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Empires of the Sun

13 Days

Summary of Holiday

  • Discover the Aymara and Quechua cultures both living and past. 
  • Visit the Island of the Sun and other remote islands in Lake Titicaca
  • See Tiwanaku one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire
  • Journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas to Machu Picchu

A 13 day journey that explores some of the most astounding sites of the ancient empires of the Americas. In Bolivia you visit Tiwanaku, the centre of an important pre-Inca civilization, then at Lake Titicaca you visit the Island of the Sun and overnight on board a catamaran in Lake Titicaca. After exploring the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca you journey across the altiplano to Cusco, the Inca Capital.  From here you travel through the Sacred Valley of the Inca’s visiting Inca ruins along the way until you reach the enigmatic ruins of Machu Picchu.

Costs from £1,487 per person

Price includes: All accommodation, all land transport, bilingual guides for all excursions (including a private guide for your visit to Machu Picchu), with all entrance fees, transport and some additional meals as detailed also included. Does not include: any flights, meals not detailed, tips, personal expenses, services not detailed.

Outline Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrive La Paz (Bolivia)
Day 2 – La Paz
Day 3 – Tiwanaku Ruins
Day 4 – Copacabana/Isla del Sol and Lake Titicaca
Day 5-6 – Lake Titicaca
Day 7 – Puno –Cusco
Day 8 – Cusco
Day 9 – Sacred Valley of the Incas
Day 10 – Machu Picchu
Day 11 – Machu Picchu – Cusco
Day 12 – Cusco
Day 13 – Cusco – Lima


If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

Full Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in La Paz You will be met by our local team in and taken to your hotel.   La Paz is the world’s highest capital city at 12,000 feet (approx. 3,500m). This first day is to relax and enjoy the views of the snow-capped Illimani which dominates the skyline whilst you acclimatise to the altitude. Overnight La Paz (B)

Day 2 - La Paz You will be picked up from the hotel for a tour of La Paz which will give you the chance to explore the sights of La Paz and mingle with the traditional Quechua and Aymara people, descendants of the Incas who live in and around the capital, set in a natural canyon below the high plateau of the Andean altiplano (high planes). Also the chance to visit a ‘witches’ market where still the spiritual heritage of the Quechua and Aymara people can still be seen. Overnight La Paz (B)

Day 3 - Tiwanaku Ruins  Today you travel out of La Paz to explore the ruins of Tiwanaku on the southern shore of Lake Titicaca, one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire, flourishing as the ritual and administrative capital of a major civilization for approximately five hundred years prior to the Incas. Returning to La Paz in the evening. Overnight La Paz (B,L)

Day 4 - Copacabana/Isla del Sol and Lake Titicaca Travelling today through the dramatic scenery of the altiplano and along the shores of Lake Titicaca to the town of Copacabana where you board your comfortable catamaran, your vehicle for exploring the lake and hotel for the evening. From here you head out to the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun), the legendary birthplace of the Incas with a number of ruins to explore including the spectacular two story Palacio del Inca as well as traditional villages. You spend the afternoon exploring the island and your overnight anchorage allows you to enjoy the spectacular red glowing of the Bolivian Andes as the sun sets and a serene sunrise over the lake. (B,L,D)

Day 5 - Lake Titicaca After a morning to explore the Isla del Sol, your catamaran will bring you back to Copacabana where you drive across the border to Peru.  The mighty Lake Titicaca straddles the border of Bolivia and Peru and is the world’s highest navigable lake, at 3,830m above sea level. The snow-capped Andes, often cloaked in an ethereal mist, are a spectacular backdrop against the electric blue waters. The Andean people refer to the lake as "The Sacred Lake" and legend has it that the first Inca rose from its depths before he founded the Inca Empire.   Overnight Puno (B)

Day 6 - Lake Titicaca – Uros and Taquile Lake Titicaca is dotted with dozens of islands waiting to be explored. The best known include the man-made floating reed islands of the Uro Indians which lie close to the shore, and further in the lake the island of Taquile, where traditional beliefs and ways of life still predominate – today you will visit both islands before heading onto your hotel for the night. Overnight Puno (B)

Day 7 - Puno - Cusco Today you will join a small guided group excursion driving across the high Andes from with its spectacular scenery – a journey between mountains and clouds. Along your journey you will visit several fascinating sites visiting along the way Andahuaylillas the “Sistine Chapel of America”, a church built by the Jesuits in the 16th century with amazing artwork, Raqchi, Temple of Wiracocha, an Inca Temple and the Raya Pass at 4335 meters with its dramatic scenery. The final stop of the day will be the archaeological remains at Pukara, a site that provides valuable insights in to the origins of Andean civilization in the highlands. Arriving to Cusco around 5pm, you will be met and taken to your hotel for the night. (B,L) Overnight Cusco

Day 8 - Cusco  This morning you will be taken on a tour of the city of Cusco the ceremonial heart of the Inca Empire. Cusco was inhabited by ‘proto-Incas’ as early as the 12th Century AD and was completely rebuilt in the early 15th Century by Pachacuteq, the Inca warrior-King and stood as the heart of the Incan kingdom. Inca walls remain the foundations of many of the city’s colonial buildings. You will also visit Saqsayhuaman, the monolithic Inca fortress overlooking Cusco, and the temple and amphitheatre at Kenko. Saqsayhuaman has some of the most impressive Inca walls in existence, built of hundreds of perfectly fitted stone blocks that weigh up to 130 tonnes each. In the afternoon some time to relax and explore Cusco on foot – a really beautiful city that is perfect for walking around. Overnight Cusco (B)

Day 9 - Valley of the Incas – Pisac & Ollantaytambo After breakfast you will begin your journey through the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The Urubamba Valley was sacred to the Incas for many reasons; one being that it had an agreeable climate and fertile planes, a rare combination in the high Andes. In the morning you will visit Pisac, a village above which lies a majestic Inca fortress overlooking the valley, filled with wonderful examples of Inca stonework and engineering. After lunch we visit the magnificent Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo, a major fortress and the last stronghold of the Incas as they fought off the Spanish invaders. Below the fortress is an exquisite traditional community and a living Inca village that retains the stonework, narrow streets and family courtyards of its original Inca plan. Overnight Sacred Valley of the Incas (B,L)

Day 10 - Machu Picchu  This morning you will take the train to Aguas Calientes and then onto Machu Picchu. So well hidden in the jungle of the Cordillera Villcabamba that the Spaniards never knew of it, Machu Picchu affords a glimpse into the Inca world and is one of the most stunning archaeological sites on earth. You will have a top guide with you today to ensure you get the most of your visit to this spectacular site. You will have lunch together at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, then in the afternoon some time to explore and soak up the ruins once the day crowds have dispersed, before going to your hotel for the night in the nearby town of Aguas Calientes (B,L)

Day 11 - Machu Picchu-Cusco Today if you wish we can organise for you to have an entrance to climb up to Huayna Picchu in time for the sunrise and chance to explore more the ruins at our own pace and soak up the amazing setting. In the afternoon you return to Aguas Calientes to take your train back to Cusco where you will be met and taken back to your hotel. Overnight Cusco (B)

Day 12 - Cusco  Today is a free day to explore Cusco on foot.  (B)

Day 13 - Cusco - Lima  This morning you take your flight back to Lima, from here you take your connecting flight back to the UK.

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

Your Hotels

The price quoted is based on 3 * hotels. Here is a selection of what we think are the best hotels in the places you will visit ranging from 5* boutique hotels, to characterful 3* hotels and everything in between.

Cusco Hotels

Palacio NazarenasPalacio Nazarenas

Set in a tranquil plaza behind Cusco’s main square, this former palace and convent was opened in 2012 after years of restoration...


Set in the heart of Cusco this former monastery built around Incan foundations and adorned with sumptuous colonial style combines historical charm with luxury...

Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco

The Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco is located in a beautiful eighteenth century house, recently remodelled, with stately colonial courtyards....

Cusco Saphi HotelCusco Saphi Hotel

Located in the central part of town, the Cusco Saphi Hotel is part of the excellent local Tierra Viva Hotel group, and is a great mix between Cusco’s rich history...

Casa Andina Classic Cusco Cathedral Casa Andina Classic Cusco Cathedral

A great value option, which really sets itself apart from other similar hotels thanks to its superb location, as close as it can be to the Cathedral of Cusco on the main square....

Sacred Valley Hotels

Tambo del Inca Tambo del Inca

Nestled in the Sacred Valley, just 50 minutes from Cusco, Tambo del Inka is the best hotel in the Sacred Valley and arguably one of the best in Peru...

Casa Andina Private Collection Valle SagradoCasa Andina Private Collection Valle Sagrado

Set over more than 8 landscaped acres (3 hectares), it breathes an air of tranquility and relaxation. Part of the Casa Andina group...

Pakaritampu, OllantaytamboPakaritampu, Ollantaytambo

A charming little hotel, with 20 rooms, set in beautifully landscaped gardens with wonderful views to the mountains beyond...

Machu Picchu Hotels

Sanctury LodgeSanctury Lodge

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge is arguably one of the best situated hotels in the world. The only hotel located inside Machu Picchu it offers amazing views...

Inkaterra Pueblo HotelInkaterra Pueblo Hotel

Pueblo roofs of terra cotta tile, crafted by local artisans, peek from lush gardens, artfully landscaped for serenity and solitude in this charming hotel set in the heart...

Sumaq HotelSumaq Hotel

Set at the foot of the mountains surrounding Machu Picchu on the banks of the Urubamba (known in this stretch as the Vilcanota River) river....

El Mapi HotelEl Mapi Hotel

A contemporary hotel, with very good service also run by the excellent Peruvian hotel Chain Inkaterra. Set in the village of Aguas Calientes....

Lake Titicaca Hotels

Titilaka HotelTitilaka Hotel

A beautiful hotel located on a private peninsula on the shores of Lake Titicaca. The styling fuses modern ambiance with the colourful heritage of the region...

Isla SuasiIsla Suasi

The only private island in Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable body of water. Featuring panoramic lake views from every room, surrounded by terraced gardens...


The Libertador Lake Titicaca, offers fantastic views across the lake from throughout the hotel. A larger hotel than we would usually use, with 123 rooms...

Tierra Viva Puno PlazaTierra Viva Puno Plaza

Tierra Viva Puno Plaza is located in Grau Street, at the heart of the city of Puno, just a block away from Puno´s Cathedral and Main Square...

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or email email us today.

Think Galapagos

Rachel DexCall Rachel, Peru Specialist
on 01964 552292
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Empires of the Sun  Peru and Bolivia

Empires of the Sun  Peru and Bolivia

Empires of the Sun  Peru and Bolivia

Empires of the Sun  Peru and Bolivia

Empires of the Sun  Peru and Bolivia

Empires of the Sun  Peru and Bolivia

Empires of the Sun  Peru and Bolivia

Empires of the Sun  Peru and Bolivia

Empires of the Sun  Peru and Bolivia

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