Inca Trail/Machu Picchu (optional tour to Lake Titicaca/La Paz): September 2008
Lima, the gateway to Peru, is built around the Plaza de Armas and is home to an imposing Government Palace, as well as an impressive cathedral. Nearby are several museums and the San Francisco Monastery, famous for its remarkable catacombs. To the south-east and nestled in the Andes lies the former Inca stronghold of Cusco (3500m/11,500ft), where we have ample time to wander around the labyrinth of cobblestone streets, taking in the colourful handicraft markets or maybe trying some ‘cuy’ (guinea pig) - a local delicacy available in many of the excellent restaurants! Out in the Sacred Valley is the small market town of Pisac and the magnificent Inca fortress at Ollantaytambo. And then on the Inca Trail for 3 days trekking to the most stunning of Inca sights, Machu Picchu - the ‘Eagle’s Nest' of the Inca Empire. Stopping overnight at Aguas Calientes to celebrate the trek into Machu Picchu and to enjoy the outdoor thermal pools, we return by train to Cusco. For those who are not leaving the trip at this point, the optional tour begins with a journey inland to Puno, where we discover beautiful Lake Titicaca (3820m/12,500ft). As our adventure draws to an end we travel via the ancient ruins of Tiahuanaco to La Paz, in Bolivia. The capital is located in a canyon on the Altiplano, surrounded by snow-capped Mount Illimani. La Paz has a large Indian population, as we discover on a visit to the highly unusual 'Witches’ Market'.
Itinerary( in 2 parts, with optional part 2 )
Part 1 (Lima-Cusco-Sacred Valley-Inca Trail-Aguas Calientes-Cusco)
05 Sep / Day 1 – Arrive Lima, transfer to hotel. Overnight Lima
06 Sep / Day 2 – Fly to Cusco. Afternoon city walking tour. O/N Cusco (Breakfast)
07 Sep / Day 3 – Full day Sacred Valley tour. Overnight Cusco (Breakfast)
08-10 Sep / Day 4-6 – Inca Trail (3Breakfast,3Lunch,3Dinner)