Tuesday, June 19, Fly from the USA
Those of you connecting in DFW will fly today. The others will fly tomorrow.
Day 1: Wednesday, June 20-City Lima International Airport Arrival
Arrival at Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima and transfer to hotel by pre-arranged van. After picking up luggage and clearing customs, look for our driver who will have a sign FERTUR PERU – BET GROUP. No meal today since six of us won’t arrive from the USA until after dinner time. For the five of you who are arriving early, Fertur Peru is offering a 3-hour tour in Barranco + Inka Market starting at 9:00 am.
Overnight in Casa Andina Select Hotel, Lima. T +51 (1) 416-7500
Day 2: Thursday, June 21–City tour Lima
Breakfast at the hotel (Every Morning). Depart hotel for a city tour at 9:00 am. We will first do a walking tour of the Lima center, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, and visit the San Francisco Church, including its famous catacombs.
The tour continues with the visit to the Larco Museum. Housed in a unique colonial residence dating back to the XVII century, built on top of a VIII century pyramid, this fabulous museum includes the exquisite Collection of Peruvian Gold and Silver from the olden days and the Pre-Hispanic Erotic Art Salon. Its pieces have toured major world museums. We then continue to the Golden Museum. (The Spanish looted most of the gold to finance various European wars but a surprising number of artifacts remain.)
Afternoon free to have lunch (independent) and rest. Dinner and overnight in Casa Andina Select Hotel, Lima. (B/D)
Day 3: Friday, June 22–Lima/Cusco – Sacred Valley
8:45 am transfer from hotel to airport in time for 11:00 am flight to Cuzco (AV 537). Upon arrival at 12:20 pm we will drive to the famous Andean market town of Pisac and find lunch (independent) in one of the many restaurants. After lunch, we will visit the sprawling Inca ruins of Pisac perched on the mountain above. After the visit, transfer to our hotel, the Sonesta Posadas del Inca-Sacred Valley-Yucay. (2,870 m 9,416 ft) Dinner and overnight in the Sacred Valley. T +188.8.131.527 (B/D)
Day 4: Saturday, June 23–Maras, Moray & Chinchero
9:00 am departure for the Maras Salt Pans, a stunning ancient patchwork of terraced pools filled with mineral-rich water that cascades down the side of the Qaqawiñay Mountain. Since before the advent of the Inca Empire, the local inhabitants here have tended the Maras salterns, producing salt by evaporation. You can climb down, treading along the crystalline-encrusting ridges of the pools while receiving a detailed explanation of the ancient salt production process. (Plan to purchase some bags of salt for home use and/or as unique gifts. )
From Maras it is a short drive to Quechuyuc Muyu, the central Inca terraced monument of Moray. Inca civil engineers constructed the geometric landscape masterpiece from giant natural sinkholes during the 15th and early 16th centuries. Covering 92 acres, the four terraced amphitheaters — known as Muyus — range from 130 to nearly 400 feet in diameter. The agricultural terraces were fed by a complex drip irrigation system, the remains of which are clearly visible today. Smallholding reservoirs, hydraulic channels, and carved stone “paqcha” conduits controlled the flow of natural spring water to a mathematically precise trickle. A prevailing scientific theory holds that the Inca tested their crop varieties on Moray’s ancient terraces, which today are known locally as “the greenhouse of the Inca.”
We then visit the traditional Andean village of Chinchero located in the highlands of Anta. Chinchero is built around one of Cusco’s best preserved Inca archaeological sites, with a classic colonial church, and a colorful market in which locals continue the age-old tradition of “bartering” goods. Since restaurants are in short supply, a box lunch will be provided during the excursion. Dinner and overnight in the Sacred Valley. (B/BL/D).
Day 5: Sunday, June 24 – Ollantaytambo Fortress – Aguas Calientes
8:30 transfer to Ollantaytambo, one of the longest continually inhabited towns in the Americas, constructed at the foot of spectacular Inca ruins. Our guide will take us up its 17 agricultural terraces that lead steeply up the side of a hill to a massive stone Sun Temple. (Or you can wimp out with me and stay down below.) The ruins are referred to as a fortress, garden citadel. Its construction is attributed to the 9th Sapa Inca Pachacutec, who conquered the territory and then built the town and temple as one of his royal estates. The name of the town and the archaeological area is owed to Cacique Ollanta, who, according to legend, was Inca Pachacutec’s greatest general until he fell out of favor for falling in love with one of the ruler’s princess daughters.
In the afternoon, we will take the VISTADOME train, departing at 13:27 and arriving at 14:50 in Aguas Calientes. We will be met upon arrival with help with luggage for the transfer to the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel T +51 1 610 0400. Dinner and overnight in the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel. (B/D)
Day 6: Monday, June 25 -Excursion to Machu Picchu
Morning free to enjoy the hotel or explore Aguas Calientes. At 11:30, take the bus to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Inca, ascending up a series of switchbacks to reach the iconic ruins at 12:00 noon. The excursion includes the tour of the citadel, visiting the main plaza, the Circular Tower, the Sacred Sundial, the royal quarters and the Temple of the Three Windows. You will also have free time to further explore the complex at your own pace. Lunch on your own. You can leave and re-enter the site or take the next bus down to Aguas Calientes and the hotel. Dinner and overnight in the Inkaterra Machu Picchu Hotel. (B/D)
Day 7: Tuesday, June 26 -Aguas Calientes – Cusco: 4 Ruins
After breakfast and some free time, we need to be at the train station at 10:25 to take the 10:55 train to Vistadome train to Ollantaytambo arriving at 12:32 where we will be transferred by coach to our hotel in Cusco.
Meet in front of the hotel at 14:30 to be picked up for a tour the megalithic ruins on the outskirts of the city, stopping at the Inca ritual site Quenqo, the water temple of Tambomachay, the customs house of Puca Pucara and the impressive temple fortress of Sacsayhuaman, built strategically above the city of Cusco. It’s famous for its enormous stone blocks, fitted with incredible precision to form the three-tiered zig-zagging external walls of the complex. Some of the stones stand 9 meters high and weigh more than 350 tons.
20:00: Dinner at Calle del Medio Restaurant.
Overnight in Costa del Sol Hotel. T +51 084 252330. (B/D)
Day 8: Wednesday, June 27 -Cusco: Cusco City tour
In the morning at 9:00 am we will explore the city of Cusco and witness the vestiges the Inca culture and the vast changes that took place after the Spanish Conquest. We will visit the main plaza, the Cathedral, the Temple of the Sun or Koricancha and the Archaeological Museum. Dinner out and overnight at the Costa del Sol Hotel. (B/D)
Day 9: Thursday, June 28–Cusco – Puno
After breakfast at the hotel, our tour bus will leave at 7:00 for the city of Puno at 3,860 meters above sea level (12074 feet). During the journey we pass the Lake of Wacarpay, offering spectacular views of snow-capped mountains reflected in its tranquil waters.
Near the lake, we visit the Pre-Inca citadel of Pikillacta, Quechua for “City of the Thumbs.” It’s one of the most impressive sites built by the Wari culture, consisting of more than 700 structures, with walls almost 12 meters high. We continue to the picturesque town of Andahuaylillas, where we visit the temple of Saint Peter of Andahuaylillas, also known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas for its rich colonial artworks and painted murals that cover the walls, arches, entranceways, and ceilings.
Further on we stop at Archí where we visit the spectacular sanctuary built by the Inca Pachacútec, dedicated to the sun god Wiracocha. It has a grand central stone wall with other walls built from adobe bricks. Around the temple, we’ll find a multitude of ancient buildings that were used as houses or storerooms. About 70 kilometers later we reach the pass of La Raya, the highest point of the journey at 4400 meters above sea level, where we might see herds of vicuñas and llamas.
We then travel along the Collao plateau, stopping at the town of Ayaviri, an important cattle and textile center, where we visit the temple of Kalasaya, belonging to the ancient Pucara culture. We stop for a buffet lunch in a rustic rural setting where we can sample the culinary delights of the region. We arrive in Puno in the early evening, Dinner and overnight in Puno and the Sonesta Puno Hotel Tel: 51 51 364111. (B/L/D)
Day 10: Friday, June 29 -Puno: Floating Islands of Uros and the Burial Towers of Sillustani
Departing from the hotel at 8:30 am, we will embark on a speedboat tour of the islands on the world’s highest navigable lake stopping at the Floating Islands of Los Uros. Since pre-Inca times, the Andean inhabitants have lived in their man-made floating communities, fashioned from Scirpus Totora reeds, stacked dozens of meters deep. They also use the reeds to build their houses and boats. Return to Puno and continue with a visit to the burial towers of Sillustani. The famous cylindrical stone structures were first built by the Aymara people to entomb their high priests and were then used by the Inca to bury their nobles. Umayo Lake, in front of the “chullpas” only adds to the beauty of the site. In the evening we return to Puno. Dinner and overnight in Puno and the Sonesta Puno Hotel. (B/D)
Day 11: Saturday, June 30 -Puno – Lima – Paracas
5:40(!) transfer to Juliana Airport in time for our flight to Lima. Flight AV800 departs for Lima at 08:20am, arriving Lima at 09:55am. We will be picked up by a coach for our long drive to Paracas. Lunch (independent) on the way. Free time in the afternoon to enjoy this wonderful hotel. Dinner and overnight in La Hacienda Bahia Paracas T +511 2131010. (B/D)
Day 12: Sunday, July 1–Paracas
Today you have a choice of either a free day to enjoy the amenities of the resort hotel or overfly the mysterious Nasca Lines in a small plane. The four of you doing the flight will be picked up at the hotel at 10:00. Dinner and overnight in La Hacienda Bahia Paracas. (B/D)
Day 13: Monday, July 2–Paracas: Paracas Natural Reserve, Lima Airport
8:00 am departure for Ballestas Islands, followed by a delicious seafood lunch at a nice Restaurant in Paracas. Then, we take a boat to Paracas Natural Reserve. These islands are rocky formations that shelter sea lions, Humboldt Penguins, dolphins and a wide variety of resident and migratory birds. It has a rich biodiversity, including 160 fish species, 216 bird species and 25 types of dolphins and whales. At around 15:00, we continue our return to Lima arriving in the early evening at the airport for our late night return flights to the US. (B/L)
|Laurence Barker||06/20 UA 854, 11:00P||07/03, UA 855, 12:35A|
|Jim Ernest & Sue Edwards||06/20 UA 854, 11:00P||07/03, UA 855, 12:35A|
|Dale Fleishman & Ron Jenkins||06/20 AA 1307, 8:40P||07/02, AA 918, 10:19P|
|Carrol Smith & Gail Jarratt||06/20 AA 909. 5:31A||07/02, AA 988, 11:53P|
|Kelly & Daniel Clark||06/20 AA 909. 5:31A||07/02, AA 988, 11:53P|
|Gretchen Quinn & Paddy Irwin||06/20 AA909. 5:31A (GQ)
06/20 UA 854, 11:00P (PI)
|07/02, AA 988, 11:53P (GQ)
07/03, UA 855, 12:35A (PI)