Peruvian Legends

Package Includes

  • Small groups of 10-18 travelers guaranteed
  • Round trip international flights Miami-Lima, Lima-Miami
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • Intra-flights Lima-Arequipa & Cuzco-Lima
  • 11 nights in First Class accommodations that evoke the local character
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers and sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • 27 meals: 11 buffet breakfasts, 9 lunches & 7 dinners (including a home hosted lunch & dinner and welcome & farewell dinners)
  • Bottled water during sightseeing excursions. Bottled water, coffee, and tea with all meals. Beer and wine included with dinner
  • Vistadome train to Machu Picchu
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features

Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size of 10-18 travelers, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
  • Stroll the cobbled streets of Arequipa with your guide, and marvel at one of the finest centers of Spanish colonial architecture
  • Savor the scenery of the Colca Canyon and view the rare Andean condor
  • Cruise the world’s highest navigable lake, and visit the Uros people who live on its waters and the Aymara who live near its shores
  • View the vibrant costumes of Puno, the festival capital of Peru, during an exclusive talk about local celebrations
  • Meet local children and learn about their daily lives when we drop by a local school
  • Experience Sacsayhuamán to its fullest, with a private Peruvian panpipe performance
  • Uncover the mysteries of Machu Picchu’s temples, sanctuaries, and fortresses during a visit to this magnificent site
  • See the largest collection of Peruvian pre-Columbian art at the Larco Herrara Museum
  • Dine at the renowned Huaca Pucllana, with views of a 1,500-year-old pyramid site

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    DAY 1, Thursday - Depart the USA
    Depart the USA for Peru. Your overnight flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for the journey

    DAY 2, Friday - Arrive Lima/Fly to Arequipa
    Connect in Lima for your flight to Arequipa with help from a Gate 1 representative. Upon arrival, meet your tour manager and transfer to your hotel. The balance of your day is free to explore this charming, colonial city. This evening, get your first taste of Peru with a pisco sour during a tour briefing. Then, get to know your fellow travelers during a welcome dinner of local cuisine
    Overnight: Hotel Libertador, Arequipa
    Meals: Dinner

    DAY 3, Saturday - Explore Arequipa
    Today, we explore this remarkable colonial city. Throughout the day, you will wonder why so many visitors to Peru overlook this glorious gem. Its beauty lies in its cultural purity; Arequipa’s remote location has allowed its Spanish-based culture to thrive with little outside influence. Much of the city’s breathtaking architecture was built with sillar, a white volcanic rock. The shimmering stone lends a bright air to the streets – and has earned the city the nickname “La Ciudad Blanca,” the White City. We’ll visit two striking 16th-century structures in the historic Plaza de Armas – the massive cathedral and the Santa Catalina Monastery, beloved for its vividly painted façades. We’ll also browse the local San Camilo Market, whose stalls overflow with colorful produce and textiles. Sample some local fruit here and mingle with farmers who cart in their harvest from the Andean countryside. Enjoy the evening at leisure
    Overnight: Hotel Libertador, Arequipa
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 4, Sunday - Drive through Andean Hills to Colca & Discover Colca Canyon
    Our scenic drive to Colca takes us into some of the most magnificent terrain you’re ever likely to see. En route we visit Colca Canyon, the world’s deepest at 13,650 feet – more than twice the depth of the Grand Canyon. The Colca River has carved this geologic wonder over millennia and some of the terraced hillsides we see pre-date Incan civilization. The canyon is home to the Andean condor and we’ll stop at a strategic location where we’re likely to see them soaring on the warm currents of air rising from the canyon floor. Continuing on, admire tiny villages on an unspoiled countryside of Andean hills and terraced farmlands sloping into vast valleys. Perhaps you will see shepherds, some of who are descended from indigenous tribes like the Collagua and Cabana, tending to their alpaca. Upon arrival in Colca, we settle into our luscious accommodations at Colca Lodge. The land here is fed by hot springs, and there will be time to relax in its thermo-medicinal baths. Tonight, turn your gaze upward to a blanket of stars at the property’s observatory
    Overnight: Colca Lodge & Spa, Colca
    Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 5, Monday - Visit Sillustani Tombs & Puno
    Another magnificent day in the midst of Andean beauty. En route to Puno, we visit the Sillustani tombs and view the cylindrical, above-ground chambers called “chullpa.” In pre-Inca times, they served as burial houses for entire families. Our drive also passes by Lake Lagunillas, home to a variety of birdlife, llama, sheep, and vicuña. By afternoon, we arrive in Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Enjoy the vista from your water-view room
    Overnight: Libertador Lago Titicaca, Puno
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 6, Tuesday - Explore Lake Titicaca Villages & Uros Islands
    Get a close-up view of life in rural Peru today as we visit some nearby villages. At Copamaya, we gain a more intimate view of farming fields during a short hike. Next, we stop in Luquina to visit with the humble Aymara people. We’ve been invited to lunch with them on food they have grown themselves; during our stay we’ll learn about their local festivals, dances, and costumes. Later, we embark on a small boat for a visit to the remarkable Floating Islands of the Uros people on Lake Titicaca. Back at the hotel, learn more about local festivals and customs during an informative discussion
    Overnight: Libertador Lago Titicaca, Puno
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 7, Wednesday - Visit Raqchi
    This will be a long and rewarding touring day as we travel to the Sacred Valley, making several interesting stops amidst the Andes' scenic splendor along the way. After a picnic lunch, with breathtaking vistas as our backdrop, visit Raqchi, one of the holiest sites in the Inca Empire. This temple complex was enormous in its heyday and drew worshipers in the thousands. By day’s end, we arrive at our hotel, a chalet-style mountain retreat
    Overnight: Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley, Urubamba
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 8, Thursday - Discover Chinchero & Ollantaytambo
    Throughout southern Peru, locals strive to keep the tradition of back-strap weaving alive. Today, we’ll witness this surviving ancient art firsthand in the small village of Chinchero. A demonstration by some local women illustrates intricate techniques and the coloring of the wool with natural dyes. Share your observations about the craft over lunch. Then visit the town of Ollantaytambo, home to the ruins of an Incan Emperors' Royal estate. During the Spanish invasion of Peru, this estate became a stronghold of Incan resistance and was the site of a rare Incan victory over the Spanish conquistadors. If time permits there may be a visit to a local school in Urubamba
    Overnight: Casa Andina Private Collection Sacred Valley, Urubamba
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 9, Friday - Explore Machu Picchu
    Today, discover the crowning achievement of Inca ingenuity. After an early start from our hotel, we board a Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes. Once at Machu Picchu, there will be time for an overview from our guide, followed by an opportunity to explore the granite temples, sanctuaries, and residences on your own. These structures were built with such precision – and many of them without mortar – it’s said that even a blade of grass cannot be inserted between their stones. It is a glorious monument to a lost civilization. After a fascinating day, continue to our hotel in the heart of Cuzco
    Overnight: Hotel Novotel Cusco, Cuzco
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 10, Saturday - Tour Cuzco/Enjoy Home-Hosted Dinner
    All of Cuzco is right outside your door this morning. Though its Spanish structures clearly mark it as a colonial town, its Inca roots are literally at your feet; many buildings were erected on Inca foundations. Today, with its narrow cobbled streets and dramatic Andean setting, Cuzco is a walker’s delight. We visit the Cathedral of Cuzco, home not only to the faithful but also to a major collection of colonial art. Later, stop at the Koricancha, or Golden Temple. During our stay, imagine its walls adorned with plates of gold – as they were in Inca times. Later, we’re the guests of a Cuzco area family for dinner. Maybe one of the country’s hundreds of varieties of potato will be on the menu!
    Overnight: Hotel Novotel Cusco, Cuzco
    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    DAY 11, Sunday - Visit Sacsayhuaman/Enjoy Panpipes at Kenko/Cooking Class
    Today we journey outside the city to the incredible hillside fortress of Sacsayhuamán. The site is protected by a trio of colossal walls that zig-zag alongside each other for more than 1,000 feet. From the air, the complex resembles the head of a puma. Later, we stop at Kenko, a “huaca” or holy place where sacrifices were held. While here, get insight into the workings of a shaman and tap your foot to the rhythms of Peruvian panpipes music during a private performance. Next, we learn about local cuisine during a cooking class, and enjoy the results for lunch. Our day ends at the Almudena cemetery, where we learn about local burial customs
    Overnight: Hotel Novotel Cusco, Cuzco
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

    DAY 12, Monday - Fly to Lima/Enjoy City Tour
    Transfer to the airport after breakfast for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch before perusing the pre-Columbian art collection at the Larco Herrara Museum, housed in a vice-royal mansion built over a seventh-century pyramid. This afternoon, our panoramic tour of Lima includes the bustling Plaza de Armas, the Government Palace, and the Cathedral where Francisco Pizarro is entombed. Our farewell dinner is at the renowned Huaca Pucllana in the trendy Miraflores district, with views of a 1,500-year-old pyramid site
    Overnight: Sol de Oro, Lima
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    DAY 13, Tuesday - Depart for the USA
    Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
    Meals: Breakfast

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    *Not Included:
    Prices do not include Peru taxes and gratuities for guides/tour managers..

    Additional Information:
    This package is based on pre-confirmed flights via LAN and may only be purchased with these flights.

    The Jul 5, Sep 6, and Sep 26 departures will be accommodated at the Libertador in Lima.

    Entry Requirements:
    Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.

    Is This Trip Right for You?

    This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day, and we spend 4-5 hours on our feet during tours. The pace is moderate, with 2 one-night stays, 3 two-nights stays, and 1 three-night stay. Two days require long transfers by shuttle bus. Some of our tours require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes. We spend 3 nights in Cuzco at an altitude of 11,000 feet and 2 nights in Puno at 12,400 feet. We have many early mornings. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking or who have heart conditions.

    Getting Ready to GoAbout Your FlightsArrival and DepartureAccommodationsAt Your Destination

    Know Before You Go
    Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
    Getting Ready to Go
    Passports and Visas
    It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has unstamped visa pages.

    Peru - Passport information must be submitted to Gate 1 Travel at least 60 days prior to departure. This information is necessary to issue Machu Picchu train tickets.

    Trip Preparation
    A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver’s license) are in order and that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. As for the liquid containers, we suggest that you squeeze out excess air from those containers and place into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

    Cell Phones & Calling Cards
    You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. U.S. service is dominated by the CDMA technology standard, while most of the world uses the incompatible GSM standard. Some U.S. providers do offer GSM, but you may incur high international roaming fees. With GSM, however, you can often choose to have your phone unlocked and then add a local SIM card for lower fees. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally.

    When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel’s reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges.

    Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
    When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code + destination Country Code + Phone Number.
    For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If the international number you wish to call starts with a 0 (zero), you must drop this starting digit when dialing the number.

    Wireless Internet Access
    Passengers traveling with WiFi enabled devices (such as a personal computer, smartphone, tablet, or digital audio player) may be able to connect to the internet via a wireless network access point (or hotspot). WiFi access in hotels and/or cruise lines often involves a fee which, in some cases, can be very expensive. Availability of WiFi varies by country, hotel and/or cruise line. Even if WiFi is available, signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Internet availability on cruises is unpredictable due to the ship frequently changing locations while sailing through multiple countries. Passengers requiring internet access may seek out internet cafes or may be able to locate free WiFi hotspots such as libraries or coffee shops. Hotspots can often be located and planned in advance via an online search. Planning ahead may help avoid unnecessary fees.

    Staying Healthy While Traveling
    All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal health-care provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or theWorld Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.

    There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.

    • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
    • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
    • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
    • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
    • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellant (for both active and warm destinations).
    • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.

    Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

    Peru - While no inoculations are required, vaccination against yellow fever is recommended, especially if traveling to the Amazon or onward to Bolivia. Please consult your physician before traveling to Peru.

    You may encounter mosquitoes in both urban and rural areas, especially during wet seasons. Travelers are encouraged to bring insect repellant and consider wearing clothing that adequately covers arms and legs.

    Traveler’s diarrhea caused by contaminated food or water, often resulting in dehydration, is common. Take care to follow these steps to avoid or reduce the symptoms.
    • Drink only bottled water.
    • Avoid unpasteurized cheeses and unpeeled or unwashed fruits and vegetables.
    • Eggs, meat and seafood should be properly and fully cooked.
    • Please note that the popular Peruvian alcoholic beverage, Pisco Sour is often made with uncooked egg white.
    • If you have contracted diarrhea, let your stomach rest. Do not eat for several hours or until you are feeling better.
    • Drink bottled or boiled water and rehydration beverages containing electrolytes (sports drinks) frequently and in small amounts.
    • Resume your diet with simple and bland foods, such as crackers, rice, bread, potatoes, or bananas, which usually will help slow diarrhea.

    High Altitude Illness:
    Altitude illness occurs when there is a lack of oxygen in the air at high altitudes, including Cuzco (11,000 feet) and Puno (12,600 feet). Altitude illness will affect some travelers, with no apparent regard to age, gender or physical condition. Symptoms may include headache, loss of appetite, dizziness and trouble sleeping. For some it will pass within a few hours, however for many the condition if gone untreated may last for several days. We urge you to read and follow these suggestions in order to reduce the chances and/or severity of altitude illness.

    • Prior to departure, speak with your health care provider. They may recommend the medication acetazolamide (Diamox), which has been found to reduce the symptoms if taken a day or two before you depart.
    • Stick to a light diet the day before traveling to a high altitude. Foods found easy to digest include fish, chicken and hot liquids. Avoid fried foods, beef, lamb and caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
    • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before and during your stay. Many find saline nasal drops/spray beneficial.
    • Upon arrival take it easy. Allow your body to adjust by lying down for 10-15 minutes. Rest as much as possible during the trip. Over-exertion can exacerbate the symptoms.
    • Oxygen can be beneficial, and is easily found in airports, hotels and pharmacies.
    • For headaches, over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) have been found to be helpful.
    • Coca tea and wild mint (Munia) may ease the symptoms.
    • A diet high in carbohydrates, breads, cereals, grains, and pasta can also help alleviate the symptoms.
    Once again, we highly suggest you consult your personal healthcare provider before making the decision to travel to any high altitude destination and before choosing any course of treatment.

    Climate & Clothing
    We ask tour members to refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance, in respect for other clients on the tour bus who may be allergic.

    Additionally, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travel mates and refrain from smoking cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants.

    Peru - The sun is strong, particularly in the higher altitudes. Please bring a sun hat that has a circular brim all the way around (not a baseball cap) and sunscreen. Bring comfortable, cushioned walking shoes for the hard cobblestone streets, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Remember that during your trip you will be traveling between regions and will need to be prepared for all weather conditions. Please check to which season and region(s) you will be traveling and pack accordingly. Winter months (May – October) are cold. During those periods you will need a warm jacket, gloves, a hat and a scarf. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

    Peru's climate varies by season and region. The coastal region (Lima) has two clear seasons, summer (December - March) and winter (May – October). Summer temperatures in this region can reach 80°F. Winter is generally damp and chilly, with temperatures dropping to 53°F. This region sees little rain, but can see mist and drizzle during the winter. The coastal area of Ica (Paracas, Nazca) enjoys warm dry weather throughout the year, with average temperatures around 75 - 80°F. The highlands region of Peru (Cuzco, Puno, Urubamba, Machu Picchu) has a dry temperate climate that also experiences two distinct seasons. The dry season (May – October) consists of sunny days and cold nights with very little rain. The rainy season in the highlands runs from December to March. Temperatures can change drastically during the day in this region, sometimes varying as widely as highs around 65°F and lows of 35°F during the same day. The jungle region (Amazon River) is tropical and humid. Throughout the year temperatures range from mid to upper 80s during the day and drop into the 70s during the night. The summer months (April – October) are considered the dry season, though despite this name it should be remembered that it rains two-thirds of the year in the rainforest. The rainy season (November – March) sees frequent showers and high river levels.

    Peru Average Temperatures: http://www.gate1travel.com/weather/americas/default.aspx#peru-weather

    Book & Film Recommendations
    Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests’ recommendations.

    PERU: Books

    Machu Picchu:
    Lost City of the Incas by Hiram Bingham (1948)
    Machu Picchu Sacred Center by Johan Reinhard (2007)
    Turn Right At Machu Picchu by Mark Adams (2011)
    Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the Incas by Richard L Burg (2008)
    Incas: Book 3: The Light of Machu Picchu by A.B. Daniel (2003)
    The Steamer Trunk Adventures #2: The Ghosts of Machu Picchu by R.M. Garcia (2006)

    Nazca Lines:
    The Nasca Lines by Johan Reinhard (1986)
    Nazca: Eighth Wonder of the World by Anthony Adams (2001)
    Nazca by Steve Rogoff (2003)

    General Peruvian Life / Exploration:
    The Peru Readers by Orin Starn, Carlos Ivan Degregory, and Robin Kirk (2005)
    The Art of Peruvian Cuisine by Tony Custer (2003)
    Eight Feet in the Andes: Travels with a Mule in Unknown Peru by Dervla Murphy (2003)
    Conversation in the Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa (1975)
    Aunt Julia & the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa (1977)
    The White Rock - An exploration of the Incas heartland by Hugh Thomson (2001)

    The Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming (1970, reprint 2003)
    Narrative of the Incas by Juan de Betanzos (originally from 1550s, not discovered and published until 1980s)
    The Secret of the Incas by William Sullivan (1997)
    Incas: Books 1&2 by A.B. Daniel (2002-2003)

    Other Archaeology/sites
    Lost Tomb of Viracocha by Maurice Cotterell (2001)
    Temple by Matthew Reilly (2002)

    PERU: Films
    The Secret of the Incas (1957)
    The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
    The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969)
    Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)