2015 Escorted Christmas in Machu Picchu - Option 2
Wake up next Christmas morning to a wonderful view of Machu Picchu. Fully escorted tour with English speaking tour leaders. Tour includes a visit to Arequipa and the Colca Canyon. Limited availability.
Arrival in Lima. Reception and transfer to the hotel of your choice.December 22: Lima (B & L)
After breakfast, full city tour of modern and colonial Lima, declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991. Tour in an air conditioned bus with a bilingual guide. The tour includes a visit to the Cathedral, Main Square, San Francisco Convent and its Catacombs, and the residential areas of San Isidro and Miraflores. Lunch at the internationally acclaimed Rosa Nautica seafood restaurant, strategically located on a pier and extending into the Pacific Ocean. After lunch, a visit to the GoldMuseum. Originally from a private collection, the museum houses numerous gold, silver and copper artefacts from several pre-Hispanic cultures. The most precious piece in the collection is the solid gold Tumi (ceremonial knife) belonging to the Lambayeque culture (350AD). Return to your hotel. Free evening.December 23: Lima – Cuzco - Sacred Valley (B & L)
After breakfast, flight to Cuzco, reception and transfer to the hotel of your choice. Full-day excursion to Urubamba, the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Visit the village of Pisac, founded during Colonial times. On Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays the Indians barter their products, and artisans from all over the area sell their woven alpaca wool blankets and ponchos, engraved gourds, antique reproductions and jewellery. On Sundays, it is also the meeting place for the local Mayors of the region, who come dressed in their traditional costumes, to attend morning mass. After buffet lunch at the Tunupa Restaurant, a visit to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca town which is still inhabited. Explore the ruins above Ollantaytambo before returning to Cuzco via the traditional market town of Chinchero. Return to your hotel.December 24: Machu Picchu (B)
An early start by Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes. Guided visit of the most spectacular ancient city in the world. This fabulous city contains houses, temples, warehouses, a large central square; and all connected by narrow roads and steps that are surrounded by terraces cut into the mountain side. After the tour, free time to enjoy this spiritual wonder. Opportunity for a guided trek (approx 1 hour) up to the sungate (Intipunku), which is a part of the Inca Trail, for a magical view of the sanctuary or alternatively an unguided climb to the top of Wayna Picchu, with a magnificent view of the whole Sanctuary (recommended for fit individuals only). Accommodation at the hotel of your choice.December 25: Machu Picchu (B & L)
Opportunity to return to the sanctuary for a more personal appreciation of the Eighth wonder of the world. Christmas lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel located in front of Machu Picchu. Return in the afternoon by train to Cuzco and transfer to the hotel of your choice.December 26: Cuzco (B & D)
Afternoon guided visit of the four ruins nearby; the Sacsayhuaman Fortress overlooking the city of Cuzco, a pre Inca architectural masterpiece; Kenko, a rock sanctuary whose main attraction is the monolithic altar representing a puma, the red Fortress of Puca-Pucara and Tambomachay, a beautiful fountain fed by a spring forming a series of basins continue to the city of Cuzco; the Main Square, the Cathedral and the Koricancha or Temple of the Sun. Dinner and folkloric show in the evening.December 27: Cuzco - Arequipa (B)
Free morning in Cuzco for some last minute shopping or wandering around the streets and visit some of the churches which your tourist ticket will allow entrance. Transfer to the airport at midday for the afternoon flight to Arequipa, the most beautiful city in Peru. After the 45 minute flight, transfer to your hotel whilst enjoying enroute a brief overview of the "white city", including the 16th century convent which is built entirely of volcanic lava. The Misti Volcano stands in the background as a sentinel protecting this colonial city. Overnight accommodation at the hotel of your choice. Free evening. Wander around this beautiful city and enjoy some local cuisine, renowned as amongst the best in Peru.December 28: Colca Canyon (B)
After breakfast, we depart Arequipa and drive through some wonderful scenery past the Salinas and Aguada Blanca. This natural habitat has been protected since 1971 as many endangered species of flora and fauna inhabit the area; such as guanacos, vicuñas and over 70 species of bird. We continue the journey towards the Colca canyon, witnessing groups of wild alpacas and vicuñas before first ascending and then descending into Chivay, the main town of the Colca canyo. Stop for lunch not included before arriving to your hotel, set in the very foot of the valley, the Colca Lodge. Complete with its own thermal baths, enjoy the evening on your own.December 29: Arequipa (B)
An early start to visit the Colca canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world (the deepest canyon lies only a few kilometres from here). We shall witness the incredible pre-Inca terracing all along the valley before arriving to the cruz del condor in order to see the huge condor; the world’s largest flying bird. We shall also visit some small towns in the area, witnessing life as it must have looked several hundred years ago before returning to Arequipa. Overnight accommodation at the hotel of your choice.December 30: Lima (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight to Lima and your return flight home.
End of services.