2018: Mysteries of the Inca Empire with Arequipa & Colca Canyon (1306)
15 days from Lima to Lima
On this Peru tour, delve into the past, learn about the local culture, and experience beautiful scenery as you overnight in Lima, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa, and Colca Canyon. Along the way, visit ancient ruins, witness amazing scenery, and enjoy guided sightseeing of Peru's fascinating cities.History comes alive on this tour through Peru. Imagine what life was like in the 15th century as you tour the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, where you'll see this famous Inca complex of palaces, plazas, temples, and homes set in a majestic setting. More history awaits at Ollantaytambo, the archaeological site of the Incas' resistance during the Spanish conquest, and the Temple of Sacsayhuaman, a fortress with some of the best examples of Inca masonry. Guided sightseeing in Cusco features the Santo Domingo Monastery, where the Inca foundations remain under the Spanish baroque structures, and the Cathedral, housing a magnificent collection of artwork.On this Peru tour, you'll also learn about the local culture. On your motorboat tour of Lake Titicaca, you'll visit Taquile Island, where you'll see how the local people integrate their Inca and Spanish past, and the Uros Floating Islands, where you'll learn how the Uros Indians construct their islands, homes, and boats from totora reed, a centuries-old practice. In the Incan town of Ollantaytambo and in Sillustani, visits with locals in their homes give you insight into their way of life. Spend time at the Indian market in Pisac and in Awanakancha, learn about the importance of camelids (llama, vicuna, alpaca, and guanaco) to Inca culture.But that's not all?you'll also spend time in Colca Canyon, an impressive geological formation more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Here, witness condors soaring majestically above the canyon walls, marvel at the canyon, and relax at La Calera hot springs.Ancient ruins, local culture, guided sightseeing, and amazing scenery-this Peru tour designed for savvy, value-mind travelers has it all!
LIMA Jose Antonio Lima (F)SACRED VALLEY La Casona Yucay (MF)MACHU PICCHU El Mapi Hotel Machu Picchu (F)CUSCO Jose Antonio Cusco (F)PUNO Eco Inn Puno (F)AREQUIPA Casa Andina Select Arequipa (F)COLCA CANYON Hotel Casa Andina Standard Colca (F)
|Call 888-775-0288 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13883498|
|Offer valid through 6/30/2018|
|Day 1||Lima||Welcome to Lima, Peru. Heralded as the 'City of Kings' by Spanish conquistadors, Lima retains vestiges of its opulent past with its colonial buildings and world-class museums.|
|Day 2||Lima||Sightseeing today focuses on Lima's colonial heritage. Founded in 1535, Lima was once capital of Spain's South American Empire. Visit the baroque 11th-century SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY, with Spanish and Moorish architecture throughout. Continue to Plaza Mayor, where you will see the Government Palace that houses the presidential palace and was once the home of Francisco Pizarro, founder of Lima and conqueror of Peru. Nearby, see the cathedral where Pizarro's remains are buried. The remainder of your day is free to explore. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant this evening. (B,D)|
|Day 3||Sacred Valley||Fly to Cusco high in the Andes and upon arrival, descend into the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Stop at AWANAKANCHA and learn about the importance of camelids (llama, vicuna, alpaca, and guanaco) for Inca cultures. See them up close and learn how their coats are transformed into precious weaving fibers used in ancient weaving techniques still in use today. Continue to PISAC, a charming village with an infamous INDIAN MARKET, where you have plenty of time to browse the many colorful stalls selling handicrafts ranging from alpaca sweaters and blankets to painted vases and sterling silver. Later, arrive at your hotel in the peaceful Sacred Valley. (B,D)|
|Day 4||Sacred Valley||Start the day with a visit to the village of OLLANTAYTAMBO and the Inca ruins of the same name. Explore the archaeological site that was the scene of the Inca resistance during the Spanish conquest-the only place ever to resist Spanish attacks. See how the temple area at the top of the terraces was the perfect defensive stronghold, then visit a LOCAL HOME in this Incan town to experience life in a traditional village, which has been remarkably well preserved. Next, visit the SEMINARIO CERAMICS WORKSHOP to learn about Peruvian ancient and modern art. End your day at a local chicheria for a taste of a chicha, a typical Inca drink in Peru. (B)|
|Day 5||Machu Picchu||Board the VISTADOME train that cuts a path through the picturesque Urubamba Valley bound for Aguas Calientes, the quaint town closest to the 'Lost City of the Incas.' Ascend the mountainside through tropical forest to the sacred refuge of MACHU PICCHU. Listen as your guide recounts the many accomplishments of the Incas as you tour the terraced ruins dating back to the 15th century. The ruins went undiscovered for nearly 400 years after they were abandoned when the Inca Empire fell to the Spanish. Many mysteries surrounding Machu Picchu remain to this day. (B,D)|
|Day 6||Cusco||Enjoy some free time this morning to explore the mountain town of Aguas Calientes; perhaps visit the local market, quaint boutiques, or take a walk along nearby trails. Later this afternoon, return to Cusco, former capital of the Inca Empire. (B)|
|Day 7||Cusco||Embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Cusco that focuses on the city that was once the political, military, and cultural epicenter of the Incas until the Spanish toppled it. In fact, Inca foundations can still be found in Cusco, with the Spanish baroque structures built on top. Visit the SANTO DOMINGO MONASTERY, where these two forms of architecture are melded together with the temple of both cultures atop one another. Also, see the CATHEDRAL in the Plaza de Armas, housing a magnificent collection of artwork, including a depiction of The Last Supper that portrays the apostles dining on cuy (guinea pig). Continue to the hillside overlooking Cusco for a visit to the TEMPLE OF SACSAYHUAMAN. Some of the best examples of Inca masonry can be found at this fortress, where stones weighing up to 350 tons are pieced together to form a complex that could house up to 10,000 men. Learn about the ceremonies and battles that took place here, then see the ruins of Kenko and Puca Pucara before returning to Cusco. (B,D)|
|Day 8||Puno||Fly to Juliaca, then transfer to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Legend says the first Inca, Manco Capac, arose from the waters of the lake by the power of the sun god to found the Inca Empire. (B)|
|Day 9||Puno||Experience fascinating LAKE TITICACA today as you embark on a motorboat tour of the highest navigable lake in the world and its manmade islands. On TAQUILE ISLAND, see how the local people integrate their Inca and Spanish past. This is evident by the Spanish peasant dresses made of Andean textiles-the islanders make some of the finest in all of Peru. Continue to the UROS FLOATING ISLANDS, a group of approximately 40 artificially made islands. Learn how the Uros Indians construct their islands, homes, boats, and many other resources completely of tortora reed, a centuries-old practice. Enjoy a farewell dinner hosted by your Tour Director this evening. (B,L,D)|
|Day 10||Arequipa||Board a flight for Arequipa, known as the 'White City' for its buildings made of sillar, a white volcanic rock. (B)|
|Day 11||Colca Canyon||Depart for Colca Valley, enjoying scenery of Pre-Columbian terraces populated with vicunas and a variety of birds, stopping for lunch in the town of Chivay. This afternoon, relax at LA CALERA hot springs. (B,L)|
|Day 12||Colca Canyon||Today, spend time in the COLCA CANYON, an impressive geological formation more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon. Visit CONDORS' CROSS, an observation point, where you can view the Andean condor at eye level. This afternoon is free for independent exploration. (B,L)|
|Day 13||Arequipa||Return to Arequipa for a city TOUR that shows off the Plaza de Armas, the cathedral, and the Jesuit CHURCH. Continue to the districts of Yanahuara and Chilina for a magnificent view of Arequipa's countryside and the Mount Misti volcano. (B)|
|Day 14||Lima||Fly to Lima today. (B)|
|Day 15||Lima||Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (B)|
|US$ Price Details|
Dates & Prices do not include air travel. Participation in this vacation requires purchase of the following flights from Cosmos, not included in pricing: (1) roundtrip air from your U.S. gateway and intra-vacation air segments, starting at $1,545 (based on Miami, departure in January 2018; or (2) intra-vacation air segments only. Required intra-vacation air segments: Lima/Cusco; Cusco/Juliaca; Juliaca/Arequipa; Arequipa/Lima. Air prices were effective on July 12, 2017 and their availability is limited. At the time you purchase your tour, air prices may be higher.Gratuities for Tour Director, driver, and Local guides are available for pre-purchase on the base vacation. For vacations that include an extension to the base, pre-paid gratuities only include the base portion. Any additional gratuities would need to be paid on trip.Prices based on double room occupancy. Single Room Supplement:$675Triple Room Reduction per person:$80Extra Nights per person in Lima:in single room $116; in twin room $63; in triple room $572019 prices and itineraries are subject to change. Details will be available in July 2018.
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