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Walk in the footsteps of the Incas and live it up on this fantastic 10-day adventure from Contiki! Here’s details. (Note, this trip has been updated with a new sale price as of December 2019, for a limited time only).
DAY 1/LIMA: Steeped in pre-Columbian and Spanish colonial history, yet buzzing with modern metro vibes, cafes and restaurants, craft markets, extensive bike path and ocean cliffside views. You can visit its famed Historic Center with its baroque churches and underground cemetery and the bohemian district of Barranco. Try ceviche, Peru’s official seafood dish.
DAY 2/AREQUIPA: Fly south from Lima to the “White City” of Arequipa, Peru’s second-largest that lies in the shadow of four majestic Andean volcanoes. A tour of Arequipa includes its UNESCO World Heritage Plaza de Armas and local specialties like racoto relleno (stuffed hot peppers) and chupe de camarones (crayfish chowder).
DAY 3-DAY 4/COLCA CANYON: Ready for an epic natural masterpiece? Pass through Salinas and Aguada Blanco National Reserve. After a journey through landscapes that include stops for coca tea, you arrive at Colca, one of the world’s deepest canyons. Spend the next morning at the canyon searching for the Andean condor. Back on the road, head to the high plains of Peru and Puno, located on the shores of Lake Titicaca.
DAY 5/PUNO: Take a boat ride to Taquile Island (one of the most culturally intact communities in Peru), meet local weavers and stop for lunch. Then head to Uros Islands (floating islands made from reeds), where we visit a fish farm and museum. (The community survives by selling textiles and totora reed boats to tourists, so come prepared!) We overnight back in Puno.
DAY 6/CUSCO via RAQCHI: Heading from Puno, we visit Pukara and the snowcapped surrounds of La Raya, stopping for lunch in Sicuani—this is llama country! Ancient Inca culture suggest the Raqchi ruins are sacred for their powerful healing waters. (The Temple of Wiracocha is the pride of the site.) Then we head to Cusco and spend the night strolling around this Inca and Spanish colonial gem…
DAY 7/CUSCO: And the entire next day! Shop for artisan jewellery and woodworks, roam cobblestone streets, stroll the San Pedro markets. Dinner is an ensemble affair.
DAY 8/The SACRED VALLEY: Next stop is Peru’s famed Sacred Valley. Along route we stop at a llama farm, meet weavers and artisans, and see agricultural terraces and the salineras (salt mines). Get a guided tour of the Pisac and Ollantaytambo ruins. Ollantaytambo is base camp for those taking the trek to MP the next day, but a treat in itself with artisan shops, cafes and the roaring Urubamba River.
DAY 9 & 10/AGUAS CALIENTES or INCA TRAIL TREK: With just 3.5 hours on foot and six km to cover, the enchanting site of Machu Picchu that awaits makes it worthwhile. You’ll see Wayana Picchu (Little Peak), the iconic peak you’ve seen in every picture, ever! For those not trekking the Inca Trail, enjoy the surrounding mountains of Aguas Calientes in the morning, then hop the train to the town itself that is the gateway to the site. You meet up with your trekking compadres and spend the evening hyping each other for the next day’s big event: exploring Machu Picchu! Built around 1450 at the height of the Inca Empire, the mountaintop citadel is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
DAY 11/Depart Cusco to fly home, but not after a last morning breakfast together!
- Phone: 866.532.0355
- SM: @Contiki, @contiki, YouTube
- Length: 11 days
- Departs: several departs year-round, call for details
- Accommodation: 10 nights in hotels
- New Sale Price (Dec 2019 only): $1,922 (15% savings + Outpost promo code). Trip has been updated with a new sale price as of Dec 2019.
- Difficulty: Easy and fun!
- 10 nights accommodation
- 14 meals: 10 breakfasts, 3 dinners, l lunch
- Local guides and drivers, team managers
- All transport
- About 20 experiences (with options to add)