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Peru:
Friday, August 2 – Saturday, August 17

Original Price: $4,750

Book by 4/30: $4,400

Day 1:

Your trip begins with an airport pickup upon arrival in Lima. We’ll head straight to the hotel for our dinner and welcome drink. (Dinner)

Hotel: Casa-Andina Select Miraflores or similar (4-stars, 4.5/5 rating in Trip Advisor, rank #6/186)

Day 2:

Begin the day with your choice of surfing in the Pacific Ocean, a bicycle tour of Lima’s coastline with tastings at artisanal chocolate shops and cafes, or a visit to Villa El Salvador – an important shantytown that was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. In the afternoon, choose between a walking tour of Lima’s historic city center or a hands-on culinary experience. We will visit the fountain park at night and then stop at La Lucha – an upscale neighborhood deli that is a local favorite. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Hotel: Casa-Andina Select Miraflores or similar (4-stars, 4.5/5 rating in Trip Advisor, rank #6/186)

Day 3 - 5:

Today we’ll fly to Puerto Maldonado in the morning to begin our journey into the Amazon rainforest by long boat. Our lodge in the jungle is simple but gorgeous, and is perfect for relaxation during the next few days. We will offer several jungle treks during this time including at nighttime when you will be able to look for caimans and nocturnal animals. Nature will surround us throughout our stay and we are likely to spot several types of birds, animals, butterflies and possibly even a few monkeys. (All meals included)
Hotel: Refugio Amazonas or similar (2 ½ stars – 4.5/5 rating in Trip Advisor, rank # 1/17)

Day 6:

A short flight will bring us from the Amazon to the Andes, where the city of Cusco will be our home for a few days. Take today to slowly acclimatize to the high altitude. As part of the tour, we have arranged for a doctor to help in this process by answering questions and providing an overview on how to stay healthy. The focus of this afternoon is to perform some light exercise as we explore our first Incan Ruins – Quoricancha (Sun Temple and home of the first Incan king), Sacsayhuaman (Incan site that dominates above Cusco), and the Cathedral in Plaza de Armas. This tour is dependent on your ability to acclimatize – there is plenty of time to visit these during free time as well. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Hotel: Rumi-Punku or similar (3 stars, 4.5/5 rating in Trip Advisor, rank #11/131)

Day 7:

We will begin the day with a photo tour of Cusco at sunrise before embarking on a half-day excursion to Valle Sur to explore some less crowded Incan ruins. You will have the evening to enjoy Cusco at your leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Hotel: Rumi-Punku or similar (3 stars, 4.5/5 rating in Trip Advisor, rank #11/131)

Day 8:

Free Day in Cusco to explore the colonial and pre-Incan streets. We’ll provide you with a list of our favorite activities, restaurants, and shops in Cusco.
Hotel: Rumi-Punku or similar (3 stars, 4.5/5 rating in Trip Advisor, rank #11/131)

Day 9:

We will split into two groups today.

The first group will take a morning train to KM 104, where we will disembark to begin our moderate hike past the ruins of Wiñay Wayna to the Inca Trail. Once on the Inca Trail we will pass the cloud forest and ascend to Inti Punku, which will provide us with our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. We will then descend into Aguas Calientes where we will re-join our group. (Breakfast, Lunch)
The second group will start the day with a visit to the small town of Chinchero – home to a photogenic Incan ruin and traditional weaving community. We will receive a private demonstration of the weaving process including an awesome display of how each natural dye is obtained. After a brief stop in the tiny town of Maras, we will make our way to the nearby salt terraces – worthy of note for their cultural significance as well as natural beauty. The last stop of the day is the Incan site of Ollantaytambo, after which we will hop aboard a panoramic train to Aguas Calientes to reunite with our full group. (Breakfast)
Hotel: Hotel Santuario or similar (3 stars, 3/5 rating in Trip Advisor, rank #9/18)

Day 10:

Wake up at sunrise to catch the first bus up to Machu Picchu! Be awed at the beauty of this world wonder as we’ll have it essentially to ourselves for a few hours. We’ll use this time primarily for photos before beginning a guided tour throughout the site. In the late morning, opt for a hike either to Wayna Picchu or Inti Punku (less steep) to appreciate the surroundings better and to avoid the incoming crowd from Cusco and the Sacred Valley. Return to Aguas Calientes for lunch and a train back to the Sacred Valley. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Hotel: Inkallpa or similar (3 stars, 4.5/5 rating in Trip Advisor, #7/20 hotels)

Day 11:

We’ll split into two groups again this morning as you have the option to raft (class 2-3 rapids) or visit a nearby tribal village where we have arranged for a private ceremony to thank Pachamama (Mother Earth) for a strong harvest. Return to Cusco to explore the city at your leisure. (Breakfast)
Hotel: Rumi-Punku (3 stars, 4.5/5 rating in Trip Advisor, rank #11/131)

Day 12:

After our flight back to Lima, we will explore the bohemian district of Barranco – my personal favorite neighborhood in Lima. You can also use this time to visit local markets or to relax Parque Kenndy, a short walk from our hotel. (Breakfast)
Hotel: Casa-Andina Select Miraflores

Day 13:

As we make our way south down the coast to Paracas, we will stop for lunch and also to see the natural oasis of Huacachina. Upon arrival in Paracas, we’ll head straight to the sand dunes along the Pacific Ocean for some intense sand boogying and sandboarding. You will have the choice of sleeping on the dunes at night or in a nearby hotel. (Breakfast)
Hotel: Camp on Sand Dunes or La Hacienda (4 stars, 4.5/5 rating in Trip Advisor, rank #2/6)

Day 14:

Start the morning with penguin and sea-lion watching by boat at Islas Ballestas, also known as the “Poor Man’s Galapagos”. In the afternoon, choose to relax at the hotel or drive through the nearby national park. Drive back to Lima in late afternoon. (Breakfast)
Hotel: Casa-Andina Select Miraflores or similar (4-stars, 4.5/5 rating in Trip Advisor, rank #6/186)

Day 15:

Spend your final free day in Peru by exploring Lima. This is a great chance to stock up on souvenirs as there are several Indian markets within walking distance to our hotel. At night we will recap and celebrate our experiences over dinner. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 16:

Airport drop-off included for your return flight home.

Included:

  • Internal flights
  • Guides where indicated
  • All fees, taxes, and expenses for indicated activities
  • Hotels as indicated. Rooms are priced at double occupancy. We will match singles if need be; single supplement available.
  • All meals as indicated. We may provide limited alcohol during some activities. Any additional alcohol consumed will be at your cost.
  • Internal transfers for group activities, pick-up and drop-off at airport

Not Included:

  • International airfare & airport taxes
  • Travel insurance (required), Trip cancellation insurance (recommended)
  • Insurance, vaccines, medical costs if required
  • Passport/Visa fees
  • Personal expenses
  • Any costs or fees not explicitly indicated as included above

Escape. Enlighten. Enjoy!