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"Fell in love with the country"
The accommodations, food and transportation were exemplary. We fell in love with the country and the people. My husband and I have never been disappointed in the tours we've taken with your company.
Welcome to the Peruvian capital and 'City of the Kings', Lima. Rising above a long coastline of crumbling cliffs this city has a real sense of faded yet romantic grandeur, with historical sights a plenty and a culinary scene that is revered the world over. Settle in to your hotel and meet up with your Travel Director this afternoon, then the rest of the day is free to explore. Head to Parque del Amor to admire the Gaudi style architecture with beautiful views over Lima Bay, or take a wander around popular and bustling Miraflores. Tonight, in celebration of your first night in Peru, dinner should absolutely involve fresh ceviche followed by a tangy Pisco Sour as you toast to sunset.
Today, discover the famous Plaza Mayor and Cathedral. See the Government Palace, Archbishop’s Palace and City Hall. Visit the San Francisco Monastery, an interesting museum featuring mysterious catacombs. Your afternoon is free. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow travellers as you dive deep into the essence of Peruvian food. Feast on an authentic meal at Mangos, a restaurant boasting nearly 15 years of service.
Flying into Cusco, welcome to the Incan capital of the world! Boasting the richest heritage of any South American city, Cusco is a wealth of archaeological greatness and the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent. It's also the gateway to Machu Picchu, so throbs day and night with visitors exploring its ancient streets. Take in the ornate temples and Incan ruins as you arrive here, before heading to Awana Kancha to visit the regions furry and famous residents - llamas and alpacas. Here you'll also have the chance to learn about the local weaving process, a craft that has been kept alive for thousands of years, and browse different products made from the fur of camelids. Also stopping by Pisac Market, the most famous market in the Cusco region where local indigenous communities from all over come to sell their wares and produce, you'll finally drive the hairpin turned road that will lead you to the Sacred Valley, your stop for tonight.
Today's the day! Up bright and early this morning, you'll travel to the ancient little town of Ollantaytambo to board the train to Agues Calientas, the Incan village at the base of Machu Picchu. Slowly chugging your way through the rugged lands of the Sacred Valley, feel the excitement levels build as you pass by village settlements and towering mountains, the landscape changing the higher you get. Making the last leg of the journey via shuttle, you'll finally arrive at the most famous archaeological site of South America and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu. Catching a first glimpse of this awe inspiring ancient city above the clouds is a moment you'll never forget, so be sure to take a few minutes just to soak it all in. Take your time exploring the vast complex of fascinating ruins and let the mind boggle at how it was all built, before descending the mountain and making your way back to the Sacred Valley.
Art fans are in for a treat this morning as you pay a visit to the workshop of Pablo Seminario, a respected artist who creates beautiful pottery using techniques, styles and influences reminiscent of ancient cultures from all across Peru. Keeping things local you'll then pay a visit a family home in Ollantaytambo to sample a drink favoured by the Incas. Made from malted corn and sugar, the taste of Chicha de Jora may be a bit of a crowd splitter but is a little taste of history, so needs must! Continuing on the road to Cusco you'll also stop by the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a UNESCO World Heritage site that dates back to the 13th century, before arriving back into the Incan capital where the rest of the day will then be free.
Having made the excellent choice to extend your stay in Peru, you'll board a flight this morning bound for busy Juliaca. Driving through the rolling hills of the Largo Umayo peninsula you'll pay a visit to the Sillustani Burial Towers before arriving into Puno, which is nestled on the 'Ocean of the Andes'. Explore the regal plaza and charming, crumbling buildings and take a first good look at Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable body of water in the world.
Venture out onto the vast, rolling waters of Lake Titicaca this morning, believed by the Andeans to be the 'birthplace of the sun'. Make your way to the Uros Islands, a unique set of floating islands that are home to the Uros people, who live just as their ancestors have done for hundreds of years and rely on the buoyant Totora reeds to provide them with housing, boats, and even food. Visit the Island of Taquile, where the red coloured sands contrast spectacularly with the glistening blue of the lake, to learn more about the stone work and weaving cultures of the island. Enjoy a fresh fish lunch at a local restaurant, before heading back to Puno for the evening.
Taking one final look a that gorgeous expanse of blue, you'll leave Puno this morning as you travel back to Juliaca, to catch your included flight to Lima. Whether heading home immediately or spending a few extra days in Peru's bustling capital city, we'll look forward to meeting you again some time soon!
Arriving into Ecuador for what will be an unforgettable and utterly rewarding 5 days, meet up with your ME to WE representative at the airport and then head to your hotel. Be sure to get a good night's rest before descending into the tropical world of the Amazon tomorrow.
Your journey today will begin with an ascent through the highlands, where snow capped mountains will keep your eyes drawn to the horizon. Winding down mountain roads you'll then descend to the Amazon basin, enjoying the sensation of the lush cloud forest closing in around you. Traveling by motorised canoe you'll travel down the Rio Napo, keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife before arriving at Minga Lodge, your luxury jungle home for the next 3 nights. Meet the local team to learn about the WE Village development model you'll then enjoy a delicious home cooked meal using local ingredients, before spending an evening getting to know a few key Spanish phrases that will stand you in good stead for your time here.
You'll be up early this morning to enjoy a sunrise hike into the Amazon rainforest, hoping to spot toucans, long tailed Potoos and various species of spiders and snakes. After breakfast at Minga Lodge and together with your group you'll then meet the Kichwa people; the community you'll be supporting over your time in the Amazon. Get involved in to a community project this afternoon, advancing your skill set and supporting the community in the process. Work could involve digging a well, laying foundations for a health centre or working with a member of the community. After a fulfilling day, dinner tonight will be well deserved as you tuck into a family style feast and swap stories around the table.
This morning you'll continue work on the sustainable development project you began yesterday, swapping stories and gaining insight from local community members who will be working alongside you. After another tasty lunch back at the Lodge, this afternoon you'll then join a local farmer to help carry out some of their daily activities. Planting seeds, fetching river water and harvesting crops are all in a day's work for these hardworking men and women, so you'll certainly gain a sense of perspective from experiencing their daily routine. This evening and after enjoying a dinner on the banks of the Rio Napo, you'll head out with a cultural guide for an Amazon night hike, keeping your eyes and ears alert for frogs, tree snakes, owls and caiman.
You'll be saying a sad goodbye to Minga Lodge and its welcoming community of people as you head back to Quito today. Traveling by boat to Coca, you'll then catch a flight to Quito.
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