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Machu Picchu and the Andes

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Visit the incredible 'lost city of the Incas' by rail

15 days From £3,695 per person
Flexible Booking

Book your 2021 holiday before 31st October and you can transfer your holiday for free - no questions asked. T&C's apply

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2021 Tour code: PUJ21

About the tour

The lost city of Machu Picchu and the treasures of Peru are unveiled in this high-altitude adventure, combining scenic rail journeys with first class hotels. An unforgettable experience awaits you in this South American paradise.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-2 - London and Lima

We depart London Heathrow and fly, via Amsterdam, to Lima, the capital city of Peru.

On Day 2 we enjoy a guided tour which takes us to the city's more modern districts, as well as its historic centre. One of the highlights of our explorations is Casa Aliga, the best-preserved colonial mansion in the Americas.

Lima
Days 3-4 - Fly to Arequipa

Heading to the airport this morning, we board our flight to the 'White City' of Arequipa. We take a guided tour in the afternoon, that begins at the Carmen Alto viewpoint.

We continue to the traditional neighbourhood of Yanahuara before transferring into the heart of the city. Here, we visit the cathedral as well as the enormous complex of monastic buildings that make up the Santa Catalina Convent. Founded in 1580, it has been beautifully refurbished with period furniture and paintings. Behind closed doors, the nuns - daughters of aristocrats - paid little heed to the vows of poverty and silence. Each had her own servant and porcelain plates, fine tablecloths, and silver cutlery. Today, it is home to about 20 nuns who still live in a section of the convent, much more piously than their predecessors.

Day 4 is at leisure in Arequipa.

Santa Catalina Monastery, Arequipa
Days 5-6 - Colca Canyon

We travel to Colca Valley this morning, stopping en route at the National Reserve of Pampa Canahuas and the quaint village of Chivay, which continues to embrace its delightfully traditional stone buildings, and even has an 'Inca' bridge nearby. We also pay a visit to the town of Yanque, visiting a museum dedicated to this unique region and its people.

Colca Canyon itself plays host to the legendary condor, and on Day 6 we visit 'Mirador Cruz del Condor', the perfect viewpoint from which to spot these magnificent creatures soaring on thermal air currents.

Colca Canyon
Days 7-10 - Lake Titicaca and Cusco

We depart by coach this morning for Puno, enjoying scenic stops along the way. During the journey, we reach heights of up to 14,700 feet above sea level, where the air is much thinner than at lower altitudes.This elevation allows us to enjoy fabulous views across the Andes. We check into our hotel in Puno on arrival.

On Day 8 we enjoy an excursion by speedboat to Lake Titicaca, cruising to the Uros floating islands where incredible flotillas made entirely out of totora reeds are used by the enterprising Uros people. From here we continue to our included lunch stop of Taquile, home to the Aymara, a Spanish-speaking people who live in an almost economically-autonomous community.

We board the luxury PeruRail Titicaca Train to Cusco on Day 9, taking in the beautiful Andean landscapes as we journey in restored 1920s carriages through the Peruvian Highlands. Cusco is a city of true beauty, and is regarded as the 'Archaeological Capital of the Americas' with its delightful blend of indigenous and colonial Spanish architecture. One of the most impressive attractions here are the incredible Inca walls, created from enormous granite blocks that were carved to fit together without the aid of mortar beds. It's a lasting tribute to the ingenuity of the Incas that their anti-seismic design has survived the test of time.

Day 10 includes a sightseeing tour of this ancient capital. We take in the Plaza de Armas, in the historic centre, and San Pedro market before visiting the Temple of Koricancha, or 'Temple of the Sun'. This temple was one of the most important to the Incas, however it was destroyed and brought to ruin during a war with Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century.

Uros Floating Islands, Lake Titicaca
Days 11-12 - Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo

Our journey today takes us to the highlight of the tour as we travel on the scenic rail route to Aguas Calientes to visit the 'Lost City of the Incas': Machu Picchu. A winding bus ride takes us all the way up to the city itself, where we are greeted by one of the most incredible sights in the world. Our local guide explains the fascinating history of this awe inspiring site that was forgotten for 400 years and remained undiscovered until 1911. Machu Picchu is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as being one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

After time to soak up the ancient atmosphere, we join the train to Ollantaytambo, transferring by coach to our hotel. We admire the city's impressive fortress, which, even in ruins, is an incredible sight to behold on Day 12 before making our way to Chinchero by coach to experience the impressive Sunday market as well as visit its church and see some traditional weaving techniques.

Machu Picchu
Day 13 - Pisac

Driving to Pisac today, we enjoy a walk around the Inty Huatana fortress. If we look hard enough, it's possible to find the ancient Intihuatana ritual stone which was used as an astrological clock by the Incas. Literally translated, 'Intihuatana' means 'the Hitching Post of the Sun'.

We return to Cusco this afternoon, stopping off at the Awanachancha Textile Centre en route. Here, we meet the llamas, vicunas, guanacos, and alpacas who donate their coats to be transformed into a myriad of colourful cloths.

Pisac Ruins and Terraces
Days 14-15 - Lima and London

Following an internal flight to Lima this afternoon, we fly via Amsterdam to London Heathrow, arriving on Day 15.

Flights

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs, Colca Valley

Colca Lodge Spa & Hot Springs, Colca Valley

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Costa del Sol Ramada Hotel, Cusco

Costa del Sol Ramada Hotel, Cusco

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Casa Andina Private Collection hotels, Peru

Casa Andina Private Collection hotels, Peru

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Sonesta hotels, Puno and Yucay

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Train

PeruRail Titicaca Train

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Galapagos
Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2020/21

Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2020/21

Long haul rail holidays to North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

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Machu Picchu and the Andes

Visit the incredible 'lost city of the Incas' by rail

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Helen Laverack
Helen
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Luke Simpson
Luke
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