Although Machu Picchu and Cuzco are the main attractions in Peru, there is so much more to discover in land of the Inca. On this suggested tour we show you the perfect way of exploring Lake Titicaca, Arequipa and majestic the Colca Canyon.
First in Arequipa, marvel at the stunning views of Misti volcano during a walking tour through the colonial city. A visit to Santa Catalina Convent, is a ‘must’ for photographers for its quiet cloisters and picturesque courtyard. Alternatively, visit the Museo Santuarios Andinos where the famous “Juanita” mummy is on display.
Then, travel through the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, to the Colca Canyon with its dramatic valleys and Andean terraces. There is a great variety of accommodation available in the Colca Valley, from rustic hotels to five star lodges.
Finally, travel overland to Lake Titicaca the highest navigable lake in the world and the cradle of the Inca Empire. Here you can either overnight in the town of Puno, or stay in a beautiful property overlooking Lake Titicaca.
Arrive in Arequipa and transfer to your hotel. We suggest a visit the Museo Santuarios Andinos where mummy “Juanita” is displayed. Momia Juanita, also known as the Lady of Ampato, is the well-preserved frozen body of a young Inca girl who was killed as an offering to the Inca gods sometime between 1450 and 1480.
Arequipa is arguably the loveliest city in Peru; discover its charming historic centre on a walking tour. You will visit the beautiful Plaza de Armas, surrounded by the city’s most important buildings including the Cathedral and Municipal Palace, and you’ll soon understand why Arequipa is nicknamed the ‘white city’ (la ciudad blanca, in Spanish); many of the buildings in the area are built of sillar, a white stone. Then, head to the Convent of Santa Catalina, a photographers dream with its colourful sun-drenched patios, cloisters, cobbled alleys and plazas.
Depart early this morning for a bus ride to the Colca Canyon and the town of Chivay. Drive through the Aguada Blanca National Reserve where you will see herds of llamas and alpacas grazing on the Catahuasi plains.
After a stop in Patapampa for a refreshment break of typical coca tea, the trip continues to Mollepunko, the beginning of the Colca Canyon with its green valleys and Andean terraces. A stop will be made at the picturesque town of Sibayo, for a box lunch and visit to a vicuña reservation. Your journey will end at the town of Chivay, where you will overnight in your selected lodge.
After breakfast, an early morning departure to ‘El Cruz del Condor’ for the best vantage point to admire the great Andean bird, the Condor, flying in circles above the impressive panorama of the Colca Canyon and the pre-Hispanic agricultural terraces. After lunch take the bus to Puno. Transfer to your hotel on arrival.
Depart by boat this morning, visiting the unique floating islands of Uros, and the quieter and more authentic Taquile Island. Continue to the private island of Suasi, where you can relax and admire the stunning views over Titicaca Lake from your room at Isla Suasi hotel.
Option to upgrade your stay. Located on its own private peninsula, the Relais & Chateaux luxury experience Titilaka Lodge offers a taste of the lake dwellers’ traditions and way of life. The 18 rooms, each with a splendid lake view, are decorated in a contemporary style with touches of local heritage, in symbiosis with the luxuriant natural setting. Activities range from exploring Inca and pre-Inca ruins, local markets, colonial temples, nautical sports, birdwatching, leisurely hiking or biking through stunning Andean scenery.
Morning at leisure. This afternoon take the boat back to Puno and stay overnight.
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.