Days: 10 days / 9 nights
Location: Lima, Paracas, Nazca, Cusco ( Sacred Valley & Machu Picchu)
Season: All year
Extensions recommended: Amazonia Puerto Maldonado
Day 1: Arrive in Lima
A Terra Explorer Perú representative is going to be waiting for you at Lima´s airport.
Transfer to your hotel in Miraflores.
Meals: Not included
Day 2: Lima
Today we are going to visit the Cathedral of Lima, an immense baroque cathedral originally built in 1564. In addition to its ?ne baroque art, it is best known for being designed by Francisco Pizarro, who conquered the Incas and founded Lima.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Larco Museum, located in a unique vice-?royal mansion of the 18th century. This museum provide an excellent overview on 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-?Columbian history and the ?nest gold and silver collection from Ancient Perú.
Meals: Not included
Day 3: Nazca Lines
Today we are going to pick you up from your hotel in Mira?ores and travel to Pisco ( 4 hours), and from here, we take a smaller plane to ?y over the Nazca lines.
The Nazca lines are geoglyphs and geometric line clearings in the Peruvian desert and they were made by the Nazca people. The desert itself runs for over 1,400 miles along the Pacific Ocean and the area of the Nazca art is called the “Pampa Colorada” (Red Plain). Dark red surface stones and soil have been cleared away, exposing the lighter-?colored subsoil, creating the “lines”.From the air, the “lines” include not only lines and geometric shapes, but also depictions of animals and plants in stylized forms. Some of the forms include images of humans.Then we fly back to Pisco and from here we drive 20 minutes to the hotel in Paracas.
Day 4: Paracas & Ballestas islands
This morning, we will visit Ballestas islands on a boat trip aboard hotel vessels.
You will enjoy the sights and sounds of fascinating Peruvian coastal wildlife living there, marine animals like sea lions, Humboldt penguins, and an endless number of migratory birds. Along the way, there will be ample opportunity to marvel at the Candelabro, a mysterious and huge geoglyph that stands watch over the Ica coastline. Optional: We will have lunch on this boat trip with a private chef.
In the afternoon, we will drive back to Lima City.
Day 5: Cusco City
This morning we ?y 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 6: Chauaytire´s community and Pisac
This morning we start our journey driving to Chauaytire´s community, located at the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The people from this community are some of the most amazing weavers in Cusco area. Here we are going to have the opportunity to share and learn from them.
A great picnic in the midlle of nature is going to be waiting for you!
Then we continue to the Inca ruins of Pisaq, where there is a beautiful view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. We will 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 7: 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 di?erent elevations, and each di?erent level was used to try out di?erent crop strains. Due to the position of Moray, the temperature of the di?erent terraces can vary signi?cantly, creating very di?erent climatic conditions in a very small area. There are temperature di?erences of 15ºC between the top and bottom circles of the main depression, in an altitude di?erence 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 di?erent parts of their empire. They are still in use today. Here, the water is diverted into hundreds of pools, which are then sealed o?, and through evaporation salt is left in the pools.
An special lunch is going to be waiting for us at the privately-?owned Hacienda Huayoccari, with a history spanning over three centuries. The mansion today houses a vast collection of folk art, with pieces dating back to the seventeenth century.
In the afternoon we will have the option to visit the impressive terraces and Inca water channels of Yucay´s community.
Hotel: Sacred Valle
Day 8: Ollantaytmabo and train to Machu Picchu
In the morning we drive to the town of Ollantaytambo, located opposite to the majestic ruins of the same name. Ollantaytambo is known as the only Inca town still alive, as the local people still maintain their costumes, live at the old stone houses of their ancestors and their water channels keep running, just as they did at the time of the Incas.
We walk through these ancient streets and visit one of these local families, to watch closely and learn more about how the ancient Peruvian lived in the Andes.
After lunch we head to the station to board the train that will take us to the village of Machu Picchu, where we spend the night and rest to be ready for the next day exploration of the Inca Citadel.
Hotel: Machu Picchu Town
Meals Included: B
Day 9: Machu Picchu – Cusco
Today we visit very carefully Machu Picchu citadel. Upon our arrival we have a complete guided tour of the site and then free time to explore by ourselves. Optionally, you can climb to the top of Huayna Picchu, from where we can appreciate the citadel in a unique way, from a different angle, with a breathtaking view of the surrounding mountain peaks and the great canyon of Urubamba.
In the afternoon, we take a bus to the town of Aguas Calientes to board the train that will take us back to Cusco.
The time to say good-bye has come. Today we depart Cusco for Lima or, depending on your travel plans, Puerto Maldonado.