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Quechua Community

Highlights

Peru is a beautiful country as complex as its most intricate and exquisite weavings.

Below is an option for a 10-day adventure tour.  Peru is hailed as a paradise for the active traveler.  Travelers will have an array of experiences like exploring pre-Columbian ruins and sampling Peruvian cuisine.

Pachacamac

The temple of Pachacamac is located in the Valley of the Lurín River and about 3 km from the Pacific Ocean. Most of the common buildings and temples were built around years 800 to 1450 AD, shortly before the arrival and conquest by the Inca Empire. To date, several pyramids have been uncovered; archaeologists have identified at least 17 pyramids (many of them irreversibly damaged by the El Niño weather phenomenon). Besides pyramids, the site had a cemetery and multicolored fresco of fish from the Early Intermediate period (c. 200-600 AD). Later, the Huari (c. 600-800 AD) 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. The majority of the common architecture and temples were built during this stage (c. 800-1450 AD)

The Sacred Valley

The Valley is located 1600 feet lower than Cusco City, therefore allowing a gentle acclimatization process to increasing altitude. 

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. 

The Inca Trail to 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.

Itinerary

Duration: 10 days with 

Countries: Peru

Experiences: Touring, Inca trail, Ruins

Ages: All ages

Peru
Machu picchu

Project Description

 Day  Activity

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.

2

Peruvian cooking lesson, local market shopping, artist studio visit  & a stop at Pachacamac 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.

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. 

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.

5

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.

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.

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

8

Aguas Calientes – Sacred Valley – Cusco 

During the morning your guide is available to lead you 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 a 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 

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.

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 

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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