FLIGHT OF THE CONDOR

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Our Peru tour visits the incredible Colca Canyon, where there is a good chance of spotting Andean condor soaring above the canyon's cliff-face. Visit the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, home to many highland Indians who have preserved their traditional way of life, before heading to Cusco for a classic train ride to the lost Inca city of Machu Picchu.

Itinerary

Day 1, Arrive Lima

Arrive into Lima and transfer (not included) to our gateway hotel at your leisure. Use the afternoon to rest, relax and prepare for your adventure. Accommodation: Hotel included. Meals paid locally.

Day 2-3, Lima & Arequipa

Meet your guide, then continue to the airport for a one-hour flight to the city of Arequipa, Peru's second largest city to discover its traditional history. Colonial Arequipa is home to the Santa Catalina Convent, many local galleries and the Museum of Andean Sanctuaries, which houses Arequipa's ice mummies (additional charge). Accommodation: Hotel & breakfasts included. Other meals paid locally.

Day 4-5, Chivay & Colca Canyon

Continuing the journey, we will make the spectacular drive towards the Colca Canyon. En route, the sky will be dominated by distant glaciers, volcanoes and mountain peaks, and we will see the traditional Andean villagers tending their herds of llamas. Upon arriving to Chivay, there will be time to relax in the nearby hot springs of La Calera. The next day we will explore the Colca Canyon's rim. We'll find the perfect spot to look down 1200m into the canyon at Mirador Cruz del Condor and watch out for magnificent condors soaring overhead and wonder if it is indeed deeper than the Grand Canyon. Accommodation: Hotel & breakfasts included. Other meals paid locally.

Day 6-7, Puno & Lake Titicaca

You rise early today for a literally breathtaking drive over the high pass of Patapampa (4900m) which offers spectacular views of the volcanoes of Ampato, Hualca-Hualca and the smoking Sabancaya. Fully in the Andes now, we reach Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. We will cruise the lake and visit the reed-island community of the Uros Indians, before returning to explore Puno's traditional markets. Accommodation: Hotel & breakfasts included. Other meals paid locally.

Day 8-10, Cusco & Sacred Valley

Next, we embark for Cusco and the Sacred Valley. We follow the pass over La Raya past the Inca ruins of Racchi and Pucara. Alternatively you may prefer the option of making this classic journey by rail (additional cost) taking you through the same spectacular scenery in the comfort of Orient Express carriages. The city and valley are alive with a bustling nightlife, thriving indigenous population, aesthetic ruins and architecture. Cusco is easily one of the most memorable and exciting cities in the Andes, and the Sacred Valley is the perfect precursor to Machu Picchu. Travel via Urubamba to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley, a traditional Inca village overlooked by the magnificent fortress of Ollantay. This is the very heartland of the Inca Empire; you have plenty of time here to appreciate its quiet rural charm. You can choose to take a hike to the Salt Pans of Maras which cling to the hillside like hundreds of white cubist houses. Alternatively get the adrenalin surging with some white-water rafting or take to mountain bikes (all optional). Accommodation: Hotel & breakfasts included. Other meals paid locally.

Day 11-14, Machu Picchu, Cusco & Lima

The trip culminates with two days at Machu Picchu where we will explore the Inca citadel and contemplate its sublime beauty. Our early morning visit will be unforgettable as we treasure the peaceful surroundings. We finish this tremendous Andean experience with a dreamy train ride back to Cusco for one more day of cultural exploration before flying back to Lima. Accommodation: Hotel & breakfasts included. Other meals paid locally. Tour ends on Day 14 in Lima.

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