Active Adventures |  Chinchilla -  Titicaca and Bolivia Adventure

The vivid colours of the traditional Andean costumes are in stark contrast to the muted highlands, where Peruvian and Bolivian communities etch their existence. Make no mistakes though, these are among some of the most content people you’ll meet, happy in their way of life largely unspoilt by first world influence.On this trip you’ll tick off the world’s highest navigable lake, the higest city and the largest salt flat. In true 'Active’ style you’ll experience it all with a mixture of hikes, a stint on the bike and of course, with a kayak paddle in hand. We’ve designed the ‘Chinchilla’ to work in seemlessly with our other Peru adventures, so chat to us if you’re interested in a combination trip option.

  • Highlights

    Cycle Andean highlands

    Explore Copacabana, visit Isla de la Luna

    Explore Pisac Market

    Hike Sacsayhuamán fortress

    Hike Taquile Island, homestay

    La Paz city tour and cable car

    Sea kayak Lake Titicaca

    Uros Reed Islands experience

    Uyuni train cemetery and Salt Flats

  • What's Included

    All accommodations
    Charming hotels in the cities.
    Traditional homestay on Amantani Island.

    All activities
    You can expect a good dose of 'the top 3'; hiking, kayaking & biking. Balanced nicely with some cultural activities including market visits, a cable car tour, inca ruins discovery, and Uyuyni Salt Flats exploration.

    All domestic transport
    Airport transfers on the first & last days.
    Domestic flight back to Cuzco.
    Boat journey on Lake Titicaca.

    All guiding services
    You’ll have an experienced Active Adventures guide with you for the entire duration, as well as specialist local guides in select locations - a perfect mix!

    All meals
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days.

  • Pricing

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      • Start Date:4 Jan 21
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    Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply. Please check price at time of booking
  • Itinerary

    DAY 1 - ARRIVE IN CUZCO, HIKE SACSAYHUAMÁN FORTRESS

    Our trip starts in Cuzco, the heart of the Inca empire. Your trip leader will greet you with a cup of hot coca tea – a local speciality. After lunch, we’ll set off for a walk around this amazing ancient city and up to Sacsayhuamán fortress overlooking the main Plaza and Cuzco Valley. The fortress, meaning ‘House of the Sun’, is a magnificent archaeological site representing a set of jaguar’s teeth with massive, perfectly fitted stones weighing up to 130 tonnes (143 tons) each and was the place where the Incas made their final stand against the Spanish conquistadores. No one really knows what the Incas used Sacsayhuamán for – some say it was a sanctuary and temple of the sun, others say it was a granary. No matter who is right, you’ll have a lot of fun hearing all the stories this amazing area inspires. Later, we’ll take a walk through the colourful Cuzco street markets. If you prefer, you can take some time to soak in the vibrant atmosphere of Cuzco’s lively town square and meet up again later for an evening meal.Hotel Royal Inca I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco (Lunch, Dinner)Hiking Distance: 2 kilometres (1.2 miles), 1-2 hoursElevation Gain: 200 metres (656 feet)Elevation Loss: 200 metres (656 feet)

     

    DAY 2 - EXPLORE PISAC MARKET AND PISAC RUINS

    This morning we’ll journey to Pisac, where we’ll have a chance to check out a colourful mercado artesanal, one of the most vibrant markets in South America. For those who are keen, we’ll then begin a spectacular hike up to the Pisac ruins. These Inca terraces rise 600 metres (2000 feet) from the river below. It’s a heart-pumping hike up the ancient agricultural terraces, and you’ll never forget the views of Pisac and the Urubamba Valley! After exploring this ancient complex, we’ll head back down to the valley below and meet up with those who chose to take it a little easier.Hotel Royal Inca I or Hotel San Agustin, Cuzco (All meals)Pisac Ruins Hiking Distance: 7 kilometres (4.3 miles), 2-3 hours (optional)Elevation Gain: 450 metres (1,476 feet)Elevation Loss: 450 metres (1,476 feet)

     

    DAY 3 - CYCLE TOWARDS PUNO, VISIT HUACARPAY LAGOON

    We’ll begin riding today just south of Cuzco. Along our journey we’ll visit a number of Andean towns, each with its own unique attraction. The town of Saylla is known for its pork chicharron, a favourite of Andean gastronomy, whilst further along, the town of Huasao is famous as the land of the paqos (priests of the Andean religion). Further up the valley we’ll take a walk through Oropesa, the town of delicious ‘chuta bread’. The ride finishes at the Huacarpay Lagoon, a wetland of international importance due to the vast number of migratory birds that stop here. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant before stopping at the spectacular La Raya Pass, the capital of the Altiplano area and the gateway to Lake Titicaca. This is one of Peru’s great highland areas where herds of alpaca and llama graze and snow-capped mountains rise steeply from the valley. Tonight we’ll stay in Puno, which is regarded as the folklore capital of Peru. Its narrow streets are filled with the sounds of traditional Andean music, the hustle and bustle of local markets, and the bell-ring of the triciclos, which are the local bicycle taxis!Hotel Hacienda, Puno (All meals) - 3,827 metres (12,555 feet)Biking Distance: 25 kilometres (15.5 miles), 2-4 hours

     

    DAY 4 - HIKE TAQUILE ISLAND, STAY WITH LOCAL QUECHUA PEOPLE

    At 3,800 metres (12,500 feet), Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest commercially navigable body of water. The Incas believed it was the cradle of civilisation – the place where all life began. It’s a very special place, dotted with islands that have unique living cultures and traditions, two of which we’ll visit today. The first is Taquile Island, where we’ll hike to the highest point of the island for breath-taking 360º views of Lake Titicaca, the Capachica Peninsula, Amantani Island and the Bolivian Andes. On the way, we’ll visit an isolated village and have the chance to meet the local people and learn about their famous textiles and culture. Then it’s a short boat ride to Amantani Island, where we’ll spend the night. Our hosts, members of the indigenous Quechua community, will meet us at the lake’s edge and are always up for a game of high-altitude soccer, if you’re keen! Aside from being a great workout, it’s good fun and a unique way to get to know your hosts. When the game is over, we’ll hike to the Pachamama (Mother Earth) temple at the summit of Amantani Island for unforgettable views of the sun setting over Lake Titicaca. Later we’ll return to the homes of our hosts for a home-cooked meal. The Quechua people have maintained their traditional way of life for centuries, weaving wool, keeping cuy (guinea pigs), and farming their smallholdings. After dinner, we head down to the community hall to learn a few traditional dances with the locals. It’s very quiet here – no streetlights, no cars, no dogs even! So we’re sure you’ll love the tranquillity.Family home, Amantani Island (All meals)Taquile Island Hiking Distance: 2 kilometres (1.3 miles), 1-3 hoursElevation Gain: 100 metres (328 feet)Elevation Loss: 100 metres (328 feet)Amantani Island Hiking Distance: 4 kilometres (2.5 miles), 1-3 hoursElevation Gain: 400 metres (1,312 feet)Elevation Loss: 400 metres (1,312 feet)

     

    DAY 5 - SEA KAYAK LAKE TITICACA, UROS REED ISLANDS

    Our hosts will wave us off from Amantani’s port this morning as we leave under our own steam in sea kayaks! This is one of the most unforgettable activities of the whole trip. The lake is so big it feels like – and even smells like – the sea, and it has its own unique dark blue colour. We’ll spend the morning making our way across it to Capachica Peninsula, then we’ll hug the shore line, grazed by sheep and shadowed by ancient remnant agricultural terraces. We’ll get in our motorboat for the final section of the trip back to Puno, stopping along the way to visit the man-made Uros Reed Islands – you’ll be amazed at the unique lifestyle of the people who make these islands their home. When we get back to Puno we’ll check in to our hotel, and enjoy dinner together.Hotel Hacienda, Puno (All meals)Kayaking Time: 3 hours

     

    DAY 6 - JOURNEY TO COPACABANA, VISIT ISLA DE LA LUNA

    This morning we’ll travel south east alongside Lake Titicaca towards the Peruvian-Bolivian border. Once in Bolivia we’ll have time to explore Copacabana, a town steeped in cultural heritage and known for its colourful, traditional festivals. After lunch we’ll take a boat back across Lake Titicaca to visit Isla de la Luna (‘Island of the Moon’), a chance for you to compare the Bolivian Titicaca islands to the Peruvian ones! On this island you’ll find some fascinating ruins including Inak Uyu on the northeast shore, believed to be the convent of the Virgins of the Sun. Keep an eye out for the ruins of an Inca nunnery on the eastern shores too. Tonight we’ll spend our first evening in Bolivia, back in Copacabana.Hotel la Perla del Lago, Copacabana (All meals) - 3,841 metres (12,600 feet)Hiking Time: 2 hours

     

    DAY 7 - FLY FROM LA PAZ TO UYUNI, VISIT TRAIN CEMETERY

    After breakfast we’ll leave Lake Titicaca and the town of Copacabana, and make the journey to El Alto Airport, just outside Bolivia’s capital La Paz. Saving precious hours, we’ll fly to southern Bolivia, to Uyuni, our base for the next couple of nights. The Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat covering over 10,000 square kilometres (4,000 square miles) and definitely a bucket list destination. On the outskirts of the desert here is the slightly bizarre and intriguing train graveyard. In the early 19th century there were ambitious plans to transform Uyuni into a prosperous transportation hub, connecting it with the port of Antofagasta on the Pacific Coast. Trains were imported from Britain and railway building began. However, after the Pacific War with Chile in 1879, Bolivia lost access to the Pacific Ocean and the export industry collapsed. The trains and other equipment were abandoned to rust and fade from memory, and Mother Nature is doing a pretty good job of that task, corroding the huge steel skeletons with her ruthless salt-laden winds.Luna Salada Salt Hotel, Uyuni (All meals) - 3,700 metres (12,140 feet)

     

    DAY 8 - EXPLORE THE UYUNI SALT FLATS

    Today will be unforgettable. Walking on Lago Minchín, a prehistoric lake that dried up over 30,000 years ago is not something you get to do every day! This dazzling landscape that seemingly stretches on forever is a photographer’s dream, offering mirage-like contrasts and ample opportunity for creativity. We’ll start today’s explorations by visiting the indigenous community of Colchani, where we’ll observe iodized salt processing in its rustic form. What many people don’t realise is that there are fascinating cacti-studded islands and interesting rock formations dotted across this barren landscape. So after visiting the unique ‘eyes of salt’ - the outlets of subterranean rivers flowing under the Uyuni Salt Flat, we’ll take a hike on Incahuasi Island, a volcanic rock scattered with giant cacti. Tonight, you’ll rest comfortably again in the wonderfully appointed Luna Salada Hotel.Luna Salada Salt Hotel, Uyuni (All meals)Explore Incahuasi Island: 2-3 hours, short hikes

     

    DAY 9 - FLY BACK TO LA PAZ, CITY TOUR AND CABLE CAR

    It’s a short flight back to La Paz this morning, one of the seven ‘Wonder Cities of the World’ and also the highest. La Paz oozes culture and diversity, so today we’ll make the most of it, by exploring the alleyways and lively markets - including the ‘Witches’ Market’ - run by local witch doctors. These markets sell anything from traditional garments to potions, dried frogs, and armadillos! In many cases the witch doctors have made long journeys to the city to sell their wares, and pedal their goods even as business people, living a cosmopolitan way of life, walk the same streets. There aren’t many places where this juxtaposition exists in harmony, but La Paz seems to be one of them. After lunch we’ll cap off this trip from a unique vantage point, gazing across the city whilst riding La Paz’s famous cable car. Tonight we’ll share our final celebratory dinner together and reflect on the wonderful experiences of Peruvian and Bolivian culture in which we’ve shared.La Casona Hotel, La Paz (All meals)

     

    DAY 10 - DEPART FOR HOME

    This is the last day of your ‘Chinchilla’ trip, if you have more time to spare, we’re happy to give you suggestions on how to make the most of it. On the other hand, if you’re on your way home today, we’ll send you back refreshed and invigorated from the great food, exercise, rest and adventures you’ll have had with us in Peru and Bolivia!(Breakfast)

 

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