This is a trip that will give you the chance to discover the main sites of Southern Peru in a week. You will first be immersed in the Inca culture while visiting Cusco, the “navel of the world” of the most famous pre-Colombian empire of South America, and then while traveling through the Sacred valley until the majestic site of Machu Picchu. You will continue your journey to the famous Titicaca lake. The inhabitants of its islands have preserved a way of life that is autarkic and rural. A trip that alone can be a great extension to your Peruvian journey.
This 7 day itinerary can be extended as you wish : please consult us.
DAY 1: LIMA – CUSCO (3350 M): CITY TOUR AND 4 RUINS
You will be transferred to the airport to take your flight for Cusco. Upon your arrival, you will check in to your hotel. In the early afternoon, you will begin the visit of the Inca capital, starting with the Cathedral, impressive building that holds many paintings of the Cusquenian School as well as true goldsmithery treasures. You will continue your discovery with the Santo Domingo monastery, ancient temple of the Sun, also known as Qorikancha. Then, you will leave the center in order to visit the four principal archeological sites in the periphery of Cusco: Q’enqo, Tambomachay, Pukapukara and finally Saqsayhuamán, stunning fortress built on a hill dominating the city of Cusco. This site is characterized by its gigantic blocks of stone, accurately interlocked, with some standing over 9 meters tall and weighing more than 550 tons. End of the day is free.
DAY 2: CUSCO (3350 m) - PISAQ (3400 m) - OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 m) – AGUAS CALIENTES (2050 m)
You will leave for the sacred valley and start your discovery of famous sites with the visit of the Pisaq archeological complex; composed of terraces, fountains, observatories and even a necropolis, the largest of the region (about 10000 persons are buried here). It is from here that the Incas controlled and dominated the Sacred Valley. On your way back down, you will stop at the traditional artisanal market of Pisaq before continuing your itinerary towards Ollantaytambo, driving by the sacred Urubamba river. After a stroll through the small paved streets of this singular village of the XVth century almost unchanged since its creation, you will then take the train to Aguas Calientes. Arrival and check in to hotel.
DAY 3: AGUAS CALIENTES (2050 m) - MACHU PICCHU (2450 m) – OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 m)
Very early in the morning, you will take the bus to go up to the most famous Inca site of the country: Machu Picchu, “old summit” in Quechua. You will there discover the architectural complex, still enveloped in the morning mist, built on top of a ridge and surrounded by precipices: a stunning view that evolves with the progression of the sun. You will roam through the streets of the citadel, its areas, squares, royal houses, agricultural zones, paths and observatories. After a 3h guided tour, you will dispose of free time to discover by yourselves, if you wish, the Huayna Picchu (entry at 10AM*), the Sun Gate (“Intu Punku”) situated at 2700m, or even the Inca bridge. For the less sporty, you can wander peacefully in the city. Return to Aguas Calientes in the afternoon to take the train back to Ollantaytambo. Check in to hotel and free evening.
*We have chosen the 10 o’clock trip in order to give you time to visit Machu Picchu with your guide and enjoy a clearer view of the citadel. However, the number of entries to Huayna Picchu being limited, we cannot guarantee the access to this part of the site.
DAY 4: OLLANTAYTAMBO (2750 M) - MARAS (3300 M) – MORAY (3500 M) - CHINCHERO (3780 M) – CUSCO (3350 M)
After breakfast, visit of the archeological site of Ollantaytambo under the first rays of sunlight. You will then take the road to the Maras saline. These saline date of the pre-Inca period and continue to be used like old times by the inhabitants of the village. The water coming from a salted source is canalized to a series of ponds where it evaporates gradually. A fine layer of salt is deposited and can be collected. After this visit, you will continue to Moray, real agricultural laboratory which was used more than 500 years ago to test the resistance of certain botanical species at the altitude. To finish, you will go to Chinchero, the “rainbow city”. Visit of the ruins and return to Cusco at the end of the day.
DAY 5: CUSCO (3350 M) – PUNO (3820 M)
Early morning departure to take a touristic bus towards the Titicaca lake. On the way, you will discover the fertile Cusco valley with the different colors and lights of the contrasting landscapes. You will stop first at the Andahuaylilas village and its San Pedro church, known as “Sistine chapel” of South America notably due to its lavishly painted ceiling. Then, you will visit the spectacular inca sanctuary of Raqchi. You will cross then the La Raya pass (4360m), symbolizing the beginning of the Altiplano and continue until Puno. Arrival in the late afternoon. A member of our local team will welcome you at the bus stop. Check in to hotel.
DAY 6: PUNO (3812 M) – UROS – TAQUILE (3870 M) – PUNO (3820 M)
Departure in boat from the port of Puno towards the Taquile island, located on the Titicaca lake. On the way, you will stop on the Uros floating islands, built in reeds and moored to pickets to avoid the drift. They live of fishing, crafts and hunting. You will continue sailing on the Titicaca Lake (which signifies “stone puma”) until Taquile, an island exploited thanks to the system of terrace cultivations. The lifestyle of the inhabitants has conserved the community organization inherited from the Inca period. Although the property is private, the labor is collective; the 300 habitants of the island work one day for them, and one day for the community. Taquile lives in relative self-sufficiency with the Inca principles: “do not steal, do not lie, do not weaken”, habits unchanged for centuries. From the heights of the village, your efforts will be rewarded by a superb view on the lake, the Puno bay and Bolivia (the Royal mountain chain) in the Altiplano mists. After some free time to explore the local artisanal market, you will take the boat and return to Puno.
DAY 7: PUNO (3820 M) – JULIACA – LIMA (INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT)
You will be transferred to the airport of Juliaca for your flight to Lima, where you will then take your connecting flight to France.
END OF OUR SERVICES
THE PRICE INCLUDES:
- Accommodation in 3*** hotels (according to local standards) (To be upgraded, please contact us)
- The meals mentioned as “included”
- Private and group ground transports
- Assistance at airports
- English/Spanish speaking guides
- Excursions scheduled in the program
- The domestic flights Lima – Cusco and Juliaca – Lima
- The entrances to the sites scheduled in the program
THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- International flights
- Lunches and dinners not mentioned in the program (expect 5 to 10 USD per meal)
- Tips (2 USD/day/person for the guide)
You will be accompanied by private and group Peruvian English speaking guides for the majority of the trip, and by group English/Spanish guides from Cusco to Puno and on the Titicaca lake. During the transfers, you will have English speaking assistance.
In Peru, the hotel standards are different to what you may be accustomed to. Here are a few useful details on every type of accommodation:
- 3*** hotels (local standards): comfortable rooms, simple and clean, private bathroom with hot water; certain hotels offer rooms equipped with a safe, heating system, mini bar …
Within the realms of what is possible, we choose hotels whose geographical location will allow you to fully enjoy the town and its attractions.
In order to allow for more freedom during your trip, only a few meals are included in our programs. For the non-included meals, expect 5 to USD per person. This allows you to choose the time, place and menu according to your desires!
During the trek, you will be given cold meals for lunch and hot meals in the evening.
Your travels will take place in group touristic transports, except for the transfers (done in a private vehicle) and the internal flights (unescorted).