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Heart of the Incas

Venture through the Sacred Valley of the Incas and discover ancient wonders with the help of private, local guides. Start in Cusco, the former Incan capital, and descend into the Sacred Valley to visit the markets of Pisac, the fortress ruins of Ollantaytambo, and the breathtaking mountain citadel of Machu Picchu.

This 6-day Peruvian vacation takes you through the Sacred Valley of the Incas, journeying from Cusco to Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and eventually the citadel of Machu Picchu. It features first-class and moderate accommodations, shared tours, and is a great introduction to Peru’s most famous landmarks.

Your Peruvian vacation begins in Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire and one of South America’s most distinctive historical cities. Head down to the Plaza de Armas to see the statue of the Incan Emperor Pachacutec and the massive churches of Cusco Cathedral and the Ieglesia de la Compania de Jesus. After adjusting to the high altitude of this mountain city, descend into the Sacred Valley. First stop is the Pisac Indian Market, where you can shop for the beautiful Andean textiles that are famous the world over. You’ll also have a chance to see the Pisac Ruins, notable for their sophisticated irrigation system, astronomical observatory, and solar clock. Continue to the Incan town of Ollantaytambo, where the ruins of a massive fortress cover the hillside. Explore these ruins and enjoy the view from the hillside overlooking the conflux of two mighty rivers. Spend the next full day engaged in local activities at the Misminay community project. Learn how to work the earth, bond with locals, and get in touch with ancient Andean traditions.

Hop the train bound for Machu Picchu, the legendary Inca citadel that was constructed in the 14th century and was lost until 1911 when Hiram Bingham introduced it to the western world. Explore the ruins in the company of an expert guide who’ll bring the citadel to life with stories about its past and the heights of the Inca Empire. After passing along the circuit through the site, spend the evening at the foot of the mountain in Aguas Calientes. The following morning, return to Machu Picchu and consider climbing to the top of nearby Huayna Picchu for truly breathtaking views of the citadel and the surround, cloud-draped mountains.

Return to Cusco that evening and connect to your next destination the following day.

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