Cusco – Lima Adventure
Machu Picchu is the prize destination in this Cusco-Lima stage of our epic Andes Overland 72-day adventure which begins at 11,000 feet in the Peruvian pearl of Cusco (or Cuzco, or Qosqo). You’ll have a comfortable two days to acclimatise to the altitude!
Over the next 14 days we’ll visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the Colca Canyon, the capital city of Lima, and of course, the Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu’s incredible Inca ruins!
After all this, you’ll be highly tempted to continue our amazing adventure towards Ecuador’s capital of Quito!
Note: Optional excursions are listed in bold. Full information on these can be found here. Optional Excursions
- Arrival Cusco / Day 1
- Arriving in Cusco, the archaeological capital of the Americas and the oldest inhabited city on the continent, you'll first need to catch your breath! Later, we convene with the group at our hotel. This ancient epicenter of the Inca Empire, whose 1100 AD stonework was complemented by grand colonial architecture, is now the popular tourist "base camp" for trips to Machu Picchu.
- Cusco / Day 2
- Our full day in Cusco includes a walking city tour to learn the history of Peru's historical treasure, part of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. You can also book one of the spectacular hiking trails leading from Cusco to Machu Picchu, either 2 or 4 days in duration, or choose to follow our standard route. (Optional excursions: Inca Trail, Lares Trek)
- Cusco - Sacred Valley / Day 3
- We head towards the Sacred Valley, where our first stop is the Pisac Indian Market, a bustling event attended by diverse communities in their colorful traditional attires. After lunch we see the Ollantaytambo Ruins, named after a chief who courted an Inca princess. One of its best-preserved areas is Hanan Hucayapata, with its elegantly-crafted stone walks. We spend the night in Urubamba, another small village nearby.
- Sacred Valley - Pueblo Machu Picchu / Day 4
- Today we board an expedition train to Pueblo Machu Picchu, the town adjacent to the special event! There are the Mandor hot springs, but the most important thing is an early night, in order to be first through the gates next morning. (Optional excursion: 2-day Inca Trail)
- Machu Picchu - Cusco / Day 5
- The majestic Machu Picchu, one of the seven world wonders, is seen in a day, but remembered for a lifetime! We can either climb on foot or bus, but there's only one choice in order to emulate Hiram Bingham's 1911 discovery of this extraordinary historical marvel. The citadel saddles a mountain, overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba river in an area of lush subtropical cloud forest. It was a place of worship, a site for star-gazing, and the private hacienda of Pachacutec, the Inca King. There was an agricultural area, beside the sacred urban complex, where the ruins of temples, public squares and tombs are of primary interest. Stairways and canals carved of stone are a recurring theme throughout this treasure of archeology. An English-speaking guide will explain all there is to know, before we meet with the trekkers and return to Cusco.
- Cusco - Arequipa Flight / Day 6
- We leave Cusco for an early afternoon arrival in beautiful Arequipa. If you don't opt for the 3-day Colca trek, you'll have time to explore the city at your leisure. We recommend a visit to the ancient Santa Catalina monastery, where a small group of nuns still live - though not in the exuberant fashion of some previous inhabitants, who owned slaves and an enormous wine cellar! (Optional excursion: Colca Canyon Trek)
- Arequipa - Colca / Day 7
- The main attraction outside of Arequipa is the spectacular Colca Canyon, and so today we travel by coach to the small village of Colca. In the afternoon, you can relax or explore the area.
- Colca / Day 8
- After a good breakfast at the hotel, we arrange for a local villager to provide a day of activities on rustic farmland with an assortment of animals. Later, you can do hiking, biking or horse riding! Today is a good day to practice the Spanish you've been picking up gradually over the past week (or longer!)
- Colca - Arequipa / Day 9
- Breakfast is particularly early today, but for good reason. We are heading to the Cruz del Condor, to observe the largest wingspans you'll anywhere in the Americas! Then a short hike beside the Canyon, after which we travel to the traditional village of Pinchollo for stunning views of 1,500-year-old terraces constructed by the Collagua people, long before the Incas. Another historical gem is the Titomaqueta, a terrace model carved into rock. We continue to the towns of Maca, an Andean community and Yanque, which boasts the most beautiful church in the entire valley. This is all in one morning, then we return to Arequipa.
- Arequipa - Nazca / Day 10
- Today will be a long journey, but with no shortage of amazing landscapes. Our destination is Nazca, where a series of giant ancient geoglyphs were inscribed in the arid Nazca Desert. The late afternoon will be perfect for some resting.
- Nazca - Ica / Day 11
- If you prefer not to do a Nazca Lines flyover this morning, the morning is purely for relaxation and/or light exploration. After lunch, we head to our hotel in Ica, with the option to visit the Huacachina sand dune oasis, with surfboards provided! (Optional excursions: Nazca Flyover, Huacachina Sandboarding)
- Ica - Paracas - Lima / Day 12
- Today's option is a boat trip to the Ballestas Island, with its interesting animal species, or you can explore Ica at your own leisure before we travel to Lima in the afternoon. (Optional excursions: Ballestas Island)
- Lima / Day 13
- We awake in a bustling city with plenty to see and do. If you haven't planned anything, our morning guided tour is highly recommended. In the afternoon, you can relax or explore more. Optional Excursions: Lima City Tour
- The end? / Day 14
- If today is the last day of your Andes Overland journey, you'll now be mentally prepared for more adventures in the future! We make the final trip to Lima's international airport and bid farewell. The next destination will be Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Stay with us, because this is a great opportunity to discover another breathtaking country in South-America!
- 1. Most transfers included
- 2. All mentioned hotel nights based on double room accommodation with breakfast
- 3. Entrance fees, guides tour and busses to/from Machu Picchu
- 4. City tour Cusco by foot
- 5. Expedition train to Pueblo Machu Picchu
- 1. Not mentioned meals, personal expenses, extras and tips
- 2. Additional service or optional excursions
- 3. International flight tickets.