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HEART OF THE INCA WORLD:
CUZCO-MACHU PICCHU ADVENTURE

PRIVATE CUSTOMIZED TOURS FOR INDEPENDENT TRAVELERS & SMALL GROUPS (CHOOSE YOUR OWN TRAVEL DATES)

T R I P  B A C K G R O U N D

Departures Year-Round (less rain from April to October)

Some of the most spectacular ruins in the world are found in the Andes of Peru. This eight day cultural and soft adventure expedition focuses on Cuzco, its neighboring villages and markets, and on Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas.

In Cuzco, archaeological capital of South America and the cradle of Inca civilization, you’ll wander along narrow, cobblestone streets lined with Spanish colonial buildings built on Inca foundations. (You may even enjoy a listening or participatory seminar on Andean Music, take a Peruvian Cooking class and/or meet with an Andean Mystical Healer, a “curandero”, who will demonstrate several fascinating methods of curing ill patients!) Next explore the incomparable Lost City of Machu Picchu, perched atop a mountain ridge in the Vilcabamba range, above the Urubamba River gorge. This wonder was “lost” until American explorer Hiram Bingham discovered it in 1911.

Your trip will be enhanced by two very scenic, low-intensity adventures (elective but included): whitewater rafting down the Urubamba River (class 2-3 rapids); and bicycling or horseback riding near picturesque Andean villages and Inca ruins. You may even decide to go hot air ballooning over the Sacred Valley (optional).

Ask about an extension to the Galapagos Islands, Lake Titicaca, Trujillo, Chiclayo (Lord of Sipan), the Amazon and Nazca Lines/Ballestas Islands!

Optional Volunteer Service Project in the Sacred Valley: If you would be interested, you may also have the opportunity to volunteer for one of four interesting service projects. One option is to prepare and serve a healthy breakfast to local schoolkids. Helped by your guide, you’ll purchase the ingredients at Ollantaytambo market, prepare the nutritious breakfast and then serve it to the students. A second option is to work on a door to door hygiene project, providing remote villagers with soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste and teaching them how to use them. A third option is to work on a native tree project in which you will plant native trees and also ensure the irrigation of the trees as part of a larger reforestation project. A fourth option is to help build the water irrigation system that will help sustain the reforestation project. Cost will depend on which project you select, the number of travelers and on whether the project will replace or supplement other activites in the itinerary.

Optional Supplemental lectures/workshops: Peruvian Culinary Class; Inca architecture and archaeology; Amazonian flora and fauna; Paso horses; Gemology and the Lord of Sipan; Natural healing in the Amazon; The Nazca culture; Mummies of the Andes; Overview of Peruvian History. Surcharge applies.

 

I T I N E R A R Y
Note: We will gladly customize an itinerary to meet your preferences.

Day 1en route to Lima

Fly to Lima, arriving in the evening. Upon arrival, you will be met by a private guide and taken to your hotel. Your formal touring of Lima will be done on the last day of your tour (so as to save one day). Costa del Sol Ramada Airport Hotel (4 stars)

Note: If you prefer to stay in downtown Lima, then you may upgrade to the deluxe 5 star Casa Andina Private Collection or Miraflores Park Hotel.

Optional Side Trip: If time allows, you can make a fascinating 2 or 3 night side trip from Lima to see the Nazca Lines, Pisco, Paracas, the Ballestas Islands and Huacachina oasis. Activities might include flying over the Nazca Lines, visiting Pisco wineries, wildlife viewing in Ballestas Islands (penguins, blue footed boobies, fur seals, sealiuons, seabirds), seeing mummies from the Paracas culture (museum) and horseback riding or riding dune buggies over the sand dunes at Huacachina.

Day 2Sacred Valley - AWANACANCHA/pisac/maras/moray

Short morning flight to Cuzco, where you’ll be met by your private guide and transferred to the Sacred Valley so that you may acclimatize at a lower altitude.

You’ll first visit Awanacancha to observe traditional Andean weaving and to see the four types of camel-related Andean animals – llamas, guancos, alpacas and vicunas. Then explore the colorful market at Pisac, an Indian village in the Urubamba Valley, or Sacred Valley of the Incas. Many of the wealthiest Inca families had their country estates in this area — their first experimentation with private property.

After lunch, you’ll be driven to the nearby town of Maras so that you can visit the photogenic salt ponds of Salinas. Along the way you’ll observe many cactus plants and the occasional eagle, not to mention wonderful views of the impressive Andean peaks. The approximately 3,000 mountainside salt ponds at Salinas date back to the early Incas, and current residents of Maras still trade the salt at nearby markets. After exploring the salt ponds, you may either hike downhill for 30 minutes to the town of Pichingoto or visit the nearby ruins of Moray, where the Incas built an outdoor agricultural laboratory to study how crops fared under different microclimates. Hotel Sol y Luna- Deluxe Casita (4 1/2 stars) (B, L)

Note: Optional downgrade to superior casita room or upgrade to 5 star Rio Sagrado Hotel or Libertador Tambo del Inka..

Day 3Paso fino horseback riding or whitewater rafting / ollantaytambo

This morning, you’ll have a choice of two great soft adventures. Your first option is to enjoy an easy 2 hour ride on typical Peruvian Paso Fino horses. After a short orientation, you will set off on rural paths, across small villages and communities such as Palcaraqui, Rumichaca, San Jose de Media Luna, Pumahanca and Chichubamba. As you travel, you will witness the rural lifestyle, meeting and greeting villagers in their everyday wear as they cook, herd cattle and till their fields. Your ride will be along mostly rural routes and paths – no asphalt, very few to no cars.

Your second option is to go on an exciting, scenic, and low-intensity whitewater rafting trip down the Urubamba River (class 2-3 rapids). You'll pass by picturesque Andean villages and Inca ruins, enjoying the backdrop of the snow-capped Andes. Note: If you would instead prefer a cultural excursion, we can instead arrange a private tour to Chincheros market (best on Sundays), Piquillactas and/or Andahuaylillas.

After lunch at a good restaurant, you will visit Ollantaytambo, a very impressive mountainside fortress and supply station that was successfully defended by Manco Inca against Hernando Pizarro in 1536. Inca terraces around the fortified city are still used by today’s inhabitants to grow crops.

Time-permitting, your day will conclude with a short visit to a special ceramics workshop that uses pre-Columbian methods to produce beautiful clay artifacts. Hotel Sol y Luna- Deluxe Casita (4 1/2 stars) (B, L,D)

OPTIONAL VOLUNTEER SERVICE PROJECT IN THE SACRED VALLEY:

If you would be interested, you may also have the opportunity to volunteer for one of four interesting service projects. One option is to supply a healthy breakfast to local schoolkids. Helped by your guide, you’ll purchase the ingredients at Ollantaytambo market, prepare the nutritious breakfast and then serve it to the students. A second option is to work on a door to door hygiene project, providing remote villagers with soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste and teaching them how to use them. A third option is to work on a native tree project in which you will plant native trees and also ensure the irrigation of the trees as part of a larger reforestation project. A fourth option is to help build the water irrigation system that will help sustain the reforestation project. Cost will depend on which project you select, the number of travelers and on whether the project will replace or supplement other activites in the itinerary.

Days 4 - 5Machu Picchu

Morning train ride (optional Hiram Bingham upgrade) on day 4 to Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas and one of the most intriguing remnants of civili zation in the world. This well preserved city of stone homes, temples and an elaborate system of agricultural terraces, discovered by Prof. Hiram Bingham of Yale University in 1911, was unknown to the Spanish during the Conquest four centuries earlier. You’ll have ample time for on-site lectures and personal exploration during your two-day stay, including an optional hike up Huayna Picchu. Overnight on day 4 at Inkaterra Machu Picchu or Sanctuary Lodge (B,L,D) Note: Optional second night at Machu Picchu.

We have included the second Machu Picchu park entrance ticket for day 5. Return by train to the Cuzco on the afternoon of Day 5. Hotel Palacio del Inka Cusco (5 stars) (B-2,L-2,D-1)

Note: In Cuzco, you may downgrade to Casa Andina Private Collection or upgrade to Hotel Monasterio or La Casona.

Day 6Cuzco

Once the center of the Inca Empire, Cuzco is a fascinating city rich in archaeology and Spanish colonial heritage. According to legend, Cuzco was founded in 1200 B.C. by Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo, who emerged from Lake Titicaca at the command of their father, the sun. You’ll enjoy a private historical tour of Cuzco, passing through narrow cobblestone streets and visiting the nearby Inca ruins of Tambomachay, situated in the rolling hills above Cuzco. You’ll also visit the mysterious carved rock Kenko shrine and the massive fortress of Sacsayhuaman, with its zigzagging walls of precise stonework. Hotel Palacio del Inka Cusco (5 stars) (B)

OPTIONAL EXTRA DAY IN CUZCO:

Today you may choose one of four activities. Your first option is to enjoy an educational meeting with an Andean Mystical Healer, a “curandero”, who will discuss and demonstrate several fascinating methods of curing ill patients. Second, you may take a Peruvian Cooking class in which you will learn how to prepare ceviche and pisco sour at a top local restaurant. Third, you may take a listening or participatory seminar on Andean music at the local musical institute (novices welcome!). Your fourth option is to enjoy a tour of the excellent Museum of Pre-Columbian Art. Free afternoon to explore Cuzco’s art district of San Blas. Libertador or Hotel Monasterio (B)

Note: We can also arrange hands-on educational seminars on traditional mask making, ceramics, Mendivil sculptures and/or painting. Surcharge for additional day: Call for quote

Days 7-8 Lima / homeward bound

Fly to Lima on day 7. You will be met and taken on a private afternoon tour of Lima.

Named the “City of Kings” by the Spanish Conquistadores, Lima was founded in 1535 as Spain’s South American capital. Today, your private tour will visit Lima’s principal attractions, including the Plaza de Armas, the Cathedral, Government Palace, and either the famed Larco Museum or the Museum of Archaeology, which houses a priceless collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. You will then be driven back to the airport for your late evening flight. You will arrive home on day 8. (B)

Note: If you have an early flight on day 8, then you may prefer to overnight at the Costa del Sol Ramada Airport Hotel (not included)

Note: We will gladly customize an itinerary to meet your preferences. Optional side trips or extensions to Galapagos, Lake Titicaca, Amazon, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Arequipa and/or Colca Canyon.

End of Tour
(Code: B-Breakfast; L-Lunch; D-Dinner)
Land Cost Includes:

o All elective "soft" adventures (hiking, rafting, bicycling, horseback riding)
o Accommodations for 6 nights (primarily in deluxe hotels)
o Private touring with bilingual guides
o 12 meals
o All transfers and land transportation
o Entrance/park fees 

PRIVATE CUSTOMIZED TOURS FOR INDEPENDENT TRAVELERS & SMALL GROUPS - CHOOSE YOUR OWN TRAVEL DATES.

LAND COST PER PERSON THRU DECEMBER 15, 2016:

WITH 4 TRAVELERS, PLEASE SUBTRACT $550 PER PERSON!

Standard option: $3,240 (check) or $3,365 (credit card)
First Class option: $3,770 (check) or $3,915 (credit card)
Deluxe option: $4,300 (check) or $4,460 (credit card)

Standard: Costa del Sol Ramada, Sol y Luna, El Mapi, Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco
First Class: Costa del Sol Ramada, Sol y Luna, Inkaterra Machu Picchu, Palacio del Inca
Deluxe: Costa del Sol Ramada, Sol y Luna, Sanctuary Lodge, Monasterio

Trip Length: 8 days
Deposit: $ 500
Single Supplement from:
With 3 travelers: $675 /$980/ $1,520
Trip Grade: Easy
Accommodations: Mainly first class and deluxe
International Airfare (est.): $ 760 (Miami; subject to change)
Internal airfare (est.): $ 370 (variable, subject to change until ticketed)

 

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS EXTENSION

Nature Expeditions International also offers 4 and 7-night cruises to the Galapagos Islands which explore the island's unique wildlife and rich natural history. To receive detailed itineraries of our cruise options,
please call (800) 869-0639 or e-mail us at info@naturexp.com

GENERAL INFORMATION

Trip Grade: Easy. All included adventures are elective and low intensity. They include nature walks, bicycling, rafting, horseback riding and exploring ruins on foot. Except for optional hikes at Machu Picchu, physical activities are not rigorous. Travelers may substitute cultural excursions for soft adventures. There may be occasions when discomfort arises from the elements, cultural differences, travel over rough roads, early morning departures, lodging, high altitudes or time schedule changes.

Land Cost Includes: All vehicle transportation and transfers as stated in the itinerary; accommodations for 7 nights primarily in deluxe hotels (based on double occupancy); 13 meals (as indicated); entrance/park fees; private touring with bilingual guides; service and handling charges.

Land Cost Does Not Include: Airfares (quoted separately); excess baggage charges; alcoholic beverages; laundry, passports or visas, personal insurance, other personal items; airport departure taxes.

Accommodations: Accommodations are based on double occupancy, primarily in deluxe hotels. If traveling alone, there will be a single supplement charge.

Climate: The seasons in Peru are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere. The weather in Peru, however, is affected by a variety of climatic factors including altitude, ocean currents, wind patterns and seasonal variations. In general, Cuzco and Machu Picchu are usually clear and sunny from April through October, while Lima may be covered by fog. Highland temperatures generally range from 30 to 80 degrees, depending upon sunshine and the season. Because this trip travels to a variety of physical environments, be prepared for changing weather patterns and a wide variation in temperature.

Reservations and Payments: Please download Registration form , complete and return the registration form along with your trip deposit of $500 per person ($1,250 for Antarctica cruises). A deposit of $500 with the completed reservation form will ensure you a place on this trip. Departures are guaranteed with a minimum of two travelers. Final payment of the land cost is due 60 days prior to departure. Please note that in certain cases, the deposit and payment policy of NEI’s worldwide suppliers will supercede NEI’s policy. Due to the limited seasonal nature for many destinations and trip preparation timelines, we advise you to book your trip at least 3 months in advance. A $100 per person booking fee will be assessed to high priority reservations made within 2 weeks of trip departure. After receiving your reservation, confirmation will be mailed to you along with detailed pre-departure materials (including insightful destination information, clothing recommendations, health information, suggested reading lists, etc.).

Cancellations and Refunds: If you need to cancel your trip, please notify us in writing or by fax immediately. The cancellation penalty is calculated from the day we receive cancellation notice. (For those persons who do travel, there are no refunds for any unused meals, accommodations or other trip activities.) In certain cases, the cancellation policies of NEI's subcontractors will supercede NEI's policy. The cancellation penalty is calculated based on the schedule below.

Number of days prior to departure. Cancellation fee per person:
61+days         $500 plus applicable airfare penalties
45–60 days    30% of land/cruise price plus applicable airfare penalties
30–44 days    60% of land/cruise price plus applicable airfare penalties
0–29 days     100% of land/cruise price plus applicable airfare penalties

Change Fee for Multiple Changes to Confirmed Itineraries: NEI will often customize trip itineraries for prospective travelers in order to meet their preferences and parameters. This process contributes greatly to the success of the tour but it is also very time consuming and we must, therefore, set limits on the number of changes made to an itinerary once it has been confirmed. Consequently, after all of the hotel reservations for a new booking have been confirmed with our local suppliers, NEI will accommodate one “free” set of simultaneous changes of the hotel portion of the itinerary. For any subsequent changes to the hotel portion of the itinerary, NEI reserves the right to charge a change fee of $200 per person. NEI will usually not charge any change fee for changes made to the activities or excursions, providing that such non-hotel changes are made at least 6 weeks prior to the trip departure date.

Booking fee for Flight Reservations:: Most air ticketing arrangements handled by NEI are made through air consolidators and through our in-country outfitters, and in these situations NEI does not charge a booking fee (any profit, if applicable, is already reflected in the airfare). However, there are some tours for which NEI makes flight reservations directly with the airlines on behalf of our clients, and the air tickets are mailed or emailed directly to our clients, not to NEI. For these “non-air consolidator” reservations, NEI will charge a booking fee of $50 per person.

Insurance: Trip cancellation, accident and baggage insurance are recommended and will be offered to all participants. Trip cancellation insurance is strongly advised; this will protect you in the case of cancellation due to personal or family illness.

Responsibility: Nature Expeditions International is responsible for conducting this trip as outlined in the published itinerary. It reserves the right, however, to cancel the trip should it become affected by conditions beyond the company’s control. In such an event, NEI will return all monies paid to it by the affected participants, less an administrative fee of $200 per person, as full and final settlement.

NEI also reserves the right to substitute other lodging during the trip or to change the tour leader(s), itinerary, or travel arrangements if the staff believes it is in the best interest of all participants. In addition, NEI may decline to accept or retain any member or prospective member of an announced trip. Full refund for the unused portion of the trip will be paid to the affected participant in such an event.

Airline Clause: All arrangements for airline transportation are made by the respective airlines, which companies shall not have or incur any responsibility or liability to any person taking a trip except their liability as common carriers. Nor shall such carriers be or be held responsible for any act, omission, or event occurring after the passenger has disembarked from the conveyance. The usual passage contract in use by the carrier, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between said carrier and the passenger. All rates are based on tariffs currently or those tariffs to be placed in effect and are subject to adjustment in the event of changes therein. The air transportation services of any IATA/ARC member may be used.

© Nature Expeditions International