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Peru

Inca Empire and Lake Titicaca

8 days | 7 nights
Private tour
From 1049USD per person
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Both Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca are on your travel list but you feel your time in Peru will not be enough to see them both? This itinerary will connect the dots in 8 days without rushing through these Peruvian wonders. Listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Inca, will probably be the highlight of your trip but not the end of it. The charms of the puma-shaped city of Cusco, once the Inca capital, will be yours to enjoy while visiting the Qoricancha and the Sacsayhuaman archaeological site. Across the Sacred Valley and on the road from Cusco to Puno, many exciting sites will reveal how the Inca developed a complex society based on agricultural innovations, administration and military strongholds. With its 214 cubic miles of water (893 km³) and an altitude of 12,507 feet (3812 metres), Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world. According to Inca mythology, Lake Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun, moon, stars, and first human beings. It is also known as the birthplace of the first Inca, Manco Capac. Don't worry: this trip is not only about history and archaeology. In addition to dreamy landscapes you will get the opportunity to experience Lima, the Peruvian capital. The ocean-facing city is a perfect blend of colonial history, sophisticated modernity with great dining options. 

Destinations

Peru

Trip at a glance

Visits

Lima City Tour, Sacred Valley: Pisac Ruins and Market, Ollantaytambo Forteress, Machu Picchu, Cusco City and Ruins Tour, Andahuaylillas Church, Raqchi, La Raya Pass, Pukara, Lake Titicaca: Uros and Taquile Islands,  Sillustani Funeral Towers

Accomodation

7 nights in 3 or 4* premium hotels

Transportation

Train trip to Machu Picchu in comfortable economy class: Ollantaytambo/Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo

Shuttle round trip Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes on day 4, premium bus trip Puno to Cusco on day 6

Private car and driver on day 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8

Shared motor boat for the Lake Titicaca cruise on day 7

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Lima

Arrival at Jorge Chávez, Lima international airport. 

Welcome by our local English-speaking staff. 

Transfer to your hotel located in the residential and shopping district of Miraflores, overlooking the Pacific ocean (1 hour). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Lima. 

Day 2 Lima city tour, flight to Cusco, transfer to the Sacred Valley

Morning

City tour by car around Miraflores upmarket district, famous for its 'Malecon' (the strand) and Larcomar, the huge iconic shopping center overlooking the ocean. 

Drive along the Huaca Pucllana archaeological site before heading to Lima's historical center (30 min). 

The city founded in 1535 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro, still features many invaluable colonial buildings along the main square (the Plaza Mayor) and the nearby streets. 

Discover Lima's Cathedral, the Government Palace and the San Francisco Convent among many other impressive colonial buildings. 

Afternoon

In the afternoon, transfer to Lima airport (40 min to 1 hour) for your flight to Cusco (1 hour 15 min). 

Arrival in Cusco (11,152 ft - 3400 m) where you will be welcome by your local driver and guide. Transfer to your hotel in the Sacred Valley (1 hour 30min). 

Evening

Free evening.

Overnight at your hotel in the Sacred Valley. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 3 Sacred Valley: Pisac Ruins and Market, Ollantaytambo Fortress

Morning

In the morning, drive from your hotel to the village of Pisac (1 hour) famous for its Sunday market where many indigenous Quechua communities meet to sell and trade their goods. 

The rest of the week, the whole place is bustling with a large handicraft and souvenir market. You will have time to search for jewellery, ponchos, hats, traditional music instruments, ceramics, alpaca products and many other typical Andean crafts  (1 hour 30 min). 

Visit Pisaqa, Intihuatana, Q’allaqasa, and Kinchiracay. (1 hour 30 min). All 4 places are part of an Inca site on the nearby hill at an altitude of 10,980 feet (3345 m). 

The hill was shaped during Inca times by carving ingenious terraces that are still used for agriculture to this day. 

With military, religious, and agricultural structures, the site was an important and busy place for the Inca empire. 

Afternoon

In the afternoon, transfer to Ollantaytambo, a fortified city built during the reign of Pachacutec, the most powerful Inca emperor. 

Explore this quaint settlement with an interesting orthogonal layout (30 min). 

Climb the Temple Hill known as the fortress to learn about the purpose of those inca constructions (1 hour 30 min). 

Transfer to Ollantaytambo train station (5 min). 

Board the comfortable train that will take you to Aguas Calientes, the nearest town to Machu Picchu (1 hour 30 min). 

Arrival in Aguas Calientes by late afternoon, walk to your hotel for check-in (5 min). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Aguas Calientes. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 4 Machu Picchu tour

Your passport is required to enter the Machu Picchu site. You have the option to get a 'Machu Picchu' stamp in your passport if you wish. 

Morning

Today might be THE day you have been expecting from the moment you landed on Peruvian soil as you will finally enter the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu. 

Your private guide will meet you and walk you to the bus station (5 min) to hop on a bus to the entrance of the archaeological site. 

Afternoon

Enjoy the impressive 20-minute drive up the hill to the Machu Picchu site at 7,972 feet (2430 m). The abandoned stronghold was rediscovered in 1911 by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham, Macchu Picchu is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Learn about every secret this ancient Inca citadel holds and grab every opportunity to take amazing photographs (3 to 4 hours). 

Take the bus back to Aguas Calientes (20 min) and board the train back to Ollantaytambo (1 hour 30 min). 

Transfer to your hotel in Cusco (1 hour 30 min). 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 5 Half-day Cusco City and Archaeological tour, free afternoon

Morning

In the morning, you will meet your guide for a city tour of Cusco including the visit of the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral and the Korikancha, the original Temple of the Sun. 

Drive to the hills of Cusco to explore the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuamán, Q’enqo, PukaPukara and Tambomachay. 

Transfer back to your hotel or to the city centre (20 min). 

Afternoon

Afternoon at leisure to explore the Spanish colonial city known to the Inca as the 'belly button of the world'. 

Stroll around numerous plazas, shops selling incredible art and crafts or visit the great Pre-Columbian Museum MAP (not included). 

Evening

Free evening to discover Cusco's vibrant nightlife. We recommend the lively pisco bar La Republica del Pisco. 

Overnight at your hotel in Cusco. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 6 Road to Puno: Andahuaylillas Church, Raqchi, La Raya Pass, Pukara

Morning

Early morning transfer from your hotel to the bus station (10 min) where you will board a premium tour bus to Cusco (10 hours). 

Drinks and snacks are included for the day-long trip during which you will visit four exciting sites. 

First stop at  the incredible church of San Pedro Apostol of Andahuaylillas known as the 'Andean Sistine Chapel' (30 min). 

Second stop at Raqchi, a former Inca stronghold on the edge of the Empire that served administrative, economic and military purposes and hosted the unique Temple of Wiracocha (40 min).  

Afternoon

Third stop at La Raya pass, the highest point on the journey at 14,222 feet (4335 m), the border between the provinces of Puno and Cusco, and the transition between the Aymara and Quechua cultures (5 to 10 min). 

Final stop at the lithic museum of Pukara, a small town named after a pre-Inca civilization that left behind considerable stone statues and a distinctive pottery art. 

Late in the afternoon, arrival in Puno (12,560 ft - 3828 m), a culturally-rich town on the shores of Lake Titicaca. 

Evening

Free evening. 

Overnight at your hotel in Puno. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch in a local restaurant

Day 7 Lake Titicaca: Uros and Taquile Islands

Morning

Transfer to the lake's main pier (10 min) to board a shared motor boat. 

Today will be spent sailing Lake Titicaca and exploring two of its islands. 

With its 214 cubic miles (893 km³) of water and an altitude of 12,507 feet (3812 m), Lake Titicaca is the largest lake in South America and the highest navigable lake in the world. 

According to Inca mythology, lake Titicaca is the birthplace of the sun, moon, stars, and first human beings. Many myths and legends still inhabitate those majestic dark-blue waters. 

A 20-minute boat ride will take you to one of the many floating islands called Uros. 

The Uro floating islands are built from the totora reed that grows particularly well in the shallows of the lake. 

You will be welcome by a local family that will showcase the versatility of the totora, used to build their houses, boats, crafts and even as a source of food. 

After a short visit of the main Uro island you will sail on to Taquile island (1 hour). 

Discover Taquile island, famous for its knitting and weaving tradition. 

Afternoon

You will learn about the numerous customs of the local Taquilenos who still live off the island's ressources, living and working in their traditional clothes on the century-old man-made terraces. 

Enjoy some free time to browse the high-quality handicrafts that are unique to the island and cannot be found anywhere else in Peru. The textile art is actually listed as a 'Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity' by the UNESCO. 

End of the afternoon, sail back to Puno (1 hour 30 min). 

Transfer from the pier to your hotel (10 min). 

Evening

Free evening in Puno. 

Overnight at your hotel in Puno. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Lunch in a local restaurant

Day 8 Sillustani Funeral Towers, Flight To Lima, Departure

Morning

Transfer to Sillustani burial site (50 min). 

Towering over the beautiful Umayo Lagoon, lies the archeological site of Sillustani where funeral stone towers known as 'ayawasis' or 'chullpas' were used by the Collas and later by the Incas to preserve the bodies of their deceased rulers and chiefs (1 hour). 

Transfer to Juliaca airport (1 hour), flight to Lima (1 hour 30 min). 

Afternoon

Arrival at Lima airport to pick-up your luggage. 

Check-in assistance with your international flight. 

Departure. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
7 nights in 3 or 4* premium hotels

Meals

Bed & Breakfast plan
7 breakfasts + 2 lunches
Full board plan
7 breakfasts + 7 lunches + 7 dinners

Transportation

Train
Train trip to Machu Picchu in comfortable economy class: Ollantaytambo/Aguas Calientes/Ollantaytambo
Bus
Shuttle round trip Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes on day 4, premium bus trip Puno to Cusco on day 6
Car
Private car and driver on day 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8
Cruise
Shared motor boat for the Lake Titicaca cruise on day 7

Orientation

Guide
Private local English-speaking guide everyday except on day 6 (shared guide)

Entrance Fees

All entrance fees to mentioned sites

What's not included

  • Domestic Flights: 390 USD/Person
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Customer reviews

Adelaïde KAUFFMANN, France

Latin Discoveries was very helpful, as much prior to departure as during our stay in Peru. We were constantly in touch with the team and always got efficient replies within the next hours. Any questions and requests we had were very well managed and in a very professional manner.

I remember having to ask about tips in Peru as I wasn’t sure what to give to our city guides, and Latin Discoveries was able to get back really fast in order for me to always feel comfortable during my stay ! 

We really appreciated that our tours were with native guides, that have excellent knowledge of their culture and city. The drivers were also always friendly, with a big smile, even after many hours driving!

I would definitely recommend Latin Discoveries to my friends and family. Everything was very well organized during the whole 3-week tour, and the guides spoke very good English!

Written on August 28, 2015
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