Peru Southern Highlands

Nestled in the barren volcanic mountains and spectacular valley floors of Peru’s South are astounding canyons, the shining white city of Arequipa and Lake Titicaca, the legendary birthplace of the Inca Empire. This program is perfect as an extension to IE’s Amazon Voyage or Machu Picchu tour, or can be taken as an in-depth exploration of this rich country.

What is Custom Travel? The itinerary below is only a small sample of options in Peru. Every traveler can envision their ideal way to see the world. International Expeditions’ experienced Custom Travel Planners create individually tailored tours that match your style of travel, budget and timeline. Tell us the dates you wish to travel, and we’ll take care of the details.

Day 1

U.S. / Lima

Fly to Lima, Peru, the nation’s capital and largest city, and transfer to the Ramada Costa del Sol for the night.

Day 2

Lima / Juliaca / Puno

Transfer to the Lima airport this morning for the flight to Juliaca. This afternoon, enjoy a city tour beginning at the Plaza de Armas, Puno’s market and Sillustani, with its circular burial towers or chullpas overlooking the Lago Umayo. The age of the funeral towers, which are up to 40 feet high, remains a puzzle. Spend two nights at the Casa Andina Private Collection. (B,L,D)

Day 3

Puno / Lake Titicaca (Uros & Taquile Islands) / Puno

Enjoy the day touring Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Depart early in the morning via speedboat for the floating islands of Uros, where the inhabitants still live as they did centuries ago, on floating islands they make with the totora reeds that grow on the lake. Continue towards Taquile Island for a 30 minute, hike towards its small town inhabited by Quechua speaking natives who have, over the generations, developed both an efficient and original social system as well as a refined hand-weaving technique. Lunch will be served in a local home that also serves as a restaurant. After lunch continue to explore the island taking in the magnificent views of Lake Titicaca. (B,L,D)

Day 4

Puno / Colca Valley

Following breakfast depart for the overland journey to the incredible Colca Valley. Drive across Pampa Cañahuas within the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, the habitat of vicuñas. En route, admire beautiful pre-Columbian terraces still being cultivated by native Collaguas. Arrive at Colca Lodge with the remainder of the afternoon free. Spend two nights at Colca Lodge. (B,BOX L,D)

Day 5

Colca Canyon: Condor's Cross & Chivay Village

This morning you visit the towns of Yanque, Maca, Achoma and Pinchollo. Proceed to the "Condors' Cross" observation point from where you can view these great Andean birds. Impressive panorama of the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest in the world (3,000 mt/9,800 ft). Following lunch at El Balcon de Zacarias restaurant, the afternoon is free to choose from a variety of activities offered by the lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 6

Colca Canyon / Arequipa

Spend the morning in the Colca Valley before continuing overland to Arequipa, known as the “White City.” Arequipa is surrounded by the towering peaks of El Misti, Chachani and Picchu Picchu. The balance of the day is free to explore the colonial streets and colorful courtyard markets. Spend two nights at Arequipa’s Casa Andina Private Collection. (B,L)

Day 7

Arequipa

Enjoy a full day Arequipa tour including the Plaza de Armas, one of the most beautiful in all Peru. You have ample time to visit Arequipa Cathedral, La

Compania, San Francisco churches. This afternoon, explore Monasterio de Santa Catalina, the most astonishing site in Arequipa, which was opened to the public in 1970 after almost 400 years as a cloister. This magnificent convent has been the scene of many historic and religious events and adventures. Its medieval streets, named for ancient Spanish cities, branch out into hidden lanes and cells of varying types and sizes. For centuries nuns lived their whole lives here, isolated from the rest of the world. (B,L)

Day 8

Arequipa / Lima / En-Route

After a morning at leisure in Arequipa, transfer to the airport for the flight to Lima. Upon arrival, our representative will assist you with international flight check in. (B)

Day 9

Lima / U.S.

Arrive in the U.S.