Our guided visit to Lima allows you to see the Historical Center: Main Square, the Government Palace, the Archbishop's Palace, the City Hall and old streets with colonial mansions and Moorish balconies. You will also visit the historic Santo Domingo Convent , an icon of colonial architecture. The tour goes all the way to modern district of San Isidro and Miraflores, where you’ll appreciate archaeological sites of sacred Inca structures and also, you will observe the Pacific Ocean coast from the vast seafront. Finally you will visit Larco Museum, a private collection that has a collection of treasures from ancient Peru to understand and enjoy more than 5000 years of history through more than 45,000 pieces.
Upon your arrival at the airport you will be transferred to the Sacred Valley for the Authentic Sacred Valley excursion to discover the best of the Sacred Valley of the Incas through this route starting on the Inca's Balcony, a beautiful terrace with an impressive view of Chinchero town, where 12 families still preserve their traditional customs, showing you the ancestral way in which they process the wool, and obtain those vivid colors for their textiles. Afterwards, you will get to Ollantaytambo, one of the most monumental architectural complexes of the ancient Inca Empire, one of the few places where the Spanish conquistadors lost a major battle. Very well known for its “andenes” (terraces dug into the slopes of mountains for agricultural purposes), Ollantaytambo was a highly effective fortress, that also served as a temple. Then, we will follow to the town of Ollantaytambo, “the unique living Inca town”: the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been continuously inhabited since the 13th century.
Visit the huge circular and semicircular agricultural terraces near Moray, built on a limestone plateau, that faces Urubamba Valley and were used as botanical lab by the Incas. It’s believed they have a mystical meaning. Its function, besides the agricultural one, remains a mystery. Very close, below the colonial town of Maras, you will find the mines of one of the finest salts with guarantee of origin and quality, salt of Maras. These mines form old terraces and lagoons, used since Inca times, a must for amazing photos. Also you will visit the Andean community of Misminay, where you will be able to live with the tradition preserving locals. Families live along in small single or double room houses, made out of adobe. They raise guinea pigs (cuyes), cattle and sheep.
You will be able to plow or harvest the soil, depending on the time of the year and appreciate a toast to honor the earth, ceremony in honor of Mother Earth. Additionally, you will observe the ladies spinning, wool dyeing with natural ingredients, and lastly tapestry knitting, according to the ancient techniques.
Transfer to Ollantaytambo train station to take the train ride to Machu Picchu.
You will arrive to Aguas Calientes Station in Machu Picchu town and then you will be transported by bus to Machu Picchu citadel, one of the most renowned examples of the Inca’s architecture, surrounded by an amazing landscape of lush forest. Lost in history, Machu Picchu was not discovered until 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham, but was built in the middle of XV century. The name of the citadel comes from the Quechua language that means “Old Mountain” and apparently was the principal Inca’s Sanctuary.
Enjoy lunch at a restaurant down in the citadel.
At the appointed time, you will return to the station to take your train ride back to Cusco.
Transfer from the train station to the hotel in Cusco.
Get to know the city of Cusco, an UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and possessor of a style on its own. The tour begins at the Koricancha Temple, an old Incan palace and main center for the worship of the sun god, Inti. Once the Spanish conquered Peru, the Dominican order built a lovely church over top this temple’s foundations: the church of Santo Domingo that is still there today. Your next destination is the Main Square, and then the adventure continues at the Sacsayhuaman Fortress built of enormous stone blocks expertly shaped by the Incas. It is strategically located at the top of a hill overlooking Cusco. What a view of the city! The tour continues with visits to three archeological sites: “Qenko, Puca-Pucara, and Tambomachay”, important religious and administrative centers for the Incas. Finally you will visit an art workshop named “Inkas Expression” that presents artists working on silver pieces and painting in wood. This is an ideal place for the ones who like andean art.