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Andean Discovery (Southbound)

Peru

Andean Discovery (Southbound)

Hiking·
Biking
·
Start: Lima
·
End: La Paz

Three weeks of climbing higher, going further, and pushing boundaries on the roof of South America.

Activity
LocationPeru
Duration21 days
Start / EndLima / La Paz
Tour operatorG Adventures

Peru

Andean Discovery (Southbound)

Hiking·
Biking·
21 days·G Adventures
Start: Lima
·
End: La Paz

Description

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 ...

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Itinerary

Day 1Lima

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

Day 2Lima/Paracas

Free morning in Lima before travelling by bus to Paracas.


Savour a pisco sour while staying in Pisco's neighbouring town of Paracas.

Day 3Paracas/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.

Day 4Nazca/Arequipa

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

Day 5Arequipa

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.

Day 6Arequipa/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.

Day 7Chivay/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.

Day 8Arequipa/Cusco

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

Day 9Cusco

Free time to explore Cusco. Choose to pre-book the optional Cusco Cooking Class. Opt for a city tour or go whitewater rafting, horseback riding or mountain biking.

Day 10Cusco

Enjoy another free day in Cusco. Choose to pre-book the Cusco Cooking Class.

Day 11Cusco/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 a visit to a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op.

Day 12Inca 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.

Day 13Inca 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.

Day 14Inca 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). 

Day 15Machu 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.

Day 16Cusco

Free day to explore more of Cusco or just relax.

Day 17Cusco/Puno

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

Day 18Puno/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.

Day 19Lago 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.

Day 20Puno/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.

Day 21La Paz

Depart at any time.

More info

Accommodation

Simple hotels (14 nts, some multi-share), overnight buses (2 nts), camping (3 nts), homestay (1 nt).

What's Included

Your Foodie Moment: Huacachina Winery Visit, Huacachina Your Discover Moment: Cusco Your Big Night Out Moment: Cusco Your Local Living Moment: 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.

Meals Included

15 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners

What to Take

Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main... Read more
21days
€1,754.1per person
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Lima
Mar 8
La Paz
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