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Duration: 7 Days
Type: Special Packages and Holidays in Peru.
Destinations: Lima, Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu.
Description: Christmas in Cusco and Machu Picchu is one of the most exciting times to visit Peru. People from all over the world love to join the Peruvians for this exciting week of markets, festivities, street food, music and fireworks from Christmas to New Years. Local people from the Andes come into the city in their traditional dress of beautifully hand-woven clothing so their children can partake in the celebration and perhaps receive a gift. Christmas day is also the day of Cusco’s largest craft fair.
The colors, hand-crafted items and original works, often made entirely with natural materials, are truly amazing to see. To be caught up in the energy and enthusiasm and ceremony is an experience you’ll never forget this Christmas and will never forget.
Christmas in Cusco. Below dates are simply suggestions. We can customize any itinerary around your preferred travel dates.
Begin your memorable Peru Christmas in Cusco and Machu Picchu tours as you arrive to Lima. You will be greeted in the Lima Airport terminal and taken by private car to your desired hotel in Miraflores or San Isidrio, Lima.
After breakfast enjoy the upscale area around your hotel with shopping or by taking a walk to the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
At 2PM you will be met in your hotel lobby and taken to enjoy a tour of Lima on the Lima City Tour. Visit the Plaza Mayor where sits the Presidential Palace. 1 block away visit The San Francisco Convent and catacombs, a sprawling monastery complex containing cloisters, convent, temple, 2 churches, library, tomb of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro and authentic catacombs. Completed in 1674. This is a meandering, thoughtful tour to enjoy frescoes on high hallway walls, sculptures and rich history. LOW CEILINGS IN DARK CATACOMBS! WALK SLOWLY, DON’T BANG YOUR HEAD IN LOW DOORWAYS, ARCHWAYS and LOW CEILINGS.
Optional visit to Museo Larco. It is a privately owned museum housed in a lovely 18th century viceroyalty mansion with gardens built over a 7th-century pre-Columbian pyramid. It contains over 5000 years of history and pre-Columbian art in chronologically laid out galleries showcasing ancient culture, textiles, sacrifices, erotic pottery, ceremonial vessels, warfare, ancestry, gold, jewelry, art and sculpture from all Peru. Museo Larco offers a thorough and enjoyable, not boring, overview of 5000 years of history. There is a truly staggering collection with rooms of shelves and shelves of pottery depicting animals, birds, fish, plants, human faces, many with ailments, deformities, medical conditions for medical education that encompass much of the human condition. You will returned to your hotel after the tour.
After breakfast and check out you will be met in your hotel and taken by private car to the Lima airport in time for your 1 hour flight over the Andes from Lima to historic Cusco, Peru. You will be greeted just outside the Cusco terminal and taken by private car to check in to your downtown hotel. Take your time to acclimate to Cusco’s 3,400 meter elevation by breathing deeply and thoughtfully, eating lightly, not smoking and not exerting yourselves your first 24 hrs in Cusco.
In the afternoon after resting you can take a guided tour of four nearby ruins; the Sacsayhuaman Fortress overlooking the city of Cusco, a pre Inca architectural masterpiece; Kenko, a rock sanctuary whose main attraction is the monolithic altar representing a puma, the red Fortress of Puca-Pucara and Tambomachay, a beautiful fountain fed by a spring forming a series of basins that continue to the city of Cusco.
One of the most important tours recommended by ILE Tours is the full day Sacred Valley Tour. Here you will learn of the Incas incredible legacy left to us by their knowledge of building, engineering and their great respect for the sun and nature.
At 9AM, after breakfast you will be greeted in your hotel and driven NE out of Cusco to Pisaq. Stop periodically at scenic overlooks for pictures of the fantastic landscapes before continuing on to Pisaq. Known for its indigenous craft market, Pisaq was also the easternmost fortress of the Sacred Valley. You will see Pisaq from the winding road that approaches the market town and the ruins high above the town square.
Next continue west through the picturesque Sacred Valley to enjoy an excellent Andean buffet lunch in one of the Sacred Valley’s finest restaurants. You will next visit the archaeological city of Ollantaytambo, the Inca’s northern fortress walled city where they guarded the Sacred Valley to the north. Here you can appreciate the complexity of this magnificent Inca construction built in accordance with the landscape. Spectacular views of the Sacred Valley from atop the wall where there are more magnificent cut stones.
Ollantaytambo is an original Inca style town still inhabited. All original walls and layout with small mountain fed canals that brings water to the houses.
Afternoon Ollanta-Machu Picchu train (90 min). You will be met in the Aguas Calientes train station and escorted (walk) to your hotel. Aguas Calientes is a lively, small town with small streets to explore and many restaurants and hotels.
Today is the culmination of your Christmas in Cusco and Machu Picchu, Perú – 7 Day Tour! You will be met by your guide in your hotel’s lobby and taken up by bus to one of the magnificent places on earth; the Citadel of Machu Picchu. Enjoy 2 hrs with your guide then have plenty of time to hike and explore the park on you own. Machu Picchu was probably an estate of the Inca Pachacutec, who also designed Cusco. It was a town with individual homes for nobility made in the classical Inca style with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun and the Room of the Three Windows. The magnificence of this site is fully appreciated at sunrise. As the mist rises just after sunrise the site itself is revealed to you. On top of a mountain, Machu Picchu sits hidden amongst other spectacular surrounding mountains. When finished take one of the continuous running buses 20 min back down to Aguas Calientes, retrieve your overnight or carry on bags from the hotel and be at the Aguas Calientes train station at least 30 minutes before your departing train to Cusco and van back to your hotel (3.5 hrs).
Tipon is another magnificent public works spectacle 13 Miles east of Cusco in the Southern Valley. It is remarkably well-preserved jewel of engineering left by the Inca and Wari people not seen by many tourists.
At 8:30 a.m you will be greeted in your hotel lobby to visit a few very special places east of Cusco in the South Valley by guided tour bus. Start at the “Sistine Chapel of Americas”, (Named for it’s famous and frescoes) Andahuaylillas Church located in the town of Andahuaylillas 40 km (25 miles) east of Cusco. Enjoy the shade in the Main Square underneath the magnificent “pisonay” coral and palm trees before boarding your bus to continue on to the 5400 acre archaeological complex of Tipon.
Tipon’s original Quechua name is unknown but you can still marvel at the royal rooms built by the Inca Wiraqocha as a shelter for his father Yawar Wakaq. There are 12 immense terraces irrigated by impressive small underground spring fed canals that still water farms further below. This system has worked for hundreds of years. Historians concur this was a very exclusive site of Inca Royalty
Finish your tour at the fascinating 8450 acre Pikillacta Archaeological Complex.
Return to your hotel in the afternoon.
Private transfer to Cusco airport for your approximately 1 hour flight to Lima and your final destination.
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