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From Paddington to Peru

14 days from £2990pp

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From Paddington to Peru:
Trip Dossier

The enchanting, loveable bear from 'darkest Peru' who ended up in Paddington station may not know much about his native land, but would no doubt enjoy this holiday which is ideal for all the family.  Offering the chance to see real live Peruvian spectacled bears in their own natural environment, the holiday also explores magnificent Inca ruins with a backdrop of snow-spangled Andean peaks in the Sacred Valley of the Incas and at Machu Picchu, further downstream, where the Urubamba river crashes towards the Amazon basin.

Short itinerary

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Transfer to hotel in Miraflores

Day 2

A unique day exploring the street life and markets of Lima

Day 3

Fly to Chiclayo and transfer to your hotel

Day 4

Full day guided excursion to Sipan and the Royal Tombs Museum

Day 5-6

Transfer to Chaparri Eco-Lodge. Guided excursions from the lodge.

Day 7

Return to Chiclayo for one night

Day 8

Fly to Cusco via Lima and transfer to your hotel. Visit the Choco museum in the afternoon.

Day 9

Walking city tour

Day 10

Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Overnight there

Day 11

Walking tour around Huilloc and Pumamarca.

Day 12

By train to Machu Picchu, guided tour. Overnight nearby.

Day 13

Optional revisit to the site or visit the Spectacled bear project, return to Cusco.

Day 14

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

Detailed itinerary

Day 1

Transfer to hotel in Miraflores

Arrive in Lima and transfer to your hotel in Miraflores.

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.

Day 3

Fly to Chiclayo and transfer to your hotel

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

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.
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.
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

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.

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.

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.
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.

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

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.

Day 14

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

Essential information


On this tour we use small, friendly hotels, colonial or modern in style with well-equipped rooms, private bathroom and heating. The one in Machu Picchu is top of the range and the one that runs the Spectacled bears conservation project.


Four flights (longest 1.30 hours, one connection); 3 scenic road journeys (2 - 3hrs); 2 rail journeys (1.5 and 3 hrs respectively).


Breakfast daily, lunch days 2,5,6,7,10,11; dinner days 5,6,7,12.


We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.

Included Excursions

• Guided tour of Lima’s street life and markets
• Sipan and Royal Tombs Museum, Chiclayo
• Excursion from Chaparri Lodge
• Choco Museum, Cusco
• Cusco walking tour
• Guided visit to Pisaq market and ruins, Sacred Valley
• Guided tour to Pumamarca and Huilloc
• Guided tour of Machu Picchu

Summary of nights

14 days, 13 nights: Lima 2; Chiclayo 3; Chaparri Lodge 2; Cusco 3; Sacred Valley 2; Machu Picchu 1.

Included in the journey price

• Services of our team of experts in our London office base
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
• All land and air transport
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Not included in the journey price

• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions*

*Where a local company organises an optional excursion it does so as a principal and not as an agent of Journey Latin America.

NB Occasionally local governments may impose additional levies to taxes already paid on tickets, if this should happen, the payment is made locally.


The unit of currency in Peru is the sol.

Daily spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$45 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.

How to take it

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques, though these are gradually falling out of use (American Express are the most widely accepted). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.


Tips are welcomed and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.

Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.


Travel insurance is essential.

Details of our recommended policy can be found at Briefing Dossier

Airport taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey grade

This holiday is suitable for all able-bodied, reasonably fit visitors, including families. Although there are some early starts, there is also some time at leisure.

The streets in Cusco are cobbled, so make sure you have appropriate footwear.


The rainy season in the Andes runs between November and March when there are showers most afternoons.

The dry season is in June, July and August when the sun is strong during the day, but at night the temperature drops dramatically (from freezing point to 10°C). April, May, September and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells.

Lima is covered in a dull grey mist for much of the year, although the sun does break through between November and March. It almost never rains in Lima, and temperatures are moderate.


Your stay in Cusco and the Sacred Valley is at high altitude (2,800-4,000m). A small minority of visitors may suffer temporarily from altitude sickness. Symptoms vary; most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. If you don’t recover in a day or two speak to our representatives; in very rare instances it is necessary to descend to lower altitudes. Most people are unaffected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don’t exert yourself or drink an excess of alcohol) in the first couple of days after arrival, you will minimise your chances of exhibiting any symptoms.

Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information.

Clothing and special equipment

For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons. Both warm clothing and a sun hat are essential at altitude; a light fleece jacket and a Gore-Tex (or similar) outer shell makes a good combination. Trousers, skirt or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate. Strong, comfortable footwear is essential and you should bring insect repellent, sun block and sun glasses. You should take swimwear for pools though most hotels don’t have them.

Due to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, arrangements will be made to transport the bulk of your baggage to Cusco. You can take up to 10kgs per person on the train and an overnight holdall is recommended to separate your luggage for the night spent away.

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.


Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website. 


Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

APIS and ESTA - important flight information:

ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online.
This costs $14 per person, and must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.

APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.

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