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Experience the breathtaking landscapes and rich cultural heritage of Peru as we travel to the country’s renowned archaeological sites as well as lesser known wonders. Ponder the mystery of the Nasca Lines, cruise the beautiful Ballestas Islands, spotting penguins, sea lions, or colonies of seabirds, and, soak up the charms of vibrant Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire. Take a boat tour of lofty Lake Titicaca, and get to know the indigenous communities that have resided here for hundreds of years, wander the halls of a colonial-era convent in Arequipa, and delight in views of the Sacred Valley from the train to Machu Picchu.
Welcome to the City of the Kings. On arrival in Lima, you’ll be escorted to your hotel and enjoy the day to explore the sights of this colonial capital on your terms. Depending on your arrival time, we can arrange some tour in the city. This evening, you’ll join your Expedition Leader and fellow travellers for a Welcome Dinner at 6 p.m.
Drive south to the sun-soaked coastal town of Paracas, which serves as the starting point for expeditions to the Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Reserve. Check in to your hotel and spend the evening at leisure, opting to enjoy fresh seafood and pisco sour–Peru’s national drink.
Embark on a boat tour of the impressive Ballestas Islands, a group of rocky islets that provide refuge to sea lions, marine otters, penguins, and hundreds of species of seabirds. Next, we’ll visit the Tacama Winery, one of South America’s oldest wineries. Learn about the history of wine production in Peru with a resident expert, and enjoy a tasting of Pisco. After lunch, drive towards Nasca, stopping at the oasis town of Huacachina to view its soaring sand dunes.
The Nasca province of Peru is named for the mysterious Nasca civilization that flourished here between 200 BC and 600 AD. Venture to a Nasca cemetery in the desert to see ancient mummies, cloth fragments, and pottery; then visit a nearby pottery studio for a demonstration of traditional pottery making techniques. For dinner tonight, we’ll enjoy a spread of delicious dishes cooked in the style of a pachamanca, an ancient technique of burying food in an earthen oven, lending a hand with the preparation. You can also opt for a flightseeing excursion over the enigmatic Nasca Lines—enormous drawings etched on the ground that are believed to have been created by the Nasca people.
Set off on a full day drive along the coast to the beautiful, volcano-framed town of Arequipa, aslo known as The White City. Settle into your hotel and enjoy a restful evening after the day’s long journey.
Set off on a private city tour of Arequipa, nicknamed the “white city” for its buildings made of white sillar—a type of volcanic rock. On a guided walking tour, explore the lanes of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center, including a visit to the 16th-century Santa Catalina Monastery. Later, dig into Arequipa’s renowned cuisine with a cooking class led by a chef at a picantería, a traditional lunchtime restaurant. Try local favourites such as guinea pig, stuffed spicy peppers -Arequipa´s traditional dish-, and chicha—the Andean local beer typically made from fermented maize.
Fly to Cusco, once the capital of the great Inca Empire and a designated World Heritage site. Settle into your hotel and explore the charming city on your own. Opt to visit Plaza de Armas, the historic main square; discover a stunning array of artifacts at the Inca Museum; and more.
Drive to the scenic Sacred Valley for a full day of exploration with a local guide. Tour the famed Parque de la Papa, or Potato Park, a rural Andean community working to preserve hundreds of varieties of native potato. During this exclusive experience, you’ll walk through the park to learn about potato cultivation, traditional weaving, and the importance of both these practices to Andean culture. We’ll also visit the fascinating Inca sites of Ollantaytambo and Pisaq, and enjoy a meal at Muña Restaurant in Urubamba.
Travel by train through the lush Urubamba Valley to Aguas Calientes, a frontier town nestled beneath Machu Picchu. The afternoon is free for optional excursions. Take a relaxing soak in the local hot springs, visit a botanical garden, or wander the handicraft stalls in town as you prepare for an early start the following day to go up to Machu Picchu.
This morning, embark on a guided tour of Machu Picchu—the 15th-century Inca citadel rediscovered by the local farmer Agustin Lizarraga in 1902 and famously introduced to the world by professor Hiram Bingham in the April 1913 issue of National Geographic magazine. After being taken through the temples and terraces of this awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage site, return to Cusco by train.
Begin your day by discovering the cultural treasures of Cusco. Explore the UNESCO-listed site, Saqsayhuaman fortress overlooking Cusco, Tambomachay decorating the valley of the same name, and get introduced to the Inca-colonial streets learning more about Inca architecture at Qorikancha, the temple of the Sun. This afternoon, explore more about this charming city on your own. In the evening, visit the Cusco Planetarium for a presentation on the skies of the Southern Hemisphere, and learn about the vital role that astronomy played in the lives of the ancient Inca. Weather permitting, peer through the planetarium’s telescopes for a dazzling look at the stars.
Head south on a scenic drive to Puno, perched on the western shore of Lake Titicaca and meet a Local Expert to learn about daily life on the Peruvian altiplano. After an included lunch, explore Sillustani, a pre-Incan burial ground on the shores of Lake Umayo. Discover the towering chullpas (above ground tombs) before travelling to Puno along the shores of Lake Titicaca, the birthplace of the sun.
Set out to discover Lake Titicaca—one of the highest navigable lakes in the world and the second largest lake in South America. On a guided boat tour, visit the floating Uros Islands—built entirely of reeds—and step ashore Taquile Island, home to a thriving indigenous textile industry. For lunch, we’ll head to the small rural community of Luquina Chico. Enjoy a traditional meal in the home of a local family while taking in sweeping views of Lake Titicaca and its picturesque islands.
Transfer to the Juliaca airport to catch a flight back to Lima. Spend your last evening in Peru at leisure, opt to explore the streets of Lima’s World Heritage-listed historic center and enjoy mouthwatering Peruvian tapas and pisco sour—the country’s national drink. This evening we join our travel companions for a farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant.
Our discovery of an ancient civilisation has come to an end. We transfer to the airport for your onward flight or perhaps consider extending your holiday.
In keeping with the nature of an expedition, we keep our schedule flexible to take advantage of the unexpected, adapting our course to the conditions and opportunities that arise. Your Expedition experience can be tailored to the activity level you choose, whether it’s light or moderate or a little of both. Travelers should be in good health, comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time and over uneven surfaces, and able to get in and out of unstable expedition landing craft. Daily activities may include easy hikes, walking tours, and visits to cultural or historic sites, with options for more physical activities such as longer hikes, dependant on conditions. All departures are family friendly.
A Natventure expert will accompany you this Expedition, and local guides join us along the way.
Our Natventure Journeys, line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.
MY OWN ROOM
During your expedition, sometimes it´s just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That´s why we offer the «My own room» option – a single room all to yourself.
My own room option: from $ 2,689