(Cajamarca, Chachapoyas, Chiclayo, Trujillo)
Experience Peru’s most ancient civilizations while you venture off the beaten path in Northern Peru. Discover Cajamarca, known for the ambush and capture of the Inca Ruler Atahualpa, the city of Chachapoyas known for Wari culture & tradition pre-date the Inca, as well as Chiclayo and Trujillo, known for the famous Moche civilization noted for their elaborate painted ceramics, gold work, monumental constructions and irrigation systems. Among notable Moche Route sites are the mud metropolis Chan Chan meaning “Sun Sun”, which was once the largest adobe settlements in the world, and still has temples and pyramids which remain standing, as well as the Musem of the Royal Tombs of Sipan in Lambayegue, which showcases artifacts found in the royal tomb of the lord of Sipan who died over 1770 years ago and was discovered in 1987. The discovery of the nobleman’s tomb and the accompanying gold and silver artifacts drew comparisons with the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in Egypt, and the Peruvian discovery was featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine. Trujillo, dubbed “the capital of the eternal spring”, is the third largest city in Peru, and boasts a wonderful historic center highlighted by a large main square surrounded by beautiful colonial churches and homes.
Arrival at the Cajamarca Airport, reception and transfer to Hotel Laguna Seca (4*) located in the charming district of Inca Baths, just 06Km away from the City of Cajamarca (2,720m).
Hotel Laguna Seca & Spa is found in a beautiful location in the green Andean valley of Cajamarca, a place where guests can find the comfort of the traditional hacienda atmosphere. The hotel facilities offer the opportunity to enjoy rejuvenating baths in the geothermal water that flows from its own springs and guests can enjoy this in one’s own spacious bathroom with a private thermal basin. All rooms are designed to provide the guests with the peace and rest they need. The hotel features three outdoor swimming pools, Turkish baths with natural steam that comes from the springs, a children’s playground, farm and horseback riding.
This morning, you will leave the Cajamarca valley for a one hour drive along a 20Km unpaved road to visit the Archaeological and Geological Park of Cumbemayo located over the Pacific – Atlantic water divert at an altitude of 3,500 meters. Upon arrival, you will begin a one hour walking excursion following a path crossing through pine forested highland plains, cliff formations. Walk along the famous Aqueduct of Cumbemayo, a remarkable hydraulic system chiseled into volcanic tuff to capture and traverse fresh water to the Cajamarca valley, several temples and pictographs along its course.
On the way back, stop at the Apolonia Hilltop to get a close overview of this Historic City where the Spanish ambush and capture of Inca Atahuallpa on Saturday 16th November 1,532 marked the successful conquest of the Inca Empire.
In the afternoon, admire the beautiful Cajamarca main square, the baroque carved façades of the Cathedral and the Franciscan church, visit the Ransom Room which was once filled with gold and silver Inca idols in exchange of Atahuallpa’s freedom who never came true. A short stroll will take you to wonder the exquisite craftsmanship of the Bethlehemite’s colonial church and hospitals considered among Cajamarca’s highlights.
This morning, depart from the Hotel for a 10.5 hour journey along a well maintained gravel road that crosses the central mountain Andean chain while enjoying an extraordinary array of eco-diversity: pine forested highland plains, inter Andean valleys, Marañón dry equatorial forest, irrigated fruit and Cacao plantation river banks, cloud forest, and paramo ridges. Before arriving at the Casa Andina Hotel, you will stop at the Leymebamba Museum to admire the most remarkable Archaeological collection of the Chachapoya Culture; including 244 mummies! which were rescued in 1996 from a group of cliffhanging Mausoleums perched over the Condors Lake, a Chachapoya shrine located into deep cloud forest.
Enjoy a Boxed Lunch during your tour.
The hotel is located on a farm in a beautiful country setting behind the city of Chachapoyas. It is conveniently located 20 minutes from the heart of Chachapoyas making it a great base to explore this vibrant city. Casa Andina Classic Chachapoyas has 21 rooms offering traditional, superior and junior Suites for guests to choose from, all of which display an atmosphere of total peace and relaxation. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations.
Today you will leave the Utcubamba Valley for a 90 minute drive on a gravel road that leads to the base of the mountain ridge where the Chachapoya raised the magnificent fortified citadel of Kuélap. Its gigantic construction scale, unbelievable location and still unsolved archaeological mysteries exceed all expectations! After this extensive visit and a stopover for lunch, you will be driven approximately two more hours to reach the Casa Andina Classic Hotel (3*), a charming “country palace” located next to the Utcubamba river bank and 14Km away from the colonial City of Chachapoyas.
The paved highway to the Pacific Coast will take you on a fantastic 10 hour journey along the awesome Utcubamba Canyon, between the rice terraces of the Bagua valley and through Marañón dry equatorial forest, before traversing the eastern-western water divert at the Porcuya Mountain Pass at 2,137m to descend until reaching sea level at the coastal City of Chiclayo, where you will overnight at your hotel.
Casa Andina Select Chiclayo is an iconic structure conveniently located just minutes from downtown and the airport. The hotel features 130 rooms distributed on 7 floors. These comfortable and spacious rooms offer all the amenities needed for a relaxing vacation. The hotel features an outdoor pool, spa and sauna for guests to enjoy. Guests can start their morning off with a tasty breakfast and coffee at the hotel’s breakfast buffet. Guests can enjoy a delicious lunch and dinner at La Plaza restaurant.
The famous Norwegian Explorer Thor Heyerdahl described the archaeological site of Túcume, a religious - administrative center for the Lambayeque Kingdom, as “The Pyramids Valley” due to the incredible concentration of 26 such monumental constructions within its 224 protected hectares.
After having enjoyed this visit and lunch with the traditional recipes of the northern Peruvian kitchen, you will arrive at the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum to witness the exquisite craftsmanship of the Mochica gold and silversmiths. Their masterpieces were finally laid in their lords and religious entourage graves for their correspondent use in the afterlife.
After a two hour drive along the Pan American Highway heading south, you will arrive at “El Brujo” an archaeological site in the Chicama valley. Here you will visit the Pyramid of Cao where the only yet known female Mochica ruler was unearthed in 2006. The exquisite site Museum exhibits the tattooed body of this mysterious Queen known today as “The Lady of Cao”, together with its incredible array of golden royal emblems.
In the afternoon, just before arriving in Trujillo, visit the Archaeological Administrative and religious capital of the Chimú Kingdom called Chan Chan, the Libertador Hotel (4*) is conveniently located at the main square of this beautiful colonial City.
The Libertador Truijillo is situated on a privileged corner of the city’s main plaza, with a view of the Cathedral and surrounded by buildings from the colonial and republican eras. Only 10 minutes away from the pre-Inca Chan Chan ruins, the largest adobe city in the world, and the impressive Sun and Moon Temples, the hotel is the best alternative in the city as a starting point for a visit to these archaeological destinations.
Along the southern edge of Trujillo flows the Moche river and next to its left bank rises a lonely rocky hill which the Moche understood as a sacred sign to construct around its religious administrative center known today as “the Pyramids of Moche.” The pyramids are an extraordinary archaeological site transformed into an exemplary research and conservation project which recently opened its outstanding on-site Museum. After this rewarding experience, you will return to take a stroll through the city’s historic downtown which fortunately preserves significant examples of its past colonial glory.
Lunch is included at Huanchaco Restaurant and Dinner is held at Club Colonial.
Enjoy a private transfer to Trujillo Airport for your departure flight to Lima.
Laura Iyer ,
January 10, 2014
We just returned last night from our Patagonia adventure and wanted to tell you we had the time of our lives! Everything turned out perfectly. Guides were fun, on time and informative. The excursions were great for an active family and, of course, amazing.
I can't tell you what was our favorite. The boys enjoyed exploring the mountains in El Chalten (they called it Mountain running) while Mohan and I relaxed in the beautiful hotel. I thought after the glacier trek it can't get any better - but it kept surprising me and amazing me. My personal favorite was the horseback riding. I thought afterwards after everything we have seen the bike tour would have to be a let down - NOPE - it also was so exciting and our guide was a hoot! We had great weather for each activity (I know there is a bit of luck involved with that one).
Meals were amazing and after so many active excursions no guilt in pigging out.
I am so happy we took a little risk and went out of the way with our vacation this year. We will have this with us for a life time.
Thank you again,
Laura, Mohan, Ryan, and Nathan
Catherine Dudley ,
January 10, 2014
Happy New Year!
GREAT trip! The brochure you sent to us the week before we set off was marvelous -- the pages are marked and worn with us referring to it so often! We were very pleased with every aspect that you set up for us including the airport pick-up and drop off and the tour of Quito and environs on Friday. Our guide spoke excellent English, the driver was courteous and we felt safe and well-informed throughout the day. The transfer to the Eclipse team was super easy and the flight to Guayaquil and trip to the boat went off without a hitch.
We're still going through the 500+ photos that I took and the 1700+ photos that my son took, but I promise to send a few to you in the next week or so. Galapagos was a fabulous trip and the Eclipse was a terrific way to navigate the islands. Gave them a 10 on their feedback form and would recommend Eclipse very highly.
Mark Dornfeld ,
November 11, 2013
"My wife and I had a wonderful trip, we really enjoyed ourselves. All the accommodations that you booked for us were exceptional and our drivers and guides were lovely. We had great weather the whole trip and only lost one activity due to high winds. As you know this is a beautiful part of the world so my camera was snapping all the time. We would definitely use your services in the future for this type of travel. Thanks for all you help and expertise........be well.....m.d."
Jack Gregory ,
November 11, 2013
I wanted to give you a little feedback on our recent trip to Peru.
In a word – EXCELLENT – especially the high quality people you work with in Peru. We have taken tours all over the world, S. Africa, France, England, Vietnam, China to name just a few, and the service we received in Peru was far beyond and of the other experiences we have had. The attention to detail was very much appreciated, picking us up at the airport, taking us back to the airport and complete, hassle free, handling of all our details truly made this a stress free experience.
Special thanks to:
-The entire reservation system and the people I came in contact with that process...every detail accounted for
-The people that looked after us in Lima
-Andre, the young man in Cusco who faithfully phoned every night just to make sure the day went well, my wife was well and that we knew what we had to do the next day.
-The Sumaq hotel in Aquas Calientes...you can tell the level of service by the details...I watched a waitress hold a high stool for a lady to prevent her from tipping backwards as she got on the stool, the lady didn’t even know the waitress did it....that’s client care.
-Especially Mariela, the tour guide in Cusco...highly knowledgeable, passionate, personable and shows great care for the people she guides.
Hainsworth Sherry ,
November 05, 2013
Clients were very impressed. Guides were amazing and accommodation was beyond expectations. They will definitely travel with you again and they have highly recommended Kensington Tours.
Hope I can work with you again the in the near future.
Scott Parks ,
November 05, 2013
Sandy and I are back from Peru and had a wonderful time. Kensington seems to have the best contacts in each country and Peru was no exception. I wanted to take the time to give you some specific feedback on each segment of out trip.
The “Hotel B” in Lima is fantastic. It’s an old house that has been turned into a small Hotel. The people are great and the location in Barranco is just what we like.
The Inkaterra Amazonica is probably the best place place to stay in the Amazon region. The rooms give a real feel of the sounds of the rain forest.
The hotels in both Cusco and Aquas Calientes were perfect with great locations. We added an additional day in Aquas Calientes which gave us three days in Machu Picchu. For us, this was well worth it and gave us the time we wanted to see all aspects of Machu Picchu. Pictures did not do justice to the site, although we got some great pictures.
The trip to see the Nasca Lines was, also, worth the time. Our guide added some side trips including lunch at a local winery which we really enjoyed. The Hotel Paracas was an unexpectedly high quality resort and a great way to end our trip.
Thanks for your help we look forward to next year
June Murray ,
August 20, 2013
"Buenas Noches Brandi-
I filled out the survey but I wanted to send you a note to say thank you. Our trip was the stuff lifelong memories are made of and I mean every part of it. From our time spent in Quito, to the Safari Camp and Isla Isabela. I cannot say enough about the professionalism of the staff at our accommodations and the expertise of all our guides (most especially Tanya Helmig at the Safari Camp). We hope to go back for an extended stay.
I have attached 2 photos for you of Bart and I. I think the joy is clearly evident- thank you for making it possible.
Barbara Mackey ,
July 22, 2013
"We just completed a family trip to Costa Rica, with three families traveling from different locations. All the coordination efforts were made easily and efficiently by our Kensington representative, Brandi Merchant, who was wonderful; an absolute delight to work with. All the accommodations were first class and the guides knowledgeable and very punctual. We will be using Kensington again!
Cindy Thoene ,
July 22, 2013
What an AMAZING trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seriously…the trip of a lifetime!
We returned late on Thursday and had out of town visitors through the weekend and we are just now unpacking and getting back to non-vacation reality.
I will share my feedback and get pictures sent to you soon.
Thanks for everything….truly a perfect trip!
July 24, 2013
Our trip was wonderful, we had a great time, wish we could have spent more time. In fact, I now know I would have spent more time in Cuzco and the Machu Picchu area.
Machu Picchu was fabulous.
Margot, our guide, and the driver, were absolutely wonderful, low key, very personable, very accommodating, really good. We didn't end up with enough time on the last morning in Cusco to finish the tour, but got a feel- of Sacsayhuman, Qengo, Koricancha. We saw Ollayantatambo, and went to Moray and Maras, and Wayra ranch which was also outstanding, on the next day, but did not do Pisac and the market. We got tired and ran out of time so cut a couple things. Louis the coordinator was good as well.
Would love to go back and learn more some time.
The coordinator in Lima was extremely nice too, and very helpful.
In fact, we loved the food, the people and everything. The Libertador Palacio , the Tambo del Inka and the Sanctuary were indeed outstanding hotels. LAN was all on time, great service.
Thank you again for all your help.
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