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Paracas Reserve & the enigmatic Nazca Lines
Colonial Arequipa & Majestic Lake Titicaca
Cusco & Magnificent Machu Picchu

Length: 14 days / 13 nights
Season: April - November
Rating: Grade II, Moderate

Overland travel (up to 7.5 hours at a stretch) and excursions in outboard motorized boats. Walking tours of 2-3 hours over uneven terrain at elevations ranging from sea level to 12,670'

11 nights in hotels
1 in a country inn
view accommodations

Jun 15 - 29, 2014 Int-Raymi Festival
Aug 15 - 28, 2014
Sep 19 - Oct 2, 2014
Int-Raymi FestivalInti-Raymi Festival

land cost
$6,495 p.p.d. (4-6 participants)
$6,025 p.p.d. (7-12 participants)
$1,595 Single Supplement

p.p.d. = per person based on double occupancy


Improved! Southern Highlights Tour
Exceptional Natural History,
Cultural & Historical Overview
"This was my very first tour, and the magnificence of Peru was equaled by the smoothness with which details were handled!"
Betty Northrop (El Paso, TX)
Improved! Southern Highlights Tour
Exceptional Natural History,
Cultural & Historical Overview

Peru is a country of superlatives. The world's longest chain of mountains forms the spine of the nation and the driest desert on earth extends into its southern reaches. The richest waters on the planet are found off Peru's Pacific coast, the highest navigable lake on earth forms its southern boundary with Bolivia, and the largest river by volume in the world begins in the Peruvian Amazon. In addition, this country-which is approximately twice the size of the state of Texas-contains part of the largest tropical forest on the globe as well as some of the oldest and most sophisticated cultures of the New World!

This outstanding natural history and culturally-oriented odyssey was designed to provide a grand overview of the wonders of southern Peru, offering travelers a chance to experience the full spectrum of its fascinating diversity. We start with a drive south along the Pacific Coast to Paracas Bay, visiting quaint fishing villages and pre-Columbian ruins en route. At Paracas, we observe dozens of sea lions and marine birds on the Ballestas Islands before continuing south to Nazca, where we fly over the mysterious drawings on the desert plains. Leaving the coast, we drive up to the highlands and explore the colonial plazas and historical sites of Peru's white-city, Arequipa. A short flight brings us to the Altiplano where we're introduced to the lifestyle and culture of the Incas as we visit with Quechua families on Taquile Island in Lake Titicaca. Next, meet with Andean weavers in the market town of Chinchero (near Cusco), walk among silent Inca walls at Pisac, and visit the archaeological project at the Huari site of Pikillacta. We then have two days to explore and contemplate the mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu. In 2007 this ancient city was honored as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. From Cusco we return to Lima where our adventure concludes with a tour of the splendid Larco Herrera Museum, or we extend to the Amazon or another region in the country.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 : Evening arrival to Lima, Peru's capital and transfer to the hotel.

Day 2 : Tour the Pachacamac ruins and drive along the Pacific Coast to Paracas Bay.

Day 3 : Boat out to the Ballestas Islands. Drive to Ica and visit the regional museum. Continue overland to Nazca.

Day 4 : Early morning flight over the Nazca Lines and drive to Arequipa.

Days 5-6 : Private walking tour of the city, Santa Catalina Convent and Casa del Fundador in Arequipa. Fly to Juliaca and drive to Puno visiting the Sillustani Burial Towers en route.

Day 7 : Full day exploration of Lake Titicaca by boat including stops at the Uros Islands with lunch and hiking on Taquile Island.

Day 8 : Drive to Cusco and tour the Huari site of Pikillacta and see Andahuaylillas church along the way.

Day 9 : Explore Cusco and surrounding Inca sites such as the Coricancha, Sacsayhuaman and Tambo Machay.

Day 10 : We visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas, enjoying market day in Pisac, a traditional weaving demonstration in Chinchero, and the terraced Inca Salt Mines.

Days 11-12 : Train to Machu Picchu. Private tour of the citadel and overnight stay. Optional sunrise visit. Return to Cusco by train.

Days 13-14 : Fly to Lima and enjoy a private tour of the city & the Larco Herrera Museum, then fly home, or extend your trip to visit other highlights of Peru.

"I’m very pleased that I got to see more of Peru than Machu Picchu & Cusco. Lake Titicaca and Taquile Island were exceptional. This was a great itinerary and a well-planned and organized trip. I had a wonderful time and I would definitely travel with Southwind again."
Michelle Wilson (San Francisco, CA)
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