From the middle coast to the high mountains of Peru, this experience will combine the essential places to meet the native people of the Andes, share their amazing traditions in time, ways of living and appreciating nature in their daily life.
The beginning is by the coast with the arrival to the capital of Peru: Lima, visiting the Ichimay people in Pachacamac. Then, we will travel to the city of Cusco, the legendary capital of the Incas. It is here where we will be meeting and visiting other traditional places such as Patabamba and Chinchero, being able to interact with this ancient culture. In addition, we will discover the majestic citadel of Machupicchu, still shrouded in wonder and mystery.
Last but not least, the trip will end with the highlands of Peru: Puno and the unmissable Lake Titicaca, to meet the inhabitants of this ancient land.
Upon arrival at the Lima airport, a private driver will meet you and take you to your hotel.
Afternoon at leisure in the dynamic neighborhoods of the Peruvian capital.
Overnight in Lima
In the morning, we will leave for Pachacamac, located south of Lima.
We will visit the largest pilgrimage center in Peru, see the local museum and walk around the giant complex (about 2 ½ hours).
Finally, we will visit the Ichimay people in Lurin, these people are originally from another region of Peru: Ayacucho. In the 1980's a violent social conflict started and as a result, the artisans were mistreated and persecuted by the terrorist group called "Sendero Luminoso" (Shining Path).
It is for this reason that they fled in search of a new life. They arrived in different circumstances and in different places of Lima; one of them is Lurin, creating a small community dedicated to the arts.
After the experience, we will return to the hotel.
Free afternoon and overnight in Lima.
During the morning, a shuttle will take us to the airport for a domestic flight to Cusco.
Upon arrival, our staff will be there to meet you, and transfer you to the hotel located in the heart of the Inca capital.
Free day and time to adapt to the altitude. Overnight in Cusco.
Free morning to adapt to the altitude.
Early in the afternoon, we will begin our experience by walking through the Plaza de Armas, the center of the Inca capital. We will begin by visiting the Cathedral, an impressive building that has many paintings of the Cusco School (Escuela Cusqueña) as well as real treasures of gold and silver work. We will continue our discovery in Santo Domingo and the Koricancha Monastery, ancient temple of the Sun.
Then we will head to the most important archaeological sites surrounding the city of Cusco. We will start with Tambomachay, and then descend on foot to PucaPucara, Kenko and Sacsayhuaman. The latter is a fortress, and was built on a hill, overlooking the city of Cusco. It is characterized by its gigantic blocks of stones nested to the nearest millimeter, some of which exceed 9 meters (29.5 feet) in height and weigh more than 550 tons.
After visiting these 4 ruins, we will return to the hotel. Overnight in Cusco.
After breakfast, we will depart for Pisac, 34 km from Cusco (about 20 miles).
In this place, also called Pisaqa, we will visit the sacred sites, overlooking the amazing system of terraces and the largest ancient cemetery in Peru. After the visit of the huge archaeological site, we will visit the colorful handicraft market of the village.
Finally, we will head to the community of Patabamba for a traditional lunch. We will be able to explore the village, talk to the local people and have time to delve into the living tradition of the Andes.
Overnight in a local Patabamba home.
You will leave your luggage and personal belongings for the next 4 days, dropping them off at the hotel in Cusco before the excursion. After the Machupicchu excursion, you will return to the hotel in Cusco.
After breakfast, we say goodbye to our host and start walking up and down a trail, visiting different local Ayllus or small communities.
All the way to Huchuy Qosqo, we will witness excellent views of the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the Urubamba mountain range. At some point we will reach the highest pass called Pukamarka (4280m // 14,040 ft).
Further along the way, we will come across an ancient Inca trail called Qapac Ñan. Along this road we will reach the Pumapunku Canyon (Puma's Gate Canyon) until we reach the archaeological site of Huchuy Qosqo.
It is here that we will meet our local hosts who will accompany us to their home for the night. Overnight with the local inhabitants of Huchuy Qosqo.
The next day, after breakfast, we will start our way to another traditional village: Chinchero.
We will recover the trail to continue walking over a pass called Tauca (4420 m // 14,500 ft.). From there, we will begin our descent until we reach Cuperalto, a small village of alpaca and llama herders.
This incredible journey will end when we reach the village of Chinchero and meet our hosts who will give us a warm welcome for the night.
Overnight with the local inhabitants of Chinchero.
Chinchero is a town that seems frozen in time; we will find wonderful Inca sites, a wonderful view and a traditional market where we can find all kinds of souvenirs and traditional clothing.
We will attend an Andean weaving demonstration, to see and learn about the ancestral weaving techniques that have been maintained for centuries in this village. After the experience, we will enjoy a traditional Andean lunch.
The next place to visit on our tour is the archaeological site of Moray. According to historians, the place has constructions that were part of an agricultural research in the Inca Empire.
Last but not least, we will leave for the town of Maras and visit its famous salt mines. We will witness the thousands of small salt ponds where the solidification process occurs naturally, and we might even be lucky enough to see the villagers collecting it.
We will return to the village of Maras to meet our host for the night and be free to explore the village and be with the people.
Overnight with the local inhabitants of Maras.
After breakfast, we will begin our descent into the heart of the Sacred Valley and follow the river until we reach the town of Ollantaytambo. Again we will begin an ascent up a dirt road to an incredible native community called Patacancha.
There we will be able to meet the villagers and learn a little of their daily life. For example, activities such as llama herding, their work in creating traditional clothing, preparing food cooked in the earth using only fire stones and more.
On our descent from Patacancha, we will have time to visit the beautiful Ollantaytambo complex, known as a fortress made by the Incas.
At the end of the day, we will board a train to Aguas Calientes. Aguas Calientes is where the last train station is located and is the closest town to Machupicchu. Only 10 kilometers away is the Wonder of the World.
Arrival and installation at the hotel.
Free afternoon and overnight in Aguas Calientes.
* In order to guarantee a safe and punctual service, the national train company Perurail asks passengers going to Machupicchu to carry only a small backpack of 5kg and 157cm (height + width + length) maximum or a cabin type bag. Please note that the company has become very strict about these restrictions. Large suitcases and travel bags will not be accepted on the train.
Early in the morning, we will take the shared bus to climb the most famous Inca site of the country: Machupicchu, "old summit" in Quechua language.
During your guided tour (about 2h) we will discover, still shrouded in the morning mist, this architectural complex built on a narrow ridge bordered by cliffs. A breathtaking view that evolves with the progression of the sun.
Then we will walk through the alleys of the citadel, its neighborhoods, its squares, its royal houses, its agricultural areas, its trails and its observatories.
After the guided tour, we descend in the afternoon to Aguas Calientes to take the train to Poroy (the closest train stop to the city of Cusco).
Arrival in Poroy and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Cusco (No assistance on arrival).
Additional activities to do on site: (not included in the package and booked in advance).
Possibility to add the ascent to Huaynapicchu Mountain or Machupicchu Mountain according to availability (These mountains are part of the landscape of the citadel of Machupicchu and have different schedules and entrances, as they take more time to climb and visit).
Early departure by bus to Puno. On the way, we will discover the fertile valley of Cusco with its contrasting landscapes of colors and lights.
We will make a stop in the village of Andahuaylillas and the Church of San Pedro, known as the "Sistine Chapel of South America" for its richly decorated ceiling.
Then, we will resume the road to stop in Raqchi, where we will visit the spectacular Inca sanctuary, built by the Inca Pachacutec in honor of the Inca god Wiracocha.
Then we will pass La Raya (4360m // 14,304ft), which symbolizes the entrance to the Altiplano and the beginning of the Puno region.
Arrival in Puno and transfer to the hotel. Free afternoon and overnight in Puno.
During the morning, we will head to the small village of Llachón, where we will meet our hosts for the day.
We will discover the bay of Capachica and the surroundings of Llachon on an easy walk along the shores of the lake. Here we will witness the amazing ancient site and the people who have used the lake in their traditions for centuries.
We will spend the rest of the day with our hosts and share beautiful moments with them. There is also a place to discover local handicrafts and play with the village children.
Night with the local inhabitants of Llachón.
For the excursion on Lake Titicaca bring a backpack of maximum 10 kg to avoid overloading the boat. The rest of your belongings will be stored at the hotel in Puno (Next stop after visiting the islands, day 14).
Early departure by boat from Llachón to the floating islands of Uros Titinos. These islands are the least frequented of Lake Titicaca ("puma stone" in Aymara) where the Aymara inhabitants build their houses on giant cattails.
Our navigation on Lake Titicaca will continue to Amantani Island. We will walk along the trails and enjoy the exceptional view of the Cordillera Real Boliviana. As we ascend the Pachatata (4200 m // 13,779 ft), we will discover the magnificent sunset over the lake.
It is on this island, Amantani, where we will meet our hosts for the night. Overnight with the local inhabitants of Amantani.
Early in the morning, we will leave our Amantani hosts to sail to Taquile.
The inhabitants of this island have preserved the way of life inherited from Inca times. Although the property is privately owned, the work is collective: the 300 or so inhabitants of the island work one day for themselves, one day for the community. Taquile lives in relative autarchy with the Inca principles of "don't steal, don't lie and don't be lazy".
When we reach the heights of the village, our efforts will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the lake, the bay of Puno and the Cordillera Real in the mists of the Altiplano.
At the end of the day, we will take the boat back to Puno. Free afternoon and overnight in Puno.
Transfer from Puno to Juliaca airport (approx. 1h) for a domestic flight to Lima. This flight may correspond with your international flight.
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