Combine spectacular Machu Picchu with mythical Lake Titicaca
(Included meals as indicated in parentheses: B,L,D)
Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is a great area for strolling around and is home to many of Lima’s best restaurants.
If you are interested and time permits, private tours of Lima or visits to any of Lima’s museums can be arranged; we can also arrange culinary tours focusing on Peru’s increasingly renowned cuisine or art tours for those with special interests.
Fly over the Andes to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incan Empire. When you land in Cusco you will be met at the airport by a local representative who will transport you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, a long fertile river valley surrounded by snow capped peaks that lies between Cusco and Machu Picchu.
You will stop at the Chincheros archaeological site to visit the ruins, and will have a short weaving demonstration at a local cooperative known for their high-quality textiles. Peru is known for its intricate traditional weavings, many of which use symbols to tell stories or depictions of daily life. Afterward you will have lunch at a great small restaurant founded by a renowned local chef. Your private guide will be there to help you make the most of the entire experience.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)
Today you have a full day of exploring more of the Sacred Valley, seeing less-visited sites that will deepen your understanding of the local culture.
First you will make a visit to the unique Incan site of Moray, and the nearby town and ancient salt pans of Maras. After your picnic lunch, you´ll visit Ollantaytambo, one of the few towns to survive in its current layout from Incan times.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)
Today you travel to Machu Picchu. In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel for transfer to the train station, where you catch the train to Machu Picchu.
You will visit this remarkable site with a private guide, enjoy lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge, and then have the chance to explore the ruins on your own before returning to your hotel in Aguas Calientes. (Your hotel in Aguas Calientes is one of the most highly regarded in South America; dinner is included at the hotel.)
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)
Today you make an unguided return visit to Machu Picchu in the early morning to observe the ruins. This is a great way to experience the site when there are far fewer people around. If you take the earliest shuttle up to the site, you can be at Machu Picchu at dawn.
You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu, or hike along the Inca Trail to Inti Punku (the Sun Gate).
After visiting the ruins, you will make your way down to the train station for your afternoon train back to Cusco, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel.
Today you’ll have a privately guided exploration of Cusco, visiting the historical highlights. Your excursion includes a visit to Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you enjoy views out over Cusco and the entire surrounding area. You have the afternoon free to explore some more of the city on your own.
Cusco is another of the highlights of a trip to Peru, a fascinating city built on the foundations of the former Incan capital. You can observe massive Incan walls along many of the streets of the city. The city has a vibrant atmosphere and many excellent restaurants.
Inkaterra La Casona Cusco (B)
This morning you will fly to Lake Titicaca. (You also have the option to take the Andean Explorer train instead of flying. This is a long train ride, about 10 hours, but it is an excellent way to see the Altiplano up close, and is recognized as one of the best scenic rail journeys in South America.)
Your hotel at Lake Titicaca is one of the very top options in this area, with great guides and an enviable location. En route to the hotel you will stop to visit Lampa, a well-preserved colonial city with striking architecture and a beautiful church.
(We have a variety of additional options in this area, including overnight stays in family guesthouses, stays on the islands, and kayaking; please inquire if interested.)
Titilaka Lodge (B,L,D)
In the morning you will set out to visit the floating Uros Islands and the Island of Taquile. The floating islands have been constructed from junco reed roots by the Aymara-speaking Uros Titino people that inhabit them. Your hotel has exclusive access to one of these islands, keeping you off the tourist path and letting you gain insight into the traditional way of life in this area.
Next you will head to Taquile Island, one of Titicaca’s larger natural islands and home to several small Quechua villages. Taquile is known for its traditional textiles, which have been designated UNESCO Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. After your visit you will enjoy a picnic lunch with sweeping views of the azure expanse of Lake Titicaca, with Bolivia’s Cordillera Real mountain range on the horizon.
Titilake Lodge (B,L,D)
You have a variety of excursions available to explore this unique area with Titilaka’s excellent guides: A relaxed walk along the shore, a hike to an ancient Incan arch, kayaking on the lake, cycling through the Plateria district, and more. You also have the option to simply relax at the lodge and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the lake.
Titilaka Lodge (B,L,D)
This morning after breakfast you will head to the airport, stopping en route to visit the fascinating ruins of Sillustani, an ancient set of funerary towers built on a rise in the Altiplano by a pre-Incan culture.
You will fly to Lima, where you can catch your connecting flight home or to your next destination.
If you have extra time prior to your international flight, we often arrange a driver for our travelers so they can go out to eat or see some more of Lima prior to their departure.
Add extra days in Lima or Cusco: Both are worth exploring on your own, and we can arrange a variety of activities, including city tours, culinary excursions, visits to ruins and historical sites, and active options such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Do some more in-depth exploring of Lake Titicaca with a visit to a family guesthouse, an overnight stay on the islands, or some kayaking.
Take part in a Pachamanca, a traditional Andean cooking ceremony on the shores of Peru’s Lake Piuray.
Add a few nights in the Peruvian Amazon, easily accessible from Cusco.
Hike to Machu Picchu: Get off the train at Kilometer 104 to walk the last four to six hours along the famous Inca trail. Or see our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu itinerary for information about hiking the whole trail over several days.
Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.