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Within the mountains of Cusco lies a wealth of ancient Inca temples, Spanish colonial towns, and breathtaking Andean vistas. Discover the magnificent capital of Incas, hike to sites in the Urubamba Valley, meet artisans and archaeologists, and examine pre-Colombian treasures at the renowned Larco Museum. Then spend the night among the enchanting citadel of Machu Picchu, found by local farmers and excavated by Hiram Bingham more than a century ago.
Arrive in Lima, Peru’s largest city, founded in the 1500s by Francisco Pizarro. We know you’ll most likely be a little tired after your long flight, so we’ll save you the stress of trying to navigate and bring you straight to your hotel adjacent to the airport where you can shake off that icky flight feeling with a shower and a sleep. Relax into the evening and enjoy a good night’s rest before your flight to Cusco in the morning!
Fly from Lima to Cusco this morning and drive to the Inca site of Moray—believed to have been an agricultural laboratory where priests would test soils and crops, and learn how our ancestors took salt in Maras. After a private lunch near the site, stop at the colorful local market in Urubamba. It is great for morning birders and afternoon walks in the gardens.
Spend the day exploring the archaeological sites and Andean culture of the Sacred Valley in the company of Natventure Expert. Joins us for a tour at Ollantaytambo, where massive stone walls stand sentry over a thriving Inca community. Stop at a family-owned hacienda for lunch and learn about the culture surrounding the production of Giant White Corn. Our hosts will demonstrate the differences between traditional farming techniques and the newer technologies used today. Revel in the romance of the local Marinera dance and local musicans. Later, meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez, founder of El Centro de Textiles Tradicionales de Cusco, who has helped preserve and revive traditional Inca textiles.
An exhilarating morning train ride takes us along the Urubamba River, passing between steep slopes on the way to magnificent Machu Picchu. Isolated among mountain peaks, Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most awe-inspiring sites. The sacred citadel was abandoned by the Inca, reclaimed by the jungle, and lost to history until it was rediscovered by Agustín Lizárraga in 1902, and later, excavated by Hiram Bingham in 1911. Check in to our incredible lodge overlooking the citadel—the only accommodation adjacent to Machu Picchu. This afternoon, return to the site to explore with a guide and see the Inca Bridge, built on a stone path that the Inca cut into a sheer cliff face. Watch twilight descend on Machu Picchu after the crowds have disappeared, and soak up the quiet enchantment of this legendary site.
At sunrise, hike up to the Sun Gate, the final checkpoint of the Inca Trail, and watch day break over the timeless citadel of Machu Picchu. Spend the rest of this morning wandering through the site on your own. After lunch, board the train back to the Sacred Valley. Continue to Cusco, a city of astonishing charm and beauty that was once the capital of the Inca Society. Our home here is an exquisite 16th-century monastery just steps from the city square. Take a stroll in the elegant arcaded courtyard and admire the 16th-century antiques and paintings decorating the halls before a special dinner with opera singers in the vaulted dining room.
Since its narrow alleyways were originally designed by the Inca Society as a city for walking, start your exploration of Cusco on foot. Begin at the Plaza de Armas, the Main Square, which is marked by the exquisite Spanish Colonial architecture and ornamentation imposed by Spanish colonists to exert religious and political influence. Underneath it all, however, you can clearly see remnants of Inca Cusco in the solid stonework. Visit Koricancha, the most sumptuous “Sun Temple” in the Inca Empire, and the breathtaking Cathedral, a repository for Cusco’s colonial art, as well as many other important archaeological relics and artifacts. Stop by the colourful San Pedro market and pass through the charming neighborhood of San Blas. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Return to vibrant coastal Lima this morning, where we stroll the Plaza Mayor and delight in a private farewell lunch with a special musical presentation at Casa Aliaga, one of the oldest houses in Lima. After a visit to the extraordinary Larco Museum, dedicated to pre-Columbian art, check-in at Belmond Miraflores Park, set along the fashionable seaside promenade. This evening we join our travel companions for a farewell dinner.
Say ¨hasta luego¨ to Peru and its ancient treasures, and take transfer to the airport for your flight home or consider extending your holiday.
We will be traveling at high elevations while in Cusco and Machu Picchu. Cusco is at an altitude of 3,400 meters and Machu Picchu, 2,400 meters. Travelers should be physically fit. This expedition is not suitable for anyone who suffers from a respiratory disorder, a circulatory ailment, or a disability that limits mobility. Departures are typically 15-24 guests with a Expedition Leader and a guide for each group of 16.
A Natventure expert will accompany this Expedition, and local guides join us along the way. When possible with his field schedule, Peter Frost will join select departures during our visit to the Sacred Valley on Day three.
We have arranged all of your transportation needs during your stay in Peru as specified in your Expedition itinerary. When spending time on your own, you may choose to visit a site that requires transportation. If this is the case, your private guide will happily recommend convenient transportation options.
Please note that the activities at Costa del Sol, Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba, Belmond Sanctuary Lodge and Belmond Monasterio Hotel may be a shared service with others outside your travel pod.
MY OWN ROOM
During your expedition, sometimes it´s just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That´s why we offer the «My own room» option – a single room all to yourself.
My own room option: from $ 6,420
Our Deluxe Expeditions are premium, fully planned itineraries that provide an enriching, in-depth look at the history, culture, and natural heritage of a destination. These Expeditions are designed to fit into your schedule. You choose your desired departure date, and we’ll make all the arrangements.