Pack your bags and get ready to experience an idyllic blend of adventure, history and culture in Peru. Your journey begins in Cusco followed by the striking mountain scenery of the Sacred Valley, to admire the unique attractions and picturesque landscapes. A scenic train ride along the Urubamba River will take you to the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu next, for the pinnacle of your experience. Guided by local experts, you will discover the enchanting ruins and fascinating history behind this world renowned attraction. Your final stop includes a journey to the mystical Lake Titicaca to cover all of Peru's highlights.
This exclusive group adventure is scheduled from SEPTEMBER 1, 2018 to SEPTEMBER 10, 2018 with limited spaces available.
Welcome to Peru! Upon arrival at the airport in Cusco, you will be greeted by a local representative, holding a sign with your name on it. For a smooth and comfortable start to your adventure, you will be driven directly to your hotel, where a lovely evening at your leisure awaits.
Cusco is a beautiful city with well preserved colonial architecture, evidence of a rich and complex history. The city itself represents the center of indigenous Quechua culture in the Andes, and by merely walking the streets one sees the layers of history. Spanish colonial buildings erected directly atop Inca walls line the square, while the modern tourist nightlife flourishes in their midst. The city is surrounded by a number of ruins, the most impressive being Sacsayhuaman, the site of the 1536 battle in which dozens of Pizarro's men charged uphill to battle the forces of the Inca. Nowadays, Cusco is known for its indigenous population--often seen on the streets in traditional clothing--and its substantial tourist-fueled night life.
This morning, you will be taken on a half day private guided tour of the city, including some of the nearby Inca ruin sites. Cusco is a city with a wealth of history and splendor. As you wander through the streets, you will be guided through centuries of traditional culture and unique architecture. There is something to be admired in every direction you look, and a story to be told at every street corner. During your exploration, you will have the opportunity to discover the many highlights and hidden gems of Cusco. Although the modern travelers and vibrant night life can now be recognized in the city, Cusco is still known for its indigenous population--often seen on the streets in traditional clothing, maintaining it's colonial charm.
Your tour will then head out of Cusco, to visit the main Inca ruins in the Cusco valley, visiting Tambo Machay, Puca Pucara, Kenko, Sacsayhuaman, as well as some lesser known ruins. These impressive sites serve as a great introduction to Inca history, and by walking around them, you will continue to acclimate to the high altitude.
This morning, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cusco and taken on a full day group discovery of the famous Pisac Market and Ollantaytambo Fortress. This tour includes lunch at a desirable local restaurant, that serves some of the most delicious traditional dishes.
The Sacred Valley of Peru is comprised of the land that extends between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. What was once the heart of the Inca Empire, this region of rolling Andes can be found just 10 miles outside of Cusco. An exploration of this area showcases fascinating Inca ruins, breathtaking mountain scenery, charming rural towns and a pleasant climate. At the end of your tour, you will be transferred to your new hotel in the Sacred Valley, to spend the rest of the day as you desire.
Tucked in between the impressive Andes of Peru, you will find the Sacred Valley. This developing area, once strictly colonial towns and secluded villages, is now recognized as a destination in it's own right. Explore the bustling local markets, discover the history behind archaeological attractions and get to know the lovely local people. The Sacred Valley offers an escape from cosmopolitan city life, with an idyllic nature retreat and cultural experience.
Today, you will be taken on a full day private guided tour of Chinchero, Moray & Maras. The charming town of Chinchero features colonial style construction and was once a major agricultural center during the Tawantinsuyo. Here, you can admire the stone walls with trapezoidal niches, that provide the perfect setting for the town's traditional local market. The Chinchero women can be recognized for their distinguished clothing and braided hair.
From Chinchero, your tour continues with a scenic drive past snow capped mountains en route to Moray. Upon arrival, you will visit the fascinating Inca agricultural greenhouse or laboratory, which consists of four platforms within an amphitheater. The ruins have a depth of 150 meters and the overlapping concentric circular stone rings widen as they rise. This was an experimental place to study the adaptation of plants for new ecosystems. Just a few miles from Moray, at an altitude of 3,380 meters, you will find the small village of Maras. Famous for its salt mines, the area features about 3,000 small wells with an area average size of about 5 square meters. These were already exploited since Inca times as a means of economic exchange and securities. Your guide will teach you about how the salt was recovered from these mines, before you are returned to your hotel at the end of the tour.
Enjoy an early morning visit to the fabled ruins, spending today in both guided and individual exploration. Take your time to investigate the multitude of hidden nooks and corners, as you discover the most fascinating features of this astounding and mysterious Inca settlement. If you're itching for a challenge, you may be interested in embarking on the grueling trek up to the summit of Huayna Picchu. Facing steep and exposed steps, this journey is not for the fainthearted, but offers an astounding "condor's eye" view above the ruins. Please note that this trek requires a special Huayna Picchu Permit, which has not yet been included in your tour. Should you be interested in this expedition for an additional cost, please let us know as soon as possible, as permits do sell out.
After an overwhelming adventure of this glorious monument to the Inca achievement, a delicious lunch will be served at the famed Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, before taking the return shuttle to Machu Picchu Pueblo. Remainder of the day at leisure to enjoy this unique town.
This morning, you will take the shuttle bus back up to Machu Picchu, to continue exploring on your own (shuttle & entrance fee are included). Today, you can focus on visiting features of the ruins that you may have missed yesterday. The number of hidden twists and turns are seemingly endless. If you are eager for a challenge, you may be interested in taking the grueling trek up to the summit of Huayna Picchu. Facing a tower of steep and rugged steps, this journey is not for the fainthearted, but offers a view above the ruins that promises to take your breath away. This trek does require a special Huayna Picchu Permit, which has not yet been included in your tour. If you are interested in this adventure for an additional cost, please let us know as soon as possible, as permits do sell out.
Later this afternoon, you will make your way back down to Machu Picchu Pueblo via shuttle bus, return to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the evening at your leisure.
Today you will board the Vistadome train for your return journey back to Cusco.
Upon arrival at the Poroy station, which is located just outside of Cusco, you will be greeted by your driver and transferred to your accommodations within the city. Fall asleep dreaming of today's once in a lifetime experience!
After an early breakfast this morning, you will be transferred from your hotel in Cusco to the local bus station, where you will board the comfortable tourist bus to Puno.
This eight hour transfer will take you on an extraordinary journey through the high plains of the 'altiplano', one of the most spectacular bus routes in the world. Sit back, relax and get lost in the splendors outside your window, as you wind through majestic Andean peaks.
In order to make the most of this long transfer, you will stop at a few fascinating sites along the way. From the impressive Inca ruins of Rachi and Pucara, to the magnificent historic church at Andahuaylillas, you won't miss a thing! You can also look forward to a variety of geographical highlights, including the high pass of La Raya, where you can admire panoramic views of the snow capped Andean peaks. The high grassland at this pass is home to the iconic creatures of Latin America - llamas, alpacas and vicunas. In the afternoon, you will stop at an inn, where a delicious buffet lunch will be served.
Once you have eventually arrived in Puno, you will be met at the bus station by your driver and transferred directly to your hotel. This evening, you are free to explore the city and relax at your leisure.
Puno is a sprawling city of humble buildings, known best as the primary transit point en route to Lake Titicaca. Rich in history, tradition, craft and skill, there is no where else in the world like Lake Titicaca. The infinite skies are mirrored in the deep blue shades of the lake, and the horizon seems to bend, as if it’s the edge of the Earth. The lovely local people descend from ancient Andean ethnic groups, the Aymara and Quechua. The floating islands of the Uros Indians feature one of the area's most fascinating treasures, built by layers of tortora reeds, a prolific plant that grows in the shallows of the lake. Mysterious Inca burial tombs that circle the lake also entice travelers, as well as the impressive variety of high altitude bird species that can be identified in the National Reserve.
Early this morning, you will head out on a full day cultural adventure. Your tour begins with a scenic boat ride on Lake Titicaca to visit the Uros Indians. These local inhabitants built their homes on fascinating "floating islands", made of totora reeds. In addition to their handcrafted islands, the lovely local people have also built their boats from the same material.
After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant this afternoon, you will continue to the Island of Taquile. The members of this self-supporting Aymara community are eager to show off their colorful costumes and traditional homes. They welcome travelers with open arms and look forward to teaching you more about their day to day life on the island. You can't wish for a more authentic cultural immersion than this! Taquile is renowned for its fine decorative weavings, which you will learn more about from the craftsmen themselves. (This service is on a private basis.)
Sadly, you have reached your final day in Peru. You will be transferred to the Juliaca airport in good time to board your domestic flight to Lima and connecting flight home...Buen Viaje!
The charming Aranwa Cusco Boutique Hotel is the essence of luxury and comfort in the heart of the Inca city. Built in a colonial mansion from the XVI century, the property displays an impressive collection old paintings, colonial sculptures and intricate carvings, that bring you back in time, to a period of rich history. The hotel's elegant guest rooms are clean, comfortable and feature all of the amenities necessary for a pleasant stay. The property exudes an ancient and historic ambiance, unique to any other accommodation experience in the city. The friendly and personalized service of the staff will be the perfect final touch.
Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness is built on a seventeenth century colonial hacienda by the Vilcanota River, just one hour away from the city of Cusco and 30 minutes from Ollantaytambo train station; on the route to Machu Picchu. The hotel offers rooms decorated in colonial style as well as other modern minimalist decor. Enjoy unforgettable days in Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel & Wellness and let yourself be carried away by its mystical atmosphere in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is the magical meeting of two eras: ancients Inca culture and colonial sumptuousness in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.
Inkaterra’s Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (elevation: 6,232ft- 1,900m.), perfectly compliments a visit to Machu Picchu, providing you with a deeper understanding of why the Incas chose this hidden location in the Andean cloud forest to build their marvelous citadel. Nestled among 12-acres on the outskirts of Machu Picchu Pueblo, it is also a peaceful haven away from the tourist crowds that are inevitably a fixture of any visit to Machu Picchu. The lodge is laid out like a traditional Andean Village. You will follow stone pathways to your room, crossing gurgling water channels within a cloud forest dripping with exotic orchids and buzzing with colorful hummingbirds. The property was designed in traditional Andean style, using local materials of stone, adobe, stucco and eucalyptus. The expansive grounds offer a perfect refuge for bird watching and trained naturalist guides can also lead you on a variety of thematic nature walks in the morning and afternoon.
The elegant Casa Andina Premium Puno offers a Lake Titicaca experience at its finest. Idyllically located on the shores of the lake, you are invited to savor unparalleled views. This boutique property boasts only 45 rooms, promising an experience that is intimate and peaceful. Facilities include complimentary WiFi, a restaurant, lobby bar, room service and concierge access. Whether you are sitting down to a delicious meal of traditional gourmet cuisine, or waking up to the brisk air and sweet silence from your balcony in the morning, Casa Andina Premium Puno makes sure you enjoy Lake Titicaca in all of its glory.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.