Duration: 09 Days
Type: Special Packages
Destinations: Sacred Valley Machupicchu Peru Wellness Travel
The combination of Cusco and the Sacred Valley’s elevation along with their close proximity to the equator create extreme temperature changes everyday. The daytime strong sun and elevations cause temperatures to range from 40ºF’ (5ºC) to low 80ºF (28ºC) everyday, year round. Early mornings are cold. It also gets cold at 6PM when the sun goes down year round in Cusco & the Sacred Valley. Best to prepare to dress in layers. If you know you will be out after sundown you must have a jacket, hat and ears and neck covered. Brimmed hat and sunglass are needed everyday.
You will be greeted in the Cusco airport with water, fruit, drinks and snacks. Picturesque transfer through rural farm communities and villages, to the Sacred Valley that runs east and west 60 minutes north of Cusco. The Sacred Valley is 2000 ft lower than Cusco and by coming here first you will minimize any issues you could have with Cusco’s 13,000 ft elevation. Stop in the weaving town of Chincheros to see how some of the finest artisanal crafts in Peru are made. Finally arrive to your hotel to check in and enjoy the grounds and your surroundings. Overnight Sacred Valley.
It is important to breathe deeply, slowly and mindfully at this elevation. Drink plenty of water interspersed with cups of coca tea throughout the day. Feel the energy of the valley that supports so many people internationally with the abundance of crops it produces and has produced for hundreds of years. Here snow capped, glaciered mountains drop dramatically to the valley which make this area a wonder. Overnight Sacred Valley.
After a healthy breakfast you can enjoy and explore the Sacred Valley from east to west by private tour bus. At 9:00AM drive east to Pisaq where the Inca guarded the Sacred Valley (and her crops) to the east. Some of the finest stonework and ruins left to us by the Inca are at Pisaq that sits high above and overlooks the huge market town below. It is a sprawling complex that must be seen as part of the larger body of work that was the Inca Empire. Visit the market and wander the hundreds of stalls to peruse local crafts and souvenirs.
Lunch today is at a hacienda style house to relish local Andean food such as the super grains-quinoa, kiwicha and maca, alapaca meat and other wonderful local dishes. Opportunities to eat locally grown fresh vegetables, breads and soups. After lunch walk down to the river and admire the gardens and grounds. Vicuna and alpaca graze here.
Stop in the market in Urubamba to see all the local food that is grown here. Shop for fruit if you wish. Finally arrive to the old Inca Town of Ollantaytambo with it’s narrow streets, small mountain fed canals and houses laid out much as they were 500 years ago. Wander, take pictures visit small shops, artist studios and get a demonstration of how wool is died using natural ingredients. If you wish, climb the magnificent wall of Ollantaytambo. Rugged steps rise high above the small town to see where and how the Incas guarded the Sacred Valley to the north. More Inca miraculous cut stones await you at the top of the wall. You can hike the small mountain trails here for a full day if you wished. It gets windy and cold here before sundown. Return to your hotel late afternoon. Overnight Ollantaytambo.
Begin your day with a word of thanks to Pachamama, a glass of water and a healthy breakfast in your hotel. Today’s activity options will need to be signed up for in advance. Smaller vans will shuttle participants to these separate activities. Brimmed hats, water bottles, sun screen and light jacket will be appreciated in the strong sun this day. There will be little shade.
ATV Quad riding: Drive your own ATV accompanied by a guide. Beginner to expert can enjoy riding through the picturesque Sacred Valley to visit the Salineras salt terraces where salt is extracted in mountainside pools from a small underground spring.
Stop in the small nearby village of Maras for a brief rest and to stretch your legs. Finally, ride to the Moray crop circles where Inca agriculturists developed crops and seeds in deep circular terraced depressions to distribute throughout the empire. Box lunch and drinks. Return to hotel after your ride.
Horseback riding: Fantastic opportunity to ride trails in the Sacred Valley on horseback, breathe fresh air and separate yourself from the world. The terrain is flat terrain so it is more leisurely than difficult. This is a wonderful opportunity to get back to nature and yourself in a wide open, empty space surrounded by beautiful scenery, blue skies and white clouds. Box lunch and drinks. Return to your hotel in the afternoon.
Yoga: If you prefer to stay on the hotel’s property and wish to, you can enjoy a yoga session. Anyone from beginner to expert can join and benefit from breathing mindfully and getting to know your body more intimately by stretching, learning new poses and techniques and absorbing the energy of the Sacred Valley. Return.
Massage: Afternoon massages in your hotel this afternoon if you wish
Trains cannot accommodate large pieces of luggage. An overnight, carry-on or backpack are strongly recommended to bring for your 2 overnights in Machu Picchu.
Ollantaytambo-Aguas Calientes First Class train
Small fee to enter hot spring pools
After breakfast and checkout store your large pieces of luggage with your Sacred Valley hotel and bring an overnight or carry on bag for your 2 nights in Aguas Calientes. Lovely 90 minute train right west along the Vilcanota River to Aguas Calientes. Train station greeting and escort (walk) to your hotel. Optional Putucusi ladder hike for the adventurous just outside of town. Soak in the hot springs if you wish. Many restaurants and small shops here.
Overnight Aguas Calientes.
You will be met by your guide to walk to the buses to take you up to Machu Picchu’s entrance (20 min). 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 3 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 appreciate at sunrise. As the mist rises just after sunrise the site itself is revealed to you. Like a saddle straddling a mountaintop, Machu Picchu sits hidden amongst other spectacular surrounding mountains. When finished take one of the continuous running buses back down to Aguas Calientes. Many restaurants of all qualities in the town of Aguas Calientes.
Overnight Aguas Calientes
Aguas Calientes- Ollantaytambo First Class train
After breakfast and checkout be sure to leave nothing behind in your hotel
After breakfast and check out store your luggage with your hotel. Great opportunity to enjoy the hot springs in Aguas Calientes in the morning before your afternoon train from Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo (90 min). Since it is rainy season all trains terminate in Ollantaytambo where your bus will be waiting to bring you to Cusco (90 min). Arrive to Cusco hotel before sundown.
Light walking today. At 2PM you will met at your hotel and taken to enjoy a 1/2 day tour of Cusco City, “The Navel of the World” and the surrounding cultural sites. Visit Koricancha, the Temple of the Sun near the Main Square to learn more about Inca Royalty, construction and daily life. Next drive just outside of Cusco to see the magnificent construction of Sacsayhuaman with its megalithic walls. Near Sacsayhuaman are the smaller sites of the cave at Q’Enko, the fortress of Puca Pucara and the fountains of Tambomachay. All very important, sacred sites. Overnight Cusco. (B)
Great day to walk and shop the small streets of Cusco. The huge San Pedro Market is a short walk from the Main Square where anything from food, produce, herbs, grains, souvenirs to butchered meat can be purchased. You can also walk to the Bohemian neighborhood of San Blas. It is a very short but steep walk up and out of the Main Square. Overnight Cusco.
After Breakfast and checkout be sure to leave nothing behind in your hotel.
You will be taken to the Cusco airport by private car in time for your flight to Lima. You will be greeted in the Lima airport to enjoy a day visiting the capital of Peru, “The City of Kings”
With it’s colonial structure and facade, the Basilica Cathedral of Lima (construction began in 1535) is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in the Main Square in downtown Lima. It has undergone many reconstructions and transformations since.
San Francisco Convent & catacombs off Lima Main Square is a sprawling monastery complex containing cloisters, convent, temple, 2 churches, library, tomb of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro and catacombs. Completed in 1674. This is a meandering, thoughtful tour to enjoy frescoes on hallway walls, sculptures and history.
LOW CEILINGS IN DARK CATACOMBS! WALK SLOWLY, DON’T BANG YOUR HEAD IN LOW DOORWAYS, ARCHWAYS and LOW CEILINGS.
It will ruin your day!
Stop for dinner in one of Lima’s finest restaurants. Your bus will wait to bring you to your hotel. Overnight Lima.
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