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Adventure into one of the world's most biodiverse rainforests, the lush Peruvian Amazon, to witness a truly unique 'country-within-a-country'. Offering phenomenal wildlife-spotting, vast untamed forests and indigenous communities, a stay in the famous amazon is a once in a lifetime experience.
Depart London on your scheduled flight to Lima, via Bogota, Colombia.
On arrival in Lima, you will be met by your local representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Known as the 'City of the Kings', today's tour combines the culture of historic downtown Lima with the modern district of Miraflores. You will first visit the main square to see the Cathedral, Government Palace and City Hall. Next see one of the best-preserved monasteries in Lima, the beautiful Santo Domingo Convent and then on to Miraflores, a bustling shopping area with stupendous views of the Pacific Ocean. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Arequipa to spend the night.
With its large traditional square and colonial buildings, Peru's second largest city Arequipa has a very Spanish feel. Known as the 'Cuidad Blanca' (White City) and set against the backdrop of the misty volcano, Arequipa offers some truly wonderful cultural and historic sites including the Church of the Society of Jesus, the frescoes of America's Sistine Chapel at the San Ignacio Dome and the labyrinth Santa Catalina Convent. The tour ends with a relaxed walk around the local areas of Cayma and Yanahuara. The rest of the afternoon and evening are at leisure.
Today the tour moves on to the open plains of the Pampa Canaguas and Salinas where you will see llamas, alpacas, and guanacos roaming in the wild. The wetlands are teeming with different species of birdlife, and Patapampa, a high point offers stunning vistas of volcanoes. After about a five hour drive you arrive at Chivay, your base for the night where dinner is included.
An early start from Chivay sets you up for a spectacular scenic tour of the Colca Canyon with its terraced fields, hanging tombs and deep gorges, all culminating with a chance to see the majestic condors as they rise deep from within the canyon. You will then make your way back to the hotel and after lunch, commence your journey to Puno, arriving in the evening where dinner at your hotel is included.
Today's highlight is a trip to Lake Titicaca, the highest and largest navigable lake on earth. The views from Taquile Island that, on a clear day, can stretch to Bolivia are stunning and well worth the hour or so walk to the top from the port. Have a 'coca tea' break half way up before lunch is taken in a simple restaurant that overlooks the lake. Later you will walk back down to the port and board a boat for a brief visit to one of the floating reed islands to visit a local family home. Overnight is in Puno.
This morning you will travel from Puno to Cusco and be able to appreciate the surrounding valleys' wonderful landscapes en route. The journey includes a stop at La Raya pass, 4,300 metres above sea level, from where you will be able to take in some amazing vistas of the Andean snow-capped mountains. You will also stop at the Raqchi ruins, known as the Temple of the God Wiracocha, and Andahuaylillas village where there is a beautiful church from the 17th century. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before arriving in Cusco and transferring to your hotel.
Today the tour heads for Urubamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where one of the highlights is a visit to the imposing Inca Fortress at Ollantaytambo. En route you will visit a camelid compound to see these unique animals at close quarters as well as the colourful Pisac market where local Indians display and sell their handmade artefacts. Lunch is in a comfortable restaurant then the journey continues to reach your hotel for an overnight stay in the valley.
Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and this morning you will be taken to the station to board the Vistadome train to start your adventure to this incredible site. The train will take you to the city of Aguas Calientes where you disembark and board a bus to the archaeological site. Constructed on a saddle between two Andean peaks, Machu Picchu was one of the greatest achievements of South American civilisation. After a guided tour of this 550-year-old citadel, there is some free time for you to explore and absorb the awe-inspiring atmosphere. You will then descend back to Aguas Calientes for lunch, then catch the train back to Ollantaytambo and return to Cusco by coach.
This morning's city tour of Cusco will introduce you to this amazing colonial city built on the foundation of Inca palaces. Visit the 'Temple of the Sun' where you can appreciate the incredible masonry of the Incas, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral with its carved woodworks, altars and paintings. Later you will drive to the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, then to the underground cave and temple of Kenko - one of the largest wak'as (holy places) in the region. Experience a panoramic view of Puca Pucara and, finally, stop at the living art workshop, 'Inka's Expression' to admire how the local artisans create wonderful silver pieces, paintings and wood carvings.
Transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to the UK via Bogota, Colombia.
Departing Cusco after breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Puerto Maldonado. Here you will be welcomed by the friendly staff and transferred to the nearby wharf where you will board a motorised canoe. Journeying along the beautiful Madre de Dios River, marvel at the never-ending forests and abundant wildlife that is home to this area with some of the richest biodiversity in the world. Upon reaching your lodge and getting back onto dry land you will enjoy lunch before taking a stroll through the property's nature trails to learn about primary and secondary rainforests in the region. When dusk falls, an exciting twilight river excursion awaits you. A motorised canoe will again take you along the Madre de Dios River where your guide will explain about its ecosystem, Amazonian creeks, nocturnal animals inhabiting the area and the southern sky's stellar constellations. Return to the lodge for dinner and your overnight stay.
This morning you will prepare for a long trek deep into the Tambopata National Reserve and towards the sparkling, palm-fringed Lake Sandoval. Navigating across the tranquil, oxbow lake by dugout canoe you may be able to spot one of the many species of wildlife that call the area home, such as the endangered giant river otters, macaws, red howler monkeys and one of the world's biggest freshwater scaled fish, the paiche. After returning to the lodge for lunch you will take a 20-minute canoe ride to a canopy walkway where you can cross the seven hanging bridges connecting the treetops at a height of 90 feet before to gain a birds-eye appreciation of the vast jungle. Descend to walk along the 650-foot wooden bridge over the swamps which are home to the legendary anaconda. This evening get ready to further explore the nocturnal activity of the Amazon rainforest with an excursion into the surrounding jungle areas where you will listen to the sounds of nature and observe the intriguing behaviour patterns of the wildlife found here.
Rising early after daybreak, visit a native farm to learn local techniques of cultivation and even sample some of the products. Continuing on to the botanical gardens, discover the immense variety of medicinal plants considered part of the 'natural pharmacy' and used by the locals in the Amazon region. This afternoon you will take a dugout canoe ride on the lake by your lodge to try your hand at the native 'catch and release' fishing technique whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery and wildlife.
Today journey back to Puerto Maldonado by motorised canoe and transfer to the airport there to board your flight to Lima. On arrival, you will be met and transferred your hotel to spend the evening.
After breakfast transfer to the airport to catch your flight back to the UK.
No visa is required for this tour of Peru.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£42||£79||£135|
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.
Your flight is to Lima Airport 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 x length x 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 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, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
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.
A Tour Leader will be with you on your trip starting in Arequipa on Day 3, ending in Puno on Day 12. Day 1, Day 2, Day 11 and Day 12 in Lima do not include a tour leader, however, transfers will be provided by a local English speaking guide.
The currency in Peru is the Nuevo Sol, the symbol is S/. We recommend that you exchange your currency before you depart 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 the local currency.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any lunches and dinners where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200-£400 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Extension Price||Tour Price||Total Price||Book Now|
|22 Feb 2018||09 Mar 2018||£619pp||£1999pp||£2618pp||Book Now|
|08 Mar 2018||23 Mar 2018||£619pp||£2099pp||£2718pp||Book Now|
|12 Apr 2018||27 Apr 2018||£649pp||£2099pp||£2748pp||Book Now|
|26 Apr 2018||11 May 2018||£619pp||£2199pp||£2818pp||Book Now|
|10 May 2018||25 May 2018||£619pp||£2199pp||£2818pp||Book Now|
|24 May 2018||08 Jun 2018||£609pp||£2249pp||£2858pp||Book Now|
|07 Jun 2018||22 Jun 2018||£609pp||£2249pp||£2858pp||Book Now|
|21 Jun 2018||06 Jul 2018||£639pp||£2149pp||£2788pp||Book Now|
|19 Jul 2018||03 Aug 2018||£629pp||£2179pp||£2808pp||Book Now|
|16 Aug 2018||31 Aug 2018||£619pp||£2349pp||£2968pp||Book Now|
|06 Sep 2018||21 Sep 2018||£769pp||£2149pp||£2918pp||Book Now|
|20 Sep 2018||05 Oct 2018||£679pp||£2149pp||£2828pp||Book Now|
|27 Sep 2018||12 Oct 2018||£609pp||£2149pp||£2758pp||Book Now|
|11 Oct 2018||26 Oct 2018||£629pp||£1999pp||£2628pp||Book Now|
|25 Oct 2018||09 Nov 2018||£589pp||£2049pp||£2638pp||Book Now|
|08 Nov 2018||23 Nov 2018||£579pp||£2049pp||£2628pp||Book Now|
|22 Nov 2018||07 Dec 2018||£569pp||£2099pp||£2668pp||Book Now|
We have 2 rooms available on every tour date for single use where no single supplement will need to be paid. But hurry, these spaces are limited and subject to availability. If however once all the places are sold out and you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner.
If the group departure dates are not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience then you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.
Please note that in 2017 the hotel in the Sacred Valley will be changed to the Hacienda del Valle.
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
Delve further into The 'City of the Kings' with an extended stay in Peru's capital city of Lima. Brimming with heritage, you will have free time to explore the city to gain further insight into the local area and ancient cultures.
This extension takes place at the end of the main tour.
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