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Escorted Tours

Inca Explorer including

Highlights of Colombia


Route:
  • UK
  • Lima
  • Paracas
  • Nazca
  • Arequipa
  • Cusco
  • Puerto Maldonado
  • Lima
  • Colombia
  • UK

5 NIGHTS from £1099pp

Tour Highlights
  • See the capital of Bogota
  • Explore Pereira, Colombia's coffee triange
  • City tour of Lima
  • Explore the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu
  • Fly over the Nazca Lines
  • See the temples and old Inca-fortress of Cusco
  • Embark on a Ballestas Islands boat ride

Extension from £1099pp

Tour + Extension from £3798pp

or call us on 0800 781 4893

Highlights of Colombia

Explore the fascinating country of Colombia on our 5-night extension. Starting in the capital Bogata, you'll discover a coffee plantation in Pereira before finishing in the coastal city of Cartagena, known as The 'Pearl of the Caribbean' and home to a UNESCO recognised old town, bursting with colonial elegance.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Lima

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

2
Lima to Paracas

Start your day with a scenic 6-7 hour drive from Lima to Paracas, stopping for lunch along the way. Check into your beachfront hotel on the edge of the Paracas National Reserve Park, a unique protected area where tropical desert dunes run down to the sea's edge. At the centre of the park, the picturesque Ballestas Islands teem with more than 200 species of birds, while sea lions, penguins and dolphins roam the waters and lounge on rocky outcrops. Sip on Peru's beloved national drink during a late afternoon pisco sour tasting, before enjoying your first taste of Peru's fantastic culinary delights at tonight's welcome dinner.

  • Lunch & Dinner
3
Paracas to Nazca

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. Back on land, trace your way to the city of Nazca, 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 Nazca.

  • Breakfast
4
Nazca to Arequipa

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. Enjoy a packed lunch as you continue on to Chauchilla Cemetery, the burial ground of astonishingly well-preserved mummified corpses which date back to AD 800. Although heavily ransacked by grave robbers over the years, this ancient site has been painstakingly restored to its original state, and centuries-old cloth remnants, pottery shards and bone fragments still litter the grounds. Next, a long drive along the coastline takes you to the city of Arequipa for the night. (Please note: The journey from Nazca to Arequipa takes up to 11 hours, with a portion of that time spent exploring Chauchilla Cemetery).

  • Breakfast & Lunch
5
Arequipa

The snow-capped peak of the Arequipa volcano creates a dramatic backdrop to the city. Enjoy today at leisure, giving you the chance to explore Arequipa at your own pace. Why not visit the city's historic downtown area and its characteristic white volcanic stone buildings? Admire the aged colonial buildings of the Main Square, the ornate fresco paintings of the San Ignacio Dome, the intricately carved stonework of the Church of the Society of Jesus or the dramatic Spanish-style citadel of the Santa Catalina Convent.

  • Breakfast
6
Arequipa to Cusco

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco. On arrival, embark on a half-day city tour where you'll explore the remnants of the city's Incan and colonial past. 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 explore 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, and 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.

  • Breakfast
7
Cusco

Journey by train to Peru's most famous Incan citadel, 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 a 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.

  • Breakfast & Lunch
8
Cusco to Puerto Maldonado

Fly to the city of Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to the Amazon rainforest, and travel by boat to Corto Maltes Lodge, a rustic lodge in a magnificent Amazonian setting. After lunch, 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Puerto Maldonado

A 3km 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 price, 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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
10
Puerto Maldonado

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 before dinner.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
11
Puerto Maldonado to Lima

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 of Puerto Maldonado where you can browse through regional products at a local market before catching your flight to the Peruvian capital of Lima.

  • Breakfast
12
Lima

Your morning 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. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure before tonight's farewell dinner.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
13
Lima to the UK or extension

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK, via Bogota, or continue on to your chosen extension.

  • Breakfast
14
Lima to Bogota

Fly from Lima to Bogota, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
15
Bogota

On today's city tour, travel from bustling Paloquemao Market to historic "La Candelaria", the main cathedral, the Gold Museum and the Monserrate Hill viewpoint.

  • Breakfast
16
Bogota to Pereira

Fly to Pereira, in Colombia's coffee triangle, and enjoy a coffee experience tour at a local coffee plantation.

  • Breakfast
17
Pereira to Cartagena

Visit a wax palm forest and the charming colonial town of Salento before taking an empanada cooking class. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cartagena.

  • Breakfast & Lunch
18
Cartagena

A city tour takes you to the fortress of San Felipe de Barajas, the monastery of La Candelaria, the gold museum of Zenu and the church of Santo Domingo among other city sights.

  • Breakfast
19
Bogota to the UK

Fly to Bogota for your connecting flight to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Important Information

Visas

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.

Insurance

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.

Payment

If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp 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.

Flight Information

Your 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. If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.
It is important that you bring only necessary clothing and equipment to the lodge. Due to weight and space limitations on the boat, passenger luggage is limited to 10kg (22 lbs) per person.

Health and Vaccinations

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.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and able mobility. It involves climbing steep stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

A guide will be with you on your trip starting in Lima on Day 2, ending in Lima on Day 12. On Day 2, Day 8, Day 11 and Day 13 in Lima, transfers will be provided by a local English speaking guide.

Currency Information

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.

Personal Expenses

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 approx. USD$2-$4 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.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKExtension PriceTour PriceTotal PriceBook Now
2018 Dates
19 Sep 201806 Oct 2018£1229£2799£4028Please call to book
0800 781 4893
21 Nov 201808 Dec 2018£1099£2699£3798Book Now
2019 Dates

Included in the Price

  • Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK.
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
  • All airport taxes and security charges.

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary
Itinerary changes

The order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions or for operational purposes. Your local guide will inform you of any schedule changes as they are informed of them. Some road construction and/or weather conditions may lengthen the driving times. Our intention is to adhere to the day-to-day itinerary as printed; however, the order of events and sightseeing may vary according to local conditions.

Luggage during this tour

It is important that you bring only necessary clothing and equipment to the lodge. Due to weight and space limitations on the boat, passenger luggage is limited to 10kg (22 lbs) per person.

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Nuevo Sol

Average Flying time

16 Hours

Min/Max temperature

10 °C / 33 °C

Spoken languages

Spanish

When to go

Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Paracas

Nazca

Arequipa

Cusco

Puerto Maldonado

Lima

Bogota

Pereira

What to pack
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket
  • Sunglasses and Hat
  • Rucksack
  • Binoculars
  • Torch
  • Camera
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Long sleeve shirt and trousers
  • Swimwear
  • Personal toiletries
  • Multi plug travel adapter
  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser
  • Altitude sickness medication
  • First aid kit
Tour Dossiers
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Hotels & Accommodation

Other Extensions

Culinary Tour of Lima Extension
Tour Route
  • UK
  • Lima
  • Paracas
  • Nazca
  • Arequipa
  • Cusco
  • Puerto Maldonado
  • Lima
  • UK

Savour the best of Peruvian cuisine on this gastronomic tour of Peru's capital, which includes a beachfront gourmet lunch, a cooking class that teaches the preparation of ceviche and Peru's famed pisco sour, and a visit to a traditional Peruvian food market.

3 nights
from £429pp
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