- Machu Picchu
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The arrangements by River Explorers are extremely thoughtful and are somehow more special than other agencies. Everywhere we went in Peru, we felt like VIPs.
Now you can explore Peru’s best destinations in just 10 days with our Peru Highlights trip. You will visit Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire, the Sacred Valley, which is home to remarkable Inca sites, and take the train to Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. You will end the tour with a visit to the impressive Colca Canyon.
Day 1: Arrival in Lima
Day 2: Flight to Cusco
Day 3: Sacred Valley tour
Day 4: Machu Picchu tour
Day 5: Free day in Cusco
Day 6: Puno
Day 7: Lake Titicaca tour
Days 8-9: Colca Canyon
Day 10: Lima
Arrival in Lima, Peru’s capital, at any time during the day. Transfer from the airport to your hotel with our private van and a River Explorers assistant who will give you tips on what to do in Lima and also explain the flight itinerary and transfer time for your tour the next day.
On day two, we will transfer you to the airport to catch a scenic flight towards Cusco. Enjoy amazing views of the Andes with their snow-capped mountains, canyons, lakes and lagoons as you fly above. At Cusco Airport our private van driver and River Explorers representative will be waiting for you to take you to your hotel.
After checking into your hotel, you will have time to take a walk around Cusco. We recommend you take it easy on this first day in Cusco so you can properly acclimatize to the altitude: try not to overexert yourself, do drink a lot of water and avoid alcohol for the first 48 hours. Your guide will carry an oxygen canister at all time in case of emergencies.
Your Cusco City tour departs at 1pm and includes guided tours to the incredible fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the religious centre of Qenqo, the complex of Puca Pucara and the famous Royal Inca bath at Tambomachay.
Your Sacred Valley tour starts around 8am after breakfast. We will first drive towards Pisaq, the first town in the Sacred Valley. On the way we will pass authentic Peruvian Andean villages high in the Andes, such as Qorao, Huancalle and Taray, before arriving at the viewpoint of the Sacred Valley to enjoy the fantastic views. The valley is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and the Urubamba River, which traverses the entire valley and was the principal resource for agricultural purposes during the time of the Inca, as it is now for locals.
Our first destination is Pisaq, a complex built atop a hill at the entrance to the Sacred Valley and supposedly built to connect and control a route of the Inca Empire with the Amazon jungle border. We will hike an easy 2-hour trail through neighborhoods with baths, temples, tunnels and bridges, while your expert guide explains the history behind these places. The views are simply fascinating; almost the entire mountainside is lined with hand-built terraces constructed by the Inca for agricultural purposes that are still in use today.
We will then drive back to Pisaq town where we will visit the popular Pisaq market. Here you may encounter native mountain people trading their products with others, and have a chance to buy some local handicrafts and souvenirs.
On our way to Ollantaytambo, we will stop at a beautiful restaurants for a buffet lunch before continuing on our way.
Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacutec, who conquered this area and built the town with many temples, store houses, terraces, quarries, baths and defences. The perfectly carved asymmetrical giant stone is a unique feature here, and a mystery to scientists, engineers and architects.
After Ollantaytambo we will catch the train to Aguas Calientes, just below Machu Picchu, which will take one hour and 45 minutes. On your arrival our personal driver will collect you and take you to the hotel. Enjoy the evening by taking a stroll around Aguas Calientes or dining at a local restaurant.
On day four we will rise early to enjoy the top destination of your tour, Machu Picchu. Our journey from Aguas Calientes will take 30 minutes.
Our guide will take you around the area for a two-hour guided tour of this impressive complex. This amazing complex was never found by the Spanish and consequently not destroyed, as was the case with many other Inca sites. Over the years, much of the site was swallowed by the surrounding jungle and only local natives knew of its existence. Then on July 24th 1911, Machu Picchu was discovered by Hiram Bingham.
Machu Picchu was constructed in a classical Inca style with polished stone walls. This complex has three primary buildings: the Intihuatana, the ‘Hitching Post of the Sun’; the Temple of the Sun; and the Room of the Three Windows. All of these are located in the most sacred quarter of Machu Picchu.
After the guided tour there will be plenty of time to take pictures and explore at your own pace before heading back to Aguas Calientes to catch the train to Ollantaytambo, where we will then take a bus to the hotel in Cusco.
Early morning you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the bus station to catch a bus towards the flat-lands of Puno. Included in this tour are visits to the many different archaeological sites between Cusco and Puno.
We will then drive through beautiful, small Andean towns until we arrive at the hotel in Puno. You will have some time to freshen up and take a walk around the city before dinner. You will then receive a briefing from your Titicaca guide about the next day of your Peru Highlights trip.
One of the most unforgettable travel experiences. We will depart early by motorboat for the Uros floating islands. Here you will explore many of the islands with your guide, who will explain how the Uros people use amazing engineering skills to keep the islands afloat. Continuing on our trip, we will arrive at the Peninsula of Capachica where we will take a leisurely 1-hour walk on an original pre-Inca route. You will enjoy the spectacular views while enjoying countryside life.
This program is a sustainable project that involves people of a community that share all the benefits and work equally between its members. On Amantani Island, we will visit a small village where a family will welcome us and share their culture and traditions. After this, we will take the boat and navigate the lake for 30 more minutes and have a typical lunch with astonishing vistas of the lake. We will then return to Puno in the late afternoon.
We will depart from Puno around 8am on a scenic drive to Chivay, a small town in the Colca Valley. The drive takes us past lakes, lagoons, mountains and villages, with a lot of chances to see birds and herds of vicunas, alpacas and llamas. In Chivay you will have lunch and then check into your hotel. In the afternoon, you will have time to enjoy walking through the streets of this delightful town, visit the Plaza de Armas or the local market. You can also take a short hike out in the hills around Chivay or enjoy the thermal baths of Calera.
On the second day, your guide will take you in our private van to Cruz del Condor, the best viewpoint in the Colca Canyon. Twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in North America – over 13,000 feet from the riverbed to the clifftop – the Colca Canyon is considered to be one of the deepest in the world and attracts visitors from all over the world. Admire this impressive natural formation together with the many condors gliding over the canyon searching for food. Condors are the world’s heaviest birds and also one of the largest, so seeing them flying is something out of this world.
After an enjoyable day in Colca, we will then return to Chivay to have lunch and then drive to Arequipa.
Transfer to Arequipa Airport for your flight to Lima, where you will then catch your flight home.
Meals Included: All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners
Transfers: All transfer inside Peru after your arrival. Is not included in the price transfer from the Airport to the hotel the day at your arrival and the last day when you leave Peru. This can be arranging for 20 USD dollars per person.
Accommodation: Hotels 9 nights, hostel at Aguas Calientes, guest house 1 night at Ticonata Island in Lake Titicaca.
Transport: Public buses, local flights, train, motor boat.
Lake Titicaca: Guided tour on Taquile, Amantani and the Uros Islands, one night accommodation in a guest house.
Machu Picchu: Local guide, entrance fees, train tickets, bus to and from Machu Picchu, hostel and bus from Ollanta to Cusco.
Colca canyon: Local guide, transport, one night accommodation in a hostel.
Group leader: We provide an assistant in every city you’ll visit; they will give information and tips at the moment of your arrival to each City in Peru.
Hotels and meals during the days that passengers want to stay in Cusco, Puno or any of the cities, instead of continuing with the trips..
Transfer from the Airport to the hotel the day at your arrival and the last day when you leave Peru. This can be arrange for 20 USD dollars per person
Activities not mentioned in the tour description.
Weather can be different in Peru because the Andean mountains, we recommend to bring some warm clothes especially if you travel during May to September the early mornings and nights in Cusco and Puno can be very cold.
Any other items that you wish to pack are at your own discretion however you should attempt to comply with the suggested luggage weight limit.
Travel documents: passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets (with photocopies).
Any vaccination certificates required
Money: traveller’s cheques/cash/credit or debit card, money belt
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, aspirin, band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
For more information look at our Peru travel Info.
Our trip prices are based on double occupancy hotel rooms and lodges. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, we will assign a same-sex room-mate if one is available. If, for example, there are five people in the group and the fifth person does not have anyone to share with, we will pay the expenses to cover the hotel room price. If you wish to have your own room, there will be an extra surcharge you will need to pay. If you wish to upgrade to a higher hotel standard? let us know, we work with a wide range of 4 and 5 stars hotel around Peru.
We required a minimum of 2 persons to open a tour, so don’t wait anymore just choose you departure date and let us know.