The Adventure and Nature in the Southern Circuit tour, combines the most appealing destinations across the southern three natural regions of Peru. Peru Travel Now offers a trip that covers the whole route by bus, making stops to visit the many wonders Peru has to offer. The journey begins in Lima, heading south to Ica and Arequipa. You will have the chance to enjoy desert landscapes throughout the journey along the coast. After your visit to Arequipa, the bus will then cross the Andes Mountains, in direction to Cusco: home of the largest empire in America. Later on, you will head to Puno, following a tour to discover its native highland culture. The tour will finish with a visit to the natural reserve of Manu, in the tropical jungles of Puerto Maldonado.
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A DOUBLE ROOM
Day 1: Lima Arrival to Lima and welcoming reception. In the afternoon we will have a tour through Lima’s streets and plazas. Starting at the Love Park in Miraflores, with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean, and then heading to the Huaca Pucllana, ceremonial center of the Lima culture. Later we will go to San Isidro, financial center of the city to visit de Huaca Huallamarca, ancient pre-Incan shrine. After this, we go on to the Main Square where the Government Palace and the Town Hall are located. We will visit the Cathedral and explore the San Francisco convent, built in the seventeenth century, to discover the mystery of its catacombs. Stay in Lima. Day 2: Lima/Paracas/Nasca - (Breakfast Included) Early in the morning we will be transferred to the bus station to depart to Paracas. On arrival, welcoming reception and transfer to the hotel pier to embark on a boat tour to the Ballestas Islands. The “Chandelier” a giant figure marked in the sand in the style of the Nazca lines can also be seen on our way to the islands. On the islands you will be able to observe sea lions, pelicans, Humboldt penguins and other sea birds. Transfer to the bus station to depart to Nazca. Arrival and welcoming reception. Overnight stay at Nasca. Day 3: Nasca/Arequipa - (Breakfast and Box Lunch Included) In the morning we will go to the local airfield to fly over the Nazca lines, huge drawing that can only be seen from the sky and which represent several insects and animals like a monkey, hummingbird, condor or a spider. The origins are unknown, while many think it is a big astronomic calendar. Free rest of the day to enjoy the hotel facilities and surrounding areas. In the afternoon transfer to the bus station and departure to Arequipa . arrival in Arequipa at night. Welcoming reception and transfer to hotel. Overnight stay at Arequipa. Day 4: Arequipa - (Breakfast Included) Free morning. This afternoon tour of the “White City” has more than a surprise for us: the Main Square, the Cathedral, the Cloisters, the Compañia de Jesus Church, the colonial district of Yanahuara, the San Lazaro neighborhood, the Chilina ravine and the residential area of Selva Alegre. On top of all that we will be lucky to witness a true gem: the Santa Catalina Monastery which was closed for almost 400 years and now captivates us with its narrow passages, plazas and gardens inspired by the ancient neighborhoods of Seville and Granada. Day 5: Arequipa/Colca Canyon - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) We set off to the spectacular Colca Valley going up the foothills of Chachani volcano and admiring the Misti and Picchu Picchu Volcanoes. Then we cross the vicuñas reservation of Pampa Cañahuas where we can see them running free in the high Andean lands. Peculiar villages around us. We will stop for lunch on our way to the lodge. Free afternoon to rest and enjoy the lodge and the optional visit to the thermal baths in the area. Stay at Colca Valley. Day 6: Colca Canyon/Puno - (Breakfast Included) Early in the morning we will go to the Condor Cross viewpoint. Before us the shocking flight of the condors, huge Andean birds on the brink of extinction and symbol of the Andes Mountain Range. The view at this place allows us to appreciate the canyons depth, considered as one of the deepest in the world. We will then visit the Maca and Yanque towns which still keep the colonial churches. After lunchtime, we will set off for Puno on a private vehicle. The trip takes about 5 hours and we will be welcomed and transferred to the hotel upon our arrival. Overnight stay at Puno. Day 7: Puno - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) A full day tour to explore Lake Titicaca. First we will visit the Uros , the friendly inhabitants of these handmade islands made of totora reeds. Then it’s off to Taquile Island, a place in which the settlers still maintain their ancestral traditions and colorful typical clothes. A great opportunity to explore the island and get the best view of the lake. A lunch box is provided in the island. Return to the city in the afternoon. Day 8: Puno/Cusco - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) Departure on a tour bus to Cusco. On the way we’ll stop to visit the attractions this beautiful route has to offer. Our first stop: the in site Pucara Museum and a chance to get one of the local classic bull shaped ceramics. Then it’s lunch time and the opportunity to see the view at La Raya, natural border between Puno and Cusco. We will continue our trip to Racchi, Temple of the Wiracocha god where the walls and narrow streets stand out. Before our final destination, we will stop at Andahuaylillas for a visit to its beautiful chapel. We will arrive in Cusco at the end of the afternoon. Stay at Cusco. Day 9: Cusco - (Breakfast Included) In the morning we will distance from the crowds and visit Sacsayhuaman, a huge and impressive fortress of colossal constructions and surrounded by beautiful views blending together perfectly. Our adventure continues at the Inca Shrine Qenqo, to see the sacrificial altar embedded inside a rock cave. Finally we will arrive to the Puca Pucara viewpoint and Tambomachay, monument of impressive architectonic knowledge considered as one of the pillars of Andean Cosmo vision.
In the afternoon our exclusive city tour starts with a visit to the San Cristobal Plaza to enjoy its panoramic view of the city. Then, we will visit the San Pedro Market to soak in its local flavors and to learn about more of the products grown in the area which supply the whole city. After this, the Korikancha temple will welcome us in all his magnificence; this temple, whose Quechua name means “Gold Enclosure” still bedazzles us with the thought of its gold covered walls. Then it is the turn to visit the Santo Domingo Church. We will walk from San Blas, the artisans’ neighborhood, to the Hatun Rumiyoc street, stopping at the Inca Roca Palace, nowadays home to the Archbishop’s Palace and also at the famous Twelve Angle Stone. We will continue our walk to the Main Square to visit the Cathedral and its valuable and beautiful colonial masterpieces. Stay in Cusco. Day 10: Cusco/Sacred Valley - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) The Sacred Valley of the Incas is waiting for you. On the way we will stop at Awanacancha, small complex to admire Andean camelids such as alpacas and llamas and learn from local inhabitants about traditional dyeing and knitting techniques. Later we will explore the Pisac Market with enough free time to go around and buy handcrafts and if you feel like tasting something traditional, stop by the wood ovens for a delicious empanada or a piece of bread.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, our tour continues to Ollantaytambo, a small town full of local color and inhabited since Inca times in which we will visit the main temple used as a fortress during the Inca resistance. Breathtaking views for amazing pictures. Stay at the Sacred Valley. Day 11: Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Cusco - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) A train trip away to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We arrive at the Aguas Calientes station where our staff will assist us on boarding the bus to go up the winding road to Machu Picchu, amid a spectacular view of the Urubamba River and its canyon. The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, will astonish us with its terraces, ceremonial shrines, steps and urban areas. Energy is all around us. After a guided visit, we will have time to explore the fortress and have lunch at one of the restaurants in the area. At the arranged time, we will take the train back to Cusco to be transferred to the hotel. Day 12: Cusco/Puerto Maldonado - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Departure transfer to Puerto Maldonado.
Arrival & Reception by Guide
Our guides are biologists, tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 10:1 ratio in Posada Amazonas. This means groups smaller than 10 people will be merged with other groups under one guide. If you would like a private guide or a guide in a language other than English please let us know.
Transfer Airport to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters
Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.
Transfer Pto Maldonado Headquarters to Tambopata River Port
Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business.
Transfer Boat - Tambopata River Port to Posada Amazonas
The forty five minute boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Posada Amazonas will take us into the Community’s Primary Forest Private Reserve.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
A twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas leads to the 30 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From atop you obtain spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest cut by the Tambopata River winding through the middle. Now and then toucans, parrots or macaws are seen flying against the horizon, or mixed species canopy flocks land in the treetop next to you.
A daily presentation on the Infierno ecotourism project is available every night from a staff member.
Overnight at Posada Amazonas Day 13: Puerto Maldonado - (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Included) Breakfast
Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake
Tres Chimbadas is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. Once there you will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters (seen by 60% of our lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. Otters are most active from dawn to eight or nine AM.
Parrot Clay Lick
This clay lick is only a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas. From a blind located about twenty meters away you will see dozens of parrots and parakeets descend on most clear mornings to ingest the clay on a river bank. Species such as Mealy and Yellow- headed Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot and Dusky headed Parakeet descend at this clay lick. The clay lick is active at dawn, during the late mornings and mid-afternoons.
A twenty minute boat drive downriver leads you to a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape. The Centro Ñape is a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their little clinic. They have produced a trail which explains the different medicinal (and other) uses of selected plants.
You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
Overnight at Posada Amazonas Day 14: Puerto Maldonado - (Breakfast Included) Breakfast
Transfer Boat - Posada Amazonas to Tambopata River Port
Transfer Tambopata River Port to Pto Maldonado Headquarters
Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Airport
We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, our office and the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.