HIGHLIGHTS OF PERU & CHILE
Discover the highlights of Peru and Chile with this comprehensive tour exploring the local culture and natural attractions. Start your tour in Peru, a fascinating country with incredible history, nature and an endearing hospitable culture. Discover spectacular scenery, learn of ancient civilizations and experience age-old traditions.
Visit the local Misminay community in the Sacred Valley where you will experience the Andean culture and participate in a cooking class, before visiting Machu Picchu. Continue to Chile’s capital, Santiago, a city framed by the majestic Andes Mountain range. Amidst beautiful landscapes, learn about the Chilean cuisine. Visit a local vineyard and learn about the many varieties of wine that Chile proudly cultivates and exports globally. Continue to the Atacama Desert, a 1,000km stretch of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, where you will find geysers, hot springs, salty basins and snow-capped volcanoes, as well as unique flora and fauna.
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Lima – Cusco – Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu – Aguas Calientes – Cusco – Lima – Santiago – Valparaíso – Viña del Mar – San Pedro de Atacama
* Roundtrip airfare
• Domestic flights
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• Lima: two nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Sacred Valley: two nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Machu Picchu: one-night 4-star hotel accommodation
• Cusco: two nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Excursion to the local Misminay Community, with Maras salt mines and Moray terraces
• Santiago: four nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Two wine tastings incl. Maipo Valley Winery in Santa Rita
• San Pedro de Atacama: three nights 4-star hotel accommodation at Hotel Altiplanico
• San Pedro de Atacama astronomical tour
• 14 breakfasts, seven lunches, one dinner
• Local English speaking tour guide
• Private motor coach transportation
• Merit Travel tour host**
• All taxes and gratuities***
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DAY 1 | Apr. 20, 2020 | Toronto/Vancouver - Lima
Depart Toronto/Vancouver for Lima.
DAY 2 | Apr. 21, 2020 | Lima
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Accommodation at Jose Antonio Deluxe Hotel (2 nights)
DAY 3 | Apr. 22, 2020 | Lima (B)
After breakfast enjoy your morning at leisure.
In the afternoon join a city tour, visiting the modern and colonial parts of the city of Lima. The road passes a Huaca or sacred pre-Inca site, and stop at Parque del Amor (Lovers Park) in Miraflores for a magnificent view over the Pacific Ocean. The tour also includes visiting the Historic Centre based on the Main Square, where the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop´s Palace, the Municipality of Lima and the Cathedral are located, as well as a one of the largest colonial-era convents.
DAY 4 | Apr. 23, 2020 | Lima - Cusco - Sacred Valley (B, L)
After breakfast, you will transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco.
Upon arrival in Cusco transfer to the Sacred Valley for a tour to the Pisac Ruins and Pisac Market. Today you will set off for the Sacred Valley of the Incas, heading towards the town of Pisac to tour its impressive archaeological sites, featuring incredible terraced hillsides and a high degree of urban planning. After the tour, you will descend to the town and spend time in the local market.
Accommodation at Casa Andina Premium Valle Sagrado Hotel and Villas (2 nights)
DAY 5 | Apr. 24, 2020 | Sacred Valley (B, L)
Early breakfast at the hotel. Depart for a tour into the Maras salt mines and terraces before visiting the local Misminay community, where you will experience authentic Andean culture.
Join a lunchtime cooking class and prepare a delicious traditional dish using only local products. Visit the town of Maras, where mines form terraces and lagoons, offering a mandatory spot for snapping amazing pictures.
Finally, you will visit the Moray agricultural terraces, which were used as a botanic laboratory by the Incas and from where you’ll have views over Sacred Valley.
DAY 6 | Apr. 25, 2020 | Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes (B, L, D)
After breakfast you will transfer to the train station for your Vistadome train to Aguas Calientes, before visiting the spectacular site of Machu Picchu. Upon arrival, you will start the ascent to the ruins, which will be, without a doubt an unforgettable experience. We then make our way back down to Aguas Calientes for lunch at Café Inkaterra. Check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner with your group this evening.
Accommodation at Casa Del Sol Boutique Hotel (1 night)
DAY 7 | Apr. 26, 2020 | Sacred Valley - Cusco (B)
After breakfast your morning is at leisure. Then board your Vistadome train to Cusco.
Accommodation at Novotel Cusco (2 nights)
DAY 8 | Apr. 27, 2020 | Cusco (B)
After breakfast enjoy a city tour of UNESCO World Heritage-listed, Cusco and its archaeological sites. The excursion starts at Koricancha temple, an ancient Inca palace, where the Dominicans ordered a church to be built, which survives to this day.
Continue to the Main Square, where you will visit the cathedral, then climb to Sacsayhuaman Fortress, an impressive example of Inca military architecture and onto Kenko, where the sun, moon and stars were worshipped.
Afterwards visit Puca-Pucara, before visiting the Inka's Expression art workshop, where you will appreciate how different Peruvian natural products are used (such as plants, fruits, vegetables among others) and you will discover their nutritional, curative and cosmetic properties.
Your afternoon will be at leisure.
DAY 9 | Apr. 28, 2020 | Cusco - Lima - Santiago (B)
This morning, transfer to the airport for your flights to Santiago, Chile (via Lima). Santiago, Chile’s capital, framed by the majestic Andes Mountain range, and an important metropolis where the French classic architecture is combined with the baroque and colonial Spanish architecture with modern tall buildings. Upon arrival at Santiago airport, transfer to your hotel.
Accommodation at Hotel Atton el Bosque (3 nights)
DAY 10 | Apr. 29, 2020 | Santiago (B, L)
After breakfast enjoy a city tour of Santiago. You will begin with a visit to the presidential palace, La Moneda, which once housed the national mint. Explore Plaza de Armas, and see the cathedral, post office, the Palacio de la Real Audiencia, home to the National History Museum and the Casa Colorada, once the Spanish governor’s residence. Pass by the Cerro San Cristóbal, an outpost of the mountains which towers over the city with a great white statue of the Virgin Mary crowning its summit. Your tour will end with a visit to the fashionable business districts of Providencia and Las Condes. Enjoy lunch at Restaurant Casa Vieja, located in the residential area of Las Condes with typical Chilean cuisine. Your afternoon is at leisure.
DAY 11 | Apr. 30, 2020 | Santiago - Valparaíso - Viña del Mar (B, L)
After breakfast, your tour will depart from Santiago along the coastline (approx. 120km.) passing through the fertile Curacaví and Casablanca Valleys. Enroute, you will visit Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, a port city founded in the 16th century and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Indulge in a delicious seafood lunch at Castillo del Mar Restaurant with your group, and enjoy a wine tasting at a local vineyard. We will then continue along this beautiful route in front of the sea to arrive at the city of Viña del Mar. We will see the picturesque Flower Clock and go through Peru Avenue with its traditional casino and Hotel Del Mar, founded in 1930, before passing by the Museum of Paleontology and Anthropology Fonck.
DAY 12 | May 1, 2020 | Santiago - Calama - San Pedro de Atacama (B)
After breakfast, transfer from your hotel to the airport to board your flight to Calama. After arriving transfer to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
Here you will visit the Atacama Desert with its innumerable geological wonders such as geysers, hot springs, salty basins and snow-capped volcanoes, as well as unique flora and fauna. From sunrise at the Tatio Geysers surrounded by jagged mountain peaks to unparalleled sunsets reflecting golden light over salty lagoons busy with Chilean Flamingos, San Pedro de Atacama will surely take your breath away.
In the afternoon, transfer to the Moon and Death Valley for a tour of Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains), where you will see stone and sand formations and enjoy amazing views.
Accommodation at Hotel Altiplanico (3 nights)
DAY 13 | May 2, 2020 | San Pedro de Atacama (B, L)
After breakfast, enjoy a full-day excursion to the Altiplanic Lagoons.
Today’s excursion will begin with a tour through the vast plain area, allowing you to reach the Gran Salar de Atacama where flamingos play. Continue your trip to the beautiful Altiplanic Lagoons, which sit 4,500m above sea level. Enroute, we will see the town of Socaire, where shepherds and farmers cultivate the land using the old system of Andean terraces.
After lunch we return to San Pedro de Atacama.
DAY 14 | May 3, 2020 | San Pedro de Atacama (B)
Today your tour will start very early to visit the higher geothermal field, the Tatio Geysers, located at 4,300m above sea level, and shooting up to 50 metres high. Enjoy a delicious breakfast prepared at the Geysers.
When returning, visit the village of Machuca, an ancient village with adobe houses, straw and cactus wood. You can also visit the church of St. Santiago, patron of the town, to admire its ancient architecture.
Travel to an observatory to enjoy an evening of star-gazing, (weather permitting) and hot drinks.
DAY 15 | May 4, 2020 | San Pedro de Atacama - Calama - Santiago (B, L)
After breakfast, transfer from your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama to the airport in Calama for your flight to Santiago.
Upon arrival transfer to your hotel for check-in and then enjoy an afternoon excursion to Maipo Valley for a tour, wine tasting and lunch, at Santa Rita Winery. Visit the legendary landmark of Don Paula Restaurant, an establishment declared a national monument due to its colourful past.
After the tour spend the remainder of your time in Santa Rita strolling the gorgeous gardens or observing the intriguing artifacts in the on-site Andean Museum. Return to your hotel in Santiago.
Accommodation at Hotel Atton el Bosque (1 night)
DAY 16 | May 5, 2020 | Santiago - Toronto/Vancouver (B)
After breakfast, transfer from your hotel to the airport for your flight home.
*CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes included. Single supplement: $1,300. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. **Minimum 16 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host.
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