Explore Southern Peru
You will first travel to the Arequipa, the White City, where you'll see Juanita, the world famous ice-mummy, and observe the majestic condor flying in Colca Canyon. Then continue on to Lake Titicaca and visit the indigenous communities who live like their ancestors on man-made, floating islands. Following, you will travel on to Cusco where you will visit the Sacred Valley nearby. Finally, a luxury train journey will bring you to the awe inspiring citadel of Machu Picchu. (If your time allows, you can take a trip to the Ballestas Islands and the Nazca Lines on your way to Arequipa.)
Detailed Itinerary - 12 Days / 11 Nights
Day 1: Welcome to PeruYou are met upon arrival to the Lima airport by a Kuoda representative and taken to your hotel in Miraflores.
Day 2: First Stop: ArequipaThis morning, you'll be met by your host in Lima and taken back to the airport for your flight to Arequipa, also known as "The White City" as it has many colonial buildings made from sillar, a type of white volcanic rock. You'll be met upon arrival and taken to your hotel where you can relax before your city tour in the afternoon.
The tour will include the best sites in the city, including a peek at the mummy of a young girl frozen on top of a volcano for 500 years as well as the finest examples of architecture and art from the colonial period. You will end at the plaza of Yanahuara which offers beautiful vistas of the city itself and the Misti volcano beyond.
Day 3: On to Colca CanyonMorning finds you on your way with your personal guide to Colca Canyon. Along the way to Chivay, where you will spend the night, you'll have a few stops to see some of the native camelids as well as at a gorgeous vista of snowcapped mountains and volcanoes. After settling into your Chivay hotel, you can pay a visit to the nearby healing hot springs.
Day 4: Colca Canyon to PunoFollowing breakfast is the highlight of this portion of the trip- a visit to Condor's Cross where you will have great views and, hopefully, be able to see the Andean Condor in flight. You'll also be able to visit some of the local villages and learn more about their customs. Afternoon finds you in a private car on the way to Puno. This journey of about five hours will take you through some lovely countryside where you will observe an incredible variety of potatoes being cultivated. Upon arrival, your Kuoda host in Puno will check you into your hotel.
Day 5: Lake TiticacaToday, you head to the harbor from where you will begin your trip to the islands of Lake Titicaca. First stop is the Floating Islands of Uros, where this ancient community makes its home on islands made from totora reeds which they must continually renovate.
Next, you'll head to Taquile, an island whose residents are known particularly for their weavings, as well as their hospitality. Following lunch, you will return by boat to Puno and your hotel.
Day 6: Scenic Route to CuscoAfter breakfast, you will board a bus for a scenic trip to Cusco, stopping along the way at some of the highlights found enroute. First up is a visit to Pukara, a pre-Inca site, after which you'll stop at La Raya, the highest point of your trip. Here, you will have gorgeous vistas to take in of the snow-capped peaks surrounding you, as well as have a chance to purchase goods from local artisans should you desire.
Following your lunch stop, you visit Raqchi, an Inca outpost and then finally the church of Andahuaylillas, called the Sistine Chapel of the Americas in honor of its beautiful frescoes.
When your bus reaches Cusco at the end of the day, we'll meet you and bring you to your hotel where you can relax.
Day 7: Cusco CityToday, you'll have a leisurely walking tour of the city, allowing you to view the blend of Inca, colonial and modern cultures. Your guide will point out the highlights along the way, such as the many colonial structures built atop Inca foundations. Among the many sites you can visit are the church of San Blas, Koricancha, the Pre-Columbian Art Museum, the market at San Pedro and much more. Take the afternoon to explore more on your own or just relax at a café.
Day 8: The Sacred Valley AwaitsYou'll begin your exploration of the Sacred Valley in Pisac where you will visit both the town and the Inca ruins of that name. The ruins are located above the town, offering stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains, agricultural terraces and the valley. In the town, the market place in the town square has many artisans offering their personal wares including ceramics, textiles, jewelry and other crafts. After a gourmet lunch in Urubamba, you'll be taken to your hotel where you can relax or wander around the countryside.
Day 9: The Sacred Valley Explorations ContinueToday you have a personal driver and guide to take you to some sites which are not so widely visited. First off is Moray where there are Inca agricultural terraces in the shape of an amphitheater and thought to be used for experimenting with plants. After, you head to Maras. This small town is known for its beautiful colonial doorways. From here, you can walk down an ancient path to visit the salt pans that have been used since before the Incas arrived here.
After lunch at Casa de Barro, you'll get the chance to visit a small village at the banks of Lake Piuray and surrounded by Andean mountains. Here, people live much the way they did a century ago and the women practice traditional Inca techniques of weaving. Visiting here is a rare opportunity that is not on the usual tourist path.
Day 10: Machu PicchuYour early morning train will take you to Aguas Calientes from where you will board a bus for a short ride to the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. Here, you will have a private guided tour of the main parts of the site, followed by a delicious lunch at the adjacent Sanctuary Lodge. The afternoon can be spent further exploring the site, with or without your guide.
Day 11: Machu Picchu RevisitedAfter enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you'll have the opportunity to go back to Machu Picchu to enjoy the views, take more photos and just appreciate the energy and the amazing landscapes surrounding you. In the afternoon, you'll take the Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo/Poroy where you will be met and taken to your hotel.
Day 12: Back to Lima and HomeYou'll be escorted to the Cusco airport for your flight back to Lima. If time allows before your international flight, you'll be provided with a car and driver so that you can explore some of this capital city and maybe catch a gourmet meal.
All trips are private and will be customized to suit your individual interests and schedules. Please contact us at (800) 986-4150 for more information about our customized private tours to Peru. Costs will vary according to your specific itinerary, the number of people traveling and the type of accommodations you prefer.