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Tico Tico: Culture of the Northern Andes

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On this adventurous itinerary you will be rewarded by magical landscapes, archaeological treasures, and encounters with welcoming people who will give you an insight into life in the region. The remote highlights of the north of Peru attract fewer visitors than the south, and as such there is a lower level of tourist infrastructure and some long road journeys, but each day offers a fascinating insight into the country’s rich cultural history.

A taste for adventure and discovery is a must; this is a trip through the authentic South America which has remained unchanged for decades.

Holiday itinerary

UK clients depart, arriving Lima, Peru, the same day.

Day 1

Overnight in the capital.

Day 2

Fly to Trujillo and explore the city.

Day 3

Visit the Chimú site of Chan Chan, fishing village of Huanchaco and the Moche pyramids at Huacas del Sol and de la Luna.

Days 4-5

Journey to colonial Cajamarca, Explore the town and its fertile landscapes.

Day 6

Drive to Leymebamba.

Day 7

Visit the Chachapoyan museum and Revash. Continue to El Chillo.

Day 8

Journey to the ruins of Kuelap. Continue to Chachapoyas.

Day 9

Visit the archaeological site of Karajía.

Day 10

Excursion to the Gocta Falls.

Day 11

Drive to Chiclayo, on the north Peruvian coast.

Day 12

Visit the museum of Sipán and the ruins at Túcume.

Day 13

Fly to Lima. Optional excursions in the capital.

Day 14

Depart for international flight or extension.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

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What our experts say

For lovers of history and archaeology, the Tico Tico journey is a dream come true. The itinerary travels to northern Peru, where there is a multitude of sites where the vestiges of a range of pre-Columbian cultures are laid bare.  Visit the adobe pyramids of Moche Chan Chan, and the Chachapoyan fort Kuelap, perched on a mountain top. Colonial gems are not ignored however: Trujillo and Cajamarca  are brilliant examples of these.

Hannah

Hannah Donaldson

Travel Consultants

Places visited on this holiday

Tico Tico: Culture of the Northern Andes

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Lima Cathedral
A city as huge and dynamic as Lima, City of Kings, is bound to offer something of interest to all visitors. Lovers of architecture and history will thrill to the monumental cathedral and Presidential Palace in the Plaza de Armas, and colonial wooden balconies overhanging atmospheric lanes in the spruced-up centre. But out on the Pacific coast are the smart, modern middle-class suburbs of Miraflores and Barranco, brimming with sophisticated restaurants, boutiques and live music. The traffic is horrendous, but the city has some of the Spanish Empire’s best museums; it’s well worth crossing town to find them.
When to go
A cold Pacific current puts the kibosh on the tropical climate you might expect and a chilly mist hovers over the city May-Nov. But as this is the best time to visit the Andes, you may have to visit Lima at this time. In the southern summer the sun breaks through, happy limeños spill out onto the pavement bars, ice cream parlours and beaches.
Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency
Peruvian Nuevo Sol. Notes in local currency or US dollars can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. Numerous money exchange offices exchange US dollars cash (few accept euros or sterling and the rate may be poor).
Time difference

GMT -5 hours.

Combines with

The pre-Columbian adobe ruins of a ceremonial centre at Pachacamac  in the desert just 31 km south of Lima;  Paracas National Park, 214 km (3-4 hours’ drive) down the coast, for the Ballestas Islands “mini-Galápagos” Nature Reserve;  the Moche pyramids at Chan Chan, near Trujillo, 561 km (8 hours on the Pan American Highway or 1 hour by air); Cajamarca, charming Andean colonial town, 856km, (12 hours by scenic road or 90 mins by air).

Flight time from UK

Average flight time to Lima is 12.5 hours. There is a direct flight from London Gatwick to Lima. Popular non-direct routes to Lima involve a change of plane in Amsterdam, Paris or Madrid.

Key events
Gran Serenata: Live music in the Plaza de Armas on 17 Jan to celebrate the city’s foundation.
Semana Santa, Easter. Many religious processions.
Peru Art Week:   Annually in May.  Museums, art galleries and open air exhibitions in Barranco, Miraflores and San Isidro welcome visitors. Independence Day (Fiestas Patrias): 28 Jul annually: celebrated in plazas and parks throughout the city centre, with music and fireworks in the main plaza the evening before. On the final day a Great Military Parade takes place on either Avenida Brasil or Avenida De La Peruanidad.
Corpus Christi: Jun. Statues of the Virgin Mary and saints have a day out from their churches and are paraded to the Cathedral.
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Northern Peru
Northern Peru
The Pacific coast and Andean heartland of northern Peru is unfairly neglected by visitors in favour of the treasures of the south. The region is absolutely choc-a-bloc with vestiges of bygone civilisations, often as inspiring as the Inca. The untouched mountain landscapes and little-seen archaeological delights well reward travellers who make the sometimes long journeys to discover them.  The attractive colonial towns of Trujillo and Cajamarca, 2,750m, have preserved much of their character, and are excellent bases for visits to the adobe pyramids of Chan Chan, and Inca baths and aqueducts respectively. Kuelap, one of the continent’s most dramatic temple fortresses is accessible via Chachapoyas, 2,335m, from the port of Chiclayo.
When to go

Northern Peru can be visited at any time of year but unpaved roads inland can get very muddy in the rainy season Jan-Mar.

Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency
Peruvian Nuevo Sol. Notes in local currency or US dollars can be withdrawn from ATMs in the larger towns using a UK credit or debit card. Numerous money exchange offices exchange US dollars cash (few accept euros or sterling and the rate may be poor).
Time difference

GMT -5 hours.

Combines with

A beach wind down in Máncora, trendy but low-key sea and surf resort on the northwest coast; pre-Columbian ruins of a ceremonial centre at Pachacamac  in the desert just 31 km from Lima; the Inca sites around Cusco, including Machu Picchu (1 hour flight from Lima); a trek in the Cordillera Blanca from Huaraz, mountaineering town halfway between Trujillo and Lima.

Getting there

Frequent flights from Lima to Trujillo take 1 hour 12 mins and 1 hour 30 mins to Chiclayo or Cajamarca.

Key events

National Marinera Contest; Trujillo, 2 weeks from the end of Jan. Dancing couples compete in 6 categories.

Festival de la Primavera: Trujillo, last week of Sept. Pageants, floats and parades, and a competition of riders of the famous Peruvian Caballos de Paso horses famed for their extra tripping gait.

Fiesta de la Purísima Concepción: Chiclayo, 8 days prior to Carnival and also in Sep. Celebrates the town’s patron saint, with dancing, fireworks, cock fights and sporting events. 

Carnival Cajamarca in a full-on affair with processions, dances and paint-throwing.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today. Tico Tico: Culture of the Northern Andes

  • Peruvian Amazon 5 days from £988pp

    The Peruvian Amazon is just an hour's flight from Cusco. This bird-filled area of humid tropical rainforest embraces many ox-bow lakes, an ideal home for caimans, turtles and giant otters.

    Day 1: Transfer to Cusco airport for the flight to Puerto Maldonado. Staff from Posada Amazonas will escort you to the lodge by road and dugout canoe (3hrs). Accommodation is simple and comfortable, constructed to harmonise with the forest environment.

    Days 2, 3:  Your stay includes a variety of early morning and late afternoon excursions. There are small clay licks close by, which attract throngs of parrots and parakeets. English-speaking guides will lead your exploration of the trails around the lodge. Climb a nearby 35m high canopy tower for expansive jungle and river vistas. You can discover the lakes and river banks by canoe to search for aquatic wildlife.

    Day 4: Return to Puerto Maldonado and fly to Lima. Transfer to your hotel in the Pacific-side district of Miraflores, Casa Andina Private Collection.

    Day 5: Continue your holiday or transfer to the airport for your international flight.

    Breakfast daily, full board days 2, 3.

  • Nazca Lines + Paracas 3 days from £700pp

    Travel to the Paracas Peninsula and explore the bird-smothered Ballestas Islands by boat. Fly over the Nazca Lines for a bird’s eye view of the giant symbols and lines carved into skeletal desert rock by the pre-Columbian Nazca people.

    Day 1: From Lima, travel by public coach south to Paracas (3.5hrs) on the Panamerican Highway, which follows the contours of the coastal cliffs, carving a lonely path through bleak desert scenery. The severity of the sparsely populated landscape is relieved by tiny oases producing dates or maize and rickety fishing villages. Your modern hacienda-style hotel, La Hacienda Bahia Paracas, overlooks Paracas Bay.

    Day 2: Embark on a private motor-launch tour of the Ballestas Islands, which comprise one of the most important wildlife areas of Peru. The arches and caves - the result of wind and tide erosion - provide shelter for thousands of seabirds: albatrosses, cormorants, boobies, pelicans and the odd Humboldt penguin. The coves and surrounding waters are also visited by sea-lions, the mournful cries of which mingle with the screeches of the birds in a cacophonous symphony of sound.

    Later, board a light aircraft for a 90min flight to and over the Nazca Lines. This series of giant geometrical figures, animals and insects was etched into the desert floor by the Nazca people over a period of several hundred years. The interpretation of the lines puzzles scientists – do they comprise an astronomical map, calendar or astrological symbols? The rocky, wind-contorted desert scenery seen from the air is as startling as the lines themselves.

    Day 3: Return to the city of Lima to continue your holiday or to the airport for your international flight.

    UK clients arrive home the following day

    Breakfast daily.

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