Add-ons to Peru: Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu and Cusco
A week in Peru visiting the classic Incan sites.
Day 1 Late afternoon flight from Ecuador (Guayaquil or Quito) to Lima, Peru. You will be met on arrival at the airport and transferred to a 3* hotel in the capital.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas
Day 2 BLD Morning flight to Cusco where you will be met and taken to visit the Quechua market at Chincheros (Thursdays and Sundays) and the striking, white, salt pan terraces at Maras. Then you are driven to a 3* hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas near Urubamba, your base for the next 2 nights. Here you can start to acclimatise to the high altitudes in this part of Peru, at 1,000m lower than Cusco.
Day 3 BLD Today you tour the fertile highlands around the Sacred Valley where the Incas carved impressive agricultural terraces into the steep mountain slopes. You visit the ancient fortress of Ollantaytambo with its temples, observatories, grain stores and stone-walled terraces., and the Incan ruins at Pisac, where an artisans market is held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Day 4 BL Early this morning you board the train for a ride through the Sacred Valley to the small town of Aguas Calientes. From here you travel by bus up to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, perched on a mountain top (2,400m, 8,200ft). This fascinating site built by Inca Pachacutec in the 15th century was hidden by mountains and semi-tropical jungles for 400 years until discovered by Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911. Some archaeologists believe that the Inca’s ‘Virgins of the Sun’ took refuge from the Spanish conquistadors here.
Short Inca Trail
By disembarking from the train early, you can walk the final section of the Inca Trail to approach Machu Picchu from above, via the Inti Punku Gate of the Sun. This strenuous walk takes 5-6hrs. You pass the striking Inca terraces of Wiñaywayna along the way and arrive at Machu Picchu just in time to catch the last bus down to Aguas Calientes. This must be booked well in advance as the number of hikers using the trail is strictly limited.
Day 5 BL Return to explore the ruins of Machu Picchu in the morning (before the site gets busy). In the afternoon, take the train all the way to Cusco, the imperial capital of the Inca Empire, where you stay for 2 nights in a central 3* hotel.
Day 6 BL Discover Cusco (3,250m, 11,600ft) this morning on a city tour. You’ll see a blend of Spanish colonial architecture over Inca foundations, and learn about Incan society and the remarkable story of its downfall. In the afternoon visit the nearby ruins of Tambomachay, Kenko amphitheatre, Puca-pucara (the Red Fortress) and the mighty Sacsayhuaman Fortress where the festival of the sun Inti Raymi is held annually at the June solstice.
Day 7 B Morning flight to Lima, for a city tour including a visit to the Gold Museum, before catching an evening flight back to the UK.
Guide price £2,085
Starts Quito or Guayaquil, ends Lima.
7 days / 6 nights
Designed to start on any Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday.
The guide price is per person based on 2 people travelling together and sharing twin/double accommodation.
It includes private tours with an English speaking local guide throughout, all accommodation, an economy class one way flight from Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to Lima*, internal flights in Peru, return rail tickets on the ‘Vistadome’ train from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, all entry fees for the brochure itinerary, some meals. Brochure correction: the price excludes 3 lunches and 6 dinners – allow £80 spending money for these).
* Inca Trail Permit required, must be reserved in your name a minimum of 40 days in advance: numbers allowed on the trail are strictly limited.
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