Per-0065A – 10-Day Inca Trail ✔️

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Per-0065A – 10-Day Inca Trail ✔️

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Day 1: Arrive in Lima (-/-/-)
Welcome to Lima, the "City of Kings". Upon arrival to the airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. Your local guide (or Tour Leader) will meet you for a welcome briefing & some tips during your stay in Lima.

While Peru's capital officially began life in 1535, when Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded the city on the Day of the Three Kings, settlements had been scattered through the valley since before the Incas. The city was built on top of an existing palace and temples that belonged to the local chief who had little choice but to move on. Lima was in its prime during the Spanish colonial days and much of the city's attraction now lies in its well-preserved historical center.

Included Activities
• Group arrival airport transfer in Lima, in private service.
Day 2: Lima Tour (B/L/-)
In the morning you’ll visit the historical center of Lima, where you'll see attractions like the Cathedral, the Viceroyalty of Peru, the main places of Lima's Plaza Mayor (Main Square), the Government Palace, the City Hall, and other important monuments. Then, head to the nearby San Francisco Monastery, with its catacombs containing some 70,000 human remains. Next, you’ll explore the popular Central market where you’ll take a walking tour. The market has a huge variety of fresh produce on offer including fruits, vegetables and even Guinea pigs. You will have the opportunity to try some local Peruvian fruits. Finally, you’ll walk through the Chinatown, where you’ll locals purchasing souvenirs and other objects as well as oriental products very demanded for our gastronomy. Here you’ll have lunch at a “Chifa” restaurant, a mix between the Peruvian and Chinese gastronomy, very popular among the Peruvians, especially on weekends.

Return to your hotel and in the afternoon take a nice walking tour around the district of Barranco, where streets are lined with traditional casonas (colonial-style houses). Barranco is also home of vibrant areas full of artists, musicians, and writers. You’ll walk through areas full of street art and murals, stopping off every now and then to take some sweet photos that will make friends back home ooze with jealousy. You’ll know the traditional “Puente de los Suspiros” (Bridge of Sights), one of Barranco’s big tourist attractions as well as our beautiful “Malecon” which offers great view of the Pacific Ocean.

In the evening, we’ll show you where the locals go for a good night out! We’ll wander Barranco in search of local flavors. As this is an evening tour, we’ll be meandering and mixing with locals on their night out, keeping pace with them and living the local experience. Time to eat! We’ll walk a few blocks away to a dynamic area well-known for its many local restaurants that serve up local delights such as anticuchos (beef hearts), picarones (small donuts), and other traditional Limeñan local food. You’ll become an expert in Peruvian snacks as you sample the most popular ones. And the cherry on top of this Lima night tour will be our final stop in a vibrant local bar, where you can try our famous Pisco sour! Feel free to spend the rest of your evening in the atmospheric bar, where there’s often live music or cool local Limeños to chat with.

Included Activities
• Half day visit to the historical center of Lima including the Catacombs and the Chinatown, in private service.
• Lunch in “Chifa” style restaurant.
• Half day walking tour around Barranco neighborhood, in private service.
• Evening street food tour in private service.
Day 3: Lima to Cusco (B/-/-)
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport to take the flight towards the imperial city of Cusco (Flight is NOT included).

Arrive in Cusco, historic heartland and former capital of the Incan Empire. You’ll be met and transferred to your hotel.

Cusco is a favorite destination of many visitors to Peru. As you wander the streets and side alleys of the city you will witness the perfect tapering Inca stonework that provided the foundations for many of Cusco’s colonial and modern buildings. The city itself is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Inca Empire for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today Cusco is a fascinating combination of both cultures. Take the time to acclimatize to the city's 3450-metre high (11,150 ft) altitude.

In the afternoon, you’ll have a guided walking tour of the most characteristic places in the center of Cusco. On the way you’ll see the Stone of Twelve Angles at the Inca Roca Palace, on Hatun Rumilloc Street. You’ll visit the Qoricancha temple, considered the most sacred Inca building. According to archaeologists it housed over 1000 priests and attendants. It was built over an Inca palace dedicated to the worship of the Sun. Then, you’ll head to the heart of the city, “the Plaza de Armas”, surrounded by colonial arcades and four churches. Here, you’ll appreciate the façade of the beautiful “Cathedral” of Cusco, built in the XVI.

In the evening, you will learn about Pisco drink. Your tour will lead you on a stroll through a beautiful small plaza, San Blas, located in Cusco’s bohemian, artistic neighborhood. It’s here where you can find several artisanal shops, a handicrafts market, and the best views of the city as night falls. Then it’s back to the order of the day: Pisco! As you wander through the city, your local guide will tell you all about the traditional Pisco Sour and its place in Peruvian history. We’ll stop off at a local bar so that you can taste a few different flavors of Pisco and hear all about the distillation process and how this sour drink is made. Finally, it’s your time to shine! Get your mixologist hat on and try your hand at making your very own Pisco Sour, using all the knowledge that you’ve picked up along the way on this Cusco city tour. And the best part? You get to drink it afterwards — salud!

Included Activities
• Group departure airport in Lima, in private service.
• Group arrival airport transfer in Cusco, in private service
• Half day walking tour around the center of Cusco including the Qoricancha temple, in private service
• Pisco making & tasting tour, in private service.
Day 4: Cusco, Sacred Valley of the Incas and Ollantaytambo (B/L/-)
In the morning, you will visit the huge “Inca Ceremonial Center of Sacsayhuaman”. This enormous structure overlooks the city of Cusco. Its constructions are amazing, with huge rocks perfectly fitted. It is said that it took over 10,000 workers 50 years to build it. The origin of the temple of Sacsayhuaman is still today unknown, the archaeologist attributed its construction to the Period of the Inca Pachacutec.

Then, you’ll head to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. On the way you’ll stop at a point known as El Mirador, from where you will be able to see the whole Sacred Valley and receive a good insight of the Inca history. The Sacred Valley was undoubtedly a key area of settlement to the Incas; its combination of agreeable climate and fertile plains bestow an unusual abundance for the high Andes. Here the Incas sculpted the mountain flanks with vast contour terracing and irrigation channels. Our driver and guide will suggest you the best points for pictures.

You’ll stop at the Pisac village to visit the Amaru community. Here, you’ll learn about the weaving process where the women of the community will show you ancient techniques of weaving, dyeing, management and production of South American camelid fibers. With this activity, women can support and help their families, providing food, home, health and studies to their sons.

Then continue the journey through the Sacred Valley and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant located in the middle of the valley.

In the afternoon, you’ll drive along the Urubamba River towards the town of Ollantaytambo, a magnificent example of Incan urban planning. It's one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. Once you get there you will visit the ruins of Ollantaytambo, an important Inca construction built during the Inca's heydays. This is an extraordinary Inca place where besides the ruins you may also see an amazing rock formation representing the Inca god Wiracocha. Afterwards, you will be transferred to your hotel located in this beautiful Inca town.

Included Activities
•Visit of Sacsayhuaman Inca fortress, in private service.
• Visit to the Sacred Valley of the including the community of Amaru, in private service.
• Lunch in a local restaurant.
• Visit to the Ollantaytambo Inca site and town, in private service.
Day 5: Ollantaytambo and Inca Trail Trek (B/L/D)
During the next four days you’ll be hiking the Classic Inca Trail. While away from Ollantaytambo, the bulk of your luggage will be stored at your hotel. The evening before you leave Cusco, you'll receive a small duffle bag to carry your clothes in during the trek (5 kg maximum). Your team of porters will carry these bags for you, together with the food and equipment for the trail. Please note that you won't have access to these items until the end of each day, as the porters will always be ahead of the group.

This morning you will set off on a journey on the Inca Trail by travelling from Ollantaytambo heading to Kilometer 82, where your trek begins. Today you will hike past the ancient hilltop fort of Huillca Raccay and the beautiful archaeological site of Llactapata.

It is a fairly leisurely hike and along the way there are stunning views of snow-capped Veronica Peak (5860m). Following the river, you will pass a tiny village and continue on to your camp at Wayllabamba, located at 3000 meters. Porters are provided on this trek, so during the day you will only need to carry a daypack with your personal items. This needs to be big enough to carry such items as water, camera and a warm jacket.

Note: The Inca Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people, but please come prepared, as the trail is 45 kilometers long and often steep. Each day's journey generally consists of seven hours of walking (uphill and downhill), with stops for snacks and lunch. Trekking usually begins at 7 am (except on the fourth morning) and you reach the campsite around 5 pm. Accommodation on the trek is camping (three nights). Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. The porters will set up the tents while the cook prepares meals.

Included Activities
• Classic Inca Trail Trek, in private service.
Day 6: Inca Trail Trek (B/L/D)
Today is the most difficult part of the trek as you climb to Warminwanusca, or Dead Woman’s Pass (4200m). Along the way you will trek through some of the most spectacular mountain scenery to be seen anywhere in the Andes. This is the first and highest of three Andean passes on the Inca Trail, with breathtaking views over the snow-capped Vilcanota and Vilcabama mountain ranges. Ahead of you, you will see the ruins of Runkuracay and in the valley below, Rio Pacamayo (Sunrise River). Here the trail changes from dirt to steps and stone pathways, your route will take you through a landscape dotted with rural hamlets, grazing llamas and well-preserved remnants of the Incan culture. Although it's not too arduous, you will still need to make a steep descent to the valley below, where you will camp beneath the cliff tops at Pacamayo (3600m), overlooking the cloud forest.

Included Activities
• Classic Inca Trail Trek, in private service.
Day 7: Inca Trail Trek (Phullupatamarca Ruins) (B/L/D)
You will climb up to the oval shaped ruin of Runkurakay, which is believed to have once been an Inca tambo or post house. Pushing on up the Inca staircase and beside two tiny and fast diminishing mountain lakes, you will be rewarded at the summit of your second pass (3900m) with spectacular views of Pumasillo (6245m) and the entire snow-capped Vilcabamba range. From here it will be a steep descent and then ascent to your third pass and the ruins of Phullupatamarca, where we embark on a long descent into a beautiful orchid-filled cloud forest. The scenery will blow you away! Butterflies flutter across the trail and the air is pure and clean as you head to breathtaking Winaywayna (2650m).

Included Activities
• Classic Inca Trail Trek, in private service.
Day 8: Inca Trail Trek, Machu Picchu and Cusco (B/-/-)
The day starts before dawn with breakfast served nice and early at approximately 4.30am. The early start serves two purposes, one we farewell our porters as they descend to the train station to catch their 6.30 am train home and two, you are ready to start hiking by 6am by when the gate that leads through to the Inti-Punku (sun gate) opens. The walk to the sun gate takes approximately 2 to 2.5 hours.

Here you will enjoy your first views of the complex of Machu Picchu, often referred to as the Lost City of the Incas. On a clear morning the view from the Sun Gate can be quite stunning and creates a lasting impression that will stay with you long after you return home. Built around 1450, the city was deserted less than a century later following the Spanish invasion and ‘lost’ for hundreds of years before it was rediscovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. The architecture of Machu Picchu is quite extraordinary, with the mortar-free design particularly earthquake resistant and the stones so precisely cut that to this day not even a knife fits between them.

You will have a guided tour to this great archaeological site and then will have a free time to take more photos on your own, before taking the bus down to the small town of Aguas Calientes followed by the tourist train back to Ollantaytambo town. Then you’ll be transferred to Cusco in private service.

Note: According to Machu Picchu visiting regulations, all visitors must follow a pre-determined route within the site. This route must be followed in one direction only and once the guided visit commences, exiting and reentering the site is not permitted. Once the guided visit concludes, visitors must exit the site and personal exploration of Machu Picchu is not permitted.

Included Activities
• Classic Inca Trail Trek, in private service.
• Guided visit of Machu Picchu ruins, in private service
• Shuttle bus from Machu Picchu ruins to Aguas Calientes town.
• Tourist train tickets from Aguas Calientes town to Ollantaytambo town on INCA Rail The Voyager service (https://incarail.com/the-voyager-machu-picchu-train)
• Transfer from Ollantaytambo train station to Cusco, in private service.
Day 9: Cusco Revisit (B/-/D)
Enjoy a free day in Cusco to relax and to continue exploring the city on your own.

Today you should use your ticket called "Boleto Turistico" that was included on your city tour program. This boleto Turistico (Tourist Ticket) gives you entry to different places in Cusco. Some of these places are visited during your city tour. However, on your free time in Cusco you will be able to use this Boleto Turistico to visit the rest of the museums, churches and sites. On the backside of the ticket you will find information about opening and closing times and some telephone numbers, etc. You will also find a map of the central parts of Cusco, and a little map that gives you a hint on where some places outside Cusco are located (Machu Picchu, Chinchero, Pisaq, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo etc).

At the end of the day, enjoy a farewell dinner at Nuna Raymi, a sustainable restaurant whose philosophy is to support and work with local producers and organic products. You’ll also appreciate a short demonstration of the typical Peruvian drink “Emoliente”, kind of herbal tea made of Peruvian medicinal plants, very demanded by locals specially during cold season (http://www.nunaraymicusco.com/gallery/).

Included Activities
• Full Boleto Turistico pass, with access to 16 archaeological sites/museums (Transport & gui.de are NOT included).
• Dinner at Nuna Raymi restaurant.
Day 10: Departure Day (B/-/-)
Your tour comes to an end today and there are no activities planned. If you may like to stay on for a few extra days to make the most of your visit here, then we’ll be happy to assist in booking accommodation (subject to availability) and extra activities.

At the appropriate time, you’ll be transferred to the airport to take your flight back to Lima (Flight is NOT included), followed by the international connection flight to home.

Included Activities
• Group departure airport transfer in Cusco, in private service.

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