This tour is a journey of 11 days to the most important Inca sites of southern Peru. We begin this excursion through Incaland in Cusco, where you will get the chance to discover the city through a city tour. From Cusco, we go to the magnificent Sacred Valley of the Incas, where you will get a first impression of the amazing landscapes Peru has to offer.
The next highlight of our journey is a visit to the famous Machu Picchu. Returning to Cusco, we continue our journey to Puno next to the Titicaca Lake. After enjoying the highest lake in the world, we drive to Chivay to witness the majestic Condors in the Cruz del Condor. From there we travel to Arequipa, the white city of Peru. Our next-to-last destination is Nazca, where you will be able to observe the Nazca Lines from a plane. This journey through the south-Peruvian Incaland ends in Lima.
The travel program below is meant to be a standard program for people who just have little time to visit Peru and want to see as much as possible within the available time period. For people who like to take things a little easier, free days can be added. If you would like to do a tour that is more developed to satisfy your needs, please contact us and we can discuss the options.
Free day in Cusco
On this first day, we will pick you up at the airport or at the bus terminal. Your guide will wait for you to welcome you to Cusco and bring you to the Amaru Group Hostels. We advise you to take an early flight, so you can take it easy in the morning and get used to the altitude (especially if you come from sea level).
Accommodation: Amaru Group Hostels
Cusco City Tour
The Cusco City Tour will give you the opportunity to discover the enigma of this marvellous city and the surrounding archaeological sites! We will pick you up at 1:15 pm from your hotel and bring you to the main Plaza de Armas at 1:30 pm, where you will meet you travel mates (in case of shared service). We start our adventurous tour by visiting the Main Cathedral of Cusco. Here you can observe the colonial architecture and the amazing paintings of the Cusqueña School (well known for its religious iconography painted by Cusqueños). Afterwards, we will take you to the Qoricancha (golden palace) and Santo Domingo Convent, which is a perfect example for the fusion of the Inca and Christian culture.
After your city tour, we will take the bus and drive to the impressive Inca Fortress of Saqsaywoman. You will be amazed by the rocks used for construction, some of them weigh more than 300 tons!
Accommodation: Amaru Group Hostels
Sacred Valley Tour and Train to Machu Picchu
The Sacred Valley Tour starts at 08:00 am from Cusco. We pick you up from your hotel and bring you to our tourist bus, where you will meet your tour guide and your travel mates (shared service).
We leave Cusco around 08:30 am in direction of Pisaq, descending to the sacred river Urubamba. With a few stops at various lookout points along the way, we will arrive at Pisaq where you can enjoy checking out the traditional handicraft market with plenty of time for local souvenir shopping. Afterwards, we drive up the mountain where we will find Pisaqs ruins. Our tour guide will take you around the temples, terraces and tunnels of this complex, including the famous Intihuatana (sun clock), while constantly enjoying the majestic view of the sacred river. Then we drive along the river Urubamba, passing by a colourful little town where you can observe the descendants of the Quechua people wearing colorful ponchos.
We stop in the town Urubamba for lunch (we recommend a lunch buffet of Peruvian food). After a short rest we keep going until we reach Ollantaytambo, one of the last living Inca towns. You will be amazed by the impressive Temple of the Sun with its intricate stone worked details, the terraces which are constructed to sustain the mountain and finally the temple in shape of a llama. Then you will have a short time to explore this amazing complex with its beautiful water fountains by yourself.
After exploring the complex, your tour guide will guide you to the train station from where you will take the train at 04:36 pm in direction to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Town). Enjoy the incredible 2-hour-journey through the panoramic windows of the train which will take you along the Sacred River of the Incas, descending from the high valley down to the cloud forest at 2000 meters. The landscape changes drastically in front of your eyes! You will be able to see the tropical mountain ending in a snow carpet and the small waterfalls shimering on the hills, forming small rivers that flow down to converge at the Sacred River. After these spectacular natural views, you will arrive at Aguas Calientes where the warm atmosphere welcomes you with typical jungle sounds.
A Green Peru Adventures Staff and your tour guide will be waiting for you at the gate of the train station in Aguas Calientes and bring you to your hostel. At 07:00 pm, you arrive at your hotel and the tour guide will come to give you a briefing for the next day.
Accommodation: Real Machu Picchu Inn
Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco
The day you were waiting for!
Wake up very early in the morning to have your breakfast (at 04:00 am) and then take the bus uphill to the famous Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. The first bus leaves at 05:30 am and takes a 25 minutes ride.
Optional take the path which is winding up the mountain to reach Machu Picchu.
Machu Picchu gate opens at 06:00, so arriving early you will be one of the first visitors of the day, avoiding the crowds. In case you don’t want to wake up early, please take the bus at 7 am. At 07:45 am your bilingual tour guide will take you around the vast ruins for about 2.5 hours, comprehensively explaining the historical significance of Machu Picchu and its importance in the Inca Empire.
Machu Picchu is the best known of all the Inca Archaeological sites, as it is recognised worldwide as one of the new seven wonders, even though it’s not mentioned in any handwritten Chronicle of the Spanish Conquerors. Experts believe that Machu Picchu has been constructed around the mid-15th century by Inca Pachacuteq and was rediscovered in 1911 by American historian Hiram Bingham.
The guided tour of this fascinating site will be an unforgettable experience, visiting the Main Square, the Royal Quarters, The Temple of the Three Windows, the Circular Sun Tower, the Sacred Sun Dial (Intihuatana) and the Burial Grounds.
A frequent bus service takes visitors back to Aguas Calientes (included) at any time. If you prefer, take a walk down through the jungle – it will take you roughly 45 minutes.
Accommodation: Amaru Group Hostels
Cusco – Puno
At 06:30 am, we will pick you up and transfer from your hotel in Cusco to the private bus station of the Wonder Peru Tourist Bus, which will take you to Puno. These tourist buses are fully equipped with services and a professional English speaking guide who will explain you the local history and traditions on stops along the way. For example, we stop at the Sistine Chapel of South America in Andahaylillas, in Rhachi and in Puca Pucara (entrance to the 3 sites is not included = total US$12.00). We include a lunch buffet in Sicuani and afterwards stop at the spectacular viewpoint of La Raya, at 4338 m.a.s.l. on the border between Cusco and Puno. You will arrive at Puno around 05:00 pm and get a briefing for the next day’s tour around 07:00 pm.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel Imperial Puno
Uros Islands and Amantani
The tour duration is two days and one night, starting with a visit to the floating Uros Islands and then Amantani Island where you can watch the pre-Inca temples dedicated to the fertility of the earth (Pachamama and Pachatata).
The tour begins at 07:15 am when we will pick you up from your hotel and then take you to the local city port from where you will be shipped to the islands.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with the family
Accommodation: rustic accommodation with the family
Taquile Island – Puno
After having breakfast with your host family, you will be brought to the local harbor where we take a short boat ride to the shores of Taquile Island. From here, we will start to hike to the main square, observing the people who are world famous for their intricate and fascinating weavings and community work.
Accommodation: Hotel Imperial Puno
Puno – Chivay
At 06:00 am, you will be picked up from your hotel by our local representative in Puno. Afterwards we will board a tourist bus of Turismo Sillustani and drive north west, leaving behind the gorgeous scenery of the Lake Titicaca. The bus service is first class with a professional tour guide on board. Along this paved road, we will drive through small towns and discover beautiful lagoons called Lagunillas, as well as we will see trout farms and Andean flamingos amongst many other Andean birds on the shores. Following an ascending road, we will reach the zone of Viscachani where we will stop to stretch our legs, use the bathroom if needed and drink a typical coca tea or coffee at the local restaurant. Afterwards, we will continue ascending a dirt road until we reach the highest point of our trip, “The Lookout Point of the Andes” at 4800 meters. At the very top, we will get off of the bus for a few minutes to observe the landscape with the Ubinas volcanoes in the background including Mismi, Misti, Chachani, Sabancaya (active) and Ampato. Later on, we will drive downhill to the main town of the Colca Canyon, Chivay (3600 meters). Our final bus stop will be at the main square of Chivay. Upon your arrival, you will meet our representative and then join your travel mates to share lunch and transfer to your hostel. (On this program, you will actually join a group who started the Colca Canyon Classic Tour in Arequipa).
You will have some time to relax before joining a short walk to the hot springs, close to 30 minutes from the hotel. Calera is one of the nicest hot springs in Peru where you can enjoy the warm natural water with about 35° C/ 95º F, the great outdoor pools surrounded by huge mountains and, with a bit of luck, some Condors returning to their nests. After sunset, we will return to the hotel. Optional, a dinner show can be organized by your tour guide.
Accommodation: Hotel Mamayacchi
Chivay – Cruz del Condor – Arequipa
In order to see the mighty Condor, today you will wake up at 05:00 am! You will have breakfast until 06:00 am and then we start our journey towards the Cruz del Condor, a natural lookout point where you can see the flight of the Condors. (We won’t return to the hotel, which means you must bring all your possesions with you on the bus!) On the road, we will have the best view over the Colca Valley, as we drive along the edge of the Canyon. On the route, we will see ancient terraces which are still used by local farmers who grow many varieties of corn and potatoes. We will make some stops along the way where our local guide will give us a good insight into the Colca Canyon history. Here, you will stumble across many great rocks; we can discover ancient architectures carved into the terraces and find out, which parts of the Canyon were once suitable for cultivation. Also, this is a good place to see the Colca River and the hanging pre-Inca tombs. After approximately 2 hours we will reach the Cruz del Condor, where we will spend approximately an hour, observing the beautiful flight of the Condors as well as the depth of the Canyon. Eventually, we will return to Chivay, passing typical towns along the way. At around 12:00 noon, we will stop at a local restaurant at Chivay for lunch and afterwards take the road to Arequipa. We will arrive at Arequipa around 05:00 pm. Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Accommodation: Casa de mi Abuela
Free day in Arequipa and Bus to Nazca
Today, you have free time to discover Arequipa until the evening. Arequipa is also named the white city of Peru because of the many beautiful white houses, churches and other buildings. Later, around 05:00 pm, we will transfer you from your hotel to the private bus terminal of Cruz Del Sur from where we will start our journey to Nazca. The night bus from Arequipa leaves at 06:00 pm and arrives approximately at 07:00 am in Nazca. In the bus you will receive a small meal, a drink, a pillow and a blanket to make your trip more comfortable. This is a first class bus, but we can also organize you a VIP bus to Nazca.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Flight over the Nazca Lines and Bus to Lima
You will arrive to Nazca at approximately 07 :00 am.
Between 8:00 and 8:30 am, you will be transferred to the Nazca Aerodrome for your flight over the mysterious Nazca Lines. Flying over these enigmatic “pampas” for approximately 35 minutes, you will discover the huge designs which were drewn maybe hundreds of years ago by some ancient Peruvians.
Afterwards, to complete your experience in Nazca, you will visit the pre-Inca cemetery of Chauchilla where you can observe the burials of the old Nazcas. Most of these tombs are original and have mummies, too. The tour continues with a visit of one of workshops; here you will see how a modern Nazca’s descender makes their beautiful colorful pottery. You will get some explanations about the ancient art of ceramics manufacturing which was made during the Nazca Civilization and afterwards visit a gold extraction workshop where the ancient secret of gold extraction will be revealed.
We recommend you to buy the General Tourist Ticket that allows you to visit 15 places, including the ruins of Cusco and the museums. Otherwise you can purchase a one day partial ticket which allows you a one day visit of just the Sacred Valley sites including Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. This is in case you are not planning to visit any of the Cusco sites.
If you want to climb Huayna Picchu, you have to make your reservation at least 6 weeks beforehand!
|Recommendations, what to bring:|
Please do not give candies or lollies to the kids on the islands! They really appreciate oranges and other fruits as it is impossible to grow them on the islands and it will conserve both their teeth and the environment.
|What we need when you make a reservation:|
Price US$ 1200.00 per person
Exclusive international transaction fees: The amount of the extra transaction fees depends on how the payment is made and on your bank. For further informations please don’t hesitate to ask.
With each booked tour with Green Peru Adventures, you will receive a free walking tour of the mysterious and historic city of Cusco. You will be guided by one of our multilingual, professional guides.