Mysteries of the Inca Empire with Arequipa & Colca Canyon (1306)

15 Day Tour from Lima to Lima

2016 Tour Details View 2017 Tour Details »

Capture the mystery and grandeur of one of the most iconic places in the world on this full journey of the Inca Empire: Peru. Starting with a city tour of Lima, you’ll gain a sense of the colonial heritage of the Peruvians with its world-class museums and its Spanish colonial architecture. Then, head to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, two of the most stunning and mystical places on Earth. Glimpse the ancient history and culture, and enjoy the unique opportunity to stay overnight in both the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, where you’ll have two included entrances to the site, visit a local Inca home, and traditional Indian market. From the charming city of Cusco, where you’ll have a full-day introduction to the city and the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, you’ll head to fascinating Titicaca, a lake of floating islands, maintained over centuries by the local Indians who build their islands and homes from the continuously sinking reeds.

Wrap up your journey in Arequipa and Colca Canyon for a drastic change of landscape to drier vistas and some of the deepest canyons in the world, where giant condors soar and you’ll marvel at views unlike anywhere on the globe.

This well-rounded exploration of Peru and visit to the majestic canyons of Arequipa is sure to leave you with memories for a lifetime.
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 Destinations & Sightseeing

Sightseeing:
In Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lake Titicaca. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Guides:

Local Guides for sightseeing in Lima, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, and Lake Titicaca; services of a professional Tour Director.

Scenic Highlights:
Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca.

Transportation:

Transportation:
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.

Day 1 Lima, Peru

Welcome to Lima, Peru. Heralded as the “City of Kings” by Spanish conquistadors, Lima retains vestiges of its opulent past with its colonial buildings and world-class museums.

Day 2 Lima

Sightseeing today focuses on Lima’s colonial heritage. Founded in 1535, Lima was once capital of Spain’s South American Empire. Visit the baroque 11th-century SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY, with Spanish and Moorish architecture throughout. Continue to Plaza Mayor, where you will see the Government Palace that houses the presidential palace and was once the home of Francisco Pizarro, founder of Lima and conqueror of Peru. Nearby, see the Cathedral where Pizarro’s remains are buried. The remainder of your day is free to explore. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 3 Lima–Cusco–Sacred Valley

Fly to Cusco high in the Andes and upon arrival, descend into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Stop at AWANAKANCHA and learn about the importance of Camelids (llama, vicuña, alpaca, and guanaco) for Inca cultures. See them up close and learn how their coats are transformed into precious weaving fibers used in ancient weaving techniques still in use today. Continue to PISAC, a charming village with an infamous INDIAN MARKET, where you have plenty of time to browse the many colorful stalls selling handicrafts ranging from alpaca sweaters and blankets to painted vases and sterling silver. Later, arrive at your hotel in the peaceful Sacred Valley.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 4 Sacred Valley

Start the day with a visit to the village of OLLANTAYTAMBO and the Inca ruins of the same name. Explore the archaeological site that was the scene of the Inca resistance during the Spanish conquest—the only place ever to resist Spanish attacks. See how the temple area at the top of the terraces was the perfect defensive stronghold, then visit a LOCAL HOME in this Incan town to experience life in a traditional village, which has been remarkably well preserved. Next, visit the SEMINARIO CERAMICS WORKSHOP to learn about Peruvian ancient and modern art. End your day at a local chicheria for a taste of a chicha, a typical Inca drink in Peru.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 5 Sacred Valley–Machu Picchu

Board the VISTADOME train that cuts a path through the picturesque Urubamba Valley bound for Aguas Calientes, the quaint town closest to the “Lost City of the Incas.” Ascend the mountainside through tropical forest to the sacred refuge of MACHU PICCHU. Listen as your guide recounts the many accomplishments of the Incas as you tour the terraced ruins dating back to the 15th century. The ruins went undiscovered for nearly 400 years after they were abandoned when the Inca Empire fell to the Spanish. Many mysteries surrounding Machu Picchu remain to this day.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 6 Machu Picchu–Cusco

Awaken early and use your included second entrance to MACHU PICCHU to see the sunrise over the ruins. You will be awe-struck as the sun first illuminates the ruins, free of crowds. Later, return to Cusco, former capital of the Inca Empire. The remainder of your day is free to relax.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch

Day 7 Cusco

Embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Cusco that focuses on the city that was once the political, military, and cultural epicenter of the Incas until the Spanish toppled it. In fact, Inca foundations can still be found in Cusco, with the Spanish baroque structures built on top. Visit the SANTO DOMINGO MONASTERY, where these two forms of architecture are melded together with the temple of both cultures atop one another. Also see the CATHEDRAL in the Plaza de Armas, housing a magnificent collection of artwork, including a depiction of The Last Supper that portrays the apostles dining on cuy (guinea pig). Continue to the hillside overlooking Cusco for a visit to the TEMPLE OF SACSAYHUAMAN. Some of the best examples of Inca masonry can be found at this fortress, where stones weighing up to 350 tons are pieced together to form a complex that could house up to 10,000 men. Learn about the ceremonies and battles that took place here, then see the ruins of Kenko and Puca Pucara before returning to Cusco.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 8 Cusco–Juliaca–Puno

Fly to Juliaca, then transfer to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Legend says the first Inca, Manco Capac, arose from the waters of the lake by the power of the Sun God to found the Inca Empire.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 9 Puno. Excursion To Lake Titicaca

Experience fascinating LAKE TITICACA today as you embark on a motorboat tour of the highest navigable lake in the world and its manmade islands. On TAQUILE ISLAND, see how the local people integrate their Inca and Spanish past. This is evident by the Spanish peasant dresses made of Andean textiles—the islanders make some of the finest in all of Peru. Continue to the UROS FLOATING ISLANDS, a group of approximately 40 artificially made islands. Learn how the Uros Indians construct their islands, homes, boats, and many other resources completely of tortora reed, a centuries-old practice. Enjoy a farewell dinner hosted by your Tour Director this evening.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 10 Puno–Juliaca–Arequipa

Board a flight for Arequipa, known as the “White City” for its buildings made of sillar, a white volcanic rock.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 11 Arequipa–Colca Canyon

Depart for Colca Valley, enjoying scenery of pre-Columbian terraces populated with vicuñas and a variety of birds, stopping for lunch in the town of Chivay. This afternoon, relax at LA CALERA hot springs.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch

Day 12 Colca Canyon

Today, spend time in COLCA CANYON, an impressive geological formation more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Visit CONDORS’ CROSS, an observation point where you can view the Andean Condor at eye level. This afternoon is free for independent exploration.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch

Day 13 Colca Canyon–Arequipa

Return to Arequipa for a city TOUR that shows off the Plaza de Armas, the cathedral, and the Jesuit CHURCH. Continue to the districts of Yanahuara and Chilina for a magnificent view of Arequipa’s countryside and the Mount Misti volcano.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 14 Arequipa–Lima

Fly to Lima today.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 15 Lima

Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

 Tour Director

With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

MAURICIO YONFA

Years of Experience: 15

Born in Venezuela and raised in Ecuador, I'm an architect by profession, but a Tour Director by heart. I have worked as a South America lecturer for cruise lines, a guide in Ecuador and the Galápagos, and a Tour Director in South America. My goals are to transform each guest into a Peruvian expert and to encourage them to try and appreciate authentic Incan food. So, let's discover together the mysterious land of the Incas' and maybe even sample roasted guinea pig!

Tour Director - MAURICIO YONFA

 Accommodations

LIMA San Agustin Exclusive (F)
SACRED VALLEY Hotel Inkallpa (F)
MACHU PICCHU El Mapi Hotel Machu Picchu (F)
CUSCO Jose Antonio Cusco (F)
PUNO Eco Inn Puno (F)
AREQUIPA Casa Andina Select (MF)
COLCA CANYON Hotel Casa Andina Classic Colca (F)

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

Cusco
Arequipa

Cusco

Dinner at Incanto Restaurant

Dinner at Incanto Restaurant

Head to this landmark location in the heart of Cusco for an extraordinary meal and modern style. Incanto offers an interesting gastronomic Italian-Peruvian fusion in a magical environment, where towering stone walls of what was once an Inca palace combine with minimalist modern architecture. It's cozy and contemporary, offering the finest ingredients and an original style.

Approximate value: $52 USD per person

Pre-Columbian Art Museum

Pre-Columbian Art Museum

The Museo de Arte Precolombino (Pre-Columbian Art Museum) was an Inca ceremonial court around 1450 AD. In 1580, it became the mansion of the conqueror Alonso Diaz and in 1850, the Earl of Cabrera . It was restored to be the Pre-Columbian Art Museum in 2003. This extraordinary Cusco historic monument holds the only museum in Peru dedicated to revitalize the arts of ancient Peruvian cultures. The collection of 450 master pieces dates from 1250 BC to1532 AD. They were selected among 45,000 objects located in storage at the Larco Museum in Lima, by curators Mr. Fernando de Szyszlo, famous Peruvian painter, and Mrs. Cecilia Bakula, prestigious Peruvian Art Historian. The exhibition uses texts in Spanish, English and French to emphasize the artistic context of the collection displayed in 11 showrooms inside the museum. Its galleries were designed to meet the highest standards of modern museography enabling the visitors to admire Pre-Columbian art in its best expression.

Approximate value: $35 USD per person

Arequipa

Dinner at Zig Zag Restaurant

Dinner at Zig Zag Restaurant

Indulge in a fusion of European and South American cuisine at the impressive Zig Zag Restaurant in the heart of Arequipa. This restaurant inhabits a two-story colonial house with an iron stairway designed by Gustave Eiffel. The menu features decadent fondues, carpaccio, stone-grilled steaks and other South American game dishes.

Approximate value: $52 USD per person

 Know Before You Go

These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).

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