La Paz – Cusco Adventure
Machu Picchu is the whopper destination in this stage of our epic Andes Overland 72-day adventure which begins at 12,000 feet in the Bolivian metropolis of La Paz, close to the Peruvian border. You’ll have a comfortable two days to acclimatise to the altitude!
Over the next 12 days we’ll explore La Paz and its surroundings, before making the short trip to Titicaca lake, the biggest on the continent, and its inhabited island. We advance through a scenic route to the historic city of Cusco, and finally the wonderful Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, perched high above the valleys!
After all this, you’ll be highly tempted to continue our amazing adventure towards the Peruvian capital of Lima!
Note: Optional excursions are listed in bold. Full information on these can be found here: Optional Excursions
- Arrival La Paz / Day 1
- On the first day, after a flawless landing in La Paz, we catch our breath, and meet our fellow travelers and tour guide at the hotel (17:00pm). After a full briefing and questions, we get a good night's rest.
- La Paz / Day 2
- Our first morning in the unique valley of La Paz presents us with three optional excursions: the tour of architecture and culture, a trip to the Tiwanaku ruins, or highly scenic mountain biking across the so-called "Death Road" route - safer than it sounds! (Optional excursions: City tour, Tiwanaku Ruins, Biking the Death Road)
- La Paz - Isla Del Sol! / Day 3
- We depart towards the lovely town of Copacabana, on the shores of the giant Titicaca lake, which divides Bolivia and Peru. By boat we travel directly to the Isla del Sol, a big island within the lake, where we'll spend the night. The altitude is only slightly lower than La Paz, and you'll need both a warm sweater and sunscreen!
- Isla del Sol - Copacabana / Day 4
- We awake on the Isla del Sol, which has a lot to offer: local communities and a great walk around the island's peaceful shoreline. After lunch, we board a boat back to Copacabana, where we get another night's rest.
- Copacabana - Puno (Peru) / Day 5
- Today we cross the border into Peru, where we exchange our Bolivian guide for a Peruvian, and journey towards Puno, a town on the opposite side of the immense Titicaca lake!
- Puno / Day 6
- Breakfast time is decision time! Do you relax and discover Puno, or visit the inhabited Uros Floating Islands, as a half-day or full-day option? The Llachon Peninsula has interesting communities throughout, who our guide can translate for you! The longer tour includes Taquile Island. (Optional excursions: Half day of Uros Floating Islands & Llachon Peninsula or Full day as before, with Taquile Island as an extra)
- Puno - Cusco / Day 7
- Our journey to the mystical Cusco (or Cuzco, or Qosqo) should include some reading about this ancient epicenter of the Inca Empire, whose 1100 AD stonework was complemented by grand colonial architecture and is now the popular "base camp" for trips to Machu Picchu. Cusco's scenic surroundings include several Inca ruins that we'll visit before arriving at our central hotel.
- Cusco / Day 8
- Our full day in Cusco includes a walking city tour to learn the history of Peru's archeological capital, 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 9
- 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 10
- 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 11
- 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.
- Chao Cusco / Day 12
- Time to bid farewell to Cusco, as we decide whether to end our adventure here, and fly home to mentally prepare for the next one! Our next stage will be the capital of Peru, Lima. You should definitely join us, because Peru has so much more to offer!
- 1. English Speaking Guide throughout itinerary
- 2. All mentioned hotel nights based on Double room accommodation with breakfast
- 3. Public Bus throughout the itinerary as far as not mentioned otherwise
- 4. Expedition train, entrance fees and busses to/from Machu Picchu
- 5. Train Machu Picchu - Cusco
- 1. Not mentioned meals, personal expenses, extras and tips
- 2. Additional service or optional excursions
- 3. International flight tickets