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Inca Explorer

Inca Explorer


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Itinerary

Countries Visited

Peru

Tour Itinerary

Encounter unique wildlife in Paracas National Park and the Ballestas Islands, learn about Arequipa's renowned regional cuisine with a cooking class by a local chef, explore the Cusco Planetarium, walk through ancient ruins and local villages in the Sacred Valley, take in stunning views on the train to Machu Picchu, visit the Luquina community and have lunch on Lake Titicaca

Be dazzled by Peru's myriad treasures on a 15-day tour of its highlights. Encounter the vibrant local culture of Lake Titicaca, walk the halls of a historical convent in colonial Arequipa, and delight in views of the Sacred Valley from the comfort of the train to Machu Picchu. Marvel at the strange, mysterious beauty of the Nazca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether watching for wildlife or exploring Incan culture, strike travel gold in this incredible country.

Day 1: Lima
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
Transport: On arrival you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel.
Activity: The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you're back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.
Accommodation: Hotel Antigua Miraflores (or similar)

Day 2: Lima/Paracas
Travel to Paracas National Park. Relax in this sleepy seaside town and sample Peru's national drink, the Pisco Sour.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Accommodation: Posada del Emancipador Hotel (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 3: Paracas/Nazca
Visit the Ballestas Islands by boat to view sea lion colonies, penguins, and other bird life. Visit the Tacama Winery, one of South America's oldest. Join an on-site expert and learn about the production of wine and spirits in Peru, then enjoy a tasting. Continue south in the afternoon to Nazca with a stop at the Huacachina sand dunes and oasis.
Activity: Get ready to do some amazing wildlife watching on this trip to Ballestas Islands (aka Lima's Little Galapagos) on the Peruvian Coast. Spot playful sea lions, Humboldt penguins, boobies, pelicans, and more than 200 sea birds. Be sure to bring a camera to capture some amazing pics.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: Located in the Ica Valley, the picturesque Tacama Winery is one of South America's oldest. Take a guided tour of its vast grounds and learn about the production of wine and spirits in Peru. Round off your visit with a taste of Tacama's award-winning pisco.
Activity: Take a tour of the magical sand dunes in the pleasant colonial town of Huacachina. Climb to the top of the huge dunes and be rewarded with amazing views; the dunes surround a beautiful turquoise lagoon lined with palm trees, and rolling sand dunes decorate the horizon. Try to reach the summit for sundown when the landscape is washed with amazing colour. And take advantage of trying a new sport while you're there. Wax up a sandboard, and take the fast way down. It's something like snowboarding (but on sand, of course).
Accommodation: Casa Andina Standard Nazca (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 4: Nazca
Tour a pre-Inca cemetery in Nazca to view 1,500-year-old mummies, bones, and pottery on the desert floor. Also visit a nearby pottery studio for a demonstration by a local artist. In the evening, enjoy a traditional pachamanca-style dinner. Option to take a flight over the mysterious Nazca Lines.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Activity: See remains of the Nazca culture during an included tour of the ancient Pre-Inca desert cemetery site of Chauchilla. Spot 1500-year-old mummies, bones, and pottery on the desert floor. The entire desert area was also once home to the ancient Paracas and the Nazca cultures, which preceded the Incas by more than half a millennium. Stop for a visit at an artisan's workshop, where modern masters create Nazca style pottery.
Activity: Enjoy a traditional dinner. Assist in the preparation of a thousand-year-old tradition: "Pachamanca," an ancient ceremony akin to the Polynesian meal of burying a variety of delicious treats wrapped in banana leaves and slow-cooking them with pre-heated rocks buried in the ground.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Standard Nazca (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast Dinner

Day 5: Nazca/Arequipa
Full day of driving down the coast to the colonial city of Arequipa.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Standard Arequipa (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch

Day 6: Arequipa
Enjoy a city tour, including a visit to the historic convent of Santa Catalina. Dig into Arequipa's renowned regional cuisine with a cooking class led by a chef at a traditional "picantería" restaurant. Try local favourites like "cuy" (guinea pig), Rocoto Relleno (stuffed spicy peppers) and sample a glass of "chicha".
Activity: Get out and explore "the white city" on this walking tour, stop at picturesque viewpoints to capture the surrounding volcanoes, marvel at the white volcanic sillar rock architecture, and visit one of the most stunning colonial buildings in the country, Santa Catalina Monastery.
Activity: Tour the Convent of Santa Catalina during the city tour, offering a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a by-gone way of life. Those with an interest in history, culture, and architecture will definitely enjoy the visit.
Activity: Ready to dig in to Arequipa's renowned regional cuisine? Head to a popular local restaurant for a gastronomic adventure. Located amongst charming cloisters in the city centre, the restaurant is a traditional "picantería" serving up local delicacies like "cuy" (guinea pig) and fried cheese with native potatoes. Learn from the best with a cooking class led by one of the chefs before sitting down to a delicious three-course meal. Be sure to try the rocoto relleno (stuffed spicy peppers) and sample a glass of "chicha."
Accommodation: Casa Andina Standard Arequipa (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch

Day 7: Arequipa/Cusco
Fly to Cusco and explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
Accommodation: Taypikala Hotel Cusco (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 8: Cusco/Urubamba
Enjoy a full-day excursion to the Sacred Valley including the Pisac and Ollantaytambo ruins. Visit the "Parque de la Papa" ("Potato Park"), exclusive to Journeys and part of G Adventures for Good - walk through this rural community with a local guide to learn about potato cultivation, weaving, and the importance of both to Andean culture. Also, enjoy lunch at the G Adventures-supported Sacred Valley Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosqo, an indigenous village.
Transport: Times includes all stops and visits enroute through the Sacred Valley.
Activity: Tour the fascinating hilltop citadel of Pisac, an Incan ruin with plunging gorges, a ceremonial centre, and winding agriculture terracing that's still in use today. Be captivated by this truly amazing site sitting amid sweeping green valleys and mountain peaks. Explore the back of the site to see a pocketed cliff across Kitamayo Gorge, which once contained hundreds of Inca tombs.
Activity: Tour the town and fortress of Ollantaytambo with a local guide. Take a step back in time at this Inca archaeological site; it still shows signs of its former glory, including agricultural terraces, a Temple Hill, and storehouses. Learn how the area, overlooking the Urubamba River Valley, was an important stronghold during warfare between the Spanish and Incas.
Activity: Contribute to sustainable tourism in Huchuy Qosqo, a small village of 65 families in the Sacred Valley, by eating at the Parwa Community Restaurant. Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.
Activity: In Peru's Sacred Valley of the Inca, six communities of approximately 6000 indigenous people are working together to preserve over 700 species of potato - a cornerstone of life here. As part of an experience exclusive to National Geographic Journeys travellers - and part of our G Adventures for Good program - visit this area, named "Parque de la Papa" ("Potato Park"), to learn about life in an Andean agricultural community. Walk through the park here with a local guide, dropping by the seed bank (which has direct ties to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway) and then head out to the fields to watch the planting or harvesting process, depending on the season. After, enjoy some of the delicious varieties of potato and visit the small stone hut where traditional weaving takes place. Learn about the natural dyeing process and witness alpaca wool strands being transformed into beautiful textiles through a centuries-old backstrap weaving style. Your visit to this special community means this local enterprise can continue earning an income that supports their development and conservation goals.
Activity: Parque de la Papa (meaning "Potato Park") serves two important purposes for the community of Pampallacta: the preservation of agricultural biodiversity and economic opportunity. National Geographic Journeys travellers visit the park to learn about life in a rural agricultural Andean community and take a tour of the seed conservation program, which is preserving heritage potato species. They also learn about traditional planting, harvesting and indigenous weaving practices. With G Adventures' support, the community is able to create jobs in the area and invest in local businesses, which helps the community preserve their culture.
Accommodation: Villa Urubamba (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch

Day 9: Urubamba/Aguas Calientes
Travel by train and enjoy stunning scenery following the Urubamba River Valley to Aguas Calientes. Option to visit the local hot springs and market. Those who have purchased and pre-booked the '1-day Inca Trail' hike will disembark the train at 104km and trek to the Sun Gate for their first glimpse of Machu Picchu before rejoining the group at Aguas Calientes for the night.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Transport: Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Free Time: Enjoy some free time for optional activities or just relax.
Accommodation: Hotel Taypikala Machupicchu (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 10: Aguas Calientes/Cusco
Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu with an expert guide. Free time to explore the site on your own and option to visit the Inca Bridge before returning to Cusco by train.
Transport: Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Activity: Rise and shine - the best time to see the Lost City of the Incas is in the early morning light. Follow the local guide to Machu Picchu to learn about its history at a leisurely pace. Gain local insight into the Inti Mach'ay cave, Inti Watana, the Temple of the Water, the Temple of the Condor, and the Room of the Three Windows. Take time to sit and feel the energy of this 15th-century site, now both a UNESCO World Heritage site and voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World (in a worldwide Internet poll).
Transport: Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Accommodation: Taypikala Hotel Cusco (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 11: Cusco
Explore historic Cusco with options to visit museums and ruins or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding, or mountain biking. Choose to pre-book the Cusco Cooking Class. This evening, look to the night sky for a different view at the Cusco Planetarium. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Inca relationship with the cosmos. Check out the on-site museum and use the telescopes to admire the stars.
Free Time: Free time to wander around Cusco. Take in the sights on horseback or rent a motorbike for a more thrilling ride. Looking to learn more about Cusco? Head to one of the many museums in the city.
Activity: Look to the night sky for a different view of the city. Explore the Cusco Planetarium surrounded by the serene nature of the Llaullipata Ecological Reserve. Enjoy a presentation on the southern sky, contemporary astronomy, and the ancient Incas' relationship with the cosmos. Check out the on-site museum and use the telescopes to admire the stars (weather-permitting).
Accommodation: Taypikala Hotel Cusco (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 12: Cusco/Puno
Take in scenic views while travelling through the high Altiplano region to Puno.
Transport: Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
Accommodation: Casona Plaza Hotel Puno (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 13: Puno
Enjoy a guided boat tour of Lake Titicaca and visit the floating Islands of Uros and Taquile. Explore a bit further afield on the Lake, reaching the Luquina community and tuck into a traditional lunch in local homes. Option to visit the Sillustani burial site.
Activity: Head out for a day on beautiful Lake Titicaca. Travel to Taquile Island to visit the community and check out the spectacular views. Do some shopping at the local weaving cooperatives and learn about the Taquileños, known for their fine handwoven textiles and clothing. Continue on to the floating islands of Uros. Learn about the totora reeds that grow in the shallows of Lake Titicaca used to make everything from the islands themselves to the boats the islanders use for transportation (if constructed well, they last up to six months). Find out from locals how the islands are constructed; as the layers closest to the water start to rot, they are replaced with fresh reeds on top.
Activity: Visit the Luquina Chico community on the shores of beautiful Lake Titicaca and take in sweeping views of the lake and its islands. During lunch in the home of a local family, get a personal view of everyday life in rural Peru.
Accommodation: Casona Plaza Hotel Puno (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast Lunch

Day 14: Puno/Lima
Fly to Lima for the final night. Option to visit museums or enjoy free time to explore.
Transport: Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
Accommodation: Hotel Antigua Miraflores (or similar)
Meal(s): Breakfast

Day 15: Lima
Depart at any time.
Activity: Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.
Meal(s): Breakfast

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Inclusions

Meals Included
14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport
Private van, plane, train, boat, walking.

Inclusions
Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Arequipa Cooking Class, Arequipa Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Traditional Andean Experience, Urubamba Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Cusco Planetarium, Cusco Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Lake Titicaca Community Home Lunch, Lake Titicaca Your G for Good Moment: Parwa Community Restaurant the Sacred Valley, Lamay Your G for Good Moment: Parque de la Papa (Potato Park), Urubamba Your Foodie Moment: Pisco winery visit and tasting, Paracas Your Hands-On Moment: Pachamanca, Nazca Your Discover Moment: Cusco. Arrival transfer. Ballestas Islands boat trip. Visit the Chauchilla cemetery and potter's workshop in Nazca. Arequipa city tour including the Santa Catalina Convent. Guided boat tour of Taquile and Uros Islands on Lake Titicaca. Sacred Valley and Ollantaytambo ruins guided tour. Scenic train and guided tour of Machu Picchu. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

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Accommodations

Hotels (14 nts).

OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

National Geographic Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.2
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.4
Professional Staff
4.8
Repeat with Operator
4.2
Value for Money
3.9

Ratings based off 42 reviews about National Geographic Tours - currently showing 2 reviews with comments only

Outstanding trip and tours with plenty of opportunities for planned and unplanned adventures. Knowledgeable, friendly, and capable guides who kept us moving while allowing adequate free time for exploring on one's own.

Affordable Tours was helpful, answered all questions, booked tour and all flights for us. Great experience! We will definitely book through AT again.


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