South America Inca Culture

This incredible journey is perfect for the cosmopolitan traveler with a bit of a wild side. You will travel through the old and new parts of Lima, witness the majesty of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, and have the option to witness the most unforgettable sunrise over the Uyuni Salt Flats. Peru and Bolivia await the opportunity to share with you their history, natural wonders and local culture.

Guaranteed departures – 13-day/12-night package including Lima, Cuscu, The Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Puno, Copacabana, Sun Island, La Paz and Uyuni. This package includes daily breakfast and your choice of accommodations at either Superior Tourist Class or First Class hotels.

Includes

  • Transfers per itinerary
  • Hotels per itinerary or similar
  • Meals per itinerary; (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner
  • Sightseeing per itinerary
  • Travel funds escrow protection program
  • Touring by modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Train tickets per itinerary
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Taxes and Service Charges
  • Emergency assistance

Excludes

  • Personal expenses
  • Optional tours
  • Customary tips and gratuities
  • Local city taxes
  • Drinks during meals
  • Flights

Daily Itinerary

Day

1

Lima - Arrival

You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. A local representative will assist with your luggage and present you with a detailed kit and explanation of your program.

Day

2

Discover Lima

After breakfast, join your half-day tour of the city and visit the modern and colonial parts of Lima, the “City of Kings,” starting with the Miraflores and San Isidro districts. Along the way, you will pass by a Huaca, or sacred site dating back before the Inca. There will be a stop at Parque del Amor, or Lover’s Park, in Miraflores to take in the magnificent view over the Pacific Ocean. The tour also includes the Historic Center in the Main Square where the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Municipality of Lima and the Cathedral are located. You will also enjoy a visit to one of the largest colonial-era convents. (B)

Day

3

Lima - Cusco - Sacred Valley

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Cusco (ticket not included). You will be met upon arrival and transferred to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to rest and acclimate to the altitude. (B)

Day

4

Discover the Sacred Valley - Machu Picchu

Today you will head to Chinchero to visit the PARWA Center where you can appreciate beautiful textiles and even buy some to take home. Next, visit Chinchero Church, built by the Spanish in 1607. Continue with a visit to the ruins of Chinchero, where you will find an important Inca center in which terraces and aqueducts were built. Conclude your visit with a stop at the Racchi Viewpoint for incredible panoramic views of the entire Valley. After, you will travel to Ollantaytambo, one of the most monumental architectural complexes of the ancient Inca Empire and one of the few places where the Spanish conquistadors lost a major battle. Continue to the town of Ollantaytambo, known as the “unique, living inca town,” and the best surviving example of Incan city planning which has been continuously inhabited since the 13th century. Visit the market here to shop for handicrafts then, later in the day, you will board your train to Machu Picchu. (B,L)

Day

5

Discover Machu Picchu

After breakfast you will visit on of the most important ancient centers of the world: Machu Picchu. You will be transferred to the archaeological site for your guided visit, complete with all of the history and mystery that surrounds this enchanting place. Once you’ve finished your tour, you will have some free time to explore the site on your own, relax, or meditate. When the time comes, you will descend to the town of Aguas Calientes for lunch and board the train later that afternoon for the return trip to Cusco. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. (B,L)

Day

6

Explore Cusco

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and the rest of the day at leisure to explore this beautiful and charming colonial city. Don’t miss the Temple of the Sun, or Koricancha, the San Blas neighborhood, the Cathedral and the Inca Fortress of Sacsayhuaman. You may consider an optional guided afternoon tour of Cusco complete with these highlights and many other examples of Inca and colonial-era architecture. (B)

Day

7

Cusco - Puno

After breakfast you will be transferred from your hotel to the bus station where you will depart for Puno. En route you will enjoy the magnificent scenery of the valley south of Cusco. The first stop will be Andahuaylillas, a beautiful 17th century church containing an impressive organ decorated with angels and cherubs. Next you will stop at the ruins of Racchi, also known as the “Temple of Wiracocha,” broken into different zones to suit different purposes of the time. After your visit to the ruins, enjoy a lunch buffet of traditional foods at a local restaurant. Continue to the archaeological site of Puca-Pucara, essentially a military camp for administrative purposes. Leaving Puca-Pucara, you will arrive at the Puno bus station where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. (B,L)

Day

8

Puno - Copacabana - Sun Island

After breakfast at your hotel you will be taken by private transfer from Puno to Copacabana with breathtaking views of Lake Titikaka along the route (approx. 3 hours). In Copacabana you will visit its church and the famous “Virgen Morena.” From there you will take a boat across the Lake to the Island of the Sun (approx. 1 hour) until Huacani to have a typical Aptapi lunch. Continue your journey by boat to the ruins of Pilkokaina Inca temple where you will hike to La Estancia with a remarkable view of the Lake. You will spend the night on the Island of the Sun at the Ecolodge La Estancia, an amazing spot located in the southern part of the Island. It was built preserving the Andean architecture while offering all of the modern comforts one expects, always respecting the harmony of the surrounding ecosystem. The cabins were constructed with adobe brick and thatch roofs and were set between pre-Inca terraces. (B,L,D)

Day

9

Sun Island - La Paz

We highly recommend the option to wake before breakfast to take in the magnificent sunrise over Lake Titakaka to start your day. Later, hike down through Yumani visiting the Inca stairs and the Water of the Eternal Youth, then embark on a trip north by boat to visit the Chincana ruins and the Sacred Rock (approx. 1 hour) Continue by boat to the Island of the Moon (approx. 1 hour) and the Inca ruins of Inak Uyu temple before finally reaching Copacabana (approx. 1 ½ hours). Take a private transfer to La Paz (approx. 3 ½ hours) with very nice views of the Andes Royal Range. (B,L)

Day

10

Explore La Paz

Today you will have the day at leisure to explore the city of La Paz or join an optional tour. You might consider a half-day tour of the city and the Valley of the Moon. La Paz, one of the 7 wonders of the world, is a city located in the foothills of the Andes, situated 11,942 ft above sea level. The tour goes through the street markets rich in handicrafts, weavings and witchcraft items, followed by a visit to the colonial section of the city. You will visit the San Francisco Church, the Gold Museum, Murillo Sqaure and the “Mirador de Killi Killi,” and the outdoor replica of Tiwanaku Temple. Descend to the more modern, southern part of La Paz to visit the Valley of the Moon where a clay mountain has been impressively shaped by erosion in the form of a crescent moon. You may also consider taking a cable car ride on “Teleferico” for unbeatable views of the city. (B)

Day

11

La Paz - Uyuni - Colchani

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your morning flight to Uyuni (tickets not included). You will be met upon arrival and transferred to Uyuni village. This unique and natural wonder with over 10.5 km2 salt is truly special. You will visit the village of Colchani on the shore to see how locals cultivate and produce the salt. After, you will cross the natural highway to Isla Incahuasi (approx. 2 hours), a special habitat of volcanic rock and giant cactus. Continue north to visit the pre-Colombian Aique Pucara for and the nearby chullpares in the foothills of the Thunupa volcano before heading back to Colchani (approx. 2 hours) to enjoy the beautiful sunset. Tonight you will stay at the Palacio de Sal Hotel, an amazing hotel where virtually everything – walls, ceilings, chairs – are made of salt. (B,L,D)

Day

12

Colchani - Uyuni - La Paz

Today you will head back to La Paz from Uyuni, but you may first want to join an optional, once in a lifetime experience before breakfast. Take an optional tour to the Uyuni Salt Flats to witness the most incredible sunrise over the flats in a surreal landscape of sky and earth. Later, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to La Paz. You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel via a short highway with incredible views of La Paz city and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. (B)

Day

13

La Paz - Return

After breakfast you will be transferred to your hotel for your return flight home. If time permits, you may wish to take an optional trip to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso along the coast of Chile. (B)