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The Inca Empire existed only for a century, but in that short time it left a patrimonial legacy that has turned Peru into one of the most culturally rich countries in the Americas. For eight days you will visit the main attractions of the country, from Lima on the Pacific coast to Machu Picchu, the ‘Lost City of the Incas’, at the top of the Andes. Discover beautiful colonial cities, the sites of ancient civilizations, and explore some of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet. An unforgettable experience!
- Flexible dates & cancellation policy (see below)
- Certified biosafety protocols throughout your trip
- 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Departure: Lima
- Discover the culinary and historic treasures of Lima
- Explore Cusco, the former Inca capital
- Includes a shared tour of archeological sites nearby Cusco and Machu Picchu.
- GUIDE: English-speaking guide.
- ACCOMMODATION: Two nights of accommodation in Lima, three nights of accommodation in Cusco, one night of accommodation in Aguas Calientes.
- TRANSPORT: Private transfers from and to the airport. Shared transfers from and to the train stations. Train to Machu Picchu round trip in Expedition service (PeruRail) or Voyager (IncaRail).
- ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES: All the visits mentioned in the above itinerary: Casa Aliaga, Cathedral and Larco Museum in Lima; Coricancha Temple, Cathedral, Sacsayhuaman, Qenqo, Puka Pukara and Tambomachay in Cusco; Moray, Maras, Chinchero and Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu on day 6.
DAY 1: INTERNATIONAL ARRIVAL – LIMA
Arrive at Lima Airport. A transportation service and a guide will pick you up from the airport to transfer you to your hotel in Lima. The Peruvian capital is a modern metropolis full of history, currently undergoing an exciting process of cultural and economic changes. Overnight in Lima hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
DAY 2: LIMA CITY TOUR
Begin your day with a delicious breakfast at the hotel. Explore Lima’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, packed with fascinating historic buildings. Start with a scenic tour in the colonial downtown. See the Main Square, where you can appreciate the grandiose architecture of the Spanish Empire. Admire Lima’s Cathedral, built during the 16th century and then visit the Casa Aliaga, a colonial mansion granted by chief conquistador Francisco Pizarro to one of his captains, Jeronimo de Aliaga. This is the only house from that time, still belonging to the same family. Continue to the traditional Pueblo Libre district and visit the Larco Museum, located in a beautifully restored viceregal mansion built on a pre- Columbian pyramid from the seventh century. The museum boasts a complete pre-Hispanic collection of gold and silver objects, as well as pieces of erotic art. Overnight in Lima hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
DAY 3: CUSCO – CITY TOUR AND NEARBY ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES
After a tasty breakfast, enjoy a comfortable transfer from your hotel to Lima Airport to catch a flight to Cusco. Domestic flight from Lima to Cusco must arrive not later than 10:30hrs. Noon arrivals are too late. A representative will meet and greet you, and then transfer you to the selected hotel in Cusco. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided tour of this charming city, which was the capital of the Inca Empire. The tour starts with a visit to Santo Domingo Convent, a large Renaissance- baroque complex, which was built over the Inca Coricancha temple. It was one of the most important temples dedicated to worshipping of the sun and its foundations are still prominent at the base of the convent. Ancient chronicles say the temple was covered in gold leaves and filled with golden representations of nature. Then, visit the Cathedral, the most imposing monument of the Main Square. Head to the hills above Cusco to visit the remains of the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, whose imposing ramparts offer a stunning panoramic view of Cusco, and the ruins of the temple and amphitheater of Qenqo, where it is believed the Incas practiced agricultural rituals. Admire Qenqo and then finally visit Puka Pukara (‘Red fortress’ in Quechua) an Inca military complex located on a prominent hill. Its dwellings squares, bathrooms, aqueducts, walls, and towers can still be appreciated. Afterwards, return to your hotel. Your flight to Cusco is not included. Overnight in Cusco hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
DAY 4: MARAS & MORAY
Depart after breakfast at the hotel, heading along the Sacred Valley towards the archeological site of Moray, approximately an hour and a half away. As with many Inca ruins, its exact function remains a mystery though the design of ever-wider concentric circular terraces meant each level had a different microclimate. Continue to Maras, where the salt ponds create a dazzling scene. The thousands of small ponds give work to and help feed many local families. During Inca times, the salt deposits were an important economic center and of great value to the imperial economy. After the tour, transfer back to your hotel. Overnight in Cusco hotel on a bed-and-breakfast basis.
DAY 5: SACRED VALLEY
During the morning, you are picked up from your hotel to visit the town of Chinchero, a traditional Cusco urban center located at an elevated point with a beautiful view of the valley. The inhabitants of this area preserve the artisan traditions and the inherited knowledge of the Incas and display them in their clothes and customs. In Chinchero there are also archeological remains and a beautiful seventeenth-century church, one of the first Catholic buildings in Peru. Then, you are transferred to the Living Museum of Yucay, an Andean traditions interpretation center with demonstrations of the production of textile work, adobe, pottery and silverware, following the techniques used by the ancestors. Also, residents of the museum include llamas, sheep and alpacas, and they can be fed! Visit the town of Ollantaytambo upon your arrival – inhabited uninterruptedly since Inca times – and have a superior Andean gastronomy experience in a restaurant. Fell the true spirit of the Sacred Valley, transmitted in a cosy atmosphere! Later, climb the iconic fortress, built next to a mountain and then you are transferred back to your hotel.
Overnight in Sacred Valley. Lunch included.
DAY 6: MACHU PICCHU
After breakfast at the hotel, a transportation service will pick you up and transfer you to the Ollanta Station to board the train to Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu. Following a scenic journey through dramatic Andean landscapes, arrive at the station in Aguas Calientes. Here you board a coach for a 25-minute ride to Machu Picchu. The ‘Lost City of the Incas’ is believed to have been built in the 1450s by Inca emperor Pachacuti as a holiday retreat, yet within a century the city would be abandoned following the Spanish conquest. The Spaniards never found it, so it was spared the destruction they brought on other Inca sites. Instead, it was slowly swallowed up by the jungle and hidden from harm. A guided tour explains the origins behind this awe-inspiring citadel, presenting its most prominent landmarks such as the monumental Main Square, the Royal Quarters, the Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Towers, the Sacred Sun Dial, and the Burial Grounds. Return to Aguas Calientes for lunch at the famous Café Inkaterra, a beautiful thatched-roof restaurant hemmed in between the railway and a mountain.
Overnight in Aguas Calientes hotel. Lunch included.
DAY 7: AGUAS CALIENTES TO CUSCO
The delicious breakfast at the hotel is followed by a relaxing morning at leisure. We strongly recommend waking up early today to see the breathtaking sunrise over Machu Picchu. This is a must-see experience! The best views are from Huayna Picchu, which is about 360 meters above Machu Picchu, boasting an underground temple complex, and from Inti Punku, which offers even better views from about 390 meters above the citadel. Another option is the Inca Bridge, a secret military trail, which controlled the access to the citadel. In the afternoon, transfer to the Aguas Calientes station and take the train back to Ollanta station. From here you will be transferred to your hotel in Cusco. The second entrance to Machu Picchu is not included.
Overnight in Cusco hotel.
DAY 8: DEPART CUSCO
After breakfast, enjoy a pleasant transfer from the selected hotel to the airport. A representative will assist you along the way. Breakfast and airport transfer included.