Day 1: Cusco. We will be waiting for you at the airport in Cusco to transfer you to your hotel. This afternoon we will have a walking city tour of this magnificent city, a blend of Inca and Spanish cultures, visiting the Korikancha (Temple of the Sun) and the Cathedral, ending in the Cuesta de San Blas. Tonight we will have a welcome dinner. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Sacred Valley. After having breakfast in the hotel, we will visit Pisac, famous for its Catholic Mass and outdoor market. The Mass is attended by the "mayors" of the neighboring villages, complete in typical dress and carrying the traditional "Varayoc" or Staff of office. We will also enjoy the colorful Indigenous market. After lunch (included in today's activities), we will tour the remarkable Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo with its magnificent mountain stairway.
Among other things, we will witness six enormous pink stones, each weighing around 50 tons. These came from the other side of the river, but nobody knows how they were transported, since the Incas did not use the wheel. Overnight in Sacred Valley. Note that we are allowed just one small carry-on suitcase +1 small backpack or similar on the train tomorrow morning. We can easily store the remaining suitcases at the hotel in Machu Picchu. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: Machu Picchu. Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning we will take the train to Machu Picchu village, which takes around 1.5 hours, arriving to the unique town of Aguas Calientes (Hot Springs). Our local guide will meet us at the train station and he will send our small suitcases to the hotel while we will board the bus to Machu Picchu Santuary to enjoy a full day tour in this Ruins. Buffet lunch is included in the Santuary Lodge. Lodging and dinner back in Aguas Calientes. Note that you are only allowed to carry one small backpack to the ruins in Machu Picchu (don't forget to bring your passport, camera, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, light jacket and a lot of fun). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 4: Cusco. Free Morning to explore the town, soak in the Hot Springs or return to Machu Picchu Ruins (entry fees and bus to the park not included, around $70). If you want to return to Machu Picchu you must leave early in the morning and be back at the hotel at 2:30 pm to catch the train back to Cusco. Transfer to Hotel in Cusco. Includes: (B).
Day 5: Puno. Early breakfast to board the Andean Explorer train. As the train travels from Cusco to Puno (Lake Titicaca) it makes a gentle climb to higher and cooler altitudes. The first half of the journey is dominated by the magnificent Andean mountains which tower over the deep valleys of the meandering Huatanay River. It then reaches the gentler, rolling Andean Plains, where Vicuña and Alpaca can be seen. The journey is broken by a scenic stop at La Raya, which is also the highest point on the route. Lunch included in the train. Once in Puno, we will be transferred to our hotel on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Includes: (B), (L)
Day 6: Puno. After breakfast in the hotel, we will take a morning tour to visit the Uros Islands. These islands are made of reeds, rising six meters above the lake level. They are anchored by logs and connected to each other by ropes. The main activities of the people who live here are fishing and handcrafting several items that they sell to visitors. Then we will continue to Taquile Island which has two essential characteristics: its geography, offering a spectacular view from its hills, and its standing as a first-rate textile center. Taquilenos live on their textile activities. This can easily be seen in the men walking about in rubber sandals ("ojotas" in quechua), wearing black pants, white flannel shirts and beautiful, finely woven chumpis (belts), covering their heads with finely knitted warm "chullos" (caps with ear flaps). Box lunch included in today's activities. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 7: Arequipa. We will have breakfast in the hotel, then have a transfer to the bus station in Puno for our trip to Arequipa, 290 kilometers away. The ride will take approximately 6 hours. Then we will have a transfer to the hotel and the remainder of the afternoon free. Includes: (B).
Day 8: Colca Canyon. Morning departure for Pampa Canahuas, passing through Yura on the way. Arrive at Pulpera and Callali villages, and stop at Sibayo to visit the new and old town. Here we will see an Incan bridge. After lunch (included in today's tour), we will continue on to Chivay village and its thermal baths, La Calera. We will have dinner at the hotel tonight. Colca Canyon is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States, at 4,160 meters. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Arequipa. Breakfast at the hotel. Our early morning excursion reaches an observation point on a wide bend, where a wooden cross called Cruz del Condor has been erected. The view from here is breathtaking: one can see the silvery thread of the Colca River flowing below in the roar of the canyon, while majestic condors soar overhead using the warm air currents from the canyon depths to rise towards the high peaks. Here the chasm is 1,200 meters deep, but the highest part of the canyon wall on the other side is more than 3,000 meters above the river level, and permanently snow capped. On the return to Chivay, we will visit the Colonial church of Maca and Yanque. Lunch included. Return to Arequipa Hotel for our Farewell Dinner. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Lima - Departure. After our final breakfast in the hotel, you will have a transfer to the airport in Arequipa for your flight back to Lima or your next destination.
Also see tour packages in:
South America Peru Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History