Peru: Arequipa, Colca Canyon + Lake Titicaca

Select Experience Tour, Peru: Arequipa & Colca CanyonSelect Experience Tour, Peru: Arequipa & Colca Canyon

Peru

Arequipa, Colca Canyon + Lake Titicaca

overview

Imagination soars to new heights in the Peruvian Andes where breathtaking scenery, engaging history, and colonial architecture work their magic. Arequipa, the “White City” overlooked by snowcapped volcanoes, is Peru’s most elegant, and a glimpse into Spanish influence on indigenous culture. Andean condors soar above Colca Canyon, one of the earth’s deepest at more than 13,000 feet. Save room in your luggage—the markets here are filled with hand-knit garments of the alpaca’s famously soft wool. You may need the extra warmth along the Bolivian border at Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, where deep-blue waters meld with the sky above. Your base for exploring its islands and local villages is an intimate, luxurious lakeside lodge, )with an array of active adventures: kayaking, birding, sailing, and walking.

Activity Level
Activities vary and
are accessible to
most fitness levels;
see full itinerary
Meet
Arequipa, Peru
Depart
Juliaca, Peru
Daily Itinerary
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itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
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7 days, 6 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Six breakfasts, five lunches (days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), three dinners (days 4, 5, 6), three afternoon teas (days 4, 5, 6), and three cocktail hours (days 4, 5, 6); including mini-bar consumption of local wine, spirits, and nonalcoholic beverages)
  • Accommodations for seven nights
  • Meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners, 3 afternoon teas, 3 cocktail hours (including mini-bar consumption of local wine, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages)
  • Private guided walking tour of historical center of Arequipa
  • Colca Canyon guided exploration and guided visits of Maca and Chivay
  • Boat excursions to Uros Floating Islands and Taquile Island
  • Bike ride in the fields of Plateria
  • Walking excursion to Socca Beach
  • Half-day activity of your choice: kayaking, bicycling, bird-watching
  • Titilaka Arch walk and/or sailing excursion (weather permitting)
  • Guided excursion to Sillustani peninsula and archaeological site
  • Private transportation from the meeting point to the departure point (including airport transfers on arrival and departure)
  • Basic travel insurance coverage
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW staff
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $0 

*Surcharges may apply for New Year’s, Christmas, or other national holidays

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Arequipa
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2
Valle del Colca
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3
Valle del Colca
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4
Lake Titicaca
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5
Lake Titicaca
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6
Lake Titicaca
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7
Lake Titicaca
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Day 1

Arequipa

Arrival in Arequipa; Guided walking tour of historical city center

Upon arrival into Arequipa, you are met and transferred to your five-star hotel in the heart of the city, Peru’s second largest after Lima. Picturesque Arequipa, situated at almost 8,000 feet, is known as the “White City” because of the white volcanic stone out of which many of its buildings are constructed. After some free time to refresh and have lunch depending on the time of your arrival, you set off on a private guided walking tour of Arequipa’s historical center—declared a UNESCO Human Heritage site for its rich mix of Spanish and indigenous cultures. As you learn about the history of the city and region, the tour takes in the main square, the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, the famous maze-like Compañia Cloisters, the Santa Catalina Nunnery, and the San Camilo Market. Following the guided walking tour, you may wish to visit the Santuarios Andinos Museum that houses the famous “Ice Maiden” mummy, named Juanita, who was found nearly perfectly preserved during an expedition on the slopes of the 20,665-foot Mount Ampato volcano in 1995 and believed to be the victim of Incan human sacrifice. Exposed only because of rapidly melting ice from the heat of a nearby exploding volcano, the mummy has provided researchers enormous insight into Incan culture through the analysis of her DNA. You continue your exploration of Arequipa with an evening of independent dining.

Libertador Hotel Arequipa

Arequipa, Peru

An elegant five-star hotel set among extensive landscaped grounds and gardens with a large swimming pool and full spa facilities in the heart of a park in Arequipa’s historical center.

Day 2

Valle del Colca

Travel from Arequipa to Colca Canyon with a stop in Yanque; optional walk to Uyo Uyo ruins, easy, 2 hours

This morning, you depart Arequipa for the approximately five-hour drive to the Colca Valley. Stopping along the way to enjoy the unfolding scenery, you soon learn the difference between vicuñas and alpacas, the Altiplano’s wool-bearing animals, as well as viewing the volcanoes in the distance, and tasting the local tea to help adjust to the altitude. At Chivay, the capital of the Colca Valley, you make a longer stop for lunch, then continue on to your hotel in the nearby town of Yanque, in its beautiful riverside location.

Upon arrival, you may wish to unwind in the lodge’s lovely grounds and enjoy its exclusive hot springs or a spa treatment (massage and other treatments available at your expense) after the day’s drive. Or, if you would like to stretch your legs, an optional two-hour walk is available directly from the hotel to the Uyo Uyo ruins. Following an easy path through the ancient agricultural terraces of the surrounding hillsides that are still farmed in the traditional manner, you can explore the pre-Incan stones and citadel. Descending to the Chininia Bridge spanning the deep Colca River, you see the colcas for which the river was named, which are hollowed-out grain-storage caves, as well as ancient tombs. You then wind your way back to your hotel, where later you enjoy dinner in the hotel’s excellent dining room.

Colca Lodge

Valle del Colca, Peru

Situated on the banks of the Colca River, this architecturally designed and geothermally heated eco-spa is set amidst landscaped grounds, with its own hot springs, spa facilities, and excellent restaurant, convivial bar, and views of surrounding Colca Valley.

Day 3

Valle del Colca

Colca Canyon guided exploration; Guided visits of Maca and Chivay

An early start to exploring the Colca Canyon improves your chances of spotting condors. The Western Andes’ Colca Canyon is one of the world’s deepest at 13,640 feet. Its dramatic landscapes are the habitat of the endangered Andean condor—the world’s largest flying bird, with a wingspan of up to 11 feet. About an hour’s drive takes you to the Condor’s Cross, the natural observation point for viewing condors and getting a sense of the canyon’s grandeur, where with patience (and tips from your guide), you may observe these giant black birds of the vulture family. From there, a one-hour walk follows along the edge of the canyon, where you can see and learn more about local flora and fauna and take in the breathtaking scenery.

Continuing on by van to Yanque, you stop along the way to view the “magic lagoons” and sweeping views of the valley and terraces, and also in the nearby village of Maca to visit its colonial-era church. After a picnic lunch at a scenic overlook, you cross to the other side of the canyon en route to Chivay, the hot-springs town through which the Incan road to Cusco passes. A first walk takes you to some archaeological remains near the area, and then, coming into Chivay, a walking tour introduces you to the town, with its 18th-century church and local market. Afterward, a short drive returns you to your lodge, where you can enjoy its hot springs before dinner.

Colca Lodge

Valle del Colca, Peru

Situated on the banks of the Colca River, this architecturally designed and geothermally heated eco-spa is set amidst landscaped grounds, with its own hot springs, spa facilities, and excellent restaurant, convivial bar, and views of surrounding Colca Valley.

Day 4

Lake Titicaca

Transfer from Colca Canyon to Puno; Arrival to Lake Titicaca; Bike ride in the fields of Plateria, easy

You depart Colca Canyon after breakfast this morning to make the drive to Puno and Lake Titicaca—the enormous body of water along the border with Bolivia in southeast Peru. Traversing the vast Altiplano on this six-hour journey with a picnic en route, you pass through the Aguada Blanca Reserve, dedicated to the two South American camelids, llamas and alpacas.

In the midafternoon, you arrive at Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake at 12,500 feet, and your stunning lakeside lodge, poised on a private peninsula. You are welcomed with afternoon tea before an afternoon of easy cycling through the fields of Plateria, a flat route following country roads along the lakeshore through villages and farms. Later, you enjoy a cocktail in the hotel’s inviting lounge and proceed to dinner, where local ingredients fuse Peruvian cuisine with a light Mediterranean touch. After dinner, the lodge’s convivial atmosphere encourages socializing with your fellow guests and guides.

Titilaka Lodge

Titilaka Peninsula, Lake Titicaca, Peru

An exquisitely designed contemporary boutique hotel on the shores of Lake Titicaca with just 18 lakeview loft-style rooms, surrounded by wrap-around decks, landscaped grounds and walkways, two private beaches, inviting lounges, common rooms, dining room, and private dock. Fine dining includes three full meals plus afternoon tea and evening cocktail. Inclusive activities include walking, kayaking, bicycling, bird watching, and sailing (weather permitting).

Day 5

Lake Titicaca

Morning excursion to Taquile Island; Afternoon walking excursion to Socca Beach

A full day of exploring the lake awaits as you awaken to a stunning panorama of lake and sky on the terrace where you enjoy a healthy breakfast with a variety of fresh fruit and local cereals. This morning, you embark on an excursion to Taquile Island, a 45-minute boat ride across the lake. The Taquile people—of Quechua origin, as opposed to the region’s majority Aymara group—are weavers and knitters, including the men; and their textiles have been declared UNESCO heritage masterpieces. Welcomed into the home of a Taquile weaving family, you learn about their traditional way of life on the approximately three-mile-long and half-mile-wide island. Walks take you along the island’s paths through its fields of growing crops and pre-Inca ruins. The boat trip back to your lodge provides magnificent views of Bolivia’s snowcapped Cordillera Real Mountains.

After lunch, an afternoon siesta, and tea, you depart from the hotel on foot to Socca, a rural community east of the lodge. Following along the broad sandy shores between wetlands and farms, an easy pace lets you further soak in the local scenery and culture as dusk approaches. Later, enjoy a cocktail and delightful dinner at the lodge.

Titilaka Lodge

Titilaka Peninsula, Lake Titicaca, Peru

An exquisitely designed contemporary boutique hotel on the shores of Lake Titicaca with just 18 lakeview loft-style rooms, surrounded by wrap-around decks, landscaped grounds and walkways, two private beaches, inviting lounges, common rooms, dining room, and private dock. Fine dining includes three full meals plus afternoon tea and evening cocktail. Inclusive activities include walking, kayaking, bicycling, bird watching, and sailing (weather permitting).

Day 6

Lake Titicaca

Morning activity of your choice offered from lodge: kayaking, bicycling, bird-watching; Afternoon activity: Uros Floating Islands excursion

This morning, choose from many options—perhaps starting by indulging in breakfast in bed or awakening to a magnificent sunrise. Other morning activities include kayaking in the clear waters and rocky shoreline near the hotel (with safety instructions and equipment provided), a bicycle ride, or perhaps joining an expert bird-watcher guide in a rowboat to learn about the lake’s unique totora reeds and to spot Andean seagulls, flamingoes, and grebes near the quiet community of Perka. Later, you return to the lodge for lunch and a siesta.

This afternoon, after teatime, you head to the lake port for a boat excursion to the Uros Floating Islands, an amazing archipelago of more than 40 manmade reed islands. The several hundred inhabitants are the descendants of the ancient Uros people, who developed their isolated lake culture to escape and find refuge from the Inca and the Spanish. You learn about their incredible reed vessels and islands, fishing methods, and trading practices. Returning to the lodge, you celebrate your final evening in this exceptional setting.

Titilaka Lodge

Titilaka Peninsula, Lake Titicaca, Peru

An exquisitely designed contemporary boutique hotel on the shores of Lake Titicaca with just 18 lakeview loft-style rooms, surrounded by wrap-around decks, landscaped grounds and walkways, two private beaches, inviting lounges, common rooms, dining room, and private dock. Fine dining includes three full meals plus afternoon tea and evening cocktail. Inclusive activities include walking, kayaking, bicycling, bird watching, and sailing (weather permitting).

Day 7

Lake Titicaca

Departure; optional Sillustani excursion en route (depending on departure flight time)

After breakfast, a transfer is provided to the Juliaca airport (or train station). Depending on your travel plans, you may have time for a guided excursion to Sillustani, a spectacular peninsula facing the Umayo Lagoon and home to the area’s best-preserved archaeological remains. This unique geologic site was a burial ground for the Pucara, Tiahuanaco, and Colla pre-Inca cultures, long predating the Inca expansion. Their tower-like Chullpas tombs were later copied by the Inca, and the differences in period and culture can be seen in these stone structures.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

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