Peru & Bolivia

A 25-day adventure in the historic homeland of the ancient Inca civilization. Travel through some of the most varied and spectacular scenery in South America - vast coastal deserts, high altiplano, the beautiful Andes and the lush world of the Amazon Basin.

Explore fascinating colonial cities, the legacy of the Spanish Conquistadors and ponder the enigma of the Nasca Lines. Wonder at the structure of ancient ruins, and enjoy the colour and vibrancy of today's Andean culture.

Our itinerary will include. 
  • Lima - In Peru's capital city Lima, visit the well preserved Centro Historico. 

  • Islas Ballestas Islands - These islands are a bird and marine life reserve. Also, visit the nearby Huacachina Oasis where you can try your skill at sand-boarding?

  • Nasca Lines - Fly over the mysterious stylized lines, huge etchings in the desert. Also visit the ancient cemetery of Chauchilla to see the mummies and other burial artefacts.

  • Amazon Jungle Experience - A 3-night stay at an Amazon Lodge, with jungle walks, boating and nature activities to see the animals and birds of the jungle. 

  • Cross the High Altiplano - Cusco to Puno by bus, stopping at interesting points along the way.

  • Cusco - Once deemed to be the "Centre of the Inca World", today Cusco is a captivating city to visit. It is such a great place to appreciate the unique ambience of Peru, that vibrant blend of Spanish and Andean culture. Walk in the countryside, marvel at the extensive ruins of Sacsayhuaman and shop in the Andean markets.

  • Machu Picchu - The "Lost City of the Incas" is a must-see. This spectacular Inca temple lay virtually forgotten for hundreds of years before being re discovered in 1911. Today Machu Picchu is an unforgettable sight, an awesome location and an amazing construction.

  • Lake Titicaca - Visit the unique reed habitat of Lake Titicaca's floating islands, the Uros Islands. 

  • Lake Titicaca Home-Stay - Stay overnight on one of the islands. These visits form part of an anthropological project, developed to ensure that the islanders benefit from the developing eco- tourism, while maintaining the integrity of their cultural and social heritage. A truly unique experience.

  • Bolivia - La Paz is one of the highest cities in the world, so colorful with wonderful local markets. Explore the ancient ruins of the Tiahuanacun culture.

The itinerary allows you to choose either:

a) Inca Trail

Walk the ancient Inca pathways, through beautiful valleys and across high passes to reach the "Lost City of Machu Picchu.

Is walking the Inca Trail for you? It is the most famous walking route on the continent but please consider carefully:

  • 4 days walking - although the trail is only 33kms long, it is no “doddle”.

  • Walking 4 to 8 hours a day, depending on your speed and the distance involved.

  • Walking at high altitude is a challenge and there are some strenuous climbs. There is no hurry but stamina is required.

  • The trail is often steep and involves crossing three mountain passes between 3,700 and 4,200 metres.

  • 3-nights camping, using two-person tents with mattresses. Porters carry the camping gear and good meals are provided. Facilities are basic.

  • Personal Porters: You carry your own personal gear and sleeping bag, but if you wish to hire a shared-porter to carry 6kg of your gear the cost is US$60. Important Note:  porters can only be hired when shared between two people, that is US$120 per porter carrying two lots of 6kg, plus his own gear. Rules on this are very strict these days.

  • On Day 4 you will reach Machu Picchu. Explore the site with your guide before returning to Cusco by train.

  • Although not long, this trek certainly has its challenges due to high altitude hiking and the long steep Dead Woman’s Pass on Day 2. For your enjoyment and safety, we recommend that it should only be undertaken, if you have the fitness and stamina to handle four days of high altitude trail walking.

b) Basic Itinerary -Sacred Valley

Explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Heartland of the Inca Civilization.

  • Overnight stays in Aguas Calientes, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo.

  • Machu Picchu - The Lost City of the Incas.

  • Visit the Pisac Andean markets, take the train to Machu Picchu. See four other amazing Inca sites; Salinas (salt mining) and Moray (experimental Inca farming site), the Ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.

The Sacred Valley Programme does involve some lovely walking and is the perfect option for those who don’t wish to walk the Inca Trail. It certainly should not be considered a second best option.

Draft Itinerary Outline (subject to change) 

Day 1. Auckland to Lima (fly via Santiago)

Day 2. Paracas - visit Lima's Centro Historico, drive to Paracas.

Day 3. Nasca -  a morning cruise to Ballestas Islands Nature Reserve and later drive to Nasca.

Day 4. Huacachina Dunes - fly the Nasca lines and visit the Chauchilla Cemertery later drive to the Dunes. 

Day 5. Lima - a sand-buggy adventure in the dunes where you can try sand-boarding if you wish. After lunch return to Lima  and stay overnight at a Lima Airport Hotel.

Day 6.  Puerto  Maldonado (Amazon)-  fly, arriving in the early afternoon.

Day 7. Amazon

Day 8. Amazon

Day 9. Cusco - Fly to Cusco, arriving mid afternoon.

Day 10. Cusco - sightseeing will include the 4-Ruins and Sacsayhuaman

Day 11. Urubamba - visit  the Pisac Ruins  site and traditional Andean markets

 Pick one:

A) Basic Itinerary - Sacred Valley

Day 12. Ollantaytambo - visit Maras (Salinas), Moray and Ollantaytambo Inca sites.

Day 13. Aguas Calientes - take the train to Aguas Calientes, the closest town to Machu Picchu.

Day 14. Cusco - visit the Machu Picchu site before returning to Cusco.

Day 15. Cusco - a free day

B) Inca  Trail Programme

Day 12. Inca Trail

Day 13. Inca Trail

Day 14. Inca Trail

Day 15. Cusco - Arrive at the Sun Gate at dawn, visit the Machu Picchu site before returning to Cusco in the evening.

Then... 

Day 16. Puno - by bus across the high altiplano.

Day 17. Puno - an excursion on Lake Titicaca, including Uros and Taquille Islands and an overnight home-stay.

Day 18. Puno - return to Puno

Day 19. La Paz - via the ancient site of Tiahuanaco.

Day 20. La Paz - city sightseeing

Day 21. Flight - depart late morning for Santiago and on to Auckland.

OR, continue on the ATACAMA ADVENTURE extension trip.

Day 22. (cross the dateline)

Day 23. Arrive Auckland

ATACAMA ADVENTURE: an extra 5 days / 4 nights ex La Paz. This will be an overland adventure from Uyuni, Bolivia to Calama, Chile, covering great distances, mostly by 4x4 jeep safari, through spectacular, isolated, altiplano terrain, including the incredible Salt Plain of Uyuni. Est. price approx., $3,400 pp based on a minimum of six and current flight prices.  See separate webpage for details.

Criteria for Travel: Travel in Peru and Bolivia can be challenging because of high altitude, rugged terrain and some long distances. However, a journey through this region is a most rewarding experience if you are willing to cope with the unusual, the unpredictable, cultural differences and some local inadequacies.

Andean South America is colourful and exciting and the welcome is always warm. This trip is open to travellers of all ages with the proviso that you need to be moderately fit and active and that you consider the health implications of high altitude travel. If you have a condition which may be a concern at altitude e.g. respiratory or circulatory, you must discuss the trip with your Doctor before registering.

Trip Data: Price will include flights Auckland return (flight related taxes not included), accommodation, all breakfasts, all meals during the Island stay, Amazon stay and Inca Trail, two domestic flight, transport/sights/activities/entries as per itinerary. If the flight connection requires an additional night or activity in Santiago, this will be added to the price.

FACT FILE

Trip Code: Peru & Bolivia

Date:  Not Currently Scheduled

Duration:  23 days,

Party: 10 to 16 + leader

Price Guide : 2017 price was  $10,700, with  Inca Trail + $440. Atacama Crossing a separate cost

Status: Keep Me Posted List