Explore Lake Titicaca, a geographic landmark at the crossroads of the Andes and the Andean plateau and the world's highest navigable and South America's largest lake. Visit Machu Picchu and wander through village markets where ancient traditions live on in the hearts of the Andean people. Explore the important Inca ruins of Sacsayhuamán, Pisac and Ollantaytambo, and spend time in the lost city of Machu Picchu on this Peru tour. Experience the witches' market in Cusco, bargain over tapestries in Pisac, and walk off the beaten path in the rural Andes. This easy paced 9 day Peru trip is perfect for anyone with a sense of curiosity and adventure.
Follow your guide through Machu Picchu, learning the mysteries of the Inca
See the floating islands of Lake Titicaca, constructed using totora reeds
Visit Maras and Moray as you make your way through the Sacred Valley
Discover how Inca and Colombian traditions blend together as you tour Cusco
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 room and rest up for your Peru tour ahead.
Walk across the street to the airport in Lima for your domestic flight to Cusco.
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.
You will be picked up at the Cusco airport and taken to your hotel to drop off your luggage and rest. In the afternoon, you'll begin to explore Cusco on a guided walking tour of the city. The sites visited today are flexible, as your guide sets the pace and agenda according to your interests and your ongoing adjustment to the altitude.
This morning, 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 make your way to the living Inca city of Ollantaytambo and overnight.
Day 4: Ollantaytambo Ruins | Train to Machu Picchu
In the morning, visit the under-rated ruins of Ollantaytambo before the larger groups of tourists arrive. During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo served as a royal estate and later a refuge after the Spanish conquered Cusco. The ruins feature expansive terraces, giant building blocks and well-preserved architecture. Even the town itself is still laid out as it was during the Inca empire, allowing its visitors to glimpse the history which still exists within its boundaries.
Board the Vistadome train late this morning and follow the Urubamba River as it tumbles its way towards the Amazon and the sacred city of Machu Picchu, Peru. After checking into your hotel and enjoying lunch in Aguas Calientes, take the short bus ride up to the gates of Machu Picchu and begin exploring this amazing site - the former retreat of Inca kings. After walking amongst the massive complex of ruins and learning about its fascinating history, you'll return to the village of Aguas Calientes (located at the base of Machu Picchu). Enjoy one of many excellent local restaurants after exploring one of the most magical archaeological sites in the world.
Today you will return to the ruins of Machu Picchu for further exploration. Return early with the hope of catching the sun coming up over the mountains at Machu Picchu. Depending on your preference in permits, arrive in time to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu for incredible views of the entire area or choose to simply walk amongst the vast expanse of ruins and listen to the spirits of the city's past inhabitants with your guide. (The basic re-entry permit is included in the cost of this tour. Hiking permits require additional costs and should be reserved at the time of booking your tour due to limited availability.)
After your final exploration of Machu Picchu, 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 explore with your guide. 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 in advance.
The evening is yours to take in some of Cusco's varied and exciting nightlife where live folk music and excellent food abounds! Enjoy the night of your Peru vacation.
A luxury-class bus takes us from Cusco to the shores of Lake Titicaca. Along the way, enjoy optional visits to the "Sistine Chapel" of Peru and a pre-Incan site, as well as a huge lunch featuring traditional Peruvian cuisine. Arrive at mystical Lake Titicaca in the early afternoon. Legend has it that the first Inca rose out of its azure waters. Transfer to your hotel and explore on your own this afternoon.
Transfer to the lacustrine port of Puno, where a boat takes you to the floating island of the Uros. The Uros are an ancestral society that populates a series of artificial islands built with totora plant, a type of reed which grows in Lake Titicaca. There they build their houses, also from totora. After a journey of an hour and a half, continue on to the island of Taquile. This island was part of the Inca Empire and its inhabitants speak quechua. Once there, receive a briefing about the island. Have a tasty lunch and start your return to Puno.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!