"Journey to the cultural heartland of the mysterious Incas and discover the myths that surround this ancient civilisation"
On this adventurous trip you’ll explore Peru’s colonial capital, visit the birthplace of the Incas at Lake Titicaca and marvel at archaeological wonders in Cusco. Of course, no tour of South America would be complete without a ‘bucket-list’ visit to Machu Picchu… Your adventure begins in Lima, Peru’s capital and former colonial centre. Today, it’s one of South America’s largest and most vibrant cities, bursting with museums and top restaurants. You’ll then journey to the UNESCO cultural heritage site of Arequipa (the White City), famed for its white volcanic stone buildings.
Continuing your tour, you’ll visit arguably the world’s deepest canyon before driving across Andean plains to reach Lake Titicaca. You’ll take a boat tour on the lake to visit the floating reed homes of Uros Indians, known for their artisan handicrafts. Journeying on to Cusco, you’ll weave and wind your way through scenic mountain passes before arriving in the Americas’ archaeological capital. Discover Cusco’s highlights on a walking tour: the Cathedral, the Temple of the Sun and the ruins of Sacsayhauman to name but a few. Finally, visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas before ending with a guided tour of the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu.
Chimu Adventures aims to minimise its impact on the environment and support local communities in any way possible. The company strives to source guides, meals and transport from the communities it operates in rather than importing. Chimu Adventures prides itself on the fact that all operations for this tour are carried out by locally-owned companies, and they select locally-owned hotels which share their values in terms of social and environmental responsibility. The company's guides are highly experienced and qualified, and are paid above the minimum wage; since they are local, travellers are able to gain a more authentic insight into the communities and environments they visit.
Travellers are encouraged to minimise their carbon footprint whilst touring with Chimu Adventures, and are provided with information and advice on responsible waste disposal and how to offset carbon emissions. This ensures that guests are equipped with the knowledge necessary to help them protect the diverse ecosystems they visit. The company also practices what it preaches, with sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company/staff vehicles, and processes to help create paperless offices and reduce waste. Chimu’s ‘Pass it On’ programme empowers local people, providing funding to help Latin American communities develop their own infrastructure. Finally, Chimu Adventures also offers travellers the chance to make a positive impact by visiting community projects.
Arrival in Lima: Upon your arrival, you’ll have a ‘meet and greet’ before transferring to the Miraflores hotel in Lima. Peru’s capital was founded in 1535 and today is one of South America’s largest cities. A busy and vibrant metropolis, the city has numerous museums including the Museo Larco and the Museo de la Nación which traces the fascinating history of the country’s ancient civilisations. Known as the ‘gastronomical capital of the Americas’, Lima boasts some of the world’s best restaurants serving a huge variety of cuisines ranging from ceviche and traditional coastal cooking to international delicacies.
Arrival in Arequipa: Arequipa is renowned as Peru’s most beautiful city, and is an UNESCO cultural heritage site. Enjoy a welcome dinner before exploring the city, known as ‘La Ciudad Blanca’ (White City) due to its many white ‘sillar’ stone buildings. The city is 2,380m above sea level, perched on the edge of the Altiplano and surrounded by the volcanoes Misti, Pikchu Pikchu and Chachani.
Arequipa - Colca Canyon: One of the deepest in the world, the Colca Canyon is more than twice as deep as the USA’s Grand Canyon, and is a popular trekking destination. Walk the pre-Inca agricultural terraces that are still use by farmers today.
Colca Canyon: Home to the giant Andean condor, have an early start to observe the birds circling out of the canyon. Spend some time walking the area and later, in the evening, relax in natural hot springs.
Colca Canyon – Puno: Drive past roaming Alpaca and Vicuña along Andean plains, finally arriving at your destination: Lake Titicaca. Puno, on the lake’s shores, is the largest city in the Southern Altiplano and is an important region for agriculture and livestock (llamas and alpaca). A melting pot of Aymara and Quechua culture, this quaint hillside city sits at an altitude of over 3,800 metres.
Puno – Lake Titicaca: Enjoy a boat tour on the highest navigable lake in the world. Visit the Islas Uros, where floating reed islands are home to the Uros Indians, and marvel at the traditional handicrafts made on the isolated Taquile Island.
Puno – Cusco: Make your way to Cusco, journeying past rural communities and through winding mountain passes. Cusco, set at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Peruvian Andes, was once home to the ancient Inca Empire and today is known as the archaeological capital of the Americas.
Cusco: Explore the highlights of Cusco on a walking tour which will take you to the ruins of Sacsayhauman, the Temple of the Sun and the Cathedral.
Sacred Valley of the Incas: Pay a visit to the colonial village of Pisac in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Pisac is notable for its bustling market and huge fortress of Cusco Ollantaytambo.
Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu: Spend the morning exploring Ollantaytambo at your leisure before taking the Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes, a town at the base of Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu – Cusco: Rise early to arrive at Machu Picchu for sunrise. Enjoy a guided tour of this spectacular location, which is undoubtedly one of South America’s true highlights.
Cusco: Explore Cusco at your leisure, sipping coffee in the lively plazas and markets, walking through narrow walled alleys or enjoying some adrenaline-pumping activities including rafting, biking and paragliding.
Departure: Depart to Cusco airport for your outward flight.