Forgotten for several centuries and found by Hiram Bingham in 1911 the Incan city of Machu Picchu forms the central part of this tour. Elsewhere, you will get to experience the city of Cusco, its traditional food and its historic red fortress. Then as you proceed along the Sacred Valley of the Incas you will learn of the battle that they won at Ollantaytambo against the Spaniards. Machu Picchu now considered one of the New Seven Wonders Of The World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site provides an awesome and historic backdrop to this tour, that finally ends with a trip to a museum to delve into 3000 years that preceded the pre-Columbian era.
You are met upon arrival at the airport and privately escorted to your hotel to relax and refresh after your long plane flight.
Lima is the capital and largest city of Peru. It is located in the valleys of the Chillón, Rímac and Lurín rivers, on a coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It forms a contiguous urban area with the seaport of Callao and is the 5th largest city in Latin America. Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as La Ciudad de los Reyes, or "The City of Kings." It became the most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru and, after the Peruvian War of Independence, was made the capital of the Republic of Peru. Today around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area.
An early morning flight brings you to the Inca capital of Cusco. Upon arrival, proceed to the hotel to have a welcome coca tea, which may help relieve altitude sickness. The remaining of the morning is free to relax and slowly acclimatize.
Your comprehensive afternoon tour of Cusco includes the beautiful Koricancha or Sun Temple, the Cathedral as well as the Fortress of Sacsayhuaman, a remarkable Inca building, and the amphitheater of Kenko. This is followed by a visit to Puca Pucara, a strategically located 'red fortress' that dominates the entire area before visiting Tambomachay, with its two distinctive aqueducts that to this day continue to provide clean water to the area. (B)
Cusco is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley (Sacred Valley) of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cusco Province. The city has a population of 348,935 which is triple the figure of 20 years ago. Cusco is the historic capital of the Inca Empire and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. It is a major tourist destination and receives almost a million visitors a year. It is designated as the Historical Capital of Peru by the Constitution of Peru.
This morning after breakfast, you are driven to the Sacred Valley to visit Ollantaytambo and Pisac. Hundreds of visitors and people from remote communities dressed in their traditional and colorful attires travel to the Pisaq market to barter their products. Enjoy some time to stroll around the market and buy souvenirs, followed by lunch in a typical ‘hacienda’.
Depart Pisac and continue along the valley to Ollantaytambo, location of the Temple of the Sun, formed of six gigantic monoliths, whose total weight exceeds 50 tons. The Terrace of the Ten Niches is another striking sight. Ollantaytambo was the site of the only successful Inca battle against the Spanish conquerors and the only town in the area to still retain its original Inca layout.
Return to your hotel later this afternoon and spend the rest of your day at leisure. (B, L)
Ollantaytambo is a town and an Inca archaeological site in southern Peru some 60 kilometers northwest of the city of Cusco. It is located at an altitude of 2,792 meters above sea level in the district of Ollantaytambo, province of Urubamba, Cusco region. During the Inca Empire, Ollantaytambo was the royal estate of Emperor Pachacuti who conquered the region, built the town and a ceremonial center. At the time of the Spanish conquest of Peru it served as a stronghold for Manco Inca Yupanqui, leader of the Inca resistance. Nowadays it is an important tourist attraction on account of its Inca buildings and as one of the most common starting points for the three-day, four-night hike known as the Inca Trail.
Písac is a Peruvian village in the Sacred Valley on the Urubamba River. The village is well-known for its market every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. One of its more notable features is a large pisonay tree which dominates the central plaza. The sanctuary of Huanca, home to a sacred shrine, is also near the village. Pilgrims travel to the shrine every September. The area is perhaps best known for its Incan ruins, known as Inca Písac, which lie atop a hill at the entrance to the valley.
The Sacred Valley of the Incas or Urubamba Valley is a valley in the Andes of Peru, close to the Inca capital of Cusco and below the ancient sacred city of Machu Picchu. The valley is generally understood to include everything between Písac and Ollantaytambo, parallel to the Urubamba River, or Vilcanota River or Wilcamayu, as this sacred river is called when passing through the valley. It is fed by numerous rivers which descend through adjoining valleys and gorges, and contains numerous archaeological remains and villages. The valley was appreciated by the Incas due to its special geographical and climatic qualities. It was one of the empire's main points for the extraction of natural wealth, and the best place for maize production in Peru.
Aguas Calientes is the colloquial name for Machupicchu Pueblo, a town in Peru on the Urubamba (Vilcanota) River. It is best known as the closest access point to the the sacred Incan city of Machu Picchu, which is 6 km (3.7 mi) away, about 1.5 hours walk. It has many hotels and restaurants for tourists, as well as natural hot baths, which give the town its name ("hot waters" in Spanish).
This morning, transfer to the Ollanta train station for a 1 ½ -hour train ride through the Sacred Valley of the Incas up to Machu Picchu. On arrival, board a small coach and travel along the steep roads to the entrance of the citadel. Machu Picchu remained for centuries undiscovered by the Spaniards, only to be found in 1911 by Hiram Bingham. The uniqueness of its location and the genius that went into its construction make this Inca archaeological site truly one of the great wonders of the world.
A well deserved buffet lunch is served after your excursion at the restaurant of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel located within the very sanctuary of the Machu Picchu Inca citadel. Depart to your hotel in Aguas Calientes and stay overnight. (B, L, D)
Machu Picchu is a pre-Columbian Inca site located 2,430 meters (8,000 ft) above sea level. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, 80 km southwest of Cusco. Often referred to as "The Lost City of the Incas", Machu Picchu is one of the most familiar symbols of the Inca Empire. The Incas started building it around 1460 AD but was abandoned as an official site for the Inca rulers a hundred years later, at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. The site was brought to worldwide attention in 1911 by Hiram Bingham, an American historian. Since then, Machu Picchu has become an important tourist attraction. Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its primary buildings are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows.
After breakfast, the remainder of the morning is yours at leisure to roam around the majestic site of Machu Picchu, climb the Huayna Picchu (3000 m) or to explore the interesting town of Aguas Calientes. This afternoon, board the train back to Cusco, where you are met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. (B)
This morning after breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima, one of the most important cities in South America since it was founded by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in 1535. Explore the historic quarter and modern districts of the city and the main square with its beautiful buildings. The Government Palace, the City Hall, the Palace of the Archbishop and the Cathedral are still the most important places in town. Continue on to the San Francisco Monastery, the popular Plaza San Martin, and the residential districts of San Isidro and Miraflores.
Afterwards continue to Larco Herrera Museum, which is housed in an elegant 18th century mansion built over a pre-Inca pyramid from the 7th century. It displays the most extensive collection of pre-Columbian art in Peru (45,000 pieces) and boasts the finest gold and silver collection of ancient Peruvian cultures as well as the only collection of erotic ceramics in the world. The museum’s didactic galleries, full of highlights, make it easier to understand the 3,000 years of the Peruvian pre-Columbian history. Its masterpieces are considered worldwide icons of pre-Columbian art and have been displayed in the world's most renowned museums. Return to your hotel and stay overnight. (B)
Our offer includes:
Does not include:
(Subject to change without previous notice)
Air ticket Lima/Cusco/Lima. Final rate will depend on the fare available for the date we ask for, as sooner we book a better fare we get.
10% of total tour cost due at the time of booking
90% or balance no later than 65 days prior to tour departure date
(i) 10% of the total tour value if cancelled more than 36 days prior to date of first service sold by TRAVBUZZ / PALACE TOURS(ii) 60% of the total tour value if cancelled 20-35 days prior to date of first service sold by TRAVBUZZ / PALACE TOURS
(iii) 80% of the total tour value if cancelled 13-19 days prior to date of first service sold by TRAVBUZZ / PALACE TOURS
(iv) 100% of the total tour value if cancelled 0-12 days prior to date of first service sold by TRAVBUZZ / PALACE TOURS
*Please note: Cancellation FEES listed do not reflect the additional FEES of the hotels. These will be advised on a case-by-case basis as the FEES vary depending on the hotels utilized and the dates booked.
What is the weather like?
Peru’s climate can be divided into two seasons - wet and dry - though this can vary depending on the region. Temperature is mostly influenced by elevation: the higher you climb, the cooler it becomes.
Coastal areas - Lima, Ica, Nasca, Arequipa:
The coastal region of Peru is cool for its latitude and quite dry year-round. Temperatures are warmest during the summer months (December to March), with hot and humid days of around 29°C (84°F) and cool nights of just below 20°C (68°F). Winters (from April to November) are not too cold but extremely humid.
Highlands (Andes) - Cusco, Puno:
The highlands have a rainy season (November to April) and a dry season (May to October), when the days are clear and sunny but very cold at night especially at altitude. Dry season is therefore ideal for trekking and for mountaineering. Daytime temperatures will generally be between 16°C- 21°C (60°F and 70°F), although in the intense sunlight of midday it can feel warmer. Night time temperatures can fall as low as -7°C (20°F).
What clothing and other items are recommended to bring?
Please dress comfortably according to the local weather conditions. We recommend bringing sweatshirts, fleece jacket, raincoat, trousers, cargo shorts, t-shirts, hat, hiking shoes, sandals, swimsuit, toiletries, first-aid kit, insect repellent, aspirin, sun block and sunglasses.
What health precautions should I take before visiting Peru?
You should visit your personal physician for a check-up prior to taking your trip to Peru. The following are the recommended vaccinations for Peru: diphtheria, tetanus, polio, typhus, hepatitis A/B, rabies. P A yellow-fever vaccine is strongly recommended for trips to the Amazon (Puerto Maldonado or Iquitos). The vaccine is required for all travelers arriving from a yellow-fever-infected country in Africa or Latin America. The yellow-fever certificate is valid 10 days after vaccination and for a subsequent period of 10 years. Malaria is prevalent in northern parts of Peru and in Iquitos (Amazon). The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) recommends taking anti-malarial drugs. Please refer to your doctor for the most up to date information about anti-malarial medication.
What precautions against mosquitoes do I need to take?
You will find mosquitoes and other stinging insects especially in the rainforest. A good protection not only prevents from itching but also from transmission of diseases such as Malaria or yellow fever. Wear light-colored clothing, long trousers and long-sleeved shirts; use mosquito repellents containing the compound DEET on exposed areas; avoid perfumes and aftershave. Use a mosquito net impregnated with mosquito repellent (permethrin). In case you have a very sensitive skin you could use an anti-allergic cream, for example ‘After bite’ or ‘Bite away’ that reduces the itchiness. Double-check that your lodge provides a mosquito net in your room.
Is the water safe to drink?
The standards for health and hygiene in the larger cities and tourist regions are relatively high. Nevertheless, travelers should drink only bottled water, which is widely available. Do not drink tap water, even in major hotels, and try to avoid drinks with ice. If you’re trekking in the mountains or visiting remote rural areas where bottled water is not available, boil water to purify it or use water-purification tablets. You are safer eating fruits that you can peel or salads and fruits washed with purified water, as well as foods that have been thoroughly cooked. Your best bet is to avoid food from street vendors.
What should I expect regarding altitude sickness?
For a healthy person traveling to the Andes, there is just a minimal risk of suffering from altitude sickness. You should take enough time to acclimatize after arrival, especially in Andean cities like Cusco 3,360m (11,023ft) or Puno 3,827m (12,556ft). We recommend avoiding physical efforts during the first few hours as well as alcohol. Try to eat light food and drink a lot of water. The local coca tea is recommended in case of altitude sickness. People with cardiovascular disease should not stay in an altitude over 2,000m. Altitude sickness can be counteracted by inhaling pure oxygen, and oxygen bottles can be purchased locally.
What is the official currency?
Peru's official currency is the Nuevo Sol, divided into 100 centavos. The US dollar is the second currency and many hotels, plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars across Peru accept US dollars for payment. Partly, the Euro is also accepted. Banks are no longer the place of choice in Peru for exchanging money: Lines are too long and rates are often lower than at ‘casas de cambio’ (exchange houses) or by using credit or debit card ATMs or ‘cambistas’ (money-changers), which are legal in Peru. Money-changers, often wearing colored jackets with "$" insignias and photo checks, can be found on the street. They offer current rates of exchange, but count your money carefully and make sure you have not received any counterfeit bills. We recommend bringing USD cash for the first few days.
How common are ATMs? Can I exchange traveler’s checks?
Peru is still very much a cash society. In small towns, it could be impossible to cash traveler’s checks or use credit cards. Automatic teller machines (ATMs) are the best way of getting cash in Peru; they are found in most towns and cities. ATMs with the Maestro sign allow customers to withdraw money with a credit or debit card. Visa and MasterCard ATM cards are the most widely accepted. American Express and Diners Club are less common. You can easily pay with credit card in most of the stores in tourist cities. Note that many banks assess a 1% to 3% ‘transaction fee’ on all charges you incur abroad. Traveler's checks can be changed in the largest banks. Generally speaking you'll pay a service charge ranging from 1% to 4%. Most stores don’t accept traveler’s checks.
Will there be internet access or phone accessibility?
It is relatively simple to make local and long-distance domestic and international calls from pay phones, which accept coins and phone cards ‘tarjetas telefónicas’. Many of these cards can be purchased at newspaper kiosks and street vendors. Most phone booths display country and city codes and contain instructions in English and Spanish. Peru’s country code is +51. Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Mobile phones can be rented in Lima and the main cities. Internet access in Peru is very cheap. The rates vary between USD 0.50 and USD 1.00 per hour. Also, you will be able to find Internet Cafes, where most of the times you will be able to access for free via wireless Internet.
What are the guidelines for tipping?
A tip in Peru, like in most of the countries in South America, is given to reward good service. Porters in hotels and airports expect USD 1.00 for 2 luggage pieces. A 5-10% tip is sufficient in most restaurants unless the service has been exceptional. There is no need to tip taxi drivers. Fares are negotiated before departure. It is customary to offer your tour guides and driver a token of appreciation at the tour’s end, if you feel pleased with their service.
What should I know about taxis?
There are numerous taxi providers in Lima and other cities who offer reservations by telephone or hotel. These taxis are safer and drivers may understand some English. Street taxis are cheaper but not that safe. In any case, due to the fact there are no taximeters you should negotiate the price in advance.
Is bargaining common while shopping?
At stores and in open markets, bargaining (gentle, good-natured haggling over prices) is accepted and even expected. However, be careful of getting the haggling fever and trying to bargain beyond reason. Consider how important the one or two extra dollars are to you compared to how important they might be to the vendor. Bargaining is not common in restaurants.
What electric outlets are there?
All outlets are 220 volts, 60 cycles (except in Arequipa, which operates on 50 cycles) with two-prong outlets that accept both flat and round prongs. Some large hotels also have 110-volt outlets.
How much are airport taxes?
If the airport tax is not included you have to settle it after checking in at the airport. The amount depends on the place and kind of flight. It’s approximately USD 6.05 for domestic flights. You will be charged USD 30.25 for an international flight.
What safety issues do I need to be aware of?
Peru recognizes that tourism plays an important part in its developing economy and has taken great steps in the last few years to change its security record. The possibility of having a bad experience can be greatly reduced by taking a few simple precautions: - Copy all important documents (passport, air tickets) and carry only copies with you - Leave your valuables and important documents such as passport, international flight tickets, jewelry at the hotel, if possible in the safe. In case there is only one safe in the reception, obtain a receipt with each item listed. If necessary, carry important documents and cash in a belt under your clothes and do not leave items unattended. Be especially cautious in crowded places, especially at tourist hotspots such as Lima and Cusco; rural areas are widely safe. Remember that you are subject to the laws of Peru, and it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these laws before leaving. Drug trafficking is a serious crime, and the export of cultural or artistic items from the country is not permitted. Avoid walking alone in quiet areas or at night, travel in a group if possible and tell somebody where you go if you are alone. In case you get into trouble with authorities insist on seeing their identification. Check your change and check the banknotes and coins.
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