South America Spotlight

Colca Canyon

Created by a vast geological fault, the Colca Canyon is thought to be the deepest canyon in the world measuring ...

Cuzco Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTH AMERICA 37

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Day 1: Lima

Bienviendos a Peru! Welcome to Peru and the start of your journey through the land of the Incas. Upon arrival into Lima International Airport you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: Lima

Enjoy a half day city tour of Lima. Many of the city’s most imposing and important buildings were built around the Plaza Mayor in the heart of the old town. Nearby is the austere Cathedral and various small palaces and balconied edifices that helped Lima claim UNESCO World Heritage status. Discover contemporary Lima in the form of the plush suburb of San Isidro and lively. Miraflores before continuing to the quiet district of Pueblo Libre to see the stylish hacienda museum, which exhibits hundreds of excellently preserved ceramic. The remainder of the day is free.

Day 3: Lima - Cuzco

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cusco, known to the Incas as the ‘navel of the world’. At an elevation of 3400m above sea level, it’s important to acclimatise to the altitude so spend some time resting in your hotel before exploring this colourful and historic city later in the afternoon. Considered the archaeological capital of South America, Cusco is home to some of the finest examples of Inca history and architecture, which you will discover touring the sights of the Plaza de Armas, the Catedral and the Koricancha complex – a supreme example of Inca stonework. Head out further afield to tour the Kenko Amphitheatre, the fortified hunting lodge of Puca Pucara, the stunning imperial baths of Tambo Machay and the megalithic fortress of Sacsayhuaman.

Day 4: Cuzco - Sacred Valley

Tracing a particularly scenic course from Cusco all the way to Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley was greatly appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities and as such contains numerous archaeological remains and villages. On the way to the ancient village of Urubamba stop to visit Awanacancha, an Andean textile centre where the art of Incan textile is kept alive. Continue to the archaeological complex of Pisac, formed of a collection of remains of Incan dwellings, temples and terracing. Enjoy a spot of shopping and practise your bartering skills at the local market before stopping for lunch. The day of touring concludes with a visit to the impressive fortress and citadel of Ollantaytambo.

Day 5: Sacred Valley - Aguas Calientes

Today explore the Sacred Valley further with visits to Andean villages south of the Río Urubamba. See the lovely paintings from the Cusco School on display in the attractive colonial church of Chinchero. Continue to Maras where the original Indian aristocratic coats of arms hang on the outside of the church and houses. From here you can also see the salt evaporation ponds. Continue to the spectacular agricultural terraces of Moray, a circular system believed to have been used for agricultural experimentation during the Inca period. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before transferring to the train station for a stunning train journey to the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Arrive Aguas Calientes and check in to hotel.

Day 6: Aguas Calientes - Cuzco

No place in Peru quite captures the imagination like the legendary ‘Lost City’ of Machu Picchu. Nestled in a saddle between two forested mountains and surrounded on three sides by the Urubamba River, its location couldn’t be more awe-inspiring. The city itself is brilliantly preserved, a classical Inca-style complex of polished dry-stone walls and temples. This morning explore the citadel and the wonderful Temple of the Sun and magical Temple of the Moon on a three hour guided excursion. Other highlights include the fascinating Sacred Plaza and the elaborately carved Intihuatana rock. Lunch is provided at a local hotel before you return by train to Cusco.

Day 7: Cuzco - Lima

After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Lima. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to do as you please – head out into town and discover Lima’s excellent dining options or hit the markets for some last minute souvenir shopping.

Day 8: Lima

Today marks the end of your adventure with an included airport departure transfer.