Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included. Arrive in Lima at any time. On arrival you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel.
Travel to Paracas National Park. Relax in this sleepy seaside town and sample Peru's national drink, the Pisco Sour. Enjoy a drive down the coastal desert to Paracas, a sleepy fishing village that serves as the starting point for all tours to the Ballestas Islands.
There is little to do in town, but for those that love seafood and are looking to try Peru's national drink, the Pisco Sour, it's heaven.
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. The Ballestas Islands are often referred to as "the poor man's Galapagos." Home to hundreds of sea lions and many species of marine birds, including the Humboldt penguin, incredible wildlife spotting is pretty much guaranteed.
Continue south by land to Nazca with a stop to see the Huacachina sand dunes along the way.
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. Nazca is home to one of the world's greatest archaeological mysteries, the Nazca Lines. The entire desert area was also once the home for the ancient Paracas and the Nazca cultures, which preceded the Incas by more than half a millennium.
Full day of driving down the coast to the colonial city of Arequipa. Embark on a very long drive, which will include rest stops and lunch at Oasis Camana.
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 "picanteria" restaurant. Try local favourites like "cuy" (guinea pig), Rocoto Relleno (stuffed spicy peppers) and sample a glass of "chicha". Peru's second most important city after Lima, Arequipa maintains a traditional colonial style and more laid back pace in comparison with the capital. Spectacular mountains surround Arequipa, the most famous of which is El Misti Volcano. Standing at 5822m (19096 ft), it has a beautiful snow-capped peak.
Fly to Cusco and explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Every year Cusco attracts thousands of travellers who come to delve into its noble but tragic past. It is the perfect base for optional explorations around the city and area as well as a range of outdoor activities. Relax and explore this fascinating city, and take time to acclimatize to the high altitude.
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.
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. Board a morning train that winds through the spectacular Sacred Valley to the end of the line: the village of Aguas Calientes, a frontier town nestled in the hills beneath Machu Picchu. This is the closest town to Machu Picchu, making Aguas Calientes an ideal night stop.
To best enjoy this area, take advantage of the opportunity to visit the butterfly house, botanical gardens, or hot springs. Opt for a day hike to Mandor Gardens to see orchids and a waterfall, enjoying the lush, green scenery en route.
For serious archaeology buffs, there is time for an optional independent visit to Machu Picchu before the guided tour the following morning.
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. Rise early to take advantage of viewing Machu Picchu in the early morning light. This is the best time to view the "lost city of the Incas." Join our local guide for a detailed interpretation of the site and Inca history without the pressure of other tour groups that arrive at midday.
Later in the afternoon, return by train to Ollantaytambo or Poroy and then transfer by van to Cusco, arriving in the evening.
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. Take in the Plaza de Armas (main square) and explore a city steeped in tradition. There are numerous optional activities including horseback riding, mountain or motor biking, rafting, hiking or visits to Inca ruins or museums around town.
Take in scenic views while travelling through the high Altiplano region to Puno. The trip to Puno takes the better part of the day, and includes stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region.
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. In the morning, board a comfortable 35-foot fully equipped speed boat to explore the lake. Stop at various islands to enjoy the lake's scenic splendor and to meet the friendly people of these communities.
Fly to Lima for the final night. Option to visit museums or enjoy free time to explore. Time for some last-minute shopping in Puno before the flight back to Lima and the final stop on the journey. Enjoy one last night out on the town.