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Peru - Southern Cross (Lima, Cusco, Puno, Arequipa)
9 days / 8 nights Single Double Triple
Please inquire...      

Air not included
All rates are per person, in US dollars and subject to change at any time.
Rates are based on shared tours. Private tours available upon request.
Itineraries are subject to change at any time for any reason.
 

Alpaca near Arequipa, Peru tours, Inti Travel and Tours

This 9 day, 8 night package combines portions of our Classic Cusco, Puno & Lake Titicaca and Arequipa & the Colca Canyon tours into a series of unforgettable experiences!

LIMA GENERAL INFORMATION

ALTITUDE
-Lowest point: 3 m / 10 ft (Ancon).
-Highest point: 861 m / 2825 ft (Chosica).

CLIMATE 
The city of Lima has an arid and semi-warm climate. The average annual maximum temperature is 22 C (71ºF) and the minimum is 17ºC (62ºF). The temperature increases in the years when the El Niño phenomenon occurs.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS

LIMA CITY

Lima was founded in 1535 and in a short period of time became the most important city in the Americas. Today, there are more than eight million inhabitants, and the city shelters immigrants from all corners of the globe, which has transformed it into a mixed city par excellence. In the historic centre, placed by UNESCO on the World Cultural Heritage List, you can visit splendid samples of Colonial architecture like the Cathedral, the Convent of Santo Domingo, and the Convent of San Francisco as well as fantastically wood carven balconies. Lima is also an inexhaustible source of culture, demonstrated by the existence of numerous and varied museums like the National Museum of Archeology, Anthropology, and History and the Rafael Larco Herrera Archeological Museum, which guards priceless Incan and pre-Incan treasures. Situated in the heart of the city are great archeological monuments such as the Huallamarca Huaca or the Pucllana Huaca. And, on the outskirts of Lima facing the ocean is Pachacamac, the most important pre-Incan sanctuary on the coast, built in the third century A.D. Some of the other great attractions are the beaches where you can do all types of aquatic sports, enjoy the sun, or simply gaze at the mesmerizing beauty of the Pacific Ocean.

During this trip, you must also remember to sample one of the best cuisines in the world. The city offers a wide variety of restaurants and inviting locales where you will be able to taste delicious dishes, the result of the mixing of European, African, Asian, and Andean cuisines.

CUSCO GENERAL INFORMATION

ALTITUDE
Capital: Cusco (3399 masl / 11.156 fasl)
Altitude: Lowest point: 532 masl / 1745 fasl (Pilcopata)
Highest point: 4801 masl / 15.751 fasl (Suyckutambo)

CLIMATE 
The city has a semi-dry and cold climate. The annual average maximum temperature is 19.6ºC (67.3ºF) and the minimum is 4.2ºC (39.6ºF). The rainy season starts in November and ends in March, and it is the time when the mountains are covered in green. Between June and July is the time of the intense cold (heladas) even with occasional snowfalls.
Girl near Cusco, Cusco & Machu Picchu, Inti Travel and Tours
© Candis Waugh
Girl near Cusco

MAIN ATTRACTIONS
 
Main Square, Cusco

During the Inca Empire, the square was called Huacaypata, a Quechua word meaning “place of tears” or “meeting place”. It was an important ceremonial spot where the Inti Raymi or Festival of the Sun was celebrated every year. It is also the place where Franciso Pizarro proclaimed the conquest of Cusco. After the Spanish arrived, the plaza changed. They erected stone arches and built the structures that surround it today.

Cathedral of Cusco

The building went through two construction stages: first, the Chapel of the Triumph was built on top of what used to be the temple Suntar Wasi (House of God); later, the cathedral itself was built over the remains of the palace of Inca Wiracocha. A Renaissance building in its majority, the interior decoration is rich in cedar and alder woodcarvings. The choir and the pulpit stand out for their beauty. An important collection of paintings from the Cusco School and silver wrought pieces are also kept there.

Templo de la Compañía de Jesús (Church of the Company of Jesus Christ)
Main Square

The original building was raised in 1571 on the grounds of the ancient palace of Inca Huayna Cápac, the Amarucancha. After the earthquake of 1650, it was rebuilt around 1688. The design and the façade are examples of Andean Baroque. The retable style entrance is decorated with medium size towers and the stonewalls are carefully worked. Once inside, the triple bodied upper altar with salomonic columns, the wooden pulpit, and numerous Baroque, Plateresque, and Churrigueresque shrines catch the eye. The most remarkable work of art is “El matrimonio de Martín García de Loyola con Beatriz Clara Coya“ (The Wedding of Martín García de Loyola with Beatriz Clara Coya).

Church and Convent of Santo Domingo / Koricancha
Plaza Intipampa, corner of Avenida El Sol and Calle Santo Domingo.

The Koricancha was one of the most impressive buildings of Inca Cusco according to the historians: the glowing gilding of the interior walls illuminated what used to be the main temple dedicated to the worship of the Sun God. The Spanish built the church and Dominican convent on top of the original structure around 1534 but they collapsed during the earthquake of 1650 and were rebuilt around 1681. The convent possesses an art gallery of valuable seventeenth and eighteenth century canvasses.

Sacsayhuaman Archeological Complex
2 km / 1 mile northeast of Cusco (10 minutes by car).

The area contains thirty-three archeological sites. The most famous is Fort Sacsayhuaman. It might well have been a religious structure, but for its location and style, the Spanish and the historians believe it was a military construction. The most important temple in Hanan Qosqo or Upper Cusco might have been located there, dedicated to Andean cosmology and to the worship of the Inti (sun), the Quilla (moon), Chaska (stars), Illapa (ray), and other divinities. It is described as massive for the size of some of its stones, which weigh between 90 and 120 tons. This is also the stage of the Inti Raymi or Festival of the Sun every 24th June.

Qenko Archeological Complex
3 km / 2 miles northwest of Cusco (15 minutes by car).

The Qenko or “labyrinth” might date from around 1500 A.D. It is considered a holy place where ceremonies

Pukapukara Archeological Complex
7 km / 4 miles northeast of Cusco (30 minutes by car or 2 hours on foot)

The complex contains several rooms, inner plazas, aqueducts, vantage points, and pathways. It might have served as a tambo or rest and lodging area. According to the tale, each time the Inca was able to go to Tambomachay, he would be accompanied by a large cortège, which stayed at Pukapukara. It is also called a fort because of its fortified-city appearance.

Tambomachay Archeological complex
8 km / 4 miles northwest of Cusco (35 minutes by car)

Tambomachay might have fulfilled an important religious function linked to water and the regeneration of the land. Some scholars believe it was built around 1500 A.D., closely linked with Pukapukara. The area covers about one hectare, and was made out of polygonal shaped set limestone.
 
City of Urubamba (2871 masl / 9419 fasl)
78 km / 48 miles northwest of Cusco on the route to Pisac (1 hour and 25 minutes by car). Another route is the one via Chinchero (57 km / 35 miles or 45 minutes by car)

It is located in the heart of the SacredValley. Before the Incas, it was a very important agricultural center. Today, the economy is based on farming and tourism, and the city itself is known for being one of the friendliest in the valley. Good tourist services are available in Urubamba.
 
Village of Chinchero (3772 masl / 12.375 fasl)
28 km / 17 miles northwest of Cusco (45 minutes by car)

A must see is the Colonial church where beautiful paintings of the CuscoSchool are kept. Every Sunday, the farmers and businessmen gather to exchange their products in a fair where they still barter. There are important archeological vestiges in the area.

Ollantaytambo Archeological Complex
97 km / 60 miles northwest of Cusco (2 hours and 30 minutes by car)

The Incas built it as a fort that included a temple, agricultural terraces, and an urban area. There are two distinct sectors: Araqama Ayllu, the religious and worship zone, and Qosqo Ayllu, the residential area. Ollantaytambo was an important administrative center with probable military functions if one considers the walls and towers.

There are also traces of ancient roads and aqueducts. The town of Ollantaytambo is called a Living IncaTown since the inhabitants maintain very old practices and customs. From Ollantaytambo, you can visit the village of Willoc, where the Quechua-speaking inhabitants distinguish themselves from the rest of the region by wearing red clothing that identifies them as members of a unique family.

Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary
110 km / 68 miles northwest of Cusco (4 hours by train) to the village of Machu Picchu and then another 8 km / 5 miles to the citadel (20 minutes by bus)

Machu Picchu is an impressive Inca citadel placed on the side of a mountain. Its Quechua name means “Old Mountain”, but it is also known as “the Lost City of the Incas” since it remained hidden from the West until discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911.

It was built in the fifteenth century, and is attributed to the Inca Pachacutec. The archeological complex is divided into two zones that are contained within approximately twenty hectares. On the sides of the mountain, you can see up to four meters high (13 feet) agricultural terraces. Several plazas and buildings, the most important being the Temple of the Sun, the Intihuatana or solar clock and calendar, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Main Temple and the Condor Sector, make up the urban sector. There is also an impressive monolith of carved stone, three meters high (10 feet) and seven meters wide (23 feet) at the base, named the Sacred Stone. In order to build Machu Picchu, the Incas had to use blocks of stone brought from long distances. The finish of the walls features different quality levels and techniques. One of the highest quality walls is the central one of the MainTemple where the stones fit together perfectly.
The Machu Picchu Historic Sanctuary in not only a priceless archeological site, it is also associated with rich animal and plant life. In 1983, UNESCO placed it on the World Cultural and Natural Heritage Lists.
Machu Picchu, Peru tours, Inti Travel and Tours
© Candis Waugh
Machu Picchu

AREQUIPA GENERAL INFORMATION

ALTITUDE
Arequipa (2335  / 7333 ft)
Lowest point: 9 m / 30 ft (Punta de Bombón)
Highest point: 4910 m/ 16,109 ft (Mirador de los Volcanes, Volcano Lookout, – Caylloma)
 
CLIMATE 
The city of Arequipa has a semi-arid and temperate climate with a maximum temperature of 21.7ºC (71ºF) and a minimum of 6.9ºC (44.4ºF). The rainy season starts in January and ends in March

The department of Arequipa is one of various terrains. It begins in the coastal desert and then climbs the Andes, reaching great altitude at the snow covered peaks and at its volcanoes.

Santa Catalina Monastery, Arequipa, Peru tours, Inti Travel and Tours
© Candis Waugh
Santa Catalina Monastery

Arequipa, known as the White City for its beautiful white walls of sillar, a volcanic stone, lies at the feet of the mighty volcanos of Mount Chachani, Mount Misti, and the snow covered peak of Mount Pichu Pichu. The downtown of the city, placed on the World Cultural Heritage list by UNESCO, features Mixed Baroque churches and mansions from the Colonial Period like the Monastery of Santa Catalina, a Spanish city in miniature with stone streets, beautiful patios, and plazas. Sabandía, Tiabaya, and Tingo, located among the large fields, are must see places, and the irresistible Arequipa cuisine is the perfect complement to the visit.

Just 3 hours and 45 minutes from the capital is the Colca River valley and canyon, one of the most extraordinary destinations in the country. Throughout the region, you can see colorful pre-Incan agricultural terraces still used today for growing quinoa, corn, barley, and wheat. During the pre-Hispanic era, the department was inhabited by the Collaguas and the Cabanas; today, the inhabitants have learned to conserve their Colonial churches in Yanque, Lari, and Madrigal, and they continue to wear their traditional clothing.
You can also do many types of adventure sports in the valley such as mountain biking, trekking, and white water rafting. And, at the Cross of the Condor, you can view the majestic flight of the condors. Other places of interest in the department are the Toro Muerto petroglyphs, the Andagua Valley of the Volcanoes, and the Cotahuasi Canyon
 
MAIN ATTRACTIONS
 
Main Square, city of Arequipa
Bordered by various arched walkways and the Cathedral, the Main Square possesses a beautiful bronze fountain of three plates crowned by the figure of a sixteenth century soldier. Of this person, who is called “Tuturutu”, the story says he was in charge of warning of any new event. Around the square, you see three granite portals with brick and lime bases: Portal del Cabildo (Portal de la Municipalidad), Portal de las Delicias (Portal de San Agustín), and Portal del Regocijo (Portal de Flores).

Cathedral, city of Arequipa
Main Square.

It is considered one of the first seventeenth century religious monuments of the city. It is built of sillar (white volcanic stone) with a brick base. Destroyed by fire in 1844, it was rebuilt in 1868 by the Arequipa architect Lucas Poblete. He used a Neoclassical style and placed the entrances of church on the flanking naves. In 2001, the building was struck hard by an earthquake, which seriously damaged its towers.

Iglesia de La Compañía and complex (The Church of the Company of Jesus Christ)
Intersection of Calle General Morán and Calle Álvarez Thomas, Main Square.

This complex, made up of buildings constructed by the Jesuits for religious and living purposes, is a representative monument of the seventeenth century religious architecture (1660). The church itself rises from the center of the buildings. It was designed in 1573 by Gaspar Baez and destroyed by an earthquake in 1584. The current structure dates from 1650. Inside you find sixty-six canvases from the CuscoSchool from such artists as Bernardo Bitti and Diego de la Puente.

Monasterio de Santa Catalina (Saint Kathleen Monastery)
Calle Santa Catalina 301.

Constructed to shelter the daughters of the wealthiest families of the city with a religious vocation, the monastery was inaugurated on October 2, 1580, under the name of Santa Catalina of Siena to be a totaly cloistered religious center, and it remained that way until August 15, 1970.
It occupies an approximate area of 20.000 m2 (215.285 feet2), and its placement is similar to the first neighborhoods of Arequipa. The building exhibits rooms of very different architectural design. One of the areas has established as a gallery to display the canvasses of the Cusco, Quito, and ArequipaSchools. There are other rooms, or sectors, to visit as well, like el Claustro de la Portería (the Gate Cloister), el Museo Precolombino (the pre-Colombian Museum), el Claustro de San Francisco (the Cloister of Saint Francis), etc.
 

Itinerary:

Day 1 – - / Lima (-/-/-)

Upon arrival into Lima International Airport, you will be met by our representative and will be transferred to your hotel. Our representative will assist you with check-in procedures and provide you with a detailed itinerary, vouchers covering all the services included in your tour and additional information on the organization of your Peru trip. You will also receive a contact information sheet with all the hotel details as well as our offices contact information for each city and a 24-hour emergency number.

Full day City Tour Lima & Museum (shared)

Enjoy a half day guided sightseeing tour to the most attractive and important sites in Lima, the "City of Kings". The tour includes Lima's Historical Center, passing by Plaza San Martin, Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral and its Religious Art Museum. Finally visit the residential Districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, passing by the Huaca Pucllana, a Ceremonial and Administrative Centre of the Lima Culture built in the II Century A.C. that the Incas considered as "Ñaupallaqta" or Sacred Town. Also visit El Olivar Park with olive trees brought from Spain in the XVth Century, the Central Park of Miraflores and Larcomar, a symbol of modern Lima and a tourist and entertainment centre as well as a privileged site to enjoy an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean.

With Larco Museum

Later, you will be transferred to the Larco Museum, where you will have the chance to enjoy a tour of this old Hacienda House in the Pueblo Libre district. This imposing construction was built upon a pre-Incan sacred site (huaca) and houses the private collection of a great Peruvian scholar: Don Rafael Larco Hoyle. The museum chronologically exhibits hundreds of ceramic, textile, metal and precious stone pieces.

Inside, admire the vault which safeguards precious pieces of gold and silver. The Larco Museum is one of the few museums in the world that allows such intimate access to its deposits, in this case around 45,000 pieces. Another attraction of the museum and of great interest to visitors is the exhibition of erotic pre-Colombian art.

With Archaeological Museum

We will visit the Museum of Archeology, Anthropology and History located in the colorful and traditional district of Pueblo Libre. Here we will find one of the most complete and detailed collections in Peru, which chronologically exhibits the complete history of Peru, from the first inhabitants to the Republic. We will have access to unique pieces such as the Raimondi Stela and the Tello Obelisk.

With Gold Museum

The Museum of Peruvian Gold and Arms of the World contains one of the biggest private collections in the country. This museum belongs to the Mujica Gallo Foundation, and here we will find unique pieces of not only Peruvian heritage, but also those from different parts of the world. Here we will encounter a vast quantity of objects made from metal, mainly gold and silver, worked with exquisite delicacy. We will also discover ceramic and textile pieces, as well as a large display of arms from different periods and places.

Overnight in Lima

Day 2 – Lima / Cusco (B/-/-)

Arrival in Cusco – Half Day City Tour & Nearby Ruins (Shared)

Arrival in Cusco and Upon arrival to the capital of the Inca’s Empire transfer to your hotel. Morning at leisure to rest and get used to the altitude. In the afternoon during this half day tour we will be able to appreciate the mestizo characteristics of the city via visits to its most representative constructions: Koricancha, or Temple of the Sun; the Incan street Loreto, where the famous 12 sided stone is found; Ahuajpinta street, along which sit the remains of impressive Incan palaces and old colonial buildings such as the Cathedral; and the Museum of Colonial Art. Later we will continue on to the impressive fortress of Sacsayhuaman and the ruins of Qenqo, Tambomachay (also known as the Incan Baths) and the Tambo de Puca Pukara.

Overnight in Cusco

Day 3 – Machu Picchu (B/L/-)

Full day excursion to Machu Picchu via Vistadome train (Shared)

We will take an early train to the town of Aguas Calientes. Along the way we will enjoy the changing landscape as we travel from Andean highlands to the beginnings of the jungle (“eyebrow of the jungle”), before finally arriving at the town of Aguas Calientes. From here we will board the bus that will take us to the citadel of Machu Picchu, or Lost City of the Incas. This beautiful site sits upon the summit bearing the same name and is one of the most representative and recognized examples of Incan architecture. We will walk through the different areas of the city: the agriculture and urban zone, featuring temples and dwellings; and the Intihuatana, or sun dial, finely carved out of stone. When we finish exploring we will return to the town for lunch and then take the train back to the city of Cusco.

Day 4 – Sacred Valley (B/L/-)

Full day excursion to Pisac Market & Ollantaytambo Fortress (Shared)

We will visit the Sacred Valley and we will have a walk around the typical Indian market. There, every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, we can admire the customs of local people. We will have lunch in a local restaurant and then head to the Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo through Calca and Urubamba. Ollantaytambo was built to protect the entrance of this part of the Valley and prevent the possible invasions of tribes from the jungle. The Citadel consists of a series of superimposed terraces. We will have the opportunity to walk among the town´s little streets and get a clear idea of what this military, religious and cultural center was like during the Inca Empire.

Overnight in Cusco

Day 05– Cusco / Puno (B/L/-)

Bus Puno / Cusco including on route stops and lunch (shared)

Early departure by bus to the City of Cusco; travel along the High Plateau of the Collao, stopping at the Town of Ayaviri, an important livestock and textile centre, to visit the impressive Temple of Kalasasaya, remnants of the ancient Pucara Culture.

On the way, you stop in Raqchi, where you can see a spectacular Inca Sanctuary built by the Inca Pachacutec and dedicated to the great Inca God of Wiracocha; it has a great central wall with a stone base of fine Inca architecture, other walls made of giant adobe bricks and the structure also has two circular lateral columns; around the Temple are several buildings once used for housing and storage.

About 70 kms further on, you pass through the La Raya Ranch where you can see herds of vicuñas and llamas. During the trip, pass by the lovely Wacarpay Lake, offering spectacular views of the mountains reflected in its calm waters. Proceed to the beautiful Town of Andahuaylillas, and visit the Church of San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, better known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas, due to its decorated polychrome ceiling. Buffet lunch in a quiet countryside restaurant, where you will enjoy the delightful culinary art of the region. Arrive in Cusco and transfer to your hotel. New Year’s Eve dinner included at the hotel.

Overnight in Puno

Day 06– Puno (B/L/-)

Full day Uros & Taquile Islands including lunch (shared)

Early in the morning, you will have an unforgettable motorboat excursion on the waters of Lake Titicaca to the unique "Floating Islands" of the Uros. These ancient inhabitants of the Lake, known as the Water Tribe, have built their own "Islands" by periodically adding new layers of a type of reed unique to the area called "Totora" (Scirpus totora), vegetable fiber of the Papyrus family. You continue the trip to Taquile Island, inhabited by Quechua-speaking natives who have developed efficient and unique social systems, as well as fine hand weaving techniques, passed down through the generations. Upon arrival at the Town of Taquile we will have lunch. Then walk through the various hills and archaeological sites of this 6 km long Island.

Overnight in Puno

Day 07 – Puno /Arequipa (B/-/-)

At proper time, transfer to Juliaca Airport visiting Sillustani on route

En route to the airport we will stop briefly to visit one of the most important archeological sites in Puno: the Sillustani chullpas, about 34 km from the city. These pre-Incan and Incan stone tombs reach up to 12 meters in height, and were constructed by the kollas, or religious leaders, almost 2,500 years ago in order to bury the region’s most important leaders. The Umayo Lake that lies below the chullpas adds solemn beauty to the altiplano atmosphere.

Arrival in Arequipa, meet & transfer to your hotel

Day 08 – Arequipa /Lima (B/-/-)

PM: City tour Arequipa plus Santa Catalina Convent

In the morning, a city tour of Arequipa including the Main Square, one of the most beautiful squares in Peru and the Cathedral, a prime example of XIXth Century Peruvian architecture housing beautiful treasures in gold and silver. We also visit the La Compañia Church, an ancient Jesuit temple, maybe the most important one in Arequipa due to its history and tradition. Then, we will visit the Santa Catalina Convent a "Small Town" built in the XVIIth Century and opened to the public in 1970, after 400 years as a cloister.

Perfectly preserved for four centuries, you go back in time as you enter the cloister and see the numerous, spacious patios and gardens, the kitchen and slave quarters and stone washtubs. About 20 nuns, of what were once 500, still live in a section of this Convent. Return to you hotel.

At the time schedule, transfer to Arequipa Airport to board your flight to Lima.

Arrival in Lima and transfer to your hotel

Overnight in Lima

Day 9 – Lima/- (B/-/-)

At proper time transfer to the airport


 

INCLUDES: DOES NOT INCLUDE: YOU SHOULD BRING:
  • breakfasts at hotels 
  • lunches as indicated
  • Transfers 
  • Entrances to archaeological sites 
  • Bilingual Guide 
  • Local or International airfares
  • Additional tours 
  • Tips, laundry, etc. 

 

  • Camera
  • Film
  • Water bottle
  • Day Pack

 

Reservations

Gate of the Sun © Inti Travel and Tours, Box 1586, Banff, Alberta, Canada, T1L 1B5
Phone 1-403-760-3565 / Fax 1-403-760-3566