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Quechua Community

Peru is a country that ignites the imagination, home to ancient civilizations, indigenous cultures, and natural wonders.

Shrouded in the mysteries of Inca civilization, Peru’s Sacred Valley is a treasure trove of ancient ruins, dramatic landscapes, and Andean villages that still cling to age-old traditions. Starting in Cusco, follow the Inca all the way to the citadel of Machu Picchu. Immerse yourself in this enchanting land, meeting artisans and farmers and getting acquainted with daily life in the Andes. There’s something to do and see for everyone. You won’t leave without being impressed.

Trip Highlights

Lima

Peruvian Cuisine
Peruvian Cuisine

Peru has been repeatedly awarded as a World leading culinary destination by the World Travel Awards, and Lima is with no doubt the food capital of South America. Amazing biodiversity, a huge variety of local ingredients, pre-Columbian and Spanish culinary traditions mixed with influences from around the world, and the creativity of local chefs are. some of the elements that make up the cuisine. 

See why Peruvian specialties like quinoa, pisco sours, and ceviche have become mainstays in international dining scenes.  Participate in a unique cooking experience while enjoying a cocktail made with Pisco, and finally, share a delicious lunch. 

Sacred Valley

Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley

The Valley is located 1600 feet lower than Cusco City.  The Sacred Valley is a region in Peru’s Andean highlands.  Stretching roughly 60 kilometers, it’s an area of fertile farmland and Spanish colonial villages like Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Pisac is known for its Sunday handicraft market and hilltop Incan citadel. 

Visit the Pisac archaeological site. This site was strategically built by the Inca people on the top of a steep mountain, as a religious, administrative, and military center. Pisac features some of the most impressive Inca terraces in all of Peru and is surrounded by dramatic Andean scenery. 

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu

After crossing the Vilcanota River you will visit the preserved Inca site, “Chachabamba” and then follow the trail to an impressive archaeological site called “Wiñay Wayna.” Observing the masterful Inca engineering used to create these structures is a highlight of the trail and sure to amaze you. The site features a series of Inca baths that help pressurize water for agricultural irrigation and the city’s food production. Before continuing towards “Inti Punku”, we’ll stop for lunch and let the first views of Machu Picchu astound you. A quick descent along the wide royal Inca road takes you to Machu Picchu´s gate.

The Incan citadel Machu Picchu was Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, it’s renowned for its sophisticated dry-stone walls that fuse huge blocks without the use of mortar, intriguing buildings that play on astronomical alignments and panoramic views. Its exact former use remains a mystery.

Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes
Train to Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes

Nested in the Urubamba River Valley, in southeast Peru. Aguas Calientes offers travelers the chance to soak in thermal baths and browse for artisan souvenirs and is a gateway to the nearby Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. The town center is full of eateries and shops, anchored by the central Mercado Artesanal, a craft market.

Cusco

Cusco
Cusco

A destination rich with archeological ruins, magnificent churches, and top-notch restaurants. Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Empire, is now known for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. Plaza de Armas is the central square in the old city, with arcades, carved wooden balconies, and Incan wall ruins. Visit the Sacsayhuaman Incan archaeological site, located in the upper part of Cusco. it’s name literally means “decorated head of the Puma.” Oral tradition claims that around 70,000 people worked on the palace for 50 years. 

Quechua Community Visit

Quechua Community visit
Quechua Community visit

 Visit Lamay, a little village located in the heart of the Sacred Valley, and stop at the Huayllafara Quechua Community.

Spend the day with the community. They practice traditional farming, animal breeding, traditional crafts and family life. This is a great opportunity to interact with the locals and participate in activities and traditions that are hundreds of years old. 

The members of the Quechua tribes have a rich culture, full of traditions. They are known for their colorful textiles; the traditional woolen coats, or ponchos, are very popular and are crafted not only for local use but for export and tourists.

The Peruvian Amazon

Amazon
The Amazon

The Amazon in Peru is an expansive and diverse region. It’s one of the most untouched areas in all of Peru and home to some of the most diverse flora and fauna on the planet.

 An active tour blending the ancient and contemporary in a majestic land!

Itinerary

Duration: 10 days  

Countries: Peru

Places: Lima, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Maras Village and salt mines, The Sacred Valley, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes and the Peruvian Amazon

Experiences: Biking, hiking, paddleboarding, cooking, archeological visits and Quechua community immersion including farming and making crafts

Ages: All ages

Cost: $3910: Double Occupancy
$920: Single Supplement
Amazon Add-on:
$1450: Double Occupancy
$265: Single supplement 

Trip Description

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Arrival of your international flight.  Upon arrival, a representative will be waiting at the exit gate and guide you to your hotel located in Miraflores.

Day 2: Peruvian Cuisine, Art and shopping & visit pyramids and temples

Peru has been repeatedly awarded as the World´s leading culinary destination by the World Travel Awards, and Lima is with no doubt the food capital of South America. Amazing biodiversity, a huge variety of local ingredients, pre-Columbian and Spanish culinary traditions mixed with influences from around the world and the creativity of local chefs are some of the elements that make up the cuisine. 

At about 9am our host-chef meets you at the hotel for a morning full of experiences, You´ll spend time and shop at one of Lima´s local markets followed by a 45-minute drive south of Lima to a charming private house in the Lurin Valley. We will participate in a unique cooking experience while enjoying a cocktail made with Pisco, and finally, share a delicious lunch. 

We’ll visit Jallpa Nina, the ceramic studio owned by the hostess’ family, who happens to be one of the most renowned producers of fine ceramics in Peru.

On our way back to Lima we stop at the ruins of Pachacamac. The temple of Pachacamac is located in the Valley of the Lurín River and about 3 km from the Pacific Ocean. To date, several pyramids have been uncovered, a cemetery and multicolored fresco of fish from the Early Intermediate period. Later, the Huari constructed the city, probably using it as an administrative center. A number of Huari-influenced designs appear on the structures and on the ceramics and textiles found in the cemeteries of this period. After the collapse of the Huari Empire, Pachacamac continued to grow as a religious center. Finally, we continue driving back to our hotel.

Day 3: Lima – Cusco – The Sacred Valley

This morning you will be driven to the airport to board your flight to Cusco. 

Your suggested flight LATAM 2013 departing at 09:50, arriving at 11:10*

*schedule time for 2022 subject to confirm 

The drive from Cuzco airport to the Sacred Valley  takes about 1h30 minutes. The Valley is located 1600 feet lower than Cusco City, therefore allowing a bit of time to acclimate to the elevation.  On the way we will pass through the picturesque village of Pisac with a possible stop in Awanacancha, an exhibition center for textiles and South American Camelides (time permitting). We’ll eat lunch in the old village of Pisac. 

After lunch we’ll visit the Pisac archaeological site. This site was strategically built by the Inca people on the top of a steep mountain, as a religious, administrative and military center. Pisac features some of the most impressive Inca terraces in all of Peru and is surrounded by dramatic Andean scenery. Then we’ll stop by the Pisac market en route to our hotel in the town of Ollantaytambo. 

Day 4: Biking, canoeing or paddle boarding & The Maras Salt Mines

After breakfast, we’ll drive 45 minutes to our bikes where we’ll bike through the fields of the Chinchero plateau. Potatoes, beans, corn, kiwicha and quinoa combine their colors to lend a patchwork effect to this traditional agricultural area. With a constant backdrop of the snow-capped Urubamba range, this is a photographer’s dream. The ride goes gently through remote dirt roads for about 45 minutes to Piuray Lake. 

Once you arrive at the emerald green lake and you can choose between paddleboarding, kayaking, or canoeing in a traditional dugout canoe. 

For lunch, we’ll cook with Taty and Jeremy nearby in their charming country house located in the outskirts of Maras village.

After lunch, we’ll drive to the Maras’s salt mines. The Maras “salt mines”, are made up of 3000 small pools constructed in a slope of the “Qaqawiñay” mountain. People fill up or “irrigate” the pools during the dry season every three days, with salty water emanating from a natural spring located on the top of the complex, so that when water evaporates the pools are left with salt. Return to the hotel.

Day 5: Visit a Quechua Community

After breakfast, we’ll drive towards Lamay, a little village located in the heart of the Sacred Valley and stop at the Huayllafara Quechua Community. 

We’ll spend the day with the community. They practice traditional farming, animal breeding, traditional crafts and family life. Nothing is staged; all of the contrary, this is a great opportunity to interact with the locals and participate in activities and traditions that are hundreds of years old. 

Finally, there’s an option to hike or drive to Lamay, enjoying nice views of the village and surroundings.

Day 6: Pumamarca – Ollantaytambo – Pachamanca Lunch

Today we go for a walk in the hights of Ollantaytambo to see the Pumamarce, a small archeological complex that was built by the Wari people, who populated this area long before the Incas. This hike will take us through native tree forests, crystal-clear creeks, high mountains, ancient water channels, and beautiful Inca terraces. We’ll also walk the narrow streets of the Ollantaytambo archeological site, which is famous for being the last Inca Village still populated today. 

For today’s lunch, we will visit an organic farm set on an old Inca Terrace and help prepare a traditional Pachamanca. The Pachamanca is an ancient Peruvian cooking technique utilizing an earth-oven, where food is cooked underground with wood-fire heated stone.  The food is made with local ingredients. The farm also has a small coffee roaster and distillery, where you can try some Andean Whisky!

After lunch, there’s free time where we can explore the area or go back to the hotel and relax.

Day 7: The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Early in the morning, you’ll depart from the hotel to the Ollantaytambo train station, where you board your train to Machu Picchu. This rail journey is one of the most spectacular in the world as it follows the Urubamba River through the Canyon of Vilcanota to the Lost City of the Incas. 

Our train will stop in the jungle for us at KM 104 to venture onto the Inca Trail with our expert guide.  After crossing the Vilcanota River you will visit the preserved Inca site, “Chachabamba” and then follow the trail to an impressive archaeological site called “Wiñay Wayna.” Observing the masterful Inca engineering used to create these structures is a highlight of the trail and sure to amaze you. The site features a series of Inca baths that help pressurize water for agricultural irrigation and the city’s food production. Before continuing towards “Inti Punku”, we’ll stop for lunch and let the first views of Machu Picchu astound you. A quick descent along the wide royal Inca road takes you to Machu Picchu´s gate. The afternoon, when most people have left the area, is a nice time to relax and observe the citadel. At this time of day, the sunlight allows you to appreciate one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in a special way. 

Altitude Km 104: 2145 masl / 7037 ft

Altitude Sun Gate (Inti Punku): 2732 masl / 8964 ft

Altitude Aguas Calientes: 2088 masl / 6850 ft

Distance: 10.79 km / 6.67 ml (From Km104 to Inti Punku)

Approximate time: 7 hrs

Check in at your hotel

Important Notice:
Please consider that the Train Companies covering the service to Machu Picchu don´t allow passengers to travel with voluminous baggage, allowing only a small piece of hand-luggage that should travel with the passenger. This is why we suggest bringing a small backpack or bag, where you can pack only what is strictly necessary for your stay in Machu Picchu. We will take care of taking your heavy luggage to your hotel in Cusco City.

**Please Note that Inca Trail passes are not guaranteed. We will need your passport information several months in advance to reserve your pass and will notify you once it has been secured

Day 8: Aguas Calientes – Sacred Valley – Cusco

During the morning your guide is available to lead you to visit Machu Picchu for a second time. We have included tickets for Machu Picchu Mountain, the highest mountain in the area. Once you reach the top you can have fantastic 360° views to Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. If you don`t feel like hiking up the mountain, there are other alternative visits available, such as the Sun Gate or the Inca Bridge. 

When the time comes you board the bus down to Aguas Calientes.

Free time for lunch (not included)

When the time comes, your guide will lead you to the train station to board your train back to Ollantaytambo train station where your private transport will be waiting to drive you all the way back to Cusco 

Day 9: Cusco Exploration

After breakfast, you will be driven up to Sacsayhuaman Incan archaeological site, located in the upper part of Cusco. The Europeans called it a fortress due to the immense stone pieces that were used in its construction but the Incas designed it as a depiction of a puma’s head. 

In fact, Sacsayhuaman literally means “decorated head of the Puma.” Oral tradition claims that around 70,000 people worked on the palace for 50 years. Then you continue driving towards Puca Pucara and Tambomachay for a brief visit of these archaeological sites before starting the hike through one of the 4 main Inca “Highways”, this one connecting Cusco with the Sacred Valley and the Amazon. The trail flows through hills, water channels and Inca remains all the way into San Blas traditional district, finally leading you to the very center of Cusco, considered by the Incas as the center of the world*

Today´s lunch will be at “Pachapapa” restaurant. 

http://www.cuscorestaurants.com/restaurant/pachapapa/

During the afternoon your guide will take you walking to the most representative sites of the city, which gives you the chance to appreciate, in a more specific way, the complexity of Peruvian history. Return to your hotel.

*The itinerary of this morning will be decided by your guide according to the condition of the group at this point. He may opt for a more relaxed morning and a shorter hike than the one described.

Day 10: Cusco to Lima – International flight back home

Morning at leisure in Cusco to enjoy the city on your own. Today you may want to walk the City, perhaps visit the local market, visit a museum, enjoy the local food in a nice restaurant, make some shopping, or just relax.  

When the time comes you will be driven to Cusco airport to board your flight back into Lima. On arrival, a representative will assist you with your international flight back home.

Flight LATAM 2024 departing at 16:45, arriving at 18:10*

*schedule time for 2022 subject to confirm 

Optional Add-on

Day 10: Cusco to Puerto Maldonado – Refugio Amazonas

You will board your early morning flight to Puerto Maldonado (stopover in Lima). On arrival a representative will meet you at the airport. From here it is one hour bus ride and one hour boat journey until reaching the lodge. 

Arriving at the lodge, you are provided a welcome orientation and safety briefing. 

During the afternoon, a half-hour walk from the lodge, climb the 35-meter-high canopy tower to get a birds-eye view of the impressive forest of the National Reserve of Tambopata. From the top, it is possible to see different species of birds such as toucans, macaws, raptors among other species. 

Optional nocturanl hike, when most mammals are active (but hard to catch a glimpse in action) You’ll hear sounds as bizarre as their natural histories. 

Day 11: Refugio Amazonas

You can navigate around Lake Condenado, looking for wildlife like the hoatzin or Shansho, which is said to be a pre-historic bird, alligators, martin fishermen and perhaps otters that inhabit its waters. 

A visit to the organic farm of Don Manuel, located just five minutes by river from the lodge, will show you the various crops typical of the area. You will be surprised with fruits that you did not know existed! 

You will have the option of taking a night walk through the jungle when most of the mammals are active but difficult to see. Easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as strange as their natural stories. 

Day 12: Refugio Amazonas

Have you ever tried Brazilian nuts? Today we will visit a Brazil nut camp and you will be able to see the immense chestnut trees where they come from and how the local people harvest them once a year between the months of the rainy season. The chestnut is one of the main sources of income for the local population of Puerto Maldonado, 

We’ll go on the medicinal plants’ trail to learn about the plants and trees that the local population has used for years to heal their body and soul. 

Day 13: Puerto Maldonado – Lima – International flight

Return to the airport for your domestic flight. 

On arrival into Lima a representative will assist you with your international flight back home. 

Please remember that this is a guide only and we typically customize each trip. 

Please contact us if you have any questions!

WHAT’S INCLUDED

All transfers from airports, hotels and stations in private service, as detailed in the itinerary.

Transport and professional bilingual guide (Spanish/English), in private service for the excursions listed.

Entrance fees for all the sites, as detailed in the program.

Meals as described in the itinerary 

Accommodations

Expedition (Peru Rail) or similar from Ollantaytambo – Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo 

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

International and national flights.

Personal expenses, such as laundry, phone calls, soft and alcoholic drinks, etc.

Travel insurance

Tips, bag carriers, and other extras

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