GREAT TRAIN JOURNEYS PERU AND BOLIVIA
Lima / La Oroya / Huancayo / Huancavelica / Ayacucho / Cusco / Sacred Valley / Machu Picchu / Cusco / Puno / Copacabana / La Paz / Puno / Arequipa / Matarani / Lima.
Itinerary: 19 Days / 18 Nights
Day 01: Arrive to Lima. On arrival reception and transfer to your hotel. Overnight.
Day 02 : Lima : In the morning City Tour, visiting the historical part of downtown Lima. Afternoon free to wander and explore or an optional visit to the local train depo. Overnight.
Day 02 : Lima / La Oroya : In the morning we will board our train to La Oroya, optional steam train to be used if available and on the way we can stop train at different points along the way, for photo shots. Lunch served onboard. On arrival to La Oroya transfer to our hotel and overnight.
Day 03 : La Oroya / Huancayo : In the morning board our train for the journey to Huancayo, on arrival transfer and afternoon free to explore this area. Overnight.
Day 04 : Huancayo / Huancavelica : Morning transfer with time for those who wish to visit local depo before boarding El Macho, our train. This is a community train with great opportunities to experience the local people and there way of life, lunch served onboard. Arrive to Huancavelica with its attractive town square and rural location, we will enjoy a very typical evening meal in one of the local restaraunts. Overnight.
Day 05 : Huancavelica / Ayacucho : Board our private bus for the full day journey, a rare treat to enjoy great scenic beauty and local communities before arriving to the beautiful town of Ayacucho. Time to wander in the old main square and enjoy the atmosphere. Overnight.
Day 06 : Ayacucho / Cusco : Transfer and board our flight to Cusco, on arrival reception and transfer to our hotel. Afternoon City Tour of Cusco and its Surrounding Ruins and after optional visit to the local train depo. overnight.
Day 07 : Cusco/ Sacred Valley : Full day tour of the Sacred Valley and Overnight.
Day 08 : Sacred Valley / Machu Picchu : Transfer and board our local train to Aguas Calientes, on arrival afternoon free to wander and to explore or if available, a visit to the local hydro plant, which has back views of Machu Picchu. Overnight.
Day 09 : Machu Picchu / Cusco : Early morning rise to take the local bus to Machu Picchu and see sun rise with tour of the Sanctuary. Afterwards free time to explore and in the afternoon board our train back to Cusco. On arrival transfer to our hotel and in the evening enjoy a typical dinner of the region with local dancing. Overnight.
Day 10 : Cusco / Puno : Transfer and board our train to Puno, a full day journey, great scenery, one stop on the way, where we can stretch our legs and enjoy a local handicraft market. Train also has open veranda at the back with bar and in the afternoon traditional dancing will be featured. On arrival transfer to our hotel on the shores of Lake Titikaka. Overnight.
Day 11 : Puno / La Paz : in the morning we will be transferred across the border into Bolivia and to the town of Copacabana, which will be the boarding place to take our catamaran across to Sun Island, where we will visit the local museum and enjoy an ancient Inca Ritual. After which we will continue across Lake Titikaka and to the Bolivian side, where we will pick up our transport to La Paz. Arrive late afternoon and enjoy a free evening to explore this fascinating City. Overnight.
Day 12: La Paz : Enjoy a tour of the city, with a stop at the old railway station, long since abandoned and afterwards to Moon Valley for a walk amongst the strange rock formations. In the evening dinner high up and with clear skies, enjoy the white glacier tops of the Royal Andes which encircle. Overnight.
Day 13 : La Paz / Puno: Board our bus for the journey back to Puno with visit to the Ruins of Tiwanaku along with a possible stop at a small village which housed some old steam engines, cross the Bolivian Border and finally arrive to Puno. Overnight.
Day 14 : Puno : Enjoy a full day tour to the floating island of Uros and the island of Taquila. Overnight.
Day 15 : Puno / Arequipa : In the morning board our train to Arequipa, a full day journey, which will skirt the outlying area of the Colca Canyon and through the Valley of the Volcanoes, lunch onboard. On arrival transfer to our hotel and overnight.
Day 16 : Arequipa : if available train journey to the old seaside town of Mollendo, this journey will take us across the desert to the coast, explore some hours here and return by train with lunch and dinner onboard. Transfer and overnight in Arequipa.
Day 17. Arequipa : Enjoy a tour of this city and a visit to the convent of Santa Catalina. Afternoon free or optional visit to local depo. Overnight.
Day 18 : Arequipa / Lima : Morning flight to Lima, on arrival transfer to hotel. In the afternoon time to explore on your own some of the local areas such as Baranco, with its small antique tram way, or just wander the local streets of Miraflores and its cliff tops which front the ocean. In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner by the ocean to recount all our stories. Overnight.
Day 19 : Lima / Home : Transfer and flight home.
Please note : This program can vary according to budgets, it serves as a base from which we can go forward and come up with the perfect program for you and your group.
Please contact me for further details.
Having lived so many years in South America and Peru, I came to realise that there is not too much to worry about when you travel to this region so long as you take the basic precautions in life.
In terms of danger I never really faced any of this, of course there are thieves and robbers but as long as you make sure you do not show of too much and you keep in the well known districts you will not have problems.
In terms of health again you are unlikely to have problems if stay in decent places and eat in recognised restaurants. If you buy fruit and don’t wash it or buy foods from street vendors this can cause a risk.
In terms of altitude most people will be fine, maybe when you arrive to places like Cusco which is at 3,500 meters, there will be a few hours where you will notice the lack of oxygen but your body will stabilise by the next day and frankly its better that you let yourself do this naturally.
Now if you have for example a heart condition, then it would be important to seek advice prior to travelling if you are going to high altitude.
The Jungle - your doctor if you ask him, will advise you to take everything but in most cases it is not necessary they are just covering themselves.
For example in Peru there has not been an outbreak of Malaria for years, so in reality there is no risk from this disease.
Drinking water- it is better whilst you are here to buy bottled water, the water is not treated and although the local people will drink from the tap they will in most cases be fine as they are used to this.
Local currency - best to come with US$ as this currency is very common here and rates are well defined, your US$ can be changed in hotels and official currency exchange so no need to worry.
If you change your monies into local currency at the country of your origin, it is difficult and you will receive inferior exchange rates compared to what you will get in countries such as Peru.
The climate for example in Peru, varies according to where you are and the time of year. In Lima the hottest period is from December to March where temperatures are over thirty degrees, same goes with Paracas and Nazca in the south which is the desert.
In the mountains such as Cusco, it’s a temperate climate, warm in the day and chilly at night, and Machu Picchu is low altitude and is tropical.
The Peruvian Jungle enjoys its dry season between Abril and November after which you enter into the so called wet season, where it can rain. You always in countries such as Peru, need to be aware of the sun as it can burn, you are very close to the Equator but more information and advice I can give once we define when you would be traveling but South America and Peru are safe destinations, despite what you might hear.