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Delve into the historical mysteries and cultural treasures of Cusco on this compact Expedition. Discover UNESCO World Heritage sites—including the mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu and historic Cusco City—alongside knowledgeable local guides. Travel across the snowcapped peaks of the Andes, and get a glimpse of the ancient traditions that continue to endure in the misty valleys. Take an exclusive tour of Parque de la Papa, a rural community working to preserve traditional methods of potato cultivation and uncover the archaeological treasures of the Sacred Valley, from the farming terraces of Moray to Pisac’s sprawling site.
Welcome to the Capital of the New World – the launch pad to our effortlessly delivered encounter with the iconic and unexpected highlights of Cusco. On arrival in Lima, you’ll be transferred to your hotel in the exclusive barrio of Miraflores where you’ll enjoy a Welcome Reception this evening to meet your Travel Director and travel companions. Note: Depending on your arrival, we can arrange some tour in the city.
Board an early flight to Cusco, once the capital of the Inca Society, then drive to Urubamba through the scenic Sacred Valley. Explore the terraced salt pans of Maras, which have been used for salt extraction since pre-Inca times, and tour the Inca site of Moray—believed to have been an agricultural laboratory where priests would test soils and crops. Later, we’ll enjoy a meal of local specialities, prepared in a pachamanca, or underground stone oven.
Continue exploring the Sacred Valley with a visit to the Natventure supported Parque de la Papa, or Potato Park, a rural Andean community working to preserve hundreds of varieties of native potato. During this exclusive experience, you’ll walk through the park with a local guide to learn about potato cultivation, traditional weaving, and the importance of both these practices to Andean culture. Later, explore the fascinating Inca Sites of Ollantaytambo and Pisac, and enjoy a meal at Parwa Comunity Restaurant.
Catch an early transfer to the Ollantaytambo station and board a train to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. Ride through lush Andean scenery, enjoying breathtaking views of ancient sites and everyday life. Settle into your hotel in Aguas Calientes, and choose from a variety of optional activities: take a relaxing soak in the local hot springs, visit a beautiful botanical garden, or wander the handicraft stalls in town as you prepare for an early start the following day to go up to Machu Picchu, or disembark early for an optional trek on the short Inca Trail with a private guide (at an additional cost). Hike through lesser known Inca sites to the famous Sun Gate, where you can take in your first views of Machu Picchu.
Delve into the mysteries of this once-great civilisation, admiring the 15th century stone ruins of temples, palaces and terraces perched high amidst the clouds. Join your Local Specialist for an exploration of the iconic great Temple of the Sun, the House of the Priest, the Sacred Plaza and the Intihuatana, an intricately carved rock most likely used as a sundial centuries ago. Return to Cusco.
Spend the day exploring charming Cusco. Opt to visit Plaza de Armas, the historic main square; the 15th-century Sacsayhuaman fortress; or some of the city’s museums and ornate churches. This evening, we’ll head to the Cusco Planetarium to learn about the importance of astronomy to the ancient Inca and, weather permitting, look out at the glittering, starry sky through telescopes.
Fly back to Lima. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure or choose to take a half-day guided tour of the Peruvian capital. Visit the San Francisco Monastery, part of Lima’s World Heritage-listed historic center, and descend into its famed catacombs. Wander across Plaza Mayor, the city’s oldest public square, and enjoy Peruvian tapas and a tasting of pisco sours before returning to your hotel. This evening we join our travel companions for a farewell dinner.
Our discovery of an ancient civilisation has come to an end. We transfer to the airport for your onward flight or perhaps 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.
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 $ 1,895