Southern Highlights Tour

Exceptional Natural History, Cultural & Historical Overview


Type of Trip: Cultural Length: 14 days Season: April-November Rating: Grade II


This outstanding natural history and culturally-oriented odyssey was designed to provide a grand overview of the wonders of southern Peru, offering travelers a chance to experience the full spectrum of its fascinating diversity.

We start with a drive south along the Pacific Coast to Paracas Bay and the Ballestas Islands, then continue south to the mysterious Nazca lines. Leaving the coast, we drive to Peru’s white-city, Arequipa. A short flight brings us to the Altiplano where we’re introduced to the lifestyle and culture on Taquile Island in Lake Titicaca. Next, head to the Sacred Valley and its traditional towns of Chinchero and Pisac. We then have two days to explore Machu Picchu. From Cusco we return to Lima.


 

Trip Highlights:

  • Visit quaint fishing villages and pre-Columbian ruins of coastal Paracas
  • See dozens of sea lions and marine birds on the Ballestas Islands
  • Fly over the mysterious Nazca drawings on the desert plains
  • Explore the colonial plazas and historical sites of Peru’s white-city, Arequipa
  • Mingle with Quechua families on Taquile Island in Lake Titicaca
  • Meet with Andean weavers in the market town of Chinchero
  • Contemplate the mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu
  • Wander the cobbled streets of Cusco and visit the nearby pre-Columbian sites
  • Take in the sights and sounds of Lima, including the splendid Larco Herrera Museum

Southern Highlights Tour

Trip Itinerary


DAY 01: USA / LIMA
Arrive to Lima this evening and spend the night.

DAY 2: LIMA / PARACAS
Enjoy the coastal scenery of quaint fishing towns and Paracas National Reserve.

DAY 3: PARACAS / NAZCA
Speedboat to Ballestas Islands, then drive to Nazca via the town of Ica.

DAY 4: NAZCA / AREQUIPA
Flight over the Nazca Lines, followed by overland drive south to Arequipa.

DAY 5: AREQUIPA
Peruse colonial Arequipa’s famous white-stone buildings, museum and convent.

DAY 6: AREQUIPA / PUNO
Flight to Puno, explore the town, and check into a waterfront hotel at Lake Titicaca.

DAY 7: PUNO / TAQUILE ISLAND
Visit the floating islands of the Uros Indians and take in their traditional way of life.

DAY 8: PUNO / PIKILLACTA/CUSCO
Overland transfer from Puno to Cusco, stopping at archaeological site Pikillacta.

DAY 9: CUSCO
A private tour of Cusco’s best markets, squares, and nearby pre-Columbian sites.

DAY 10: CUSCO / PISAC / CHINCHERO
Head into the Sacred Valley, stopping at the ruins of Pisac and weavers of Chinchero.

DAY 11: MACHU PICCHU
Arrive by train to the spectacular ancient citadel of Machu Picchu.

DAY 12: MACHU PICCHU / CUSCO
Spend a second day at Machu Picchu, then catch the train back to Cusco.

DAY 13: CUSCO/LIMA OR USA
Flight to Lima and guided sight-seeing before boarding an overnight flight home.

DAY 14: USA
Make your onward connections home.

Detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF)
With full trip profile, difficulty rating, weather, and other planning details.

Southern Highlights Tour

Dates & Rates


Departures

On request any week during the April-November season for a minimum of four participants
 

Land Cost, 2014

$6,495 p.p.d. (4-6 participants)
$6,025 p.p.d. (7-12 participants)
$1,595 Single Supplement

Land Cost, 2015

$6,825 p.p.d. (4-6 participants)
$6,325 p.p.d. (7-12 participants)
$1,675 Single Supplement

p.p.d. = per person based on double occupancy

Detailed day-by-day itinerary (PDF)
With full trip profile, inclusions/exclusions, estimated airfare, and other info.

Southern Highlights Tour

Accommodations


LIMA: COSTA DEL SOL — After a long flight to Lima travelers can step out of the International Terminal, walk a short distance, and enter the lobby of Ramada’s newly constructed Costa del Sol Hotel. This stylish four-star, 130 guest room hotel is the perfect place to unwind before exploring the wonders of Peru.
PARACAS: LIBERTADOR HOTEL — The new Libertador Hotel-Paracas overlooks the bay across from the stunning Paracas National Reserve. This elegant property features an outdoor pool, spa, and an exclusive restaurant in a dramatic desert setting. The luxurious spa offers treatments designed to leave you feeling renewed.
NAZCA: HOTEL MAJORO — The Hotel Majoro is a traditional Spanish villa with a rich colonial history. The Santiago de La Nasca Villa (as it was known originally) was founded by the Head Chief of the valley in the times of Viceroy Don Luis de Velasco (1596-1606). Today its amenities include lush gardens, a pool, and a cheerful restaurant.
AREQUIPA: CASA ANDINA
PRIVATE COLLECTION
— In 2008 Casa Andina unveiled one of Peru’s most stunning luxury properties by meticulously restoring the 1794 former Casa de la Moneda (Mint House) to its former glory. The colonial mansion features vaulted ceilings, 2 ample courtyards, an elegant gourmet restaurant, and 41 sumptuous rooms.
PUNO: HOTEL LIBERTADOR — Hotel Libertador Puno is located on the shore of Esteves Island, in Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake. The hotel is located within minutes from downtown Puno. The 123 elegantly decorated rooms have wonderful panoramic views and provide all the services expected of a luxury hotel.
CUSCO: LIBERTADOR PALACIO DEL INKA — The city’s first 5-star hotel, the Hotel Libertador Cusco is ideally located within the historical center of the city, only three blocks from the main square and across from Santo Domingo Church and Coricancha Inca site. It occupies the fabulous Casa de los Cuatro Bustos, where Francisco Pizarro once lived.
SACRED VALLEY: SOL Y LUNA LODGE — Designed to promote the allure of nature and the magic of the Sacred Valley, the 4-star Sol Y Luna Hotel features 14 bungalows distributed throughout a delightfully landscaped site. Each bungalow is an integration of adobe, wood, stone from the area, resulting in a construction that lives in harmony with nature.
MACHU PICCHU: INKATERRA PUEBLO — The Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel is a unique, 4-star ecological hotel situated in a cloud forest above the Urubamba River. Featuring 83 spacious, sunlit rooms, the style is Spanish colonial with stone archways and red tiled roofs. Cottages and gardens are reminiscent of a traditional Andean village.
LIMA UPGRADE OPTION:
MIRAFLORES PARK HOTEL

Located on the Malecon de la Reserva, the 5-star Miraflores Park Hotel has 81 suites offering guests the ideal space for work and rest. Enjoy ample private bathrooms in marble and granite, comfortable king-size beds, and a splendid ocean view.
LIMA UPGRADE OPTION:
JW MARRIOTT HOTEL

Enjoy a view of the Pacific Ocean against the shoreline at one of Condé Nast Traveler’s Top-20 Latin American hotels, the JW Marriott Hotel Lima. This 5-Star facility has prime location near the Larcomar shopping and entertainment center, and luxurious amenities.
MACHU PICCHU UPGRADE OPTION:
SANCTUARY LODGE

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, by Orient Express, enjoys a unique position at the entrance of the Inca Citadel ruins. The unequaled location of this upscale 4-star hotel allows guests easy access to Machu Picchu, as well as breathtaking scenery and bird watching.
CUSCO UPGRADE OPTION:
MONASTERIO HOTEL

Built in 1592, the original monastery was given the seal of royal approval in 1692. The San Antonio Abad Seminary and was converted into Cusco’s best and most delightful 5-star hotel in 1995. Only two blocks from Cusco’s main square, the Monasterio Hotel features 109 guest rooms.

Southern Highlights Tour

Extensions


AMAZON LODGES
Length: 4 Days/3 Nights from Cusco or Lima
Season: April to December
Families and travelers with limited time, who want a taste of the Amazon rainforest, will enjoy the Reserva Amazonica or Sandoval Lake lodge, 45 min by boat from Puerto Maldonado. Both allow access to small oxbow lakes as well as forest trails with a variety of habitats.
AREQUIPA AND COLCA CANYON
Length: 5 days/4 nights from Lima
Season: Mid-April to mid-November
Introduction: Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, Colca in southern Peru is one of the deepest canyons in the world. Since its walls are not as vertical, the valley is filled with small towns that preserve their ancestral traditions.
MANU BIOSPHERE RESERVE
Length: 5 Days/4 Nights from Cusco
Season: April to October
For travelers wanting to maximize their wildlife viewing opportunities in a short extension, few places in the Amazon Basin can compete with Manu National Park in southeastern Peru. It is considered to be one of the most pristine and important rainforest reserves on the planet!
NORTHERN PERU
Length: 4 days/3 nights from Lima
Season:Year-round
Long before the Incas controlled the country, sophisticated cultures existed along the Peruvian coast; and northern Peru is one of the best destinations for visiting the remains of their cities. Moche sites including the renowned Lord of Sipan and the pyramids.
CARAL RUINS
Length: 2 days/1 night from Lima
Season:Year-round
In 2001 researchers stunned the archaeological community by carbon-dating the ruins at Caral back to 2627 BC. Step back in time to an early civilization while touring this UNESCO World Heritage Site.