Nazca & Lake Titikaka tours & more

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Nazca (Nasca) Lines & Paracas Extension

    Just a few hours drive south of Lima through part of the world’s driest coastal desert are incredible destinations to explore - where scenic views and wonders abound! These sights should not be missed on a visit to Peru and extended itineraries are available. Our 3 day tour is based out of Paracas, which saves you the 6 hours, or more, drive (each way to Nazca) - convenient for the Ballestas Islands boat tour and still allows visit to Ica, only an hour away.

    First is Paracas, a unique peninsula that is a nature preserve, with beautiful bays and beaches and remains of the pre-Inca cultures. Amazing for birdwatchers and hikers, the Paracas National Reserve is considered one of the richest and most uncommon ecosystems in the world and is a UNESCO “Natural World Heritage Site”. The preserve harbors turtles, dolphins, whales, sea lions, seals, iguanas, a wide variety of birdlife including Rhea (South American ostrich), Humboldt penguins, flamingos, condors, and many other species both common and rare. Just offshore are the Ballestas Islands, often called the “Little Galapagos Islands” as you will see similar marine and terrestrial wildlife.

    South of Paracas, the mainland contains the enigmatic and world famous Nazca Lines. This series of geoglyphs located in the high arid plateau of the Nasca Desert, are spread over a 50 mile area and must be seen from the air to grasp the complexity and scale. Believed to have been created between 500 BC and 700 AD, there are hundreds of individual figures, ranging in from simple lines to stylized hummingbirds, spiders, monkeys, fish, sharks or orcas, llamas, and lizards”.

    Between Pisco and Nasca, is the colonial town of Ica. Founded in 1563, it is known for its unusual oasis and vineyards which still grow grapes for wine and pisco brandy. The town also has an outstanding Regional Archaeology Museum, with collections of pre-Inca and Inca artifacts including well preserved funeral mummies, intricate weavings, and colorful ceramics.




Private, 3 Day Extension: Includes Paracas, Ballestas Islands, Ica, and the Nazca Lines

NOTE: Unlike most “pre-packaged Nazca Lines tours”, this is operated with private guide service and transportation throughout, allowing for custom stops as desired along the way.


Day 1: Morning departure (around 9am) from Lima with private guide and transportation to Paracas Bay, about 156 miles south and about 3 hours drive time. The scenery is one of the urban sprawl of Lima, Pacific beaches, sand dunes, and desert broken by fertile valleys under agriculture with busy towns. Along the way, a nice stop is the El Batan restaurant in Chincha for some of their delicious empanadas or desserts. At the town of Pisco, you will receive an introduction to the world famous Nazca Lines and board the small plane for an overflight of the Nazca and Palpa Lines and Geoglyphs (approximately hour and half flight). Afterwards is a tour of the National Reserve of Paracas, one of the most interesting and richest ecosystems in the world. The desert peninsula and waters of Paracas hold a great diversity of fish, birds, and marine mammals. Birdwatching is excellent in the Reserve for condors and flamingos, the colorful National Bird. Be sure to have some fresh seafood at Lagunillas beach, one of the most serene and beautiful beaches of the Reserve. The Paracas and Pisco area is famous for great food made from fresh seafood including the most typical dish, the traditional Peruvian ceviche, and, of course the national drink, “Pisco Sour”. Overnights are seaside in Paracas at the lovely DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Resort (optional hotels include the Hacienda Bahia (www.hoteleslahacienda.com), or the Hotel Paracas Libertador (www.libertador.com.pe). (B)


Day 2: After an early breakfast, you board a passenger boat at around 8AM* to tour the Ballestas Islands, also known as the “poor man’s Galapagos Island”. (*This first boat tour of the day allows for calmer waters and superior wildlife viewing.)
These spectacular islands, eroded into many caves and arches, provide shelter for thousands of seabirds (over 150 species) and hundreds of sea-lions. On the tour you will view the famous Candelabra hillside figure, sea-lion colonies, and the abundant birdlife (penguins, booby, albatross, alcatraz, pelican, cormorant, terns, gulls, etc.), and maybe a condor or even a whale! After the boat tour, your private guide drives you south to the town of Ica less than an hour away. There you will tour of the Regional Archaeology Museum to study the different artifacts found in this region from the Pre-Inca cultures of Paracas, Nazca, Wari, and Ocucaje. Also included is a visit to the unique Huacachina Oasis, the largest such geological feature on the Peruvian coast and a good place for lunch. On the return to Paracas, you visit a vineyard to learn the process of making Peruvian wines and Pisco, a white grape brandy. In the late afternoon, you return to Paracas for the overnight. (B)


Day 3: After breakfast, the morning is free to relax and enjoy the hotel’s amenities. Later, with private guide and transportation on the return to Lima, you have several options for stops along the way north, such as visiting haciendas and archaeological ruins. Included on the return is a visit to the impressive archaeological site of Pachacamac. Nearby the ruins, if time permits, a great place for a meal is La Casa De Don Cucho. (www.cuchosazonperuana.com). Late afternoon return to your Lima hotel, or transfer the airport for flights out. (B)






Lake Titikaka (Titicaca) Extension

Note: This itinerary is shown as a post trip extension from Cuzco, but it may also be arranged from Lima.

Day 1: Transfer to Cuzco bus station for first-class bus to Puno. (http://www.inkaexpress.com/ruta_sol.htm) During the 8 hour ride, you have 4 guided excursions, including stops at: Andahuaylillas, whose church is considered the "Sistine Chapel of the Americas" because of the quality of the art. At Raqchi, visit the "Wiracocha temple" that according to the old chroniclers was built by the Inca Wiracocha in honor to the Supreme God of the Incas, "Apu Kon Titi Wiracocha". Afterwards, you have a buffet lunch in the picturesque town of Sicuani. Later at La Raya, you will be at the highest pass on the route (14,000 ft). Then on to Pukara, one of the very earliest archeological complex constructed in the Peruvian Altiplano. Reception in Puno and transfer to the lakeside Sonesta Posada Del Inka for two overnights. (Option, if starting in Lima, is to fly to Juliaca and transfer to Puno hotel this day.) (B)

Day 2: A full day touring around on on Lake Titicaca including: Morning visit to Isla Taquile and the Aymara Indian section of Luquina for a lakeside lunch on the Chucuito Peninsula. Then visit the famous Uros Floating Islands at a time of little tourism and before the lake winds that sometimes in the late afternoon. (B/L)

Day 3: Free time in Puno. Transfer to Juliaca airport for afternoon flight to Lima to connect with flights out. On the way, you may visit the Necropolis of Sillustani ruins on the shores of Lake Umayo if time permits. (If desired, we can arrange airport reception in Lima and assistance with connections or transfer to and overnight at the Hotel Antigua Miraflores for an overnight and next day, morning or evening flights out.) (B)




Arequipa & Colca Canyon Extension

Four day extension below - extended itineraries are available.

Day 1: Transfer to the airport for flight to Arequipa, known as the White City and renowned as one of Peru’s most beautiful cities. Reception in Arequipa and transfer to the Hotel Casa Andina, or similar, for the overnight.  (B)

Day 2: Private transportation and specialist guide for travel to Colca Canyon. Early departure towards the highlands passing through Yura-Pampa Cañahuas and La Pulpera with good possibility of observing groups of wild vicuñas and fighting cattle. Stop en route to see petroglyphs in the Caves of Mollepunco and in the town of Callali to see natural hill formations with the appearance of enchanted castles. Overnight at the Colca Lodge. (B)


Day 3:  To maximize your probability of seeing condors we depart very early towards the "Cross of the Condor" at about an altitude of 15,000 feet. Drive a little further in to the canyon to see some pre-Inca ruins and watch the way of life in this remote land. Return to Chivay for lunch and afternoon return to Arequipa. Overnight at Casa Andina. (B)

Day 4: City tour including the Santa Catalina Convent. Afternoon transfer to airport for flight to Lima. Reception in Lima and overnight at Hotel Antigua Miraflores. (B)

 

Below are some of our more popular trip extensions that can be combined with our Andean Inca Exploration to Cuzco and Machu Picchu or one of our Amazon rainforest tours.

We can customize travel throughout Peru.

Peru is one of the world’s ultimate travel destinations, with wonderful and culturally diverse peoples, breathtaking geography with majestic scenery, delicious cuisine, record setting biodiversity, great colonial and modern architecture, exquisite art and handicrafts, ancient cultures with extraordinary archaeology. Combined with a sophisticated tourist infrastructure, Peru is a great value for the traveler interested in natural history and cultures past and present.

Custom travel programs can be arranged for learning Spanish and Quechua languages, gastronomy-oriented cuisine tours, sport (hiking, biking, horse-back riding, rafting, fishing) adventures, birding, specialized archaeology and cultural education itineraries, charity and medical assistance opportunities, home stays, video /photography support / logistics, honeymoon packages and more. Although we are happy to share information - please, serious inquiries only.

PERU, a Land of Contrasts

VIsit Nazca and Paracas in the world’s driest coastal desert, or lake titikaka , the world’s highest navigable lake, or Colca canyon, one of the world’s deepest, or the dense rainforest on the eastern slopes of the andes mountains, the world’s longest range, or incredible archaeological sites such as chan chan, sipan, caral & more!


Tambopata Amazon Rainforest Extension
Three day extension below - extended itineraries are available.

DAY 1, PUERTO MALDONADO - POSADA AMAZONAS

Upon arrival from Lima or Cuzco flights, reception and transfer to the Tambopata river port in Puerto Maldonado, situated at the confluence of the mighty Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers. After a brief survey of the frontier town you will depart on the 2 hour boat trip by motorized canoe to Posada Amazonas. Depending on the arrival time of the plane you will have a boxed lunch aboard the boat or have lunch upon arrival at Posada Amazonas. During the voyage you may see bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as: Black Skimmer, Pied Lapwing, Capped Heron, Jabiru Stork, Roadside Hawk, and several species of kingfishers, swallows and flycatchers. 


    The Posada Amazonas is a comfortable yet unobtrusive 30 room (with private baths) lodge. You will receive a short orientation and a complete briefing on the lodge and the local Ecotourism Project before the afternoon activity, the canopy tower. The 35 meter scaffolding tower that is 15 minutes walking from the lodge and is built so that you can safely climb using the internal staircase with verandas on each side, and rest in platforms every 2 meters. From the top you not only get spectacular views of the river and the surrounding forest but also excellent opportunities to observe birds from the canopy including parrots, toucans and macaws. A video about the forest of

Tambopata will be shown after dinner. (L,D)



DAY 2, POSADA AMAZONAS

You will be up at dawn for a visit to the Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake. After an early breakfast you depart for the fifteen minutes by boat and a 30 minute walk to the lake’s shore. Then you have a guided canoe ride around it, to look for the giant river otters, turtles, hoatzin, and wading birds. The giant river otters that are seen in Tres Chimbadas belong to a resident family of nine. Afterwards, you return to the lodge's trails in time for a visit to a small parakeet clay lick. Dozens and sometimes hundreds of Blue Headed Parrots, Orange-Cheeked Parrots, Cobalt-winged parakeets, and sometimes even the rare Rock Parakeet congregate here on clear days to ingest clay. This congregation creates a riotous and colorful wildlife spectacle where the greens, oranges, reds and blues of the parrots dance around the bank as each individual parrot competes for their choice beak full of clay. At times, this spectacle lasts for hours. Then you return to the lodge for lunch before embarking on an afternoon outing.


    In the afternoon, you visit the community's ethnobotanical center. From this little shop, the community has been registering the uses of medicinal plants from elders and planting, producing and distributing them for over ten years. You will hike the trails around the center with one of the residents who will explain to us the everyday uses of forest resources in medicine, construction, food and fiber. After enjoying our popular happy hour and refurbishing your spirits with ours, you may be up for an optional night walk to look for amphibians and insects.(B,L,D)



DAY 3, POSADA AMAZONAS - PUERTO MALDONADO

After an early breakfast we will return up the river to Puerto Maldonado for your flight back

to Lima or Cusco. (B)










Trujillo & Chiclayo Extension

Day 1:

Morning transfer to Lima airport for flight to the colonial city of Trujillo on the northern coast of Peru. Upon arrival in Trujillo, you are met at the airport and the local staff personnel will assist with your luggage and then transfer you into town to the 5-star Gran Hotel El Golf for the overnight. You then have guided City Tour in Trujillo, including visits to the Moche archaeological sites of Huaca del Sol and Huaca de la Luna.



Day 2:

After breakfast is a guided tour of the ancient Chimu culture’s ruins of Chan Chan, claimed to be the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas and the largest mud-brick city in the world. Later is a visit to Huanchaco Beach, famous for its fishermen’s use of caballitos, the small reed boats. Then you transfer by bus to the historic city of Chiclayo, famous also for its fine cuisine. Reception at the station and transfer to the Gran Hotel Chiclayo for the overnight. (B)




Day 3:

After breakfast is a guided tour of the Lord of Sipan archaeology museum, "Tumbas Reales del Senor de Sipan". Later is a visit to Tucume for The Valley of the Pyramids. In the evening you transfer to the airport for flight to Lima. Reception in Lima and transfer into town to the colonial-style, Hotel Antigua Miraflores for the overnight. (B)