Mysteries of the Desert, Andean Mountains and Amazon Rainforest

Lima: 1 night  -  Ica: 1 night  -  Lima: 1 night  -  Arequipa: 1 night  -  Lake Titicaca: 1 night  -  Cusco: 4 nights  -  Machu Picchu: 1 night  -  Cusco: 1 night  -  Amazon: 2 nights  -  Lima: 1 night

Tour Highlights

  • Discover Peru's diverse landscapes and history
  • Discover historic Lima, its fascinating museums and excellent fusion cuisine
  • Coastal desert region with the mysterious Nazca Lines, best seen from the air
  • Altiplano and Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake
  • High mountain peaks around Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Train to Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas
  • Amazon Rainforest lodge, deep jungle boasting the rare giant otter, caiman and many species endemic only to Peru. 

Route Map

Click on a marker to read about each location.

The Criollo Tour
Travel Itinerary

Lima
Day 1

Day 1 - Welcome Introduction to Lima

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 1 - Welcome Introduction to Lima

Take a BA direct flight to Lima, arriving same evening. Lima is known as the "City of Kings" and has an interesting and attractive historic centre containing valuable examples of colonial and republican architecture. The commercial and administrative centre of the Spanish empire in South America, bringing a period of prosperity to the city until an earthquake in 1746. Today's wide streets, huge plazas and old houses with ornately carved balconies are a legacy of this period.

 

You will be met at the airport by your tour guide who will take you to your hotel and given a walking introduction to the local area (30 minutes). This is given with your arrival transfer after checking in at your hotel. It is also an opportunity for our guide to provide advice, explain your programme, answer any questions you may have; and to make suggestions about where to go, restaurants, and places to visit that may be of particular interest to you.

Nazca Lines
Day 2

Day 2 - Nasca Lines

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 2 - Nasca Lines

Journey South along the Panamerican Highway, through the coastal desert to Ica, passing small asparagus fields that break up the vast desert landscape. It is hard to believe that the desert is in fact very fertile. When the El Nino phenomenon occurs, the desert transforms, blossoms and the sand becomes covered by a blanket of green.

You arrive at Nasca in the afternoon, where you will catch a flight over the Nasca Lines. These are an incredibly precise collection of figures and lines, as yet unexplained but may represent an astronomical calendar. The images include that of a monkey, hummingbird, whale and astronaut.

Ballestas Islands
Day 3

Day 3 - Excursion to Ballestas Islands

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 3 - Excursion to Ballestas Islands

Today is an early morning start to Paracas Peninsula for a boat ride out to the Ballestas Islands, in a national Reserve that boasts the highest concentration of marine birds in the world, including some very rare species. The islands lie off the coast, and are a hive of activity throughout the year. Birds vie for positions and many nests are perched precariously on tiny ledges high above the water. The islands themselves are beautiful, with eroded caves and inlets, and sea lions frolicking around in our wake. We will see gannets, pelicans, and maybe the elusive Humboldt Penguins. Returning to the mainland and back to Lima in the evening.

Arequipa
Day 4

Day 4 - City Tour & Santa Catalina Convent

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 4 - City Tour & Santa Catalina Convent

Leaving in the early morning, travel by plane to Arequipa, Peru's second largest city, set in a rich green valley at the foot of the mighty El Misti Volcano. The buildings in the centre have been built almost exclusively of the volcanic material 'sillar', a white, porous rock, giving Arequipa its nickname of 'The White City'.

 

Your guide and transport will meet you at your hotel for a delightful city tour which visits the church of La Compania and other colonial buildings, including the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral. The Santa Catalina Convent once held some two hundred nuns and is a maze of colourful alleyways and rooms, providing a fascinating insight into the way the nuns once lived.

Lake Titicaca
Day 5

Day 5 - Excursion to Uros Islands

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 5 - Excursion to Uros Islands

In the morning you fly to Juliaca and onto Puno, located on the shore of Lake Titicaca. In the afternoon you have a guided excursion to the floating reed islands of Uros. The Indians began living on the reed islands over five hundred years ago when the Uros built the islands in an effort to isolate themselves from the Collas and the Incas. Although the Uros Indians of these islands have intermarried with Aymara Indians and no pure-blooded Uros exist, many of the inhabitants of the islands still practice the old traditions of fishing, trapping birds and living on the lake plants. The totora reeds which grow abundantly in the shallows of the lake are used for their boats, houses and islands. 

Cusco
Days 6 - 9

Day 6  - Train Journey to Cusco

Day 7 - Excursion to the Sacred Valley

Day 8 - City Tour & Ruins Of Cusco

Day 9 - At Leisure in Cusco

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 6  - Journey to Cusco

Journey by bus (Tourist) or private vehicle (First) to Cusco. This is an unforgettable journey across the Andean altiplano, offering dramatic landscapes throughout. On arrival in Cusco, you will be met by our representative and taken to your hotel in Cusco, staying for 4 nights.

 

Day 7 - Excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incas

Enjoy our extensive, special Full Day tour of the Sacred Valley. Begin by visiting the market at Chinchero, where locals come to barter and sell local produce and handicrafts. Also visit a local weaving collective, to learn the traditions of weaving by hand on a back-strap loom. Next you will proceed to Moray, thought to have been an open-air crop laboratory of the Incas, followed by the pre-Inca salt pans of Maras. After lunch, visit the stunning fortress town and ruins of Ollantaytambo. This large archaeological complex is believed to have been a significant agricultural, administrative, social, religious and military centre. The town itself is geometrically perfect; with straight streets, trapezoidal doors, and Inca drainage systems. Finally we travel to the colonial town of Pisac, built on the ruins of an Inca citadel and located at the entrance to the immensely fertile Urubamba "Sacred" Valley. Here you can see the bustling market, and watch the sunset over the mountains from the ruins.

 

Day 8 - City Tour & Ruins Of Cusco 

Beginning in the main square of Cusco we visit the cathedral, built by the Spanish on Inca foundations and with an unusually variation of the Last Supper. From the city centre we travel into the mountains above Cusco to visit the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuaman and Kenko. The mighty fortress and complex of Sacsayhuaman was built with massive stones, some weighing over 100 tons and placed together like a jigsaw. On the return we stop at a vantage point for a superb view of the city and the surrounding mountains, before returning to your hotel. 

 

Day 9 - At Leisure in Cusco

Today you have the flexibility to pursue your own interests and relax

Machu Picchu
Days 10-11

Day 10 - Journey to Machu Picchu

Day 11 - Return to Cusco

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 10 - Journey to Machu Picchu 

Travel aboard the "Vistadome" train from the Sacred Valley to the Aguas Calientes village located at the foot of Machu Picchu. This is a spectacular journey through a dramatic and changing landscape with some fantastic views. Upon arrival in Aguas Calientes, you will be met by your guide and travel via a winding road up the mountain before finally glimpsing the magical site of Machu Picchu. After lunch at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge you will be given a guided tour of the site to learn about the history and culture of the Incas before having dinner at the Totos restaurant.

 

Day 11 - Return to Cusco

The morning is free to explore Machu Picchu. You may wish to climb Huayna Picchu, a steep climb but well worth it for the fantastic views of the valley and a different perspective of Machu Picchu. Alternatively, there is a gentle climb, back along the Inca Trail, to Intipunku the Gate of the Sun, and the first sight one has of the complex if walking the Inca Trail. In the afternoon, take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes and the train back to Ollantaytambo Station and onto Cusco.

Amazon Lodge
Days 12 - 13

Day 12 - Amazon Lodge & Canopy Tower

Day 13 - Wildlife Safari & Community Visit

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 12 - Amazon Lodge & Canopy Tower

Fly to Puerto Maldonado, where you will be greeted and taken to board a motorized canoe for the one and a half hours journey to Posada Amazonas. You will receive a short orientation and a complete briefing on the lodge and the Eco-tourism Project before the afternoon activity: the canopy tower. From the top you not only get spectacular views of the river and the surrounding forest but also excellent opportunities to observe birds from the canopy.

 

Day 13 - Wildlife Safari & Community Visit

This morning you get up at dawn to visit the Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake in search of morning wildlife. Here you take a long, easy canoe ride around it, looking out for giant river otters, turtles, hoatzin, and wading birds. Return to the lodges via jungle trails in time for a visit to a small parakeet clay lick. In the afternoon you will visit the community's ethnobotanical center, which studies the relationships that exist between peoples and plants.

 

Lima
Days 14-15

Day 14 - Lima

Day 15 - Lima

View Description

Itinerary Description

Day 14 - Lima

You take a morning flight to Lima where in the afternoon you have a tour exploring both colonial and modern districts of the city. Following an earthquake in 1746, the city was elaborately rebuilt and today's wide streets, vast plazas and old houses with ornately carved balconies are a legacy of this period. You will visit the Museo Arqueologico Rafael Larco Herrera in the suburb of Pueblo Libre, which showcases remarkable chronological organised galleries providing an excellent overview on 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. It also features the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru and the famous erotic archaeological collection.  

 

Day 15 - Lima

Take you return flight to the UK in the early evening and arrive on Day 16.

 


Price guidelines for travel dates and room arrangement

Travel Season Low Season High Season
Dates 25 Dec-21 Jun, 17 Aug - 12 Dec 22 Jun-16 Aug, 13 Dec - 24 Dec
Room Arrangement Tourist First Deluxe Tourist First Deluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room £4,138 £4,743 - £4,589 £5,194 -
Multiple Travellers - Own Room + £418 + £587 - + £418 + £587 -
Single Traveller - Own Room + £1,353 + £1,785 - + £1,354 + £1,785 -

Price guidelines for travel dates and room arrangement

Travel Season Low Season High Season
Dates 25 Dec-21 Jun, 17 Aug - 12 Dec 22 Jun-16 Aug, 13 Dec - 24 Dec
Room Arrangement Tourist First Deluxe Tourist First Deluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room €4,065 €4,791 - €4,606 €5,752 -
Multiple Travellers - Own Room + €503 + €705 - + €503 + €285 -
Single Traveller - Own Room + €1,625 + €2,142 - + €1,625 + €1,723 -

Price guidelines for travel dates and room arrangement

Travel Season Low Season High Season
Dates 25 Dec-21 Jun, 17 Aug - 12 Dec 22 Jun-16 Aug, 13 Dec - 24 Dec
Room Arrangement Tourist First Deluxe Tourist First Deluxe
Multiple Travellers - Twin Room $4,379 $5,165 - $4,965 $5,752 -
Multiple Travellers - Own Room + $544 + $764 - + $545 + $763 -
Single Traveller - Own Room + $1,760 + $2,321 - + $1,761 + $2,321 -

What's Included

  • 16 Days / 14 Nights
  • International flights (1 overnight)
  • Internal flights
  • Accommodation as shown on the itinerary
  • Breakfast everyday and meals as described on the itinerary
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides
  • Prices are per person
  • Prices for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Easter on request
  • 16 Days / 14 Nights
  • Internal flights
  • Accommodation as shown on the itinerary
  • Breakfast everyday and meals as described on the itinerary
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport  throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides
  • Prices are per person
  • Prices for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Easter on request
  • 16 Days / 14 Nights
  • Internal flights
  • Accommodation as shown on the itinerary
  • Breakfast everyday and meals as described on the itinerary
  • Transfers to and from airports
  • Transport  throughout the itinerary
  • Excursions listed, all with expert, English-speaking guides
  • Prices are per person
  • Prices for Special Events, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Easter on request

Customise your Trip

Tailor this itinerary to match your travel interests and budget.

Speak with our specialist advisers about planning your next holiday to Latin America.

Travel
Enquiries

Travel in Confidence

  • Free Proposal Itinerary
  • 100% Customisable Tour
  • Specialist Advice & Inspiration
  • First-hand Knowledge
  • Expert Travel Consultants
  • Excellent Service & Support

Contact an Advisor

Please be a descriptive as possible
Where would you like to go on your trip?
How many people will be travelling?
When would you like to depart on your trip?
How long would you like to be away for?
Receive information about travel to Latin America by email
Would you like us to send you a copy of our brochure?