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A Journey in Ancient Peru

Discovering Peru’s Pre-Hispanic civilisations

Chan Chan, Huaca de la Luna, Banos del Inca, Kuelap, Sipan. These are mystical places! They deserve respect both for their magnificence and their heritage. Above you the cliff face is dotted with caves, each containing the remains of the local’s ancestors, people who have inhabited this valley since the beginnings of time. Like so many of the experiences on this holiday, human drama and history is mixed with spectacular scenery. A heady combination!


We start in Lima, the capital and then head north to Trujillo, a desert oasis between sea and mountains. We will see the Spanish colonial city, one of the few Hispanic sites we visit on this holiday. We also the ruined city at Chan Chan, little imagination is required to see what it would have been like in its heyday. A day’s drive into the mountains includes stops along the way to Cajamarca. Here we can enjoy mountain walks and Incan ruins in the cooler air.


Then to Leymebamba for more stunning mountain scenery and indigenous culture and on to Chachapoyas. The name means ‘Cloud People’ in Aymara language, still widely spoken in the area. It is here we see the mystical tombs built into cliffs at Revash. It is also from here we visit Kuelap, a ruined city as spectacular as Machu Picchu but without the crowds. We should be able to use the new built cable car to visit the city, it is due to open early 2017. We also visit Gocta waterfall, considered the third highest in the world.


Next head west to Jaen and on to Chiclayo back on the coastal plains. We are here to visit the temple of Sipan, perhaps the most important archaeological site in Peru and a fitting way to end our tour.


Only recently has it been possible to enjoy these spectacular and little known sites. Everything you will see here is every bit as engaging as the honey pot highlights in the south of Peru but without anything like the same numbers of tourists. Be one of the first to discover the area.

Activity Level
You enjoy the great outdoors and possess a moderate spirit of adventure. For you, nothing beats exploring the natural world, whether by foot, wheels or water. You enjoy filling your days with great scenery and a range of different experiences. You are moderately fit. Previous outdoor activity experience is preferable.


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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    Depart From
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    13 Oct 2017
    Level B
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
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  • Itinerary & Map
    13 Oct 2017 - 30 Oct 2017

    Day 1 - In flight
    We fly from London direct to Lima and transfer to our hotel.

    Day 2 - Lima
    We start with a morning panoramic city tour of Lima, then lunch at Café del Museo Larco. Later in the day we transfer to the airport to take the flight to Trujillo. On arrival we transfer to the short distance to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

    Day 3 - Trujillo
    First we have a private tour of the gigantic archeological grave hills of Huaca del Sol and Huaca de Luna. Then we take lunch in a restaurant on the Pacific coast. This is a chance to see traditional reed fishing boats riding the waves. In the afternoon we continue to visit the famous Chan Chan ruins form the Chimu culture.

    Day 4 - Trujillo
    We take a look the archeological sites of Huaca el Brujo and La Señora de Cao enroute to Cajamarca. This is long day with plenty of travelling but we make plenty of stops including lunch at a restaurant.

    Day 5 - Trujillo
    In the morning we visit Otuzco, a remarkable necropolis with more than 300 niches excavated from volcanic tuff to bury and worship the dead. We continue to the historical thermal springs “Baños del Inca”, where Incan King Atahualpa was enjoying a bath when the Spanish conquistadores arrived. In the afternoon we walk to Cajamarca´s main square. Highlights include the famous 'ransom room', the last Inca building existing in the city and the colonial cloister of Bethlehem integrating its beautiful baroque church and two hospital buildings dating back to the XVIII century.

    Day 6 - Cajamarca
    In the morning, we drive out to explore the geological-archaeological park and the ritual channel of Cumbemayo aqueduct; a true remarkable creation. On the way we can admire panoramic views of the entire of Cajamarca and its surrounding valley from the Apolonia Hilltop. After lunch in Cajamarca we have a free afternoon.

    Day 7 - Cajamarca
    We have a drive up through the Andes to cross the central Andean range. We will travel through an incredible display of eco diversity: high altitude moorland, mountain cloud forest, dry scrub forests, riverbank forests and highland valleys. We will stop for lunch en-route and should arrive mid-afternoon at the charming town of Leymebamba (2203m) nestled at the headwaters of the Utcubamba valley.

    Day 8 - Leymebamba
    We will have a morning hike out to have a look at the incredible Mausoleums of Revash, a sacred burial site. The site is composed of a row of Chachapoya tombs constructed over narrow cliffhangings in shape of miniature houses that host the mummified remains of their elite ancestors. Returning to Leymebamba for lunch we have the afternoon to visit the Chachapoya collection preserved by the Leymebamba Museum. Later we will stop by a café which puts out hummingbird feeders. It is an excellent place to see the beautiful birds up close.

    Day 9 - Leymebamba
    Today is a full day tour visiting the magnificent fortified citadel of Kuélap (3000m), which began to be built by the Chachapoya people about 1600 years ago. Kuélap impresses due to its gigantic construction scale, its unique location and its many yet undiscovered archaeological mysteries. After enjoying lunch surrounded by the magnificent mountainous scenery our journey continues for three more hours to spend the night in Chachapoyas (2300 m).

    Day 10 - Chachapoyas
    We drive north to the village of Cruz Pata, where we walk into the Aishpachaca gorge, an elite burial site preserving the extraordinary cliff tombs of Karajía, a group of human-shaped sarcophagi where the Chachapoya rendered cult to the mummified remains of their leaders. After lunch, we visit the cave of Quiocta to admire the beautiful rock formations.

    Day 11 - Cocachimba
    From Chachapoyas we drive to Cocachimba, to start a pleasant trek following a well constructed path which crosses through cultivated fields before entering a narrow gorge covered by beautiful cloud forest to see the third highest waterfall on earth: “Gocta”.

    Day 12 - Jaén de Bracamoros
    Depart Chachapoyas after breakfast for 5 hours drive bound to Jaén de Bracamoros, (729m). We will take lunch en route and have plenty of photo opportunities to be enjoyed.

    Day 13 - Chiclayo
    Today drive east and south to Chiclayo. We cross the continental water divert at the Porcuya mountain pass (2137m), arriving to Tucume for lunch, following our visit to the new site Museum, and ancient citadel of Túcume, a remarkable archaeological project. It is a short distance on to Chiclayo.

    Day 14 - Chiclayo
    In the morning we visit Tumbas Reales de Sipan. This museum is built in the shape of the old tomb from the Lord of Sipan and shows a great collection with many artefacts that were found in the original tomb. After lunch we visit Huaca Rajada, the original tomb from the Lord of Sipan. Tonight we have a farewell dinner in a Chiclayo restaurant.

    Day 15 - In flight
    After breakfast we fly from Chiclayo to Lima to connect with our return flight to London Heathrow.

  • Accommodation

    Tourist class lodge and hotel accommodation throughout – all rooms with private facilities.

  • What's Included

    Holiday Price Includes:

    • B&B en suite accommodation.
    • Dinners taken in hotels or local restaurants.
    • Lunches taken in local restaurants or as picnics
    • All local transport costs.
    • Assistance of an expert local guide throughout

    Supplement for single room: £260

  • Holiday Highlights

    Holiday Highlights:

    • Kuelap. Prehaps the most important Pre-Incan site in Peru.
    • Gocta. The 3rd highest waterfall in the world.
    • Trujillo. The first Spanish city in Peru.
    • Cumbemayo. A lovely walk through great scenery.
    • The Lord of Sipan. A hugely important archaeological treasure.

  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Arrival transfer by road (c30mins).
    • Flights: Gatwick-Lima (c12hrs 30mins), British Airways.        
    • UK add-on flights from £95 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades: World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy) and Business Class upgrades available. Please ask for a competitive quote.

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  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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Activity Level
You enjoy the great outdoors and possess a moderate spirit of adventure. For you, nothing beats exploring the natural world, whether by foot, wheels or water. You enjoy filling your days with great scenery and a range of different experiences. You are moderately fit. Previous outdoor activity experience is preferable.


Please select a departure date


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