Day 1: Depart U.S. for Lima, Peru We depart today for the Peruvian capital. Upon arrival tonight we transfer directly to our hotel.
Day 2: Lima We meet our Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director and fellow travelers at this morning’s briefing about the journey ahead, then embark on a tour of colonial Lima. A highlight is our visit to treasured Casa Aliaga, one of the oldest homes in Lima (circa 1535), with a rich architectural heritage and a collection of Peruvian art and artifacts. Given the land by his friend conquistador Francisco Pizarro, Jeronimo de Aliaga, one of Lima’s founders, built the home that has been continuously occupied by his descendants ever since, some 18 generations. Next we tour Larco Herrera Museum, whose ceramics collection (including a renowned set of erotic pre-Columbian figures) is unparalleled. We enjoy a welcome lunch at the museum; dinner tonight is on our own. B,L
Day 3: Lima/Cuzco/Sacred Valley This morning we transfer to the airport for the brief flight to Cuzco. Upon arrival we visit the sacred sites of Koricancha and Santo Domingo then continue on to the beautiful Sacred Valley, a region of Inca sites and indigenous villages. We stop at the colorful Indian market at Pisac before reaching our hotel mid-afternoon. B,L,D
Day 4: Sacred Valley This morning we attend a native ceremony, “Offering to the Earth,” then set out for Ollantaytambo, a living town and site of massive Incan ruins dating to the 15th century that still inspire wonder today. After touring here we continue on to the Incan farming town of Chincheros, set on a broad plateau presided over by a snow-capped mountain. Here residents live much as their ancestors did, wearing traditional clothing and conducting business and local government by time-honored means. They also weave as their ancestors did, as we see at a demonstration of traditional craft. Late afternoon we return to our hotel, where we dine tonight. B,L,D
Day 5: Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes Early this morning we board a train for the 1½-hour journey to Aguas Calientes, where after lunch we board a bus for Machu Picchu and our first guided visit of the stunning “Lost City of the Incas.” Thanks to its small size, our group will move nimbly through the ruins and have the leisure to absorb the beauty and mystery of this haunting UNESCO World Heritage site. Mid-afternoon we return to Aguas Calientes and our hotel, with time at leisure before dinner together tonight. B,L,D
Day 6: Machu Picchu/Cuzco This morning before the crowds of day trippers arrive we take our second guided tour of Machu Picchu, when the early morning sun bathes the stones in a haunting, evocative light. After lunch in Aguas Calientes, we return to Cuzco, arriving early evening. Dinner tonight is on our own. B,L
Day 7: Cuzco After a morning at leisure, we set out on a tour of the archaeological hub of the Americas, the continent’s oldest continuously inhabited city, and UNESCO World Heritage site. Dynamic and historic, Cuzco is rich with the legacies of its Inca and Spanish forebears. We stop at the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, the still beautiful “House of the Sun,” an Incan masterpiece, then enjoy lunch in the home of a gracious Cuzco family. B,L
Day 8: Cuzco/Puno This morning we depart for the day-long journey by coach to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca. As we travel through the rugged snow-capped Andes dotted with small villages and herds of llama and alpaca, we make several stops along the way, beginning with Andahuaylillas, an attractive village known for its lovely 17th-century church. We continue on to the ruins at Raqchi, once the holiest site in the Incan empire; La Raya, perched on Peru’s altiplano (high plain) and home to the Llama and Alpaca Research Center; and the ceramics center of Pucara. We reach our hotel on the shores of Esteves Island on Lake Titicaca late this afternoon; it’s a short distance to the center of Puno from our hotel. Dinner tonight is on our own. B,L
Day 9: Puno/Lake Titicaca We spend the day exploring the fascinating life of Lake Titicaca, South America’s largest lake and at 12,500 feet above sea level, among the world’s highest navigable lakes. Up here the air is clearer, the colors sharper, and the horizon farther. By boat we visit the Floating Island of Los Uros, where the top-hatted Uros people live on “islands” made of the reeds that grow in the lake’s shallows; in fact, the Uros rely on these reeds for their boats, the small huts in which they live, household items, and the handcrafts they sell to visitors. We also visit Isla Taquile, known for the high quality textiles crafted by the indigenous people who live here; sales of their textiles support the self-sustaining Taquilenos. On our visit, we see the men in their signature woven woolen caps with floppy earpieces, and women in tailored waistcoats and multi-layered skirts. We also witness the breathtaking natural beauty surrounding us, with Bolivia’s snow-capped Cordillera range a striking backdrop to the deep blue of Lake Titicaca. Tonight we celebrate our Peruvian adventure at a farewell dinner at our hotel. B,L,D
Day 10: Puno/Lima/Depart for U.S. This morning we visit the mysterious burial towers (chullpas) at Sillustani overlooking Lake Umayo. After lunch we transfer to the airport for the flight to Lima, where we check into our day rooms at an airport hotel. Late this evening we depart on our flight to the U.S. B,L
Day 11: Arrive U.S. We arrive in the U.S. this morning and connect with our return flight home.
Please note: This trip involves considerable walking uphill, on uneven terrain, and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest. In addition, the high altitude of Lake Titicaca (12,500 feet) and Cuzco (11,150 feet) could pose problems for travelers with certain health conditions. You should consult with your physician if you have concerns.
B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included