Three exotic countries in one travel: Peru will fascinate you with its Inca culture, colourful markets and an excellent cuisine; the Bolivian Altiplano will captivate you with landscapes and wonderful colours and Chile will surprise you with its variety.
Arrival at the Lima airport, with transport to your hotel. Overnight stay in Lima.
A visit to Lima's historic downtown, including the Paseo de la República, Plaza San Martin, the Main Plaza, and the surrounding sights: the Presidential Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace, City Hall, and the Moorish-style houses and balconies along Lima's old streets as well as one of the best preserved mansions of America. This day's tour will also include a visit to the archaeological museum Larco Herrera, with its famous collection of gold artefacts. Overnight stay in Lima.
After your breakfast, you will receive transport from your hotel to the airport, where your flight to Cuzco will await. Upon your arrival in Cuzco, you will be met by our local staff and taken to your hotel near the main plaza. Cuzco is often described as an open-air museum, and during this afternoon's tour, you will see why! In addition to the impressive city centre, you will also visit the nearby Incan ruins of Kenko, Saqsayhuaman, Tambomachay and Puka Pukara which are considered as great artworks of archaeology. Overnight stay in Cusco.
Day trip to the Sacred Valley of Urubamba, and a visit to the colourful Indian market of Pisac. The village of Pisac springs to life every day when the people of the surrounding villages flock to the market. After lunch, you will visit the Incan fortress of Ollantaytambo. Overnight stay in Cusco.
After a very early breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel for the train trip, along the wild Urubamba river, from Cusco to Aguas Calientes. From there, a bus will take you on a 30-minute ride to the ruins of Machu Picchu, or ¨Old Mountain¨ in the Inca language Quechua, where you will have a guided tour. The lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu was both a centre of worship and an astronomy observatory – as well as the private retreat of the family of the Inca ruler Pachacutec. It is split in two major areas: the agricultural zone, made up of terracing and food storehouses, and the urban zone, which features the sacred sector's temples, squares, and royal tombs, all carved in stone with an extraordinary degree of skill. At the end of this exciting afternoon, you will bus back to Aguas Calientes, from whence the train will return you to Cuzco. Overnight stay in Cusco
Following your breakfast, you will be collected by a urban bus to start your trip through the amazing Peruvian highlands to the fascination nature scenery in Puno. The Peruvian highlands are impressing: snow covered mountain peeks, picturesque Indian villages, colourful traditional costumes, lamas and alpacas. On the way you will visit the archaeological sites Raqchi and Pukara. Lunch at a local restaurant. At the end of the day, you will arrive at your hotel in near Puno.
Experience bus ride from Puno (Peru) to Copacabana (Bolivia). After arriving in Copacabana, you will visit the shrine of the "Black Virgin". Then, via a hydrofoil boat, your adventure on Lake Titicaca will begin: first to the Island of the Moon, featuring the temple Iñak Uyu and other important ruins, and then to the Island of the Sun, where you will climb the steps up to the Sacred Fountain (which promises happiness and youth!), and lunch in the restaurant "Uma Kollo". Following the return hydrofoil trip back to Copacabana, a bus transport will take you to the Altiplano Museum in Huatajata, where an audio system will guide you through the history of cultural heritage from colonial times to the present. In the evening, you will continue on to your hotel in La Paz.
Transfer to the airport for a flight to your next destination Salvador. Bahia represents the cultural soul of Brazil. All the components that give this nation its special flavor and flair—music, dance, literature, cuisine, folklore and faith—were greatly influenced by Bahia. Here, the traveler will discover a city rich in heritage and tradition. The area is also famous for its beautiful beaches and islands, many of which offer remote and undisturbed solitude.
Today you will have an unforgettable journey through the 12,000 acres of the salt lake Uyuni. The dazzling white of the endless lake is simply breathtaking. During the dry season, from April to October, the surface displays thousands of crystal salt octagons; in the rainy season, from November to March, it glimmers like a huge mirror, uniting the horizon with the sky. Today you will enjoy your lunch on Fish Island, a hill in the middle of the salt desert, that is covered with hundreds of cacti. Later, in Colchani, you will visit the salt processing facility and learn about ancient salt-preservation techniques. You will overnight at the Hotel Luna Salada.
An early morning departure from your hotel, heading toward Chile. One of the highlights of this day's journey is the "Red Lagoon," where the sun and the wind initiate an algae bloom, giving the lagoon and its resident flamingos a unique reddish colour. Following a picnic at the lagoon, you will visit the nearby "Geysers of the Morning Sun," before having the opportunity of diving into the thermal baths of Polques. Before the border crossing at Hito Cajon, you will experience the alien-looking landscape of the Lincancabur volcano, which is dominated by a green lagoon. After this emerald-green sanctuary, you will cross the border and proceed on to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.
The morning will begin with a visit to the Salar de Atacama. On-route you will stop in the picturesque village of Toconao, whose houses are built from bricks of white volcanic stone, giving it a unique appearance. The church and its bell tower are also built of this bleached white volcanic stone. After Toconao, you will continue on to visit Chile's largest salt flats: the Salar de Atacama. Rich in minerals, including borax and lithium, the Salar de Atacama is home to various species of flamingos, as well as many other birds. The Laguna Chaxa, part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamencos (Flamingos), provides a terrific opportunity to get closer to these birds in their natural habitat. In the afternoon you will set out to Moon Valley, a bizarre, lunar landscape formed by the erosion of salt hills. The strange sculpted rock formations in the middle of the desert, with the Lincancabur Volcano in the background, make for a particularly rare experience. After sunset you will return to the hotel in San Pedro.
An early departure for the Geysers of El Tatio. El Tatio is situated at 4500 meters above sea level on the Altiplano. There are about 40 geysers, thermal wells and fumaroles. The early morning light striking the water and steam hurling up from the geysers makes for a spectacular and unforgettable experience. Bus transport to the Calama airport is followed by a flight to Santiago de Chile, where you will be met and taken to your hotel in the city (flight to Santiago is not included in the prize).
A full-day excursion to Valparaíso, the oldest port in Chile, and truly a picturesque city in every respect of the word. In 2000, Valparaiso was declared a "World Heritage Site", a distinguished honour for any city. Valparaíso retains tremendous historical significance, as well as being home to the Chilean Legislative Assembly. During your city tour you will visit the new government houses, the Plaza Sotomayor, the Plaza Victoria, the cathedral, the harbour area and "La Sebastaiana", the former home of the Chilean writer and Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda. Rising high above the lower city, there is a fantastic jumble of brightly painted houses. The upper and lower sections of the city are connected with 16 funicular railways, constructed around the turn of the last century, when the city experienced tremendous growth. From Valparaíso, you will continue along up coast to the beautiful beaches of Viña del Mar, the Garden city, named for its many parks and green spaces. Viña del Mar is a lively city with modern hotels, high-end restaurants and fashionable bars. The casino, built in 1932 and set amidst beautiful gardens, is a well-maintained example of Chilean elegance. Return to Santiago in the evening and overnight stay in Santiago.
Enjoy a morning city tour, which will include the most important sights of the city, both historic and modern. You will visit the Presidential Palace, once the National Mint and thus called "La Moneda," as well as the Plaza de Armas. This historic main square is fronted by both the Cathedral and the "Palacio de la Real Audiencia", which today houses the National History Museum. You will get your best view of Santiago during a visit to the summit of the Cerro San Cristobal ("Saint Christopher Hill"), located in the remarkable Parque Metropolitano. From here, a huge statue of the Virgin overlooks a panoramic view of the city. You will then continue uptown to visit "Providencia," one of the finest neighbourhoods within greater Santiago, offering prestige and tranquillity, with its elegant shops, first-class restaurants and futuristic high-rise buildings. You will then return to your hotel, with evening transport to the International Airport.
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