The Land of Ancient Kingdoms

18 days from £4,495pp

If you love nothing more than learning about ancient civilisations and visiting fascinating ancient sites, you’ll love our 'The Land of Ancient Kingdoms' trip. On this epic journey through Peru, you'll start in the capital city of Lima to learn about the pre-Columbian cultures that flourished before the Incas. You'll tour ancient temples and cities in Trujillo, and impressive pyramids in Chiclayo. Take a day trip out to Kuélap, a walled settlement built by the Chachapoyas culture in the 6th century, and explore the mysterious complex of mausoleums dug into a cliff side. Discover Peru's natural side at the Gocta Waterfalls and hike through the rainforest before exploring the historic city of Cuzco. Climb iconic Machu Picchu and pick up locally-made souvenirs in the Sacred Valley, and immerse yourself in Peru's fascinating history at every stop.

Highlights

  • See all the city sights in Cuzco

  • Shop at a local and authentic market in the Sacred Valley

  • Visit a traditional family, descended from the Mochica people, in Trujillo

  • Take an expedition train to Machu Picchu

  • Hike to the third highest waterfall in the world

  • Learn about and visit the Mausoleums of Revash

  • Go back in time at the mudbrick city of Chan Chan

  • Spend a full day at Kuélap - a walled settlement in the cloud forest

  • See the world famous tomb of the Lord of Sipán

  • Visit the Sun and Moon pyramids

  • Tour the capital city of Lima

Itinerary

This exciting trip to Peru includes international flights, a private car and driver, excursions, accommodation, breakfasts and some lunches and dinners.

From the first conversation until you arrive home from your holiday, you’ll be looked after by one of our Travel Designers who has travelled extensively in the region and will give advice from their personal experience on how to make the most out of your trip. All of our trips are entirely bespoke and we will continually refine your itinerary until it’s perfect.

Day

Location

Type

1-2

Lima

Capital City

Ready to see Peru in all its glory? Once you touch down in Lima you’ll be met by a guide and taken to your hotel to settle in. During your time in the capital city you’ll visit the Larco Museum, which is located inside a viceregal mansion built on a pre-Columbian pyramid of the 7th century. Here you’ll gain a better understanding of the cultures that flourished before the Inca Empire. After checking out the Presidential Palace and Lima Cathedral in the main square you’ll head on to the Aliaga House, a building as old as Lima itself. Inside you’ll find plenty of interesting artefacts including the sword Jerónimo de Aliaga used in the conquest of Peru. From here you’ll check out the Santo Domingo Church, built at the end of the 16th century, before heading on to San Martin Square.

Places to Stay

Things to do

3-4

Trujillo

City

In Trujillo you’ll see hefty colonial mansions and visit the Museo de Arqueologia de la Universidad Nacional de Trujillo to learn more about the region’s pre-Columbian cultures. You’ll kick-start day four with a visit to the mesmerising Sun and The Moon Temples, the centre of power in the Trujillo Valley during Moche ancient times. The Temple of the Sun is a 43m high pyramid and legend goes it was built in only three days! Afterwards you’ll visit a family who are descendants of Mochica people, an Andean civilisation who lived near Truillo from about 100 to 700 AD. You’ll learn more about the Chimú culture at the ceremonial Dragon Temple and after lunch you’ll explore the ancient mud-brick city of Chan Chan. Once home to 100,000 inhabitants, it is the largest city from the pre-Columbian era in South America and was used as the seat of the Chimú civilisation before it fell to the Incas.

Places to Stay

5-6

Chiclayo

General Tour

Today you’re off to Chiclayo! On your way there you’ll visit the El Brujo complex, which is home to a 98 ft. pyramid. Here you’ll see the well preserved tattooed mummy of a young woman, belonging to the Moche Royal Family, who was discovered inside the pyramid. The next day you’ll visit the mudbrick burial platform of Huaca Rajada, where the world famous tomb of the Lord of Sipán was discovered. Afterwards you’ll visit Túcume, a pre-Hispanic site encompassing 26 major pyramids of the Lambayeque culture. You’ll finish up with a visit to the Tumbas Reales Museum; a modern burgundy building, this world-class museum beautifully showcases the incredible finds from Sipán. During your visit you’re guided through the artefacts in the order they were discovered, providing you with excellent context.

Places to Stay

7-9

Chachapoyas

General Tour

En route to Chachapoyas you’ll pass through one of the driest deserts on the planet, climb the Andes, and descend to the Marañón River before finally ascending via the great Utcumbamba canyon. In this region you’ll take a day trip out to Kuélap, a walled settlement in the cloud forest of the mountains built by the Chachapoyas culture in the 6th century. Though this settlement was discovered before Machu Picchu it has never received the same worldwide fame and remains a grossly under visited site. The next day you’ll visit the Mausoleums of Revash, a complex of funeral houses dug into the cliff side where the most important Chachapoya people were buried. To this day it remains a mystery quite how they managed to build this complex let alone transport mummies to it.

Places to Stay

10

Cocachimba

Activity & Adventure

Today you’ll swap history for nature as you hike to Gocta Waterfall, which, at 771m, is considered the third highest in the world. Your walk will take you through dense rainforest boasting plenty of wildlife such as monkeys, toucans and stunning orchids. Once at the waterfall you’ll relax with a tasty picnic lunch.

Places to Stay

11-13

Cuzco

City

It’s time to indulge in a spot of city living in the charming and historic city of Cuzco. During your time in this city you’ll visit Coricancha, the Temple of the Sun, once one of the most important temples in the Inca Empire and covered in gold. From there you’ll visit the Cathedral which dominates the main square and is home to around 400 paintings from the Cuzco School of Art. Next you’ll visit the Casa Concha Museum which houses a fine collection of ceramics, metal objects and skeletal remains, as well as archaeological pieces found at Machu Picchu that have recently been returned from the United States. Finally you’ll swing by the stylish San Blas neighbourhood where you can wander the picturesque cobbled streets and check out the Church of San Blas, built over the foundations of an Inca sanctuary in 1544.

Places to Stay

Things to do

14

Sacred Valley

General Tour

Want to pick up some authentic souvenirs? Wait until you get to Pisac market in the Sacred Valley – here you can pick from alpaca textiles, musical instruments, paintings, carvings, necklaces and replicas of ancient Inca pieces. Once you’re shopped out you’ll visit the Inkariy museum which explores pre-Columbian cultures through educational information, artefacts and life size dioramas. You’ll enjoy a delicious lunch at Wayra Ranch before continuing on to the Ollantaytambo Park, where you’ll see urban Inca planning in action.

Places to Stay

Things to do

15-16

Machu Picchu

General Tour

You’ll travel to Machu Picchu, one of the most fascinating archaeological sites on the planet, via scenic train ride and short transfer. Once you arrive you’ll have plenty of time to explore this masterpiece of Inca engineering in detail. But don’t worry if you don’t see everything – you’ll return again the next day for a second visit to the citadel. You’ll enjoy a one hour trek up Wayna Picchu, from which you’ll enjoy a stunning view over Machu Picchu and the snow-capped Andean peaks beyond.

Places to Stay

Things to do

17-18

Cuzco

City

You’re back in the historic city of Cuzco for one night only! Spend your time in the city as you please; explore your favourite historic and cultural sites, soak up local life in the main square or relax with a pisco sour or two.

On Day 18 you’ll head home all the more knowledgeable on the history and culture of this fascinating country.

Places to Stay

Things to do

Map of your trip

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