A priceless heritage, an epic adventure

Monday 21 December 2015

Introducing Saga’s awesome new tour - Trail Across the Andes

A priceless heritage, an epic adventure

On a new 17-night adventure across the Andes, Saga guests can unravel the mysteries of the Incas in Peru, discover the white salt flats and colourful lakes of Bolivia and cross the border into Chile to explore the Atacama Desert.

This epic journey starts in Peru’s capital Lima, with time to explore the city before flying to Cusco to take the expedition train to the Sacred Valley of Machu Picchu, the starting point to introduce guests to the ancient civilisations who have inspired this new programme; the Incas and pre-Incas including the Urus, the Aymaras, Tiwanaku and Mapuche.

Guests travel on to Puno, aboard a 1920s-style Andean Explorer train which will descend into the Urubamba River Valley past pre-Incan remains and the Incan ruins of Raqchi into the high plateau of the Andes and onwards to the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Bolivia is next on the itinerary and cross the border to Copacabana before heading out onto Lake Titicaca by hydrofoil to visit the Island of the Sun and the floating islands where the Urus community can be visited. The ancient pre-Inca city of Tiwanaku awaits and guests will see the monumental Gate of the Sun.

Another cultural highlight is La Paz the highest capital in the world and almost entirely encircled by the high mountains of the Altiplano. Overlooking the city is towering triple-peaked Illimani mountain. From here, guests take a flight to Uyuni, one of the most unique places on earth. The first visit is to a cemetery for abandoned old locomotives, once used to exploit the mines, eventually emptied and leaving behind an entire train collection. This set up creates a great contrast with the surrounding landscapes.

In Uyuni, guests will stay in a hotel built from salt where they can discover the uncomparable Uyuni Salt Flats. When the salt is dry it forms a blinding white pattern of geometric shapes and when wet it becomes a mirror. A venture onto the flat and to Incawasi, an 'island' of fossilised coral and geriatric cacti completes the visit.

There is more of Bolivia's bizarre scenery to explore at the red lake of Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde, where countless flamingos can be spotted. Continue to the geothermal plain of Sol de Mañana and the renowned Dali Rocks. to reaches altitudes of around 4,000 metres.

Chile is the next destination Guests will watch the sun rise at the El Tatio geyser field and enjoy breath-taking sunsets from the Valley of the Moon. There is also an optional visit to Puritama Hot Springs before flying to the capital Santiago where there will be leisure time and the chance to take a tour of the city including the colonial main square, the Pre-Columbian Museum and San Cristóbal Hill.

To round-off this incredible holiday, guests travel into the foothills of the Andes to the Maipo Valley, characterised by miles of vineyards, for a tasting and tour at Santa Rita winery.

The holiday can be extended with a four-night post tour in Puerto Varas to reveal the beauty of Chile's Lakes and a four-night pre-tour to discover the diverse wildlife in Tambopata National Reserve in the southern Peruvian Amazon.

Saga’s holiday creator Kathy Vigolo said: “Each of the three countries has its own charm and highlights. While devising this tour I found the most interesting guides were the indigenous people as they shared their first-hand commentary. To me, this is priceless heritage.”

Ends

For details call free on 0800 414 383 or visit saga.co.uk/holidays

17 nights from £4,099, departing London Heathrow on May 8, September 11 and October 23, 2016. Price includes VIP door-to-door chauffeur service, return flights, airport taxes, hotel accommodation in 2Q, 3Q and 4Q hotels, 28 meals, porterage, tour manager, optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a discount if passenger has own insurance. Tour extension prices on application.

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