Discover Peru as nobody else in this 3 week trip through this ancient country full of Mystical Cultures. This is an incredible tour where nature shows us its different and unpredictable micro-climates and all the flora and fauna and tradtions of the Peruvian people. During the next three weeks, we do an incomparable trip through the next beautiful regions of Peru having the privilege to get to know its ancient Incan and pre-Incan cultures and meeting its present various Andean cultures.
This incredible trip take you through the historical city of Lima, the Paracas and Ballestas Island and the enigmatic Nazca Lines in the north of Peru, the andean culture visiting the Colca Canyon in Arequipa, the Titicaca Lake in Puno, a tour in The Sacred Valley of the Incas in Cusco, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and finally a incredible tour in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest.
Day 01: Lima
Day 02: Paracas
Day 03: Ballestas Islands Tour
Day 04: Nazca Lines over-flight
Day 05: Arequipa
Day 06: Colca Canyon Tour
Day 07: Bus Arequipa-Puno
Day 8-9: Titicaca Lake Tour
Day 10: Sightseeing bus to Cusco
Day 11: Sacred Valley of the Incas
Day 12-15: Hiking to Inca Trail
Day 16: Cusco Sightseeing Tour
Day 17-18: Amazonian Jungle Tour
Day 19: Lima
Day 20: Departure
Crew: Tierras Vivas Representatives in Lima, Paracas, Arequipa, Puno, Cusco and Puerto Maldonado as well as professional local bilingual Tour Guides, a Cook and Porters (during the Classic Inca Trail).
Accommodation: 12 nights in 3* hotels, 3 nights in campsites, 1 night in a family homestay, 2 nights in jungle lodges.
Meals: 18x breakfast, 9x lunch, 6x dinner (Please allow USD 200 - 250 for meals not included).
Transportation: 2x domestic flight, transportation by a private van as well as tourist buses, a train (Expedition Class), motorboat transportation.
Tierras Vivas DOES NOT permit this exploitation!! We guarantee that our porters carry only an amount given by the Peruvian law!! There is still a long way to go when it comes to a reserve of adequate meals, backpacks and warm dry sleeping accommodation. Click here
Thank you for choosing Tierras Vivas for your trip.
Please note that the first day is an arrival day and no activities are planned, so that you can arrive at any time. When you arrive to the airport at Lima, our Representative waits for you holding a sheet with your name and takes you to your hotel.
Today, you are taken to a bus terminal to take a tourist direct bus to the Paracas Town. Upon your arrival, you are met by our Representative and taken to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to do some optional activities such as visiting of Paracas National Reserve, local museums or just a walk around the the town.
We pick you up from your hotel to transfer you to the Paracas´port where you board a motorboat with a destination of Ballestas Islands. It takes us first around the Bay of Paracas where we can see the mysterious “El Candelabro” - a giant figure curved on a hillside.
Then, we continue the tour to the Ballestas Islands, one of the most beautiful sceneries of the Peruvian coast!! The islands are also called the "Gallapagos of the Poors" referring to cheap prices of boat trips compared to Gallapagos tour prices while their wildlives are very similar!! There you can appreciate a wild range of guano birds (birds that produce manure) as well as sea lion colonies in their natural habitat. All the tour is done by motorboat as it is forbidden to land on the islands due to its unique wildlife protection!
After the tour, we return to our hotel in Paracas where we get ready for our next travel. In the afternoon, we are taken to a tourist bus stop at Paracas to continue to the city of Nazca. After arrival, our Representative welcomes you at Nazca and transfer you to your hotel.
After breakfast, we take you to the airdrome of Nazca where you receive instructions on your following over-flight above the mysterious Nazca Lines. The lines were made over 2,000 years ago by an advanced pre-Incan culture and consist of giant figures and lines traced in the desert so that they can be appreciated from a plane only. Nobody knows their exact meaning nowadays so they still keep their secret, however, some experts consider them “the biggest calendar of the world”. After we have been instructed, we board a light aircraft that take us over the Nazca Lines during an about 35 minute flight. After this amazing experience, we are taken back to our hotel. In the evening, we take an overnight bus to Arequipa.
Arequipa is the second biggest city of Peru and it is located in the south of the country. The city lays under shadow of the famous volcano El Misti. After our morning arrival, we get to know why it is called “The White City”.
Colca Canyon is one of the world's deepest canyons!! It is a canyon of Colca River located in southern Peru. It covers an area of about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Arequipa. Colca Valley is a colorful Andean valley with pre-Incan roots and towns founded in Spanish colonial times. These towns are still inhabited by people of Collagua´s and Cabana´s cultures. Local people keep traditions of their ancestors as well as keep cultivating pre-Incan stepped terraces for agricultural purposes.
The canyon is home to an Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), a specie that has been in focus of worldwide conservation efforts. Condors can be seen in range as they fly along the canyon´s walls. A popular tourist stop is a viewpoint named "Cruz del Condor" (Condor´s Cross) where people watch condors soaring on warm air waves. This point is situated at 1,200 metres (3,960 ft) below the rims of the canyon.
On the way, you can aprecciate the incredible landscape of Altiplano reaching up to 4,900 metres above sea level. We stop on the way in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve where we observe beautiful South American cameloids such as alpacas, llamas, vicuñas, guanacos and some birds and viscachas as well. Later on, we get to the town of Chivay, where we accommodate ourselves in a hotel. After that, you can visit the local thermal baths called La Calera which temperature reaches 38°C. In the evening, we have dinner at a local restaurant and then we overnight in our hotel.
The second day, we visit the Cruz del Condor to observe condors flying above the canyon. Before we get there, we make some stops along the way to view the local villages of Cabanaconde and Yanque with their colonial churches and typical clothing as well as nearby pre-Incan tombs placed in mountain walls.
Upon the visit of the Cruz del Condor, we continue our way to the city of Puno where we get in the late afternoon. After arrival, we are accommodated in a hotel to overnight.
In the morning, we board our comfortable motorboat to explore Uros Floating Islands as well as Amantani and Taquile islands laying on Titicaca Lake. We stop at the islands to view the magic of the lake's scenery and to meet friendly people of its communities.
The lake is located at 3,830 metres above sea level resulting in extreme wheather conditions with very cold nights and strong sunshine during days. The city of Puno situated on its shores is well-known for wealth of its traditional dances, there are up to 100 different varieties, usually performed in street processions celebrating of Catholic feast´s days. Another highlight and a popular optional activity of Puno is a visit of its nearby spectacular Chullpas of Sillustani, tower-like tombs of pre-Incan culture Colla.
Titicaca Lake is the largest lake in the world above 2,000 metres and the highest placed navigable lake in the world! Our first stop on the lake are the floating islands of the Uros people. The Uros began their unusual floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate themselves from militant Colla´s and Incan tribes. Unfortunately, Uros language got extincted, so nowadays´ Uros people speak Aymara due to intermarriages with Aymara´s speakers. There are about 300 families living on the islands, however, their number has been slowly declining.
The islands are made of layers upon layers of totora reeds that grew in the shallow of the lake. When layers, which are the nearest to water, start to rot, they are replaced with fresh totora layers on the top. Totora is basically used to make everything on the islands, including real boats and small model boats serving as souvenirs. A construction of a real totora boat takes up to 6 months!
After visiting the Uros Floating Islands, we continue towards Amantani Island. There, we land and our Tour Guide shows us around the island with its stunning Titicaca Lake views and friendly inhabitants with their particular folklore. We overnight in familial houses on the island to experience a bit more of the local culture.
The following day, we continue our motorboat ride after breakfast in the familial houses. Our next destination is Taquile Island, famous for its fine handwoven textile and clothing considered as the highest-quality handicraft of Peru. Taquile and its textile art was even recognized by UNESCO in 2005!
After a visit of this spectacular island and enjoying its amazing Titicaca Lake views, we return to Puno at afternoon hours. There, we transfer you from the Puno´s port to your hotel.
Today, we take a tourist bus that takes us to each important site of the Puno-Cusco route.
Our first stop is in the village of Pucara where we visit the Lithic Museum exhibiting artefacts of an pre-Incan culture.
Then, we continue to La Raya representing the border between the Puno´s and Cusco´s regions. This place is well- known for its viewpoint offering splendid views of surrounding Andes.
After that, we continue to Raqchi where we observe the Temple of Wiracocha (Incan god - creator).
Later on, we get to Southern Valley (also called the Sun Route), where we stop in the pre-Incan city of Pikillaqta beeing once one of the most impressive regional centers of the culture Wari!! The culture was seated in Ayacucho and its centres were occupied by Incas for many years. Today, Pikillaqta is a national archaeological park of great importance!!
The word Pikillaqta is made up of Quechuan words "piki" = flea and "llaqta" = town, so that the meaning of the city´s name was the “City of the Fleas”. It does not want to say that fleas lived in the city nor that its inhabitants were lousy. The name was derived from the fact that each inhabitant lived in cramped conditions, in a very small room. Constructions of Pikillaqta consists of over 200 kanchas (apartments), 504 golgas (storages) and other constructions. The city accommodated a population of approximately 10 thousands of inhabitants!!
Some investigators supposed that Pikillacta turned into a city of “mitimaes” during Incan times ("Mitimae" comes from the Quechuan word "mitma" meaning "resettlement". So mitimaes were originally groups of families taken by Incas from their native place to loyal or conquered towns to perform political, cultural, social, and economic functions.).
Our last stop is in the village of Andahuaylillas in order to visit the famous San Pedro Church, which is called the "Sixtine Chapel of Americas". There, we observe the quality of its works of art! The church was constructed by Jesuits in the edge of the 16th and the 17th centuries. Its architectural structure is typical for small town´s churches while its wide walls are characteristic of colonial buildings. It is made of adobe and its facade is decorated with white painting. Two stoned columns are projected towards its main entrance. Although its architecture is relatively modest, its interior is richly decorated with amazing wall paintings!
Finally, we reach the city of Cusco where we accommodate ourselves in a hotel.
Cusco was the capital of the Incan empire (Tawantinsuyo = the Country of the Four Cardinal Points) that served as a base to Inca´s expansion into new territories. When Spaniards came, they destroyed Incan monuments and changed Cusco into a new colonial city. This gorgeous colonial city offers nearby Incan ruins, cobble-stoned streets, museums, churches and a lively atmosphere.
The city has got several very good museums such as Inca Museum, Qoricancha Museum, Archaeological Museum (which also houses a small art exhibition), Regional Historic Museum and Religious Art Museum.
Today is a day off for your own activities or a rest. Some of the optional activities, which we can offer you, are a Cusco City Tour (starting after lunch), horseback riding around nearby archaeological sites (Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Tambo Machay and Puca Pucara), mountain biking to Maras-Moray-Salineras (Incan and pre-Incan sites) or white river rafting on Urubamba River.
Today, our Tour Guide takes us into the Sacred Valley of the Incas that was an important source of food for the Incas. The Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that keeps supplying the Cusco City with lots of its production. We visit the majestic ruins of Pisaq as well as its current famous handicraft market. Then, we stop in Urubamba, considered to be the capital of the valley, to have a buffet lunch offering Andean cuisine (not included in the tour). Afterwards, we continue to the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo with its Incan fortress before getting ready for our following hike, one of the highlights of the tour!
Ollantaytambo is your first taste of what lies ahead on the Inca Trail. The town and fortress of Ollantaytambo are strategically situated overlooking the beautiful Urubamba River Valley. We spend the night in this small town before heading for the start of the hike on the next morning!
The 4-day Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is physically challenging, but worthwhile!! Its difficulty is within ability of the most reasonably fit. This 44-km (27 mile) trek is often steep including 3 high passes to be crossed, one of which reaches an elevation of 4,200 m (13,776 ft). Temperature at nights may fall below zero so it is important to get ready for that! It also sometimes rains, even during a dry season!
This is the most famous ancient trek of the Incas! It begans with a morning trip to Km 82 - the initial hiking point. It is very important to not forget your passport with you because it is checked at the entrance as well as you get a stamp of the Inca Trail on it!! Our Porters and Tour Guides are a guarantee that the trip is without any worries, so you enjoy its awesome Incan ruins (Llactapata, Runkuraqay, Sayacmarca, Phuyupatamarka, Wiñay Wayna) and spectacular mountain scenery every day as much as you can!! Early morning of the last day, you climb antique steps to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate) to watch the Sunrise above the long-expected citadel of Machu Picchu!! Then, you enjoy a 2 and half an hour guided visit of the so called "Lost City of the Incas"!! Afterwards, you have an opportunity to climb the peak of Huayna Picchu (45 minutes up and the same time back) on your own to take some panoramic pictures of Machu Picchu!! In the afternoon, you descend to the town of Aguas Calientes to take a train back to Cusco. Arrival in the evening.
Today is a relaxing day to take a massage, walk around the fascinating capital of the Incas, visit its local markets, churches and museums, buy some souvenirs, have a cup of delicious local coffee or chocolate, do some optional activities as well as get ready for the last night in the city.
Early in the morning, we leave to the Cusco´s airport to take a flight to Puerto Maldonado laying deeply in the Peruvian Amazonian Jungle. Upon arrival, we transfer you to the Tambopata River Port where you board a motorboat towards our jungle lodge observing a huge number of bird species typical for the river. Upon arrival, we accommodate ourselves in the lodge that combines a native architecture and materials with a low-impact technology intending to preserve the local environment. Rooms of the lodge are simple, but comfortable, containing mosquito´s nets over each bed, flush toilets, showers (but without hot water) and kerosene (paraffine) lamps for lighting (there is no electricity). Staff of the lodge as well as multilingual Naturalists-Guides mostly consist of local communities´ members.
Later on, we enjoy a guided tour appreciating local abundant flora and fauna watching monkeys, aligators, cabybaras (the biggest rodents in the world), birds, spiders and much more!
Next day, we take a boat trip to a hidden lake where we try to fish piranhas! If we are lucky, we can also observe giant otters in their natural habitat!
The third day of the tour, we take you after breakfast to the airport at Puerto Maldonado to take a flight back to the capital where we have our last farewell dinner with all the group!
Today is a departure day so we transfer to the Lima´s airport for your international flight.
Nevertheless, if you are flexible about your departure date, you can check the tailor-made section of our website to extend your holidays!
Meal budget: Please allow USD 250-300 for meals not included.
Single room: Please note that if you have booked the "Single Room" option for this tour, you receive your own single room for all overnights and a single tent for the Inca Trail.
Local flights: All local flights are included in the cost of your tour. It is very important that we have got your passport details at the time of booking in order to process all air tickets! Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to each flight departure!
All Tierras Vivas adventurous group tours are accompanied by a Tierras Vivas Tour Guide, a Representative or an expedition team. The aim of our Tour Guides is to take a hassle out of our customers’ trips and to help them to have the best trip possible. The Tour Guides provide information on places visited, offer suggestions of what to see and to do, recommend a good place to eat and introduce to his/her colleagues. The Guides have a broad general knowledge of each country visited during a tour, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local Tour Guides where we think that more specific knowledge could add more enjoyment to visited places.
These following hotels are used to accommodate you during your tour:
Accommodation in Lima:
Address: Calle Bellavista N 320
Tel: (+51) 1 4446033
Accommodation in Paracas:
Address: Calle Matara N 394, Cusco
Tel: (+51) 84 224466
Accommodation in Nazca:
Address: Calle Matara N 394, Cusco
Tel: (+51) 84 224466
Accommodation in Arequipa:
Hotel Casona Plaza Arequipa
Address: Calle Matara N 394, Cusco
Tel: (+51) 84 224466
Accommodation in Colca Canyon:
Hotel Casa Andina Colca
Address: Calle Matara N 394, Cusco
Tel: (+51) 84 224466
Accommodation in Puno:
Hotel Casona Plaza Puno
Address: Calle Matara N 394, Cusco
Tel: (+51) 84 224466
Accommodation in Ollantaytambo:
Hostal Las Orquidea Real
Address: Av Ferrocarril , Ollantaytambo
Tel: (+51) 84 204032
Accommodation in Cusco:
Address: Calle Matara N 394, Cusco
Tel: (+51) 84 224466
Accommodation in Ollantaytambo:
Hostal Las Orquidea Real
Address: Av Ferrocarril , Ollantaytambo
Tel: (+51) 84 204032
During the tour, we request our hotels to get ready your rooms for time of your arrival, especially, if you arrive prior to standard check-in time. Nevertheless, this is not always possible. In this case, you just store your luggage in that hotel storage room and you can explore around your new destination in between.
Please note! If you have purchased pre or post trip accommodation, you might be asked to change your room during your trip.
A kind of luggage you need to take with depends on a kind of tour you plan to undertake, a part of the country you like to visit, a year season and a length of your trip. In general, you should pack as lightly as possible because you carry your own luggage during most of our tours (however, there are not long walking distances – up to 30 minutes). We recommend you to keep weight of your luggage under 10 kg (22 lb.).
Most of travelers use a suitcase. However, a big backpack would be more suitable. In any case, please do not forget a small rucksack that you will need for daily travels (to carry your bottled water, camera, snacks, etc.). It is better to avoid a wheeled luggage and use luggage with shoulder straps.
Clothing to take with you depends on a year season in Peru and a part of country you plan to visit.
When visiting coastline of the Northern Peru and surroundings of Lima, then you need to pack some light cloths (for example, shorts, skirts, dresses, T-shirts), flip-flops, sandals, a head cover as a protection against the Sun (a hat or a cap), sun protection cream, sunglasses, mosquitos repellent and swimsuit, of course.
If you plan to visit Peruvian mountains (Andean mountain range or Altiplano), then we recommend you to take some trousers suitable for hiking, shorts, T-shirts and trekking shoes for the days; and sweaters, fleeces, hats, scarves and warm jackets for the nights. You also should take a sun protection cream, sun glasses and in some cases, mosquito repellent (depending on a route chosen). It is very convenient to have a light rain-gear available in a daypack (e.g. a waterproof poncho or jacket and/or waterproof trousers) as weather changes quickly and rains can suddenly occur. For more details, please check the below link of “What to Bring on the Inca Trail Expedition Tour”.
It is a protected area of Peru. It is located in the Province of Pisco and the objective for which it was created is none other than to preserve a portion of the sea and the desert of Peru. In this way, what it seeks is to protect various species of wild flora and fauna that meet there.
The Paracas National Reserve is one of the categorized Natural Protected Areas (ANPs), which protects representative samples of our marine-coastal ecosystems. Its importance lies in the fact that it protects a great biological diversity essential for the maintenance of various biological cycles that guarantee the conservation of species, as well as generating economic income for thousands of inhabitants. Likewise, it protects in its interior various archaeological remains of the Paracas culture settled in a large part of this important reserve.
In the department of Ica, in the marine waters and in the provinces of Pisco and lca.
The Paracas National Reserve is home to a great biological diversity, especially in the marine-coastal part. It is estimated that there are about 216 species of birds, 36 of mammals, 10 of reptiles, 168 of fish and a large number of invertebrates that are the initial part of the trophic chain of this important place. The main bank of fan shells (Argopecten purpuratus) in the country is in the Bay of Independence, where there is also an important variety of crabs, sea snails, octopuses, urchins and other mollusks.
Among the birds that can be seen, the flamingo or parihuana (Phoenicopterus chilensis), the Humboldt penguin (Spheniscus humboldti), the potoyunco (Pelecanoides garnotii), the tendril (Larosterna inca) and eventually the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) stand out. You can also see the fine sea lions (Arcthocephalus australis), the funny sea lions (Otarya bironia) and the sea cat or otter (Lontra felina). In this way, you can also see the humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), the bufeo (Tursiops truncatus) and the dark dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus) in the marine waters.
Vegetation is scarce in the RNP, however some portions of coastal hills can be observed in the highest parts of the hills formed by the effects of humidity and that serve as habitat for various reptiles, insects, birds and some mammals.
In the Paracas National Reserve the average climate is hot. The annual average temperature is 18º C, oscillating between 22º C in February and 15º C in August. The rains are very scarce and it occurs basically in winter. The aridity of the area originates the low to the ground and intense winds known as Paracas, which are uncomfortable for the visitor but are normal in this place. Although the influx of tourists occurs throughout the year, it is concentrated in the first four months of the year.
If you go to the Paracas National Reserve, it is clear that the cathedral is another area you should go to. For those who do not know what it consists of, it is an imposing rock formation caused by the erosion of the sea and the wind throughout the centuries. It stands out for having a concave that resembles the one that can be found on the dome of cathedrals.
If after reading everything you can find there you are clear that you want to travel to this area of great beauty, you should know that you can do it through organized visits. In this way you can discover the multiple natural and archaeological attractions of the area throughout its 335,000 hectares. You can enjoy its incredible flora and fauna but also its incredible beaches, birds and adventures in the desert.
In addition, you can also camp a few kilometers away are the city of Pisco and El Chaco. In this way you can spend the night and also carry out other activities such as a visit to the Ballestas Islands. All this without forgetting that you can visit the Julio C. Tello Site Museum that permanently exhibits pieces of the Paracas culture. These are pieces that were found in the cemeteries of the place.
If your curiosity has piqued you and you can't wait to get to know this magnificent National Reserve, you can find on our website a multitude of offers and promotions to fly to Peru. [: En] If something that characterizes Peru is its incredible landscapes, and that is a country full of nature in its purest form. One of those great areas of unparalleled beauty is the Paracas National Reserve. It is a protected area of Peru. It is located in the Province of Pisco and the objective for which it was created is none other than to preserve a portion of the sea and the desert of Peru.
The Ballestas Islands are located in front of the Paracas National Reserve, in the department of Ica, approximately 250 km from the city of Lima, they comprise three islands: Ballesta Norte, Ballesta Centro and Ballesta Sur, these islands have great importance for being a guano deposit and be considered a privileged place to closely observe concentrations of marine fauna, such as seabirds and guano, humboldt penguins and sea lions.
The Ballestas Islands have unique tourist attractions, in it we can find extraordinary monuments sculpted in rocks, great diversity of wildlife, between endemic and migratory species, dreamy sunsets, as well as a unique geology. Being considered one of the most visited areas by national and international tourists. The Ballestas Islands present an unmatched diversity of seabirds, a must for bird lovers from all over the world, and due to their quality, both in the soil and in the sea, many species of fauna use the Ballestas Islands as a mandatory stopping point for rest and feed during their migrations, in addition to being considered a key dwelling point for the nesting of marine fauna.
Due to the increasing winds during the course of the day, tours only depart in the mornings at 08:00 am and 10:00 am every day. In general, we advise to do the tour at 08:00 am, as the weather conditions are better, as well as to observe the wildlife.
The tour provider allows cancellations before 18:00 pm the day before at no cost. If they cancel after this time or miss the tour, the full fee will be charged.
Unfortunately, the Ballestas Islands operator will charge the total amount for any NO SHOW or loss of the tour without prior cancellation before 18:00 pm the day before. If you like to book it again for the next day it is possible, but you will have to pay again.
The Islands are protected, which means that you cannot swim with the animals or walk on the islands themselves, but you will be very close to them by boat. A unique experience for those who will not be able to go to Galapagos.
These huge lines with geometric and zoomorphic shapes extend over an area that is 50 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide. They are located in the Pampas de Jumana in the Ica region, and were discovered in 1927 by the archaeologist Toribio Mejía Xespe; However, the most in-depth work began in 1946, when the German researcher María Reiche took charge of her, a task that she carried out until the end of her life.
The Nazca Lines are geoglyphs, that is, drawings made on plains or hills. Some are simple straight lines and others are complex zoomorphic, phytomorphic or geometric drawings. You can distinguish about 800 figures in total. The largest figures in Nazca are: the nearly 300-meter bird, the 180-meter lizard, the 135-meter pelican, the 135-meter condor, the 135-meter monkey and the 42-meter spider. In addition, a new geoglyph in the shape of a feline was recently discovered, it is 37 meters long and is located on one of the slopes of the natural viewpoint in the area.
In Peru. In the Pampas de Jumana, in the Nazca desert, in the Ica region, in the Nazca and Palpa valleys. The lines extend over an area of more than 500 km². The zero rain of the place helps its conservation.
The exact date is unknown, but as it is attributed to the Nazca people, they date sometime between the s. I BC and VII AD The first reference to these “signs” is that of the Spanish Pedro Cieza de León in 1547.
To mark the lines, we proceeded to remove the first layer of the surface, darker, and leave a lower, lighter layer in the air. That is, the lines are grooves in the ground between 40 and 210 cm wide and some can reach 275 m long. How was such precision achieved from the ground considering that they could not be observed from the air then? It is believed that by means of ropes and stakes, but with its size and extension ... it is not so easy to imagine.
Visiting and enjoying the Nazca lines is not difficult at all. Of course, it will be necessary to arrive by road since the Nazca airport does not have regular traffic and is only used for the planes that fly over the Lines. But don't panic, in Peru there are bus lines that are truly luxurious.
Nazca is located about 450 km south of Lima, about 650 from Cuzco and another 570 from Arequipa, three of the main tourist spots in the country. Closer are Paracas and Ica, 205 and 150 km respectively, two destinations that are also very visited and well worth a stop.
To visit the Nazca Lines, it is best to contact one of the companies that carry out the visits by plane (or better yet, all of them to be able to compare prices) and book our flight in advance. The most popular and recognized airlines are Alas Peruanas, Aero Paracas, Aero Nasca or Aero Diana, but there are many more. In addition to flying from Nazca there are also companies that offer tours taking off from Pisco or from Ica.
Flying over the Nazca Lines is one of those experiences that is not forgotten, although it is a decision that can be difficult to make. The flights that fly over Nazca have a black history behind them and it is that about a decade ago accidents happened too frequently, Nazca claimed many victims and problems with airplanes became more common than desired, especially touristically speaking. Today everything has changed, the controls and the requirements of the companies demand high levels of security and the flights over the Nazca Lines have managed to clear their fame.
As we said, it is convenient to book the flight in advance and once in Nazca the company will transfer us from the town to the María Reiche Neuman airport.
The planes are small, generally between 5 and 10 passengers, and the flights are busy. The pilots lean their planes circling the figures so that everyone can see each of the geoglyphs perfectly from their window. The whale, the dog, the gannet ... so up to twelve, and the second there are those who may be remembering the biodramina and whether it really will be of any use. Pilot and copilot identify and comment on each of the figures so as not to lose detail, most of them are very easy to distinguish and at the end, and wanting more, the 30 minutes over the Nazca Lines… “fly by”.
The department of Arequipa is one of the 24 departments that make up the Constitutional Republic of Peru and whose capital is its homonymous city or also known as the “White City”. Arequipa is considered one of the most important cities in Peru, being declared by UNESCO as "Cultural Heritage of Humanity" due to its incredible colonial architecture.
When doing tourism in Arequipa, it is common to observe various white buildings because the main material used in their constructions, from colonial times to the present, is ashlar or also known as white stone.
The Cathedral of the city of Arequipa, next to the Plaza de Armas, is one of the first religious constructions that were created in this city. Its construction presents a neoclassical style made of ashlar. Inside this enclosure you can see a huge organ of Belgian origin of incalculable value. It should also be noted that it is one of the 70 churches in the world that can raise the banner of the Vatican.
The Church of La Compañía is a mestizo baroque style construction recognized for being one of the most important masterpieces of the colonial era. A church that stands out for having in its interior more than 60 canvases made by the Cuzqueña School and carefully carved wooden altarpieces bathed in gold leaf.
One of the tourist spots in Arequipa is the Santa Catalina Monastery, on Calle Santa Catalina. A small citadel built in 1580 as a center of absolute closure for the daughters of the Arequipeña elite. This religious fortress was completely walled in order to prevent contact with the outside world. Currently, inside you can find various buildings and colonial objects. A museum of everyday objects used more than 400 years ago, valuable paintings from the Cusco School, carvings and religious images, among others.
The Valley of the Volcanoes is one of the most surprising tourist places that can be visited when sightseeing in Arequipa, 13 hours from the city, in the Andagua district. This territory runs through a large extension of the Andagua River and is home to small volcanoes such as Antaymarca, Shipee, Jonson, Pucamauras, among others. Many visitors compare this beautiful Valley to Mars because of the similarities it has to its geography.
The Sumbay Cave Art Caves is another interesting place to visit when sightseeing in Arequipa. This place is located 88 km from the city of Arequipa, behind the Misti volcano, in the District of Yanahuara. According to historians, its nearly 500 rock art figures are thousands of years old. These are representations of zoomorphic and human figures.
In this province is one of the most important citadels of Inca origin on the Peruvian coast, on the Puerto Inka Beach, the Archaeological Complex of Quebrada de la Vaca. The spa is ideal to spend the night and enjoy a pleasant breeze while learning about the Inca culture in the ruins of this ancient city. Inside you can see old walls, circles made of stone, colcas and numerous houses. It should be noted that the Inca Trail or Qhapaq Ñan from this place is one of the few found on the coast. A construction that served as a connecting point between the Quebrada de la Waca and the city of Cusco.
Arequipa is one of the main tourist destinations in Peru due to the geography of the Colca Valley, in the Province of Caylloma. This valley stands out for having one of the deepest canyons in the world, with approximately 4,160 meters high. The perfect habitat for a great variety of Peruvian flora and fauna.
One of the tourist places that can be visited in the Colca Valley is the Mirador de la Cruz del Cóndor, where its visitors delight in the flight of the majestic condor, a bird in danger of extinction. Thanks to its varied fauna, this place allows travelers, with a little luck, to observe animals such as vicuñas, alpacas, foxes, vizcachas, pumas, eagles, owls, hawks, among others.
The Colca Canyon is ideal for tourists to perform extreme sports such as canoeing, trekking, mountain climbing, among others. In addition, this valley has several viewpoints that allow you to observe the beautiful natural landscapes of Arequipa.
Islay is one of the places to visit when sightseeing in Arequipa due to its impressive landscapes. The National Sanctuary of Lagunas is one of these natural settings that dazzle its visitors. This is due to the fact that this area of almost 690 hectares has different lagoons, degrees of salinity, marshes, reeds and grasslands. In addition, it is a perfect place to photograph and enjoy the company of up to 157 species of birds.
The department of Arequipa also stands out for the beaches that you can find in Mollendo, in the province of Islay. These beaches are very extensive and stand out for being free of pollution, ideal for leisure during the summer season. It is not surprising that it is one of the most important and popular resorts in southern Peru.
The province of Camaná offers a circuit of beautiful spas, 3 hours from the city of Arequipa. These beaches are ideal for bathing while you relax and enjoy the seascape.
Camaná also offers tourist places such as the thousand leaves hill, a name received by the shape and natural pigmentation of the place. On the slopes of this hill there is an old cemetery dating from pre-Inca times. It is thought that this cemetery could have belonged to the Tiahunaco culture, due to the clothing found in this place. The top of this hill is ideal to observe the beautiful valleys of this province.
The temperature in Arequipa generally stays between 9 ° C and 23 ° C. There are very rare occasions in which the temperature exceeds 25 ° C or falls below 7 ° C. Arequipa is considered to have the best climate in the world. southern peru.
Of the about 8,600 km². that owns Lake Titicaca, more than half of said body of water is Peruvian territory. In its interior, three zones have been established: Lake Mayor or Chucuito (with the maximum depth of 283 m), Lake Menor or Wiñaymarca and the bay of Puno. The lake has five main tributary rivers: Ramis, Huancané, Coata, Ilave, and Suches. The only discharge of its waters is carried out through the Desaguadero river (which represents only 9% of the total), while the rest is lost through evaporation. The temperature of its waters varies between 11 ° and 14 ° C.
Much of the well-known floating islands of the Uros are located within, while others are adjacent to the Titicaca National Reserve. Also, many of them are prepared to receive visitors, while others remain only for housing purposes. At present, many of its inhabitants are dedicated to tourism and the handicraft business, activities to which they have added traditional fishing and hunting (conserving their ancestral link with the natural resources that the lake offers), turning this area into one of the most important tourist potentials of the reserve.
The peasant communities have organized to form various Conservation Committees, which have volunteer park guards who order the use of resources and support the control and surveillance of the Titicaca National Reserve. Likewise, they inform the communal assembly and the area personnel about activities that put the integrity of the protected area at risk.
There are 159 species of fauna registered, of which 15 are mammals, 105 are birds, 9 are amphibians, 4 are reptiles and more than 26 are fish. The most representative fauna of the Titicaca National Reserve is made up of birds. The endemic grebe or keñola (Rollandia microptera), the choka (Fulica ardesiaca), the tikicho (Gallinula chloropus) and the wild ducks (anatidae) stand out. The latter are economically important as they are consumed by local people, mainly the Uros.
You can also see the maquerancho (Plegadis ridgwayi), the parihuanas or flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis), the chenko (Agelaius thilius), the lekecho (Vanellus resplendens), the totorero (Phleocryptes melanops) and the seven-colored cattail (Tachuris ruby). ).
Among the amphibians, the famous Titicaca giant frog stands out, known as kelli or huankele (Telmatobius culeus), an endemic species whose habitat is mainly the depths of the Lake. The native ichthyofauna of Lake Titicaca is made up of some threatened species such as boga (Orestias pentlandii), suche (Trichomycterus rivulatus) and mauri (Trichomycterus dispar). The introduced species that achieve even greater commercial value are trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and silverside (Basilichthys bonariensis), which in turn are the main causes of the population decline of native species.
The Uros are traditional bird hunters and egg gatherers for commercial and self-consumption purposes, selling their surpluses in the markets of Puno and Juliaca. Bird hunting is in the process of being organized through management plans and its illegal practice constitutes a threat.
Within the Titicaca National Reserve and in the surroundings a total of 171 plant species have been found. The most outstanding is undoubtedly the cattail (Schoenoplectus tatora). In its two sectors, the Titicaca National Reserve covers approximately 27,600 hectares of reed beds.
Inside the Titicaca National Reserve there are several islands that can be visited. The islands of Taquile and Amantaní stand out for rural community tourism. On the island of Suasi you can count on private tourist services. On the mainland, cultural and historical manifestations are everywhere.
The community initiatives of the Capachica peninsula (Llachón, Yapura, Paramis and Ccotos), of Chucuito (Karina and Luquina Chico) stand out. Other more distant destinations from Puno are Cutimbo, Chucuito and Sillustani, in the archaeological aspect, and Juli, Pomata and Zepita, for their beautiful colonial churches.
For bird watchers the tourist circuit of Carata Mocco is recommended. Through this tour you can see the Titicaca diver. The Yapura tourist circuit is the most recommended for the aquatic adventure. In both, various lake trails are followed in the middle of the totorales aboard small boats guided by local guides.
On Foroba Island there is an Interpretation Center and a small center in the Huerta Huaraya community. Both are located ten minutes from the city of Puno. The Titicaca National Reserve also has three checkpoints on Isla Foroba, Carata Mocco and Yapura. In Carata Mocco there is a camping area between the islands with toilets. In the Uros Islands it is possible to access various tourist services such as hostels, boat rentals, food kiosks, reed and loom handicrafts, toilet services, etc.
The climate is cold and semi-dry. The average temperature is 9º C with a minimum of 3º C and a maximum of 19º C. The months with the lowest temperatures are June and July. A rainy period (from January to March) and a dry period (from May to August) are clearly distinguished in the area. Average rainfall is 700 mm per year. Relative humidity is 60%. Your visit is recommended during the dry season.
The network of Inca roads is a system of roads that linked the most important points of the immense empire of the Incas. This network of trails was called ‘qhapac’, words in the Quechua language that mean ‘way of the king or of the powerful’. Many sections of these roads continue in good condition and preserved by several countries in South America. It is considered Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco. Today, a part of these sections is the famous route that ends in Machu Picchu.
The network of Inca roads, known in the Quechua language as ‘qhapac’ (main road or path of the powerful), is an immense connection of Inca trails built for the most part by Emperor Pachacutec in the 15th century.
These roads linked the main cities of the empire with Cusco, the capital of the empire. The Inca himself was led from the ‘sacred city’ to the various points of the empire through the qhapac ñan.
The network of Inca roads covered part of the territories of the current countries of Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Chile and Argentina. Due to their historical importance, they are currently considered ‘Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ by Unesco. Because of this they are protected and preserved for the future.
The qhapaq ñan is the word that defines the road system of the Inca civilization. It is the best proof of the development reached by the Incas in civil engineering. It is worth mentioning that this network of roads was built on one of the most rugged territories in the world. He managed to cross the rugged Andes Mountains and the arid deserts of the South American coast.
This network of roads crossed the empire of the Incas by routes drawn from north to south (from end to end) along the coast and through the Andes Mountains. There were small sections for the common population. There were also wide sections dedicated to Inca royalty. The roads of the mountains had completely paved sections while those of the coast were built simply of earth.
The world famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is just one part of this complex network of roads. Go up the Urubamba river basin to the Inca city, after winding difficult mountains. At present it is considered the best hiking route in Peru. You can visit it in four days through a perfectly planned tour.
At present, more than 60 thousand kilometers of roads that formed this enormous network have been identified. But studies carried out reveal that the qhapaq ñan would be made up of more than double that identified throughout the South American territory.
The route of the roads, in addition to connecting one town with another, served to connect the culture of the towns of the time. Likewise, its function was that of a trade route and strategic routes of cultural connection between the different towns of the immense Inca empire. This is how Inca cities were integrated such as: Vilcashuaman, Pumpu, Hatun Xauxa, Huánuco Pampa, Cajamarca, Quito, etc.
The qhapaq ñan shows many sections in which there are two parallel roads in a trunk route. It is known that the Inca, his court and his armies would go through one of them, while the other was destined for the people.
The qhapac ñan are designed in response to the coastal and mountain geography. There are stretches in immense arid plains up to the most rugged mountains of the Andes mountain range. There are also countless slopes, cliffs, mountains, pampas, swamps, gorges, and canyons. In many cases, the most difficult sections were solved with bridges and uneven roads.
The difficult South American geography and the immense distances that the Qhapac ñan traveled forced the Incas to build certain structures necessary for the proper functioning of the roads.
• Bridges: There were several bridges that allowed crossing rivers or spaces with abysses. These bridges could be woven of straw (the icchu or wild straw of the Andes) and were characterized by being hanging. And there were other bridges that were built of tree trunks, supported by abutments of huge stone blocks. Also noteworthy are the "oroyas", wooden rafts that were used to flow the lakes. Currently the Queswachaka bridge in Cusco is an example of the tradition of the Andean peoples in the construction and maintenance of Inca bridges.
• The tambos: These constructions had the function of shelters and warehouses for food, wool, firewood, clothing. These products were stored both for people who traveled and for emergencies. It is estimated that on the main roads there were dairy farms every 20 or 30 kilometers. These housed the "chasquis" or emissaries who were young runners who went from tambo to tambo carrying the Inca's messages through a relay system. Through this system it is said that a message could reach from Cusco to Ecuador in 10 days (approximately 2,000 kilometers).
The Inca Trail is the small network of roads that connects the towns of Cusco with the Inca city of Machu Picchu. With the discovery of this archaeological site in 1911, part of this section of the Qhapac ñan was unearthed. Since then these trails have been valued.
Due to its location on the slopes of mountain ranges, this section of the Inca Trail was built following the characteristics of the mountain roads. The Incas first made the layout of the road, then the foundation of the soil with several layers of stone and earth. Next the paving and the drainage system were made. Due to their complex construction, these trails are kept in good condition.
This section of the Inca Trail was not discovered by the Spanish. It is also believed that they did not give it the necessary importance. In any case, the Spanish did not reach Machu Picchu, which, after being abandoned, was hidden in the thick vegetation over the years. The section from qhapac ñan to the Inca city also suffered the same fate.
YES! It is recommended that you make a reservation for the Inca Trail, check the available spaces online, and pay your entrance fee well in advance.
Book the Inca Trail:
It is very important to book this hike well in advance!
A general recommendation on how long before booking is:
In February, the Inca Trail trail is closed due to rain. You can still visit Machu Picchu, by train or alternative excursions.
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is 42 km (26 miles) long. The campsites along the Inca Trail are assigned by the Ministry of Culture (INC) and for this reason it is difficult to determine the distance that must be covered in a day, but they are expected to walk 6 to 9 hours per day.
Altitude sickness or mountain sickness usually occurs very few to our visitors, since previously we recommend acclimatizing 2 days before trekking.
They should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and drink plenty of water or some pills for altitude sickness pre-registered by their doctor. If the evil is more serious we must return to a point of care to be treated the evil.
Since June 2002, independent trekking has been prohibited on the Inca Trail. Regulations state that each hiker must be accompanied by a qualified professional guide. The MINISTRY OF CULTURE OF MACHU PICCHU is the regulatory body responsible for controlling access to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail.
Businesses must meet certain basic requirements that demonstrate that they have professional guides and good camping equipment, radio communicators, and knowledge of emergency first aid, including oxygen. Your license is renewed every year in early March.
No, you must carry your valid identification (passport or DNI) to enter the Inca Trail Circuit to Machu Picchu. Be sure to take your passport with you and get the Machu Picchu stamp at the entrance.
During the Inca Trail our team of porters set up camping tents, where only you need a sleeping bag or mattress / inflatable mattress. The porters carry all the camping equipment for you to enjoy an excellent adventure during the Inca Trail.
Yes, we also have the following:
Yes, there is a limit to the number of visitors to Machu Picchu 3000 per day and the Inca Trail 500 per day, everyone can visit the ruins.
Our staff always thinking about the environment will bring the necessary water for the 3 days of excursion, therefore we recommend that you bring bottled water. Our team will provide you with boiled water for breakfast and lunch. They will also have water to wash their hands. You can take water from rivers or streams but it is necessary to use purifying tablets, although this practice is not highly recommended.
Porters to carry your personal items can be hired separately between US $ 130 and US $ 150 for the 4-day trek. In general, if the entire group is satisfied with the service, try to make sure each porter takes home an extra $ 10, the cook $ 15, the guide $ 25, and the assistant guide about $ 15.
A group of 14 people with 18 porters (18 x 10 = $ 180), 1 cook ($ 15), 1 guide ($ 25) and 1 assistant $ 15) would receive a total of $ 122, which equates to a tip of approximately $ 9 per person.
Climate in Cusco: The mountainous region of Cusco has well-defined winter and summer seasons. Winter days (June to August) are very sunny and warm, but the temperature drops to almost zero at night. The rainy season is from January to March. December and January are two of the most pleasant months for trekking
You have to be in shape. It is a common misconception that because many people do the Inca Trail, then it must be easy ... it is not. The trail is 45 km (26 miles) long and takes a lot of physical effort to complete. On the second day you climb almost 1200m (about 4000ft). Combined with the high altitude (lack of oxygen) and extreme weather (you can easily burn in the sun from the high altitude during the day and temperatures can drop below zero at night) the hike can be hard work.
However, all this suffering can make the final arrival at Machu Picchu even more enjoyable.
The maximum allowed group size is 16 people. Normally group tours are between 12 and 16 people.
It can get a bit crowded, but with current regulations, you have plenty of room to walk.
There are bathrooms but they are very basic with little running water. Sernanp, the entity in charge of regulating the Inca Trail, does not have staff to clean and care for the bathrooms, so it is a deficit during the Inca Trail. In case there are no bathrooms in the camps, our staff will install a bathroom tent just for the Group.
In the southernmost area of the Peruvian Amazon and near the department of Cusco is Puerto Maldonado, a small city surrounded by countless tourist destinations to enjoy a vacation in complete connection with nature.
Puerto Maldonado is the starting point for various excursions to the southern jungle of the Peruvian Amazon. Therefore, the first thing we want to tell you is how to get to this city.
Whether you are traveling from Lima or from Cusco, the fastest way to get to Puerto Maldonado is by plane (in 90 and 30 minutes, respectively). But if you are in Cusco and you prefer to travel by bus, you can also do it. The tour takes approximately 10 hours through the interoceanic highway that connects Peru and Brazil.
Although this city serves mainly as a starting point for tourists who want to go deep into the jungle, Puerto Maldonado also offers some interesting activities. So that you do not miss any detail, we leave you the best attractions inside and outside the city.
Did you know that Peru holds the Guinness record for the country with the most species of butterflies in the world? Just 3 kilometers south of Puerto Maldonado is the first hatchery in Peru where live butterflies are exhibited. In 600 square meters, you can explore and get to know the habitat of impressive Amazonian butterflies, which live surrounded by beautiful flowers and native, ornamental and medicinal plants.
As in many corners of the Peruvian jungle, in Puerto Maldonado you will find centers that are responsible for rescuing animals and rehabilitating them so that they can return to their natural habitat. An example is Amazon Shelter, a place where you will find from monkeys to crocodiles, toucans or sajinos that coexist in total harmony with their environment.
The perfect place for those who are thinking of a family trip. Four native communities of Madre de Dios got together to create this corridor that offers endless activities: kayaking, jungle beaches, walks through native forests, paintball, swimming pool… there is something for everyone!
In a city in which the traditional houses practically do not exceed the first floor, it is surprising to find itself as a construction like the Mirador de la Biodiversidad. This tower is perfect to have a panoramic view of Puerto Maldonado and, above all, to enjoy an incredible sunset.
We begin the tour of the most important natural areas that surround Puerto Maldonado with the Tambopata National Reserve, the closest to the city. The fauna and flora of this place are fascinating: up to 632 species of birds, 1200 of butterflies, 103 of amphibians, 180 of fish, 169 of mammals and 103 of reptiles have been found.
In addition, its spectacular suspension bridges and large bodies of water, such as Lake Sandoval, Sachavacayoc and Valencia, attract attention. But to truly be fascinated with the fauna of this national reserve, visit the Collpa de Guacamayos Colorados, where hundreds of macaws, parakeets and parrots gather to feed on its clay walls 50 meters high by 500 long.
On the border with Brazil is the province of Tahuamanu, another place to enjoy different landscapes related to nature. After taking a walk through the city, we recommend visiting the surrounding towns, where you can ride a horse, go by boat through the Colibrí lagoon and even visit the native community of Belgium and its shiringa forests.
Can you imagine what it is like to walk through a humid tropical savanna? Either way, it seems like a good plan, right? Well, in Peru you can do it in the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, a place where animals as fascinating as the giant anteater, the black lizard or the harpy eagle live.
Puerto Maldonado and, in general, the Madre de Dios region, is divided into two seasons: dry and rainy. Each of them has its benefits and drawbacks: while in the dry season you will be able to do more activities related to trekking, during this time there is less bird watching. In the rainy season, however, you can meet more birds, reptiles and amphibians. Therefore, the best time to visit Puerto Maldonado depends on your tastes and what you are looking for on this trip.
Peru is wonderland and mega diverse country of a millenary past and heritage. It is said that there is a Peru for each one. It's coast, mountains and jungle. Culture, adventure and nature. Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu. Urban, cultural and archaeological tourism.
Let yourself be surprised by our pre-Inca past. Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado are the gateway to our Amazon and its biodiversity. Enviable places, with cozy views. Peru is gastronomy, folklore, but above all culture. Puno and Lake Titicaca, Arequipa and the impressive Colca Canyon. Declared destinations cultural, natural and historical heritage of humanity. Live cultures, welcoming people and culinary flavor. Every time you know better to come to Peru. Peruvian Highlands
Peru is the land of the ancient Incas, an incredible civilization that knew how to dominate its rugged geography and coexist in harmony with the rivers, the sun, the rain, the sea and the Amazon, the mountains and the dry cold of the Andes, adapting to its environment and surviving thanks to the beneficial fruits of the Pachamama.
Traveling to Peru is to wake up pending dreams, is to connect with oneself, is to enter 5 thousand years of living history. This complete and extensive trip will show us all the Peruvian south in its fullness: The deep canyon of the Colca River, the Titicaca Lake, is the deep Amazon rainforest and all the Inca culture that will take us to the top of Machu Picchu. A trip you will not forget. Enigmatic Peru