Journey through the mystical north of Peru

21 days - From € 8,720 per person

off the beaten track - ancient civilizations - Andes - jungle

This beautiful journey takes you to the almost undiscovered north of Peru. This area is a chain of cultural and archaeological highlights. Throughout the journey you will be accompanied by your highly skilled private guides and you will use private transportation with driver. You will hike through pristine nature, discover the various archaeological sites and end your journey in the cloud forest where the Chachapoyas used to live, a pre-Inca tribe whose traces are still clearly visible.

Travel itinerary

Day 1: Amsterdam - Lima

Your Unique Journey starts today, you will fly from Amsterdam to the Peruvian capital Lima. Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by our local staff and taken to your hotel. You will stay at Villa Barranco, a small boutique hotel in the trendy and characteristic Barranco area. In the district you will find several nice and qualitative restaurants where you can end your first day in a pleasant way.
Overnight stay: Villa Barranco | bed & breakfast

Day 2: Lima - Caral

In the morning you will meet your private guide for the coming days and it is time to get in the car towards Caral. The north of Peru is not yet visited by many tourists, but that doesn't make it any less interesting. The region is filled with unique pre-Inca archaeology, culture and beautiful nature. On the way to Caral you will make a stop at Vichama and Aspero. Both small old fishing villages where you will find the remains of the ancient Caral society. Aspero was in the news in 2016 because a 4500 year old mummy was found there, buried with carved woodwork in the form of monkeys and birds. After a visit to these villages you will be brought to Caral. You will spend the night here on a former hacienda. The hotel shares the land with an avocado and tangerine plantation. Enjoy the peace and quiet of this hacienda this evening.
Overnight stay: Empedrada Lodge | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 3: Caral - Anta

Today you and your guide will visit the archaeological site Caral. The old society is no less than 5000 years old. On the site you will see the remains of the old constructions such as the amphitheater and the central square. If you are interested, you can also, for a fee, visit the museum at Supe where all the objects that emerged from the excavations are displayed. Once you have seen everything, drive on to the boutique hotel Cuesta Serena, where you will stay for the next four nights. The hotel is beautifully situated, surrounded by mountains.
Overnight stay: Cuesta Serena | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 4: Anta

After an early breakfast you will visit the Pastoruri glacier in Huaraz. The glacier is one of the few glaciers that survived in the tropical regions of South America and is located at 5,250 meters above sea level. On the way to the glacier you will make a number of stops, including at Lake Patococha. Here you can spot different species of birds and enjoy the view. You will also stop at the Pumapampa lake. This lake changes color by a combination of sun and minerals. At the glacier you can make a walk, exploring the southern part of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. The Cordillera Blanca is just over 180 kilometers long and has 33 mountain peaks above 6000 meters.
Overnight stay: Cuesta Serena | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 5: Anta

In the morning you and your guide will drive to the underground temples of Chavín de Huantar. These temples were built by the Huari tribe, one of the most important cultures of South America. The holy city had an enormous influence on the coastal areas of Peru between 500 and 200 BC. The temples you see here belong to the oldest human structures in Latin America.  
Overnight stay: Cuesta Serena | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 6: Anta

Today you will hike in the Huascaran National Park to one of the most beautiful lakes in Peru: laguna 69. The park has an extensive flora and fauna and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985. The walk to Laguna 69 will take you past several lakes, waterfalls and beautiful views of several snowy mountain peaks. After a few hours you will reach glacial lake laguna 69 and you will be rewarded with a view of the turquoise blue lake. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings here, before you start your walk back again.
Overnight stay: Cuesta Serena | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 7: Anta

After breakfast you leave in the direction of Caraz. After about two hours driving you will reach the starting point of today's hike. First you follow the northern shore of the Paron lake; the largest lake in the Cordillera Blanca. You walk further through the valley in the direction of the Artesonraju mountain. As you walk through the valley, you will have a beautiful view of this mountain with its snowy peak. You cross several streams and rivers to follow the path to the lake Artesoncocha. Once you arrive at the lake you have a panoramic view of the different mountains around you. While you enjoy the view it is time to have your lunch. After lunch it is time to return and you will be brought back to the hotel. 
Overnight stay: Cuesta Serena | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 8: Anta - Trujillo

After breakfast you will continue your journey to Trujillo. On the way to Trujillo you will pass the Casma valley. One of the oldest archaeological sites of Peru, Cerro Sechin, can be found here. The site was discovered in 1937 and is mainly known for its megalithic buildings and engraved stones depicting human sacrifices. The stone sculptures depict a mythical or historical scene in which a group of armed men make their way through the mutilated remains of human victims. You can also visit the Sechin museum before continuing on to your hotel in Trujillo. Trujillo is a colonial coastal town south of Chiclayo.
Overnight stay: Moche Sanctuary Lodge | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 9: Trujillo

After your private guide picks you up at your hotel, you will be taken to the Moche valley. You will visit Huaca de la Luna; an archaeological site where the Moche culture built its palaces. This culture lived here around the beginning of our era and is mainly known for its ceramics and for the architecture of its palaces. Very special are the colored palace walls, many of which are still intact. You will visit the dragon temple of the Chimu and will be taken by your guide to the fishing village of Huanchaco, especially known for the typical reed boats used here, the so-called Caballitos de Totora. These are still made by the locals and used for fishing. In the afternoon you will visit the adobe town of Chan Chan. Here you will have the opportunity to look around among the remains of water reservoirs, cemeteries, farms and ceremonial squares. 
Overnight stay: Moche Sanctuary Lodge | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 10: Trujillo - Chiclayo

Today you travel further to the city of Chiclayo. On the way you will visit El Brujo, an important archaeological site for the Moche culture. This pyramid has special reliefs and drawings on the outside. In this pyramid an exceptionally well preserved mummy was found. Then you travel further to Chiclayo. Here you have the rest of the day for leisure. Chiclayo has a number of local dishes that are worth tasting, such as 'arroz con pato' (duck served with rice) and the local variant of 'ceviche' (raw fish marinated in lemon juice). A must is to visit Chiclayo's local market, the Mercado Modelo. 
Overnight stay: Casa Andina Select Chiclayo | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 11: Chiclayo

This day you and your guide will visit the protected nature reserve Chaparrí. In this nature reserve there is a wide variety of flora and fauna, including a number of endangered species such as the island fox, the guanaco and the spectacled bear. The nature reserve owes its name to Mount Chaparrí, which was considered sacred by the Mochi culture and is still often considered sacred by shamans. 
Overnight stay: Casa Andina Select Chiclayo | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 12: Chiclayo

After breakfast you start the day with a visit to the archaeological site Huaca Rajada, the site of the tomb of the Lord of Sipán, the largest tomb ever found in South America, discovered in 1987. You will also visit the museum about this archaeological find. This museum is a must for lovers of archaeology and ancient cultures. Many utensils, jewelry, ceramics and rugs, which have been restored in detail. Here you will learn more about the pre-Columbian Moche culture, in which the Lord of Sipán probably played an important role. After the visit to the museum, you will be taken back to your hotel.
Overnight stay: Casa Andina Select Chiclayo | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 13: Chiclayo – Cajamarca

Today there's another long ride on the program. In about 6.5 hours you will drive to Cajamarca, with on the way a stop at Kuntur Wasi. This archaeological site was a commercial center of the Chayin culture. The site dates back to 1100 BC and houses some of the oldest gold artefacts on the American continent. Cajamarca is especially famous for the fact that the last Inca ruler Atahualpa was executed in this place by the conquistador Francisco Pizarro. This actually meant the capitulation of the Inca population to the Spanish. In the old center there are beautiful churches and the thermal baths in this region, date back to the time of the Incas.
Overnight stay: Laguna Seca Hotel & Spa | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 14: Cajamarca

Together with your guide you will visit the archaeological complex Cumbemayo. The complex is considered to be a place where sacrifices were made to the gods during the Cajama culture. Cumbemayo consists of an aqueduct, caves, a sanctuary, several ceremonial altars and an impressive forest of stones. You will also be taken to Ventillas de Otuzco, a place where niches have been made in the rocks. In these niches the remains of the deceased of an unknown pre-Inca people were preserved. These people probably had Wari influences and inhabited the area already before the Cajamarca. 
Overnight stay: Laguna Seca Hotel & Spa | accommodation, breakfast and lunch

Day 15: Cajamarca - Leymebamba

Today you will drive over the rolling hills before crossing the river Marañon via a suspension bridge to Leymebamba, located in the cloud forests of Chachapoyas. The Chachapoyas culture was an empire ruled by the Supreme Incas in Cuzco. However, the tribe was not an easy subject for the Incas as there was a lot of resistance to belong to the realm of Cuzco. Little is known about the Chachapoyas before the time of the Incas. What is known comes from the ruins, pottery, tombs and other objects they left behind. Before you are brought to your hotel, you will pay a visit to the Leymebamba museum, where you can see more than 200 mummies found in Lake Condor. 
Overnight stay: Kentitambo Lodge | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 16: Leymebamba - Achamaqui

After breakfast you continue your way to Achamaqui. On the way you will visit the tombs of Revash, a complex of tombs made by the ancient Chachapoyas. From here you will continue to your accommodation, located in the middle of the cloud forest of Chachapoyas. This traditional hacienda is decorated with furniture and art from the region. On the estate of the hacienda a number of sarcophagi can be found on an impressive cliff. The staff of the hacienda will be happy to take you there and explain the graves to you.
Overnight stay: Casa Hacienda Achamaqui | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 17: Achamaqui

Today your guide will take you to the ruins of Kuélap, a walled city dating back to the times before the Incas. This fortress is the largest stone carved structure in South America and is sometimes called the Machu Picchu of the north. It has 5 levels of huge walls on the inside and about 400 stone houses. Compared to Machu Picchu, this town is much better preserved but also very unknown. Due to the small stream of visitors, this complex remains wonderfully mysterious.
Overnight stay: Casa Hacienda Achamaqui | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 18: Achamaqui - Cocachimba

In the morning you will visit the town of Cruz Pata together with your private guide. This small town is the starting point of the road to Karajia. Karajia is a cemetery which dates from the time of the Chachapoyas. On the cemetery you can see several special sarcophagi, made of stone, clay and wood. The structures are gigantic, up to 2.5 meters high. Due to the difficult access to the graves, they have been exceptionally well preserved for centuries. In the afternoon you will visit the caves of Quiocta. In these caves you can see various stalactites and stalagmites. Because of their typical and different shapes, each point has been given its own name.
Overnight stay: Gocta Lodge | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 19: Cocachimba

This day your guide will take you to the Gocta Falls. You will be brought to the Cocachimba community, where about 200 families live. Here begins your walk to the 771 meter high Gocta Falls. When the German researcher Stefan Ziemendorff discovered these waterfalls, he thought it was the third highest waterfall in the world. Nowadays other high waterfalls are known. To reach the waterfalls you walk about 5 km through a dense forest and uneven terrain. After this two-hour walk you will reach the waterfalls. You can enjoy nature and relax for a while before you go back to your hotel. With a bit of luck you will see the Andean cock-of-the-rock and other special bird and animal species.
Overnight stay: Gocta Lodge | bed, breakfast and lunch

Day 20: Cocachilba - Jaen - Lima - Amsterdam

Unfortunately, today your Unique Journey comes to an end. You will be picked up at your hotel and brought to the airport of Jaén (approx. 4,5 hour drive). Here you will board your domestic flight to Lima. In Lima you will transfer to your connecting intercontinental flight to Amsterdam. You will arrive in Amsterdam the next afternoon.

Day 21: Amsterdam

Today you arrive in Amsterdam.

Price

From € 8,720 per person

  • On the basis of 2 persons travelling together
  • Depending on the time of booking, flight availability and period of travel

Included:

  • domestic flights, economy class
  • 19 overnight stays, meals as mentioned
  • all transfers and excursions (with English speaking guides) as mentioned 
  • 24/7 our backup; locally and in the Netherlands
  • extensive travel document package with small attention

Not included:

  • international flights, if desired we can reserve these for you
  • early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability, sometimes given by hotel. If you want to be sure that you have this, please enquire about the surcharge. 
  • (Dutch) public tax Travel disaster fund; € 2.50 per booking
  • travel and cancellation insurance

Request travel proposal

Do you want to make this trip too? We can of course arrange the above journey for you, but we are also happy to put together a programme based on your wishes and ideas. Feel free to contact us. Call +31 73 610 62 04, send an e-mail to info@sapapanatravel.nl or request a customized quote below. We will be happy to help you. 

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