DOS MANOS PERU Travel and tours in Peru

Peru & Bolivia Itinerary - 24 days

Trip Summary

Peru & Bolivia Itinerary 24 days

Included in this 24-day Peru & Bolivia itinerary are the beautiful colonial cities of Lima and Arequipa. You will get to see condors and enjoy the fantastic scenery in the Colca Canyon. Then, you will cross the Peruvian-Bolivian border and experience the unique city of Copacabana, where you will take off for your tour on Lake Titicaca and to the Isla del Sol. After, you will experience the Bolivian cities of La Paz, Potosi and Sucre, and an adventure on the salt lakes near Uyuni. After arriving back in Puno, Peru, you will head off to the highlight of your Peru trip: the stunning city of Cusco and the old Inca citadel Machu Picchu.

End this fantastic trip with a few days in the Peruvian Amazon, in the National Park Tambopata. You will go on boat trips and hike through the incredible rainforest to see caimans, monkeys, parrots, macaws and more.

Peru and Bolivia are the best combo tour you can have while in South America. It's so easy to cross the border to experience all of these amazing sights within such a small radius. You can't leave South American without experiencing both of these spectacular countries.

Route

Lima - Arequipa – Colca – Puno – Copacabana – La Paz – Uyuni – Potosi – Sucre – Puno - Cusco - Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu – Puerto Maldonado – Tambopata - Lima

Transport

Long-distance busses

Short distance bustrips

National flights

Boat

Accommodations

Hostel or hotel with various options from low budget, standard to comfort and luxury

Jungle lodge

The Itinerary

Day 1: Lima

Welcome to the Peruvian capital Lima.

The former City of Kings maintains its colonial past and beauty. Today, Lima is one of the leading culinary destinations in the entire world. You will delight in unforgettable Peruvian meals that combine the unique flavours from various Peruvian regions and cultures.

Lima offers something for everyone. Visit the Plaza de Armas, the San Francisco Church, the Gold Museum, and the modern neighbourhoods Miraflores and Barranco.
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Day 2 - 3: Arequipa

Arequipa is also known as La Ciudad Blanca - the White City – due to its magnificent constructions made of white rock. It is the second-largest city in Peru. In contrast to other Peruvian cities, Arequipa embodies the colonial mestizo culture of Peru, which is a mixture of the authentic indigenous Peruvian heritage and influence from the Spanish colonization. UNESCO has declared Arequipa and its colonial architecture a Human Heritage site due to this culturally rich mixture of Spanish and Indigenous roots.

When in Arequipa, you should not miss out on visiting this beautiful Convent. Some people say that the Convent of Santa Catalina is not just a religious building but also a citadel within Arequipa. Other highlights are the Plaza de Armas, the San Francisco Square, the Campanía de Jesus Church, the beautiful colonial houses and the unforgettable Santa Catalina Monastery.
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Day 4 - 5: Colca Canyon

The Colca Valley features colourful small villages where the indigenous people maintain their ancestral traditions through festivals, handicrafts and agriculture terraces. The biggest town in the valley is called Chivay, where you can enjoy the La Calera hot springs.

Discover the Colca Canyon's picturesque pre-Inca terraces, the impressive scenery and its friendly villages with traditionally dressed locals. If you are lucky, you can even see the famous Peruvian Condors flying through the air, just a couple of meters from where you stand. The Condor is the world's largest flying bird and was sacred to the Inca. This tour is an impressive and unforgettable experience!
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Day 6: Copacabana - Isla del Sol (Bolivia)

Your itinerary "Peru & Bolivia in 24 days" continues in Bolivia. Copacabana boasts quaint architecture and a relaxing atmosphere. It is mainly known for the various tours that leave for the Isla del Sol, a popular tourist destination. Previously inhabited by the Aymaras, Copacabana means "view of the lake" in their language. Later conquered by the Incas and the Spanish, Copacabana is a town full of historical significance.

Titicaca National Reserve protects Lake Titicaca's flora and fauna. The lake contains many different islands, over 70 different ones, of which the Uros, Taquile and Amantani are the most famous tourist attractions on the Peruvian side. On the Bolivia side of the lake, Isla del Sol is a popular destination for travellers.

The Incas believed that Viracocha, their god created by the universe, created the sun on this island, hence the name "Isla del Sol". You can walk from one side to the other on the island itself and enjoy spectacular views and landscapes.
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Day 7 - 8 - 9: La Paz

La Paz is the largest and most important city of the South American Republic of Bolivia. With its approximately 1.8 million inhabitants, the city extends into Bolivia's highland plateau; the vast flatland called the Altiplano is lying at 3800-4100 m. La Paz is an exciting city with ancient tradition and modern elements.

La Paz offers many options for travellers, especially those interested in Bolivia's history and culture. Visit the Historical sites such as churches, old streets and squares, museums (more than 15), colourful indigenous markets, and much more. With its traditional dances, the Bolivian culture plays a significant role in the life of the local population of La Paz. A visit to the famous witch market is, of course, not to be missed.

Tiwanaku
These mystical ruins are located about 70 kilometres from La Paz and were declared a World Heritage Site in the year 2000. The Sun-Gate or figure of "El Fraile" is among the Inca site attractions that have still not been explored in their entirety to this day. It is also worth taking a trip to Lake Titicaca, located in the plateau of the Andes.
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Day 10 – 11 – 12: Uyuni

Uyuni is located in the southwest of Bolivia at 3,600 meters above sea level and is best known as the gateway to the famous and beautiful salt flats. Uyuni is located right in the middle of La Paz, Sucre and other cities, on the border of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Salar de Uyuni is probably one of Bolivia's most popular attractions. They are the world's most extensive salt flats, with an area of 10,582 square meters.

On a tour of Uyuni, you can visit the train cemetery, the town of Colchani and the local market. You can then go onto the salt flats and hike on Incahuasi Island, where you can take a spectacular 360-degree photo. Don't miss out on the "Red Lagoon" that offers beautiful viewpoints to spot flamingos.
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Day 13: Potosi

Potosí is located in the south of Bolivia, at an altitude of 4,090 meters. The city of Potosi is known for its rich history. It lies at the bottom of the "Rich Hill", where the largest silver store in the world is.

This region brought the Spaniards a lot of silver when they conquered South America. The city was founded as a mining village in 1545 and is known for its enormous prosperity and growth, especially in the 16th century.

The most popular tourist activity is a visit to the mines. Tour companies generally include the equipment you need for the tour (i.e. helmet, flashlight) in this price. Be aware that tours through the mines can be shocking for visitors; working conditions are rough and often unexpectedly hazardous, and the tour involves being in dark, small places in some parts.
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Day 14: Sucre

The city is at the height of 2,810 meters, or 9,214 feet. Because of the altitude, the city experiences generally mild temperatures throughout the year. Although La Paz is Bolivia's current capital, Sucre was initially Bolivia's capital in the country's constitution, and it was in Sucre where Bolivia's independence was claimed.

Stroll through the streets of this pretty town, with its historic streets and unique colonial houses. The main attractions include the central square 25 de Mayo, the House of Liberty, the San Francisco church, the major market, the viewpoint La Recoleta and the Bolivar park. The Plaza 25 de Mayo' – the main square - is the perfect place to hang out and do some people watching!

Parque Cretácico is an exciting park that features dinosaur footprints. It has the most immense amount of dinosaur prints of any location in the world.
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Day 15: Travel Sucre - La Paz - Puno

You can travel from Sucre to La Paz and from La Paz to Puno to sleep for the night, only with the right connections and a good travel plan.

Day 16: Travel to Cusco

Today, continue your travels to Cusco. If you take the tourist bus, there are stops along the way at all the tourist attractions along the Puno - Cusco route.

The old city of Cusco is located in the Andes Mountains, about 3,400 meters above sea level. Cusco is surrounded by mountains near the Sacred Valley of the Inca.

The word Cusco comes from the ancient Inca language, Quechua, and means navel, because the Incas believed that Cusco was the centre of the universe. The city's nickname is "Imperial City" because it was the Inca Empire's capital and is the oldest continually inhabited city in the Americas.

Set in a mountain range, Cusco is the perfect starting point for tours and offers endless options to discover the area. Many travellers visit Cusco, not only to admire the ancient Inca ruins and the charming cobblestone streets. They also go to start hiking trips in the Andes mountains, see famous Inca ruins, and discover the World Heritage site of Machu Picchu. Cusco is the gateway to the Sacred Valley, the Inca Trail hike and the Madre de Dios rainforest reserves.
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Day 17: Cusco

While in Cusco, don't miss the impressive Colonial Cathedral of Cusco in the Plaza de Armas and the Qoricancha, the Temple of the Sun, the main religious centre of the Incas dedicated to the cult of the Sun God. According to the chroniclers, the walls of this temple were once completely covered with golden plates.

At only 8 km from Cusco, you will find beautiful Inca Ruins: Sacsayhuamán - famous for its enormous carved stones - Qenqo, Tambomachay and Puka Pukara.

In Cusco, you will find many excellent museums such as the Inca Museum, Museum of Pre-Colombian art and the Museum of Religious art. Other attractive options are the Center for Textiles and the Chocolate Museum.

You should also take your time to walk up to the artistic neighbourhood of San Blas, take in the amazing view of Cusco below, stop in one of the many galleries, boutiques, coffee shops or natural stores to see what you can find!
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Day 18 - Cusco: Rainbow Mountain

Until recently, the trek to Rainbow Mountain was an unknown trek where little information could be found. "Vinicunca" - rainbow in Quechua, the ancient Inca language - should not be missed on any Peru trip.

This extraordinary mountain range gets its name from the many different colours that can be seen in the mountain peaks. The various minerals present in the mountains create colours. The highest point you will reach during this tour is 5100 meters above sea level. Due to the altitude and lack of oxygen, the hike to the top of the Rainbow Mountain is challenging, especially if you are not used to hiking at such heights.
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Day 19: The Sacred Valley

The Sacred Valley tour is a full-day tour . There are stops at the most popular sites in the Sacred Valley : the Mirador of Taray - to see the spectacular views of the Andes and the Sacred Valley below; the small, photogenic traditional town of Pisac with a hippie vibe; the Pisac Market (an excellent place to get souvenirs); the Pisac Archeological site, Ollantaytamto, to visit the two vast archaeological sites that overlook the picturesque Inca town. On the way back to Cusco, you can stop in the lovely village of Chinchero to see traditional textiles, weaving and dyeing techniques with local plants from the region, a church and the remains of the royal estate of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, depending on time. Fun fact: The Pisac ruins are considered to be one of the finest remaining Inca ruins in the whole of Peru.

Others opt to stay in the town of Ollantaytambo because this is where the train takes off for the town of Aguas Calientes, the Machu Picchu Pueblo, to spend the night before heading up to Machu Picchu early in the morning. So, you can take the full-day Sacred Valley Tour, end the tour in Ollantaytambo and wait for your train to depart instead of going back to Cusco.

Fun fact! Ollantaytambo is home to some of the oldest, continually inhabited buildings in all of South America!
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Day 20: Machu Picchu

Today's the day for your breathtaking excursion to Machu Picchu, one of the most fabulous places in the world.

The train journey to Aguas Calientes itself is a spectacle. You will appreciate the changing landscape from green fields and eucalyptus forests to lush jungle.

An impressive mountain setting surrounds Machu Picchu. Enjoy your first views of the fantastic scenery and start exploring every corner of the lost Inca citadel.
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Day 21: Maras and Moray

On the last full day in Cusco of your itinerary "Peru & Bolivia in 24 days”, you may want to visit the sites of Maras and Moray either on a standard half-day tour or a quad biking tour.

Moray was once an Inca site for experimental agriculture. Today, you can see the mysterious circular terracing that was said to have been used to grow new varieties of edible plants, especially corn and potato, by playing with altitude and temperature. Because of the different conditions at each level of the terraces, the temperature varies 15 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit ) from top to bottom.

Maras, a still-functioning salt mine, has over 3,000 pools of stunning hues of whites, pinks and browns.
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Day 22 - 23: Puerto Maldonado - Tambopata

The jungle reserve or National Park Tambopata is located in the southeast of Peru, about a 12 hours drive or 1-hour flight from the Andean capital, Cusco. The reserve is the second largest reserve in Peru (after Manú National Park), with almost 275 hectares of flora and fauna.

Tambopata is home to the Ese Eja community, as well as more than 600 bird species, including parrots, macaws, parakeets, toucans, hummingbirds and eagles; reptiles and amphibians such as caimans, boa constrictors and anacondas; 170 mammal species such as giant otters, cougars, jaguars, tapirs, ocelots and monkeys; 1200 butterfly species and 20,000 plant species.

On your tour of Tambopata, you will visit Monkey Island, where a huge diversity of monkeys can be seen, such as the capuchin, tamarins and squirrel monkeys. You will also have the opportunity to go to cayman spotting!

Don't miss out on the famous Sandoval lake. Enjoy the fantastic flora and fauna, including giant otters, birds, colourful butterflies, turtles and a great diversity of fish while canoeing on this beautiful lake.
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Day 24: Lima

In the rainforest, the parrots and parakeets eat clay that is full of salt and minerals. They need this to neutralize their daily food toxins and acids - flowers, fruit, and seeds. Therefore, early in the morning, they come to the clay walls located next to the rivers and streams in the rainforest.

After an impressive last tour to the Clay Lick, you will head back to Puerto Maldonado via boat from your lodge and then be transported to the airport for your flight to Lima, where your itinerary "Peru & Bolivia in 24 days" ends.
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