9 days – 8 nights
Lima, Cusco, Aguas Calientes, Machu Picchu, Andahuaylillas, Raqchi, La Raya, Pukara, Puno, Lake Titicaca
Discovery, Culture, History
This program is fully customizable and may be operated for individuals, pods and groups
Day 1: Lima
Your guide will be waiting for you for your early morning arrival at the airport and drive you to your hotel. Spend the rest of the morning resting and relaxing. In the afternoon, you’ll again meet your guide for a city tour, starting at Huaca Pucllana, a huge archaeological site in Miraflores, one of Lima’s most popular districts. Huaca Pucllana was an important ceremonial and administrative center of the Lima culture, which developed along this part of the Peruvian coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. This sacred place was built from seven staggered platforms surrounded by a plaza and large walls. It’s a very impressive site, and certainly not what you expect to find in lively Miraflores! After exploring Huaca Pucllana drive to the historic Lima center, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. We’ll go to the beautiful Plaza de Armas (Lima’s main square) surrounded by impressive colonial and Republican-era buildings, many of which have ornate wooden balconies. Some of Peru’s most important buildings surround the square, including the Government Palace, Cathedral, Archbishop's Palace, Municipal Palace and Palace of the Union. We’ll visit the Cathedral, dating from 1649, a huge structure, with a large central nave and 14 side chapels, sculptures and paintings and the tomb of conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Next, walk one block to the Convent of Santo Domingo founded in the 1530s and completed in 1766, one of the most important religious buildings in Peru whose large bell tower is a Lima’s landmark. Inside, you’ll see the beautiful 17th century Sevillian azulejos (ceramic tiles) that decorate the walls and a series of paintings representing passages of Saint Dominic’s life, the founder of the Dominican order. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Lima, Cusco
Morning transfer to Lima’s airport to take the flight to Cusco where our representative will be waiting to pick you up and drive you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and discover the surrounding of your hotel. [B]
Day 3: Cusco
Our Cusco day trip begins in the morning, when we’ll first head to the wonderful Koricancha, next door to Santo Domingo Church. According an was the most sacred and most important temple in the Inca Empire. Its walls were covered with gold and life-size statues of plants and animals – all made of pure gold and silver – decorated its rooms and hallways. After, we’ll head to Cusco’s Cathedral, built between 1560 and 1654 on top of an existing Inca temple. This spectacular cathedral houses many works of art by the Cusco School of painters, and its main altar and pulpit are covered in gold and silver relief work. Our next stop is the imposing Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, sitting on a hill above Cusco. Here you will see some of the finest examples of Inca stonework and construction, including massive rocks that were carefully cut and perfectly fitted together to form the walls. After exploring Sacsayhuaman we’ll head up to the Tambomachay Archeological Complex. The exact purpose of this site is unknown, but it may have functioned, at least in part, as an Inca spa. Inca hydro-engineering is apparent here, with a series of aqueducts, canals and waterfalls running through the terraced rocks. After the visit we’ll head back to Cusco and drop you off at your hotel. [B]
Day 4: Cusco, Aguas Calientes
This morning we head to the train station to board the train to Aguas Calientes (also known as Machu Picchu Pueblo). The train leaves at approximately 11:30am. The two-hour train journey is a memorable experience in itself, as we pass through river canyons and rolling hills. Aguas Calientes is the gateway to Machu Picchu, sits in a deep gorge at the foot of the mountain upon which Machu Picchu is located, is surrounded by jungle-covered mountains and cliffs and offers thermal hot natural springs where, when we arrive, you’ll have plenty of time to dip in. Or, you may opt to walk around the town, exploring the colorful markets and general buzz of this unique Peruvian settlement. The next day will be an early start so, we’ll make sure you’re settled in to your hotel and all set for the following day and your first glimpse of Machu Picchu. [B]
Day 5: Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu)
To best appreciate Machu Picchu, we’ll wake up early in the morning so we can get to the citadel in good time. You’ll have time for breakfast first, and then your guide will pick you up from the hotel at around 5:45 am to walk to the bus departure point for the short but zigzagging ascent up the road to Machu Picchu. Here you’ll begin your 2-hour guided walking tour with an experienced and highly knowledgeable guide. Visit all the most famous and spectacular parts of the extensive archaeological complex including the House of the Guardian, Intihuatana, Temple of the Sun, Sacred Plaza and other key locations. And as we walk around, we’ll have spectacular views across the agricultural terraces of Machu Picchu and across to the surrounding mountains and plunging gorges. Once our tour is finished, we’ll take the bus back to Aguas Calientes for some free time so you can rest or have lunch before we board the train back to Poroy and Cusco. At Cusco’s station, you’ll be met and taken to your hotel for overnight. [B]
Option Wayna Picchu
Those with enough energy to climb Huayna Picchu, the mountain behind Machu Picchu, will discover how the Inca cut some steps out of the rocks as you wind around the side of a mountain and enjoy unique views of Machu Picchu from many different angles.
Day 6: Aguas Calientes, Puno
Early breakfast, around 6:30am your guide will meet you a drive to Puno along the Andes range with four stops at exciting sites on the road with lunch scheduled at one of them:
· Andahuaylillas: The Sistine Chapel of South America. This church is one of the most beautiful examples of Andean popular religious art.
· Raqchi (Wiracocha God Temple): This was an Inca church of considerable dimensions; 328 feet long, 85 feet wide and 45 feet high. The temple is divided into two naves, and each nave has 11 large columns.
· La Raya: This is the half-way point between Cusco and Puno and also the highest point (14,222 feet above sea level). The landscapes here are stunning and typical Andean animals like the llama, alpaca and vicuña are familiar sights. It is also the geographic border between two cultures - Quechua and Aymara.
· Pukara: This is the most important and oldest ceremonial center of the altiplano. It includes some sculptures. In front of the pyramid, there is a staircase to the upper temple decorated with stelae. There are also figures of mythological beings of men and animals, such as frogs, snakes, fish, and pumas. A large sunken central court contains carved stone steles.
Arrive in Puno around 5 pm for check-in at your hotel. [B/L]
Option: Cusco to Puno by train!!!
We will pick you up at 6:00am and take you to the Train station in Cusco. The route covered by the Titicaca train is considered by many travel magazines to be one of the most beautiful in the world, with a trip that lasts ten and a half hours. At the start of the journey, passengers are welcomed at the Wanchaq Station (Cusco), where local musicians will provide background music as you board the train. Once aboard, you can enjoy the two dining cars decorated in the style of the Pullman cars of the 1920s. Also, during the trip, you will have the finest in gourmet food. Once you arrive in Puno, the folklore capital, you will be taken to your hotel where you will stay the night. At night, keep to the main, lit areas. The main street will be obvious and there are lots of little restaurants there.
Day 7: Puno, Uros Island, Luquina Island
Today’s tour begins at 7:30am to head down to the pier for a 30-minute ride, in a comfortable motorboat, to the floating islands of the Uros people, enjoying a spectacular scenery along the 9 miles that separate them from Puno. When we arrive you’ll probably be amazed by the scale of these floating reed constructions. The Uros originally built these islands for defensive reasons allowing them to move their island homes to a safer location in case of an enemy threat. The islands are made from the totora reeds that grow around the lake and each island is in a constant state of reconstruction, as old reeds are preplaced by new. Stepping onto the islands is quite an experience, as the springy reed floor feels strange beneath your feet. We’ll explore the main island, and see the houses, watchtowers and other structures, all built of reeds. One of the locals will then give a brief presentation about how the islands are made and, then, you can meet one of the local families and see how they live. Next, we’ll board the boat for 90-minute ride tp the wonderful Taquile Island. We’ll arrive at a secluded and picturesque section of the Island with a pristine sandy beach where we can stretch our legs before we set off for a 2-hour exploration of this stunningly beautiful island for. Discover the less touristy northern area that offers spectacular panoramic views across Lake Titicaca. After relaxing here for a while, we’ll hike along a pre-Inca trail, visiting families of weavers and learn about their textile art and the rich symbolism that decorates their textiles. After a traditional lunch in a local restaurant – quinoa soup and grilled trout being particularly popular – we’ll walk to the pier, boarding a 2:45pm for our ride to Luquina, a small and rarely visited rural community in the peninsula of Chucuito. Here, we’ll be welcomed by the friendly inhabitants and housed in a local family home. You’ll have plenty of time to immerse yourself in the traditional culture and, in the afternoon, there is an optional hike to the top of a nearby hill for majestic views of the sunset over Lake Titicaca. After dinner, you can enjoy a small celebration with music and traditional dances. Overnight at a local family home, which has basic but comfortable facilities, including good blankets and sheets (it can get quite chilly at night!), and private bathroom with a hot shower. [B/L/D]
Day 8: Luquina Island, Puno
In the morning you’ll have a traditional breakfast with your host family – and feel free to help cook if you like! After breakfast, you are free to join in with any of the daily activities, which could include cultivating crops, tending to the animals or even building a house or other structure in the traditional way. Your experienced guide will ensure that this part of the trip is a totally authentic experience, after a morning of cultural immersion, it will be time for a family lunch at around midday. Afterwards, we’ll walk to the port, where we will say thanks and goodbye to the family and have a small and traditional farewell ceremony with coca leaves and wine. At around 1 p.m. it will be time to board the boat for the return trip to Puno, arriving at 2:30 p.m. On arrival, we’ll take you back to your hotel. [B/L]
Day 9: Puno. Lima, USA
At the appointed time You’ll be picked-up for your transfer to Juliaca airport to board your connecting flight home, via Lima. [B]
[B] = Breakfast | [B/L] = Breakfast and Lunch | [B/L/D] = Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
· Airfare New York/Lima/Cusco//Puno/New York
· Arrival and departure transfers
· 8 nights’ accommodation:
o Lima - 1 night
o Cusco - 3 nights
o Agua Calientes - 1 night
o Puno - 2 nights
o Lake Titicaca - 1night
o Breakfasts daily
o 3 lunches
o 1 dinner
· Tour of Lima
· Excurdion to Huaca Pucllana ruins
· Visit Cusco Cathedral
· Visit the ruins of:
· Discover Agua Calientes
· Tour of Machu Picchu
· Discovery stops on Route of the Sun:
o La Raya
· Excursions to:
o Uros Islands
o Luquina Island
· English-speaking guides
· Entrance fees for visited sites
· Roundtrip ticket for Expedition train
· Transportation by A/C vehicle
· All local taxes
· Airfare taxes and fees
· Early check-in or late checkout at hotels
· Expenses of personal nature
· Travel insurance
· Optional tours
· Any services not included in the tour
· Tips to restaurants, guides and drivers
|Lima||Casa Andina Miraflores||4.5|
|Cusco||Casa Andina Standard||4.5|
|Aguas Calientes||Hatun Inti Boutique||4.5|
|Puno||Hotel Royal Inn Puno||4|
|Lake Titicaca||Homestay - Luquina Is-land||Not rated|
Hotels will be confirmed at time of booking
|Season||Room||2-3 Pax||4-5 Pax||6+ Pax|
|1 Jul '21 -
14 Dec '21
|15 Dec '21 -
15 Mar '22
|16 Mar '22 -
14 Dec '22
Rates are minimum per person sharing a room and may change without notice.
Rates may change depending on the date of travel.
These programs can be customized for individuals and for groups
Changes to this program may be requested by phone (1855-55-TOURS) or using the web FIT Quote Request
We also be glad to add the necessary airfare from your gateway so you take advantage of our special discounted leisure fares
You may add or remove;
o Trip days
o Cities and sites
· Other options
o The program was designed with private services. However, at your request, we may substitute shared sightseeing where available
o If you prefer deluxe services we may operate this program including private driver, private guide and concierge service.
Once we have designed the program the way you want we'll give you a quote within 2 business days.
Prices are minimum for low season. Please call for other periods
Tour Code: PE03LIM21VTC
|Cusco-Puno by Train||$179|
Prices are per person and may change without notice
· Lunches and dinners can be arranged for individuals, families and groups at top restaurants or any restaurant requested by you.
· We can revise the itinerary to spend more time and provide more depth in those areas that you are interested on.
· Any other changes to the itinerary will be accommodated depending on the facilities available in the area.
· Car can be upgraded upon request
· If you wish to use these programs for your group or as the basis for a customized journey please either call us (1-855-55-TOURS or use the web Group Quote Request.
· In either case our specialists will work with to refine all the details and they will get you a quote with 2 business days. Quotes may be obtained for the air and land portions of just for the lad journey.
· Booking both air and land with us will represent savings for you because of our buying power and longtime relationship with the airlines.
We will also may have the choice between regular fares and special leisure fares not available to the public.