22 days

Peru & Bolivia Discoverer

Peru & Bolivia Discoverer

Tiahuanaco's 'Gateway of the Sun'

Puno - a town four kilometres above sea-level

La Paz - the world's highest 'unofficial' capital city

The potions of 'Witches’ Market'

The 'Lost City of the Incas' - UNESCO World Heritage-listed Machu Picchu

UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient Inca capital of Cusco

UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic centre of the Peruvian capital Lima

The colourful market town of Pisac

The towering Inca citadel at Ollantaytambo

Yagua native community in the Peruvian Amazon

The Amazon Basin by boat

The floating reed islands of the Uros people on the highest navigable lake in the world - Lake Titicaca

Trip rating
  • At 10,582 square kilometres, Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat. According to Aymara legend, the three mountains surrounding the Salar were human giants - Tunupa, Kusku and Kusina. Tunupa married Kusku, but Kusku left her for Kusina, and the two ran away together. While grieving, Tunupa began to cry as she was breastfeeding her son. Her tears mixed with the milk to form the Salar.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Lima

    On arrival at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport you are transferred to your hotel in the well-known coastal suburb of Miraflores.

    Today you will have a pre-departure meeting at 2pm. Please check the noticeboard near the hotel reception for confirmation of the exact time and place of the meeting. Following this meeting we will take an orientation walk with the group leader.

    • Founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, it was from Lima that all Spanish territories in South America were governed. Few cities at that time could rival Lima’s power, wealth and opulence. However its glory days ended in 1746 when the city was virtually destroyed by an earthquake. Many of the colonial buildings were rebuilt and you will get a first-hand look at several of them on the tour. The striking Plaza Mayor (Plaza de Armas), flanked by some of the most important buildings in town such as the cathedral, the huge Government Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace, constitutes the heart of the city.
    • You will visit the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains.
    • Next we will visit the Central market where we will take a walking tour. The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer including fruits, vegetables and even Guinea pigs. You will have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits and street food.
    • Next we will visit China town which is close to the Market.
    • The tour will finish in Lima main square, with the option to go for dinner in Down Town or back to Miraflores.
    • In your spare time you might enjoy wandering around around Miraflores, visiting Parque del Amor (Love's Park) where you can enjoy a view aross Lima's beaches, or catching a taxi to visit the Gold Museum or the Larco Museum, which is renowned for its ancient pottery collection. Please remember that you must agree on a fare with the driver before catching a taxi, as the taxis here do not have meters. (Miraflores-Downtown approximately 10-15 soles). You may also want to visit the impressive National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Peru, which is home to a wonderful collection of cultural exhibits tracing the history, arts and accomplishments of the people of Peru, ranging from the original inhabitants of the land through to the Inca Empire and the Spanish conquerors.
    • There are a number of restaurants and cafes to choose from for dinner. Lima has some of the most superb cuisine in South America and is especially renowned for its exceptional seafood. During your time here, you may wish to try ceviche, Peru’s national dish, which is raw fish marinated in lime juice and often served with hot peppers. This culinary delight is a must for all seafood lovers!
    Antigua Mira Flores or Similar

    Day 2-3 - Puerto Maldonado- Amazon Jungle

    Fly from Lima to Puerto Maldonado (approx 2 hrs).

    Upon arrival, the lodge staff will take us to their office in town where you'll leave most of your luggage in a safe storage and continue travelling with a small pack with just the necessary items for our next two nights in the jungle. Then take a motorized canoe up river to our jungle lodge in the Madre de Dios area.
    Head into the jungle with our local, multilingual guides and encounter magnificent fauna and flora in their natural habitat. We may spot everything from macaws and monkeys to peccary, jabirus, otters and thousands of butterflies. The guides can also teach us about the medicinal properties and practical uses of the plants.
    After exploring the wilds, it's time to jump back in the canoe and return to Puerto Maldonado.
    The lodge is eco-friendly and combines low-impact architecture with traditional native style. Rooms are simple, but comfortable with flush toilets (en suite), showers (cold water only), mosquito nets and kerosene lamps for light.

    Heath River lodge or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4-5 - Cusco

    Fly to Cusco, the heart and soul of Peru. The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cusco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. This is a city steeped in history, tradition and legend and is a perfect base for explorations into the Inca world or to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
    Your leader will take you on a walking tour including a visit to the Coca Museum - where you can learn more about this infamous plant which has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries - and the local San Pedro market.
    The cathedral, built on top of an Inca palace, dominates the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco's picturesque heart. The cathedral is one of the city's greatest repositories of art and houses an elegantly carved choir stall and a silver-covered Neoclassic altar.
    There are several impressive Inca ruins within the city. The most easily accessible is Coricancha, which was the Inca empire's richest temple. Once plated in thick gold, the Spanish built a Dominican church atop its sturdy walls.
    The Boleto Turistico (Tourism Ticket) is a good option if you to visit the many museums in Cusco. This ticket also includes the  archaeological around Cuzco such as Saqsaywaman, Q'enqo, Pica Pakara, Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Some museums in town, like Contemporary Art Meseum, Regional History Museum and Qosqo Native Art Museum can only be accessed by purchasing the Boleto Turistico. 

    Eco inn or Similar
    Breakfast

    Day 6 - Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

    Visit a local community en route to Ollantaytambo
    The town of Ollantaytambo has been built over an ancient Inca town, which is a magnificent example of Inca urban planning.  This is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish.
    Ollantaytambo's archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas. The upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below.

    Samanapaq hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 7 - Aguas Calientes

    Travel to Aguas Calientes.There are some small shops and restaurants in the town where we can while the time away.


     

    Andina hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 8-9 - Machu Picchu- Cusco

    Take a very early (5:30am) bus along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx. 30 minutes) where we are joined by a guide who will take us through the ruins. Looking at Machu Picchu for the first time, as it sits against a backdrop of forested mountains, is a truly breathtaking experience. No matter how many photos you've seen, it is hard to prepare for its awesome beauty.

    MACHU PICCHU: While it's thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There's plenty of time for you to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. You will have a guided visit (approx 1.5-2 hrs) with plenty of free time afterwards.After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cusco.

    WAYNA PICCHU: Due to Peregrine's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.We return by local bus to Cuzco (90 mins approx.)

    The rest of today and tomorrow are free for you to continue exploring Cusco. Your included "half boleto turistico" will give you access to archaeological sites of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo and Tambomachay, in the outskirts of Cusco.

    Eco inn or Similar
    Breakfast

    Day 10-12 - Puno- Lake Titicaca - Puno

    Travel by local bus through the dramatic scenery of the high altiplano to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca (approx 6 hrs).
    Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Many festivals are celebrated here, so if you're lucky your visit might coincide with one of the colourful evening parades, when the streets fill with costumed dancers and musicians.
    Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 3,820 m above sea level. From the shoreline, the water stretches out almost as far as the eye can see, its expanses just waiting to be explored.
    Take a tour of the lake by slow motor boat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros originally built their islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes. The islands are built from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. As the reeds closest to the water begin to rot, more layers are added on top. These reeds are used for making everything on the islands, including the boats which can last up to 12 months.
    To get a closer look at daily life in the Lake Titicaca region, we'll be welcomed into local homes for an overnight stay on a local community. Make the most of your visit by helping your host family with their daily activities or trying to chat in the local language, Quechua. A game of soccer is also a great way to make local friends.
    Our home-stay is a mud-brick house. Rooms have beds and many blankets, there are shared drop toilets but no showers.
    After breakfast the next day, board the boat again for a visit to Taquile Island (approx 1 hour), where knitting is strictly a male domain and women do the spinning. This is a great place to pick up some high quality, locally knitted goods. An uphill trek of about an hour brings us to the main area of the island and after the visit we descend about 500 steps back to our boat.
    Transfer back to Puno by boat (approx 3 hrs).

    Taypikala hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 13-14 - La Paz

    Travel by minivan to Desaguadero, where we cross the border into Bolivia. The first stop is the Peruvian migration office where you'll be asked to leave the bus and proceed through Peruvian migration. Then walk via a bridge to the Bolivian side, submit your passport at the Bolivian migration office and reboard the bus, which will continue to La Paz. About 30 minutes after crossing the border there's another stop where the army will again check your documents.

    Bolivia's timezone is 1-2 hours ahead of Peru.

    On route to La Paz we stop at Tiwanaku for a guided visit.
    Tiwanaku archaeological site  was where the Incas learned about building systems and agricultural practices.
    At around 3,600 m, La Paz feels like the top of the world. It's not far from it and vies with Tibet for the title of highest capital in the world. Although Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia, La Paz is the centre of commerce, finance and industry. Despite the abundance of colonial architecture, La Paz's indigenous roots run deep, and the atmosphere in the market-filled streets is both modern and traditional.There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.

    Rosario Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 15-16 - Uyuni- Salt Plains

    We take a short flight to Uyuni.
    Arriving in Uyuni feels a bit like you've reached the end of the road, which in many ways is true. This remote small town sits on the edge of the high altiplano, a wilderness that extends for hundreds of kilometres towards the border with Argentina and Chile. So it's hardly surprising that the town has a bit of a wild west feel about it. Uyuni is best known for its proximity to the Bolivian salt flats known locally as the Salar de Uyuni.
    Our second day in Uyuni we take 4x4 tour of the Salt lake.
           

    Magia de Uyuni Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 17-18 - Potosi

    We travel by minivan to Potosi (approx 4 hrs)
    The highest city of its kind in the world, Potosi has had a turbulent past, centred mostly around its mining successes and failures. During the Spanish colonial days, the extensive mining of Potosi's silver rich Cerro Rico was said to have kept Spain running for 300 years. During this time, Potosi briefly celebrated life as one of the richest cities in the world. In the 1800s, the supply of silver declined as did the market price and the city started to suffer. Working conditions in the mines were appalling and huge numbers of indigenous people died. African slaves were brought in to replace them and it's said that as many as 8 million people died in the mines during the Spanish era.
    There are many highlights to see if you wish including the San Lorenzo Church, Cobija Arch, the main square and its cathedral, the Jesuit Tower and the Museum of La Casa de la Moneda. This museum has a fascinating section dedicated to art and historical artefacts. You could also indulge in a thermal bath or visit the historical colonial farm at the Marquise de Ottavi, situated in a picturesque valley.

    Santa Teresa Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 19-20 - Sucre

    A journey by minivan takes us to Sucre (approx 3-4 hrs).
    Bolivia's official capital, Sucre was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1991. Most of the town's colonial buildings have been whitewashed, earning its nickname - the 'White City'. For great views of the city head up to Recoleta, an old convent on top of the hill.
    Head to the Plaza 25 de Mayo to mingle with Sucre's well-heeled residents and have a look at the beautiful interior of the Iglesia de la Merced.
    For something completely different, compare shoe sizes with a dinosaur at Cal Orcko, where 60 million-year-old footprints have been discovered.

    De su Merced Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 21 - La Paz

    Take a short flight to La Paz (approx 40 mins).
    Your afternoon is free to rest or explore more of the city.

    Rosario Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 22 - La Paz

    Trip finishes in La Paz after breakfast

    Rosario Hotel or similar
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour throughout the tour, and professional local guides at some sites.
    • Local flights from Lima to Puerto Maldonado return and Lima to Cusco.
    • Jungle Excursions
    • Sightseeing where mentioned in the itinerary.
    • Train and bus to Machu Picchu (non-trekking trip) with a guided tour of Machu Picchu.
    • Boat cruise on the highest navigable lake in the world - Lake Titicaca including the floating reed islands of the Uros people.
    • Arrival transfer to the Peregrine Joining hotel.
    • Flight from La Paz to Uyuni.
    • Flight from Sucre to La Paz.
    • Accommodation: 18 nights comfortable hotel, 2 nights amazon jungle lodge, 1 night homestay.
    • Meals: 20 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners.

    Not Included

    • International flights, internal/regional flights where listed, airport departure taxes, visas where required, meals not included in the itinerary, insurance, laundry, any optional tours or activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature.
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Peru & Bolivia Discoverer

    David - Canada, 27 Aug, 2012
    5
    Overall Rating

    This review ismfor,the Bolivia portion of my trip. I reviewed Peru last week. Bolivia is a good destination. Not a lot of tourists go there so it is relatively unspoiled for the serious traveler. It is not expensive so one receives good value for the money.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PSBP
Start City: Lima
End City: La Paz

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