17 day luxury guided Peru walking holiday and culture tour

17 day luxury guided Peru walking holiday and culture tour inc. Colca Canyon, Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu and luxury overnight train to Cusco - April 2021

 
Activities
Walking
Duration
17 days
Price
£8,570 to 8,790
 
 
17 day luxury guided Peru walking holiday and culture tour

Our 117 day luxury guided Peru walking holiday and culture tour concentrates on the Inca and colonial sights in the Andean highlands.

Having familiarised ourselves with the highlights of Lima’s historic centre, we start our high altitude acclimatisation in the city of Arequipa, known for its scenic setting at the foot of a snow capped volcano and the wealth of colonial era churches and mansions, built in white volcanic stone sillar.

Our next stop is the Colca Canyon, the second deepest in the world, where we relax in a country lodge for two nights and spot condors on our walks, before we arrive at Lake Titicaca, the high altitude lake situated on Peru’s border with Bolivia. We board the luxury Belmond Andean Explorer for an overnight journey to Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire and the starting point for our exploration of the Incas’ Sacred Valley.

Based in stylish and comfortable mountain lodges, run in partnership with local communities, we walk for two to three hours each day, with more or less energetic activities on offer. The remainder of each day allows immersion in the Quechua history and culture.

Price Includes

  • accommodation for Days 1 through 17, on a twin shared basis
  • overnight railway journey from Puno to Cusco on the Andean Explorer in a twin cabin
  • meals (with wine at dinner and soft drinks and beer at lunch) as listed in the daily notation
  • land transportation in a private vehicle as described, except during free periods
  • scheduled internal flights between Lima and Arequipa and Cusco and Lima
  • return Inca Rail train journey between Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu Pueblo (aka Aguas Calientes)
  • entrance and sightseeing fees during luxury guided Peru walking holiday and culture tour (except during free periods)
  • services of specialist local guides and drivers, plus Kudu Travel tour leader
  • gratuities for local guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff

Price Excludes

  1. flights to and from Lima
  2. trip cancellation, medical or other insurance
  3. immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements
  4. passport, visa and health documentation
  5. personal expenses (laundry, alcohol, other than wine with dinners, free time activities, etc.)
  6. Peru departure tax, if any

What to expect

Itinerary of 17 day luxury guided Peru walking holiday and culture tour

Day 1
After meeting at Lima airport in the evening, we have a road transfer (1 hour) to the fashionable Miraflores suburb and our hotel, for three nights, centred around a 1920s Spanish-colonial style mansion, filled with Peruvian art and antiques.

Day 2
B, L, D included
Plaza Mayor is the heart of this colonial City of the Kings, founded in 1535, and we start our tour of Lima here, taking in the Palace of Government, the seat of political power in Peru since the 16th century; the Cathedral, containing the tomb of Francisco Pizarro, the city’s founder, and the picturesque 17th century San Francisco church and convent, built in the earthquake-resistant quincha. After lunch, we visit the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Peru, housed in a building with historic connections to Peru’s liberators, Jose de San Martin and Simon Bolivar.

Day 3
B, L, D included
We travel to the outskirts of Lima to Pachacamac. This ancient sacred site, active for over 2,000 years, is dedicated to the eponymous god, also known as the Maker of the Earth. We transfer to the privately-owned Larco Herrera museum, housing an impressive collection of Peruvian pre-colonial art in the equally impressive setting of an 18th century mansion built on a 7th century pyramid.

Day 4
B, L, D included
We transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Arequipa (alt 2,335 m/7,660 ft), our gateway to the Andes. From our 4 star hotel base on the Plaza de Armas, we explore the UNESCO listed Baroque heritage of churches and mansions of this White City on foot. We wander through the maze of the Santa Catalina Convent complex, decorated in Mudejar style. At dinner, we may sample some of Arequipa’s regional dishes, such as the Rocoto Relleno (stuffed pepper) or Chupe de Camarones (shrimp chowder).

Day 5
B, L, D included
We head higher into the Andes and after a 4 hours’ drive through the altiplano, crossing a 4,900 m/16,000 ft pass, we arrive in Yanque (3,400 m/11,150 ft), one of the original twelve settlements in the Colca valley. We enjoy some free time in our stylish country lodge (2 nights), with outdoor hot spring pools, to allow for adjustment to the altitude.

Day 6
B, L, D included
We set off on foot from the lodge on an undemanding circular walk (3 hrs) taking in the pre-Inca archaeological site of Uyo Uyo and the 16th century Franciscan Church of the Immaculate Conception in the centre of Yanque. In the afternoon, we drive along the edge of the Colca Canyon, twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. At viewpoints overlooking the canyon we may encounter the endangered Andean Condor soaring.

Day 7
B, L, D included
On the drive from Colca Valley to Lake Titicaca, we cross the Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, established in 1979 for the protection of vicuñas and guanaco, the two wild South American camelids. We may see these shy animals, as they feed during the day in the highland grassy plains. We stop on the shore of Lake Umayo at the Sillustani cemetery complex of the ancient Colla people with its chullpas, large circular fortified stone burial towers up to 12 m high. Our accommodation tonight is a 3 star central hotel in Puno.

Day 8
B, L, D included
We board the luxury Belmond Andean Explorer train at midday and enjoy our first meal on board. Approximately halfway between Puno and Cusco, at the La Raya Pass railway station (4,335 m/14,220 ft), we disembark for a short excursion into the surrounding altiplano landscape. Cocktails and dinner are served as the train continues its journey through the Andes.

Day 9
B, L, D included
We arrive in Cusco (3,400 m/11,150 ft) and disembark at around 8 o’clock after breakfast. The Incas’ Sacred Valley, called alternatively the Urubamba river valley, is a fertile region with an agreeable climate and has been supplying agricultural produce to Cusco for centuries. We start our Mountain Lodges of Peru adventure with a visit to the impressive Inca citadel ruins at Pisac. Our mountain lodge tonight is in Lamay (2,950 m/9,700 ft) and, like the next two lodges, is run in partnership with local communities. The lodges are built and furnished to a high standard using traditional materials and techniques and the restaurants serve modern versions of typical regional dishes.

Day 10
B, L, D included
This morning, we drive through the scenic Lares valley, visiting small villages and the off-the-beaten track archaeological site of Ancasmarka. Our afternoon walk takes approx. 3 hrs and brings us to our delightful lodge in Huacahuasi (3,800 m/12,500 ft).

Day 11
B, L, D included
We are introduced to an ancient Inca animal well-being ceremony before a short but energetic climb (1 hr) takes us to the atmospheric small Inca site at Pumamarka. After lunch, we drive to nearby Ollantaytambo and have free time for individual exploration of its picturesque centre, which preserves the original Inca street layout.

Day 12
B, L, D included
An early start allows us to reach the Pinkuylluna granary ruins above Ollantaytambo on foot (1.5 hr round trip), before we visit the unfinished Temple of the Sun within the urban archaeological site. Around midday, we board the train for the 90-minute journey to Machu Picchu, enjoying lunch on board. The railway station and our exclusive stylish hotel (2 nights), with conservation and sustainability credentials, are located in the town of Aguas Calientes, below the Sanctuary itself.

Day 13
B, L, D included
On our first visit to Machu Picchu, we are introduced to the highlights of this extensive Inca Citadel complex on a guided tour. We return to our hotel for lunch and have a free afternoon to relax or to look for birds and orchids in the hotel’s extensive tropical garden.

Day 14
B, L, D included
Our second permit to Machu Picchu allows us to walk (1.5 hrs) to the Sun Gate, enjoying increasingly spectacular views of the ruins and the surrounding tropical forest. In the afternoon, we travel to our 4 star country hotel in the Sacred Valley via Ollantaytambo by train and bus.

Day 15
B, L, D included
This morning’s 3 hr walk takes us from Moray, described as the Incas’ agricultural laboratory, to the ancient salt ponds at Maras. In the afternoon, we transfer (1 hr) to Cusco where we stay for 2 nights in a 4 star central hotel. To celebrate our Sacred Valley journey, we may treat ourselves to a pisco sour cocktail before dinner.

Day 16
B, L, D included
We explore this ancient capital of the Inca Empire, starting at Sacsayhuaman, the citadel on the outskirts of Cusco. In Qorikancha, we see the remains of the legendary 15th century Temple of Gold, notoriously looted by the Spanish conquistadors immediately on their arrival in Cusco. The characteristic Inca mortarless stone walls with trapezoidal apertures now form the base of the Santo Domingo Convent.

Day 17
B, L included
Our 17 day luxury guided Peru walking holiday and culture tour concludes with an afternoon flight from Cusco to Lima in time to connect to evening flights home or extend your tour for further exploration.

 

17 day luxury guided Peru walking holiday and culture tour: From £8,570 to £8,790 for 17 days

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£8,570 to 8,790 17 days
 
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