Length: 7 Days. Group educational tour to Peru for 12 or more students or adults. Self-designed custom tours typically led by teachers of high school juniors and seniors.
Highlights: Lima City Tour, Larco Herrera Museum, Sacsayhuaman, Cusco City Tour, Full Day Sacred Valley Tour, Machu Picchu Tour, Andean Folklore Dinner, Scenic Train Ride to Puno, Lake Titicaca Boat Tour, Floating Reed Islands of the Uros, Chullpas of Sillustani Tour
Itinerary: Lima (2), Cusco (3), Puno (2)
Day 1 – Lima
Fly to Lima, a city of changes, a place of contrasts and showcase of all Peru. More than 400 years ago, it was named Ciudad de los Reyes (City of the Kings) by conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Your courier will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel.
Day 2 – Lima
Today’s guided Lima City Tour includes the Main Square, the Cathedral, and San Francisco Convent and Catacombs. Learn about the craftsmanship of Peru’s forgotten Pre-Columbian civilizations at the Larco Herrera Museum, where you will see magnificently crafted pieces of art, including ceramic pieces, textiles, jewelry, and the Mummies Hall, where you can get an idea of how ancient Peruvians worshipped their dead. Savor a delicious Peruvian Dinner at one of the best local restaurants tonight.
Day 3 – Cusco
Fly to Cusco, mythical capital of the Inca Empire. This afternoon visit Sacsayhauman Fortress in the surrounding mountains, a jewel of Inca architecture. On to Q’ enquo, a rock sanctuary with a monolithic altar representing a puma; the red fortress of Puca-Pucara; and Tambomachay, a beautiful fountain fed by a spring forming a series of basins. Also tour the City of Cusco to see the Main Square and the Santo Domingo Church or the Koricancha (Temple of the Sun). Dinner tonight is in a restaurant on the Plaza Major, with a magnificent view of the twin-towered cathedral, one of the first buildings constructed by the Spaniards in 1560.
Day 4 – Cusco
Take a full day excursion through the breathtaking scenery of the Andean mountains to the Sacred Valley of the Inca (Urumbamba). Visit the Indian market town of Pisac, founded during colonial times, and set at the foot of a hill crowned by the ruins of an Inca city. Here you will have time to shop for craft items. Also visit Ollantaytambo, an archaeological complex where the Inca fought their last battles. Lunch is included in today’s tour.
Day 5 – Cusco
Travel by train to Aguas Callientes, situated at the foot of the Machu Picchu Ruins. Take a bus up to the ruins for a guided tour that includes lunch. The natural surroundings and the mystical atmosphere make this place unique and unforgettable. Machu Picchu was built with its constructions following the natural curves, dips and rises in the land. See the houses, temples, palaces and altars; all surrounded by terraces cut into the mountainside that were used for agriculture. Return by train to Cusco for a dinner that includes a colorful Andean Folklore Show.
Day 6 – Puno
Travel by train to legendary Lake Titicaca, nestled high in the Andes. You will pass through a picturesque, winding river valley with villages and cultivation, then the landscape opens out and the railway line climbs past snow peaks to La Raya pass (14,000 ft.), one of the highest rail lines in the world. Arrive in Puno, a city perched at a breathtaking 12,400-ft. above sea level, legendary birthplace of the founders of the Inca empire.
Day 7 – Puno
Take a boat tour of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. See the extraordinary Floating Reed Islands, home to the Uros Indians, who still live as their ancestors did a thousand years ago. Take a short walk on one of these islands constructed entirely of “totora,” a bulrush that grows at certain parts on the shore. Return to Puno and tour the mysterious pre-Inca burial towers, the intriguing Chullpas of Sillustani.
Day 8 – Depart
Transfer to the airport at Juliaca, then arrive in Lima for your flight home, filled with memories of your days as an Andean Explorer.