Unravel the complex tapestry of Peru’s thriving indigenous cultures, rich Colonial heritage and enigmatic Inca legacy on an enchanting journey of discovery offered by General Tours World Traveler. With its archaeological wonders, several World Heritage sites and some of the greatest biodiversity in the world, there is something for everyone in this mountainous nation.
Engaging experiences and highlights include:
• Enjoy lunch and a Paso horse performance at a ranch in the Sacred Valley.
• Visit Ollantaytambo fortress and learn about chicha, an ancient Andean beverage.
• Spend a night at Machu Picchu then watch the sun rise from its walls next morning.
• Visit islands in Lake Titicaca that are home to indigenous Uros communities.
$115 per person discount
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Begin your adventure in Cuzco, located in the Sacred Valley and ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Here fascinating Inca sites abound. Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Colonial Cuzco then explore archaeological sites such as Sacsayhuaman, a testimonial to Incan architectural skills and a UNESCO World Heritage site; the fabled Temple of the Sun; and the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo where you can also explore the ancient village at its base: visit the home of a resident family and stop in a local pub to learn about the ancient Andean beverage of chicha. Browse the Pisac market, where you can purchase handmade goods from local craftspeople. And attend a BBQ lunch at a local ranch where you’ll delight in a performance by indigenous Paso horses, known for their noble spirit and elegant gait.
Then travel by rail to one of ancient wonders of the world, the mountain citadel of Machu Picchu. One of the world’s most mysterious, magical destinations and the icon of ancient Inca civilization, Machu Picchu is an architectural masterpiece shrouded in clouds atop a lush jungle mountain ridge. Your expert guide will lead you through the enchanting stonework ruins and agricultural terraces, highlighting structures such as the Temple of the Sun and Watchman’s Hut. You’ll be able to explore this fascinating site over two days since your tour includes an overnight stay at the deluxe Inkaterra El Pueblo Resort, set in a cloud forest at the base of Machu Picchu, giving you a chance to ascend to Machu Picchu the following morning to see the sunrise, a truly unforgettable sight!
Continue your journey with two days in Puno, set on the shores of majestic Lake Titicaca. Take a boat out on the lake and visit its fascinating islands built of layers of Totora reeds. The islands are home to indigenous Uros communities who still craft colorful textiles using ancient techniques. Conclude your trip with sightseeing in Lima where you’ll visit the Larco Herrera Museum to view its world-renowned collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. Also see the attractions and Colonial architecture of Old Town and tour Casa Aliaga, Lima’s oldest Colonial mansion; it has been continuously inhabited by the same family for nearly 500 years.
• 7 nights in superior first class and deluxe hotels: 2 nights in Lima, 2 nights in Cuzco, 1 night at Machu Picchu and 2 nights in Puno
• Daily breakfast, 5 lunches and 2 dinners
• All on-tour transportation plus 2 internal flights
• Comprehensive escorted sightseeing with no more than 16 guests; includes all entry fees
• Luggage handling and all hotel taxes and service charges
Day 1 – Welcome to Lima, Peru
Check in to your hotel, ideally located in the bustling seaside district of Miraflores, close to some of the capital’s most popular restaurants, cafes and boutiques. (Note: Travelers arriving late will overnight at the conveniently located Costa del Sol Airport Hotel in preparation for the next morning’s flight.)
Accommodation: Casa Andina Select Hotel - 1 night
Day 2 – Exploring Cuzco, the Inca Empire’s Ancient Capital
This morning, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your flight to Cuzco, ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Upon arrival, you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel set in a splendidly restored 16th-century building in the historic heart of the city. The rest of your morning is free.
This afternoon, a sightseeing tour includes the fabled Temple of the Sun and the Cathedral, built on the site of an Inca Palace and now splendidly restored as one of Peru’s finest Colonial-era landmarks. Then drive into the mountains outside of town to explore the spectacular Incan fortress of Sacsayhuaman, celebrated for its amazing masonry and panoramic views over Cuzco. Explore these imposing Inca ruins, built from massive limestone blocks cut with such precision that they fit together without mortar like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. At the lively San Pedro Market and Almudena Cemetery, your engaging local guide will shed light on ancient Andean traditions which still endure in the daily life of city residents.
This evening, gather for a delightful Welcome Dinner at Fusiones, one of Cuzco’s most stylish and popular restaurants.
Accommodation: Novotel Hotel – 2 nights
Day 3 – Into the Sacred Valley of the Inca
Journey into the picturesque Sacred Valley to Awanacancha, where you’ll learn about ancient weaving techniques still in use today throughout the valley’s timeless villages. Explore the colorful market in Pisac where mountain villagers come from afar to sell their goods. It’s an excellent place to shop for sweaters, rugs, hand-carved musical instruments and ceramics.
Then spend time at Wayra, a charming ranch in the heart of the Sacred Valley. Sit down to a barbecue lunch and enjoy a demonstration of Wayra’s team of Paso horses. Known for their noble spirit and elegant gait, these handsome creatures evoke centuries of Peruvian tradition.
Continue your exploration at the impressive fortress of Ollantaytambo. With its impenetrable stone walls and strategic hilltop location, the ancient Inca were able to successfully defend this site against the Spanish. Explore the ancient village which lies in the shadow of the mighty Ollantaytambo fortress. Walk along narrow streets of perfectly-cut stone that were laid down centuries ago by the Inca and visit the home of a resident family. Afterwards, stop in a local pub to learn about chicha, an Andean beverage that has been brewed since ancient times. Return to Cuzco for another restful night.
Day 4 – To Machu Picchu by Rail
After breakfast, travel to Machu Picchu aboard the Vistadome Train through the Urubamba River Valley past rugged Andean peaks, remote Indian villages and carefully-tended terraced fields. Arrive in the charming town of Aguas Calientes, nestled below Machu Picchu, and then ascend by bus to this ancient citadel to explore its extensive ruins. Your expert guide sheds light on the Inca, their once-great Empire and this fabled Lost City. Later, back at the base of the mountain, a tranquil overnight awaits you at the Inkaterra El Pueblo Hotel, a deluxe resort with a privileged location in a pristine cloud forest along the banks of the gently flowing Urubamba River.
Accommodation: Inkaterra El Pueblo Hotel – 1 night
Day 5 – Sunrise at Machu Picchu
We’ve included your transportation and an entry ticket so you can revisit Machu Picchu on your own to witness the first light of morning upon the ancient city. Before the day visitors arrive, you’ll have an extraordinary opportunity to experience the grandeur and evocative power of the Lost City. But the rocks and paths can be slippery with morning dew, so caution is required. Then journey back to Cuzco aboard the afternoon train where you’ll be escorted back to your hotel in the heart of town.
Accommodation: Novotel Hotel – 1 night
Day 6 – Lake Titicaca
After breakfast, embark on a journey through the spectacular high-mountain landscapes of the Andes to Puno, set on the shores of majestic Lake Titicaca. Check in to the hotel and settle in to your enchanting lake view room.
Accommodation: Casa Andina Private Collection Hotel – 2 nights
Day 7 – Explore Lake Titicaca
Set out across the pristine waters of Lake Titicaca to visit the remarkable islands, home to indigenous Uros communities built on layers of Totora reeds. Continue on to Taquile Island where residents speak Aymara, the ancient language of the high Andean plateau, and craft colorful and finely-made textiles using ancient techniques. Return to your lakefront hotel in Puno where your evening is free to relax and enjoy this inspiring setting.
Day 8 – Lima Sightseeing / Departure
After breakfast, fly to Lima and explore the world-renowned collection of Pre-Columbian artifacts at the Larco Herrera Museum. Enjoy lunch at the museum and then view the handsome Colonial architecture of Old Town Lima. Stand in the impressive Plaza Mayor, see the interior of the 17th-century Cathedral and visit the Convent of St. Francis, including a memorable descent into its ancient catacombs, first dug in 1546.
Then visit Casa Aliaga, tucked away on a quiet side street in the heart of Lima. Known as the oldest colonial mansion in Lima, Casa Aliaga stands on land that was given in 1535 to one of Pizarro’s followers. It has now been occupied by 16 generations of his descendants and its lovely interiors feature vintage furnishings and centuries-old tile work. After your city sightseeing, you’ll be escorted to the airport for your onward flight. (Note: Today’s sightseeing is provided for guests with flights departing Lima after 7:00pm.)
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