Our mainstay Machu Picchu trip with 4 star hotels. Tour the great ruins of Machu Picchu, and wander through village markets where ancient traditions live on in the hearts of the Andean people. We visit the important Inca ruins of Sacsayhuamán, Pisac and Ollantaytambo, and we spend two days exploring the Lost City of Machu Picchu in this tour. Along our journey we explore the witches' market in Cusco, bargain over tapestries in Pisac, and walk off the beaten path in the rural Andes. This is an easy paced weeklong journey is perfect for anyone with a sense of curiosity and adventure and preferes staying in our upgraded hotel accommodations in Lima, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and at Machu Picchu.
Arrive to Lima on the flight of your choice today. After picking up your luggage and clearing customs, walk across the street to the comfortable and conveniently located, Wyndham Costa del Sol Hotel. Settle into your junior suite and rest up after your travels. Tonight's hotel is selected for its location as most international flights arrive to Lima late at night. If you have a flight arriving earlier in the day, we would be happy to arrange a luxury hotel for you in downtown Lima, at an additional cost.
You have an exciting week ahead, filled with ancient ruins, local markets and the beautiful Andes Mountains!
Andean history comes alive in Cusco. Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas fill the streets and markets, colonial churches sit atop bases of smooth stonework laid centuries before the Conquistadors, and campesinos (Peru's rural farmers) in colorful dress move busily back and forth across the plazas. In the afternoon, you'll tour Cusco's largest open market and the adjacent witches' market. After tasting a few unique local foods, you will visit the Center for Traditional Textiles in Cusco, a local organization committed to preserving the region's weaving traditions. (If visiting the Sacred Valley on Sunday, you will visit their center in Chinchero instead). Watch weavers demonstrate their craft and learn about the history and processes of Peru's most well-known art form. Overnight in Cusco.
Journey into one of the most beautiful areas of Peru. The Sacred Valley often becomes one of the highlights of your trip and you will soon see why! The day is flexible based on your interests, market days, and the weather !You'll test your bargaining skills with the locals while visiting one of the great textile markets in the area. You may also hike to the inspiring ruins of Pisac or take a short walk through the countryside to the seldom-visited town of Maras, where pre-Columbian salt mines still operate today. Visit the Inca agricultural terraces of Moray, thought to have been a nursery to experiment with and modify different varieties of crops. Eventually, you will make your way to the living Inca city of Urubamba where you can relax for the night at your hotel.
Day 4: Ollantaytambo Ruins | Train to Machu Picchu
In the morning, transfer to and visit the ruins and town of Ollantaytambo. During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo served as a royal estate and later a refuge after the Spanish conquered Cusco in 1537. The ruins feature expansive terraces and well-preserved architecture, and the town is still laid out as it was during the Incan empire, allowing its visitors to glimpse the history which still exists within its boundaries.
Board the Vistadome train to continue your journey towards Machu Picchu (alternatively take the Hiram Bingham luxury train; contact us for details and pricing). Follow the Urubamba River as it tumbles its way towards the Amazon and the sacred city of Machu Picchu. Ancient canals still bring water from the high mountains to the baths used by Inca priests. As visitors, you're welcomed to respectfully dip your hands in the cool water. After your tour of the Machu Picchu, you'll return to Machu Picchu Pueblo (formerly called Aguas Calientes) to your hotel for the remainder of the evening.
Today you can return to the ruins at Machu Picchu for further exploration. Depending on your preference in permits, return early with the hope of catching the sun coming up over the mountains at Machu Picchu or arrive in time to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu for incredible views of the entire area. Other options within the citadel include the ability to walk the relatively easy routes to the Sun Gate or the Temple of the Moon. Alternatively, just walk among the vast expanse of ruins and listen to the spirits of the city's past inhabitants. (This basic re-entry permit is included in the cost of this tour. Further permits may require additional costs.)
Once you've had your time in the ruins, return to Aguas Calientes to catch an afternoon train toward Cusco. Settle into your hotel or head out on a famous Cusco culinary adventure.
Today is free to relax and explore with your guide or on your own. You can visit the churches and surrounding ruins, such as the enormous Sacsayhuamán ruins that overlook Cusco (these ruins showcase building blocks the size of pickup trucks). You can also wander through the bustling Plaza de Armas in the heart of Cusco, shop for love potions in the local markets, or people watch from the cafes and restaurants that line these lovely streets. For those bursting with energy, horseback riding, mountain biking, or even whitewater rafting (Class III-IV) can be arranged. The evening is yours to take in some of Cusco's varied and exciting nightlife. Live folk music and excellent food abounds in Cusco!
Day 7: Fly Home
Or with more time, extend your trip with a visit to the Amazon or to Lake Titicaca.
Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.