NAZCA LINES: The Nazca Lines are a collection of giant geoglyphs—designs or motifs etched into the ground—located in the Peruvian coastal plain. Created by the ancient Nazca culture in South America, and depicting various plants, animals, and shapes, the 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines can only be fully appreciated when viewed from the air given their massive size. Despite being studied for over 80 years, the geoglyphs—which were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994—are still a mystery to researchers.
ISLAS BALESTAS: The Islas Ballestas, or the Ballestas Islands, are often called the Poor Man’s Galápagos, where you can see many of the creatures that inspired Darwin for far less than you can in Ecuador. Composed largely of rock formations and covering an estimated area of 0.12 km, these islands are an important sanctuary for marine fauna like the guanay guano bird, the blue-footed booby and the tendril. Other notable species include Humboldt penguins and two varieties of seals (fur seals and sea lions), amongst other mammals.
On the outward boat journey, which takes about 30 minutes, you will stop just offshore to admire the famous Candelabra Geoglyph, a giant three-pronged figure etched into the sandy hills, which is more than 150m high and 50m wide. A further hour is spent cruising around the islands’ arches and caves and watching large herds of noisy sea lions sprawl on the rocks. The most common guano-producing birds in this area are the guanay cormorant, the Peruvian booby and the Peruvian pelican, seen in colonies several thousand strong. You’ll also see cormorants, Humboldt penguins and, if you’re lucky, dolphins.
AREQUIPA: is a city in the Southern Coastal region of Peru just below the edge of the Altiplano, at 2,380 m (7,810 ft) above sea level and surrounded by three impressive volcanoes. It’s Peru’s second most important city (after Lima), and the second most popular among tourists (after Cusco).The historic centre of Arequipa, built in volcanic sillar rock, represents an integration of European and native building techniques and characteristics, expressed in the admirable work of colonial masters and Criollo and Indian masons. This combination of influences is illustrated by the city’s robust walls, archways and vaults, courtyards and open spaces, and the intricate Baroque decoration of its facades.
COLCA: Typical Andean vegetation surrounds one of the world’s deepest canyons: Colca Canyon, the perfect setting for extreme sports and for peaceful relaxation, all under the watchful gaze of the monarch of these skies, the Andean condor. Slicing through the High Andes like a giant fissure for more than 100km, Colca is the world’s second deepest canyon, approximately 3,400m at its deepest point — a shade shallower that the nearby Cotahuasi Canyon and nearly twice as deep as the US’ Grand Canyon. Here you will get your first glimpse of Colca’s man made terraced fields stacked up like gigantic staircases on the steep canyon slopes. Many of the terraces date back to Inca times and most are still tended to by local farmers who grow crops such as potatoes, barley, beans and quinoa. Few places on Earth have the good fortune to be blessed with such beautiful natural surroundings and hot springs of such special quality as you will find at Colca Lodge, your home for two nights to enjoy the natural hot springs.
PUNO & LAKE TITICACA: The city of Puno is forever marked by the presence of Lake Titicaca, its defining emblem in the minds of many. Lake Titicaca was considered by the Incas to be a sacred site, with its beautiful natural and man-made islands.
SACRED VALLEY: Tucked under the tawny skirts of formidable foothills, the beautiful Río Urubamba Valley, is known as El Valle Sagrado (the Sacred Valley). It’s worth exploring this peaceful, fetching corner of the Andes with attractive colonial towns and isolated weaving villages. Star attractions are the markets and the lofty Inca citadels of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, but it’s also packed with other Inca sites. Sacred Valley of the Incas, is regularly hailed as one of the most important historical places of South America. The valley wasn’t built just for its agricultural value, but also in the representation of the constellations. This highlights how important the sky was to the Inca’s, and the religious significance of the cosmology. You will find ceremonial temples, palaces and a fortress in this valley in this little nook hidden deep in the beautiful landscapes. Tradition and culture remain important for those living here so you won’t find it difficult to immerse yourself in the history and the beautiful landscapes of this area.
MACHU PICCHU: Nestled high in the slopes of the Andes, the ruins of Machu Picchu continue to reveal the mysteries of the Inca Empire. While the archaeological site draws scores of visitors to Peru annually, here are 10 lesser known secrets hidden beneath its layers of history. Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. Approximately 200 structures making up this outstanding religious, ceremonial, astronomical and agricultural centre are set on a steep ridge, crisscrossed by stone terraces. Following a rigorous plan the city is divided into a lower and upper part, separating the farming from residential areas, with a large square between the two. To this day, many of Machu Picchu’s mysteries remain unresolved, including the exact role it may have played in the Incas’ sophisticated understanding of astronomy and domestication of wild plant species.
CUSCO: was once capital of the Inca Empire, and is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. Plaza de Armas is the central square in the old city, with arcades, carved wooden balconies and Incan wall ruins. The baroque Santo Domingo Convent was built on top of the Incan Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha), and has archaeological remains of Inca stonework. Imagine walking through streets with names like “Coffin”, Siete Culebras [Seven Serpents] and “Harpías” [Harpies]. In these streets time seems to have stopped, every corner offers a piece of history, and the stones remain alive because they have survived intact.
Cusco witnessed the arrival of the Spanish, and yet to this day it conserves an ancestral magic which captivates the thousands of visitors who each year form part of its living history.
LAND TOUR PRICE – $5.095.00 per person sharing
SINGLE ROOM- $6,135.00
** Not combinable with other discounts & promotions.