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TRIP DETAILS

LIMA - ICA - PARACAS - CUSCO - MACHU PICCHU 10 DAYS

DESCRIPTION

This adventure escape will take you from the warm breezes of the Pacific Ocean to the cool and serene peaks of the Andes Mountains. Learn the best kept secrets about Pisco and wine elaboration process, sand board the giant dunes of Huacachina desert, sail with Humboldt penguins and sealions and discover Paracas National Reserve. Then, discover the heart of the Inca Empire, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu! Everyday you’ll have a mix of fun adventures and relaxation to realign mind, body and soul.

DAY 1: Arrival Day

Upon arrival to Lima’s Airport, take a taxi or shared shuttle to your hotel in Miraflores, where you are free to relax and wander around at your own pace. Depending on the time of arrival, we have plenty of suggestions for you so you can make the most of your first day in Lima.

Suggested Accommodation: Comfortable Hotel in Lima

Included Meals: None

Important note: We have included every breakfast in this package and have kept lunches and dinners extra as food choices are quite varied and inexpensive in Peru. You can therefore choose what to eat, share or even skip a meal if you want!  All meals will be held together as a group in wonderful restaurants along the way. Budget between 30-50US per day for food and alcoholic beverages.

DAY 2: The Pisco Vineyards & Sandboarding at Huacachina Oasis

This morning we have an early departure. In our private transport we’ll be driving for 300km along the Pan-American Highway. We’ll be heading to the valley of Ica, located 4 hours south of Lima and surrounded by the endless sand dunes of the Ica desert. Ica is well known for its warm and dry climate, which is perfect for growing vines, so, when approaching Ica, we’ll make a short stop for a guided tour through an historical vineyard where our famous Pisco liquor are made. During this visit, we will be able to learn about and taste the various types of Pisco that exist.

After, we’ll have lunch at a traditional restaurant (not included), where we can try some delicious Afro-Peruvian dishes and, at about 3pm, we leave for the natural lagoon of Huacachina, known as the Oasis of the Americas. From this beautiful “Arabian-like” landscape, we’ll venture into the desert dunes aboard powerful sand buggies. During the ride we’ll be stopping at selected dunes where we can practice some sand boarding and test our skills in this fun sport. After observing the sunset from the vastness of the desert we go back to Huacachina and relax in our charming hotel.

Suggested Accommodation: Comfortable Hotel in Huacachina
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3: Ballestas Islands & Paracas Reserve

Today, after an early rise, we prepare for our 1-hour drive to Paracas bay. On arrival, we’ll board the fully equipped speedboats departing from the Libertador Pier towards the Ballestas Islands, also known as the little Galapagos because of the great variety of marine wildlife that inhabit them. En route, our boat stops to observe “The Chandelier”, an enigmatic figure that can only be seen from the sea. We’ll be circumnavigating the islands as we approach caves and other rock formations while we intent to spot the local wildlife which, amongst others, consist on Sealions, Humboldt Penguins and various other marine bird species.

Once we’re back again on dry land we’ll drive to the Paracas Reserve, one of Peru’s most important and protected natural area. First, we’ll visit the park’s visitor centre and then walk along a trail to try and see the Parihuanas (Andean flamingos). After, we drive through a dirt road to some cliff top lookouts where we can admire the immensity of the ocean and beautiful beaches. We have lunch (not included) in the tiny fishing village of “Lagunillas” and then we return to Lima.

Suggested Accommodation: Comfortable Hotel in Lima
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4: Cusco & The Sacred Valley of the Incas

After an early breakfast we have a short drive to the airport to take our 55 minutes flight to the city of Cusco. If possible we will try to get a seat on the left side of the aircraft as some of the best views of the Andes can be seen by this side of the plane. Upon arrival to Cusco airport we will be met by one of local staff who will welcome us and take us on our private transport towards the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Because of its lower elevation (2,870 meters or 9,415 feet above sea level) and its peaceful atmosphere, the Sacred Valley is the perfect place to enjoy your first days in the Valley as you adapt to the high altitude. The drive to our hotel is a scenic one as we drive past fields, mountains and cozy Andean villages. It will take us about 1.5 hours to drive from Cusco to our hotel in the Valley. The rest of the day is free to get settled in and enjoy the lovely rural countryside of Peru.

Suggested Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Cusco
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5: The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Awanacancha and Pisac

This morning we’ll set off on a tour to visit the Southern segment of the Sacred Valley. As we leave Cusco and on our way to Pisac, we’ll stop at Awanacancha where you can meet native weavers and see South American camelid species, including llamas, alpacas, guanacos and vicuna. After this stop, we continue to Pisac, one of the Sacred Valley’s finest and most impressive Inca complex, the archaeological site of Pisac, with terraces built on its hills. To visit the site, you must walk along winding paths on a mountain cliff. Among the most important buildings are Pisaca, which is a curved wall; the Intihuatana, a solar clock among a group of temples and the military zone called “Q’Allaqasa”.

We’ll also spend some time at the actual village of Pisaq itself. This charming town is located just under the Inca complex. We’ll have some time to explore the town before continuing to our lunch venue and reaching our hotel in the early afternoon.

We’ll be spending the next few days in a charming hotel in the Sacred Valley countryside. Here, we’ll have plenty of time to relax and explore the natural surroundings.

Suggested Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in the Sacred Valley
Included Meals: Breakfast
Optional: Traditional Huatia lunch ($29US per person) – Highly recommended!

DAY 6: The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Maras & Moray

This morning we’ll set off on a tour to visit the Sacred Valley’s most impressive sites. First, we’ll reach Moray, one of the most unusual Inca sites consisting of circular terraces built upon a natural depression which seem to have been an agricultural experimental station used to adapt crops to different temperatures. Then we continue to Maras, an impressive salt-extraction complex consisting of thousands of small terraces. During the dry season they fill the pans every 3 days with salty water that comes from a natural spring, once the water is evaporated, they collect the salt they have been selling at the markets of the region since before the Inca times. We should be returning to our hotel before lunchtime. The afternoon is free for lounge around or visit the small town of Urubamba where you can find markets and more.

Suggested Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in the Sacred Valley

Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7: Discover the Lost City of the Incas

Today is the big day! Early in the morning, we’ll board the 5:07am train heading to Machu Picchu Town. The train journey is a spectacle in itself as we’ll be able to appreciate the changing landscape from green fields and eucalyptus forests to lush jungle, always travelling beside the meandering Urubamba River. Upon arriving we’ll drop our backpacks at the hotel and have a little time to relax. Then at midday we’ll head up to Machu Picchu. We take a 20-minute bus up the steep zigzagging road to Machu Picchu Citadel, located on an impressive mountain setting.

On arrival, we’ll decide if we would like to first hike up to the Inti Punku viewpoint (Sun Gate), a nice spot located about 40 minutes away from the main site. Then, at around 2.30pm, it’s the ideal time to take our guided tour around the main areas of the citadel as most travelers should already be leaving at this point. We can tour the site until it closes and 5pm, at which time we’ll head down to the village.

The rest of the evening is free to relax.

Suggested Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Aguas Calientes
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 8: Jungle Hike, Hot Springs and Scenic Journey to Cusco

This morning, after an early breakfast, we begin our 3-hour trek from Aguas Calientes to the final stop on the railway. This is a beautiful 7 miles hike which will take us along a flat path that crosses the cloudforest. If anyone is not comfortable walking this distance, you can take the train from Aguas Calientes for about 35 minutes to the final station of the railway. We will coordinate for all of us to meet there.

Upon arriving at our destination, our private transport will be waiting to take us to the Cocalmayo hotsprings, one of the most beautiful in Peru (about 35 minutes away). We can relax in the hotsprings for about an hour before continuing our journey. The next segment is extremely beautiful. In this same transport, we ascend from the cloudforest across the Malaga Pass (4200 meters above sea level) and then descend again towards Ollantaytambo. This part of the journey takes between 3 and 4 hours.

Once in Ollantaytambo we can have a rest and, if we still have spare time and energy, we can visit the archaeological site in the area. On route we can stop for pictures along the way and photograph the beauty of this impressive landscape.

We can have a short rest in Ollantaytambo, before continuing our journey to Cusco where we will spend the night.

Suggested Accommodation: Comfortable hotel in Cusco
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 9: Cusco At Leisure

Cusco is one of the most interesting cities in Peru and South America. Today we’ll have the entire day to explore the streets and plazas of this UNESCO World Heritage City at our own pace. You can visit Saqsayhuaman, one the most impressive archeological sites in the country. Only minutes away in the northern outskirts of Cusco, this site will leave you in awe of what could be accomplished architecturally in the Inca days. You can also visit the city’s many markets, shops and churches. We’ll meet later for our last fun group dinner!

Suggested Accommodation: Comfortable Hotel in Cusco
Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10: Departure Day

Today, we’ll have some free time to maybe take a last walk around Cusco’s shops and markets and then, at the coordinated time, you’ll head to Cusco’s airport by taxi to board your flight to Lima and international connecting flights to your next destination.

Included Meals: Breakfast

FOR MORE SPECIFIC DETAILS ABOUT YOUR PERUVIAN ESCAPE VISIT RATES + DATES