cusco the inca empire

Journey to the Center of the Inca Empire

8 Days / 7 Nights

LimaCusco and the Sacred ValleyMachu Picchu

  • Enjoy private tours of Machu Picchu and other Inca ruins.
  • Interact with llamas in a living museum.
  • Browse colorful artisan markets in picturesque towns of the Sacred Valley.
  • Experience life and hospitality in a small Andean village.
  • Tour Cusco, past and present.

Fully Customized – Private Tour – Departures Upon Request


The Experience

Travel to the heart of the ancient Incan empire. You will experience the breathtaking peaks and agricultural patchwork of Peru´s Sacred Valley, meet some of its inhabitants – from craftspeople carrying on traditions to friendly camelids – and marvel at Machu Picchu and the other tremendous Inca ruins in the region.


The Travel

Day 1: Arrival in Lima

Welcome to Peru

Upon arrival in Lima, you will be escorted to the Costa Ramada del Sol Hotel in the Lima airport by your Kuoda host. Most international flights arrive late in the evening and your morning flight to Cusco will leave early, so we recommend a good night´s sleep.

Day 2: Lima to the Sacred Valley

Sacred Valley / Inca Ruins at Sacsayhuaman / Living Museum of Awanakancha

Your Lima host will take you from the hotel lobby to the airport for your direct flight to Cusco, a spectacular 45 minutes that will take you over the glacier peaks of the Cordillera Vilcabamba and Vilcanota and the quilt of Andean fields, tiny hamlets and red-tiled roofs that make up the Sacred Valley.

Your Cusco host will take you to the archaeological complex of Sacsayhuaman, perched just above Cusco, where you can wonder at how Inca engineers so perfectly fitted the huge stones that make up the complex walls. The stones were set together without mortar, a feat that is yet unable to be duplicated.

The final stop of the day takes you to the Living Museum of Awanakancha where you will see Incan agricultural terraces, interact with traditional weavers and feed South American camelids, including the Vicuña, Guanaco, Llama, and Alpaca.

Day 3: Exploring the Sacred Valley

Pisac Archaeological Complex and Market

Day three takes you to the colonial town of Pisac and the Inca ruins that sit on a mountain spur 1900 feet above the town. You will first stroll through the ruins, taking in the tremendous views of the agricultural terracing that wraps around the mountain and the valley below. Note the Inca crosses representing the three levels of existence and the sun temple.

Afterward, there will be ample time to explore the town with its small adobe homes and peruse the lively market for handmade textiles, ceramics, jewelry and crafts.

You will enjoy lunch at the Tres Keros Restaurant – one of the best gourmet experiences in the Sacred Valley – and then return to your hotel.

Day 4: Visiting the Agricultural

Lab of the Incas and Our Friends in a Local Community
Private Tours of Moray and Maras and Off-the-Beaten Track Stop at a Local Community

After a scrumptious breakfast in your hotel we will visit the Inca ruins at Moray. Experts today believe these ancient amphitheaters served as an agricultural laboratory, the ascending terraces creating variations in temperature and soil type. We will continue through the small town of Maras, which boasts beautiful colonial doorways, before arriving at the unbelievable salt pans. Still in-use, each of thousands of flat white pools that terrace the hillside has been passed down through families since pre-Incan times. The intricate network of waterways and white evaporation pools seem like a work of modern art. We will then have lunch at the Casa de Barro, where you can sample some of the treats of the region.

After lunch, we will take you to visit our friends in a small Sacred Valley village. Surrounded by towering mountains and hugging the shore of the breathtakingly blue Lake Piuray, agriculture dominates life in this close-knit place. The women of the village are weaving masters, using Incan techniques, materials and patterns. They will happily explain their craft to you. You will also meet some of the local children who attend Kuoda's after-school program. The kids love to show off their drawings and computer skills!

This town is far off the beaten-track, so you won't see other tourists here. You will get to meet some of the friendliest people in Peru and to glimpse a more traditional way of life.

At the end of the day, we will return to your hotel.

Day 5: The Lost City of the Incas: Machu Picchu

Private Tour of Machu Picchu

Prepare for a climactic day! In the morning, we will board the train in Ollantaytambo for our journey to Machu Picchu. Watch the cloud jungle pass by through the large glass windows! After a bus ride to the gates of this wonder of the world, we will fortify ourselves with a savory lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge.

You will then ascend stone steps, through heavy tree cover to finally emerge at the top of the world – Machu Picchu! The incredible Inca stone construction will be spread below, alternately hidden and revealed by clouds. Your expert guide will give you a private tour of the ancient city.

You will return for an evening in Aguas Calientes and your guide will give you advice and answer questions about how you might use your following free day.

Day 6: Machu Picchu on Your Terms

A Free Day to Explore the Ancient City at Your Own Pace

This is your day to relax and enjoy Machu Picchu. The adventurous can climb to the citadel from town or hike the steep Huayna Picchu for the postcard view of the city. (These tickets need to be purchased along with the Machu Picchu entrance so you will need to decide ahead of time if you wish to make this climb. Only 400 people are allowed on, half at 7 am and half at 10 am.)

In the afternoon, you will descend to Aguas Calientes for your train back to Cusco. We will be waiting in the station for you and will bring you to your hotel for a night's rest.

Day 7: Cusco

Private Walking Tour of Cusco

On day seven, you will take a private walking tour of one of Peru´s most attractive, fascinating cities: Cusco.

Your guide will illuminate past and present, from the Inca walls and sun temple to the Pre-Columbian Art Museum to the ancient churches and cathedrals to the bohemian neighborhood of San Blas to the bustling modern market in San Pedro.

The afternoon will be free so you can explore Cusco on your own.

Day 8: Cusco to Lima and Home

Return Home

Today you will be transferred to the airport to board your direct flight from Cusco to Lima. You will be met at the Lima airport and transferred to Miraflores, the principal shopping district of Lima. You will have a car at your disposal in case you would like to explore more of Peru's capital.

At the appropriate time, you will be transferred back to Jorge Chavez Airport for your international flight home.


Costs

All trips are private and will be customized to suit your individual interests and schedules. Please contact us at (800) 986-4150 for more information about our customized private tours to Peru.

Prices will vary based on the specifics of your itinerary, and will depend on number of travel companions, number of days, types of accommodation etc.


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