Southern Cross - 14 Days
A 14 day tour of southern Peru, which can be modified
to include more flights and less driving time
Day 1: Arrival in Lima
Upon arriving in the city of Lima, you will be welcomed by one of our representatives, who will give you a brief introduction to the city and to our services while en route to the hotel. You will have the afternoon free. Overnight at selected Hotel
Day 2: Lima City tour
At the scheduled time, we will pick you up at the hotel to begin a tour of the city's main avenues, boulevards, and squares. The tour will begin with an exploration of Colonial Lima. First, we will stop off at the Main Square, to get a chance to explore the square on foot and admire the exteriors of the Government Palace, the Cathedral of Lima, and the City Hall, all examples of Lima's still-present colonial architectural opulence.
Next, we will make our way to Santo Domingo Convent a religious and architectural gem that houses holy paintings, images, and relics of Peruvian saints, as well as written accounts of the endeavors of the Dominican Order across the country.
Then, we will visit Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion that currently holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously inhabited private residence in the Southern Hemisphere.
Afterwards, we will visit to the Bohemian neighborhood of Barranco, an area called home by countless artists, photographers, and authors. Walk along peculiar streets lined with Republican houses, admire the splendid views, and visit the Puente de los Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs), witness to untold numbers of past and present romances, and source of inspiration for one of Peru's great composers, Chabuca Granda. B
Day 3: Road trip from Lima to Paracas visiting Pachacamac en route
Early in the morning, you will begin the four-hour trip to Paracas, a beautiful bay rich in marine life and full of ancient mysteries.On the way, around 20 miles (30 km) south of Lima, you will visit the Santuario Arqueológico de Pachacamac, the archeological site of what was once an important pilgrimage center for many of the cultures that populated ancient Peru.
Lunch on the road.
Upon arriving in Paracas, you will make your way to the hotel to rest and enjoy the facilities of the hotel. You will have the rest of the day free BL
Day 4: Motorboat excursion to Ballestas Island – Road trip from Paracas to Nazca
You will enjoy the sunrise at one of the most scenic bays in Peru and then take part in a fantastic voyage to the Islas Ballestas (Crossbow Islands), a nature reserve and excellent place to observe close-up the largest concentration of guano-producing birds and sea lions on the Peruvian coast. Along the way, you will be able to see the mysterious Candelabro (a candlestick-shaped figure etched on a sandy hillside, associated with the Nasca Lines). As you approach the islands, Mother Nature will greet you with an impressive display. Thousands of birds, among them Peruvian Boobies and Guanay Cormorants, will drown out all other sounds with their peculiar honks and quacks. Sea lions will take a short break from bumping around on the protruding rocks, or fighting over territory, and will slip beneath the waves to approach your ship in a friendly manner. Return to the hotel. In the afternoon, you will begin a three-hour journey south on the highway to reach Nazca. You will have the rest of the day free to enjoy as you please. B
Day 5: Overflight Nazca Lines – Road trip from Nazca to Arequipa
Early in the morning, you will head to the city's airport. From here, you will begin your flyover of the enigmatic Nasca Lines. Behold the incredible creative abilities of the ancient Peruvians as you discover one of humanity's greatest mysteries: geoglyphs and lines of colossal magnitude etched in the desert sands by the Nasca people. A monkey, a spider, a hummingbird, and more than 20 other figures occupying an area of approximately 190 sq. miles (500 km²), wait to be admired from above in an unforgettable 30 minutes flyover. You will have some free time to eat lunch. At the scheduled departure time, you will head south once more on the Pan-American Highway on an eight-hour trip to Arequipa. B
* note - if you prefer, you could do the Nazca overflight from Ica, drive back to Lima and fly to Arequipa from there.
Day 6: Arequipa city tour
Today we will visit the Colonial District of San Lázaro, the Main square and the Municipal Palace, the Cathedral, The Church of the Society of Jesus, founded in the 17th century, highlighting its cloisters, the Church of San Francisco dating from the 16th century with its beautiful square.
Then, we will visit the Convento de Santa Catalina (Convent of St. Catherine). Founded in 1579 as a cloister, in its early days the convent was home to a small group of clergy who came from the local elite. We will walk through its beautiful buildings as our guide takes us on a journey back in time through one of the largest holdings of colonial art in the Americas.
Finally, we will visit the colonial district of Yanahuara, famous for its churches built in the Andalusian style and its viewpoint and the District of Carmen Alto with its beautiful landscape of agricultural fields. B
Day 7: Arequipa to Colca Valley
breakfast. Early in the morning, we will depart Arequipa to embark on a journey across a land of snow-covered volcanoes, inhospitable pampas, and incredibly beautiful quaint villages, arriving finally in the Colca Valley.
Our first stop will be in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, whose rugged plains are home to vast herds of Guanaco, Alpaca, and Vicuña. We will continue the journey as riding along the edge of the crater of the Chucura Volcano, until reaching the Mirador de los Andes (Lookout Point of the Andes) in Patapampa. This lookout point, 4,900 m.a.s.l, will offer us spectacular views of the snow-capped peaks of the various volcanoes surrounding Arequipa, including the Hualca Calca, the Sabancaya, and the Ampato. Next, we will head to the town of Chivay (close to where the Colca Valley begins) for a closer inspection of the impressive system of platforms and terraces built by the ancient Collagua and Cabana inhabitants.
We will enjoy a nice lunch before heading to our hotel. We will have the rest of the afternoon free to take advantage of the hotel's amenities, enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings, or simply rest and recover for the next day. BL
Day 8: Road trip from Colca Valley to Puno
Breakfast , then early in the morning, we will travel to the Mirador de la Cruz del Condor (Condor Cross Lookout). With its incredibly vast and breath-taking expanses, it is the best spot in the world to see the majestic Andean Condor in flight. Be on the lookout for the sudden appearance of this emblematic bird on the verge of extinction. With a little luck, we will enjoy a truly awe-inspiring experience as we watch this awesome bird soar, almost magically, ever higher into the infinite blue sky. From this vantage point, we will be able to look out across one of the world's deepest canyons.
On the way back to Arequipa, we will stop to visit three great villages: Maca and Yanque. One more must-see stop includes the Miradores de Antahuilque (Lookout points of Antahuilque), where we will be able to appreciate the sheer magnitude of the region's terraces. We will make a short stop in Chivay and then continue our trip to the city of Puno.
On the way we can appreciate a beautiful high Andean landscape, with fauna and flora of the area and rock formations that resemble a forest of stones. We will pass through the villages of Pillones, Imata, Alto Cruise until we reach Lagunillas with its impressive natural lagoon. We continue the tour until we reach the city of Puno. B
Day 9: Uros & Taquile island excursion
On the second day, you will enjoy an extraordinary journey across the world's highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca. Travel to legendary places where time seems to have stood still. Your first stop will be the Uros floating islands. These are a peculiar grouping of around 40 small islands made totally of totora, a natural reed that grows around the lake. The cheerful inhabitants will invite you to get to know their traditional lifestyle and customs. You will continue your voyage across the placid waters of the lake until you come to the picturesque island of Taquile, a peaceful place where old Quechua traditions live in perfect balance with modernity. Discover a landscape distinct from the other islands thanks to the Incan terraces filled with local flowers and crops. The rich colors of the clothing worn by the local inhabitants will amaze you; admire their beautiful hand-made fabrics. Most importantly, enjoy the unbelievable hospitality of the islanders, known as Taquileños, who will make your visit to the island a memorable one. Before making your way back to Puno, you will have lunch at a local home. BL
Day 10: Road trip from Puno to Cusco
Breakfast, then early in the morning we will depart from Puno to Cusco on board a comfortable vehicle, as we enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the Andes. During our trip, we will make a brief stop at Pucará, known as the place where the Toritos (little bulls) of Pucará are made. The famous torito is believed to have magical and religious qualities among the inhabitants of the Andes as a symbol of procreation for the flocks, for happiness in marriage, fertility at home and as protection for the house. We will then cross the La Raya Pass, which lies at 14,222 feet (4,335 meters) above sea level. There we will see herds of vicuñas and llamas. Our following stop is Racchi, one of the most important constructions of the Inca Empire, known for its extraordinary architecture. Our last stop will be the town of Andahuaylillas, a friendly, warm-weather town which is home to one of the most unique churches in the Andes, known as Peru’s Sistine Chapel. You will be dazzled by the beautifully decorated murals and frescoes covering walls, baseboards, ceilings and façades. Buffet lunch at a country-style restaurant, where we will enjoy the regional cuisine. Overnight in Cusco. BL
* or you can transfer from Puno to Juliaca and fly from there to Cusco, or we can quote with a private full day transfer from Puno to Cusco
Day 11: Cusco - Sacred Valley
Today we will visit Awanacancha. Here, we will learn about the various types of camelids (Llamas, Alpacas, Vicuñas, and Guanacos) that live in the Andes region. Additionally, the local villagers will teach us about the ancestral methods and techniques used to produce their textile art.
Then, we will continue the trip toward the Sacred Valley; a few miles farther along, we will reach Pisac, a beautiful place where Incan and Colonial influences have reached a perfect balance and created the unique way of life of the local inhabitants. We will get a chance to explore this quaint town, famous for its artisan markets where we can find extraordinarily fine jewelry and ceramic and textile craftwork. We will enjoy our lunch at a local restuarant.
Finally, we will visit one of the last remaining Incan towns, Ollantaytambo, which was once fiercely guarded by a massive fortress. We will discover the large archaeological complex of what used to serve as a wayside inn for royal delegations on long journeys. Surviving structures here include multiple walls and towers that were used to protect the citadel from possible invasions. BL
Day 12: Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Cusco
Breakfast. We will pick you up from your hotel at the scheduled time and go to the train Station. The comfortable train ride from there to the station at Aguas Calientes is packed full of spectacular vistas. On our arrival, we will take a bus that will drop us at the admission fee to the citadel of Machu Picchu itself. Unearthed for modernity by Hiram Bingham more than a century ago, Machu Picchu is considered one of the seven wonders of the world. Its architectural beauty, spectacular natural setting, and the energy that radiates from its enigmatic buildings will take your breath away. We will follow in the footsteps of the ancient Incas as we take a tour of the magical citadel led by one of our guides.
We will enjoy a delicious buffet lunch. Finally, we will return to Aguas Calientes train station and catch the train back to Cusco. Upon arrival, private transfer to the selected hotel BL
Day 13: Cusco tour
Breakfast. We will visit the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman a colossal structure built with huge carved rocks jointed with absolute accuracy, this astounding sample of the Incan military architecture is, undoubtedly, the greatest architectonic work of the Tahuantinsuyo.
We will make a short stop at Cristo Blanco, a large statue where we will enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Then, we will explore the San Pedro Market, Cusco’s main street market, inundated with aromas, tastes, sights, and colors of the local products of the Cusco region. Afterward, visit the Qoricancha (which means room of gold in Quechua), a temple dedicated to the Sun god. Legend has it that its inner walls were once completely lined with gold.
Finally, will head to Cusco Cathedral. We will take a guided tour to discover the mysteries of it and admire its lovely atria and priceless 17th and 18th century paintings of the Cusco school. B
Day 14: Flight Cusco - Lima
At the scheduled departure time, you will be met by the transport service and escorted to the airport.
Sample 2021 price per person double occupancy, with 2 people: US$4924 (can quote with more people)
quote is with these hotels:
Lima - Britania Crystal Collection Room Type: Standard
Paracas - San Agustin Paracas Room Type: Standard
Nazca - Casa Andina Standard Nazca Room Type: Traditional
Arequipa - Casa Andina Standard Arequipa Room Type: Traditional
Colca - Casa Andina Standard Colca Room Type: Traditional
Puno - Casa Andina Standard Puno Room Type: Traditional
Cusco - Abittare Room Type: Superior
Valle Sagrado - Hatun Valley Room Type: Standard
can quote with 3-5* hotels, can make other changes and can add on an Amazon or other extension