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+ Optional Extension
Machu Picchu, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley
Travel to the mist-shrouded mountain citadel of the Incas. So remote and inaccessible that it was left untouched by the Spanish conquistadors, Machu Picchu was unknown to the outside world until Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911. During your time in the Peruvian highlands, you will have a chance to explore the famous city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Visit the Pisac Market, ride the train through the Urubamba Valley, marvel at the massive stone stairs at Ollantaytambo, and break bread in the home of a local Peruvian family outside of Cusco.
Extension Rate**
Standard: $3,799
Deluxe: $4,199
Single (Standard): $5,099
Airfare from main program to extension is additional $690 per person
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Extension Itinerary*:
Day 8: Guayaquil / Flight to Lima, Peru
Welcome to Peru! After your adventure in the Galapagos Islands, enjoy leisure time in Guayaquil before flying to Lima for an evening arrival. Tonight, transfer to your hotel where you can refresh for tomorrow's exciting expedition to the heights of Peru—and into its past, when the largest empire in pre-Columbian America ruled the Andes and beyond.
Overnight: Wyndham Costa del Sol – Lima Airport

Day 9: Lima / Flight to Cusco / Sacred Valley
This morning, fly east over the Central Andes' peaks and plateaus to the ancient capital of Cusco, and then transfer to the Sacred Valley, a half hour away by road. Relax and sample traditional flavors during lunch at a lovely local restaurant before exploring this scenic region of Inca sites and indigenous villages. In the village of Pisac, discover a vibrant market with the colorful handicrafts this region is known for: weavings, musical instruments, alpaca sweaters, jewelry, ceramics, and much more. Find a fruit and vegetable market at the main square where villagers from miles around visit, barter, and shop. Join this lively scene surrounded by the beauty of both the merchants' wares and the traditional clothing worn by locals. This evening, enjoy time to relax after checking in, and perhaps take a short stroll through the property's lush gardens, before dinner at the hotel.
Overnight: Sonesta Posadas del Inca – Yucay (B,L,D)

Day 10: Sacred Valley / Machu Picchu
After breakfast, make your way through the intimate cobblestone streets of Ollantaytambo, a "living" Inca town. Here, Inca descendants inhabit the largely unchanged homes of their ancestors and continue to maintain ancient customs and traditions. The massive fortress, perched among steep stone terraces carved into the hillside, is where the Inca won their greatest victory against the conquistadores. Next, board a Vistadome train to Machu Picchu, the most important site of the vast Inca empire. Enjoy views of the mountains, villages, and Inca vestiges as you descend into the Sacred Valley. From there, a short bus ride takes you to the archaeological site of “The Lost City of the Incas." Begin a guided exploration of the enigmatic citadel. As it lies before you, learn about the archaeology and history of Intihuatana (the Sun Dial), the Sacred Plaza, and the Temple of the Sun, with plenty of time to wander, hike, and take pictures of the photogenic site. This evening, share impressions of your day while dining with your travel companions at your Machu Picchu hotel.
Overnight: Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 11: Machu Picchu / Sacred Valley / Cusco
After an early breakfast, you have an excellent opportunity to experience the wonder of a quiet morning at Machu Picchu, and to imagine the sanctuary as it was centuries ago. Today, have a more in-depth look at this amazing place and its surroundings. Adventurers are welcome to hike the surrounding trails to other discoveries. Ascend to the Sun Gate, or walk to the Inca Bridge, a challenging path carved into a rock face with a sheer vertical drop of 1,900 feet. After lunch, return to Ollantaytambo via the Vistadome train, then continue to your relaxing Cusco accommodations. This evening we'll dine at a local restaurant offering Peruvian-fusion cuisine and a great atmosphere.
Overnight: Aranwa Boutique Hotel – Cusco (B,L,D)

Day 12: Cusco / Saqsayhuaman / San Blas / Villa Tipón
This morning, explore Cusco's streets still flanked in places by Inca walls built with gigantic carved granite blocks. View the unique masonry up close to truly appreciate the astonishing perfection and mass of this true Inca marvel. Walk the plaza of Saqsayhuaman, an Inca complex overlooking Cusco with stones so enormous the largest is estimated to weigh up to 200 tons. Visit the San Pedro local market, offering a sense of everyday life in Cusco, and the San Blas artists' colony for a picturesque stop. Mid-day, retreat to Villa Tipón, which is just outside the city of Cusco and set in the midst of awe-inspiring mountains and incredible gardens full of vividly colored flowers. A local family hosts a delicious Peruvian lunch followed by a traditional Shaman performing an Andean ceremony. Last we'll visit the Qorikancha, or Sun Temple—now referred to as Santo Domingo Church—to admire its smooth basalt foundation and learn about its period of transformation during Spanish rule. This evening, celebrate the rich rewards of your journey during a special farewell dinner.
Overnight: Aranwa Boutique Hotel – Cusco (B,L,D)

Day 13: Cusco / Flight to Lima / Depart for U.S.
After breakfast, head to Cusco for your flight to Lima. In Lima, share a final lunch with your fellow travelers in a lively, local restaurant. Check in to your day room at the Casa Andina Select Miraflores hotel, your own private and convenient home base while awaiting your flight this evening.
Day Room: Casa Andina Select Miraflores – Lima (B,L)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Group space may not be available within 90 days of departure.

*Extension itinerary subject to change
Activity Level:

Moderate

Guests should be sure-footed on stairs of varying heights, able to walk at least two miles on rocky, uneven ground without assistance. Also keep in mind that you will experience varying altitudes, to which you may not be accustomed.

Maximum elevation: 11,200 feet in Cusco

Accommodations:

Wyndham Costa del Sol – Lima Airport

Travelers appreciate this property for its convenient location directly across from the Lima airport. The hotel offers modern amenities and conveniences, including a restaurant, bar, indoor pool, fitness facilities, and complimentary wireless internet access.
Room Amenities: Individual climate control, alarm clock/radio, cable/satellite TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, safe, mini-bar, coffee and tea making facilities, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

Sonesta Posadas del Inca – Yucay

Located in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, this hotel is a former 18th-century, colonial-style monastery surrounded by beautiful gardens. Rooms offer the comfort of modern amenities and the charm of rustic decorative features.
Room Amenities: Individual climate control, TV, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, safe, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Only a short walk away from Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes) and the train station, but worlds apart from its hustle and bustle, the Inkaterra is nestled on twelve quiet acres of forest with nature trails, waterfalls, and the world’s largest private collection of indigenous orchids. This is a lovely hotel, where you will relax in an atmosphere of refinement and warm hospitality while exploring nature and encountering the wonders of the Inca civilization.
Room Amenities: Individual climate control, complimentary Wi-Fi, and en suite bathroom with environmentally-friendly sundries and hair dryer.

Aranwa Boutique Hotel – Cusco

This luxurious property is situated near Cusco's main square, only minutes away from colonial buildings, restaurants, and shops. Built in a 16th-century mansion, its decor, sculptures, and carvings accentuate the colonial period. Each room is well-appointed and elegantly decorated with traditional furniture and frescoes.
Room Amenities: System supplying an additional 30% oxygen—to assist in preventing ill effects from altitude sickness (request at check-in to have this feature turned on), individual climate control, LCD TV, iPod docking station, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, safe, mini-bar, and en suite bathroom with organic sundries and hair dryer.
What's Included:
  • 5 nights choice accommodations (Deluxe Accommodations package available)
  • 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners, and bottled water on excursions
  • Fully guided tours throughout the program as well as lectures and field presentations from local experts
  • Internal flights between Lima and Cusco
  • Airport transfers for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times
  • All ground excursion transportation, including the Vistadome train through the Urubamba Valley to Machu Picchu
  • Gratuities to Expedition Leader, local guides, drivers, and waiters for included meals
**Extension rates are per person based on double occupancy, in U.S. dollars. Single availability limited. Extension rate includes internal airfare between Lima and Cusco on Days 9 and 13; airfare otherwise not included. Airfare from main program (Guayaquil) to extension (Lima) will be charged additionally at $690 per person.