This compact tour of the archaeological highlights and cultural treasures of the Andean highlands has it all. Cruise Lake Titicaca and immerse yourself in rural life with a homestay in a small village. Wander the cobblestoned streets of Cusco before breaking a sweat hiking mountain passes along the Inca Trail on your way to Machu Picchu. Because we run our own treks, we can ensure the fair treatment of our porters and the quality of food and equipment, which means you’re free to enjoy the beauty of the region.
Location: Lima, Pachacamac District
Arrive at any time.<p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> If you booked the Lima Cooking Class it does not include extra time in Lima and we highly recommend booking pre-trip accommodation. You will be picked up from your hotel at approx 10:00 (10:30 from Aug-Dec) and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return back to your hotel around 13:00. Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Peru (even in upgraded hotels and private homes). We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Your opportunity to meet your CEO and fellow travellers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards. Don't forget to see the notice in the lobby (or ask reception) for the official time and place to meet up with the group.</p>
Accommodation Name: Hotel Santa Cruz (or similar)
Meals: ,No Meals,
Location: Lima, Juliaca, Puno
Fly to Juliaca and transfer to Puno. Take it easy in the afternoon, wandering the markets and exploring the city.<p>Fly to Juliaca then take a short bus ride to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Titicaca is also the largest lake in the world above 2000m, and the views from its Islands are stunning.</p><p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> Visitors arriving in Puno will likely feel the effects of the 3,827m altitude. Symptoms include shortness of breath, headaches, general lethargy, and a reduced appetite. This is no cause for alarm; it is simply your body’s way of coping with the altitude. It may take a little time to acclimatize, but before long you probably will not even notice it. Take it easy for the first day or two, and reduce alcohol and cigarette consumption to minimize the effects. Be sure to drink plenty of water and do not attempt too much in any given day.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: MORNING</strong> Transfer to the airport in Lima by van (about 45 minutes away) for the short flight to Juliaca.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: AFTERNOON</strong> Spend some time getting acclimatized and exploring the city, be sure to check out the view of the lake. </p>
Accommodation Name: Hotel Italia (or similar)
Location: Puno, Lake Titicaca
Enjoy a guided tour of Lake Titicaca and a homestay in a small village. <p>Head out by boat across Lake Titicaca. Visit the community on the Taquile Islands and enjoy a local lunch with spectacular views. Afterwards, cruise to the another village (this can vary based on community availability) for an overnight homestay on the shores of the lake. This experience provides an opportunity to learn more about rural life in the Peruvian highlands and to participate in local traditions. Eat with the family, learn some Quechua and Spanish language skills, try on traditional costumes, and help out with daily chores around the village.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Board a boat on Lake Titicaca and head to Taquile Island for a delicious Peruvian lunch at a restaurant followed by some shopping at the local weaving cooperatives. (Taquileños are known for their fine handwoven textiles and clothing, men are taught how to knit around age five and they create the majority of the textiles.) After, enjoy an overnight stay with a host family and a chance to learn about life on the islands. </p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Split into smaller groups and get a taste of local life firsthand as we move into family homes for the night. Play soccer with the children, enjoy some dancing, watch dinner being made, learn about regional cuisine, and dress up in local clothes for an unforgettable evening with the whole village, enjoying traditional music and dancing. Lend a hand the next morning, and help out with chores like feeding animals, harvesting local produce, or bringing back buckets of water from the well. </p>
Accommodation: ,Amantani Homestay (or similar)
Location: Lake Titicaca, Puno
Visit the floating islands of Uros before returning to Puno. Opt to visit to Sillustani burial site. <p>Leave the homestay families late morning and visit the Uros Islands on the way back to Puno. A popular optional activity in Puno is a visit to the spectacular chullpas (funerary towers) of Sillustani, a pre-Inca archaeological site only a short drive away. Opt to pre-book the Lake Titicaca Kayaking on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Spend the morning with the homestay families, then depart after lunch. Visit the floating islands of Uros on the way back, and learn about the unique lifestyle of the locals. Meet residents and learn how they built the islands with totora reeds, which are also used to make their homes, boats, crafts (and are also edible!). </p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Take a tour of these unique islands. Learn about the buoyant totora reeds that grow in the shallows of Lake Titicaca used to make everything from the islands themselves to the boats the islanders use for transportation (if constructed well, they last up to six months ). Find out from locals how the islands are constructed; as the layers closest to the water start to rot, they are replaced with fresh reeds on top.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: AFTERNOON</strong> Make the most of one last afternoon in Puno.</p>
Accommodation Name: Hotel Italia (or similar)
Location: Puno, Cusco
Hop on the bus for a full day's drive to Cusco.<p>The trip from Puno to Cusco takes the better part of the day, with stark, beautiful scenery en route as you travel through the high Altiplano region. Check out a bit of Cusco, find a spot for dinner or get prepared to head into the Sacred Valley.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: MORNING</strong> Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.</p>
Accommodation Name: Cusco Plaza II (or similar)
Location: Cusco, Pisac, Urubamba, Ollantaytambo
Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op before visiting a local pottery making community. Break for lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa Community Restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. After lunch, opt to head out on a hike to the Ollantaytambo storehouses and look out over the ruins. Or, wander around the cobblestone streets and visit a local Chicheria (corn beer bar).<p>Travel through the stunning Sacred Valley of the Incas, visiting a G Adventures-supported women's weaving co-op. Meet the women and learn about traditional weaving and dyeing. Opt to pick up some handmade souvenirs and textiles directly from the women who made them. Have lunch at the G Adventures-supported Parwa Community Restaurant. Learn about the G Adventures for Good project and eat a delicious buffet-style lunch. Proceeds of this meal go directly back to the remote community.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: FULL DAY</strong> Make stops along the way as you pass through this gorgeous valley, descending in elevation the whole way.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Visit the Ccaccaccollo community centre which G Adventures travellers' donations helped create in 2005, thereby enabling local women to sell traditional textiles to travellers. See local weaving and dyeing techniques used to create garments and souvenirs, and learn how the Planeterra weaving co-operative has impacted the community and those who visit it. This includes the purchase of alpacas to provide a steady supply of wool, looms, and sewing machines as well as several training courses on production, sales and small business management. </p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> In the rural village of Cuyo Chico in the Sacred Valley, a group of families joined together to create a small business based on their traditional adobe ceramic crafts. Using clay from their surroundings, they mold bowls, plates, and all manner of decorations. Learn about the ceramics process as well as the traditional adobe brick-making that forms the basis of houses throughout the valley, all while taking in a spectacular view of the Pisac Ruins. After the demonstration, peruse the items for sale directly from the artisans in their shop.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Contribute to sustainable tourism in Huchuy Qosqo, a small village of 65 families in the Sacred Valley, by eating at the Parwa Community Restaurant. Learn how the resident-run restaurant was kickstarted by G Adventures and the Multilateral Investment Fund, to become a successful farm-to-table program that boosts the local economy and several spin-off microenterprises.</p>
Accommodation: ,Ollantaytambo Lodge (or similar)
Location: Ollantaytambo, INCA TRAIL, Wayllabamba Camp
Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the Inca Trail begins. Ease into the adventure with a straightforward day of hiking the meandering streams, stunning Andean scenery, and ancient Incan ruins.<p>Trek through beautiful scenery, with a variety of flora that changes with the seasons, passing several smaller ruin sites like Llactapata.</p><p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> A crew of local porters, cooks, and guides will take care of all the details for the duration of the hike. Porters carry the majority of the gear so you’ll only need to carry a small daypack with water, rain gear, snacks, a camera, etc. </p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Get your blood pumping on this first day of hiking the Inca trail. The trekking is fairly easy and serves as good training for the next few days. Pass rambling rivers and a small village, and enjoy scenic mountain views; it’s just a taste of what’s to come.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Enjoy G Adventures-supported handmade biodegradable soap products, for use on our treks. This G Adventures for Good project empowered local Cusqueña women to start their own business in order to reduce the environmental impact of treks in the region. Planeterra provided $10,000 of seed funding for two young entrepreneurs to register their biodegradable products in order to sell them to the tourism industry. "Esencia Andina" is now a successful business that produces biodegradable soaps, detergents, and natural products for travellers, guides, porters, and cooks on our treks.</p>
Accommodation Name: Wayllabamba Camp
Location: Wayllabamba Camp, Pacaymayo Valley Campsite
Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.<p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Trek over progressively spectacular and steeper terrain on your way to Warmiwañusca (aka Dead Woman’s Pass), the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769ft). Be prepared to face strong Andean weather (blazing sun or cold winds) around the pass. Take the hike slow, and drink lots of water along the way – amazing views are waiting as a reward. Enjoy some ample time to rest and relax after reaching the camp; most campers arrive around early afternoon.</p>
Accommodation Name: Paqaymayo Camp
Location: Paqaymayo Camp, Winay Wayna
Cross two more passes and ruins on today's trek. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through the cloud forest on a gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley. At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the "town above the clouds." Camp here or go another 1.5 hrs to the Wiñay Wayna ruins ("forever young") located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).<p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Cross two passes and more ruins along the Inca Trail on the last full day of hiking. Traverse Runquraway at 3,950m (13,113 ft), and then reach the second pass at 3,700m (12,136 ft). Spot the gorgeous Cordillera Vilcabamba and the Urubamba Valley in the distance on a clear day. Camp at either the Phuyupatamarca ruins or the Wiñay Wayna ruins.</p>
Accommodation Name: Wiñaywayna
Location: Wiñaywayna, Machu Picchu, Aguas Calientes, Ollantaytambo, Cusco
The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down for a guided tour of the ruins, before your train back to Cusco.<p><strong>ACTIVITY: </strong> Wake around 03:30 to reach the Sun Gate as early as possible. Head to the checkpoint and join the lineup to wait for the gate to open. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu (fingers crossed for a clear day). Hike down to Machu Picchu (about 45 mins) for a 1.5 hr guided tour of the site, and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge (a 15-min walk one way) for no additional charge, if time allows. Catch the bus outside the Machu Picchu gate after your visit for a 25-min downhill ride to Aguas Calientes. Eat and relax before the train ride back to Cusco this evening.</p><p><strong>ACTIVITY: MORNING</strong> Rise and shine – the best time to see the Lost City of the Incas is in the early morning light. Follow the local guide to Machu Picchu to learn about its history at a leisurely pace. Gain local insight into the Inti Mach’ay cave, Inti Watana, the Temple of the Water, the Temple of the Condor, and the Room of the Three Windows. Take time to sit and feel the energy of this 15th-century site, now both a UNESCO World Heritage site and voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World (in a worldwide Internet poll).</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Climb aboard, take a seat, and enjoy the ride.</p><p><strong>TRANSPORT: </strong> Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.</p>
Accommodation Name: Cusco Plaza II (or similar)
Location: Cusco, Urubamba, Cusco
Enjoy a free day to explore Cusco or relax. Choose to pre-book the Cusco Cooking Class. Opt to go whitewater rafting, horseback riding, or mountain biking.<p>Opt to visit and hike the famed Rainbow Mountain, pre-book on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance.</p><p><strong>Additional Information: </strong> If you pre-book the Cusco Culinary Bundle, you will be picked up from your hotel at approx 12:30 and taken to a local market and restaurant to prepare and enjoy a traditional Peruvian meal. You will return back to your hotel around 16:00.</p><p><strong>FREE TIME: FULL DAY</strong> Make the most of your time in Cusco. Spend the afternoon shopping, visiting museums or just exploring the city. </p>
Accommodation Name: Cusco Plaza II (or similar)
Depart at any time.
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