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Arrive in Lima anytime today and transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good artisan markets and restaurants, and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon. The city tour lets you explore the wonders of the colonial capital, as you visit the famous Plaza de Armas, as well as the impressive Cathedral in the Plaza and the beautiful San Francisco church. You also get a chance to take in some beautiful views of the coast at Parque de Amor.
Lima City Tour – Option 2: Larco Museum & Huaca Pucllana (upon request). Let us know if you would prefer this tour over the Cathedral Tour (or both for an extra fee). We could also plan a tour of the Huaca Pucllana at night if you have time in Lima. The site is lit up until midnight and looks amazing!
The Larco Museum is housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Larco Museum is a stimulating and inspiring space in which visitors can enjoy and learn more about the fascinating history of ancient Peru. The cultures gallery provides a clear and captivating narrative account of more than 5000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Visiting the Larco Museum, with their more than 45,000 meticulously catalogued archaeological objects, is a unique experience.
The Archaeological Complex “Huaca Pucllana” was an administrative and ceremonial center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed on the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. Located in today’s district of Miraflores, the “Huaca Pucllana” was built around 500 AD. “Pucllana” is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima. Based on the “Huaca Pucllana” architecture and found objects, it is believed that the complex was the heart of development of the “Lima Culture” and served as a ceremonial and administrative center.
If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight, and you’ll have your city tour of Lima upon your return.
A short flight this morning brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. After checking into your hotel, we set out to explore the incredible capital of the Inca Empire. We head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the cathedral to see the colonial influence in the city, and we can admire the stunning architecture of the church and also the native influences subtly woven in into the artwork. Onwards to Coricancha Church, where the colonial and Incan architectures are on display side-by-side directly contrasted with each other. Afterwards we make our way above the city to the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cuzco in the late afternoon.
It’s a full day of ceremony and pageant as the city of Cuzco goes all out to celebrate Inti Raymi tour 2020, the festival of the sun, the Incas most important day of the year. First we’ll watch the festivities in the main square, and then head up to Sacsayhuaman for the main ceremony and rituals in honor of the sun god Inti. You will be with your experienced guide who will talk you through the ceremony, so you get an intimate understanding of what is going on. Don’t worry when you are there though, they’re not really sacrificing llamas up on the platform! In the evening you may enjoy the colorful dances and processions from a restaurant balcony or a park bench.
This morning we’re off to the Sacred Valley, a short and scenic ride from Cuzco. Fifteen hundred feet lower than Cuzco, the warm and fertile Sacred Valley was of immense strategic and agricultural importance to the Incas. We’ll visit two sites today: Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Pisac is a beautiful Andean town with a great handicrafts market. After browsing at artisan markets and bargaining for Andean goods (optional), we’ll head up to the imposing Inca fortress/temple above the town. Then in the early afternoon, we’ll head down the valley to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca village still inhabited today. Peer through ancient, trapezoidal doorways into courtyards where life has changed little in 500 years, then explore the huge ruins which loom above the town. Train ride down the down the Urubamba Valley to Machu Picchu. Overnight in Aguas Calientes below Machu Picchu tonight.
Sunrise at majestic Machu Picchu! Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, this historic sanctuary is considered one of the seven man-made wonders of the world. After a guided tour, take your time and enjoy this magnificent place. During peak visiting hours (10-2), try a hike on one of the surrounding Inca trails on Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Return by train and car to Cuzco in the evening.
Morning flight to Lima. If time permits we can arrange a transfer into Lima to have dinner at one of Lima´s many fine restaurants. Lima is the culinary capital of South America. International flights may depart any time after 2pm.
Inti Raymi Tour 2020 is a six-day tour which includes walking in various ruins and on city tours. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and delays of developing-world travel.
On all Southern Crossings tours, you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard), who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being swindled by airport taxis.
International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings; cancellation insurance is advisable.
We will gladly arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip.
Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, surfing, and free days to your custom itinerary. Ask about these options and we’d be happy to add them to your quote. If you have any special requests or interests like birding, cooking or crafting that you would like to explore, please let us know!
This tour includes 3-star hotels. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to four- or five-star. If you would like to select a specific hotel let us know your preference. We can then work it into your custom itinerary.
A single person supplement will be added to your quote if you are travelling alone.
All travelers to Peru are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency, or a bank statement, from the bank or printed off the internet, are sufficient for proof of funds.
No immunizations are required of travelers to these areas of Peru. Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. No areas visited on this trip are malaria or yellow fever zones. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.
One should come prepared for outdoor activity at temperatures ranging from 40° to 80° Fahrenheit / 5° to 27° Celsius and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain. A recommended list of things to bring:
It is best to bring from home such items as prescription medications, eye wear and care, unusual film and camera batteries. Please make sure to bring all used batteries back home to recycle!
For your international flights, please check with your airline. Within Peru, you are allowed 23 kilos (50 lbs.) of checked baggage, as well as one carry-on and another small, purse-like item. The carry-on size regulations are the same as international carry-on size regulations.
Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest, and one should always be prepared. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows:
Cuzco and the Sacred Valley: days are warm if sunny, chilly if cloudy or if you are in the shade. Nights are cold in Cuzco. Remember the Inti Raymi tour 2020 is the winter solstice celebration.
Machu Picchu: similar to Cuzco but a bit warmer with a chance of light rain.
Lima: warm days, cool evenings, almost never any rain.
The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol. Automatic cash points are available in Lima and Cuzco. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks are difficult to cash (American Express is best, but you may be charged 5-8% to cash)) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring Money Grams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Lima and Cuzco. For currency, U.S. dollars are recommended and most easily exchanged. Please note that cash must be untorn. It can be older looking, but even the slightest tear on an edge will make it unchangeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country. Expect to spend about US$5-12 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru. Artisan market prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters, for example, run between $5 and $30.