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Peru Explorer – Student Tour


Journey with us to a land shrouded in mystery and birthplace of the New World’s most advanced society, the Incan Empire. The jewel of South America, Peru will send your camera into overdrive with its jaw-dropping terrain, colourful markets, white-washed cities, forgotten temples entangled in jungle vines, and massive archaeological complexes. Home to a unique and proud population which continues to maintain its rich culture and identity, you will be welcomed with open arms. Channel your inner Indiana Jones and spirit of adventure as we step back in time and discover the land of the Inca.

This Peru tour is designed with student specifically in mind – educational and fun!

This tour is escorted by a Finisterra Tour Leader, as well as teacher chaperones.


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Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Arequipa

Highlights Include:
  • Sampling the culinary delights of Peruvian cuisine
  • Discovering the colonial splendours of Lima & Arequipa
  • Delving into the “Archaeological Capital of the Americas,” Cusco
  • Soaking-in the astonishing views of Machu Picchu
  • Exploring the highest navigable lake in the world , Lake Titicaca
  • Spotting vicuña on the magical realm of the altiplano

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Day 1: Vancouver to Lima, Peru

Welcome to Lima – the City of Kings and the bustling gateway to Peru! Lima is an ethnic melting pot, featuring pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern elements. Lima was inhabited by pre-columbian groups centuries before it was founded by Spanish Conqueror Francisco Pizarro in 1535 on the day of the Three Kings (Epiphany).

We will get settled in our hotel located in Miraflores before heading to dinner.


Meals: Dinner (if necessary)
Overnight: Miraflores (Lima)

Day 2: Lima: Colonial Splendour

Today we will have a half day guided sightseeing tour of the highlights of colonial Lima and the incredible Larco Herrera Museum. We will begin our tour with a visit the heart of colonial Lima, the colourful Plaza de Armas. From the plaza, we will admire the Government Palace, and visit both the Cathedral, and Santo Domingo Convent. After time for photos of the beautiful colonial architecture, we will continue on to the Larco Museum which is located in a vice-royal mansion of the 18th century built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid in Pueblo Libre. The Larco Museum features the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru, the famous erotic archaeological collection, worldwide icons of Pre-Columbian art, after being exhibited in the world’s leading museums.

The afternoon is we explore the charming district of Miraflores and visit an incredible pre-Columbian pyramid.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Miraflores (Lima)

Day 3: Lima to Cusco and the Sacred Valley

Early morning we fly from Lima to Cusco, over the spectacular Andes and into the heart of the Incan Empire. Cusco is a colonial as well as an archaeological gem and at an elevation of 3400m, Cusco will literally take your breath away. It is for this reason that after arriving by plane in Cusco, we continue to a more comfortable elevation of 2800m of the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Urubamba Valley).

On our way to the Sacred Valley, we will visit the archaeological complex of Moray which is an unusual Incan site consisting of several enormous terraced circular depressions, the largest of which is about 30 m deep. The purpose of these depressions is uncertain, but their depth and orientation with respect to wind and sun creates a temperature difference of as much as 15 °C between the top and bottom. It is possible that Moray was an Inca agricultural experiment station where they studied climatic conditions on a wide variety of crops. We continue to our charming accommodation in the Sacred Valley.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Sacred Valley

Day 4: Sacred Valley of the Incas

Today we further explore the spectacular Sacred Valley of the Incas. Chinchero, known as the birthplace of the rainbow, is famous for its traditionally dressed villagers, Incan terraces, and colourful Sunday indigenous market. We have time to explore and perhaps see women weaving their intricate textile designs.

We continue along the Urubamba river to the “Living City of the Incas” and archaeological complex of Ollantaytambo. You will gain a true appreciation of Inca urban planning as you travel back 500 years wandering the streets of Ollantaytambo. We will also visit the impressive Inca fortress with exceptional stone work, stretching high above the village. If we are lucky, we may be able to visit a family’s home.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Sacred Valley

Day 5: Machu Picchu

We rise early this morning and travel by train to Aguas Calientes located at the base of magnificent Machu Picchu. From here we take a bus up the snaking road to the ‘Lost City of the Incas’. The incredible archaeological site of Machu Picchu dates to the 15th century and first received international attention in 1911 when it was visited by the American historian Hiram Bingham. Ever since, Machu Picchu has received visitors from around the world being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and more recently voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. Talk about a view…wow!

We have a two hour guided tour of the most important structures at Machu Picchu before having free time for independent exploration of the site.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Aguas Calientes

Day 6: Machu Picchu to Cusco

This morning we head back up to Machu Picchu early to appreciate it in the morning light before the crowds. You’ll have free time to hike up to the Sun Gate or explore as you wish.

In the afternoon we travel by train to Poroy then by bus to Cusco, the heart of the Incan Empire. We go for an orientation tour of this lively city before we dine and dance Cusco-style!


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Cusco

Day 7: Cusco and Surroundings

Cusco is “The Archaeological Capital of the Americas” and most visited tourist attraction in Peru. Cusco (Qosqo in Quechua) was the capital of the mighty Inca Empire from the 13th century until 1532 when the Spanish conquistadors arrived. The Inca had incredible foresight in regards to city planning and Cusco beautifully exemplifies this. Cusco was planned as an effigy in the shape of a puma, the Inca god of lightning.

This morning we explore some of Cusco’s colonial highlights with a guided tour of the Cathedral, Koricancha Temple (Temple of the Sun), and the artistic neighbourhood of San Blas. We continue our tour in the afternoon as we visit the nearby Incan ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay before heading to Cristo Blanco for incredible views of Cusco’s surroundings.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Cusco Hotel

Day 8: Andean Explorer Train to Puno
This morning we board a bus from Cusco to Puno crossing the altiplano of Peru reaching a breathtaking altitudes. Along the way we will visit the sites of Andahuaylilla, Raqchi and Pucara. The fascinating journey snakes between mountains, highlands, and clouds, ending at the majestic Lake Titicaca. Travelling across the sunburned altiplano by rail, gives one a true appreciation of the vastness of the landscape as well as how isolated the communities of subsistence farmers and shepherds are that dwell here. Herds of llamas and alpacas as well as the more elusive vicuna are often seen along the way. We arrive in the early evening to the city of Puno which is at the heart of Peruvian folkloric tradition located at a breath-taking 3830m (12 562 ft).
Overnight: Puno
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Day 9: Lake Titicaca – Uros & Taquile Islands
Today we have a full-day excursion of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, 3810m (12 500ft) and the largest lake in South America. It often seems more like an ocean than a lake as its intense blue waters, as deep as 270m (886 ft), stretch endlessly in all directions. It is no coincidence that the Inca decided first to conquer this lake, nor that they formed a creation myth around it. The Inca contend that the sun sent his son, Manco Cápac, and the moon sent her daughter, Mamo Ocllo, to emerge from the waters of Lake Titicaca and found the Inca empire.
Our boat excursion begins with a visit to the nearby Uros (floating) Islands. The totora reeds that grow in shallows of the lake are used for making everything from the islands themselves to the schools to the trinkets they sell visitors and the boats. The Uros people began their floating existence centuries ago in an effort to isolate themselves from their rivals, the Collas and the Incas.
We continue our Lake Titicaca adventure to the tranquil island of Taquile. Taquileños run their society based on community collectivism and on the Inca moral codeama sua, ama llulla, ama qhilla, (Quechua for “do not steal, do not lie, do not be lazy”). The people of Taquile Island’s unique culture, style of dress and lifestyle make for a memorable visit. The men of the community do all the incredible knitting, as this is strictly a male domain, while the women do the spinning.
We stay with the friendly locals of Taquile overnight.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight: Taquile Island Guesthouse
Day 10: Puno to Arequipa

Early this morning we depart Taquile by boat and return to Puno before visiting Sillustani, situated on a stark wind-swept peninsula on tiny Lake Umaya. The burial towers of the nobles of the Colla civilization are up to 12 metres high and it is not known exactly when they were built. Known as chullpas, it is thought that whole families were buried in the towers.

Travelling across the altiplano with spectacular views of the Andes, we keep our eyes peeled for vicuñas (wild camelid) and pink flamingos around Lake Langunillas. Dubbed the ‘White City’ for its pearly white volcanic rock, Arequipa boasts over 80 volcanoes and possesses fine colonial-era Spanish architecture. The most famous of which is El Misti Volcano standing at 5822m.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 11: Arequipa

Constructed entirely of white sillar tone, the city gleams in the sun and is home of the most stunning Plaza de Armas in all of Peru. Today we have a guided sightseeing tour of the highlights of beautiful Arequipa and the 400 year old Monasterio de Santa Catalina, a citadel that could have been lifted right out of southern Spain.

This afternoon we visit Juanita, the mummy of a 13 year old girl that captured worldwide attention in 1995, located in Museo Santuarios Andinos.


Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 12: Arequipa to Lima
Today we catch our internal flights from Arequipa back to Lima where we will connect to our international flights.
Meals: Breakfast

*Please note that most flights depart from Lima late in the evening

[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Inclusion & Exclusion” tab_id=”1449208780765-5fd2d40a-5e8d”][vc_column_text]Tour Inclusions

  • 11 nights hotel or guesthouse
  • International flights
  • Mandatory travel insurance
  • All meals (11 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners)
  • All transportation as per itinerary (Internal flights, train, bus, private transfers)
  • Services of an experienced Canadian Tour Leader (24/7)
  • Local guides for sightseeing
  • All entrances fees to sites mentioned in the program
  • All tips for local guides, restaurant staff at included meals, porters, drivers
  • All applicable taxes


Tour Exclusions

  • Services not specified
  • Optional trip cancellation insurance
  • Meals not mentioned (international airport meals, snacks)
  • Personal items
  • Departure taxes (international if applicable)
  • Airport transfers for international flights


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