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This Lima to Lima tour has been tailored with adventurous travellers in mind. Explore the bustling Peruvian capital of Lima and discover Arequipa with its fascinating fringe of volcanoes. See the Uros' reed-woven islands on Lake Titicaca near Puno in person, and venture into the folds of the Sacred Valley to discover priceless monuments to Incan culture. Tick off bucket-list items like Machu Picchu, the ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo archaeological complex (the living Inca city!). This tour offers 360° immersion in a culture unlike any other.
We use a variety of hotels in each destination, so you may stay in a hotel different to that listed here. Hotels are selected closer to departure date; you will receive a confirmed list one week prior to your departure date.
Welcome to Lima, the beloved capital of Peru! Check in at your hotel and freshen up at your leisure. Enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow Expat Explore travellers this evening and get ready for the trip of a lifetime. Your tour leader will meet up with your group in three days' time; a local Expat Explore representative will assist you with check-in at the hotel and answer any questions you have about your upcoming trip this evening.
Grab some breakfast and board the transfer vehicle to Jorge Chavez International Airport for a short flight to Arequipa. This large colonial town is located in the south of Peru, and known for its beautiful plazas and fascinating fringe of volcanoes. Book in at your Arequipa hotel and join in on a locally-guided city tour. Once you have the lay of the land, use your free time to explore to your heart's content this afternoon before making plans for dinner. There are plenty of restaurants and street food vendors to choose from.
Spend the morning at your leisure and stock up on some snacks before your transfer through the mountains to Puno. You'll depart Arequipa around lunch time and will have stops in Pampa Cañahuas and Lagunillas this afternoon - places where you can sip coca leaf tea and spot vicuñas (like llamas) and native bird life. Arrive in Puno later this evening.
Enjoy some free time to wander the streets of Puno and explore the city further after breakfast. Puno is Peru's capital of folklore and there is plenty to see and do, including the Museo Carlos Dreyer, which houses archaeological artifacts from the pre-Inca, Inca, colonial and the Republic periods. Puno’s baroque cathedral is also worth a visit, along with the Arco Deustua stone archway. Around midday you’ll meet up with your Expat Explore tour leader and other travellers who have come from Copacabana.
Board a traditional reed boat and get the rare opportunity to explore the floating islands of Uros. The Uru people hand-make these islands using totora reeds, located in the middle of beautiful Lake Titicaca. They maintain a traditional lifestyle away from the mainland, depending only on the lake for food. During the visit you will see how the locals produce handicrafts, witness folk dances and taste the local food. It's truly unique travel experience. Returning to Puno in the late afternoon and make your way to the hotel for the evening.
Today takes us quite a distance, so be ready for an early start. After breakfast, embark on a journey through mountain valleys, along rivers and through small villages. We steadily rise in altitude on the way to the Sacred Valley. Our journey is punctuated with stopovers at various places of interest. This includes the town of Pucara, famous for its pottery and Pre-Incan culture. There's also the lookout point at La Raya located at 4,335m above sea level! Also take a guided tour of Raqchi, the site of an ancient Inca fortress and temple. The Sistine Chapel of the Andes, the church of San Pedro Apóstol, in Andahuaylillas is our last stop. At the end of the day, arrive at the hotel in the heart of the Sacred Valley.
Discover more secrets of the Sacred Valley today. After breakfast, take to the winding roads and head deep into the local villages and imposing mountains throughout the valley. On the way you’ll see the most stunning Incan sites and learn more about the local culture, landscapes and Incan history. Deep in the Sacred Valley, make a stop at the town of Ollantaytambo and its incredible fortress. This was once the base for Incan ceremonies and the royal estate of the Incan Emperor. We also stop at a local marketplaces where locals sell traditional Latin American handicrafts. Enjoy exceptional glimpses into local life as you see the locals go about their business. If you buy, be sure to buy local! On the go you'll see llamas, alpacas, goats and sheep grazing by the side of the highway. Make it back to the hotel in Urubamba by the end of the day for a relaxing evening.
Today is sure to be a soul-stirring highlight of the tour of South America! You have the opportunity to set foot in Machu Picchu on a fully-guided tour. It’s known to be one of the most celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South America, and perhaps even the world. The entire site lies on a mountain in the Peruvian Andes surrounded by steep cliffs and lush valleys. It’s made up of the ruins of intricate buildings, tombs, stone canals and plazas. The site is known to have been the royal estate of the Inca king, Pachacutec. Exactly why it was built or what the purpose of Machu Picchu was, no one really knows. After being forgotten for many years, it was rediscovered in 1911 by American archaeologist Hiram Bingham. To get to this treasured location, one has to travel by means of bus, train and on foot. After a day of exploring with the local guide, make your way back to the hotel.
Take one last look at the sweet scenery of the Sacred Valley, as the road leads to Cusco the former capital of the Incan Empire this morning. Stop at the fortress-temple of Sacsayhuaman along the way - another example of the ancient Inca architecture at its best. The layered walls you can see here consist of enormous rocks that were stacked to precision. Wander around in pure awe of the remains of what might have stood here once. Over lunchtime, look for any spot packed with Cusqueños and you'll be guaranteed a delicious meal. This afternoon, explore Cusco on a tour with a local guide. It’s known as the bellybutton of the world and is also the longest continuously inhabited city in South America. As night falls, you can choose to attend a buffet dinner and local dance show, or take time out and spend it however you wish.
Board a flight to Lima from Cusco this morning. After a short flight, a city tour of Lima with a local expert will help you get your bearings. The dynamic city of Lima is the capital of Peru, boasting close to 10 million inhabitants. The city tour will cover all the top attractions like the Cathedral of Lima, the Convent and Plaza San Francisco, Plaza de Armas and more. Our hotel for this evening is located in the Miraflores neighborhood. After checking in and freshening up, head out for dinner with the group.
Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore Lima, or join a memorable full-day trip to the magnificent Paracas region on Peru’s southern coast. The day starts with an early departure from the hotel and a trip to Paracas. From here we embark on a boat trip to the Ballestas islands, known for its incredible concentration of marine wildlife. See sea lions, penguins, pelicans and dolphins up close and marvel at the spectacular views of the coast. Then take a drive to the Pisco airport to take to the sky and lay eyes on the mysterious Nazca Lines. The sheer scale of these massive geoglyphs is something that must be seen to be believed. At the end of the day return to Lima in time for dinner.
Your Peruvian trip comes to an end in Lima this morning after breakfast. We hope you’ve enjoyed your adventure with Expat Explore. Remember to take your fellow travellers’ details so you can swap photos and travel mementos. We hope to see you back on tour soon!
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