Amazing Peru

Lima, Ica, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca & Puno

This itinerary is for a past tour program.
Check out our new Amazing Peru tour program.

Peruvian mom & daughter in traditional dress Join us on a fascinating voyage of discovery as we visit some of the most splendid and awesome sites in the world. Peru, like the Parthenon in Greece or the Pyramids of Egypt, provides an unforgettable glimpse of the genius of a lost world. Highlights of this tour include visits to Lima, the City of Kings and the country's capital; Cuzco, the 11,000 ft high Inca capital; Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas and one of the most impressive archeological discoveries of all time; and Lake Titicaca, among the highest and most beautiful lakes in the world. You'll also have the special opportunity to fly over the mysterious and breathtaking Nazca Lines, a fascinating wonder of the ancient world.

This is truly an unforgettable, once in a lifetime adventure, full of discovery, beauty, history, culture and more fun than you can imagine. And while there are no compromises in the quality of the hotels and the scope of touring included in our program, it's yours for a price that's as amazing as the trip itself!

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting journey to Peru begins this evening as you depart on your overnight flight bound for Lima.

The cathedral in Lima Day 2: Lima & Ica. Early morning arrival in Lima, Peru's diverse capital. After arrival formalities, embark on a city tour of both modern and colonial Lima, founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro. See the historical center and the San Francisco Church as well as Plaza de Armas and the Government Palace. Visit the fashionable districts of San Isidro and Miraflores with their beautiful parks and elegant residences facing the ocean. Later this afternoon, depart for Ica, an oasis city that lies in the dune-filled desert coast of Southern Peru. Las Dunas or similar (L,D)

Image of a dog, Nazca Lines Day 3: Nazca Lines, Ica. The Nazca Lines remain one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world. Debate surrounds the origin, function, and creators of these large-scale geoglyphs. However, consensus exists on at least two characteristics of these designs-that they are pre-Inca, and that they are fascinating. Ranging in size from about 300ft to several miles in length, these designs depict not only abstract geometrical figures, but also different plants and animals, such as fish, hummingbirds, and condors. Because of their large size, the designs are best viewed from above. You'll have the opportunity to experience this superb vantage point on a small plane that flies over the Nazca Lines. After this unforgettable experience, return to Ica for a visit to the Archeological Museum for a look at Nazca, Paracas, and Inca artifacts. Breakfast provided.

La Catedral cliff, Paracas Day 4: Paracas, Lima. Set out early this morning along the South Panamerican Highway to Paracas. Upon arrival at Paracas Bay, board your boat to the Ballestas Islands. As you sail, be on the lookout for the strange cactus-like engraving on the sand cliffs, believed to be created by the designers of the Nazca Lines. Disembark at the Paracas National Reserve, the best shorebird sanctuary in South America. Numerous species of birds (cormorants, gannets, gulls, terns, pelicans, Humboldt penguins and other species), as well as a large colony of sea lions, populate these islands.

This afternoon, return to Lima in preparation for the next exciting leg of your journey. Casa Andina Private Collection Lima or similar. Breakfast provided.

Cuzco Day 5: Cuzco. After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board a short morning flight to Cuzco, capital of the Inca Empire and located 11,000 feet above sea level. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel located in the heart of the Old City just a few blocks from the Main Square. According to Inca legend, the city was founded by Manco Cápac, whose golden sceptre disappeared into the ground on its own showing him where to establish the city of Cuzco (the navel of the world). A guided tour takes you to the main sites of this impressive city, including the Plaza de Armas, center of the Inca Empire, where Francisco Pizarro proclaimed the conquest of Cuzco and where you find the beautiful 16th century cathedral, built on the ruins of the Koricancha, an important Inca temple to the Sun God. During Inca times this temple was literally covered with gold, but within months of the arrival of the first conquistadors this incredible wealth had all taken as treasure for Spain. Casa Andina Private Collection or Novotel Breakfast provided.

Peruvian in traditional dress Day 6: Pisac Market, Ollantaytambo, & Sacred Valley. Today you will visit some of the villages and towns that are representative of the traditions and lifestyle of the Andes. Your first stop is Pisac, a picturesque Andean village with a wonderful market. Here you'll have a chance to buy locally made ponchos, sweaters and other handcrafted clothing, ceramics and hand-painted beads. Enjoy browsing the "locals" section of the market, where villagers come from miles around, dressed in their traditional clothing, to barter and sell their produce.

Ollantaytambo, Peru Continue to Ollantaytambo, located at the foot of spectacular Inca ruins which protected the strategic entrance to the lower Urubamba Valley, also known as the Sacred Valley. The temple area is at the top of a series of steep terraces which helped provide excellent defenses. Stone used for these buildings was brought from a quarry high up on the opposite side of the Urubamba river-an incredible feat involving the efforts of thousands of workers. The complex, still under construction at the time of the conquest by Spain, was never completed. Casa Andina Private Collection or Sonesta Posada del Inca Sacred Valley. Breakfast provided.

Ruins of Machu Picchu
Ruins of Machu Picchu   © Promperu
Day 7: Machu Picchu, Cuzco. It's a short drive from your hotel to the Ollanta railroad station where you'll board the train that will take you through the lush Urubamba Valley, passing through stunning scenery en route to Machu Picchu, one of the most spectacular and enigmatic archeological sites in the world. Even those who aren't normally excited by archaeology will be impressed by this Lost City of the Incas.

A boy holding an alpaca near Puno  © casa Andina
A boy holding an alpaca near Puno
Unknown to the outside world until archeologist Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911, Machu Picchu is now the most recognizable symbol of the Inca Empire. Believed to have served as a country retreat town for Inca nobility, the complex consists of giant walls, terraces, and ramps constructed from precisely cut rock formations. This impressive architectural feat, in combination with its breathtaking natural setting amidst mist-covered green mountains above the rushing Urubamba River, makes for a visully stunning, and even mystical, experience. Return to Cuzco for overnight. Casa Andina Private Collection Breakfast provided.

Puno  © casa Andina
Puno   © casa Andina
Day 8: Puno. Take a drive of unbelievable beauty through the Andes and toward the Altiplano and Lake Titicaca. Driving from Cuzco to Puno through the Andes, you reach an elevation of more than 14,000 ft/4,265 m at La Raya (the apex between the Andes and Altiplano) as you pass through tiny villages of craftsmen, potters and weavers, farms, waterfalls, clear blue sky, deep blue water and dry, reddish-brown landscape. Have cameras charged and ready for the incredible panoramic shots you'll want to take along the way.

Grazing llamas, Puno  © casa Andina
Grazing llamas, Puno   © casa Andina
En route, stop at Raqchi, the archeological site that houses the Temple of Wiracocha. Continue to the small town of Andahuaylillas. The town's most important attraction is the San Pedro Church, whose impressive collection of religious art has prompted many to refer to it as the "Sistine Chapel of the Americas." Arrive at Puno this evening, on the shore of Lake Titicaca, 3800 m above sea level. Casa Andina Private Collection Puno Breakfast provided.

Houses on the Uros floating island  © casa Andina
Houses on the Uros floating island  
Day 9: Lake Titicaca, Uros, Taquile, Puno. This morning you'll visit beautiful, Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and, according to Andean legend, the birthplace of civilization. (Legend holds that Mama Ocllo and Manco Capac, the founders of the Inca Empire, appeared from the deep waters of this lake). A highlight of your tour is a visit to the floating island of Uros, where many of the inhabitants still practice the old traditions of fishing, trapping birds, weaving and sailing in boats and living in houses made of totora reeds which grow abundantly in the lake.

Lake Titicaca Continue to Taquile, the largest island on the Peruvian side of the lake. Taquileños, the Island locals, are famous for their beautiful woven goods, widely regarded as some of the highest quality handicrafts in Peru. Here, you'll also be able to take in breathtaking views of the lake, which looks like an ocean surrounded by mountains. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and some leisure time before returning to Puno. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Peruvian boy in traditional dress Day 10: Lima. After breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport for your short flight back to Lima. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure for independent pursuits before transferring to the airport tonight for your return flight to the US. Breakfast provided.

Day 11: Depart Lima/Arrive USA. Your return flight departs today just after midnight, arriving to Miami later this morning. (Passengers on the July 13 departure will overnight in Lima on Day 10 and transfer to the airport on the morning of Day 11.)

Special Notes: (The Nazca Lines flight excursion and boat excursion to Ballestas Islands are subject to weather conditions)

Destination FAQs

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Peru, click here.

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