Day 5 - Andean Explorer Train
Crossing the Andes on the Puno – Cusco route is an unforgettable experience all on its own. But doing it aboard the PeruRail Titicaca Train will make this a truly once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The PeruRail Titicaca Train was created to provide passengers with all the luxuries they could want in a trip, while offering them a chance to forge a mystical connection with nature. The PeruRail Titicaca Train features an open-air observatory car, allowing you to take in the majestic views while enjoying the typical music and dances of the Peruvian highlands.
During your trip, you will have the chance to take panoramic pictures of some of the quintessential Andean landscapes. The route covered by the PeruRail Titicaca Train is considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world, with a trip that lasts ten and a half hours. At the start of the journey, passengers are welcomed at the Wanchaq Station (Cusco) or the Puno Station, where local musicians will provide background music as you board the train. Once aboard, you can enjoy the two dining cars decorated in the style of the Pullman cars of the 1920s. Also, during the trip, you will enjoy a personalized service and have the finest in gourmet food.
Day 6 - Sacred Valley of the Incas
An early start by 07:30 for a full day tour to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Our first stop is at Chinchero to visit the local colourful and authentic market where indigenous people from the surrounding communities congregate to trade their goods, not only trading in money, but in goods as well. The Chinchero Market is also well-known for its woven handcrafts typical of the region. You will also visit a workshop where you can see the artisans of the region working in their place. From here we drive to the Moray ruins, used by the Incas as a type of open-air crop laboratory.
Our next stop is Maras pre-Inca salt mines located on a wide-open hill above the Urubamba Valley. From here we will continue down to the Urubamba River and stop to admire the beautiful views of the valley. Lunch. We cross a small bridge and arrive at a beautiful Spanish Hacienda, overlooking the Urubamba River.
We visit the huge fortress of Ollantaytambo, the archaeological complex believed to have been a gigantic agricultural, administrative, social, religious and military centre. The town itself is geometrically perfect; with straight streets, trapezoidal doors, and Inca drainage systems.
We continue to Pisac a small colonial village built by Viceroy Francisco de Toledo on the ruins of an Inca citadel, standing at the entrance to the immensely fertile Urubamba River valley which was called the "Sacred Valley of the Incas" for the agricultural produce and wealth it brought as the base of the Inca Empire. There is a tourist market with numerous shops full of handicrafts and weaving and also a food market for local people, particularly on Sunday when some women and children dress in their traditional costumes. We drive up the mountain above the town for a short to visit to the Pisac ruins. Entrance fees and lunch are included.
Day 7 - Cusco & Inca Ruins Tour
Departure from your hotel for a visit to the Cathedral in the main square of Cusco and the Koricancha, the Spanish church built on Inca stone foundations. The Cathedral, believed to be built on the foundations of the Palace of Viracocha, stands proudly in the main square and houses an interesting picture of the last supper where Jesus and his disciples are about to tuck into a guinea pig, a Peruvian delicacy.
We drive to the mountains above Cusco to visit the archaeological sites of Sacsayhuaman and Kenko. The largest complex and most famous of the ruins surrounding Cusco is Sacsayhuaman, a mighty fortress, built using massive stones some of which weigh over 100 tons, and somehow fitted together so neatly that even now, after so many years and earthquakes, one can still not slip a knife blade between the pieces of this huge jigsaw puzzle.
We will also explore Tambomachay ruins, which may have served as a military outpost or a spa resort for the Incan political elite; as well as the Puca Pucara site, a red granite huge fortress. On the return we stop at a vantage point above Cusco for a superb view of the city and the surrounding mountains, before returning to your hotel. Entrance fees are included.