We'll meet you at the Lima airport upon your arrival in Peru and head to your selected hotel in Lima so that you can check-in and accommodate your things. In the afternoon, we'll depart for a tour of the Lima, the storied City of Kings, stopping at pre-Columbian, colonial, and modern sights.
After breakfast in the hotel, we'll head to the Lima airport to catch our 1-hour flight to Cusco. After a welcoming cup of coca tea, we'll have time to rest in the hotel and adjust to the altitude a bit before departing in the afternoon, at 1:30pm, to see some of the most impressive sights and archeological sites in Cusco proper and on its outskirts. We'll visit the city's present-day religious center, the colonial Cathedral, as well as its former religious center, the Sun Temple, Qoricancha. We'll also see the fortress of giant stones, Sacsayhuaman, and other archeological remains from the time of the Incas, such as Tambomachay. We'll finish our outing at about 6:30pm, at which time we'll head to the evening folkloric dance and music show, which lasts from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.
We'll spend the day exploring the Sacred Valley of the Incas, leaving the City of Cusco at 8:30am as we pass the farms and villages of the valley, stopping at traditional towns such as Pisaq, Ollantaytambo, and Chinchero, which boast their own unique Inca ruins and terraces. We'll stop in Urubamba as well, for a buffet lunch, and will return to Cusco at around 7:00pm.
On the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th days we'll undertake the famous Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. On the first day, we'll set off early from Cusco and head by private bus through the Sacred Valley, starting the trek close to Ollantaytambo at Km 82. The first day's trek will be easy, as we pass traditional communities en route to our first campsite, Wayllabamba.
On the second day, we'll pass our trek's high point, Wuarmiwañusca Pass (Dead Woman's Pass), at 13,800 feet above sea level. From here the trail is more pristine and boasts abundance plant life, with original paving stones placed by the Incas. We'll camp for the night in the Pacaymayu River Valley.
On the third day, we'll pass the Inca ruins of Runcuracay, and be treated to striking views of snowy Veronika and Salkantay peaks at Runkuracay Pass. After stopping at the cliff-top Sayacmarca Ruins, we'll enter the Cloud Forest, a part of the high-altitude tropical forest, which boasts a diversity of orchids and other exotic plants and is named for its perpetual fog. We'll see other ruins (Phuyupatarmarca, Intipata, and Wiñay Wayna) along the trail as well as Incan engineering in the form of steps and tunnels.
On day four, we'll hike to the entry to the ruins, the Sun Gate, Intipunku, where we'll have an awe-inspiring view of the Citadel of Machu Picchu. Descending into the archeological site, our guide will lead a tour explaining the significance, construction method, and history of the site's constructions.
We'll descend to Aguas Calientes around midday for lunch, and in the early evening board a train to Poroy or Ollantaytambo stations, where transport will be waiting to take us back to Cusco, where we'll spend the night.
*2-3 Personas can share a porter for US$90.00; Maximum Weight Allowance is 15kg.
Today is dedicated to some post-trek relaxation, so you'll have the day free to explore the museums, markets, and other sights of Cusco.
You'll have the morning free, should you wish to make any last minute purchases or stops before bidding Cusco farewell. In the afternoon, at 2:00pm, we'll take an approximately 1 hour flight to the city of Juliaca, from where our transport will be waiting to take us to our hotel in neighboring Puno. After accommodating ourselves in the hotel in Puno, there'll be an afternoon tour of the Sillustani Chullpas, pre-Inca burial towers used by both the Collas and the Incas to house mummies of nobles awaiting rebirth.
Today we'll set off by motorboat on the cold waters of the world's highest navigable lake, Lake Titicaca, where we'll visit the famed Floating Islands of Uros, home to one of the oldest cultures on the continent, the Aymara-speaking Uros, who continually rebuild their islands from the lake's predominant plantlife, the totora reed. We'll have lunch on the traditional Quechua-speaking Island of Taquile, where'll we'll hike to the town and visit their artisanal center and museum before descending along the islands other side before returning to Puno and the hotel.
Today we'll rise early in order to catch the 7:00am bus from Puno to Arequipa. We'll arrive at the White City at 1:00pm in the afternoon. After accommodating our things in the hotel, we'll enjoy an afternoon tour of the city of Arequipa, which is famed for its distinct architecture. Within the historical center, buildings of pearly white sillar volcanic rock feature intricately carved "mestizo-baroque" faÃƒÂ§ades.
In the morning, at around 8:30am, we'll depart from our hotel in Arequipa and head to the town of Chivay, the Canyon's small but principal town. Along the way we'll make a brief stop to see the elegant and rare vicuñas as they graze along the Cañahuas Plains of the Salinas y Aguada Blanca National Reserve. Before accommodating ourselves at the hotel, we'll stop for lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, from around 3:00pm on, you'll have some free time, which you can use for a relaxing visit to the La Calera Hot Springs if you so choose. In the evening, at 7:00pm, there'll be a folkloric dinner show which will introduce us to the region's traditional music and dance.
After a very early breakfast we'll leave for Condor's Cross at 5:00 in the morning, so that we'll be there when the endangered Andean Condors, the world's largest birds of flight, begin their circling for food. Afterwards we'll visit some of the traditional towns of the canyon. Around midday we'll return to Chivay for lunch and then continue on back to Arequipa, where we'll arrive around early evening.
After breakfast you'll be transferred to the Arequipa airport to catch your 80-minute flight to Lima.
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