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Essential Peru - Inti Raymi Festival

From £2249 for 16 days
Trip Overview
A spectacular journey through Peru's varied landscape encompassing coastal desert, snow-capped Andean peaks, the high altiplano and lush cloud forest. The most famous sites are all visited including the mysterious Nazca Lines, awe-inspiring Machu Picchu in its incredible mountaintop setting, Lake Titicaca, where the night is spent in an island homestay, and the remarkable 3000m deep Colca Canyon. On the way we encounter traditional culture, condors, llamas, and a warm welcome from the Peruvian people. 
Essential Info
Starts: Start Lima.
Ends: End Lima.
Ages: Min 16
Theme: Culture & Festivals
Trip Code: EAPDA
Activity Level:     
Countries visited: Peru
What's Included

Meals

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 dinner are included in the price of the tour

Transport

15 nights hotels, all en suite, 1 night homestay with basic shared facilities Travel by train, boat, private minibus/coach and one internal flight

Accommodation

Trip Highlights

•    Attend 'The Festival of the sun' (Inti Raymi), when Cuzco is awash with dancing and processions

•    Iconic Machu Picchu by train with guided tour

•    Homestay on traditional Amantani Island, Lake Titicaca

•    Colca Canyon and its soaring condors

•    Beautiful colonial city of Arequipa and the Santa Catalina Convent

•    Drive deep into the Andean highlands and the Apurimac Valley

Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Price
Availability
Departing: 18th Jun 2020
Returning: 3rd Jul 2020
£2,249pp
G
Availability: Good
Itinerary & Notes
Those travelling on the group flights and those who have booked a transfer through Exodus will be met at the airport and transferred to our hotel in the Miraflores district of Lima. There will be a notice board in the hotel reception with details of where and when the group welcome briefing will be held. *Hotel El Tambo 1 *(or similar)
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- Visit the citadel of Machu Picchu for a Guided Tour
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Reviews
       
This was an excellent tour. Lima, Cuzco and Arequipa were very interesting and lively cities to explore, each containing many palaces, cathedrals, convents, crypts and so much more. The Inka Museum and Sacsayhuaman site in Cuzco should not be missed nor the Planetarium and ancient burial grounds at Nazca. The flora and fauna were also amazing and plentiful.
       
This has to be the trip of a lifetime. Of course you visit Machu Picchu, but so much more. To start with the seabird colony at Ballestros island including penguinsand peleicans. Then the impressive Nasca Lines before heading to the hills and across the plateau to Cusco visiting other Inca sites on the way. Machu Picchu is amazing - everything I expected and more. We visited at 1200 noon and it wasn't too crowded, even better we had a free morning the second day so went again and saw more of it - went a further 950 feet up to the Sun gate ( the entrance to the site from the Inca trail) also the Inca bridge. Then back to Cusco and long drive to Lake Titticata and delightful home-stay with local people...an amazing insight into how the island communities live day to day. Then across the lake to see the floating islands, meet the people and have a trip on a reed boat. Next to Colka Canyon to see condors - I would not have missed this as one of the highlights of the trip - we saw 12 and got some great pics. Finally to Arequipa before return to Lima. It really feels like I have been on 3 holidays all rolled into one - I struggle to think how I can better this.
       
Loved Peru. Land of contrasts and dramatic scenery, from the soaring peaks of the Andes to the world's second deepest canyon and the highest navigable lake, from the simple lifestyle of the Titicaca islands to the sophistication of Miraflores in Lima. The surprise of a desert oasis with towering sandunes. Basking seals among rows of pelicans and boobies on the offshore islands, majestic condors in the canyon, and cute alpacas and even cuter vicunas. Impressive Incan structures - from Machu Pichu to terraced mountainsides, and the elegant colonial architecture of the Spanish. The trip notes mention the early starts and long hours on the bus - this is true, but the spectacular scenery provides an excellent distraction. The bus itself was large, and although it lacked a little of the camaraderie I've experienced on smaller mini-buses with Exodus in the past, the space to spread out and the on-board loo were appreciated. My attitude is that the hours of travel are the price you pay for seeing so much, and those are the memories that remain. I loved the variety of scenery and activities on this trip. I thought it was very well put together, including allowing for a gradual adjustment to altitude.
       
We chose to arrive in Lima a few days early which were glad about because there is a very early start on day after the scheduled arrival day. Also some people had connecting flight problems which meant they were late joining the group. I honestly it is misleading of Exodus to indicate that this holiday is leisurely. It may not be physically demanding, but long travelling days, early starts and a packed itinerary make this a full on tour. Don't be put off because great rewards await but do be aware of what is entailed. The same holiday over 3 weeks would be leisurely but 2 weeks is pretty crammed. We were a little concerned about the altitude before we went but only one person on the trip had any (minor) problems. So rest assured most people cope well and those that don't are usually put right with a little oxygen, which is carried on the tour bus and available in most hotels. Peru has a lot to offer and this trip gets to much of it.
       
a whirlwind ride across some of the most spectacular and diverse scenery on the planet coupled with breathtaking archeological sites. The experience of this trip will last a lifetime
       
What an absolutely amazing trip! The itinerary was full on, early starts and some long days, as the trip notes indicated, but this is necessary as there is so much to enjoy in this huge country. Peru is a wonderfully varied country and has so much to offer, interest and intrigue it's visitors. Exodus has excelled again with this itinerary, the group leader, hotels and transport and even got the timing spot on to see the condors! Small things, such as having a coach with a loo on-board, plus charging ports on the day we were heading to the homestay, make the trip more pleasurable and Exodus the excellent trip organizer it is.
       
I really recommend this trip. Peru was an amazing experience. There was so much to see and the scenery and the wildlife were amazing. Yes there are some early starts and long drives but I found I didn't mind with the help of a few downloads on my tablet and the amazing scenery. There was plenty of (free) water provided and ample toilet/food stops and we were mostly on a large comfortable coach. I highly recommend the Nasca lines plane trip (don't eat beforehand) and Machu Piccu lived up to the hype. I worried about altitude sickness but for most people it's not a big issue. Walking is more tiring and you may well get a headache but paracetamol should fix that. In terms of things I wish I'd known beforehand -you will use a lot of cash. Credit cards are not accepted everywhere -even the expensive plane trip had to be paid in cash (although it seemed like Exodus used the only operator that didn't take cards). ATMs are plentiful and will issue US$ and local currency but you will need soles for restaurants and entrance fees. I also hadn't appreciated that you need an overnight bag for the island trip. We would have liked Exodus to provide more information about optional trips beforehand. Our guide didn't sell them which although a blessing in some ways meant that we would have missed out on the Rainbow mountain trip if our fellow travellers hadn't recommended it. For my sons this was a real highlight. (Bring gloves and a hat in winter it gets cold). You do need to be fairly fit for this trip but the horse option helps. I would skip the sacred valley tour which is largely a lengthy shopping trip. The hot springs however were really enjoyable and we had time for swim in one hotel so bring swimwear but towels were provided. We went in August (winter) which seemed like an excellent time to go. It was mostly pretty warm although cold at night in Cuzco and on the island and I was glad it wasn't any warmer in Machu Piccu with all the steps. In terms of ages our group ranged from 19-70. Exodus suggested the average age wiuld be around 40 which seemed about right. This was the first time i had been on a group tour and I was worried about whether my sons (19-24) would enjoy. They did -there is so much to see I think you would struggle to fit so much in if you self organised - you don't need to be super fit but as well as a lot of sitting down there is a fair amount of walking and a lot of steps. The hotels were fine (3 star clean comfortable with mostly decent wifi) and food was generally good or excellent. We ate in groups (sometimes there was really only one place to eat but otherwise optional) but everyone paid individually (I imagine that's usual but I hadn't done a group tour before). Our guide Armando was really nice and helpful and Exodus seemed pretty organised. If you think you would enjoy this trip you probably will.
       
It started with my late flight into Lima,I had to find my taxi ride to the hotel amongst a lot of other signs.The car driving in Lima was crazy.Up early that same morning,onboard a coach to southern coastal Peru.It was very much like this the whole trip,but you get used to it.The tour guide Fernando was exceptional,filling in the dots of questions we had of Peruvian culture.The photos I have of Peru just does not do justice of the kind people and scenery of Peru.
       
A wonderful adventure from start to finish. Tough travelling but well, well worth it. Amazing scenery from Lima up into The Andes. An excellent trip leader and a great group of fellow travellers. Got the opportunity to meet and talk with local people and experience their culture. All in all, a very informative and exhilarating discovery of Peru. Love it.
       
What an amazing trip! Our tour leader, Fernando, went above and beyond all through the trip! I am in awe of how much we were able to see and experience in only 2 weeks. I would recommend Exodus and Fernando to anyone looking to come to Peru! Thank for the trip of a lifetime! The Bjerky’s
       
A comprehensive cultural tour that also incorporated the different landcapes of Peru. The Inti Raymi Festival was spectacular and whilst the trip notes don't specify, we were seated in premium seats with great views at Sacsayhuaman. Its worth the extra cost to experience Inti Raymi!
       
A comprehensive cultural tour that also incorporated the different landcapes of Peru. The Inti Raymi Festival was spectacular and whilst the trip notes don't specify, we were seated in premium seats with great views at Sacsayhuaman. Its worth the extra cost to experience Inti Raymi!
       
The trip is excellent, coach journeys over the Andes, moonscapes and volcanoes with snow on the peaks. Machu Picchu is stunning. The condors were happy to come out and play. The hotels were good. The homestay on the island was charming and the people genuinely hospitable without being pushy. The food served to us on the homestay was the best meal I ate in Peru, simple and tasty.
       
The trip is excellent, coach journeys over the Andes, moonscapes and volcanoes with snow on the peaks. Machu Picchu is stunning. The condors were happy to come out and play. The hotels were good. The homestay on the island was charming and the people genuinely hospitable without being pushy. The food served to us on the homestay was the best meal I ate in Peru, simple and tasty.
       
From start to finish this trip ticked all the boxes. Yes it's full on, Peru is a huge country and this holiday maximises your time to visit all the most interesting places and areas. The scenery whilst travelling around is amazing. Didn't even open the book I'd taken to read on the coach!
       
From start to finish this trip ticked all the boxes. Yes it's full on, Peru is a huge country and this holiday maximises your time to visit all the most interesting places and areas. The scenery whilst travelling around is amazing. Didn't even open the book I'd taken to read on the coach!
       
Did i enjoy this trip,you bet.From the start to the end this trip was a revelation,everyday was an highlight.Back home after 3 days,and iam still buzzing.
       
Did i enjoy this trip,you bet.From the start to the end this trip was a revelation,everyday was an highlight.Back home after 3 days,and iam still buzzing.
       
A very well planned and varied itinerary that takes you up to the high altitude gradually. A lot of travelling but the spectacular scenery takes your mind off the long journeys. Good attention to health and safety throughout. The Inti Raymi festival events are a modern interpretation of the traditional Inca rituals but nonetheless wonderful to witness. The costumes and the infectious energy of the local people enjoying the festival in Cusco the day before was a great experience. It was a wonderful 'trip of a lifetime' experience and I am pleased to recommend it to other travellers.
       
It took me a while to love Peru. It didn't help that our flight from Gatwick was delayed nearly 24 hours, resulting in us missing the first part of the adventure, and then enduring two very long travel days. However, once we arrived in Cusco and dealt with the initial impact of the altitude, the magic started to work. Ignore the sprawling, traffic-filled suburbs: the historic centre of Cusco is a magnificent place to spend a couple of days. We enjoyed visiting the market, the Bohemian quarter of San Blas, people watching in the Plaza de Armas and even waiting to cheer a bride into her wedding. Our days in Cusco bracketed our visit to Machu Picchu, which is every bit as magnificent as the guidebooks lead you to believe. Our allocated afternoon time slot allowed us to walk to the Sun Gate before visiting the main site - a rewarding experience affording magnificent views. The downside of MP - the shuttle buses to and from Aguas Callientes. You will have to face lengthy queues in each direction. On our second morning in Aguas Callientes we resisted the urge to visit MP again and instead were taken on a walk along the railway line to Los Jardines de Mandor, a beautiful botanic garden in the cloud forest leading to a waterfall. I would urge all Exodus clients to make this three-hour excursion - it was a highlight for us. After Cusco, there was another sprinkling of magic on Amantani Island, an oasis of beauty on Lake Titicaca. Our visit coincided with an island fiesta, so we enjoyed the riot of flags, dancing and colour displayed by the locals. Our journey across Titicaca also involved a visit to one of the floating island communities. That too was wonderful in a weird way. Next was the trip through the altiplano to the charming town of Chivay, stopping to watch an erupting volcano and a couple of whirlwinds en route. I can also now tell my llamas from my alpacas, as well as vicunas - there are plenty of all three species to be seen en route. Chivay offered a trip to the thermal springs and a rare hour of leisurely self-indulgence. The next day it was an early start to see the Andean condors rising on the thermals in Colca Canyon - another memorable experience. Then it was Arequipa, our visit coinciding with another festival of music and dance, and finally Miraflores, and a belated meeting with Paddington Bear, before our flight home.
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