Welcome to Ayacucho
The name of this mesmerizing colonial city, originating from the Quechua aya (death, or soul) and cuchu (outback), offers a telling insight into its past. Ayacucho’s status as isolated capital of a traditionally poor department provided the perfect breeding ground for Professor Abimael Guzmán to nurture the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) Maoist revolutionary movement bent on overthrowing the government and causing... Read More
Top experiences in Ayacucho
Local Artisans and Pachacamac Tour
You will be picked up at 10am from your hotel in Miraflores and then travel 30 km south of Lima while seeing the landscape change from the beautiful views of the coast to the dry desert. You will pass through sections of Lima you probably haven’t and won’t visit to arrive to the impressive archaeological complex of Pachacamac. In the afternoon, go off the beaten path and visit a local neighborhood known for its talented artisans and beautiful handicrafts.Pachacamac Tour Pachacamac is the most important archaeological site in coastal Peru and consists of more than 20 pyramids. It was the main sanctuary of the Andean coast for more than 1500 years. Pilgrims from different areas came here asking for advice and omens to an idol that served as an oracle. Today, Pachacamac shelters more than 50 temples and buildings making it the largest archaeological complex in the city of Lima. Construction started about 200 A.D. and each succeeding culture added their own temples. The site grew to over 80 hectares or 200 acres. When finally the Incas arrived they built a huge Sun Temple as well as a house for young women who served as priestesses. This building is a well maintained, partially rebuilt large compound. On the Pachacamac tour, your guide will show you around temples from different pre-colonial civilizations and in the brand new Pachacamac museum, where you will discover the history and artifacts of the different cultures that used to occupy this sanctuary.Authentic Peruvian Handicrafts - Visit to Artisans’ Workshops After the Pachacamac tour, head to a close-by local neighborhood that houses many artisans from Ayacucho who fled the violence of the Shining Path in the 80’s and 90’s by moving to the outskirts of Lima. First, have lunch with a charming local family in their house and share some life stories and conversations. In this neighborhood, local artisans continue to make the traditional handicrafts and artworks from Ayacucho. With a full stomach, visit workshops where they make textiles, ceramics and other beautiful handicrafts. The artists will explain to how everything is made, and maybe you can try out some of these techniques ourselves! In a place where the government is mostly absent, these people have built their own community and are developing the local economy with their art. You’ll leave this place very inspired! You should be back in Miraflores around 4:30 - 5pm, depending on traffic.
Tambo Colorado Guided Tour from Paracas
At the designated time, our guide will pick you up from your hotel in Paracas town. Then will drive towards to Tambo Colorado in private vehicle. This site was an Inca settlement and was most likely built at the end of the 15th century and was ruled by the Inca Emperor Pachacutec. Tambo Colorado was known as Puka Tampu, Pucallacta or Pucahuasi and its buildings are typical Wary (Ayacucho) and Inca (Cusco) culture influences, have buildings of ceremonial plazas, houses, ceremonial platforms and the main building known as La Fortaleza. It is believed that Tambo Colorado was used as an administrative/ceremonial and military place to control the main road from the coast to the highlands also this place was to service as resting place for the Inca and his army across the Inca territory. The site consists of several structure around a large central plaza. The central plaza is shaped like a trapezoid with its largest side being 150m long. The main structure are grouped together in a northern and southern Palaces, plus some ceremonial platforms. Because of local environmental conditions, many of the buildings original colors have been preserved, helping experts reconstruct the site. After your visit you will return to your hotel.
15 Night 4x4 Luxury Self-Drive Guided Tour of Peru
Day 1: Lima (D) Evening time arrival in Lima and private transfer to the Hotel. Day 2: Lima - Paracas - Nazca (B, L, D)Drive south with a stop at the desert Oasis of Haucachina. Here take an optional sand buggy trip out across the huge dunes and then on to a historic desert Hacienda. Day 3: Nazca - Chalhuanca (B, L, D)This desert city was established over 2,000 years ago, and its system of valleys was inhabited by the Nazca peoples. Their mysterious lines in the desert, are best viewed from the air, with the optional aircraft flight. From here, the winding trip ascends 4,000 meters to the Pampa Galeras National Reserve. See eagles, pink flamingos and the occasional majestic condor. Then descend to Tampamayu, located next to the Chalhuanca River. Day 4: Chalhuanca - Cachora (B, L, D)Head "off-road" to the tiny hamlet of Cachora, with stunning views of the snow capped peaks towering over the nearby Apurimac Gorge (the worlds deepest canyon) to a beautiful private villa. Day 5: Cachora - Cusco (B, L, D)See the Imperial City of the Incas as you spend three full days in this area to take in just some of the many highlights here, with museums, palaces, and incredible Inca ruins. Day 6: Cusco (B)Cusco is ideal to explore on foot and you have a full day to do so. Day 7: Machu Picchu (B)See Machu Picchu via the fabulous Vista Dome train. Alternatively, you can opt for a 2 day / 1 night guided Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu. Day 8: Cusco (B)You can choose to relax around Cusco, or leave early for one of one of many exciting optional tours.Day 9: Cusco - Andahuaylas (B, L, D) Take the road north towards what Peruvians call the eyebrow of the jungle towards Andahuaylas. Day 10: Andahuaylas - Ayacucho (B, L, D)Head into some of the most spectacular scenery in Peru North into Ayacucho which has authenticity and history. Day 11: Ayacucho - Pampas (B, L, D) Navigate the Rio Mantaro Gorge for some exciting 4x4 adventures before a steep ascent to the Casa Hacienda San Juan. This historical hacienda sits in beautiful countryside, and is only accessible by 4x4. Day 12: Pampas - Tarma (B, L, D)Spend time at this 17th Century Hacienda sits in the mountains above colorful colonial town set in a lush valley between the Andean mountains.Day 13: Tarma - Pampa Hermosa Jungle Reserve (B, L, D)Descend steeply towards the Amazon and the heat rises as the scenery changes, as you continue downriver, before taking a remote 4x4 route up to Pampa Hermosa.The secluded lodge is situated in dense jungle, where rare bird life, river otters, monkeys, and deer can all be spotted. Day 14: Pachamanca - Tarma (B, L, D)Spend time at Tarma to witnesss a traditional Peruvian Pachamanca celebration. Day 15: Tarma - Lima (B, L)Return to Lima, descending across the world’s highest railway pass at 4,818 meters. Day 16: Lima farewell (B)Breakfast and check out late morning (with shower/luggage storage facilities)
Backroads & Highlands of Peru
Get off the beaten path in the highlands of Peru and discover stunning mountain scenery and remote cities few tourists visit. Getting to Cusco is half the adventure – travel by public bus keeps costs down and allows you to connect with the locals in the rarefied mountain air of the Andes. Climb the legendary Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas." We operate our own treks in Peru and can ensure the fair treatment of our porters – and an exceptional experience for you.