Cusco

Cusco City Tour and Four Temples

Duration: 4 Hours
Overview: Cusco, in the Andes, was built at 3,400 m above sea level in the shape of an enormous puma and it's recognized as the, 'Archaeological Capital of the Americas' as well as the, 'Navel of the World'. The whole of Cusco is covered by archaeological remains, both Incaic and Colonial. Start with a walking tour through the Cathedral, visit the Qorikancha or Sun Temple which is now the Santo Domingo Church. Continue to the Sacsayhuaman Fortress (or speckled falcon/head) with its very impressive beauty; Q'enqo (or zigzag), which is a religious centre and one of the finest examples of a rock, artfully carved in situ, showing complex patterns of steps, seats, geometric reliefs and a puma design; Puca-Pucara (or Red Fort) situated on a hill with superb views of the countryside and finally Tambomachay (or Inca baths) with their water fountains.

Full Day Machu Picchu

Duration: 12 Hours
Overview: Early pick up and transfer to the Poroy railway station to board the train to Machu Picchu. The journey is one of the most spectacular in the world. The train zigzags out of the valley of Cusco and then continues through the Sacred Valley of the Urubamba River to Aguas Calientes via Ollantaytambo. Take a tourist bus (no seats assigned) to the top of the ruins (approx. 25 mins). Machu Picchu was never discovered by the Spaniards: it was buried in the jungle until Hiram Bingham discovered it in 1911. On a guided tour, walk through squares, temples and the Royal Palace. See the 'Intiwatana' or Solar Clock, the Temple of the Three Windows and the Circular Torreon. After lunch (not included) in Aguas Calientes, return by train back to Poroy Station and transfer to your hotel.

Archeological Park of Sacsayhuaman Half-Day Tour

Duration: 3 Hours
Overview: From Cusco, drive up the mountains for 10 minutes to visit the nearby archeological sites. Stop at Tambomachay, a source of spring water that is believed to be worshiped by the Incans. Many believe it could have served as a spa for the elite Incan leaders. Next, visit the remains of Qenqo, a stone made labyrinth with a sacrificial altar in its center. Consisting of staircases and channels, the site is believed to have held many Incan rituals.

Continue to the famous park of Sacsayhuaman where you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of Cusco. Sacsayhuaman boasts impressive Incan design and artwork with massive stones over 9 meters (30 feet) tall and weighing up to 125 tons. Many of the stones have peculiar placement and designs, such as the condor, puma and snake which represented the three Incan worlds. Finally, stop at the Tower of Puca Pucara, within the archeological compound of Sacsayhuaman. Admire its architectural magnificence and clear detail of rooms, water springs, waterways and aqueducts before returning to your Cusco hotel.

Full Day Maras and Moray

Duration: 8 Hours
Overview: Visit Moray, an archaeological site 50 km northwest of Cuzco on a high plateau at about 3500 m. See huge series of circular terraces worked into the ground. They are natural sinkholes on a limestone plateau overlooking the Urubamba valley and the locals refer to them as the greenhouse of the Incas. They may have a cosmological meaning, but their function, other than agricultural, remains a mystery. Continue to the nearby age-old terrace salt mines and ponds that sit below the colonial town of Maras. Visit this colonial town of Maras.

Full Day Sacred Valley

Duration: 8 Hours
Overview: Visit the market at Pisac Town, where you can buy typical Peruvian handicrafts at the best prices.

After lunch, tour the remarkable Inca village and fortress of Ollantaytambo (entrance fee not included). A very steep stone staircase leads into the fortress. Across an esplanade there is a Temple with 10 niches, and beside it a block of partially unworked stones. Beyond another esplanade, stand 6 huge rectangular monoliths from the Temple of the Sun. Vestiges of rooms are seen on top, and on the other side of the hill, see a four storey building which was either a military school or a prison.

Visit the town of Chinchero (entrance fee not included) which lies on the foundations of an important Inca site built in the late 1400s. Brightly dressed, its inhabitants gather in the main plaza to barter foodstuffs and offer visitors an array of crafts from the Cuzco region.

Full Day Nearby Temples and Sacred Valley

Duration: 9 Hours
Overview: Visit the ruins of the Sacsayhuaman Fortress (or speckled falcon/head) with its very impressive beauty; Q'enqo (or zigzag) which is a religious centre and one of the finest examples of a rock, artfully carved in situ, showing complex patterns of steps, seats, geometric relief and a puma design; Puca-Pucara (or Red Fort) situated on a hill with superb views over the countryside and finally Tambomachay (or Inca baths) with their water fountains. Drive to Pisac and Ollantaytambo, two of the most important handcraft markets. After lunch, visit Chinchero, the seat of Inca Tupac Yupanqui one of the Inca Kings. It has a rich monumental and cultural heritage. Its inhabitants dress like their ancestors.

Half-Day Tour of Tipon, Piquillacta and Andahuaylillas from Cusco

Duration: 8 Hours
Overview: Visit Andahuaylillas, often called the Andean Sistine Chapel because of its magnificent frescoes. The church is an example of the mestizo baroque architecture (17th century), with its impressive carved panels ceiling covered with gold leaf. Next is the monumental Raqchi, or the temple of the God Wiracocha. It is divided in two naves, each still retaining the base of 11 giant columns. Adjacent to it are many storehouses used for military and religious purposes. Your next stop is La Raya (4335 m), the highest pass on the route between Cusco and Puno, with beautiful views. And finally on to Pukara, the most important and oldest ceremonial site of the Tiahuanaco, with a series of stair platforms, ruins of litosculptures and tombstones, all witnesses of a pre-Inca civilization. The tour finishes in Puno.

Lake Titicaca by Tourist Bus

Duration: 8 Hours
Overview: Visit Andahuaylillas, often called the Andean Sistine Chapel because of its magnificent frescoes. The church is an example of the mestizo baroque architecture (17th century), with its impressive carved panels ceiling covered with gold leaf. Next is the monumental Raqchi, or the temple of the God Wiracocha. It is divided in two naves, each still retaining the base of 11 giant columns. Adjacent to it are many storehouses used for military and religious purposes. Your next stop is La Raya (4335 m), the highest pass on the route between Cusco and Puno, with beautiful views. And finally on to Pukara, the most important and oldest ceremonial site of the Tiahuanaco, with a series of stair platforms, ruins of litosculptures and tombstones, all witnesses of a pre-Inca civilization. The tour finishes in Puno.

Titicaca Lake by Train

Duration: 8 Hours
Overview: This spectacular rail journey on the Andean Explorer runs between Cusco and the beautiful city of Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the world's highest navigable lake. Enjoy the gentle climb to higher and cooler altitudes. See the magnificent Andean mountains which tower over the deep valleys of the Huatanay River. Reache the gentler, rolling Andean Plains, where vicu a and alpaca can be seen. Make a scenic stop at La Raya, the highest point on the route. Lunch is served on board. The tour ends in Puno.

Also available: Sacred Valley, Pisac and Ollantaytambo Full-Day Tour from Cusco Duration: 8-10 Hours

Private Day Trip to Urubamba Valley: Chinchero, Maras, Moray and Ollantaytambo Duration: 7 Hours

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