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AMAZING PERU WITH THE INCA TRAIL

10 DAYS | from $1419

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ITINERARY

DAY 1: LIMA ARRIVAL AND CITY TOUR

A GOTOPERU representative will be waiting to greet you as soon as you arrive in Lima. We’re ready to offer world-class treatment for what is bound to be a vacation of a lifetime. 

You will get to view the Pre-Colombian era, Colonial Lima, and modern-day Lima. Get ready, because this two-pronged tour starts rather early.

  • Leg one of the tour starts out a paronamic view over Huaca Pucllana, which is a famous and historic archeological site.
  • Now it’s on to Lima’s Historic Center. This is the location where the city’s historic religious and political buildings can be found. Not only is this a legitimate World Heritage site, certified by UNESCO, but it’s also one of the most well preserved examples on earth of different cultures having significant influence in architecture. The unique architecture of buildings like the Art Museum, The Palace of Justice and The French Palace truly stand as awe inspiring. And the best part about the Historic Center is that there’s always more to see, including the Plaza of San Martin – a historic monument constructed to celebrate the anniversary of Peru’s independence. 
  • The previous locations are mostly shown to you via transport (like a city bus tour, only better). The next locations are actual hands-on visits. So, get off your transport and walk a little, straight to the Plaza Mayor. This is where you’re going to find those awesome historic political and religious buildings, like The Cathedral, City Hall, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Palace of Government. You will also get to visit the San Francisco Convent Museum and see the catacombs underneath. It’s a total vacation by itself. 
  • Now that the walking is over, hop back on your transport; it’s time to head back to your hotel. Though, on the way, take note of the beautiful panoramic views of Modern Lima. Snap photos and take in the entire skyline of the Financial District in San Isidro, as well as the gorgeous landscape of Miraflores. Feel free to explore further and take advantage of stops along the way, such as the Larcomar cliffs on Lima’s coastline. And don’t forget to get your fill of the delicious Peruvian dishes.

DAY 2: CUSCO ARRIVAL AND CITY TOUR

Welcome to Peru!  You will be met at the airport by a representative and taken to your hotel.  Once you are settled in, a GOTOPERU tour guide will pick you up to begin your Peruvian journey.
Trip highlights include:
•    A guided tour of Cusco.
•    Visit to Q’enko, a large amphitheater that hosted ceremonial sacrifices.
•    Tour of Cusco Cathedral (Iglesia de Santa Domingo).
•    A walk through great Incan monuments including Tambomachay and Sacsayhuaman.
•    A brief jaunt to Incan tambo, the traveler’s rest stop of Puka Pukara. 

DAY 3: SACRED VALLEY EXPERIENCE

Get ready to witness the majestic Sacred Valley!  After breakfast in your hotel, a GOTOPERU representative will greet you and pick you up for a scenic bus ride through the Andean landscape to the Sacred Valley (El Valle Sagrado).
Trip highlights include:
•    Tour through Pisac, a small town rich with Incan architecture and culture.  Be sure to stop by the artisan market to view and purchase unique souvenirs.
•    Visit to Ollantaytambo, a town and Incan archaeological site that once was the estate of Emperor Pachacutec.  During the Spanish Conquest, it served as a fortress for Manco Inca Yupanqui.


OPTIONS
A: Train and Overnight to Machu Picchu ( Included in the Price )  After your tour to Ollantaytambo fortress you will have a couple of hours extra to enjoy this small inca town before taking a 1.5hrs train to MachuPicchu Town where a representative will welcome you and transfer you to your confirmed hotel.

B: Overnight at Sacred Valley :  you will be transfer to your comfortable hotel surrounded by spectacular landscapes in the Sacred Valley.

C: Return to Cusco : After Ollantaytambo you will enjoy a tour through Chinchero, an Andean village with Incan ruins and a colonial church that produces extraordinary textiles, woven with ancestral tools. After a visit to the Textile Market you will be transfer to your hotel in Cusco later in the afternoon.

DAY 4: INCA TRAIL (DAY1)

In the morning, a GOTOPERU rep will pick you up from Cusco and take you through a beautiful, unique two-hour drive through the Sacred Valley’s landscape en route to Ollantaytambo. Don’t fill up on snacks, however; a delicious breakfast will be waiting for you when you arrive.

After eating, you will receive food and equipment for the beginning of your journey. You will then meet up with your trek team, which includes experts on the terrain and the culture, and then it’s off via bus to the start of your journey, Piscacucho.

The first leg of your journey will take you over the Urubamba River, where after you will begin to hike up the scenic landscape until reaching the small Miskay village. Take a break, soak up the scenery, and then it’s off to a plateau, where you will be able to look down and see the majestic Inca ruins of Patallacta – the Village in the Heights.

Located on the left back of the Cusicancha mountain basin, this village is perhaps the most picturesque destination in all of Peru, with deep, rich greens and a perfect sunlit backdrop that provides professional-quality photo opportunities for everyone. Enjoy your lunch as you look out upon and learn about the many tambos (the traveler’s rest stops). 

After lunch, it’s a two-hour push to the Wayllabama campsite. From this high location, you get a bird’s eye view of the Vilcanota ridge, and you can even see the snowy-peaked Mount Veronica as clear as day. Rest up; day two takes you even further along this historic trail.

 

DAY 5: INCA TRAIL (DAY2)

This leg of the excursion is where your mettle will be tested. It is only for those who appreciate hiking, and those who are healthy enough to participate in such activities. It isn’t overly strenuous, but the path is steep – its name is very apt: Dead Woman’s Pass (Abra de Warmiwanusca). It is 16,000 feet above sea level, and you will experience the atmospheric change as you climb higher. The temperatures go from sticky and humid to dry and cool. 

Although this might sound refreshing, it can actually sap your energy. So remember to pace yourself along this journey, stopping frequently to soak up the surroundings. But, before you know it, you will arrive at your second campsite: Llulluchapampa. 

This campsite is bordered by two clear, pristine mountain streams that are unadulterated by outside influence. Though this is only a rest stop for the weary traveler; you can use the bathroom, drink some pure water, and catch your breath. Check out the many indigenous varieties of birds, and you might even be lucky enough to see the golden-eyed Andean bears before you start marching toward your overnight campsite: Pacaymayo Valley. 

Once arriving at your overnight campsite, you will get to choose from a wide variety of food to reenergize yourself after a full day’s excursion. You won’t have to be reminded to rest. The sounds of the environment and the hard day’s work will lull you right to sleep.

DAY 6: INCA TRAIL (DAY 3)

Continuing on the Inca Trail after a hearty breakfast, you will pass many smaller archeologically-significant areas en route to Runkurakay Pass. Your guide will fill you in on your surroundings; your job is to enjoy the scenery and savor the journey. Because, in the seeming blink of an eye, you will be atop the pass and looking down at the Pacaymayo Valley and the “Hidden River.” 

Take some time to appreciate your surroundings and get ready to experience the hike up the steep and ancient Incan steps – painstakingly carved pathways that are thousands of years old.

Along your climb, you will see breathtaking mountain ranges like Pumasillo and Vilcabama, and also huge mountain lakes like Yanacocha and Sayacmarca. The latter of which is a lake named after a town that many believe to be inaccessible. Sayacmarca is an eclectic mix of ancient ruins that are as diverse as the Incan culture itself. And it’s not only the ground that will keep you captivated. All around the valley, you can vividly see the snow-covered hills. 

Pumasillo and the valley of Aobamba are beautiful sites, but visiting Sayacmarca’s ruins is the highlight of the day. The ruins present a fun and complex labyrinth of various tunnels and corridors. You’ll have to climb the steep stone steps to reach them, but it is well worth the effort. Once exiting the ruins, it feels like you’re entering a different world. From stone grey to a wide and wild assortment of flowers like orchids and lichens, these ruins present destinations inside of destinations. 

Continuing along the pass after the excitement is over, you get the privilege of being amongst the first people to step foot in the newly discovered Conchamarca ruins, before continuing up a narrow, stone-stepped path that leads you to the final mountain pass of the journey. Once at the pass of Abra de Phuyupatamarca, you will start to go downhill toward the Towns in the Cloud, which itself is a famous archeological site of the area. 

From here, it’s on to the Wiñaywayna ruins, where it’s time to soak up the sights and sounds of this famous area before having dinner and making camp. You will notice that various agricultural trenches used to produce crops for the entire region. This location was economical and very spiritual, bringing in travelers, traders, and even those who worshipped water. 

Wiñaywayna offers you a superb restaurant to dine in, and also a hot bath house, which goes perfectly with the ice-cold beer you can opt for. One-of-a-kind sites, world-class local cuisine, a steaming hot bath, and a cold brew. This is the perfect way to say goodbye to the Incan Trail. And also the perfect way to prepare for your next day, because the journey is far from over. 

Note: The team at Wiñaywayna works hard to provide a unique experience for tired and hungry travelers, and they exist on tips. Tips will be divided amongst the tour guide, the porters, and the cook, and a tip from $10/$40 per person is greatly appreciated, although not mandatory.

DAY 7: INCA TRAIL (DAY 4)

The fourth day of your trip starts with a pre-dawn breakfast at 4:30 a.m.; after which, you will head straight to the famous and historic Sun Gate entrance at Machu Picchu. After arriving and walking a slim trail to reach the gate, you will witness what was considered literally godly by the ancient Incans: A sunrise over the Sun Gate. Watch in awe as the fog suddenly lifts like a CGI effect and the sunlight drenches over the entire area, until completely covering Machu Picchu in an orange blanket. 

The vision of such a sunrise will instantly make you aware of why so many ancient peoples worshipped the sun. And just as your cold chills are subsiding, the journey will continue with a two-hour tour through the downhill areas of Machu Picchu, which includes the amazing and sophisticated “mortarless stones” – megaton stones that were carved and dragged manually and stacked with extreme precision using nothing to bind them. 

You will cover three separate zones of this ancient stone city: The agricultural, adjacent, and urban zones. Along the way, you will see:

  • The Principle Baths
  • The Intihuatana
  • The Temple of the Sun
  • Many roadways 
  • A center square
  • Narrow tunnels
  • Ancient residential dwellings
  • And much, much more

After the tour has concluded, you are allowed to go back through many of the city’s areas on your own, truly experiencing the wonder of Machu Picchu in the silence that enables you to grasp the wonder of the ruins. After your city experience is over, you have two options:

  • You can choose to take a hike to Huayna Picchu, which is very steep and rugged, but more than rewarding. Once you reach the overlook atop the pass, you will get to witness an overhead view of the city that only a handful of people in history have ever seen – past or present. 
  • You can choose to spend the rest of your morning exploring the town and village in and around Machu Picchu. You guide can tell you about different hotspots you can check out, just make sure you catch the afternoon train back to your Cusco Hotel.

DAY 8: FREE DAY IN CUSCO

You will welcome a day of rest and relaxation.  Sleep in, go shopping or visit some of the local museums.  If you wish to embark on an adventure, please notify a GOTOPERU agent and we will help you arrange horseback riding, hiking, biking, ATV trips, river rafting and more.

DAY 9: SUN ROAD TOUR CUSCO TO PUNO

Your GOTOPERU representative will come to your hotel and offer you a private transfer to embark on your journey to Puno.
Trip highlights include:
•    Visit to San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, Sistine Chapel of America.
•    A tour of Raqchi, an archaeological site with public baths, a large aqua duct system and stone terraces.
•    A buffet style lunch break in Sicuani Village.
•    A chance to explore La Raya, the border town between Cusco and Puno.
•    Tour the Pukara Archaeological Site featuring a large pyramid and museum.
You will end your day at a hotel in Puno.

DAY 10: TOUR OF LAKE TITICACA

Trip highlights include:
•    Tour of the Uros Islands to experience the simple life of the local people.
•    Visit to Taquile Island to get a rare glimpse into Peruvian indigenous culture.
•    Lunch in the town of Luquina.
A boat will take you back to Puno in the afternoon where you can use the rest of the day to shop, tour or rest.

What's Included

  • 9 nights in Peru high quality Hotels
  • All tours stated in the itinerary with English-speaking guides
  • All transfers and entrance fees
  • All breakfasts
  • Private Airport Shuttle in & out
  • 24/7 Assistance
  • Trains and buses
  • A prepaid cellphone for extended Programs

What's Not Included

  • Internal Flights
  • Lunch or Dinner

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Everything about this trip was wonderful and it was because of the service and attention of the great staff at GOTOPERU

ennifer Powers & Family New York - USA

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