woven with ancestral tools. After a visit to the Textile Market you will be transfer to your hotel in Cusco later in the afternoon.
DAY 5: Machu Picchu Tour
Tour of Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca site with captivating architecture, scenic views and stone structures that defy modern engineering.
A 2.5-3 hours history lesson of Machu Picchu given by a regional expert who will focus on major historic sites including the Sun Temple, Sun Stone and Room of the Three Windows.
After your tour, you have the option to explore more of MachuPicchu on your own with once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities to capture you in one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Free time to enjoy the natural hot springs of Aguas Calientes known for its healing powers.
A late afternoon train will take you back to your hotel in Cusco.
DAY 6: Sun Road Tour Cusco To Puno
Your GOTOPERU representative will come to your hotel and offer you a private transfer to embark on your journey to Puno.
Trip highlights include:
• Visit to San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, Sistine Chapel of America.
• A tour of Raqchi, an archaeological site with public baths, a large aqua duct system and stone terraces.
• A buffet style lunch break in Sicuani Village.
• A chance to explore La Raya, the border town between Cusco and Puno.
• Tour the Pukara Archaeological Site featuring a large pyramid and museum.
You will end your day at a hotel in Puno.
DAY 7: Tour Of Lake Titicaca
Trip highlights include:
• Tour of the Uros Islands to experience the simple life of the local people.
• Visit to Taquile Island to get a rare glimpse into Peruvian indigenous culture.
• Lunch in the town of Luquina.
A boat will take you back to Puno in the afternoon where you can use the rest of the day to shop, tour or rest.
DAY 8: Arequipa Arrival And City Tour
Arequipa is the largest and most populated city in the Arequipa Region, which means it’s also one of the most heavily visited. Though you won’t have to worry about tons of tourists impeding your progress. Over the years, modern Arequipa has thrived on tourism, and this means that the city is set up for the curious traveler like you. After being recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the local government began putting emphasis on protecting the old and constructing the new. The end result is a very accommodating city. The best part about the city, of course, is that you get to tour it!
There are many great things to see and explore during your tour, and here are just a few highlights:
- A professional, English-speaking guide
- A tour of the Plaza de Armas
- A tour of the Basilica Cathedral and Town Hall
- A look at the unique architecture of the colonial district
- Visits to other fantastic sites like the Convent of Santa Catalina
- And much more
Although this is a guided tour, it’s a rather abbreviated look at the historic city. This particular GOTOPERU package is about letting you, the vacationer, experience much of the city on your own. After you’re finished with the guided portion of the tour, the rest of the day is yours to explore. Check out sites in more detail, like Santa Catalina. Go view some of the awe-inspiring volcanoes, the breathtaking valley scenery, or just enjoy some world-class cuisine.
Whatever you do for the rest of the evening and night, just make sure you rest well. When you’ve had your fill of delicious food and are through soaking up the rich culture, head back to your hotel, browse through those awesome photos, and get ready for the next leg of your journey.
DAY 9: Colca Canyon Tour (day 1)
The first of your two-day tour begins with breakfast in your Arequipa hotel. Pack the necessary gear for your journey, including a camera, and get ready for your tour guide to pick you up. You will start the scenic drive to Colca Canyon.
This drive is rather lengthy, but it is a huge part of your overall trip. Colca Canyon is to Peru what the Grand Canyon is to the United States, so expect to see a huge river canyon that was carved deeply into the landscape over many thousands of years. Only instead of barren desert, Colca is actually teeming with rich, green life all over the place. You’ll be driving through towns like Chivay, through the Salinas National Reserve, and through the uniquely beautiful plains of Pampas Aguada.
Keep in mind, too, that you’re not in the valley; you’re actually driving atop the canyon at relatively high altitudes. This gives you the perfect view of the valleys and river below, not to even mention the 360-degree views of the entire landscape. You will view gorgeous marble structures, a wide range of indigenous, unique animals, medicinal plants, exotic fruits, and much more.
Upon arriving at your Colca Canyon hotel, it’s time to relax. Your trip wasn’t arduous by any stretch of the imagination, but your eyes and jaw undoubtedly hurt at this point. So, enjoy a hot meal and take a dip in the relaxing natural hot springs, one of the region’s most famous features.
The night ends with an overnight in your hotel.
DAY 10: Colca Canyon Tour (day 2)
The second day of your trip begins bright and early with an energizing breakfast. After you’re through eating, your guide will pick you up and whisk you off to the breathtaking vista Cruz del Condor. The entire Colca Canyon region is peppered with these types of vista, but if you want truly majestic views that appear too bright and vivid to be real, Cruz del Condor is the go-to location. As an added bonus, you will take the most scenic route imaginable to get there, allowing you to view the region in all its natural beauty as you arrive.
You will witness pre-Inca ruins, marvelous volcanoes like Hualca and Ampata, and quaint villages where the residents still live life like they’ve been doing for centuries. Once you arrive atop the vista, you will be almost a full mile above the river’s bottom, giving you a bird’s eye view at the majesty of this ancient kingdom. Take your time, soak up the scenery, and wear those camera batteries out. Once you leave, all you’ll have are your photos and memories; do not take these priceless views for granted.
The trip to Cruz del Condor actually takes you past over half a dozen separate locations, so this is certainly a full day’s trip. After leaving the vista, it’s time to transfer back to Arequipa.
DAY 11: Free Day In Arequipa
Dedicate this day to relax, walk, or do you want more.
We recommend you do your shopping and to discover more places of this enchanting city. If you have more interest about the culture of Arequipa, you can visit some truly unique museums and learn more about it.
DAY 12: Nazca Lines Overflight
After your overnight stay in Nazca, you are going straight up to take an aerial tour of the famous Nazca Lines.
The highlight of this trip, an aerial tour of the Nazca Lines, is right around the corner. What exactly do you know about the Nazca Lines? If you’re a fan of the History Channel or National Geographic, you may have seen these lines before. Maybe you like these sorts of ancient mysteries. Maybe you think you actually have it solved! Well, you wouldn’t be the first. Scientists from all around the globe have been trying to solve the Nazca Lines for hundreds of years. These ancient geoglyphs are carved into the Nazca desert, and they stretch out for over 50 miles (or 80 kilometers).
Some of the unique and incredibly large images include: A huge spider, a hummingbird, a monkey, a concord, a strange man-like figure with large eyes and a weirdly shaped head, dogs, and these incredibly straight, flat lines that stretch out for miles and appear to be landing strips of some sort. While modern scientists believe they have a relatively solid theory as to how the lines could have been made, no one knows for sure why they were made, or who could have been looking at them from that altitude some thousands of years ago. In other words, your guess is as good as theirs!
The lines were drawn in the desert between 400BC and 500AD, so, even the most conservative estimates have them at over 1,500 years old, with the first lines actually being drawn over 2,000 years ago. Was it just a hobby for ancient peoples, or is there something more to it? You can be the judge as you fly overhead and view these amazing geoglyphs from your plane.
Your flight gives you plenty of time to actually view the entirety of the structure, including adjacent structures like the Nazca holes.
After you land, it’s time to go to your Paracas hotel, where you can stay busy browsing through the hundreds of different photos you took of the amazing Lines and other scenery.
DAY 13: Ballestas Islands, Paracas Reserve Tour And Checkout Time
On this particular tour, you will be picked up from your hotel in Paracas and given a tour of the Ballestas Islands.
You will be transferred via a very short ride from your hotel to the harbor, where you will board a boat. The boat is relatively large and comfortable, full of safety jackets and other gear you may need while sailing around the bay.
One of the most amazing things you may notice about these islands is that they share the same type of climate as the Nazca Desert, which means wind and rain rarely touch these pristine pieces of land. This seems quite amazing once you lay eyes on El Candelabro – a very large geoglyph that’s carved into the sand, similar to the Nazca Lines, that has served as a beacon for mariners for hundreds of years. Shaped like a candelabra, this mysterious glyph was carved into the sand at around 200BC, and still it remains in immaculate shape, untarnished by the elements.
While the islands themselves aren’t getting much wind, understand that the open water does. You may want to put on a wind jacket to cut down on the sting. Though, the odds are good that you won’t even notice the wind blowing as you view the many different amazing structures of the Ballestas Islands.
There are more photo opportunities out here than even the best digital device can hold, so choose wisely.
After the trip is over, it’s time for a GOTOPERU rep to pick you up and take you to the bus terminal, where you will hitch a ride back to Lima.
The only downside to a Peruvian vacation of this magnitude is that it has to come to an end. Unfortunately, your vacation is now over and it’s time to head to your next destination. If this is home, let us be the first to wish you a happy and safe journey. If you would like to see more of Peru, GOTOPERU can provide you with any one of a wide number of truly unique and unforgettable vacation packages.