Lima - Cuzco. A short flight high over the spectacular scenery of the Andes brings us to the former capital of the Incas. Cuzco, which means ânavel of the earthâ in the Inca language, is home to a mostly indigenous population and we enjoy an orientation walking tour of this fascinating city.
On day 3 we take the scenic train to the lost city of Machu Picchu (Old Mountain) which was originally completely self -contained, surrounded by agricultural terraces sufficient to feed the population, and watered by natural springs. Located high above the fast flowing Urubamba River, the cloud shrouded ruins have palaces, baths, temples, storage rooms and some 150 houses, all in a remarkable state of preservation that will simply take your breath away. The ruins were only discovered by the outside world in 1911, when American explorer Hiram Bingham found them while looking for another âlost cityâ called Vilcabamba. Due to their isolation many of the buildings are still quite intact and you can't help but admire Huayna Picchu (Young Mountain), which towers above the ruins.
Day 4 is is spent visiting the Sacred Valley of the Incas, including the Pisac ruins, the famous traditional Indian market of the same name and the temple fortress of Ollantaytambo.