Travel from Lima to the center of Incan existence Cusco. Enjoy fantastic markets, charming of old colonial neighborhoods built upon ancient Inca foundations. Take pleasure in a city tour highlighting the famous Sacsayhuaman, Korichancha and surrounding ruins. Travel through the lush Sacred Valley of the Incas and feel the grandeur of the snow mountains once dominated by the Inca Empire. Trek and experience the drama and beauty of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and explore the ancient city in all its glory.
Day 1: Lima
Day 2: Cusco
Day 3: Sacred Valley / Ollantaytambo
Day 4: Short Inca Trail / Machu Picchu
Day 5: Machu Picchu / Cusco
Day 6: Cusco
Day 7: Departure Day Cusco / Lima / Return Home
DAY 1: Lima
Arrive in Lima at any time. Our representative will greet you at the airport and private transfer to your hotel. There are no planned activities today so check-in and enjoy the city, although there is an optional walking tour or city tour in a van. This afternoon you are free to explore colonial and modern Lima, with visits to the Government Palace, cathedral, Plaza de Armas and the Archaeological Museum. Or hang around the bustling commercial districts of and Miraflores and Barranco.
DAY 2: Lima – Cusco
A morning flight brings us to Cusco, high in the Andes Mountains, upon arrival to Cusco Airport, our staff will be waiting for you to drive you to the Hotel where you will receive an aromatic coca tea then you have the free morning to rest for a while. Later in the afternoon we’ll take you on a guided visit to see Cusco’s highlights, including nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Q’enko, followed by a visit to the Main Square and famous ‘Koricancha’ or Temple of the Sun and of course the local market. (B)
DAY 3: Sacred Valley
One of the most spectacular days of the tour takes us through the Sacred Valley of the Incas; once an important source of food for the Inca, the Sacred Valley is a lush agricultural region that continues to supply the city of Cusco with much of its produce. As it is 600m lower than Cusco, temperatures are on average 5 degrees Cº higher in the Sacred Valley.
Our travels will bring us through the major archaeological sites of Pisac and Ollantaytambo. At Pisac, an optional two hour or 5km hike will allow us to fully appreciate the Incan city nestled high in the Andean range. Later, the colorful artesian market at Pisac will no doubt be a highlight for those in search of unique souvenirs.
The day trip finishes in the picturesque village of Ollantaytambo, location of another large Inca site. This major ruin is known as the best surviving example of Inca urban planning and engineering. But more than that, Ollantaytambo is a living breathing Inca City. Here we catch our breath and prepare for our train voyage to Machu Picchu. (B)
DAY 4: Trek to Inca Trail – Machu Picchu
well wake up this morning and take the train to KM104 to start your trek. Under the guidance of our professional Inca Trail Guide you’ll climb a gentle slope and experience the wildlife and cloudforest found here. You’ll pass a beautiful waterfall on your trek to Winayhuayna where we’ll stop for lunch at a trekker’s lodge. Explore the area if you’re up for it, to get you warmed up for Machu Picchu.
After lunch begin the journey to our highlight, Machu Picchu. We’ll walk along the original Inca stonework path, past an altar to the Sun Gate where you’ll catch your first look at this awesome site. Another 45 minutes will take us to the Guardian’s House, where there’s the opportunity to take photos of the site at its best. After a wander around the site and some stunning photos to show off back home, we’ll take a bus back into town to meet up with the rest of the group where you can tell your stories from your day of hiking. Today you can soak in the hot thermal springs and explore the village. (B, BL)
DAY 5: Machu Picchu / Cusco
A pre-dawn start from takes us by bus to Machu Picchu. Enjoy the ruins in virtual solitude for the first hour until sunrise. Make the hour-long hike up to the ‘Intipunku’ or Sun Gate. See Machu Picchu in all its glory and discover Machu Picchu on an expert 2-hour private guided tour. Then, free time at site to explore, rest, meditate or simply chill out in the ruins.
Climb Wayna Picchu (Young Peak 2 hrs, not included), hike to the Moon Temple (2 1/2 hrs), or venture to the Inca Draw Bridge! There is no shortage of things so see and do in Machu Picchu. Generally we’ll have lunch in Aguas Calientes although it is your choice, afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and transfer to your hotel in Cusco. (B)
DAY 6: Cusco
Today is a free day in the Incan Imperial Capital. We’ll do our best to discover Cusco’s enchanting network of narrow streets and white wash mud-brick walls, all built atop Incan stone foundations. A true amalgamation of cultures! Explore the many markets, churches, museums, plazas and first-rate restaurants, all at your fingertips while exploring the city center on foot. Or, visit nearby ruins of Sacsayhuaman and Tambomachay on horseback. More active options include river rafting, motorcycle tours and mountain biking.
Also recommended is stop by the Incan Archaeological Museum located a block from the Plaza de Armas. Then, time permitting, visit the recently opened ‘Casa Concha’, which houses hundreds of pieces removed from Machu Picchu by Hiram Bingham in 1912 and recently returned in 2011 (Centennial Anniversary of Machu Picchu’s scientific discovery) to Peru by Yale University in the United States.
Also worth a visit is the colorful local market at San Pedro and the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas, full of artists, craftsmen and street vendors, both only minutes from the hotel. (B)
DAY 7: Departure Day, Cusco
Our services end today after a direct flight back to Lima for your ongoing international connection. We can arrange a later flight date out of Cusco or additional post tour accommodation in Lima or Cusco upon client request. (B)
End our services
Add on this Trip: Amazon Rainforest, Titicaca Lake, Colca Canyon, and other extension tours or treks. Let us know.
What’s Not Included