The Incan Legacy

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Discover the lasting impact of the Incan civilization during this exciting vacation to Peru. Your trip begins with an introductory walking tour of the colonial city of Lima with visits to the cathedral and the San Francisco Monastery. Then drive to Ica, wine capital of Peru, for a flight over the mysterious Nazca Lines—geometric etchings left by ancient Peruvians. Cruise to Ballestas Islands, which are inhabited by a wide variety of sea mammals, before heading back to Lima.

Fly to Cuzco, once the capital of the Inca Empire, and spend the day in the Sacred Valley. While there, visit the Temple of Sacsayhuaman. It remains unfathomable how and when this fortress of gigantic stones—with some blocks weighing more than 350 tons—was built. In Cuzco, you also enjoy a sightseeing tour with visits to the cathedral and the Santo Domingo Monastery.

Activities Sightseeing
Andean Folkloric Show
Nazca Lines
Cruise
Train ride

Stop in Pisac to visit a home, meet some of the locals, and experience the way of life in this old mountain village. Visit the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo before traveling through Urubamba Valley by train on your way to legendary Machu Picchu, “The Lost City of the Incas.” Your tour with a Local Guide brings you closer to the lives and mysteries still hidden in these amazing structures. You also have free time to wander and tour the Machu Picchu ruins at your own pace.

Next, travel to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Enjoy a boat trip on this world-famous lake to see some of the more unique islands. Visit Taquile Island, one of the last areas of Peru to be conquered by Spain in the 16th century, and Uros Floating Islands, islands made of reed and home of the Uros Indians. Return to Lima via Juliaca, and head for home with your lasting memories from this amazing Peru vacation.

Flight to South America

images Day 1: Board your overnight flight to Lima, the capital of Peru and known as the “City of Kings.”

Arrive in Lima, Peru

images Day 2: Your hotel is ready for early check-in for time to relax and refresh before an afternoon city tour. Your Local Guide focuses on the city’s colonial heritage during a walking tour. Start at the Plaza de Armas to see the Government Palace and the Cathedral. From here, stroll to the venerable SAN FRANCISCO MONASTERY with its splendid 17th-century cloister murals. This evening, meet your Tour Director and enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow traveling companions.

Lima – Ica. Nazca Lines

images Day 3: Enjoy a scenic drive south along the Pan-American Highway to the town of Ica, the wine capital of Peru. Have your camera handy today as you board your aircraft for a FLIGHT over the Nazca plains, which can only be appreciated by air. Your pilot will point out the mysterious markings known as the NAZCA LINES, a series of drawings of animals and geometric figures etched into the parched soil—some up to 1,000 feet long! Theories vary, but the most accepted belongs to German mathematician Maria Reiche, who dubbed the land the “astronomical calendar” of the ancient Peruvians. Enjoy dinner this evening at your hotel.

Ica – Ballestas Islands Cruise – Lima

images Day 4: Head north to the Bay of Paracas. CRUISE out to the Ballestas Islands, which are inhabited by a wide variety of sea mammals and exotic birds, including boobies, sea lions, and Humboldt penguins. The huge Candelabro, a candelabra-shaped etching on the Paracas cliffside, can also be seen as you cruise back to shore. Board your motorcoach and arrive in Lima by late afternoon. Tonight, enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant accompanied by an ANDEAN FOLKLORIC SHOW.

Lima – Cuzco

images Day 5: Fly to Cuzco, the impressive Andean city that was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Spend the day in the Sacred Valley of the Incas with a visit to the semi-circular KENKO Amphitheater with its stone altars and labyrinth of passages. See the ancient site of PUCA PUCARA before reaching the TEMPLE OF SACSAYHUAMAN, perched on a hillside overlooking Cuzco. It remains unfathomable how and when this fortress of gigantic stones—with some blocks weighing more than 350 tons—was built. Next, visit PISAC, an old mountain village where you will have the opportunity to visit a home, meet some of the locals, and experience their way of life. Enjoy free time here to shop for local wares such as alpaca sweaters and blankets, jewelry, or hand-painted ornamental dishes and vases. Stay in the Sacred Valley tonight, with dinner at the hotel.

Sacred Valley – Machu Picchu

images Day 6: Visit the Inca Fortress of OLLANTAYTAMBO this morning before boarding a TRAIN for a short journey through the lush Urubamba Valley. Then, transfer to a motorcoach for the ascent to legendary MACHU PICCHU, the “Lost City of the Incas,” high above the steep valley overlaid with dense tropical jungle. Your Local Guide will bring you closer to the lives and mysteries still hidden in these amazing structures built by the pre-Columbian masters of this sacred land. Tonight, stay at a nearby hotel.

Machu Picchu – Cuzco

images Day 7: Your entrance to Machu Picchu is included for a second day. Enjoy the tranquility of the morning with free time to wander the ruins at your own pace and experience the magic that is Machu Picchu. After lunch, return to the Sacred Valley by TRAIN and continue on to Cuzco.

Cuzco – Juliaca – Puno (Lake Titicaca)

images Day 8: This morning, learn more about the Incas and their struggle against invading Spaniards on your Cuzco city tour with visits to the imposing CATHEDRAL and the SANTO DOMINGO MONASTERY. Board an afternoon flight to Juliaca, where you will continue to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

Puno. Excursion to Lake Titicaca

images Day 9: Today, take a motor boat trip to some of the more unique islands of LAKE TITICACA. Start with TAQUILE ISLAND, which was once part of the Inca Empire and was one of the last areas of Peru to be conquered by Spain in the 16th century. The Spanish banned traditional dress on the island, which is why the Spanish peasant dress can still be found today. Next, travel to the fascinating UROS ISLANDS, home to the Uros Indians who were forced to live on the lake as the Inca Indians pushed farther into their territory. These islands are completely made by reeds and are continually added to as they disintegrate to the bottom of the lake.

Puno – Sillustani – Juliaca – Lima

images Day 10: Depart for Juliaca this morning, visiting the ruins of SILLUSTANI en route. At this pre-Incan burial ground, see where the ancient Aymaras buried their high priests in chullpas, above-ground cylinder-shaped tombs dating back to the 1400s. Fly from Juliaca to Lima this afternoon. Later, your Tour Director hosts a memorable farewell dinner.

Lima

images Day 11: Today is free to explore before departing late this evening for the airport for your homebound flight You walk alongside the local roads and get some interesting souvenirs, or go and relax on a nearby beach.

Homebound Flight

images Day 12: An early morning arrival is ideal for making homebound connections.

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