Embark on this amazing journey with the Women's Travel Club to Peru. We will visit many beautiful areas in Peru as we work our way to the highlight of the tour, Machu Picchu. After our visit to this iconic site, we board the Andean Explorer and enjoy a scenic rail ride to Lake Titicaca.
DAY 1 - Arrive in Lima
On arrival at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport, we meet our guide and transfer to our hotel. The rest of the day will be at leisure.
Peru's capital with over eight million residents, Lima perches on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and has an uninterrupted history of more than 2000 years. A capital founded by Spanish conquistadors that subsequently exploded with influxes from Asia and then from Peru's own Andean highlands, Lima is perhaps the most fascinating city in the continent.
DAY 2 - Lima City Tour (B)
Our full day tour begins at a "Peruvian Market" (Suquillo Market), where we will be able to appreciate a wide variety of Peruvian products, enjoy and taste exotic fruits and be amazed by a huge variety of fish and seafood
Next we visit Larco Museum, which collects more than 45,000 pieces, mostly ceramics. From there, we proceed to the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, a small but well organized museum, offering one of the best perspectives of art and archaeology of thousand-year-old Peru. This afternoon, we discover the faded grandeur of Lima’s beautiful Spanish colonial past and visit the Plaza Mayor with the government palace, City Hall, the Archbishop palace and the Cathedral. We also se the San Francisco cloister and its 17th century church, a world cultural heritage site. Tonight, we tour the Reserve Park – formally known as the Magic Water Circuit, with its 13 impressive fountains that combine movement, lights and sounds in one spectacular show.
DAY 3 - Sacred Valley (B, L)
This morning we transfer to the airport for our one hour flight to Cuzco. Upon arrival we are greeted and join our guide for the adventure of the Urubamba Sacred Valley. Enroute to the hotel, we visit Nilda Canallaupa, a native weaving project sponsored by the National Geographic.
Cellanaupa Nilda is the founder and head of the Center for Traditional Textiles (www.incas.org) in Cuzco, an NGO dedicated to preserving the textile heritage of the Andean people. A native of the village of Chinchero, Nilda was, by the age of 14, presenting at the Smithsonian Institute and the American Museum of Natural History. After attending university, Nilda started the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, including a weaving cooperative and a school for young girls (who must come dressed in traditional costume to be considered). CTTC also provides shelter for women in distress, insures that young girls connect with their elders, and helps native weavers control the marketing of their textiles. Nilda is a shining example of how indigenous people can fully engage with world markets and still remain true to their roots.
Maras salt pools - Continue to the impressive Maras salt pools and learn about ancestral techniques , which are still used, in agricultural, irrigation and salt-recollection tasks, as well as in Andean festivals and rites.
These pre-Inca salt pools were constructed during the Chanapata culture between AD 200 and AD 900. Highly salty water emerging from the Qoripujio spring, close to the head of the valley, is directed into an intricate network of tiny channels constructed so that the water runs gradually down onto the several hundred ancient terraced ponds. Almost all the ponds are less than four meters square in area, and none exceeds thirty centimeters in depth. The flow of water is carefully controlled and monitored by the workers. The altitude of the ponds slowly decreases, so that the water may flow through the myriad branches of the water-supply channels and be introduced slowly through a notch in one sidewall of each pond.
DAY 4 - Pisac ruins and market (B, L)
We embark on a full day excursion to the Cunyuni indigenous bio-cultural heritage area (maximum 30 passengers) , where the natives are known for their warm character, entrepreneurial spirit, and tradition of working collectively for the greater good of the community.
The proud villagers will show us how they have managed to survive in such extremely adverse conditions at over 13,000 feet above sea level where only wild grass grows naturally. We will learn from the community leaders about their daily lives and their ancestral traditions that date to pre-Inca times.
We then continue to the town of Pisac and visit Pisac ruins and market. Set high above the valley floor, these ruins, are notable for their Inca waterworks and beautiful, curving agricultural terraces, which offer excellent vistas of the Sacred Valley. The religious buildings in particular are as finely made as those at Machu Picchu, and the site features one of Peru’s only remaining intihuatanas, enigmatic carved rocks that were used for astronomical observation.
We also visit the colourful market where we can barter for handcrafted jewelry, leather, woolens, carpets and alpaca products.
DAY 5 - Machu Picchu tour (B, L, D)
Awaiting us today is by far and away one of the high points in world tourism: Machu Picchu. We transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station to board the Vista dome train to Aguas Calientes, where we disembark and then board a bus that takes us to the Machu Picchu archeological site. The tour includes every nook and cranny of this New 7th Wonder of the World and UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. Afterwards, there is some free time to explore the site on your own, relax, or meditate.
DAY 6 - Cusco (B)
Complimentary tour to Mandor Falls – A 30 minute walk from our hotel will bring us to Mandor waterfalls. Along the route we will pass through plantations of coffee, bananas, avocado and medicinal plants, until the surroundings become wilder and we are able to observe bromeliads, orchids and many other type of plants and flowers as well as many species of butterflies. The waterfall itself is about 12 metres high; come all the way from the sacred peak of Yanantin.
Se spend the morning relaxing at our hotel or go back to Machu Picchu (re-entry not included in tour price) continuing our exploration of this special place. Later this afternoon we transfer to Aquas Calientes station, where we will board the train to Ollantaytambo train station. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel.
DAY 7 - CUSCO CITY TOUR & RUINS (B)
We start our full day exploration of Cusco with a walk through the Qorikancha (Sun Temple), which is now referred to as Santo Domingo Church. Next we tour the archaeological sites that surround Cusco: The Saqsayhuaman Fortress, an amazing site with huge stone constructions. We will also visit Q’enqo, a place that was used for worship and ceremonial center.
Back to the city, we tour proceed to “San Blas”, the Artisans’ Neighbourhood of narrow and high streets, beautiful little plaza, where the fibers of wool, the pieces of clay and the wood pieces turned into real art pieces. Continue to see the famous Twelve Angles stone, part of the largest Inca wall of Cusco, which used to be the Hatunrumiyoc (Big Stone) palace, built by Inca Sinchi Roca. This is an example of Inca skill with polygonal masonry.
This afternoon, we travel to the neighbouring Tipon, a beautiful complex of agricultural terraces built over 500 years ago around a spring near Cusco by the Incas to integrate their architecture with its surroundings. These intricate bath and irrigation channels still function five centuries after the Spanish conquest, which provides Tipon with an endless, soothing soundtrack of running water
Our last stop will be at the colonial church of San Pedro de And ahuaylillas. Built at the beginning of the 17th century, the interior of this church is decorated with polychrome ceilings, numerous paintings from the Cusco School, a majestic organ, as well as intricate silver work and baroque altars. At the end of the tour, we'll be transported back to our hotel.
DAY 8 - Andean Explorer to Puno (B, L)
This morning, we will be transferred to the train station to board the train to Puno
This spectacular train trip starts in the historical city of Cusco and goes South, to Puno, by the side of Lake Titicaca. The glass windows on the Andean Explorer train will let you perfectly observe the beautiful landscape: the train slowly ascends to very high and cold places, around the magnificent Andes mountain range, over the deep Huatanay River valleys. Then, the train goes through the Andean plains, where you can see vicunas and alpacas grazing among the small villages along the road. The trip includes a stop at La Raya, the highest spot of the route, to observe the spectacular landscape at 4,300 meters above sea level. The trip includes a three course lunch on board. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel which is located at the lake side.
DAY 9 - AMANTANI & UROS ISLANDS (B, BOX LUNCH)
Today, you will have your excursion to Amantani Island, located at an elevation of 4150 meters and famous for its terraced hillsides where its people used to farm. Pre-Incan peoples claimed that this island was a sacred pl ace, and that is why, if you allow it, you can feel its mystical energies flow around you. Upon arrival, the locals will welcome you, leading you to your home stay accommodations, where they will show you their day to day activities, like weaving, farming, mystical ceremonies, and others. Next on the itinerary is a stopover at the handicraft center and the main square. Then, it’s time for a delicious lunch. In the afternoon, before returning to Puno, you will visit the famous floating Uros Islands made out of reeds, whose inhabitants still live according to the customs of their ancestors.
DAY 10 - Depart Puno (B)
Today you will be transferred to the airport for the onward flight.
- • Jose Antonio Hotel, Standard room (2 nights)
- • Sonesta Posada del Inca Yucay Hotel, Standard room, (2 nights)
- • El Mapi by Inkaterra, Superior Deluxe Room, (1 night)
- • Sonesta Posada del Inca Cusco Hotel, Standard room, (2 nights)
- • Sonesta Posada del Inca Puno Hotel. – Standard lake view room
- • International & Internal Airfare (can be arranged by WTC)
- • Travel Insurance
- • Visa/passport handling fees
- • Meals not listed in itinerary
- • Alcoholic Beverages
- • Gratuity
- • Optional Activities
- • Expenses of a Personal Nature
- • Any Item Not Mentioned Above
Prices are subject to change and availability. Space is limited and activities and specific hotels are subject to change. Travel insurance is strongly recommended.