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Peru - Journey Latin America

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112 113Journey PeruSublime landscapes, wildlife, history,culture―Peru has more than its fair share:there is something for everyone in thisancient land. Snow-capped Andean peaksshelter the temples and fortresses of theInca and other pre-Columbian cultures,linked by a network of paved trails easilyfollowed by the modern traveller, whomay prefer to visit them by road or rail.Much of Peru’s territory lies in theAmazon basin, swathed in tropical forest,surviving virtually untouched; but itsdiversity of exotic wildlife and vegetationis surprisingly accessible. Peru’s aridcoastline is dotted with the hauntingremnants of ancient cultures―easy tovisit, a bit harder to decipher, alwaysfascinating.Above and beside of all of this, the Spanishcolonial heritage has survived to providea living record of the richness of its artand architecture―from humble villageto imperial city, the visitor is spoilt forchoice. The markets, music and fiestas ofcontemporary Peru just add to the colour.This is a country with a long traditionof welcoming visitors, which hasa sophisticated and wide-ranginginfrastructure, from rustic guesthousesto fine hotels; mountain bikes to luxurytrains, paved roads and frequent localflights.


114 Peru 020 8747 8315 / journeylatinamerica.co.uk bookings, consultant advice and additional information115Peru at a glance14EssentialsHighlights of PeruNORTHERN PERUClose to colonial Trujillo are the adoberuins of Chan Chan. In the Andes,Cajamarca is the base for hikes and Incaarchaeological sites. Chiclayo is home ofthe Lord of Sipán treasures and startingpoint for visits to the Chachapoyanfortress at Kuelap.2PACIFIC OCEANTHE NORTHERN SIERRASThe Cordillera Blanca offers hikingwith camping among peaks, lakes andglaciers, or gentler day walks. Also inthis area are the ancient sculptures atChavín de Huántar.CHRIS PARROTTMáncora•SARAH BEARDTHE AMAZONIquitos on the Amazon river is isolatedfrom the rest of the country except byair (2¼hrs from Lima) and river. Rivercruises depart from here and there areseveral jungle lodges.• PiuraChachapoyas•Kuelap•Chiclayo•Cajamarca•3Trujillo•LIMA AND THE SOUTHERNDESERT COASTThe capital has illustrious churches,colonial architecture and respectedmuseums. Down the coast is the world’sdriest desert, with wildlife viewing atParacas, and the Nasca Lines.12Caraz•Huaraz•Chavín de Huántar•SANDOVAL• Yurimaguas• TarapotoANDES•LimaAmazon Basin3• Paracas• Ica • Nasca•BallestasIslandsCOLOMBIACordilleraBlancaPERU• IquitosHighlights: The wholeColca trip―stunningscenery and the condorsperformed brilliantly.Machu Picchu at sunriseand climbing above cloudsto Sun Gate for fabulousviews. Being in Cusco forendless parades leadingup to Inti Raymi.SP, Southampton6Machu Picchu•• CuscoANDES4BRAZILManú BiospherePuerto Maldonado•Juliaca•57ClimateVaries according to elevation. The rainy season is fromNovember to March. When the sun is out on the altiplano,moderate temperatures prevail but it can be very cold atnight or when cloudy.FestivalsInti Raymi, 24 June 2013, 2014. Candelaria, February.Señor de los Milagros, October.Travelling from UKTime difference (GMT) -5hrsTravel time 19hrs200 KM100 Miles5SOUTHERN AMAZONASPuerto Maldonado, a 30 minute flightfrom Cusco, is the touch-down point forjungle visits. Deeper into the jungle is theManú National Park, where the abundantwildlife enjoys relative isolation andprotected status.7LAKE TITICACA AND PUNOThe highest navigable lake in the world.Visit the peaceful islands and peninsulas.From lakeside Puno you can cross toBolivia by catamaran.SACHA LODGE6CUSCO, MACHU PICCHU ANDTHE SACRED VALLEYCusco is a cultural treasure-trove,with a surprise around every corner.A 4hr train ride leads through the fertileSacred Valley to Machu Picchu.8AREQUIPA AND THE COLCA CANYONLocated at the foot of Misti Volcano, thissedate white stone city is the departurepoint for the drive to the Colca Canyon,the world’s deepest.ISTOCKPHOTO.COM13 days, 12 nightsLima 1 night, Arequipa 2n, Puno 2n, Cusco 3n, SacredValley 1n, Machu Picchu 1n, Cusco 1n, Lima 1n.UK clients depart arriving in Lima, Peru the same day.Day 1 Overnight in the capital.Day 2 Morning at leisure, afternoon flight south toArequipa, Peru’s picturesque colonial second city.Day 3 City tour and visit to the Santa Catalinaconvent―oasis of calm and a village in itself.Day 4 Fly to Juliaca and continue by road to Punoon the shores of Lake Titicaca, via the ancientchullpas (burial tombs) of Sillustani.Day 5 Excursion to the floating reed islands of theUros Indians.Day 6 Full-day bus journey to Cusco with guided tourof Pucará and stops at picturesque villages en route.Day 7 City tour and visit to the ruins surroundingCusco, including the gigantic temple-fortress ofSacsayhuamán.Day 8 At leisure in Cusco.Day 9 Excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Incasand visits to Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Overnight inthe Sacred Valley.Day 10 Train to Machu Picchu, guided tour of theruins. Overnight.Day 11 Return to Cusco.Day 12 Fly to Lima. Half-day tour of the colonialheart of the city.Day 13 Depart for international flight.UK clients arrive home the next day.Prices from £1,576pp (standard); £2,199 (superior);£3,675 (deluxe) based on two sharing, excludingtransatlantic flights.Daily departures from the UKLima•how about?PERU•Machu PicchuCusco •BOLIVIAJuliaca•• ArequipaLake Titicaca» Discovering the remote Colca Canyon fromArequipa for 2 or 3 days (p121). » Visiting themysterious Nasca lines and the Ballestas Islands.(p120) » Cruising the Galápagos Islands―fly toEcuador from Lima (pp102-111).PHOTO ON PREVIOUS PAGE: ISTOCKPHOTO.COMISTOCKPHOTO.COMColca CanyonPuno•Lake Titicaca8• ArequipaTacna•ISABELLE MAZILLEISTOCKPHOTO.COM


116 Peru 020 8747 8315 / journeylatinamerica.co.uk bookings, consultant advice and additional information117Cusco ,the Sacred Valley and Machu PicchuISTOCKPHOTO.COMNo visitor isdisappointed byCusco, former capitalof the Inca Empire,centre of Spanishcolonial riches andmodern universitycity with cuttingedgehotels andrestaurants. Baroque churches overlay Incawalling, museums are stuffed with gold,and markets burst with fruit and intricatewoven textiles. It’s the jumping off pointfor the leisurely journey by train―or anenergetic trek―to Machu Picchu, the ‘lostcity’ of the Incas.A short drive from Cusco lies the Sacred Valleyof the Incas (below), its fertile patchwork offields sheltered by mountains, their slopes craftedwith ancient agricultural terraces and their peakscapped with the grandiose ruins of ancient cities.Traditional towns such as Pisac and Chincheroexplode into colour and festivity on market days.The fortress at Ollantaytambo towers overthe river where the cliffs close in to form a tightgorge, wide enough only for a railway: this is theroute of the train to Machu Picchu, which headsdown towards the jungles of Amazonia.INKATERRACusco itself has some lovely hotels occupyingconverted mansions in all categories, from thegood-value Casa Andina properties to thehighly regarded ex-convent, the Monasterio,the delightful boutique La Casona, and a newaddition to the first class luxury category,Orient Express’ Palacio Nazarenas.But consider staying in the Sacred Valley,where the lower altitude promises a milderclimate and you’ll be centrally placed to visitall the highlights. Choose between Hotel RioSagrado, the Tambo del Inka: A LuxuryCollection Resort & Spa; boutique hotels―Sol y Luna in Urubamba is a fine one―oreven stay in your own serviced cottage: theUrubamba Villas has a delightful rural location.Spend at least onenight in the vicinityof Machu Picchu toappreciate the ruins atleisure. The Sanctuaryis the only hotel nextto the mountain-topsite but in the villageof Machu Picchu (exAguas Calientes) below there’s a good choice: thefirst class riverside Inkaterra Machu Picchu(above) where cottages are set in orchid-filledgardens, the extremely well-appointed Sumaqand several more modest places.sarah beardA short Break to Cuscoand Machu Picchu8 days, 7 nightsLima 1 night, Sacred Valley 2n, Machu Picchu 1n,Cusco 3n.UK clients depart arriving in Lima, Peru the same day.Day 1 Overnight in the capital.Day 2 Fly to Cusco (1hr) and continue by road acrossrolling green hills to the Sacred Valley of the Incas;unwind and acclimatise in a countryside hotel.Day 3 Visit the hilltop ruins that dominate the valleyat Pisac and the towering temple fortress at the Incavillage of Ollantaytambo.Day 4 Travel further down the valley―whichnarrows to a dramatic gorge―by train to the citadelof Machu Picchu, which sits astride a mountainsaddle amid dense semi-tropical foliage. Guided tourof the ruins. Overnight in Aguas Calientes.Day 5 Further opportunity to visit the ruins.Return to Cusco by train.Day 6 Tour of the Inca capital and its rich colonialheritage. You will also visit the ruins of 4 importantInca sacred sites nearby.Day 7 At leisure in Cusco, or take an optionalexcursion outside the city.Day 8 Fly to Lima. Depart for international flight.UK clients arrive home the next day.Prices from £1,142pp (standard); £1,301 (superior);£2,676 (deluxe) based on two sharing, excludingtransatlantic flights.Daily departures from the UK––– SHORT BREAK TO CUSCOAND MACHU PICCHU––– CUSCO, MACHU PICCHUAND GAlÁpagosTo Galápagos Islands• QuitoECUADOR COLOMBIA• GuayaquilBRAZILfabienNE fossezPERULima •Machu Picchu• Cusco BOLIVIACusco, Machu Picchu andthe Galápagos Islands20 days, 19 nightsAs above but continue as follows: Lima 1 night;Quito 3n, Galápagos 7n, Guayaquil 1n.PERU RAILhiram bingham traindaily except sundaysfrom cuscoOperated by Orient Express,this is the ultimate in luxurytravel. You’ll be relaxing in thesumptuously upholstered loungeand restaurant carriages, drinkingin the dramatic views across thegorge and its thundering river whilesavouring multi-course gourmetmeals with wine and low-keyPeruvian-style entertainment.Day 8 Overnight in Lima.Day 9 Fly to Quito, Ecuador.Day 10 City tour of this Andean capital and visitthe Ecuatorial Monument.Day 11 At leisure to explore the area.Days 12-19 Fly to the Galápagos Islands (90 mins)for a cruise on the motor sailer Cachalote.She carries 16 passengers in 8 air-conditionedcabins each with en suite facilities.Day 19 Fly to the Pacific port of Guayaquil, overnight.Day 20 Depart for international flight.UK clients arrive home the next day.Prices from £4,087pp (standard) based on twosharing, excluding transatlantic flights.


118 Peru 020 8747 8315 / journeylatinamerica.co.uk bookings, consultant advice and additional information119Hiking in PeruSARAH BEARDmountain lodges of peruFancy rounding off your days’trekking under a soft duvet in acosy heated bedroom? There’snow a more luxurious way to dothe Salkantay Trail. Walking ata leisurely pace you will arriveeach afternoon at one of a seriesof charming, warm, very wellappointedmountain lodges whereyou can take a hot shower andrelax in the Jacuzzi or beside awood-burning stove. Rechargeyour batteries over hot, three-coursemeals and wine. If you wouldprefer to discover the trail onhorseback, we can arrange that foryou too. This version of the trailarrives at Machu Picchu throughthe back door with cinemascopeviews of the citadel in its craggymountain context.mountain lodges of perusarah beardThe Inca Trail to Machu Picchu10 days, 9 nightsLima 1 night, Cusco 2n, Ollantaytambo 1n,Inca Trail 3n, Aguas Calientes 1n, Cusco 1n.UK clients depart arriving in Lima, Peru the same day.Day 1 Overnight in a hotel in Miraflores.Day 2 Fly to Cusco. Accommodation for 2 nightsis in a centrally located, colonial-style hotel.Day 3 Half-day walking tour of the city, with visits tosome of the baroque churches and museums of Incatreasures.Day 4 Drive to Chinchero, highland market townwhere the colonial church sits astride the walls of anInca palace. Continue to the remarkable agriculturalterraces at Moray and on to Maras, a colonial villagerenowned for its carved doors. With a purple rangeof mountains ahead of you, walk down throughdazzling white salt pans (left) to the Urubamba Rivervalley in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Continueby car to Ollantaytambo, where a temple-fortressguards the gateway to the jungle lowlands.Days 5-8 There’s a half-hour scenic journey to thestart of the Classic Inca Trail at 82km. Walk the trailaided by your guide and porters (below), camping outfor 3 nights at designated sites. Arrive at and explorethe hilltop ruins of Machu Picchu and overnight inthe village of Aguas Calientes nearby.Day 9 Return to Cusco by train and bus.Day 10 Fly to Lima. Depart for international flight.UK clients arrive home the next day.Prices from £1,509pp based on two sharing,excluding transatlantic flights.Daily departures from the UKPeru is perfect for leisure walking―anything from a stroll in prettycountryside to a full-blooded highaltitudetrek of several days. There areroutes to suit all tastes and abilities.Weather-wise, the best time to trek isbetween May and October, with Julyand August considered high season.Hiking around CuscoThroughout the Cusco region a network ofInca footpaths winds past icy mountains,across fertile valleys and through tropicalcloud forest. In addition to striking scenery,hikers will pass through isolated villagesand explore enigmatic Inca ruins.For overnight treks, tent camping is thenorm, albeit fully supported with Englishspeakingguides, porters, cooks andportable toilets.The 4-5 day Classic Inca Trail has become verypopular over the past decade. For busy times ofthe year it must be booked well in advance.From the banks of the raging Urubamba Riverit climbs steeply through narrow valleys andacross the flanks of mountains to high-altitudepasses. There are panoramic views of snowsplashedpeaks while you follow the Inca pavedpathway through a string of ancient settlementsand temples. Finally, a vertiginous Inca staircasedescends into cloud forest and up again to theSun Gate and a first sight of the walls and terracesof Machu Picchu (below), where the trail ends.AMY INGHAMThere are alternative, less crowded treks in thearea where the scenery is just as spectacular andyou can add on a visit to Machu Picchu at the end.These are the Weavers’ Trail; the challengingtrek to the Inca city of Choquequirao, a hugesite perched on a spur in dense foliage; and theSalkantay Trail, taking you around the skirtsof snow-smothered Mount Salkantay and intoMachu Picchu by the back door.Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera HuayhuashAn 8-hour drive north of Lima is a snow-crestedrange of rugged mountains, the CordilleraBlanca. It’s an area of plunging glacial valleys,minty green lagoons and tiny pockets ofagriculture surrounding isolated indian villages.Here are some of Peru’s most visually strikingand physically demanding routes. The CordilleraHuayhuash has six peaks over 6,000mincluding Mount Siula, backdrop for one of themost scenic treks (Huayhuash), and the SantaCruz Trek. History is exposed in the vestiges ofancient cultures, such as the fortress-temple atChavín del Huántar. The Llama Trek, which hasyou hiking with llamas, ends here.• LimaPERUhow about?Machu Picchu•Chinchero• •MarasCusco •» Continuing south to Peru’s other dazzlinghighlight, Lake Titicaca, gateway to mountainousBolivia (p129), a hiker’s paradise.RAUL MEDINA

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