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8 day tour - A more leisurely tour of the major Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley and Cuzco. Or of course you can design your own custom Peru tour.
This eight-day Inca Tour of Peru takes us to Lima and Cusco, to the Sacred Valley and to the world famous archaeological site of Machu Picchu. This tour is for those who wish to delve a little deeper into the Inca homeland and their fascinating remains.
International flight to/from Lima, pre- & post- tour accommodation, visas, vaccinations, personal insurance, meals except where specified above, drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips while on optional excursions and other items of a personal nature. Medical travel insurance is not included through Southern Crossings, cancellation insurance is advisable.
Arrive in Lima anytime today and private transfer to your hotel. If arriving during the day, your hotel will be in the neighborhood of Miraflores, with good artisan markets and restaurants, and you’ll have an included city tour in the afternoon. The city tour lets you explore the wonders of the colonial capital. You’ll visit the famous Plaza de Armas, as well as the impressive Cathedral in the Plaza and the beautiful San Francisco church. You also get a chance to take in some beautiful views of the coast at Parque de Amor.
Lima City Tour – Option 2: Larco Museum & Huaca Pucllana (upon request). Let us know if you would prefer this tour over the Cathedral Tour (or both for an extra fee). We could also plan a tour of the Huaca Pucllana at night if you have time in Lima. The site is lit up until midnight and looks amazing!
The Larco Museum is housed in an 18th century viceroyalty-era mansion. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, the Larco Museum is a stimulating and inspiring space in which visitors can enjoy and learn more about the fascinating history of ancient Peru. The cultures gallery provides a clear and captivating narrative account of more than 5000 years of pre-Columbian Peruvian history. Visiting the Larco Museum with their more than 45,000 meticulously catalogued archaeological objects, is a unique experience.
The Archaeological Complex “Huaca Pucllana” was an administrative and ceremonial center of the Lima Culture, a society that developed at the Peruvian Central Coast between 200 AD and 700 AD. Located in today’s district of Miraflores, the “Huaca Pucllana” was built around 500 AD. “Pucllana” is one of the most important ancient monuments in Lima. Based on the “Huaca Pucllana” architecture and found objects, it is believed that the complex was the heart of development of the “Lima Culture” and served as a ceremonial and administrative center.
If arriving late at night, you’ll be close to the airport for a bit more sleep before your next day’s flight, and you’ll have your city tour of Lima upon your return.
A short flight brings us to the famous Inca city of Cuzco. After checking into your hotel, we’ll visit the imposing fortress of Sacsayhuaman, where we can marvel at the incredible stonework and architecture of the Inca civilization, and then do a Cuzco city walking tour. Over the course of today and your free day tomorrow, we’ll set out to explore the incredible capital of the Inca Empire on this unique Inca tour. In Cuzco, we head to the picturesque Plaza de Armas to the cathedral to see the colonial influence in the city, and we can admire the stunning architecture of the church and also the native influences subtly woven in into the artwork. Onwards to Coricancha church, where the colonial and Incan architectures are on display side-by-side directly contrasted with each other. Afterwards we make our way above the city to retrace the steps of the conquistador Pizarro and the Inca rebellion that almost retook Cuzco, take walks to little known Inca sites above town, and generally take in the splendor and beauty of this fascinating region. Overnight in Cuzco.
Free day to explore on your own in Cuzco or add an extra activity on this day of your Inca tour in Peru. We have many options – just ask! Overnight in Cuzco.
This morning we’re off to the Sacred Valley, a short and scenic ride from Cuzco. Fifteen hundred feet lower than Cusco, the warm and fertile Sacred Valley was of immense strategic and agricultural importance to the Incas. We’ll visit two sites today: Pisac and Ollantaytambo. Pisac is a beautiful Andean town with a great handicrafts market. After shopping and bargaining for Andean goods, we’ll head up to the imposing Inca fortress/temple above the town. Then in the early afternoon, we’ll head down the valley to Ollantaytambo, the only Inca village still inhabited today. Peer through ancient, trapezoidal doorways into courtyards where life has changed little in 500 years, then explore the huge ruins which loom above the town. Overnight in Ollantaytambo.
A beautiful early morning train journey across the high plain above Cuzco then down the Urubamba Valley to majestic Machu Picchu. Known as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the world, this historic sanctuary is considered one of the seven man-made wonders of the world. On your private guided Machu Picchu tour, you will visit the guardhouse, main gate, agricultural zones, temple of three windows, astronomical observatory, main square, sacred rock, group of three doorways, royal enclosures, temple of the condor, fountains and tower areas. After the tour, take your time and enjoy this magnificent place. We will spend a night at the village below Machu Picchu and also come back the next day for more exploration. This Inca tour allows you plenty of time at the sanctuary as well as time for some beautiful day hikes in the surrounding mountains on Day 6.
Sunrise at Machu Picchu! Today is a great day for independent exploration. During peak visiting hours (10-2), try a hike on one of the surrounding Inca trails on Wayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain. Return by train and car to Cuzco in the afternoon.
After a morning flight to Lima, it’s a free day or an included city tour, depending upon your itinerary. We are always happy to recommend activities or make restaurant reservations, just ask! Lima is the culinary capital of South America!
Departure Day. International flights may depart any time today, or on Day 7 if you have less time.
We will gladly arrange additional accommodation for you before or after your trip, just ask.
Add extra activities such as river rafting, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, surfing and free days to your custom itinerary. Ask about these options and we’d be happy to add them to your quote. If you have any special requests or interests like birding, cooking or crafting that you would like to explore please let us know.
This Inca tour includes 3-star hotels. We would be happy to give you an upgrade to four- or five-star. If you would like to select a specific hotel let us know your preference, and we can then work it into your custom trip itinerary.
A single person supplement will be added to your quote if you will be travelling alone.
Inca Heartland is an eight-day Inca tour which includes walking in various ruins and on city tours. As always, a certain patience is required for the inconsistencies and occasional delays of developing-world travel.
On all Southern Crossings tours, you are met at the airport by one of our representatives (holding a Southern Crossings placard), who will accompany you to our joining hotel. No bargaining or being swindled by airport taxis.
All travelers to Peru are required to have a passport valid for at least six months from date of entry. Visas are not required for E.U., U.S., Canadian, Australian or New Zealand passport holders. For other nationalities, please consult the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate. An onward ticket and proof of funds may also be required at entry and should be available to show to immigration. Traveler’s checks, currency, or a bank statement, from the bank or printed off the internet, are sufficient for proof of funds.
No immunizations are required of travelers to these areas of Peru. Travelers may wish to receive hepatitis vaccinations and should be current on all other standard vaccinations. No areas visited on this trip are malaria or yellow fever zones. Please consult your physician or local health department for more information.
Rain is possible at any time of year, especially in high mountains and cloud forest, and one should always be prepared. The climate in sites we will visit is as follows: Cusco and the Sacred Valley: days are warm if sunny, slightly chilly if cloudy. Nights are cold in Cusco. Machu Picchu: similar to Cusco but a bit warmer and with more chance of rain. Lima: warm to hot days, cool evenings, almost never any rain.
The unit of currency in Peru is the nuevo sol. Automatic cash points are available in Lima and Cuzco. Visa, MasterCard, Plus, and Cirrus are the most common usable types of cards. Traveler’s checks are difficult to cash (American Express is best, but you may be charged 5-8% to cash) or a Visa or MasterCard for cash advances are also options. Do not bring Money Grams or International Money Orders, as they are extremely difficult to exchange. Banks and exchange houses are available in Lima and Cuzco. For currency, U.S. dollars are recommended and most easily exchanged. Please note that cash must be untorn. It can be older looking, but even the slightest tear on an edge will make it unchangeable. Acceptable bills come out of the ATMs in country. Expect to spend about US$4-12 on a meal, US$2 on a beer, water or soft drink in Peru. Artisan market prices are usually lower than people expect. Alpaca sweaters for example cost between $5 and $30. Currency Converter