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At the end of the trip you may ask yourself, "What was the Highlight?" Was it walking through Intipunku, an ancient stone archway that the Incas called 'the sun gate,' and gazing down upon the Machu Picchu sanctuary? Was it wandering through the colorful markets in Pisac? or Was it the thrill of white water rafting through the Sacred Valley of the Incas?
This trip can best be summed up as the “Best of Peru:” the capital city of Lima, the highlands of Cuzco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and the lost city of Machu Picchu. Along the route stay in three and four star hotels. Raft the Urubamba River, explore Incan ruins with the Andes as your backdrop, and experience the Quechua people in person.
DAY ONE. BIENVENIDO. ARRIVAL IN LIMA. From North America or Europe, most international flights arrive in the evening. Some arrive in the morning. In either case, upon arrival in Lima you will be greeted at the airport and helped with your transfer to our hotel in the Miraflores district. Bienvenido!
DAY TWO. CITY TOUR OF LIMA. Lima was founded January 5, 1535 by Francisco Pizarro during the Catholic feast of Epiphany or the Day of the Kings. Thus Lima is known as “the city of the kings.” Because of its Spanish colonial origins, Lima is relatively easy to navigate with a center square called the Plaza de Armas and wide avenues. On today’s city tour, we’ll visit Lima’s historic city center, the central cathedral, the Plaza del Arms, and Casa Aliage, America’s best preserved colonial mansion.
DAY THREE. SACRED VALLEY OF THE INCAS. From Lima, we fly to Cuzco and transfer by private bus to the Urubamba Valley, or the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our hotel is the Hotel Posada del Inca Yucay, boutique accommodations nestled in the Sacred Valley. You’ll walk through beautiful gardens on your way to your room. Enjoy a Pisco Sour in the pub before your dinner of European and regional cuisines.
DAY FOUR. INCA RUINS AND WHITE WATER RAFTING. In the morning, we visit the Ollantaytambo Fortress, a major Incan ruin. We walk up huge steep terraces that are built into the mountain. At the top is the temple area that overlooks the sacred valley. In the afternoon, we’ll raft the Urubamba River. The rapids are class III and a good introduction to whitewater.
Today we’ll visit the Pisac ruins and village. Hiking to the ruins is spectacular. From a hilltop you see a gorge and agricultural terracing. In the ruins, you’ll find rooms, temples, and garrisons. Back in the village, you can wander through the colonial streets and markets. Lunch is served at the private Casa-Hacienda Orihuela, a private family estate with a rich history.
DAY FIVE. JOURNEY TO MACHU PICCHU. Early in the morning, the group will board the train that goes to Aquas Calientes, the village at the bottom of the valley below the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. You’ll disembark in Aquas Calientes and be transferred to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. You can then explore the ruins. If you want to do some hiking on the Inca Trail, you can hike toward the Sun Gate to gaze down upon Machu Picchu.
DAY SIX. EXPLORING MACHU PICCHU AND THE CLIMB TO HUAYNA PICCHU. TRAIN TO CUZCO You’ll have your final opportunity to visit Machu Picchu in the morning. After exploring the main archeological sites you have the option to hike up the Huayna Picchu peak overlook.
In the afternoon, the train takes us back up the valley to Cuzco. Cuzco has been a hub of South American travel and trade for centuries. Massive Inca-built stonewalls line many of Cuzco’s streets. The Spanish built a central plaza and churches. Today, tourists from all parts of the world come to see Cuzco’s ancient ruins, colonial architecture, and indigenous people- the Quechua.
DAY SEVEN. CUZCO. A walking tour of Cuzco includes the Loreto Alley, Santo Domingo Monastery, and the district of San Blas. We have an excursion to the archeological Inca remains of the Tambomachay Baths, Kenko Amphitheater, Puca Pucara, and the impressive fortress Sacsayhuaman. That afternoon is free to spend exploring the colonial city of Cuzco.
DAY EIGHT. DEPARTURE. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to Lima to make international connections, or continue on to Arequipa for the post-tour to the Amazon. The three-day trip is $680 and includes two nights in a jungle lodge. Adios!
Chile stretches along South America’s coast- from nearly the Antarctic to the tropics. Begin in Patagonia, where mountains tower and glaciers reach the sea. Torres del Paine National Park is filled with shimmering turquoise lakes, roaring creeks, waterfalls, sprawling glaciers, dense forests, and spectacular pillars of granite that rise 2000 meters above the Patagonia steppe. Come experience the southern hemisphere with OutWest Global Adventures.