Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu - Rainbow Mountain - Puno - Lima
Today, you will be welcomed by a representative from Andean Exclusive Tours at the Cusco airport, who will provide support throughout your trip and introduce you to your driver and guide. We will then head to Pisac in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, making some stops along the way.
On our way to Pisac, we will make a stop at the Awanacancha alpaca ranch, where we can see llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas of different breeds and sizes. We will learn about their use in textile garments and a bit of the history behind their fine and delicate wool.
Upon reaching the town of Pisac, we can visit and explore a craft market, fresh produce, and the customs of the town. Then, we will head to the Pisac archaeological center, where we can witness Inca masonry and the impressive terraces surrounding the mountain. Here, we will also have a stunning top view of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The entire visit will be guided by our assigned professional guide.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas offers many breathtaking places to explore, and today we will visit some of them. We'll begin the day by departing from your hotel in Cusco (11,152 feet) and heading to the town of Chinchero (12,500 feet). In Chinchero, you can find artisanal centers where families craft various garments using the wool of the alpacas they raise. You can also take a tour of the Chinchero ruins, located adjacent to the main town.
From this point, we will embark on a mountain hike. The hike is of moderate difficulty, and it's important to take into consideration the high altitude at which we are located. During the hike, we will be accompanied by llamas and their caretakers. We will walk for 11/2 to 2 hours and have the opportunity to observe the cultivation of potatoes and grains in the Andean region. The locals will explain to us in Quechua about the care of the plants and their use both within the community and commercially. Feel free to ask them any questions you may have.
Once we have reached the highest point of the hike, we'll be able to take a break, snap some photos, and enjoy a snack. Afterward, we'll begin our descent towards the ruins of Machucollca. The views in this area are breathtaking, and if you're feeling adventurous, you can even lead the llamas that accompany us. Your guide will always be by your side to provide explanations about both the local residents and the ruins. We will conclude the hike in the community of Raqchi.
Once in Raqchi, we will receive a warm welcome from one of the families in the community, allowing us to enter their home and enjoy a lunch prepared with the products we just saw during the hike. The menu may vary depending on the season of your visit. After finishing lunch, we will witness a weaving demonstration and you will learn how they spin, dye, and weave the wool of their alpacas. We conclude this day by returning to your hotel..
We will take the train to Km 104, where we will embark on a approximately 6-hour hike. We will start by crossing a bridge that spans the banks of the Urubamba River, beginning at the archaeological complex of Cachabamba. Then, we will ascend towards the ruins of Wiñay Wayna. Access to this site is only on foot, and it is the closest archaeological site to Machu Picchu. Our next stop will be the Inti Punku (Sun Gate), where you will get your first incredible view of Machu Picchu, a sight that leaves everyone in awe. From here, we will begin our descent towards Machu Picchu.
This day is when we will visit Machu Picchu. We will take the bus from Aguas Calientes to the Inca citadel, where your guide will provide a complete tour of the places you choose to visit. Feel free to ask any questions you have about the ancient Inca citadel and the new wonder of the modern world. At the end of the tour, we will return to Aguas Calientes by bus.
We will leave the incredible Inca citadel of Machu Picchu to return to Cusco on a luxury train, where you can enjoy a very pleasant landscape on the way back and, depending on the trend, enjoy a performance by the train staff. The train journey lasts nearly 2 hours, and the drive from Ollantaytambo to Cusco is also 2 hours.
Upon arrival at Ollantaytambo train station, you will be met by a representative of Andean Exclusive and transferred approximately 2 hours to your hotel in Cusco.
Cusco is one of the most beautiful cities in Peru, steeped in history and culture. It is considered the navel of the world and was the capital of the Inca Empire of Tahuantinsuyo. The Tahuantinsuyo Empire covered an area of 2,500,000 square kilometers across the lands that now belong to Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina, and Colombia.
The tour begins with hotel pickup, first visiting the main cathedral of Cusco and the Temple of Qoricancha, also known as "The Temple of the Sun". You will also have the opportunity to stroll through the streets of Cusco and visit the San Pedro Market, which is the most popular market in the city of Cusco. Finally, we will visit the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, an impressive construction located just outside the city of Cusco.
This incredible mountain is located in the Vilcanota mountain range, very close to the Ausangate snow-capped mountain. Its vibrant colors are the result of marine, lacustrine, and river sediments transported by water that once covered the area approximately 65 million years ago.
On this day, we will pick you up from your hotel very early to drive to the town of Cusipata and then Phulawasipata. This hike is moderate and lasts approximately 3 hours for the 6-kilometer journey to reach Vinicunca. It's possible to rent horses for children and to carry luggage.
When we reach the mountain we can take photos and contemplate the view that this hike gives us. We will then return to Cusco and say goodbye after dropping you off at your hotel.
On this day, we will pick you up from your hotel to begin your journey to Puno. Along the way, we will be visiting tourist attractions such as the Andahuaylillas Temple and the archaeological site of Racchi, which is an unusual Inca archaeological site with unique features such as its construction in adobe. We will continue on to La Raya, which marks the border between Cusco and Puno and is also the highest point on the route. Here, we can enjoy a box lunch, take photographs, and stretch our legs. During this journey, there are other tourist attractions that you can discuss with your guide if you'd like to visit them. We will arrive in Puno (12.560 ft) and enjoy a view of Lake Titicaca before heading to your hotel for check-in.
On this day, you will travel in a shared car to the famous floating islands of the Uros, located in the Titicaca National Reserve. Here, you can immerse yourself in the proud culture of the Uros people, where men are skilled raftsmen and fishermen, and women are expert textile artisans. The Uro Aymara people refer to themselves as "kot-suña," which means "people of the lake." The islanders will welcome you with cheerful songs, and then invite you to sit together to learn about the process of constructing the islands.
After listening to explanations from the guide and the island residents about their way of life, you will have the opportunity to ride on a totora reed raft on the lake and take some photographs. Later, we will board our motorboat again and return to the city of Puno. Finally, we will head to your hotel to conclude the day.
After breakfast enjoy the activities offered in and around the lake to fit with your departure time. On water you can paddle through nearby Totora reeds, kayak, canoe, paddle board and sail. Lakeside you can connect with nature by biking through the fields of Platería, walking along rural paths, birdwatching and taking in the striking landscapes of Puno’s unique geography.
Another option is to visit Sillustani, home to the area’s best preserved chullpas, or ancient funerary towers. Sillustani was once a burial ground for the Pucara, Tiahuanaco, and Ccolla pre-Incan cultures. Symbolizing life and birth, the ancient tombs were used to house the remains of chiefs and other dignitaries. Made up of stones weighing anywhere from two to six tons, the biggest tower took about 50 years to construct. Combining archaeology, history and beautiful views of a wonderful landscape, Sillustani is an impressive site to see.
Lima is the capital of Peru, founded on January 8, 1535. This date coincides with 'The Descent of the Three Wise Men,' and that is why Francisco Pizarro, its founder, christened it as 'the City of Kings.' Lima saw the presence of several pre-Inca civilizations, such as the Lima culture, which constructed the Huaca Pucllana. Another archaeological site is the Huaca Huallamarca.
The Larco Museum contains approximately 5,000 years of ancient Peruvian history, and your guide will summarize it in simple words for you to understand this complex history. The complex is surrounded by beautiful gardens and is located in an 18th-century viceregal mansion. It was one of the first museums in the world to have visitable storage facilities and to provide virtual access to 100% of its collection, thus promoting the multidisciplinary research that Rafael Larco Hoyle initiated from the very beginning.
Then we will continue our visit to the city center of Lima, where we can visit places such as the Cathedral, the Santo Domingo Convent, the Main Square, the Aliaga House, and neocolonial-style buildings. The entire program is subject to your interest within the 8-hour duration of the tour.
On this day, a representative from Andean Exclusive Tours will be available to assist you with your international flights. They will help you with all the check-in procedures and accompany you to the departure area of your flight. End of our services.
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