Take the party to new heights in the rarefied air of the Andes. With other young travellers not afraid to try new things, you'll journey from the enigmatic Nazca Lines to the lost city of Machu Picchu and onward to incredible La Paz. You'll commune with the condors in Colca Canyon and feel like a local while crashing at a small village homestay at Lake Titicaca. Think of this as three weeks of climbing higher, going further, and pushing boundaries on the roof of South America.
Arrive at any time. There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel and enjoy the city.
Please note: hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Latin America (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Savour a pisco sour while staying in Pisco's neighbouring town of Paracas.
Local bus (4.00 hour(s), 250km)
Minibus (0.50 hour(s))
There is time in the morning for an optional excursion to the popular Ballestas Islands, which provide an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of birdlife.
Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica.
Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year-round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located around the nearby oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect as subjects for photographs and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.
Huacachina Winery Visit
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 175km)
Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines. Overnight bus to Arequipa.
Overnight bus (8.00-9.00 hours, 570km)
Those with an interest in history and architecture may opt to visit the Convent of Santa Catalina, which offers a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life. Other optional excursions include rafting and mountaineering.
For spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa has a variety of regional food: alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces.
Enjoy an overnight excursion to the impressive Colca Canyon - one of the deepest canyons in the world. Stop in fascinating villages and at “miradors” (scenic lookouts), where, with a little luck, visitors can see Andean condors soaring over the majestic Andes. Other unusual animals that can be spotted in the Andean landscape include three different species of camelids: alpaca, llama and vicuña.
Colca Canyon Guided Tour
Private Vehicle (4.50-5.00 hours, 165km)
Get an early start to go on the lookout for flying condors. Travel from Chivay town to a condor viewpoint to admire these magnificent birds in the air. On the way back, stop by some local villages and viewpoints to see old terraces and sections of Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world.
Colca Canyon Guided Tour
In the morning head back to Arequipa and enjoy a free day. Overnight bus to Cusco.
Private Van with Wi-fi (4.50-5.00 hours, 165km)
Overnight bus (10.00 hour(s))
Free time to explore Cusco. Opt for a city tour or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking.
Enjoy another free day in Cusco.
Ollantaytambo is a major Inca ruin site and a first taste of what lies ahead. For those craving more before they head out on the Trail, opt to take a Sacred Valley tour which includes not only Ollantaytambo and the ruin site of Pisac, but also a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.
Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s), 95km)
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.
A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you'll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc.
Inca Trail Hike
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman's Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.
Inca Trail Hike
Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.
At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).
Inca Trail Hike
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Wake up around 03:30 and walk to the checkpoint. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.
Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.
Inca Trail Hike
Machu Picchu Guided Tour
Big Night Out
Train (1.50 hour(s), 118km)
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s))
Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.
Travel through the high Altiplano region to travel to Puno on Lake Titicaca.
Local bus (7.50 hour(s), 390km)
Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on Taquile Island and enjoy a local lunch with spectacular views.
After, cruise to another village for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake (the homestay location can vary based on community availability). This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, learn some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.
Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 1
Lake Titicaca Homestay
Leave the homestay families late morning, and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.
Lake Titicaca Guided Boat Tour Day 2
Enjoy a full-day drive around the lake and through the Altiplano to La Paz. Bolivia is filled with spectacular views of the countryside. La Paz sits nearly 4,000m (13,120 ft) above sea level, so be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.
Border Crossing (Peru - Bolivia)
Local bus (2.50 hour(s), 300km)
Local bus (3.00 hour(s))
Depart at any time.
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Trip Name: Andean Discovery (Southbound)
Duration: 21 Days
From Price: 2639
Trip Code: 126478
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