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The Inca Heartlands

patagonia travel
patagonia vacation

The heartland of the Inca’s, famed for the magnificent Machu Picchu, is just one of 3 distinct areas of Peru that waits to be explored.

The Incas ruled this part of the world from 11th century until its death in the 16th century and Cusco was the capital of the Inca Empire. The Incas conquered huge territories, covered by extensive pathways to aid communications; the indigenous Andean society was based on the village community which was knit by ties of blood to the family and by economic necessity to the land; the common religion was worship of the Sun whose representative on Earth was the Inca.

A comprehensive tour of the Ancient Peru, steeped in history and culture will lead you through to the ‘Lost City of the Inca’s’ high in the sub-tropical Andean mountains, journey through indigenous Andean communities and learn how the Inca’s conquered huge territories. Explore the colonial heritage, pass majestic volcanoes and stunning mountain landscapes, see condors soar high in the skies and take a boat out onto the highest navigable lake in the world, where rafts and houses are still built out of reeds.

‘At-a-Glance’ Illustrative Itinerary

DAY 1: Depart for Lima arriving in the evening for 2 nights.

DAY 2: Full day tour of Lima, ‘The City of the Kings’ and the administrative centre of the Spanish Empire in South America. The city is home to the ruins of Huaca Pucllana, a pre-Inca pyramid and well as museums exhibiting artefacts from over 2000 years of Peruvian civilisation.

DAY 3: Fly to Arequipa, built from volcanic rock at the foot of an active towering volcano, ‘El Misit’ that looms over the town. Iconic sites are the Cathedral and the delightful Santa Catalina Convent with some lanes names after famous Spanish cities.

DAY 4: Take a scenic drive to the Colca Canyon, passing majestic volcanoes and stunning landscapes onto a desert plateau. The highlight of the day is to drive to the rim of the Canyon, at Cruz del Condor and watch the condors soar below you. It is possible to walk down into the canyon and overnight by the river.

DAY 5: Explore the extensive Inca terracing in local villages of Chivay, Yanque and Maca where local ladies still in the traditional dress embroider cloth and hats.

DAY 6 – 7 : This morning you can take a flight to Juliaca and from there transfer to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. A full day excursion on the lake to visit the Uros Islands, meet with a local family and learn of the techniques by which they build their homes and boats. Stop at the mountainous island of Taquile to see local homes and enjoy a traditional lunch.

DAY 8:  A full day travelling by train on the Andean Explorer on an unforgettable journey across the altiplano to Cusco. This incredible scenic journey with lunch served as the Andes mountain landscape passes by.

DAY 9: One full day of excursion to in the Sacred Valley if the Incas. Visit local markets, pre-Inca salt mines, and hillside Inca ruins.

DAY 9: One full day of excursion to in the Sacred Valley if the Incas. Visit local markets, pre-Inca salt mines, and hillside Inca ruins.

DAY 10: A day at leisure to relax or explore the local area.

DAY 11: Transfer to the train way station to catch the Vistadome train along the river of the Sacred Valley to Aguas Calientes. Continue your journey up to the iconic Machu Picchu for an afternoon guided tour of the site. The best place to stay overnight is right outside the gates for an early self explore the following morning.

DAY 12: Enjoy the freedom of the mountains by entering Machu Picchu early, before the buses arrive and explore the site further at your own leisure. In the afternoon return to Cusco for a couple of nights.

DAY 13 – 14: Morning tour of Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire. Visit the magnificent Spanish Cathedral, Plaza de Armas, the temple of the Sun. Outside the city visit the majestic fortress of Sacasayhuaman or just spend day exploring the delightful town at leisure.

DAY 15: Afternoon flight to Lima to connect with your onward international flight home.

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