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From Paddington to Peru

14 days from £2,990pp

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From Paddington to Peru

 

Private Journey

 

Day 1

Transfer to hotel in Miraflores
 

Arrive in Lima and transfer to your hotel in Miraflores.

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Day 2

A unique day exploring the street life and markets of Lima
 
You'll be taken on a half-day guided tour of Lima's markets and street life. It's a huge, lively city full of bustle, and the energy is contagious. This excursion will give you a real feel for how daily life is managed. Instead of being insulated in a tour operator's vehicle you get around by taxi and local bus: Lima's crowded, chaotic transport system is an experience in itself!
You'll head to the Pacific-side, arty quarter Barranco, famed for its villagey atmosphere, walk through the streets lined with colonial houses and view the evocative The Bridge of Sighs. Continue to the dock in Chorrillos on the water's edge and visit a market laden with freshly-landed fish. Also explore two other markets selling a vast array of produce including exotic tropical fruits and over 50 varieties of potatoes, while in Callao, Lima's port, you'll sample ceviche, Peru's celebrated seafood dish.
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Day 3

Fly to Chiclayo and transfer to your hotel
 

Fly to Chiclayo in Northern Peru and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure

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Day 4

Full day guided excursion to Sipan and the Royal Tombs Museum
 
The history of this little visited region of Peru is no less rich in the vestiges and ruins of pre-Columbian culture than the Cusco area further south: indeed it is perhaps more mysterious, as little is known about the people who lived there. Today you have a guided tour of some of the findings.

Sipán is an extensive burial site of the Moche culture. Several royal tombs, filled with 1,700 year-old funeral offerings were uncovered containing pieces worked in precious metals, stone, pottery and textiles.
The most startling discovery was of an entombed Moche leader, now known as the Lord of Sipán. Later an even older - by 200 years -tomb emerged. You'll visit a museum at the site with details of the excavation work and replicas of some of the finds. Also visit the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum, a replica of the Moche pyramid under which the tombs were found, which exhibits the original pieces.
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Sipan, Peru

Day 5-6

Transfer to Chaparri Eco-Lodge. Guided excursions from the lodge.
 
Travel to Chaparri Reserve, a conservation area in the cloud forest not far from Chiclayo. Under the protection of the local community, this habitat is regenerating naturally, allowing threatened species to recover. The Chaparri Ecolodge, where you will spend two nights, is a charming, family-friendly place to stay where adobe cottages blend in with the landscape. This is a truly back to nature experience: there are no TVs or mobile phones allowed, just a soundtrack of birdsong and the theatre of hummingbirds fluttering at dawn.
Here you have another opportunity to see spectacled bears in their enclosure, again being prepared to return to their home in the wild, but also rehabilitated foxes, deer and condors. The place is alive with exotic birds too. There's a real cornucopia of wildlife to enjoy, a magical delight for both children and adults alike.
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Speckled Bear

Day 7

Return to Chiclayo for one night
 

There's a further opportunity to explore the trails before you return to Chiclayo for the night

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Day 8

Fly to Cusco via Lima and transfer to your hotel. Visit the Choco museum in the afternoon.
 
Fly to Lima and then onwards to Cusco, high in the Andes, an exciting city where the well preserved traditional buildings of colonial Spain are jumbled up with the vestiges of the mighty Inca Empire, of which the city was the capital. It's another vivacious place, but smaller and more compact than Lima, with quite a homely feel. Many ladies still wear the traditional dress of a bunch of voluminous skirts and long black plaited hair, children play in the spacious squares, and there are many cafés and restaurants from which you can watch a life go by on the pavement outside.

In the afternoon you will visit the Chocolate Museum on one of the central plazas. Here you learn all about chocolate, cocoa being a product of Peru, where the beans come from and how they are processed to make fine chocolate. Here, you'll be able to have a go yourselves at making your own chocolate, embellished with nuts and coffee beans.
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Cusco

Day 9

Walking city tour
 
Set off on a guided walking tour around Cusco's atmospheric streets and alleyways. Stroll to the arty quarter of San Blas, with its narrow lanes, cosy square and handicraft shops. You'll visit the church of San Blas and a family-run workshop.

Down one of the narrow Inca streets is the famous 12-angled stone, fitting into the wall with amazing precision. You'll enter the Plaza de Armas (main square) and step inside the imposing cathedral. Afterwards, ogle at the magnificent Koricancha temple and move on to visit a traditional textiles museum, before heading for San Pedro foodstuffs market.
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cusco

Day 10

Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Overnight there
 
Today you set off over the lip of the bowl in which Cusco is set to enter the Sacred Valley of the Incas, run through by the Urubamba river. Firstly you call in at the artisan craft market in the main square of Pisaq. A vast terraced complex of Inca buildings towers above, dwarfing the colonial village on the valley floor: you'll have the chance to clamber around the ruined temples, palaces and humbler homes.

As if this weren't exciting enough, you'll continue to the equally spectacular temple fortress at Ollantaytambo, defended fiercely by the Incas who fought a brave but losing battle against the Spanish, (who had horses...) Climbing up impossibly steep steps, you get a view of the rustic village below, with its Inca foundations on display, while in the other direction the valley plunges down towards the Amazon jungle. Spend the night in a charming hotel in the valley nearby.
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Sacred valley

Day 11

Walking tour around Huilloc and Pumamarca.
 
Today you have a guided hiking adventure which rewards you with spectacular Andean scenery, an insight into life in a traditional weaving community, and a visit to the small but well preserved Inca ruins of Pumamarca.

Later, drive to the Andean community of Huilloc and visit homes where you will observe the different traditional processes and techniques used in textile weaving. The culture and way of life here have changed little since Inca times. Afterwards, hike along the Patacancha river towards the village of Pallata to arrive at Pumamarca. Continue the hike back to Ollantaytambo along the top of Inca terraces.
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Day 12

By train to Machu Picchu, guided tour. Overnight nearby.
 
Today is really special: you'll be heading by down the valley by road and rail to the ruined Inca citadel Machu Picchu. The Urubamba river enters its narrow gorge between thickly-forested granite hills: there is room only for a single railway track, which hugs the right bank and passes through hamlets that are no more than collections of shacks beside the railway. Close to the foot of the mountain on a saddle of which the citadel was built is the bustling village of Machu Picchu dedicated to serving the many visitors with artisan markets, bars and restaurants.

The ruined city, reclaimed from tropical cloud forest, is reached by minibus up a sinuous road, or on foot up a near vertical rocky path. The American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered it in 1911, by which time it was completely buried beneath jungle vegetation. It is the ruins’ location, on a ridge spur amid forested peaks and above a roaring river canyon, which most stirs the imagination. Your guided tour will explain as much is as known about this mysterious place.

Overnight at the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo hotel, home of the spectacled bear sanctuary
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Day 13

Optional revisit to the site or visit the Spectacled bear project, return to Cusco.
 
As a guest of Inkaterra, you will have the exclusive chance of an optional visit to the sanctuary and eyeball the appealing rescued bears who are recuperating here before heading back into the wild. These relatives of London's famous resident Peruvian bear are the lucky ones: many fall victim to poachers of a deteriorating environment. Although they are agile climbers the vegetarian bears are suffering from the shrinking of their cloud forest habitat. Here they have the chance to recover before heading home into the cloud forest. Please note that this excursion can only be confirmed on your arrival (extra cost of USD10pp) as it is dependent on the bears being in the enclosure.
Return to Cusco in the afternoon for final night.
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Day 14

Transfer to the airport and fly to Lima. Connect with you international flight home

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Visit Us

What our experts say

When I took my children to Peru Last year I knew we could not miss out on one of South America’s biggest highlights, Machu Picchu. Knowing how altitude sickness could affect our trip, I arranged for our family to head straight to the Sacred Valley which is located between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Staying at a lower level than Cusco meant we could gradually acclimatise without any problems at all.

Laura

Laura Rendell-Dunn

Product and Marketing

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Wanderlust

Food and Travel Magazine Readers' Awards - Tour Operator of The Year 2016

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British Travel Awards - Best Small Tour Operator to Central and South America 2012

Latin American Travel Association - Award for Customer Service 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Specialist Tour Operator 2011

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