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This exceptional 13-day holiday takes in all the best things to do in Northern Peru. Less frequently visited than the sights in the South, this holiday takes you off the beaten track and into the unique, underexplored raw authenticity of Peru's ancient cultures.
Northern Peru's famous marvels include Chan Chan, which was once served as the capital of the Chimu culture and was the largest pre-Colombian city in South America; Tucame which is home to 26 giant pyramids and the Lord of Sipan Museum. The mountain top fortress of Kuelap and the picturesque Gocta waterfalls.
Day 1-2 Lima
Day 3 - Lima – Trujillo and Tour to Huaca del Dragon, Chan Chan And Huanchaco
Day 4 - Trujillo – Chiclayo/ excursion to ¨el Brujo¨ archaeological complex
Day 5 - Chiclayo – Full Day to Tucume, Royal Tombs Museum of Sipan and Huaca Rajada
Day 6 - Chiclayo to Chachapoyas
Day 7 - Chachapoyas – Half Day Tour to Kuelap
Day 8 - Chachapoyas / Full Day Tour to Gocta Falls
Day 9 - Chachapoyas - Lima
Day 10 - Lima - Cusco - Sacred Valley
Day 11 - Sacred Valley - Full day tour to Machu Picchu
Day 12 - Cusco - City Tour
Day 13 - Flight home
Arrive in Lima, where you will be picked up by a transfer and taken from the airport to your hotel. This includes the assistance of an English-speaking guide who will answer all your questions and introduce you to this intriguing corner of Latin America.
After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, you will explore Lima´s historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site packed with colonial-era buildings reflecting its place as the beating heart of the Spanish presence in South America. You will start with a scenic tour of the colonial downtown, which spreads out from the main square. You will appreciate the grandiose and imposing Spanish architecture; the central square is home to Lima Cathedral, The Government Palace, The Archbishop's Palace and the Municipal Palace.
Work on the cathedral began in the 16th century and took more than 80 years to finish. After seeing the stunning interior, you will visit the Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion given to Jerónimo de Aliaga, one of the conquistadores Francisco Pizzaro’s deputies. This is the only house from that era that still belongs to the same family almost 500 years later. You will then continue to the Larco Museum, located in the traditional Pueblo Libre district, which houses a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built on a seventh-century pre-Columbian pyramid. The museum boasts the most complete pre-Hispanic collection of gold and silver artefacts, as well as pieces of erotic art.
A transfer will pick you up from your hotel at the agreed time and take you to the airport in Callao, approximately 40 minutes’ drive away. From there you will fly from Lima to Trujillo. A transfer will pick you up from Trujillo airport and take you to your hotel. (The assistance of an English-speaking guide is included).
Your tour starts with a visit to the Huaca Dragón (Dragon Temple), also known as the Rainbow Temple, located in the outskirts of Northern Trujillo. The building was erected by the Chimú culture, a contemporary of the Incas. It is an impressive religious monument and ceremonial centre which was used for administrative purposes. Built of adobe, the walls of the site are decorated with beautiful mural reliefs showing anthropomorphic figures and representing the rainbow.
You will then visit the Chan Chan archaeological complex, the largest city of the pre-Columbian Americas and the capital city of the Chimú culture. The city is believed to have been built in 850 AD and was home to around 50,000 people. The site covers an area of approximately 7 square miles. Its central area is formed by a group of ten walled premises (called 'citadels') and other independent pyramids. The rest of the complex is composed of several small structures, sidewalks, canals, walls and cemeteries.
You will then visit Huanchaco, an ancestral fisherman’s cove, where it is possible to watch old reed boats known as Caballitos de totora, with which the local population maintains its thousand-year-old tradition of artisan fishing. At the end of your visit, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
In the morning, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the Valley of Chicama, located some 20 miles north of Trujillo, to visit the archaeological complex El Brujo, which belonged to the Mochica culture. Excavations in the area began in 1990 and led to the discovery of Old Cao Huaca, pyramids reaching up to 150 feet in height with walls decorated with friezes and coloured reliefs that depict complex scenes, characters, and geometric designs.
Interestingly, the site is located very close to the seashore, and it is believed that ancient maritime rituals were carried out here, although excavation is ongoing and may reveal additional uses for the El Brujo area. Discover the mystery of an ornately tattooed 1,600 year-old-Mummy unearthed in this archaeological complex, and preserved for centuries, thanks to a meticulous treatment and ancient ritual that included the application of cinnabar, a red mineral that inhibits the decomposition of skin and tissues.
After the visit you will head back to your hotel in Chiclayo.
Tucume is known as the valley of the pyramids. The site reflects the three pre-Colombian civilisations that lived in this region of Northern Peru. Spread over 200 hectares, the complex is made up of 26 Abobe pyramids as well as squares, walls, patios and canals, the site reflects the complicated social structure and system of planned growth that was present in its historic inhabitants.
You will also visit the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipán in Lambayeque. The discovery of the Lord of Sipan’s untouched tomb in 1987, was one of South America’s most significant archaeological discoveries of the last of 40 years. The complexity of the burial and apparent semi-divine status ascribed to him led to the creation of a new museum to share the discovery with the general public.
After having lunch at a local restaurant, you will head to Huaca Rajada Archaeological Complex. This is a set of huge mud pyramids that date from centuries back. The place gained special notoriety in 1987 when authorities became aware of illegal excavations that had been made. And what began as a protection plan ended with the discovery of Lord of Sipan's tomb, one of the most impressive pre-Columbian burials in Peru.
You will be picked up by your driver from your hotel in Chiclayo and driven to Chachapoyas. The journey takes approximately 10 hours.
You will visit Kuelap an imposing fortress, built by the Chachapoyas culture. The Chachapoyas are noted for siding with the Spanish in their conquest of the Inca empire. The fortress is one of the most significant lithic monuments in Peru, which rises 3000 meters above the Cerro Barreta. The site is higher, larger and older than the more famous Machu Picchu and considerably more remote, a few years ago it would take 4 a four-and-a-half-hour hike and an hour-long cable car ride to reach the site. The ruin has 505 enclosures in its interior distributed in different levels. Its impressive walls and its interior architecture show its role as a housing complex. The ascent and descent are carried out in the new cable car installed in the area, which makes it possible to reach the fortress in just 20 minutes.
Today you will hike to Cocachimba, a paradise in the middle of the jungle that houses different waterfalls, including Gocta, one of the highest waterfalls in the world. Walk along a beautiful route full of vegetation and wild animals. You will enjoy wonderful views and the imposing waterfall where the strength of the water and the pleasant sensation of the dew will renew you.
You will be transferred from your hotel in Chachapoyas to Jaen airport to catch your flight to Lima. You will be met on arrival at the airport getting a walking transfer to your hotel.
In the morning you will fly from Lima to Cusco, you will be met at the airport and get a transfer to the Sacred Valley. You will have the evening to relax and enjoy the faciliites of your hotel.
A transfer will pick you up from your hotel in Urubamba and you will be taken to the Ollantaytambo train station (also known as Ollanta). You will then catch the Vistadome train to Machu Picchu. The views from the carriage are spectacular and the Vistadome’s windows in the ceiling give you the best way to enjoy the scenic landscapes.
The train will arrive in the town of Aguas Calientes also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo. In Aguas Calientes there is a market of handicrafts, restaurants and accommodation of different categories for those who prefer to spend the night at the foot of the mountain and climb up early.
After a short trip by bus you will arrive at Machu Picchu, a masterpiece of engineering and architecture that is believed to have served as a sanctuary and resting place for the Inca Pachacutec. Machu Picchu, which means Old Mountain, is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new seven wonders of the modern world.
At the end of the tour, you will return by bus to Aguas Calientes. Finally, you will return to Cusco by train to Ollanta station and from there by car to Cusco.
In the afternoon, you will start your tour with a visit to the Coricancha, also known as the Temple of the Sun (or Premises of the Gilded One), the construction of which was ordered by Inca Pachacútec (1438-1471) and was used as base for the construction of the Santo Domingo Convent upon the arrival of the Spaniards. This is when the Sun (Inti, in Quechua) was worshipped during the Inca Empire and at the time of the Incas its walls were fully covered with gold sheets and its courtyards were planted with golden corn and life-size llamas.
You will then go to the Cathedral, the most important building on the Main Square and one of the most splendid Spanish colonial churches in America, which is shaped as a Latin Cross and houses about 400 colonial paintings from the Cusco art school, and impressive goldsmith, silversmith and precious stones works. Its construction lasted almost a century, it started in 1560 and ended in 1654.
The Ecclesiastical Chapter ordered to extract and transport hundreds of stones from the Sacsayhuamán fortress for this purpose.
You will then visit said fortress, en emblematic work of the Incas, which protected the Holy City. Conceived and built by Inca Pachacútec in the 15th century, The Sacsayhuamán complex was built with megalithic blocks, which transportation and construction continue to be a mystery. The Inti Raymi Festival, which worships the Sun, is reenacted on June 24 of each year, during the winter solstice. You will then go to Qenqo, located four kilometers away from Cusco City, an archaeological complex mainly used for religious purposes, and it is believed that agricultural rituals took place there. You will finally visit the vestiges of Puka Pukara, located seven kilometers away from Cusco. Puka Pukara, which means red fortress, was an architectural complex presumably used for military purposes; it has many rooms, squares, bathrooms, aqueducts, walls and towers, and it is believed that the Inca’s entourage used it while he rested at Tambomachay. At the end, you will return to your hotel.
A transportation service will pick you up from your hotel at the established time and will transfer you to the airport.(only driver)
|Budget||Private and Shared||£2,990 pp|
International and domestic flights
- 2 night in Lima BB with shared city tour
- 1 night in Trujillo with private tour to archaeological sites
- 2 nights in Chiclayo and two tours to archaeological sites around there
- private transfer driver only to Chachapoyas (this is a 10 hrs transfer)
- 3 nights in Chachapoyas and shared tour to Kuelap and shared tour to Gocta falls
- 1 night in Lima airport
- 1 night Sacred Valley
- Full Day shared tour to Machu Picchu
- 2 nts in CUZ with city tour
- all transfers
- Meals not indicated in your itinerary
- Local departure taxes payable locally
- Where applicable locally payable car hire related charges
- tems of a personal nature such as laundry and drinks etc
- Tips for guides and drivers (discretionary)
- Camera or video fees at any sites
- Travel insurance
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