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Peru & Machu Picchu 2015 Itinerary

Hey everyone! It's almost time for our trip to Peru-we leave in only a few days! I'm having major anxiety about the long plane ride with my back-I'm hoping I can sleep most of the way there and back. I'll be making the trek with Janine & Brian from www.travelrunlive.com.  I promised earlier that I'd be sharing our itinerary with you-so without further adieu, here's what we'll be in for!

Day 1 (arrival day)
Early this morning arrive in Lima and connect to your flight to Cuzco. Upon your arrival in Cuzco, meet your Tour Manager and enjoy a scenic drive to your hotel in the Sacred Valley. See a magnificent view of the Urubamba valley and spend the afternoon bargaining with vendors on the cobblestone streets of the Pisac handicraft market. Enjoy a cultural blast as the entire town has been converted into a street market. Take the opportunity to haggle with locals on Alpaca wool clothing, antiques & handicrafts that you will not see anywhere else in the world. Stroll to the Main Plaza and enjoy a snack, you may find Empanada de Queso or many of the clay oven cooked local treats.This evening, enjoy an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager, followed by a Welcome Dinner.

Day 2
Early this morning, transfer to the Sacred Valley's Ollanta Station and board the Inca Rail train for Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site virtually unknown to the western world until Hiram Bingham's "re" discovery in 1911. Spend the afternoon viewing the ancient citadel before boarding the train for your return to the Sacred Valley's Ollanta Station in the evening. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in Cuzco.

Day 3
Today's tour will give you a glimpse into the other side of Cuzco, the oldest continuously inhabited city of the western hemisphere. Start the day with a visit to a local fruit and vegetable market and observe the locals shopping for their daily goods. Try the local chuta bread and enjoy this colorful market where you will experience many new things. Later, head to the local Cuzco cemetery, where you will learn about the Andean understanding of life and see how the locals decorate the graves with gifts and food for their dead. It is traditional belief that the dead eat and drink as they would during life. Following the cemetery, you will have the opportunity to meet with an Andean shaman or healer and witness a real offering to mother earth & the sacred mountain protectors to thank them for this trip. Conclude this incredible morning with a cooking demonstration by a local chef showing you how to make a traditional dish from Cuzco. After a short break at your hotel, continue onto the impressive Colonial Cathedral in Cuzco which contains over 400 paintings from the Cusqueña School in addition to an impressive collection of colonial art, including Marcos Zapata's depiction of The Last Supper displaying Cuy, or Guinea Pig, as the main course. Continue on to visit the Temple of the Sun, whose walls and floors were allegedly once covered by sheets of solid gold. This temple was once the most important religious site of the Incas.

Tonight you are invited to dine with a traditional Peruvian Family in their home. You will get to enjoy truly local cuisine, but this cultural exchange offers much more than good food. As you dine, you will get to know the family and learn first hand about their work and everyday life.

Day 4
This half day tour explores numerous Inca ruins that all served unique purposes. First head to Saqsaywaman, an enormous Inca site that overlooks Cuzco and the Sacred Valley. Here observe precision masonry of the massive stones that fit perfectly within one another without requiring any mortar to remain standing walls. Continue on to Kenko and navigate through the engraved passages and canals of this once active worship site. From Kenko proceed to Puca Pacara, “The Red Fortress”, used by the Incas not only as a control station and look-out, but also used to house weapons and provide military support. Continue on to Tambomachay and discover the many aqueducts, canals and also waterfalls used by the Incas as an indulgent spa. Finally, round out the morning on one of the most picturesque quarters in Cuzco, San Blas. Known as the Craftsmen’s District, it houses the city's most important and popular artists. Its Colonial constructions built along its narrow, steep streets contribute to the charm of the area.

Time permitting, meet children at a local school before transferring to the Cuzco airport for your connecting flight to Lima.

It's going to be a CRAZY few days for sure! We had paragliding over the Sacred Valley planned as well, but my back surgery screwed up those plans.  The local school that we are visiting on the last day is sponsored by our tour company, Gate 1-they've invited us to bring school supplies to donate, which we all are. 

I also just booked booked a South African Safari trip for 2016-stay tuned for more info on that! And be sure to check back for our trip recap-it's going to be epic!


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