Day 1: Arrival Lima. Today arrive Lima. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day and evening a leisure to settle into your environments. Overnight in Lima for 2 nights at a hotel of your own choice.
Day 2: Private City Sights Tour. This morning you will go on a half day city sights trip of Lima. Francisco Pizarro founded Lima in 1535. It was a vice royal capital during colonial times. These days, it is a modern and cosmopolitan city. Visit Paseo de la Republica, San Martin Square, Main Square, Government Palace, Cathedral, Archbishop Palace, City Hall and old streets with colonial mansions and Moorish balconies. Visit to San Francisco, the greatest monumental complex of colonial art in America. We will see its basilica with 21 altars, convent with a cloister and Clementina and Capitular rooms, choir and monks library, and the Museo de Profundis that has 111 canvases from Rubens School.
We will also see the Sacristy, with canvas of Zurbaran and Rivera, Gran Patio ornamented with XVI century tiles from Sevilla, Moorish arcs and finally underground catacombs. The tour includes: San Isidro Olivar, with olives brought from Spain in the XVI century, the pre-Inca worship centres of Huallamarca and Pucllana, Miraflores Parque Central (Main Park) and Parque del Amor (Love Park). You will also visit Larco Mar, an entertainment centre that is a symbol of Lima’s modernity with restaurants and bars like: Hard Rock Cafe, Mr. Frogs, and Carlos `n Charlie’s.
Day 3: Lima to Lake Titicaca. You will be picked up from your hotel today and transferred to the airport. Upon arrival at Juliaca Airport you will be meet by our representation at transported to your hotel. Puno is a small town on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake and the place where the myth of creation of the Inca Empire originated. For centuries the Peruvian Quechua and Aymara natives have managed to sustain a productive lifestyle in this extraordinary region. The rest of this day is at your own leisure to settle into your environments. Overnight in Puno for 3 nights at a hotel of your choice
Day 4: Uros and Taquile. You will travel to Taquile island via the Uros Indians reed islands closer to the shore. Once fishermen living a literally perilous life on artificial island homes, the inhabitants now make a living mostly from tourism. Taquile is a traffic-free island, 3 hours from Puno, home to some 1500 Quechua-speaking Indians.
There is much to admire in their communal way of life, intricate weavings and ancient rough rock pathways. The inhabitants guard their traditions and customs very protectively and these have changed little in 500 years; there are no creature comforts whatsoever, but the place has a magical and captivatingly serene atmosphere. This itinerary can be taken with an overnight in Taquile, spending the night in a private house or a basic hotel, allowing more time to appreciate the inhabitants unique lifestyle.
Day 5: Private Sillustani Stone Towers Tour. Private half day sightseeing today and drive to pre-Inca chullpas, tomb towers of the Hatum Colla chieftains, on the windswept plains at the shore of mystical Lake Umayo, high above Lake Titicaca, with spectacular views of the Cordillera Real in the distance.
Day 6: Inka Touristic Coach Express. Puno to Cuzco. On the journey, the coach makes a gentle climb to higher and cooler, altitudes. The first half of the journey is dominated by the magnificent Andean mountains which towers over the deep valleys of the meandering Huatanay River. It then reaches the gentler, rolling Andean Plains, where vicuna and alpaca can be seen.
There are ideal opportunities to view and take pictures of the beautiful scenery. The journey is broken by a scenic stop at La Raya, which is also the highest point on the route. Upon arrival into Cuzco you will dropped at your hotel of choice. Overnight for 3 nights in Cuzco at a hotel of your choice.
Day 7: Private Half Day City Tour - Awanacancha and Nearby Ruins. Wake up in the amazing world of Cuzco. You will begin your tour visiting Awanacancha, where South American camelidae are bred. Learn about the superb fibers of llamas, alpacas and vicunas as well as the ancient weaving techniques which are still used. Proceed to Sacsayhuaman, strategically placed on a hill, this Inca construction was believed to have been a fortress.
Here you will be able to appreciate the amazing and enormous stones that fit together with amazing precision. Return to Cusco city were you will visit the 16th century Cathedral and the Colonial art that is housed here. Your last stop will be Santo Domingo`s Convent, which was also the Koricancha temple, the most important Incan temple devoted to worship of the sun. According to the chronicles, it was covered in gold sheet and filled with golden representations of nature.
Day 8: Day of Leisure. A well deserved rest today so you can relax and make use of you time how you wish in Cuzco.
Day 9: Private Sacred Valley including Pisac and Ollantaytambo Ruins. Pick up from your hotel today for an unforgettable full day excursion to the Sacred Valley of the Inca. Today’s highlights include visits to the Indian market of Pisac and a tour of the fortress and village at Ollantaytambo. If taken as a private service, this excursion can include the spectacular ruins and terraces above Pisac.
The engineering and preservation of the terraces are unrivaled anywhere else in South America, and the whole hillside rises skywards like a light of giant, green steps. Near the top is a large complex of temples, observatories and grain stores linked by cliff-hanging paths. Overnight 2 nights in Sacred Valley at a hotel of your choice.
Day 10: Day of Leisure in the Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley of the Incas was undoubtedly a key area of settlement to the Incas. Its agreeable climate and fertile plains make a rare and fruitful combination for the high Andes. It was also the route to the jungle and therefore an area with access to the fruits and plants of the tropical lowlands. The Sacred Valley served as a buffer zone, protecting Cusco from incursions of the Antis, the fierce jungle tribes who from time to time raided the highlands. Today the Sacred Valley remains a lush agricultural region supplying the city of Cusco with much of its produce such as maize, fruit and vegetables.
Day 11: Depart Sacred Valley for Aguas Calientes for Machu Picchu. This morning after a very early breakfast you will be transferred from your hotel to Ollantaytambo Station in the Sacred Valley Train station to board Peru Rail for a 2 hour journey to Aguas Calientes for Machu Picchu. Before reaching Machu Picchu, the train travels along the Urubamba River, with awe-inspiring views of the dramatic canyon.
The spectacular scenic views and photographic opportunities can be enjoyed on this journey. Upon arrival your allocated private guide will greet you at the train station and escort you to the citadel for a tour of the site. They will be with you up until lunch where you will have time at your own leisure time to enjoy the citadel also. The citadel of Machu Picchu is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world as well as being the archetypal symbol of Peru and its most important historical site.
It covers an area of 5 sq km, at an altitude of 2,430 meters, in the Urubamba River Valley. You will return to Aguas Calientes Station in time for your return train to Cuzco in the late afternoon. Machu Picchu is a mystical place with a strong feeling of spirituality. It is a monument dedicated to the relationship man and the supernatural, magic and the commonplace - an approach by man, the creature of the gods, to pure divinity. It is a place where strange forces in nature enable individuals to achieve a unique state of "cosmic awareness", a state that can only be achieved in Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu is a complex word deriving from machu: "old" or "ancient", and picchu: "crest" or "mountain"; therefore, Machu Picchu or Machupicchu may be translated as "The Old Mountain". The famous mountain you can see in front of the citadel, appearing in most of the usual vistas of this place, is called Wayna Picchu or Waynapicchu ("The Young Mountain"). Unfortunately, the original names of these sites are unknown. Machu Picchu, Wayna Picchu, and some other names used today are contemporary, probably having been given by the farmers who settled in the area before Bingham reached it in 1911. Overnight 1 nights in Cuzco at a hotel of your choice.
Day 12: Departure from Cuzco. This morning you will be transferred to Cuzco Airport for your flight to Lima for your international flights home.
Note: We recommend you to submit the request at least 2 months in advance to the approximate time of travel. This is to avoid disappointment as spaces are strictly limited per departure.
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South America Peru Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History
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