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Arrive in Lima anytime today and private 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, 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. 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 brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. After checking into our hotel, we set out to explore the incredible capital of the Inca Empire. We head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the fascinating 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 Qoricancha 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 Sacsaywaman where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization. We head back to Cuzco in the late afternoon.
This morning our Lares Valley trek begins. By private transport we make our way from Cuzco to the Sacred Valley of the Incas and the town of Calca. From here we head up into the mountains on a spectacular road, finally arriving at Lares Pass at 4,470m for the drop into the Lares valley. While lunch is being served our horsemen prepare the equipment for our 27km trek. Our trekking over the next three days offers spectacular views of several peaks over 20,000 ft., passing by pristine glacier lakes and remote native communities. Visits to these native communities are a special feature of the Lares Valley trek, as we learn about the weaving and shepherding traditions of these villagers and visit their schools and homes. On day 5, our trail leads downhill to an overlook facing a wide valley. Descending into the valley, we eventually arrive into the community of Huylloc where we have lunch. From here it takes two hours to arrive to Pumamarka and its enormous terraces, entering the town of Ollantaytambo soon afterwards. Situated in a fertile river valley and sheltered by mammoth mountains, this ancient Inca village is considered one of the most important living museums in the world. This is a perfect place to appreciate the Inca’s archeological remains and a wide variety of flowers and bird species. Afternoon train to Aguas Calientes, just below Machu Picchu.
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 manmade wonders of the world. After a guided Machu Picchu tour, take your time and enjoy this magnificent place. After your tour you might like to visit the local hot spring. Overnight in Aguas Calientes, the town below Machu Picchu.
The extra day at Machu Picchu can be dedicated to hiking the many miles of Inca road surrounding the site or just relaxing and taking in the views. 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 Cusco in the evening.
Morning flight from Cuzco back to Lima and a free day in Lima or our included city tour. International flights may depart any time after 3pm.
The Sun Gate/Lares Trek is an eight-day tour which includes a moderate trek as well as walking around ruins and during city tours. No trekking experience is required, but one should be in average physical shape and not suffer from any heart or respiratory conditions. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and occasional 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 though we do require that you have a policy, cancellation insurance is advisable. Any medical insurance is acceptable.
We will gladly arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip:
In Lima/Cuzco/Machu Picchu: $85 double/$75 single.
Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, zip lining, 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 2-star hotels. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to three, four or five star. Please let us know and we will work this into your custom itinerary.
A single person supplement will be added to your total payment if you will be 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 malarial or yellow fever zones. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.
During our trek, mules will accompany us to carry most of our things, including all the camping gear. Each passenger is allowed 15 pounds/7 kilos of personal items which will be carried by the mules. Such items would include warm clothing for camping, toiletries, etc. During the day you’ll be using your daypack and will just need to carry water, snacks, rain gear, and a layer for changing weather conditions. Of course, most people also carry a camera.
One should come well prepared for outdoor activity. A list of things to bring would include:
It is best to bring from home such items as prescription medications, eyewear and care, unusual film and camera batteries. Please make sure to bring all used batteries back home with you to recycle!
Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest, and one should always be prepared for temperatures ranging from 35° to 85° Fahrenheit / 2° to 30° Celsius, and for extremes of sun and the possibility of rain. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows:
Cuzco: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are cold in Cuzco.
Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain.
Lares Trek: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy, but you probably won’t be cold while hiking. Nights are cold, and there is always the chance of rain.
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.
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 (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 un-changeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country.
Expect to spend about US$5-10 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.