From the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu to the crystalline waters of Lake Titicaca; from the modern bustle of Lima to the jumbled streets of La Paz, see the best of these fascinating Andean nations.
*This suggested tour was created by our specialist team to inspire you. With Contours Travel you have the flexibility to alter this itinerary to suit your timeframe and budget. Add or change any location, excursion or accommodation.
Arrive Lima Airport; you will be met by our English speaking local guide & transferred to your hotel, located in the seaside barrio of Miraflores.
Depart this morning on a half day sightseeing tour of Lima. Your tour includes the city’s most important monuments: The Plaza Mayor, Government Palace, the City Hall and the Cathedral. Torre Tagle, an exceptionally beautiful mansion built in 1735, today houses the offices of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Nearby, the recently renovated Palacio de Osambela, built between 1803 and 1805, serves as a venue for art exhibitions and cultural events.
Later visit to the Larco Herrera Museum which hosts the most important archaeological collection of the north coast of Peru and is located in an old Vice Royal mansion that was constructed on a pre-Columbian pyramid from the 18th century. This fabulous museum has also an exquisite collection of gold and silver of ancient Peru and a room full of erotic art. The pieces in this museum are now world-famous after having been exhibited in the best museums around the world. Transfer back to your hotel at the end of the tour.
Arrival in Puerto Maldonado. A Posada Amazonas guide will be waiting for you for a transfer to the lodge. Upon arrival, we will drive ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters.
Once you arrive at Tambopata River Port, you will take a forty five minute boat ride to Posada Amazonas situated in the Community´s Primary Forest Private Reserve.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
Explore the lodge and the surroundings, or choose to do a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas leads to the 30 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From atop you will obtain spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest. Now and then toucans, parrots or macaws can be seen flying against the horizon.
Lake Tres Chimbadas is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. Once there you will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters (seen by 60% of our lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. Otters are most active from dawn to eight or nine AM.
You could also visit the Parrot Clay Lick. This clay lick is only a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas. Species such as Mealy and Yellow- headed Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot and Dusky headed Parakeet descend at this clay lick. The clay lick is active at dawn, during the late mornings and mid-afternoons.
Another option is an Ethnobotanical Tour. This tour is a twenty minute boat drive down river that leads you to a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape. The Centro Ñape is a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their little clinic.
You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen.
We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado. From Puerto Maldonado you will be transferred to the airport.
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Located at around 2,700m above sea level, the valley is a great place to spend your first few days acclimatising before moving up to the more challenging heights of Cuzco (3,400m).
Discover the best of the Sacred Valley of the Incas through this full day tour starting on the Inca’s Balcony, a beautiful place with an impressive view of Chinchero ruins and city, where twelve families still preserve their traditional mores, showing you the ancestral way in which they process the wool, and obtain those vivid colors for their textiles.
Later, we will arrive to Moray, an impressing pre-Inca greenhouse, then, we will have lunch in a local restaurant.
Afterwards, we will get to Ollantaytambo, one of the most monumental architectural complexes of the ancient Inca Empire, one of the few places where the Spanish conquistadors lost a major battle. Very well known for its “andenes” (terraces dug into the slopes of mountains for agricultural purposes), Ollantaytambo was a highly effective fortress, that also served as a temple. Then, we will follow to the town of Ollantaytambo, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been continuously inhabited since the 13th century.
Transfer to the train station in Ollantaytambo for your 90 minute Vistadome train ride to the deserted city of Machu Picchu, the most renowned example of Inca architecture. Today’s visit to magical Machu Picchu will undoubtedly be a highlight of your trip!
Enjoy a guided tour of the ruins & lunch at Sanctuary Lodge before taking a mini-bus back to Aguas Calientes where you will overnight.
Early this morning, board the mini bus for a second trip to the ruins with your entry included. As dawn breaks, watch the mist rise over the top of the mountain citadel, a truly unforgettable experience. Explore the ruins at your own pace before returning to Cuzco by train this afternoon.
Depart this afternoon on a half day sightseeing tour of Cuzco. Visit the Cathedral and Koricancha Temple, before continuing to the Pre-Colombian Art Museum with its impressive collection of archaeological pieces. Finally we head out of the city to the surrounding ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Kenko, Puca-Pucara and Tambomachay. The Cuzco Tourist Ticket, which gives you access to sixteen sites in and around Cuzco, is included in today’s tour.
Day at leisure to relax and explore. We recommend a stroll up to the artisan’s district of San Blas to visit the pretty adobe Iglesia San Blas and explore some of the handicraft workshops nearby. Despite its simple exterior San Blas Church contains one of the most impressive colonial jewels in the country- an intricately carved 17th-century cedar pulpit hewn from a single tree trunk and dominated by the triumphant figure of Christ.
Depart by bus this morning on a full day tour across the altiplano to Puno, situated on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Entry fees to local sites along the way are included. This daily service from Cuzco to Puno steadily climbs up the Vilcanota Valley towards the head waters of the Urubamba River and the highest point of the trip, Abra La Raya at 4321 metres above sea level. From Abra La Raya, it is a gradual descent into the opening grassy plains towards Lake Titicaca and towards the Bolivian Altiplano and eventually to down to the lake’s edge where Puno is nestled.
Depart this morning on a half day tour out to the famous Uros Islands. After short 20-minute trip out of Puno harbour, you arrive at the floating islands of Uros, where 300 Uros Indians live and fish on the man-made islands made entirely of totora reeds that grow in the lake. Enjoy the colourful traditional dress of the men and women and perhaps take a ride in s surprisingly stable totora canoe before returning to your hotel.
You will be met at your hotel this morning (approx. 06:30am) and depart from Puno on a tour travelling around Lake Titicaca and across the border into Bolivia. Please make sure you have your passport ready for Immigration. You will visit the town of Copacabana and it’s pretty Cathedral before boarding the catamaran for Sun Island. Arriving to the southern end of Sun Island, we disembark and visit the Inca Garden and Stairs, the Inti Wati Complex and experience a Kallawaya Ancient Ceremony.
You will also have the opportunity to see a replica of the reed boats once used by the Aymara Indians and see a demonstration of how these ingenious boats plied the water. Visit the Pilkokaina Inca Ruins before boarding the catamaran and sitting down to a delicious buffet lunch. We sail to Chua, where you will disembark and continue the rest of your journey to La Paz by road, arriving at around 19:30pm this evening at your hotel.
Depart this morning on a half day sightseeing tour of La Paz, including the city’s fantastic street markets, rich in handicrafts, weavings and witchcraft artefacts. We visit the colonial part of the city, including San Francisco Church, the Gold Museum, Murillo Square and the outdoor replica of the Tiahuanaco temple, before continuing to the modern part of town. Finally, admire the natural geological formations of the Valley of the Moon.
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight or ask us about extending with an unforgettable trip across the Uyuni Salt Plains.