- Explore Peru's best pre-Inca historical sites with Peru expert Hugh Thomson
- Visit the huge stone citadel of Kuelap, the largest in South America
- Discover the UNESCO site of Chavin de Haunter dating back to 1200BC
- Take in the spectacular mountain scenery of the Cordillera Blanca during day hikes
Explore the fascinating yet little visited pre-Inca archaeological sites of northern Peru combined with the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Blanca, all accompanied by Peru expert Hugh Thomson.
Read about Hugh Thomson's recent talk, covering his travels in Peru and his in-depth knowledge of the pre-Inca civilisations, as part of the Steppes Travel 'an evening with our experts' event.
This small group tour starts in Chiclayo, a town on the north coast of Peru. Visit the Royal Tombs museum with the collection of Moche artefacts found at the Sipan archaeological site, as well as the ruins of the pre-Hispanic city of adobe pyramids - Tucume.
CHACHAPOYAS AND KUELAP
Travel to Chachapoyas, the base to explore Peru's most spectacular pre-Colombian ruins. Explore the citadel of Kuelap, the largest ancient stone structure in South America, built in the 6th century AD. It is a fascinating site with over 400 buildings encircled by huge stone walls. It is a keen contender to rival Machu Picchu in stature but not in visitor numbers, it is quite likely no-one else will be there. Also visit the colourful adobe tombs at Revash that look like mini houses built into the side of the cliff along with the museum at Leymebamba home to over 200 mummies.
The northern part of the trip ends in Cajamarca, a charming Andean town with colonial churches and architecture. Visit the Santa Apolonia Hill and the stone ‘seat of the Inca’, an interesting place with amazing views over the red-tiled roofs of the city.
HUARAZ, CHAVIN AND THE CORDILLERA BLANCA
The second half of this trip is based in central Peru in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. Take a day trek up in the mountains around the pristine Llanganuco lakes at the foot of the Huascaran mountain, the highest mountain in Peru. End the trip with a visit to the UNESCO archaeological site at Chavin which dates back to 1200BC. It is a special site with a large central ceremonial square and a system of underground caves and tunnels.
A FEW WORDS FROM HUGH THOMSON ABOUT THE TRIP
"I am really looking forward to returning to northern Peru, a beautiful area with an enthralling culture. I wrote my book Cochineal Red because I was so fascinated by the extraordinary early civilisations of northern Peru. They are far less well known than the Inca, but deserve to be equally celebrated. I’m also excited to be returning to Chavín in central Peru, a great favourite and a special place that should be far better-known than it is."
WHAT IS THE ACCOMMODATION LIKE ON THIS TRIP?
The accommodation is generally small and simple, often family run.
IS THIS GROUP TOUR SUITABLE FOR SOLO TRAVELLERS?
Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Lecturer.
If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.
If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.
WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE?
Generally the days will be warm and sunny, average temperatures are likely to be between 15oC and 22oC. Evenings will be cooler, especially when in the mountains so a fleece or jacket will be needed.
WHAT WILL THE ALTITUDE BE LIKE?
In northern Peru, Chachapoyas and Leymebamba, the altitude is around 2,300metres, this will rise to just over 3,000metres on the road to Cajamarca. In central Peru Huaraz is at 3,100 metres, whilst during the treks reach altitudes of between 3,800 and 4,600 metres.
DO I HAVE TO BE FIT TO JOIN THIS TOUR?
A reasonable level of fitness will be required, there will be walks around ruins and sites, a couple of uphill walks of about two hours to reach the waterfall and cliff tombs. Around Huaraz in central Peru there will be some trekking at altitude.
For a taste of this trip please read our travel blog on northern Peru.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.