You are met on arrival at Lima Airport and transferred to the Wyndham Costa Del Sol Lima Airport hotel. Here you can relax, enjoy a meal in the restaurant or make use of the fitness centre and indoor swimming pool or opt for a spa treatment.
Fly To Cusco
After breakfast you make the short walk back to the airport for your flight to Cusco. Our local representative will meet you at Cusco airport and transfer you to El Mercado Hotel. This colonial-style hotel, once part of the farmers market, is close to the main Plaza, so once you have settled in you can explore Cusco at your leisure, starting to get used to altitude before you return to the hotel and perhaps enjoy a drink by the firepit in the lovely central courtyard before dinner.
Today your guide meets you after breakfast and takes you to the 15th century fortress of Sacsayhuaman, the first stop on your guided tour of some of the most significant historic sites of Cusco. Then you head back into the city, to visit the bohemian San Blas district, followed by the hugely impressive cathedral and the 'Golden Enclosure' of Korikancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun. This afternoon you are free to spend as you wish; the restaurants, shops and museums of Cusco await!
The shared cultural trek begins today, as you are collected after breakfast and driven to the Sacred Valley. You can choose to make the three-hour trek along part of the Lares Trail from Amaru to Viacha (4328m at the highest point), or you could opt to visit the Awanakancha textile centre, where you can witness the traditional weaving process and buy items to take home, followed by a trip to the traditional market in Pisac. Everyone in the group will meet up at the isolated rural community of Viacha where you learn about artisanal potato farming methods, followed by a Pachamanca lunch cooked under hot stones. This afternoon you head by car or on foot to the Inca ruins above Pisac, then you trek or are driven to Lamay Lodge (2958m). Wander in the pretty gardens, relax in the outdoor hot tub, then enjoy a tasty meal before a good night's sleep.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Into Lares And To Huacahuasi Lodge
After breakfast and a walking tour of Lamay it's a two-hour drive towards Lares, north of the Sacred Valley. En-route you stop at the ruins of Ancasmarca for a guided tour. After lunch there's a choice of activities. You can drive to the weaving village of Choquecancha to watch the weavers at work, view the Inca ruins and colonial church, or do an easy two to four hike. If you're feeling more energetic you can tackle a more demanding four to five hour hike. Whichever option you select you will arrive at Huacahuasi Lodge in time to shower and change before dinner. The lodge is built into the mountainside and has fantastic views and each bedroom has its own private outdoor jacuzzi.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Huacahuasi To Ollantaytambo
This morning you will be driven to an Andean trout farm in the Huilloc community, where you can taste cerviche. From there you can choose to trek the three hours to the archaeological site at Pumamarka or to enjoy a guided tour of the ruins at Maracocha. Here you meet local shepherds before being driven to Pumamarka where you join the trekkers for lunch and a guided tour. Then you can choose between hiking for three hours to Ollantaytambo or being driven there to explore the town's Inca alleyways. You are then transferred to Kuychi Rumi Lodge in time to relax in your comfortable Andean lodge before dinner.
Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner
Ollantaytambo To Machu Picchu
You can relax for the first part of the morning or, if you're feeling energetic, you can hike to the Inca storage structures for a wonderful view of Ollantaytambo and the valley. Mid-morning the whole group starts a guided tour of Ollantaytambo. This site was settled in the 15th century and retains the original Inca grid layout and many fine stone buildings. In the late morning you catch the train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu, enjoying a picnic lunch on board. You check in to Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel and have the afternoon free to stroll around the orchid-filled cloud forest gardens, see where the hotel's organic tea is processed, take a dip in the pool, explore the town or perhaps have a massage in the spa. Relax and prepare for your big day tomorrow!
Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Machu Picchu To Cusco
You breakfast early before heading up to Machu Picchu where your guide takes you on a two-hour walking tour. As you soak up the unique atmosphere and hear about its history, this world-famous citadel will come vividly to life in your mind. You have the chance, subject to permits, to take the Inca staircase Huayna Picchu or ascend the path up Machu Picchu mountain; both are challenging two-hour hikes, but you will be presented with outstanding mountain views. Lunch is back at the Inkaterra Pueblo Hotel, then you take the train to Ollantaytambo followed by the one to two hour drive back to Cusco, arriving at El Mercado Hotel by around 8pm.
Activities In Cusco
You have a choice of activities in Cusco today (activity choice to be decided at the time of booking the trip) and can decide whether you prefer to do this in the morning or afternoon. One option is a Peruvian lunch or dinner experience. You are collected from the hotel and taken to San Pedro market to shop for ingredients. Then you're taken to a modern 11th floor rooftop kitchen with great views of the city, where you are shown how to prepare a three-course Peruvian meal. Finally you sit down to eat the fruits of your labours.
The second option is a half-day Art Trail, including a two-hour ceramic workshop experience. You lean about the history of Andean art and figures such as the Torito de Pucara that you find on the roofs of mountain houses, and a skilled local artist instructs you in traditional techniques for making and decorating ceramic plates, cups and other items. You could also choose to take part in a workshop, painting and applying gold leaf to figures of horses or the Torito de Pucara.
You can enjoy the rest of the day as you wish in Cusco and spend the final night of your holiday at El Mercado.
Breakfast, and lunch or dinner if you choose the culinary activity.
Cusco To Lima, flight home
This morning it's time to bid farewell to Cusco as you are collected after breakfast and taken to the airport for the flight to Lima to connect with your flight home.
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