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Our South America Travel Blog

Understanding the mighty walls of Sacsayhuaman

Posted on Saturday December 05, 2015

Visitors to Cusco who are struck by how overwhelmingly Spanish the city now appears need only look up towards the incredible fort of Sacsayhuaman which looms over the city; an ever-present reminder that this was once the heart of the Inca empire. Sacsayhuaman’s three megalithic walls are the most astounding example we have of the [&hellip

Ultimate Peru Adventure

17 Day Tour from $4,290 per person

Pricing includes everything from your international arrival to your departure, with the exception of flights and a few lunches and dinners. Our specialty is private, customizable travel experiences.

Trip Itinerary

Plaza San Martin, Lima
Day 1 - Arrival in Lima, Peru

Upon arrival to Lima, you will be greeted and driven to your selected hotel. If staying at the Lima airport Costa del Sol Ramada, you will only need to walk out the airport exit and across the street to your evening accommodations.

Larco Museum, Lima
Day 2 - Lima City Tour & Gastronomy

Your first morning in Peru you will take a tour of Lima's best attractions, including the San Francisco Monastery and Catacombs, and the Larco Arqueological Museum. Peruvian gastronomy is earning its place among the world’s great cuisines and your tour of the city will conclude with dinner at one of Lima's many fine dining options.

Nazca Lines
Day 3 - Nazca Lines

Travelling south of Lima to the coastal resort town of Paracas, you will continue by private transport to board a small plane that will give you a bird’s eye view of the Nazca Lines – mystifying animals and figures carved into the desert sands nearly 1,000 years ago. Your Paracas beach resort awaits you after the flight, where you’ll have time to relax by the pool or indulge in a spa treatment.

Paracas Coastline
Day 4 - Paracas and Islas Ballestas

The morning begins with a journey to the Ballestas Islands off the coast of Paracas. En route you will stop by the enormous Candelabra geoglyph carved into the desert hillside, before touring the rich and varied marine life camped out on the rocky islands. In the afternoon, you will be returned to Lima for your flight to Arequipa.

Santa Catalina Monastery, Arequipa
Day 5 - Arequipa City Tour

In the morning you will be transferred to the La Paz Airport for your flight to the town of Uyuni. Upon arrival in Uyuni and with your private guide and driver you will depart for ghost mining town Pulacayo to step into a world of riches and despair in Bolivia’s industrial history. By the early afternoon you will have arrived on the Salt Flats to meet your personal staff and airstream campers for lunch. The late afternoon and evening is spent exploring the playa, relaxing and taking in this incredible place.

Colca Canyon
Day 6 - Depart for Colca Canyon

Early in the morning you will depart for the Colca Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world, where Andean culture has preserved its way of life for hundreds of years. The venture into the valley will be highlighted by the majestic volcanoes that form the backdrop of the brushed landscape.

Condor flying in Colca Canyon
Day 7 - Colca Canyon to Lake Titicaca

As the sun is rising over the canyon you will take off for the Cruz del Condor, a fantastic area for viewing the Andean Condor. To see groups of these enormous birds with 10 ft. wingspans glide by at such close range is unforgettable. Continuing the journey to Puno you will arrive at your hotel on the banks of Lake Titicaca by evening.

Lake Titicaca boats
Day 8 - The Islands of Lake Titicaca

Today you will experience the waters of Lake Titicaca. The first stop will be the floating islands of Uros where local families build not just their houses but also boats and whole islands out of reeds. Then you’ll briefly visit the island of Taquile en route to the private island of Isla Suasi, where you will spend the night in an eco-lodge.

Taquille Island
Day 9 - Isla Suasi

Wake up to the soothing isolation of life on an island. You’ll spend a relaxing day exploring this windswept area, meandering along paths, and perhaps paddling along the shore in a canoe. This inclusive resort includes all your meals, so you’ll enjoy a hearty Andean lunch before traveling by boat back to the mainland.

Cuzco Cathedrals
Day 10 - Lake Titicaca to Cuzco

For travelling from Lake Titicaca to Cuzco we recommend the overland route to take in the scenery and historical sites along the way. If desiring a bit more luxury, the Andean Explorer train conveys you to Cuzco in the utmost of comfort and classic style.

Sacsayhuaman, Cuzco
Day 11 - Private Half Day Cuzco City Tour

During your tour of Cuzco, the capital of the Incan Empire, you’ll visit Sacsayhuaman, an immense Incan complex with impressive stonework; Koricancha, one of the most important Incan temples (the walls were once actually coated in gold!); and Cuzco’s Cathedral where you’ll learn about the Cuzco School of Art.

Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley
Day 12 - Private Sacred Valley Tour

Your Sacred Valley tour will include visits to the ancient circular agricultural terraces of Moray, the salt mines at Maras, and the ruins and village of Ollantaytambo. Departing from Ollantaytambo, enjoy a scenic train ride through the Sacred Valley to the town of Machu Picchu where you will stay in your hotel at Aguas Calientes.

Machu Picchu
Day 13 - Private Machu Picchu Tour

Uncover the secrets of Machu Picchu during a guided tour of this Incan citadel. You’ll visit the most important parts of the ruins to learn how and why they were constructed. After the tour, you’ll have time to further explore the ruins or sit back and enjoy the magic of Machu Picchu. You can also hike to the top of Huayna Picchu for a bird’s eye view of the ruins. The steep path takes about an hour and a half to ascend. Departing from Machu Picchu town, enjoy a train ride to Ollantaytambo. Upon arrival at the train station you will be met and transferred to your Cuzco hotel.

Amazon Boats
Day 14 - Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado

From Cuzco you’ll depart for Puerto Maldonado, the Amazon Rainforest. At the airport you will be picked up and taken via covered canoe to your Jungle Lodge. En route you'll have the opportunity to spot some of the abundant wildlife living along the banks, and upon arrival you'll have time to settle in before embarking on a night excursion!

Oxbow Lake
Day 15 - Oxbow Lake and Farm Visit

Your first morning in the Amazon, you will navigate the shores of an Oxbow Lake, looking for black caimans, giant river otters, and innumerable species of birds and monkeys. In the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to learn about the crops that are farmed in the rainforest, and the native plant species that are used for medicinal purposes.

Day 16 - Exploring the Jungle Canopy

Depending on the lodge you select, your morning will be spent observing macaws feeding at a clay lick, or hiking through some of the forest trails. In the afternoon, you will ascend up into the canopy via an observation tower, from which you will be able to experience the life of the macaws, parrots, and other jungle birds.

Miraflores coastline, Lima
Day 17 - International Departure

Your flight from the Amazon Rainforest back to the civilized confines of Lima will bring you full circle through the cultural and ecological treasures of Peru. Upon arrival in Lima you can organize further exploration of the city or depending upon your international flight departure stay at the airport for your journey home.

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