As late as in July 2013, the sarcofagos of El Tigre were discovered in the jungle in the district of the same name, or “El Tigre”. In Chachapoyas and the cloud forest we will also visit Kuelap with its impressive ruins. We will also see: the old Inca City of Cusco, the legendary Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca.
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population approaching 9 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru, and the third largest city in the Americas (as defined by "city proper"). Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes. It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Today, around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area. Lima is home to one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551 during Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas. In October 2013, Lima was chosen in a ceremony in Toronto to host the 2019 Pan American Games. It also hosted the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference in December of that year. (Source: Wikipedia)
Chachapoyas in northern Peru is an ecologically diverse area of high mountains, cloud forests, deep canyons, raging rivers and jungle. The name Chachapoyas refers to the pre-Inca culture that dominated the region. The Chachapoyas People lived in stone cities on mountain ridges and the remains are there to be seen by visitors to the area. In fact the ruins are so numerous, the area is described as the richest archaeological zone in South America and possibly the world. For travellers, Chachapoyas boasts impressive heritage sites and scenery to rival anything in southern Peru. Day hikers, trekkers, cavers, botanists and birders will find time too short to explore all the possibilities. Chachapoyas city, at 2336m (7662ft) is a typical Andean town with a central plaza. Chachapoyas was founded in 1538. Today Chachapoyas is the capital of the department of Amazonas and a cosmopolitan city of about 20,000 people. Kuelap lies at 3,000 meters above sea level and 5 km from the town of Tingo, and one hour from the bigger Chachapoyas town. Little is currently known of the Chachapoyas Culture (the Cloud Forest people): although it was one of the most advanced civilizations in the tropical jungle region of Peru. One of the most outstanding archaeological ruins remains of this culture, Kuelap, that was discovered by a local resident in 1843. Experts agree that the monumental aspects of Kuelap can only compare in size and grandeur to Machu Picchu, and it is also called “the other Machu Picchu”. Kuelap's construction is presumed to have taken at least 200 years to complete and millions of cubic feet of stone. This big construction was not known by the spanish conquistadors; Kuelap's strategic location between the Marañon and Utcubamba Rivers, both long tributaries of the Amazon River, protected it from being devastated. Close to Chachapoyas you can also find Gocta, the third highest waterfall in the world.
Cusco, is located in the South - Eastern region of Peru. As the “Archaeological Capital of America”, Cusco was a sacred city and capital of the empire of the Tahuantinsuyo, and it was extended by four regions which included great parts of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. The city of Cusco was the Andean State Capital of Inka's empire. Cusco is actually, with its impressive cultural heritage, the main attraction in Peru and the most visited. The contrast of the blue sky with the wonderful landscape makes it an unforgettable city. Nowadays, when you walk around the city and you can see the streets with colonial and spanish houses which are built with Incan stones, you will realize how important the city was in the ancient times. Machu Picchu or Machu Pikchu (Quechua machu old, old person, pikchu peak; mountain or prominence with a broad base which ends in sharp peaks, "old peak", pronunciation [ˈmɑtʃu ˈpixtʃu]) is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres (7,970 ft) above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley which is 80 kilometres (50 mi) northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas", it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was unknown to the outside world before being brought to international attention in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of what the structures originally looked like. By 1976, thirty percent of Machu Picchu had been restored. The restoration work continues to this day. (Source: Wikipedia)
Puno, the folklore capital of Peru and the site of the famous Feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria, and it is a city with an altitude of about 3300 metres over sea level. Puno lies on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world's highest lake, navigable by large boats. The lake is very beautiful with its nice blue colour and it contains numerous islands whose inhabitants continue to live as their ancestors have in custom and tradition. The Uros is an example of this; its people lives on “floating islands” that they have artificially made entirely of totora reeds, and they navigate in their traditional boats also made out of totora reeds. Taquile and Amantaní are known for their kindness of their people and lovely countryside. Visiting either of these beautiful islands, where there are no cars or electricity, gives an good picture of what life must have been like five hundred years ago.
Arrival to Lima and transfer to the classic old luxury Gran Hotel Bolivar, at Plaza San Martín, in the Historic Centre of Lima. In the 1940s and 1950s, the hotel attracted Hollywood movie stars such as Orson Welles, Ava Gardner, and John Wayne, where many also discovered the local cocktail, the Pisco Sour.
This morning we are going to walk around the historic centre of Lima: Plaza de Armas, Monastery of San Francisco with their catacombs, and the museum Museo del Banco Central de Reserva del Perú amongst others. At lunch we will try the Peruvian specialities «Ceviche», and the «Lomo Saltado». After lunch we will fly out into the jungle town of Tarapoto, in the Amazon rainforest. At the lodge it is time for rest. Dinner included at the lodge.
After breakfast we start our trip towards Chachapoyas. First stop will be in Moyobamba, the orchid town of Peru, where we will see plenty of orchids. We will continue our trip towards Chachapoyas with stops for lunch and other interesting sites along the way. At arrival to Chachapoyas check-in at our hotel, where we will stay for the coming days.
Today we will hike to the Gocta Waterfalls leaving our hotel at 7 am for a one-hour drive to the village of San Pablo, where we will visit a school. From here we will start our hike towards the waterfalls, at arrival we can take a bath and we will also eat a pic-nic lunch. In the afternoon return to the hotel.
After breakfast we will start our expedition to one of the most beautiful ruins in Peru, also called “Machu Picchu of the North”, Kuélap. After breakfast we go by our car, a 2 hour drive. Lunch in the “Maria” village. We will have enough time to discover these beautiful ruins and then return to our hotel.
As late as in July 2013, the sarcofagos of El Tigre were discovered in the jungle in the district of the same name, or “El Tigre”. Departure from the hotel after breakfast for a 1,5 hours drive to the village of El Tigre, where we will go by horse and by foot to arrive in 2 hours at the sarcofagos deep in the high jungle. Lunch by the sarcofagos. Return in the afternoon to the village and then back to the hotel.
Our return trip to Tarapoto starts in the morning with stops along the way. First stop at “The Mirador of Altomayo” where we will see Peru´s national bird “Cock of the Rock”. Lunch in the small town of Rioja. In the afternoon we will visit the Thermal Baths, “San Mateo”, located just outside the small city of Moyobamba. At arrival late afternoon to Tarapoto check in at our lodge.
After breakfast there is a transfer to the airport for our flight to Cusco, the capital of the Incas. At arrival to Cusco we will check in at our hotel centrally located at Avenida El Sol. After lunch we will discover Cusco and surroundings, for example: The Temple of the Sun, Korikancha. The Cathedral at Plaza de Armas. Sacsayhuaman, a fortress from the Inca Empire, today in ruins and with panoramic views over the city of Cusco.
Today time to visit interesting places in the Sacred Valley. Chinchero, also known as the most typical town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, with its unique main plaza. Then we continue to the beautiful archaeological site of Moray, after which we will have lunch in Yucay. In the afternoon we drive towards the ruins of Ollantaytambo which we will visit before our train towards Machu Picchu departs from the same village.
Time for the legendary Machu Picchu, which was made known only in 1911 by the American Hiram Bingham. We will take one of the first buses up to Machu Picchu, this mythical place that is said to be full of energy and mystery. After the tour plenty of time to explore Machu Picchu on your own. In the afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and then by car to Cusco and our hotel.
Free day in Cusco. A visit to the traditional district of San Blas is recommended.
We will go by bus towards the small city of Puno on the shores of the lake Titicaca. Stops will be made on the way: the church of Andahuaylillas, Raqchi the Archaeological Complex, the highest point of the route or ”La Raya” at 4338 m, and a stop in a small village for a buffet lunch. We will arrive Puno late in the afternoon.
Our two day trip to visit the islands in the lake Titicaca will start today with Uros, the floating reed islands, where even the boats are made of reed. The population here is living on fishing, handicrafts and tourism. Then we continue towards Amantaní where we will spend the night. The inhabitants of Amantani are known for their textiles, as well as their ceramics. Most of the inhabitants live in houses of adobe. There is a small health clinic and school on the Island.
Today we will continue our visits to the small islands. We navigate towards Taquile, located at 3950 m altitude. We eat lunch at a family restaurant and wander around the island to see how people live. We will return to Puno and to our hotel to pick up our bags for our evening flight to Lima. At arrival in Lima check in at the nice hotel Estelar, close to restaurants, bars, and the ocean.
Morning free, there is time to visit the Indian Market close to the hotel. Check out from the hotel at noon and then we go for a short walk to Larcomar shopping centre, where we will have a buffet lunch in front of the sea, at Mangos restaurant. After lunch some time for shopping. Later transfer to Lima Airport for international flights.