Peru Adventure September 2013
Here is our itinerary:
Day 1 – Lima
Transfer Airport /Hotel.
City tour in Lima This tour includes most important monuments of Lima's Historical Centre: Plaza San Martin, Plaza Mayor, the Government Palace, the City Hall, the Cathedral, the Church of Santo Domingo and Lima's Colonial Balconies.
Then, we will visit the Convent and Church of San Francisco, the greatest monumental complex of Colonial Art in America and Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Also the tour includes a visit to Larco Herrera Museum, with the best private collection of pre-Columbian art in the country. Finally we will go to the Modern Side of Lima: the residential Districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, where we visit the Huaca Pucllana, a Ceremonial and Administrative Centre of the Incas in Lima; El Olivar Park with olive trees brought from Spain in the XVth Century; the Central Park of Miraflores and Larcomar, which in the last few years has become a symbol of modern Lima and an entertainment centre with a privileged view of the Pacific Ocean.
Day 2 - Cusco
Transfer Hotel/Airport in Lima
Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in Cusco.
13.3o hrs In the afternoon, we will have the City tour visiting the Main Square, the Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun or Koricancha. Then, we’ll go out to the nearby of the city, to visit the Inca sites of Kenko, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara and the impressive Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, strategically built on a hill overlooking Cusco, famous for its enormous carved stones, some of them standing over 9 m / 30 ft high and weighing over 350 tons.
Return to Cusco at 6pm approximately.
8pm: Brieffing previously to Inca Trail.
Day 3 - Cusco: Sacred Valley of the Incas (The Indian Market is opening only on Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday)
Early in the morning we start the excursion to the Urubamba Valley, the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
Start visiting to the typical Indian Pisac Market held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, the shopping paradise of the Andes where barter is still practiced.
We have Lunch in a typical restaurant.
In the afternoon, passing through the Towns of Calca and Urubamba, we visit the Inca Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo, built to guard the entrance to this part of the Valley, and protect it from possible invasion from the tribes in the Lower jungle.
Return to Cusco at 6pm aprox.
Day 4: INKA TRAIL – Wayllabamba
Between 7:00 and 7:30 am, we will be picked up by a private bus. We then drive to Piskacuchu (2700 masl), a community located on the 82nd kilometer of the Cusco –Machu Picchu railroad. Starting at this point, we cross the bridge and walk along the left shore of the Urubamba River as it flows north-west along the Sacred Valley. Following the trail along a flat terrain, we arrive in Miskay (2800 masl), to then ascend and finally see, from the tallest part of an overlook, the Inca city of Patallacta (2750 masl). We continue trekking along the valley created by the Kusichaca River, gradually climbing for about five hours until we reach our first campsite in the Wayllabamba village (3000 masl). All along the way we will see spectacular views of the Vilcanota ridge on the opposite side of the Urubamba River, where the impressive Veronica peak reigns at 5832 meters above sea level. Not to mention the diversity of wild flora and fauna that can be found all along the valley.
Day 5: INKA TRAIL Wayllabamba – Pacaymayo
We wake up at around 6:00 am, and after breakfast we leave Wayllabamba behind to begin the most difficult part of the trek, which consists of an abrupt and steep ascent that stretches for 9 km. Along this climb, the landscape changes from sierra to puna (a dry and high area with little vegetation). On the way to the first mountain pass, the Abra Warmihuañusca (Dead Woman´s Pass), we see domesticated llamas and alpacas grazing on ichu, one of the few plants that grow at that altitude. We also cross an area of the so called cloud forest, which is the habitat for many different kinds of birds like hummingbirds and sparrows and the Andean bear, which is also called the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctus Ornatus). We advise that on this day specially, your day pack is well stocked with candies, chocolates and coca leaves that will keep your sugar level high, and help with altitude sickness. Immediately after the pass, we descend into the Pacaymayo valley (3600 masl), where we camp after approximately 6h of hiking.
Day 6: INKA TRAIL Pacaymayo – Wiñaywayna
This day is the longest but also the most impressive and the most interesting, due the number of archaeological sites that we visit and learn about from our guide. From Pacaymayo we climb to the second pass, the Abra de Runkurakay (3970 masl). Half way up, we visit the archaeological complex with the same name. This site, located at 3800 masl, consists of a small oval structure that is believed to have served the purpose of a watchtower. After going over the pass, we descend towards Yanacocha (Black Lagoon) and enter the cloud-forest to finally arrive at Sayacmarca (3624 masl). This is a beautiful complex made up of a semicircular construction, enclosures at different levels, narrow streets, liturgical fountains, patios and irrigation canals. Continuing up an easy climb, we arrive at the third pass, the Abra de Phuyupatamarca (3700 masl). Along this climb we can appreciate the magnitude of the Incas´ ancient craft, by walking along paths semi-detached from the mountain, and seeing rocks that fill up ravines in perfect order, saving the trail from the multileveled Andean geography. We go through an Inca tunnel to later arrive at the aforementioned pass and down to the complex of the same name. This is one of the most complete and best-preserved archaeological complexes along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, and is located on the highest point of a mountain. Curiously, Phuyupatamarca means ¨town over the clouds¨. From above, one can observe a sophisticated sacred complex made up of water fountains with solid foundations, and also impressive views of the Urubamba River valley and the long descending stone steps along which we will continue on to Wiñaywayna (2700 masl). At this campsite we find a lodge with a restaurant, bar and bathrooms with hot showers. The campsite has the same name as the complex located only five minutes away from the lodge. Wiñaywayna is an impressive complex made up of an agricultural center with numerous terraces, a religious sector and an urban sector.
Day 7: INKA TRAIL Wiñaywayna – Machupicchu
On this fourth and last day we get up at 4.00 am to leave Wiñaywayna an hour later and climb to Intipunku, or The Sun Gate. This will take an hour of hiking along a trail of flat stones on the edges of cliffs in highland jungle. From this fabulous spot, we may see the sunrise over the sacred citadel of Machu Picchu. From Intipunku we descend into Machu Picchu, and 40 minutes later we enter the citadel from the highest point through the ¨House of the Guardians¨. We then descend to the control point where we register ourselves and leave our backpacks. We immediately begin a complete guided tour of the Inca citadel that will take approximately two hours. (Aditional US$ 10) You will then have free time to walk around, climb the Huaynapicchu Mountain, where one can experience spectacular views of all of Machu Picchu, the valleys and mountains that surround it, or visit the Temple of the Moon and the fabulous Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, return to Cusco.
Day 8- Cusco
8.30am : Visit to Maras and Moray :
Guided visit to the not traditional MORAY circuit, a unique archaeological site.
Moray is a place of depressions or natural gigantic holes in the surface of the area that were used to construct in its contours farming terraces or agricultural platforms with their respective irrigation canals. What calls powerfully the attention is the difference of annual average temperature between the highest areas with the bottom of the depressions, which manages to have even 15°C in the principal depression of approximately 30 meters of depth. MORAY, for its climatic conditions and other characteristics, was an important center of domestication, acclimatization and hybridization of vegetable, wild plants that were modified or adapted for the human consumption. Return to Cusco 2pm aprox.
Day 9 - Cusco / Puno by The Sun’s Route
We depart early in the morning to the City of Puno, (3860 mts.) by bus. During the trip, we pass by the Huacarpay Lake, offering spectacular views of the mountains reflected in its calm waters.
We proceed to the beautiful Town of Andahuaylillas, and visit the Church of San Pedro de Andahuaylillas, better known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas, due to its decorated polychrome ceiling. On the way, we stop in Raqchi, where we can see a spectacular Inca Sanctuary built by the Inca Pachacutec, and dedicated to the great Inca God of Wiracocha. About 70 km further on, we pass through La Raya Ranch where we can see herds of vicuñas and llamas.
Arrive to Puno in the afternoon and transfer to your selected hotel.
Day 10: Titicaca Lake, Floating Islands of Uros, Taquile and Amantani
Transport by motor boat stopping at the Uros Islands for 30 minute where you can see how the familys used the totora (Plant that grows in the lake) and they used this for built treir houses and other mores. before departing to the island of Amantani. There are no hotels on Amantani Islands but on arrival the group is split into smaller groups for overnight stays with local families. It is very beautiful and peaceful, and in many ways less spoiled than Taquile. There are six villages and ruins on both of the island’s peaks, Pacha Tata and Pacha Mama, from which there are excellent views. There are also temples and on the shore there is a throne carved out of stone. The residents make beautiful textiles and sell them quite cheaply at the Artensania Cooperative after this we return to the house for sleep. The people are Quechua speakers, but understand Spanish. Electricity supply 6-11pm. The tour price includes accommodation, lunch and evening meal on the first day and breakfast the following morning. Groups typically leave Amantani at 8am in the morning for the 1 hr 45 min boat ride to Taquile where you will visit the main village and ruins.
DAY 11 : Amantani, Taquile, Puno
After we have our breakfast, we go of Amantani island to Taquile Island for one hour aproximately. when we arrive we visit the tow of Taquile are numerous pre-Inca and Inca ruins and Inca terracing. The island is narrow, only about 1 km wide, and 6-7 km long. There is a cooperative shop on the island that sells exceptional woollen goods which are not cheap but of very fine quality. We will have the opportunity to buy beautiful handmade weavings and collages depicting the life on the islands. The inhabitants on some islands have built small ‘museums’ with stuffed birds inside, or lookout towers to get a better view. For a dollar or so you can usually take a 10 minutes ride on the lake in a traditional reed boat. All in all it makes for an interesting visit since there’s nowhere else quite like it in the world.
In the afternoon, we return to the hotel in. Free Evening.
Day 12- Puno/Lima
Transfer to Juliaca Airport. Return to Lima
Reception and transfer to your hotel in Lima.
Day 13 – Lima
Transfer to the airport.