Best of Peru

Peru

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Best of Peru

Colca Canyon, in southern Peru is a river canyon, known for its condors and a popular destination for hiking & bird-watching tours. It is famed as one of the deepest canyon in the world, punctuated with some of the finest examples of pre-Inca terracing. To the north, is the majestic Mismi Nevado, a 5,597m-high snow-capped peak, the official source of the Amazon River. It’s a habitat for the giant Andean condor, seen from its lookout point, Cruz del Condor.

Begin in Lima with private tours of Cusco and its archaeological sites including the Sacred Valley of the Incas and Machu Picchu ruins. Transfer to Arequipa, surrounded by three impressive volcanoes: Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu. The beautiful Arequipa city is known as the “White City”, because of the pale volcanic rock used in its architecture. Take private tour of its colonial sites: Santa Catalina Convent, Plaza de Armas and the La Comañia cloisters. 

TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 11-DAY BEST OF PERU ADVENTURE…
And, see majestic condors in flight soaring above the deep Colca Canyon.
 

What We Love
  • Exclusive tour, guided privately by a multilingual guide throughout the trip.
  • All touring is flexible and can be customised to incorporate special interests.
  • Designed with the best luxury accommodation and services available. 
  • Depart and return whenever you choose – shorten or lengthen the tour to suite your wishes.
  • This tour is designed to provide maximum outdoor experience.
What to Know
  • This is a relaxed tour with enough time in each destination to explore.
  • We carefully select the world's best boutique tour companies in each destination.
  • Unique, insider travel experiences and network of experts around the world.
  • Around the clock support in each destination during your trip. 
  • We strongly recommend that you take travel insurance for this holiday.

Review

Begin your tour in Lima, Peru's sprawling capital city. A major programme of urban renewal is in progress in the historic centre and it is worth a day or two in Lima, for its excellent museums, fine restaurants and vibrant nightlife.

Next fly to Cusco and transfer to the lower elevation of the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Urubamba Valley) for a two night stay. Continue your tour to the magical city of Cusco, capital of the Inca Empire (15th Century) starting at the Santo Domingo convent monastery. This former Colonial monastery was previously the Koricancha temple, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun.  

The ruins of Machu Picchu, rediscovered in 1911 are one of the most beautiful and enigmatic ancient sites in the world. Here the Inca built a small but extraordinary city that was invisible from below and completely self-contained.

Continue to Machu Picchu, the magical Lost City of the Incas. Your private guide will explain about the fascinating history of the site and ensure that you have the opportunity to explore the grounds after most tourists have left. Spend the following day exploring the ruins with the option to hike trails to stunning viewpoints around the site before continuing to Cusco on the luxury Hiram Bingham train.

Visit Cusco, the undisputed jewel in the crown of the Peruvian Andes. This ancient Inca capital is a beautiful mix of indigenous culture and colonial splendour and the most popular tourist attraction in the country.

Transfer to Arequipa, the “White City”, so named because of the pale volcanic rock used in a lot of the architecture. Take a city tour to include visits to the Santa Catalina Convent, Plaza de Armas and the La Comañia cloisters. The city is surrounded by three impressive volcanoes: Misti, Chachani and PichuPichu and one can see at least one of these from almost any place in the city.

Nearby is Colca Canyon, reportedly the deepest in the world and twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the USA. In addition to the awesome scenery, you will also see Andean condors, huge birds of prey, at close range as they float on the rising thermals, scanning for carrion far beneath them.

Return to Arequipa for an overnight stay and additional city touring.

Getting There

The principal international airlines are Lan and Avianca. There are no direct flights from London but there are direct flights to Lima from Madrid, Paris and Amsterdam. Airlines with regular services to Peru include Air Canada, American Airlines, Iberia and KLM. From Heathrow you can expect the journey to take anywhere between 16 and 22 hours, depending on the routing and stopovers.

Prices of flights to Peru from London are fairly consistent around the year, with a slight rise in the summer and over the major holidays. It’s best to avoid buying international air tickets in Peru, where prices are inflated by a high tax. If you’re uncertain of your return date, it will probably still work out cheaper to pay the extra for an open-ended return than to buy a single back from Peru.
 

 
Best of Peru Peru

Best of Peru

Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Arequipa, Colca Canyon
(11 Days – Travel Any Day)


Day 1 – Arrive
Lima Meet and greet on arrival and private transfer to your hotel for one night. Depending on the time of your arrival, you can either take a half day city tour or extend your stay by one day.

This cosmopolitan city is well worth a visit for the opportunity to experience its history as well as Peru’s best museums, shopping and restaurants. Enjoy personalized touring according to your interests, such as an insider tour of the old colonial quarter, a viewing of spectacular pre-Colombian art collections, time for browsing high-quality boutiques and art galleries, or exploring the city’s food markets (including tastings of local specialties).
Overnight: Hotel of your choice
Recommended: Miraflores Park Hotel.

Day 2 – Transfer
Sacred Valley Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Cusco. Meet and greet on arrival and private transfer to your hotel for your two-night stay.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice
Recommended: Palacio Nazarenas (B)

Day 3 – Private Touring
Sacred Valley Full-day private touring in the valley.
Your private guide will ensure you experience the best of the local culture during visits to indigenous markets and villages, gentle walks or hikes to important Inca and pre-Inca sites, and meetings with renowned local weavers. Active pursuits can also be incorporated, if desired, such as day treks, rafting, horse-back riding or mountain biking. A private Nuevo Andean cooking lesson can also be arranged, upon request.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice
Recommended: Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba (B)

Day 4 – Transfer & Private Touring
Machu Picchu Private transfer to Ollantaytambo train station and Vistadome train to Machu Picchu. Meet and greet on arrival and private transfer to your hotel for your one-night stay. In the afternoon, take a private tour of Machu Picchu with your private guide who will explain about the fascinating history of the site and ensure that you have the opportunity to explore the grounds after most tourists have left.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice
Recommended: Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge (B)

Day 5 – Private Touring & Transfer
Cusco Spend the morning with your private guide exploring the ruins with the option to hike trails to stunning viewpoints around the site before continuing to Cusco. In the afternoon take the luxury Hiram Bingham train to Cusco. On arrival private transfer to your hotel for one-night stay.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice
Recommended: Palacio Nazarenas (B)

Day 6 – Private Touring
Cusco Full-day private tour of Cusco and nearby ruins. Take a private tour through the narrow cobblestone streets as you learn about the fascinating Incan and Spanish history in the city. Visit markets, galleries, boutiques and the best artisan workshops. Also opt to see important archaeological sites just outside of the city. In the evenings, enjoy dining reservations at Cusco’s top restaurants. Additional activities can also be arranged, upon request, such as a meeting with a local art expert or an evening cultural performance.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice
Recommended: Palacio Nazarenas (B)

Day 7 – Transfer
Arequipa Transfer to the airport for your flight to Arequipa for one-night stay. Meet and greet on arrival and take a private transfer to the hotel.

After lunch and rest, take an afternoon tour of some of most beautiful places in Arequipa city also known as the ‘White City,’ since most of its buildings are made of white volcanic stone. Tour includes a visit to the Monastery of Santa Catalina that had remained closed to the public for over 400 years.  
Overnight: Hotel of your choice
Recommended: Sonesta Posada Arequipa Hotel (B)

Sonesta Posada del Inca Arequipa is located in the centre of the city's main square and next to the beautiful Cathedral. The hotel is just a few steps from the commercial and financial districts of Arequipa.  The Posada's ideal location allows easy access to the city's major tourist attractions, such as the monastery of ‘Santa Catalina’, the Museum of the ‘Dama de Ampato (Juanita mummy)’ and more.    

Day 8 – Private Touring
Colca Canyon Private transfer to resort in the Colca Canyon for two-nights stay with touring en route. You will drive through the Aguada Blanca National Reserve where you will see herds of llamas and alpacas grazing on the Patahuasi plains. After 4 hours you will reach the beginning of the Colca Canyon with its green valleys and Andean terraces. A stop is made at the picturesque town of Sibayo for a box lunch and visit to a vicuna reservation. The journey ends at the town of Chivay known for hot springs.  
Overnight: Local Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 9 – Condor Tour
Colca Canyon After breakfast, an early morning departure towards the ‘Condor Cross’, the best point for a breathtaking view of the Colca Canyon with the Colca river flowing 1,200 meters below and the majestic condors in flight above. Visit the Hanging Tombs at Choquetico before continuing on to the towns of Maca, Achoma and Yanque with its lovely white church. Return to Chivay and at leisure for rest of the day to enjoy the hot baths.

Day 10 – Transfer
Arequipa Private transfer to Arequipa airport and hotel for one-night.
Afternoon private tour of Arequipa
Overnight: Hotel of your choice
Recommended: Sonesta Posada Arequipa Hotel (B, L)

Day 11 – Depart
Lima Private transfer to Arequipa airport for flight to Lima.  Airport assistance to connecting international flight.
 

 

Recommended price

  • 5-star: From GBP 250 per person per day
  • 4-star: From GBP 200 per person per day
  • 3-star: From GBP 150 per person per day

The true price is customised based on final choice of hotels, travel dates, and other custom preferences. All prices exclude international flights.

Price Includes: hotels, airport transfers and transportation within the country, unique experiences guided by local experts and 24X7 support during your trip.

Make this your holiday

  • Exclusive Tour: your own private multilingual guide throughout the trip  
  • Price Guarantee: costing 25-30% less than similar tours of the same flexibility and quality
  • Tailor Made: customised itinerary to create your dream holiday
  • Duration: shorten or lengthen the tour to suit your wishes
  • Dates: depart and return whenever you choose
  • Hotels: change hotel grade to suit your budget
  • Group Discounts: call 020 8350 6199


Overview Peru has some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole of South America and a mind-bendingly fascinating history, with archaeological sites to match. Here the Andes attain the height of their glory, building the world's great centres of ancient civilization and their remains fascinate travellers and archaeologists alike.

The city of Cuzco is the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent and once the centre of the Inca Empire, flaunts its glorious legacy, not only in its architecture, ruins and museums but also in the people, who speak the Inca language, Quechua.

Where to go Begin your tour in the sprawling capital city of Peru. It is worth to spend a day or two in Lima, seeing its excellent museums, fine restaurants and vibrant nightlife.

Peru is known for its archaeological sites of which Machu Picchu is most famous. But along the coast, there are more fascinating archaeological sites, as well as glorious beaches and charming towns. South of Lima are the bizarre Nasca Lines, the drawings so monumentally huge that some can only be seen from the sky. And the National Reserve of paracas is inhabited by an enormous variety of birds, amongst which are Humboldt Penguins, Flamingoes and Pariguana.

North of Lima lie the great adobe city of Chan Chan and the Valley of the Pyramids. The surfing hangouts of Puerto Chicama and trendy Máncora beach are big draws along this stretch, but almost all of the coastal towns come replete with superb beaches, plentiful nightlife and great food.

For High Mountain trekking and climbing is the town of Huaraz, 420 km north of Lima. It is the gateway for visitors to the Callejón de Huaylas, the spectacular range with some of the highest peaks in Peru. The other key attraction here is the remains of the temple complex of Chavín de Huantar, one of the most important pre-Inca cultures, to the east of Huaraz.

For wildlife and nature enthusiasts, the Peruvian Amazon, known as "Amazonia", is considered to be the best preserved part of the Amazon Jungle. Jungle treks, lasting from a day to a week or more, are organised from Iquitos, the northern gateway to the Peruvian Amazon basin. The Manu Biosphere Reserve and the Tambopata-Candamo Reserved Zone, are in the South while the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve is in the North.

Finally for Machu Picchu, you will travel to Cuzco, the undisputed jewel in the crown of the Peruvian Andes. Once the ancient heart of the Inca Empire, it is surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountain landscapes and palatial ruins in Peru, and by magnificent hiking country. You will visit the Urubamba valley, also called the Sacred Valley before reaching Machu Picchu, the magical Lost City of the Incas.

When to go January – April: This is the rainy season. The eastern slope of the Andes, like the Amazon basin, experiences very heavy rainfall during the wet season, which extends from January through April. Travellers however visit the highlands all the rear round since it rarely rains for more than a few hours and there is still plenty of sunshine to enjoy.

During February, the Inca Trail is closed. However, Machu Picchu remains open but it is a bit more challenging for those wishing to trek. As February ends, the rains begin to ease and more visitors begin to arrive. This is a good period to combine Peru with a visit to the Galapagos Islands.

May – September: This is the best time to visit Peru, which is a dry season in the highlands. The western side of the Andes are very clear, warm, and dry for the greater part of the year. This being the high tourist season, most hotels get booked hence it is advisable to book early. More importantly, The Inca Trail that has limited spaces hence those wishing to travel from June onward should book at least six to nine months in advance.

October – December: The dry season comes to an end, but conditions are still pleasant. An abundance of birdlife and flora, particularly orchids, can be enjoyed in Peru’s cloud forests at this time. Water levels in the Amazon will be high from December to March, meaning fauna may not venture as close to the river banks, but it also makes it easier to explore smaller tributaries.

Visa British nationals don’t need a visa to travel if the purpose of the visit is tourism.
On arrival, you’re normally given permission to stay for up to 6 months.

If you enter Peru overland from Ecuador, make sure your passport is stamped with a Peruvian entry stamp at the local immigration office. Most people crossing the border with Ecuador enter Peru through Aguas Verdes (Tumbes region) - you may need to ask for directions to the immigration office.

If you enter Peru from Bolivia by bus or taxi, make sure your passport is stamped with a Peruvian entry stamp at the immigration office in Desaguadero or Copacabana (Puno region).

Immigration authorities may also not let you leave Peru without a valid exit stamp from the last country you visited. The British Embassy can’t intervene in immigration issues. Make sure you get your entry stamp when you arrive in Peru.

Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months on arrival in Peru.

Customs: British nationals have experienced problems when trying to enter the country with more than one laptop. You should familiarise yourself with Peruvian immigration or customs procedures before you enter the country.

If you are returning to the UK via Europe, be aware that the customs authorities in European airports frequently confiscate duty free alcohol and other liquids purchased at the duty free shops in Lima airport from passengers in transit.  

For further details contact the Peruvian Consulate in London.  
Visa information source: www.gov.uk