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Andean Discovery (Southbound)
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This trip has alternate itineraries available.
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Inca Trail Until Dec 17 Lares Trek Until Dec 17 Cusco Stay Until Dec 17 Inca Trail From Jan 18 Lares Trek From Jan 18 Cusco Stay From Jan 18

Take the party to new heights in the rarefied air of the Andes. With other young travellers not afraid to try new things, you'll journey from the enigmatic Nazca Lines to the lost city of Machu Picchu and onward to incredible La Paz. You'll commune with the condors in Colca Canyon and feel like a local while crashing at a small village homestay at Lake Titicaca. Think of this as three weeks of climbing higher, going further, and pushing boundaries on the roof of South America.

Latin America
  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Hiking, Local Culture & Cuisine, Sightseeing, Walking Tour
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: JML.D/201670
  • Starts: Lima, Peru
  • Finishes: La Paz, Bolivia
You will Visit
  • Lima
  • Paracas
  • Nazca
  • Arequipa
  • Chivay
  • Cusco
  • Ollantaytambo
  • Wayllabamba Camp
  • Paqaymayo Camp
  • Wiñaywayna
  • Puno
  • Lago Titicaca
  • La Paz

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Lima

Arrive at any time.
Arrive at any time. There are no planned activities, so check into the hotel and enjoy the city.

02

Day 2: Lima/Paracas

Free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas.
Savour a pisco sour while staying in Pisco's neighbouring town of Paracas.

03

Day 3: Paracas/Nazca

Optional visit to Ballestas Islands before travelling to Nazca. En route, stop at a winery and at the oasis of Huacachina.
There is time in the morning for an optional excursion to the popular Ballestas Islands, which provide an excellent chance to view a lively sea lion colony, pelicans, penguins, and other varieties of birdlife.

Back on land, catch a bus south to Nazca. On the way, pass by the pleasant colonial town of Ica.

Ica enjoys a dry, sunny climate year-round and is known for its huge sand dunes. Located around the nearby oasis of Huacachina, the dunes are perfect as subjects for photographs and for a favourite local past time: sandboarding. Apart from the dunes, Ica is famous for its wines and there are several wineries and distilleries in the area.

04

Day 4: Nazca/Arequipa

Opt for a flight over the Nazca Lines. Overnight bus to Arequipa.

05

Day 5: Arequipa

Opt to visit the Santa Catalina Convent or a local hot spring.
Those with an interest in history and architecture may opt to visit the Convent of Santa Catalina, which offers a brief respite from the outside world and a unique view into a bygone way of life. Other optional excursions include rafting and mountaineering.

For spicy food lovers, checking out one of the “Picanterías” is a must. Arequipa has a variety of regional food: alpaca, shrimp, pork, lots of soups, and spicy sauces.

06

Day 6: Arequipa/Colca Canyon

Take a full-day tour of the spectacular Colca Valley, and opt for a soak in hot springs.
Enjoy an overnight excursion to the impressive Colca Canyon - one of the deepest canyons in the world. Stop in fascinating villages and at “miradors” (scenic lookouts), where, with a little luck, visitors can see Andean condors soaring over the majestic Andes. Other unusual animals that can be spotted in the Andean landscape include three different species of camelids: alpaca, llama and vicuña.

07

Day 7: Chivay/Arequipa

Set out looking for the majestic soaring condors over Colca Canyon. Head back to Arequipa to enjoy the city in the evening.
Get an early start to go on the lookout for flying condors. Travel from Chivay town to a condor viewpoint to admire these magnificent birds in the air. On the way back, stop by some local villages and viewpoints to see old terraces and sections of Colca Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world.

08

Day 8: Arequipa/Cusco

Explore Arequipa and opt to take a city tour. Take an overnight bus to Cusco.

09

Day 9: Cusco

Free time to explore Cusco. Opt for a city tour or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking.

10

Day 10: Cusco

Enjoy another free day in Cusco.

11

Day 11: Cusco/Ollantaytambo

Learn about the Sacred Valley en route to Ollantaytambo. Opt to take a Sacred Valley tour with a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.
Ollantaytambo is a major Inca ruin site and a first taste of what lies ahead. For those craving more before they head out on the Trail, opt to take a Sacred Valley tour which includes not only Ollantaytambo and the ruin site of Pisac, but also a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.

12

Day 12: Inca Trail

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the hike begins.
Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.

13

Day 13: Inca Trail

Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman's Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.

14

Day 14: Inca Trail

Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.

At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).

15

Day 15: Machu Picchu/Cusco

The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Wake up around 03:30 and walk to the checkpoint. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.

Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.

16

Day 16: Cusco

Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.

17

Day 17: Cusco/Puno

Travel through the high Altiplano region to travel to Puno on Lake Titicaca.

18

Day 18: Puno/Lago Titicaca

Guided tour of Lake Titicaca with a homestay in a local village.
Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on Taquile Island and enjoy a local lunch with spectacular views.

After, cruise to another village for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake (the homestay location can vary based on community availability). This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, learn some Quecha and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.

19

Day 19: Lago Titicaca/Puno

Visit the floating islands of Uros. Optional visit to the Sillustani burial site.
Leave the homestay families late morning, and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away.

20

Day 20: Puno/La Paz

Cross over into Bolivia for a night out in the highest city of the trip. Oxygen bar anyone?
Enjoy a full-day drive around the lake and through the Altiplano to La Paz. Bolivia is filled with spectacular views of the countryside. La Paz sits nearly 4,000m (13,120 ft) above sea level, so be prepared for cool evenings and mornings.

21

Day 21: La Paz

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Hands-On: Huacachina Winery Visit, Huacachina Big Night Out: Cusco Local Living: Lake Titicaca Homestay, Lago Titicaca
    • Guided tour of Machu Picchu
    • Inca Trail hike with a local guide, cook, and porters (4 days)
    • Colca Canyon excursion
    • Guided Lake Titicaca excursion
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Simple hotels (14 nts, some multi-share), overnight buses (2 nts), camping (3 nts), homestay (1 nt)
    • 15 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
    Transport
    • Local bus, train, hiking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, specialist Inca Trail CEO on hike, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Conquer the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
  • Spot condors at Colca Canyon
  • Meet the locals at a Lake Titicaca homestay
  • Sample the delicious Peruvian cuisine.