Cusco was considered the “navel of the world” and a center of power. This notion makes it exciting and legendary. Everything Cusco has to offer is right here and now, and you will experience it all in this Exploring Cusco Tour. Peru Travel Now has prepared for you an intense trip to the past and present of a culture that still has much to offer and won’t cease to impress you. The remote past is impregnated on the walls of the Korikancha (Quechua for “Gold Enclosure”) temple, which you can imagine as it was during the Inca Empire: entirely covered with gold. The Spanish colonial influence is present in the typical buildings of Santo Domingo Church and the Bishop Palace. Finally, the Exploring Cusco Tour will lead you to the Sacred Valley, which will immerse you into a mystical world, plenty of legends and tradition.
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Day 1: Cusco On arrival, welcoming reception and transfer to hotel. In the afternoon our exclusive city tour starts with a visit to the San Cristobal Plaza to enjoy its panoramic view of the city. Then, we will visit the San Pedro Market to soak in its local flavors and to learn about more of the products grown in the area which supply the whole city. After this, the Korikancha temple will welcome us in all his magnificence; this temple, whose Quechua name means “Gold Enclosure” still bedazzles us with the thought of its gold covered walls. Then it is the turn to visit the Santo Domingo Church. We will walk from San Blas, the artisans’ neighborhood, to the Hatun Rumiyoc street, stopping at the Inca Roca Palace, nowadays home to the Archbishop’s Palace and also at the famous Twelve Angle Stone. We will continue our walk to the Main Square to visit the Cathedral and its valuable and beautiful colonial masterpieces. Day 2: Cusco/South Valley/Cusco - (Breakfast Included) In the morning we will distance from the crowds and visit Sacsayhuaman, a huge and impressive fortress of colossal constructions and surrounded by beautiful views blending together perfectly. Our adventure continues at the Inca Shrine Qenqo, to see the sacrificial altar embedded inside a rock cave. Finally we will arrive to the Puca Pucara viewpoint and Tambomachay, monument of impressive architectonic knowledge considered as one of the pillars of Andean Cosmo vision.
In the afternoon an exclusive adventure will take us to the picturesque and less explored Cusco’s South Valley. In Quispicanchis lies the impressive archaeological complex of Tipon, once an important worship center to water which flows in canals, terraces and beautiful waterfalls and which was one of the sacred natural elements in the Andean cosmo vision. Then we will visit the small yet attractive town of Huaro to see the fantastic 16th Century church and the breathtaking murals by artist Tadeo Escalante. Before heading back we will stop for a short visit at the Sacred Stones Museum. Day 3: Sacred Valley - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) The Sacred Valley of the Incas is waiting for you. On the way we will stop at Awanacancha, small complex to admire Andean camelids such as alpacas and llamas and learn from local inhabitants about traditional dyeing and knitting techniques. Later we will explore the Pisac Market with enough free time to go around and buy handcrafts and if you feel like tasting something traditional, stop by the wood ovens for a delicious empanada or a piece of bread.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, our tour continues to Ollantaytambo, a small town full of local color and inhabited since Inca times in which we will visit the main temple used as a fortress during the Inca resistance. Breathtaking views for amazing pictures. Stay at the Sacred Valley. Día 4: Sacred Valley - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) We will travel to remote places of the Sacred Valley. First stop: Chinchero, where we’ll take a walk around its beautiful town and archaeological complex. We will also have the opportunity to see a short exhibit of traditional textiles, a distinctive feature of this town dedicated to following ancestral dyeing techniques to create high quality works of art. Our trip continues in Moray, a place with a breathtaking view thanks to its colossal concentric terraces resembling a coliseum. What did they use it for? The terraces recreated 20 different types of microclimates, and they were studied to ensure the agricultural production of the empire. After lunch we will continue our journey to Maras, the millenary colonial salt mines. The contrast of the white pools against the green valley is so impressive that it resembles a postcard. Day 5: Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu - (Breakfast and Lunch Included) A train trip away to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We arrive at the Aguas Calientes station where our staff will assist us on boarding the bus to go up the winding road to Machu Picchu, amid a spectacular view of the Urubamba River and its canyon. The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu, will astonish us with its terraces, ceremonial shrines, steps and urban areas. Energy is all around us. After a guided visit, we will have time to explore the fortress and have lunch at one of the restaurants in the area. Overnight stay at one of the hotels in Aguas Calientes or Machu Picchu. Day 6: Machu Picchu/Cusco - (Breakfast Included) Free morning. Do as you please with your free time: enjoy once more the energy and mystique offered by the fortress or do some hiking like going up Intipunku or Door of the Sun, entrance to Machu Picchu coming from the Inca Trail or climb the Huayna Picchu, mountain overlooking Machu Picchu and home to the temple of the Moon. At the arranged time, we will return to Cusco by bus and will be transferred to our hotel. Overnight stay in Cusco. Day 7: Cusco/Lima - (Breakfast Included) Departure transfer.
Our programs include all entrance fees and English speaking local guides.
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