Peru and Bolivia
THE COLOURS OF LATIN AMERICA – SUMMER 2022
This journey puts you in close contact with the ancient civilisations, culture and traditions of the local people in Peru and Bolivia. It is an experience for your senses and your mind. We will visit places that are not frequently visited by foreigners. We will take part in ceremonies dedicated to the elements of fire, earth and water, organised for us by the locals. We will drink mate tea, nice wine and coca tea. We will visit places of strong energy and we will see them through the eyes of the anthropologist and the shaman, not the tourist perspective. The itinerary includes places, ceremonies and meetings that are not covered in the list below. Some of them are so sacred and inaccessible for the ignorant foreigner that we cannot speak about them even when we come back home. Naturally we will also be tourists but that is just part of the experience. Changes in the itinerary are possible on site depending on the weather conditions, the locals we are going to meet and the overall condition of the participants in the group. Nothing in Latin America is strictly fixed, time for the locals is a flow and we will simply go with it. This journey is rather intense and can be exhausting with the frequent change of hotels, long travel, unexpected stops and adventures.
The itinerary lists the tourist part of the journey only. On booking you will find out more about some special places and ceremonies and some events will remain a secret until the last minute. We have planned this journey in such a way that it would stay with you forever.
DESTINATION: CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN PERU, BOLIVIA
• Visit to Machu Picchu, one of the world wonders.
• Sightseeing in Lima, the capital of Peru.
• Birdview panorama of the lines of Pampa and Nasca.
• Learn more about the ancient Inca civilisation.
• Walk along the cobbled streets of Cuzco, the oldest city in South America and centre of the Inca Empire.
• Taste the delicious Peruvian cuisine.
• Visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley.
• Experience the contrasts of the hights of the Andes Mountains and the depth of the Colca Canyon and the unique islands of Titicaca Lake.
• Visit some modern cities (Lima, Cuzco, Arequipa) and ancient worlds in magnificent environment.
• Train trip to Machu Picchu and trekking through Huayna Picchu Mountain. Wildlife fans will surely love the Ballast islands, also known as the ‘Little Galapagos’.
• Enjoy the atmosphere of the highest altitude capital in the world La Paz, Bolivia and visit a real witch market.
Duration: 16 days (18 with the flights)
Number of travellers: 16-18
Destinations: Lima, Paracas, Nasca, Arequipa, Colca Canyon, Cuzco, Paucartambo, the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, the Coloured Mountains, Puno, Titicaca Lake, the Urus Floating Islands, Aramu Muru, La Paz, Bolivia and Tiwanaku. Difficulty rate: 3/5
For safety and physical endurance reasons, this journey is not recommended for children under 10 years of age.
IS THIS JOURNEY FOR YOU?
• During this journey we will find ourselves at high altitude places. Some people may suffer from high altitude sickness. It can affect anyone regardless of their physical strength or age. In any case we will try to help you alleviate some of the symptoms by maintaining high hydration level, local teas and drinks and limited alcohol intake.
• Sometimes we will have to start very early in the day in order to reach our destination on time.
• Some of the roads may be windy and bumpy.
• There will be a lot to explore so you will have to be on foot for long periods of time. A moderate level of physical strength is required but if you have any concerns in relation to the above, please inform us of your needs as we have many ways to adapt the journey accordingly.
DEPARTURE FROM SOFIA: 8 July 2022:
Flight Sofia - Lima. For those of you who prefer to travel in a group, we will organize it. For the rest – meeting at the Lima hotel on 9 July.
DAY 1 - LIMA (9 July)
Meeting at the hotel reception at 13:00 p.m. for introduction. Your will meet the other participants in the group and our local guide. At the meeting we will discuss the itinerary, the route and all travelling formalities. In the afternoon we will make a tour of the historical centre of Lima. Lima is a gigantic, bustling 12-million people city by the sea that offers everything – a profusion of great food, parks, art and culture. We will immerse ourselves in the lively vibrations of the city while looking at colonial architecture, Plaza del Armas, the governmental buildings and the Cathedral. We will finish our walk with a visit to the catacombs under the Church of San Francisco.
DAY 2 – PARACAS – ICA (10 July)
In the morning we will take a bus to the south through the desert landscapes along the Pacific coastline. We will stop at Pachacamak to find out about the history of this fortress of the Incas and the cultures before them. Then we will head further south to Paracas, where we will take the tourist boat to the Ballast Islands, known and the Galapagos of Peru. Bird lovers will find this stop especially exciting as it offers the highest concentration of sea birds in the world. During the two-hour boat trip we hope to see seals, penguins, flamingo, red-legged cormorants and pelicans. During the trip we can also spot the figure of Candelabro, engraved on a rock of a hill. After the boat trip we continue along the desert coastline to the Huacachina oasis where we will watch the sun rising on the dunes and maybe even sandboard down the dunes (for those, practising snowboarding) or go for a sand safari with buggies.
DAY 3 – NASCA LINES (11 July)
In the morning we will have some downtime and if you will, we can board a small airplane and fly over the amazing desert lines and figures of Nasca as well as the even older lines and drawings of Pampa, and make some great pictures from above. In the afternoon we will enjoy a delicious lunch in the vineyards of Ica, the region where the world famous Pisco is produced. After a well-deserved rest we will head to Nasca to spend the night.
DAY 4 – NASCA - AREQUIPA (12 July)
Early in the morning we will head to Arequipa, situated at altitude 2335 m, also known as the White City, because of its architecture where the houses are built of white volcanic rocks. In the evening we will bask in the unique atmosphere of the second-biggest city in Peru.
DAY 5 - AREQUIPA (13 July)
We will wake up to the magical view of the El Misti volcano that rises over the city. In the morning we will meet a local guide who will take us for a walk in the colonial part of Arequipa, we will see the city centre and the Santa Catalina monastery of nuns that hides a lot mysteries and secrets.
We will have the chance to see Plaza De Armas, the Jesuit Church and the Museum of Juanita, ‘the ice-maiden of Peru’, sacrificed to the gods by the Incas and discovered on the slopes of the Ampato Volcano.
DAY 6 – CHIVAY (14 July)
We head off to the city of Chivay (5 hours) that will be our basecamp for visiting Colca Canyon and the National park. We will make stops on the road to watch the most famous animals in Peru – lamas, alpacas and vicunas, to have coca tea and shop from the artisan markets by the road. On arrival in Chivay we will take a rest in order to adapt to the high altitude of 3600 m.
In Chivay there are mineral water springs that will additionally help us relax.
DAY 7 – COLCA CANYON (15 July)
Early start and departure from the hotel (around 7.00 a.m.). We will go to the beautiful Colca Canyon which is twice as deep as Grand Canyon. The destination of our journey will be the Condor Cross – the spot where we will have the opportunity to watch these magnificent birds that are also the national symbol of the country.The condor is deeply connected with Peruvian culture – it is a sacred bird for the locals that makes the connection between the world of gods and stars – Hanan Pacha and the world of humans – Kai Pacha.
On the other side of the canyon, we will see ancient tombs, dug in the slope of the hill. In the afternoon we will return to Arequipa.
DAY 8 – AREQUIPA-CUZCO (16 July)
Early in the morning we take a flight to the old capital of the Incas and arrive at the hotel. After freshening up at the hotel, we will have a short walk around Cuzco, located at altitude of 3300 m. It is a unique place that still keeps the culture and mysticism of the Andes. In the local Quechuan language COSCO (the root of Cuzco) means ‘the navel of the world’, the heart of the Inca Empire. Cuzco is a colourful place with local markets, coffee shops, numerous historical monuments, cathedrals and beautiful little streets. Nobody goes to Peru without visiting Cuzco and taking a piece of its amazing atmosphere to cherish forever.
After the walk we will go to Paucartambo to join the celebrations of La Virgen del Carmen fiesta. The cult to the patron saint of the indigenous people Mestizos or Mamacha Carmen is celebrated with colourful processions through the city: music, choirs, singing in Quechuan and groups of dancers comparsi, presenting moments of Peruvian history. The fiesta starts right at the entrance with a wax procession and continues into the night with ‘qonoy’, light fireworks and a serenade to the Virgin. On the central day, July 16, the festival shows all its splendour with the presentation of the comparsas (around twenty dance groups) in the streets and squares of Paucartambo. In the afternoon, the image of the Virgin is taken out in procession, accompanied by dancers and bands of musicians. Traditionally the Virgin blesses the assistants and drives away the saqras, demons that perform risky pirouettes on the rooftops trying to tempt the Virgin and the assistants to sin. The next day the dancers take to the streets again and at night the famous “guerrilla” takes place, a simulation of a fight between angels, demons and humans. There is also an excursion to Tres Cruces hill to watch the sunrise. Late at night or early in the morning, we are going back to Cuzco.
DAY 9 – FREE DAY IN CUZCO (17 July)
We will take a day off to recover from the busy schedule and the long night of the festival in Paucartambo. We can walk through the beautiful narrow streets and markets of Cuzco, to have coffee and coca tea and leisurely enjoy the pleasant atmosphere.
DAY 10 – ON THE ROAD THROUGH THE SACRED VALLEY, PACHAMAMA RITUAL, TRAIN TRIP TO AGUAS CALIENTES (19 July)
We depart from Cuzco through the Sacred Valley with a private van to Ollantaytambo. We will make three stops to visit three archaeological sites – the Maras Salt Mines, the Moray Inca laboratories and the fortress Ollantaytambo where we will learn more about the agriculture and religion of the Incas. The road will take us along a meandering river and its terraces, we will stop to have a look at some local crafts and arts and to have lunch. At lunch we will try the traditional Pachamanca dish, where food is wrapped and buried in the ground near hot stones before being dug up for the celebration. In the afternoon we will see the ancient ruins of the Incas at Ollantaytambo that provide a beautiful view to the whole valley. Our guide will present the history and rituals of the Incas who used to live here and later we will board the train to AGUAS CALIENTES. This is a city in the valley of the sacred Urubamba River, famous for its thermal water springs and also the starting point towards Machu Picchu. We can visit the mineral water pools and prepare for the next special day.
DAY 11 – MOUNTAIN TREK TO MACHU PICCHU AND HUAYNA PICCHU (20 July)
Early start of the day at 5:30 a.m. to watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu and avoid the heat during the day. We will take the 30-minute tourist bus up the zigzagging slopes to Machu Picchu. Here we can find the perfect spot to sit down and enjoy the view. We will witness how the fog comes down through the mountains around the Machu Picchu citadel and the sunrise over this ancient city.
This world famous symbol of the Incas Empire is situated at altitude of 2400 m, high in the Andes. In 2007 it was declared one of the Seven World Wonders. ‘The lost city of the Incas’ consists of over 150 individual buildings, including houses, temples and sanctuaries.
The Peruvian authorities introduce new restrictions for the access to this magical place every year to preserve it. We will be taken to a private tour by our guide who will make this city come back to life with his knowledge of this unique World Wonder.
Part of the group will have the chance to climb the Huayna Picchu Mountain. Huayna Picchu is an additional citadel that is higher than Machu Picchu, located on extremely steep rocky slopes. This is the mount that we see rising above Machu Picchu in its full glory on each photo of the place. It is a seldomly frequented and highy energetic spot. The Incas shaman used to climb that mount every morning to commence the day with a sunrise welcoming ceremony. The view from Huayna Picchu and the experience of the energy of this glorious mount is hard to describe.
This climb is hard and it will take place only on request by the group and also if the weather conditions and the physical capacity of the group allow for it. Return to Aguas Calientes.
Later we take the glass rooftop tourist train to Ollantaytambo. Then we will have a private transfer to Cuzco.
DAY –12 THE COLOURED MOUNTAINS -PUNO (21 July)
Departure from Cuzco around 4 a.m. This is going to be a long day. We are heading to the highest altitude for the whole journey - 5 100 m. A beautiful one-day trip from Cuzco to visit the natural multi-coloured Rainbow Mountain – Vinicunca. We will have a chance to do some trekking and horse riding through the lovely valley of the Andes to the top view. On the way we will see snowy mountain peaks, alpaca herds, vultures and glaciers, situated within this breathtaking mountain chain at 5200 m of altitude. The mineral sediments tinge the mountains with their distinctive turquoise, lavender and golden colours. Our group will make this trip during the dry season (April - October) and will be able to enjoy the colours at their brightest.
This is a 3-hour bus drive from the hotel before we reach the starting point of the trek, during which we will enjoy the sunrise, the landscape and have a nap. On arrival breakfast will be served to recharge our batteries while our guides prepare for the trek. For those interested in horse riding, we can hire horses in case you prefer riding to walking. It will take us between 2 and 3 hours to reach the Coloured Mountains. Sun-protection cream and raincoat are recommended. We will witness some spectacular views and meet lamas and alpacas. Around 10:30 a.m. we will see the breathtaking view to the mountains and the seven colours of the rainbow. We will take a break for rest and photos, during which our guide will tell us more about the history and geography of this region. In about half an hour we will go back to where we started. Lunch at around 13:00 p.m. Private transport will be waiting to take us to Puno.
DAY 13 – PUNO (22 July)
On this day we will feel the magic of the highest navigable lake in the world – Titicaca. It is situated at over 3800 m of altitude on the border between Peru and Bolivia, surrounded by the snowy peaks of Cordillera Real. Its length is 190 km, width 80 km and it is 280 m deep. The water of the lake is really transparent with average temperature 12 C.
We will take a boat and head to the Floating Islands to meet the people from the Uros tribe, who live on reed islands, made entirely of the totora reed. They are the successors of the Colla and Aymara civilisations that inhabited these areas before the Incas conquered their lands in 14th century.
We will meet the communities living there and we will find out from them how they build their islands and homes on the lake as well as learn about their history and the barter trading system that they use to this day.
Later that day we will visit Aramu Muru – the Gate to the Beyond, where the higher priest of the Inca Empire takes the Gold Disc of Qoricancha and simply disappears from the face of the earth. We will have the opportunity to do another ritual at this highly energy charged place. It is a very sacred spot for the Peruvians and doesn’t often show on the usual sightseeing map for tourists. Even our guides need special preparation of cleansing and meditation before visiting the Gate to the Beyond. Later in the afternoon we will go to the Bolivian border and travel another 196 km to our destination, the capital of Bolivia – La Paz. We will cross on foot the borderline between Peru and Bolivia and there we will board another bus that will take us to our hotel in La Paz. Arrival late at night.
DAY 14 – LA PAZ, BOLIVIA (23 July)
In the morning we will head to the Moon Valley, named by Neil Armstrong, the first man on the Moon, due to the uncanny landscape similarity between this place and the Moon. On the way back to La Paz we will have a tour of the administrative capital of Bolivia – we will see the Indian market, San Francisco church, Murillo square, the Presidency, and the Parliament. The afternoon will be free for shopping. We wil use the one-of-a-kind public transport system, made of rope lines, that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world.
Overnight in La Paz.
DAY 15 – TIWANAKU SITE (24 July)
Visit to the full of mysteries archaeological site of the ancient Tiwanaku civilisation, located at couple of hours drive from La Paz. We will see the Bennett Monolith of Tiwanaku, 7 m high, weighing over 20 t and the ruins of Tiwanaku. Climbing the pyramids we will enjoy magnificent views. We will spot the basalt rocks, engraved in a most meticulous manner, with unknown technology. The layout of the ruins mirrors the stars configuration of the Southern Cross constellation.
In the semi-subterraneal temple there are heads of people, demons and animals. From there we can see the Old Gods Gate. The most impressive artefact on the site of Tiwanaku is the Sun Gate. The relief and the mathematical precision of the monument’s decoration speak volumes of the highly developed civilisation that has built it, hundreds of years ago. At the centre of the Gate there is the image of Viracocha – the Sun God and one of the most significant deities in the Bolivian and Peruvian civilisations. The god is surrounded by 24 sun rays, corresponding to the hours in a day.
Legend has it that the Gate keeps a secret that the ancient Bolivian civilisation has hidden in the Tiwanaku lake, which will save humanity in a time of crisis.
In the afternoon we are going back to the hotel for a good rest and bag packing.
DAY 16 – DEPARTURE FROM BOLIVIA (25 July)
Departure from Bolivia to Bulgaria of Argentina.
End of journey!
THE COLOURS OF LATIN AMERICA – PRICE 4290 EUR/ 4100 EUR FOR EARLY BOOKING AND FOR FAMILIES
THE PRICE COVERS:
⮚ 13 bed&breakfasts in a double room in Peru.
⮚ 3 bed&breakfasts in a double room in Bolivia.
⮚ All kinds of road transport during the entire trip – van, train, bus or car, according to the itinerary for the day, train Cuzco-Aguas Calientes, bus Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu
⮚ Internal flight Arequipa - Cuzco
⮚ Road trip Peru - Bolivia
⮚ Tourist boat in Paracas,
⮚ Tourist boat on Titicaca Lake,
⮚ Day trip to the Coloured Mountains with packed lunch, water, entrance fee for the Rainbow Mountain, trekking with a professional guide.
⮚ Entrance fees to the catacombs at San Francisco Church, Lima, entrance fee for the Santa Catalina monastery.
⮚ Tours with a private professional English-speaking guide of the sightseeings in Lima, Pachacamac, Arequipa, Cuzco, Puacartambo, tour of the Sacred Valley Urobamba, including visit to the ruins of Maras, the Moray Salt Mines and the Ollantaytambo fortress.
⮚ Catering: 16 breakfasts, 3 lunches – 1 in Arequipa, 1 in Aguas Calientes, 1 during the trip to the Coloured Mountains.
⮚ Overall organisation of the journey, 3 guides – a professional English-speaking local and 2 Bulgarian guides of the group – English and Spanish speaking, at your disposal all the time. Assistance in buying air tickets, local internet cards, currency exchange, organisation of additional activities at your request.
⮚ Organisation and purchase of medical insurance with the necessary coverage for each country we are going to visit.
THE PRICE DOES NOT COVER:
⮚ Air tickets, medical insurance, PCR test expenses, personal expenses at hotels – laundry, minibar, lunch and dinner – between 3 and 15 EUR per person.
⮚ Flight over Nasca lines – approx. 150 USD per person. If 10 people subscribe for this service the price is 105 USD.
⮚ Horse renting fee for the trip to the Coloured Mountains – approx. 12 -13 USD per person.
⮚ Entrance fee for the Huayna Picchu, 52 USD per person in case of minimum 6 subscribers.
⮚ Visit to the hot thermal water pools in Chivay (5 USD) and Aguas Calientes (around 15 USD), massages.
All these are optional and can be arranged individually.
PRICES, DEADLINES AND DISCOUNTS:
4290 EUR per person in a double room
In case of early booking - before 10 February, the price is 4100 EUR (190 EUR discount). Deposit of 1500 EUR on booking is requested.
In case of a second family member subscription (spouse, child) – the price is 4100 EUR for each family member (190 EUR discount for each participant).
In case of full payment on booking – price 4100 EUR (190 EUR discount).
‘Bring A Friend’ discount – in case of a second person subscription – price 4190 EUR (100 EUR discount). The second person pays the full price. The outstanding amount of the price shall be paid in two equal instalments – by 25 March and by 25 May 2022.
The price for a child, staying at his parents hotel room: 2095 EUR (50% discount).
The different discounts cannot be combined.
The full price for the journey shall be paid by 25 May at the latest (45 days prior to departure).
If you book after 1 June 2022, the price is 4490 EUR.
In case of cancellation on your part prior to or on 1 June, 85% of the paid amount shall be refundable. In case of cancellation on your part after 1 June 2022, the refundable amount will be 30% of the paid sum. If you cancel this trip after 20 June 2022, the refundable amount is 10 % of the paid sum.
Additional payment for single room for the whole journey: 320 EUR.Learn more