Itinerary in brief:
- 2 nights Arequipa
- 2 nights Colca Canyon
- 2 nights Puno
Day 1: Arrive in Arequipa
On arrival in Arequipa you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to settle in and perhaps to start exploring the city - one of the culinary capitals of Peru.
Day 2: Arequipa
After breakfast you will join a guided group tour to discover the city’s rich cultural history. The tour visits the Main Square and the Convent of Santa Catalina. This 20,000 sq meter complex is a citadel within the city and one of the most fascinating religious buildings in Peru. You will also have time to visit other historical edifices, among which the Society of the Jesus, a masterpiece of local baroque art. Finally you will be taken to the residential districts of Yanahuara and Chilina from which the magnificent Arequipa countryside and the volcano Misti can be appreciated. After the tour you will have plenty of time to visit marvel in this city at your own leisure.
Day 3: Arequipa to Colca Canyon
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before an early morning start to head to the Colca Valley by bus. You will leave the city through Yura, a district characterised by impressive geographical features that include gullies, mountain ranges and canyons. On route, visit the Pampa Cañahuas Reserve, the Toccra Pampas and skirt the crater of the Chucura Volcano to reach the Los Andes Scenic viewpoint in Patapampa at an impressive 4800 masl. Lunch is included in the town of Chivay where you will stay overnight. The afternoon is free for you to relax or you may choose to visit the hot springs.
Day 4: Colca Canyon
Today you will go to the Condor Cross viewpoint, from where you can appreciate the sheer size of the Colca Valley (one of the world's deepest canyons with over four kilometers at its deepest side). At the Cruz del Condor viewpoint you will be able to spot the huge and majestic condor flying close above.
Back in Chivay, you will visit the Pinchollo, Maca, Achoma and Yanque towns, and the Antahuilque and Choquetico scenic viewpoints. After lunch, you will visit the Coporaque town and the Chininia Colcas, incredible pre-Inca constructions on vertical natural walls. Then you will go to the Ocolle Scenic Viewpoint, the Amphitheatre and you will take an optional short hike to the identified yet little explored Uyo-Uyo archaeological remains. You will return to Chivay in the afternoon where you will have the rest of day free to spend at your own leisure.
Day 5: Colca Canyon to Puno
This morning you’ll depart Chivay and take a wonderfully scenic route that passes through magical landscapes of high plains and forests and sky-blue lagoons. You will stop at points of interest, including Patahuasi, arriving in Puno after a 6-hour trip.
Day 6: Puno
Today you will be picked up from Puno's lake port and transferred to the floating islands of the Uros on Lake Titicaca.
The Uros are an ancestral society that inhabits a series of artificial islands built with totora, a reef that grows in the lake. After a one and a half-hour tour, you will continue your trip to the Taquile Island. Unlike other islands, inhabited by Aymara-speaking people in the lake, its residents speak Quechua and the vestiges of the Inca Empire can be noted in their buildings. After a brief presentation about the island, you’ll have time to explore until lunch time, when you will descend the 550 steps to the main pier to return to Puno City.
Day 7: Puno
A guide will pick you up from your hotel at the established time and will accompany you back to the airport.