A vast, intricate plateau of giant birds, animals, plants and weird geometric patterns. Discover the enigma that is the Nazca Lines…

INTRODUCTION

Scholars, mathematicians, archaeologists and scientists have long deliberated over the origins of the Nazca Lines, but their true purpose and meaning lies lost in the midst of time. As your light aircraft soars high above the lines, the immensity of the Nazca lines becomes apparent. You’ll find it hard to believe that you are looking at desert geoglyphs created by an ancient civilization some 2,000 years ago. Monkeys, spiders, humming birds and fish are the most famous of the lines, but flowers, trees, human heads and even a spaceman feature in the ancient geoglyphs. Discover Peru’s Inca and pre-Inca cultures with this fantastic luxury Peru Vacation.

QUICK OVERVIEW BY DAY:

  • Day 1 – International Arrival, Overnight in Lima
  • Day 2 – Relaxing Morning, Travel to Paracas (4 hours)
  • Day 3 – Overflight of Nazca Lines
  • Day 4 – Morning Tour of Ballestas Islands, Travel to Lima
  • Day 5 – Morning Flight to Cusco, Transfer to the Sacred Valley with Tour of Pisac
  • Day 6 – Full Day Tour of the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo, Moray & Salt Pans)
  • Day 7 – Train to Machu Picchu and Guided Tour, Overnight near Machu Picchu
  • Day 8 – Re-visit Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Hike, Afternoon Train to Cusco
  • Day 9 – Free Morning, Afternoon Guided Tour of Cusco & Surrounding Areas
  • Day 10 – Free Morning in Cusco, Afternoon Flight to Lima, International Flight Departure
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Day 1 - International Arrival, Overnight in Lima

Upon arrival in Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport, you will be collected by our English-speaking ground staff and transferred to the district of Miraflores. This up-market district of Lima is home to some of the best hotels in the city and is also known for its abundance of world-class restaurants.
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Day 2 - Relaxing Morning, Travel to Paracas (4 hours)

Today you will take the luxury Cruz del Sur bus service from Lima to Paracas. The three and a half hour journey follows Peru’s arid dessert coastline south to the region of Ica, where you will transfer to your hotel on the Paracas peninsula. Over the past 10 years Paracas has been at the heart of growth of tourism in the area, with the construction of no more than 9 new hotel complexes of which 3 are considered to be in the luxury category. The afternoon is free for you to relax and enjoy the hotel facilities (pool included).
NOTE: Private transfer from Lima to Paracas is also available.
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Day 3 - Overflight of Nazca Lines

From Paracas, you will be driven the short distance to the nearby Pisco Airport, where you will board a light aircraft for your overflight of the Nazca Lines. You will fly aboard a modern 12-seater Cessna Grand Caravan light aircraft, full equipped with air-conditioning and the latest radar and navigational instrumentation. You will fly south following the coast for around 30 minutes, before turning east and heading to the Nazca Pampas. Your skilled pilots will descend to and altitude of around 200 meters (675 feet) and navigate over approximately 15 of the classic Nazca geoglyphs, including the monkey, the compass, the dog, the hummingbird, the Condor and the astronaut.
The Nazca Lines are thought to have originated around the time of the Nazca Culture (150 BC – 600 AD), but nobody really knows for sure the true origins. The lines are located on a high arid desert plateau between the towns of Nazca and Palpa and cover an area of around 400 square miles. In total scientists have logged around three-hundred or so distinct geoglyphs, though in recent years even more have been identified. Although similar lines can be found in other continents, the lines at Nazca are so varied and large, that they are considered to be the most impressive and enigmatic collection anywhere in the world.

NOTE: Actual time over the lines approximately 15-20 minutes.

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Day 4 - Morning Tour of Ballestas Islands, Travel to Lima

After an early breakfast you will take a boat ride out to the Ballestas Islands. After boarding a speed boat in Paracas, you will navigate 30-minutes to the protected area of the Ballestas Islands. En-route you will pass-by the Candelabra, a giant 150 meter (500 feet) tall geoglyph in the form of a candle stick. The Ballestas islands are a small group of rugged islands recognized by their yellow and deep red colored rocks and large arches. The islands are famous for their active bird life and are home to pelican, boobies, Inca tern and the endangered Humboldt penguin. Sea lions are also common around the islands, and on a good day you might also have the delight of seeing dolphins too. In the early afternoon you will take the VIP Cruz del Sur Bus service back to Lima.
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Day 5 - Morning Flight to Cusco, Transfer to the Sacred Valley with Tour of Pisac

This morning you will fly 1-hour to the Andean City of Cusco. From Cusco you will proceed directly to the Sacred Valley which is approximately 460 meters (1,500 feet) lower in altitude. On the way to your hotel, we will include a visit to Awanakancha (an alpaca farm) and a visit to Pisac. This carefully planned day will allow you to acclimatize better to the altitude of the region setting you off on the right foot. On arrival in Pisac you will have time to lunch (included) before taking a short-guided tour of Pisac Ruins. Pisac is a vast settlement made up of agricultural areas, a temple complex and residential settlements. After, you will descend by vehicle down to the valley floor, where you will have time to visit the famous artisanal market of Pisac.
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Day 6 - Full Day Tour of the Sacred Valley (Ollantaytambo, Moray & Salt Pans)

The rural area of the Sacred Valley is home to some of Peru’s finest Inca archaeological ruins as well as a handful of lesser known off-the-beaten-path attractions. Today we will take you to one of the Sacred Valley’s most famous Inca Sites – Ollantaytambo, plus the lesser-known ruins of Moray and the pre-Inca Salt Flats of Maras.
Ollantaytambo was famous for a great battle between Inca Manco Yupanqui and the Spanish conquistadores. Although originally built as a spiritual complex, Ollantaytambo’s large mountainside terraces and towering walls served well to defend the onslaught of the Spanish. The temple sector at the top of the complex includes many finely crafted stone pieces such as the Enclosure of the Ten Niches and the Wall of the Six Monoliths.

After lunch (included) you will drive out of the Sacred Valley and onto the hidden ruins of Moray. Carved deep into the natural curvature of the mountain terrain, Moray is a series of concentric agricultural terraces, similar in resemblance to that of a Roman amphitheater. Historians believe that Moray was used as proving or testing ground for the Incas, who used the site to develop different crops found in the area, like quinoa, corn and tubers. After, you’ll travel the short distance to the pre-Inca Salt Pans of Maras. Fed by an underwater crevice from the Pacific Ocean, the Salt Pans are a fully functioning production facility and an important source of income for local residents. Take a step back in time and observe local campesinos working the salt pans as they have done for hundreds of years.

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Day 7 - Train to Machu Picchu and Guided Tour, Overnight near Machu Picchu

Today you will catch the train from the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes. Following the Urubamba River you’ll slowly descend from the fertile farming chacras of Ollantaytambo to the sub-tropical zone of Machu Picchu. For many visitors, this 90-minute rail journey through some of the most imposing and magnificent scenery in the Andes is a highlight of the trip in its own right. On arrival our local expert guide will take you for a private tour of the citadel. Starting at the Guard House (a vantage point overlooking the citadel), the tour takes in all the important attractions including Intihuatana, the Royal Tomb, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Temple of the Sun. Overnight in Aguas Calientes.
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Day 8 - Re-visit Machu Picchu + Huayna Picchu Hike, Afternoon Train to Cusco

To full appreciate Machu Picchu we include a free morning for you to visit Machu Picchu before travelling onto Cusco in the afternoon. If you are active and up for a challenge, then this is the perfect opportunity to hike the trail to the view point of Huayna Picchu Mountain. Only when looking down on Machu Picchu from high, can you full appreciate the location and complexity of this impressive Inca citadel. In the afternoon, you will take the train to Ollantaytambo and travel into Cusco.
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Day 9 - Free Morning, Afternoon Guided Tour of Cusco & Surrounding Areas

The Inca’s called their empire Tahuantinsuyo, and at the heart of the empire was Cusco (called Q’osko during Inca times). It was the governing and financial capital of the empire and was the most important place in the continent. According to ancient Spanish chronicles Cusco was also a place of vast wealth, with streets adorned with temples and incredible shrines. Although nowadays many of the city’s Inca structures have colonial Spanish buildings superimposed on top of them, Cusco’s epic past is still very much evident. After a free morning to relax, we will collect you for a half day tour of Cusco and surrounding attractions. The tour includes a visit to Cusco Cathedral, the Inca Temple of the Sun, Sacsayhuaman and Q’enko.

In the evening we recommend taking advantage of the burgeoning culinary scene in Cusco and enjoying one of its many excellent restaurants. Ask one of our luxury Peru vacations advisers for an insider’s tip on the best places to eat.

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Day 10 - Free Morning in Cusco, Afternoon Flight to Lima, International Flight Departure

We leave this morning as free time so that you can enjoy Cusco a little more. For an insight into local life, why not take a walk to the San Pedro Market and see how local Cusqueñans go about their daily lives. Delights at the market include unknown fruits from the tropics of the Amazon, through to cooked foods from the Andean Region like Cuy Chactado (fried guinea-pig) or perhaps Caldo de Cabeza (cows head soup). If you just want to take it easy, then head to one of the many second floor coffee shops overlooking Cusco’s main square Plaza de Armas and watch Andean life unfold. Enjoy these final moments to soak up the atmosphere of this historic Andean city. Afternoon flight to Lima and international flight departure.

If you want to take some time to explore Lima, then why not add on an extra day to the trip? Contact our luxury Peru travel.

TOUR INFORMATION

Our trips are tailor-made to suit your requirements. Contact a luxury Argentina Vacation expert for a comprehensive itinerary and pricing:

  • US$ 350+ per person per day (based on 5-star hotels)**
  • US$ 275 – 350 per person per day (based on 4-star hotels)**
  • US$ 250 – 275 per person per day (based on 3-star hotels)**

Included in the Price:

  • Guided excursions as described in itinerary.
  • Hotel nights + breakfasts.
  • Airport collections and drop-offs with check-in and baggage assistance.
  • 24 Hour emergency contact number and assistance (in-country).

Not Included in the Price:

  • International flights.
  • Domestic flight package. Flights required: Lima – Cusco – Lima. Approximate cost US$ 300 – 380 per person. We can purchase these flights on your behalf.
  • Tips or gratuities.
  • Other meals not stated in the itinerary.
  • Travel insurance.

In the highlands of Peru there are two seasons, the wet season (November – April) and the dry season (May – October). High-season is from April – November and also Christmas and New Year. February and March are the quietest months and have the heaviest rainfall. The Inca Trail (if included) is closed for the month of February. The coast of Peru (including Paracas / Nazca) is dry and warm all year around. The months of December through until March see increased temperatures. This is a popular time to travel with tourists and locals alike, so booking early to ensure the best hotels is advised.

Departure Dates:
Dates are flexible and customized to meet your needs. Let us know which dates work best for you and we will tailor the itinerary accordingly.

Suitability:
This luxury Peru vacation package is suitable for all ages and families.

Difficulty:
Easy: This trip is considered easy. Note that the Incas never built anything on flat ground, and navigating Inca ruins (especially Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu) require a certain amount of basic fitness and mobility.

Destinations Visited:

  • Lima
  • Paracas
  • Nazca
  • Ballestas Islands
  • The Sacred Valley
  • Machu Picchu
  • Cusco

Vacation Package Type:

  • Culture
  • Sightseeing
  • Architecture
  • History
  • Light-Adventure
  • World Wonder

WE'D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU

Tell us about your travel plans, and let us hand-craft the perfect trip for you

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