On this 11-day Peru Highlights tour explore the heart and soul of one of the most fascinating civilizations in the Americas: the Incas. Tour Peru by plane, train and bus, returning each night to an upscale and comfortable hotel. Discover the historical towns of Lima and Cusco, journey through the Santa Catalina convent in Arequipa, emerge in the magical hot springs and witness soaring Andean condors in the Colca Canyon. Marvel at the traditions of water tribe villages on the islands of Lake Titicaca, be enriched by the merchants of the markets and textile centers of the Sacred Valley, and explore the great Incan mountain-top city of Machu Picchu. This is the best of Peru and you get to experience it all.
Begin in Lima, the capital of Peru, and explore the City of Kings’ museums, plazas, palaces, parks, cathedrals, monasteries, catacombs and the 2nd-century Ceremonial and Administrative Center of the Lima Culture that beautifully juxtaposes with the modernity of present-day Lima. Fly to the city of Arequipa to see one of the most beautiful squares in Peru, a cathedral exemplifying 19th century gold and silver architecture and the ancient Jesuit church of La Compañia.
Leave city life to delve into the countryside, through villages and towns, exploring what Peruvian life nestles beside nature’s best; observe volcanoes, species of birds and South American camelids in their natural habitat. Motorboat across the waters of Lake Titicaca and visit the floating islands of Uros, whose inhabitants, known as the Water Tribe, built their own islands by periodically adding new layers of vegetable fiber. Skip over to Taquile Island to enjoy lunch hosted by locals in their home. Marvel at their master weaver skills that have been passed down for generations.
Hop on another plane to Cusco, the Imperial City and archaeological capitol of South America, where the Plaza de Armas, the Spanish cathedral was built with great slabs of red granite that contrast the baroque style silverwork of its interior. Throughout Cusco and the surrounding areas, Inca history abounds with ceremonial ruins exemplifying Inca military power, rituals, fortresses and their dedication to the Sun God. The Sacred Valley offers Inca textile artists, the Pisac Markets for shopping and the Inca fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo, designed to guard the entrance to this part of the valley; it was later the scene of Inca resistance in 1537.
Finally, reach Machu Picchu, the famous Inca citadel and the great mountain-top city abandoned by the Inca Empire, reclaimed by the jungle and lost to humanity until its rediscovery in 1911. This pinnacle of an already bejeweled tour and the finale of your Peru Highlights tour is the famous Machu Picchu. Having explored the soul of one of the most fascinating civilizations in the Americas, return to your home with a new appreciation for the Peruvian ancient and modern story.