Day 1: Arrive Lima. Airport reception and transfer to your hotel. Overnight accommodations at the new (opened June 2007) Hotel Costa del Sol Ramada Lima, with daily buffet breakfast included. Conveniently close to the airport, this four star hotel features 130 rooms, restaurant, bar, business center, wireless internet, spa, and beauty salon. Includes: (B).
Day 2: Lima - Cuzco. Fly to Cuzco this morning (10,750 ft), the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America and capital of the Inca Empire. Much of colonial Cuzco was built on Inca foundations, and your guide will point out Inca stonework along the many streets. Overnight accommodations at the centrally located Posada del Inca Hotel. After settling in set off on a tour of Cuzco and the nearby Inca ruins.
Cuzco, the oldest continuously inhabited city on the continent, was the capital of the Inca Empire and is considered by many Quechua peoples to be the spiritual center of the world. Much of colonial Cuzco was built on Inca foundations, and your guide will point out Inca stonework along the many streets. Visit the main square, the Cathedral, Santo Domingo Church, as well as a first introduction to Inca stonework at the ruins of Puka-Pukara, Qenqo, Tambo Machay, and the renowned fortress of Sacsayhuaman overlooking Cuzco and the surrounding valley. Includes: (B).
Day 3: Pisac and Ollantaytambo day trip. This morning, depart with your guide for a full-day excursion to the village and ruins of Pisac located 20 miles from Cuzco. After exploring the ruins you will visit a colorful Indian market where you'll be able to trade with locals for a variety of handicrafts, including woolen sweaters and ponchos. Lunch will be served in Urubamba, followed by a tour of the town and fortress of Ollantaytambo located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 4: Sacred Valley. Upon arrival at Chilca, the head of the Inca Trail, you'll meet your native "Quechua" porters and set off along the Inca Trail! Your trek through semi-arid terrain begins along the Urubamba River with magnificent views of snowcapped Mount Veronica (20,000 ft). You’ll reach your first camp at the ruins of Llactapata (7,550 ft) in the early afternoon. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Llullucchapampa. After a hearty breakfast, you'll start the slow uphill climb to the Inca hamlet of Huayallabamba, a small agricultural community. Camp at Llullucchapampa with breathtaking views of Mount Hayanay. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Chakicocha. Today the uphill trek continues to Warmiwañusqa pass, which is the highest pass on the trail at 13,276 feet. Pass the ruins of Sayacmarca and camp at a small lake. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: Machu Picchu. The trail continues along a buttress past the Phuyupatamarca ruins before joining a remarkably well preserved flagstone path built by the Incas. The terrain and vegetation change dramatically, giving way to dense tropical cloud forest. Afternoon arrival at Inti Punku, the Gates of the Sun, which overlooks the magnificent ruins of the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Continue to the town of Agua Caliente. Overnight at Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, or for an additional charge, upgrade to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, located adjacent to the ruins. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Machu Picchu - Cuzco. Set in the saddle of a high mountain 1000 feet above the Urubamba River, Machu Picchu remained "lost" in jungle undergrowth until it was rediscovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. Consequently the city escaped ransacking from the Spaniards and is reasonably well preserved. This morning you'll set off with your guide to explore the walls, stairways, temples and terraces of Machu Picchu. In the afternoon, you'll transfer to the train station, and set off on a four-hour scenic ride back up the Urubamba Valley to Cuzco. Disembark at the Poroy Station where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at the Posada del Inca Hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 9: Cuzco – Lima - Departure. Hotel pickup and transfer to the Cuzco airport for your flight to Lima. Upon arrival, proceed on your own to the international terminal for your departing flight. Includes: (B).
Note: All itineraries are privately guided, and may be modified to suit personal travel dates, interests and budgets.
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