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Classic Peru

Trip Length

Trip Code

9 days PSCP

Maximum Passengers

16 people

Countries Visited

Peru

Start City

End City

Lima Cusco
Classic Peru

In the 15th century, Peru was the heartland of the Inca Empire. Today, the country is rich in both Inca and Spanish colonial culture. Our jumping off point is Lima, nestled between the mountains and the sea and offering some of Latin America’s finest seafood. Just a short flight away is Cusco, built on the foundations of the old Inca capital. A remarkable cathedral dominates the city, overlooking cobblestone streets lined with ancient shops and delicious restaurants. To the north, looming over Cusco is the temple of Sacsayhuaman, whilst out in the Sacred Valley we visit the market town of Pisac. A highlight for many who visit Peru is a camping trek along ancient Inca pathways culminating in a visit to the magnificent mountaintop ruins of Machu Picchu.

Why we love it:

Classic Peru


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1-2: Lima

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Antigua Mira Flores or Similar, Lima

Activities:

Day 3-4: Cusco - The Sacred Valley

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Accommodation: Terra Andina hotel or similar

Today you'll fly to the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, where you will take an afternoon walking tour to explore this fascinating city. Please remember to walk slowly and take it reasonably easy upon arrival, as you will no doubt feel the effects of altitude as you will have travelled from sea level up to 3350 metres.
Cusco is a favourite destination of many visitors to Peru. Its main sites radiate outwards from the Plaza de Armas, which is dominated by the 17th century Baroque cathedral. It was in this very plaza that the Spanish conquistadors put to death the last Inca king, Tupac Amaru I. As you wander the streets and side alleys of the city you will witness the perfect tapering Inca stonework that provided the foundations for many of Cusco’s colonial and modern buildings.
Your comprehensive Walking tour will take you around the Main Squares, Past the Cathedral, Koricancha Temple and a visit to the Coca Museum will be included.
In your free time, it is also possible to visit the Inca Museum, Religious Art Museum, Church of San Blas and Santa Catalina Museum.
Head to the Sacred Valley for a full day of sightseeing before spending the night there.
The Sacred Valley, located between the towns of Pisac and Ollantaytambo, was greatly treasured because of its climate, fertile land and the presence of the Urubamba (Sacred) River. On your full day tour of the Sacred Valley, you will see evidence of the Incas' engineering skills in the ruins of ancient aqueducts, irrigation canals, dams on the Urubamba River, imposing sets of terraces and centres of worship dedicated to Pachamama (Mother Earth).
At the Sacred Valley you will visit the stone fortress of Sacsayhuaman where massive stone blocks that form the walls of this site give you an awesome picture of how highly developed Inca engineering was. Looking over the city from its hilltop position, the fortress is built out of massive stone blocks and is the ultimate example of the Inca's military strength, the Awana Kancha tourist centre where we see llama, alpaca, vicuna and guanaco all in the one place, the colourful market town of Pisac and the towering Inca citadel at Ollantaytambo. The town of Ollantaytambo was built over an ancient Inca town, which is a magnificent example of Inca urban planning. This is one of the few places where the Incas defeated the Spanish. Ollantaytambo's archaeological site is located to the east of the Plaza de Armas. The upper terraces of this site offer great photo opportunities of the squared grid town below.

Day 5-8 note: (Important Note)

Activities:

Day 5: Inca Trail: Km 82 - Wayllabamba (8km)

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Activities:

Day 6: Inca Trail - Pacaymayo (16km)

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Activities:

Day 7: Inca Trail - Winaywayna (15km)

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Activities:

Day 8: Machu Picchu - Aguas Calientes (5km) - Cusco

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Terra Andina hotel or similar

Activities:

Day 9: Cusco

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Terra Andina hotel or similar

Activities:


Your Trip

What to know

A good level of general fitness and pre trip training is required for the Inca Trek. You will trek on hilly terrain, generally on well-defined paths, walking between 6 and 8 hours per day. Altitude may exceed 4000 metres.

What's Included

Transport

Non-included Meals

Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.

Not Included

Optional Extras

We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.


What to know

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

Peru
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Australians, Americans, Canadians, British and New Zealanders do not currently require a visa for Peru. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.

Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading

Peru

Cut Stones and Crossroads - R Wright Exploring Cusco - P Frost The Incas and Their Ancestors - M Moseley


Important Information

On this trip you may link up with travellers on another of our tours.

Local contact numbers: Peak Adventure Travel Emergency phone: +51 99605 5559 +51 97009 4823

Meals during trek: Please note that we are unable to cater for those with a gluten intolerance (Coeliac) during the trek. Food labelling standards vary quite dramatically from country to country so it is not always safe to rely on ingredient labels in another country. Secondly, due to the remote nature of the trek and available cooking facilities, cross-contamination cannot always be fully avoided.

Typical meals during the trek: Breakfast (toast, fruit salad, ground corn tortillas, vegetable omelette, fried plantains), Snack (biscuits, tea, pop corn, chocolate bars, hot chocolate), Lunch (Vegetable soups, steamed trout, roast beef, quinoa grained, mashed or scalloped potatoes), Dinner (Chicken, rice, goulash, rosemary potatoes, chicken wrapped in tomato sauce)

Hotel Breakfasts: Breakfasts in Latin America are simple affairs. They consist of tea or coffee, fruit juice, bread rolls, butter and jam. Eggs and fruit are sometimes available on request, for a small charge.

Meal requests/ allergies: Please note - any special meal requests must be noted on your booking form when making your reservation. We may not be able to cater for any late requests advised on arrival.

---- Alternative Itineraries for this trip - Machu Picchu ----

 

Quarry Trek

In the event that trekking permits for the 'Classic' Inca Trail route are unavailable, we will use the 'Quarry' route. The Quarry Trail, is an exceptional alternative to the 'Classic' trail.

This trek has all the components you expect from a Peregrine operated hike in the South American Andes: it’s safe, landscapes are breathtaking, there are opportunities to interact with local communities and to visit smaller and less known Inca archaeological sites.The overall distance hiked on this trek is approximately 26km, the maximum altitude reached is 4,450 metres above sea level. Since permits are not required for this trek, there are no restrictions as when you book your trip.

 

INCA QUARRY TRAIL: The Inca Quarry Trail is within the abilities of most reasonably fit people. It's 26km long in total. The trails highest pass is at 4,450 metres above sea level.

Throughout the trek your gear (and camping gear) will be carried by horses (as opposed to porter).

The first two nights of the trek are spent camping and the third one at a simple hotel. Double tents (twin-share) and foam camping mats will be provided. Tents are set up by the porters. Meals are prepared by the trek cook.

 

Day 1 - We leave Cusco early in the morning to drive to Ollantaytambo and on to Choquequilla, a small ceremonial place where Incas used to venerate the moon. A short drive from here takes us to Rafq'a, the starting point of our trek and where we meet the horsemen that will join us during the hike. After about an hour we reach the small community of Socma.

A further 60 minutes walk takes to the Perolniyoc cascade lookout. This is a perfect opportunity to stop for photos and a snack.

From here we continue on to our campsite, at 3700 metres above sea level. All going well, we should reach our campsite by lunch time. After lunch we set off to explore the Q'orimarca archaeological site, which used to serve as a check point during the times of the Incas

 

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

 

Day 2 - This is the most challenging but most rewarding day of the hike. A 3hr walk takes us to the top of the first pass, known as Puccaqasa (approx 4370 metres). After enjoying the views of the valley below we walk down for 30min to our lunch spot.

Rested and full of energy again we take on a 2 hour hike to the highest pass of the trek: Kuychicassa (4450 metres).

From here we head down for 2hr to a site the Incas called Inti Punku, (meaning Sun Gate - this is not the Sun Gate where you enter the Machu Picchu site) with imposing views over the valley bellow and the Veronica mountain raising over the horizon.

Our campsites is a stone throw away at Choquetacarpo (3600 metres)


Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

 

Day 3 - Day three is all downhill hiking. The first stop is at the Kachiqata quarry, where we witness the work the Incas could not complete due to the Spanish conquest.

Approximately at midday we finally arrive to the town of Kachiqata - the end of this challenging and fascinating trek.

From here we visit Ollantaytambo and in the afternoon we travel by train to Aguas Calientes. The natural hot springs in town are an unbeatable way to spend a late afternoon/early evening. Tonight we overnight at a simple but comfortable hotel.


Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

 

Day 4 - Today we take a very early bus (5:30am depending on weather conditions) along the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx. 30 minutes). In Machu Picchu we join the travellers who opted to hike the Classic Inca Trail option of this trip before taking on a guided walk of Machu Picchu.

 

Meals included: 1 breakfast

 

Non-trekking Alternative – Machu Picchu by Train

The Inca Trail is a highlight of any visit to Peru and it is highly recommended to anybody who is up to the physical demands of a Moderate trek. For those people joining a Peregrine trip who do not wish to join the four-day hike, Peregrine can make alternative arrangements that allow additional time in Cusco and return transport and accommodation to Aguas Calientes at the base of Machu Picchu. Should you choose these alternative arrangements, the price for your Peregrine holiday remains the same.

You must notify Peregrine at the time of booking if you wish to take this option, which replaces the 4 Day Inca Trail.

 

Day 1 & 2: Cusco

Enjoy two full days to explore the epicenter of the Inca Empire. Take your time to explore the many baroque churches and ancient temples that dot the city. The cathedral, built on top of an Incan palace, dominates the Plaza de Armas, Cuzco's picturesque heart. The cathedral is one of the city's greatest repositories of art, and houses an elegantly carved choir stall and a gold-covered Renaissance altar. Also worth visiting are the churches of La Compania, La Merced and San Blas.There are several impressive Inca ruins within the city, the most accessible being Coricancha, which was the Incan Empire's richest temple. Once plated in thick gold, the Spanish built a Dominican Church atop its sturdy walls. Other ruins close by are Saqsayhuaman, Qenqo and Tambomachay. Your ticket to these sites is included.

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

 

Day 3 : Aguas Calientes -

We take a bus from Cusco to Ollantaytambo where the train station is for our short journey to Aguas Calientes.
Aguas Calientes is nestled in the cloud forest at the foot of Machu Picchu.
While away your free time in the natural hot springs that give the town its name.
Please note today you'll leave most of your luggage in Cuzco while we visit Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu. Make sure you have a small backpack to carry the necessary items for 2 days travelling.
 
Day 4: Machu Picchu - Cusco
Take a bus up the winding road to Machu Picchu (approx 30 mins).
While it's thought Machu Picchu was built around 1440 as a country retreat for Incan nobility, there is evidence this had been a sacred Incan site for much longer. Another school of thought is that this was an astronomical observatory. There's plenty of time for you to decide for yourself as you wander around the many temples, palaces and living quarters. You will have a guided visit (approx 2 hrs) with plenty of free time afterwards.
 
Those in your group who have trekked the Inca Trail will arrive at the site around 7am on today. It is possible to arrange to meet up with the other members in your group at the ruins, to join a fully guided tour of this ancient and mystical Inca City. Before taking the bus back down to Aguas Calientes, there is free time to explore the ruins at your own pace, soaking in the atmosphere.You can make the short hike up to the Sun Gate for that classic photo of Machu Picchu if you wish. In the afternoon we have time for lunch, before catching the train back to Cusco with your fellow trekkers.

WAYNA PICCHU: Due to Peregrine's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.

 

After taking advantage of the seemingly endless photo opportunities, it's time to return to Cuzco for a well deserved shower and a pisco sour.

Meals included: 3 breakfasts

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

4 May 2014


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 1-800-663-5132
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine