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STANDARD TOUR PROGRAM #010

Peru Explorer
19 Days / 18 Nights (Departures: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.)

Lima-Arequipa-Colca Canyon-Puno-Cuzco-Sacred Valley-Short Inca Trail-Machu Picchu-Cuzco-Manu Wildlife Center-Lima-Ica-Paracas-Nazca Lines-Lima

Day 01 - Lima
Upon arrival, you will be met at the Lima airport and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at selected hotel.

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 2 - Lima
Free morning to relax. During the afternoon, tour of Lima including pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern sites. Includes a guided tour of Huaca Pucllana, a magnificent ceremonial and administrative site, the historic colonial downtown, the Cathedral and the modern areas of San Isidro and Miraflores. Overnight at selected hotel. (B)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 3 - Lima/Arequipa
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Arequipa. On arrival in Arequipa, transfer to selected hotel. Know as the “White City”, Arequipa is located in southern Peru at an elevation of approximately 7,500 feet and is surrounded by the towering peaks of El Misti, Chachani, and Picchu Picchu. Afternoon guided tour to visit the 16th century Santa Catalina Convent. We include the Plaza de Armas, one of the most beautiful in all Peru, the Cathedral and San Francisco churches. Overnight. (B)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 4 - Arequipa/Colca Canyon
Early morning depart to Colca Canyon, reputedly the world's deepest canyon. Drive through the nature reserve of Pampas de Canihuas where it is possible to encounter Alpacas and Llamas. We will arrive in time for lunch. In the afternoon we will explore the canyon and visit the town of Yanque. Overnight at selected hotel. (B)

Day 5 - Colca Canyon
Early wake up call for a visit to Cruz del Condor, a lookout point with a magnificent view of Mt. Misti and the swiftly flowing river far below. It is here that the Andean Condors are most often sighted. After lunch we will explore other towns of Colca Canyon and the thermal baths. Overnight at selected hotel. (B)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 6 - Colca/Puno
Morning departure to Puno by motor coach. Box Lunch on the way. Arrival in Puno and transfer to the selected hotel. Overnight. (B,L)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 7 - Puno/Titicaca
Early in the morning, boat excursion on Lake Titicaca to visit the Uros Indians, who build their homes on “floating islands” of totora reeds and are known for their boats made of the same material. Then continue to the Island of Taquile. Members of this self-supporting Aymara community receive visitors, showing them their traditional dress and escort them around the island. Taquile is renowned for its fine decorative weavings. Return to Puno. Overnight at the selected hotel. (B,L)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 8 - Puno/Cusco
Transfer to the bus station for the trip to Cusco. Enjoy the colorful natural landscapes of the Peruvian plateau with small towns and farms. On the way we will visit Pucara, the temple of Raqchi, power center per excellence constructed in honor to the God Wiracocha, and the colonial town of Andahuaylillas that has a chapel called the Sistine Chapel of the Andes. Lunch included. Arrival to Cusco and transfer to your Hotel. Overnight at the selected hotel. (B,L)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 9 - Cusco/Sacred Valley
Full day tour, including visits to the colorful Pisac Indian Market and the Ollantaytambo Fortress located in the Urubamba Valley - Sacred Valley of the Incas. This area was intensively cultivated with terraces increasing its harvest several fold. Small villages lined the valley floor, while the stone fortresses of Ollantaytambo and Pisac served the dual purpose of providing protection and serving as religious centers. Overnight at the selected hotel in the Sacred Valley. (B,L)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 10 - Sacred Valley/Short Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
We take the train from Ollantaytambo, following the Urubamba river to Km.104 of the railroad, where we alight and cross a footbridge to begin our hike at the Inca site of Chachabamba. After a brief visit to this lovely ruin with its water channels and fountains, we start the four-hour ascent that will take us past spectacular overlooks above the great valley, then below a lovely waterfall near the delightful site of Wiñay Wayna (Forever Young). We ascend through this largest and most exquisite of the Inca Trail sites, passing its chain of ritual baths and elegantly curved terracing, and then joining the main Inca trail. We follow it across a steep mountainside and up narrow stairways through lush, humid cloud-forest of giant ferns and broad-leaf vegetation. Suddenly we cross the stone threshold of Intipunku (Sun Gate) and encounter an unforgettable sweep of natural beauty and human artistry –a backdrop of twisting gorge and forested peaks framing the magical city of Machu Picchu. We walk the last half-hour or so down the royal flagstone walkway, past outlying shrines and buildings and through the heart of Machu Picchu, taking a bus to the small town of Aguas Calientes where we overnight in a local hotel. (B,L)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 11 - Machu Picchu/Cusco
We enjoy an early morning visit to the fabled ruins, spending the day in both guided and individual exploration. After we visit the most fascinating features of this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement, some will want to take the optional hike to the summit of Wayna Picchu for an amazing overview of the site, while others may prefer to investigate Machu Picchu’s multitude of hidden nooks and corners. After a full-on experience of this glorious monument to the Inca achievement, we return to Aguas Calientes and board the return train to Cusco. Arrival and transfer to hotel. Overnight at selected Hotel in Cusco. (B,L)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 12 - Cusco
Morning guided tour of the city and its highlights like the Cathedral, the Main Plaza, narrow streets, etc. Then continue to the nearby ruins including Kenko, the ceremonial bath of Tambomachay, and the amazing Sacsayhuaman fortress. Free afternoon. Overnight at the selected hotel. (B)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 13 - Cusco/Puerto Maldonado/Manu Wildlife Center
This morning our representative will pick you up from your hotel to transfer to Cusco airport. Fly on a commercial flight from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado. Reception upon arrival followed by a transfer to Santa Rosa Village. We will get there in about two and a half hours. We cross the Inambari river for a 15 minute boat trip to Puerto Carlos. Here you will start your overland journey to Boca Colorado, 45 minutes by car, followed by four and half hours motorized boat journey up the Madre de Dios river. We have a delicious boxed lunch at the beginning of the boat journey to Manu Wildlife Center. Upon arrival to the lodge we check-in to our rooms. Later we make our first acquaintance with the rainforest, exploring some of the 30 miles of forest trails that surround the lodge. We have an excellent chance of encountering some of the 12 species of monkeys, including the Spider Monkey and Emperor Tamarin, which inhabit the surrounding forest. After dinner there will be an enchanting night walk along the trails, in search of the nocturnal birds and animals of the rainforest. (B,Box Lunch,D)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 14 - Manu Wildlife Center: the Macaw Claylick Project, Canopy Tower & Tapir Claylick
Another early start (inevitable on wildlife expeditions), after a delicious breakfast is followed by a short boat ride downstream. We walk through the forest for some minutes, where we find the Macaw Lick project. The hide provided with individual chairs and a convenient place for cameras and binoculars is our ringside seat for what is usually a spectacular show. In groups of twos and threes the scarlet Macaws come flapping in, landing in the treetops as they eye the main stage below -- the eroded clay banks of the river and the occasional villain, a menacing and unwelcome Great Black Hawk. The drama plays out in first in tentative and then bolder approaches to the lick, until finally nearly all the macaws form a colorful and noisy spectacle on the bare banks, squabbling as they scrape clay from the hard surface. After this we continue walking and exploring on the network of trails surrounding the lodge then we return to the lodge for lunch.

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Later, we continue to explore and discover the rainforest, its lore and plant life, on the network of trails surrounding the lodge, arriving in the late afternoon at our 34m/112ft Canopy Tower. On its platform we witness the frantic rush-hour activity of twilight in the rainforest canopy, before night closes in. Then we set off along the “collpa trail”, which will take us to the lodge’s famous Tapir Claylick. Here at the most active tapir lick known in all the Amazon, our research has identified from 8-12 individual 600-pound Tapirs who come to this lick to eat clay from under the tree roots around the edge. This unlikely snack absorbs and neutralizes toxins in the vegetarian diet of the Tapir, the largest land animal of Latin America. The lick features a roomy, elevated observation platform 5m/17ft above the forest floor. The platform is equipped with freshly-made-up mattresses with pillows. Each mattress is covered by a roomy mosquito net. The 10-m-long, elevated walkway to the platform is covered with sound-absorbing padding to prevent our footsteps from making noise. This Tapir Experience is unique and exciting because these normally very shy creatures are visible up close, and flash photography is not just permitted, but encouraged.

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

The hard part for modern city dwellers is to remain still and silent anywhere from 30 minutes to two or more hours. Many prefer to nap until the first Tapir arrives, at which point your guide gently awakens you to watch the Tapir 10-20m/33-66ft) away below the platform. Most people feel that the wait is well worth it in order to have such a high probability of observing the rare and elusive Tapir in its rainforest home. (B/L/D)

Day 15 - Manu Wildlife Center: Hike to an Oxbow Lake and the Wildlife Trails.
We set off early for an old oxbow lake full of water lilies (Nuphar lutea) and sunken logs. As we circle the lake on our catamaran we might encounter the resident Giant Otter family on a fishing expedition, or troops of monkeys crashing noisily through the trees.

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Wattled Jacanas step lightly on the lily pads, dainty Sun Grebes paddle across the water, supple-necked Anhingas air-dry their wide, black wings, and perhaps an Osprey scans for fish from a high branch. Among the bushes near the waterline, Hoatzins, which look like rust-colored, punk chickens, announce their presence with distinctive, bizarre wheezing and grunts. Woodpeckers, tanagers, macaws, toucans and parakeets all finally come swooping in to trees surrounding the lake. Many of them roost around the lake for the night.

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

After lunch at the lodge our guide is available to lead us on freewheeling expeditions in search of further wildlife encounters, or we may take one of the lodge’s many trails on private and personal excursions to commune with the spirits of the rainforest. This evening, from the late afternoon until after Dinner, we offer an opportunity to search for caiman and other nocturnal life along the riverbank by boat, (if the level of river allows it). (B/L/D)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

 

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 16 - Manu Wildlife Center/Puerto Maldonado/ Lima
We leave our lodge very early on the two hour and half return boat trip downstream to the Colorado Village, the breakfast will be serve on the boat while you enjoying early morning wildlife activity as we go, of course this is a perfect time to take advantage of valuable early morning wildlife activity along the river, in additions this journey allows us to see several lowland native settlements and gold miners digging and panning gold along the banks of the Madre de Dios River. We will stop in the old-west type gold-mining town of Colorado to start our overland journey to Puerto Carlos for 45 minutes, then you will cross the Inambari River for 15 minutes boat trip to Santa Rosa, finally a van or bus will drive us in approximately two-hours to the airport in Puerto Maldonado City, here you fly by a commercial airplane to Lima. Greeting upon arrival and transfer to your hotel. (B)

Day 17 - Lima/Ica/Paracas/Nazca Lines
Early morning pickup from your Lima hotel for a private transfer (with guide) by car or mini-van to Ica. Visit the regional museum. Transfer to Paracas. Lunch at hotel DoubleTree Guest Suite. Overflight of the Nazca Lines may be this day or the next. Visit to the Paracas Reserve and Ballestas Islands will be either this day or following morning. Overnight at DoubleTree Guest Suite in Paracas. (B,L)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 18 - Paracas/Lima
Overflight of the Nazca Lines will be this morning if not done the previous day. Visit the National Reserve of Paracas to make a boat excursion to the Ballestas Islands. We will pass "the Candelabrum" a gigantic figure in the sand dunes. At the Ballestas Islands a great concentration of marine wildlife will be seen. Fauna includes different kind of birds, Humbolt penguins, sea lions, etc. After lunch return to Lima by private car. Overnight at your hotel. (B)

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Peru Explorer - Peru Tours

Day 19 - Lima
Morning transfer to the airport for your international flight. (B)

 

Peru Explorer     2017
19 Days / 18 Nights
Departures: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Private Service with
Shared Service Short Inca Trail & Manu Wildlife Center
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