Our 10-day Lake Titicaca and Machu Picchu tour includes visits to Lima, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. This is a great overview of Inca and Colonial Peru.
Day 1 – Lima
Your tour starts with your arrival at Lima airport where we will meet and welcome you to Peru and transfer you to your chosen hotel in the Miraflores or Barranco areas of the city. Depending on your arrival time we might be able to fit some visits in today but if not just enjoy the rest of the day as free time to wander the parks and browse the shops, and enjoy the world renowned Peruvian food.
Day 2 – Lima City Tour
Today you will be collected from your hotel for a full or half-day tour of Colonial and Modern Lima. You visit Lima Cathedral and the Church and Convent of San Francisco, among other places of interest. After lunch, which we can arrange for you if you wish, you have a large number of options and could choose to visit a museum, such as the excellent Larco Herrera for example, the Gold Museum or the National Museum.
The evening could continue with a visit to the spectacular Fountain Park in the center of Lima. It can be a very full day of sightseeing in this bustling, historic metropolis, if you wish. We custom-design everything to your wishes.
Day 3 – Cusco City Tour
This morning, you will be transferred to Lima airport for your short flight (1 hour) to Cusco.
Upon arrival in Cusco, we will meet you and transfer you to you chosen hotel. Cusco is the jewel in the crown of Peru and your time spent here will never be forgotten. In the afternoon you will enjoy a Cusco City Tour visiting the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman plus the three other smaller Inca ruins close to Cuzco; Cusco Cathedral in the main square; and the most important temple of the Inca Empire, the Coricancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun.
Cusco is lovely city to wander around and you should take time to do this, when not being guided.
Later in the day you will enjoy a Cusco City Tour visiting the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman, plus three other smaller Inca ruins close to Cusco; Cusco Cathedral in the main square; and the most important temple of the Inca Empire, Coricancha, the Inca Temple of the Sun.
Cusco is a lovely city to wander around and you should take time to do this when not being guided.
Day 4 – The Sacred Valley Tour
This is a Sacred Valley tour option that includes a visit to Chinchero, an ancient village where much of its original character and traditions have been maintained. We will often use this route on shared tours to avoid many of the crowds in the Pisaq area. Also your tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas includes a buffet lunch so you can recharge your batteries along the way.
Today’s first destination is Chinchero, a quaint little town that houses an important Inca archaeological center, built at the end of the 1400’s, as well as a lovely and very traditional church. You will visit “Urpi” a famous textile center where the townsfolk have preserved the traditional Andean spinning and weaving techniques, they will also show you how they get the vivid natural colors for their fabrics. On our way to Ollantaytambo, we will stop at the lookout point of Racchi, where we will have the chance to have some of the best views of the Sacred Valley, after that, lunch will be served in a local restaurant.
Afterwards, we 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 continue to the adjacent 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.
After your day out you will be dropped off at your Sacred Valley hotel or driven back to Cusco depending on your schedule with us.
Day 5 – Machu Picchu Tour
Today you may have an early start to catch your chosen train to Machu Picchu which will be one of the services described in the link below. The advantage you have is that you have stayed in the valley overnight and therefore do not have to get up as early as you would in Cusco to catch the train.
A transfer will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the station … or if you are staying in one of the hotels really close to the station, you can walk there.
After being met in Aguas Calientes by your guide, you could drop off your overnight bags at your hotel before taking the bus transfer to the Machu Picchu site. Here you enjoy a private tour with a local English-speaking guide.
Take the rest of the day as free time to enjoy this incredible site. In the late afternoon, you will return to your chosen hotel in Aguas Calientes, the town that nestles in the valley below Machu Picchu.
Note: The option exists to return to Cusco the same day, but if you have the time, it is well worth staying over the see this incredible place the next day. If you prefer to stay right at the gate of Machu Picchu, and your budget will stand it, you could choose the Sanctuary Lodge, as its location cannot be beaten.
Day 6 – 2nd Machu Picchu tour
Today you will be able to re-visit Machu Picchu and enjoy this fabulous site at your leisure. You may choose to climb Huayna Picchu, the peak that overlooks Machu Picchu (400 people per day and by prior appointment only), which affords fantastic views and photo opportunities.
In the late afternoon, you will board the train for your trip back to Cusco.
You will leave the train at Poroy (or maybe Ollataytambo), the last station before Cusco, for a faster and more convenient transfer by road back to your hotel in Cuzco.
Day 7 – Cusco
A free day to enjoy Cusco at your leisure. Your vacation package with us includes the “Cusco Tourist Ticket” which gives you access to many museums, art galleries and Inca sites in and around Cusco.
If you wish, we can arrange additional activities for you on this day. Please ask us for more details and options.
If you wish to drop this day from the schedule due to lack of time, no problem!
Day 8 – Sightseeing bus to Puno
Today, you will be transferred to the bus station for your full-day trip to Puno. During the comfortable 9 hour journey to Puno there will be several interesting guided visits and a buffet lunch. It is not just transport – you will see and learn a lot along the way.
You could also choose to upgrade your Peru tour to use the luxury Andean Explorer train to Lake Titicaca. This is a superb ten-hour train journey, which takes you across the spectacular Peruvian Altiplano (high plain) in great comfort.
Day 9 – Lake Titicaca Tour
Today, you will enjoy a full-day visit to the strange Uros Islands and the large island of Taquile on the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca.
This lake is the fabled birthplace of the Inca nation, from where its founders Mana Ocllo and Manco Capac traveled to Cusco to establish the capital of the Empire.
You will have an English-speaking guide all day and lunch included on Taquile Island. Make sure you have plenty of memory space on your camera, plenty of sun screen … and a hat and gloves for when the sun goes down!
Day 10 – Puno to Lima
Today, we will take you with a private transfer and guide from Puno to Juliaca airport, via the pre-Inca Sillustani funerary towers, for your flight back to Lima.
Sillustani is a spectacular site, very other-worldly, and is a great way to round off your time in the Peruvian highlands.
If you are staying over in Lima again, then speak to us about arranging accommodation and anything else you might need in and around Lima. If not, you will connect with your homeward flight in Lima.