Chinese New Year Dep: 6 Feb 2019
Depart Singapore Changi Airport for your flight to Lima, the capital of Peru.
Upon arrival in Lima, transfer to your hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco, whose name is derived from a Quechua word that translates to navel of the world. Embark on a Cusco city tour and discover the former capital of the Inca Empire. During the tour, visit the main square, the famous Hatunrumiyoc street, Koricancha or Temple of the Sun, Kenko, Puca Pucara and archaeological sites Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman.
Start your day exploring the archaeological area of Moray. The Quechuas used this place to experiment with the agricultural crops due to the climatic variations at different altitudes. Continue to the quaint town of Ollantaytambo. With its narrow cobblestone streets, it is the best surviving example of Inca city planning. At the time of the Spanish invasion and conquest of Peru, Ollantaytambo served as the last stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance at the time. Thereafter, transfer to Ollantaytambo train station for your ride to your hotel in Aguas Calientes.
This morning, enjoy a guided visit to UNESCO World Heritage Site Machu Picchu, known as the Lost City of the Incas. Built in the 15th century, it was abandoned when the Inca Empire was conquered by the Spaniards in the 16th century. The archaeological complex was only made known to the outside world when it was discovered in 1911 by US explorer Hiram Bingham. In 2007, Machu Picchu was elected one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, along with the Great Wall of China, Rome’s Colosseum and the Taj Mahal. Thereafter, return to Ollantaytambo and transfer to your hotel.
Today, make your way to Puno. Along the way, admire the scenery as you pass through Inca Ruins and the Andean countryside. With an altitude of over 4000 metres, the highest pass of the trip is Abra la Raya and it marks the divide between the Cusco and Puno regions. Here, observe the high and beautiful peaks of the Andean mountains and its surrounding rivers. Next, visit Andahuaylillas and its main attraction, known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas. The baroque church is famous for the lavish embellishments found within it including the magnificent frescos that decorate its walls. Thereafter, view the archeological sites of Raqchi and Pucara. To learn more about Pucara pre-Inca culture, make a trip to Pucara Stone Museum and discover its selection of sculptures, ceramics and other artifacts.
After breakfast, take a boat excursion on Lake Titicaca and marvel at the floating islands of Uros. These islands have been created entirely out of the buoyant totora reeds that grow abundantly in the shallows of the lake. The lives of the Uros people are interwoven with these reeds, which are also used to build homes, boats and crafts. Continue to Taquile Island, a remote island with unique traditions where knitting is exclusively performed by males, beginning in early boyhood. All around the way, you cannot help but be awed by the incredible landscape of Lake Titicaca.
Say goodbye to Peru as you cross the Kasani border into the lakeside town of Copacabana, the most important religious sanctuary of Bolivia. Here, visit the main square and church where you can find the famous statue of Our Lady of Copacabana. Your trip will also take you to Isla del Sol, the largest island on Lake Titicaca and part of Bolivian territory. Upon arrival, explore the ruins of Pilko Kaina before continuing to Yumani, the site of the Inca steps. Here, 206 steps built by the Incas lead up into the town and to a sacred fountain. Thereafter, make your return to Copacabana before checking into your hotel in La Paz.
Today, go on a city tour of La Paz and walk along El Prado, a main street surrounded by skyscrapers. View notable sites such as San Francisco Church, Plaza Murillo and the Historic Centre of La Paz with its colonial streets and museums before heading to Witches’ Market, a popular attraction which sells many strange an fascinating ingredients used as local medicine. Next, stop by La Paz’s famous Moon Valley, where you will cross over from the west for a better view of its unique clay geography formed through centuries. Here, enjoy a cable car ride as you experience the mountains and unique urban landscape of La Paz from up in the air. Proceed to take a domestic flight to Uyuni before transferring to your hotel.
This morning, rise early and make your way to Altiplano for a marvelous stargazing session and stay on to watch the sunrise. Then, spend the whole day exploring Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flats spanning more than 10,000 square kilometres. Your excursion also takes you to Incahuasi Island, an outcropping of cacti and fossilised algae, where you can take in a nice panoramic view of the surrounding areas from the top. For a change of pace, enjoy your lunch right in the middle of the salt flats. After, transfer to your hotel in Colchani, a small 1-street town with traditional salt refinement factories.
After breakfast, watch the extraction and production of salt blocks in Colchani. Then, head towards Pucara Ayque in the foothills of Thunupa Volcano, where you can observe the pre-Columbian fort and ancient mummies. After, head back to Uyuni for your flight to La Paz. Upon arrival, transfer to the city centre.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival, travel downtown and join a Lima city tour to explore the ethnic melting pot of Lima. With a population of more than 8 million people, Lima is the 5th-largest city in South America. Known as the City of Kings, Lima was founded in 1535 by the Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro and is one of the very few South American cities that preserves the colonial past. In 1991, the Historic Centre of Lima was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening, transfer to the airport for your flight home.