SAVE $200 WITH PROMO CODE: OUTPOST
There’s so much more to Peru than Machu Picchu: The Chinchilla is our multi-activity, cultural immersion of Peru and its beautiful neighbour, Bolivia!
The vivid colours of the traditional Andean costumes are in stark contrast to the muted highlands, where Peruvian and Bolivian communities etch their existence. Make no mistake, these are among some of the most contented people you’ll ever meet, happy in their way of life. On this trip you to Cusco, Peru, Pisac, south to Puno and Lake Titicaca, and the world’s largest (and possibly most spectacular) salt flats.
You will road trip, fly, bike, kayak, hike and explore in true Active-Adventure style. We’ve designed “The Chinchilla” to work seamlessly with our other Peru adventures, so chat to us if you’re interested in a combination trip option (think Machu Picchu!).
DAY 1 Arrive in Cusco, hike Sacsayhuamán fortress. Our trip starts in Cuzco, the heart of the Inca Empire. Walk around this amazing ancient city and up to Sacsayhuamán fortress overlooking the main Plaza and Cusco Valley. Meaning “House of the Sun,” it’s a magnificent archaeological site representing a set of jaguar’s teeth, with massive, perfectly-fitted stones weighing up to 130 tonnes (143 tons) each, and the place where the Incas made their final stand against the Spanish conquistadors. Later, peruse street markets, or soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Cusco’s lively town square, before meeting up for our evening meal.
DAY 2 Explore Pisac Market and Pisac Ruins. We journey to Pisac, not far from Cusco, where we check out a colourful mercado artesanal, one of the most vibrant markets in South America! Can also do a spectacular hike to the famed Pisac ruins. The Inca terraces rise 600 metres (2,000 feet), and it’s a heart-pumping hike to the ancient agricultural terraces, where you get unforgettable views of Pisac and the Urubamba Valley.
DAY 3 Cycle toward Puno, visit Huacarpay Lagoon. What a way to see Peru—by bike! We begin by riding just south of Cusco, visiting Andean towns along route, each with their own unique attraction. Saylla is known for its pork chicharron, a favourite of Andean gastronomy, and Huasao is infamous as the land of the paqos (priests of the Andean religion). Walk through Oropesa, the town of chuta bread. Finish at the Huacarpay Lagoon, a wetland of international importance due to the migratory birds that stop there. Lunch at a local restaurant, and stop at the spectacular La Raya Pass, the capital of the Altiplano area and gateway to Lake Titicaca. End in Puno, Peru, on Lake Titicaca.
DAY 4 Lake Titicaca. Hike Taquile Island, stay with local Quechua people. Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest commercially navigable body of water. The Incas believed it was the cradle of civilization. Dotted with islands with unique living cultures and traditions, two of which we’ll visit today. At Taquile Island we hike to the highest point for breathtaking 360º views. We visit an isolated village and meet the local people and learn about their famous textiles and culture. Then it’s a short boat ride to Amantani Island, where we’ll spend the night; hike to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) temple at the summit of the island for spectacular views, then return return and share a homecooked meal with our hots. After dinner, we head to the community hall to learn traditional dances with the locals!
DAY 5 Sea kayak Lake Titicaca, Uros Reed Islands. One of the most unforgettable activities of the trip! The lake is so big it feels and even smells like the sea, and has its own unique dark blue colour. We spend the morning making our way to Capachica Peninsula, then we’ll hug the shoreline that shadowed by ancient agricultural terraces. Hop a motorboat for the final section of the trip back to Puno, stopping to visit the man-made Uros Reed Islands and the people who live there. Overnight back in Puno, Peru.
DAY 6 Journey to Copacabana, visit Isla de la Luna. Travel southeast alongside Lake Titicaca to the Peruvian-Bolivian border. In Bolivia, we explore Copacabana, a town steeped in cultural heritage and known for its colourful festivals. After lunch we boat across Lake Titicaca to Isla de la Luna (Island of the Moon), where we visit Inca ruins and an ancient convent. Overnight in Copacabana.
DAY 7 Fly from La Paz to Uyuni, visit train cemetery. Saving precious hours, we fly to southern Bolivia, to Uyuni, our base for the next few nights. The Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, covering over 10,000 square kilometres (4,000 square miles), and definitely a bucket-list destination!
DAY 8 Explore the Uyuni Salt Flats. Today will be unforgettable. Walking on Lago Minchín, a prehistoric lake that dried up over 30,000 years ago, is not something you get to do every day! This dazzling landscape that stretches on forever is a photographer’s dream, offering mirage-like contrasts and ample opportunity for creativity. We explore the indigenous community of Colchani, where we’ll see iodized salt processing in its rustic form. And see bizarre cacti-studded islands and rock formations that dot the landscape. After visiting the “eyes of salt”—the outlets of subterranean rivers flowing under the Uyuni Salt Flat—we take a hike on Incahuasi Island, a volcanic rock scattered with giant cacti.
DAY 9 Fly back to La Paz, city tour and cable car. A short flight back to La Paz, now one of the seven Wonder Cities of the World, and also the highest! La Paz oozes culture and diversity, and today we explore the alleyways and lively markets (such as Witches Market, run by local witch doctors!). In many cases “the witch doctors” have made long journeys to the city to sell their wares as business people. After lunch we cap off the trip with a ride on La Paz’s famous cable car. Tonight we share a final celebratory dinner together!
DAY 10 Depart for home.
- Phone: 800.661.9073
- Length/Departs: 10 days/year-round, with multi-date departs through 2020 and 2021
- Price: $5,699 CDN (save $200 with promo code: Outpost)
- Difficulty: Moderate, with kayaking, biking, hiking and acclimatization to be considered
TRIP PRICING DETAILS, INCLUDES:
All guiding services: an experienced trip leader for the duration, specialist local guides in select locations.
All accommodations: Charming hotels in the cities, traditional homestay on Amantani Island, Luna Salada Salt Hotel in Uyuni.
All meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days.
All activities: hiking, biking, market visits, Inca ruins and jungle wildlife viewing.
All domestic transport: All domestic transport, airport transfers on the first & last days, domestic flight back to Cuzco, boat journey on Lake Titicaca.
All activities: hiking, kayaking, biking, market visits, cable-car tour, Inca ruins, and Uyuyni Salt Flats exploration.