After our breakfast we will visit the food market "San Pedro.” This is where the local people make purchases of all types of products for the preparation of their daily meals. Vegetables, potatoes, fruits, meats, spices, cereals, and breads among others. You can also buy a variety of local food and observe how the locals live their daily lives. Then, we will drive to the ancient temple of the sun ”Koricancha.” Here, you will observe detailed architecture all intact within the temple. You will see smaller temples dedicated to the moon, rainbows, stars, lightning and thunder, among others. The Santo Domingo church stands on top of the temple. You will then walk around the traditional streets where every one of them has something to tell and many mysteries (myths, legends, stories, etc) in the city and stop by Aqllaywasi, the chosen virgins of the sun, which is now the Santa Catalina convent. The stone of 12 angles currently used as a museum remains intact, this street is a sample of great architectural dominance over stones, then we will visit the home of great artisans since Inca times to the present day with long traditions in textiles, ceramics, metallurgy and others. Finally, we will end our visit in one of the picanterías (a traditional lunchtime restaurant).
After learning about the city and its customs, we will visit the most renowned architectural evidence of the Incas: Sacsayhuamán. Although the site was religious, the Spanish considered it a military fortress because of its location and the way it was built. and because of the architectural characteristics and the size of its stones (many larger than 33 feet and heavier than 150 tons). At Sacsayhuamán, people celebrate Inti Raymi (celebration of the sun) each year on June 24th. Sacsayhuamán also gives you the opportunity to see Quenqo which represented the Andean constellations and the concept of the three worlds, each one representing sacred animals: the condor, puma, and snake. In Puca Pucara you will also see the military center of its time, strategically located at the entrance to check who went in and out of the site. The people who visited the site came from many different parts of Peru, typically including the Amazon region. You will see also see Tambomachay, known as the temple of water, where the Incas practiced religious traditions tied to water to rejuvenate the land. This tradition is known as the fountain of eternal youth. After visiting and learning about these sites and their ancient traditions, you will return to the city. From there you will continue to the Sacred Valley visiting artisanal markets, the scenery is very picturesque because you will be surrounded by Andean mountains and valleys to reach the “city of Inca Pisac” which is hidden in a mountain (like the guard of the Sacred Valley), where you will be able to appreciate the irrigation system, astronomical observatory, religious temples and residences. Here, you will find the largest cemetery of the Incan empire. After lunch we will return to the city from the south valley of Cusco, through the lagoon Huacarpay (one of the most important wetlands in the south) where you can see many birds in the region, then pass by the picturesque village of Tipon in Oropesa, land of the Cuy, Huasao Andean earth priests, land Saylla greaves and you will find it much different than the typical villages.
CHINCHERO – Moray – SALINERAS - OLLANTAYTAMBO
This day is a full day excursion to the living cities of the Incas. Chinchero is still an intact Inca city where locals kept many costumes, especially in their tissues, where we can not interact with the local people. Then we will visit Moray, an experimental agricultural center of the Inca era where each of the terraces have different soils and microclimates and where knowledge in agriculture was once taught. Then we will visit Salineras, a place where salt is processed naturally for local consumption by the people. Here you will find hundreds and hundreds of maceration pits, where we will see the salt in all of its phases during the natural production process.
After lunch we will go to Ollantaytambo, famous for its location within the Sacred Valley and its architectural buildings, after the visit we will take the train to Aguas Calientes where we will spend the night.
Machu picchu visit and return
On this day we will wake up early in the morning and after breakfast we will visit the gorgeous lost city of the Incas which delights us with the wonderful views of its landscapes and ruins. We will take the first bus to Machu Picchu and be one of the first visitors to arrive.
Up in the citadel is where the guided tour will take place for 3 hours. After the tour you will have free time to explore the citadel on your own. The bus down from Machu Picchu to Aguas Calientes leaves every 30 min, and the last bus is at down to Aguas Calientes is at 5pm. After reaching Aguas Calientes you will have lunch before taking the train to Cusco.