Peru - Cusco, Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, Colca Canyon
Day 1 Saturday - Lima:
Arrive in Lima International Airport; upon arrival you will be met by a representative who will assist you with your luggage and drive you to the hotel. Overnight in Lima.
Day 2 Sunday - Lima sightseeing: (B/-/-)
AM: Half day Colonial & Modern Lima (shared)
Enjoy a half day guided sightseeing tour to the most attractive and important sites in Lima, the "City of Kings". The tour includes Lima's Historical Center, passing by Plaza San Martin, Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral and its Religious Art Museum. Finally visit the residential Districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, passing by the Huaca Pucllana, a Ceremonial and Administrative Centre of the Lima Culture built in the II Century A.C. that the Incas considered as "Naupallaqta" or Sacred Town.
Also pass by El Olivar Park with olive trees brought from Spain in the XVth Century, the Central Park of Miraflores and Larcomar, a symbol of modern Lima and a tourist and entertainment centre as well as a privileged site to enjoy an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. After the tour, return to your hotel. Overnight in Lima
Day 3 Monday - Lima / Arequipa: (B/-/-)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Early this morning, transfer to the Lima airport to board your flight to the city of Arequipa. Upon arrival to Arequipa's airport you will be met by a driver who will assist you with your luggage and drive you to the hotel. Morning at leisure in order to adapt to the sudden change in altitude.
PM: City tour Arequipa plus Santa Catalina Convent (private)
Today visit the Santa Catalina Convent a "Small Town" built in the XVIIth Century and opened to the public in 1970, after 400 years as a cloister.
It is a fascinating colonial religious complex, perfectly preserved for four centuries, where you will go back in time as you enter the cloister and see the numerous, spacious patios and gardens, the kitchen and slave quarters and stone washtubs. About 20 nuns, of what were once 500, still live in a section of this Convent.
Then, tour of the City, including the Main Square, one of the most beautiful squares in Peru, and the Cathedral, a prime example of XIXth Century Peruvian Architecture. You will also visit La Compania Church, an ancient Jesuit temple, maybe the most important one in Arequipa due to its history and tradition. Crossing the city through Chili River, we will head for Carmen Alto viewpoint where we will be spectators of an impressive view of the staring point of Arequipa valley and the colonial district of Yanahuara. Return to you hotel. Overnight in Arequipa.
Day 4 Tuesday - Arequipa / Colca Canyon: (B/L/-)
Buffet Breakfast at the hotel.
Bus & guide Arequipa Colca including box lunch & en route stops (shared)
Early in the morning, depart on a wonderful journey to the Colca Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world (3400 mts.).
On the trip, drive across Pampa Canahuas in the Aguada Blanca National Reserve, inhabited by herds of Vicunas and Alpacas (South American cameloids). You will also see beautiful pre-Columbian terraces, still being cultivated by the native Collaguas. Box lunch included en route. Upon arrival at Colca Valley, transfer to your hotel. Overnight in the Colca Valley
Day 5 Wednesday - Colca Canyon / Puno: (B/L/-)
Breakfast at the hotel.
AM: Visit the Condor Cross incl. lunch & en route stops (shared)
Very early in the morning, drive to the observation point Condor Cross or Cruz del Condor, located between Maca and Cabanaconde. While this is not the deepest point of the Canyon, from Cruz del Condor you can appreciate the grandeur of the canyon and with a bit of luck you might spot Andean condors, the largest flying bird in the world, soaring across the high plain silhouetted against the magnificent backdrop of the mountain scenery. On the way back, visit the towns of Maca at the base of the Sabancaya volcano and then Yanque church with its baroque facade, testimony to the cultural symbiosis in the colonial era. Lunch in Chivay is included.
PM: Private guide & transfer Colca / Puno
After lunch, continue the journey from the Colca Valley heading southeast towards Lake Titicaca, approximately travelling a total of 8 hours (332 kms / 221.33 miles); most of the route is paved. Beautiful landscapes along the way, corresponding to high altitude ecosystems, approximately one hour before reaching Puno. Puno sits on the banks of Lake Titicaca - the highest navigable lake in the world. This region is the birthplace of Inca Mythology; according to the legend, Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo emerged from the sacred Lake Titicaca to found the Inca Empire and give birth to Inca civilization. Upon arrival in Puno, transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Puno - Lake Titicaca
Day 6 Thursday - Uros Islands, Taquile Island: (B/L/-)
Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
Early in the morning, experience an unforgettable excursion on the waters of Lake Titicaca to the unique "Floating Islands" of the Uros. These ancient inhabitants of the Lake, known as the Water Tribe, have built their own "Islands" by periodically adding new layers of a type of reed unique to the area called "Totora" (Scirpus totora), vegetable fiber of the Papyrus family.
Continue the speedboat trip to Taquile Island, inhabited by Quechua-speaking natives who have developed efficient and unique social systems, as well as fine hand weaving techniques, passed down through the generations.
Upon arrival at the Town of Taquile, enjoy lunch with the local inhabitants, then walk through the various hills and archaeological sites of this 6 km long Island. Return to Puno. Overnight in Puno.
Day 7 Friday - Puno / Cusco: (B/L/-)
Early departure to the City of Cusco at 3400 m.a.s.l. accompanied by our representative and private driver. Travel along the High Plateau of the Collao, stopping at the Town of Ayaviri, an important livestock and textile centre, to visit the impressive Temple of Kalasasaya, remnants of the ancient Pucara Culture.
Continue passing through Abra La Raya where you will be able to see herds of vicunas and llamas. Buffet lunch will be served in Sicuani at a quiet countryside restaurant, where you will enjoy the delightful culinary art of the region.
After lunch on the way to Cusco, stop in Raqchi, where you will be able to see a spectacular Inca Sanctuary built by the Inca Pachacutec and dedicated to the great Inca God of Wiracocha; it has a great central wall with a stone base of fine Inca architecture, other walls made of giant adobe bricks and the structure also has two circular lateral columns; around the Temple are several buildings once used for housing and storage.
Then continue to the beautiful Town of Andahuaylillas, and visit the Church of San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, better known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas, due to its decorated polychrome ceiling. En route to Andahuaylillas you will pass by the lovely Wacarpay Lake, offering spectacular views of the mountains reflected in its calm waters.
Continue the journey to Cusco, arriving in the afternoon; upon arrival, transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Cusco
Day 8 Saturday - Cusco: (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning at leisure to explore the city on your own, for personal activities or for shopping.
PM: Half day City tour Cusco & surrounding ruins (shared)
Today you will go on a guided sightseeing tour of the Imperial City of Cusco, archaeological capital of South America. Visit the city's most important historical monuments such as the Main - scene of great historical events in Cusco, the Cathedral - constructed of great slabs of red granite in the renaissance style and thus contrasting with the baroque style silverwork which decorates the interior, and the Santo Domingo church built upon the foundations of the Inca Koricancha Temple dedicated to worship the Sun God.
Then you will head to the city's nearby ruins: the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a magnificent example of Inca military power; Qenqo, a ritualistic site with subterranean gallerias that form an underground maze; Puca Pucara, the red fortess; and finally, Tambomachay, also known as the Incan Baths. After the tour you will be driven back to your hotel. Overnight in Cusco
Day 9 Sunday - Cusco/ Sacred Valley: (B/-/-)
Full day excursion to Pisac Market & Ollantaytambo Fortress (shared)
En route towards the Urubamba Valley, you will the Pisac Markets where you will have the chance to interact with the local folk and even barter with the merchants.
During the XXth century, due to the increase of tourism in the area it became increasingly popular to the point that now it is held daily. It is a favorite destination for visitors from all over the world who don't want to miss the opportunity of enjoying the colorful ambience in this marketplace. This is an excellent chance to share the peasants' customs closely with plenty of time to explore and even barter all the goods and crafts typical of the areas around Cusco. Leisurely roam through the textiles and souvenir sections of the market.
Lunch will be served at a local countryside restaurant (meal is not included).
Continue through the Sacred Valley for a visit to the Inca fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo. This site was built just as the Spaniards arrived and evidence of how it was constructed is still visible. This fortress was believed to be constructed in order to guard the entrance to this part of the valley and protect it from possible invasions of tribes from the jungle lowlands. Later it served as a temporary capital for Manco Inca, leader of the Inca resistance in 1537 during the Spanish conquest of Peru, who fortified the town to stop the advance, as Cusco had fallen under Spanish domination.
Ollantaytambo also features the vestiges of the town built by orders of Inca Pachacutec and thought to be not only a strategic military place to control the Sacred Valley of the Incas, but also for agricultural and religious purposes. Additionally, this place is a ceremonial center dedicated to the purification and worship of water with 150 steps built with perfectly carved stones, very similar to those of Tipon.
The archaeological site includes a series of superimposed terraces and stunning finely carved stone blocks located on the upper terrace or Temple of the Sun. The main settlement has an orthogonal layout with four streets crossed by other seven parallel streets and at the center the Incas built a large plaza about the size of four blocks.
The town of Ollantaytambo is referred to as a "Live Inca Town" because inhabitants still live according to customs and traditions inherited from their ancestors. Take a journey in time through its straight streets with perfectly laid stones that feature a canal for water to run through the town. After the tour you will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in the Sacred Valley
Day 10 Monday - Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Cusco: (B/-/-)
Full day excursion to Machu Picchu via roundtrip Expedition train (shared)
Morning transfer to the train station for an amazing train journey to the famous Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, the great mountain-top city abandoned by the Inca Empire, reclaimed by the jungle and lost to humanity until its rediscovery in 1911. The legendary "Lost City" is without a doubt one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites. Built by the Incas on the summit of "Machu Picchu" (old peak), overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba river in a semi-tropical area of 120 Kms (75 miles) from the city of Cusco at 3,400 m.a.s.l (11,155 f.a.s.l).
It sits on a mountain site of extraordinary beauty, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest; Machu Picchu was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height, with its giant walls, terraces and ramps, which appear as though they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments.
Machu Picchu is also one of the Inca's best kept secrets, as they did not leave written records and Spanish chronicles make no mention of the citadel, it remains a mystery.
Along the way you will enjoy the changing landscape as you travel from Andean highlands to the beginnings of the jungle ('eyebrow of the jungle'), before finally arriving at the town of Aguas Calientes.
From here, board the bus that will take you on a 20 minute ride up to the citadel of Machu Picchu.
A guided tour of the Citadel includes the Main Plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows and various burial grounds.
Lunch will be on your own.
In the afternoon, return to Cusco by bus and train combination, and upon arrival at the train station you will be met by our representative for your transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Cusco
Day 11 Tuesday - Cusco: (B/-/-)
Day at leisure
A day at leisure to explore the city on your own and enjoy the many excellent cafes, bars and innovative restaurants in Cusco. Overnight in Cusco
Day 12 Wednesday - Cusco / Lima / International departure: (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel and then you will be driven to the Cusco airport in order to board your late morning flight to Lima and connect with your international flight.
2016 Departure dates:
Jan 23, Feb 20, Mar 12, Apr 23, May 21, Jun 11, Jul 16, Aug 20, Sep 24, Oct 22, Nov 19
Price per person
Sharing double US$ 1,956.00 Single supplement $443 - min two travelling
Minimum # of travelers for departure: 2 We can do a private trip for min for 4 at the same cost.
Lima Allpa Hotel or similar
Arequipa San Agustin Posada del Monasterio or similar
Colca Eco Inn or similar
Puno Eco Inn or similar
Cusco San Agustin Posada Cusco or similar
Sacred Valley Inkallpa or similar
No airfare or airport taxes included in above given rates.
1. Domestic airfare Lima/Arequipa-Cusco/Lima is US$ 450.00 additional per person, subject to change
2. Domestic airport taxes Lima/Arequipa-Cusco/Lima are included in the airfare
3. International departure tax from Lima should be included in your international airfare.
Air fare as reference only. Actual rate is subject to availability at time of purchase and type of ticket (refunds and changes allowed/not allowed, penalties apply/not apply, etc)
Shared services with local English / Spanish speaking guides
All entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
Meals: As indicated in the itinerary
Roundtrip train ticket to Machu Picchu via Expedition coach or similar
Bus tickets to and from the Machu Picchu ruins
11 night hotel accommodation
All tips (except hotel staff & guides)
Permanent assistance during the trip
Program does not include:
International and domestic airfares.
Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary.
Early check-in, late check-out, services and non-mentioned meals in the itinerary
Tips for hotel staff.
Local taxes (18% V.A.T. is applicable only to Peruvian and foreign residents of Peru)
Duration: 12 Days
Max Group Size:
Price: $1,956USD per person based on twin share