Our 8 day highlights of Peru visits Cusco to experience ancient Inca ways, colonial heritage, folklore, artistry and natural beauty. We then travel to the Urubamba Valley, known as the Sacred valley of the Incas where traditions of the past remain intact. We look out for llamas and condors beneath the snow-capped Andean peaks. The highlight of the trip is a train journey and overnight stay in the town of Aquas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu. This tour can easily be extended to include other areas of Peru or combined with trips to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and Bolivia. Our 11 day tour of Northern Peru highlights the birds and archaeology of the region is listed below.
2019 Departure Dates & Costs
Classic Peru: $ 1,985 USD from Lima including domestic air (return flight Lima/Cusco)
Daily guided, private departures based on 2 persons, 4 star accommodation
Deduct $ 200 USD if 3 star accommodation and shared touring preferred
Northern Peru TOUR COST: $ 3,340 USD from Lima including domestic airfare
Trips may be modified or extended!
Classic Peru Itinerary
DAY 1 ARRIVE LIMA
Arrive in Lima to be met and transferred to the Posada del Inca Miraflores, 2 nights.
DAY 2 LIMA (B)
Morning colonial city tour. This tour begins with a trip to the principal sites in the centre of Lima: The Government palace, built between 1921 and 1938, the Arab-influenced design of San Francisco church, and its catacombs containing the remains of thousands of people. Visit the Plaza de Armas where the cathedral and Torre Tagle Palace are found. Afternoon at leisure.
DAY 3 LIMA/CUSCO (B)
Transfer to the airport for the flight Cusco. On arrival you will be met again and transferred to the Picoagao Hotel or similar. Balance of the day to rest and acclimatize to the high altitude. The hotel is in a great location to explore the colonial and Inca wonders of this fabulous Andean city. Costa del Sol Picoaga. 2 nights.
DAY 4 CUSCO (B)
Morning city tour of Cusco, 3,400m. The peaks and valleys of the Andes were the home of the mighty Inca Empire and their capital was Cusco. From here, 10,000 miles of stone roads radiated into the far reaches of the mountains. Cusco is still one of the most fascinating of the world's ancient cities. The surrounding area is rich in archaeological and sacred sites, many of them never discovered by the conquering Spanish. Of prime interest is the temple fortress of Sacsayhuaman standing guard over the city and the massive walls and remnants of Koricancha (Temple of the Sun). The Spanish destroyed much of the ancient buildings and built a wealth of colonial architecture above the Inca masonry. These places and others will be included on a morning city tour of Cusco. Afternoon to explore at leisure.
DAY 5 CUSCO/PISAC/OLLANTAYTAMBO (B,L)
Full day travelling through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop will be at the famous Pisac Market (1 hour). Drive to Pisaj Ruins and visit of the archeological site 3100 m (2h). After lunch, we continue to see the ruins of the Ollantaytambo fortress. Free time in the markets of this charming town. Overnight at a beautiful country lodge in the Sacred Valley, Pakaritampu or similar.
DAY 6 TO MACHU PICCHU (B,L)
Early morning transfer to the train station for the Vistadome train journey to Machu Picchu (4 hr). On arrival in Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu town you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a short rest. Then with your guide, you will travel by bus up to the ruin site. There are many theories as to who built the “Lost City of the Incas”. Many say it was the last refuge of the Inca Empire after the Spanish Conquest. The site was never found by the Spanish and when the last of the city inhabitants died, so did the secret of its existence. The sacred site lay buried beneath vines and jungle growth for 400 years until American Explorer Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911. The 220 stone temples and buildings of Machu Picchu crown a 9,000 foot ridge. The site is spectacular not only for the excellent preservation and variety of the architecture, but also its setting among verdant, unbelievably steep-sided mountains. Machu Picchu pays homage to three great Inca achievements; agriculture, astronomy and masonry. Lunch at Sanctuary Lodge. Guided tour of the ruins included. Return to Aguas Calientes located 20 minutes from the ruins for overnight at El Mapi, or similar.
DAY 7 MACHU PICCHU/CUSCO (B,L)
Morning at leisure. Optional nature walk, stroll through the market place at Aguas Calientes, soak in the hot springs or return to Machu Picchu for a second look at the ruins (second entrance fee at own expense). The montane forests in the vicinity of Machu Picchu are rich with orchids and other wildflowers. Birds also abound, particularly tanagers and hummingbirds. Lunch at local restaurant. Afternoon train journey back to Cusco (4 hrs). Overnight Costa del Sol Picoaga
DAY 8 CUSCO DEPARTURE (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the Lima airport for the international flight.
Extensions on an individual basis to Nazca Lines, Lake Titicaca, Northern Peru or the Amazon.
BIRDS & ARCHAEOLOGY OF NORTHERN PERU
Day 1 Cusco or Lima/Tarapoto (B)
Flight to Lima and connecting flight to Tarapoto located in Amazonas. On arrival you will be met andtransferred to Puerto Palmeras Resort located 10 minutes from the city. In the afternoon depart to tunnel road for bird-watching.
Day 2 Tarapoto – Abra Patricia (B,L,D)
Depart for Abra Patricia with visits enroute at the area indigenous communities and the forests. Please remind your guide to stop at the Quiscarumi bridge located 15 minutes from the route Moyobamba to Tarapoto. You can discuss the Wakanki Private Reserve and the Afluente area locally as you may have to make some choices. Since this is a private tour – you can make some day program adjustments with communications with the driver/guide. Afternoon birding in the private Abra Patricia Reserve. There will be a local birding guide waiting in Abra Patricia for your excursion. Night in Abra Patricia Lodge.
Day 3 Gocta (B,BoxL)
Morning birding at Abra Patricia, afternoon transfer to Huembos to see the Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird and the interpretation centre. Box lunch included, and trip to Cocachimba town, located at 35 minutes from the main road to Chachapoyas. Overnight in relaxing Gocta lodge facing the high waterfalls at Gocta.
Day 4 Kuelap (B,L,D)
After breakfast we will travel by car to Kuelap (2.5 hours). The fortress of Kuelap, associated with the Chachapoyas culture, consists of massive exterior stone walls containing more than four hundred buildings inside 3 levels of walls and is the largest stone structure in the Americas. Orchids and bromeliads cover the walls and trees inside this fortress. Kuelap is precariously perched on a mountain ridge at about 3000m, the structure overlooks the Utcubamba Valley in northern Peru, is roughly 600 meters in length and 110 meters in width. The 20m high fortress walls are impressive with an entrance that is trapezoidal and narrows rapidly (as a defense). Inside there are the remains of many small round houses, some with a zigzag or diamond pattern in their terraces. Archaeological evidence shows that the structure was started before 800 AD. Overnight in Choctamal Marvelous Spatuletail Lodge.
Day 5 Choctamal - Leymebamba (B,L)
Transfer to Leymebamba located at 3 hours from Kuelap fortress. See Peru’s brand new Centro Mallqui Museum that the Austrians donated for this unique 1998 discovery at Lake of the Condors (you have seen on the Discovery Channel). The 219 mummies are here along with many artifacts. Lunch in Kinte Kafe where you can see more hummingbirds. Overnight in Chachapoyas.
Day 6 Chachopoyas - Chiclayo (B,L)
Transfer by car to Chicalayo with stops enroute. Arrive late afternoon (7 - 8 hours). Overnight Casa de Luna
Day 7 Chiclayo – Sipan – Sican – Tucume (B)
Explore the archaeological complex of Tucume, where the ruins of 26 structures constructed from huge adobe blocks are known as Peru’s valley of the pyramids. Visit to Tumbas Reales de Sipan Museum, located in Lambayeque, seven miles (12km) from Chiclayo. This ultra-modern museum offers a great collection of objects in gold, silver and copper from the Lord of Sipan Tombs. Lunch. Then on to the Sicán archaeological complex and its site museum. Night in Casa de la Luna.
Day 8 Chaparri (B,L,D)
Morning transfer to Chaparri Lodge. We will pick up local guide in Chongoyape, on the way to Chaparri we can observe Black-faced Ibis, Great Grebe, Chilean Flamingo and many other waterbirds. The seven Spectacled Bears are currently housed in this Rescue Center. Night in Chaparri Lodge.
Day 9 Chaparri / Chiclayo / Trujillo (B)
After breakfast morning birding on your own where you can see the Pavas, suphur-throated Finch, Andean Tinamou, Ochre-bellied Dove, Cinereous Finch, Tumbes Tyrant and other endemics. Afternoon private transfer to Trujillo. Night in Hotel Libertador located in the Main Plaza in Trujillo.
Day 10 Trujillo (B)
Visit the Temples of the sun and the moon archaeological site, its museum and the Chan Chan city. Night in Hotel Libertador, Trujillo.
Day 11 Trujillo/Lima (B)
Day at leisure. Optional tours to areas such as Huaca del Bujo or along the gorgeous coastline can be booked locally. Afternoon transfer to airport for the flight to Lima to connect with your flight home.