Condors, Titicaca y Cusco (CTC)

Condors, Titicaca y Cusco (CTC)

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Highlights

This is a trip designed for a step by step acclimatization. Therefore, we´ll start seeing the Peruvian landscape right from the city of Arequipa located at the foot of the volcano called Misti, to spend the day in one of the world´s deepest canyon and look at condors flying around the Colca Canyon. Further Southeast and up in altitude, you will visit the floating islands of the Uros, on Lake Titicaca (one of the world´s highest navigable lake). Then, we´ll sightsee Cusco; the Incas´ impressive capital city, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, considered as the Incas´ Lost City, to end the program with the jungle in the Amazon Basin.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Lima

After your arrival in Lima, check-in at your hotel. our representatives will assist you with your transfer from the airport to the hotel, where you get information about the next days´ activities.

Day 2

Arequipa – Santa Catalina’s Convent

From Lima, you will first fly to Arequipa; Peru’s second largest city, also called the “White City”, because of the smooth, white stones made of volcanic lava and used in colonial buildings. Arequipa is a treasure-trove of colonial architecture, with its Main Square and its arcades, as well as the awesome sight of the imposing and almost perfectly cone-shaped Misti volcano overlooking the city.

This afternoon, we´ll visit the walled colonial complex of Santa Catalina´s Convent and in the evening, you may have dinner at a local restaurant. Breakfast.

Day 3

Morning for leisure – Chivay

The morning is at leisure, as we´ll have the opportunity to visit Arequipa´s Main Square, with the Cathedral and the La Compañia Church or even, to see the Ice Maiden (Juanita) in her museum. In the early afternoon, we´ll go to the Colca Canyon and on the way, we might see some herds of llamas, alpacas and vicuñas. It is quite impressive to look at the changes of landscapes, according to the altitude variation, as we´ll reach the highest mountain pass on our trip, at 4,850 m./15,908 ft. Later in the afternoon, we´ll get to Colca valley, right at the head of the Colca Canyon for overnight. Breakfast.

Day 4

Colca Canyon – Bus ride to Puno

After an early start, we´ll board our transportation, to travel on the left side of the canyon and get to the Cruz del Condor Vantage Point, in the hope of seeing condors; the Andes largest flying birds, as well as the amazing views around the canyon, with beautiful benched terraces built since pre-Incan times. Later in the morning, we´ll ride out of the canyon, to the city of Puno which is located on the Western shore of Lake Titicaca (3,800 m./12,464 ft.), known as the world´s highest navigable lake. Breakfast.

Day 5

Uros Islands – Bus ride to Cusco

Early in the morning, we´ll visit the floating islands made of totora (cattail reed) inhabited by the Uros who are Lake Titicaca´s most ancient live natives. After our return boat trip to the mainland, we´ll travel by bus to Cusco, via La Raya´s Mountain Pass (3,338 m./10,949 ft.), as the journey will take us across the barren high plateaus, where we´ll go through local villages with colonial churches. On the way, we might stop to take pictures of the scenery and officially, we´ll have a break in Raqchi, where there is a unique Incan Period archaeological site with a high stone and adobe (sun-dried mud bricks) wall. In the early evening, we´ll arrive to the city of Cusco. Breakfast.

Day 6

Sacred Valley – Ollantaytambo

Today, we will leave Cusco for three days and two nights. After a bit more than an hour on the bus, we´ll start contemplating the impressive Urubamba River and Sacred Valley dominated by huge mountains. Our first visit will be at the archaeological complex of Pisac, observing the magnificent farming benched terraces on the mountain slopes. Later on, we´ll stop at Pisac´s local market, to have a stroll and do some shopping for alpaca clothes, handicraft, etc.

After lunch, we´ll pass by many localities in the Sacred Valley, such as Coya, Lamay, Calca, Huayllabamba, Yucay, Urubamba and will stop in Ollantaytambo, where we´ll visit the Incan fortress and spend the night in a hotel. Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 7

Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu

A train ride will take us to Aguas Calientes and after checking-in at the hotel, where we´ll leave our luggage, we´ll visit Machu Picchu; the Incas´ Lost City, as we´ll go on a guided tour of one of the world’s most inspiring sites, abandoned by the Incas, then invaded by the jungle and finally, discovered by Hiram Bingham, in 1911. Breakfast.

Day 8

Machu Picchu – Cusco

This morning, you will be free to visit Machu Picchu at sunrise, to take pictures of the site before crowds arrive on the train from Cusco, take a stroll to the Sun´s Gate and the Incan Bridge or climb up Mount Huayna Picchu.

From Aguas Calientes, it is possible to walk downstream along the Urubamba River to the Puente Ruinas Bridge, visit Machu Picchu´s Museum or go further down to Mandor, observing on the way, a broad diversity of birds that live among the vegetation. In the afternoon, we´ll take the train back to Ollantaytambo and later a van ride to Csuco town. Breakfast. 

Day 9

City tour and visit of nearby archaeological sites

In the morning, we´ll visit the Cathedral of Cusco and Inca Temple of the Sun  (Qoricancha), to then go to the nearby archaeological sites of Saqsayhuaman and Qenqo.

Afternoon, there will be free time at leisure, for visiting local market, stores, restaurants or just relax and walk on coble stone streets of Cusco downtown. Breakfast.

Day 10

Puerto Maldonado – Amazon Basin

We´ll first go to Cusco´s airport, to board the plane to Puerto Maldonado. After arrival, we´ll be transferred to the in town Jungle Lodge office, to leave our main luggage there and go on a motorized boat trip on the Madre de Dios or Tambopata River to the lodge. Upon arrival, we may have a walk at sunset. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day 11 & 12

In the Amazonian Jungle

During these two days, our activities will start early, to explore the deepest part of the jungle, as we´ll have a chance to participate in organized walks which should allow us to observe wild life, such as monkeys, capybaras, macaws, toucans or caimans on the river banks, as well as in possible boat excursions on jungle lakes. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 13

Return to Puerto Maldonado – Lima

Boat trip back to Puerto Maldonado and after having picked up our main luggage, we´ll go to the airport, to board the plane back to Lima. According to your flight schedule, you might stay at Lima’s airport or go to a hotel for a one night rest. The transfer to the airport will be on your own, but if you require assistance, please ask our representatives. Breakfast.

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