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Peru’s vibrant history, amazing museums and thousands of archaeological sites make it one of South America’s most popular travel destinations. Although the Incas are by far Peru’s best known culture, it is the civilizations preceding them, like Chavin, Paracas, Nazca, Moche and Wari who set the foundations for the rising of the Tahauntinsuyo. By the XV Century, the Incas Culture began to develop out of the Cusco Valley to build their Empire.
Hotels quoted are tourist, superior and first class categories (similar to 3*, 4* and 5* categories). The hotels we use are clean, safe, with private facilities and are well located.
On arrival at Cuzco airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Cuzco is a city combining several different cultures and many kinds of architecture. Spend the afternoon at leisure, exploring its winding cobbled streets that transport visitors through its rich and beautiful past.
This morning enjoy a city tour which includes the Cathedral on the Plaza de Armas; and the Koricancha Temple. Just outside Cusco, visit the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, a testimonial to the Incan architectural skills. Compiled of massive stones (one weighs 125 tons!) you are challenged to try to slip a piece of paper between the cracks of these blocks, cut and fitted together with incredible precision without a single drop of mortar to hold them in place. This ancient fortress where the greatest battle between the Spanish and Incas took place overlooks the red-tiled roofs of Cusco and the spectacular lush countryside. Also visit Qenqo (“The Labyrinth”), an Incan shrine dedicated to the Earth Mother; the small fortress of Puka Pukara; and Tambomachay, a sacred bathing place.
Visit Ollantaytambo, the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the Americas. With its narrow streets, complete with canals unchanged since Inca times, displays its ancient heritage. Visit the colourful Indian market in Pisac to see a blend of colour, tradition and people. After lunch enjoy a scenic drive along the Urubamba Valley, “the Sacred Valley of the Incas”, to visit the Inca ruins that lie above the town of Pisac 31 km. overlooking the Vilcanota river. Fortresses, urban complexes, temples and well preserved Andean terraces built by the Incas all make up an imposing and unforgettable sight. Spend the night at your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Catch the morning train, from Ollanta station, to Machu Picchu, the "Lost City of the Incas" one of the most renowned examples of Inca architecture, sitting 2,400 meters above sea level. The ruins are in two different areas: the agricultural and the urban. The latter includes the civil sector (dwellings, canalizations), and the sacred sector (temples, mausoleums, squares, royal houses). Although constructions show different levels of architecture, religious buildings exhibit a high degree of perfection. From the peak of the Huayna Picchu, situated opposite Machu Picchu, there is a phenomenal panoramic view of the imposing mass of ruins and the Urubamba valley. The rest of the day is yours to explore more of the ruins or the quaint town of Aguas Calientes, at the base of the mountain.
Perhaps wake early to see the sun rising over Machu Picchu. Enjoy the ruins and watch the mist rise over this mountain-top citadel at dawn. Return to Cuzco on the afternoon train.
Depart Cuzco this morning.