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Day City Overview
1 Airborne Meet your Group Director at the airport for an overnight flight to Peru!
2 Cusco Arrive in Cusco. Navigate through the airport with your friends meeting with your driver in the arrivals hall. Board board private shuttle and transfer to the hotel. Check in, freshen up, then meet in lobby. Lunch. Afternoon exploring Cusco, then early dinner.
3 Cusco Morning excursion out to visit San Pedro de Andahuaylillas. This 17th century church, often referred to as "The Sistine Chapel of the Americas" is a treasure house where we'll learn about The Cusco School while discussing some of the paintings and admire the lavishly decorated interior. We'll then start making our way back towards Cusco with stops to see the Rumicolca (Inca Checkpoint Gates) at Pikillacta, enjoy lunch, and explore the stone canals, terraces, and stairways of Wiracocha's royal hacienda at Tipón. We'll spend the evening enjoying great food and a live performance.
4 Cusco
Sacred Valley
Our day begins with Cusco's most important site: The Inca citadel at Sacsayhummán, where we'll enjoy exploring it's impressive terraces and ramparts. After lunch we're on our way into the Sacred Valley we'll explore the agricultural terraces, hilltop fort, and temples of the Pisac Ruins. We'll spend the evening taking a Peruvian Cooking Lesson.
5 Urubamba
Sacred Valley
Today starts with a visit to Chinchero. At 12,375' above sea-level this small town overlooking the Sacred Valley is dubbed "birthplace of the rainbow". We'll spend some time enjoying the colorful Handicraft Market where locals barter their goods three days a week and learn how Peruvian Rugs are crafted at the local weaving co-operative. Lunch, then we're off to explore the Inca Crop Laboratory at Moray and observe ancient salt mining techniques at Salinas de Maras. We'll end the day arriving at the spectacular living Inca town of Ollantaytambo where we'll check into our hotel before heading out to explore the cobbled streets and courtyards and enjoying dinner.
6 Ollantaytambo
Machu Picchu
Well rested, this morning we'll follow the stone terraces up to the ruins of the Araqama Ayllu fortress where we'll spend the morning finding the Temple of the Sun, Mañacara (Royal Hall), Baños de La Princesa, and the Intihuatana (used to trace the sun's path). Lunch then it's time to leave the road behind as we board the train to Aqua Calientes.
7 Machu Picchu Grab your daypack, water bottle, camera, and sunblock. This morning we're hiking Huayna Picchu with it's spectacular views of the citadel. Lunch, then we're making our first of two hikes into the citadel (visits are time limited and the citadel is huge) to explore the parts which are best seen as the sun begins to set - the Intihuatana ("Hitching Post of the Sun") and the Intipuncu ("Sun Gate") from which there are magnificent panoramic views. Dinner back in Aqua Calientes.
8 Machu Picchu
We're up early for our second hike into the citadel, our objective - the Sun Gate, where those who hiked the Inca Trail enter the citadel. Enjoy a relaxed lunch, enjoy the Thermal Baths, and final shopping back in Aqua Calientes. Boarding the Hiram Bingham train to Cusco for an evening ride that includes food and Andean Music, our final night nicely reflecting our first one.
9 Departure Flight back home, Adiós Peru!