Classic Peru (IGGSD)

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code : IGGSD
  • Trip length : 9 Days
  • Trip starts in : Lima
  • Trip ends in : Lima
  • Maximum group size : 12
  • Ages : Min 15
  • Meals :  7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • Accommodation : Homestay (1 nt), Hotel (7 nts)
  • Transport : Boat, Bus, Train
 

daily-itinerary1

 

Day
1

Lima

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Peru.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2pm on Day 1.

Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

While Peru's capital officially began life in 1535, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of an existing palace and temples that belonged to the local chief who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city's attraction now lies in its well-preserved historical centre.

Your leader will take you on a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre - so there's no need for you to visit the downtown area prior to the trip. Flanked by streets of ornate colonial mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start any exploration of Lima. Take a walk through the old streets to get a feel for colonial life. On one side of the plaza is the Cathedral, which houses the remains of Lima's founder, Francisco Pizarro.

If you arrive early, we recommend you take a walk around Miraflores. Go from Central Park (Parque Kennedy) to LarcoMar via Larco Avenue. Alternatively go to Parque del Amor (Love's Park) for a nice view of Lima's beaches. Other things to see and do include a tour to Pachacamac (approx 30 km from downtown Lima), the Museo de la Nacion and the Gold Museum. Limenos (Lima's residents) are friendly and there are plenty of great restaurants and cafes to sample ceviche, a local seafood speciality.

Explore the 16th-century monastery of San Francisco which boasts a fresco of the Last Supper that has a distinctly Peruvian flavour: the disciples pictured dine on guinea pig and drink from gold Inca cups. The monastery's catacombs are the real drawcard - they've been Lima's underground cemetery for hundreds of years.

There are many fine museums in and around the city including the Museo del Tribunal de la Santa Inquisicion, which gives a fascinating insight into the Spanish Inquisition.

Visit the Archaeological Museum, which offers a look at Peru's succession of ancient cultures.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:
http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

 

Day
2

Cuzco

Early in the morning we fly to Cuzco.

The Cuzco region truly is the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cuzco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.

Take the time to acclimatise to the city's 3,450 m (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city.

Your leader will take you on a walking tour including a visit to the Coca Musuem - where you can learn more about this infamous plant which has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries - and the local San Pedro market.

Get a Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket) to explore some of the many churches and ancient ruins that dot the city and its surrounds.

The Cathedral, built on top of an Incan palace, dominates the Plaza de Armas - Cuzco's picturesque heart. It's one of the city's greatest repositories of art and houses an elegantly carved choir stall and a gold-covered Renaissance altar.

The stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman is also worth a visit. Looking over the city from its hilltop position, the fortress is built out of massive stone blocks and is the ultimate example of the Inca's military strength. Other nearby ruins are Qenko and Tambo Machay.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

 

Day
3

Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley (approx 2 hours total drive), on the outskirts of Cuzco. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, the lush, fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls.

We will head to a community in the Valley to learn about local lifestyle and activities and if our visit coincides with market day we can spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos and maybe practising some of the local language, Quechua.

By late afternoon we board a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes - this extra journey ensures tomorrow we can travel to Machu Picchu as early in the morning as possible.

Aguas Calientes is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

 

Day
4

Machu Picchu/Cuzco

Take a bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx 30 mins).

While it's thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There's plenty of time for you to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. You will have a guided visit (approx 1.5-2 hrs) with plenty of free time afterwards. After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cuzco for a well deserved shower and a pisco sour.

WAYNA PICCHU: Due to Intrepid's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.

Board a train back to Ollantaytambo (approx 90 mins).

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

 

 
Day
5

Cuzco

Enjoy free time to relax, shop and explore more of Cuzco's sights. Rest weary legs at a cafe on Plaza de Armas. For those who can't get enough active adventure, why not try mountain biking in the hills that surround Cuzco.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

 

 
Day
6-7

Puno/Lake Titicaca

Travel by local bus across the spectacular Altiplano to Puno (approx 6 hrs).

Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, so if you're lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians.

Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 3,820 m above sea level. From the shoreline, the water stretches out almost as far as the eye can see, its expanses just waiting to be explored.

Take a tour of the lake by slow motor boat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros originally built their islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes. The islands are built from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. As the reeds closest to the water begin to rot, more layers are added on top. These reeds are used for making everything on the islands, including the boats which can last up to 12 months.

To get a closer look at daily life in the Lake Titicaca region, we'll be welcomed into local homes for an overnight stay on a local community. Make the most of your visit by helping your host family with their daily activities or trying to chat in the local language, Quechua. A game of soccer is also a great way to make local friends.

Our homestay is a mudbrick house. Rooms have beds and many blankets, there are shared drop toilets but no showers.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt), Homestay (1nt)

 

Day
8-9

Lima

After breakfast t we return to Puno by boat in time to catch our flight to Lima for one last group night out.

Your adventure finishes on day 9.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)


included1

  • Orientation Walk - Cuzco
  • Sacred Valley and local community visit
  • Machu Picchu entrance and Guided Tour

optional-extras

  • Archaeological Museum - PEN12
  • Museum of the Inquisition visit - Free
  • Gold Museum - PEN35
  • Museo de la Nacion - PEN10
  • City Tour Lima - USD25
  • Lima Gastronomic Experience Urban Adventure - USD42
  • Road to Pachacamac Biking Urban Adventure - USD98
  • Lima Coast Biking Urban Adventure - USD45
  • Lima Discovery Urban Adventure - USD30
  • Cuzco Museum Ticket (Boleto Turistico) - Cuzco - PEN135
  • Boleto Turistico (half ticket) - PEN75
  • City tour - Cuzco - USD15
  • Mountain biking - USD35
  • Whitewater rafting - USD25
  • Lima Gastronomic Experience Urban Adventure - USD42
  • Road to Pachacamac Biking Urban Adventure - USD98
  • Lima Coast Biking Urban Adventure - USD45
  • Lima Discovery Urban Adventure - USD30
 

 

not-included1

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

tripgrade1

Standard

For those of you who dream of experiencing a location in depth and comfort but are mindful of budget. Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for an fun, informative experience.

Style Facts

  • Comfortable tourist class hotels
  • Family Homestays
  • Private and local transport
  • More inclusions than Basic tours
  • Fully trained and experienced leaders

Discovery

Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.

This tour is operated by our partners Intrepid.

visa1

A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information

health-and-fitness

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

Money1

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping.

travel-insurance

You must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information

responsible-travel1

Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.

As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.

We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.

For further information about responsible travel please click here.

other-important-information

 

DEMONSTRATIONS AND PROTESTS:

Demonstrations and protests, often in response to local labour or social issues, occur regularly throughout Peru. National strikes can be called at short notice and can cause disruption to road networks leading to inevitable itinerary changes. Imaginative Traveller does everything possible for these changes to be at little or no extra cost; however in such circumstances we find that travellers need to access part of, or the entire, emergency fund. Please read below for more information on this trip's emergency fund.

PASSPORT NUMBERS:

Domestic airlines require passengers' passport numbers to issue their tickets. It is then very important that you provide this information at the time of booking.

 

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