30 Jan - 23 Feb 2024 (25-days) Peru Bolivia & Chile (Lima, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, La Paz, ORURO FESTIVAL, Salar Uyuni, Nazca Lines & Isla Ballestas)
Cost Rm13,900 per pax (16 pax group) Rm13,500 per pax (17 pax group and above).
Based on USD1=Rm4.6380 (Maybank 26 Jul 2023).
We will make final adjustment on the cost based on the USD exchange rate in Dec 2023.
EXCLUDES KLM FLIGHTS - We use KLM group fares and all benefit of fares are passed on to trip members.
For full info and pictures, do Google Oruro Festival and/or go to www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnaval_de_Oruro. Unesco listed Oruro Carnaval is second best only to Brazil's Rio de Janeiro Carnaval.
Update 26 Jul 2023. Current individual all in fares today is Rm8423. Our group fare for Feb 2023 was Rm7023 but expect a much higher fare. Note Yongo works on first-come-basis re trip deposit to confirm any booking. Trip coincides with Chinese New Year 10 Feb 2024. Deposits are used for KLM booking fees, domestic flight tickets to Cusco, train tickets Machu Picchu and bus tickets Tacna-Arequipa and San Pedro-Arica.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is meant to be a "free and easy" adventure trip. Participants should be relatively fit, with a good sense of humor, and above all, have the right attitude for close travel with others through possibly some trying times. Most definitely, this is not a trip for prudes, whiners, fuss-pots, and other similarly assorted types! We had a couple of those before and it wasn't pleasant for us or them. Although every effort will be made to stick to the given itinerary, ground conditions may change and cause some disruption and/or deviation from the norm. Otherwise, have fun.
Uyuni Laguna Canapa/ Group Photo at Salar Uyuni (Salt Plains)/ Flamingo
This will be a semi-backpack experience using a couple of local express bus rides and some chartered buses traveling from town to town. We stay in good clean guesthouse in all places except for 3 days Salar Uyuni tour. It is important participants are able to manage their own luggage and backpacks are a must. Like most Yongo trips, you pay for your own meals and entrances, except for those specified below. You also pay the within-the-town taxis and other activities not specifed below.
Day 1 KLIA to Amsterdam. Gather by 430 PM TUE 30 JAN 2024 for KLM flight KUL (1925) SIN (2035).
Day 2 Amsterdam to Lima. Then SIN (0140) AMS (0830) flying time 13:50hr. Transit 3:10hr then AMS (1140) LIMA (1810) flying time 12:30hr. Tranfer to Hotel and overnight (ON) Lima.
Day 3 Lima Old City. Group go by a local taxis to UNESCO listed Lima Old Town Center with its imposing Plaza de Mayor (Central Square), founded in 1535 by Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conqueror for a 3hr guided walking tour. There are numerous colonial churches and buildings. We also visit the nearby Bario Chino or Lima's Chinatown for some good Chinese restaurant perhaps! ON Lima.
Day 4 Fly to Cusco. We fly to Cuzco in the morning, flying time 1:15hr. We transfer to our hostal (Spanish for guesthouse) located a short walk from the main Town Square. We first visit the Bolivia Consular for visa application before free rest of day to visit the vibrant local market and various sights. Cusco is UNESCO listed and once served as capital of the vast Inca empire, then after, the highland capital of the Spanish colonist. Cusco Catheral is reputed to be Peru's best with grand paintings and decor. Cusco Boleto Touristico or Cusco Tourist Ticket 130soles included in trip price. ON Cusco.
Day 5 Inca Ruins. We hire transport for a half-day visit to four sets of Inca ruins in the vicinity of Cusco. The first and largest is Sacsayhuaman (commanly pronounced as Sexy Woman), sited on top of a hill overlooking Cusco. The site was also a great place for scenic photos of Cusco.The next set of ruins is the rather small Tambo Machay, a ceremonial royal bath. And nearby is another small fortress called Puca Pucara or Red Fort, believed to be the gateway to Sacsayhuaman. The last stop is Qenko translated zigzag - where ritual practices took place. The rest of the day is free to explore or take it easy. All these entrances are included in the Cusco Boleto Touristico. ON Cusco.
Day 6 Chincero Market, Moray & Maras Salt Pans. Early start to Chincero Village, a typical Andean village for its less touristic and colourful Sunday Market. Goods are better priced here and much of the money goes directly to the villagers who make them. We then visit the 700m long salt pans of Maras, which for centuries, have been producing salt. Moray Amphitheathre, a mind-boggling Inca construction of huge circular terraced depression believed to be for agricultural experiments. Finally to Ollantaytambo ruins - said to be the biggest pueblo (town) in the Inca empire at one time. From here we board the 436pm Turista train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the bottom of Machu Picchu, arriving at 609pm. ON Aguas Calientes.
Day 7 Machu Picchu. Start at 6am with a 25min bus ride up to Machu Picchu. Entrance fee Rm200 (includes Huayna Picchu fees) is included. We engage a professional guide for Machu Picchu which means small mountain, who will take the group to the various viewpoints. The usual places of visit are the farm terraces, Main Square, Temple of the Sun, Temple of Condor and the residential areas. The city was abandoned for unknown reasons and was not "harmed" by the Spanish as most of the buildings are original. The guide spends 4 hr with the group. Then it is free time to explore the ruins. Recommended is a 1 hr walk/trek/climb up Huayna Pichhu translated big mountain, for amazing top-down views of Machu Picchu as well as the high ruins and temples located on top of Huayna Pichhu. Those who are less physically inclined can walk the gentle Inca trail to the Sun Gate for alternative views of Machu Picchu. We late lunch in Aguas Calientes before taking the Turista train 412pm-550pm to Ollantaytambo, where a bus takes us to Cusco 89km 2hr. ON Cusco.
Capital of Incas Cusc / Locals / Reed boat at Lake Titicaca
Day 8 Pisac Ruins & Market. Our destination this morning is the Pisac Ruins 2hr bus, with several photo stops along the way. The agricultural terraces found here were used for crop research and test cropping. At the very top one finds a few sets of ruins used for ceremonial and residential purpose. We adjorn to the famous Pisac Market 30 min away. On the way back, we visit Sacsayhuaman (easy pronounciation as Sexy Woman), the largest that is sited on top of a hill overlooking Cusco. The site was also a great place for scenic photos of Cusco. All these entrances are included in the Cusco Boleto Touristico. We return to Cusco for more City wanderings and our last night stay. ON Cusco.
Day 9 Cusco to Puno. We go on a 730AM bus tour on the Wonder Peru Tour Bus to Puno, a journey of 380km over the surreal Altiplano (high altitude Andean platueau), its highest point at La Raya 4335m. The stops include Andahuylillas , a 3122m Mestizo baroque architecture church and Raqchi at 3400m Inca temple of Wirachocho God and home to Raqchi people with their distinct clothing. It is amazing to note that there were 20,000km of Inca Trail, which are rock paved trails linking the vast Inca Empire. It also passes through towns like Raqchi. Estimated arrival time in Puno is 5PM. Tour cost includes lunch and entrance fees are included in trip cost. ON Puno.
Day 10 Lake Titicaca. We go on a cruise on huge Lake Titicaca taking a 3 hr tour of Uros floating islands, which number some 50, big and small. This was apparently the only place on the huge lake where the water is shallow enough to allow building of these unique floating islands. The oldest islands are some 150yr old and the totora reeds are up to 30 meters deep. Lake Titicaca covers an area of 8560sq km, deepest point 280m with 24 rivers flowing in and one river flowing out in Bolivia. Boat tour included in trip cost. ON Puno.
Day 11 Copacabana, La Paz BOLIVIA. We transfer at 630AM to the bus station to travel the scenic route to Copacabana. We lunch on lake trout at this small town beside Lake Titicaca. We cross the border and will arrive in La Paz around 5PM. This scenic route runs beside the lake with views of grazing animals and lakeside villages. La Paz is the highest capital in the world at 3700m. ON La Paz.
Day 12 La Paz Oruro Carnival. At 9AM, we have a private bus and tour of Oruro 5hr, for the biggest carnival in Bolivia, with 20,000 dances and 10,000 musicians in a 3km long procession, viewed by some 40,000 visitors (Check out my photo album by clickingi the link at the top of this page). We spend a couple of hours immersing in this huge party. The best parade are held in the evening. This event is extremely popular and locals outnumber the small groups of tourist. After a long tiring day, we travel back to La Paz for a good night rest. Seat tickets, transport and packed lunch is included. ON La Paz
Day 13 La Paz Market, City Tour, Overnight Bus. Our hotel is next to a 3 km long street with a lively and colourful market. Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in South America and the street scenery is very different from that of Lima and other towns in more developed Peru. The morning market is especially attractive with kilometers long stalls exhibiting a wide range of products. Optional half-day City tours can be arranged at own cost. At night we take an overnight express bus to Uyuni. ON Bus
Chinchero Sunday Market / Maras Salt Pans
Day 14 Uyuni Day 1. ETA 6AM. After breakfast and a short rest, we start our 3 days 2 nights tour of the beautiful Salar Uyuni (Salt Plains of Uyuni) in Toyota 4WD vehicles. First stop is Colchani village, where locals process salt blocks into iodised table salt. This UNESCO listed site, area 9000 sq km, is the biggest salt lake on earth and one of the flattest as well. What is amazing is the fact that a hard 7m layer of salt sits on top of several meters of salt water at the bottom of the lake, making driving across the white watery surface a real treat. At 3653m, it's probably one of the highest as well. Lunch stop is at a disused Salt Hotel b4 heading to Isla de Pescado 60 km. Located in the middle of Salar Uyuni, this small island is wholly surrounded by a sea of white salt. We then drive to a Guesthouse made of salt blocks for our night stay. Salar Uyuni 3D2N tour, meals and entrance fees included. (NOTE: Accomodation on the 3 days Uyuni trip is very basic in multi-bedded rooms and shared toilets/bath).
Day 15 Uyuni Day 2. We cross Salar de Chiguana, a thin salt crusted plain. The track climbs 4000m plus to the only active volcano in Boliva, the 5865m Ollgue. The scenery along the way is excellent, flanked by rust coloured plains and topped by snow-capped mountains. The area abounds with wild vicunas, related to the Llama, Alpaca and is a distant relative of the camels. We visit a number of lakes including the surreal Laguna Canapa with its multi-coloured mineral-filled waters. The thriving mirco-organisms provide ample food for the large populations of flamigos (3 kinds), ducks and various other birds. The road goes even higher to 4500m across Pampa Siloli, a high altitude desert of volcanic ash and gravel., scattered with rock outcrops blasted into contorted shapes included the famous "stone tree". Soon after we enter Reserva Eduardo Avoro, where one finds the biggest lake in Uyuni. Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon/lake), which has a huge seasonal population of reddish flamingoes which feeds on the natural red pigmented algae. The fringes or the lake are coloured white with chemical Borax. ON dorms near Laguna Colorada.
Day 16 Uyuni Day 3. We leave at 430AM without breakfast and first stop at 5AM is the Sol de Mauana geyser, shooting up to a height of 40m. This thermal active area located at 4900m has several mud pools with temperatures reaching 2000 degrees C. So watch where you put your feet! By 7AM we reach Lagunas Polques, our breakfast place and also a place for refreshing dip in a 36 degrees C natural hotspring pool. Next stop is Laguna Verde (Green Lake) with no flamingos. This beautiful lake reflecting the snow mountains contains poisonous arsenic causing the green colour. At 10AM we arrive at the Bolivia/Chile border for our 1hr bus transfer to Pedro de Atacama, a popular backpacker rest place. We arrive about lunch time and rest well here. ON San Pedro.
Day 17 San Pedro de Atacama. We have a free day to take it easy in pretty little village, catching up with emails and relaxing. Recommended trips include horse trekking or bicycling to some sights in the vicinity. After dinner, we board the 810PM for the 10hr overnight express bus to the town of Arica, located the Chile/Peru border. ON Bus.
Machu Picchu Standard View / Machu Picchu from Huayna Picchu
Day 18 Border to Arequipa. Arrive 540AM and cross the border by taxis to Peruvian town of Tacna 1.5hr, where we have breakfast. We proceed by public bus to Arequipa 5hr. We have time to visit the Plaza de Armas, the Churches and more colonial buildings. ON Arequipa.
Day 19 Arequipa. Half day Arequipa cityl tour on the Tourist Bus, finishing around lunch time. Then, free day to wander about this pleasant tourist town also listed by UNESCO. Founded in 1540, it retains an elegant historic center constructed entirely out of white volcanic stone, which gives the city its distinctive look and the nickname "the white city". Members can visit UNESCO listed Monasterio de Santa Catalina, one of the most important and impressive religious monument in Peru, also known as a City within a City. Tourist Bus tour included in trip cost. ON Arequipa.
Day 20 Nazca. We charter a bus for 3 days to Lima. First day is to Nazca 623km 9-10hr. Nazca is a small town famous worldwide for the giant desert drawings including an image of an ancient "astronaut". On the way to Nazca, we lunch in a local seafood restaurant in Camana. ON Nazca.
Day 21 Fly Nazca Lines. These are a series of giant desert figures, clearly visible only from the air. From 7AM we transfer in small groups to the town's small airport for the flights over the famous UNESCO listed Nazca Lines. Planes flying are either 6 or 4 seaters small planes and plastic bags are provided for those with weak stomach! Some of the giant desert figures viewed from the air included whale, dog, spider, monkey, tree, flamingo, humming bird, trapezoids and an astronaut! We leave for Pisco 4-5hr after lunch by our chartered bus with a stop at Huacachina Desert Dunes, time permitting. Nazca Lines flight US$100 and Dune buggy Soles30 not included. ON Pisco.
Day 22 Isla Ballestas & Pisco. A half day tour starting at 8AM takes us to to the jetty in Paracas 30min. There we board a 30-seats speedboat to visit what is dubbed by the locals as "Poor man's Galapagos Island". You will be able to sight thousands of birds including pelicans, penguins, comorrants, oyster catchers, seagulls and huge colonies of sea lions. On the way, boats stop for a view of the famous landmarked Candelabra, a giant candle-like figure etched into the coastal hills. Seafood lunch in Paracas before we bus 4-5hr to Lima. Isla Ballestas Boat Tour included in trip cost. ON Lima.
Day 23 Lima, Fly Home. We have an easy day revisiting Lima town and it's many side street full of shops and colonial buildings. A 30min walk from our hotel takes us to popular San Miguel Mall, a huge complex of modern shops, McDonalds, Pizza Huts and KFC. Another alternative is the nearby Magdalena Market, a local place with virtually no tourist. At 530PM, airport transfer for flight WED 21 FEB 2024 LIM (2010) AMS (1405+1) flying time 12hr.. ON Plane.
Day 24 Amsterdam. Lands AMS 2:05PM and transit 7:05hr. Those who wish can pop onto a convenient 20min train ride to the Central Station, which cost Euro11 return. You land right in the middle of Amsterdam tourist area and will have about 2hr for a quick look-around. Fly AMS (2110) SIN (1625+1) fly time12hr. ON Plane.
Day 25 KLIA. Lands SIN 4:25PM then fly SIN (1725) KUL (1825) home at 6:25PM FRI 23 FEB 2024.
Fly over Nazca Lines / Ballestas Island Sea Lions & seabirds
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
- Cost cover Lima/Cusco flight, accommodation, town-to-town travel and tours specified in the itinerary as included.
- Accommodations will be in guesthouses (hostals in Spanish) except for 3D2N Salar Uyuni tour, which will be in basic multi-beds room.
- Not covered are KLM airfare, meals (Rm100 x 18 days = Rm1800) and other entrance fees (most of the main fees already included in price).
- In town taxis are not covered except for transfers to and from bus stations to our place of stay.
- Cost is subject to change depending on fluctuations in exchange rates and/or airfares.
- A deposit of Rm3600 will be payable to confirm your place.