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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Level 2 Requires moderate physical activity. You need to be able to participate in physical activities such as longer walking tours, walking over uneven terrain, climbing steps and be comfortable with some periods of standing. Not suitable if you have limited mobility.
Destination: Peru Explorer
Duration: 12 days, 11 nights
Flight information: Depart London Heathrow the day before the tour begins to arrive into Lima airport [LIM] on Day 1 and depart from Cusco Airport [CUZ] on Day 12
Pickup location: Lima Airport [LIM]

Overview

Choose your own departure date for your group.

Explore the Inca citadel Machu Picchu, Paracas and the Nazca lines and the amazing Amazon Jungle

You have chosen one of the most rewarding places in the world to visit… Peru’s rich tapestry of cultures and landscapes promises enriching and unforgettable travel experiences. The country has a unique and dramatic historical legacy, encompassing both the mighty Inca Empire and the enduring influence of its Spanish Colonial heritage. We will start in the capital city of Lima before heading north to Paracas to get a view of the mysterious Nazca lines. We'll get a chance to see a wide variety of wildlife when we visit Ballestas Island and the Paracas National Reserve - Humboldt penguins, sea lions, dolphins, flamingoes & many sea birds. Next we'll head to the Amazon for a rainforest experience of a lifetime! Our next flight takes us to Cuzco and then on to what is often a highlight of the trip for many - the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu. 

Whatever your passions, Peru will delight you. You’ll encounter friendly people, sample great cuisine, discover vibrant artistic traditions, journey through captivating landscapes, and explore some of the greatest architectural achievements of humanity. So no matter where your travels take you in Peru, whether it’s mountain, city, valley or jungle… get ready for one of the most memorable trips you’ll ever have!

Itinerary

Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Welcome to Lima
DAY 2 - Lima
DAY 3 - Paracas
DAY 4 - The Ballesta Islands
DAY 5 - Puerto Maldonado, Reserva Amazonica
DAY 6 - Reserva Amazonica
DAY 7 - Cusco and The Sacred Valley
DAY 8 - The Sacred Valley
DAY 9 - Ollantaytambo Fortress and Train to Aguas Calientes
DAY 10 - Machu Picchu and return to Cusco
DAY 11 - Cusco Cultural City Tour
DAY 12 - Farewell to Peru
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Welcome to Lima

On arrival we will be greeted at the airport by our local representative and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

DAY 2 - Lima

Peru’s capital is a rich kaleidoscope of colonial architectural jewels, revered pre-Columbian sites, charming residential areas, and vibrant shopping districts perched over the blue Pacific. This morning we will enjoy a city tour of Lima, including a visit to the 16th century Plaza Mayor, where we will see the Government Palace, City Hall and Cathedral. The San Francisco Convent, built in the 17th century, and its “Catacombs” - an ancient underground cemetery of Lima- is a highlight of the tour. We continue along the city’s lovely Pacific coastline through the enchanting neighbourhoods of San Isidro, Miraflores and Larco Mar for lunch at La Rosa Nautica.
In the afternoon, we visit the Larco Herrera Museum - always an entertaining an enlightening visit. Walking through the exhibition halls of the Larco Museum – the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art of the World - with our Curator, makes the visit an inspiring experience that gives you first-hand information about the collection and the peoples that made the beautiful archaeological objects.
This evening we enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner 

DAY 3 - Paracas

We depart Lima today and head north to Paracas (approx. 4hrs drive). When we arrive we'll have some time at leisure before dinner.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 4 - The Ballesta Islands

We get an early morning start today, to board a boat to the Ballestas Islands. The Ballestas Islands are home to thousands of birds and mammals including penguins, sea lions, Inca terns, pelicans and dolphins. The spectacular Paracas National Reserve is a must for all wildlife lovers. We visit some of the mysterious Nazcar lines today. These giant, puzzling markings carved into the ground resemble animals and geometric forms. Our local guide can explain how they were discovered but archaeologists are still unsure why they were created.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Optional extras: For a birds’ eye view you can take a flight over the Nazcar lines (the flight is in a small plane and is an optional extra bookable and payable locally only). 

DAY 5 - Puerto Maldonado, Reserva Amazonica

This morning we travel back to Lima airport for our flight to Puerto Maldonado.
We begin our rainforest experience as soon as we arrive with a 45 minute boat ride along the Madre de Dios River to arrive at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica lodge.
On arrival we will meet our local guide and then you are free to choose from the different included excursions available at the Inkaterra lodge during our stay.
Today we recommend a guided walk along the Trail system, into the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica natural area, where you will discover the Amazon Basin. This trail offers an excellent introduction to the forest environment, winding past impressive trees such as the Shihuahuaco, and the strangely beautiful strangler fig, offering excellent opportunities for bird watching and observing exotic insects.
This evening the Twilight River excursion is not to be missed— a guided afternoon boat rides on the Madre de Dios River. Witness the transformation from a diurnal to a nocturnal world: animals and birds of the daytime give way to species specially adapted to the night. As you enjoy searching for nightjars, owls, capybaras and big caimans in their paradise, you will learn about their habits and habitat.
We will gather again for dinner this evening, served in the main dining room from 7.30pm. to 9.30pm. After dinner, you may retire early to your own cabaña, or join us to talk about the experience of life in the rainforest, as you listen to the intriguing sounds of the jungle at night.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 6 - Reserva Amazonica

Rest in bed or rise early — the choice is yours. Breakfast is served from 5.30am, for those who want to avoid the heat and enjoy nature to its fullest. A full buffet breakfast is served from 7:00am to 9.30am.
This morning we enjoy the Lake Sandoval excursion into the Tambopata National Reserve. Glide in a wooden canoe across a mirror-like lake, home to the endangered giant river otter, red howler monkeys, red-bellied macaws, anacondas, side-neck turtles and black caimans. Return to the Inkaterra lodge for lunch.
After lunch, consider the remarkable Inkaterra Canopy Walkway and Anaconda Walk. Ascending the first tower, 29 meters above the forest ground, you begin your encounter with the treetop realm. For more than a quarter of a mile, walk through the rainforest canopy on a suspension bridge network linking eight observation platforms. During this hour-and-a-half expedition, be on the lookout for bright toucans, woodpeckers, trogons, monkeys and the three-toed sloth. If you wish you may extend your excursion and appreciate the sunset from one of the towers.
After your descent from the Canopy, experience the Anaconda Walk for about 30 minutes along the 200-meter wooden bridge over the Aguajales swamps. In this lush eco system, you may observe the various species of amphibians, birds, mammals, abundant flora, trees and there is a possibility to see serpents of this flooded marshland. The walk finishes by returning to the lodge. Once at the lodge, enjoy the daily nature presentation in the Eco Centre.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner 

DAY 7 - Cusco and The Sacred Valley

Today we bid a fond farewell to the rainforest and are transferred to Puerto Maldonado airport for our flight to Cusco.
Upon arrival, we will be greeted and transferred to the Sacred Valley. The rest of the day is at leisure before dinner is served at the hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 8 - The Sacred Valley

Today we visit Pisac, a picturesque town located 19.8 miles or 32km northeast of Cusco. Colourful fairs take place in Cusco every day. Here merchants offer for sale all sorts of handicrafts, the most interesting of which are the textiles and ceramic goods such as ceremonial goblets called “Q’eros”, plates, ashtrays, necklace and replicas of pre-Hispanic pottery.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant before we return to our hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 

DAY 9 - Ollantaytambo Fortress and Train to Aguas Calientes

This morning we visit the remarkable Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo. A very steep stone staircase leads into the fortress. Inside we find imposing esplanades and monoliths forming the Temple of the Sun. We will be fascinated to learn how the huge blocks were moved and used for building without the use of modern day machinery.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. This afternoon we take a private transfer to Ollantaytambo train station to take the vista dome train to Aguas Calientes and a short walk to the hotel. We have dinner at the hotel this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner 

DAY 10 - Machu Picchu and return to Cusco

Machu Picchu was never discovered by the Spaniards. For centuries it was buried in the jungle until Hiram Bingham found it in 1911. The Holy City of Machu Picchu was built in stone among the flanks of two hills belonging to the eastern mountain range of the Andes, descending into the Amazonian upper sylvan. There is no doubt that Machu Picchu represents an extraordinary example of architecture and engineering. Today starts early with a short walk to the bus station where the buses will wait to transfer you to the top of the Machu Picchu ruins (30 minutes). A full day guided tour of this iconic World heritage Site gives you some idea of what the city must have looked like in its glory days. Lunch is included.
After lunch, the train takes us back to Cusco. Upon arrival at the station, you will be transferred to your hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 

DAY 11 - Cusco Cultural City Tour

Today, we explore Cusco, the archaeological capital of the Americas. Much from the past is still evident here, as the present grows up around it. A visit to the 17th century Koricancha or Temple of the Sun, is a fine example of colonial baroque art. Continue the excursion with a visit to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman. We will also visit the San Pedro market, the one-stop shop for groceries and last minute souvenirs. The Mercado Central market is largely dedicated to sales of fruits, vegetables, meats and bread, it also has plenty of cheap and typical local dishes for the traveller with a sense of adventure- this may be a good place for you to find yourself some lunch. This afternoon is at leisure to explore Cusco.
This evening we will have a farewell dinner together.

Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner 

DAY 12 - Farewell to Peru

Enjoy a full breakfast before transferring to Cusco airport to meet the departure flights.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: none 

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More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • International Economy Return Airfare flying from London Heathrow [LHR] into Lima [LIM] and flying out Cusco [CUZ] to London Heathrow [LHR].
  • Air tickets for domestic flights: 1/ from Lima [LIM] to Puerto Maldonado [PEM] and 2/ Puerto Maldonado [PEM] to Cusco [CUZ]
  • Meet & greet at the airports on arrival Day 1 and departure Day 12
  • High quality hotel accommodation
  • Transport in an air-conditioned luxury vehicle
  • Vistadome train to / from Aguas Calientes
  • National English speaking registered tour guide
  • All activities, visits and excursions as detailed in the itinerary.

What's not included

  • Drinks
  • All entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions.
  • Visas, travel insurance.
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above.
  • Any meals not mentioned in itinerary.
  • Any optional activities offered.
  • Gratuities to drivers, guides or rangers etc. Our local travel service providers are paid well and fairly for their work. However, it is usual for groups to tip guides and drivers and it would be reasonable for each group member to factor in a contribution of around USD10 per day.

Important information

  • The Journey will start at Lima Airport [LIM] on Day 1 and end at Cusco Airport [CUZ] on Day 12.
  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant journey.
  • Check in is after 2-3pm and check out is before 10am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 - 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable.
  • A non-refundable deposit is due at the time of booking. Full balance will be due 14 weeks prior to departure.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.
  • Please consult your doctor letting them know your travel plans so that they can advise you about any vaccinations/medications you may need to take.
  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Prices are based on two people sharing and do not include increases in government taxes, fuel surcharges.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. VAT number: 290797457. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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