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Classic Peru

Get a feel for Cusco in the Plaza de Armas
Includes return economy airfares

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Escorted Journey
Visit South America and travel to Peru on an adventure from mountains to jungle, and seasides to great plains.

Highlights

Some of the highlights included are:

  • Meet Peru's locals on a Lake Titicaca homestay
  • Step back in time in the Sacred Valley
  • Be awestruck by Ollantaytambo
  • Witness the glory of ancient Peru in Machu Picchu
  • Bask in the hot springs of Aguas Calientes
  • Get a feel for Cusco in the Plaza de Armas

Holiday Type

Culture
  • Y
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  • N
Wildlife & Nature
  • Y
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  • N

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What's included
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
  • Accommodation: Homestay (1 night), Hotel (7 nights)
  • Transport: Boat, Bus, Train
  • Activities: Machu Picchu entrance and Guided Tour
Need to know
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 12
  • Ages: Min 15
Your route
Intrepid: Classic Peru Map Lima Cuzco Lake Titicaca Puno Ollantaytambo Aguas Calientes Machu Picchu Sacred Valley

Itinerary

Day 1
Lima

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 centre. Your leader will take you on a walking tour of downtown Lima, including the city's historical centre. Flanked by streets of ornate colonial mansions, palaces and churches, Plaza Mayor is the best place to start exploring Lima. On one side of the plaza is the Cathedral, which houses the remains of Lima's founder, Francisco Pizarro.

Day 2
Cusco

Cusco

Cusco is the continent's oldest continuously inhabited city and was the home of the Incas for two centuries before the Spanish built their first capital here. Today it hosts a fascinating combination of both cultures. Inca-built walls line the central streets and many of the elegant colonial buildings are built on or around Inca foundations. Take the time to acclimatise to the city's 3,450 m (11,150 ft) altitude and explore the many Baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city. Your leader will take you on a walking tour including a visit to the local San Pedro market and the Coca Musuem, where you can learn more about the infamous plant which has been an essential part of life in the Andes for centuries. Get a Boleto Turistico (tourist ticket) to explore some of the many churches and ancient ruins.

Day 3
Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo

Travel by private bus through the Sacred Valley, on the outskirts of Cuzco. Known as Wilcamayo to the Incas, the lush, fertile valley has long been the main source of food for the high Andes. Maize crops can be seen surrounding the river and covering the terraces carved high into the valley walls. We will head to a community in the Valley to learn about local lifestyle and activities and, if our visit coincides with market day, we can spend time browsing the stalls in search of hand-painted beads or warm ponchos and maybe practising some of the local language, Quechua. By late afternoon we board a train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes, for an early journey to Machu Picchu the next morning. Aguas Calientes is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu.

Day 4
Machu Picchu/Cusco

Machu Picchu/Cusco

Day 5
Cusco

Cusco

Enjoy free time to relax, shop and explore more of Cusco's sights. Rest weary legs at a cafe on Plaza de Armas. The Cathedral, built on top of an Incan palace, dominates the Plaza de Armas - Cusco's picturesque heart. It's one of the city's greatest repositories of art and houses an elegantly carved choir stall and a gold-covered Renaissance altar. The stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman is also worth a visit. Looking over the city from its hilltop position, the fortress is built out of massive stone blocks and is the ultimate example of the Inca's military strength. Other nearby ruins are Qenko and Tambo Machay. For those who can't get enough active adventure, why not try mountain biking in the hills that surround Cusco.

Days 6-7
Puno/Lake Titicaca

Puno/Lake Titicaca

Travel by local bus across the spectacular Altiplano to Puno. Located on the shores of Lake Titicaca, Puno is a melting pot of Aymara and Quechuan Indian culture and traditional Andean customs are still strongly represented here. The town is known as the folklore capital of Peru and is famous for its traditional dances. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world, sitting at 3,820 m above sea level. Take a tour of the lake by slow motor boat, stopping off to visit the Uros floating islands. The Uros originally built their islands to isolate themselves from rival tribes. The islands are built from many layers of totora reeds that grow in the shallows of the lake. To get a closer look at daily life in the Lake Titicaca region, we'll be welcomed into local homes for an overnight stay on a local community. 

Days 8-9
Lima

Lima

After breakfast we return to Puno by boat in time to catch our flight to Lima for one last group night out. Your adventure finishes on day 9.

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