Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca

Itinerary in Brief: Combine Spectacular Machu Picchu With Mythical Lake Titicaca

  • Fascinating Cusco
  • Sacred Valley of the Incas
  • Overnight near Machu Picchu
  • Beautiful Lake Titicaca
  • Ancient culture on Taquile Island
  • Highest quality local guides
  • Top quality local hotels
  • Options for kayaking/homestays
  • Can be customized
  • Call or email us with any questions

Day by Day Itinerary

Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)

Day 1      Lima

Arrive to Lima, former capital of the Spanish empire in the Americas, and transfer to your first class hotel ideally located in the Miraflores district, Lima’s main cultural and commercial district. This is the best area of town 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 upon request.)
Casa Andina Private Collection Miraflores (upgrades available to Hotel B, Miraflores Park Hotel, and others)

Day 2      Cusco/Sacred Valley of the Incas

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 your hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (8500 feet elevation), a long fertile river valley surrounded by snow capped peaks that lies between Cusco (11,000 feet elevation) and Machu Picchu. Starting here helps you adjust to the high altitude of the Andes and is a great way to see how the local people continue to live in the traditional Andean manner. You’ll make a visit to the Pisac ruins and town en route to your hotel (if you are feeling up for it you can walk down from the ruins to the town; ask your guide about this option). You’ll stop for a lunch at a great small restaurant serving creative modern variations on traditional Andean dishes.
Hotel Sol y Luna (B,L)

Day 3      Sacred Valley (Maras / Moray / Ollantaytambo)

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)

Day 4       Machu Picchu

Today you start a 2 day/1 night trip to Machu Picchu, giving you plenty of time to see the area. 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 Machu Picchu 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 (the ruins close at 5 pm and the last shuttle down is at 5:15 pm).
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 5     Machu Picchu

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. You’ll also have the chance to hike to the top of Huayna Picchu, the mountain that towers above Machu Picchu, or hike back 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 and be dropped off at your hotel.
Palacio del Inka (upgrades to Palacio Nazarenas or other hotels are available) (B)

Day 6     Cusco / Sacsahuaman

Today you’ll have a privately guided exploration of Cusco, including a visit to Sacsahuaman, the massive Incan fortress on the hills above the city, where you enjoy views of the surrounding area. Cusco is a fascinating city, with many colonial buildings constructed on top of the remains of Incan palaces. You can observe massive Incan walls along many streets of the city. Enjoy dinner out at one of Cusco’s excellent restaurants.
Palacio del Inka (B)

Day 7       Travel to Lake Titicaca

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.) After settling into your hotel, a spacious lodge with a spectacular vantage point on the lake, you will enjoy lunch and then have the option to go out rowing through the reeds along the shore of Lake Titicaca.

(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)

Day 8       Visit to Taquile and other excursions

In the morning you will be set out to visit Taquile Island, enjoying great views out over the azure expanse of Lake Titicaca and gaining insight into the traditional way of life in this area.

The afternoon brings a variety of excursion options, including a relaxed walk along the shore, a hike to an ancient Incan arch, kayaking on the lake, cycling through the Plateria district, and more.
Titilaka Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 9       Visit to Uros and other excursions

This morning you can cross the lake to visit the unusual floating islands of Uros, where the local totora reeds are used to create housing, boats, and even the islands themselves.

After lunch back at the lodge, you again have your pick of excursions to explore this unique area, or you can simply relax at the lodge and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the lake.
Titilaka Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 10       Sillustani Ruins / Depart for Home

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 then 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.
(B)


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