Embark on a Peru tour to explore the soaring Andes, fascinating Machu Picchu and majestic Lake Titicaca. In just one week, visit the legendary Inca ruins of the Sacred Valley, stopping along the way to bargain at colorful Indian markets. Explore the town of Cusco, an architectural jewel, full of Inca and colonial history. Spend two days in the hidden city of Machu Picchu, walking through its mysterious ruins and the surrounding cloud forests. Then travel to the world's highest navigable lake. At 12,500 feet above sea level, Lake Titicaca is one of the Andes' most impressive natural wonders. Experience one of our most popular Peru tours.
Arrive in Lima and transfer to your hotel. If you arrive with time to spare, you can kick off your Peru travel with optional tours to explore the city, including museum visits and other sites of interest, arranged upon request by Southern Explorations.
Take a morning flight to Cusco, center of the Inca Empire. From the airport, Southern Explorations' guides will take you on a brief tour of the stunning Plaza de Armas on the way to your hotel. Then spend the remainder of the day on your own relaxing and acclimatizing to the altitude (10,856 ft). (B)
Start the day on a guided walking tour of Cusco, visiting the markets, the colonial cathedral, and Koricancha, the impressive Temple of the Sun. After a delicious lunch of local cuisine, your Peru travels continue with an afternoon tour of Cusco's temples and a visit to several prominent Inca sights, including: the fortress of Sacsayhuamán, with its megalithic stone terraces; Kenko, with its carved stone surfaces and subterranean altars; the small fortress of Puka Pukara and the water temple, Tambo Machay. In the late afternoon, return to Cusco to relax at your hotel or venture out on your own to further explore the town's sights. (B)
On this next leg of your Peru tour, you'll enjoy a day-long guided excursion through snowcapped peaks to the famed Sacred Valley of the Incas. See the Inca terracing that climbs the steep valley walls, the temple ruins of Pisac with panoramic mountain vistas and nearby, the market of Pisac where great bargains may be had on distinctive textiles. After lunch, you'll reach today's final destination, Ollantaytambo (9,185 ft.), a small town with a mammoth Inca fortress. Spend the night at a local hotel. (B)
Begin today with a guided tour of the Ollantaytambo ruins before walking to the train station at Ollantaytambo. The train travels along the scenic the Urubamba River before gaining elevation and mountain views and passing through a magnificent cloud forest before reaching the town of Aguas Calientes for lunch and making connections for the last leg of the trip by bus. Spend the entire day exploring the mountain citadel of Machu Picchu (7,875 ft.), returning in the late afternoon to nearby Aguas Calientes for a soak in the hot springs before a delicious dinner of regional cuisine. Spend a restful night at a local hotel. (B)
Start the day with the unforgettable experience a Machu Picchu sunrise, the best time for photographing the ruins. Continue your explorations, climbing to the sacred peak of Huayna Picchu or walking through cloud forest vegetation to reach the Temple of the Moon. Return to the train station for a ride back to Ollantaytambo where you will meet your driver who will take you to the Chincheros artisan market. Here, local artisans explain their craft of textile work, describing their traditional ways of shearing, processing, dyeing, and weaving from alpaca wool. After some last minute shopping, return to Cusco where you are transferred to your hotel. (B)
Embark over the altiplano (high plains) onboard a bus for a full day of high altitude views. Reach Puno, along the shores of Lake Titicaca. Transfer to your comfortable hotel. (B)
Lake Titicaca, the cradle of Incan civilization, is the largest freshwater lake in South America, extending from southeastern Peru to western Bolivia. The 122-mile long 35-mile-wide lake has waves, testament to its size. Fed by the snow-clad Andes, the lake does not invite swimming. It is the remnant of an ancient inland sea, and its vivid blue waters make a beautiful contrast to the stark altiplano. No Peru tour is complete without a photograph of this natural wonder.
In the morning take a short drive to the dock at Puno harbor for an 8 AM departure by boat to the famous floating Uros Islands for a quick visit. Continue the journey by boat to reach tranquil Taquile Island, housing a community of male weavers and spinners in a Mediterranean-like setting. In the late afternoon, return to Puno to shop. Puno is known for its alpaca wear, so it's the great place to find unique souvenirs of your Peru travels. (B,L)
You'll have the morning free to enjoy breakfast at the hotel. On the outskirts of Puno are mysterious pre-Incan ruins called chullpas (funeral towers), the finest of which sit on a peninsula in Lake Umayo at Sillustani. The Colla people, a warrior tribe that spoke Aymara, buried their elite in these giant cylindrical tombs, some as tall as 40 ft. The stonemasonry is exquisite (many archaeologists and historians find them more complex and superior even to Inca engineering). Explore this area before your late afternoon flight to Lima for your connecting international flight, marking the end of Southern Explorations' services. (B)
Travel to Peru and explore the heart of the Andes on this exciting Machu Picchu tour. In just one week, your Peru travel takes you to the legendary Inca ruins of Sacsayhuamán and Ollantaytambo,...select
The hidden city of the Incas, Machu Picchu, tops most every list of the world's greatest man-made wonders. Set in the breathtaking splendor of the Andes, it is South America's most awe-inspiri...select