Gold of Peru (14 days)

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specialWe Do More Than Asia
Peru is known for the Andes Mountains which run parallel to the Pacific Ocean and define the three regions that describe the country geographically – the costa (coast), the sierra (highlands) which includes the Altiplano plateau and the selva (jungle) with the Amazon Rainforest. Besides its wealth of nature Peru has been home to ancient cultures dating as far back as 3000BC. This tour is an adventure in which you explore out of the way valleys, ridge tops and ruins that are usually overlooked by the casual traveler. The trek to Choquequirao, sister of Machu Picchu, is the highlight of this journey. Gold of Peru is a journey in traditional Inca style.

Day 1 – Arrive Lima/Cusco
Arrive in Lima and transfer for your internal flight to Cusco. You will be met and driven to your accommodation. You have the rest of the day free to get used to the high altitude. Cusco is at 10,9120 feet

Day 2 – Cusco
Sightseeing: After breakfast your city tour will show you this amazing colonial city built on the foundations of Inca palaces. You will visit the Koricancha, or Temple of the Sun, where you can appreciate the incredible masonry of the Incas, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral with its carved woodworks, altars and paintings. Continue to the Inca fortress of Sacsahuamán, the underground cave and temple of Kenko and to Tambomachay, known as the Baths of the Inca.

Day 3 – Cusco/Chinchero/Moray/Maras/Saltpans/Urubamba/Cusco
Explore ancient towns, salt pans, Inca ruins and see breathtaking views on this full day hike from Cusco. This is an excellent trek for further acclimatization. Hike across the farmlands of Chincheros (12,375 feet) where potatoes and beans are grown as staple crops. Have lunch at the magnificent circular ruins of Moray (11,106 feet). See Maras (11.090 feet), an ancient town with a strong Spanish influence see in its church and arches throughout the village. Walk down past Salt pans on hillsides into the Sacred Valley. You are met at the Urubamba River (9,420 feet)and driven back to Cusco.

Day 4 – Cusco/Huchuy Quosqo/Lamay/Cusco
Further explore out from Cusco off the trodden path. A day of wilderness hiking follows an Inca trail along the Sacred Valley, through an unbelievable gorge and comes out at a fantastic vista spot to view the entire Sacred Valley. Descend stairs and see the rarely visited Inca city ruins of Huchuy Quosqo (11,800 feet). Return to Cusco.

Day 5 – Cusco/Machu Picchu/Agua Calientes
Take the morning train to Machu Picchu 7,980 feet. Tour the spectacular ruins and overnight in Agua Calientes, just below Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu or “Old Peak” is a site built by the Inca civilization in the 15th century, pre- Columbian, and is situated on a mountain ridge which looks out into the Urubamba River valley. It is referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas” and is a famous symbol for the Inca world. Machu Picchu was unknown to the outside world until 1911 when it was “discovered” by American historian Hiram Bingham. This event is disputed in the new book by journalist Mark Adams, Turn Right At Machu Picchu, released in 2011.
Many buildings have been reconstructed to present the idea of the original structures. In 1983, Machu Picchu was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Day 6 – Agua Calientes/Cusco
Take the afternoon train back to Cusco. Prepare for your upcoming trek to Choquequirao.

Day 7 – Cusco/Cachora (Choquequirao Trek- 6 days)
Today you begin the “Cradle of Gold” trek supported by mules. This trek is classified as difficult and is a trail which is rarely taken. Drive from Cusco to the beautiful Cachora village (8,640 feet) visiting Tarawasi and the incredible Inca carved boulder at Sahuite en route. Cachora sits high above the Apurimac River canyon. Meet your trekking team. (Camp)

Day 8 – Cachora/Santa Rosa
Descend into the Apurimac Canyon, cross the river and ascend to your campsite at Santa Rosa (9,350 feet).

Day 9 – Santa Rosa/Choquequirao
Early morning hike from the canyon rising in altitude to set up base camp near Choquequirao (10,000 feet). After lunch, have an introduction to the ruins.

Day 10 – Choquequirao
Early morning trek to the ruins of Choquequirao( 11,375 feet)and explore the lost sister city of Machu Picchu which is located high above the roaring Apurimac River. There is a huge curving bank of fine terracing, a chain of ritual baths and a central plaza surrounded by fine ceremonial and high status residential architecture. Large areas still are covered in the thick cloud forest giving an insight into how the first explorer’s felt arriving at this deserted city. Return to your base camp below.

Day 11 – Choquequirao/Coca Masana
Descend into the canyon, cross a suspension bridge and camp overlooking Apurimac. (7,655 feet)

Day 12 – Coca Masana/Cachora/Cusco
Hike back to the village of Cachora where a vehicle will be waiting to drive you to Cusco.

Day 13 – Cusco
Your day is free to explore as you wish.

Day 14 – Depart Cusco
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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