Buffet breakfast daily (B), 3 lunches (L), and 1 three-course dinner (D); Local Host service in each city; sightseeing with a Local Guide and transportation as outlined in the day-by-day itinerary (except intra-vacation flights, which are additional; inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE).
Day #1 Arrive Lima, Peru. Arrive in Lima, where you will be met by your Local Host.
Day #2 Lima. Your included city TOUR focuses on Lima’s rich colonial history as well as the modern city. Lima was the bastion of Spanish South America from its founding in 1535 until the independence of the South American republics in the early 19th century. See the Cathedral, where the remains of Francisco Pizarro are sealed in a wooden coffin and San Francisco MONASTERY with its eerie burial crypts. (B)
Day #3 Lima–Cusco. Fly to Cusco high in the Andes. Your guided TOUR visits the Santo Domingo MONASTERY, previously the Koricancha Temple, one of the most important temples devoted to worship of the sun. It is said it was covered in gold leaf and filled with golden representations of nature. In the Plaza de Armas, see the Cathedral before taking a short drive outside the city to the ruins of SACSAYHUAMAN with its intricate stone walls, amphitheatre of KENKO, and the Red Fortress of PUCA PUCARA. (B)
Day #4 Cusco–Sacred Valley. Today, a short drive into the Sacred Valley of the Incas brings you to AWANAKANCHA, where you will learn about the importance of the alpaca (llama) for Inca cultures as well as the ancient weaving techniques. Continue, to the market town of PISAC. Handmade rugs, alpaca sweaters, and jewelry can be bought here at bargain prices. At the other end of the valley is OLLANTAYTAMBO. Here, some of the finest examples of Inca masonry can be seen. (B,L)
Day #5 Sacred Valley–Machu Picchu. Board a TRAIN bound for MACHU PICCHU and cut a path through the Sacred Valley to this “Lost City of the Incas,” discovered by American explorer Hiram Bingham in 1911. On a guided TOUR, explore this intact fortress with its temple remains, holy houses, and mile-long aqueduct. For hikers, a brisk one-hour walk leads to the Sun Gate, the ancient entrance used by the Incas. (B,L,D)
Day #6 Machu Picchu–Cusco. A morning at leisure in MACHU PICCHU allows you to wake up early to see the sunrise over Machu Picchu. Return to Cusco, where your Local Host will recommend options for your free time. Perhaps visit the Inca Museum or wander through the artisan district of San Blas. (B)
Day #7 Cusco–Juliaca-Puno. Arrive in Juliaca, where you will be transferred to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca. (B)
Day #8 Puno–Copacabana, Bolivia–Moon & Sun Island–Huatajata. Depart for Copacabana for a visit to the shrine before boarding a CRUI SE on Lake Titicaca to MOON ISLAND to see the Sun Virgins Temple. Next, cruise to SUN ISLAND, where you will see the Inca “Grand Stairs” and the Sacred Fountain. Continue by boat to Huatajata on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Tonight, participate in a longstanding Bolivian tradition of blessing the soul performed by a local healer at a Kallawaya CEREMONY. (B,L)
Day #9 Huatajata. Urus–Iruitos Islands. Today, enjoy a cruise to the URUS IRUITOS ISLANDS on Lake Titicaca, home to the Urus Indians who are one of the oldest Bolivian cultures dating back to 8,000 BC. These islands are completely made from reeds, which are continually added to as they disintegrate to the bottom of the lake. (B)
Day #10 Huatajata–La Paz. This morning, head to TIWANAKU RUINS, once the site of an impressive imperial capital. Visit Kalasasaya compound, the subterranean temple of Kontiki, and the Sun Gate. Continue to La Paz, where a city TOUR includes visits to the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLO GY, an INDIAN MARKET, and the WITCH DOCTOR’S MARKET. (B)
Day #11 La Paz. Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning. (B)