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Essential Peru: Cusco, Machu Picchu + Sacred Valley


PRA7L
7 NIGHTS
FROM £995
International flights quoted separately
See the essential historic & cultural sights of Peru on this holiday. Start with a city tour of the capital city of Lima, then fly to the old Inca capital of Cusco. Walk along its cobbled streets, visit the Temple of the Sun and the impressive walled fortress of Saksaywaman. Visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas and climb the citadel at Machu Picchu. All transfers & local flights included.
Photo Machu Picchu Cusco Peru Tour Sacred Valley Lima
• 
Lima
• 
City Tour
• 
Cusco
• 
Temple of the Sun
• 
Saksaywaman
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Indian Markets
• 
Llamas
• 
Expedition Train
• 
Machu Picchu
• 
Lima
• 
City Tour
• 
Cusco
• 
Temple of the Sun
• 
Saksaywaman
• 
Sacred Valley
• 
Indian Markets
• 
Llamas
• 
Expedition Train
• 
Machu Picchu
Day 1
You will be met at Lima Airport and transferred to your hotel.
 
Check in and relax in this capital city - the largest in Peru and its gastronomical centre.
Day 2
Today enjoy a half day tour of historic Lima, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its well preserved architecture.
 
Founded in 1535, Lima was re-named the "City of Kings" when it was conquered by the Spanish and became the most important city in the region. On the main square, the Plaza de Armas, you can see many imposing colonial buildings with their intricate balconies - including Government Palace, where the changing of the guards takes place. See the beautiful Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the City Hall. The baroque Torre Tagle Palace, a couple of blocks east of the main square, adds to the city's charm.
 
Our next stop is the 17th century Santo Domingo Convent, which is also a World Heritage site. We then drive through the modern financial district of San Isidro for a tour of Huaca Huallamarca, a pre-Incan adobe pyramid.
 
Afterwards we head for the residential district of Miraflores, stopping off at the Parque del Amor (Lover’s Lane), with its incredible views over the Pacific Ocean. Balance of day at leisure.
Day 3
Transfer to Lima Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Cusco Airport and transferred 2-hours to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.
 
Check into your hotel in this region that is renowned for its many ancient Inca ruins, including the amazing citadel of Machu Picchu. Balance of the day is at leisure to rest and acclimatise to the altitude.
Day 4
This morning enjoy a tour of the Sacred Valley starting at the Inca's Balcony, a beautiful terrace with impressive view of the Indian village of Chinchero, where 12 families still preserve their customs and process wool to obtain vivid colors for their textiles.
 
After an included lunch, we visit the citadel of Ollantaytambo, built to protect the northern entrance to the Sacred Valley from invasion, and later the centre of Incan resistance against the Spanish. Known for its 'andenes' (agricultural terraces dug into the slopes of the mountains), Ollantaytambo was a highly effective fortress, which also served as a temple. Today this unique living town is the best surviving example of Inca city planning, with narrow cobblestone streets that have been used since the 13th century.
Day 5
Up early this morning to transfer to Ollantaytambo Station for the air-conditioned Vistadome train to the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu - an amazing 1.5-hour journey to this magnificent mountain top city situated in a beautiful cloud forest, that was abandoned and reclaimed by the jungle until it was rediscovered in 1911.
 
This legendary "Lost City of the Incas" is without a doubt one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites. Built on the summit of Machu Picchu (meaning "Old Peak"), on a natural saddle between steep forested mountains, it overlooks the deep canyon of the Urubamba River some 3,400 m above sea level. With its giant walls, terraces and ramps that appear to have been cut naturally out of the rock escarpments, Machu Picchu's history remains shrouded in mystery as the Incas did not leave any written records.
 
At the gateway town of Aguas Calientes, leave the train and board the bus for the 40-minute zig-zag ride up to this 14th century citadel for a guided tour. Here we visit the Main Plaza, Circular Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial, Royal Quarters, Temple of the Three Windows and various burial grounds.
 
We suggest you take a packed lunch (to avoid queues at the restaurant) and in the late afternoon return by bus to Aguas Calientes. Then take the 1.5-hour Vistadome train back to Ollantaytambo, continuing 2-hours back to Cusco - where you will be met and transferred back to your hotel.
 
Note: You must take your passport today, as this will be needed to gain access to Machu Picchu and only one bag or rucksack not exceeding 5 kg (11 lb) is allowed as hand luggage on the train. From January to June, parts of the railtrack may be impassable due to mud slides when a bus transfer is substituted.
Day 6
At leisure to explore more of the sights of Cusco independently.
Day 7
Transfer to Cusco Airport for your onward flight.

Arrive at Lima Airport and make your own way on foot or by airport shuttle to your hotel situated near the airport.
 
Check in and relax in this capital city.
Day 8
Make your own way on foot or by airport shuttle to Lima Airport for your flight home.

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