Peru is culture personified! After all, it is one of the great centres of ancient civilization and home of Machu Picchu, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. This tour is an excellent way to see some of the best Peru tourist attractions in nine condensed days.
And though the Incas might be the most famous of the Peruvian cultures, the “Norte Chico” civilization already flourished along the Pacific coast as early as 3,000 BC. Many other civilizations such as the Moche, Chavin, Chimú and Nazca would follow, leaving behind fascinating ruins and artefacts.
However, our cultural tours don’t simply focus on the engrossing historical ruins of Peru, they are carefully crafted visits are for you to delve into different aspects of Peruvian culture, including the people that make this a diverse and multifaceted country.
This tour, the Southern Cultural Loop, features some of the most famous Peru tourist Attractions. Start by visiting he fascinating Nazca culture, and then continue beautiful Arequipa and the remarkable Colca Canyon. It is recommend to do this tour as a predecessor to the highly recommended Heart of Peru Culture tour, and ideally in conjunction with the Northern Extension Circuit.
We recommend bringing a hat or a cap as sometimes some birds flying over can have very good aim with their droppings. It can also get quite sunny and warm and your hat will help to protect you from the sun.
After this tour, we will visit the Paracas Peninsula, driving along its beaches and stopping for photos. We will take you to the little village of Lagunillas for lunch. Here there are various restaurants overlooking the ocean that serve mainly fresh fish and seafood on their menus. Later on, you will travel to Nazca, arriving in the early evening.
Aperu tourist attractions, nazca linesmong the figures we will see an enormous representation of a monkey, a hummingbird, a condor, and a strange creature known as the Spaceman. The Nazca Lines flight lasts 35 minutes.
You can spend the afternoon relaxing, or perhaps do another visit such as the Chauchilla cemetery or the Cantayo aqueducts.
Travel to Arequipa is lengthy, and there are several options available, depending on your budget, and how you like to travel.
Option A. Overnight bus to Arequipa.
Option B. Travel by private car, stopping in simple accommodation in Puerto Inka or Camana
Option C. Taking a full extra day to travel the whole distance by private vehicle.
In the afternoon, you are free to see more of the city. We recommend a visit to the San Camilo market, designed by the French designer Gustave Eiffel, which offers you a look into the day to day life about the city. Another site of interest is the Museo de Santuario home to the “Juanita” mummy. Visits are an hour long and consist of a video showing the expedition and discovery of the child mummies, a small exhibition room with pieces that were found with the mummies and lastly at least one of the mummies as the mummy known as Juanita oftens travels to museums around the world. It is also possible to take a taxi to the Yanahuara lookout point which gives you a view over the city and of the 3 surrounding volcanos.
For dinner we recommend trying some of the local cuisine. From the stuffed hot pepper or Rocoto Relleno to the delicious pork stew known as Adobo and the use of crayfish in a chowder known as Chupe de Camarones there are many delicacies to choose from.
After lunch we will have a quick visit of the village of Chivay, giving us a chance to see some of the local produce and to learn a little about the embroidery typical of and exclusive to the Colca region. We will then check into our hotel and arrange a time with the guide for our visit to the local hot springs (entry not included). Although the smell of sulfur is strong as you walk into the compound, the water is crystal clear and flows constantly ensuring their cleanliness. This is a highly recommended visit.
After a relaxed navigation of 2 1/2 more hours when we can to enjoy the spectacular views and wide expanses offered by Lake Titicaca, we get to Taquile island. There a unique community can be observed. We hike upwards to the village (reasonable fitness required) where the views are simply stunning. We also recommend a hike to visit the communal cooperative where you will find some handowoven textiles of high quality. We enjoy lunch with a local family, all the while enjoying magnificent views of the highest navigable lake in the world. Then we descend 500 steps down to the main port of the island before climbing aboard our motor boat for a 3 hour trip back to Puno City.
On the Monday, Wednesday and Friday the Andean Explorer train runs and if you are interested in classic train journeys this is a worthwhile expedition.
Alternatively, we offer antourist bus (for groups less than 4) or a private vehicle to travel the 8 hours to Cusco. This bus stops at a number of interesting sites including the church at Andahuaylillas, Ratchi and La Raya.