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  • The Very Best of Peru

The Very Best of Peru

15 Day Escorted Tour

Peru, Latin America
Challenging Pace

Encompassing the dense tropical rainforest of the Amazon, the arid desert region of Nazca, the dune-filled beaches of Paracas and the snow-capped volcanic peaks of Arequipa, Peru offers a dramatically varied landscape and spectacular biodiversity.

2020 Dossier

2021 Dossier

Tour Highlights

  • Explore the ancient mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu
  • Discover the unique flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest in Puerto Maldonado
  • Fly over the mysterious etchings of the Nazca Lines
  • Spot sea lions, penguins and dolphins on a Ballestas Islands boat ride
  • Visit historic city sights on tours of Lima and Cusco
  • Boat trip on Lake Titicaca, visiting Uros and Taquile Islands
Train
Coach
Boat
Airplane
Walking
1
Number of nights

Itinerary

Day 1
UK to Lima

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Lima, via Bogota.

Day 2
Lima

Dinner

On arrival in Lima, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Peru's elegant capital. Your afternoon tour of Lima, the City of Kings, takes you past the stately Government Palace, located in the Main Square, to the city cathedral, where the remains of conqueror Francisco Pizarro lie. Explore the highly embellished cloisters and entryway of San Francisco Monastery and its network of underground catacombs, used as cemeteries during the colonial period. Wander through the picturesque neighbourhood of San Isidro and the modern district of Miraflores with its beautiful parks, squares, cafes and restaurants. Return to your hotel, re-joining your group later this evening for a welcome dinner.

Day 3
Lima to Puerto Maldonado

Breakfast & Dinner

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to the city of Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to the Amazon rainforest. Travel by boat to Corto Maltes Lodge, your Amazonian home, arriving in time for lunch. In the afternoon, trek to a brazil nut harvesting camp and learn more about this important Peruvian staple crop and its cultivation. Back at the lodge, relax by the pool or unwind in a hammock on the terrace before a night-time pre-dinner boat excursion to observe lurking caimans and the nocturnal animals of the Amazon.

Day 4
Puerto Maldonado

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

A 3-kilometre morning hike through the wildlife haven of Tambopata National Reserve takes you to Lake Sandoval where a ride in a rowboat allows you to appreciate the biodiversity capital of Peru. Spot river otters, macaws, howler monkeys and one of the world's biggest freshwater fish, the Paiche, from your lookout on the river and, conditions permitting, encounter the primates of the Amazon on Monkey Island. Ascend into the treetops after lunch and enjoy animal viewings and a spectacular sunset from the lodge's two lookout towers. A visit to a Shiringuero encampment gives insight into the collection of rubber and takes you into the evening, which can be enjoyed at your leisure.

Day 5
Puerto Maldonado

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

After breakfast, venture downriver by boat to a native farm for a tropical fruit tasting before visiting a native Machiguenga family, one of the ethnic groups of the Peruvian Amazon. Learn about the intriguing customs and language of this group, as they teach visitors about their ayahuasca ceremonies, hunting gear and medicinal plants before sharing one of their unique indigenous dishes. Return to the lodge for an afternoon at leisure and the chance to enjoy a refreshing swim, a cool cocktail or a relaxing massage (at a fee) before dinner.

Day 6
Puerto Maldonado to Cusco

Breakfast

Experience an early morning cacophony of sound and colour at a nearby clay lick, where parrots congregate to nibble on a type of clay native only to this region. After breakfast, a boat will carry you to the city centre of Puerto Maldonado where you can browse through regional products at a local market before catching your flight to Cusco. On arrival in Cusco, uncover the remnants of the city's Incan and colonial past on an afternoon tour. Marvel at the gold and silver leafed walls and skilful masonry of the Incas at Koricancha, enjoy the vibrancy of the colonial city square at the Plaza de Armas and visit the Cusco Cathedral with its ornately carved woodwork, crypts and paintings. Explore the masterfully constructed Incan rock fortress of Sacsayhuaman and the underground cave and temple of Kenko, then take in the panoramic views over the rocky ruins of Puca Pucara, an ancient military fort. Wander through Tambomachay, the Baths of the Inca where aqueducts and canals flow and pool in sacred baths, before stopping at "Inka's Expression" workshop to watch local artisans create beautiful silver pieces, paintings and wood carvings.

Day 7
Cusco

Breakfast & Lunch

Journey by train to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World - Machu Picchu. A full-day tour takes you around the tombs, temples and palaces of this ancient city of ruins, believed to be built for an Incan emperor. A city never uncovered by colonizing Spaniards, the structures and agricultural terraces of Machu Picchu are an untouched testament to the culture of this lost civilization. Set between two forested Andean peaks beneath swirling clouds, with llamas often roaming the mountainside, the 550-year-old site offers spectacular views in addition to its archaeological wonders. Have lunch in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes and journey home by train after the day's tour.

Day 8
Cusco to Puno

Breakfast & Lunch

Depart Cusco and travel to Puno, visiting a number of fascinating attractions along the way. Your first stop is Andahuayillas, the 'Sistine Chapel of America', which boasts church walls covered with frescoes and a gilded roof. Continue onward to Raqchi, an Inca archaeological park. Explore the towering Temple of Wiracocha, built to honour and appease the supreme god of the Incas before visiting The Raya, a well-placed viewpoint that provides panoramic vistas over the Andes. Arrive in Puno in the early evening, with the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 9
Puno

Breakfast & Lunch

Today's highlight is a trip to Lake Titicaca, the highest and largest navigable lake on earth. The views from the top of Taquile Island can stretch to Bolivia on a clear day and are well worth the hour-long walk from the port. After lunch in a simple restaurant overlooking the lake, follow 535 stone steps to a fantastic observation point. Later, walk back down to the port and board a boat for a brief visit to the floating reed island of Uros to visit a local family home before returning to Puno.

Day 10
Puno to Arequipa

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Witness the natural beauty of Peru on today's journey from Puno to Arequipa. Leaving in the morning, travel first to a lofty lookout point with far-reaching views over the Lagunillas Lagoon and the chance to spot rare Andean birds such as the giant Andean coot and the Andean goose. Stop at a restaurant for refreshments before visiting the plains of Pampa Canahuas where you can observe the unique 'vicunas', a local camelid, roaming the land. Arrive in Arequipa and check into your hotel before dinner.

Day 11
Arequipa to Nazca

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

A scenic 12 to 14-hour drive along the coastline takes you past dazzling white beaches, laidback coastal towns, arid desert plains and lofty mountain passes as you follow the great Pan-American Highway to the city of Nazca for your overnight night stay.

Day 12
Nazca to Paracas

Breakfast & Lunch

The origin and purpose of the Nazca Lines - a multitude of intricate geometric patterns and figures etched into the rock of Peru's Nazca Desert - has been the subject of mystery and research for decades. The hundreds of figures range in complexity from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, llamas and lizards, some as long as the Empire State Building. Get a bird's eye view of this fascinating archaeological feature on a 25-minute flight over the lines (subject to weather conditions). Back on land, trace your way to Paracas, stopping to visit a local winery and explore a traditional pottery studio. Stunning Huacachina Lagoon, your next stop, is a palm-fringed oasis nestled in the barren desert region of Peru. With a handful of quaint shops and dwellings lining the water's edge, the lagoon makes for a unique and quirky pit stop before your overnight stay in Paracas.

Day 13
Paracas

Breakfast

Board a shared boat for the morning's excursion to the Ballestas Islands, and the chance to see porpoises leaping through the surf, pelicans and cormorants swooping over the water and the famous prehistoric Paracas Candelabra petroglyph etched into the waterside dunes. An afternoon at leisure gives you time to relax or explore the sights of Paracas at your own pace.

Day 14
Paracas to Lima

Breakfast & Dinner

Start your day with a scenic 4-5 hour drive along the Pacific Coastline from Paracas to Lima, stopping for lunch along the way. Check into your hotel in Lima, with the remainder of the day at leisure. Later, re-join your group for a farewell dinner that marks the end of your Peruvian adventure.

Day 15
Lima to the UK

Breakfast

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK, via Sao Paulo, or continue on to your chosen extension.

View Full Itinerary

Dates & Prices

Dates
Price (per person)
Dates available
January 2021
from £3,149
1 Date
27th Jan - 10th Feb
£3,149
February 2021
from £3,149
1 Date
10th Feb - 24th Feb
£3,149
March 2021
from £3,149
1 Date
10th Mar - 24th Mar
£3,149
April 2021
from £3,149
1 Date
13th Apr - 27th Apr
£3,149
May 2021
from £3,029
2 Dates
11th May - 25th May
£3,039
25th May - 8th Jun
£3,029
June 2021
from £3,129
2 Dates
8th Jun - 22nd Jun
£3,129
22nd Jun - 6th Jul
£3,129
July 2021
from £3,299
1 Date
6th Jul - 20th Jul
£3,299
September 2021
from £3,029
3 Dates
31st Aug - 14th Sep
£3,029
14th Sep - 28th Sep
£3,349
28th Sep - 12th Oct
£3,099
October 2021
from £3,099
1 Date
12th Oct - 26th Oct
£3,099
November 2021
from £2,949
1 Date
10th Nov - 24th Nov
£2,949

Accommodation

The hotels listed below are provided for guidance only and final confirmation of your accommodation will be sent to you approximately 90 days before you travel
Casa Andina Miraflores Centro
2 nights
Lima, Peru
More details
Corto Maltes Lodge
3 nights
Amazon, Peru
More details
View More

Extend Your Tour

The Very Best of Peru with Lima City Stay

3 Day Extension
from

£149

pp

The Very Best of Peru with Tumbes Beach Stay

5 Day Extension
from

£629

pp

Important Information

British passport holders are not currently required to obtain a visa to travel to Peru. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you to check your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up to date guidelines regarding passport validity.

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

Your initial flight is to Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima (via Bogota) with Avianca (AV), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 2. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus one item of hand luggage providing the exterior dimensions (height length width) do not exceed 115cm and 10kg in weight. Weight restrictions will be finalised on your e-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Heathrow Airport advises that check-in should be three hours before your flight departure time. It is important that you bring only necessary clothing and equipment to your lodge during your stay in the Amazon. Due to weight and space limitations on the boat, passenger luggage is limited to 10 kg. (22 lbs.) per person.

It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Altitude Sickness: Altitude sickness is a common condition that can occur when you ascend to a high altitude (generally higher than 2,500 metres above sea level) quickly. The decrease in atmospheric pressure can make breathing more difficult as the body is not able to take in as much oxygen. Most cases are mild with symptoms that can include: a headache, nausea, dizziness and exhaustion. Several of the places in Peru are located at high altitude (over 2,500 metres above sea level) including Puno, Lake Titicaca and Cusco. Therefore, you may find you experience some symptoms at this altitude. It is advised that at these high altitudes, you keep hydrated and avoid alcohol. If you do experience symptoms of altitude sickness during your tour, ensure you tell your guide immediately who will be able to advise the best thing for you to do. You can contact your GP before you travel for advice on medication for altitude sickness.

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves moderate days of walking on uneven paths and small hills and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 30. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date, then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

This is an escorted tour, meaning that a knowledgeable, local, English-speaking guide will accompany you on all excursions.

The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol, the symbol is S/. We recommend that you exchange your currency before you leave the UK. US Dollars are widely accepted in Peru should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. Cash machines are available in all the major cities to withdraw money in local currency.

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £400 per person will be sufficient for the duration of the tour. Tipping is common practice in South America and it is customary to tip approximately $2-$4 USD per person per day, which is split between the driver and the local guide. Tips can be given at the end of each day, or at the end of the tour. Tips are accepted in US dollars and local currencies.