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Peru Photography Tour

Peru Photography Tour
  • Trip Code: FOT14D
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Country: Peru
An all private, all encompassing Photo Tour of Peru in 3 different trip styles. With standard, comfort and luxury accommodations to choose from, visit the highlights of Peru in this unique Photography journey utilizing private vehicles and a pace which allows you to practice your photographic skills.

Day 1. LIMA
Arrival in Lima, reception at the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2. LIMA (B)
After breakfast, a private guided visit of colonial Lima, including the cathedral, dating from 1654, the main square, which still houses the original bronze fountain built in 1650, and the San Francisco Convent and its catacombs. Known as the city of the kings, Lima was founded in 1535 by Pizarro and rebuilt in 1991, the same year that UNESCO declared it a world heritage site. One of the very few South American cities that preserve the colonial past, Lima was home to the Spanish viceroy during the time of the Spanish colonialists. After lunch (not included), a visit to Pachacamac, the oldest pilgrimage site in the Americas. This pre-Inca complex is widely considered to be an oracle in addition to being an ancient royal dwelling. The site is clearly divided into three parts; the first and oldest temple is of rustic design, the second, known as the temple of the sun, and the third or temple of the moon, known as Aclla Wasi, which is clearly of Inca design. Return to your hotel.

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Arequipa and transfer to your hotel. Arequipa is the most beautiful city in Peru; also called the ´white city´, because many of the buildings are made of volcanic sillar, has a stunning backdrop of Volcano Misti standing as a sentinel over the city. There are marvellous views from the city as well as within thanks to its fabulous colonial architecture.

After breakfast, early departure in private transportation passing the thermal baths of Yura and climbing up towards the National Reserve of Pampa de Cañahuas at 3800m. Here groups of alpacas, vicuñas and sometimes-even guanacos can be seen. After driving several hours more, the descent to the Colca Valley begins. On the way, if time permits, you can visit caves to observe prehistoric drawings before arriving at Callalli, where huge rock formations resembling medieval castles are found. Continue onward to Sibayo, a small village with a primitive church, and lying on the Colca River. The trip continues down the valley, passing several villages until arriving at Chivay, the most important town of the valley. Lunch (not included) before arriving to your hotel.

After breakfast an early departure to visit the pre-Inca Collagua and Cabana group terracing on the hillsides. It is a testament to their skill and ingenuity that, 1400 years later, farmers are still using and maintaining these original terraces to produce the staple crops of the region. The Collagua and Cabana were eventually either conquered by the Incas or scattered into the far reaches of the Canyon. The trip also includes a visit to the small towns of Coporaque, home to a beautiful colonial church and the ruins of Uyo Uyo, belonging to the Collagua people. A visit to Lari and site of the largest church in the Colca Canyon. You will then start the ascent up to the Cruz Del Condor, a few kilometres before Cabanaconde. Here one can appreciate a fine view of the flight of the condors as well as of the depth of the canyon. A stop for lunch (not included) before returning to your hotel in Arequipa.

After breakfast, an early private road transfer to Puno, to take advantage of the light conditions over the marvelous Altiplano. Before arriving to Puno, we visit the pre-Inca Sillustani funeral towers, close to the Umayo Lake, which forms part of one of the largest and most important necropolis in the world. Used by both the Altiplano civilisation and the Incas and their wives "Collas" to honour their dead and in preparation for the after-life. They were abandoned when the first Spanish arrived. With over ninety chulpas (tombs), all built from volcanic rock, those for the Incas can be easily recognised by their finer detail. Arrival and transfer to your hotel on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Early transfer to the port for the boat journey on Lake Titicaca to the floating islands of Uros. Made entirely of reeds and inhabited by the Aymara Uros people, the inhabitants live in huts built on platforms of reeds, not more than 30-40 cms/1feet thick. Short hike on the islands, before the boat trip continues as far as the island of Taquile. Members of this self supporting Aymara community receive visitors in their colourful national costume and show them around the island. Taquile is also renowned for its fine, decorative weavings. A boxed lunch is included. Return to Puno in the early afternoon. Accommodation at your hotel.

Day 8. PUNO - CUZCO (B & L)
After breakfast, private transfer to Cuzco. This long day allows us to visit Puca Pukara, site of the oldest archaeological site on the Altiplano. The trip willalso afford magnificent Altiplano scenery. A visit to Raqchi, an ancient site clearly showing evidence of a complex town that housed several constructions, including terraces, qolqas (storage units), and ceremonial fountains. The Wiracocha temple in Raqchi is the most important building inside the complex and is believed to have been built by the Inca Wiracocha in honour to the Superior God "Apu Kon Titi Wiracocha". The temple of Wiracocha is a great construction and is the tallest Inca building in South America. It is 92 metres long (302 feet) and 25.25 metres wide (83 feet) and was completely covered with straw. Its central wall was built with refined stone carvings with its base of about 3 metres of adobe brick. The last visit shall be to Andahuaylillas, a town located some 45 km southeast of Cusco, and home to the Church of San Pedro that houses one of the most valuable jewels in the whole of colonial Peru, the Capilla Sixtina of Peru. The interior of the Church is an explosion of Baroque art with a great quantity of decorative features. It was built in 1631, and according to the Spanish tradition, on the foundations of an Inca temple. It has numerous and very beautiful paintings of the Escuela Cusqueña with altars and wood carvings in gold leaf. Arrival to Cuzco and transfer to your hotel.

Day 9. CUZCO (B)
An early private, guided visit of the four ruins nearby; the Sacsayhuaman Fortress overlooking the of Cuzco, a pre Inca architectural masterpiece; Kenko, a rock sanctuary whose main attraction is the monolithic altar representing a puma, the red Fortress of Puca-Pucara and Tambomachay, a beautiful fountain fed by a spring forming a series of basins continue to the city of Cuzco Late afternoon tour of the Main Square, the Cathedral and the Koricancha or Temple of the Sun. Return to your hotel.

Full-day excursion to the beautiful Urubamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, situated between Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Visiting en-route the wonderful town of Chinchero, anancient town of Hispanic architecture but built on old Inca construction. Its people are the most conservative of the Inca traditions, wearing traditional clothing who are also famous for carrying out the "catu", or exchange fair of agricultural products, in which the use of the currency is discarded and everything is made in exchange. Also outstanding are their textile crafts. The town also has a beautiful colonial church with famous paintings of the Escuela Cusqueña (Cuzco school) depicting beautiful Andean landscapes that surround the town, along with the snowy mountains of Chicon and Veronica in the Urubamba mountain range. A visit to the fabulous agricultural terraces of Moray and the salt pans of Maras. Arrival to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.

The Urubamba is an exceptionally fertile valley that was and remains the larder of Cuzco. Visit the village of Pisac, founded during colonial times, and set at the foot of a hill crowned by the remains of an ancient Inca city. On Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Indians barter their products in the main square and artisans from around the area sell their woven alpaca wool blankets and ponchos, engraved gourds, antique reproductions, jewellery, etc. On Sundays, it is also the meeting place for Mayors from all the villages in the region, dressed in their traditional costumes to attend morning mass. After lunch, a visit to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town that was not defeated by the Spanish with an opportunity to explore the ruins which tower above. Return to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.

Transfer to the station for the train to Aguas Calientes. Full day´s private guided tour of Machu Picchu, the most spectacular ancient city in the world. Built by the Inca Pachacutec, and comprising stone blocks fitted with masterful precision, Machu Picchu harmoniously blends into the mountain landscape. There are many theories as to the origins behind Machu Picchu but three of the most popular ideas include a temple to the sun, a fortress against the jungle inhabitants or a sanctuary for the Incas. This fabulous city has houses, temples, warehouses, a large central square, all connected by narrow roads and steps, and is surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side which were used for agriculture. After the tour, free time to enjoy this magical and spiritual wonder. Opportunity for a trek (approx 1 hour) up to the sungate (Intipunku), which is a part of the Inca Trail, for a magical view of the sanctuary. Lunch at Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, at the very entrance to Machu Picchu. Accommodation at Machu Picchu or in Aguas Calientes.

Opportunity to enjoy a wonderful sunrise over Machu Picchu and some personal time for private reflection. Lunch at the Pueblo Hotel in Aguas Calientes and site of the world´s largest natural collection of orchids growing in their natural habitat. Return to Cuzco in the evening afternoon. Reception and transfer to your hotel. Final farewell dinner at the Monasterio Hotel.

Day 14. CUZCO - LIMA (B)
Transfer to the airport for the flight back to Lima and your connecting return flight home.