Day 1 - Arrival in Lima
Arrival in Lima, the "City of Kings" famous for its Spanish Colonial architecture, extraordinary museums and cuisine. Lima is internationally recognized as the "Gastronomic Capital of the Americas", and its cuisine is considered among the most diverse and exquisite in the world on par with French cuisine. Upon arrival a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and in registering.
Day 2 - Lima City Tour and Larco Museum (B)
Tour of Modern and Colonial Lima including the world famous Larco Museum - This half-day tour visits both the colonial and modern sections of Lima. Colonial sites include the lovely Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, San Francisco Church and the exquisite Torre Tagle Palace, the modern day seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In modern Lima, drive along the exclusive residential areas of Miraflores and San Isidro.
Continue to the Larco Museum, founded in 1926. It displays remarkable chronological galleries providing an excellent overview on 3000 years of development of Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Located in a unique vice-royal mansion of the 18th century, built over a 7th century pre-Columbian pyramid, it is surrounded by beautiful gardens. The Larco Museum also features the finest gold and silver collection from Ancient Peru, and the famous erotic archaeological collections - one of the most visited Peruvian tourist attractions.
Day 3 - Lima / Cusco / Pisac Market and Ollantaytambo Archaeological Complex (B,L)
Early morning transfer from the hotel to the airport for a short but spectacular flight over the snowcapped Andes to the oldest inhabited city in the hemisphere, Cusco, at an elevation of 11,440 feet.
Full Day Excursion to the Pisac Indian Market and the Ollantaytambo Fortress - Morning departure for a drive through the fertile countryside of the UrubambaValley to the colonial village of Pisac where an Indian Market takes place Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Other days you will tour the religious nucleus and archaeological site of Pisac. During your visit to the bustling marketplace you will have the opportunity to bargain with the natives for many different types of Peruvian handicrafts and jewelry.
Continue to the Ollantaytambo archaeological complex, the Incas built it as a fort that included a temple, agricultural terraces, and an urban area. There are two distinct sectors: The religious and worship zone, and the residential area. Ollantaytambo was an important administrative center with probable military functions if one considers the walls and towers. There are also traces of ancient roads and aqueducts. The town of Ollantaytambo is called a "Living Inca Town" since the inhabitants maintain very old practices and customs. Lunch is at a beautiful country estate on the shores of the UrubambaRiver.
Day 4 - Start The Inca Trail (B, L, D)
The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu is rated among the best trekking trips in the world because of the exquisite beauty of its natural surroundings. These include different ecological areas from high deserts to Andean tropical rainforest. Following this ancient Inca trail we will be walking through mysterious archeological sites, half covered by jungle overgrowth, that looks like you are discovering them for the first time and finally arriving to the lost city of the Incas, Machu Picchu.
We begin our hike by crossing the bridge over the Urubamba River and walking along its left shore as it flows northwest along the Sacred Valley. Following the trail along a flat terrain, we arrive in Miskay, to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook - the impressive Inca city of Llactapata. Continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing for about five hours until we reach the community of Wayllabamba. All along the way we enjoy spectacular views of the Vilcanota ridge on the opposite side of the impressive Veronica peak.
Day 5 - Second day of the Inca Trail (B, L, D)
We will have breakfast early and start trekking to the highest point of the Inca Trail, where we can see different ecological zones and enjoy changing climates. We will cross the Warmihuañusca pass at 4200 meters above sea level. After lunch we will continue on to the campsite at Pacaymayo and enjoy dinner and a well deserved rest.
Day 6 - Third day of the Inca Trail (B, L, D)
We will walk approximately 45 minutes up to reach the second pass at 3850 meters above sea level and will visit Runkurakay along the way. We will also visit the Sayacmarca archeological group and then go on to the Phuyupatamarca ruins. After lunch we head to Wiñaywayna, an impressive Inca complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector.
Day 7 - Arrive in Machu Picchu (B)
After an early breakfast, we start on the final leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. We will arrive at Intipunku or Sun Gate where we will have a panoramic view of the Machu Picchu citadel. After a short hike down to Machu Picchu, we register and start on our guided visit. After enjoying the tour, we will take the bus down to Aguas Calientes.
Day 8 - Machu Picchu Free Day. Return train ride (B)
Free morning to enjoy one of the most incredible sights on earth, the sanctuary of Machu Picchu. Take as much time as you need to study these magnificent ruins, hike the steep stone-paved trail of Huayna Picchu, the pyramid-shape mountain above Machu Picchu for a breathtaking view of the site, or stroll to the Inca Bridge - a secret entrance used by the Inca's army - or walk toward the Inca Trail to find the historic Intipunku or Sun Gate. Afternoon return train ride.
Day 9 - CuscoCity Tour and Nearby Ruins (B)
Tour of Cusco and Nearby Ruins - Visitors are caught up in the excitement of touring the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, a delightful combination of Inca and colonial architecture. The tour visits important landmarks such us Cusco's Cathedral, Plaza de Armas and Koricancha "The Temple of the Sun". This tour of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the western hemisphere also includes the nearby ruins of Kenko, Puca-Pucara, Tambomachay as well as the Sacsayhuaman fortress, an imposing example of Inca military architecture.
Day 10 - Cusco / Lima (B)
Transfer to the airport for your departure to Lima. Upon arrival a host will meet and assist you in transferring to the hotel and help you in registering.
Day 11 - Lima / Home (B)
Transfer to the airport and your connecting international flight. Arrive home full of great memories of the rich tradition of Colonial Lima and the mystical Land of the Incas.