Peru Itinerary - Land $1,895 | BRUCE COOK | Bruce Cook

Peru Itinerary - Land $1,895

On location in Cusco, Peru

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  • Day 1:  Arrive Cuzco, Peru. Cuzco is the seat of the Inca civilization founded around 1100 A.D. in the Andean mountains and the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Western Hemisphere. Cuzco offers a wealth of fascinating historical sites. Pre-Inca, Inca, and colonial architecture abound in this colorful and memorable Andean city. The town is nestled in a high valley over 10,909 feet above sea level, surrounded by some of the mightiest Andean peaks glistening with a mantle of ice and snow. Check into the hotel, rest, and acclimate to the altitude. Free afternoon. Enjoy a stroll through the charming Plaza de Armas.

  • Day 2:  Cuzco – As a group, we’ll visit the magnificent Inca ruins of Sacsayhuaman, the famous amphitheater at Kenko (a rare example of curvilinear construction in Inca architecture), and Tambo Machay (also known as the Inca Baths built around a natural spring and fortified with military posts and observation decks). Sacsayhuaman, a huge Inca fortress high above Cuzco at a height of 12,136 feet, zigzags across the side of the mountain. Massive blocks of stone the size of trucks with walls so finely carved that you can barely slip a piece of paper between them. At one time it garrisoned 5,000 Inca soldiers.  Meals: (B)

  • For those HIKING to MACHU PICCHU Days 3-6 see optional trip extras - click here.

  • Day 3:  Sacred Valley – Together, we’ll tour the Sacred Valley. Visit the impressive Qorichancha Sun Temple, whose interior walls were once covered in gold leaf and studded with emeralds and turquoise. Comfortable hike to the massive fortress of Ollantaytambo, built to protect the Sacred Valley.    Meals: (B)

  • Day 4:  Free day to relax and explore Cuzco. This beautiful city is the undisputed archaeological capital of the Americas, as well as the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city. Explore the astonishing narrow streets of this tile roof colonial town that sit atop ancient Incan walls. Tour the Spanish cathedrals in the Plaza De Armas and the Temple of the Sun or Korikancha. During Inca times the Plaza was known as Huacaypata (the Place of Tears or the Weeping Square). Visit the Museo de Arte Pre Colombino, filled with interesting pre-Columbian art works, multi-colored pottery exhibits, detailed jewelry and historical Inca treasures. More museums: Museum of Regional History (Museo de Historia Regional), Museum of Contemporary Art (Museo Palacio Municipal de Arte Contemporaneo), Koricancha Museum (Museo Arqueologico Koricancha) - but not Koricancha itself, Museum of Popular Art (Museo de Arte Popular), and Museo de Arte Religioso del Arzobispado. Visit the San Blas neighborhood where folk artists live and enjoy the many Cuzco handicraft markets. Excellent food and shopping abounds in Cusco! Optional group dinner and show with traditional Peruvian music and dancers. Meals: (B)

  • Day 5: It’s an early morning train ride to Aguas Caliente & Machu Picchu. A stunning train journey (4 hours) to the small town of Aguas Calientes (meaning “Hot Water”), famous for its natural thermal baths. The train journey alone is incredible as the switchback train makes its way up the steep mountainside surrounding Cuzco. Free afternoon to stroll through Aguas Caliente and enjoy the sights, sounds, food and markets. Meals:  (B)

  • Day 6: Machu Picchu. As a group, we’ll enjoy the sunrise overlooking the famous Machu Picchu Inca ruins and morning tour of the ruins. Machu Picchu is shrouded in mystery. This “Lost City of the Incas,” perched high in a saddle between two peaks, was rediscovered in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. The sheer sides of the mountain offer dizzying views of the valley below while the deserted city guards its ancient secrets. The impressive ruins, hidden for 400 years by semi-tropical jungle, lies between two peaks with sheer mountainsides falling vertically to the valley below. Built in the style of late Imperial Inca, with no evidence of pre or post-Inca habitation, the site was constructed, occupied and abandoned within a century. Machu Picchu is an inspiration! We’ll take a guided tour of the “Lost City of the Inca” with plenty of time to wander through the mysterious terraces and temples. Our English-speaking guide will point out the significance of the various stone structures and discuss some of the theories put forth to solve the mysteries of Machu Picchu. On this unforgettable journey, we’ll walk to Intipunku, the “Gate of the Sun,” looking down on Machu Picchu as the splendid stone ruins hover in the mist before us. We will do our exploring by foot (moderate hiking), taking short hikes with large steps, and at times uneven walking surfaces. Sturdy hiking boots and sunscreen are recommended.  Free afternoon for an optional walk, with difficulty ranging from a leisurely walk to the Temple of the Moon to the more challenging ascent of Huayna Picchu. The surrounding rain forest also offers fine bird watching. Meals:  (B)

  • Day 7:  Aguas Caliente to Pisac. Free morning in Aguas Caliente. Swim in the hot springs, re-visit Machu Picchu or enjoy quaint Pisac with its restaurants and shops. Afternoon train and ground transport to Pisac. The quaint town of Pisac offers a colorful market, picturesque plaza, and impressive Inca fortress ruins situated 1800 feet above the town. The incredible view here overlooks the Rio Kitamayo Gorge, the Rio Chongo Valley, and is famous for its agricultural terracing. Meals: (B).

  • Day 8:  Free day in Pisac. Visit the Inca fortress above the city and enjoy the famous Sunday Pisac market. Great shopping! Great buys are the traditional Peruvian handicrafts, alpaca-wool sweaters and rugs, ponchos, pottery, gold and silver jewelry, leather goods, etc. Great for photographs! Or, hike to the impressive Inca fortress above the village. Group farewell dinner (optional). Meals: (B)

  • Day 9:  Flight to Lima & the USA. Meals: (B)

    Next: Trip Extensions