Days: 11 days / 10 nights
Location: Cusco, Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu – Puno & Titicaca Lake.
Season: All year
Extensions recommended: Amazonia Puerto Maldonado or Arequipa
Day 1: Arrive in Lima.
A Terra Explorer Perú representative is going to be waiting for you at Lima´s airport, with your name on a board.
Hotel: Ramada Costa del Sol (located inside the airport)
Meals: Not included
Day 2: Fly to Cusco
This morning we fly to the ancient capital of the Incan Empire, the magical city of Cusco.
In the afternoon, we wander along Cusco’s narrow streets, pausing to admire the Incan walls now melded into its colonial structures. Also, we are going to visit the Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun.
A few words about Cusco…
The Incas built a vast empire that stretched from modern Ecuador and Colombia to southern Chile. The empire, much larger in size than any previous new-world empire, was called Tawantinsuyo (the “Four Quarters of the Earth”). Cusco was the heart of the empire, and its exact center was considered to be the main square of the city. Today, Cusco is still laid out much as it was in Inca times.
Cusco was more than just a capital city to the Incas and the millions of subjects in their realm. Cusco was a holy city, a place of pilgrimage that was as important to the Quechuas.
Day 3: 4 ruins
We enjoy a excursion up to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puca Pucara and Tambomachay. Over a period of 50 years, 20,000 men were employed in the construction of these sites. It has been said that these ruins are one of the most astounding megalithic structures of the ancient world.
In the afternoon we are going to visit the Pre-Colombian Art Museum (MAP) and San Francisco’s Convent, where we are going to find incredible art from the old painters in Cusco: “ Escuela Cusqueña”.
Day 4: Awanacancha & Pisac
This morning we start our journey to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop will be Awanacancha, an Andean traditional textile center.
Then we continue to the Inca ruins of Pisac, where there is a beautiful view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. From here we have the option of walking down to the market, with the chance of seeing more ruins on the way or we can take transportation to get there. This is the most famous arts and crafts market in town.
Hotel: Sacred Valley
Day 5: Maras – Moray & Yucay
We are going to start our day visiting the Moray´s amphitheater, an agricultural experimentation center of the Incas. It consists of many levels of terraces in concentric circles at different elevations, and each different level was used to try out different crop strains. Due to the position of Moray, the temperature of the different terraces can vary significantly, creating very different climatic conditions in a very small area. There are temperature differences of 15ºC between the top and bottom circles of the main depression, in an altitude difference of only 30m! The views of the terraces with the snow-capped Veronica in the background are wonderful.
Then we will pass by the traditional town of Maras and get to the Salineras. These are pools on the mountainside that were used to collect salt by the Incas and then distribute to different parts of their empire. They are still in use today. Here, the water is diverted into hundreds of pools, which are then sealed off, and through evaporation salt is left in the pools.
A delux picnic we will waiting for us in the midle of the nature!
After lunch, we will have the option to visit the impresive terraces and inca water channels of Yucay.
Hotel: Sacred Valley
Day 6: Horse back riding
Today we drive to Huayoccari´s community , where we will begin our ride between fields before crossing the Urubamba River. During this ride we will enjoy a snack as we pass by some communities known as Huicho, Huayllabamba and Urquillo. We will be able to appreciate the country life of people from these communities and see them grazing and working in their fields. After approximately two hours of riding we are going to enjoy a delicious lunch at an old colonial house.
Hotel: Sacred Valley
Meals : B+L
Day 7: Ollantaytambo and train to Machu Picchu
We visit the ruins & town of Ollantaytambo. This charming town is the only living city of the Incas, where it’s people still live in original Inca buildings, use channels and Inca terraces. Wandering around this town gives the best example of what an Inca town must really have been like.
In the afternoon we take the train to Aguas Calientes to relax at the Santuary Lodge Hotel, to be ready to explore Machu Picchu on the next day!
Hotel: Town of Machu Picchu.
Day 8: Machu Picchu
Today we visit very carefully Machu Picchu citadel. At 7 am. We will have the opportunity to climb to the top of Huayna Picchu, from where we will see a unique way of the citadel, from a different angle, with a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountain peaks and the great canyon of Urubamba.
Then, we will have a complete guided tour of the site and then free time to explore by ourselves.
After lunch at the Santuary Lodge Hotel, we’ll take a bus to the town of Aguas Calientes to board the train that will take us back to Cusco.
Meals: B + L
Day 9: Fly to Juliaca and drive to Puno´s City
We fly to Juliaca ( Puno). From here we will drive to Puno (45 minutes aprox.)
A few words about Titicaca Lake
Lake Titicaca, at an elevation of 3,800 meters (12,500+ feet) above sea level, is the highest navigable lake in the world. It is also the largest lake in South America, with a surface area of 8,340 km2 (5,560 square miles). Among the various islands lying offshore is the Island of Taquile. Inhabited since the pre-Inka times, Taquile possesses several archaeological sites, a vast amount of terracing and a wide network of walkways and footpaths connecting all points on the island. The present day population retains its traditional customs, native dress, and socio political system. Furthermore, the people of Taquile are renowned for their talent as musicians and weavers, their fine textiles having attained international fame and officially recognized by UNESCO, in 2005, among 42 other Masterworks of World Cultural Heritage.
Day 10: Taquile
A motor launch will be waiting to take us to Taquile. Here we will meet Hector Huatta –our local guide.As mentioned earlier, Taquile island is interconnected by a wide network of pedestrian roads of pre-Inka origin. Hector will lead us along them as we get to know the island, showing us the archaeological remains , pointing out the local flora and uses of the individual plants, and explaining the traditional social and political system as well as the everyday life of the inhabitants of Taquile.
In the afternoon, we will take the motor launch back to our Hotel in Puno, located on the shore of lake Titicaca. On our way to our hotel, we are going to pass in front of Uros floting islands.
Day 11: Transfer to the airport
We will visit Sillustani on our way to Juliaca´s airport.