A five-day vacation package offering the best of Cusco, and full-day excursions to explore Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Inca, and the amazing Huari ruins of Piquillacta and the Andean "Sistine Chapel" of Andahuaylillas.
- Transport from and to airport
- Four nights in the hotel of your choice
- English-speaking guides
- Cusco city tour
- Full-day Sacred Valley excursion
- Half-day guided tour of Piquillacta & Andean "Sistine Chapel" of Andahuaylillas
- Orient Express Expedition Train
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu
- Entrance fees to historic and archaeological sites
Price per person Group Excursion Tourist Accommodations $821
Double room Group Excursion Luxury Accommodations $1,740
occupancy Private Excursion Tourist Accommodations $1,069
Private Excursion Luxury Accommodations $1,988
DAY 1 City Tour and Archaeological Ruins
Reception and transfer from the airport to the hotel. Afternoon tour of the city, a blend of Spanish and Inca Cultures; visit the main squares, the Cathedral, the Koricancha (or Temple of the Sun) ruins. Continue to Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Kenko and Sacsayhuaman Fortress.
DAY 2 Machu Picchu Excursion
Breakfast at the hotel, then pickup and transfer to the train station to board the PeruRail Expedition train for the 4-hour journey to Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of Inca.” Experience this mysterious ruins, with its ingeniously engineered underground water canalization and its sacred citadel of temples, mausoleums, squares and royal houses. Widely believed to have been built in the mid-15th century by Inca Pachacutec, Machu Picchu was the secret city of the Inca, never discovered by the Spanish. Its rediscovery for the world was made in 1911 by American explorer Hiram Bingham, and it remains South America´s most spectacular archaeological site. Lunch at the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge beside the ruins. Afternoon, return to Cusco on the train. (B/L)
DAY 3 Sacred Valley Excursion
Breakfast. Excursion to The Sacred Valley of the Inca. The first stop, Pisac, is famous for its Sunday Mass and daily outdoor market. The excursion is best when taken on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday, when the market is expanded and attracts traders from surrounding communities. The Sunday mass is held very early in the morning in the native language, Quechua, and is attended by the community elders from neighboring villages, wearing traditional dress. (Note: Special arrangements can be made in private service to witness this weekly religious event, as well as to hike to the impressive Inca ruins of Pisac, which towers above the village.) After lunch, visit the Inca Citadel at Ollantaytambo, a sprawling complex of ruins characterized by fine masonry, terraces, canals, fortress walls, and the Temple of the Sun. (B/L)
DAY 4 Piquillacta Ruins and Andahuaylillas "Sistine Chapel"
Breakfast. Half-day excursion to Piquillacta and Andahuaylillas Located about 20 miles (32km) southeast of Cusco, the Piquillacta Archaeological Park features a well-preserved pre-Inca administrative center that has stood since around 600 A.D. The site is enclosed by a massive adobe rampart wall encompassing scores of buildings and compounds. The ruins were built by the Huari Empire, which fell some 400 years before the rise of the Inca civilization. Continue on to the village of Andahuaylillas. The community church, built in 1580, appears humble enough from the outside, but inside it is a kaleidoscope of Andean Baroque artwork, gilded altars and wood carvings elaborated in gold leaf and polychromatic ceilings — earning it the name, the "Sistine Chapel of Peru." (B)
DAY 5 Transfer Out
Breakfast. Transfer from the hotel to the airport. (B)
(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner
Suggestion: Altitude is a consideration for anyone planning to travel to Peru's highlands. For trips to Cusco, it can make a huge difference to spend your first day in the Sacred Valley (2,400 mts./9,000 ft) to acclimatize and avoid problems with altitude sickness, before ascending to the Inca capital city of Cusco (3,360 mts./11,152 ft.). We are happy to adjust your itineary to help ensure that "soroche" isn't a factor during your vacation.