LIVING CULTURES

8D/7N LIVING CULTURES

Cusco and Puno

This unique tour offers the chance to experience Peru’s rich, lively culture, and millenary traditions through priceless and unforgettable interactions with native inhabitants. Explore the remote corners of the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca as you learn about and interact with rural communities; and enjoy the culture’s authentic stories as locals invite you into their homes to share the colors and flavors of their country.

  • Special interest: interaction with local communities
  • Type of tour: private
  • Departure dates: daily
  • Flights required: Lima/Cusco + Juliaca/Lima
  • Level of difficulty: low
  • Level of adventure: high
  • Level of personal enrichment: high

Tour highlights:

  • Visit to the traditional Pisac market
  • Visit to Huilloc community
  • Train ride to Machu Picchu aboard a panoramic car
  • VIP tour of the Cusco and Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Sites
  • Private transfer from Cusco-Puno and a visit to a picturesque town on route
  • Tour of the Taquile, Amantani, and Uros Islands
  • Stop by the Sillustani Mausoleum

DAY 1: CUSCO/SACRED VALLEY | INC: B/L

Upon arrival in the city of Cusco, you will be met by a company representative and taken to the Sacred Valley, the ideal place to begin your visit, as it allows for a gradual acclimatization to the altitude. As you make your way, enjoy a short visit to the historic Pisac Market – known for being the best artisanal handcraft market in Cusco – and take the time to admire the colors and traditions of surrounding communities. While you peruse, you will be invited to indulge in the delicious, local empanada, baked in the town, wood-burning oven. From here, head to hotel to check in, followed by a succulent lunch at Wayra Restaurant. Enjoy the relaxed, Terraza salon within the Wayra Restaurant, and be sure to leave any formalities at the door and sink into the amazing surrounding scenery. Impressive mountains, colorful popular art, grand murals, and an inspiring garden come together to create a one of a kind ambiance for a delicious and peaceful lunch. As you dine, enjoy a glamorous Peruvian paso horse show and watch as skilled professionals perform the traditional marinera dance (dances may vary). Spend the rest of the afternoon leisurely enjoying the hotel’s facilities. An optional spa session is highly recommended. Overnight stay at Sacred Valley.

DAY 2: SACRED VALLEY: VISIT TO HUILLOC (ALLIN PACHAKUY ACTIVITY) | INC: B/L

Today, you make your way to the Huilloc Community located within district of Ollantaytambo, where you will be received and hosted by the welcoming community members. Learn about their way of living and their unique perspective on life as you tour around the quaint village infused with ancient traditions. Then, partake in the local elaboration of garments using ancient techniques, like natural dying and traditional knitting with tools carved from bone and wood. During the process, you will have the chance to hear the age-old secrets used to craft these beautiful garments, as well as the opportunity to learn about the symbols and designs traditionally used. Upon concluding the activity, satiate your hunger with a delicious lunch prepared by and shared with the community. From here, you will have the chance to say your goodbyes before making your way back down the valley, to the picturesque town of Ollantaytambo. This small town has been inhabited since Inca times and continues to shine with local traditions and flare. Here, you will visit the main fortress used during the Inca resistance. This key site offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valley and the town below, perfect for pictures. Overnight stay in the Sacred Valley.

DAY 3: SACRED VALLEY /MACHU PICCHU/CUSCO | INC: B/L

Board your train and revel in the incredible beauty as you traverse the lush, green valleys that lead to Aguas Calientes. Upon arriving, a staff member will guide your to the bus that will take you up the winding path, to the gate of one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Take in the undeniable energy as you spend the day touring The Lost City of the Incas, with its endless display of terraces, ceremonial shrines, steps, and urban areas. After a guided visit, you will have time to wander the site before heading off to enjoy lunch in one of the local restaurants. At a pre-determined time, board the train that will take you back towards Cusco. Transfer to hotel. Overnight in Cusco.

DAY 4: CUSCO| INC: B/L

Dodge the crowds and spend the morning exploring the peaceful and impressive Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Site: a huge fortress with colossal constructions surrounded by nature, which offers an amazing view of the city below. From here, the adventure continues on to the Qenqo Inca Shrine, where you will have the chance to see an ancient sacrificial altar embedded in a rock cave. After exploring this mysterious site, you will be taken to the Puca Pucara lookout point – originally built as an entrance checkpoint into the city of Cusco – before stopping at the Tambomachay Archaeological site – considered one of the pillars of the Andean world view. Then, time for lunch! After working up an appetite, reward yourself with a delicious, locally-inspired lunch at the Pachapapa Restaurant, which offers varied selection of Andean dishes, as well as an assortment of exquisite pizzas, calzones, and other treats freshly baked in the wood ovens.

In the afternoon, take off on an exclusive city tour starting at the San Cristobal plaza, which overlooks Cusco. Then, head to the San Pedro market, where you will have the chance to discover regional tastes and products, and immerse yourself in the local traditions. From here, your guide will lead you to the grand Koricancha Temple. Its name means “Gold Enclosure” in Quechua, as its walls were formerly covered in gold plaques. Then, on to the Santo Domingo Church, where you can revel in its grand architecture and astonishing display of art from the Cusqueña School. Continue on towards the San Blas neighborhood, known for housing artists and artisans over the decades. As you make your way, you will pass through Hatun Rumiyoc Street, stop at the Inca Roca Palace – currently the home of the Archbishop – and see at the famous Twelve Angle Stone. The tour concludes in the Main Plaza, where you will visit the Cathedral and see its beautiful and historically valuable colonial masterpieces.  Overnight stay in Cusco.

DAY 5: CUSCO/PUNO | INC: B/L

Your guide will meet you for an early morning departure to Puno in a private vehicle. As you make your way, there will be various stops at the most important and exciting sites en route. The first stop: the gorgeous Andahuaylillas chapel, known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the Americas.’ Then: the Racchi, a temple dedicated to the Wiracocha God, with notably huge walls and narrow streets. Take a break for lunch at La Raya, a naturally formed border between Cusco and Puno, which offers a stunning view. Your last stop before reaching your final destination is the on-site Pucara Museum. This spot explores the history and importance of these classic bull-shaped ceramic figures, and features a small souvenir shop where you can purchase a bull of your own. After an exciting day, you will arrive at your hotel in Puno at the end of the afternoon, where you can spend the rest of the evening relaxing and enjoying the facilities. Overnight stay in Puno.

DAY 6: PUNO/UROS & AMANTANI | INC: B/L/D

Embark on a voyage through the mythical Lake Titicaca – the cradle of Andean civilization – arriving at the floating islands of the Uros, home to an ancient, pre-Incan community that took refuge from the Spanish colonists on these very islands. Tour the premises and learn about how the natives use the local totora reeds to make their rafts. From here, move on to the neighboring Amantani Island, where you will stay the night. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed and guided by the islanders, who will escort you to the home of your assigned host family. Here, delve into local life and enjoy dressing the part as your hosts provide traditional garments for you to try on, before inviting you to share a delicious local lunch. After lunch, make your way to the nearby Pachatata Island and explore the sacred altars. Then, head back to your host-home and dine with your family, after which you can partake in a festive peña show and an exhibit of typical local garments and dances.

DAY 7: AMANTANI/PUNO | INC: B/L/D

Today, the excitement continues with a trip to the Island of Taquile. Explore the island guided by its friendly inhabitants and learn about the incredible, well-preserved ancient traditions that still – to this day – form an important part of the local life. Enjoy the folklore and impressive craftwork, as well as the breath-taking panoramic views of the lake. You will have the chance to experience a tasty typical lunch on the island before returning to the city in the afternoon.

DAY 8: PUNO | INC: B

Before saying goodbye to Puno and all it has to offer, you will have the chance to make a quick visit to the Sillustani Mausoleum on route to the airport. This pre-Incan cemetery was established by the Hatun Colla chiefs in Sillustani, on the shores of Lake Umayo, and boasts chullpas, or funerary towers, that measure up to six meters high. Upon arrival at the airport, a Viajes Pacifico representative will be available to assist you with your international connection.

 

Included meals:

B: breakfast / L: lunch / D: dinner / PL: picnic lunch / BL: box lunch / BR: brunch.


Includes:

CUSCO

  • Transfer airport / hotel in the Sacred Valley / train station / hotel in Cusco/ bus station
  • Visit to the Pisac Market on route to the valley hotel - Lunch at Wayra Restaurant
  • Visit to Huilloc Community with lunch – Textile activity “Allin Pachakuy”
  • FD excursion to Machu Picchu by Vistadome Train - Lunch at Belmond Sanctuary Lodge.
  • HD visit to Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Site – HD City tour – Lunch at Pachapapa Restaurant
  • Private transfer Cusco - Puno
  • Two nights of accommodation in Cusco - two nights of accommodation in the Sacred Valley.

PUNO

  • 2D/1N: Uros, Taquile, and Amantani Islands – lunch included
  • FD visit to the Sillustani Chullpas, ending at the airport
  • Two nights of accommodation in Puno - two nights of accommodation in a local community

 

General Conditions:

  • Subject to availability.
  • Private services in English or Spanish.
  • Does not apply for special dates: Our National holidays (Jul 24-29), Christmas (Dec 23-27) and New Year (Dec 28-31).