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Six Faces of Peru

from £3525
Join a like-minded small group guided holiday on an 18 day journey of discovery in the lost land of the Incas.
  • Product Code 45900
  • Holiday Type Pioneer Holidays, Sightseeing And Walking Holidays
  • Grade Grade 4
  • Holiday Duration 17 Nights

Guided Walking Holidays - Six Faces of Peru

Peru offers unsurpassed natural attractions to the traveller. The terrain is vast and varied, from soaring Andean peaks to the huge depth of the Colca Canyon to the Amazon rainforest. Of the world’s man made structures Machu Picchu is surely the most famous of the stunning remains of the pre-Spanish era. The Inca inheritance adds a huge extra dimension and the flora and fauna are as diverse as the scenery. The birdlife in particular is incredible and Peru offers the chance to see a fantastic number of species.

We start in Lima, the bustling capital, with time to see the highlights. We fly up to Arequipa where views are dominated by El Misti (5800m), the dormant but still impressive volcano. The climate here is warm and pleasant all year around. We have time to enjoy the colonial architecture and particularly a trip around the Santa Catalina monastery, dating from 1570. It looks little changed in all that time. Next we drive across the altiplano with herds of vicuna and llama grazing beside the road to the arid Colca Canyon, one of the natural wonders of the world. Watching condors rising on early morning thermals it is not uncommon to feel the draft as they soar close by, unconcerned by your presence.

We sail to Lake Titicaca’s unique floating islands and travel out to Taquile Island for probably the best walk of the holiday. The views across Lake Titicaca to the Andes range are as spectacular as any. Cuzco has amazing Inca temples and fortresses, and we visit one of the best Andean markets at Pisac during our stay in the Sacred Valley. The train journey to Machu Picchu is just as breathtaking as the Lost City of the Incas itself. Finally, by the Madre de Dios River in the Amazonian rainforest, we can enjoy unimaginable flora and fauna more diverse than anywhere else in the world!


Holiday Highlights

  • Tour Machu Picchu and returning at dawn to see the sunrise.
  • Walk over Taquile Island, where the men like to knit, as serene and beautiful a place as anywhere in the world.
  • Take a coffee in Cuzco city square.
  • Spot the wildlife in the Amazon jungle.
  • Cross the Patapampa Pass at 4900m, probably the highest altitude many of us ever reach.
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Gatwick to Lima (British Airways)
      Airport transfers
      En suite accommodation with breakfasts taken in the hotels
      Dinners taken at the hotels or at local restaurants
      Local English speaking guide throughout
      All local transport costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: SS/4

  1. Day 1

    We depart from London our direct British Airways flight to Lima. On arrival we transfer to the Lima hotel where we stay for one night. Dinner is not included tonight but the leader will point out options to those that wish to eat.

  2. Day 2

    After breakfast we will have a day’s sightseeing in Lima including the Plaza de Armas and the Church of San Francisco. We will visit the Larco Museum and take lunch at the museum restaurant. Late afternoon we fly to Arequipa (two nights) situated 2,335m above sea level, the most "colonial" city in Peru. It is a good place to begin our acclimatisation to high altitude. Please note dinner is not included this evening but the town square, a short walk from the hotel, has plenty of eating options. Your tour leader will advise.

  3. Day 3

    This is the desert or arid region, some 600 miles south of Lima. Arequipa is known as the ‘White City’ because many of its buildings have been made from sillar, the white volcanic rock quarried locally. Our tour might start at the viewpoints for El Misti, the volcano that stands over the city and Yanahuara. We will visit the monastery of Santa Catalina to see the architecture, art and furniture of a world that has stood still since 1570, our guided tour here takes about an hour. Finally we will reach the earthquake damaged cathedral & Plaza de Armas square. Our hotel is within walking distance of the square so we can return to the hotel on foot. There will be free time at the end of the day to relax or explore further.

  4. Day 4

    This morning we depart by coach on the road through the magnificent scenery of the high pampa and over the 4,900m Patapampa Pass. This will be the highest altitude we reach on our holiday. This is the place the affects of altitude are most likely to be felt so we will not stop at the pass this time but descend to Chivay village and our hotel for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. On the journey herds of vicuna, lama and alpaca are often seen along with Andean bird life.

  5. Day 5

    We visit the valley of the Colca Canyon, a cleft in the earth's surface said to be 3,000m deep, double that of Colorado's Grand Canyon, its grandeur creating an enormous impression on visitors. We set out early in order to see (if we are lucky) a display of condors. On a good day these huge birds fly astonishingly close. Later we can walk to Cabanaconde village for lunch. There may also be a chance to visit the local hot springs, the walk from the hotel is about 3km taking a gentle hour. After visiting the hot springs the coach will bring us back to the hotel.

  6. Day 6

    From Colca we take the road back over the Patapampa Pass and continue to Puno arriving late afternoon for a two night stay. The journey takes about 6hrs. This time, being better acclimatised, we can stop to sample life at high altitude. It is likely there will be patches of snow at the pass. Another highlight for some might be to catch sight of flamingos at Lago Lagunillas on the way.

  7. Day 7

    Puno lies on a bay of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at 3,827m. It sits amidst bleak, almost treeless countryside, with the peaks of the Cordillera Real in the far distance. The local people have retained many ancient customs, which with the existence of pre-Hispanic and colonial monuments make the area another fascinating region to visit. We will visit the Island of Taquile in Lake Titicaca the home of skilled weavers and knitting men. The walk across Taquile Island for many will be the most spectacular walk of the holiday. It takes about an hour to walk up from the jetty to the town where we can take lunch is a local cafe, we then descend back down to the boat. We also stop to see some of the ‘floating’ islands of the Uros Indians in the lake. We also have a chance to visit the Yavari project where local labour is involved in restoring a steam ship made in Victorian Britain and transported over the Andes to Lake Titicaca in pieces by mule. Contributions to this charitable foundation are most welcome.

  8. Day 8

    We travel by road the 250 miles from Puno through mountainous country to Cuzco (approx. 8 hours) for one night. En route we will visit the Sillustani Peninsula, with its mysterious burial mounds or tombs thought to be those of ancient Hatuncolla chiefs. We visit Cuzco for several reasons not least for its Inca and Spanish colonial remains and the local people who have retained their original clothing and customs but also for the outstanding beauty of the scenery. This region has a strong character of its own. The city is sited at over 3,000m in the Andes. Little is known of its history before the arrival of Pizarro’s rampaging armies. During our stay here we have an opportunity to see the magnificent architecture of the convents and churches.

  9. Day 9

    We leave Cuzco early and drive out to the Sacred Valley to walk down from the ruins above Pisac into the market, another walk with spectacular views. We descend 500m over 4km. The walk takes about 2hrs at a gentle pace with plenty of time to enjoy and photograph the view. The market in Pisac at the end of the walk is probably the best place to buy local crafts on the holiday. We stay one night in the Sacred Valley.

  10. Day 10

    After a leisurely morning we take an afternoon train for Machu Picchu. We travel the 70 miles by train for a night in the village of Aguas Calientes (one night) below Machu Picchu. The train journey takes about 90mins through spectacular scenery and is another highlight of the holiday. On arrival in Aguas Calientes it is short walk to the hotel.

  11. Day 11

    We will take minibuses up to Machu Picchu to enjoy the early morning light and a full guided tour of the ruins before the midday crowds arrive. We will have plenty of time to take in the site, undoubtedly one of the wonders of the world. There is a very good reason why Machu Picchu is a world renown tourist site. We should also have time to walk up to the Inti Punku gate. This is the end of the Inca Trail and offers a great view over the site. The walk climbs 350m over 1.5km on a well trodden, if rocky, trail. The plan is to take lunch here whilst enjoying the view. We catch the early afternoon train back to Cuzco and to our hotel where we stay three further nights.

  12. Day 12

    We begin with a coach journey to Tambo Machay 30 minutes outside Cusco, followed by a visit to the sites of Puca Pucara, Quenko and Sacsayhuaman. This is an enormous construction on the outskirts of Cuzco of whose walls Pedro Sancho wrote in 1534: "Spaniards who have seen them say that not even the Bridge of Segovia nor any construction of Hercules or the Romans can be compared to this". It is possible for clients to walk back down to Cusco from Sacsayhuaman (350m descent, many steps, 1hr) for those who would like. Back in Cuzco we will spend time with our local guide taking the myriad city sights.

  13. Day 13

    This is planned as a free day for you to relax or explore Cuzco in more depth.

  14. Day 14

    We fly from Cuzco down the Andes to Puerto Maldonaldo, we continue by boat on the Madre de Dios River for the 30 min journey to a jungle lodge for two nights. Here, east of the Andes, is the greatest tropical forest in the world - the Amazon Jungle. We will walk, canoe and explore the jungle with an expert local guide to get the most of a stay. A canoe trip on Lake Sandoval offers the chance to spot otters (endangered and rarely seen), howler monkeys (which you will likely hear before you see), macaws and caimans.

  15. Day 15

    We return to Puerto Maldonado by boat from where we fly back to Lima for our last night.

  16. Day 16

    We have free time in Lima, before transferring to Lima airport and flying direct overnight to London.

  17. Day 17

    We arrive back in the UK.

Travel Details

  • Flights: Gatwick-Lima (c12hrs 30mins), British Airways.       
  • Arrival transfer by road (c30mins).
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
     

Trip Map

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Hotel San Agustin International

The hotel is decorated in the guadiano style, the only one of its kind in Cusco. It is only a short walk to the main square, the focal point of this culturally important city. Clean and cosy rooms have en-suite facilities, a TV, phone, safe and heater. A free oxygen service is even available if you should be feeling the effects of altitude. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. A free breakfast buffet is served in the stone walled restaurant, which also serves a dinner of Arequipan and international flavours. There is also a bar and lounge and a charming small walled garden where you can unwind.


San Agustin Posada del Monasterio, Arequipa

Just in front of Santa Catalina Convent and three blocks from the main square, the San Agustin Posada is set in an 18th century stone building and features bright and clean rooms with free Wi-Fi, safes and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. A free breakfast buffet is served in the stone walled restaurant, which also serves a dinner of Arequipan and international flavours. There is also a bar and lounge and a charming small walled garden where you can unwind.


Sonesta Posada del Inca

In a superb location in the Sacred Valley, the Sonesta Posada is a former monastery built in the 18th century in the traditional Hispanic hacienda style. It has beautiful gardens through which friendly alpacas roam free. Friendly staff and an excellent restaurant all add to the experience of your stay. All rooms come with a safe, hairdryer, bathroom, telephone, cable TV and heater. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.


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