The beautiful “White City” of Arequipa and the nearby Colca Canyon is the perfect place to start or finish a trip to Peru and is ideal for acclimatising oneself to the rarefied air of the Andes or for relaxing in Hot-springs following your Amazonas Explorer adventure. The road to Puno has now improved sufficiently to make the overland journey to Puno and Lake Titicaca a viable extension.
DAY 1: Arriving in Arequipa, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Arequipa is known locally as “The White City”. You have the rest of the day free and we recommend you visit the Santa Catalina Monastery. First opened to the public in 1970, it is a maze of intricate architecture and a photographer’s paradise. You can also take in Juanita – the Inca ice maiden, the impressive Plaza de Armas with its earthquake damaged Cathedral and sample the delights of local cuisine in a typical ‘Picantaria’.
DAY 2: Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and then, by private minibus you head inland to the Colca Canyon, climbing high into the Andes, hopefully spotting vicunas, flamingos and other rare wildlife, before descending to Chivay. You stay the night in a charming lodge, built in traditional Colca style with near-by perfect temperature hot-springs. (B/L/D)
DAY 3: Early this morning you head to the very rim of the Colca Canyon, Cruz del Condor where, if you are lucky, you can see condors soaring in the thermals created by the deep gorge. From here you return to your Lodge including several stops to visit local towns and many beautiful photo opportunities. From the lodge you can visit pre-Inca ruins, an ancient cemetery and explore the surrounding hills, or simply relax in near-by hot-springs. (B/L/D)
DAY 4: Today you drive back to Arequipa. On arrival in Arequipa you are transferred to your hotel with free time for sightseeing and shopping. Arequipa is famous for its reasonably priced, high quality, Alpaca and Vicuna garments. (B/L)
Alternatively you could drive to Puno for a lake Titicaca Extension.
DAY 5: Transfer to Arequipa airport for your on-going connection. (B)
INCLUDED: Airport transfers in Arequipa, two nights in 3 Star Hotel in Arequipa, private minibus with guide to Lodge, two night in Lodge, minibus to Cruz del Condor and return to Arequipa, meals where indicated. Entrance to Colca National Park ($12). Local English speaking guide
NOT INCLUDED: Internal flights to and from Arequipa, meals where not indicated, tips and personal expenses.