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Cusco: 8 Day Machu Picchu and Puno Southern Treasures Tour

ToursSightseeing ToursCulture & HistoryArchitectureArchaeologyReligious & Spiritual ActivitiesHistory & HeritageMeet the LocalsNature & AdventureNational ParksNature & PanoramaCruises & Boat ToursBoats & YachtsEducational ActivitiesViewing PointsUNESCO Sites

Become familiar with the anomalies that the Incas have left behind. Discover the culture of Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Lake Titicaca.

Highlights

  • Enjoy phenomenal views of the Andes mountains
  • Feel the magic and wonder that permeates the Cusco and Puno regions
  • Explore the floating islands of Uros and Taquile Island

Description

Day 1: arrive in Cusco.  Be collected when you arrive at the airport in Cusco and driven to your lodge, which is located in the charming historic district of San Blas. Your lodge will be the 3-star Tandapata Boutique Hotel or similar and is just a few minutes walk from the Plaza de Armas, the beautiful and bustling town center. Today is reserved for resting and acclimatizing to the altitude of approximately 3,400 meters (11,000 feet). You will meet your expedition group at 5:00 PM.    Day 2: Sacred Valley tour of Chinchero, Moray, and the salt mines. Begin your adventure on the high plains with the first stop at Chinchero, which an important ancient site for the Inca. It is known as the birthplace of the rainbow. Visit the picturesque colonial church then a local textile center, where you will learn about the ancient science of weaving from the artisans themselves. See how they bring magic to these wonderful pieces of art, which are dyed with minerals, plants, and seeds. Continue through the rolling hills to the enigmatic circular terraces of Moray. Learn about how these constructions served as an experimental agricultural center to selectively cultivate the best breeds of staple Andean crops at different temperatures. Near Moray, make a stop at the town of Maras to visit the ancient salt mines. These were used for thousands of years by local families to supply salt to the Incas and they are still used today so you can discover the natural art of salt harvesting straight from the land. In the afternoon, travel to Ollantaytambo and board the train to Aguas Calientes. Stay overnight at the 3-star Waman Hotel Machupicchu or similar.    Day 3: Machu Picchu.  Today, you will rise very early for breakfast then ascend to the citadel Inka of Machu Picchu, which is approximately 25 minutes by bus. Appreciate sunrise at this magical place. It is a famous masterpiece of architecture and engineering, believed to have been a sanctuary and energetic center. Today, Machu Picchu is recognized by UNESCO as one of the seven wonders of the world and a World Heritage Site. Take a 2 to 3-hour guided tour of the site with a guide who will teach you about the site and answer any questions. Return to Aguas Calientes for lunch then the 3-star Waman Hotel Machupicchu or similar for the night.    Day 4: Pisaq and Awanancancha.  Travel to Ollantaytambo and continue to the town of Pisaq. Here, you will discover the engineering of the Incas as the mountainsides are full of terraces and buildings on steep hillsides and high peaks. Journey to the top of this mountain for the best views of the Sacred Valley below. Later, return to the town of Pisaq and visit the local artisan market to see all kinds of products including weavings, musical instruments, and souvenirs. Return to Cusco and on the way stop at Awanacancha, which is a weaving center. Meet the Andean species of camels including alpaca, llama, vicuña, and guanaco and dive deeper into the science of weaving to appreciate the hand-made art of the Andean women. Stay tonight at the 3-star Tandapata Hotel Boutique or similar.    Day 5: Cusco.  Today you have free time to explore Cusco. You can spend the day in the city independently or book a day tour such as the city walking tour, river rafting on Vilcanota River, horse riding in Saqsayhuaman Park, ziplining in the Sacred Valley, or ATV riding in Killarumiyoc. Stay tonight at the 3-star Tandapata Hotel Boutique or similar.    Day 6: Puno.  In the morning, depart from the bus terminal and head toward Puno to visit the many diverse locations along the route of the sun. Stop at Andahuaylillas to see the Sistine Chapel of the Americas, which is one of the best examples of the fusion between Catholic and Andean religions. Visit Raqchi, an Inka temple dedicated to the god Wiracocha, creator of the universe. Its construction is of monumental dimensions and stands at an estimated 100 meters long, 26 meters wide, and 14 meters high. La Raya is the midway point on your journey and the highest point on the road at 4,335 meters above sea level. The impressive views here allow you to admire the rugged altitude full of tall snow-capped peaks and herds of llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas. This is the geographic border between the two cultures of the Quechua of Cusco and the Aymara of Puno. Continue to Pucara, one of the oldest and most important ceremonial centers of the high plains, which is well known for its lithic structures and tombs. Stay tonight at the 3-star Puno Qalasaya Hotel or similar.    Day 7: Uros and Taquile Island. Depart at 7:30 AM from your hotel to the dock or main port. At 7:45 AM, begin your trip to the floating islands of the Uros, the National Reserve of Lake Titicaca. The lake is known as the highest navigable lake in the world with 75 islands to explore. See the beautiful panoramic view as your expert guide teaches you about the floating islands. The people of Uros maintain their culture and traditions of artisanal fishing and are dedicated to the hunting of wild birds and the collection of duck eggs. Then sail for 2.5 hours to Taquile Island. On the way, see the mountain chain, the royal mountain range. The people of Taquile have demonstrated their skills in textiles, with recognition from UNESCO. Spinning and weaving are done mostly by men, who learn at the age of eight. Women make yarns and fabrics. Life in Taquile has been largely unchanged by modernity. After your 2 hour visit, enjoy a delicious typical lunch. You can purchase some of the crafts and give this community the sustainability to continue sharing their culture and traditions. Return to the city of Puno for 5:00 PM and stay at the 3-star Puno Qalasaya Hotel or similar.    Day 8: Puno to Juliaca to Lima.  Take a brief transfer from Puno to the neighboring city of Juliaca. Upon your arrival in Lima, you will be assisted to your international connecting flight or accommodation.   

Includes

7 night’s accommodations 3 stars hotels with breakfasts Transportation Tour guide Train ticket to Machu Picchu Entrance fee to Machu Picchu Guided tour of Machu Picchu 2 lunches and 1 dinner
International or local flights Single supplement, which is 300 USD Travel insurance Entrance fee to Huayna Picchu, which is 35 USD Additional meals Gratuities

Important Information

  • Please provide the full name, date of birth, nationality, and passport number of each participant when booking because it is required to confirm your admission to Machu Picchu
  • You must bring a current valid passport on the day of travel
  • It is highly recommended to get travel insurance for the duration of your trip

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