A unique travel and educational opportunity. Our travel programs are spreading the amazing experience to exiting places to deepen your knowledge of culture, people and history.
A unique travel and educational opportunity. Our travel programs are spreading the amazing experience to exiting places to deepen your knowledge of culture, people and history. Unlike others we do not emphasize prepackaged tours. Instead, our network of Peruvian families, friends and expert local guides allow us to craft each client’s travel itinerary to their individual specifications with flexible accommodations.
Day 1. Arrive Lima
Most international flights arrive in the evening in Lima. Since domestic flights from Lima to Cusco only fly in the mornings most visitors have to spend the night in Lima. When arriving in a new country, especially at night, it is a good idea to book your hotel in advance and arrange for them to send someone to the airport to pick you up.
Many hotels offer this service. If not take an official airport taxi to your hotel. Our webpage Recommended Hotels in Lima give you a list of some of the best value hotels in Lima including photos, services and prices, as well as details how to contact them directly to make a reservation.
Day 2. Lima to Cusco
Most flights from Lima to Cusco depart in the morning since landing in Cusco depends on good visibility and the weather is generally better in the mornings. There are 3 or 4 domestic airlines that operate this route but it is difficult to recommend any except for Lan www.lan.com. Lan (formerly known as Lan Chile or Lan Peru) is part of the One World Alliance (together with Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia and Qantas Airways) and therefore meets all international safety regulations.
Flights can be booked online or through a travel agent in your own country. The flight time is approximately 50 minutes (as compared to taking a bus which takes 18 hours!). Check-in should be at least 2 hours prior to departure. Once you have checked-in you will have to pay the domestic departure tax (about US$5) before proceeding to the departure lounge.
Again it is a good idea to book your hotel in Cusco in advance, especially during the months June, July and August. Our webpage Recommended Hotels in Cusco give you a list of some of the best value hotels in Cusco including photos, services and prices, as well as details how to contact them directly to make a reservation. You could ask the hotel to pick you up at the airport in Cusco or alternatively you could take a taxi which should cost no more than US$5. The airport is a 20 minute drive from the main Plaza de Armas.
Cusco is at an altitude of 3400m above sea level so you will notice that the air feels much thinner and it is more difficult to breathe. It takes a couple of days to adjust to this altitude so it is important to take things very easy the first day or so. We advise settling into your hotel and taking a short rest. Remember that at high altitude the air is very dry (low humidity) so you can dehydrate very quickly. Drink plenty of bottled water. Many hotels provide you with a complimentary cup of coca leaf tea (mate de coca) when you arrive – this is known to help counteract some of the effects of altitude sickness.
After a rest you can start to explore the Plaza de Armas. There are plenty of restaurants and coffee shops around the Plaza, many of which have pretty balconies with great views. There are also many travel agents and tour operators so it is a good time to book your Cusco City Tour (every afternoon) and Sacred Valley Tour (full day, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays).
Day 3. Cusco City Tour (afternoon)
Having booked the Cusco City tour for the afternoon you will have the morning free to explore Cusco. Since most city tours don’t include a visit to the San Blas district then this is a good place to start exploring in the morning. San Blas is known as the artists distinct and is full of workshops and craft shops as well as some good cafes and restaurants. The streets are narrow and very picturesque.
The Cusco City tour usually starts at about 1:30pm. The bus may pick you up from your hotel or you may have to go to the agency. The tour usually visits the following places of interest: Plaza de Armas, Cathedral, Koricancha (Temple of the Sun), and the nearby Inca ruins at Sacsayhuaman, Q’enko and Tambomachay. The tour typically costs US$10-15 per person and is accompanied by an English-speaking guide. Entrance fees aren’t included. The tour normally lasts about 5 hours.
Of course you don’t have to take an organised City Tour is you don’t want to. It is fairly easy to arrange yourself. We would recommend taking a taxi to San Blas plaza in the afternoon on Day 2 and walking gently downhill to the Plaza de Armas. This gives you all day on Day 3 to explore the rest of Cusco. We suggest taking a taxi out to the furthest Inca Ruins at Tambomachay early in the morning (departing Cusco at about 8am).
The taxi shouldn’t cost more than US$7. You can then visit Tambomachay and then follow the road down hill to Sacsayhuaman (6km). From Sacsayhuaman there is an to follow path (1.5km) that brings you down to the church at San Cristobal overlooking the Plaza de Armas. It is another 1km from San Cristobal down to the Plaza. You should be back in Cusco for lunch. In the afternoon you can then visit the Cathedral, the Convent of Santa Catalina and then the Koricancha (Temple of the Sun).
Day 4. Sacred Valley Tour (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays)
A tour of the Sacred Valley usually includes a visit to Pisac market, the town and Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo and the town and Inca ruins at Chinchero. The Sacred Valley tour is a circuit of about 180km. It is possible to do it yourself using public transport but you would have to start early in the morning and chances are you won’t have time to visit the village of Chinchero on the way back to Cusco. Taking an organised tour is fairly cheap and you have the advantage of being accompanied by a guide.
Buses usually depart Cusco at 9am and stop off at a small handicraft market in the village of Ccorao on the way to Pisac. Groups spend about an hour and a half at the traditional market in Pisac before driving along the Sacred Valley to have lunch at a restaurant in Urubamba. Lunch is usually a delicious buffet of Andean and International cuisine but is not included in the price of the tour.
Expect to pay US$10 extra for the meal or find a cheaper nearby restaurant as an alternative. The afternoon is spent at the Inca ruins at Ollantaytambo. You also get to visit the town which is a great example of Inca town planning that remains almost unchanged in 500 years.
On the way back to Cusco you will stop at the picturesque village of Chinchero and visit the town’s Plaza de Armas which is surrounded by interesting Inca ruins. There is a handicraft market in the Plaza aimed at tourists. Chinchero is famous for its hand-woven textiles, many of which offer great value for money considering they may have taken several months to produce. The more traditional local market is held only on Sunday mornings and is rarely visited as part of an organised tour. You should be back in Cusco by about 6pm.
You should also try to reconfirm your domestic and international flights at this stage in your trip. If you can’t phone the airlines directly ask an agency in Cusco to do it for you.
Note: Since the Sacred Valley tour only takes place on Tuesdays, Thursday and Sundays (when there is a market at Pisac) you may have to swap the Cusco City Tour and the Sacred Valley Tour around to suit your schedule.
Day 5. Train to Machu Picchu. Overnight in Aguas Calientes
There are plenty of agencies in Cusco selling day trips to Machu Picchu. However they often have problems obtaining the train tickets for you and may not get the service / departure time that you require. This is the main cause of complaints against agencies in Cusco. Often you won’t find out what time you will return to Cusco until you arrive at Machu Picchu ! It is not just the fault of the tour agencies, much of the problem is caused by Peru Rail themselves who treat the agencies as second-class citizens, giving priority to their direct sales. Tour agencies don’t make much commission on the sale of train tickets so they will be pleased if you have bought your train ticket in advance.
This can be done on the Peru Rail website www.perurail.com Try to reserve a departure as early as possible from Cusco on either the Backpackers or Vistadome service (journey time about 4 hours). You pay for the tickets when you arrive in Cusco. You will have to show your passport to pick up the tickets. Once you have your train tickets reserved it is easy to book a day tour to Machu Picchu, since the only services that you need to pay for are the tickets for the bus from the Aguas Calientes train station up to Machu Picchu ruins (cost US$6 each way per person) and entry fee to the ruins themselves (currently US$20 per person) and of course the guide to the ruins. To be honest once you have your train tickets you don’t need to buy a tour to Machu Picchu at all. You can buy the bus tickets upon arrival in Aguas Calientes and pay for the entrance fee to Machu Picchu upon arrival at the ruins.
There is no limit on the number of persons allowed into the ruins each day so entrance tickets don’t need to be bought in advance. Machu Picchu can get pretty busy from about 11:30am (when the first train arrives) until about 2pm when visitors are leaving to catch their return train back. We therefore recommend that you stay the night at Aguas Calientes and return to Machu Picchu the following morning to enjoy the ruins at sunrise when it is much quieter and the light is great for taking photos. Our webpage Recommended Hotels in Machu Picchu give you a list of some of the best value hotels in Aguas Calientes including photos, services and prices, as well as details how to contact them directly to make a reservation.
However Aguas Calientes is full of hostals and hotels so you shouldn’t have problem finding accommodation even if you wait until you arrive.
Day 6. Machu Picchu for sunrise. Return to Cusco
The first bus from Aguas Calientes up to the ruins of Machu Picchu departs at about 6:15am when full. It is a 20 minute bus ride to the ruins. You should arrive before any of the trekkers arrive from the Inca Trail, so you should almost have the ruins to yourself. You’ll have to pay for your entrance fee again, but I think you’ll agree that it is well worth it to see Machu Picchu at its best. Since you’ve already had a tour of the ruins yesterday you may only want to stay a couple of hours before returning to Aguas Calientes.
You could visit the thermal springs (allow 2 hours) or just enjoy the walk along the banks of the Urubamba River where you can often see Torrent ducks, many species of hummingbird and even river otters. You will then take the train back to Cusco in mid-afternoon.
Day 7. Cusco to Lima. Depart Lima
Check-in for your flight back to Lima should be at least 2 hours prior to your departure time. Check-ins can be notoriously slow and it has even been know for flights to take off early so try to arrive at the airport on time. Depending on your arrival time in Lima and the departure time of your international flight you could leave your bags in the luggage deposit at Lima airport. You could then do a little sight-seeing in Lima either visiting the old historic centre or Miraflores. If you have time you could even take an organised tour of Lima city (cost about US$25 per person, easily arranged at the airport).
Check-in for you international flight should be 3 hours before departure. After check-in you will have to pay your international departure tax (approx US$27 per person) before proceeding to immigration and the departure lounge.
Note: During the high season June to August the weather is usually very good with blue skies and sunshine so there are rarely delays due to bad weather. However during the wet months of November to March there is always the possibility that flights may be delayed or even cancelled. Cusco airport is located in a narrow valley and pilots fly by eye rather than instrumentation, so good visibility is important. In heavy rain all aircraft are usually grounded until the weather clears. During the wet season it is therefore advisable to return to Lima the day before your international flight.
Tour Itinerary Options:
The above tour itinerary allows you to enjoy the sights of Cusco and Machu Picchu at a fairly gentle pace. For visitors who have only a very limited time, the Cusco City tour can be arranged for the afternoon of the second day (i.e upon arrival in Cusco) and the extra night at Aguas Calientes can be deleted altogether giving a shortened 5 day trip. Many tour operators offer this package but we feel that it is a little too rushed to be able to enjoy Cusco and Machu Picchu.
|June 8 – June 22, 2010||$2151|
|June 6 – June 22, 2010||$2151|
|July 6 – July 22, 2010||$2151|
|Aug 6 – Aug 22, 2010||$2151|
|Sep 10 – Sep 25, 2010||$2151|
|Number of participants 12 for each batch|
The cost of the trip includes all ground transportation in Montenegro,14 days lodging, all breakfast, most lunches and dinner, 2 days of river Tara rafting, guides, all parks and museums fees.
Our accommodations will feature private rooms, with twin or double beds. We will be staying in a mix of villas, hotels, mountain huts and even private residences. You will truly come away from your trip having experienced Montenegro through the eyes of local people.
Excluded from the price are your airfare to Podgorica , Montenegro , beverages, personal items and food outside of those mentioned in the previous information.
Peru /p??ru?/ (Spanish: Perú; Quechua: Perú; Aymara: Piruw), officially the Republic of Peru (Spanish: República del Perú, pronounced: [re?pu?lika ðel pe??u], is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
Peruvian territory was home to ancient cultures, spanning from the Norte Chico civilization, one of the oldest in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century andestablished a Viceroyalty, which included most of its South American colonies. Afterachieving independence in 1821, Peru has undergone periods of political unrest and fiscal crisis as well as periods of stability and economic upswing.
Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions. Its geography varies from the arid plains of the Pacific coast to the peaks of the Andes Mountains and the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin. It is a developing country with a high Human Development Index score and a poverty level around 31%. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing, mining, and manufacturing of products such as textiles.