Peru: Highlights of the south
Day 1-3 Lima
The Peruvian capital has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years with a burgeoning foodie scene. The Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro founded the city in 1535, and today it contains a fascinating mix of historical and modern sights. Head to upscale Miraflores, San Isidro and arty Barranco for the best the city has to offer.
Transfers to Arequipa 15h30m
Day 4-6 Arequipa
Haughty Arequipeños often claim that they carry a passport from their city rather than for the country in which it’s located, Peru. You’ll understand this immense pride as soon as you step foot in its delightful Plaza de Armas. Dominated by a beautiful cathedral built from volcanic white sillar and the volcano, Misti, which looms ever present behind it, this walkable and historic city is one of the most rewarding in the country.
Transfers to Colca Canyon 4h06m
Day 7-9 Colca Canyon
Descend into the depths of one of the world’s deepest river canyons, and watch as huge Andean condors fly above your head. Dotting the local landscape are several villages farming on terraced slopes that utilise irrigation systems predating the Incas.
Transfers to Puno 4h42m
Day 10-12 Puno
Experience what it’s like to live over 4000 metres above sea level in a city on the shores of the world’s highest navigable lake, Titicaca. Take a boat out to the Floating Islands of the Uros, whose reed islands bob up and down on the water as they have done for centuries. The islands of Taquile and Amantani, built on firmer ground, offer the chance to see close up the Aymara and Quechua culture
Transfers to Cuzco 6h11m3h30m
Day 13-15 Cuzco
Enticing Cusco delights the visitor with its charming old city. Cobbled streets lined with Inca stonework lead to hillside neighbourhoods like arty San Blas, while at the heart of the action in the bustling Plaza de Armas the city’s cathedral squares up against the beautiful Jesuit church of La Compañía. Watching the action from its lofty position high above the city lies the well-preserved fortress of Sacsayhuaman.
Transfers to Sacred Valley 1h15m
Day 16-18 Sacred Valley
Once overlooked by travellers in a hurry to reach Machu Picchu, the towns of the Sacred Valley are now firmly established as tourist centres in their own right. The Incan storehouse that rises above the town of Ollantaytambo is without doubt one of the most impressive sights in the area, but you should also make time for the salt terraces of Maras, the characterful markets of Chinchero and Pisac and the amphitheatre of Moray, thought to be where the Incas experimented with new crops.
Transfers to Machu Picchu 3h43m